Author Archives: lifeisazoobiscuit

goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg

goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg

“It took me 2.5 hours at 62°C – sitting by my stove with an electronic thermometer in hand to ensure that the water temperature remained constant. I was like a mother hen watching over her hatching eggs! It took some time and some doing but it was worth every single minute. The thick golden yellow yolk that oozed out of this perfectly boiled eggs was like liquid gold … and something you just have to try once in your life”

Delicious goose egg recipe on pea nest with prosciutto

Sous Vide Goose Egg on a pea and mint nest - prosciutto ham

Sous vide Goose egg on a pea and mint nest with prosciutto

Sous vide goose egg - on a pea and mint nest with prosciutto

The other day my dear friend Nina Timm surprised me with a gift of two beautiful and bountiful goose eggs. Eggs are a symbol of birth, of life – and these eggs were so fulsome and so perfect. It reminded me of the wonders that surround us but it also reminded me of Aesop’s fable of …

… The goose that laid the golden eggs
A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich.
“Just think,” said the man’s wife, “If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.”
“You’re right,” said her husband, “We wouldn’t have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day.”
So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs.

So what is the moral of this little tale? Riches do not lie in earthly things nor in the greed for more riches … Our riches are within and in each passing moment we have the opportunity to hold dear the real riches of this world like family, friendships, love and hope. We need to treasure it all …

But now let’s get back to recipe….the sun was out and spring was in the air…what was I going to do with these gorgeous goose eggs?

I went to Sat Bains for inspiration – he was the one who took the classic egg, ham and pea combination to a whole new level by using the sous vide method to cook duck eggs and to serve them with a pea sorbet.

I was determined to sous vide these two golden beauties and serve them on a nest of crushed minted peas and prosciutto with some little toasts. I do not have one of those fancy and very expensive sous vide water baths and I could not find a recipe … so I had to improvise. With a pot of hot water covering my eggs – it took me 2.5 hours at 62°C – sitting by my stove with an electronic thermometer in hand to ensure that the water temperature remained constant. I added cold water when the temperature went up. It took some time and some doing but it was worth every single minute. The thick golden yellow yolk that oozed out of this perfectly boiled eggs was like liquid gold …and something you just have to try once in your life. The perfect combination of the sweet peas and then the salty prosciutto and a scoop of the golden yolk on a crispy cut of toast are just absolutely from another planet. Of course, the dish was not complete without a sprinkle of salt and freshly grounded white pepper.

Thank you Nina and thank you Mrs Goose for bringing some rays of golden sunshine to my plate.

 

goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For the goose eggs
  • 2 Goose eggs at room temperature
  • Electronic thermometer
  • Big pot filled with water – eggs need to be covered with water
  • For the crushed-minted-pea-and-prosciutto-nest
  • 250g Frozen peas
  • ½t Salt
  • 2t Sugar
  • 20g Butter
  • 1T Freshly chopped mint
  • 4 Slices of prosciutto
  • Little toasts
  • Fresh ciabatta cut thinly and lightly toasted
  • Seasoning
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. For the goose eggs – heat the pot with water to 62°C and then add the eggs. Keep it on the lowest heat level on your stove and try and keep the temperature constant for 2.5 hours. You just have to stand by the stove, check the thermometer and add a bit of cold water to bring the temperature down. When done, put the eggs aside to cool a bit. Then peel very carefully. The shell is very hard and thick and it’s not so easy. The outside of the white is going to fall away and you will sit with this beautiful thin white layer and the golden yolk.
  2. For the peas – cook the peas for about 3 minutes. Add the salt, butter, mint and sugar give it a good stir and then crush.
  3. To assemble - divide the peas in half and divide onto two plates. Add a slice of prosciutto on each nest and then add the egg. Sprinkle with white pepper and some salt - then add another slice of prosciutto and round it off with a little toast.

 

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” – dressed up for a night at the opera

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” – dressed up for a night at the opera

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” - dressed up for a night at  the opera

Open fish cake lasagna + tomato and gherkin relish – I grew up with fish pasta made with tinned pilchards for Saturday lunch so when Babs invited me for lunch this Saturday past – I knew what was on the menu. I asked my mom to wait for me to get to her place – I grabbed my copy of You can with Fish by Tamsin Snyman and rushed over to her house all inspired. I wanted to show her something different …for all too often we get caught up in the routine, making the recipes we know in the same way we have always made them.

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” - dressed up for a night at  the opera

We decided to try Tamsin’s fish cakes (love her use of potatoes in the dish) but replaced the tuna with pilchards – and as I am always prone to do… I added lots of fresh herbs, extra lemon and a Dhanya and Chillie sauce I discovered. We served it with a lasagna sheet and a tomato and gherkin relish. The gherkin gives it that beautiful tanginess and just complements the dish in an extraordinary way. It is kind of like “Viskoekies en tamatie-smoor” just dressed up and off to see the opening night of Verdi’s famous opera, La Traviata… and so, so simple.

Try it. I promise you it will make your heart sing!

10 Famous Italian Operas

1. Aida, by GiuseppeVerdi
2. Cavalleria Rusticana, by Pietro Mascagni
3. Il Barbiere de Siviglia, by Gioachino Rossini
4. La Gioconda, by Amilcare Ponchielli
5. La traviata, by Giuseppe Verdi
6. L’elisir d’amore, by Gaetano Donizetti
7. Madama Butterfly, by Giacomo Puccini
8. Nabucco, by Giuseppe Verdi
9. Norma, by Vincenzo Bellini
10. Pagliacci, by Ruggero Leoncavallo

Opera info from yusypovych.com

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” - dressed up for a night at  the opera

 

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” - dressed up for a night at the opera
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For fish cakes
  • 1 ½ Medium potatoes
  • ½ Tin sardines + tomato sauce [210g]
  • 1 Egg
  • 1T Bread crumbs [my mom uses all the crumbs from the bottom of her rusks packets – very good idea mom!]
  • 2T Fresh parsley - chopped
  • 1T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • ½ t Chillie flakes – optional
  • ½ T Dhanya and chillie sauce (i discovered this last week in the shop - it adds a lovely zing to this particular dish)
  • 1 Spring onions – chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • For lasagna sheets
  • 4 Lasagna sheets – one sheet per person
  • For tomato and gherkin relish
  • ½ Onion – chopped
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 250g Small rosa tomatoes
  • 200g Dill gherkins – chopped finely
  • 1T Dhanya and chillie sauce
  • 2ml Salt (or to taste)
Instructions
  1. For potatoes – peel potatoes and boil till soft. Drain well and mash. Set aside.
  2. For fish cakes – mix all the ingredients for the fish cakes and the mashed potatoes together. In a non-stick pan add some oil and fry the little patties until golden brown on both sides.
  3. For relish – fry the onion in pan till the onion is soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and close the lid for about 8-10 minutes. The tomatoes will burst open, bringing a splash of flavour. Add the gherkins and the salt and mix together. Cook for another minute or two.
  4. For the lasagna sheets – boil with salt as per the instructions on the packet.
  5. To assemble - Put some of the Dhanya and chillie sauce at the bottom of the plate, place or arrange the lasagna pasta sheet on top of the sauce then place the fish cakes on top of your lasagna pasta sheet adding the relish to top off this awesome, but so easy little dish.

 

green salad + broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast = fresh + sumptuous

green salad + broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast = fresh + sumptuous

easy green salad, maklike groen slaai, vegetarian salad

After a brief but blitzy gastronomic tour through Johannesburg this past weekend I returned home in need of something healthy – something green. So I made this delicious + scrumptious + sumptuous salad. It’s fresh and easy – just add all the ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle with some salt and drizzle with lemon infused olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. I like to serve the baby marrows still warm from the oven and then all the other ingredients at room temperature. It’s crunchy, creamy, tangy and really splashy in flavours. Enjoy.

My favourite shades of green:
+ Irish colour green – I am married to a wonderful man of Irish descent … where everything from the Emerald Isle seems to be green;
+ The green of an olive;
+ The green colour of growing grass;
+ Lime green;
+ … and then the US Dollar green. 🙂

green salad with pistachios, pumpkin seeds, goats cheese

 

green salad + broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast = fresh + sumptuous
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For baking the baby marrow
  • 400 g Baby Marrows
  • 2T Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • For the broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast
  • Melba toast – decide how many you want – I like plenty
  • Handful of green olives - chopped
  • 100g Peppery Chevin goats cheese
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Other salad ingredients
  • 250g Asparagus (I only had tinned asparagus but fresh asparagus will be first-class)
  • 1 Handful pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Handful pistachios
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • Few sprigs of parsley – torn
  • Lettuce of your choice – I like to use the frilly lettuce for this salad – it looks pretty
  • Lemon infused olive oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Baking the baby marrow: Preheat oven to 180 °C. Coat each baby marrow with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and bake for 30 minutes. Take out of oven and cut length ways.
  2. The broken-cheesy-olive-melba-toast: Break the Melba toasts up into pieces. Mix the goats cheese, green olives and the lemon juice together and smear on each piece of toast.
  3. Making the salad: Mix all the ingredients together. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with some salt.
  4. Serve with love.

 

doilies = the dream catchers in our kitchens

doilies = the dream catchers in our kitchens

Doilies are like dream catchers, each knot holding a thought, a memory. The sum of these make up the history of a place. ” – Unknown

The extravagant, dreamy design by Yayoi Kusamaat for a Louis Vuitton showroom [see pic below] caught my eye. It looks like an Alice in Wonderland … a three dimensional doily. It made me ever so nostalgic. Everyone knows what a doily is …we all grew up with doilies … at least I did. I have a couple that I have inherited from my mom, my aunt and my grandmother. They seem to get passed on from one generation to the other and they always seem for the most part to be put away and out of sight almost like being relegated to an age gone past.

After seeing this amazing design space I decided to scratch out the doilies and restore them to their rightful place and use them in my kitchen. My mom used them mostly to put over a milk jar when we served tea on Sundays and then sometimes you could find them loitering forever on the coffee table next to the old 60’s style couch. Doilies have advanced over the years – and are used all over the graphic design space and yes the culinary world too. I found a few pics … enjoy the doily delights … and dream a bit.

Thinking of the amount of care, time and love that was taken to crochet these incidental items of décor, do they not deserve another chance of being passed on to the descendants to come?

[Images: Pinterest and various internet sites]

crispy braaied pig tails = salty + crackly decadence

crispy braaied pig tails = salty + crackly decadence

Crispy braaied pig tails – I know that there are many adventurous and fearless chefs out there… this one is for you!

This dish is certainly not for the dainty, squeamish or occasional outdoor chef that thinks a chop and a lettuce leaf constitutes a real South African barbeque … sorry … I meant braai! 🙂

Potjie’s entry a few weeks ago where he talked about English Chef, Fergus Henderson’s book, “The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating”, struck a chord with me and I think we share the same philosophies when it comes to cooking. Be brave, be daring and never be scared to cook with what you have…whatever you have… It also reminded me that I had about 10 pig tails lying in my freezer. I had bought these a while back from Frankie Fenner after I had seen them being cooked on Masterchef. Back then they looked very scary and they still do – very kind of Avatar-ish!

So with National Braai Day being celebrated in the coming days it provided a perfect opportunity to haul these little, curly porky tails over the coals.

The most important thing for me was to make sure that the tails came out soft but still retained that beautiful pork flavour – oh yes, that they had that crispy crackling to feast on. To soften up the tails I steamed them for 15 minutes then braaied them on the grid over medium coals (charcoal or wood). Keeping it simple, I served it up with my own homemade mustard dipping sauce. It was decadent and delicious – as Jan Spies used to say “ryk, maar lekker” [rich but delicious].

Some advice: If you do come across a few people who are still a little squeamish about eating the pig tails … pass them the salad.

Have a fantastic braai day.

pig tail recipe

 

crispy braaied pig tails = salty + crackly decadence
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For steaming
  • 4 Pig tails
  • 2 Cloves garlic – roughly chopped
  • 1 Onion cut in quarters
  • 1 Celery stick - roughly chopped
  • 5 Pepper corns
  • 2 Cups of water
  • For seasoning on the braai
  • Ground coriander
  • Salt
  • White Pepper
  • For mustard dipping sauce
  • 60g Mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
  • 20g Hot English mustard
  • 1t Chutney
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients in a pot (pressure cooker) and steam for 15 minutes. If you don’t have a pressure cooker cover the same ingredients in a roasting pan – cover with foil and bake at 190 degrees for 40 minutes till soft. Please remember to top up your roasting pan with water.
  2. Take the tails and place them on the grid over medium coals on the braai. Sprinkle with salt, pepper (coarse salt and pepper would be good) and ground coriander. Braai till the skin is crispy and crackly. About 5 miutes a side.
  3. Mustard Sauce : Mix all ingredients and serve in a small bowl next to the crispy tails.

 

passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions

passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions

easy passion fruit cups

My husband, Rick, buys our weekly veggies on a Friday – yes, he does ladies … and there is always a surprise or two in the veggie basket for me … some exotic or peculiar addition to tickle my culinary brain. It’s kinda like a mystery box that I get to explore over the weekends. Last week, he walked in with a punnet of passion fruit. Passion fruit or granadilla as they are more commonly referred to in these parts is one of the most flavoursome of fruits and it takes something really simply to migrate it to an extraordinary level.

Curiosity got the better of me and did a little research on the World Wide Web… to my shock and horror it took me straight to a few porn sites! Clearly, these purveyors of porn were taking liberal interpretations of this innocently delicious fruit. I immediately closed my computer and ran to my fridge to cool down! As it would then happen, I had some Ricotta cheese in the fridge so I decided to mix the two – it set my taste buds racing. I loved it.

I dished it up in in the empty granadilla cups. Be tempted with these forbidden fruits, it is after all food porn – with no age restrictions.

passion fruit cups easy and quick

 

passion fruit cups = food porn with no age restrictions
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 250g Ricotta cheese
  • 20g Icing sugar
  • 125ml Fresh Granadilla pulp from about 3 to 4 large-sized granadillas
Instructions
  1. Scoop out the granadilla pulp, mix all the ingredients together…and put back into the granadilla shells. Put in fridge – serve cold…with a sultry smile.

 

herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise

herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise

herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta

My mom, Babs, is in her eighties, extremely healthy and has been a size 10 her whole life. She is one of those “odd” people who does not like butter, cream, fatty foods, deep fried foods, chips and crisps or anything unhealthy and then she also does’nt like too much spices either – not like her not-so-small-foodie-wine-drinking-spice-loving-daughter! Lean proteins, huge salads, vegetables, different kinds of fruit and whole grains are part of her daily regimen – washed down with a cuppa tea or two or ten – and then … always a healthy strong whiskey every single night. I have to admit though that she has been prone to a bit of strong cheese and a dash of olive oil here and there just to keep the body parts in good working order.

So when Babs comes to visit I have to cook something healthy and therefore for our Sunday lunch recently I prepared a chicken breast covered in fresh herbs, some stem broccoli and I served it on parmesan + lemon flavoured pasta. It was delicious, fresh with a light and dreamy springtime flavour… but most importantly … mom approved. Enjoy!



herby chicken + stem broccoli + parmesan and lemon pasta = healthy springtime surprise
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the chicken
  • 4 Skinless deboned chicken breasts
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1 Clove garlic – peeled and sliced in 4 slices length ways
  • 2 T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • 2T Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1T Fresh basil – chopped
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • For the spaghetti
  • Cook enough spaghetti for 4 people
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 75g Grated parmesan cheese
  • 2T Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • For the stem broccoli
  • 4 or more stem broccoli
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Chicken: Make small incisions into the chicken breasts and insert a sliver of garlic into each breast.
  2. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix all chopped herbs together – parsley, coriander and basil.
  4. Then press the breasts in the fresh herbs – so that the herbs coat both sides of the chicken breasts.
  5. Using a non-stick pan fry the breasts till done – while frying squeeze a bit of lemon over the chicken.
  6. When done put aside.
  7. Pasta: Add the parmesan, olive oil and lemon in a bowl – mix well and add to the cooked pasta.
  8. Then mix the parsley through.
  9. Taste the pasta for seasoning – add some more salt and add the black pepper.
  10. Stem broccoli: Cook as per packet instructions – normally only 3-4 minutes.
  11. Immediately put in a bath of ice water.
  12. After a while, warm the broccoli up again in the same pot you have cooked them – add a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  13. To assemble: Place the cooked pasta the bottom of the bowl. Add the stem broccoli and then the chicken breast. To serve, add another drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and parmesan shavings.

 

 

10 tips to poach the perfect egg

10 tips to poach the perfect egg

My favourite Saturday morning breakfast is a soft poached egg on whole wheat toast with a bit of wild rocket out of my garden and a pinch of Maldon salt. When you cut into that egg and the yellow slowly ooze onto the bread … it is like early morning sunshine on my plate! What I want to share with you today is not a specific recipe on how to poach the perfect egg but a few interesting facts and tips that might help you along the way. I am sure you will know most of them but one or two of these pointers are quite interesting.the perfect mother's day breakfast - 10 tips to poach the perfect egg
1. The fresher the egg, the easier the poach – fresh eggs hold together better when slipped into the simmering water.
2. To test to see whether an egg is fresh – put the egg into a bowl of water. A very fresh egg will immediately sink to the bottom and lie flat on its side – an old egg will float.
3. The eggs must preferably be room temperature.
4. Remember to add a bit of vinegar to the simmering water – it helps hold the egg together.
5. The water must be simmering not boiling.
6. Now, my best tip is to slowly submerse the whole egg with shell and all in the hot simmering water for 10 seconds before you break it. This ensures the whites on the outside of the egg hold together better during poaching.
7. Before breaking the egg into your simmering pot of water, use a spoon and give the water a stir so that it forms a little bit of a whirlpool…the centrifugal motion will pull the egg together when you slide it into the water.
8. When you break the egg break it into a saucer or cup first – be careful not to break the yolk and then simply slide the egg off the saucer or cup into the centre of the whirling water.
9. How long to poach the egg? Here’s a quirky snippet I read…when you put your bread in to toast put your egg in to poach…when your toast pops out of the toaster…your poached egg should be ready to be removed from the pot. Otherwise poach it for 3-5 minutes until cooked.
10. When done scoop out with slotted spoon or spatula onto a paper towel to dry excess water from the now poached egg.

It’s quick but fabulous when poached to perfection… decadent and yummy all at the same time!

Don’t forget too that a poached egg on top of a rocket + bacon salad makes for a wonderful salad option just ever so slightly out of the ordinary.

12 international foods to try before you die – #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

12 international foods to try before you die – #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

12 international foods to try before you die - #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

On Spring Day I found myself reading an article posted on the Independent Traveler site written by Lori Sussle – “12 International Foods to try before you die” – it’s kind of like a “food bucket list” for us ordinary people [see the full list below].

The first item on the list was Vietnamese Spring Rolls or Fresh Spring Rolls. Spring Rolls are normally associated with the freshness and vitality that comes with the onset of Springtime and are versatile, healthy and easy to make.

You can prepare either vegetarian Spring Rolls or add seafood or even meat and eggs, whatever your heart delights – but the most important thing for me when serving a fresh spring roll … is the dipping sauce. The sauce needs to compliment the ingredients inside the roll – you can make peanut sauce, soy based sauce or sweet and sour sauce etc. I decided to make spring rolls with ricotta cheese and my own dipping sauce – yip – I think the foodies will tell you that it is somewhat of a no-no to fuse Italian with Eastern cuisine. Well it worked – East meets West … its delicious and the ricotta adds a lovely creaminess to the roll.

In my recipe I cannot specify the quantity of ingredients you will need as this depends on how many Spring Rolls you would like to make or how “fat” you would like to make them…but I have included a list of suggested ingredients with a link to a YouTube video which shows you how to make your own fresh spring rolls. Try my dipping sauce – its fresh, salty, sour and sweet all at once and adds just another dimension to eating this Eastern treat.

12 international foods to try before you die - #1 fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce

An accidental tourists’ culinary bucket list ….

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed pope mobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” — Anthony Bourdain

1. Vietnamese Spring Rolls – fresh spring rolls is a Vietnamese delicacy known as gỏi cuốn. Depending on the region, spring rolls are made in different manners with different ingredients.
2. Gnocchi – come in various shapes and guises and are soft dumplings made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, potato and egg.
3. Meze – is a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Balkans as either a breakfast, lunch or even dinner – with or without drinks (I prefer it with drinks… ). In Levantine cuisines and in the Caucasus region, meze is served at the beginning of all large-scale meals.
4. Lobster Roll – a traditional lobster roll that contains the fresh cooked meat of a lobster, tossed with mayonnaise and served on a grilled hot dog bun or similar roll, so that the opening is on the top rather than on the side.
5. Churros and Chocolate – a churro, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, it is a fried-dough pastry—predominantly choux-based snack. There are two types of churros in Spain, one which is thin (and sometimes knotted) and the other which is long and thick (porra). They are both normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate or café con leche.
6. Kangaroo meat – is a meat from any of the species of kangaroo. It is produced in Australia from wild animals.
7. Saag Paneer– is an Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of spinach and paneer (Indian farmer’s cheese) in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach.
8. Ćevapčići – is a grilled dish of minced meat, a type of kebab, found traditionally in the countries of southeastern Europe.
9. Poutine – is a French Canadian dish, made with French fries, topped with brown gravy and curd cheese.
10. Completo – is a hot dog variation eaten in Chile, which, is usually served with ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, a variation of the sauce américaine, chilean chili, green sauce and cheese. It is normally a lot larger than the American type of hot dog we have come to know.
11. Queso Helado – is reminiscent of frozen rice pudding flavored with cinnamon. Some say it’s like creamy shaved ice. It’s made from sweet milk with a touch of coconut or cinnamon.
12. Ktefa – traditional Moroccan dessert made by layering fried or baked warqa pastry with sweetened fried almonds and custard sauce flavored with orange flower water.

Source: Info from various internet web pages

 

asian fresh spring rolls + dipping sauce
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Dipping Sauce
  • 60ml Sweet chillie sauce
  • 2t Fish sauce
  • 1t White vinegar
  • 1t Chillie flakes or one fresh green chillie chopped
  • 3T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • 80ml Water
  • Spring Roll
  • Rice paper wrappers – soaked in luke warm to warm water until soft. Don’t soak for too long as it will break easily
  • Vermicelli – soaked in boiling water till soft
  • Carrots – julienned in +- 6cm lengths
  • Cucumber - julienned in +- 6cm lengths
  • Spring onion – finely sliced in +- 6cm length
  • Avocado slices - +- 6cm lengths
  • Bean sprouts
  • Ricotto cheese
Instructions
  1. Dipping Sauce: Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Spring Rolls: Youtube video

 

wheat + mushroom + thyme = delizioso risotto

wheat + mushroom + thyme = delizioso risotto

easy vegetarian spring roll recipe, easy vegetarian spring roll, easy vegetarian recipe, vegetaries, maklike vegetariese resep

I love wheat….and I love Italians. I am fascinated by the way Italians eat and the way they cook – it is the simplicity and the flavours, their history and the la famiglia. I grew up with wheat on our table and have always loved the earthy crunchiness of wheat, its healthy and nutritious in so many forms, its cheap and then of course it is also grown just around the corner from us in Malmesbury. What got me thinking about Italians and wheat was a fabulous foodie get-together with #chicksthatchow (see below)* at the Italian restaurant, Zibaldone. It was a spectacular feast of Italian cuisine and the kind of atmosphere that makes a South African like me feel part of the greater La Famiglia…

What stole my heart and took my gastronomic spirit on a wheat journey was the lamb tortellini with creamed pearl barley. Out of my endless curiosity when it comes to food, I had to explore wheat as a risotto ingredient. I went back to Jamie’s basic risotto recipe that I use every time I make risotto and tweaked it somewhat by replacing the risotto rice with wheat and added some martini and mascarpone cheese. It is so delicious and crunchy. It has such a proud and distinctive nutty undertone of flavour and can be enjoyed as a main meal or accompany any beef or lamb dish.

*About #chicksthatchow: we are a group of “taste, tipple and tweet” women who celebrate life, happiness and all things good over a serving of fabulous food and a glass or two of the best pressed grapes whenever or wherever the mood or the menu may take us. #chicksthatchow was founded by the inspiring and enchanting Errieda du Toit, aka @huiskok and now the presiding President of #chicksthatchow.

Divertiti…!

easy vegetarian spring roll recipe, easy vegetarian spring roll, easy vegetarian recipe, vegetaries, maklike vegetariese resep

 

wheat + mushroom + thyme risotto
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup of wheat – pre-cooked for 25 minutes without salt in the water
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1 T Butter
  • 1 Medium onion – finely chopped
  • 1 Celery stick – finely chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic – grated
  • 60ml Martini Bianco
  • 450 ml Stock of your choice
  • 40g Grated parmesan
  • 2 Generous tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
  • For mushrooms
  • 500g Mushrooms – any sort – thinly sliced
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 2T Butter
  • 2T Fresh thyme –leaves picked
  • 2 Cloves garlic – grated
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Big squeeze of lemon juice
  • 30g Chopped parsley
Instructions
  1. Prepare the mushrooms first: Cook the mushrooms, thyme and garlic in the olive oil and butter in batches in a very hot pan – season each batch with salt and black pepper. Do not let the mushrooms become soggy; they should be a beautiful nutty and brown colour.
  2. When cooked add the chilli powder, a squeeze of lemon juice and the chopped parsley and then set aside.
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a pot and add the olive oil.
  4. Add the onion and celery and fry for about 5 minutes till translucent.
  5. Add the garlic and let it fry for another few minutes then add the cooked wheat. Slowly fry the wheat for a minute or two.
  6. Add the Martini – and stir till the martini has evapourated.
  7. Now start adding the stock ladle by ladle – allow each ladle to be absorbed by your ingredients in the pot before you add the next one.
  8. Continue until all stock has been added to the saucepan. Remember… your wheat needs to stay moist and creamy.
  9. Now add the mushrooms – give it a good stir.
  10. Then add the parmesan and mascarpone.
  11. Taste for seasoning – it is not normally necessary to add salt – but I always give it an extra pinch of black pepper.
  12. Serve with beautiful fresh Italian bread and a glass of good red wine.

 

vegetable soup = slow warm hearty comfort

vegetable soup = slow warm hearty comfort

vegetable soup=slow warm hearty comfort

Vegetable Soup – A couple of weeks back I invited a few foodie friends over to watch the finale of Mastechef SA, as it was winter I thought it would be appropriate to put on a large pot of my vegetable soup for the occasion. It went down a treat; the problem came about when they all asked me to share the recipe. This proved to be quite difficult as I don’t have a recipe for this soup. The way it works in my house is that I make soup on Sundays. I open the fridge, take out all the veggies + herbs that I did not use over the previous week and make a steaming pot of soup with it. So…to be frank, the recipe below is a list of all the items leftover in my fridge from last week…

If you think the recipe seems a bit long, do not be put off, once you get the hang of it and taste of it you will be making this soup for generations to come. The thing about soup is, you have to make it your own … put in the effort and spend that little extra time…I can promise you it is worth every little spoonful. Enjoy making it and remember to serve it with love.

vegetable soup=slow warm hearty comfort

I do have 10 tips that I have picked up along the way that I would like to share with you when making this soup:

1. Don’t be in a hurry – take your time… and love the process – that is why I normally do it on Sundays – it takes time to grate and chop. Make big bowl of this soup… the soup freezes very well and will never go to waste!
2. Use the veggies + herbs – even lettuce, rocket – whatever you have in your fridge or veggie basket…..the stuff you did not use during the week and want to throw away.
3. Look in your freezer and use all those small packets of frozen veg that you still have not got around to using…
4. The five basic vegetable ingredients that you have to put in to your pot are the following: potatoes, carrots, onions, celery + tomatoes.
5. I always leave the skin on all my vegetables.
6. I grate my vegetables …that is if they are grate-able – it cooks faster and I feel the flavours infuse just that much better.
7. Veggies like broccoli and cauliflower – use the stems – cut them into thin slices – it adds to the beautiful chunkiness of the soup.
8. Parmesan skins – when you buy and use parmesan – don’t throw the skin or rind away – keep them in your freezer and use this in your soup – it adds a wonderful richness.
9. The secret ingredients of my soup : cloves, pesto (any flavour), whole pepper corns, parmesan cheese skins and grated, instant tomato cream soup, oats, good stock to cover the veggies, Worcestershire sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and always a bit of butter.
10. To serve always finish your soup with a drizzle of olive oil , chopped parsley and some parmesan shavings.

vegetable soup=slow warm hearty comfort

vegetable soup=slow warm hearty comfort  - broccoli stems

 

vegetable soup = slow warm hearty comfort
 
Prep time
Cook time
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This recipe makes a pot of soup large enough to feed an army - you can just half or quarter the quantities as your mood takes you…
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • A
  • 300g Grated large potatoes +- 2 large
  • 300g Grated large carrots +- 2 large
  • 220g Grated medium onions +- 2 medium
  • 250g Grated butternut squash +- 2 generously thick slices
  • 350 g Tomatoes either chopped or rosa tomatoes halved
  • 200g Baby marrows - sliced
  • 150g Cauliflower - cut into chunks
  • 130g Broccoli - cut into chunks
  • 2 Long pieces of celery - chopped
  • 70g Lettuce
  • 80g Cucumber - chopped
  • 300g Frozen peas
  • 50g Sundried tomatoes - chopped
  • 10g Fresh coriander - chopped
  • 25g Garlic - grated
  • 6 Cloves
  • 20 Black peppercorns
  • 20g Fresh parsley - chopped
  • 1t Chillie flakes
  • 410g Tinned chopped tomatoes (1 tin)
  • 2 Stock cubes (Vegetable or chicken)
  • 75-100g Parmesan skins
  • 3L Water (or 3L of good stock – then omit the stock cubes and remember to add more salt)
  • B
  • 100g Dry pasta (I use spaghetti and normally break the spaghetti up into small pieces)
  • 100g Oats
  • 2x 410g Sugar beans (drain the fluid) – you can even replace this with tins of baked beans
  • 60 ml Olive oil
  • 1 Packet cream of tomato soup mixed with 500 ml cold water
  • C
  • 1T Worcestershire sauce
  • 100g Pesto (any basil or rocket pesto)
  • 100g Parmesan cheese grated
  • 50g Butter
  • 1t Salt
  • 1t Black pepper
Instructions
  1. Put all A ingredients into a large pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 30 minutes on medium heat. Please remember to stir frequently. As this is a big pot of ingredients, it can easily burn if you don't keep a watchful eye on it.
  2. Now add all the B ingredients and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
  3. Then add all the C ingredients – stir well – and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. At the end please taste for seasoning – adding salt and pepper as per your individual taste or preference.
  5. To serve: Drizzle some olive oil over the soup, add some chopped parsley and some parmesan shavings.

 

flambéed sweet apple omelette = a delicious yellow glowing matter

flambéed sweet apple omelette = a delicious yellow glowing matter

flambéed sweet apple omelette=a delicious yellow glowing matter

Watch me make this by clicing here

Flambéed Sweet Apple Omelette – Every now and then you experiment with something new, sometimes the outcome is just ok and other times it just blows you away. This is what happened to me when I tasted my own rendition of a sweet omelette – whoop whoop – it blew me away and it is so easy to make! But first let me tell you the story how I ended up with fruit and an omelette of all things…

I draw my inspirations from many different people … one person who really inspires me is Lidewij Edelkoort. What a fascinating woman – she is well-renowned as an international trend forecaster in any form of design. The other day I read on her website that yellow is a currently one of the primary fashion colours of the season – and as she says… “ the power of yellow with its strength and radiance, is able to change all volume and all surfaces, giving glow to all matter”. She shared some intriguing, and quite amazing references when it comes to eggs… she took us to France with “eggs + soldiers”…and then to Spain for an omelette. It just got me thinking. Before I knew it, I was traversing the world, the internet and my hoards of cookery books for something, yellow, eggy and interesting…. I eventually found something quite enticing and a recipe that woke up my taste buds….it was an egg + pear omelette … a dessert of all things.

I decided to use apples instead of pears and then used our local brandy to flambé the dessert. It did not stop there though… being my cheeky self, I added some cream, a pinch of nutmeg, a dose of cinnamon, a star anise and a heap of expectation….taste for yourself … it is delicious!

flambéed sweet apple omelette=a delicious yellow glowing matter

 

flambéed sweet apple omelette
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2T Butter
  • 4 Granny Smith apples – cored, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2T Sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 2T Cream
  • 1 Big pinch nutmeg
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 3T Brandy
Instructions
  1. On medium heat in a big non-stick pan - melt the butter and add the star anise, cinnamon, apples and 1T of sugar.
  2. Cook with the lid on for 10 min and then cook without the lid for a further 10 min.
  3. Stir from time to time but be careful not to break the apples.
  4. In the mean while beat the eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt together.
  5. Then pour the eggs over the apples.
  6. Cook till the eggs are set. Lift it on the sides to make sure it stays loose and your egg mixture does not stick to the pan.
  7. Invert the omelette onto a large serving dish, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the omelette and pour the 3 tablespoons of brandy over the dish. Ignite the brandy and then shake the platter till the alcohol burns of and extinguishes itself. Serve immediately.
  8. Tuck in and enjoy!

 

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

Hot Olives – A few weeks ago I was on a business trip in the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, Guateng. The City of Gold has plenty of interesting foodie places well worth seeking out…Some colleagues and I ended up in a very interesting restaurant that serves both gossip and glitter to the well-heeled of Parkhurst and surrounds. We ordered a few small starters to share and one of them was hot olives with baguette. Never in my life would I have thought of heating olives in olive oil – isn’t that kind of like smuggling sand in the desert? Well, just so you know, this little starter tapas was so delicious. Heating the olives gives this stone fruit an undeniably new dimension. Dipping the fresh baked bread into the fragrant hot oil just seems to forge with the olives… leaving a most tantalizing taste….wash this down with some chilled wine and you could swear that you were sipping wines with the gods of ancient Greece!

It is just one of those really simple dishes you can make on the run or when guests come knocking unannounced…simple yet oh so sophisticatedly #hot-and-happening.

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

hot olives + baguette and the #hot-and-happening

 

hot olives + baguette
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 150 ml Virgin olive oil
  • 1t Fresh rosemary (not chopped)
  • 1t Parsley - roughly chopped
  • 2 Red chillies chopped (I like it hot but you can leave the chillie out of the recipe if you are not fond of the fiery stuff)
  • 1 Garlic clove – finely sliced
  • 200g Kalamata olives
  • 1 Spring onion – chop the stalks and leaves
  • 1 Fresh baguette
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil, rosemary, chillies, parsely and garlic slowly in a pan for a 5 minutes minutes. Just to infuse the flavours with the oil.
  2. Add the olives and heat through for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the spring onion at the end, give it a good stir + serve with baguette.

 

white pepper is back …viva! = steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms

white pepper is back …viva! = steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms

white pepper is back ...viva!=steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms

For some time now, some of my foodie friends and I have been wondering whether white pepper is making something of a comeback….well, I can reliably confirm that it is back. That everyday seasoning that for so many years has done duty on our mother’s and grandma’s dinner tables but somehow got lost over the past decades between her black, pink and red peppercorn brothers and sisters … Lady White Pepper … is back!

Before I share more about the return of the white pepper I need to make it clear that my aspirations for this blog are not to win favour, nor benefit from freebies.This is my journey and my experiences with food. This being said I do believe that good experiences need to be shared, and in this instance I just want to shout if from the top of Table Mountain – if you are looking for a good food and wine experience….this is it … go and experience it at De Grendel Restaurant. It is not an inexpensive outing I might add, but worth saving the pennies just to savour this culinary sojourn through amidst the Durbanville vineyards.

But without further blabbering, let me get back to that somewhat magical afternoon and the white pepper….there we were, Sue-Ann and Ilse from Masterchef and foodie doyen and all-round intriguing persona, Errieda, wine-fundi Samarie, cookbook publisher Daleen and De Grendel’s winemaker Elzette – breathing in the majestic views, soaking up the ambience from table to plate. We laughed, we ate, we drank and toasted our shared passion – we became the absolutely fabulous olympic #chicksthatchow! As Errieda said: “Some chase for gold; others chow for gold”!

Back to the white pepper … I tasted the prime rib with white pepper, pearl onions and broccolini that Errieda ordered and it blew me away. It WAS the best steak and sauce I have ever eaten – the sauce combined with the steak just melted in your mouth with a flash grilled flavour, subtle yet striking. This bite confirmed to me that the sultry Lady White Pepper is back … out of the shadows and back on the plate … she is sexy, sharp. shining and ready to take over the pepper world.

Chef Ian Bergh inspired me so much with his creation that I had to try this back at home – my version was also delicious, simple with a dash of brandy and cream. I tried my utmost to replicate the delicate balance, silkiness and sharpness of their sauce, but I have to confess despite my best efforts I fell short … but please do try my recipe – it is still yum! I served the steak with some beautiful white peppery King Oyster mushrooms.

Welcome back in our pots and on our tables Lady … Viva … Lady White Pepper … Viva!

white pepper is back ...viva!=steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms

steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Steak
  • 500 g Prime Rib (I used rump but you can also use fillet) –
  • White Pepper Sauce
  • 1 Small onion – finely chopped
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1 Knob of butter
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 40 ml Brandy
  • 200ml Thick cream
  • 3t Fine white pepper ( I even like a little more but be careful, I believe white pepper is deceptively hotter than black pepper)
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 150 g King Oyster mushrooms – sliced length ways
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 1T Butter
  • ½ t White fine pepper
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Steak: Fry to your taste. My guidelines - hottest plate, oil, season, +-3½ minutes on each side, rest for 6 minutes.
  2. Mushroom Sauce: Plate on medium - heat a pan and add the olive oil, butter and add the onion. Sauté for about 3 minutes until nice golden.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the brandy to the pan – not too much as you do not want to set your kitchen alight - heat it up and then ignite the brandy with a match. Flambé the steak by letting the alcohol burn off the liquid. Let it burn till finished – it needs to extinguish itself naturally.
  5. Add the cream, then stir in the pepper along with a pinch of salt.
  6. Taste for seasoning. Heat through for a minute or two.
  7. Pass the sauce through a sieve to catch the onions and garlic – I normally use the sieved garlic and onions as a base for the steak and then pour the sauce liberally over the steak just before serving.
  8. Heat a pan until it is very hot - add the olive oil and butter then add the mushrooms , sprinkle with the pepper and a big pinch of salt. Fry fast for about 3-4 minutes till brown and done.
  9. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve hot over the steak.

 

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-rounds

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-rounds

image
Milk tart – they say that time changes everything, and everything changes with time…but does it? I think time is like a merry-go-round … it is only your view of things that changes, not the merry-go-round … … the “melk tert” never changed.

I grew up with “melk tert” with almond essence, puff pastry and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. It brings back many fond and happy memories. A kaleidoscope of “Kerk bazaars” (chruch fete’s) and of course the “koek en tee na kerk op Sondae” at our home (cake and tea after church on Sunday).

Watch me make this by clicking here.

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-round

The most lingering memory of the milk tart for me was custard inside the tart shell. This recipe is one of those versatile recipes that gives you the freedom to decide how you want to use it…either in a traditional puff pastry shell, or one where you create your own biscuit base or what I did … I thought I would update this age old classic without trying to change its history or heritage so I served it in my Mom’s tea cup and I added a few a Ameretti biscuits allowing the memories of the past to dwell in the sweetness of the present. I have

My mom and I made it just the way that we remembered….I went to visit her the other day and we milled about in the kitchen, talking and laughing about those times when we were much younger … the many different stories of how to make milk tart and how to bring the best tart to the bazaar, we talked about family, we giggled like young girls as the milk boiled over and the maizina mix splattered all over the kitchen counter, we counted how many “melk terte” we had made together over the years and then we counted the blessing we have been able to share – then and now. For just a few hours I was again on that merry-go-round … me, my mom, the milk tart and a heap of happy memories….

Dankie Ma. Lief vir jou.

 

milk tart + tea cups
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 Cups of full cream milk
  • 150 g Sugar
  • ½ t Salt
  • 4 Large eggs separated
  • 90g Maizina powder mixed with some of the milk (mix through until it has that thick cream consistency)
  • ¾ t Almond essence
  • 3T Butter (not margarine)
  • Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
  • 50ml Sugar
  • 5ml Ground cinnamon
  • Amaretti biscuits
Instructions
  1. Mix the milk, sugar and salt in pot and bring to boil.
  2. In the meanwhile beat the egg yolks slowly adding the Maizina.
  3. Pour this mixture very slowly in the milk mix - I use a hand egg-beater to mix it in - to avoid lumps
  4. Cook for 5 minutes till cooked.
  5. Add the almond essence and the butter. Stir well.
  6. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form then slowly fold this in the custard.
  7. Please always taste again for seasoning.
  8. Pour in cups, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve with amaretti biscuits.