traditional south-african ‘bobotie’

Traditionally South-African and undoubtedly a favourite in just about any home in South-Africa, bobotie consists of curried / spiced minced meat, topped with an egg custard and baked.
Some bobotie recipes have been passed down many generations and are kept secret in most families.
There are so many recipe variations of which most contain raisins or sultanas. I, however, prefer it with grated apple or pear. (Dried peaches or apricots are also used as an alternative.)
Most bobotie recipes use milk soaked bread to add extra moisture to the dish and is traditionally served with yellow rice, which is rice cooked with turmeric.
This dish is not particularly spicy and incorporates a variety of flavours thus adding complexity.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1kg minced meat
3T olive oil
2T butter
2 medium onions, sliced
1T crushed garlic
1/2C dried bread crumbs
1/2C beef broth
1/5T mild curry powder
1t turmeric
1t ground cumin
1t ground coriander
1.5t dried thyme & oregano mix
2 red apples, cored & grated
1/4C chutney (Mrs. Balls)
3T apricot jam
2T worcester sauce
2 medium carrots, grated
zest & juice of 1 lemon
1/2C flaked almonds
1t fine salt
1t black pepper

for the egg custard
3 large eggs
5 bay leaves
1/2c (125ml) cream
1/2c (125ml) milk
1/3c flaked almonds

how to do it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Heat the olive oil & butter in a large ovenproof skillet. Sauté the onion until glossy. Add the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, thyme & oregano to the skillet and cook for about one minute until fragrant. Add the minced meat to the pan and cook until browned. Add the carrots & grated apple and cook for 5 minutes.
Mix the chutney, Worcester sauce, lemon juice & zest and apricot jam together and add it to the mince mixture. Stir to combine, cover with a lid and cook for about 15 minutes, on a gentle simmer.
Remove the lid.
Pour the half cup of beef broth into the mixture, stir and then add the bread crumbs. Stir to combine and cook for two minutes. Remove from the heat.
Season with salt & black pepper and stir.
Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture down to even it out.
Make the egg custard by whisking the eggs, milk & cream together. Gently pour the custard onto the mince mixture, over the back of a spoon. Place the bay leaves in the centre or where you prefer and add the flaked almonds.
Gently place the skillet into the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden and the custard have set.
Remove from the oven, rest for five minutes and serve with yellow rice.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x





pulled pork & zucchini tart – another great meal using leftover meat

I am always thinking about the next dish, using food that was left over from the previous day / evenings’ meal. I cooked a beautiful large pork belly on Sunday, which obviously cannot be devoured by only two people. Please don’t think I didn’t try.
With my very simple three ingredient shortcrust pastry that I made ahead of time on Sunday evening, this dish was on the table in almost no time at all. I often make two batches of shortcrust pastry as it freezes really well. Thus saving time when you quickly want to whip up a tart or quiche.
This is also a great way to get the kids to eat their veggies!
I don’t think there are any rules when it comes to savoury tarts. It really depends on what you like and what you have on hand. Quiche is the perfect dish for using all the vegetables that are really just lying around in your fridge and then adding an egg custard to a very simple tart shell.
Thank me later.

ingredients | 1 standard size tart | easy
for the tart shell
225g plain flour
100g butter, chopped
pinch salt
1/4c cold water

Place the flour, salt & butter into a food processor and blend until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. (You can also do this by hand by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles bread crumbs.)
With the processor running, slowly add the water until the dough comes together so that it can form a ball without crumbling.
(You do not have to use all of the water and can add more if necessary.)
Dust your work surface with flour and gently knead the dough by pushing it back and pulling it forward again. Repeat this for about three minutes.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Should you wish to freeze the dough, place the wrapped disc into a freezer bag or freezer container, date it and freeze for up to one month. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Dust a flat work surface and roll the pastry out to fit your tart tin. Grease a tart tin with non stick spray.
Press the dough into the tart tin and into the sides. Trim the edges with a sharp knife. Dock the pastry with a fork a few times and place a large piece of baking paper on the pastry shell. Fill the shell with uncooked rice, beans or baking weights.
Place the shell into the oven and blind bake for 12 minutes.
Remove the pastry and gently remove the baking paper and weights. Place the pastry back into the oven for a further ten minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. (Keep the tart shell in the tart tin for baking the quiche later.)

For the filling
1/2 white onion, chopped
2tbs olive oil
2tbs butter
1tsp chopped garlic
300g cooked, pulled pork or any other meat like chicken, bacon or sausages
300g zucchini, half sliced and the remaining half chopped
100g onion marmalade
1.5tsp dijon mustard
5 sprigs thyme, leaves only
100g grated parmesan (optional)
1/2tsp salt
grind of black pepper
3 large eggs
1c cream, full fat
1/2c milk, full fat

heat the oil & butter in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion and cook until glossy. Add the chopped zucchini & garlic and cook for one minute.
Add the cooked pork or your choice of protein and cook for about two minutes or longer if your meat is uncooked. (Cook until the meat is fully cooked.)
Add the thyme, salt & pepper, stir through and cook for one more minute.
Put the tart tin on an oven tray and sprinkle the base of the tart shell with the parmesan. Turn the heat of the oven up to 175 degrees C.
Break the eggs into a large jug, add the cream, dijon mustard & onion marmalade and whisk until combined well.
Spoon the meat & zucchini mixture into the tart shell. Pour the egg custard into the tart shell and very gently stir move around with a fork.
Place the sliced zucchini on top and gently, taking care not to spill the egg custard, place the tart into the oven and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes until the egg custard is set and the top has browned lightly.
Remove the tart from the oven and leave to cool for about fifteen minutes before slicing into wedges.

Serve the tart with salad or tossed, buttered greens.








brunch galette

nothing beats a late, lazy morning with amazing food! some days three meals are just too much for my stomach so i love a good brunch. and really, brunch is a mixture of breakfast & lunch, so anything goes.
this is my take of an eggs Benedict at lunch time and it is absolutely delicious! if you are not the smoked trout / salmon type then replace the fish with prosciutto, bacon or parma ham.
it seems like there is a lot going on here but this dish is actually so simple and really doesn’t take up a great majority of your time.
serve the galette with my creamy hollandaise. it will just not be the same without it.
* the galette in the photo is for two. i have adjusted the recipe to feed six.

ingredients | serves 6 | easy
1 roll puff pastry, thawed
300g mini asparagus (or size of choice)
100g smooth cream cheese, at room temperature
300g/400g smoked trout ribbons / smoked salmon
1 egg, beaten
2 spring onion, sliced at an angle
black pepper
salt
6 eggs
parmesan shavings, for garnish
fresh chives, for garnish
1 recipe hollandaise sauce (in my post dated 17 February 2021)

how to do it
preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
place the ready rolled sheet of puff pastry on a greased oven tray. using a sharp knife, make cuts in the pastry, about 1cm from the side, to form a border. take care to not cut all the way through the pastry.
dock the pastry with a fork in the centre as well as in the border.
coat the centre of the pastry with the cream cheese. now lay the asparagus (which has been cut to fit the pastry) down on the cream cheese. season lightly with salt & black pepper and brush the border of the pastry with the beaten egg.
bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the pastry is golden and beautifully flaky. meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to the boil. gently lower the eggs into the water and cook for five minutes for soft boiled. pour the water off the eggs and top with cold water to stop the cooking process.
make the hollandaise sauce.
carefully remove the pan from the oven.
top the asparagus with the trout or salmon ribbons. gently place the eggs between the fish ribbons and cut it open using a sharp knife.
garnish the galette with the sliced spring onion, chopped chives and parmesan shavings.
place the galette in the middle of the table and serve with the hollandaise sauce.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x








asparagus, poached egg & hollandaise sauce

this simple, yet elegant and great tasting dish is always a show stopper. less is more and that is exactly what this dish offers. simple, blanched asparagus, poached eggs and a thick, rich, buttery hollandaise…my idea of simple perfection.
i love serving this as a light, easy starter or when i serve it for breakfast i add salmon ribbons to it. smoked mackerel and kippers are also a hit with this dish and don’t forget the crusty bread to dunk into the sauce!!

asparagus
butter
salt
pepper
eggs
white wine vinegar
parmesan (garnish)
chives (garnish)

hollandaise sauce
4 egg yolks
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2c butter, melted
juice of half a lemon
1/2tsp fine salt
pinch white pepper

pour water into a large bowl and add a few blocks of ice to it. set aside.
bring water to boil in a large skillet. lower the asparagus into the boiling water and leave to cook for about 2.- 3 minutes, depending on the thickness. remove the asparagus from the skillet using tongs and plunge it into the iced water. drain on kitchen towel paper. set aside.

in a stainless steel mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice vigorously until light, thick and creamy use a double boiler or place the mixing bowl over a saucepan / small pot containing barely simmering water. (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water).
continue to whisk rapidly for about 30 seconds, taking care not to that the egg does not scramble. (this will happen if it gets too hot.). slowly drizzle the butter into the egg mixture while whisking, until the sauce is thickened and almost doubled in volume.
remove from the heat, add the cayenne, salt & pepper and whisk through.
set aside.

add about one tablespoon of white wine vinegar to a saucepan filled with water and bring it to the boil.
break the eggs into small ramekins. create a vortex in the centre of the water, add the eggs, two at a time. once the eggs are in the water, turn the heat down to a simmer. poach to your desired doneness.
remove the eggs from the water and drain on kitchen towel paper.

to assemble
heat butter in a frying pan and toss the asparagus for about one minute. season with salt & pepper.
place the asparagus on a plate. top with the poached egg and the hollandaise sauce.
garnish with shaved parmesan & chives.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x


walnut & almond banana bread

another tasty childhood bake! the sweet aroma of banana baking away in the oven sits fresh in my memory bank. my paternal grandmother loved baking this delectable loaf and my mother was right on her heels. we savoured this treat cut into thick slices, warm with butter and cups of sweet tea. and i love it with double thick cream. full fat, of course. i am imagining a banana bread pudding with one of these loaves drizzled with caramel sauce or whipped cream.
nuts are optional here but i simply cannot imagine this loaf without a bit of toasted crunch.
i wonder how many times we walk past the overripe bananas in our fruit bowls and remind ourselves to bake a banana bread. but never do.
go on, use those sad bananas before they meet the bottom of your bin.

makes 1 loaf |
2c all purpose flour
1.5tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp fine salt
3/4c brown sugar
1/2c butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, beaten, at room temperature
4 small ripe bananas, smashed
1/3c slivered almonds
1/2c walnuts, roughly chopped

how to do it |
preheat the oven to 165 degrees C or 145 with a fan. grease a loaf tin with melted butter or nonstick spray.
sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt & baking powder into a large mixing bowl. using a hand held mixer, cream the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy. add the eggs and beat until just incorporated. fold the smashed banana into the butter and egg mixture. mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well. fold through the toasted nuts. pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin.
bake in the preheated oven for 55 – 65 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
remove from the oven and rest in the loaf tin for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool before slicing.

serve warm with butter and spoonfuls of double thick cream.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x