Tag Archives: tomato

kachumbari #salad

kachumbari #salad

On my recent travels to the island of Zanzibar, chef Prabhakar Kumar from the Diamonds La Gemma Dell’ Est Hotel, introduced me to the local Kachumbari salad. It is so simple that you might start thinking to yourself…so what is the big fuss? This scrumptious salad consists of onion, tomato, cucumber and carrot and is seasoned with lemon or lime and salt and pepper. But it’s the way that you cut your veggies that differentiates this from you normal run of the mill veggie salad. It must be cut with love into very fine thin slivers. Don’t discard the pips of the tomato or cucumber – use it all. This salad is a perfect accompaniment to poached fish.

Kachumbari salad

Kachumbari salad

Chef Prabhakar Kumar served poached fish on pilaf rice and a bit of kachumbari salad

Chef Prabhakar Kumar served poached fish on pilaf rice and a bit of kachumbari salad

Beautiful fresh fish poached in whole spices

Beautiful fresh fish poached in whole spices



Kachumbari salad

1 onion, halved and cut it into fine slivers
1 tomato, halved and cut it into fine slivers
½ cucumber, halved and cut it into fine slivers
1 carrot, julienned
10 ml lemon or lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Mix all the veggies together then add the lemon juice and salt + pepper.

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warm #BLT salad with mozzarella + basil + red wine vinegar

warm #BLT salad with mozzarella + basil + red wine vinegar

This dish is inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who loves the combination of warm bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. I turned it into a salad by adding mozzarella, basil and vinegar. This is utterly delicious and with a good piece of bread makes a perfect meal for this in-between season time of year.

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Serves 4
Preparation and cooking time: 20 min

250 g bacon
1 T olive oil
400 g baby tomatoes, half some and keep some whole
3 gem lettuce heads, cut in half length-ways
1 T olive oil
2 T good red wine or sherry vinegar
150 g bocconcini (fresh mozzarella balls), torn into pieces
Handful of fresh basil
Maldon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and fry the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Set aside and keep warm. Put the tomato and lettuce in a bowl, add the other tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss together. Add the lettuce and tomatoes into the bacon pan and fry for about 5 minutes until the lettuce halves are wilted and browned and the tomatoes are warmed through. Add the bacon and the two tablespoons of the vinegar for the last minute or two. Turn everything onto a flat salad dish – add the mozzarella and basil. Sprinkle with a bit more of the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

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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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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
 
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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
 
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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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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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shades of night – the alluring aubergine

shades of night – the alluring aubergine

Although I did not quite start painting I decided I wanted to bring this mysterious aura of the aubergine into one photograph – to highlight its mysteriousness and allow the almost reclusive mood of the vegetable to translate onto the plate – anel

aubergine and tomato pasta

I always had a deep love for aubergines – something more than the usual obsession … when I see aubergines I want to design and create. I want to take out a canvas and start painting all its deep and alluring hues. The aubergine is just so mysterious and captivating, I don’t know if it is the beautiful shape with the green crown or that dark purple colour – or when you cut them they are full of these beautiful seeds and flesh – something dark, almost sinister yet enticing.

My mom used to sprinkle it with salt, then just roll it into some flour and fry then in a pan of oil. She then gave it a little sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce – and I was in heaven. Soft, delicious and packed with flavour.

pasta 2 800

So with this all said, I decided to keep this recipe simple using only tomatoes and some red peppers however, my creativity got the better of me after I took the pics. Although I did not quite start painting I decided I wanted to bring this mysterious aura of the aubergine into one photograph – to highlight its mysteriousness and allow the almost reclusive mood of the vegetable to translate onto the plate. Enjoy.

aubergine and tomato pasta

 

aubergine + tomato pasta
 
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Author:
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 500g Aubergines – cut into 1 cm circles - leave the skin on
  • 500g Rosa tomatoes
  • One whole garlic bulb – cut in half (do not peel or break into smaller cloves)
  • 1 Red pepper sliced thinly
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh basil
  • 500g Pasta – cooked as per packet instructions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190 C°. Sprinkle the tomatoes, red pepper, garlic generously with olive oil and paint both sides of the aubergine with the olive oil. Place everything on a baking tray sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and bake for 40 minutes.
  2. In the mean time cook your pasta until al dente.
  3. When done squeeze some of the roasted tomatoes with your hands into a pulp over the pasta – mix into the pasta. It forms a tomato sauce for the pasta.
  4. Tear the aubergines and add the red peppers. Squeeze the garlic out of the shells and add to the dish.
  5. Season liberally with Maldon salt and some pepper and a good sprinkle with olive oil.
  6. Finish the dish off by adding parmesan shavings and freshly chopped parsley and some basil leaves.

 

 

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ham hock soup pot + wine + friends = perfect winter’s day

ham hock soup pot + wine + friends = perfect winter’s day

On one of those balmy, yet Cape wintery type days my husband and I were invited to lunch at some lovely friends of ours in their beautifully renovated old family home. It was one of those blissful afternoons spent cooking, sharing and laughing in the kitchen in between glasses of champagne. Whilst my friend and I nattered about this and that, the men drank beer, talked rugby and entertained the young kids as they excitedly ran in and out the house, chasing rugby balls, soccer balls and even the resident rooster. You know it was one of those special few hours where you completely forget about the troubles and stresses of the week, the chores or the unfinished laundry back at home. It was just one of those perfect afternoons.

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Back in the kitchen, my friend made this amazing dish of ham hock, beans, chorizo and tomatoes – her husband was quick to say that despite his wife’s considerable resume of cooking qualifications and accomplishments that it was actually his dish – yes he claimed it! I was duly informed that there was no actual recipe and they just throw things together– it was thick and rich and perfect with a piece of bread at the bottom. This is my type of cooking. This is cooking at its best – it’s slow, it’s full of flavour and full of love.

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Most of the time, I too cook without recipes but being a blogger I have since forced myself into the discipline of writing everything down. So here you go – this is my version of this splendid ham hock soup pot – it is so delish and so nurturing and perfect for a cold winter’s night. To make matters and preparation simple I decided to use three ingredients of everything – and it worked out perfectly. You need about 4 hours for this so it may be a good idea to make it the day before.

There is also no doubt that this soup needs to be prepared with love and working your way through a few glasses of good red wine, swapping stories and spending some carefree idle hours in the company of good friends.

ham hock soup pot + wine + friends = perfect winter's day
 
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Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 Smoked ham hock +- 1kg
  • 3 Large carrots – finely chopped
  • 3 Large onions - finely chopped
  • 3 Celery sticks - finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 3T Olive oil
  • ⅓ Cabbage thinly sliced
  • 3 Tins of tomatoes
  • 3T Tomato paste
  • 3 Stock cubes
  • 3L Water
  • 3 Tins of beans (butter beans or black eyed beans etc)
  • 30g Chorizo sliced thinly (optional)
  • 3T Oats
Instructions
  1. Fry the onions, carrots, celery and garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Then add all the other ingredients except the beans + chorizo + oats and simmer for 3 hours.
  3. After 3 hours add the beans, chorizo and oats and simmer for another hour.
  4. Take the hock out – shred the meat and discard the skin and fat. Throw the meat back in the soup and serve piping hot with a delicious gremolate and some chopped chillies. Oh, yes and some chunky freshly baked bread.

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longing for braaibroodjies + sunny skies + chevrolet

longing for braaibroodjies + sunny skies + chevrolet

Watch me make braaibroodjies by clicking here

Braaibroodjies

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

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

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

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

Braaibroodjies

Braaibroodjie Tips

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

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

Braaibroodjies

Braaibroodjies

Ingredients
Sliced bread
Butter
Onion
Tomato
Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Method
As above

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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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goat curry + saffron egg basmati rice = a delicious indian feast

goat curry + saffron egg basmati rice = a delicious indian feast

goat curry and saffron rice

Goat and Bean Curry: People probably thought I was off my head when I decided to cook goat on Dinner Divas for national television. We have over 50 million people in this country, 11 official languages and a rainbow of cultures – I wanted to show the people of our beautiful nation that it is a healthy and delicious choice. It’s affordable too! Did you know more goat meat is eaten throughout the world than any other red meat? This is a fact!

Goat meat is a healthy alternative to beef and chicken because of its lower calorie, fat and cholesterol totals. It comprises 63 percent of all red meat that is consumed worldwide! Currently, goats make up the main source of animal protein in many North African and Middle Eastern nations. Goats are also important in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and other tropical regions across our planet.

saffron basmati rice with goats curry

Anyway, I got a shoulder of goat meat from my mom’s local butcher and decided to transform this into a delicious goat curry. You will often hear people say that goat meat is tough, tastes “funny”, poor man’s meat so to speak…this is where we are naive I think. If we are not prepared to try something and taste for ourselves we will be forever missing out on the real flavours that permeate our society and world. You have to try this goat for yourself. Take my word for it – it’s just delicious.

 

goat + bean curry
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 600g Goat (bite-sized goat pieces – softer pieces no bones for this one)
  • 2t Garlic and ginger mix - see recipe below
  • 2t Green marsala - see recipe below
  • 1t Red marsala - see recipe below
  • 11/2 t Salt
  • ½t Turmeric
  • 2t Medium marsala (curry powder)
  • 1t Cumin and coriander powder
  • 3 Medium onions chopped
  • 1T Ghee or normal butter
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 3 Cloves
  • 410g Rhodes Tomatoes Chopped and Peeled
  • 5 Curry leaves
  • 410g Rhodes Butter Beans in Brine
  • 2T Fresh chopped coriander
  • Fresh coriander for serving
Instructions
  1. Mix the goat, garlic & ginger mix, green marsala, red marsala, salt, turmeric, medium marsala and cumin + coriander powder together and set aside to marinade.
  2. Fry the chopped onion in the oil and ghee till translucent.
  3. Add the star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Fry for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the goat and brown the meat.
  5. Then add the chopped tomatoes and curry leaves.
  6. Let it simmer closed on medium heat for about 50 minutes. Stir now and then - add a little water if you see the sauce gets too dry.
  7. After 40 minutes add the beans with the “juice”- and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  8. Taste for seasoning - or if you so prefer, add more chillies.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh coriander just before serving.

 
saffron egg basmati rice
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For rice
  • 1 Cups of Basmati rice
  • A few strands of saffron (if you don’t have saffron use a pinch of turmeric powder)
  • 2T Ghee
  • For onions
  • 3 Large onions
  • 2T Cooking oil
  • 2T Ghee
  • For eggs
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of hot water
  • Few strands of saffron (if you don’t have saffron use ½ t turmeric powder)
Instructions
  1. Cook the Basmati rice as per the packet instructions however add the few strands of saffron to the water and remember to also add salt before boiling the rice. Drain the rice using a sieve. Rinse with hot water. Then add the ghee and lightly mix through.
  2. Cut the onions in side lengths in strips. Fry till golden brown over medium heat in the oil and ghee.
  3. Boil the eggs. Tip: For perfectly hard boiled eggs – bring the eggs to boil and then turn the heat down and let the egss stand in the hot water for 10 minutes.
  4. Peal the eggs.Add the saffron to the water and add the pealed eggs.
  5. Let it stand for about 10 minutes to colour and flavour the eggs.
  6. To serve - Use the rice as a base in your serving dish. Cut the boiled eggs into quarters and place on top of your rice base. Sprinkle the fried, golden brown onions over the rice and eggs and serve immediately.

 
tomato salsa
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tomato de-seeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ Onion finely chopped
  • 1T Coriander finely chopped
  • 100g Cucumber finely chopped
  • 1 Green chillie finely chopped
  • 1T Cooking oil
  • 1T White vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Put in bowl and serve immediately as side dish

 
garlic and ginger mix + green marsala + red marsala
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For garlic and ginger mix
  • 2T Minced or grated peeled garlic
  • 2T Grated ginger
  • For green marsala
  • 1T Garlic and ginger mix
  • 2T Green chillies finely chopped or better milled finely
  • 1t Cooking oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • For red marsala
  • 1T Garlic and ginger mix
  • Two red chillies
  • 1t Cooking oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of turmeric
Instructions
  1. For garlic and ginger mix - mix both ingredients together.
  2. For green marsala - put it all ingredients in a mortar pestle and grind together or put through a mill.
  3. For red marsala - put it all ingredients in a mortar pestle and grind together or put through a mill.

 




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“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” – dressed up for a night at the opera

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” – dressed up for a night at the opera

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” - dressed up for a night at  the opera

Open fish cake lasagna + tomato and gherkin relish – I grew up with fish pasta made with tinned pilchards for Saturday lunch so when Babs invited me for lunch this Saturday past – I knew what was on the menu. I asked my mom to wait for me to get to her place – I grabbed my copy of You can with Fish by Tamsin Snyman and rushed over to her house all inspired. I wanted to show her something different …for all too often we get caught up in the routine, making the recipes we know in the same way we have always made them.

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” - dressed up for a night at  the opera

We decided to try Tamsin’s fish cakes (love her use of potatoes in the dish) but replaced the tuna with pilchards – and as I am always prone to do… I added lots of fresh herbs, extra lemon and a Dhanya and Chillie sauce I discovered. We served it with a lasagna sheet and a tomato and gherkin relish. The gherkin gives it that beautiful tanginess and just complements the dish in an extraordinary way. It is kind of like “Viskoekies en tamatie-smoor” just dressed up and off to see the opening night of Verdi’s famous opera, La Traviata… and so, so simple.

Try it. I promise you it will make your heart sing!

10 Famous Italian Operas

1. Aida, by GiuseppeVerdi
2. Cavalleria Rusticana, by Pietro Mascagni
3. Il Barbiere de Siviglia, by Gioachino Rossini
4. La Gioconda, by Amilcare Ponchielli
5. La traviata, by Giuseppe Verdi
6. L’elisir d’amore, by Gaetano Donizetti
7. Madama Butterfly, by Giacomo Puccini
8. Nabucco, by Giuseppe Verdi
9. Norma, by Vincenzo Bellini
10. Pagliacci, by Ruggero Leoncavallo

Opera info from yusypovych.com

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” - dressed up for a night at  the opera

 

“viskoekies en tamatiesmoor” - dressed up for a night at the opera
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For fish cakes
  • 1 ½ Medium potatoes
  • ½ Tin sardines + tomato sauce [210g]
  • 1 Egg
  • 1T Bread crumbs [my mom uses all the crumbs from the bottom of her rusks packets – very good idea mom!]
  • 2T Fresh parsley - chopped
  • 1T Fresh coriander – chopped
  • ½ t Chillie flakes – optional
  • ½ T Dhanya and chillie sauce (i discovered this last week in the shop - it adds a lovely zing to this particular dish)
  • 1 Spring onions – chopped
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • For lasagna sheets
  • 4 Lasagna sheets – one sheet per person
  • For tomato and gherkin relish
  • ½ Onion – chopped
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 250g Small rosa tomatoes
  • 200g Dill gherkins – chopped finely
  • 1T Dhanya and chillie sauce
  • 2ml Salt (or to taste)
Instructions
  1. For potatoes – peel potatoes and boil till soft. Drain well and mash. Set aside.
  2. For fish cakes – mix all the ingredients for the fish cakes and the mashed potatoes together. In a non-stick pan add some oil and fry the little patties until golden brown on both sides.
  3. For relish – fry the onion in pan till the onion is soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and close the lid for about 8-10 minutes. The tomatoes will burst open, bringing a splash of flavour. Add the gherkins and the salt and mix together. Cook for another minute or two.
  4. For the lasagna sheets – boil with salt as per the instructions on the packet.
  5. To assemble - Put some of the Dhanya and chillie sauce at the bottom of the plate, place or arrange the lasagna pasta sheet on top of the sauce then place the fish cakes on top of your lasagna pasta sheet adding the relish to top off this awesome, but so easy little dish.

 

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tomato pasta sauce + 10 variations to spice it up

tomato pasta sauce + 10 variations to spice it up

tomato pasta sauce + 10 variations to spice it uptomato pasta sauce + 10 variations to spice it uptomato pasta sauce + 10 variations to spice it up
I made a tomato pasta sauce with well-renowned and fabulous Nina Timm at her home earlier today. What an honour and absolute delight to meet and spend a day with this amazing woman! Yip, she is the wonder behind the much followed www.my-easy-cooking.com blog. We laughed, we cooked and shared so many stories from our past and talked about the thrills of living in today…. I will be chatting to her tomorrow on her RSG radio broadcast between 9 and 10 am and share what we did today. I am so inspired and so alive … Nina I thank you for one of the best days of my life and to cooking up many more memories in the future!

Back to the sauce … I am a freakishly mad about tomatoes. So obviously my most favourite pasta sauce is a tomato-based sauce … made from fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes that brim with flavour. I read about this method to make tomato sauce a few years ago in a magazine – unfortunately I cannot remember or find the magazine between the thousands of foodie magazines lying around in my house – please try this, it is definitely the most delicious tomato sauce you will ever taste!!

Variations you can add to the tomato sauce + remember always sprinkle generously with shaved parmesan!

  1. Cut chorizo sausages in slices and add – this makes it a rich and spicy dish.
  2. Bacon (+ chilies optional) – everyone loves bacon! Adding a somewhat smoky flavour to your pasta.
  3. Meatballs – you can make this on Sunday and just add in the week to your pasta dish.
  4. Lots of fresh chopped chilies – simple, yet always deliciously and one of my favourites.
  5. Capers + olives + anchovies + chilies – my absolute favourite!
  6. Any seafood – prawns, calamari, fish, mussels – add them to the tomato based sauce at the end of the cooking process – let it simmer through for 5 minutes – taste for seasoning again after you have added any seafood.
  7. Fresh herbs (basil, parsley) and lots of rocket – mix it with the sauce – yum.
  8. Roasted vegetables + olives + capers + crumbled feta – these produce lovely Mediterranean tastes.
  9. Artichokes, creamy feta cheese + sprinkle of dry oregano (use the oregano very sparingly).
  10. Fresh slices of buffalo mozzarella + sprinkled with smoked Maldon salt .

 

tomato pasta sauce + 10 variations to spice it up
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 900g Rosa tomatoes
  • 200ml Olive oil – good quality (I know this sounds a lot but the tomatoes burst open to combine with the olive oil, garlic and basil - and creates the most amazing sauce )
  • 8 Garlic cloves – peeled but kept in whole segments
  • Handful fresh Basil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 150 – 200g Fresh parmesan cheese – shaved with potato peeler
  • 500g Penne pasta (or spaghetti)
Instructions
  1. Add the olive oil to a large pan / pot and add the garlic and about one handful of torn basil leaves. Heat the oil very slowly on low-medium – we want to infuse the oil with the garlic and basil. Infuse for about 5 minutes – please don’t burn the garlic.
  2. Add all the tomatoes, turn up the heat to medium high and cook for +- 20 minutes without the saucepan lid.
  3. You will see the tomatoes will start to burst open and infuse with the olive oil.
  4. Season generously with salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Please be sure to taste when you season!
  5. Just before serving, add the rest of the basil and sprinkle generously with shaved parmesan
  6. You can use the sauce just as is or see the 10 variations above you can add at the end for an interesting twist.

 

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tomato + onion + basil + puff pastry = easy + hearty tomato tart

tomato + onion + basil + puff pastry = easy + hearty tomato tart

“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” – anél

tomato + onion + basil + puff pastry=easy + hearty tomato tart

I just LOVE tomatoes – and I need no inspiration to cook with these amazing and nutritional gifts from nature’s wonderful garden. This is probably the easiest and most delicious tomato tart you will ever taste – simple, hearty, sweet and sour and such a rich taste when combined with the caramalised onions! Try my easy puff pastry – you only need 1.5 hours and its fluffy and flaky.
Serve this with a side serving of rocket salad + balsamic dressing!

 

tomato + onion + basil + puff pastry = easy + hearty tomato tart
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ Big onion – thinly sliced
  • 2 T Olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 500g Rosa tomatoes
  • 1 Roll puff pastry
  • 30 - 40 g Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 handful of shredded fresh basil leaves
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • To serve
  • Parmesan shavings
  • Handful of basil leaves – shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
  2. In a pan - on medium heat - caramalise the onions for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Take a +- 37cm by 25cm pan (+- the same size as the puff pastry) put the tomatoes in the pan. Sprinkle with olive oil and roll around till each tomato is lightly coated in oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and a bit of black pepper.
  4. Take the caramalised onion and scoop these over the tomatoes.
  5. Sprinkle the grated parmesan and a hand full of shredded basil over the tomatoes.
  6. Take the whole piece of pastry and cover the tomatoes. Don’t press it down or anything. I you want you can tuck the sides in.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or till pastry is a lovely golden colour.
  8. Turn over on a big dish (so the tomatoes are on top) and sprinkle some shredded fresh basil and parmesan shavings.
  9. Cut into pieces and serve with your green rocket salad….
  10. Remember to never forget the "pomme d’amour"!

 

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tomato trivia … 10 fun facts to feast on …

tomato trivia … 10 fun facts to feast on …

image source: gardentherapy.ca

The Plump Thing With a Navel
The name comes from the Aztec “xitomatl”, which means “plump thing with a navel.”

The Love Apple
In the French language, tomato is called “pomme d’amour”, or “love apple,” because the heart-shaped fruit was originally thought of as an aphrodisiac.

The Wolf Peach
The scientific term for the common tomato is lycopersicon lycopersicum, which mean “wolf peach.”

The Poison
Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous, and it was only in the 16th century when the popularity of tomatoes rose. In 1820, the state of New York even passed a law banning their consumption! The truth was finally revealed on September 26, 1830, when Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson consumed an entire bag of tomatoes before a shocked crowd on the steps of the courthouse in Salem, New York. And … he never died!

The “Latest Craze”
In 1842 farm journals were declaring the tomato as the “latest craze.”

The Space Tomatoes
In 1984 12.5 million tomato seeds (Rutgers California Supreme), were sent into space where they circled the earth for 6 years aboard a satellite, until the crew of the Columbia retrieved them. Back on earth they were distributed to more than 3 million school children, 64,000 teachers and others around the world. When planted, no significant differences were found between them and their terrestrial counterparts. Although there were no worrisome mutations, there were however, casualties. Dear Nasa, wrote one participant, My name is Matt. I am in grade 2. I really enjoy growing my plants. Here are my results. My earth seed did not grow. My space seed grew but it fell off my desk. It died.

The Colour
Tomatoes can be yellow, pink, purple, black and even white, as well as red.

The Health
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant, and have been found to be good for the heart and effective against prostate, lung and stomach cancer.

The Cooking vs Fresh
An ounce of cooked tomato contains double the amount of vitamin C, as well as almost 20 percent higher beta-carotene, as compared to the equivalent sample of fresh tomato. The jelly-like substance around the seeds contains the highest concentration of vitamin C.

The Universal Tomato Language
Afrikaans: tamatie
Danish: tomat
Dutch: tomaat
English: tomato
French: tomate
German: tomate
Indonesian: tomat
Icelandic: tómatar
Portugese: tomate
Romanian: de tomate
Spanish: tomate
Swedish: tomat

Sources: didyouknow.org; telegraph.co.uk; strange-facts.info; ehow.com; google translate

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malay infused seafood soup

malay infused seafood soup

malay infused seafood soupThis is my all-time favourite winter soup recipe. It lies very close to my heart for two reasons – I was introduced to this recipe by my wonderful chef friend, Louis Verwey (the recipe was very different then and I developed it as I went along into what it is today) and secondly this recipe took me through to the Top 50 of Masterchef SA and earned three overwhelming and resounding yes’s from judges Andrew, Bennie and Pete. My Masterchef journey was an incredible experience, it was an amazing roller coaster ride of emotions, nerves and sheer excitement but the best part was meeting all the fantastic people who all share a common passion – cooking! This adventure re-ignited in me the fire and a burning desire to learn and share in the fun, frivolity and sheer pleasure that comes with cooking and everything culinary. I am very proud to have made it into the Top 35 only to be booted out on the potato challenge. Needless to say I have not cooked or peeled a potato again – but that is a story for another day…enough about me…back to this exquisite soup …

malay infused seafood soup
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For the stock
  • 1 celery stick, chopped (with the leaves)
  • 1 onion, cut in half (I keep the skin on - I only peel the onion if I want to make a clear stock)
  • 1 carrot, chopped (…again keep the skin on – didn’t we learn that all the nutritional value lies in the skin?)
  • 5 black pepper corns
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 clove of garlic cut in half
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 350g white fish – I use small whole hakes which I cut into chunks
  • 800ml water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • Seafood
  • 24 mussels in ½ shell
  • 400 g kingklip (or any other firm white fish), cut into cubes of +- 2.5cm x 2.5cm
  • 12 de-veined prawns with shells – I love to keep heads on – if you do take the heads off, don’t discard these….add them to your stock
  • Other ingredients
  • 30g butter
  • 45 ml flour
  • 10 ml masala (I mix my own from the following ground ingredients: 15 ml turmeric, 15ml cumin, 10 ml coriander, 10 ml fennel, 15 ml hot “curry powder” this you can get from your local spice shop or supermarket)
  • 30 ml tomato paste
  • 1 ½ chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • Juice of ½ small lemon
  • For the gremolata
  • 30 ml chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • Zest of one lemon
  • One big squeeze of lemon juice
  • 30 ml olive oil
Instructions
  1. Prepare your stock by adding the first 9 ingredients in a pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Take the mussels and place them in a sieve and then put it in the stock to cook for 2 minutes. I do this to infuse the juices in the stock (and to defrost if still frozen). Take out and leave aside.
  3. Repeat the same process with the prawns – leave to simmer for about 3-4 minutes in the stock. Take out and set aside
  4. Take the stock and strain through a very fine sieve. Set aside. (You can discard the stock ingredients but it does make for a very nutritious and fishy treat for my two canine children!)
  5. Add the finely grated garlic to this stock.
  6. Now, melt the butter in a pot. Add the flour to make a roux. Stir for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and masala. Stir well.
  7. Add the warm stock - ladle by ladle - whisking briskly to make sure it does not form lumps. Once you have added the stock, bring it up to simmer - you will see that it has now thickened.
  8. Add the stock cube and the chopped tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir well.
  9. Now add the raw fish and let it simmer for +-3 minutes, then add the prawns and mussels.
  10. Add the lemon juice and stir lightly – be careful not to break the fish! Season for taste by adding salt and pepper, lemon juice.
  11. Simmer for a 5-10 minutes.
  12. Lastly, mix the last 4 ingredients together to make the gremolata and set aside
  13. To serve – in the bottom of a soup bowl put a dollop of the gremolata. Take the prawns out of the soup and place 2 prawns on each plate, add 3 or more pieces of fish. Strain the fish soup through a sieve and pour in the bowl around the fish and prawns. Add 3-4 mussels on top.
  14. Garnish with a few drops of gremolata on top. Serve immediately.

 

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maple syrup + mielie fritters + new york

maple syrup + mielie fritters + new york

Whilst wrapped-up under the duvet on a public holiday with a glass of red wine and watching a dvd, I was wondering what I felt like to eat. Jade de Waal’s twitter came through with a recipe for mielie fritters (Jade is an extraordinary wonderful woman that is currently in the Top 13 in Masterchef SA). That little tweet took me back to my moms’ “mielie brood” (mealie bread) that we used to gobble down with lots of golden syrup. My mind then next teleported me to the place where I had fallen in love with Maple syrup … New York…! Oh my word, how I love maple syrup! That amazingly, beautiful, golden sticky, earthy, sweet syrup stole my heart (as did New York…). At that moment I knew I wanted Jade’s Mielie Fritters with my maple syrup!! I really love mixing sweet and savoury and immediately started cooking. To say the least – it was YUMMY and the chopped spring onion complimented the Maple syrup in such a profoundly earthy way!
mielie frittersmielie fritters

Just a little snippet about Maple Syrup…

In cold climates, these trees store starch in their trunks and roots before the winter; the starch is then converted to sugar that rises in the sap in the spring. Maple trees can be tapped by boring holes into their trunks and collecting the exuded sap. The sap is processed by heating to evaporate much of the water, leaving the concentrated syrup.

So here is Jade’s recipe – she serves it with a green avocado salsa and/or sweet chilli sauce – delish!

The recipe makes about 6 medium fitters

maple syrup + mielie fritters + new york
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Fritters
  • 1 cup (250ml) cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (125ml) corn kernels in brine, drained
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • Salsa
  • Small handful coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 avo, peeled and diced
  • ½ chilli, finely chopped, optional
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sweet chilli sauce, to dunk, optional
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the fritter in a bowl. At first the batter will look dry, but keep mixing until the ingredients come together.
  2. Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium frying pan. Turn down to medium so the oil is not too hot, otherwise the outside of the fritter will burn whilst the inside is still raw. Spoon a tablespoon scoop of the batter in the oil, frying about 2-3 at a time for 2 minutes on each side or until brown.
  3. Meanwhile chop and mix the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl.
  4. Test the first fritter by cutting in half to make sure they're cooking through. When all fritters are done, spoon the salsa over to serve perhaps with the sweet chilli sauce on the side to dunk the fritters in or … as I did smother the fritters with golden maple syrup. Bon appétit!

 

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