T E A R  &  S H A R E  |  H E R B  &  S E E D  W R E A T H 

This is a simple, delicious bread that not only tastes great but also looks impressive.
It is the kind of bread that will add a special touch to your lunch or dinner table.

I used a mixture of sesame seeds here that can be replaced with onion (Nigella) seeds or more black pepper.
And for a pop of colour, top the dough with cherry tomatoes before baking.

Ingredients | easy 
1C warm water 
¼C milk 
2t  yeast 
1½t  castor sugar 
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk 
4C all-purpose flour 
1½t fine salt 
1t coarse black pepper 
1T garlic flakes 
90g salted butter, melted & cooled 
2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped 
small bunch thyme, leaves only 
small bunch fresh chives, finely chopped 
2T sesame seeds (white & black) 
2t maldon salt 

Method 
Grease a medium sized cake tin and an ovenproof mould. 
Combine the yeast, water & milk.  Set aside for 5 minutes.  
Whisk the 2 eggs and set aside. 
Combine the flour, salt, rosemary, thyme, garlic & black pepper.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs & yeast mixture.  Mix to combine.  
Add the melted butter and stir to combine.  
Tip the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes.  
Place the dough in a large bowl greased with olive oil or melted butter, cover with clingfilm and a tea towel and place the bowl in a warm, dark area for an hour.  

Preheat the oven to 185C.  

Tip the dough out, knock it down and form into balls slightly bigger than a golf ball.  
Whisk the egg yolk with a splash of water and combine the sesame seeds & chives in a small bowl.  
Brush the top of the bread rolls with the egg mixture, dip into the sesame mixture and place into the cake tin.  Repeat until you have used all of the dough.  
Sprinkle with Maldon salt and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean.  

Best enjoyed straight from the oven with butter or dipped in olive oil.



  



beef wellington – a classic

There are classics and then there are classics. Beef Wellington is one of THOSE amazing classics that never gets old and I couldn’t imagine any other meal for my dinner table on the 1st day of 2022.
A succulent, lean, juicy cut of meat coated with mushroom duxelles (and in this case also bacon), encased in puff pastry and then baked and served with a homemade red wine jus, creamy mashed potato and buttery aged carrots.
It was the perfect meal paired with a special Pinot Noir from a very special place called Calitzdorp in the Klein Karoo.

I must admit that the process behind making this spectacular dish can be quite lengthy. But honestly, good things come to those who wait and the time and effort here is well worth it. Time and time again.

ingredients | serves 4-6 | a challenge
1 beef fillet, about 700g, trimmed
1 roll ready made puff pastry, thawed and chilled
1 egg, whisked with a splash of water
500g mushrooms (i used button, black and shitake)
small bunch fresh thyme, leaves only
2 cloves garlic, crushed
9 slices streaky bacon
small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2T dijon or English mustard
glug olive oil + extra
salt
black pepper

method
Chop the mushrooms in a blender in batches.
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the mushrooms with the garlic, thyme and parsley to cook out all the moisture from the mushrooms. Spread out to cool.
Rub the beef fillet with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan and sear the meat for about a minute each side until nicely browned.
While the meat is still hot, rub with english or dijon mustard and set aside to cool.
Line a large cutting board with three sheets of clingfilm.
Place the slices of bacon in the centre of the clingfilm, overlapping one another. Spread the cooled mushrooms duxelles over the bacon.

Lay the fillet on top of the duxelles and using the front end of the clingfilm, start rolling the bacon around the fillet, tightening and pressing as you go to form a cylinder.
Twist the ends to secure and chill for about 30 minutes to set the beef and to keep its shape.

On a lightly floured surface, gently roll the pastry out to a large rectangle.
Unwrap the fillet and place it in the centre of the pastry. Brush the sides with the egg mixture and fold the ends over. Wrap the pastry around the beef, cutting away any excess pastry.
Turn the wrapped fillet over onto a piece of clingfilm with the seam underneath and roll up the clingfilm to tighten the pastry and fillet.
Place in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Remove the clingfilm from the fillet and score the pastry down lengthways and then sideways at 1cm intervals taking care not to cut all the way through the pastry.
Brush the pastry with the egg mixture and place the fillet on a baking tray.
Bake the fillet for 20 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180C and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with your choice of sides and sauce.




mediterranean chicken for the season

This recipe is so simple and can be made ahead of time. The chicken pieces can marinade for no less than 30 minutes or overnight and after that it is really just about combining everything together in one tray and baking it for about an hour.
The end result is fragrant, tender meat with a crispy skin and delicious, colourful vegetables, that remind me of the Mediterranean.
I served couscous alongside and homemade chilli paste.

ingredients | serves 4 | easy
8 chicken thighs
2t crushed garlic
2 lemons, juice of 1 and the other one quartered
3 rosemary stalks
3T olive oil + more for vegetables
good grind of black pepper
1t dried oregano
1 whole garlic bulb, halved
2 red onions, quartered
8 baby potatoes, quartered
200g pitted green olives
bunch fresh thyme
2-3 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
1/2C dry white wine
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
1/2C water
salt to taste

In a large resealable bag, combine the crushed garlic, lemon juice and quarters, rosemary, olive oil, oregano & black pepper and shake to combine. Add the chicken pieces, squish it around in the bag, seal the bag and place into the fridge to marinate.

Preheat the oven to 190C.
Combine the whole garlic, red onion, potatoes, thyme & tomatoes in a large ovenproof dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil, toss and season with salt & black pepper. Add the crumbled stock cube, white wine and water.
Arrange the chicken pieces on top along with the remaining ingredients in the plastic bag.
Place the dish in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Carefully remove the dish, add the olives and bake for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the skin is crispy and browned.

Serve with your choice of couscous, rice, crispy bread or salad.


creamy one pan marsala chicken

Marsala, a fortified wine that is either dry or sweet, is frequently used in cooking. One of the most popular Marsala recipes is chicken marsala, in which chicken breasts are pounded, floured and braised in a mixture of marsala, olive oil, butter, mushrooms and herbs.
Of course there are many delicious chicken marsala recipes one can try and by no means am I saying mine is the best.
I do, however, think my chicken marsala is delicious and worth giving a go if you are looking for an easy meal with a lot of flavour that doesn’t take much time to prepare.

ingredients | serves 4-6 – easy
8 chicken thighs
1t onion powder
1t garlic powder
1/2t fine salt
good grind of black pepper
olive oil
knob of butter
3/4C marsala wine
1 1/2C chicken broth / stock
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 white onion, chopped
a good bunch of fresh thyme, half of which the leaves are picked, the other half left whole
1C cream
200g button mushrooms, sliced
1T dijon mustard
bunch fresh parsley, chopped
chives, chopped (garnish)

Preheat the oven to 185C. Lightly oil the chicken thighs with olive oil and rub the onion & garlic powder into the skin. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, ovenproof skillet. Place the thighs skin side down in the pan and brown on a moderate heat until the skin is nicely coloured and crispy. About 6 minutes.
Turn and lightly brown the other side. Set aside.
In the same pan, heat about 2 more tablespoons olive oil and a knob of butter. Sauté the onion until fragrant and glossy. About 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
Add the mushrooms, mustard & the thyme leaves and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are just cooked.
Pour the marsala into the pan, deglaze and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce.
Pour the broth into the pan and simmer on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Add the cream, gently stir and simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the sauce and season with salt & pepper if needed.
Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan, skin side up.
Bake for about 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the thighs are cooked.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and garnish with the parsley and chives.

Serve with rice, couscous or fettuccini.

From my kitchen to yours, with love x


pressure cooker lamb shank

Some foods, like shank, can take hours to cook and, frankly, I just don’t always have hours to wait for a good, healthy meal.
These beautiful, meaty shanks are from my local butcher and have been in my freezer for about three weeks. Three weeks too long!!
It took me about 20 minutes to prepare this dish and a further 40 minutes of cooking time, for tender, flavourful shanks that I served on creamy, garlicky mashed potato.
In my mind, a meal fit for kings and queens!!

ingredients | easy
2-4 large lamb shanks
5T flour
Olive oil
1T butter
1 large white onion, chopped
2T tomato paste
4 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 stalks rosemary
1/2t ground coriander
1t turmeric
1/2t ground cinnamon
2t cumin seeds, lightly crushed
2t paprika (not smoked)
2 bay leaves
1C chicken stock
1C red wine
2 leeks, sliced diagonally
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
3 celery ribs, sliced
2T brown sugar
bunch fresh parsley, garnish
zest of 1 lemon, garnish
mint leaves, garnish
1t fine salt
good grind of black pepper
2T corn flour
2T water

how to
Season the shanks with salt & pepper and dust with the flour.
Turn the pressure cooker to saute mode. Heat about 3 tablespoons olive oil and brown the shanks all over until beautifully caramelised. Set aside. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the uncleaned bowl of the pressure cooker and a knob of butter. Sauté the onion until translucent. About 3 minutes.
Add the tomato paste & sugar, stir and cook for about a minute. Add the coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin & paprika, stir and cook until fragrant. About a minute.
Pour the wine into the pot to deglaze and reduce by half. Add the carrots, celery & leeks, stir to combine and cook for about 3 minutes on a gentle simmer.
Nestle the shanks in the vegetable mixture and top with the quartered tomatoes, rosemary and bay leaves.
Add the salt, black pepper and bay leaves and pour the stock around the shanks into the pot.
Bring the mixture to a boil. Switch saute mode off.
Place the lid on the cooker, seal the vent and turn the pressure cooking time to 40 minutes, on normal mode.
Cook for the set time with a natural pressure release.
Carefully remove the lid.
To thicken the sauce, mix the corn flour with the water to a paste. Switch to sauté mode.
Pour the corn flour mixture into the pot, stir and gently simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Garnish with chopped parsley, mint leaves and lemon zest.