Sunday, 8 July 2012

Tacos

I normally buy taco wraps in the supermarket but I'm not always sure about the quality of mass-produced food items. With preservatives and additives in so many things I do not always trust the ingredients in them. So I decided to try homemade tacos. This way I know what I’m eating. In Guyana we might not always get the original ingredients, but then finding a suitable substitute might create a new recipe.This particular dish can be had as a snack or a meal. It is healthy and filling (like my pies) and easy to prepare. I've sometimes prepared it for my son’s lunch.  You can exclude the meat if you are vegetarian and add in any other ingredient for your taste.

Recipe
Makes about 6 taco wraps

Ingredients for the Wraps:
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • ½ cup Cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons low fat margarine
  • Warm water
Directions
  • Mix self raising flour, cornmeal, wheat germ, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  • Mix in the  margarine and garlic.
  • Add warm water slowly and knead until smooth.
  • Cover with cloth and leave for about 15 mins.
  • Break the dough into 6 equal pieces and make them into a round ball.
  • Roll out as thin as possible.
  • Bake on tawah. (it's thin so it cooks very quickly)

Ingredients for the Filling
  • 3/4 lb - Seasoned finely diced or minced chicken (chicken can be seasoned with your favourite seasonings or you can even use leftover cooked chicken)
  • Chopped: Carrots, tomatoes, sweet peppers, celery, fine leaf thyme and onions
  • Sweet corn
  • Salt
  • Chinese spice
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Grated cheese
Directions
  • Preheat your pan and add oil of your choice.  
  • Add seasoned chicken and let it fry until cooked.
  • Add tomato sauce (I use Prego sauce)
  • Add vegetables, starting with the hardest vegetables first.  Add the softer vegetables in later so that they can be done at the same time. 
  • Add salt and Chinese spice and let cook for about 3 mins.
  • Let it cool for a few minutes.
Making the Tacos
  • Lay one wrap in a plate.
  • Place lettuce on wrap if desired.
  • Add filling.
  • Add some tomato sauce
  • Add grated cheese on top
  • Fold wrap and ready to serve.
     
 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Potato Sada Roti


I never get the traditional Guyanese Potato Roti right, most times the potato is too soft or too hard. I always depend on my Granny to make it for me. A few evenings ago, I really felt like having Potato Roti but it was too late to call granny. I make a good Sada Roti, so I decided to risk a Sada-roti-style with potato in it.

I like whole wheat rotis as they are more nutritious. Instead of stuffing the roti I simply added the mashed pototo into the dough mix, and I also added some wheat germ (for more fibre). And it worked.

To complete the meal I seasoned up some chicken with my favourite Guyanese seasonings and pot roasted it with some chunks of carrots and broccoli.

Recipe
Makes about 10 rotis

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1½ lbs potatoes (to be boiled and mashed)
  • 1 tablespoons crushed garlic
Prepare the mashed potato as you normally would when making mashed potato.

To make the rotis:
  • In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients - flour, wheat germ, baking powder, yeast, salt and sugar.
  • Mix in the butter, garlic and mashed potato.
  • Add warm water slowly as if you are making normal sada roti. Knead until smooth and leave to raise for 3/4 hour.
  • Break into handful-sized pieces or your desired size.
  • Roll into balls and leave for about 10 minutes.
  • Roll out dough like normal sada roti and bake on a tawa.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Flavoured Cupcakes

Cupcakes are loved by kids especially when you add a decorative touch to them. I make them in a few flavours to make this simple treat more interesting, and in my last batch I made almond, strawberry and chocolate-flavoured ones. They make a nice after-school snack for my son and he tends to like the strawberry and the chocolate ones. As a mom I try to avoid too much sweet in our diet so I used less sugar than most cookbooks suggest and no frosting or icing. Instead of sugar I try to add to or enhance the flavours if I can - for instance, adding real chocolate to the chocolate-flavoured ones and real almonds to the almond-flavoured ones. Kids (and adults) seem to find them enjoyable and not notice the less sugar.

Recipe
Makes about 18 normal-sized cupcakes

You will need:
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ lb butter
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup warm milk
For the flavourings (to your taste):
  • Almond essence
  • Strawberry syrup
  • Cocoa powder/ chocolate syrup
For the toppings (to your taste):
  • Chocolate, chopped (optional)
  • Almonds, shaved (optional)
  • Strawberries, sliced (optional)
To make the cupcake mix:
  • Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl.
  • Add the eggs a little at a time until smooth and fluffy.
  • Add the self-rising flour and baking powder, and continue mixing
  • Add the milk and mix until smooth.
Then:
  • Depending on how many flavours you want to make divide the mixture into equal parts in separate bowls. I divided the mixture into three equal parts.
    • For the Almond-flavoured ones add 2 teaspoons almond essence, mix and pour into the cupcake cups, and sprinkle shaved almonds on top if desired.
    • For Strawberry flavour add 1½ tablespoons of strawberry syrup, mix and pour into the cupcake cups, and top with a slice of fresh strawberry if desired.
    • For Chocolate flavour add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder or 1½ tablespoons of chocolate syrup (or both for a chocolatier flavor) mix and pour into the cupcake cups, and sprinkle chopped chocolate on top if desired.
  • Arrange the filled cupcake cups on a baking pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Whole Wheat Chicken & Vegetable Pie

This is my son's all-time favourite and one way of getting him to eat and enjoy his veggies. This pie is easy to prepare and you don’t even need a pie-dish; any regular baking pan will work. This pie provides a well-balanced and satisfying meal, can also be served as a snack and is the perfect meal for my son’s lunch kit. My boyfriend thinks it should be called a ‘pastie’ instead of a ‘pie’, but that’s another matter, and he certainly never refuses one (or two). Ingredients can be substituted and you can exclude the meat if you are vegetarian - make it your own.

Recipe
Makes about 12 pies

Ingredients for the Pie Crust:
  • 1½ cups self-rising flour
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup low fat margarine
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Cold water
To make the Pie Crust:
  • Mix the self-rising flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, salt and sugar in a bowl.
  • Add the margarine and mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea sized pieces of margarine.
  • Add cold water a little at a time until the mixture just begins to clump together.
  • Knead until smooth.
  • Cover the dough in the bowl and keep in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Ingredients for the Filling:
  • ¾ lbs seasoned diced/ minced chicken (the chicken can be seasoned BBQ style, jerk style or you can even use leftover cooked chicken)
  • Carrots (1 large), sweet peppers (4), celery, fine-leaf thyme and onions – all chopped
  • Sweet corn (¾ cup)
  • Tomato Sauce (ketchup/ BBQ sauce is good as well)
  • ¼ tea spoon Salt
  • ¼ tea spoon Chinese spice
  • Cheese to your taste as topping - grated
To make the Filling:
  • Preheat a frying pan and add oil of your choice. 
  • Add the diced chicken and let it fry for about 3 mins.
  • Add the tomato sauce (or ketchup/ BBQ sauce) and let it cook for about another 3 mins.
  • Add the vegetables, starting with the hardest vegetables first. Cook for about 3 mins adding the softer vegetables later so that they will all be done at the same time.  Do not bother to cook the vegetables fully because they will soon be baked as well.
  • Add salt and Chinese spice towards the end.
Making the Pies:
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal lumps.  With a rolling pin roll one at a time into a circle about 5 inches in diameter.
  • Spread one spoonful of filling onto half of the crust.
  • Sprinkle some cheese over the filling if desired.
  • Fold the other half of the crust over to touch the ends.
  • Use a table fork to press the edges together and punch small holes on the top.
  • Place on a baking pan and do the same for the rest.
  • Preheat the oven to 150 degrees and bake for about ¾ hour