Monthly Mystery Munchies #16: Herby, Fully Loaded Chicken Wraps with Zesty Sour Cream

Chicken wraps 1

This month I was a tad nervous to suggest this theme to the lovely Ann from Grubbs n Critters. Was it too easy? Not challenging enough? We’ve definitely been pushing our boundaries, happily so, but I felt like doing something that wasn’t time consuming, that I could whip up and serve immediately. My suggestion? Wraps with meat and a dressing/sauce. That was it. Ann gladly accepted, having bought some wraps a few days prior. It was meant to be. I love it when a cooking plan comes together!

Chicken wraps 2

Yes, I said it, “herby, fully loaded wraps”. I kind of threw everything in my fridge into this meal: chicken, butternut, mushrooms, red onion, garlic and then some more garlic, mustard, coriander, Italian parsley, basil, honey, lemon, sour cream… errthang went in. I’m a sucker for fresh herbs. I try to use them as often as possible. There’s just something really cool about cooking stuff and throwing it in a wrap. Love it. I have basil, parsley, limes and lemons in my garden. Picking it makes me feel like I’m on a farm, all organic and fresh. Then I hear hooters and dogs barking, and I remember that nope, I actually live in a city. Still, it’s wonderful to use what I have in the garden. I’d really like a bacon tree. That would be ideal. Strangely, I can’t find any.

Chicken wraps 3

I’m psyched to see what Ann’s come up with this month. No doubt, it’ll be amaze. She has some great stories on her blog, fabulous recipes, and hilarious jokes. Please hop over to her blog and check it all out.

A little less conversation, a little more food action… here we go… all wrapped up:

Chicken Wraps with Zesty Sour Cream

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Supplies for the chicken:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
1 handful flatleaf Italian parsley
1 handful basil leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Supplies for the veggies:

500g butternut, cubed
250g mushrooms, sliced
200g baby spinach leaves
1 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Supplies for the sour cream dressing:

250ml sour cream
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 handful coriander
1 tablespooon parmesan per wrap, for sprinkling
8 wraps

Making it happen:

Blitz all the chicken ingredients and pour over the chicken breasts. Bake at 180C for 30 – 35 minutes until cooked.

Meanwhile, steam or boil the butternut until cooked, about 6-10 minutes. Fry the mushrooms and onion on medium heat until cooked, about 5 minutes. Mix in the cooked butternut, and the baby spinach leaves and stir well until all the veg are full mixed.

Blitz the first seven our cream ingredients until fully mixed. Cook the wrap per instructions, and then spoon some veggie mixture into the centre of the wrap. Layer the chicken on top, scatter some reserved parsley and coriander, drizzle with sour cream and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of parmesan over everything. Fold the wrap and serve.  

 

 

Monthly Mystery Munchies #6: Waterblommetjie Bredie

Waterblommetjie bredie 8I am so excited about this month’s challenge. Not only did I have a great deal of fun creating (and tasting) this recipe, but Ann and I have reached our half-year mark of our Monthly Mystery Munchies challenge and it’s been an incredibly fun, challenging and exciting experience. Thanks, Ann, for the wonderful idea!

 

This month Ann chose well! The theme? Stew with beans. My take? Waterblommetjie bredie. Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it, it’s a South African stew with an Afrikaans name; literally translated it means ‘small water flower stew’. It’s indigenous to the Western Cape region of South Africa (proudly South African, proudly Capetonian) but if you’re not in South Africa, you can substitute the waterblommetjies with green beans, as that’s what they taste the most similar to.

I added chillies to give it a bit of oomph and used the most traditional stewing meat – lamb. Expensive but definitely worth it if you’re looking to treat yourself and your guests. Of course, I’m incapable of making a stew without potatoes and I used butter beans in keeping with Ann’s theme. I’d never normally think to add beans to this stew, but it came out abslutely beautifully and bursting with flavour! Who would’ve thought flowers (more like weeds) picked from ponds would taste so good? The Khoikhoi, that’s who. They taught the early settlers how to cook with waterblommetjies. How cool is that?!

Mosey on over to Grubbs n Critters and take a gander at what Ann came up with this month. No doubt it’s delicious!

Waterblommetjie bredie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Supplies:

Waterblommetjie bredie 1500g waterblommetjies, soaked and hard parts removed
1kg lamb knuckles
1 large onion, chopped
2 green chillies, sliced (optional)
5 garlic cloves, crushed
500g baby tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stalk
1 teaspoon coriander
1 cup beef or lamb stock
1kg baby potatoes, halved
1 lemon, halved
1 tin butter beans, drained
Olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen:

Waterblommetjie bredie 21. Clean and soak the waterblommetjies in salted water for a minumum of 1 hour or overnight. Before you cook them, cut the tough parts off.

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 32. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and brown the lamb on all sides. Set aside.

 

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 43. In a large pot, heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the onion, chillies and garlic on medium for 5 minutes.

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 54. Add the lamb to the pot. Add the tomatoes, rosemary and coriander and fry on medium for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 65. Add the potatoes, stock and juice of half a lemon, stirring well. Bring to a slow boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

 

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 76. Add the drained beans and waterblommetjies and simmer for an hour. Do not stir too vigorously or overcook, you don’t want the waterblommetjies breaking apart or turning to mush!

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 107. Serve with rice once cooked, or cook in advance as stews get better with time!

Monthly Mystery Munchies: My Big Fat Greek Lamb Kleftiko

Lamb Kleftiko 11It’s the fifth installment of my and Ann’s Monthly Mystery Munchies and this month we went Greek. When scouring the internet and cookbooks for ideas, I settled on lamb kleftiko. Why? I freaking love a good roast! Also, the story behind it is so amusing and that endeared me. ‘Kleftiko’ means ‘stolen’ in Greek. Back in the day, bandits would thieve cattle and cook the meat, sealed in a pit oven and covered with sand, to prevent their opponents from seeing the fire. They would leave the meat buried in the ground all day and return to a slow-cooked meal at night. Genius. I’m not an advocate for theft but I like the initiative these dudes showed. (Please buy your meat with actual money!)

The dish is encased in layers of tin foil and/or parchment paper (unless you happen to have a pit oven). Here’s where it gets even yummier: it’s marinated overnight in garlic, fresh herbs and lemon juice. Then, when you’re ready to cook it, it’s surrounded by veggies, topped with thickly sliced tomatoes, sprinkled with seasoning and drizzled with olive oil. And a partridge in a pear tree.

Think of it as your one-stop roast pot. Remove the meat from the fridge an hour before you’re ready to roast, cook it on low for 4-5 hours depending on how you like it, and when you take it out of the oven, you have everything you need. Beautiful, succulent, falling-off-the-bone lamb, and potatoes, onions and carrots that have been absorbing all the tasty lamb and herb juices. No missioning with extra veggies. Carve it, dish it and you’re good to go. Amen. Let’s do this, but before we go ahead, make sure you mosey on over to Grubbs n Critters for my BBF (Best Blogging Friend) Ann’s take on this month’s theme.

Monthly Mystery Munchies: My Big Fat Greek Lamb Kleftiko

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Supplies:

Lamb Kleftiko 11.8-2kg leg of lamb
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stalk
1 sprig lemon thyme, leaves removed from stalk
1 teaspoon dried oregano
6 garlic cloves, crushed and halved
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling
2 tomatoes, thickly sliced
4 potatoes, peeled and halved
4 carrots, sliced lengthways
2 red onions, peeled and quartered
Freshly cracked black pepper & salt

Lamb Kleftiko 21. Crush and halve the garlic cloves. Put all the herbs in a bowl, add the garlic and olive oil and stir well.

Lamb Kleftiko 3

 

 

 

2. Make incisions in the lamb, 2-3 in a vertical row and repeat across the meat. (Don’t cut all the way through to the bottom.) Stuff the holes with the garlic and herb mixture. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice with black pepper and salt and pour over the lamb, rubbing it in with your hands, and rubbing the underside of the meat too.

Lamb Kleftiko 53. Put the meat in a sealable bag and refrigerate overnight, or for a minimum of 2 hours.

 

 

 

Lamb Kleftiko 74. Remove lamb from the fridge and let it rest for an hour before you cook it. Preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F). Lay a long piece of tin foil down, lengthways, and lay a piece of parchment paper over it. Lay another piece of foil horizontally, and again lay a piece of parchment paper over it. (You’re creating a cross.)

Lamb Kleftiko 85. Cut the onions into quarters, positioning one onion in the centre of the cross. Halve the carrots lengthways (I never peel them, I’m too lazy, but I wash them thoroughly) add 6 halves to the onions. Peel and halve your potatoes, placing 6-8 halves with the onions and carrots. What you’re going for is a mixture of veggies at the bottom of the dish, but not all of them. Drizzle some olive oil over them (about 2 tablespoons)and grind some black pepper and salt over them. Place the lamb on top of the veggies and drizzle more olive oil on top of the lamb. Sprinkle with salt. Position the rest of the chopped veggies around the lamb. Place 6 tomato slices, cut thick, on top of the lamb.

Lamb Kleftiko 96. Bring all of the foil/parchment paper sides together. What you’re going for is a very well-sealed effect. Put the parcel in a deep roasting dish put the dish in the middle shelf of your oven. Roast at 160°C (320°F) for 4-5 hours (4 hours for rare, 4½ for medium and 5 for well done).
Lamb Kleftiko 10

7. Remove the roasting tray from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes before opening it. Carve the lamb, add veggies to the plate and dig in!

 

Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary

Roast chicken 5 2This is, without doubt, one of my all-time favourite dishes. There are few things that compare to the delicious, inviting aroma emanating from the kitchen when this chicken is roasting to perfection. Stuffed with garlic and lemon, drizzled with butter and rosemary, with some extra lemon juice for good measure, this is a hit that you’ll be making for years to come. The fragrant woody taste of the rosemary is perfectly matched with the creaminess of the butter, making the skin crisp and tasty. The citrus flavours are complimented with crushed garlic cloves and the entire dish comes together beautifully!

Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roast chicken ingredients 1 2Supplies:

  • 1.5 kg chicken, washed and giblets removed
  •  2-3 lemons
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 50g melted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen: 

Roast chicken 1 21. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Remove the giblets if necessary, wash the chicken under running water and pat dry. Season the chicken thoroughly, on both sides and inside the cavity, with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

Roast chicken 3 22. Cut 2 of the lemons into quarters, crush the garlic cloves and stuff inside the cavity. Melt the butter, add the rosemary leaves, two tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Pour over the chicken and make sure it’s spread across the entire chicken, including underneath.

 

 

Roast chicken 7 23. Roast the chicken at 200°C for half an hour, remove from the oven and pour the juices over it. Turn down the heat to 180°C (350°F) and roast the chicken for another hour. If it’s not done after an hour, roast it for another 10 minutes.

The result is a a moist, tender chicken with crispy, buttery, zesty skin and meat infused with garlic and lemon. 

 

 

Easy Kassler Steaks

When The Husband and I were first getting to know each other, he would come over to my Mom’s place every Monday night for dinner and every Monday without fail, she would make Kassler steak. You see, the Mothership was not the type who’d spend hours cooking but this is ideal if you want something quick and fuss-free. I marinated the steaks for two hours but if you’re pressed for time, you can do this for half an hour or the night before, in which case you just whip them out of the fridge and fry them for a few minutes. Convenient much?

Kassler is a cured cut of meat (meaning it’s been salted and smoked) so it’s already quite salty. As a result, don’t add any salt until you’ve tasted the final product. The sauce will caramelise, topping off the delicious flavour of the Kassler steaks. Serve with mashed potatoes and, if you want to be very traditional, sauerkraut.

Easy Kassler Steaks

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 Kassler steaks
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (you can use a teaspoon of dried rosemary)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Kassler 1 21. Mix all ingredients and marinate the Kasslers for half an hour (you can marinate them the night before too).

 

 

Kassler 2 22. Heat some oil in a pan and add the meat, pouring half the juices into the pan too. Fry on medium heat until the steaks are done, about 5 minutes per side or until they’re golden brown.