Tag Archives: butter

love + hetta’s soetkoekies + the engagement #gift

love + hetta’s soetkoekies + the engagement #gift

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{love is a strange thing}
Love is a strange and wonderful thing. Within the cycle of life, love usually takes the following course… you first want to rip the other persons’ clothes off, then you fall in love, get engaged, get married, settle down and live happily ever after … or not so happily ever after. In this day and age it seems more and more the latter – those bonds that are too often broken by not so happy divorces.

{hetta’s soetkoekies}
So you will understand my excitement and surprise when I got an invitation to an engagement! But my dilemma was what to give to this fabulous couple for an engagement #gift? I then remembered Hetta van Deventer-Terblanche’s Soetkoekies at the recent #cookieswop. When I bit into Hetta’s cookies it took me way back to my Tannie Miena op die plaas just outside Harrismith in the Free State. Tannie Miena supplied the tuisnywerheid op die dorp with baked goods. One of her most irresistible creations was these spicy cookie surprises. Every time we arrived on the farm she would hug me and gently press a few cookies in my hand – with her warm, soft bakers hands… these were Soetkoekies, made with the only ingredient she knew…love.

{the engagement #gift}
So I decided to bake these nostalgic Soetkoekies for Steve and Rebecca’s engagement. It was perhaps a small token by the measure of things these days but it was my gift for them both … made with love and tied together with the ribbons of friendship.

{the couple}
To Steve and Rebecca: May your love and life together be forever eternal, spiced with passion, fun and that special kind of love that lasts forever. Love me.

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hetta’s soetkoekies
 
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Author:
Serves: 60 small cookies
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (4 x 250ml) cake flour
  • 1 ½ cup (375ml) sugar (I used castor sugar)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp (5ml) ground ginger
  • 1tsp (5ml) ground cloves
  • ½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) butter
  • ¼ cup (60ml) cooking fat (I replaced this with butter)
  • 1 tsp (5ml) bicarbonate soda
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) luke warm water (I used 4 Tbsp water)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • My addition: cinnamon sugar for dusting after baking
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. {Hetta’s recipe says that you have to make the dough the day before and let it stand overnight, I did not have time to do that so I baked mine immediately}*
  2. Sift the flour, salt and spices together. Add the sugar.
  3. Rub in the butter and fat until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Dissolve the bicarbonate soda in the water and add to the beaten egg.
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture to make a dough. Knead until thoroughly mixed. {Leave to stand overnight}*
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 5 mm.
  7. Cut out rounds with cookie cutter and stamp a message on with cookie stamp.
  8. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Place biscuits on a wire rack, sprinkle immediately with some cinnamon sugar and cool.

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

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

Pick n Pay freshlyblogged challenge #2

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

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

ragu

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

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

ragu

 

 

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

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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
 
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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
 
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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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my aunt bettie’s bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket

my aunt bettie’s bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket

bread pudding

There are a few desserts that will always be on top of my nostalgic pudding list … and one of them is my mom’s bread pudding. She tells me that her version of bread pudding comes from my aunt Bettie from Kroonstad in the Free State. In this recipe you don’t use slices of bread but rather bread crumbs and you add nutmeg and this soft meringue blanket on top. In my version I used ghee to add a nutty flavour to the dish and if you want to be a traditionalist you can add some apricot jam on top of the pudding before you add the meringue. In our house, bread pudding was always served with homemade custard or a crème anglaise.

Watch me make this by clicking here.

mom's brood pudding recipe

This dessert’s simplicity lends itself to different interpretations and countless variations and any type of bread may be used – although white breads are the more commonly used. For me bread pudding is definitely comfort food with a big C.

bread pudding

But where does the original bread pudding come from? Bread puddings date back many centuries. Its origins can even be traced back to the days of the Romans! Back in those ancient times citizens could ill-afford to waste food so a variety of recipes stale bread were invented and became commonplace. Bread pudding was one of these recipes. Bread puddings were not only made by the Romans. Ancient versions of bread pudding include Om Ali, an Egyptian dessert made from bread, milk or cream, raisins and almonds; Eish es Serny, a Middle Eastern dish made from dried bread, sugar, honey syrup, rosewater and caramel; and Shahi Tukra, an Indian dish made from bread, ghee, saffron, sugar, rosewater and almonds.

bread pudding

my aunt bettie's bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups bread crumbs (6 slices of bread)
  • 2¼ Cups milk
  • 4 Egg yolks – beaten
  • ¼t Nutmeg
  • 2T Sugar
  • 3T Melted ghee (clarified butter)
  • ¼t Salt
  • To smear on after the first bake
  • 2T Apricot jam (optional)
  • For meringue
  • 4 Egg whites
  • 2T Sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for a few minutes and then add all the other ingredients.
  3. Put in a buttered baking dish and bake for one hour.
  4. While the pudding is baking beat the eggs till soft peaks and then add the cream of tartar + salt + add the sugar spoon by spoon. Beat till you get a soft meringue.
  5. Smear some apricot jam thinly on top of the pudding and then add the meringue on top of the pudding - bake till golden brown for about 8 minutes.
  6. Serve with homemade custard.

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pear crumble – a true treat

pear crumble – a true treat

If you want to watch me make this – click here.

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The other day a delivery of the most beautiful Abate Fetel pears from Tru-Cape arrived at my desk and it inspired me to make this delicious and easy pear crumble. That day I handed these delicious pears to some of my colleagues … well they all shouted for more and said they were just so utterly natural, fresh and delicious. Pears are such heavenly treats and so fabulous to bake with – so I baked some and also did a little research on the humble Abate Fetel pear* …

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Pronunciation
Abate Fete: ah-BAH-tay fuh-TEL

History
These pears were fist cultivated by Italian monks a few hundred years ago.

Shape + Look
Unlike normal pear-shaped pears, this variety of pear is slim and long and often many people have described it as almost banana-shaped. This fruit has an attractive yellowish brown russet over its green exterior.

When to eat
This variety of pear is eaten when it is just barely soft; you don’t have to wait for the fleeting, elusive moment between green woodiness and pulpy mush.

Taste
A rich sweet taste with a very unusual note: could it be aromatic honey?

Source: thekitchn.com + specialtyfruitclubs.com

* Abate Fete pears are now available in Checkers Stores nationwide.

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pear crumble - a true treat
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the filling
  • 400g Pears (cored and sliced thinly) - +- 3 Pears
  • 50g Brown sugar
  • 20g Butter cut in blocks
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 Star anise
  • 1 Cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the crumble
  • 40g Oats
  • 40g Flour
  • 25g Castor sugar
  • 40g Butter – cut into small blocks
  • ¼ t Cinnamon powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • To serve
  • Vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Filling – Place all the ingredients into a pan, cook over medium heat for 5 minutes and then transfer cooked ingredients into a small ovenproof dish.
  3. Crumble - Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cut the butter into small cubes and add this to the dry ingredient mixture. Mix with your fingertips until it resembles an even crumbed texture.
  4. Cover the pears with the crumble mixture. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until the crumble turns golden and serve hot with some creamy vanilla ice cream.

 

 

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easter blondies anyone?

easter blondies anyone?

Blondie

Watch me making this by clicking here.

Bon Appetit magazine listed the “Blondie” as one of the food trends of 2013 and I can only concur. This is decadence with a capital D. For too long chocolate brownies ruled the dessert roost – in all shapes and sizes … yet I dare to re-introduce the Cinderella cousin … the Blondie!

– Bon Appetit Magazine | Blond(ie) is the New Brown(ie)
For dessert snobs, blondies have always been a pale imitation of their darker inspiration. But now the fairer-hued bar is coming into its own. In New York, Stellina sells a Dirty Blondie with peanut butter and toffee. And in San Francisco,Black Jet Baking Co. adds brown butter and Maldon sea salt to set a new standard for what the classic un-brownie should be.

She is so sexy, sassy and delicious. I added all my favourite stuff … like white chocolate (you can give me white chocolate anyday and anytime – just LOVE it) + pistachio nuts + because I am in an Easter mood I added some marshmallow Easter eggs. This is my most adorable sweety thing at the moment – try it. She is a real treat!

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blondies
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Eggs
  • 175g Demarera sugar (or you can replace this with Muscovado sugar)
  • 1t Vanilla essence
  • 100g Butter – melted
  • 100g Flour
  • ½t Baking powder
  • 50g Pistachio nuts
  • 100g White chocolate – cut into very small pieces
  • 3-4 Marshmallow Easter eggs – cut into small blocks
  • Sprinkle of Maldon salt
  • To serve
  • Raspberries
  • Crème Fraiche
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Beat the eggs till foamy. Add the sugar bit by bit. Beat for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla essence and then add melted butter, a little by little while beating.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture. Fold in with spoon – don’t overwork the mixture.
  5. Add the Pistachio nuts, white chocolate, marshmallow eggs.
  6. Line a baking tray 20cm x 20cm with baking paper – add the dough and sprinkle with a bit of Maldon salt - bake for 35 minutes at 180°C.
  7. Let it cool down and serve with fresh raspberries and a dash of crème fraiche.

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sundried tomato + parmesan scones {the expresso way}

sundried tomato + parmesan scones {the expresso way}

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During South Africa’s first ever live televised cook along this morning on Expresso {SABC3}, I made these delicious savoury scones {recipe below}. While Expresso’s Katelyn and Zola were cooking in the studio, a few of us {including food24 editor Caro de Waal!} were cooking along in our kitchens. So, how does it work? It’s very simple – get the recipe on the Expresso website, purchase the necessary ingredients and on the day of the cook along switch on your TV and let the cooking, excitement and fun begin! It was delightful to know that I wasn’t the only one with flour all over my hair, and it was great to hear the tips and instructions straight from the telly. I encourage you to join us in the future; it’s great fun! Keep an eye on my twitter or facebook for the next cook along.

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{two of my colleagues} pierre + madeleine loved these tasty treats!

p and m 800

sundried tomato + parmesan scones {the expresso way}
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 250ml Cake flour
  • 10ml Baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 30g Cold butter, diced
  • 125ml Grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 Sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 t Dried oregano
  • 1 Egg
  • 45ml Milk
  • Extra egg, beaten with 2 Tbs water for egg wash.
Instructions
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour mixture until it is crumbly.
  3. Add the grated parmesan, sundried tomatoes and oregano.
  4. Whisk together the 1 egg and milk.
  5. Slowly add the liquid to the flour mix and stir lightly to combine with a knife.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat out lightly with hands.
  7. Roll out to about 2cm thickness.
  8. Cut with a round cutter and place onto a greased baking tray.
  9. Brush the top of each scone with egg wash.
  10. Bake at 200C for about 10-12 minutes.

 

 

 

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sweet lavender flatbread with buttery-caramel-wells

sweet lavender flatbread with buttery-caramel-wells

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If you want to watch me making this bread {click here}

There is nothing better that waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread. I remember my mom used to bake fresh bread every single Saturday and the whiffs of the smell of that bread got me running to the kitchen – grabbing the jar of butter – smearing a big heap on and biting in into the piping hot bread … mhhh

So the other day I was in somewhat of a bread baking mood and whilst walking through my garden the lavender bush caught my eye. I imagined the scented lavender in a sweet bread and a bread which I did not have to butter myself …. so I instantly decided to make this loaf and add the butter to the dough just before baking. It’s absolutely delicious. The lavender offers just a very subtle hint to the bread making it quite moreish….and the butter and sugar form these little buttery-caramel-wells of deliciousness … Try it for yourself – you will finish this loaf in no time!
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sweet lavender flatbread with buttery-caramel-wells
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • For the dough
  • 500g Bread flour
  • 1t Salt
  • 3 Lavender flowers – picked from the stalk
  • 5g Dry yeast
  • 330ml Lukewarm water
  • 2T Sugar
  • 40g Butter – room temperature
  • Toppings
  • 1 Egg - lightly beaten
  • 3T Sugar
  • 40g Butter – cut into small blocks
Instructions
  1. Mix the yeast, lukewarm water and sugar together and let it stand for 5 minutes - to allow the yeast to develop.
  2. Mix the flour + salt + lavender flowers together and then add the yeast mixture plus the butter.
  3. Mix well and then knead for 5 minutes till dough is elastic and smooth in texture.
  4. Place dough in a warm area and to let it proof and double in size – for about an hour.
  5. After it has doubled in size knock the dough down lightly.
  6. Then put in a non-stick baking tray pan stretch the dough softly with your finger tips till the surface area of the pan is covered.
  7. Let it proof for another 20 minutes.
  8. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  9. Then with your finger poke random holes into the dough (do not pierce the dough) popping a knob of butter into each hole.
  10. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 °C for +-20 minutes – till golden brown.

 

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vegetable soup = slow warm hearty comfort

vegetable soup = slow warm hearty comfort

vegetable soup=slow warm hearty comfort

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

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

vegetable soup=slow warm hearty comfort

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

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

vegetable soup=slow warm hearty comfort

vegetable soup=slow warm hearty comfort  - broccoli stems

 

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

 

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flambéed sweet apple omelette = a delicious yellow glowing matter

flambéed sweet apple omelette = a delicious yellow glowing matter

flambéed sweet apple omelette=a delicious yellow glowing matter

Watch me make this by clicing here

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

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

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

flambéed sweet apple omelette=a delicious yellow glowing matter

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-rounds

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-rounds

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

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

Watch me make this by clicking here.

milk tart + tea cups + merry-go-round

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

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

Dankie Ma. Lief vir jou.

 

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

 

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peas + lettuce + parsley + onions = petits pois a la francaise

peas + lettuce + parsley + onions = petits pois a la francaise

peas + lettuce + parsley + onions=petits pois a la francaise

Lettuce + peas + onions – in French … Petits Pois a la Francaise. Sometime a go I decided to up my French cooking techniques and my friend Pierre (kitchenbabble.com) from Bangkok suggested we start cooking our way through Le Cordon Bleu at Home recipe book. As it then turned out, Saturdays became a specific cooking lesson, with Pierre in Bangkok and myself here in Cape Town, we set out on what was such an intriguing and rewarding international, virtual cooking experience. From other ends of the atlas, we emailed and facebooked our comparative findings.

This dish of lettuce + peas + onions was a lesson in which they paired it with a roast chicken. My culinary dictionary expletives included…it is absolutely delicious!!! As it happened, we did not finish the chicken – as this dish just took centre stage on the table…. My friends tucked into this dish, with bread in hand it was like a peasant dish – or from the look of my friends, their last meal as they soaked up the juices, finishing every little last little pea! You can serve this as a side dish or as a main meal – just bring the bread, good wine..and good friends.

peas + lettuce + parsley + onions=petits pois a la francaisepeas + lettuce + parsley + onions=petits pois a la francaisepeas + lettuce + parsley + onions=petits pois a la francaisepeas + lettuce + parsley + onions=petits pois a la francaise

peas + lettuce + parsley + onions = petits pois a la francaise
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Small head of lettuce chiffonade * see at bottom of recipe for the chiffonade technique
  • 5 Tablespoons of real butter (margarine is not going to work this time!)
  • 3 Cups of peas ( I used frozen peas, I simply poured hot water over and let it stand for 5 minutes and thereafter drain)
  • 18 Pearl onions pealed
  • 1 Small bunch of parsley ( tie into bouquet with kitchen twine)
  • ⅓ Cup water
  • 11/2 T Sugar
  • 1t Salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the lettuce + peas + onions. Stir gently until the lettuce wilts.
  3. Add the parsley + water + sugar + salt.
  4. Stand back, simmer for +/- 30 minutes, taste for seasoning, then be amazed!
  5. Remove parsley and serve.
  6. * Stack the lettuce leaves one on top of each other and roll them up tight into a cylinder – or something like a rolled lettuce tube. Then cut the cylinder crosswise into thin slices.

 

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cauliflower soup with brie + smoked paprika + little toasts

cauliflower soup with brie + smoked paprika + little toasts

cauliflower soup with brie + smoked paprika + little toasts

Derick Henstra is the Chairman of the company that I am very fortunate to work for. He is an amazing individual, architect, artist, food lover and wine connoisseur. A while ago he told me about a cauliflower soup with brie, smoked paprika and crostini (“little toasts” in Italian) that he ate in Durban. I immediately decided that I would have to make and taste this – I made it a bit different…choosing to roast the cauliflower … well, I cannot tell you how amazing it tasted. The smoked paprika certainly compliments the roasted cauliflower and the melting brie inside gives it just that extra edge. There is not one flavour that overpowers the other and all seems to come together in perfect harmony … it is a simple + beautiful bowl of joy! This one is for you dh … carpe diem.

Note: Smoked paprika is a wonderful ingredient but please use it sparingly + with respect. You can easily overpower the dish with its strong flavour. I bought the smoked paprika at Newport Deli in Cape Town.

cauliflower soup with brie + smoked paprika + little toasts

 

roasted cauliflower soup with brie + smoked paprika + little toasts
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Cauliflower heads – cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 Big onion – cut into quarters
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 2 Cup water
  • 1 Chicken or Vegetable stock cube
  • 2 Cups full-cream milk (if you want it richer you can replace one cup of milk with cream or you can use fat free milk as a more healthier option)
  • 20g Butter (or more 🙂 )
  • 1 Large pinch of salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 125g Brie cheese – cut into 6 pieces
  • Smoked Paprika to sprinkle over the soup.
  • Preparing the "little toasts"
  • Cut a French loaf into thin slices and toast in toaster.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Put cauliflower and onion in bowl – pour the olive oil over it and swirl the contents around in the bowl until all the vegetable pieces are lightly covered in oil. Place on baking tray and bake in the oven for +- 25 - 30 minutes until roasted and browned.
  3. Take a pot, add the water and the stock cube.
  4. Add the cauliflower and onion and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the milk and liquidize. It will have a nice thick consistency. If you find the consistency too thick just add a bit of extra milk.
  6. Add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Please taste and use more salt if needed.
  7. Pour piping hot soup into bowls. Put a wedge of brie in each, then add the "little toasts" on top and sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika!
  8. Tuck-in and enjoy!

 

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