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Mothers Day Lunch with Poetry Stores

12 May

A delectable home cooked feast from Barbara Joubert’s book KOSTALGIE, available from Poetry Stores. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

There’s nothing that says “I love you” like a thoughtful, scrumptious and beautiful home-cooked meal. The recipes in Barbara Joubert’s (Afrikaans) book Kostalgie are the perfect choices for a Mothers Day lunch at home, with flavours and influences from her travels all around the world.

I have never made caramelized figs before, and they truly are just magnificent to look at. Almost too beautiful to eat! With the creamy custard tart, they are the stuff dreams are made of.

I love slow roasted pork – it seems to always get raving reviews in my house. I opted for serving the pork with buttery beans instead of potatoes, because of my choice of pasta and tomatoes as a side dish (a stunning meal on its own too).

Have a happy Mothers Day everyone!

Barbara’s book, the homeware and beautiful black floral scarf are all available online and in store from Poetry Stores.

Tagliatelle with burst tomatoes, blue cheese and rocket. Photography by Tasha Seccombe

Homemade tagliatelle with burst tomatoes and blue cheese (serves 6)

(Recipe from Barbara Joubert’s Kostalgie)

For the tagliatelle:
300 g (535 ml) cake flour
3 eggs
20 ml olive oil
10 ml water

For the burst tomatoes:
125 ml olive oil
3 garlic cloves
550 g small red and yellow rosa tomatoes
salt and freshly ground pepper
a handful fresh basil leaves
100 g blue cheese
40 g rocket

For the tagliatelle:
Place the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer with dough hook. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the eggs. Switch the machine on at low speed. Add the olive oil and water. Increase the speed until a soft dough forms. If the dough is too stiff, you can add a little water. Knead for 10 minutes with the machine, then take the dough out and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature. If you have a pasta machine, sprinkle a little flour on your working surface and on the rollers of the machine. Cut the dough into smaller pieces. Set your machine on number 7 and feed the dough through. Set it one setting lower, feeding the dough through until you get to number 1 (the thinnest setting). Hang the pasta sheets over the back of chairs for about 20 minutes to dry out a little. Attach the tagliatelle attachment to the machine, then feed the sheets through the cutter. Place the bundles of cut tagliatelle onto a baking tray sprinkled with flour. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a little olive oil, then add the pasta and cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain and top with the roasted saucy tomatoes.

For the burst tomatoes:
Heat olive oil in a large deep pan. Add the garlic whole and fry for about 2 minutes to flavour the oil. Add the tomatoes and fry until they burst. Season with salt & pepper. Tear basil leaves in pieces and mix with the sauce. Cut slices of blue cheese and arrange on top of the pasta. Sprinkle with rocket and serve.

My notes: A good quality store bought tagliatelle will also work well, if you don’t have a pasta machine.

Overnight leg of pork, so soft that you can pull it with a fork. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

Overnight leg of pork (serves 6)

(Recipe from Barbara Joubert’s Kostalgie)

100 ml olive oil
2 kg leg of pork (I used boneless)
juice of a lemon
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt & freshly ground black pepper
3 bay leaves
250 ml white wine
8 baby leeks
1 x 439 g can chestnuts

Preheat oven to 200 C. Place half the olive oil in a roasting tray. Place the pork in the bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice. Rub the garlic all over. Season with salt & pepper, then add the rest of the olive oil. Place in oven with skin side down. Remove after 30 minutes, then turn the leg over with skin side up. Cover with foil. Lower heat to 140 C, then roast for 6 hours.
Remove the netting around the meat, then add the bay leaves, wine, leeks and chestnuts. Roast uncovered for an hour at 180 C. Remember the skin won’t be crispy. The meat will be soft enough to pull apart with forks.

My notes: The original recipe calls for leeks, which were unfortunately out of stock everywhere at the time of the shoot, so I substituted these with slices of red onion. I also couldn’t find chestnuts, but I’m sure these will be stocked at a good exotic speciality store.

Custard tart with caramelized figs. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

Custard tart with caramelized figs (serves 8-10)

(Recipe from Barbara Joubert’s Kostalgie)

For the dough:
200 g (360 ml) cake flour
50 g (60 ml) caster sugar
100 g (110 ml) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
45-60 ml cold water

Place the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor. Mix until the butter is well incorporated. Add the yolk and mix. With the motor running, add the water spoon by spoon, until it just comes together. Remove from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 C. Roll out dough on a floured surface. Line a greased 18 cm tart tin with the dough, then prick with a fork all over. Line with baking paper on top and fill with dried beans. Bake blink for 10 minutes at 200 C. Remove paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes until the base is cooked.

For the filling:
10 egg yolks
20 g (40 ml) cornflour
125 g (150 g) caster sugar
2 ml vanilla powder
200 ml milk
500 ml cream

Whisk the yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla together with an electric mixer in a mixing bowl. Heat the milk and cream together in a pot, but don’t let it boil. Add the cream mixture to the egg mixture and mix well. Pour back into the pot, then continue stirring over medium heat until the custard thickens. (You don’t want to make scrambled eggs!) Pour the custard into another bowl and place a piece of wax paper on top to prevent a skin from forming. Let it cool to room temperature. Pour filling in baked tart base and bake for 20 minutes at 180 C. Let it cool overnight, preferable in the fridge.

For the caramelized figs:
500 g (625 ml) sugar
100 ml water
about 25 small figs

Put the sugar and water in a large pot with a lid and place over medium heat until the sugar has melted. Now remove the lid and let it boil until it reaches a light caramel colour. The caramel will continue to darken, so remove from the heat immediately. Carefully dip the figs into the hot caramel and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper to cool. Place on top of the cooled tart when ready to serve.

My notes: The recipe doesn’t mention what size eggs to use, but I found that XL is adequate. I found that I needed to increase the baking time for the base and for the assembled tart to achieve a golden brown result. I couldn’t find small figs, so 9 large ones were enough as a substitute. Don’t caramelize the figs long before you’ll be serving the tart, as the caramel will eventually start to melt as the figs release steam and water, and you’ll be left with syrupy half-coated figs. (Remember, the caramel will harden on standing in the pot, so when you’re done dipping the figs, carefully add some boiling water to the caramel and leave to soften before cleaning.)

This post was created in collaboration with Poetry Stores.

Caprese salad, triple cheese beef lasagne & tiramisu jars with Galbani Cheese

3 May

Caprese salad, triple cheese beef lasagne and individual tiramisu jars – my ultimate Italian-style feast! Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

When it comes to laid-back, festive, scrumptious food that’s packed with flavour, the Italians just know how. I’ve taken a few tips from their most popular traditional cheese-themed recipes to come up with my favourite three-course Italian-inspired feast: an over-the-top caprese salad, triple cheese beef lasagne (made with mozzarella, cheddar and mascarpone) and individual tiramisu cups with chocolate flakes and fresh raspberries. You can assemble the lasagne and tiramisu ahead so that you have more time to spend with your guests – the most important thing when hosting friends and family!

All my recipes serve 8, because they deserve a crowd. If you’re keen on a smaller gathering, just halve the ingredients to serve 4.

And don’t miss my video below – it shows how to make this killer lasagne.

Buon appetito!

My ultimate caprese salad with soft mozzarella, an array of tomatoes, fresh basil, pesto, toasted pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, salt flakes and ground black pepper. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

Ultimate caprese salad (serves 8)

  • 3 very big ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • about 400 g smaller tomatoes on the vine
  • a handful baby tomatoes, halved
  • 3 x 125 g Galbani soft white mozzarella, sliced into rounds
  • a handful fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
  • 3-4 tablespoons basil pesto
  • extra virgin olive oil, for serving
  • balsamic vinegar, for serving (optional)
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Arrange the tomatoes on a large platter, interleaved with slices of mozzarella. Scatter with basil leaves and pine nuts, then drizzle with pesto (add a little olive oil to the pesto if it is very thick). Serve with olive oil and balsamic on the side, seasoned with salt & pepper. Serve immediately.

Note: The tomatoes will wilt on standing, so this salad is best served straight after assembling.

Triple cheese beef lasagne (made with mascarpone, cheddar and mozzarella). Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

Triple cheese beef lasagne (serves 8)

For the beef Bolognese sauce:

  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, skinned & finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 kg lean beef mince
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, stalks removed & finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried origanum)
  • 375 ml (half a bottle) dry red wine
  • 1 beef stock cube dissolved in 250 ml boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans whole Italian tomatoes, blended to a pulp
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

For the white sauce (béchamel):

  • 80 g (80 ml / 1/3 cup) President Butter
  • 80 ml (1/3/ cup) plain/cake flour
  • 1 liter full cream milk
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • a generous tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 250 g Galbani Mascarpone
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

For assembling:

  • 1 batch Bolognese sauce
  • 1 batch white sauce
  • 500 g fresh/dried pasta sheets
  • 200 g President Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 300 g Galbani Creamy Mozzarella (semi-hard), grated

For the Bolognese sauce: Heat the olive oil in a wide, large pot with a heavy base. Fry the onion, carrot and celery over medium-high heat until soft and lightly brown. Add the garlic and stir. Add the mince and stir, breaking up any lumps and scraping the bottom to loosen any sticky bits. Add the rosemary and thyme. Continue to fry on high heat to brown the meat slightly, then add the red wine, stock, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and stir well. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat to low, cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours, stirring every now and then.

For the white sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat, then add the flour and cook for a minute, stirring. Add the milk and stir with a whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and thickens slightly. Add the nutmeg, mustard and mascarpone and season well with salt & pepper. Set aside.

To assemble: Preheat oven to 180 C. In a large rectangular roasting tray or oven dish, start with a thin layer of white sauce, then a layer of pasta sheets (they will swell so don’t fit them too snugly), a layer of meat sauce, more white sauce, a layer of cheddar, etc. Continue and repeat, ending with a layer of white sauce and the grated mozzarella on top. Bake for 45 minutes until golden on top, then let it rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: I sometimes chop my onion, carrot and celery together in a food processor to save time. The cooked lasagne will continue to stabilize on standing, becoming firmer and easier to serve. The assembled lasagne (cooked or uncooked) freezes well – thaw completely before returning to the oven.

Individual jars of tiramisu, made with mascarpone, brandy and some chocolate flakes. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

Individual tiramisu cups: (serves 8)

  • 5 XL eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 2 x 250 g Galbani Mascarpone
  • 1 Italian-style sponge finger biscuits (Boudoir/ladyfinger)
  • 375 ml strong coffee, warm
  • 75 ml brandy
  • cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 2-3 chocolate flake bars, for serving
  • fresh raspberries, for serving

Place the egg yolks and caster sugar in a large bowl. Use and electric whisk to mix until it is very thick and creamy. Add the mascarpone and whisk until smooth.
Clean and dry this whisk, then whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff. Add half the egg whites to the mascarpone mixture and fold in with a large spoon, continuing with the second half and folding until you have a smooth, creamy, mousse-like mixture. Set aside.
Working quickly, cut the finger biscuits into thirds, and divide the pieces into 8 groups of 9 pieces each (for 8 cups of 250 ml capacity each). Place the coffee and brandy in a shallow flat bowl, then dip 4 cookie pieces at a time into the coffee mixture, and place them into the bottom of each dessert glass/jar. Top with a dollop of the mascarpone mix, then a sifting of cocoa powder. Top with a second round of 5 dipped biscuit pieces, then place the remaining half of the mascarpone mix into a piping bag and pipe dollops of the mixture at the top of each glass to cover the biscuits. Dust some cocoa powder over the top, then cover with plastic or lids (not touching the mixture) and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
To serve, add some chocolate flakes and berries on top and serve straight from the fridge.

Note: The biscuits need time to soften in the fridge. If you serve them too soon, the cookies will still be tough. The tiramisu cups keep very well in the fridge for up to 3 days and the flavour improves with time.

(This post was created in collaboration with Galbani Cheese.)

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Fresh feasting with Pork 360: Vietnamese Shredded Pork Ramen

2 Jan

A comforting yet refreshingly light bowl of shredded pork noodles in broth (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Wishing you all the best for an incredible 2017 ahead! It’s such a privilege to have another clean slate in front of us – for making more beautiful memories, realizing new dreams and becoming the best we can be.

This is my first recipe for the new year: a fresh and punchy yet warm and comforting bowl of noodles with zesty greens and strands of succulent pork. It’s low in fat but big in flavour, great for a quick, fresh dinner (accommodating all my new year’s resolutions after an indulgent few weeks in December). It’s also a fantastic way of using up leftover slow-roasted pork – actually, using leftovers is probably the best way to do this if you want to save time, money and energy.

This is my 5th recipe in collaboration with Pork 360. It’s a quality assurance and traceability certification – a guarantee to both the consumer and retailing sector that the producer has a consistent production process that complies with minimum standards and ensures high-quality pork. The Pork 360 projects takes place under the guidance of the South African Pork Producers Association (SAPPO). Watch their video for more info.

In a nutshell: it’s pork you can trust!

So plan ahead when you’re making your next large roasted pork shoulder or a whole roasted pork neck and make these bowls of ramen the day after. It’s packed with flavour and so easy to make. A boiled egg completes the picture and adds an authentic Asian touch. An inexpensive way to kick off a year of fresh feasting!

Note: Food Lover’s Market stocks a great selection of Asian ingredients and pork cuts, so you’ll be able to find everything you need right there.

Ingredients for the broth: (serves 4)

  • 1 liter good quality chicken/beef stock (add some pan sauces from your roast, if you’re using leftovers)
  • 45 ml soy sauce
  • juice of a lime (or half a lemon)
  • a small knob of ginger, sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove, sliced
  • 1/2 small chilli, sliced (adjust according to taste)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Bring all the ingredients to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning, then strain and set aside, discarding the aromatics.

Ingredients for the ramen bowl:

  • 1 liter broth (see above)
  • 350-400 g quick-cook noodles
  • about 1,5 cups shredded cooked pork (use leftovers from your roast or use pan-fried pork steaks, cut into strips)
  • 4 eggs, soft boiled and peeled
  • one bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • a handful fresh basil/coriander/chives
  • a handful bean sprouts (optional)
  • sliced chilli, to garnish (optional)
  • black sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)

Heat the broth to boiling point, then set it aside, covered, while you assemble the bowls. Cook the noodles in water until just tender, then drain and divide amongst 4 bowls. Top the noodles with broth, shredded pork, halved boiled egg, spring onions, fresh herbs, sprouts and chilli. Serve immediately.

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Festive Feasting with Pork 360: Stuffed Porchetta

20 Dec

Moist porchetta stuffed with spinach & ricotta (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

It’s almost Christmas and some of us will have the privilege and joy of preparing a beautiful roast for our family and friends on this special day. A stuffed roast is even more festive in my opinion, and the Italians do it best with a traditional porchetta. Porchetta simply refers to a savoury, moist, fatty, boneless cut of pork that is rolled and roasted – perfect for stuffing beforehand and cutting beautiful rounds when cooked.

I recently developed six new recipes in collaboration with Pork 360 (this one’s number four). It’s a quality assurance and traceability certification – a guarantee to both the consumer and retailing sector that the producer has a consistent production process that complies with minimum standards and ensures high-quality pork. The Pork 360 projects takes place under the guidance of the South African Pork Producers Association (SAPPO). Watch their video for more info.

In a nutshell: it’s pork you can trust!

I’ve chosen a boneless pork belly for this porchetta recipe, but you can also use a boneless shoulder. Look for a belly with a thin layer of fat compared to meat – it will still be super moist but not overwhelmingly fatty. I bought the meat (and other ingredients) from my local Food Lover’s Market. You can find the most beautiful, fresh, whole pork shoulders, necks, bellies and legs – great choices when entertaining a large crowd. They also have great spare ribs, chops and festive gammons.

Serve your porchetta in thick slices with your choice of roast potatoes or mash, some pan-fried spinach and a generous drizzle of the pan sauces. Enjoy the festive season everybody!

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • for the stuffing:
    • 15 ml olive oil
    • 200 g baby spinach
    • 250 g ricotta cheese
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    • a pinch of ground nutmeg
    • salt & pepper
  • about 1,5 kg boneless pork belly
  • 250 g smoked streaky bacon
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • about 2 tablespoons chopped herbs (like thyme & sage)

Method:

  1. To make the stuffing: heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the spinach over high heat until just wilted, stirring often. Remove from the heat, drain the excess liquid from the pan, then place in a food processor along with the ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg. Season generously with salt & pepper, then process to a thick pulp. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170 C. Place the pork belly on a clean working surface, skin side up. Use a very sharp knife to remove the tough outer layer of skin (save it for making crackling later, if you want to). Turn the belly over, widest side facing you – you want to roll it up to form a long/narrow log, not a short/fat log.
  3. Arrange the stuffing horizontally in the middle of the belly from side to side, then roll the belly up with the seam on the bottom. Arrange slivers of streaky bacon diagonally over the top, overlapping slightly.
  4. Use pieces of kitchen string to neatly secure the roll at about 3 cm intervals, knotting them at the top and snipping the loose ends.
  5. Drizzle a deep medium-size roasting tray with olive oil, then arrange the onions, garlic and herbs on the bottom. Place the prepared pork roll on top of this in the middle of the tray. Roast for 3 hours at 170 C (if the meat/veg get too dark, cover lightly with foil). Remove from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
  6. Serve hot with pan-fried green vegetables, roast potatoes or mash (or cauliflower puree) and a drizzle of pan juices.

Note: If you love a thicker gravy, remove the meat from the tray after roasting and bring the pan juices to a boil over the stove top, scraping any brown bits. Add some lamb or chicken stock (about 250 ml), a splash of dry white wine and cook, stirring. Mix some of the hot liquid with a spoonful of flour and a spoonful of butter, then return the paste to the pan and stir to make a smooth, slightly thickened gravy. Add salt & pepper to taste, then pour in a jug and serve with the porchetta.

Festive Feasting with Pork 360: 8-Hour Pork Shoulder

7 Dec

The ultimate 80-hour spiced pork shoulder, falling from the bone, ready to feed a festive crowd (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

The ultimate 8-hour spiced pork shoulder, falling from the bone, ready to feed a festive crowd (photography by Tasha Seccombe).

Once or twice a year, when we gather friends and family for a really big festive occasion, I choose a special, huge cut of meat to bring to the table as a whole slow-roasted centre piece. Pork shoulder wins my vote every single time, because it’s inexpensive, it’s succulent and it cooks to a tenderness that cannot be replaced by boneless smoked gammon or a whole leg.

I had the privilege of recently developing 6 new recipes in collaboration with Pork 360 (this one’s number 3). It’s a quality assurance and traceability certification – a guarantee to both the consumer and retailing sector that the producer has a consistent production process that complies with minimum standards and ensures high-quality pork. The Pork 360 projects takes place under the guidance of the South African Pork Producers Association (SAPPO). Watch their video for more info.

In a nutshell: it’s pork you can trust!

I bought the meat (and other ingredients) from my friendly butcher at Food Lover’s Market. You can find the most beautiful, fresh, whole pork shoulders, necks, bellies and legs – great choices when entertaining a large crowd. They also have great spare ribs, chops and festive gammons.

For this recipe, you can start the process in the morning if you plan on serving it for dinner, or just before you go to bed when you plan on serving it for lunch. All you need is an oven and a large roasting tray with foil. Rub all over with your spices, add some aromatics like onions, garlic and sage, and top up the tray with some sparkling apple juice or apple cider. After 8 hours at 120 C you will find magic in your tray: “doeksak”, as we say in Afrikaans. Saucy. Moist. Falling from the bone.

The leftovers will reward you with the ultimate pulled pork buns (sloppy as hell) the next day. The cooked meat freezes exceptionally well in the pan juices, so don’t be afraid of choosing a bigger cut than you actually need.

Ingredients: (serves 10-12)

  • 4,5-5 kg whole pork shoulder (bone-in)
  • 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 ml salt flakes
  • 10 ml freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 ml smoked paprika
  • 30 ml fennel seeds
  • 10 ml dried chilli flakes
  • 3 onions, peeled & quartered
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
  • about 12 sage leaves
  • 500 ml Appletizer or apple cider
  • 30 ml butter
  • 30 ml flour
  • finely grated lemon rind, for serving (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 120 C.
  2. Carefully remove the skin from the shoulder using a sharp, small knife. Set the skin aside to make crackling later. Rub all over with olive oil, then place in a large roasting tray.
  3. Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, fennel, chilli together, then rub it all over the pork. Arrange the onions, garlic and sage all around the pork, then pour the apple juice/cider into the tray. Cover with foil, the place in the oven. Roast for 8 hours.
  4. To make gravy: Heat the butter in a small saucepan. When melted, add the flour and stir to create a roux. Carefully pour most (not all, but around 500-750 ml) of the pan juices into the sauce pan, stirring well to create a thickened smooth gravy. Season well with salt & pepper.
  5. Serve hot with sides of roasted potatoes or pan-fried spinach or caramelized sweet potato and a crisp green salad.

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A Portuguese Summer Feast with Poetry Stores

29 Nov

Portuguese feast

Piri-piri chicken, roasted sweet potato salad and fig ice cream from the book “My Portuguese Feast” by Mimi Jardim (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

portuguese-feastOne of the most beautiful recipe books on the shelves this festive season is Mimi Jardim’s My Portuguese Feast – Recipes From The Heart, available from Poetry stores. Mimi is a living legend when it comes to Portuguese cooking in SA: she has run her own cooking school for over 50 years and is also a representative of the Nando’s restaurant chain. Her book is a tribute to her years of cooking, teaching, loving, exploring and sharing. “It highlights the flavours and tastes of Portuguese food and showcases the way the Portuguese cook – with their hearts and their souls, and not always in exact proportions!”

Here is a splendid Portuguese summer feast out of Mimi’s book, complete with the most beautiful, brand new Portuguese homeware available from Poetry stores. You will agree that the tableware and linen in the photographs are some of the most beautiful ranges that Poetry has ever stocked and a must for your festive table this season. Happy cooking!

Roasted sweet potato salad

Roasted sweet potato salad with goats cheese and pomegranate seeds (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Roasted sweet potato salad (serves 4)

  • 150 g whole blanched almonds
  • 125 ml olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • 1 kg sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 125 ml orange juice
  • salt & pepper
  • about 100 g baby spinach
  • about 100 g rocket
  • 250 g goats cheese
  • 250 ml pomegranate seeds
  • orange zest, to garnish

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the almonds in a roasting pan and drizzle with some of the olive oil and coarse salt. Roast for 5 minutes, turning then2-3 times. Remove from the oven and drain the almonds on paper towel. Reduce oven temp to 180 C. Place the sweet potato in a baking dish, add the red onions, garlic, cinnamon and orange juice and drizzle with a little more of the olive oil. Season to taste and salt and pepper and mix well. Bake for about 40 minutes, stirring twice. Line a salad bowl with baby spinach and rocket. Top with roasted sweet potatoes and pour over any juices from the baking dish. Crumble over the cheese, sprinkle with the roasted almonds and garnish with pomegranate jewels. Drizzle with the last of the olive oil, sprinkle with orange zest and serve.

Portuguese Feast chicken

Raymond’s Piri-piri chicken (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Raymond’s Travelling Piri-Piri Chicken (serves 4-6)

  • 1 medium-sized (1-1,2kg) chicken
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 100 G soft butter
  • whole piri-piri chillies, crushed (use 3-5 for medium and 5-10 for hot)
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 ml paprika
  • 12,5 ml olive oil
  • sprigs rosemay and thyme tied together to form a brush

For the sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 20 ml butter (plus 12,5 ml olive oil, optional)
  • piri-piri chillies (or peri-peri sauce) to taste
  • juice of hal a lemon
  • 5 ml chopped parsley

Method:

Rinse and dry the chicken and spatchcock it (cut open through the back and flatten it). Cut slashes into the flesh of the thick parts of the chicken. Make a paste of the remaining ingredients (other than the rosemary and thyme and the sauce ingredients) and rub it over the inside and outside of the chicken. Allow to marinate for 2 hours. Grill of braai the chicken, turning regularly and using the rosemary and thyme brush to baste it with the marinade/paste every time it is turned. Serve with the sauce.

To make the sauce, fry the garlic cloves in the butter. Add the piri-piri chillies or sauce, lemon juice and parsley. Remove the garlic and serve.

Portuguese Feast ice cream

Port, peri-peri & fig ice cream loaf cake with fresh figs and almond slivers (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Peri-Peri, Port & Fig Ice Cream (serves 6-8)

  • 10 moist dried figs
  • 40 g almonds, toasted
  • 60 ml honey, plus extra to garnish
  • 50 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20 ml port
  • 15 ml Nando’s Hot Peri-Peri Sauce
  • 1 x 2 liter tub soft vanilla ice cream
  • 100 ml chocolate morsels or grated chocolate
  • toasted flaked almonds, to serve
  • ground cinnamon, to serve

Method:

Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer while you prepare the mixture. Pulse figs and almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Dissolve the honey in the lemon juice, then add the port, peri-peri sauce, figs and almonds. Fold into the ice cream, working quickly so that it doesn’t melt. Fold into the chocolate, pour the mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 24 hours. Unmould the dessert onto a serving platter. Drizzle it with honey and sprinkle with almonds and cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Get Mimi Jardim’s My Portuguese Feast – Recipes From The Heart, available online from Poetry stores at R385.

All homeware, linen, cutlery, glassware and wooden boards available from Poetry Stores.

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Summer Feasting with Pork 360: BBQ pulled pork wraps with slaw, avo & sour cream

28 Nov

Easy BBQ pulled pork tortillas with sour cream, red cabbage slaw, avo and fresh coriander. So delicious! (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Easy BBQ pulled pork tortillas with sour cream, red cabbage slaw, avo and fresh coriander. So delicious! (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I had the privilege of recently developing 6 new recipes with my favourite type of meat: pork. As you might have seen, there’s a new stamp on some pork products in your favourite butcheries: Pork 360. It’s a quality assurance and traceability certification – a guarantee to both the consumer and retailing sector that the producer has a consistent production process that complies with minimum standards and ensures high-quality pork. The Pork 360 projects takes place under the guidance of the South African Pork Producers Association (SAPPO). Watch their video for more info.

In a nutshell: it’s pork you can trust!

Over the next couple of weeks you can expect to see six tasty, easy, mouthwatering recipes for summer feasting, festive feasting and fresh feasting. It was a huge pleasure to cook with such great quality pork. I bought the meat (and other ingredients) from my friendly butcher at Food Lover’s Market. You can find the most beautiful, fresh, whole pork shoulders, necks, bellies and legs – great choices when entertaining a large crowd. They also have great spare ribs, chops and festive gammons.

My first recipe stems from one of my favourite street food classics: BBQ pulled pork. I’ve chosen a whole pork neck, bone-in – it is a lean and tender cut of meat that cooks to perfection for flaking purposes. Serve the saucy meat on toasted flour tortillas with avocado, red slaw, sour cream and lots of coriander. The best meal for a hot summer’s evening!

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 2,5 kg pork neck, bone-in
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 250 ml BBQ sauce / spare rib sauce
  • 250 ml water
  • 6 large flour tortillas, toasted in a hot, dry pan
  • 2 ripe avocados, roughly chopped
  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 3 cups red cabbage slaw (shredded slaw mixed with mayo & a squirt of lemon juice)
  • a bunch of fresh coriander
  • fresh lemon wedges, to serve

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Place the pork in a medium size roasting tray. Drizzle with oil, season generously with salt & pepper, then pour the BBQ sauce all over. Pour the water in the bottom of the tray, then cover with foil and roast for 3 hours.
  3. Remove the pork from the oven and use 2 forks to roughly shred the meat into strands. Remove any bones, then stir the meat to cover all over with the pan sauce.
  4. Serve hot on toasted flour tortillas with extra avo, sour cream, red cabbage slaw, fresh coriander and a squirt of lemon juice.

Tip: Add some freshly chopped chillies or jalapenos if you like it spicy!

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Best ever rare roast beef sandwich with mustard & aioli

18 May

Beef sandwichI’ve shared my favourite bread recipe of 2015 a few months ago, and this is a post to show you one of the best ways to enjoy it.

We had this sandwich on the menu at the demo KITCHEN last year and everybody loved it. We called it “The Bull” – a meaty, feisty sandwich with a strong mustard kick.

If you’re too lazy to bake, just use a good quality store-bought ciabatta or panini instead. And if you’re even more lazy, skip the roasting of the beef and just use a few slices of good quality pastrami (because sometimes we need shortcuts in life).

For the rare roast beef: (serves 6)

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • about 1 kg lean beef roast (silverside works well)
  • salt & black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 180 C. In an iron skillet on the stove top, heat the oil over high heat. Sear the roast on all sides to get good colour, about 10 minutes in total. Season well with salt & pepper while searing. Place in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

Use a very sharp knife to cut the meat into thin slivers, then set aside (cut it as thin as you can).

For the aioli:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 45 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • about 250 ml canola oil

Place the yolks, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt & pepper in a food processor and mix well. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream through the feeding tube, creating a thick emulsion. When all the oil is incorporated, check and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Set aside.

For the sandwiches:

  • 6 paninis or small ciabattas (see the recipe for Scott’s bread)
  • aioli, for spreading
  • fresh lettuce leaves
  • sliced tomato (optional)
  • slices of rare roast beef
  • whole grain mustard, for topping (or a mixture of whole grain and Dijon)
  • salt & pepper

To assemble, start by slicing your paninis open horizontally, then spread generously with aioli. Top with lettuce leaves, tomato (optionally), slices of beef and then a generous drizzle of whole grain mustard. Season with salt & pepper, then place the top half of the panini in place. Enjoy!

Note: If you’re feeling luxurious, replace the silverside roast with a whole beef fillet. Roast it in the same way as above, or according to your taste and the size of the fillet.

Credits:

Recipe, food preparation, food styling & text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography, food styling & prop styling: Tasha Seccombe

This post has also been featured on The Pretty Blog.

Quick braaied lamb shawarmas

14 Jan

Braaied lamb chops make the ultimate shawarma topping.

Braaied lamb chops make the ultimate shawarma topping (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Whenever I go to the Stellenbosch Slowmarket, I order a lamb shawarma for lunch. The guys at this stall make seriously awesome shawarmas, dripping with juicy marinated meat and tahini, their pitas stuffed with cucumber and red onion.

I don’t have a fabulous upright skewered shawarma grill at home – none of us do. So this is my take on an easier and quicker version, where you can marinate your lamb and give it a quick braai over hot coals. Use lamb steaks, or just cut the bone from your favourite lamb chops. The marinade is also great for a deboned leg of lamb.

Note: If you don’t have time to marinate your meat, just generously baste it with the marinade while braaing.

For the Middle-Eastern inspired shawarma marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • a knob of ginger, peeled & finely grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled & finely grated
  • 10 ml smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
  • 5 ml ground cumin
  • 5 ml ground cinnamon
  • 5 ml ground fennel / barishap
  • 2,5 ml ground nutmeg
  • 5 ml ground sumac (optional)
  • 5 ml salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper

Mix it all together (use a glass jar and shake it up!). Leave your meat to marinade in the sauce, covered, in the fridge for about 3 hours or overnight. Then remove from the fridge and braai until cooked to your desired liking.

To serve: (adjust quantities according to your needs)

  • marinated braaied lamb steaks (1 per person)
  • pita bread (1-2 per person)
  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced tomato (optional)
  • chopped mint leaves
  • sliced red onion
  • toasted pine nuts
  • Greek yoghurt
  • tahini (sesame paste)
  • lemon wedges (optional)

Cut meat into thin strips and serve in warm pita breads, stuffed with cucumber, chopped mint leaves, finely sliced red onion, pine nuts and creamy Greek yoghurt. Drizzle with tahini and a squirt of lemon juice.

Credits:

Recipe, food preparation, food styling & text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography, food styling & prop styling: Tasha Seccombe

This post has also been featured on The Pretty Blog.

PEPPADEW® Pasta Sauce Recipe: BBQ marinade for meat

27 Oct

My versatile BBQ meat marinade, suitable for steak, chops, sosaties and much more (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

My versatile BBQ meat marinade, suitable for steak, chops, sosaties and much more (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I recently had the pleasure of creating two new recipes for Peppadew®, using their convenient pasta sauce range. This is my second recipe: a versatile and fragrant BBQ meat marinade.

There are few things as satisfying as making your own delicious BBQ sauce. This chunky sauce works on almost any meat, from beef steak to lamb chops/sosaties, pork ribs and even chicken. If you prefer a smooth sauce, give it a whizz with your stick blender. Be adventurous and play around with adding more of your own spice combinations, like chinese 5-spice, cumin, coriander or all-spice.

Prep time: about 20 minutes (makes about 3 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Peppadew® Piquanté Pepper & Garlic Pasta Sauce
  • 1 jar Peppadew® Tomato & Jalapeno Chilli Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcester sauce
  • 5-10 ml Tabasco sauce (adjust according to taste)
  • 45 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & finely grated
  • a knob of ginger, peeled & finely grated

Method
In a medium size pot, mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together. Place on high heat on the stove top, then bring to a boil, stirring often.
Reduce heat to a simmer, then cook for 10 minutes without a lid. Remove from the heat.
Use warm or at room temperature, coating your meat generously before cooking over a hot fire.

Tips:

  • This marinade will last in the fridge for at least 1 week in a plastic container or glass jar, covered with a tight lid. It also makes a great dipping sauce for fried potato chips.
  • Don’t be alarmed if the sauce turns quite dark when you braai your meat – the sugar content will make it caramelize and the smoky flavours are delicious. Just watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn.
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