Category Archives: Vegetables

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

#lowcarb Italian feast with #shareGalbani

gioie della tavola – the joys of the table

Italian Meatballs #lowcarb

The Italians know best when it comes to food and family. As a nation, their history, their customs and their love of family seems to have been forged around the dinner table. There is something so unique and so special about their traditions that I often feel that somewhere in my heritage or a previous life I must have been part Italian. When it comes to food, there is simply nothing better than sitting around a table with friends or family sharing a day filled with good food and wine – just like the Italians do.

Family

Being on low-carb food regimen (…yes we are still going strong), you may think that preparing an Italian feast may prove a little tricky with all the pasta, gnocchi, bread and the likes. But as I gleefully found out that with the right cheese in hand and a touch of creativity, you can make a three course feast that is as good as any Italian mamma’s lunch.

Low-carb pizza
For starters, I had to create something that in a way imitated bread or pizza. I made a low carb base from cauliflower topped with generous pieces of Galbani’s fresh mozzarella. The cauliflower base was both crispy and extra cheesy, and the topping of salty pancetta mixed with the scented basil provided the perfect ‘antipasto’ for my Italian feast. Click here for how to video!

Low carb pizza

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
Moving onto the main dish, I know that nothing beats a good, homemade Italian meatball served on a bed of pasta. I added grated Galbani mozzarella cheese to the meatballs. Instead of pasta I replaced this with zoodles. For those not in the know – and watching their waistline, zoodles are uncooked strips of zucchini and the perfect healthy replacement for pasta. Just ask your local supermarket for a supply as most stock them these days.

Low carb spaghetti and meatballs

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
For dessert I kept it simple with whole pears and figs poached in a cinnamon and vanilla syrup. I flavoured the Galbani mascarpone with a dash of lemon juice. The fresh fruit paired brilliantly with the lemony mascarpone; it was subtle yet a little tangy.

Pears-and-figs-with-lemon-scented-mascarpone

It was a special and delightful kind of feast…and such a beautiful way to celebrate with friends and familia.

Saluti.

Low-carb pizza
(makes three small pizzas)
800 g cauliflower
3 large eggs
30 ml parsley chopped
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani mozzarella cheese, grated
75 ml (+- 1/3 cup) parmesan, grated
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml ground black pepper
9 slices pancetta, crispy fried
250 ml (1 cup) Galbani fresh mozzarella, torn
15 tomatoes on the vine
olive oil
handful fresh basil
handful rocket
maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Chop cauliflower up in smaller pieces and blitz into a “rice” like texture in the food processor. Place cauliflower into a big bowl and cook (uncovered) in the microwave for 10-12 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. Once cooked, allow to cool for a few minutes. Scoop cauliflower into a cheesecloth or clean dishtowel and squeeze as much liquid out as possible. The more liquid you get out, the crispier the pizza base will be. Put the cauliflower back into the bowl and add the eggs, parsley, grated mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper and mix well. Divide mixture in three to form three basis. Pat dough down into a baking pan on a sheet of baking paper. Make sure not to make your bases too thin. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.
Take out and add the pancetta, mozzarella and tomatoes. Pop it back into the oven for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Give it a good drizzle of olive oil and finish with some basil, rocket and maldon salt.

Cheesy meatballs with tomato sauce
Meatballs
500 g mince
1 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
170 ml (2/3 cup) Galbani mozzarella, grated
1 egg
handful of finely chopped parsley
1 garlic clove, grated
5 ml salt
2.5 ml pepper
5 ml psyllium husks (you find this at any good grocery store)
Tomato sauce
200 ml extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, whole
handful fresh basil
900 g Rosa tomatoes
salt
black pepper
Zoodles
500 g courgette noodles, cooked as per packet instruction (I prefer it raw)
olive oil
handful of Galbani mozzarella, grated

Mix all the meatball ingredients very well together, form into golf ball sizes. Set aside
Add the olive oil, garlic and basil leaves to a large pan. Heat very slowly on low-medium heat – we want to infuse the oil with the garlic and basil. Infuse for about 5 minutes –don’t burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, turn up the heat to about medium high and cook for +- 20 minutes without the lid. You will see the tomatoes will start to burst open and infuse with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Add the meatballs and cook another 20 minutes or until done. Stir carefully now and then but don’t break meatballs. Scoop courgette noodles in a large serving bowl and top with the meatballs and sauce, finish with a drizzle of olive oil and grated mozzarella.

Pears and figs with honey and lemon scented mascarpone
3 lemons, zested and juiced
250 ml honey
3 cinnamon sticks
seeds of one vanilla pod
1 L water
6 pears, skin on
18 small fresh figs, skin on
250 ml Galbani mascarpone
pinch of salt

Place the lemon zest, honey and cinnamon sticks, vanilla seeds and water in a pot and bring to boil. Add the whole pears to the boiling liquid and turn down to simmer. Let it poach until the pears are soft (about 45 minutes). Switch off the heat. Add the figs for only three minutes to the hot liquid. Transfer the fruit into a serving bowl. Continue cooking the liquid until a thin syrup. Discard the spices and pour over the figs and pears. Mix the mascarpone, the juice of the three lemons and salt together (I used all the juice, but taste till you like the it). Serve dollops on the fruit.

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tuna-poke-bakkies + salm-poke-bakkies

tuna-poke-bakkies + salm-poke-bakkies

Tuna Poke bowlAloha! Ek sien elke jaar verskriklik uit na wat volgende die koswêreld gaan laat gons. Die afgelope paar jaar het gefermenteerde kos, piekels en askos (kos wat op kole of met kole gemaak word) hoogty gevier. Julle wonder seker oor 2017… Wel, haal uit die hoela-hoeps en druk julle tone in die sand. Vanjaar kom die grootste kostendens, poke-bakkies, van die tropiese eiland Hawaii.
Poke-bakkies
Poke (uitgespreek as poh-keh) beteken nie die ‘poke’ wat vieslike vreemde mans op jou Facebook-blad doen of ‘n wrede gekafoefelry nie. Poke is ‘n Hawaiiese werkwoord wat ‘om te sny of te kap’ beteken. Eeue oue poke-bakkies bestaan uit gemarineerde blokkies rou seekos soos tuna, salm of seekat wat dan op rys in bakkies bedien word. Mense, dié unieke gereg is my soort kos, maar my vol nonsens, vleis, rys en aartappels Ier wou nie sy mond aan my ge-poke-ery sit nie. Ja, dit vat meer as net ‘n ge-‘poke’ om hom te verlei.
Tuna-poke-bakkies
As jy mooi daarna kyk is poke-bakkies ‘n tipe van gedekonstrueerde soesji. Soos met soesji, is die geheim dat jy die beste kwaliteit vars vis moet gebruik. Dit moet nie visserig ruik nie en jy moet dit so vinnig moontlik ná aankope gebruik. Maak ‘n sojasousmarinade van jou keuse deur byvoorbeeld gemmer, knoffel, koljander en rissies by te voeg. Ek het my vismarinade verder met sesamolie gegeur en gebalanseer met ‘n bietjie rysasyn. Met die rys kan jy ook lekker speel: gebruik gewone rys, soesji-rys, bruinrys of quinoa. Die rys word dan warm saam met die koue vis bedien. Klink miskien vreemd, maar die kontrasterende warm en koud is deksels lekker. Rond af met gerasperde beet en snytjies radyse. Heerlik, vars, voedsaam en gesond.
Salmon poke bowl

Salm-poke-bakkies
Hier het ek ‘n marinade van sojasous, gemmer, wasabi en suurlemoensap gemaak en dit met gerasperde wortels, avokado en babamielies afgerond. Ono!
Ek het nog altyd net van Hawaii gedroom: die warm seewater, die bedwelmende kleurvolle blommekranse, die polsende marimba-musiek en die vars seekos. Gelukkig kan ek nou ‘n stukkie van die droomeiland met ‘n lekker ou poke ervaar.

Stappe om poke-bakkies te maak
1. Kies die bakkies: besluit op die grootte van jou porsies
2. Kies jou basis: witrys, bruinrys, soesji-rys, basmati-rys, quinoa
3. Kies jou proteïen: tuna, salm, seekat, garnale, kammossel
4. Kies jou marinade: sojasous, knoffel, gemmer, sesamolie, rysasyn, rissies, suurlemoensap, wasabi, mayonnaise
5. Kies jou groente: wortels, beet, komkommer, radyse, avokado, sprietuie, uie, babamielies, ertjies
6. Kies jou ander geurmiddels: koljander, sesamsade, rissies, ingelegde gemmer, spruite, mikro-kruie

Tuna-poke-bakkies

Bedien 4
400 g vars tuna
60 ml sojasous
2.5 ml sesamolie
20 ml rysasyn
5 ml gemmer, gerasper
2.5 ml knoffel, gerasper
2.5 ml rissievlokkies
500 ml gaar rys van jou keuse, warm
80 ml rou beet, gerasper
2 radyse, fyn gesny
‘n handvol vars koljander, gekap
sojasous vir bediening

Sny die tuna in blokkies. Meng die sojasous, sesamolie, rysasyn, gemmer, knoffel en rissievlokkies saam. Gooi oor tuna en marineer vir ‘n uur in yskas. Skep ‘n halwe koppie rys in elke bakkie, rangskik die tuna, beet en radyse bo-op. Bedien met vars koljander en meer sojasous langs die kant.

Salm-poke-bakkies
400 g vars salm
60 ml sojasous
5 ml wasabismeer
20 ml suurlemoensap
5 ml gemmer, gerasper
500 ml gaar rys van jou keuse, warm
4 babamielies, gesny
60 ml wortels, gerasper
1 avokado, in blokkies gesny
‘n handvol vars koljander, gekap
sojasous vir bediening

Sny die salm in blokkies. Meng die sojasous, wasabi, suurlemoensap en gemmer saam. Gooi oor die salm en marineer vir ‘n uur in yskas. Skep ‘n halwe koppie rys in elke bakkie, rangskik die salm, babamielies, wortels en avokado bo-op die rys. Bedien met vars koljander en meer sojasous langs die kant.

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#freekeh salad with cherries + mint + cashew nuts

#freekeh salad with cherries + mint + cashew nuts

Freekeh SaladFreekeh is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It is utterly delicious with an earthy, nutty flavour – and has a fantastic bite to it. This salad is salty and sweet with a lovely sweet and sour dressing. You can replace the pomegranate syrup with pomegranate molasses. The fresh cherries are divine with the dish, but figs will also do the thing.

Greenwheat Freekeh can be ordered online at www.thereallyinterestingfoodcompany.com and is available nationwide at various Spars, delis and branches of the Wellness Warehouse.

Freekeh salad with cherries, mint and cashew nuts

200 g freekeh, cooked in salt water as per the packet instruction
2 spring onions, chopped
handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
handful of mint, chopped
15 fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
60 ml cashew nuts
Salad dressing
60 ml olive oil
60 ml pomegranate syrup
30 ml grape vinegar
salt
black pepper

Combine all the salad ingredients in a salad bowl. Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Dress the salad and tuck in.

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trendy + sexy + healthy #potato #salad?

trendy + sexy + healthy #potato #salad?

Potato SaladOne of the biggest food trends over the past few year or so is ‘burnt’ or ‘ash’ food. Yep, you heard right. These terms are given to food that has been cooked on ash – or with ash (i.e. ash butter) and has sometimes a burnt or charred exterior. With this dish, I baked my potatoes first, then I flash burnt them over hot coals. A mixture of cottage cheese, lemon juice and fresh herbs gives this potato salad an austere and rather aristocratic look and flavour.

Flash braaied potato salad with fresh herbs
5 large potatoes
250 g fat free cottage cheese
30 ml chopped parsley
15 ml chopped dill
15 ml chopped basil
15 ml fresh lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil
salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake potatoes for an hour until cooked. On very hot coals flash burn the whole potatoes. Let the potatoes rest directly on the coals – turning occasionally. Mix the cottage cheese, parsley, dill, basil and lemon juice together and paint on a wooden board. Once the potatoes have cooled cut into chunks and place these on top of cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper… and a splash of olive oil.

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three ingredient #banana crumpets with #rum ganache

three ingredient #banana crumpets with #rum ganache

three ingredient banana crumpets

I came across this three ingredient banana crumpet recipe the other day and just had to try it. It so easy – you take two ripe bananas, mash them using the back of the fork, then you add two eggs and 2.5ml of baking powder. The recipe has no flour in it so you have to fry them over low-medium heat in a non-stick pan and turn them very carefully. They also do not have the height of a normal crumpet but let me tell you there is nothing wrong with the taste! It is delicious. And what goes better with bananas than chocolate and rum? Well I decided to quickly make a chocolate & rum ganache and voila! The easiest and most delicious sweet dish I have made this year!

If you like, you can add some cinnamon for extra flavour.

three ingredient banana crumpets

Three ingredient banana crumpets with rum ganache
Makes 15 mini crumpets
2 large ripe bananas, 200g
2 large eggs
2.5 ml baking powder
Mash the banana in a bowl using a fork; add eggs, baking powder and mix the batter. Heat butter in a non-stick pan over low to medium heat. Spoon the batter into the hot butter and cook until bubbles form and the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Turn very carefully and cook until browned on the other side, 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Rum ganache
75 ml cream
100 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
15 ml rum
Place chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place cream in a small pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour the chocolate into the bowl and let stand until chocolate has softened, about 3 minutes. Stir until the ganache has a smooth and silky texture. Lastly, add the rum.

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blue cheese cheesecake with blueberry + port compote

blue cheese cheesecake with blueberry + port compote

If blue cheese is your thing then this stunning cheesecake is definitely something for you! The phyllo pastry is buttery, light, golden and crispy and it is filled with chunks of Président’s creamy blue cheese and their spring onion and chives medium fat cream cheese. When I mention the word Président, I am not referring to JZ…but to the well-known cheese producer, Simonsberg that has been rebranded to Président. The cheeses will still be made locally in the Cape and the taste, quality and price of the products will remain exactly the same.

blue cheese cheesecake

The filling
The base of this delicious treat is made from ricotta and eggs. To season this bake, I added basil (an Ottolenghi inspiration) and some extra freshly sliced spring onion. Do not try to replace the ricotta mix with a cream and eggs – I have tried this and to my frustration it was a complete flop. If you bake it in a quiche tin, then the cream and egg mixture would be fine but I wanted the cheesecake to keep the beautiful shape of the Bundt pan. I also opted to use big chunks of the blue cheese to allow the yummy earthy flavour to come through.

blue cheese cheesecake

_creamy-blue-800

Serve with …
Serve it for brunch, a light supper or as a first course at a dinner party … and of course with a glass of your favourite glass of cold wine. We had it for lunch with a crisp, fresh salad, blue berry compote and fresh blueberries.

Blue berries and blue cheese?
Blue berries have a sharpness that makes them especially good when pairing with blue cheese. A chef in West Vancouver, Canada, Warren Gerghty serves a blue cheese cheesecake on top of brioche and with blue berries simmered in brown sugar and vanilla. My heart! My taste buds said no to the vanilla but a big yes to a dash of our sweet South African port. If you don’t have port you can substitute it with medium dry sherry.

Convenience
You can assemble this dish up to 24 hours ahead and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. You may need to add a few minutes onto the baking time, so watch it closely toward the end. Serve the same day.

blue cheese cheesecake

Tip
Don’t think about baking the dish the day before and then to warm it up for your friends the next day. Please! No, no, no. All the crispness is gone the next day and it also tastes drier. So rather assemble it the previous day and Bake it about two hours before your friends arrive. It needs to cool for a full two hours in the Bundt pan.

blue cheese cheesecake

blue cheese cheese cake

Blue cheese cheesecake with blueberry and port compote
6 phyllo pastry sheets
8 cup Bundt pan
butter, for greasing the pan
300 g Président creamy blue cheese, torn into chunks
100 g Président spring onion and chives medium fat cream cheese
650 g ricotta cheese
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 spring onion, finely sliced
10 g basil (one big handful), chopped
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml black pepper
75 g butter, melted

Heat the oven to 190 °C. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the melted butter. Grease an eight-cup Bundt pan generously with some butter. Drape two sheets of phyllo on top of Bundt pan, poke a hole into the phyllo where centre tube is and push phyllo into pan to line it. Do this with two more sheets placed perpendicular to the first two sheets. Add the last phyllo sheets in this crisscross manner. Edges of phyllo should hang over the edges of the pan. Mix all the other ingredients together except the melted butter. Spoon the ricotta cheese mixture into the pan. Fold edges of the phyllo pastry over the filling. Using a sharp knife, poke about 10 holes in the dough so that it reaches all the way to bottom of pan. Slowly pour the melted butter over the cheesecake; some butter will seep through holes and some will remain on top of dough. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cheesecake is puffy and golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 2 hours before inverting onto a wire rack and slicing. Serve warm with a spring salad and fresh blueberries or with blueberry compote.

Blueberry compote
150 g blueberries
10 g sugar
50 ml port

Simmer all ingredients over low heat for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

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easy #asparagus salad with parmesan cheese

easy #asparagus salad with parmesan cheese

Asparagus salad with parmesan
Cooking the asparagus
Just the other day I bought my first bunch of spring asparagus and quickly put together an asparagus salad. I never boil or steam very thin asparagus. If they are fresh and thin, I simply pour boiling water over the bunch and allow it stand for five to ten minutes. If you have large asparagus boil of steam them until soft. I then immediately plunge these beauties into an ice bath – the result: beautiful, bright, fresh green asparagus – with a scrumptious bite.

Making the salad
Scatter the asparagus on a wooden board and sprinkle with the best olive oil, some fresh lemon juice, roasted seeds and nuts… and to top it off,add finely grate Parmesan cheese. Season with Maldon salt and a few pinches of black pepper. And there you have it… a mouth-watering, seasonal spring salad for the soul.

How to keep your asparagus fresh
Trim the ends if necessary. Fill a jar with a bit of water. Store the asparagus upright in the container. Change the water when it gets cloudy.

Asparagus - keep fresh

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#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

Strawberry Salad

Strawberries are in season…and at the moment they are at their sweetest and most delicious. I was reading the other day about the “not so well known” strawberry combinations and came across nectarines, black pepper and almonds. I decided to make a strawberry carpaccio with feta + naartjie + almonds + black pepper. It is quick, simple and definitely my favourite flavour combination of 2016

The salad
Slice a few strawberries, sprinkle with small pieces of feta, a few almonds, scatter a couple of naartjie segments and sprinkle with course black pepper. For the final touch, I added fresh mint leaves. You will not need a salad dressing – the juiciness of the strawberries and the juice of the naartjie is a built-in ‘salad dressing’.

It’s so simple but the salt and sweet …and then that pepper tang is a perfect combination and a perfect lunch – to be washed down with a glass of bubbly of course. What better way to celebrate Spring?

Strawberries- Anel Potgieter

Strawberry Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market
This Saturday strawberry season will officially be celebrated at the Stellenbosch Slow Market. Visitors can expect strawberry cocktails from Dr. Juice, strawberry tea and even strawberry bread from Fine Pastries. Native Chocolates will provide strawberry chocolate delights, and everyone should try the strawberry burgers from Flamed. And of course there will be strawberry fudge, strawberry sushi and even strawberry liqueur from Kaapse Liqueur. Ollie’s Sausages, who never disappoints with a variety of sausages of all types, will also be selling a uniquely created strawberry sausage.

See you there.

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healthy potato bake

healthy potato bake

healthy potato bakeIndulge yourself – without the guilt!

I always crave a potato bake but I know that with each bite, the cream heads straight for my hips. Not good! So I decided to make this more healthy, yet equally delicious potato bake by replacing the cream with stock and adding a thin layer of parmesan as a topping. The thyme and onion add loads of flavour and in my opinion, this is as satisfying as its creamy rich cousin.

Healthy potato bake with onions and thyme
(4 – 6 portions)

1 kg potatoes, peeled and finely sliced (best to use a mandolin slicer)
200 g onions (1 big onion), peeled and finely sliced (again use your mandolin slicer)
leaves of three sprigs of fresh thyme
300 ml stock (you can use either chicken or vegetable)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
50 g parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Arrange the potatoes, onions and thyme in 40cm baking dish. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper – just be careful if you used store-bought stock – as it is rather salty. Pour over the stock and add the Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for an hour or until potatoes are soft and brown on top.

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#guilt-free potato salad with edible flowers

#guilt-free potato salad with edible flowers

Potato Salad
I was asked to bring along a potato salad to a health conscious host the other night. I love my creamy mayonnaise but I had to come up with something delicious yet healthy for the braai. Thankfully (and lucky me), I had the new range cottage cheese products from Parmalat in my fridge. I mixed the plain fat free cottage cheese with some fat free yoghurt and used this as my dressing. To this I added some mint and lemon zest to give it a subtle yet lovely citrus flavour. I finished the dish with a sprinkling of edible flowers.

It was pretty and pretty delicious too.

Guilt-free potato salad with edible flowers
1 kg potatoes
salt
black pepper
250 g Parmalat plain fat free cottage cheese
250 g plain fat free yogurt
10 ml fresh mint, finely chopped
zest of ½ lemon
edible flowers

Gently boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, then drain well. Leave them to cool slightly, peel and cut into bite-sized chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the cottage cheese, yoghurt and 5 ml mint together and dress the potatoes. Sprinkle the other 5ml chopped mint and lemon zest over the salad. Finish the dish by topping it with edible flowers.

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leftover chip rösti + fried egg #breakfast

leftover chip rösti + fried egg #breakfast

Chip rosti and egg
I had a knee op a few weeks ago. It turned out to be more of an emotional trauma than a physical ordeal. My frustration levels were sky high. The inability to just stand up and make a cup of coffee; to climb in your car to go and buy a loaf of bread or the to simply walk to the kitchen to give the dogs a biscuit treat tested my patience on almost every level. Thank goodness though all of that seems behind me now. My knee is on the mend and I have a new lease on life – and thankfully, free from the nagging pain of previous months.

During me recouperation, my dear husband had to put up with a lot – and yes, he really looked after me. He made me pasta with creamy blue cheese dressing, herbed chicken and whatever he could rustle up from a fridge that had not been stocked for weeks. He then made me this fantastic breakfast: Potato chip rösti with a baked egg. It was such a clever way to recycle leftover chips (slap chips) that invariably taste horrible the next day. Rick gathered up the leftover chips, added some fresh ingredients and seasoned this – the result? A rather quirky yet crispy and delicious rösti.

Rick’s leftover slap chips rösti + egg
(serves one)
250 ml leftover chips
30 ml onion finely chopped
5 ml of fresh rosemary
salt
black pepper
butter
olive oil
1 egg
small non-stick frying pan

Press the leftover chips with the back of a fork into smaller pieces. Stir in the chopped onion and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Heat a generous chunk of butter and some olive oil in a non-stick pan. With the back of the spoon press the potato mixture in the pan until it is compact. Fry over medium heat until golden brown on one side, turn carefully and cook until golden on the other side too. Fry an egg and serve the egg on top of the chip-rösti.

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#make your own #yoghurt

#make your own #yoghurt

Homemade yogurt

Homemade yoghurt is such an easy and satisfying DIY thing to do. The end product is so much better than the bought item and these days there is always a tub of thick homemade yoghurt in my fridge. This morning I scooped-out the fruit of two lovely granadillas that my sister-in-law gave me and mixed it with some silky creamy yoghurt. What a perfect and refreshing breakfast. This evening I am serving herbed yoghurt with lamb chops and green beans. Yum!

green beans with herbed yoghurt

green beans with herbed yoghurt

How to make your own yoghurt
All you need is good quality fresh milk and a few tablespoons of plain yoghurt to use as a starting culture. Bring the milk to 80°C or until bubbles form around the edges of the pot. Stir the milk occasionally. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool to 43°C or when you can stick your finger in for 10 seconds. Stir in the yoghurt and cover the pot with a lid. Wrap the pot with a large towel and let it sit in a nice hot place for 6-12 hours until the yoghurt is thick and tangy.

Make thick yoghurt
Regular yogurt contains a lot of liquid, so straining it makes it nice and thick. Place a layer of cheesecloth in a strainer and then place the strainer over a bowl making sure there is enough space in the bottom of the bowl to contain liquid. Pour yogurt into cheesecloth, cover with plastic wrap and let it strain for an hour or so in the fridge.

Make your own yoghurt

(Makes 1 litre of yoghurt)

1 litre of fresh full cream milk
60 ml natural yoghurt with live AB cultures

Bring the milk to 80 °C or until bubbles form around the edges of your pot. Stir the milk occasionally. Remove pot from heat and let it cool to 43 °C or when you can stick your finger in for 10 seconds. Stir in yoghurt and cover the pot with a lid. Wrap the pot with a large towel and let it sit for 6-12 hours in a hot spot until yoghurt is thick and tangy. The longer it sits, the thicker and tangier it will become. Spoon into sterilized containers and refrigerate.


Green beans with herbed yoghurt

300 g beans
15 ml olive oil
15 ml fresh lemon juice
salt
black pepper
250 ml homemade yoghurt
handful chopped fresh coriander
handful of fresh chopped parsley
fresh baguette

Cook the beans until tender and scoop in serving dish. Sprinkle with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix yoghurt and herbs and season with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Serve beans and yoghurt with a fresh baguette.

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#gifting: asparagus + herb bouquet

#gifting: asparagus + herb bouquet

I had to get a gift for my foodie friend, the lovely Errieda Du Toit. But what do you buy for this extraordinary friend and food soul sister of mine? … So I decided to make a fresh asparagus and herb bouquet that she can re-use. I took the fresh asparagus spears, arranged them in a beautiful glass bowl and then took some fresh rosemary, sage and mint out of my garden. I love it. It is gorgeous, fresh and different … ideal birthday or Christmas gift.
Happy Birthday Errieda! SONY DSC

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the best #artichokes with a parmesan filling

the best #artichokes with a parmesan filling

Last Saturday, when four lovely artichokes found their way into my market basket, I had to call my Italian mamma , Miki Ciman for her wise advice and to get some tips on how the Italians prepare this vegetable delicacy. In her strong and unmistakable Italian accent she told me…” “Do not complicate ‘tha’ cooking of ‘tha’ artichoke, my darling. ‘Cooks’ it slowly and with ‘tha lôve’. ‘Maka ‘tha’ stuffing with ‘tha’ parmigiano, ‘tha’ parsley and ‘tha’ breadcrumbs. Pull ‘tha’ leaves carefully apart and stuff the breadcrumbs in between. Simmer in salty water and ‘tha’ olive oil. Serve with ‘tha’ lemons and your best olive oil. ‘Delizioso’!”

So here it is… stuffed artichokes … the real deal.

The best artichokes with a parmesan filling
4 artichokes
150 g parmesan cheese
100 g white breadcrumbs ( + – four slices of white bread )
a large handful of parsley, finely chopped
30 ml olive oil
pinch of black pepper
750 ml water
5 ml salt
45 ml olive oil
for serving
fresh parsley , finely chopped
To serve
Maldon salt
fresh lemons
olive oil

Cut the stem of the artichokes down to 2 cm in length. Place the artichokes in cold water for an hour. Cut the hardest leaves off at the bottom. Mix the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, black pepper and olive oil. Divide the filling into four portions. Take each artichoke and pull the leaves gently apart. Press the filling everywhere between the leaves and in the middle of the artichokes. Place the stuffed artichokes in a pot with water, salt and olive oil . Put lid on and simmer slowly for 75 minutes. Fill the pot with more water if necessary. Serve with parsley, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and Maldon salt.

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pea and eisbein #soup

pea and eisbein #soup

pea and eisbein soup
I don’t know about you but I am freezing. And a bowl of soup is the answer! There is something about making your own, homemade soup that is both soothing and satisfying. Thankfully the process is also free from all those chef rules and regulations – you don’t need measurements – just use what you have in your fridge and I can assure you it would be delicious.

If you have two able hands, some time to spare and a whole lot of veggies you can create something quite beautiful and warming for that cold winters’ day. Haul out your mandolin slicer, pour yourself a good glass of wine and you have something splendid in the making.

I am mad about a simple bowl of pea and Eisbein soup. All I do is cook the smoked Eisbein, take the meat,skin and fat of the bone and blitz this with the peas. The skin and fat of the Eisbein gives the soup a silky and smoky flavour. You have to try this for yourself – it’s delicious with a big D.

Pea and Eisbein Soup – a true winter warmer
(Enough for 10)
850 g smoked Eisbein, with bone
8 cups of water
200 g onion, diced
200 g carrots, cut into blocks
2 celery sticks, with leaves
handful of parsley
5 black peppercorns
1 t salt
1 kg frozen peas
To serve:
a handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
cream

Boil the Eisbein, water, onions, carrots, celery, parsley and peppercorns for about 3 hours until soft. Remove the Eisbein from the pot. Cut the meat and fat off the bone, then cut into smaller pieces and put back in the pot full of yummy liquid (fat, skin and everything). Put in the peas and salt and cook for a further 15 minutes. Then, blitz everything – either with a handheld blitzer or a liquidiser until all ingredients have been finely blended. Taste for seasoning. Serve with a dash of cream and some leaves of finely chopped mint.

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