Category Archives: Freshlyblogged

Whoop Whoop … Top 3 #freshlyblogged

Whoop Whoop … Top 3 #freshlyblogged

I cannot actually believe it but I have made it into the final three of the Freshly Blogged competition. At the outset there were 40 of us bloggers and now there are only three of us left standing. Firstly THANK YOU for your support and votes every week *big squeeze and love*… I would not have coped without your support. …. and now I am so thrilled yet at the same time somewhat drained and exhausted. The final cook-off is taking place at the Taste of Johannesburg this coming Thursday. I am up against some tough competition and will be cooking against two professionally trained chefs! They are Sam Taylor and Lara Johnson …. so you can bet your bottom dollar I am extremely nervous. But back to the Freshly Blogged competition …

I can honestly admit that this has been the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. This competition tested every ounce of me as a blogger and me as a person … but now reflecting in hindsight it was one of the best foodie adventures I could have undertaken as a blogger.

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Fitting in the time to plan and prepare the dishes in between a hectic work schedule, life, family and other commitments has proved daunting to say the least. It took a lot of drive, commitment and sheer dedication and perseverance week in and week out for the past three months. Through this whole, wonderful ordeal I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows as a blogger.

It put all one’s skills as a blogger to the test on all levels – from creativity to writing the blog story, recipe writing, plating, styling, photography and ultimately challenged ones mental fortitude. Through it all I have I grown tremendously and learnt so much … But more of that in my next blog post.

So here are 9 of the 11 dishes I developed and submitted for each week of the competition. For more about the Freshly Blogged competition go to freshlyblogged.co.za

A x

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the warm soft mexican scotch egg = the language i speak

the warm soft mexican scotch egg = the language i speak

Food is the language I speak. So you may ask Scotch eggs from Werda Mexican Beans? How did I end up with Scotch Eggs – and not with a traditional Mexican dish that the ingredients were shouting for? Well, the story goes something like this…

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I have never tasted this specific Werda salad before, so armed with a pair of scissors and a spoon I found myself in the PnP aisle. I had to taste these beans before I could even decide on what to make… so there and then in the store I cut open a packet of bean salad and tasted it.

The salad was not as spicy as I had imaged so I decided that I needed an already spiced protein to add to the meal. What better place to look than the sausage section? The PnP “Chilli-Chimichurri wors” literally jumped into my shopping basket. Then I spotted the eggs next to the sausage display … and that is how the idea behind the Scotch Eggs was born.

The beans and sausage proved to be a delicious fiery combination for the outer casing of the warm Scotch Egg. I then baked bread to make homemade Melba toast – also using this bread for the crumbing of the egg. I served this with a warm spicy tomato salad, avocado salsa and some herby sour cream. All in all, a delicious light summer meal.

…And this, my friends is the short tale of how I came upon the Mexican Scotch Eggs – it is the kind of food that speaks my language.

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Serve: 2
Preparation time: 1h45mins (including bread making)
Cooking time: 2 hours

1. Scotch Egg
150g PnP Chilli-Chimichurri wors. Meat removed from their sausage casings
150g beans from Werda Spicy Mexican Bean Salad, drained and finely crushed using the back of a fork. Retain the salad sauce as we are going to use this along with the spiced tomato salad
2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbsp spring onion, chopped
2 Tbsp cake flour

Other ingredients
4 soft boiled eggs, peeled (on how to cook a perfect soft egg – see below)
1 egg, beaten
½ cup cake flour for dusting
1 cup bread crumbs (see method below)
Oil for deep frying

Method
For the outer layer: Mix all the ingredients together. Make 4 even balls and place in fridge until needed.
Prep your table. Put your flour, beaten eggs and crumbs each on a plate in this order on the table.
Take a piece of cling wrap and place it on your kitchen work surface. Lightly oil one side of the cling wrap. Take a meat ball and flatten it out on the oiled cling wrap, shaping it into an oval patty with your fingers. Remember that your patty must be large enough to wrap around the egg. Roll the soft boiled egg in flour. Place the egg in the middle of the patty. Pick the cling wrap up with the flattened meatball and egg inside and using your hands gently mould the meat around the egg from the outside of the cling wrap.
Roll the meat-wrapped egg in the flour, then in the beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs. Set aside and repeat the same process for the other three eggs.
Heat oil in a deep pot to 160 ˚C and fry each egg for 7 minutes until golden.

2. Spiced warm tomato salad
150g cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Werda Spicy Mexican Bean Salad sauce
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

Method
Fry the tomatoes on high heat in the olive oil for 3 minutes. They just need to scorch and burst slightly open.
Add the rest of the ingredients and heat through for another 2 minutes.
Set aside.

3. Ingredients for the avocado salsa
1 avocado, sliced in small blocks
1 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbsp spring onion, chopped
½ tsp olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Large pinch of salt
Pinch of milled black pepper

Method
Lightly toss all ingredients together.

4. Herby Sour Cream ingredients
3 Tbsp PnP sour cream
1 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbsp spring onion, chopped

Method
Mix all the ingredients together and put in fridge until needed.

Melba Toast Method
Preheat oven to 120 ˚C.
Cut 4 thin slices of bread. Cut-off the crust from each of the bread slices.
Roll the bread slices with a rolling pin until flat and thin, and then cut the rolled bread slices in half.
Place the bread slice on an oven rack and bake for 15 minutes.
Increase the oven heat to 180 ˚C and bake for a further 10 minutes until the bread has toasted to a golden brown.
Place the oven toasted bread into an air-tight container.

Breadcrumbs Method
Preheat the oven to 120˚C.
Cut 4 thick slices of bread – here I like to leave the crust on.
Bake for about an hour or until dry.
Crumble the bread finely with your hands and place in an air tight container.

6. To assemble
Serve two eggs per person. Take one warm Scotch egg and cut this in half. Place the half cut eggs next to the whole egg. Add the Melba toast and top this with some of the warm spicy tomato salad. On the side, add the avocado salsa and the herby sour cream. Add some salt and pepper on the side of the plate.

7. How to boil a perfectly soft egg
Prepare an ice bath – using a bowl of water with ice cubes in it.
Put the eggs into a pot of cold water and bring to the boil. When your pot begins bubble (not boiling profusely) start your timing. Boil the egg for 4 minutes.
Take the eggs out with a slotted spoon and place these into the ice bath.
Once cold, carefully peel the eggs under running w

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beef burger – keep it simple

beef burger – keep it simple

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{This recipe was inspired by an ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #10 competition}

Burgers in my opinion are connected to experiences. The best burger I ever ate, was at the age 18, my first year at varsity, half-intoxicated after an evening of drinking and dancing. It was 4 am in the morning, my buddies and I were at a roadhouse on the PE beachfront. It was a messy tomato chillie burger. Was it the best culinary burger? No, but it was the burger I will remember forever!

I decided to ask five of my favourite chefs what was their best burger and potato side dish. Nic van Wyk (Diemersdal Eatery), Pete Goffe-Wood (Masterchef judge), Jackie Cameron (Hartford House), Henry Vigar (La Mouette), Andrew Robertson (Tsogo Sun) shared their opinions. Unsurprisingly, it’s all about honouring and respecting the ingredients… simplicity gives the burger its originality.

They wanted a good bun, a real beef patty, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, homemade mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, onion (cooked or raw), gherkins, homemade chips with aioli or mayonnaise and Nic added what I love – the Jalapeño relish.

So listening to the professionals I made a burger with a simple flavoursome beef patty, mature cheddar cheese, chunky homemade chips, homemade mayonnaise and added my favourite topping tomato + gherkin + Jalapeño relish. It was delicious, simple and honest.

By all means, taper your burger to your taste…but keep it simple, honest and true and it will be a happy memory for whoever may venture a bite.

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beef burger - keep it simple
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Beef Patty
  • 1 large onion (200g) onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g beef chuck, deboned with sinews removed and milled OR 500g mince
  • 1 egg
  • ½ hamburger bun, soaked in water and then water squeezed out
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp milled black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • For patty grilling
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup Spur Original and Spicy grill basting sauce
  • Tomato, gherkin and Jalapeño relish
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tomatoes (350 g), chopped
  • 3 large gherkins (110g), chopped
  • 70g pickled Jalapeño chillies, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Spur Original and Spicy grill basting sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp milled black pepper\
  • Homemade Fries
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into your favourite chip size – do not cut them too small.
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Maldon salt
  • Two-minute stick blender mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup oil, sunflower oil – not olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Large pinch of garlic powder
  • "Raw" onion
  • ½ onion, sliced into rings
  • ½ cup of boiling water
  • Other ingredients
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • 4 thick slices of mature cheddar cheese
  • iceberg lettuce, cut very finely
Instructions
  1. Beef Patty - Fry the onions in olive oil for 30 minutes on slow to medium heat. This allows the onions to become soft and caramelised until they take on a deep caramel colour. We want to infuse the sweet flavours of the caramelised onions into the burger.
  2. Add the onions to all the other burger ingredients.
  3. Mix well and form patties of 150g each.
  4. Add oil to griddle pan and fry till done as per your taste, basting with the Spur sauce every time you turn the patties.
  5. Tomato, gherkin and Jalapeño relish - Add all ingredients into a pot and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat. Stirring occasionally. The relish should have a thick consistency.
  6. Homemade Fries - Parboil your cut chips in salted water for 4½ minutes.
  7. Drain and leave to dry. Allow at least 1 hour for the cut chips to dry properly.
  8. Heat your oil to 180 ˚C and fry until golden and crisp.
  9. Drain on kitchen towel and sprinkle with Maldon salt.
  10. Two-minute stick blender mayonnaise - Break the egg into a tall container (the best is to use the stick blender’s own container) or jug, then add the oil. Let it settle for a few minutes.
  11. Place your stick blender right on top of the egg at the bottom of the jug and start blending until the mayonnaise starts emulsifying. S-l-o-w-l-y pull the stick blender up to complete the emulsification process.
  12. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  13. "Raw" onion - Pour the boiling water over the onion and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
  14. By following this method, you will still retain the crunchiness, crispness and flavour that you need but will tone-down the original pungency of the onions.
  15. To assemble - Generously smear the mayonnaise on your toasted bun, adding the shredded lettuce.
  16. Add your cheese then the beef patty. Top your burger with the tomato relish and the crunchy onions. Serve with some homemade, hand-cut crispy fries.
  17. Five ideas to pimp up your homemade mayonnaise -
  18. Add chopped fresh parsley and coriander for that fresh flavour with salads;
  19. Add a bit of wasabi paste to your mayo you can really impress your guests when you serve sushi;
  20. Add some black pepper and it will be with baked potatoes;
  21. Chopped capers and lemon will work wonders to a simple fish dish;
  22. Add a bit of masala mix and try it with some home fries.

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indian-flavoured salmon on lentil dhal + friendships + fine dining

indian-flavoured salmon on lentil dhal + friendships + fine dining

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Food, I have come to know, is a universal language. Take my friend, Leonard, and me. We were born six days apart in the same year, in the same country, but we come from vastly different backgrounds: Me from the ‘Afrikaanse Vrystaat vlaktes’; he from Durban and of Indian descent. Somewhere in between, our paths crossed. Since then, we have cried and laughed and drank for hours in the kitchen, chopping away on chillies, garlic and ginger, and making masalas. In sharing our passion for food, we have cemented a friendship full of so many wonderful ingredients.

{This recipe was inspired by an ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #9 competition}

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Leonard has shown me all the tricks when it comes to Indian cooking. So for my fine dining dish, I wanted to pay tribute to my Gandhi, my life teacher and my friend. I want to take out the finest white linen and the finest silver and serve this Indian-flavoured salmon atop a lentil dhal. On the side, a crunchy raw beetroot and cumin salad sitting on a layer of fennel cucumber ribbons. The deconstructed milk tart, spiced with star anise, is a bit of my heritage. Both dishes brought together by the bond of friendship and spices.

So I would like to raise a glass to food journeys and friendships… And to Len: My guide and mentor on my very own passage to India.

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indian-flavoured salmon on lentil dhal + friendships + fine dining
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Indian flavoured salmon
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp garlic, grated
  • ½ tsp ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp masala, medium
  • 200g Sea Harvest Lightly Smoked Salmon trout, defrosted and cut into 3cm x3cm blocks
  • Lentil dhal
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp masala, medium
  • ⅓ cup cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1tsp red wine vinegar
  • 150g cooked lentils
  • 1tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt
  • Beetroot + cumin salad
  • 1 cup raw beetroot, grated
  • Large pinch of cumin seeds
  • Small handful of falvourburst micro herbs
  • Salad dressing
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper, milled
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • Cucumber ribbons
  • 50g cucumber, cut lengthwise into ribbons using a potato peeler
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh fennel leaves, chopped
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Indian flavoured salmon - Mix the oil and spices together. Rub into the fish.
  2. Heat a pan until it is smoking hot.
  3. Add the fish – skin-side down to the pan. Fry for 2 minutes. Add a drop of water to the pan and put a lid on for another minute.
  4. Take out of the pan and take the skin off the fish.
  5. Put the skin back into the pan and crisp up.
  6. Lentil dhal - Fry the oil and spices for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the cream cheese, water and vinegar. Cook through lightly.
  7. Take two tablespoons of the sauce out – we are going to use this when we assemble the dish.
  8. Then add the lentils to the pan and heat through.
  9. Taste for seasoning and add the coriander.
  10. Beetroot + cumin salad - Salad dressing – mix all the ingredients well together.
  11. Pour over the beetroot, cumin and flavourburst micro herbs and mix well.
  12. Cucumber ribbons - Add the olive oil to a pan and on medium heat warm the ribbons and fennel for about 3 minutes. Season with salt, remove from the heat.
  13. Cut the cucumber ribbons into 4 cm pieces and set aside.
  14. To assemble - Add the lentils in a small block mould. Stack with the fish, top it with a bit of sauce, some salmon skin and fresh herbs.
  15. On the side, place the cucumber ribbons on the plate and add the beetroot salad.

 

Spiced Milk tart cups + cinnamon twirls
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Cinnamon twirls
  • 12 strips puff pastry, cut into 1cm x 8cm lengths
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Milk tart cups
  • 1 cup of full-cream milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 ½ tbsp maizena powder mixed with 1 tbsp of the allotted milk
  • ½ tbsp butter (do not use margarine)
  • Cinnamon sugar mixture (left over from the twirls)
Instructions
  1. Cinnamon twirls - Brush the pastry strips with the egg wash.
  2. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this over the pastry. Don’t use all the sugar as we are going to use it to top the custard as well.
  3. Twist each pastry strip into a straw-like twirl.
  4. Place on baking tray and bake for approximately 11-12 minutes – until cooked and golden brown.
  5. Milk tart cups - Mix the milk, sugar, star anise and salt in pot and bring to boil.
  6. In the meanwhile beat the egg yolks and then slowly add the Maizena. Mix well.
  7. Pour this mixture very slowly in the milk mix – I use a hand egg-beater to mix it in – to avoid lumps
  8. Cook for 5 minutes till cooked.
  9. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form then slowly fold this into the custard.
  10. Always taste again for seasoning.
  11. Pour into cups, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve with the cinnamon twirl on the side

 

 

 

 

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picasso’s chicken

picasso’s chicken

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them”- Pablo Picasso

When I saw Anke’s article in Fresh Living magazine using Picasso as one of her inspirations, I knew that I would have to look no further. The first thing that came to my mind was the Spanish painter’s beautiful chicken drawings. These were not paintings, just beautiful drawings. It was like he wanted to be normal – to be like us, to draw and not paint. But these were still no normal chickens – these were Picasso’s chickens.

{This recipe was inspired by an ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #8 competition}

Picasso's chicken

I could never match up to his artistic genius, but to a certain measure our philosophical palette shares similar thoughts about life.

“I am an artist too, you see, when it comes to cooking, I cook ingredients the way I think of them, not the way I see them.”

My food creation is something of a deconstructed paella – just without the rice of course. Each of the ingredients – including the sherry can be found in your traditional Spanish paella.

I really wanted a smoky paprika taste to my chicken so I char grilled the peppers and added them with the chorizo under the skin and then used the peppers with garlic and lemon on top of the skin. The garlic mash was a layer of colour and flavour I added to this food canvas and works brilliantly with chicken.

So this is my culinary interpretation of a Picasso’s chicken. Remember … we are all artists in our own right and we must remember to draw inspiration from the canvas of life. Carpe diem!

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Tips for char grilling peppers

Oven: Preheat the grill. Half your peppers and coat with olive oil. Place the peppers skin side-up under the grill. Grill until the skin is blackened. Place the charred peppers into a plastic bag and allow to sweat. Remove the skin filament from the peppers ( I love to keep the skin on).

To grill: over a gas hob: Using a tong (or long braai tong) hold the peppers over the open flame until blackened. Place directly on the hob and rotate over the open flame occasionally. Put in bag to sweat. Remove skin.
Preserve: Add the peppers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to a jar. Leave in closed jar in fridge. Delicious on sandwiches – try it on toast too!

picasso's chicken
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Chicken and marinade
  • 1.3 kg chicken spatchcocked and cut in half
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Sedgwick’s Old Brown Sherry
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1tsp salt (use smoked salt if you have)
  • 1tsp milled black pepper
  • Chorizo Stuffing
  • ½ onion, chopped into small blocks
  • ½ Tbsp butter
  • 100g chorizo, sliced into small blocks
  • 1tsp fresh origanum, chiffonade
  • ½ red char grilled pepper, chopped with skin (see below tips how to char grill a pepper)
  • Wet smoky pepper rub
  • 2½ red char grilled peppers, chopped with skin on
  • 2 tsp fresh origanum, chiffonade
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp lemon rind, grated
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt (use smoked salt if you have)
  • ½ tsp milled black pepper
Instructions
  1. Marinade - Mix all the marinade ingredients together and rub into chicken and marinade for about 1 hour. Set aside. Turn a few times.
  2. Chorizo stuffing - Fry the onion in the butter until translucent.
  3. Add to all the other ingredients. Don’t fry the chorizo, we want it to cook underneath the skin so the fat can seep in and flavour the chicken. Set aside.
  4. Wet smoky pepper rub - Blitz all the ingredients together to a pulp. Set aside.
  5. Basting, stuffing and roasting the chicken
  6. Chicken - Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.
  7. Take the marinated chicken and loosen the skin carefully with your fingers – as far as you can down the thigh and wing as well. Stuff the chorizo mixture under the skin. Take toothpicks and fasten the sides. We don’t want the stuffing to fall out or to lose the flavour of the chorizo fat.
  8. Then generously pour the wet rub over the chicken. Make sure the whole chicken is covered.
  9. Roast for 40 minutes until cooked through. The juices must run clear.
  10. Remove the cooked chicken from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving into portions.

 
garlic mash
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 650 g boiled potatoes, skinned and passed through a potato press
  • ¾ cup milk, warmed-up
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Cook the potatoes and mash. Add the milk and salt.
  2. Fry the garlic in the butter – wait for the butter just to start to discolour then add it piping hot to the mash. The garlic must just slightly brown and crisp up – not burn. Mix through and taste for seasoning.
  3. Serve immediately.

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the universe + marcus wareing

the universe + marcus wareing

Doing what I do best is lying in my sun-kissed bed on a Saturday…with a gorgeous chef…

This past Saturday I was in bed with Marcus Wareing … paging through some of his recipe books. He is an adventurous and genius chef. I decided to cook for Marcus and do my best to impress him with something cheffy and spectacular, you know, something out of this world …almost cosmic.

{This recipe was inspired by an ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #7 competition}

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So I set about recreating a culinary universe. The deep red tomato passata casts a nebula cloud, the rice and Gruyere ball is the moon whilst the bacon soil reflects the milky way of stars. The braised leeks are shooting stars falling from a distant galaxy and the butternut terrine is representing my layered personality all tightly packed into a cube of energy, shaped by the forces swirling around it. The tomato passata, bacon and thyme tie everything together into an alluring stream of cosmic energy and intrigue. Marcus, I made your butternut terrine but made it my own with burnt butter, cooked bacon fat and thyme.

I am always amazed what you can do with the simplest of ingredients. With just rice, butternut, leeks, tomatoes, thyme and bread – I created the universe. Who would have thought it Marcus?

Tips for making bread crumbs without a food processor
Put slices of bread (fresh or stale) on a rack and put it in the sun for an hour or two.
Then great it with a grater or just rub it between your hands – it will crumble easily.
Keep in an airtight container.
Breadcrumbs freeze very well.

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bacon soil
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 250g bacon, finely sliced into small cubes
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Fry the bacon on high heat until crispy.
  2. Put on a paper towel to drain and set aside.
  3. Keep the cooked bacon fat. We are using it in the butternut terrine.

 
butternut terrine
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 350 g butternut top, thinly sliced with mandoline slicer
  • 2 Tbsp cooked bacon fat
  • 80g butter
  • 3 big twigs of thyme
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven 180 °C.
  2. Place the butter, thyme and bacon fat in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Allow the butter to turn a slightly brown colour and the thyme to infuse. Pass through a sieve.
  3. Layer the butternut in a silicone baking dish approximately 6cm x 15 cm, brushing each layer with melted butter and a sprinkle of salt.
  4. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, pressing down 4 times throughout the baking process, then remove and chill in the fridge. When completely cool, cut into small cubes.

 
gruyere balls
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup Spekko rice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 20g Gruyere cheese, finely grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Bread crumbs – add some seasoning in the crumbs
  • Oil for deep frying
Instructions
  1. Cook the rice as per packet instruction but stir regularly when cooking. You want mushy/ sticky consistency (you don’t want fluffy rice). If need be add more water. Set aside to cool down.
  2. Roll the parmesan cheese into 12 small grape size balls.
  3. Take the rice and form a ball. Add a Parmesan ball in the middle.
  4. Roll in egg and then in bread crumbs.
  5. Deep fry until golden brown.

 
tomato passata
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 can PnP chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 big sprig of thyme
  • ¾ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients in small pot and simmer 15 - 20 minutes until thick consistency.
  2. Taste for seasoning.
  3. Pass through a sieve and set aside.

 
braised leeks
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large leek, peeled and cut in two and then halved length ways
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 tsp wine vinegar
  • 50 ml chicken stock (I used NoMU)
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter in a frying pan, add the leeks and thyme and braise for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the vinegar and stock cook for another 10 minutes.

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his and hers breakfast . french toast with figs + pomegranate + white chocolate ganache

his and hers breakfast . french toast with figs + pomegranate + white chocolate ganache

“Heaven … I am in heaven’’ … white chocolates, cream, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Combine some of these ingredients with classic French toast made from homemade bread and you may have to see a cardiologist after this yin and yang breakfast :-)! I used so much cream, chocolate, port, butter – all the no-no‘s of healthy eating but oh boy, did this taste like heaven!

{This delicious recipe was inspired by an ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #6 competition.}

french toast with figs,  pomegranate and white chocolate ganache

For this “his and hers” breakfast, I made something savoury and sweet. I used the French toast as a mutual vehicle for the two different dishes. I added figs, pomegranates, port and some basil mint that freshens and elevates both dishes (proudly out of my garden). The figs and pomegranates work brilliantly with the chicken livers (part of my have to use list) – they offset the bitterness you often find in livers and give it a crunchy texture. “Tannie Ina se bottel tomato and basil pasta sous” helped in creating a lovely rich creamy tomato sauce for the livers. And who will say no to white chocolate, figs and pomegranates?

Sometimes your kitchen is begging you to be adventurous, try crazy combinations, eat rich food and have fun – live, cook, share, laugh … life is short!

french toast with figs,  pomegranate and white chocolate ganache

french toast with figs,  pomegranate and white chocolate ganache

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french toast with figs,  pomegranate and white chocolate ganache

chicken liver

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Tips for poaching a perfect egg

Use fresh eggs at room temperature.
Add vinegar to simmering (not boiling) water.
Slowly submerse the whole egg with shell in the simmering water for 10 seconds before you break it. This ensures the whites on the outside of the egg hold together better during poaching.
Give the water a stir – it forms a whirlpool with the centrifugal force keeping the form of the egg together
Break the egg in a ramekin before you slide (not throw!) the egg into the whirlpool.
Simmer for 2 minutes.

homemade bread
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 320 ml tepid water
  • 1 packet dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 500 g flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix the water, yeast and sugar together, mix and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the olive oil to the mixture and stir.
  3. Add the flour and salt and knead for 5 – 10 minutes into a smooth dough.
  4. Let it rise in a warm spot for an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 190 ºC.
  6. Punch down and form dough into a loaf and set in buttered bread pan.
  7. Cover and let it rise for 30 mins.
  8. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes till golden brown.
  9. To test if it’s ready, tap the base of the loaf – it should sound hollow.

 
french toast
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 thick slices of bread
  • 300 ml cream
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ Tbsp butter for frying
Instructions
  1. Beat the eggs, cream and salt together.
  2. Pour over the slices of bread and let is soak for about 15 min.
  3. Heat a non-stick pan, add the butter and fry the bread until golden brown on both sides.

 
french toast with figs + pomegranate + white chocolate ganache
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Figs
  • 6 figs
  • 2 Tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp Robertsons cinnamon
  • ¼ cup port or sherry
  • 1tsp butter
  • White Chocolate Ganache
  • ⅓ cup cream
  • 80 g white chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • One large pinch of Robertsons cayenne pepper
  • To assemble
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranates
  • 1 tsp basil mint, chiffonade (you can replace this with mint)
Instructions
  1. Figs - Preheat oven to 170 ºC.
  2. Cut a cross on the top of each fig and push from the bottom so that the fig forms a flower. Pack in a small baking tray.
  3. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and add a tsp sugar on top of each fig.
  4. Add the port and butter to the tray and bake for 30 mins.
  5. Take out of oven and baste the figs with the thick sauce that formed.
  6. Ganache - Heat the cream and cayenne pepper in a pot until boiling.
  7. Take of the heat. Add the chocolate and stir till it forms a ganache.
  8. To assemble - Scoop chocolate ganache over the French toast and top with basted figs, pomegranates and basil mint.

 
french toast with chicken livers + figs + pomegranate
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Chicken livers
  • ½ Tbsp butter
  • 200g chicken livers
  • 1 Tbsp port or sherry + 2 Tbsp
  • 1 bottle Ina Paarman Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 1tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp Robertsons cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch of Robertsons cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 2 figs, chopped into small blocks
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranates
  • Salt
  • Milled black pepper
  • 2 eggs, poached
  • To assemble
  • 1 fig, sliced in 6 pieces length ways
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranates
  • ½ tsp basil mint, chiffonade (you can replace this with mint)
Instructions
  1. Chicken livers - Heat the butter in a non-stick pan on high.
  2. Add the livers and sauté quickly till brown on both sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp port and sauté until the port has evaporated.
  4. Take livers out and set aside. The livers must not be completely cooked.
  5. In the same pan add all the ingredients except the cream, figs and pomegranates . Simmer for 5 minutes to a thicker consistency.
  6. Add the cream and stir through.
  7. Add the livers, figs, pomegranate pips and heat through.
  8. Taste for seasoning.
  9. To assemble - Add livers on top of the French toast, top it with the poached egg, some sliced figs, pomegranates and basil mint.

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amarula spoons – simple seduction spoon by tempting spoon

amarula spoons – simple seduction spoon by tempting spoon

Amarula, dark chocolate, almonds, pears … These ingredients are the shortest route to seducing my husband in the foodie sense, taste bud for taste bud. I wanted to make something that he could pop into his mouth and then eat the whole dessert. Something I could serve him on a cold winters’ night in front of the fire. I set about making some devious plans 🙂

{his delicious recipe was inspired by an ingredient list (see list + rules at bottom of this post) I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #5 competition..}

Watch me make this by clicking here.

amarula spoon

I created an edible spoon from almond brittle, then painted the inside of the spoon with the dark chocolate, topped it with the creamiest Amarula ice cream and squared it off with blocks of pear compote.

Ladies and gentlemen, all I can say is that this is just devilishly delicious. There is this subtle decadence that just gives way to this lingering seduction of flavours, spoon by tempting spoon.

Postscript: The next day I got a bunch of sunflowers (my best!), a wink and a smile and five second-hand recipe books (my husband knows how much I love them). One of the books he brought back for me was a real gem: “The Ark” with a foreword written by *drum roll* the one and only James Beard! #happiness

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Tips for making Amarula spoons
1. If you don’t have a spoon mould just make your brittle on a big baking tray, flatten it, once cooled break it into big pieces.
2. You can always use less butter if you like – the less you use the clearer and harder the toffee will be.
3. If you don’t have almonds you can use any other nuts.
4. Use a melon scoop to make the small balls of ice cream.
5. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pop the custard overnight in the fridge and use – it is thick enough to sit on the spoon.

amarula spoons – simple seduction spoon by tempting spoon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 spoons
Ingredients
  • Amarula Ice Cream
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup Amarula
  • pinch of salt
  • Almond brittle spoons
  • 4 tbsp water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 70g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup PnP blanched almonds, toasted
  • 50g dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • Silicone spoon mould (I bought the silicone spoon mould from Banks)
  • Pear compote
  • 150 g unpeeled Forelle pear, sliced into small blocks (retain some of the red of the skin for serving)
  • 70 g sugar
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Ice Cream - Beat egg yolks and sugar together until fluffy.
  2. Heat the Amarula, cream and salt. Do not let it boil.
  3. Add the Amarula mixture slowly to the egg mixture - stirring briskly throughout the entire process.
  4. Place over a double boiler, stirring continuously until you have a mixture that is of a custard consistency. Set-aside and allow to cool down.
  5. Process through your ice cream machine until set.
  6. Almond brittle spoons - Add the sugar and water in a pan and cook until the sugar has dissolved.
  7. Add the butter and salt and cook until it reaches the hard-crack stage, or 300ºC on a candy thermometer. The mixture needs to have a deep golden colour.
  8. Stir in the almonds and pour the mixture into the spoon silicone mould. With a metal spatula smooth the top of the mould and scrape off all the excess mixture from the mould. Set aside to cool.
  9. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.
  10. Remove the spoons from the mould and paint the inside of the spoon with the melted chocolate.
  11. Place the spoons immediately into an airtight container until needed.
  12. Pear Compote - Put all your ingredients in a small pot and let it simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes. The pears must be translucent but not mushy; they should still retain some firm shape but with a thick, syrupy reduced consistency. Put aside to cool down.
  13. To assemble - Add a small, marble sized dollop of ice-cream to each spoon.
  14. Add a few blocks of the pear compote and finish off with a few shavings of fresh raw pear skin.
  15. Tips for making Amarula spoons
  16. If you don’t have a spoon mould just make your brittle on a big baking tray, flatten it, once cooled beak it into big pieces.
  17. You can always use less butter if you like – the less you use the clearer and harder the toffee will be.
  18. If you don’t have almonds you can use any other nuts.
  19. Use a melon scoop to make the small balls of ice cream.

Ingredients + Rules for challenge #5
Amarula
Dark chocolate
Pears
Cream Crackers
Blanched almonds

You may omit one ingredient – except the Amarula – from the list above.
You may add one ingredient of  your choice from the food aisles of PnP
Your dish must  must feature a custard-based recipe.
You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, whole-wheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs, Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)

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duo homemade samoosas

duo homemade samoosas

This delicious recipe was inspired by a very interesting ingredient list (see list + rules at bottom of this post) I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #4 competition.

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I always wanted to make my own samoosas from scratch. The pastry + the stuffing + the folding…everything! This is what I did this week … the pilchards + beans made perfect samoosa fillings. Looking back at this amusing and time consuming exercise, the toil paid off with its own self-satisfying rewards. I learnt so much. I must confess it took me more than some time to perfect the dough-making method. After all was said and done, I looked like some kitchen drifting poltergeist all covered in flour, dough and shrapnel’s of samoosa pastry.

But … OMG I am proud of these little triangular pastry parcels – they may not be perfect in shape, nor do they have a perfectly smooth outer layer. Deep fried they look like they may have picked up a case of the measles, but let me tell you they are light, crispy and so yummy. The pilchards were hot + morish and the beans and feta were delightfully scrumptious.

home made samosa

On top of it all I decided to try the dark lighting method to shoot the samoosas (this was my first attempt) – this took another few hours but I am really proud of the outcome of my photographs. All in all it proved to be such an interesting exercise culminating in fabulous samoosas and a very contented blogger.

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Tips for making samoosas
Take your time and be patient :-).
Use a paella pan to heat the dough for the pur separation process.
If you don’t feel like making the dough you can use spring roll wrappers.
You can replace ghee with oil.
For a healthier option – bake the samoosas.
For exceptional Indian recipes – Indian Delights by Zuleikha Mayat (ISBN 062005688-6)

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duo homemade samoosas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Samosa Dough + Pur (the samosa pastry ready for filling)
  • 2 cups flour, sifted
  • 1tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp ghee, melted
  • ⅔ cups water
  • Extra flour for making the pur
  • Extra melted ghee for making the pur
  • Flour and water, mixed
  • Bean + feta filling
  • 1Tbsp lemon infused olive oil
  • ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 50g onions, chopped
  • 50g green beans, blanched and diced
  • 50g brown rice, cooked
  • 100g PnP Feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt
  • Milled lemon black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • Pilchard filling
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp chilli flakes
  • 2-3 tsp “Father in Law” masala or medium hot masala
  • 4 fresh curry leaves
  • 100g onion, chopped
  • 100g cabbage, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato juice (from the sardine can)
  • 2 (100g) pilchards (from the sardine can)
  • Salt
  • Milled black pepper
  • 2Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Instructions
  1. Dough + pur method - Mix flour, salt and the roasted cumin seeds together.
  2. Add the ghee and mix well with the tip of your fingers.
  3. Add the water and knead into smooth dough.
  4. Set aside for 30 min to rest.
  5. Divide dough into 10 “ping pong” sized balls – +- 4cm.
  6. Roll each ball into 6-8 cm diameter round disc.
  7. Place 5 disks on top of each other after brushing both sides with ghee and sprinkle flour between them. Only the bottom of the bottom disk and the top of the top disk should be ungreased. Do the same with the other 5 discs.
  8. Roll out one pile into a large 30 cm round disc.
  9. Cut into a rectangular shape.
  10. Heat an ungreased plate, place the disc on the plate and let it heat up for a few seconds until the sheet changes in colour (not brown) – turn the sheet over – heat and then remove from the flame – this will separate the sheets.
  11. Do the same with the second pile.
  12. When cool trim the pur into two-inch strips, separate the sheets and use these for your samosas.
  13. Method for fish filling - Heat the oil on medium heat, add all the spices and cook for 2 minutes.
  14. Add the onions and cabbage and fry till translucent.
  15. Add the tomato juice and pilchards and mix well. Cook for a minute or two.
  16. Season with salt and pepper.
  17. Lastly add the fresh coriander.
  18. Bean and feta filling method - Heat the olive oil and add the mustard, cumin and chilli flakes. Fry for 2 minutes.
  19. Add the onions and fry till translucent.
  20. Add the green beans, brown rice and feta cheese – mix well.
  21. Season with salt and pepper.
  22. Lastly add the fresh coriander.
  23. Samoosa folding and frying - Mix a bit of flour and water together and smear on the sides of the pur. It acts as “glue” for the pastry.
  24. Place a teaspoon of the filling mixture at one end of the pur strip, leaving a 1cm border.
  25. Take the right corner and fold diagonally to the left, enclosing the filling and forming a triangle.
  26. Fold again along the upper crease of the triangle. Keep folding in this way until you reach the end of the strip.
  27. Fry in batches at 180 ºC until golden brown.

Samosas-6

image from xawaash.com

Samosas-5

image from xawaash.com

Ingredients + Rules for challenge #4

1 x 400g tin Lucky Star Pilchards
1 medium cabbage
1 small packet of brown rice
1 packet of green beans
250 g Pnp feta

You must use all the ingredients in the above list.
You may add two fresh ingredients.
You may add any spices of your choice.
Your dish must be cooked on the stovetop. You may not use the oven.
You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, whole-wheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs, Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)

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hot mexican burger

hot mexican burger

Pick n Pay freshlyblogged challenge #3

This delicious recipe was inspired by a very interesting ingredient list (see list below) I received from Pick n Pay for their #freshlyblogged competition.

hot mexican burger

The other day I visited San Julian restaurant in the heart of Cape Town. There the chef showed us how to make real tortillas using fresh white corn. Hello!! …they make them fresh every single day in the restaurant (*bow down). My mouth literally hung open when they showed us – it is so simple, so fantastically authentic and made by real Mexicans! Checking out this week’s ingredients my first thought when seeing the maize meal was to use this along with corn kernels as the base of a Mexican style burger. I added paprika, lime zest and dried chillies to the ostrich meat – it turned out to taste like spicy chorizo sausage! I was quite surprised but very happy I must add. I used the wine and hot chutney to make a basting for the burgers and to round of the dish I made a simple, lime infused guacamole. I loved all the Mexican flavours – they are so simple, so uncomplicated but burst in your mouth like in a plethora of vibrant taste sensations.

Ingredients for challenge #3
Drostdy-Hof Pinotage
500g maize meal
500g ostrich sausage
1 punnet of waterblommetjies /green beans
PnP Chutney of your choice
250g PnP mixed dried fruit

Rules for challenge #3
You may omit one ingredient (except the Drostdy-Hof Pinotage) from the above list.
You may add three spices.
You may add three fresh ingredients.
Some part of the dish must be cooked over the coals(pictorial proof of said cooking method is required).

You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, wholewheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs, Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)

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hot mexican burger
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Corn “bun”
  • 2⅔ cups (660ml) water
  • 2 mielies (corn on the cob), the corn needs to be sliced from the cob
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
  • ¾ cup (180ml) maize meal
  • 1 ½ tbsp (22.5ml) butter
  • Basting
  • ½ cup (125ml) Drostdy-Hof Pinotage
  • ½ cup (125ml) PnP Hot Chutney
  • Burger patty
  • 400 g Ostrich sausage, remove the sausage meat from its casing
  • 2 tsp (10ml) paprika
  • 1 tsp (5ml) chilli flakes
  • zest of 2 limes
  • Guacamole
  • 50g green beans
  • 2 ripe avocados, crushed
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1tsp (5ml) chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp (3ml) salt
Instructions
  1. Corn bun - Bring the water, corn and salt to the boil. Add the maize meal and mix well. Turn the heat down and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. Add the butter and mix through. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Lightly oil a 20 cm x 20 cm dish with some olive oil. Scrape the porridge into the dish and flatten with spoon. Set aside to firm-up (about 45 min will do).
  3. Cut 4 circles out of the porridge to use as your bun. Set aside.
  4. When the corn patties are ready to use, heat them on the fire.
  5. Basting - Pour the wine and chutney into a small pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Guacamole - Cook the green beans for 10 min and slice thinly.
  7. Mix with avocado, lime, chilli and salt. Taste for seasoning.
  8. Ostrich burger patty - Mix the sausage meat, paprika, chilli and zest together. Making sure you mix this well. Shape to form 4 x 100g patties.
  9. Place the meat patties on the fire and braai for +-10 minutes (see tips for braaiing below). Baste with basting sauce every time you turn around.
  10. To assemble - Place the corn bun onto a plate or serving dish, add the patty and then add a dollop or two of guacamole. Sprinkle with chilli flakes and a few green beans.
  11. Tips for braaiing burgers over the coals - You need hot coals.
  12. The grid must be positioned about 10cm above the coals.
  13. Lightly oil your burger patties on both sides before you put them in the grid.
  14. Use a grid that you can turn around for the patties. It makes life much easier.
  15. Braai for a total of 4-5 mins on each side.

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ragù with potato + carrot crush = pick n pay freshlyblogged challenge #2

ragù with potato + carrot crush = pick n pay freshlyblogged challenge #2

Pick n Pay freshlyblogged challenge #2

This delicios recipe was inspired by a very interesting ingredient list (see list below) I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged competition. See list of ingredients and rules below.

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As a family, when I was growing up we used to eat “mince and pasta” every Saturday. You see we used to have dishes for Monday, Tuesday etc. and this was our Saturday dish. So l decided last Saturday that I wanted to make a ragù with the beef shin and I replaced the pasta with carrot and potato crush. I also added fresh parsley to the ragù and the crush for that fresh Italian originality. This crush with pepper and butter was also something I grew up with during my childhood. I remember it was one of my dads’ favourite dishes – he loved to scoop it onto his plate while it was still piping hot. He always added that extra bit of butter and a pinch more black pepper. He was so in my thoughts when I made this dish. You would have loved it dad… today I missed you so much. Love always…

ragu

Ingredient List and rules for challenge #2
1 Knorr beef stock pot
1 Block of beef suet
1 Punnet PnP Soup Mix (containing one potato, one carrot, one celery stalk)
500g Beef Shin
PnP star anise
PnP white wine vinegar

Rules
You may omit one ingredient (except the 1 Knorr Beef Stock Pot) from the above list.
You may add two fresh ingredients (fruit, vegetables or herbs)
You may add one grocery item.
You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, wholewheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs, Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)

ragu

 

 

ragù with potato + carrot crush = pick n pay freshlyblogged challenge #2
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Ragù
  • 2Tbsp (30ml) Atora shredded suet
  • 1Tbsp (15ml) Olive Oil
  • 350g Boneless beef shin, cut into small blocks
  • ½ Cup (50g) Carrots, cut into very small blocks
  • ½ Cup (50g) Celery, sliced finely
  • 1Tbsp (15ml) White wine vinegar
  • 1 Cup (250ml) Water
  • 1 Beef stock pot
  • ½ Cup (125ml) Milk
  • 600g Ripe red tomatoes grated
  • Salt
  • Milled black pepper
  • 3Tbsp (45ml) Parsley coarsely chopped
  • Potato and carrot crush
  • 1 Cup (150g) Potato, cut into blocks
  • 1 Cup (150g) Carrot, cut into blocks - cut potatoes and carrots in the same size blocks so they can cook evenly
  • 1 ½ Tbsp (22.5 ml) Butter
  • 1Tbsp (15ml) Parsley coarsely chopped
  • ⅛ tsp (0.6 ml) Salt
  • Big pinch of milled black pepper
  • To serve
  • Olive oil
  • ½ Tomato, deseeded and chopped into small blocks
  • Parmesan cheese to serve
Instructions
  1. Ragù - Heat the suet and olive oil in a pot. Add the beef and sauté over medium heat until brown. Take the meat out of the pot and set aside.
  2. Add the carrots and celery into the same pot and cook gently for two minutes.
  3. Transfer the beef back in the pot and add the water, vinegar and stock pot. Cook stirring occasionally, until all the water has evaporated.
  4. Add the milk and cook until the milk has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
  5. Next add the grated tomatoes and stir well. When the pot starts to bubble turn down the heat to the very lowest so the ragù can cook at a simmer.
  6. Cook uncovered for a minimum of 1 ½ hours stirring occasionally. If it starts to reduce too much add little water and continue to cook. When cooked taste and correct the seasoning.
  7. Add the parsley to the sauce, stir and serve over the potato mash.
  8. Potato and carrot crush - Boil carrots and potatoes together till cooked.
  9. Crush with a fork – this is not mash so we don’t want it fine like mash.
  10. Add the rest of the ingredients – mix well and serve hot with ragù.
  11. To serve - drizzle with good olive oil add some parmesan shavings and finally add the chopped tomato blocks and a few extra sprigs of parsley.

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pick n pay freshlyblogged challenge #1 = asian frittata with pineapple-ginger-mint salsa

pick n pay freshlyblogged challenge #1 = asian frittata with pineapple-ginger-mint salsa

Pick n Pay freshlyblogged challenge #1

This recipe was inspired by a very interesting ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged competition. See details below.

Asian Frittata

When I saw the ingredients (see ingredient list and rules of this week’s challenge below) my mind went straight to Phuket – the delicious Asian cuisine and the warm sultry beaches. So for my main dish I decided to make an Asian frittata with Asian vegetables and noodles laced with subtle traces of garlic and coriander and serve it with a pineapple salsa. Frittata is Italian for omelette but this specific dish blends the very aromatic flavours of the East with the charismatic cooking methods of the Italians. It is simple and timeless – you can have this for breakfast, lunch or supper. But I think what truly lifts this dish from the ordinary to something quite special is the addition of fresh mint to the frittata and salsa. My neighbour of many years, Poppy was married to an Italian and she taught me how to use mint in a whole variety of dishes – even roasted chicken!

The pineapple was marinated in orange juice, ginger, orange zest and mint. The ginger gives a bit of heat to the dish and the mint binds the two dishes together into a marriage of fresh flavours. It’s absolutely delicious, filling and refreshing.

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Ingredient list and rules for this week’s challenge
2 packets (500g each) Findus Wok Thai vegetables
1 roll (500g) PnP phyllo pastry
PnP cook additions crushed garlic, ginger and dhania paste
PnP 2-minute noodles (any flavour of your choice)
1 orange
1 pineapple
And before you get cooking, don’t forget the all-important fine print:

Rules
You may omit one ingredient (except the Findus Wok Thai vegetables) from the above list.
You may add one ingredient of your choice.
The dish must be vegetarian.
You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil,Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, wholewheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs,Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)

Asian Frittata

Asian Frittata

 

asian frittata with pineapple-ginger-mint salsa
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 light lunch
Ingredients
  • Noodles
  • 75gms (1 packet) Instant Noodles – mushroom flavour
  • Vegetables
  • 1Tbsp (15ml) Vegetable oil
  • 500g (one packet) Findus Wok Thai vegetables
  • 1Tbsp (15ml) Coriander paste
  • 2 tsp (10ml) Garlic paste
  • 2Tbsp (15ml) Fresh mint, chopped
  • Salt
  • Milled black pepper
  • Egg mixture
  • 10 Eggs
  • ½ tsp (3ml) salt
  • Knob of butter
  • Salsa
  • 300g Pineapple – peeled and cored
  • 2Tbsp (30ml) Orange juice
  • ½ tsp (3ml) Orange zest
  • ½ tsp (3ml) Ginger crushed
  • 2tsp (10ml) Fresh mint, chopped
  • Notes
  • Frying pan size – 26 or 30 cm.
  • If you don’t have the right size frying pan – divide your mixture in two and make two frittatas.
  • If can use a non-stick frying pan.
  • If you don’t have a non stick frying pan butter the sides of the pan as well.
Instructions
  1. Frittata- Prepare the instant noodles as per packet instruction. Put it in a sieve to strain. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat and add the frozen vegetables.
  3. Add the coriander and garlic paste to the vegetables and stir fry for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the fresh mint and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the salt, stir fried vegetables and the drained noodles. Mix well with spoon.
  6. Melt the butter in a frying pan. When it starts to foam add the egg mixture. Turn the heat to low and let it cook gently for 12 minutes. The top should still be slightly runny.
  7. Preheat a grill. Pop the frittata in for only a minute or two. It must just set.
  8. Put your palette knife underneath the frittata to free it from the pan. Slide onto warm plate and serve with the pineapple salsa.
  9. Salsa- Cut the pineapple in small blocks and add the orange juice, orange zest, ginger and fresh mint. Allow it to marinade for a few minutes.
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