Brandy Bread and Butter Pudding

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This recipe is from Gourmet Traveler and when I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for Fathers Day Lunch. I have made this bread and butter pudding before and I let it rest overnight and then bake it in the oven the next day. I found the pudding to be much fluffier and it makes a big difference. This pudding is bound to make Fathers Day special.

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Ingredients

2 tbsp brandy
1/2 cup raisins
5 eggs
300ml cream
300ml milk
1/4 cup castor sugar
rind of 1 orange
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
8-10 slices of day old bread, cut in 1cm slices
60g butter
1 tbsp damera sugar

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Recipe

Combine the raisins with the warmed brandy in a bowl and set aside.
Slice the bread and spread both sides of the bread with butter. Also butter the overproof dish, it should have a 1 litre capacity. Arrange the slices of bread in the oven proof dish and sprinkle the raisins over and under bread slices. Set aside.
Combine milk, cream and eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add castor sugar, orange rind, ground cinnamon and vanilla powder to the mixture and whisk again
Pour this mixture over the bread, sprinkle demura sugar over and let it rest for an hour, so the bread can soak up all the liquid.
Warm the oven to 180C. and bake for 30-40 minutes until the liquid has set.
Server with ice-cream.

Green Papaya Salad with Prawns and G&T

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Yes, I know its winter in Cape Town and we just had one of the biggest storms to hit the Mother City in years. You might be thinking; who in their right mind would want to eat crunchy, limey green papaya salad with Gin and Tonics, this while its 14 degrees outside and raining. This is not comfort winter food, not at all. But I can tell you it was darn delicious. Come summer time, I would eat this everyday. I just had to try this green papaya salad, as green papayas are not readily available in supermarkets here and it was only because of a tip from Sam Lindsels’ blog Drizzle and Dip that I was so lucky to get hold of a green papaya.

I must admit , I have never been a fan of Gin and Tonics but after tasting Wilderer Gin at Spice Route I am a changed woman. It seems like Cape Town has an array of amazing Gin distilleries and therefore we have our very own Gin and Tonic festival.  I see Hope on Hopkins is right here in my backyard and that will be the next distillery to visit.

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Ingredients

Dressing

1/4 cup of lime juice
1 tbsp of fishsauce
2 tsp of honey
1 red birds eye chilli
1 clove of garlic

Salad Ingredients

1/2 green Papaya
1 big carrot
2 spring onions
1/2 red pepper
hand full cherry tomato
100 grams peeled, cooked and deveined prawns
1/2 cup crushed salted peanuts
Basil micro greens or coriander

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Recipe

Make the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a blender and give it a good whizz, keep it aside.

Peel and deseed 1/2 a papaya and shred finely with a Julienne Peeler, do the same with the carrot. Combine the 2 in a mixing bowl. Cut tomatoes in halves or quarters and thinly slice spring onions, add this to the mixing bowl. Thinly slice 1/2 a red pepper  and add this to the mixing bowl too. The salted peanut can be crushed in a mortar and pestle before being added to the mixing bowl too. Pour the dressing over and give it a good mix before transferring it to a serving dish. Lastly scatter with prawns and micro basil greens.

Get Your Sh!t Together Breakfast Bowl

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This is the kind of Monday Morning Breakfast you make just before you take on the world. The kinda Monday Morning Breakfast where you organize your life, vow to join the gym, make lists and set goals.


Ingredients 

250g Packet 7 Grain Medley from Woolworths in South Africa
200g tender stem broccoli
4 boiled eggs
250g haloumi sliced in 1cm slices
1 medium size sweet potato cut in 1cm cubes
1 handful roasted pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
chilli and chives to serve
salt and pepper

Put your oven on grill and cut the sweet potatoes in 1cm cubes, drizzle with olive oil and salt and grill for about 10 minutes until slightly charred and soft. You can also roast your pumpkin seeds at the same time.

 

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Boil 4 eggs to your desired runniness and peal, cut in half and keep aside.

Steam  broccoli tender stems.

Put a nonstick pan on medium heat, add a bit of olive oil and 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric. Fry the haloumi slices until golden on both sides. Remove the haloumi from the pan but leave the turmeric oil in the pan. Now add freshly grated ginger to the pan and fry till fragrant, remove pan from heat and add 2 tbsp tahini to the pan and squeeze about 1 tbsp lemon juice to it, also add salt and pepper. This is the dressing that will be drizzled over at the end.

 

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Remove the 7 Grain Medley from the packet and warm in the microwave for about a minute and a half. Mix the grains and sweet potato and spoon it into the bowls. Arrange the haloumi, broccoli and boiled egg on top. Sprinkle with chilli, chives and pumpkin seeds. Lastly drizzle the turmeric tahini dressing over it.

 

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Winter Beef Barley and Mushroom Soup

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My father makes a Bean and Beef Soup that I have eaten over a thousand times during my life. I have seen him make it, I have made it with him and I know every ingredient that goes into it, but I cannot replicate my fathers soup. I have come to the conclusion that a pot of soup is a uniquely individual dish. When a person serves you soup for dinner it should be appreciated, its made with love and their special touch.

Ingredients

500g stewing beef or cut of your choice
3 cloves of garlic
1 brown onion
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2-3 large potatoes skin on, chopped
500g portabellini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup dried barley
fresh rosemary or thyme
2 bay leaves
1 beef stock cube
salt and pepper
fresh parsley

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Recipe

I make this soup in my Breville slow cooker. It has a saute/sear option so I like to brown the beef  with a bit of salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil. But there is no need to do this if your slow cooker does not have this function. Then add the onions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrots, celery, mushrooms and potatoes and give it a good stir. Then add the barley, bay leaves, rosemary or thyme or both. Dissolve the beef stock cube in a bit of water before adding it and top the pot with enough water, depending on your pot size, I would guess 1,5 litre.
Lid on and set cooking time for 4 hours on high.
Stir every hour or so and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

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Cooks note:

At the end I take out about 1/4 of the soup, make sure you get some of the meat too, but very importantly NO BONES. The reason because I blend it till a smooth consistency and add it back to the soup. This way you get the best of both worlds, a smooth-chunky soup.

Serve with crusty bread, chopped fresh parsley and drizzle with olive oil.

 

 

Korean Pancakes for Lunch (Pajeon)

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Sometimes a simple sandwich just wouldn’t do and thats when you need some of these Korean Pancakes. Loaded with fresh crunchy veggies and made with chickpea flour, makes these a pretty healthy lunch.
I added mungbeans, yellow pepper and courgettes to mine but the possibilities are endless and a good way of using those last lost veggies before they go to waist. Enjoy with  black Rooibos tea with a few slices of fresh ginger.

Ingredients

1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 yellow pepper thinly sliced
hand full mungbeans
2 small or 1/2 a cup courgette grated
2 chopped spring onion

Dipping sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
a pinch of Korean chilli flakes (gochujang)
sesame seeds

Recipe

Grate the courgettes and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over it and let it soak up the salt, this will draw out the water in the gourgettes. After about 10 minutes squeeze the water out with your hands.
Add the flour, water, ginger garlic paste, sesame oil and egg to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the courgettes, thinly sliced yellow pepper, chopped spring onion and mungbeans and mix with a spoon.

Make your dipping sauce by mixing all the dipping sauce ingredients and serve in a small dipping bowl.

Heat a nonstick pan on medium, add a bit of oil and spoon the mixture into the pan. You can make small individual pancakes or one big one like I did, that I cut with a pizza cutter into slices. Turn and cook on both sides until golden and crispy.

Serve hot with the dipping sauce and you could sprinkle over some spring onion and extra sesame seeds.

Happy Friday lunch and great weekend!!!

Pork Dumplings in Turmeric Ginger Broth and Corn Cakes on the Side

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This recipe is adapted from a recipe I saw in Olive Magazine. I used pork instead of chicken and used a vegetable stock instead of a chicken stock. I also added just a bit of soy sauce in the broth. I made corn cakes with this soup, this is a pretty heathy dinner as the ginger and turmeric has great health benefits.

 
Pork Dumplings

500g ground pork mince
1tbsp grated ginger
1 chopped red chilli
1 hand full chopped coriander
2 spring onions chopped
1 tsp sesame oil
1tbsp corn flour
1 egg white
white pepper and salt

 

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Broth

Thumb size sliced ginger
1,5 L vegetable stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 brown onion roughly chopped
2 star anise
2 tsp ground turmeric
baby spinach
300g egg noodles
1 asian dried red chilli

 

Corn Cakes

2 ears of corn or 1 tin of corn drained
1 cup all-purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup of milk
1 chopped red chill-optional
handful chopped fresh coriander
2 chopped spring onions

 

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To make Corn Cakes

Boil 2 ears of corn in water for 10 minutes, drain and let it cool before you remove the kernels with a sharp knife. Then add all the corn cake ingredients to a mixing bowl with the kernels, mix well.
Heat a nonstick pan to medium to hot with a bit of oil. Spoon the batter one spoonful at a time into the pan, do not overcrowd the pan. Fry till golden brown on both sides.
Serve with sweet chilli sauce. I recommend making a double batch as these corncakes heats well in the microwave and are even good at room temperature in a lunchbox. Just omit the chilli for the kids.

 

To make the Turmeric Broth

Add the stock, ginger, onion, turmeric, star anise and dried red chilli to a pot and simmer for at least 20 minutes. After all the ingredients have infused, strain the liquid and return it to the pot and bring it to the boil again.

 

To make Pork Dumplings

Add all the pork dumpling ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. Make little bitesize balls. Drop the little dumplings to the boiling turmeric broth and cook for 8-10 minutes.
While the dumplings cook in the broth you can also cook your noodles according to packet instructions.

Its a good idea to warm your bowls with boiling water while the noodles cook. That way you are assured of a steaming hot meal. When the pork dumplings and noodles are ready ladle it into bowls and remember to add your baby spinach. You can also add some chilli oil or sesame oil, fresh coriander and chopped spring onion at the end.

 

 

Cauliflower Pizza

Yes, I know cauliflower pizza bases is an old fad but can you believe that I haven’t tried it until now? I am a bit peculiar in the way that I rarely follow fads or fashions and have resisted this one for way too long. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make this cauliflower pizza base and that I would regularly make this now.

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The recipe is from Anna Jones author of A Modern Way to Eat and A Modern Way to Cook. I fell in love with her style of cooking and I think her recipes are easily adjustable for non vegetarians. I followed her recipe but added a clove of garlic in the Cauliflower Pizza base and added some fried Spicy Argentinian sausage that I bought at Honingklip Brewery. Besides the impressive beer Honingklip brews they also have a cosy family style restaurant and they sell an array of sausages. These sausages are 100% natural, are made without any soya, grains, flour, gluten or MSG. It also does not contain colourants or preservatives.  I am planning a road trip in their direction and am dreaming of a stocked up freezer with all sorts of sausages to use in pastas and stews.

Ingredients

Cauliflower Pizza Base

medium size cauliflower
100g whole almonds
100g rolled oats
1 small clove garlic
good pinch of origanum
2 eggs
salt and pepper

Tomato sauce

1/2 a can chopped tomato
hand full of fresh basil

Toppings

2 spicy Argentinian sausage
mozzerella cheese
kale chopped
1 bulb of fennel shaved
1/2 cup fresh basil
pecorino cheese shaved
2 spring onions chopped

Recipe

Note: A blender is key for this recipe

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Blend the almonds and oats very finely, add the origanum, garlic, salt and pepper. Next add the cauliflower florets and make sure everything is incorporated, use a spoon to mix things if you need to. Lastly add the eggs and give it a good last mix.
Put the mixture on a baking tray thats been lined with baking paper and flatten the dough with your hands into a pizza shape. No more than 1cm thick. Put the baking tray into the  oven for 20-30 min until crispy and golden.
While the pizza base is in the oven, squeeze the Argentinian sausage out of its casing and fry it in a pan until done. There is also time to quickly whizz up the 1/2 a can chopped tomato and basil for the tomato sauce.
Also get your toppings ready; washed, chopped and grated.
Take the base out of the oven, top with tomato sauce then mozzarella. Add the sausage, kale,fennel and spring onion and put it back into the oven. When the fennel and kale start to char take it out and top the pizza with fresh basil and shavings of pecorino.
Enjoy!!!

 

Buchu infused Stewed Fruit with Overnight Oats

I would lean towards herbal remedies before taking ove-the-counter medicine any day and think that one should try to use these remedies in a precautionary manner in your every day life. In South Africa we are so fortunate to have at least two herbal teas that grows right here. The most popular being Rooibos and I grew up drinking this even before the hype of its health benefits. Coffee shops throughout South Africa now sell Rooibos cuppuccino and Rooibos lattes that is drizzled with honey. It is made like an espresso but with a concentrated Rooibos. If you ever visit South Africa try a Rooibos cuppuccino or latte. Its truly soothing.
I am actually here to talk about the lesser-known Buchu tea that I used in this Stewed Fruit recipe. The Koisan used to chew these leaves and today we drink it as a tea. This highly aromatic tea is used to treat ailments ranging from arthritis, flatulence to infections. In the food industry Buchu is often used to impart blackcurrant flavour to foods.

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I usually enjoy this breakfast on an indulgent lazy Sunday morning, while I potter around my indoor garden and listen to Tom Waits, but by all means listen to your favorite music and potter around in which ever way you choose.
So if you are looking for a superfood breakfast with added medicinal qualities this is the breakfast you are looking for.

Ingredients

1 teabag of Buchu tea or 1 heaped Tbsp of Buchu leaves
1,5 cups of  boiling water
250g of dried fruit, stones removed e.g. peaches, prunes, raisins or sultanas
1 stick of cinnamon or cassia bark
1 cardamon pod
honey as desired
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1,5 cups of plain yogurt plus extra for serving
pumpkin seeds for serving

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Recipe

Steep the Buchu in boiling water for about 15 minutes and then pour it over the dried fruit. Let it stand over night so the fruit can plump up.
In a separate container mix the oats and yogurt and you can add 1 table spoon of honey and half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the oats. Put the oats in the fridge overnight.
The next morning add the cinnamon stick or cassia bark and cardamon pod to the Buchu infused fruit and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Also add 1 Tbsp honey or as much as you like. Let it cook until the liquid is syrupy.
Let the stewed fruit cool down to room temperature.
To serve, spoon soaked oats, add a bit of plain yogurt and top with stewed fruit and its syrup. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
Enjoy and be healthy!!!

Greek Lamb Pitas at Houtema River Cabins

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Just over an hours drive from Cape Town you will find Houtema River Cabins tucked away in the Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve near Kleinmond. These newly built cabins has been a dream project of longtime friends Melissa Meiring and Richard Bailey.

If you are looking for a digital detox, this is the place for you. The cabins rely on solar panels and gas.The grey water gets filtered through a reedbed and filtration pond before it gets released back into nature.The wooden cabins are part of the mountain catchment area and therefor raised above the ground so there is no interference with the natural runoff of rainwater. A short stroll down from the cabins you will find Palmiet River, with pools to cool down in during the hot summer months. We spent the entire Saturday next to the river picnicking.

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On our first night there we were keen to get into a relaxed state of mind ASAP and the craft beers Melissa left us as a welcoming drink, helped greatly.Before we left home I took some time to prep a few things for dinner. I made the hummus and tzatziki. I marinated the lamb and grilled the vegetables. So all that was left to do at the cabin was grill the lamb and serve.

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Ingredients:

Marinade:
3/4 cup olive oil
juice of 2 lemons and zest of 1 lemon
1-2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Meat:
700g lamb rump

Grilled Vegetables:
2 medium aubergines
500g courgettes
2 peppers red or yellow

Tzatziki:
1 english cucumber
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon vinegar reserved
1 cup greek yogurt
1/2 clove of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
handful of  fresh chopped dill
salt and pepper

Hummus:
1 tin chickpeas
1/2 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon zest
2 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper

Recipe:

Put all the marinade ingredient into a food processor and blitz. Cover the lamb in half the marinade and reserve the other half for the vegetables.

Cut the aubergines on 1cm disks, cut the courgettes in their length and the peppers in chunky slices. Put your griddle pan on a medium to high heat and brush all the vegetables with the reserved marinade. Grill each side until you have beautiful grill marks and set aside. This process can take some time.

Next make the tzatziki. Peel the cucumber and grate it with the large plate of a cheese grater. Set aside with good pinch of salt and a table spoon of apple cider vinegar. In another bowl put a cup of greek yogurt. Then in a food processor put 1/2 a clove of garlic with 1/4 cup olive oil and blitz. Now add the garlic oil to the yogurt. Transfer the grated cucumber to a clean kitchen town and squeeze all the liquid out. Add the cucumber to the yogurt, add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar , a handful of fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste…Tzatziki done!

Now for the hummus.
Again, in a food processor add all the hummus ingredients and blits. Done!

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Herenbone Soup with Pork Koftas

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The first time I had Herenbone was at Marianas in Stanford. Mariana and her husband Peter are such charming characters, making you feel right at home from beginning to end. At this country kitchen Peter told us how special these beans were. These Lima beans only grow on the west coast of South Africa and directly translates as “Lord’s Bean”. There was only one website that had any information about these beans, give it a read here if you are interested.

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So I bought a packet of these dried beans on a road trip to the west coast some time ago and have been baffled on how to use them. People from the west coast are without pretences, they are real, they are proud fishermen and farmers and are use to the hardships that living off the land brings. And this is why I wanted to keep the flavours simple. So when I saw my new foodie crush Akis making his Greek White Bean Soup I knew the Herenbone would be just the thing to use.

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I made this soup in a slow cooker, I just love making any stew or soup in it as I don’t have to check on it constantly. I added potatoes to the soup as I like how  it thickens the soup. I also made additional mini pork koftas with the soup. Lamb mince would also work amazingly but pork is cheaper than lamb in South Africa, so I opted for pork for this midweek meal. Its really nice to serve it in this way because often I don’t feel like meat but Jurie does.

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Ingredients

Soup

olive oil
rosemary sprig chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 1/2 cup of dried herenbone or any white beans
2 big carrots chopped in chunks
2-3 celery sticks chopped in chunks
1 onion chopped
2 potatoes cubed
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 whole red apple
1 chicken stock cube
1 1/2 litre water to cover

Pork Koftas

500g pork or lamb mince
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
1 finely chopped garlic clove
salt and pepper

Recipe

To make the soup add oil, garlic, onion, rosemary, carrots and celery and saute for a few minutes. Then add  the potatoes, beans, tomato paste, bay leaves, chicken stock cube and water. Season with salt and pepper. Lastly put a whole red apple in and set the slow cooker to slow cook high, which will take 4 hours. Just remember to discard the apple before serving, it is only used to sweeten the soup.

While your soup is cooking you have lots of time to make the koftas. Just mix all the pork kofta ingredients together and let it rest in the fridge for an hour. After it has rested and just before the soup is ready you can form the mince around kebab sticks.Brush with olive oil and grill on a medium to high heat in a griddle pan.

Serve your soup and koftas with crispy farm style bread, olives and feta.

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