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

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
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!!

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

berry pavlova

most certainly my favourite after dinner sweet treat, the Pavlova! topped with thick cream and berries…blissful.
i have loaded my basic pavlova recipe before but it is so good that i am writing about it again. and this one boasts a different topping than before.
i like to ‘shock’ the meringue in a hot oven before turning down the heat to bake. this ensures a lovely soft and almost sticky centre.
berries are an all round crowd pleaser as is a thick, gooey, marshmallow’y pavlova so this one is fit for any occasion especially a hot summer’s day, served with iced martini’s or daiquiris.
add some fresh mint leaves for extra freshness and a good dusting of icing sugar for a little more sweetness.

ingredients | one large pavlova
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/4c castor sugar
1 1/2tsp corn flour
1tsp white wine vinegar
1/2tsp vanilla essence / paste
1/2 punnet strawberries, sliced / quartered
1/2 punnet blueberries
2c cream
1 1/2tsp vanilla essence
2tbs icing sugar
fresh mint leaves

preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. using a large cake tin, draw a circle out on a sheet of parchment / baking paper and very lightly grease with non-stick spray. set aside.
ensure that the bowl of your stand mixer is clean and dry.
with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff. with the mixer running, start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. add and beat until the the whites resemble stiff, glossy peaks.
turn the mixer off.
using a spatula, gently fold the corn flour, vinegar & vanilla essence / paste into the meringue mixture.
spoon the mixture out onto the parchment paper, covering the circle. gently smooth the edges and lightly flatten the surface.
place the tray into the oven and immediately turn the heat down to
150 degrees C. bake the pavlova for 55 minutes.
switch the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven for 15 minutes. remove and leave to cool completely.
meanwhile, whisk the cream with the icing sugar & vanilla essence until stiff peaks form.
once the pavlova has cooled completely, top with the creme Chantilly & berries and garnish with mint leaves.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x

vegetable frittata

i love going through my fridge and using what i have to create a great meal. and this is just another delicious fridge forage meal that serves well as breakfast with warm crusty bread and lots of butter. or as a light lunch with a herby salad. i added some ricotta cheese for more creamy goodness. to jazz things up a little more you can also drizzle some truffle oil over the bake when it comes out of the oven. frittata is so easy. best served hot straight from the oven although the cold leftovers are really tasty. and it makes a great lunch box snack!
in my view there are no rules when it comes to frittata except that it shouldn’t stick to the pan…

ingredients | serves 4-6

2tbs olive oil
3tbs butter
1/3 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 courgette, sliced
1c mushrooms, sliced
1/2c kernel corn
1/2 tub (130g) ricotta
pinch chilli flakes (optional)
1tbs fresh thyme or 1/2 tbs dried thyme
good pinch of salt
black pepper
fresh parsley, roughly chopped
5 eggs
1/3c cream / milk

preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. heat the butter & oil together in a medium sized skillet. (to fit the oven). spray the sides of the skillet with non-stick spray or wipe with an oil coated piece of kitchen towel paper.
sauté the onions & garlic until glossy. add the courgette & mushrooms and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just cooked. about 8 minutes. season the mixture with the chilli flakes, thyme, salt & pepper. add the corn and stir through and cook for two more minutes.
meanwhile mix the eggs & cream (or milk) together and season with a pinch of salt & pepper. turn the heat down and pour the eggs mixture over the vegetables, tilting the pan to ensure the vegetables are evenly coated. spoon dollops of ricotta into the egg mixture.
cook for about two minutes until you see the edges starting to cook. place the skillet into the hot oven and bake for about ten – 12 minutes, until set.
(the middle of the frittata should be firm).
leave to cool for 5 minutes. place a board over the pan. turn the frittata out by flipping the pan over. now place another board over the frittata and flip over once more.
garnish with the fresh parsley, slice and serve.

from my kitchen to yours, with love x