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CREAM OF BUTTERNUT SOUP.

butternut-smooth-pumpkin
Butternut has a sweet and nutty taste, often similar to that of a pumpkin. It is a good sauce of fiber, magnesium, vitamin c and also vitamin A. This is one of the easiest soups because you cook everything together then later blend it to a puree.

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 6)

  • Half a butternut.
  • Two whole onions.
  • Two large whole carrots.
  • One steam of leek and two steams of celery.
  • 1/2 cup of cooking cream.
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock.
  • Salt and pepper.

PROCEDURE.

  1. Peel the butternut and chop it roughly, Peel the onions and carrots then chop them roughly. Wash the leek and celery and chop them roughly.
  2. In a sufuria, add some cooking oil, once the oil is hot enough add the onions and saute them shortly. Add the celery, leek and carrots cook for roughly five minutes then add the butternut. Cook for five more minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil then simmer for half an hour. Once cooked allow it to cool.
  3. In a blender blend all the contents till they are fine. Return the soup in the sufuria, add the cooking cream and mix well. Using salt and pepper correct your seasoning.
  4. Serve the soup in a soup bowl, garnish it with a dash of cooking cream and a coriander leaf, thyme or chives. Serve the soup with some bread rolls.

butternut soup

FRENCH ONION SOUP.

One thing I love about this soup is that it is very rich in flavors due to the caramelization of onions and the slow cooking process of the soup. The classic recipe of the soup advice the use of beef stock but over time chefs became innovative and creative, therefore some recipes advocate the use of chicken stock and even vegetable stock.

INGREDIENTS.

  • 1 Kg white onion, finely sliced.
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
  • 8 cups of beef/chicken/ vegetable stock, pre-boiled.
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1/4 cup brandy,(optional)
  • 6 to 8 baguette slices, toasted.
  • 1 to 3 cups of grated cheese

PROCEDURE.

  1. Cut both ends of the onions, peel off the skin then slice halfway longitudinally. Proceed by slicing the halves into thin slices.
  2. In a sufuria bring, add in the butter together with the olive oil. Once melted, add the sliced onions. Stir well ensuring the butter coats the onions. Lower the heat and cover the sufuria for 15 minutes and allow the onions to cook.
  3. Remove the lead and add in the following seasonings, salt, a generous amount of black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (this helps in the caramelization of the onions). Adjust your heat to medium and cook the onions till they are deeply browned, stirring occasionally to prevent them from burning. Do this for roughly 45 minutes to an hour. However, if you sense that your onions are burning or sticking to the sufuria, lower the heat.
  4. Add the flour then mix well. Add the stock, if you are using wine add it too and simmer for one hour (cook under low heat) or till the stock reduces.8-3-large
  5. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Add the brandy and stir well.
  6. For this last bit, you may do whatever you prefer. Some people like the soup with extra cheese so on this case, divide the soup into 6 deep soup bowls then place toasted baguette slices in each bowl. Sprinkle grated cheese in a thick layer over the bread and up to the edge of the bowl.Place the bowls on a baking tray in a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees place the baking tray inside. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes remove from the oven. Allow to cool and serve garnish with finely chopped onions or herbs like thyme.

    Slow-Cooker-French-Onion-Soup-2
    Image courtesy of Pinterest.
  7. Alternatively, you may gratinate your baguette separately with cheese then place it on top of the soup in a soup bowl while serving.french-onion-soup

 

 

ZUCCHINI VICHYSSOISE.

As a kid, I hated vegetables that I was not familiar with apart from kales, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, and onions. The first time I made this soup was in culinary school and I remember my chef, lecturer performing a demo in class. Once he was done he asked us all to taste the soup because we would perform an individual practical session on the same in the afternoon class. When my turn arrived, I remember being rather very skeptical because of my dislike for vegetables, but as soon as I tasted the soup, I was in love and immediately it became one of my favorite soups.

Vichyssoise is a French term meaning a potato leek soup which can be served either hot or cold. The zucchini is incorporated into the recipe to add a fresher and finer taste, making it a substitute ingredient. The incorporation of cream brings out a whole new flavor for the soup.

 

INGREDIENTS.(SERVES 5)

  1. 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
  2. 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. 5 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (use 4 to 8 leeks depending on their size) roughly chopped
  4. 2 whole zucchinis, roughly chopped
  5. 8 small white potatoes, unpeeled and roughly chopped
  6. 4 cups of chicken stock
  7. Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  8. ¼ cup of cooking cream.

PROCEDURE.

  • Leeks somehow resemble spring onions so be careful not to buy the wrong ingredient. While using leeks you have to wash them very carefully because some soil tends to hide in between the leaves of the leek, therefore, you have to thoroughly clean them.

LEEK RAW

  1. Cut the dark green part of the leek off because they tend to be too tough to be eaten, however, they can be used in the preparation of stock.
  2. Take the remaining white stalk, cut off the root end and slice the leek in half lengthwise.
  3. Hold the leeks under running water, separating the layers slightly to remove the dirt inside. Once you are done roughly chop the leeks.

ROUGHLY CHOPPED LEEK

  • Carefully wash your potatoes and zucchini and roughly chop them. Always place potatoes in a bowl of water after chopping them to prevent them from turning black on the outer surface (oxidation)
  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a large cooking pot, add the leeks and sauté over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, zucchini, chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for half an hour.
  • Once cooked allow the soup to cool for a while. In a blender add the ingredients all together and blend until the mixture is fine. Return the mixture to the cooking pot and add the cooking cream as you stir consistently. Correct the seasoning (salt and pepper) if necessary. You can serve it hot with some bread rolls or allow it to cool then serve with some bread rolls.
  • While serving you can garnish with chopped chives and/or zucchini.

zucchinni vichyssoise 2

 

 

BACON GUACAMOLE GRILLED CHEESE

Guacamole is a Mexican accompaniment served often with nachos, tacos, and even tortilla wraps. Grilling the outer surface of the bread enhances crunchiness and the cheese, well I like using a whole lot of cheese because I’m a cheese freak.

The base of the application of this recipe is from an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich.

INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2)

  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  • 12 tablespoons guacamole.

Guacamole is a very easy accompaniment to make.All you need is

  • 1 whole ripe avocado (not overly ripe)
  • Half a tomato deseeded and cut into dices.
  • 1/4 finely chopped onions
  • 2  tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice (this is to prevent the guacamole from turning black, oxidation)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE FOR GUACAMOLE.

Carefully peel the avocado, place it in a bowl then using a wooden ladle or spoon mash the avocado.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

If you want to increase the Shelf life of the guacamole do not use the tomatoes.

PROCEDURE FOR THE GRILLED CHEESE.

In a hot pan cook the bacon until it is crispy and set aside on paper towels to drain the excess fat. It is advisable to neither use additional oil nor seasoning as bacon contains its own fat and it has its own natural salty sweetish flavor.

Butter one side of each slice of bread, Sprinkle half the cheese onto unbuttered side of two slices of bread, followed by the guacamole (you can carefully layer it on the surface using a spoon), place four bacon strips on each bread slice, sprinkle the remaining cheese and finally place the remaining slices of bread on top with the buttered side up.

Using a grilling pan or a non-stick pan, grill over medium heat both sides until golden brown and the cheese has melted. (Take 2 – 3 minutes per side not more because you may end up burning the guacamole)

grilled cheese sandwich 2

 

The dish can be served as a snack alongside a soft drink, enjoy!

 

 

 

CLASSIC BURGER.

Cheese has a way of bringing life to any dish. Since I was a child I have always been a cheese freak I guess that’s why I love my burger with a little extra cheese. This is a quick recipe you can do on your own, you do not have to go to a five-star restaurant to eat a burger, you can bring five-star experience to your home.
INGREDIENTS(Serves 2)

  • 250g Minced meat
  • 24g Breadcrumbs
  • 30g Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 of an onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon of finely chopped thyme or parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bacon strips
  • Two whole eggs
  • Some onion rings
  • Some Tomato rings
  • Two slices of cheddar cheese
  • Two lettuce leafs
  • Two large bugger buns (white or brown)
  • A little butter or margarine
  • A little Mayonnaise.

PROCEDURE.

  1. In a cooking pan, add some cooking oil. Once the oil is hot enough saute the onions shortly then add the finely chopped herbs. Cook for roughly two minutes then add in the finely chopped garlic, cook shortly and remove. The reason why we add garlic lastly is because it has sugar elements in it and tends to burn when cooked for long. Burning the garlic will make the pate have a bitter taste and the recipe is designed to maximize all the flavors of each ingredient. Once the mixture has cooled, place your minced meat in a bowl and add the cooked mixture, grated parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, the beaten egg, salt and pepper and mix well. Using your hand divide the mixture into two and mold the meat into a circular shape.If you have a circular pitless mold the better for you. Allow to rest shortly.

The breadcrumb is used as a binding agent for all the ingredients (it ensures the pate is firm)

images

2.Meanwhile, prepare the burger bun. Cut the bun in half then on the inner surface of both halves apply some margarine or butter. In a pan or a grilling pan slightly heat the surface applied margarine has been applied on.Heat shortly.You can heat both sides or only the side applied margarine. Be careful not to burn because we want the surface of the bun to be slightly crunchy like a crouton.bun

3.Heat some oil in a cooking pan and cook your pate to your desired doneness (rare, medium rare, medium well, well done). If you want to turn the other side of the pate be careful do not apply to much pressure on it. Once both surfaces are sealed, reduce the heat. Do not burn the pate or overcook it. Once you have prepared the pate place it aside. In the same pan break your eggs separately and fry the eggs separately without breaking the yolk. Cook your bacon strips too.

pate

4. I love the last bit of this whole preparation, aligning all the ready products together to form something towerlike. Take the bottom part of the Burger bun, apply some mayonnaise, Place the lettuce leaf on top, add the onion and the tomato rings next. Add the readily cooked beef pate on top. Place The cheddar slice on top of the pate. Place the half-prepared burger in a pre heated oven or a microwave for roughly 5 seconds. This is because we want to slightly melt the cheese.

Take the bugger out and place the readily cooked egg onto the pate, add the bacon strips on top then place the Other half of the bun on to the bacon

images (1)

Serve with some french fries and some mayonnaise sauce.

The recipe is subject to change due to one’s taste and preference. Some may prefer extra cheese, extra more vegetables and also include other vegetables like gherkins, cucumber. Its all about playing with the ingredients with no limitation at all.

SCORCHED EGG

One thing I love about this recipe is the simplicity. Being from a typical African culture I can assure you this dish is such a delicacy that will leave you craving for more. It can be served as breakfast or for whatever occasion you prefer. The recipe is a derivative of the meatball recipe. You will need the following ingredients

  • 5oog Sausage meat
  • 5 thyme springs, finely chopped
  • 6 whole eggs
  • Black Pepper for seasoning
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • Some home baking flour
  • Some bread crumbs

Place your sausage meat in a bowl, add the finely chopped thyme and some black pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients well and allow the mixture to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Sausage meat

Bring some water infused with vinegar and the eggs to boil for 9 minutes. Vinegar is used so as to ensure firmness of the egg in case it breaks. Once the eggs have boiled place them in cold water then carefully peel them. Allow the eggs to fully cool.

Boiled eggs

 

Carefully wrap a portion of the sausage meat all round all eggs. Ensure all the surfaces of the eggs have been covered.

For the surface to appear crunchy you will need to breadcrumb it using flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Dust the sausage-covered egg with flour, make sure the surface is fully dusted.(This will ensure when you deep it in the beaten egg, the egg will fully coat the surface) .Next deep it in the beaten egg and finally dip it in the breadcrumbs and ensure all surfaces are coated well.

Breadcrumbing process

In a frying pan bring some oil to boil.Slowly deep in the egg and cook for roughly 7 – 8 minutes until deep golden or till the meat is fully cooked. Serve hot.

deep fried scorched egg

 

 

SPANISH RICE SALAD.

Yes rice can also be used as a salad. I love this salad mainly because the choice of the vegetables used are crunchy and the dressing has a mixture of sweet and sour flavor. The use of bell papers, tomatoes and onions also make the dish very colorful. This is a universally popular salad that lends itself to endless variations and is a staple food of summer buffets and vegetables.

INGREDIENTS.(SERVES 6)

  • 275 g / 1 1/2 Cups of white long grain rice.
  • 1 bunch of spring onions ( scallions) finely sliced.
  • 1 green and 1 yellow bell pepper finely diced.
  • 225 g tomatoes peeled and deseeded.
  • Chopped coriander.

DRESSING.

  • 3 tbsp of sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp of Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

PROCEDURE.

  1. Bring some water to boil then add your rice. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until it is tender but still al dente (firm when bitten). Do not overcook. Drain the rice in a colander then rinse under cold water, drain again and leave to cool.

The method of preparing the rice is called blanching, process where a food item is scaled in boiling water, removed after a short period of time then passed through cold water of ice cubes in a process known as shocking. This is done so as to stop the cooking of the food. During blanching the food item is normally not cooked fully but rather cooked to al dente. When cooking rice it is advisable to use long grain rice, because short grain rice is rather sticky and it is best used in preparations like sushi, risottos and rice cakes. 

If you want to know you have overcooked the rice, the grains will rapture and the rice will appear somehow cut into two.

   2. Place the rice in a large serving bowl and add the spring onions ,peppers , tomatoes and coriander.

There are two methods of peeling tomatoes. You can either peeling them directly the way potatoes are normally peeled, or you can blanch them in water. Most chefs will advice one to blanch the potatoes because it will incur less wastage compared to directly peeling.

3.To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously till all the ingredients are mixed well. Pour the dressing onto the rice and mix well.

4.Cover it and chill for about one hour before serving.

If you do not have rice you can choose to substitute with cous cous.

rice-salad