Tender Buttermilk Chicken Curry with Summer Veg

We’ve had a cool start to summer, it’s been more of an extended spring. I’m not complaining as it meant I could make a late seasonal curry with some local farm chicken.

I tried slow roasting one of these chickens, but the good outdoor life made them strong, tough and healthy, just like chickens should be! Tasty but a tad chewy!

In South Africa we call these chickens “scratchy fowls” meaning they have had a free happy life, scratching in the fields for bugs. Nothing happier than the a vision of a happy scratching fowl roaming free!

So, as buttermilk tenderises chicken meat beautifully,

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Keto Empanadas

Worth the time and these are delicious. I think a Keto version is such a win, as it’s meat wrapped in a cheese dough. I mean, how can that not be good?!

If you have leftover savoury ground beef these would be the perfect leftover plan. Also, I would suggest making the ground beef filling ahead and let it cool off completely as it’s easier to work with in the dough. Hot filling in a cheese dough is not fun to work with – I found that out as this was one of those spur of the moment “I need empanadas – after 3 years of none – in my life” now! Also let your dough chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes. It’s possible to make these in one go but you’ll see how hard it was to work with fresh warm dough and filling in my pics below.

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Quick Microwave Keto Bread and other Snippets

Yesterday I tried four different versions of quick microwave bread. I used little flat ramekins for each bread and then cut them like a pie slice to show the texture. They are easy to pop out, slice through the middle and toast, if that’s what you’re looking for. The secret I found to a perfect mix was 90% almond flour and 10% coconut flour. The coconut flour binds it nicely! I discovered this in the last of the 4 mixes I tried. The pure coconut flour was the one I liked the least – it was still good – just too heavy for my taste.

My favourite were the last two I made. One was a mix where I added a 1/4 cup of strong white cheddar cheese, the other was spiced and sweet. Another secret is to melt a tsp of butter into the dish you are going to use.

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Fruit Bake

I’m very relieved and pleased. I’ve discovered my food sensitivity to coconut is only coconut oil or coconut butter. After nibbling tiny bits of shaved coconut and increasing it slowly over a few months I am fine. But coconut oil for cooking completely closes up my nose with rhinitis so badly I almost can’t breathe or lie down, let alone sleep and it lasts about 2 days. Turns out the processing of the coconut is what affects me. I did some internet research and this is apparently a thing. What they do to the coconut during this process to give me such a reaction, I have no idea. It started when we used coconut oil to cook with, and took me months to figure out. I had thought it was an allergy I developed to all things coconut. I love everything about coconut, and will happily do without coconut oil, but oh! to be able to bake with coconut flour will be a joy! My next adventure is to try coconut milk or cream, we’ll see. To celebrate I baked this fruit coffee cake with 2 table spoons of delicious coconut flour … small steps… as I’m still super nervous of the terrible symptoms of a reaction, and I was fine!

There are also a few odds and ends I posted after the recipe.

Coffee Cake Fruit Bake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup of your fave keto sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk/kefir/sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 2 heaped Tblsp coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Any fresh or sugar free canned berries, or fruit of your choice

Method:

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Keto Almond Biscotti

The last few Biscotti remain in a tin, so it’s a good time to post this recipe as they are “endorsed” by how long they have lasted, which has not been quite 10 days! I often bake two different items in one go, as I did when I baked these Biscotti. When I’m in the middle of baking I feel … oh well, all standard baking ingredients are on the counter and a mess is already made, might as well bake two goodies. I’ll post the fruit bake I made next.

I was born in South Africa and a standard in most homes is something called “rusks” dunked in a cup of tea or coffee, or just crunched as a snack, sort of similar to Biscotti. I do like Biscotti but they really don’t come close to the comfort of a hearty rusk, but we did enjoy these very much.

(My Mum bakes a large batch of rusks at least every few weeks, a handy standby for pop in friends. They are a sweet baked cake-like loaf, torn apart or sliced into pieces and then dried overnight in a slow oven. In SA they range from plain buttermilk rusks, to raisin and bran, or even lightly spiced and sometimes even aniseed, which I’m not a fan of.

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Roasted Butternut Soup, Squash with figs…and other snippets

Spring is almost here. Almost! We have had a glorious week of sunshine and by tonight the rain is back, but I never begrudge the blessing of rain. We’re lucky to live in a place where water is not a challenge and I never take this for granted. My heart hurts when I hear of the escalating devastation of droughts around the world.

On a lighter note we were gifted the lovely company of two very dear friends recently. The beautiful spring daffodils and tussie-mussie they each gave us are here to share with you. Outside, the birds are busy; leaf buds are sprouting and blossoms are on the plum trees.

Two quick recipes to post and then I bid you adieu until next time!

The first recipe is one for when you have inventive ingredients to hand, or just to post for fun. Try your own version!

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Fig and Toasted Pecan Bread

We went to friends for a board game night and I baked two quick loaves of bread to take. These loaves are gluten free, low carb (you can leave the figs out for an even lower carb count) and fantastic with just butter or any cheese.

This is a variation of my other nutty keto loaf. I plan to bake other variations, like an olive parmesan or spiced ginger and apple loaf.

The beauty of this loaf is it’s so quick, no separate beating of egg whites, folding in and working quickly like other keto breads. I let the one loaf rest in the dough stage while I mixed up the second. Baked beautifully!

Best flavour in this loaf is the toasted pecan flour, it came out like pecan butter and the taste was sublime!

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NY White Sauce

I had never heard of this sauce before, and just recently saw a recipe for it. There were a few ingredients I did not like in the recipe so I switched out a few, added some and omitted the sugar and vinegar. Super quick and easy to make.

It was great served over the roasted veg I made for lunch yesterday. Pretty sure you could put it onto just about anything savoury.

Here it is served with roast shoulder of seasoned beef, eggplant with green chili and Adobo spice, yams with Ancho spice and delicata squash with freshly grated turmeric. My fingers are still saffron yellow, but absolutely worth it. I found the fresh turmeric at the Mexican Mercado market I love to go to, but tbh, I don’t go often enough!

Here are the treasures I found at the Mexican market last Sunday. The ginger is fantastic and I have plans for that chorizo sausage! The green salsa is delicious but very hot and the little fingers of turmeric are absolutely perfect.

I just mixed the NY white sauce up in the yogurt tub I had.

See recipe below!

Quick tip for zesting citrus.

I find leaving zesting for after I’ve juiced a lime or any citrus, the juicer makes a perfect holding device for the skin. I’m always grating myself when just holding the citrus in my hand. This is my go to default way to zest without scrapes.

Be sure to have a pint sized jar for storage. If you would like this runnier for pouring or drizzling, add more cream or buttermilk at the end.

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Bobotie Egg Bites

We’re going to friends tonight for a party and I’m taking these along as an appetiser. Bobotie is a favourite traditional South African dish, basically a curried ground beef casserole, topped with turmeric egg custard and bay leaves served with “yellow” rice which is infused with turmeric and cooked with cinnamon sticks and raisins, served with a sweet chutney and tomato sambal.

It’s a great gluten free dish. As keto, I would serve it with cauliflower rice tossed with butter, mustard seeds and turmeric. It’s a terrific dish.

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Chocolate Orange Baked Cheesecake

Chocolate crust, orange topping.

It’s been every kind of winter weather today. Crisp sunshine, sleet, windy gusts, calm and then driving rain. A “spend time in the kitchen” kind of day.

The lovely mandarins I bought for zesting and freshly purchased cocoa seemed the perfect combination for cheesecake.

I was surprised to see how cracked the cheesecake turned out and learned that overbeating is the cause. It’s odd, because when I poured it into the cheesecake pan I thought, ooh!, what a wonderful light mix. Using a whisk is apparently the answer to a perfectly smooth, heavier more settled mix and smoother top. I did use an electric beater, so lesson learned. Be sure to let all your cream cheese come to room temperature if using a whisk, otherwise you’ll be tired out mixing until smooth. Letting ingredients get to room temperature is a challenge for me as my recipes are usually impromptu whims!

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