Letter 29. Easy and Quick Recipes.

Thinette behind a laptop

My dear Thinette

Where do we begin and how do we select. So many easy and quick recipes to choose from. With a hectic lifestyle, everyone wants easy and quick recipes, not to waste time slaving over the pots.

Planning and preparing menus in advance is a way to make it easier. Making sure to have all the ingredients in the cupboard is a great help.

Three easy basic Sauces.

Three gravy boats.

Tasty recipes, so versatile and will lift any dish to the next level.

Bulk Tomato Sauce.

Cook this sauce when tomatoes are in season and use the ripe tomatoes.

3 kg ripe tomatoes. Taking the skin off with boiling water or grate it until just the skin is left in your hand.

2 cups diced onions.

1 cup diced green pepper [optional].

1/4 cup white grape vinegar.

1 tablespoon Masala or curry powder.

1 Jalapeno diced [optional].

2 teaspoons mustard powder.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1/2 cup of brown sugar or more to taste.

[ I prefer to add 1 tablespoon Masala powder to fry with the onions, but is optional.]

Be aware the soup powder to thicken the sauce with has also salt.

Cook slowly together for 45 min.

Add more water if needed.

Let it cool and divide into portions to freeze.

Defrost and before use, thicken to taste with approximately 1 teaspoon cornflour mixed with a little cold water, or you can add 1 tsp of mushroom or onion soup powder mixed with a little cold water. Stir well when you add it to the tomatoes in the pot.

For a variation add 1-2 tablespoons of brandy and 2 tablespoons of ketchup, mix well.

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Easy White Sauce for Veggies.

The ratio to remember is

2 tablespoons of cake flour.

2 tbsp butter or margarine.

1 cup of milk.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Melt the butter, add flour and a pinch of salt. Stir well to form a dough.

Cook for 1-2 min while you stir don’t let it brown.

Add the milk all at once, use a whisk to whisk till smooth.

Turn the stove down and cook till it thickens, 5 min.

 Use more milk if it gets to thick.

Add 1/2 a cup of grated cheese and stir well.

Variations:

1 tsp crushed garlic or

1 tsp of Mayonnaise or

Freshly grated nutmeg or

cayenne to taste, but is optional.

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Brown Sauce.

1 small onion diced.

1 or 1/2 cube beef stock or any flavour will do.

2 cups of water.

Pinch of cumin and chicken spice to taste.

Brown onion soup powder.

Saute the onions on low to med heat till soft, add the water, stock cube and spices. [ garlic, green pepper or chili are optional.]

Simmer for 15 to 20 min and thicken with soup powder of your choice or cornflour mixed with cold water to a paste before you add.

Add the mix and stir till it becomes thicker.


Albondigas, Minced Meat, Tomatoes, Onion

Mom’s Easiest Meatballs ever.

1/2 kg Mincemeat.

1/2  cup plain yogurt.

1/2 cup of chopped onions.

1 finely chopped clove of garlic optional.

1/2 pk dry brown onion soup.

Mix all together and form meatballs.

Place uncovered in an oven dish.

Bake in preheated oven at 180*C for 30 min.

                                             or

Granny’s Easy Meatballs.

Freeze the rest raw or cooked for another day.

1 kg mince meat

1 cup plain yogurt

2 Tbsp mayonnaise.

chopped onoins, galic and green pepper to taste.

1 pk meatball mix.

Mix well and form balls.

Place in a ovendish.

Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30 min @ 180 * C.

Serve with tomato sause, use as hamburger patties or fill veggies with it.

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Vegetarian Dish.

Curry Tofu

Curried Tofu.

1 chopped onion.

1 chopped clove of garlic.

3 Tablespoon oil.

1 – 2 teaspoons spicy curry powder.

Salt and a pinch of sugar to taste.

Tomatoes without skin and chopped.

400 gr tofu cubed.

Saute the garlic and onions till pale gold 3 – 4 min.

Add the curry powder and simmer for 1 min.

Stir in tomatoes and cook till it breaks down, about 12 min.

Add the tofu cubes and simmer for 20 min.

Serve with vegetables.

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Pasta with Bacon and Peas.

Pasta with bacon and peas

250 gr bacon or ham cut into squares.

1 tbsp oil

250 gr peas, frozen.

250 ml cream.

Salt and pepper to taste.

250 gr penne pasta

50 gr pecorino cheese or cheddar cheese slivers.

Saute the bacon or ham in oil till crisp.

Add peas to warm through.

Add the cream, salt and pepper.

Simmer for 10 min to reduce a little till thick.

In the meanwhile boil the pasta and drain the water when ready

Add the creamy mix to the pasta and stir through.

In dish add slivers of cheese, cut with a potato peeler on top.

Serve with a green salad.

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Spinach in Crust.

1 onion chopped.

2 packets spinach frozen.

1 cup grated cheddar.

1 circle feta crumbed.

3 eggs separated.

Salt and pepper to taste.

1 packet frozen flaky pastry.

Defrost spinach and get rid of all the water inside, add to a sift and drain well.

[ If in a hurry, squeeze dry with your hands. ]

Saute the onions till tender.

Add spinach, onions, cheeses, and beaten egg yolks together.

Season to taste.

Roll out the dough and add the filling on one half of the dough, leaving an edge to fold it closed.

Paint the rim of the dough with water and fold over.

Press together and secure with a fork.

Keep in the fridge for 15 min.

Make slices in the dough to portion it, it will make cutting easy when cooked.

Paint with mayonnaise just before you put it in the oven.

Bake at 220* C for 20 min.

[Add 1 cup crispy bacon and nuts as a variation to make it special.]

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Dottie’s Easy Milktart in the Micro.

Crust 2x

1 cup flour.

½ sugar.

Pinch of salt.

100 gr margarine.

1 egg.

Mix flour sugar and salt.

Mix in the margarine with your fingers to resemble bread crumbs.

Add the egg and mix till dough.

Divide in 2 and press in the pie dish.

Bake at 180* C for 10 min.

Filling for 1 pie.

2 cups milk.

1 tbsp butter or margarine

2 heaped tbsp flour.

1 tbsp Maizena. [ cornflour ]

4 tbsp sugar.

2 eggs separated.

Pinch of salt.

2 tsp vanilla.

Cinnamon to taste.

  • Boil 2 cups of milk and 1 tbsp of butter on high in microwave oven.

  • Mix the 2 high heaped tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon of maizena [ cornflour], sugar and pinch of salt together and make a paste with little milk.

  • Add to the milk and whisk well, let it cook on medium. Open the micro and stir every 2 minutes until it is cooked, about 3 times.

  • Separate the eggs and whisk the yolks with the vanilla and add to the mix in micro.

  • Micro only for 5 seconds on high.

  • Whisk the egg whites till fluffy and add to the mix.

  • Gently fold it in and pour into the pie crust.

  • Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste and let cool.

  • Milk tart with fruit

Variation: Leave the cinnamon and decorate with strawberries and cream or canned peaches.

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My darling Thinette this is the first of many easy and quick recipes that will give you a choice for a tasty meal.

Happy cooking and have fun!

Gran Stella.

Granny Stella

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