Thursday, March 21, 2013

Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary

There is something very homely and welcoming with the aroma of a roast chicken. Accompanied with mash potatoes and gravy , it is one of the best comfort food. The left overs make for great sandwiches and the soups.


1 Whole chicken cleaned, washed and pat dry
3 gloves of garlic crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of unsalted butter melted
Bunch of Rosemary
2 lemons
1 big onions sliced thickly


Season chicken with salt and pepper inside out really well
Rub with crushed garlic inside and all over chicken
Fill cavity with Rosemary and 1 lemon cut in half
Tie with a piece of kitchen thread wings down
Arrange onions on Baking tray
Place chicken on top of onions (This will bring excellent flavor to the chicken and also prevent it from steaming as chicken will not tough base of tray )
Brush chicken all over with melted butter
Place other vegetables of choice (Mini potatoes, carrots ) in tray
Roast in oven for 1 hour 15 mins
Remove and allow to rest for another 5-10 mins
Serve with vegetables and gravy

Napolitaines de l'ile Maurice

No National celebrations would be complete in Mauritius without Napolitaines ! The famous buttery, melt in your mouth cookies sealed with strawberry jam and the traditional pink icing on top is the national sweet treat of the island. Not sure of the origin of those delightful cookies but they certainly  bring back lots of childhood memories. Here is the recipe:


4 Cups all purpose flour
2 cups of butter softened
1/2 tsp salt
Red fruit jam (Strawberry or Raspberry)


4 Cups of icing sugar
Couple fo tbs of cold water
1 pinch of pink food coloring


Heat oven to 375 degrees C
Mix flour , salt and butter
Work dough so that it comes together into one big ball (DO NOT OVERWORK DOUGH) - This step can be done in a food processor as well
Chill slightly in the fridge (5-10 mins)
Roll dough out (approximately 1/2 inch in thickness) and use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes of choice - Traditionally small circles preferred
Bake in oven for around 15 mins - cookies should not turn brown
Remove from oven and place tray on rack and allow to cool completely

IMPORTANT - Do not move cookies while still hot as they will break into pieces- It is critical to allow them to cool completely

Once cookies are completely cool, sandwich 2 cookies with jam (take one cookie , flat surface down and put some jam on top , now take another cookie and place flat surface downward on the jam )


Add water and coloring to icing sugar
Mix well
Put icing on each cookie


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mixed Berries Pavlova

There is a big debate as to whether the origin of Pavlova is Australian , Russian or from New Zealand. No matter what, this is a beautiful dessert that you can easily impress your guests with. It might look intricate but a very easy one to tackle as long as you use the proper technique of beating the egg whites and adjust your oven to the recommended heat. You can serve it with other fruits of your choice. The original recipe I had, called for 1 cup of sugar, I cut it to 3/4 and thought it was sweet enough. There are other recipes with cream of tartar . This one without the cream of tartar has worked well for me (second time I made it) that's why I stick to this recipe.

4 egg whites at room temperature
3/4 cup of sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp of cornstarch
2 tsp of white vinegar
1 tsp of vanilla extract

2 cups of whipping cream
2 tbs sugar
Fruits of your choice - In this case mixed berries

Heat oven at 300 degrees C- Once Pavlova is in, reduce to 250 degrees C
Place a grease proof paper on a baking tray

Beat egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until soft peaks form
Add the sugar slowly (a tablespoon at a time ) and continue to beat until thick and glossy (for 2-3 mins)
Add cornstarch, vinegar and vanilla extract and fold into the egg mixture
Now with a spatula , spoon mixture into a circle on your greaseproof paper(make it around 8 inches or so)
Place tray in the oven and immediately reduce heat to 250 degrees
Bake for 1 hour
Turn off heat
Allow to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar

Once completely cool :
Whip cream with 2 tbs of sugar until thick
Spread gently on Pavlova cake
Decorate with fruits
and VOILA !