Category Archives: Cheese

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

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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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legendary miki ciman’s ‘say cheese! artisan cheese fair’ | 24+25 September 2016

legendary miki ciman’s ‘say cheese! artisan cheese fair’ | 24+25 September 2016

miki with a parmesan wheel

miki with a parmesan wheel


One of favourite foodie friends is Miki Ciman, the owner of La Botegga Deli at the Italian Club. This wonderful Italian lady is always busy with bottling artichokes, making tomato pasta sauce or making gnocchi and now she is also the brainchild behind the Say Cheese! Artisan Cheese Fair that is taking place on 24 and 25 September 2016 at the Italian Club, Milnerton. Yeah! I am just so excited, we need this in Cape Town.

Miki has been making cheese for more than 40 years and is best known for her family restaurant, La Masseria:“The Fair promises to be a much-anticipated, cheese-lover’s paradise and will allow guests to appreciate every step of the farm-to-table process of cheese making, while highlighting the extraordinary local talent we have in this field. Cheese makers are creative, passionate and committed and need the opportunity to show off the fruits of their labour. We want to assist them in an affordable way.”

lovely Miki in front of her deli at the italian club - the say cheese! artisan fair will take place at the italian club

lovely Miki in front of her deli at the italian club – the say cheese! artisan fair will take place at the italian club

This premier cheese event will bring together artisan cheesemakers, cheese lovers, bakers, brewers and visitors for a weekend of cheese tasting and appreciation. Be it gorgonzola, pecorino, fontina, mozzarella, provolone, brie, chèvre, blue or cheddar, one thing’s certain: the Say Cheese! will celebrate all things cheese.

Tickets will be available at the door at a cost of: Adults R80 Scholars (11-18) R30 Kids under 10 free
For further information: Email kiki at saycheesefair@gmail.com or phone Elize Nel on 072 795 4214.

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three-cheese-pull-apart-and-share-bread

three-cheese-pull-apart-and-share-bread

I made this “pull apart bread” (a recipe adapted from Zola Nene) and just loved it. It is perfect for a picnic and to share with friends … whenever and where ever!

Three-cheese-pull-apart-bread

Three-cheese-pull-apart-bread


Three-cheese-pull-apart-and-share-bread

(Adapted recipe from Zola Nene)
250 ml grated cheddar cheese
125 ml grated mozzarella cheese
125 ml grated Parmesan cheese
180 ml mayonnaise
large handful mixed fresh herbs , chopped
500g ready-made bread dough
flour for rolling the dough
30ml olive oil
5 ml Maldon or course salt

Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Grease a 23cm x 23cm pan (you can also use a regular cake pan). Mix the cheese, mayonnaise and fresh herbs together. Divide the dough into twelve balls and the cheese mixture into twelve parts. Sprinkle flour on the table and press each ball with the palm of your hand into a flat circle +- 1cm thick. Create a hollow in the centre of your flattened dough for the cheese mixture. Fold dough in half and roughly pinch the edges. Form a ball of each, pinching under the dough spheres. Pack in tin. Brush the top of the bread with the olive oil, cover with cling film then leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Remove the cling film, sprinkle with salt then bake for 30 – 45 minutes until the bread is cooked through. Once baked, remove from the tin and pull bread pieces apart to serve.

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die beste macaroni-en-kaas gevind

die beste macaroni-en-kaas gevind
Derde plek: Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas

Derde plek: Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas

Macaroni-en-kaas is een van die verleidelikste trooskosse en in dié gereg gebruik jy nie jou spoggerige tuisgemaakte pasta of gesonde heelgraan pasta nie. Nee, jy koop ʼn pakkie macaroni, ʼn pakkie cheddar, ʼn bakkie room en spek, en jy maak dit sonder om aan die kaloriewaarde van die gereg te dink. Maar watter macaroni-en-kaas resep is die lekkerste? Na ʼn paar weke van soek, proe en vra som Stephanie Bourgeois van Food52.com dit die beste op: “Looking for the perfect mac and cheese can feel a bit like the quest for the Holy Grail.” Na wat soos ‘n Indiana Jones kos-advontuur en macaroni-en-kaas skattejag gevoel het, het ek het tog drie gunstelinge en ʼn wenner raak geproe!

En die wenner is…Heston Blumenthal se macaroni-en-kaas
Die gereg het my heeltemal in vervoering gehad en my heen en weer laat wieg (met ʼn groot glimlag op my gesig) op die maat van die mees perfek gebalanseerde sout, suur en umami smake. Vat ʼn paar happies, maak jou oë toe en proe jou weg deur die smaak-simfonie. Die eerste kos-note word deur die suurige-wyn-smaak gespeel, dan kom die soutige parmesaan-viool by, saggies in die agtergrond proe jy die macaroni-tjello raak en dan ʼn stadige truffel–umami-crescendo wat ʼn perfekte lang noot in die finale speel. Dit verdien ʼn staande toejuiging. Bravo!

Eerste plek: Heston Blumenthal se macaroni-en-kaas

Eerste plek: Heston Blumenthal se macaroni-en-kaas


In die tweede plek: Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas
Ek het groot geword met Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas met ʼn eier-en-melk in plaas van ʼn kaassous basis. Dit word sonder spek, sampioene of room gemaak en ma het dit altyd tong-skroeiend warm met ʼn groot bottel All Gold tamatiesous bedien. Ja, dit was nog die goeie ou dae toe ons nie skaam was vir bottels op die tafel nie!
Resultaat: Dit is my kinder-hartskos-trooskos en ek dink dit is heerlik. Daarom kry dit saam met my meer innoverende tamatiesous ʼn welverdiende tweede plek.
Tweede plek:  Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas

Tweede plek: Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas

In die derde plek: Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas
Jamie se macaroni-en-kaas is baie interessant en kry tamaties, lourierblare en tien knoffelhuisies in die kaassous. Ek het geskrik vir al die knoffel en het net ses gebruik, maar ek dink tog jy moet nie ʼn bangbroek soos ek wees nie en al tien insit. Al wat ek sal verander om dit meer romerig te maak is om die pasta met 100 g te verminder tot 500 g.
Resultaat: ʼn Baie geurige en bevredigende macaroni-en-kaas met ʼn unieke lourierblaar geur.

Wat sê die kookboek outeure?
Alida Ryder: Ek maak dit soos my ma dit gemaak het met skywe tamatie en baie witpeper. Vir my man maak ek ʼn bier en spek macaroni-en-kaas – hy vrek daaroor!
Errieda du Toit: Ek is ook mal oor Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas, en nee, dit gee nie ʼn knoffel-hangover nie.
Sonia Cabano: Ek hou daarvan om drie soorte kaas in die sous te sit met ‘n lagie gaar, fyngekapte spinasie wat met neutmuskaat gegeur is.

Heston Blumenthal se macaroni-en-kaas
(Heston gee al die bestanddele in gramme aan)
20 g sout
200 g macaroni
15 g truffel-olie
300 g droë witwyn
300 g goeie hoenderaftreksel, warm
80 g parmesaan kaas, fyn gerasper en 20 g ekstra vir bak
10 g mielieblom
80 g roomkaas

Voorverhit die roosterelement. Kook 2 kg water, gooi die sout en pasta by en kook vir ongeveer 7 minute tot al dente. Gooi die truffel olie oor die pasta, roer deur en sit eenkant. Kook die witwyn in ʼn pot tot dit na 30 g verminder het. Voeg die hoenderaftreksel by en bring tot kookpunt. Meng die parmesaan met die mielieblom en roer by die hoenderaftreksel totdat dit ten volle geïnkorporeer en verdik het. Gooi nou die pasta by en kook vir ʼn minuut of twee totdat die pasta warm is. Roer die roomkaas by. Geur met sout. Skep in gesmeerde oondvaste bak, gooi die 20 g parmesaan oor en rooster tot bruin.

My variasie van Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas
Bedien: 6
1 liter melk
5 eiers
15 ml mosterdpoeier
5 ml sout
2.5 ml swart peper
750 ml cheddar kaas, gerasper
4 koppies macaroni, gekook
Tamatiesous
250 g tamaties, in blokkies gesny
15 ml olyfolie
80 ml water
5 ml suiker
250 ml All Gold tamatiesous
ʼn handvol vars basiliekruid, geskeur
Voorverhit die oond tot 160 °C . Klits die melk, eiers, mosterdpoeier, sout en peper saam. Voeg die kaas en gaar macaroni by. Skep in gesmeerde oondvaste bak en bak vir een uur tot gaar. Tamatiesous: Verhit die olyfolie en braai tamaties totdat die pan droog is. Voeg die water by en kook weer tot droog. Roer die suiker en tamatiesous in en laat dit een minuut kook. Laastens roer die basiliekruid by.

Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas
45 g botter
3 rondvol eetlepels meel
10 knoffelhuisies, fyn gesny
6 lourierblare, vars
1 liter melk
450g macaroni, gekook volgens die pakkie aanwysing
8 tamaties, rof opgesny in blokke
150 g cheddar kaas, gerasper
100 g parmesaan kaas, gerasper
ʼn paar vars tiemietakkies, blaartjies gepluk
‘n paar skote Worcestershire sous
2.5 ml neutmuskaat
sout
swart peper

Voorverhit die oond tot 220 °C. Smelt die botter in ʼn groot pot oor lae hitte. Voeg die meel by en roer tot ʼn gladde pasta. Verhoog die hitte tot medium en voeg die knoffel by. Roer aanhoudend totdat die knoffel goudkleurig en klewerig is. Gooi die lourierblare by en roer. Gooi nou die melk geleidelik by en roer voortdurend tot die sous dik en glad is. Laat dit vir ʼn paar minute kook terwyl jy aanhoudend roer. Skep die pasta by die witsous en verwyder van die hitte. Geur jou gekapte tamaties goed met sout en peper en voeg dit saam met die kaas en tiemie by die pasta mengsel. Geur nou met Worcestershire sous en neutmuskaat. Skep in gesmeerde oondvaste bak en bak vir 30 minute.

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rainbow blueberry #cheesecake

rainbow blueberry #cheesecake

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I have always wanted to make this blueberry cheesecake from No-Bake baking, however I have always had a fear or should we rather say trepidation when it comes to working with gelatine and ended up never having the guts to make it. When my husband brought home some fresh berries for me the other day I decided to let go of my gelatine fear and surprise him with this most beautiful and delicious cheesecake.

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Blueberry cheesecake
(Recipe adapted from No-bake baking by Sharon Hearne-Smith)

Base
75g butter
200g digestive biscuits, finely crumbed
5 ml grounded cinnamon
30 ml castor sugar

Filling
600g cream cheese
175g caster sugar
200g crème fraîche
800 ml cream
20 ml lemon juice

Gelatine + Blue Berry puree
9 leaves of gelatine
375g blueberries

To serve
125 g fresh blueberries
A small handful fresh mint leaves

Prepare a 17.5 cm loose-bottomed cake tin (10cm deep) with wax paper. Mix all the crust ingredients together and press firmly into the base of the tin. Mix all ingredients for filling for five minutes in a cake mixer. Place in the refrigerator. Take three large mixing bowls and put three gelatine leaves in each bowl. Cover the gelatine leaves with water and soak for ten minutes. Pour the water off and squeeze the excess water out. Cook the blueberries with a tablespoon of water for five minutes. Blend in a liquidizer. Divide your warm blueberry puree as follows into the three bowls: Bowl 1-50g blueberry puree . Bowl 2 – 100g blueberry puree. Bowl 3 – 225g blueberry puree. Make sure the gelatine has dissolved in the puree. Take the filling from the refrigerator and divide equally into the three bowls. Mix well. Scoop the lightest color into your tin first, then the middle colour and finally the darkest color. Refrigerate for five hours or overnight to set. Serve with whipped cream, fresh blueberries and decorate with fresh mint leaves.

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lettuce wedges with blue cheese dressing | #salad

lettuce wedges with blue cheese dressing | #salad

This time of the year for me is all about fresh, fast and simple food. But also food that still make your taste buds go … Pow-Wow! This absolutely scrumptious salad was mentioned to me by Kokkedoor 2 Winner, Johnny Hamman and I decided to make my own blue cheese dressing. Well needless to say my husband orders it at least once a week from my kitchen. It is summery and just simply splendid! Give it a bash…it is wow!

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you can replace the sour cream with yogurt like i did here

for a healthier option | replace the sour cream with yogurt like i did here

Lettuce wedges with blue cheese dressing

1 large iceberg lettuce , cut into six wedges
125 ml sour cream
3 T mayonnaise
2 t dijon mustard
1 T white wine vinegar
50 g good blue or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
micro herbs

Combine all the dressing ingredients then scoop generously over the lettuce slices and garnish with micro herbs.

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fried caprese sandwich + antonia carluccio

fried caprese sandwich + antonia carluccio

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{10th wedding anniversary}
The other day was our 10th wedding anniversary (I am still in disbelief that we have made it so far 🙂 ). Rick was not at home for our anniversary this year (he was on a golf trip!!) but he did leave a beautiful card and a gift for me. The gift was Antonia Carluccio’s latest recipe book, The Collection. A beautiful book and thoughtful gift.

{mozzarella in carrozza}
Paging through this book I found an interesting dish … Mozzarella in Carrozza or Fried Mozzarella Sandwich. Antonia served it with tomato sauce. I decided to make my own warm tomatoes on the vine and to add basil – so it became became a fried caprese sandwich. I also added a bit of butter to my olive oil when frying. To be frank it was as the Italians would say … bellissimo!!

{antonia carluccio}
“Originally from Naples and generally from Campania, this dish has spread all over Italy and is to be found mostly in bars as a lunchtime snack, It is delicious when freshly made and still crisp”. – Antonia Carluccio, The Collection

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fried caprese sandwich + antonia carluccio
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 150g baby tomatoes, on the vine
  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 2 thick slices of mozzarella cheese (I did not use buffalo mozzarella because I find it a little too wet for this kind of dish)
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • salt
  • 100 ml milk
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Add the 1Tbsp of olive oil to a pan and slowly fry the tomatoes on the vine for about 10 minutes. Turn them around half way. When done, set aside.
  2. Place a piece of mozzarella, a basil leaf or two and a large pinch of salt between two slices of bread.
  3. Dip the sandwich firstly in the milk (do not let it soak – just dip the bread), then dip in flour and lastly into the egg.
  4. Heat the olive oil and the butter over medium heat and fry the sandwich on both sides till golden brown. This takes about 8 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with the tomatoes and some fresh basil.

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zingy warm mushroom and three cheese sandwich = decadent + delicious winter sandwich

zingy warm mushroom and three cheese sandwich = decadent + delicious winter sandwich

three cheese mushroom sandwich

If you want to watch me making this sandwich … click here.

This is just a really delicious winter sandwich that will send your taste buds into somewhat of a happy twirl. This is definitely not for someone on a strict diet but it will definitely impress all your friends and loved ones. I used three of my favourite soft cheeses – Boursin (my ultimate!!), some blue cheese and normal cream cheese. What gives this sandwich somewhat of an edge is the fact that the cheese fillings are at room temperature and the luscious mushrooms are somewhat zingy, warm and juicy. The important element in preparing this sandwich is the preparation of the mushrooms.

three cheese mushroom sandwich

Here are a few tips for frying mushrooms:
1. You need to add oil and butter to your non-stick pan – the butter adds that buttery, nutty flavour to the woody flavour of the mushrooms.
2. The pan must be smoking hot – if your pan is not hot enough the mushrooms will become soggy.
3. If you are cooking a lot of mushrooms – it is a good idea to cook them in batches.
4. Season your mushrooms while frying – for me the salt and pepper get etched into the delicious graininess of the mushrooms
5. Lemon and parsley always elevate the taste of the mushroom – try it.

three cheese mushroom sandwich

 

zingy warm mushroom + three cheese sandwich = decadent + delicious winter sandwich
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 6 Slices of bread
  • Butter
  • 1 Packet of micro leaves
  • Mushrooms
  • 300g Mushrooms
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1T Butter
  • 1T Fresh thyme –leaves picked
  • Pinch of chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • A generous squeeze of lemon juice (from ½ lemon or more)
  • 5g Chopped parsley
  • Cheese filling
  • (cheeses must be at room temperature)
  • 3T Cream cheese
  • 3T Boursin cheese
  • 3T Blue cheese
Instructions
  1. Prepare the cheese filling first by mixing all ingredients.
  2. Butter one slice of the bread very lightly. Divide the cheese fillings into three and add to the other side of the bread.
  3. Then prepare your mushrooms: Cook the mushrooms + thyme in the olive oil and butter in a very hot pan – season with salt and black pepper. Do not let the mushrooms become soggy; they should be a beautiful nutty and brown colour. At the end at the chilli powder, a big squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley.
  4. Add your mushrooms to the cheese filling side of your sandwich, top it with the delicious micro burst leaves and top with the other slice of bread. YUM!

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mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat

mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat

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This one is quick + easy and been a firm family favourite through the years. I remember sitting around the kitchen table, the radio playing in the background (there was no TV in those days)… My dad saying grace and thereafter mom bringing in this big baking tray full of steaming mac + cheese.

We did not have the fancy or posh mac and cheese – there was no bacon, no mushrooms, no cream etc … our mac and cheese came straight out of the Kook and Geniet and straight out of the oven. The basic ingredients are milk, eggs, macaroni and cheese. It’s the baked version that you can cut in blocks. We used to just get these blocks on our plates and in the middle of the table was a bottle of tomato sauce – and that was it for us … heaven.

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So today I took the same recipe my mom used and tweaked the ingredients to suit my adult taste buds. When it came to the tomato sauce I had to make a few changes – I fried some plump delicious rosa tomatoes in olive oil, added tomato sauce and fresh basil. Its still my  mom’s mac + cheese + tomato sauce – with a little twist. Life seemed much more simpler then. At least I can say that this recipe has remained simple and easy … give it a go.

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mac and cheese

 

mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1L Milk
  • 5 Eggs
  • 3t Mustard powder
  • 1t Salt
  • ½t Black pepper
  • 3 Cups of grated cheese
  • 4 Cups of cooked macaroni
  • Tomato sauce
  • 250g Rosa tomatoes - cut in half
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 80 ml Water
  • 1t Sugar
  • 250ml Tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves – shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Mix the milk, eggs, mustard powder, salt and pepper all together. Then add the cheese and cooked macaroni.
  3. Butter a baking dish well and add the mixture and bake for 1 hour.
  4. For tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil and fry tomatoes till the pan is quite dry. Add the water and cook again till quite dry.Then add the sugar + tomato sauce – heat through. Finally add the fresh basil + season to taste + serve with your mac + cheese.

 

 

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longing for braaibroodjies + sunny skies + chevrolet

longing for braaibroodjies + sunny skies + chevrolet

Watch me make braaibroodjies by clicking here

Braaibroodjies

Will the real Braaibroodjies please stand up? Everyone in South Africa loves braaibroodjies. They are just one of those “must haves” at any braai. However, despite the boastings of the braaimaster ( usually male with lager in hand) … these normally end up being:

A: burnt
B: soggy
C: tomato + onion = not cooked
D: cheese = not melted
E: all of the above.

So how do we ensure that these traditional toasties are:
A: not burnt
B: crispy
C: cooked tomato + onion
D: with melted cheese
E: all of the above?

Well I have a few sneaky tricks up my sleeve – use them or lose them as they say but do so at your own peril … but I can assure you that if you follow these tips you will have the perfect braaibroodjies every single time … And put any gloating braaimaster in awe of you for life …

Braaibroodjies

Braaibroodjie Tips

1. Butter one side very lightly (not both sides).
2. Cut the onion into thin big round slices – keep the circles whole and pack on the one buttered side of one slice.
3. Then add the thinly sliced tomato circles – sprinkle with salt and pepper. You will note that I place the tomatoes in the centre of the sandwich filling – this prevents the broodtjie from becoming soggy.
4. Grate strong cheddar and generously sprinkle over the tomato and cover with the other slice of bread. Make sure you cover all of the tomato slices with cheese.
5. Put a griddle rack on a baking tray and put the sandwiches on top of that – then while the rest of the braai is on the go place the sandwiches in the oven at 100°C to bake for +- 1 hour – it will crisp the bread up and it will cook everything slowly.
6. Then after everyone has braaied and the coals are low – pop them onto a braai grid and allow to toast until they are browned on both sides! Depending on how hot your fire or coals are you will need to watch these carefully as they can toast quickly enough.

Some people like to add all sorts of other condiments like chutney etc to their broodjies … for me some things need to be kept simple like it was in the old days of braaivleis, sunny skies and Chevrolets.

Braaibroodjies

Braaibroodjies

Ingredients
Sliced bread
Butter
Onion
Tomato
Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Method
As above

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pizza … my style – just don’t tell mamma

pizza … my style – just don’t tell mamma

brown bread pizza

Watch me make this live by clicking here.

Stand back … I can honestly say this is one of the most amazing things I have ever made. It astounds me that I did not discover this earlier in my life … you know all those times you sat hankering after a pizza but were just too lazy to call the pizza delivery guys. Well, now there is just no excuse. Just take a slice of whole wheat bread + roll it out with a rolling pin + brush with garlic and olive oil + fry in griddle pan + add your toppings + and bake! This takes just minutes to prepare and you can decide on what toppings you want…healthy or decadent…the choice is yours.

Just tell me this isn’t good? I know that you cannot beat an original Italian pizza base….you know the ones they make in Italy – but this is just as delicious, believe me. Just don’t tell Mamma!

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pizza ... my style - just don't tell mamma
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Pizza base
  • 4 Slices of bread
  • 2 Cloves garlic – grated
  • 3T Olive oil
  • Topping
  • 140g Ina Paarman Sundried Tomato
  • 1 Small block of mozzarella cheese (this all depends on how much you want to layer on)
  • Dried origanum (optional) – a very small pinch per “pizza”
  • 8 Slices cooked salami
  • Kalamata Olives
  • 1 large onion – sliced and slowly fried in a bit of olive oil till golden brown
  • To serve
  • Rocket
  • Fresh basil
  • Chillies
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220 ºC.
  2. Take a rolling pin and roll the bread till flat.
  3. Mix the garlic and olive oil and brush the slices of bread with it.
  4. Fry each slice on both sides in a griddle pan tuntil the brown etching lines appear on your bread
  5. Take the sundried tomato and mesh it together with a fork. Smear the tamato on one side of the bread.
  6. Then add the mozzarella and all the toppings.
  7. Pop in the oven at 220ºC till the cheese in melted and bubbly.
  8. Serve with fresh rocket, basil, chopped chillies and always wash down your creation with a glass of good wine.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

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smoked potato + vintage cheese and friendships

smoked potato + vintage cheese and friendships

“It made me realise once again that food + blogging brings people together – it cements the deepest friendships and this is what the culinary society and life is all about. Sharing our knowledge and sharing our food around the table or swimming pool – anél”

smoked potato and vintage cheese

alain passard lesson # 3 : never underestimate a vegetable.

It was unusual yet one of the most distinctive taste experiences of my life. Chef Alain Passard served up a simple flambéed smoked potato accompanied by a slice of Moelleux du Revard cheese – that was it – nothing less and nothing more. To me, it was sheer genius serving a potato as the starch with the cheese course {no biscuits or bread}. Not only surprising and crazy to the taste buds – but also absolutely perfect!

Back in the RSA I decided to smoke my first potato and serve it with a vintage mature cheddar {for this recipe I used Simonsberg Vintage Mature Cheddar}.

The first person I rang up to give me some direction {and instructions I might add} to the smoking process was my friend and fellow blogger Barry. Firstly he thought I was crazy – “you want to smoke what?” – in the end the adventurous nature of this challenge intrigued both of us.

Barry arrived all chipper one Saturday morning along with all the goodies – the smoker, the ‘saagsels’, a fresh salmon, a bottle of bubbly and a few beers. Well, we spent a wonderful day together smoking all sorts of edibles – potatoes, salmon and sausage. We all know that it is tough here in Africa, so one always needs to temper this with plenty of laughs, chilled liquid refreshments while languishing under the splendor of the African sunshine.

It made me realise once again that food + blogging brings people together – it cements the deepest friendships and this is what the culinary society and life is all about. Sharing our knowledge and sharing our food around the table or swimming pool.

smoked potato and vintage cheese

Method and ingredients: Peel and steam your potatoes until cooked – do not overcook. Smoke the potato for 15 minutes in a smoker + then flambée it in a dash of brandy just before serving + serve with a slice of Simonsberg Vintage Mature cheddar + sprinkle with some maldon salt and course black pepper. If you want a stronger smoke taste serve with smoked maldon salt. {PS. It is important to accompany with shavings or wedges of strong cheese so that it can match the deep smokiness of the potato}

Wine: I also wanted to wash this unusual offering down with the perfect wine –so I phoned Nic van Wyk from Diemersdal {he was on the set of the new cooking show Kokkedoor} to ask him what he would pair with this specific dish – without so much as a hesitation his response was the Diemersdal Chardonnay Reserve.

Win: To win a Simonsberg Cheese hamper and 2 bottles of Diemersdal Chardonnay Reserve please click here.

smoked potato and cheese

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strawberry carpaccio salad = christmas on a plate

strawberry carpaccio salad = christmas on a plate

See me making this recipe live in Afrikaans on Expresso

Strawberry Carpaccio Salad, with goats cheese, pink peppercorns

I am so excited, its Christmas time again! It is a time of happiness and joy, family and friends and it is a chance to experiment with all the wonderful Christmas foodie thingies… Too often people say that Christmas is just too busy with all the preparations, the decorations, the cooking and the sweating but it is not. Folks, Christmas does not have to be complicated. Just keep things simple, vibrant and flavourful and you can’t go wrong…

My mom always says that we eat far too much over the festive season particularly on Christmas Day … with the roast turkey, the smoked gammon or ham, leg of lamb and every other meat variety under the sun. She actually banned the glazed gammon from the Christmas table this year …but Christmas for me without gammon is like Christmas without turkey or Father Christmas arriving without presents! So I have decided to disguise my “gammon” (I used Black Forest Ham) in a lovely fresh summer salad.

In this recipe, perhaps the most important part of this salad is the dressing. You can have the most beautiful ingredients but if the dressing is dull the salad is dull. Many people just do not pay enough attention to their salad dressing and it is kind of like the angel on top of the Christmas tree.

The salad dressing I have mixed-up today includes orange blossom honey and rose syrup. Both of these flavours compliment the strawberries and the rose syrup lingers in your mouth for a while, causing the brain to be almost spirited off to another country in an instant – perhaps Arabia, India or Morocco …

Adding the little pink peppercorns just lifts the whole dish into another dimension and just one little bite sets the Christmas bells ringing.  Happy Christmas cooking!

Strawberry Carpaccio Salad with goats cheese and pink peppercorns

strawberry carpaccio salad with goats cheese and pink peppercorns

strawberry carpaccio = christmas on a plate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For salad
  • 200g Strawberries – finely sliced
  • 100g Black Forrest ham
  • Curly lettuce
  • 10 Cherries - fresh (optional)
  • For goats’ cheese crostinis
  • 100g Goats cheese – plain
  • 30g Cranberries - dried
  • 1 Basil leave – big – chiffonade the basil leaf
  • Melba toasts or crostinis – 3 per person
  • Pink peppercorns
  • For Balsamic Glaze
  • 125ml Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2T Honey – Orange Blossom
  • ½t Rose syrup
  • 2T Water
  • 5 Pink peppercorns – crushed
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. For balsamic glaze - Put all ingredients in little pot and boil for 8-10 min over medium heat. Remove from stove and allow to cool down.
  2. For goats’ cheese crostinis - Mix the goats cheese + dried cranberries + basil together. Smear the goat and cranberry spread over each of the little toasts. Carefully place 2-3 pink peppercorns onto each crostini.
  3. To serve - Arrange the sliced strawberries on the bottom of the plate. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze. Place a few salad leaves over the top. Add the goats’ cheese crostinis + ham + cherries + and extra peppercorns. Drizzle with more balsamic glaze and serve

 

 

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chilli popper cigars = hot + easy … the way I like things

chilli popper cigars = hot + easy … the way I like things

chilli popper cigars=hot + easy … the way I like things

I like some things in life hot and easy – like my husband 🙂 and then these easy to make hot chilli poppers! The ever popular chilli + cheese has to be up there as one of the best combinations that goes well with a cold beer or two …

But chilli poppers on the whole are quite messy and tricky things to make as they tend to ooze out of their casings – so I decided to put all the ingredients in a spring roll wrapper and roll it up snuggly into a chilli cheroot of sorts. To make it even easier I used already cut chillies – you know the ones with that sour, tangy taste – and some white cheddar cheese. This is easy, no fuss and you can put this on a plate in no time … hot + easy + yummy …

Watch me make this by clicking here.

chilli popper cigars=hot + easy … the way I like things

chilli popper cigars

jalapeño poppers

 

chilli popper cigars = hot + easy … the way I like things
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Spring roll wrappers – you can buy these at any Chinese supermarket
  • White cheddar cheese – cut into 1.5cm x 1.5cm x 7 cm oblong lengths or chunks
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers – the sliced up ones – drained and dried on a paper towel
  • Cake flour mixed with a bit of water into a paste
  • Oil for frying
Instructions
  1. Take one wrapper and add a chunk of cheese to the wrapper, add a few chillies and roll-up (see diagram below). Use the flour paste on the seams of the wrapper when you fold it up. It will keep the popper together and it will also prevent the cheese from escaping or oozing out.
  2. Fry in oil at 185°C for 4-5 minutes till golden brown.
  3. Let it cool down, poor yourself a cold beer, a cider or champers if you wish and tuck in.

 

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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.

 

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