Tag Archives: salt

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
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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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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
 
Prep time
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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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mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes

mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes

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I have some wonderful memories of warm crumpets with melting butter and golden syrup dripping down the side. I used to scoff these up as a kid – so the other day I felt like baking a cake but when it came to it, I did not have the energy to go through all that kind of “baking” trouble – you know you get those days sometime 🙂 . Instead I decided to build a crumpet cake stack with caramel in between – you very well know by now that caramel is my downfall and is my ultimate sweet treat. To change the normal crumpet, I added some cocoa and a little vanilla essence.

So without baking for hours I presented my guests with these mini-chocolate-pancake-caramel-cakes and well … It was the best “bake” yet … sweet temptation at its best!

Watch me make this by clicking here.

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choc crumpet

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choc crumpet

 

mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 Egg
  • 30ml Sugar
  • 5ml Vanilla essence
  • 125ml Milk
  • 15ml Melted butter
  • 250 ml Flour
  • 2.5ml Salt
  • 15ml Cocoa powder
  • 10ml Baking powder
  • ½ Tin of caramel
  • Ice cream or cream to serve
Instructions
  1. Beat the egg, sugar and vanilla essence together.
  2. Add half the amount of milk and melted butter.
  3. Add the sifted flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder to the egg mixture. Mix through.
  4. Gradually stir in the remaining milk to form a smooth batter.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a hot greased pan.
  6. Cook on one side and when air bubbles appear, turn with a spatula and cook on the other side until golden brown.
  7. Stack with caramel generously smeared in-between the layers of crumpet and serve with ice cream or cream.
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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
 
Prep time
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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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chicken + chorizo paella

chicken + chorizo paella

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A few weeks ago I was invited to meet Jose and Lisa Gomez owners of Perfect Paella … and all I can say of that night is that the Spanish truly love their Paella, they really know how to throw the best parties and boy can they dance! Just so you know Perfect Paella is selling the most amazing paella pans (and very affordable too) and even give cooking classes if you want to really learn from the Masters.

But for me the paella is one of those dishes that I think has become victim to its own success and modern day popularity – hence the reason why it has so many different interpretations or variation. Now my question today is – to chorizo or not to chorizo? A purist friend of mine said to me he heard that you traditionally don’t use chorizo in paella! This caught me completely off-guard – for one, I have always cooked my own paellas with chorizo and I honestly thought that it is the way to do it! I had to immediately ask one of my best friends Louis who lives near Valentia: would I be defiling an ancient and respected recipe by including chorizo in the paella or not?

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Within 5 minutes of my email, Louis responded as follows: “Nella… NO chorizo if you want traditional paella…my mother-in-law would turn in her grave. The paella with chorizo is more for tourists in Spain and in the South of Spain (Andalucia) . If you throw anything in then it’s just a rice ensemble and not a paella.”

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So there you have it folks – in Spain they don’t use chorizo in a real Paella … But now … I am not a purist or a traditionalist so I love chorizo and love adding it to paella. So my paella is probably a rice concoction of sort in Spanish terms but for me it’s a damn good paella. I also steered well away from the tradition by substituting the wine with some South African “Nagmaalwyn”. My paella is also on the blonder side (not yellow) – another note to self – I need to stock up on some fresh saffron. It was one of the most soulful paellas I have yet to taste – try it and let me know …

 

Paella

chicken + chorizo paella
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 800g Chicken pieces – I take each piece and cleave it into two pieces
  • 2 Chorizo sausages – sliced (+-250g)
  • 2T Olive oil
  • Marinade
  • 2 Garlic cloves - grated
  • 1t Black pepper
  • 1t Salt
  • 50ml Olive Oil
  • 50 ml Nagmaalwyn (Sherry)
  • Other Ingredients
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves – sliced thinly
  • 1 Red pepper – cut into blocks
  • 1 Handful of fresh origanum (or replace with ½t dried origanum)
  • 5 Sprigs of fresh thyme (I use the whole sprigs)
  • 1t Smoked paprika (I did not have smoked paprika so I used normal paprika and added 6 drops of liquid smoke to my stock)
  • 1 Big pinch of saffron - soaked in a little bit of water
  • 50ml Nagmaalwyn
  • 500g Paella rice
  • 1.75L Chicken stock
Instructions
  1. Marinade - Mix all the marinade ingredients together and marinade the chicken for about ½ hour.
  2. Fry the chicken with the chorizo on medium to high heat until nice and brown.
  3. Take out of the pan and add all the rest of the ingredients except the Nagmaalwyn, rice and stock.
  4. Fry for about 5 minutes and then add the Nagmaalwyn to deglaze the pan. Scrape all the beautiful fried pieces from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Then pack the pieces of chicken in the pan – so they are spread evenly and add the sliced chorizo.
  6. Now add ½ of the stock to the pan and then the rice. Make sure all the rice is submerged in the stock.
  7. At this stage you don’t fiddle with the paella – don’t touch it with a spoon, ladle or anything. Cook over medium heat. When the paella looks dry add the rest of the stock and cook till done – about 40 minutes.
  8. Pour yourself a glass of good wine, rope in a few hungry friends and enjoy the flavours and the moment.

 

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pan tumaca = simple + delicious {viva españa}

pan tumaca = simple + delicious {viva españa}

tomato spanish dessert

A slice of toasted bread with tomato … a sophisticated Spanish breakfast? This might surprise you but this is a very popular breakfast for millions of Spaniards… just plain and simple … bread and tomato. Pan tumaca is a recipe invented in Catalonia but according to the www it was probably brought there by Andalusian emigrants. There is just something about the Spanish, the Italians and the Greeks … they have a unique gift of turning the mundane into the fabulous and the dull into something truly delicious.

You see my very good friend chef Louis now lives in Spain – I was heartbroken when he moved to Castellón de la Plana near Valencia a few years ago – it felt like a part of me has gone with him. This past December we had the chance to meet up and spend a few magical days together. Just catching up again with him and his adventures was the most wonderful gift – to laugh, talk and cook together just like in the old days. Spain is now Lu’s new home and he gave me such insights about the real Spanish traditions and their infective passion for food.

The first breakfast of our holiday was this traditional Spanish breakfast – a slice of toasted bread + grated tomato + the best olive oil + maldon salt. No butter – just that. I was a little taken aback as Louis and I, given our collective South African heritage are kinda used to the big breakfasts… you know greasy fry-ups and perhaps even a mixed grill of sorts from the braai the night before… but after my first bite of this tapas-style-pan-tumaca, my anticipation for a sumptuous breakfast dissipated into complete contentment … I was converted! There was bliss to be found in its simplicity and the rudimentary sophistication of this dish.

tomato spanish dessert

However, with everything in life, Lu reminded me that there were a few good rules to follow …

• You can toast the bread if you like, but it is not compulsory
• The tomatoes must be red-ripe + fresh + plump
• Grate the tomatoes [that is what we did] – but the traditional way is to take the tomato and rub it over the one side of the slice of bread
• Use the best olive oil you can find or afford and drizzle over the tomato
• Use Maldon salt to finish the dish
• Some people like to rub garlic before adding the tomato to the bread
• And …Always cook with passion and love – no matter how basic the dish

… And there you have it. Olé!

grated tomato

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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}
 
Prep time
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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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a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection

“If you enjoy reading my blog please vote for it in the Eat Out Best Local Food Blog Award by 1) clicking on this link {eat out best local food blog award} 2) and casting your vote at the bottom of the Eat Out web page.”

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Lesson #1 Alain Passard – Elevate vegetables to the main course. Respect them. Love them.

Cabbage Greek Salad … Just recently, I was fortunate enough to meet and eat at a Parisian restaurant owned and run by one of the best chefs on the planet – and one of my great food heroes. The place was L’Arpege + 3-Star Michelin Restaurant and the chef was none other than Alain Passard!

Having lunch at one of the top restaurants in the world turned out to be a very emotional day for me as we made our way through 13 courses of what can only be described as an expedition to some sort of culinary Nirvana. This was not a sampling menu, it was 13 courses of considerable portion of food.

In order to give fair justice to the skill and care that was taken in serving each course, I intend discussing (or is it dissecting?) various elements of this extraordinary experience over the next few weeks. The sum of which continues to jolt my brain and senses in the most wonderful of ways. More of that later but back to Alain…My hubby and I sat down just on midday and only left the restaurant four and half hours later. It turned out to be not just a meal but more a journey enticing discoveries. It was an explosion of the senses on all fronts from tantalizing the palate, to engaging the brain, to touching my heart. It was all of these things.

Then out of nowhere and so very casually, Alain Passard himself appeared in front of us… and so charmingly and non-chalantly introduced himself. He stood humbly before us wanting to know where we were from and then thanked us for making the effort to eat at his restaurant. Could you believe he thanked me!! I was speechless. He said that if I wanted to know anything, I must just ask him. He was most amused by my little black notebook. It is that little notebook that I take everywhere with me jotting down my thoughts and different food experiences. Alain then just said the following “eat slowly and enjoy every bite, try to stay till dessert because I have a surprise for you” and before you could offer a shy stammer of awe and appreciation he whisked himself back into his kitchen. *more about the surprise and what he meant in a later blog*.

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In between the courses that followed he came out to serve us … how amazing was that!! I was in dreamland and I think for the first time in my life, I was beyond speechless. What I took away from this restaurant and this genius of a chef was that you need to live and practice the credo of this talented food maestro….remember to elevate vegetables to the main course – it is not a side dish – respect them and cook them with love.

Ok, I got a little carried away by my recollections of this exceptional outing, back to dish at hand…..
Today I have taken the often disregarded, humble purple cabbage and added it to make a greek salad the way my dear and wonderful Mediterranean friend Thea Maroela taught me. Thea is +- 79 years old now and lives in Cyprus. Thea always made this particular Greek salad with white cabbage and I used to often eat this salad at Thea’s house with fresh bread and a tumbler of white wine – which Thea always kept in a bottle under the sink for me as she herself did not drink. This dish is a “must make”. It’s fresh, inspiring and delicious.

Note to self: Add to bucketlist – Visit Thea in Cyprus again. Book table and eat again at any restaurant owned by Alain Passard.

Recipe
This recipe has no measurements in terms of ingredients…it is only dependent on the quantity of ingredients you have in your fridge.

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Note
  • This recipe has no measurements in terms of ingredients…it is only dependent on the quantity of ingredients you have in your fridge.
  • Ingredients
  • Red cabbage – finely sliced
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Dressing
  • Good Olive oil
  • White vinegar
  • Salt + black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Pour generously with olive oil and then some vinegar, add the salt and pepper and mix well in a bowl before you dish it up.
  3. Serve with fresh bread.

 

 

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strawberry carpaccio salad = christmas on a plate

strawberry carpaccio salad = christmas on a plate

See me making this recipe live in Afrikaans on Expresso

Strawberry Carpaccio Salad, with goats cheese, pink peppercorns

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

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

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

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

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

Strawberry Carpaccio Salad with goats cheese and pink peppercorns

strawberry carpaccio salad with goats cheese and pink peppercorns

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

 

 

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10 tips to poach the perfect egg

10 tips to poach the perfect egg

My favourite Saturday morning breakfast is a soft poached egg on whole wheat toast with a bit of wild rocket out of my garden and a pinch of Maldon salt. When you cut into that egg and the yellow slowly ooze onto the bread … it is like early morning sunshine on my plate! What I want to share with you today is not a specific recipe on how to poach the perfect egg but a few interesting facts and tips that might help you along the way. I am sure you will know most of them but one or two of these pointers are quite interesting.the perfect mother's day breakfast - 10 tips to poach the perfect egg
1. The fresher the egg, the easier the poach – fresh eggs hold together better when slipped into the simmering water.
2. To test to see whether an egg is fresh – put the egg into a bowl of water. A very fresh egg will immediately sink to the bottom and lie flat on its side – an old egg will float.
3. The eggs must preferably be room temperature.
4. Remember to add a bit of vinegar to the simmering water – it helps hold the egg together.
5. The water must be simmering not boiling.
6. Now, my best tip is to slowly submerse the whole egg with shell and all in the hot simmering water for 10 seconds before you break it. This ensures the whites on the outside of the egg hold together better during poaching.
7. Before breaking the egg into your simmering pot of water, use a spoon and give the water a stir so that it forms a little bit of a whirlpool…the centrifugal motion will pull the egg together when you slide it into the water.
8. When you break the egg break it into a saucer or cup first – be careful not to break the yolk and then simply slide the egg off the saucer or cup into the centre of the whirling water.
9. How long to poach the egg? Here’s a quirky snippet I read…when you put your bread in to toast put your egg in to poach…when your toast pops out of the toaster…your poached egg should be ready to be removed from the pot. Otherwise poach it for 3-5 minutes until cooked.
10. When done scoop out with slotted spoon or spatula onto a paper towel to dry excess water from the now poached egg.

It’s quick but fabulous when poached to perfection… decadent and yummy all at the same time!

Don’t forget too that a poached egg on top of a rocket + bacon salad makes for a wonderful salad option just ever so slightly out of the ordinary.

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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.

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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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