Category Archives: Sauces + Dressings

sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce … for your #valentyn

sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce … for your #valentyn

Tomorrow is the most important love day of the year… Valentine’s day. Yes, I do make my husband supper every single night, but on Valentine’s day I try and make him something he really loves. Rick loves eggs – he can have eggs for breakfast lunch and supper – in fact given the choice I think he would eat eggs for 365 days of the year. The other thing he loves is chocolate and … figs. Tomorrow, I am going to say I love you with this sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce. It might sound strange to think of a sweet omelette but I have to admit, it is delicious. It is simple to prepare and with a glass of bubbly provides the perfect Valentine’s breakfast…lunch or light dinner.
omelet with figs and chocolate

My friend Emile Joubert also suggested the following fillings: salmon and cream cheese, bacon and cheese and chopped fresh herbs

omelet for your valentine

Sweet omelette with figs and brandy chocolate sauce
(Serves one)
Figs
3 figs, quartered
5 ml butter
5 ml sugar
15 ml brandy
Brandy chocolate sauce
25 g cream
50 g chocolate, cut into small pieces
15 ml brandy
Omelette
3 eggs
pinch of salt
15 ml sugar
10 ml butter
To serve
2 fresh figs, quartered

Figs: Fry the figs in a pan with butter and sugar until soft. Add the brandy and flambé. Set aside.
Chocolate sauce: Heat the cream and poor over the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Add the brandy and stir well.
Omelette: Crack the eggs into a bowl, add salt and sugar and blend with a fork. Heat a 22 cm non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the butter and brush around the surface of the pan. Pour the eggs into the centre of the pan and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula for 5 seconds. As soon as a semi-solid mass begins to form, lift the pan and move it around until the excess liquid pours off into the pan. Using your spatula, move it around the edge of the egg mixture to help shape into a circle and loosen the edge. Let the omelette sit in the pan for 10 seconds without touching.
Shake the pan to loosen the eggs mixture from the pan. Add the figs and juice to the omelette. Using your spatula, fold over one-third of the omelette. Slide the omelette onto a plate and fold over the other side so that the omelette is a tri-fold. Smother with chocolate sauce and serve immediately with fresh figs and a glass of bubbles.

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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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#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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make your own green curry paste

make your own green curry paste

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Some time back I visited Bangkok and spent a fascinating week at the Blue Elephant Cooking School. There I was privileged to learn a bit more about Royal Thai Cuisine. The one recipe I have since clung to is this glorious Green Curry Paste. It is just so much better to make your own curry paste and quite frankly you simply cannot compare it to the stuff you buy in the shops. The recipe requires galangal, shallots and lime zest – as these ingredients are hard to come by, I have replaced them with ginger, spring onions and lemon zest.

The paste can be kept in an airtight container for two weeks in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer. If you would like to preserve it longer, add extra salt as this is a traditional Thai way of preserving food. For a vegetarian version omit the shrimp paste.

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Green Curry Paste (Kruang Kaeng Keaw Waan)
(makes 85 grams)
10 g hot green chillies, chopped
10 g fresh coriander, chopped (if you can get the roots, even better)
7.5 ml ginger, grated
7.5 ml lemon zest
15 ml lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, grated
40 g spring onions (about three), sliced
5 ml salt
5 ml cumin seeds, roasted and grounded
2.5 ml coriander, roasted and grounded
2.5 ml white pepper
10 basil leaves
2.5 ml shrimp paste

Pound all the ingredients in a pestle & mortar to fine paste or use your stick blender.

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how to beef up a beef sandwich with my mom’s sweet and sour mustard

how to beef up a beef sandwich with my mom’s sweet and sour mustard

This is my ultimate beef sandwich. Fabulous bread, some roasted beef leftovers, gherkins, onions, tomatoes, avos and then my mom’s sweet and sour mustard. This specific mustard is something I had to make weekly when I grew up. It’s the South African sweet & sour mustard (soet mostert) but without the condensed milk. It goes perfectly with beef + pork + turkey and just about anything else.

So the real secret that I am letting you in on is mom’s recipe … so you better give it a try and then keep the recipe to yourself. Bon appétit!

Watch me make this by clicking here.

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Tips:
If you substitute the mustard with 1 teaspoon of mustard powder you can also use it as a “mayonnaise” for your potato salad.
Use the “mayonnaise” with cooked onions and you have “slaphakskeentjies”.
It keeps very well in the fridge for over a week.

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how to beef up a beef sandwich with my mom’s sweet and sour mustard
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet and sour mustard
Author:
Ingredients
  • Sandwich
  • Bread of your choice
  • Roasted beef, sliced
  • Gherkins, sliced
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Red onions, sliced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Chilies, chopped
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Mustard Sauce
  • 3 Eggs
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Vinegar (I use spirit vinegar)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 heaped Tbsp Masterfoods Hot Mustard (Shop around for this, it is worth it if you like a hot mustard :-))
Instructions
  1. Beat the eggs and add the sugar little by little until mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add salt and then add the vinegar slowly while beating well.
  3. Place your sauce over a double boiler and whisk until the mixture starts to heat up and thicken.
  4. Just before your sauce starts to boil, remove from the heat and add the mustard. Mix through.
  5. Allow your mustard sauce to cool before serving.
  6. Put your sandwich together and smother with some of this delicious mustard.

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two minute stick blender mayonnaise = something simple for you to try this christmas

two minute stick blender mayonnaise = something simple for you to try this christmas

Mayonnaise, easy mayonnaise, 1 min mayonaise, home made mayonnaise, easy mayonaise, flop proof mayonaise

Here is something simple for you to try this Christmas – a TWO MINUTE stick blender mayonnaise. Most foodies know this fool proof method but I am surprised at how many people still use the old drop-for-drop-oil-method.  The big secret behind this recipe is to add the ingredients in a narrow vessel/container in the right order…  egg + oil – this is critical. Let the ingredients settle  for a minute – then put your stick blender carefully on top of the egg yolk – the blender must touch the bottom of the container … then only then start blending until the mayonnaise starts emulsifying. S-L-O-W-L-Y pull the stick blender up to complete the emulsification process.

Here is a video clip to show you how easy it is to make your very own homemade mayonnaise.  Make a cupful or a bucketful, its fresh and fantastic. Its creamy and dreamy and perfect with just about anything…salads + potatoes + dips.

Sending you love, blessings and best wishes from Dublin, Ireland.  May you have an enchanting, carefree and fabulous Christmas.

two minute stick blender mayonnaise = something simple for you to try this christmas
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 250 ml
Ingredients
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Cup sunflower oil (250ml)
  • For seasoning
  • ¼ – ½ t salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 big squeeze of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. In this specific order - place the egg yolk in a tall container or jug, then add the oil.
  2. Place your stick blender right on top of the egg at the bottom of the jug and start blending until the mayonnaise starts emulsifying. SLOWLY pull the stick blender up to complete the emulsification process.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and serve.

 

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mango + marigold salad with pineapple ginger dressing = painting a fitting tribute to the colour yellow

mango + marigold salad with pineapple ginger dressing = painting a fitting tribute to the colour yellow

 

yellow summer salad, marigold salad

# mango + marigold salad

Marigold Salad – Being the end of year I thought it would be fitting to look back and pay tribute to the fashion colour of 2012 – yellow! Trendsetters and futurists announced some 16 months back that yellow was the new gold…and so it was…rays of sunshine yellow in all manners and forms seemed to permeate many aspects of my life in 2012 – bringing warmth, happiness and vibrancy. It is definitely the colour of life and most undoubtedly changed the fashion scene in 2012.

yellow summer salad, marigold salad

# mango + marigold

About two months ago I attended a garden workshop by Matt Allison at the Secret Festival and he inspired me to relook my herb and veggie garden and to add lovely marigolds to it. It is incredible … these Marigolds have brought dollops of rich hues to my back yard. A few weeks later, I had enough freshly grown salad leaves and aromatic herbs to feed my hubby and my housekeeper’s whole family. What a joy.

I made a summery marigold salad today and to complement the luscious leafy, freshly picked salad I made a pineapple and ginger dressing. Wow, so healthy, so fresh, so yellow and summery. Enjoy!

yellow summer salad, marigold salad

# mango + marigold + corn + sunflower seed

yellow summer salad

# this pretty bug I found in my bed of leaves inspired me to add some pomegranates for fun

marigold salad

# pomegranates for fun

marigold salad

# my herb + veggie garden

mango + marigold salad with pineapple ginger dressing = painting a fitting tribute to the colour yellow
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Rocket leaves
  • Basil leaves
  • Marigold flowers
  • Cos leaves
  • Mango slices
  • Pineapple slice
  • Yellow patty pans sliced
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cooked fresh corn
  • Pineapple + ginger dressing
  • 100g Fresh pineapple
  • 1t Olive oil
  • 62.5ml White vinegar
  • 125ml Honey
  • ½t Freshly grated ginger
  • 1 Mint leave chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Lemon zest of half a small lemon
Instructions
  1. For Dressing - Fry the pineapple in the oil for about two minutes.
  2. Add the vinegar + honey + ginger + mint + salt and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Lastly add the lemon zest - let it cool down and serve with salad.
  4. For salad - mix ingredients together and serve with dressing.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An accidental tourists’ culinary bucket list ….

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

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

Source: Info from various internet web pages

 

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

 

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