Olive, Lemon and Coconut Pots

I have been intrigued by savoury desserts for some time. The concept is not new, but many chefs have taken this to a whole new level. I had earlier made a Tomato Soup Cake which fits the bill for savoury desserts. However, I wanted to try something different.

Olives and lemon are a great combination and I thought of including coconut with these flavours. I used Greek yoghurt instead of cream and the dessert was light and creamy.

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For those of you that love savoury foods, this recipe will be ideal. If you’re also looking to cut down on your sugar cravings, this dessert is perfect.

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Anyway, the result was surprising, but in a nice way. I loved the taste – the olives were more prominent and I could taste the other ingredients, though it was more subtle. It’s quite filling and you can snack on these without feeling too guilty!

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PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 40-50 minutes SERVES: 4

Ingredients

400 gms Greek yoghurt

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp cornflour

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

!/8 tsp salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/8 tsp coconut extract, optional

1/3 cup black olives, pitted

2 tbsp lemon juice

Olive and lemon slices for garnish

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Grease four ramekin dishes with a little butter.

Place the olives in a blender and process until smooth.

Place the Greek yoghurt in a mixing bowl and beat well until smooth. Add the granulated sugar, cornflour, vanilla extract and salt and beat well.

Add the beaten egg slowly and mix well. Add the coconut milk, olive paste, lemon juice and coconut extract and beat until combined. Spoon the mixture into the ramekin dishes. Place them in a roasting pan half-filled with hot water and bake 40-50 minutes until it is set. Remove the roasting tin carefully from the oven and remove the ramekins. Cool.

Cover with clingfilm and place in the refrigerator. It will store for up to a week. Garnish with the olive and lemon slices before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mac and Cheese

This is my go-to recipe for Mac and Cheese for a very long time. It’s very quick besides being rich and creamy. It’s so much better than eating it out of a box and it’s sure to be loved by everyone.

The ingredients used are all staples that one can find in any kitchen. I used cheddar and parmesan. This is something that many of us grew up on and it’s a classic comfort food.

Instead of making a roux in the classic way, I find that adding onions to the butter and then adding the flour prevents the lumps forming. I prefer to do it this way.

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Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, etc can all be used. I just used some green pepper and carrots. It’s a very versatile dish in that way. The topping of breadcrumbs is what gives it that extra texture – chewy pasta with a crisp topping. Just lovely!

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 1 hour

Ingredients

½ cup butter

6 tbsp flour

2 large onions, minced

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chilli powder

½ tsp mustard

4 cups milk, warmed

450 grams elbow macaroni

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

4 tbsp black olives, cut in half

200 grams Cheddar, grated

50 grams Parmesan, grated

½ cup breadcrumbs

4 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped finely

Salt to taste

Instructions

Grease a baking dish and preheat the oven to 180 C.

Melt the ½ cup butter in a large, heavy pan. Add the onions and cumin seeds and cook until the onions are transparent. Add the flour and mix well. Saute for two minutes and add the pepper, turmeric, chilli powder, mustard and salt.

Add the warm milk gradually, stirring all the time and cook on low heat until the sauce is thick and smooth. Remove from heat and add the grated cheddar cheese olives and tomato ketchup.

Bring plenty of salted water to a rolling boil and add the macaroni. Stir well and add a cup of cold water immediately. This will prevent the pasta from sticking. Cook on moderate heat until the macaroni is just cooked or al dente.

Drain immediately and mix with the cheese sauce. Spoon into the greased baking dish.

For the topping, add the grated Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, melted butter and chopped coriander together. Spread this on top of the macaroni and bake for about 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.