Marlene's Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

Marlene's Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

My little chef Nikita help to test a recipe that we absolutely enjoyed.
Such an easy and delicious meal for anytime .. leftovers for school or work or even so tasty on a sandwich.
1 package Stove Top Stuffing Chicken flavor
1-2 lbs (about 4 lge pieces) chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 can cream of chicken soup (I used condensed cream of chicken)
3 cups mixed veggies
1/3 cup sour cream
Salt & pepper
2 garlic cloves chopped
1. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Heat oven at 400F
2. In a bowl, combine chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, mixed veggies, salt & pepper and garlic. Stir until all is combined
3. In a separate bowl, prepare the stuffing as directed on the package. I also chopped an onion and peppers, added garlic and fried all together and added this to the stuffing.
4. Pour chicken mixture into bottom of pan
5. Spread prepared stuffing over entire top of mixture
6. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
Recipe credit: The Cookin Chicks
Prepared, tried and tested by: Marlene-Rick Harker‎ and Nikita

Melanie’s Sarma (Croation stuffed cabbage leaves)

Melanie’s Sarma (Croation stuffed cabbage leaves)

TRH Melanie's Sarma

I decided to try again after a long time, a dish that is popular all over the world.
Stuffed cabbage leaves. Here in SA we fondly call it ‘ou mense onder die kombers’.
Other’s will call it ‘Grandma’s stuffed cabbage leaves.
The Greeks use only grape vine leaves and call it Dolmathes as part of their Mezze platter.
I’m married to a Croation and in Croatia the stuffed cabbage leaves is known as SARMA.
The concept is all the same, just method and spices vary. Naturally I made the Croation version. This is how I made it. SARMA (Croation stuffed cabbage leaves)

1 head of cabbage
500 gr beef mince (or lamb)
200 gr minced pork) (or beef or all lamb or beef)
2 cups cooked rice (I used basmati)
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup grated carrot
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp vegetta (Croation spice – available from German butchers) (substitute Aromat)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tblsp smoked paprika
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 cans tomato soup

Remove the core from the head of cabbage, then the head of cabbage is to be submerged in a pot of luke warm water with 2 tblsp kosher salt.
Leave it for 2 days, turning the cabbage regularly.
Heat 4 tblsp olive oil in a pot and add mince, breaking up with fork till meat changes colour.
Add garlic, onion and carrot and fry till tender.
Add all spices and fry till spices incorporated.
Add rice and ¾ of 1 can of soup. Cook until soup has evaporated and mixture fairly dried out.
Separate all the leaves, be careful not to break (a few will break!).
Using a sharp knife just take the tip of the hard part of the cabbage.
Where that open part is start filling the cabbage with the mince mixture, fold over, tuck in the sides and roll.
Pour some soup at the bottom of large casserole dish, place the cabbage rolls seam side down on top. Pour a can of tomato soup over to cover.
Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for about an hour.
I served with a yogurt and coriander dip/sauce.

Yogurt/Coriander sauce
200 ml plain yoghurt
2 tblsp lemon juice
2 minced garlic cloves
2 spring onion chopped
¼ cup finely chopped corander
Salt and ground black pepper

Mix all together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve .

Prepared, tried and tested by:  Melanie Kramar

Melanie’s Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

Melanie’s Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

TRH Melanie's Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

750 gr ground beef, 250 gr pork (or all ground beef)
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 ½ celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 tblsp garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
100 gr chopped bacon (optional)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried Italian spiced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon all spice
¼ teaspoon dry chili flakes
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 cup red wine (or beef stock)
3 tomatoes diced in processor
2 bay leaves
½ jar tomato basil pasta sauce

To serve:
Spaghetti cooked el dente
Shredded Parmesan cheese & parsley

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook until the onion is translucent and all the vegetables have softened.
Add the garlic and the tomato paste, and cook until the garlic is fragrant.
Add the beef, breaking it apart with wooden spoon and cooking until it is just browned. Add the bacon.
Stir in 1 teaspoon salt along with the other herbs and spices. Add the tomatoes and wine/stock cook 10 minutes.
Transfer to the slow cooker. Add the pasta sauce and the milk.
Add the bay leaf to the slow cooker and stir everything together. The mixture should have a thick, saucy consistency, neither overly soupy or too dry.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours. The finished sauce should be thick and creamy.
Serve the sauce over pasta with Parmesan sprinkled on top.
(This sauce also freezes very well).
I added mushrooms 20 minutes before finishing time.

I’ve always maintained (and was taught) that a good authentic Bolognese sauce must be cooked long and slow. So I made mine in the slow cooker, served with Spaghetti. Enjoy.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar

Melanie’s Shepherd’s Pie

Melanie’s Shepherd’s Pie

TRH Melanie's Shepherd's Pie1 TRH Melanie's Shepherd's Pie2

Ingredients :
600 gr beef mince
2 tblsp olive or coconut oil
1 onion chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
1 big bay leave
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp garlic and herb spice
1 heaped tsp mixed herbs (crushed in your hand)
1 heaped tsp Rajah’s mild n spicy curry powder
1 grated tomato
2 Tblsp tomato paste
250 ml beef stock
2 large carrots, parboiled and diced
2 cups frozen peas
Freshly ground black pepper
Mash potato for topping **
Grated cheese for topping (optional)

Make mash potato and set aside.
Heat oil in a pot. Add onions, bay leave and cinnamon and fry till onion soft.
Add mince and break up stirring with a fork till it changes colour.
Add garlic, carrots and spices and fry for another 10 minutes.
Add tomato, tomato paste and stock and simmer another 15 minutes till liquid reduced by half.
Add peas and simmer till peas have cooked through.
Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick.

Mash potato
4-5 potatoes
1 stock cube
1 tsp baking powder
1 tblsp white onion soup powder
1 egg
2 tblsp butter
Milk as needed
Salt and pepper

Bring potatoes cut into even chunks to a boil in cold water.
Add a stock cube (vegetable or chicken).
Once tender drain in colander and return to warm pot.
Mash with potato masher till potatoes broken down.
Add baking powder, soup powder, egg and butter, salt and pepper.
Using an electric mixer on low mix the potato gradually adding the milk till desired consistency reached. (DO NOT USE A BLENDER).
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Layer a baking dish with thin layer of mashed potato.
Using a slotted spoon transfer the mince mixture to the dish.
Spread mashed potato on top.
Sprinkle with cheese if using or just drag a fork across to create a dragging design.
Bake until golden – about 10 minutes.

Prepared, tried and tested by:  Melanie Kramar @ ‎Global Food Flavors

Melanie’s Roasted Ham Hock and Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze

Melanie’s Roasted Ham Hock and Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze

TRH Melanie's Roasted Ham and Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze1TRH Melanie's Roasted Ham and Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze2

Ham Hock
1 smoked ham hock
2 large sweet onions, peeled and cut into quarters
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cup Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 cup carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into 1-inch slices
1 cup potatoes, quartered
1 head garlic, cloves separated and left unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Malayan salt and fresh black pepper

1/3 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method :
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Cover the ham with foil. In a large bowl, toss the onions, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, and garlic with the oil, salt and pepper.
Spread the vegetables around the ham and roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender, 40 to 45 minutes..
For the glaze: Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the vegetable broth, oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, lemon juice and some salt and pepper.
Cook over low heat until the glaze is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
Remove foil from the ham and pour sauce over the ham and vegetable and roast for another 10-15 minutes. Serve remaining sauce as a dipping sauce.

Creamed Spinach
6 TB butter (divided)
2 whole cloves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 finely diced onion
1 packet spinach
4 TB flour
Pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 ½ cups half cream ½ milk mixed
½ cup cream cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese

Melt 3 TB butter in a pot and add spinach. Cook on low till spinach has wilted. Drain in a colander while you make your sauce.

Melt butter, add clove and fry in butter for 1-2 minutes then remove clove.
Add onion and garlic and stir 1 minute. Add flour and whisk to form a roux.
Gradually add cream/milk and whisk.
Add cream cheese if using and stir till thickened. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.

Squeeze out excess liquid from spinach (I use a clean tea towel to dry out).
Roughly chop and add to sauce. Add ¼ cup parmesan cheese.

Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar‎ @ Global Food Flavors