Brussel Sprouts with Chilli

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This is a super easy recipe with only 5 ingredients including the olive oil. I usually make this with Broccoli instead of Brussel Sprouts but thought that they are both a bitter, earthy vegetable and that it could work for both vegetables.

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Ingredients:

300g brussel sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red birds eye chilli
1 big garlic clove
3-4 anchovy fillets in oil

Recipe:

Wash and slice the Brussel sprouts in half, leave a few whole. Bring salted water to a boil and add the Brussel Sprouts and leave it to boil for about 4 minutes. Drain the Brussel Sprouts and immediately submerge it into ice water to stop the cooking process and to retain the green colour, we don’t want grey mushy Brussel Sprouts!
Add olive oil, chilli, garlic and anchovy fillets to a pan over medium to high heat. Once the anchovy fillets has been resolved add the drained Brussel Sprouts and sauté for a few minutes. Serve as a side dish.

 

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Rustic Stout Steak Pie and Veggies

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This is old school winter food and you should make this for those you love. The pastry is a recipe from Jamie Oliver and please watch it on FoodTube to see how easy it is. I halved the recipe for 2 people and it was more than enough, we even had leftovers the next day. I used a Lady of the Night Vanilla Porter from my local brewery down the street, Woodstock Brewery , but feel free to use any stout. Make it with your favorite side dish. I served it with my easy Brusselsprout and a Sweet Potatoes side and will add the recipes to my blog too.

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Ingredients

Pie filling:

500g skirt steak diced in bitesize chunks
250g portebellini mushrooms sliced
1,5 chopped red onion
2 medium carrots diced
rosemary
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp heaped all purpose flour
250ml stout
125ml water
salt and black pepper

Shortcrust Pastry:

300g all purpose flour
pinch of salt
75 g butter cold out of the fridge
75g sharp cheddar
125ml ice cold water

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Recipe

Add a little oil to a pan and start sautéing the chopped onions and carrots. Add rosemary and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent. Then add the sliced mushroom and let this cook until most of the water in the mushrooms have evaporated. Then take the mushroom, onion, carrot mixture out of the pan and set it aside while you brown the skirt steak.
Add a little bit more oil to the pan if needed and add steak to the pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Let the steak brown on all sides.
Now, deglaze the pan with 1 cup of stout and let the liquid reduce a bit. Add flour and give it a quick stir to avoid any lumps. Add the tomato puree and stir.
Add the mushroom, carrots and onions back into the pan. Stir well. At this point you could add some water. Cover the pan with the lid and turn the heat on low, let simmer for at least an hour. Check every few minutes and give it a stir.

While the steak filling is simmering away you can make the shortcrust pastry.
Add the flour, salt, cheddar and butter to a mixing bowl and start to rub the butter and cheddar into the flour. Take care not to over work the mixture and as soon as everything is incorporated , add the ice cold water. Do not kneed it, rather press it until it forms a ball. Wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

When the filling is ready take it off the heat and let it cool down. Flour your surface and roll the pastry out to half a centimeter thickness, divide it in 2 so you can have a top and bottom part for your pie. Line the inside of your pie dish with half the pastry and scoop in the steak filling. Neaten the edges of the pastry and brush the edges with egg wash. Place the top half of the pastry ontop, neaten the edges. Use a fork to pinch the edges and make a cut in the middle of the pie for the steam to escape. Brush with egg wash and place into a 180 degree oven for 40-50 minutes.

Serve with sides and and don’t forget a glass of stout!!

Shakshuka with Potato Pesto Focaccia from Woodstock Bakery

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Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish served in a cast iron pan or tajine, accompanied by bread to mop up the sauce. I first had it in Turkey and they make it with a garlic sausage. You could easily adapt this recipe to your liking by adding chorizo or making it vegetarian and adding mushrooms instead. The options are endless. This doesn’t have to be served as a breakfast, it could easily be a quick budget friendly dinner too. This is a great way to feed a family or a group of friends coming over for Sunday brunch.

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Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic
1 red chill, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sugar
1 tin chopped tomato
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 cup water
thyme
1 bay leave
4 eggs
smoked pork cocktail sausages

 

Recipe

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and add the garlic and chilli, fry for about 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and finely sliced red pepper as well as the cumin and smoked paprika. Cook for a few minutes until onions and peppers are soft. Now add the tinned tomato, tomato paste and sugar and give it a good stir. Add the bay leave, thyme and water and turn the heat down to a low simmer with the lid on. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
While the sauce is on a simmer, cook the smoked pork sausages in another pan or you can grill them in the oven.

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Give the sauce a stir and turn the heat up to medium, break 4 eggs in the sauce and put the lid back on. Cook until the desired softness for the eggs. Lastly, scatter the cocktail sausages over the cooked eggs. This dish must be served with a lovely crusty bread to mop up all the sauce.
Enjoy!!

 

Slowcooker Pork Belly Ramen

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Broth Ingredients

1 onion halved
1 carrot roughly chopped
big thumb size ginger sliced
2 big garlic cloves
8 tbsp sake
8 tbsp soy sauce
1L beef stock
4 tbsp fish sauce
300g shitake mushrooms stems removed
pork belly about 1,3kg
water, about 2L

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Reduced dipping broth for sliced pork

soy sauce 6 tbsp
ginger thumb size sliced
garlic 1 clove sliced
water 6 tbsp
5 spice powder 1 tsp or 1 tbsp hoisin sauce

Topping Ingredients

ramen noodles 1 packet per person
soft boiled egg 1 per person
bok choy
spring onions
sprouts
thai basil or coriander
red chilli
black sesame seeds and sesame oil

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Recipe

I would recommend you make this recipe over the weekend. It is not difficult at all, but  it is time consuming. Make your broth friday night and do the final touches on saturday, that way it doesnt feel like such a monumental task.

Day 1

Add onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, shitake, soy sauce, fishsauce, sake and beef stock to the slow cooker and set it to cook for 6 hours. While this is heating up, take the skin off the pork belly, keep the skin aside and place the whole pork belly in the slow cooker. Fill the pot with boiling water right to the top. I crisp the skin in a nonstick pan with salt and a bit of 5 spice powder until crispy and you can crumble it over your ramen at the end. Unfortunately we ate the crackling before the ramen was done because it was just too irresistible.

After 6 hours take the pork belly out of the slow cooker with tongs and set aside too cool. Take out the shiitake mushrooms and set aside. Discard the ginger, garlic, onion and carrot by straining the broth. Put the pork, shiitake mushrooms and broth in separate containers in the fridge until the next day.

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Day 2

Slowly start to warm the broth.
In another pan add the ingredients for the dipping broth and bring it to a low simmer. Now slice your pork belly in 1cm slices and put it in this dipping broth, this way you warm it and give it an extra kick of flavor.
In another pan, boil the eggs, cut in half and set aside.
Also slice the mushrooms that was boiled in the broth the night before and set aside.
Wash and slice the bok choy, spring onion, chili and sprouts and set aside.
Now get your bowls ready, because ramen must be served piping hot. Pour a bit of boiling water in each bowl to keep it warm.
Boil the noodles and while the noodles boil make sure the pork in the dipping broth and the ramen broth is hot hot hot!!!

When the noodles are ready, empty the bowls of the boiling water, drain the noodles and spoon noodles into the bowls. Assemble the bok choy, sprouts, spring onion, shiitake mushrooms, boiled egg, chili, thai basil and sliced pork belly on top of the noddles.
Lastly spoon over the boiling broth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil.
Devour immediately!!!

 

 

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.

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!!!

 

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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