My brother in law, Ross came up with this excellent idea… My sister, Tandi created this invitation (read above) and sent it from London to Johannesburg and Cape Town, via e-mail.
We looked at all our schedules and decided we would do the Mothers Day dinner on Saturday evening.
I was very excited to see the ingredients list because I knew exactly what I was going to make… I call it my Marry Me Creamy Chicken Mushroom dish, because I’m pretty convinced this was the reason Sox married me -to ensure that he’d have this dish forever. Saying it’s his absolute favourite, would be an understatement. If you follow me on Snapchat (Baileyvanilla), you’ll have seen him licking his plate clean. Seriously.
Let’s begin… Here we are getting the final preparations done before we sat down to eat together. Johannesburg is the top left corner with my Mom and Dad (not in the picture), London is the top right corner with Tandi and Ross and Cape Town, is the bottom screen, which is Sox, his mom Dimitra and I.This is the view from my Mom and Dad’s screen:I’ll start with my Mom and Dad’s dishes. Let it be known that my Mom is one of the most AMAZING cooks… Years ago she completed the Cordon Bleu chef course and she’s taught my sister and I a lot over the years. My Dad is an excellent cook too and often whips up impressive meals. He still makes the most perfect omelette and Coq au vin.
I’ve also really got into my cooking over the past few years – I originally disliked it immensely, but I’ve changed and I find it incredibly fun!Camembert Chicken wrapped in Bacon with Cranberry Sauce
4 chicken breasts
1 packet streaky bacon
1 Camembert cheese
Fresh Oreganum chopped
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
Tin whole cranberry sauce
Olive oil & butter
1. Flatten each chicken breast between 2 pieces of cling wrap by beating gently with a meat tenderizer mallet or rolling pin and season with salt and pepper.
2. Roughly break up camembert cheese in a bowl with a fork and add the chopped garlic and oreganum. Mix to soft consistency.
3. Divide the camembert mixture into 4 and place a small ‘camembert sausage’ in the middle of each chicken breast.
4. Fold in ends of chicken breast and roll to form parcel. Using 2-3 rashers of bacon per breast, wrap chicken with bacon securing each bacon strip with a toothpick.
5. Heat olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Brown the chicken parcels on a high heat at first for colour, then reduce heat and allow to cook through slowly for a few mins, turning frequently.
6. Remove chicken parcels and keep warm in tin foil. Heat cranberry sauce in small saucepan until a pouring consistency.
7. Place each chicken parcel on a bed of stir fried zucchini spaghetti.
Mom: “Vichy Carrots is a Cordon Bleu recipe and SO easy!”
1 tsp brown sugar
1. Slice carrots thinly into rounds.
2. Bring to boil with just enough water to cover the carrots with blob of butter and pinch of sugar.
3. Turn heat down and simmer gently allowing the water to evaporate completely, leaving the carrots lightly glazed.
4. Finish with a little extra butter and chopped parsleyZucchini ‘Spaghetti’
2-4 Zucchini (baby marrow) shredded
Butter for frying
Heat butter and toss zucchini turning frequently for a few mins until cooked.
Few branches of tomatoes on the vine
1. Place washed tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with olive oil and few pinches of coarse salt.
2. Bake at 200C for about 20mins
3. Serve on the vine.Final plate:
My sister, Tandi’s creation:
Mushroom & Pistachio Chicken Roulade wrapped in bacon
The filling keep this chicken really moist. Serve with the homemade tomato sauce. I’m not sure of exact quantities because I made this up…
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 punnet button mushrooms
- Handful pistachio nuts
- Cream cheese
- Salt & pepper
- 4 Chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Finely chop the onion, mushrooms, pistachio nuts and parsley. Saute the onion in olive oil until soft, then add the remaining ingredients and continue to saute for a few minutes. Season to taste
- Flatten the chicken breasts between some glad wrap using a mallet (or any heavy object – we used a potato masher).
- Spread a generous layer of cream cheese on one side of the chicken breast, top with some of the mushroom/onion mixture and some black pepper. Roll the breast up, tucking the sides in slightly to avoid the filling from oozing out when cooking.
- Place bacon on top of the chicken breast to “seal” any edges where there are gaps or the filling is visible. (I used back bacon and flattened/stretched it a bit, but streaky would probably work better).
- Place on a baking tray with a bit of olive oil. Cook on 180 for about 30mins or until the chicken is cooked through. Place under the grill for the last few mins to crisp the bacon.
Homemade Tomato Sauce
Super simple and a bit of a cheat, but worked well with the chicken and zuchinni fitters….and probably a good base for a pasta sauce.
- 1/2 onion
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp sugar
- olive oil
- mixed herbs
- salt & pepper
- Finely chop the onion and garlic. Saute in olive oil until soft
- Add the tin of chopped tomatoes (and any fresh, over ripe tomatoes that are in your fridge)
- Add sugar, seasoning and herbs, and simmer on a low heat until the sauce reduces
- 1 large zuchinni (courgette, baby marrow) – the ones we get here a quite a bit bigger than the SA ones, so maybe double up
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice (to taste)
- Feta (crumbled)
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Grate the zuchinni, and place this into a colander over the sink. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and leave to drain. Squeeze out any remaining water
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix.
- Heat a pan with a little bit of olive oil (or non if you have a good non-stick pan)
- Place a tablespoon of the mixture into the pan to cook like a pancake/crumpet. Flip to cook the other side, making sure the centre is cooked through.
- Serve with homemade tomato sauce.
Tandi: “I think these would be delicious topped with some cream cheese and smoked salmon, with crispy bacon and an egg for breakfast.”
Broccoli with lemon and almonds
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Slivered almonds
- Place the almonds in a pan on the stove top and toast until slightly golden. Remove from the pan so they don’t carry on cooking
- Steam or microwave the broccoli. Add to the pan with a knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and zest. Toss in the pan until warm and the broccoli is slightly browning. Add the almonds and serve.
I did a mix of sweet potato and normal potato wedges – covered in olive oil and herb salt and cooked in the oven for 45mins
Bailey and Sox’s creation.
Marry Me Creamy Chicken Mushroom Dish
- Chicken breasts
- Streaky bacon chopped or bacon bits
- Sliced mushrooms
- Salt and Pepper
- Slice the chicken breasts into strips and chop up the bacon. Fry the bacon bits, place them to the side once done and then stir-fry the chicken strips in butter and a good shake of parsley, salt and pepper.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, add the bacon bits back.
- In another pot put a generous helping of butter and allow it to melt, but not burn. Add your mushrooms, salt and pepper. Tip: Dry your mushrooms after washing so that the sauce isn’t runny.
- Add Long Life cream and bring it to the boil. The reason I use Long Life and not fresh cream is because it thickens more. I don’t add flour to my sauce to thicken it.
- Once the sauce is ready, add the chicken and bacon to the mushroom sauce and mix well.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Wash your sweet potatoes thoroughly to get rid of any sand. Chop them up. I steam them in the microwave for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil/coconut oil and a crack of salt and black pepper and roast in the oven until browned.
Roasted Broccoli and Flaked Almonds
You can see my sister and I had the same idea – my Mom makes this dish often, and since we had to incorporate nuts somehow, this seemed perfect.
Place broccoli onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil/coconut oil and flaked almonds. Roast until browned.Final Dish (mine doesn’t look as pretty as my Mom and sister’s, but it’s DELICIOUS)Now for Dessert…
My Mom is an artist, so her cooking skills and artistic skills made her outshine us…
Easy Chocolate Pots (This is the easiest fool proof dessert!)
- 200 gm Dark Chocolate
- 3 eggs
- 1 sachet gelatine powder (approx. 15ml or 1 tablespoon)
- 125 ml or half cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- Break chocolate into single blocks and place into a bowl or blender
- Add vanilla essence, gelatine powder and boiling water and beat with a hand blender. The hot water melts the chocolate and dissolves the gelatine.
- Add the eggs and blend to a smooth consistency.
- Lightly oil 4 ramekin dishes or small cups/pots and divide the mixture into them
- Place in the fridge until set.
- Stand the ramekins in hot water for a few seconds to loosen and un-mould onto serving plate.
- Decorate with mandarin orange slices, cream and/or a choice of orange rind or chocolate flakes etc.
Quick Orange Sorbet
- 375 ml or 1 and 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (about 5 oranges depending on size)
- 1/2 cup or 125 ml castor sugar
- Orange segments from 4 oranges, chopped
- 1 cup or 125 ml water
- Dark chocolate coarsely grated
- Rind from one orange
- Combine the orange juice and sugar in a bowl and stir until sugar dissolves
- Add the oranges and water.
- Pour into an ice cream container and freeze. Stir after one hour and refreeze.
- Spoon sorbet onto plate. Sprinkle with pinch of rind and pinch of grated dark chocolate.
- Add sprigs of mint or chocolate leaves for decoration.
I made the chocolate leaves by melting dark chocolate and painting the BACKS of rose bush leaves, thickly and neatly. It helps to have leaves with stalks on so that its easier to handle when painting the chocolate onto the leaves.
Allow to set on grease proof paper in the fridge.
Mom: “When ready to decorate, peel off the leaves and voila!!”
Tandi and Ross’ Dessert:
Easy Orange Chocolate Mousse
- 3 eggs
- 150g good quality chocolate
- 75ml orange juice
- Melt chocolate over a low heat in the microwave
- Whisk egg whites until stiff
- Beat egg yolks into the melted chocolate
- Add orange juice and continue to beat until smooth again
- Gently fold in the egg whites.
- Pour into individual glassed and leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Garnish with orange segments, grated chocolate, orange zest. Enjoy!!
Tandi: “This recipe says it serves 8, so I divided it by 3 (1 egg, 50g chocolate, 25ml orange juice – it was JUST enough for 2 people – small servings though! I could have eaten more, but Ross isn’t actually a fan of orange and chocolate so it was plenty for him! 🙂 I think I’ll try swap the orange juice for coffee next time and try that!”
Bailey and Dimitra’s Chocolate Mousse.
I adapted Jamie Oliver’s delicious chocolate mousse recipe by leaving out the Amaretto and instead of 100g of sugar, I used 50g of Xylitol. It was divine! I used 300g of Lindt’s 85% chocolate slabs.We were supposed to use oranges, but Sox, like Ross, does not like the orange and chocolate combination, so I decorated with sliced bananas. It was absolutely INCREDIBLE! The amount of effort our families went to was so awesome to see and the only thing I wish we could have done was taste each dish.
We had an uninterrupted Skype call, with no technology issues for:It was amazing to be in 3 different cities, but at “one table.” Our tummies were full, and our hearts were fuller.
We can’t wait to make this a monthly occurrence!