Tag Archives: lifeisazoobiscuit

#eat out awards

#eat out awards

My gosh what a wonderful surprise to win the Eat Out Award for best local food blog for the second time in a row! lifeisazoobiscuit turned 2 years old on the 12th of April 2014 – the same day I received this prestigious award at the Stellenbosch Slowmarket. How’s that for a special birthday present for ‘biscuit?

I have to admit I am ecstatic but humbled by the many people who have put so much faith in me. I am still bubbling with all the excitement but have been so blessed in being able to share my love for food on my blog and even more blessed to have people like you reading my blog. So thank you all for this award.

#happiness

#happiness

Here are some of my fellow blogger friends and colleagues who made it to the Top 8 – check their blogs out … all are so deserving and brilliant:

A Foodie Lives Here – Sarah Graham
The Food Fox – Ilse van der Merwe
The Kate Tin – Katelyn Williams
Real Men Can Cook – Fritz Brand
Simply Delicious – Alida Ryder
Sardines on Toast – Kobus van der Merwe
Food with a Story – Carlin Archer and Deni Archer

#love this wellington

#love this wellington

#best onfectionery – ooh la la

#best confectionery – ooh la la

A complete list of winners of the Eat Out Zonnebloem Produce Awards

Best New Product – Sorbetiere sorbet
Best Small Producer: Baked Goods – Babylonstoren
Best Small Producer: Confectionery – Ooh La La
Best Small Producer: Dairy (Other) – Jenny’s Clotted Cream
Best Small Producer: Dairy (Hard Cheese) – Chrissie’s Country Cheese AND Fynboshoek (tied)
Best Small Producer Dairy (Fresh Cheese) – Buffalo Ridge
Best Small Producer: Earth – Harvest of Hope
Best Small Producer: Grocery/Condiments – Quality Pickles
Best Small Producer: Paddock (Cured) – Woodview Wagyu Beef
Best Small Producer: Paddock (Fresh) – Greenfields Free Range Beef
Best Small Producer: Paddock (Poultry) – Dargle Ducks
Best Small Producer: Seafood – Wayfarer Trout
Innovation Award – Melfort
South African Heritage Award – Oranjezicht City Farm
Best Free-Range/Organic Producer – Farmer Angus
Outstanding Outlets – North: Cheese Gourmet (Johannesburg)
South: Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants (Cape Town) – East: Sprigs (Durban)
Outstanding Markets – North: Neighbourgoods Market (Johannesburg)
South: Neighbourgoods Market (Cape Town) – East: I Heart Market (Durban)
Best Local Food Blog – lifeisazoobiscuit.com by Anél Potgieter

#judges

#judges

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roasted tomato + feta salad

roasted tomato + feta salad

roasted tomato and feta salad

Tomatoes + feta + basil has always presented a really classic combination. By slow roasting the tomatoes one is able to extract that deep, concentrated sweet flavour. My suggestion would be to serve this salad with a slice of toasted sourdough bread or just as a spritely side dish at your summer braai.

Watch me make this by clicking here.

roasted tomato and feta salad

 

roasted tomato + feta salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g baby tomatoes, halved
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 200g feta cheese
  • handful of basil leaves
  • salt and black pepper for seasoning
Instructions
  1. Mix the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar together and roast in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for one hour. Take out of oven, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar, mix well and let it cool down. Taste for seasoning.
  2. Let it cool down to room temperature.
  3. Crumble the feta and add to the tomatoes and the juices. Serve with torn basil leaves.

roasted tomato and feta salad

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butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons

butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons

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Watch me make this by clicking here.

{build me up buttercup}
“build me up buttercup” is that fabulous pop song from way back in the sixties. Hearing this catchy track the other day gave me the inspiration for this dish – a lettuce cup salad that is light and fresh and just in time for summer. So there I was toes tapping, barefoot in the kitchen, singing out loud to my little wispy cups of butter lettuce.

{simplicity}
The simplicity of the dish is amazing yet the taste seems to linger like the last rays of sunshine in your mouth. The ingredients apple, mint, blue cheese, minted mayo and croutons combine into something so appealing to the senses and it will delight the most discerning guests.

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{homemade healthy minty-salty croutons}
I opted to make a more healthier version of the crouton (if this is remotely possible… :-)) … healthier as I chose to use olive oil and then rather than deep fry the bread in oil, I dry fried these crispy nibbles.

{crouton technique}
I have to say, the technique in making the croutons is both simple and fantastic. You add some olive oil and flavouring into a plastic bag, add the blocks of bread and shake the bag till all the croutons are coated. You then dry fry them in a non stick pan.

{serve}
Serve these little cups on individual spoons at a cocktail function or on a big dish for your summer lunch. What is great is the fact that people can fold these “lettuce cups over” to become something of a lettuce wrap. Happy summer everyone!

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butter lettuce cups + healthy homemade minty-salty croutons
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Salad
  • 1 packet butter lettuce
  • 1 green apple, sliced (you can slice it any which way you like)
  • 50g blue cheese, crumbled
  • 50g roasted cashew nuts
  • 1 cup homemade croutons
  • Homemade croutons
  • 2 slices of bread, cut into small blocks – keep the crusts on (+/- 2 cups)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1 plastic bag
  • Salad dressing
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp water
Instructions
  1. Croutons - Add the oil, mint and salt to the bag. Then add you croutons. Shake the bag till all the croutons are coated in both mint and olive oil.
  2. Heat up a non-stick frying pan to medium heat. Add the croutons to the pan and dry fry until golden brown. Remember to shake the pan when frying the croutons so that the croutons fry on all sides.
  3. Salad dressing - Mix all ingredients together.
  4. To assemble - Take a lettuce cup, add your ingredients inside the cup and sprinkle with salad dressing. Serve immediately.
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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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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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beef + veg and married life in the suburbs

beef + veg and married life in the suburbs

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{missing in action}
I have been missing in action for the past few months with work, the FreshlyBlogged competition and a host of other engagements. As a result Rick was somewhat neglected – we were like ships passing in the night. When we did see each other it was a bark about this or a mumble about that…you know how it goes when life just gets too busy. 🙂

{let me surprise hubby}
So when at long last I got the opportunity to get my life into my normal routine… I decided to make him his favourite meal – Beef and Veg. I thought I would surprise him with a beautifully set table, candles, a good bottle of red wine and a scrumptious meal.

I took a beef roast and placed it in the bottom of a roasting pan, added all the veggies and herbs that were lying at the bottom of my fridge and then poured some red wine and balsamic vinegar over the lot …. Well the dish was tender, flavourful and simply delicious.

{happpy night … nope}
Now you are probably thinking that we had this cosy, catch-up evening with candles and all. Nope, he phoned me early evening to say that he would not be home early – he had some work matters to attend to. So there I was sitting all on my own getting hammered on the wine.

Oh well this stuff happens, when he did get home I had a few sharp words to say…and so did he. We barked a bit more and I eventually gave Rick his dinner on a tray in front of the telly. You see married life in the suburbs is full of frustrations, trials and tribulations.

{what did i learn}
What did I learn this time around? Well nothing – but I still enjoyed cooking the dish, I still loved laying the table, I still loved photographing the dish the next morning before work … maybe next time…

B&V 5 800

 

beef + veg roast
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1.2kg beef roll
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 potatoes, quartered
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • handful of parsley
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup of red wine
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a baking tray. Toss the vegetables with your hands so that the beef and veggies are well seasoned with the salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the red wine.
  3. Bake for 1hr20 min or more in the oven till done – check every now and then. Take the roast out of the oven and cover with foil and then let it rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Cut the beef into slices and put some of the veggies and sauceover the meat.
  5. Serve with lashings of sourdough bread.

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life is a dog biscuit too…

life is a dog biscuit too…

“No more are the usual dog biscuits fit for their cute palates … no mom, we want our biltong + cheese biscuits – and we want them now!”

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{frankie and robbie}
For those of you that don’t know me that well, I have two canine children – Robbie {Williams}; the boisterously adventurous extrovert and Frankie {Sinatra}; the more timid, introverted one.  These two heaven-sent cocker-spaniels arrived on my doorstep five years ago and have since shared my adventures in and around my kitchen. They have sniffed curiously here there and everywhere.  With their tails wagging furiously whenever something might come out of the oven or off the coals…they have been there… I like to think of them as my #1 fans…

{doggie surprise}
Just the other day I decided to bake them a little surprise – some cheese and biltong dog biscuits.   My two mischievous butternuts knew something was up when the baked aroma of the biltong and cheese wafted through the house.  Their tails were wagging backwards and forwards like overactive wind screen wipers … and the verdict … they LOVED it.

Ever since baking these delights I have had to ration them for those special occasions of exemplary behaviour.  No more are the usual dog biscuits fit for their cute palates…. No mom, we want our biltong + cheese biscuits – and we want them now!

I reckon in the culinary dog rating world, Robbie and Frankie have rated these 12 out of 10 as dog digestives go. Share these with man’s best friend….they will be you NBF’s for life.  🙂

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biltong + cheese dog biscuits
 
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Author:
Serves: 15 biscuits
Ingredients
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 chicken stock (stock pot)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup biltong, grated
  • ¾ cup maize meal
  • 2 ¾ cups cake flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 °C.
  2. Dilute the stock into the boiling water and add the oats and olive oil. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Now thoroughly stir in all the other ingredients except the flour.
  4. Mix in the flour 1 cup at a time until it forms a stiff dough. Add the rest of the flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Roll out the dough to about 1 cm thickness.
  5. Cut the cookies with your cookie cutter and place on a prepared baking tray.
  6. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Cool and store in an airtight container.

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beef burger – keep it simple

beef burger – keep it simple

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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baked fruit salad

baked fruit salad

baked fruit salad

I felt like a fruit salad the other day but because it was freezing cold and wintery outside I did not feel like cold fruit. I decided then and there to make a baked fruit salad. For me, a fruit salad is not specific fruit – it’s just fruit that you have in your bowl. On that day I had guavas, bananas, apples and pears. I just cored them and baked these with star anise, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter.

It formed this delicious yummy tropical caramel-like sauce at the bottom and was devilish delicious with a dollop of ice cream. Sometimes in life, you have to do things differently. Try it, it sometimes holds some delightful surprises.

baked fruit salad

baked fruit salad

baked fruit salad

baked fruit salad

 

baked fruit salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Apple, cored and cut into quarters
  • 1 Pear, cored and cut into quarters
  • 1 Banana, peeled and cut into 2 lengths
  • 3 Guavas, cut into half
  • 3 Tbsp (15ml) Soft brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (15ml) Butter
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 Large cinnamon stick
  • Foil
  • Ice cream or cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C
  2. Add all the ingredients in an oven pan and cover with foil.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil and serve hot with a serving of ice cream or whipped cream.

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picasso’s chicken

picasso’s chicken

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

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

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

Picasso's chicken

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

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

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

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

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

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Tips for char grilling peppers

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

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

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

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

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the universe + marcus wareing

the universe + marcus wareing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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amarula spoons – simple seduction spoon by tempting spoon

amarula spoons – simple seduction spoon by tempting spoon

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

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

Watch me make this by clicking here.

amarula spoon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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chicken + tangy coleslaw open sandwich

chicken + tangy coleslaw open sandwich

This deliciousness of a sandwich was introduced to me by my work colleague, the lovely American – Madeleine. I just love the combination of the fresh ingredients and the fantastic salad dressing that just lifts each bite. I realised once again how delicious homemade salad dressings are … and together with the coleslaw + chicken makes for a tangy-crunchy, rich-tasty, but above all healthy easy meal. For an even healthier option you can just grill your chicken.

What is also super is that you can use the coleslaw as a salad on its own – I added some fennel + flavourburst micro leaves + bean sprouts to give it extra flavour and crunch. This salad fits in perfectly with one of those impromptu braais that we so enjoy.

Watch me make this by clicking here.

chicken and coleslaw

chicken and coleslaw chicken and coleslaw chicken and coleslaw

chicken + tangy coleslaw open sandwich
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 Slices of bread
  • 300g Crumbed chicken pieces / steaklets
  • Coleslaw
  • 50g White cabbage, finely sliced
  • 50g Red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 Spring onions or salad onions, chopped
  • 2 Baby fennel bulbs, finely sliced
  • 40g Mung bean sprouts or any sprouts
  • 1 Red chilli, chopped
  • 10 g Parsley, chopped
  • 10g Flavourburst micro leaf salad (optional)
  • Salad dressing
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
  • 10g Parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Large pinch of milled black pepper
  • ¼ Cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 °C and bake the crumbed chicken pieces for 20 minutes – or as per the instructions indicated on the packet.
  2. Mix all the coleslaw ingredients together.
  3. Mix the salad dressing ingredients together and drizzle over coleslaw. Mix well and make sure you coat all of the coleslaw. Season to taste.
  4. Place the just fried or oven baked chicken pieces onto your bread and top it with the coleslaw.
  5. Note: I don’t butter my bread but you can if you want to.

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duo homemade samoosas

duo homemade samoosas

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

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

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

home made samosa

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

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

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

Samosas-6

image from xawaash.com

Samosas-5

image from xawaash.com

Ingredients + Rules for challenge #4

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

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

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hot mexican burger

hot mexican burger

Pick n Pay freshlyblogged challenge #3

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

hot mexican burger

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

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

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

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

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

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