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Winter winner treats

Just like most people you try to eat right in winter, but the cold weather has you craving something warm and comforting. We love anything that gets roasted, slow cooked or baked, leaving that lingering aroma in our homes. From creamy butter chicken to delectable cupcakes, these delicious dishes will keep you warm this winter.



Creamy butter chicken

Ingredients

Marinade

½ cup plain yoghurt

1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp garam masala

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric powder

2 cloves garlic, crushed

750g chicken fillet, cut into pieces

Curry

2 tbsp butter

1 cup tomato puree

1 cup fresh cream

1 tbsp sugar

1 ¼ tsp salt

Method

In a food processor, combine the marinade ingredients (except the chicken) and blend until smooth for an extra smooth sauce. Pour into a bowl and add chicken to the marinade, mix until chicken is well coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 24 hours. In a large frying pan, heat the butter over high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place into a heated frying pan. Cook for 3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the tomato puree, cream, salt and sugar. Turn temperature down to low and simmer for another 20 minutes. Serve with basmati rice, roti or naan.


Spinach and blue cheese soup

Ingredients

6 tbsp butter

2 onions, chopped

1 cup fresh cream

1 cup flour

12 cups chicken broth

4 cups milk

1kg chopped spinach

250g blue cheese, crumbled

Method

Sauté onions in butter in a large pot over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add flour and stir with a whisk until mixed. The whisk prevents the flour from creating clumps. Slowly add broth, whilst stirring, and raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and add milk and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the blue cheese and stir until blended, followed by the spinach and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the cream, salt, cayenne pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from stove and allow it to cool. Pour soup in a blender a little at a time and puree. Ladle into individual bowls and serve.


Coconut cupcakes

Cupcake ingredients

350g butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

5 extra large eggs, room temperature

1 ½ tsp vanilla essence

1 ½ tsp almond essence

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

400g desiccated coconut

Icing

350g butter, room temperature

680g icing sugar

450g plain cream cheese

1 ½ tsp vanilla essence

1 ½ tsp almond essence

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

In a bowl cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. While mixing, on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla essence and almond essence and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the remaining dry ingredients. In three parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Fold in 200 grams of coconut and let rest. Line a muffin pan with paper cupcake holders. Fill each holder to the top with batter and bake for 30 minutes, until the tops are brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

For the frosting, cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla essence and almond essence with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Ice the cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining coconut.

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