For this dish i used skinless, boneless chicken thighs, which was perfect as it soaked up all the beautiful flavours while cooking . Paprika adds such amazing flavour to food! Here it gave an amazing earthy flavour to the food that complimented the tartness of the tomato beautifully. I served this with a side of fragrant Jasmin rice and buttered green beans. If you are on a tight schedule then this recipe is perfect for you!
ingredients | serves 4 | easy 3T olive oil 1T butter deboned, skinless chicken thighs 1 onion, chopped 3 garlic cloves, chopped or sliced 2t paprika 5 thyme sprigs, leaves only dried mixed herbs dried oregano 2 medium carrots, grated 200ml chicken stock 100ml cream 1 can chopped tomato fresh parsley, roughly chopped 1/2t salt black pepper
Heat olive oil & butter on a medium heat. Sauté the onion until glossy, about 4 minutes. Carefully drop the chicken thighs into the skillet and brown on all sides. Add the paprika, thyme, oregano, mixed herbs & grated carrots, stir through and cook for about three minutes. Pour the chicken stock into the skillet, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and reduce by about half. Add the chopped tomato, stir through and cook for about two minutes. Pour the cream into the skillet and leave to simmer on a low heat for about five minutes until thickened.
Season with salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
I am very passionate about stews and casseroles so generally look for any excuse to cook another rich, hearty one pot. (Not that i ever need an excuse to cook anything!) Good quality meat is the perfect start to any good stew or casserole followed, of course, by fresh vegetables and drinkable red wine. I always buy good quality boxed red wine and keep it in my pantry. It lasts much longer than bottled red wine, making it cost effective. These dishes need a lot of love and patience, which is all worth it once you lift the lid and sniff the wonderful aroma of slow cooked meat, garlic, herbs and red wine. Short rib is a fairly inexpensive cut of meat and is beautiful served on its own in portions or pulled in a beefy BBQ sauce or use the pulled meat for a short rib pie in a puff crust. If this kind of food does not do something for your soul, i really am not sure what will.
ingredients | serves 6 | a little effort 2kg beef short rib (portioned by your butcher) 5T plain flour 200g bacon, diced 1 punnet (250g) button mushrooms, halved 3 stalks rosemary, leaves only 1 garlic head, halved 2 medium carrots, grated 3 leeks, diced 1 large white onion, chopped 3 celery ribs, diced 2T tomato paste 1t salt 1t black pepper 3T olive oil plus extra for browning meat 2T butter 600ml drinkable red wine 2C beef stock 1T brown sugar
how to do it Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Dredge the meat in the flour and shake off any excess. Heat about four tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven proof skillet and brown the meat in batches until it has a beautifully coloured crust. Set aside. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until browned and crispy. Set aside. In the same skillet, melt the three tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of butter. Sauté the chopped onion until glossy. Add the garlic and press it down, releasing the garlic flavour into skillet. Add the grated carrot, diced leeks & celery and stir. Add the tomato paste and allow this to cook for about one minute. Add the brown sugar, salt & pepper and stir to combine. Pour the red wine into the skillet and allow to cook for about five minutes. Now pour the stock into the pot, add the bacon and the short rib and bring the mixture to the boil. Cover the skillet with a tight fitting lid or tin foil and carefully place in into the preheated oven to cook for 2.5 – 3 hours until the short rib is soft and almost falling off the bone. Meanwhile, heat butter and olive oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms until just cooked. Set aside.
If you prefer a smooth sauce like i do, remove the meat from the skillet and strain the sauce through a sieve. Press the garlic out into the sauce. Pour the sauce back into the skillet and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce until thickened. Add the meat and mushrooms to the skillet and gently simmer for about five minutes to heat through. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with smooth, garlicky mashed potatoes.
If you prefer to keep the sauce in its natural form, simply remove the garlic head, press the garlic out into the sauce and do not strain. Follow steps as above.
This dish brings back very fond childhood memories. The smell of the ‘frikkadel’ lingering through the house as it was baked in the oven sits firm in my memory bank. They always tasted the same, never different, which now tells me that it was obviously a recipe that was passed down many generations to my mother who never felt the desire to change or alter it. And rightly so, as the ‘frikkadel’ recipe i so well remember was delightfully delicious and completely moreish. Frikkadel is a traditional AFrikaner dish, consisting of minced meat, onion, bread, eggs, vinegar & spices and then baked or sometimes deep-fried. There are so many amazing sides to this dish although it was served with rice in our family home thus making rice the traditional side for me. This recipe is not that of my mother as I think some things are meant to be kept secret. I used the base of the original recipe with a few tweaks here and there and then turned it up a notch to boost it to the 21st century. Frikkadels can be made ahead of time and freeze really well so i suggest doubling the recipe to give you extra for the freezer. Perfect for lazy days or days when you really just don’t have much time to spend behind the stove.
ingredients | serves 4-6 | easy 500g minced beef (or pork of a mixture of the two) 1/2 white onion, finely chopped 1T crushed garlic 2 medium tomatoes, centre removed and cut into small blocks 1 egg 2T chopped parsley 1.5T worcester sauce 1/2C breadcrumbs 2T chutney (i used Mrs Balls) 1/2t salt 1/2t black pepper 3T olive oil, for frying
For the tomato broth 1/2 white onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 can chopped tomato 1T brown sugar 1t salt 1/2t black pepper 1/2t dried oregano 1/2t dried basil 1/2t dried parsley 1/2t chilli flakes (optional) 1T butter 1T olive oil 1/2C cream Bunch fresh parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs except the breadcrumbs & egg together. Break the egg into the mixture, add the breadcrumbs and using your hands, mix until well combined. Form balls a little smaller than a golf ball, using the palms of your hands. Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan and brown the frikkadels on all sides. Transfer the frikkadels to an ovenproof dish and bake for about ten minutes. Lift the frikkadels out of the skillet, pour the juices out of the skillet and set aside. (Do not clean the skillet)
Heat the olive oil & butter for the tomato broth in the same skillet of the frikkadels. (This will add more flavour to your broth) Saute the onion until glossy. Add the oregano, basil, dried parsley & chilli flakes and cook for about one minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, brown sugar, garlic, salt & pepper and cook on a low heat for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the juices from the baked frikkadles into the broth and stir well. Add the cream to the tomato broth and stir through.
Place the frikkadels into the tomato sauce, cover with a lid and cook for about five minutes until heated through.
Dish the frikkadels into bowl and pour the sauce around it. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with basmati rice or mashed potato.
Gravlax, traditionally Nordic, is a dish consisting of salmon that is cured by using sugar, salt & dill. It is served with bread or boiled potatoes and a dill & mustard sauce. There are, however, many different gravlax recipes, personalised through taste and preference. Pernod is another great ingredient to use when curing salmon. It adds a beautiful, mild aniseed flavour to the fish very similar to that of fennel. The recipe is easy and the process and time well worth it. The quality of the salmon is really important here so get your hands on the best you can find from a trusted fishmonger. This is a starter portion. For a main meal simply double up the recipe.
ingredients | serves 4 | easy (starter portion for four) 600g salmon fillet, skin on 1C coarse salt 1C granulated sugar 1/2C fresh dill 1 large cucumber 3T coarse salt 1/2C cream cheese, room temperature 2T lemon juice 1/2t black pepper 3-4 oranges, sliced and skin removed fresh chives, garnish fresh dill, garnish 1t white sesame seeds (optional) 1t black sesame seeds (optional)
how to do it Lay the salmon fillet skin side down in a large dish. Mix the sugar, salt & dill together and spoon this out onto the salmon. Cover the fillet well with the salt & sugar mixture. Wrap the dish tightly with clingfilm and place into the refrigerator overnight. Peel the cucumber with a julienne peeler, discarding the centre. Place the cucumber strips into a sieve over a bowl and strew with the two tablespoons of coarse salt. Leave to stand for about one hour. (This will remove excess moisture from the cucumber.) Rinse the cucumber well under running water and dry on paper towel. Mix the cream cheese, black pepper & lemon juice in a bowl. Add the cucumber ribbons and mix gently until well combined. Slice the oranges into rounds and remove the skin with a sharp knife. Remove the salmon from the fridge and rinse well under cold running water. Pat the fillet dry with towel paper and lay it flat on a work surface. Slice the fillet into thin strips, against the grain. Arrange the citrus onto a large plate. Place the gravlax on top and serve with the cucumber & cream cheese mixture. Garnish the dish with the fresh herbs and sesame seeds.
This puff tart makes a great side to almost any main, is perfect on its own as a snack or served as a light meal, with a zesty salad. The creamy goat’s cheese and zucchini are the perfect match and set atop a flaky, buttery pastry is my idea of a perfect taste sensation. Shop bought pastry is perfect and saves a lot of time. If you prefer making your own, I salute you! Puff pastry is one ingredient I always have readily available as it really simplifies things. The thawing and cooking time is quick and it works really well with both savoury and sweet dishes. I absolutely love sinking my teeth into thick pastry, topped with great flavours…
ingredients | serves 4 – 6 | easy 1 roll puff pastry, thawed 3-4 zucchini’s, peeled 100g soft goat’s cheese, broken into pieces 1 round crotin cheese, sliced 4T creme fraiche, at room temperature 3T cream cheese, at room temperature zest of 1lemon 1t crushed garlic 3 thyme sprigs, leaves only 2 spring onions, sliced diagonally 1 egg, whisked black pepper a few pinches of salt fresh rocket, garnish
how to do it Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Place the sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface and evenly roll it out, extending the pastry by about 1cm on each side. Gently lift the pastry onto a greased, ovenproof tray. Using a sharp knife, cut along the pastry, about 1cm from the edge, not cutting all the way through. So as to create a border. Lightly the border of the pastry with the beaten egg. Mix the cream cheese, creme fraiche, lemon zest & crushed garlic and spread it across the centre of the pastry. Top the cream cheese mixture with the peeled zucchini strips followed by the spring onion and goat’s cheese. Top with the crotin rounds & thyme and season with salt & black pepper. Bake in the preheated oven until puffed and browned, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the tray from the oven and garnish the galette with fresh rocket. Slice the galette with a pizza cutter and serve immediately.