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Yesterday’s-roast-chicken and vegetable soup (plus how to stretch a roast chicken into 3 different meals)

7 Apr

While we’re all at home, we’re trying to make the most of lockdown spending quality time with our families. A lot of comforting home cooking is going on. Part of the goal is to stretch food as far as we can and not to waste a single crumb. A few days ago, I made my first trip into town after the lockdown started. Among a few essentials, I bought one “boerhoender” from my local butchery – a 2,4 kg chicken for R170 in total (great deal). I knew I had to make it count, so I planned to get at least 3 different meals out of it.

On day one, I made a chicken pot roast – in my oven at 180 C, 0n a bed of quartered onions and potatoes, sliced carrots and garlic, some herbs, lots of salt & pepper, and good quality olive oil. If you follow my Instagram stories, you might have seen it. We’re a family of 3, so we usually go for the thighs, legs and wings first (and of course, some of the crispy roasted skin).

My chicken pot roast iphone-photo that I posted to Instagram stories (check out my highlight “Lockdown Diary”). This is my 30cm Le Creuset casserole, to give some scale to the chicken.

 

I then removed the breasts, chopped them up, added mayonnaise and some leftover chopped fresh coriander (optional), seasoned well with salt & pepper, and those will be our chicken mayo mix for sandwiches on another day. To the fridge it goes (it will be good for at least 3 days).

This photo is from an earlier post in 2014 – chicken mayo with fresh herbs on toasted sourdough bread. If you don’t have fresh herbs, just mix the chicken with mayonnaise and season well with salt & pepper. Any bread will do! (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

 

On day 2, I made a very hearty chicken and vegetable soup using the leftover chicken carcass (with little meat left but all of the goodness of the roasting pot). I skimmed off most of the fat before doing so, but I do love some of those comforting fatty droplets on the surface of the soup – delivering a velvety mouthfeel with every spoonful. You can add whatever you have in your vegetable pantry, mostly finely chopped or shredded – I used more potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage and a few ripe tomatoes. To that, I added a few stock cubed dissolved in water and a few aromatics from my spice cupboard (again, use what you have on hand). The result is a large pot of hearty, fragrant, comforting soup to count as lunch or dinner, plus a few portions for the freezer. If you want to stretch it even more, serve it over freshly cooked pasta. It’s a super versatile and economical way to use one chicken!

This is my 26 cm Le Creuset casserole, showing you how generous the yield is for this left-over recipe. Chunky and hearty, yet soft and fragrant.

 

A hearty chicken and vegetable soup, made with yesterday’s chicken pot roast. You’ll see some of the original larger pieces of vegetables poking through here and there. The orange colour is from the carrots and tomatoes, but also from a hint of curry powder.

 

Ingredients for Yesterday’s-roast-chicken and vegetable soup: (makes about 3,5 liters)

  • leftovers of a homemade roast chicken, including everything that remained in the pot (sticky bits, vegetables, carcass, gravy – skim off any excess fat)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped (or roughly grated or shredded in a food processor)
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled & roughly grated
  • 1/4 large cabbage head, finely chopped or shredded
  • a few rosemary sprigs, woody stems discarded (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary /dried mixed herbs)
  • 2 liters chicken stock (about 5 stock cubes dissolved in 2 liters recently boiled water)
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Optional aromatics:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon fennel (ground or seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

Method:

If you’re refrigerated the leftovers the day before, return it to a clean large pot (at least 6 liters capacity).  Add the onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, cabbage, herbs and stock. Add whatever aromatics you want – look at the list above to see what I’ve added, giving the soup a deep, fragrant quality without being spicy. Stir well and bring to a boil over high heat, then turn down the heat and simmer slowly for 1,5-2 hours. Turn off the heat. Remove the leftover carcass with tongs (be careful), and shred any leftover meat into the soup, discarding the bones. Season well with salt & pepper. Serve in bowls with some bread, or over freshly cooked pasta. I love to grate some mature cheese over it, but that’s optional. Bon appetit!

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Smokey baked ratatouille

13 Feb

These days I cannot get enough of roasted vegetables – whether it’s in a salad, on a pizza, in a curry or just on its own. I think our bodies go through phases, needing different things, and mine is telling me that I need vegetables. It’s probably also to counteract the countless croissants and almond pastries that I consume every morning, so it’s only a good thing!

If you are not familiar with ratatouille, it is a popular French vegetable stew mostly made with tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, onions, garlic and bell peppers. There are many different ways of making ratatouille, varying from stewing the cubed vegetables to a very soft and marrow-like consistency, to a fresher version that will allow some texture. The purists even say that you need to cook all the vegetables separately before cooking them together, so that every vegetable truly tastes of itself.

The other day we visited my sister for a lazy, chilled-out dinner. They cooked steak on the fire and served it with a beautiful fanned-out baked ratatouille – simple perfection.  I decided to make my own version at home after they gifted me an enormous courgette from their garden. After buying tomatoes and aubergines, I found the giant courgette to be a bit tough on the skin-side for this dish, so I left it out completely (it did however turn out to make an incredible courgette coconut curry soup, though!) – you can definitely add some courgette slices if you want to. Starting with a rich tomato sauce at the bottom of the baking dish, I layered thinly sliced vegetables on top – I promise it’s a lot easier than it looks. I added a generous amount of smoked paprika to the sauce and over the top of the vegetables, which certainly isn’t traditionally French, but it lends a great smokey flavour and a deep red colour. Fresh thyme and lots of extra virgin olive oil completed the picture. I baked it for an hour and 20 minutes, but you can up the baking time to 2 hours for an even softer result.

You can serve ratatouille as a main dish, or as a side with grilled meat/chicken/fish, or even with pasta or rice. It’s also great at room temperature served as antipasti, or top it with a grilled egg over toast for breakfast. Leftovers can also be used as a pizza topping – absolutely delicious. It is a relatively inexpensive dish that really goes a long way, and it only improves in flavour the next day (and the next).

 

Ingredients: (serves 6)

For the sauce:

  • 45 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped/grated
  • 2 x 400 g cans whole tomatoes, pureed in a blender
  • about 10 ml (2 teaspoons) fresh thyme leaves (woody stalks discarded)
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) sugar
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper

In a medium size pot over medium heat, add the oil and fry the garlic for about a minute, stirring. Add the pureed tomatoes, thyme, sugar, paprika and season generously with salt & pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cook uncovered over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a wide casserole or baking dish (I used a 30 cm Le Creuset casserole) for assembling the ratatouille.

To assemble:

  • 1 very large or 2 medium aubergines, sliced thinly into rounds of about 3 mm thick (I use a knife, but you can also use a mandoline cutter)
  • about 6-8 ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly into rounds of about 3 mm thick
  • about 30 ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • about 2,5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) smoked paprika
  • about 3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • salt & pepper
  • a handful fresh basil leaves, for serving
  • grated parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Preheat your oven to 180 C. Arrange the sliced aubergines and tomatoes in a circular row (or just in rows) on top of the sauce, making sure the tomatoes peep out behind the larger slices of aubergine – use two slices of tomato to match the width of the aubergines slices if necessary. Continue until the full surface of the dish is covered, then drizzle all over with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and thyme. Season generously with salt & pepper, then bake for 1,5 – 2 hours until very soft and roasted on top. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before serving (if you have the patience). Top with basil leaves and parmesan cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Babylonstoren launches 12-year-old balsamic vinegar (video)

26 Sep

My favourite way of enjoying aged balsamic vinegar is with a classic caprese salad – fresh tomato, fior di latte (or bocconcini, in this case), fresh basil, salt flakes, the very best extra virgin olive olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. Food from the heavens.

 

I had the privilege of recently visiting Babylonstoren for an up-close look at the bottling of their newly released balsamic vinegar. The team at Babylonstoren have invested in importing traditional Italian barrels (cherry, acasia, chestnut, oak, mulberry and ash wood) for their vinegar battery, made by F.Rensi of Modena. To get going, they imported genuine 12-year-old DOP balsamic vinegar from Modena, then started their own run using Babylonstoren’s shiraz grapes. To taste this, they’ll have to wait another 12 years!

In Italy, real Aceto Balsamic Tradizionale DOP is made only in Modena or neighbouring Emilia (“protected designation of origin”). This unique style of vinegar must be experienced first hand to appreciate the difference in taste (and price) to an everyday young balsamic vinegar that are commonly found in most supermarkets. It is rich, thick and intensely flavoured with complex yet softer notes, and can be easily enjoyed as is (a few drops in a spoon), a few drops over your favourite cheeses or charcuterie, salad or even over ice-cream. A small bottle will last you a very long time as it is used sparingly – perfect for really special occasions.

The process in a nutshell: grapes are picked, berries de-stemmed & pressed, must is boiled & pumped into a tank to ferment, 15% (maximum) wine vinegar is added, then the mixture is aged in barrels, each year being transferred to smaller barrels as it loses volume. After 12 years maturation, a small portion is drawn from the smallest (oldest) barrel and bottled each year. Babylonstoren limits bottle volume to 100 ml to comply with traditional regulations.

This product is available from Babylonstoren’s Farm Shop at R450/100 ml.

Take a look at my recent experience:

 

Shiraz grapes are used for Babylonstoren’s own batch, infusing a South African element into their imported DOP. (photo supplied by Babylonstoren)

 

The balsamic vinegar is bottled by hand in very small batches each year. (photo supplied by Babylonstoren)

 

Black gold, bottled. (photo supplied by Babylonstoren)

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Instant Pot clear roast chicken broth

8 Feb

A clear chicken broth made in my Instant Pot with leftover roast chicken carcass, some vegetables and spices. Easy and affordable.

 

I received an Instant Pot last year, to test and review and perhaps post one of my favourite recipes. After missing the deadline for posting a recipe as part of the festive season (my schedule at the end of 2018 was just a mess), I decided to keep on using this fantastic machine and see what my favourite way of using it really is.

As you might know, the Instant Pot has revolutionized the way many people cook and has instigated a global fan-community of note. It’s a 7-in-1 smart-cooker: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice maker, steamer, sauté pan, warmer and yoghurt maker. I’ve never owned a pressure cooked or a slow cooker, but I know how to make rice, how to steam and the rest. My biggest mission was to make bone broths and stocks that would truly unlock the most flavour possible out of very simple, humble ingredients.

The Instant Pot.

 

I’ve made quite a few bone broths since – beef, mutton, chicken and a combination of all 3. Although the Instant Pot has a setting for broths and soups, I’ve found that I got really incredible, crystal clear results with the slow cooker function over 12 hours. I’ve used raw bones and I’ve used roasted bones, and both yielded fantastic results with deep flavour.

My motto this year is to buy less and not to waste anything. A broth is an excellent way of utilizing “older” vegetables and leftover roast chicken bones (or a shop bought rotisserie chicken carcass, after you’re cut the meat from it) that might have otherwise landed in the bin. Use whatever you have on hand and try it out – this recipe makes around 2,5 liters and it freezes really well. It can also be utilized as a great stock, just season the end result with less salt.

This broth can easily and safely be made overnight with no stress about anything boiling over on your stovetop. You can of course also pressure cook the broth if you want it to be ready faster, and by using the ‘Delay start’ timer, you can run it during the day while you’re at work and come home to either a bone broth or stock ready to use.

I love serving my broth in a drinking cup, with a small drizzle of soy sauce and a piece of fresh or preserved ginger – so light, yet hearty in taste and rich in nutrients. I’ve also added a sprinkle of seaweed and dried blossoms on the broth in the photograph as a colourful suggestion of serving it to guests.

This Instant Pot is a great addition to my kitchen and I cannot wait to try more recipes like silky cheese cake and homemade yoghurt. You can buy it online from Yuppiechef for R2199.00.

Note: You can also use a whole raw chicken for this recipe, and shred the tender slow-cooked meat afterwards for a bulked up meaty alternative. Sprinkle with roughly chopped parsley.

Crystal clear broth results using the Instant Pot’s slow cook setting over 12 hours.

 

Ingredients:

1 deboned rotisserie/roast chicken carcass, with pan juices

2 onions, peeled & halved

2 celery sticks, cut into large chunks

1 large carrot, cut into large chunks

1 kale leaf (optional)

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 large knob fresh ginger, peeled and halved lengthways

1 slice of lemon

10 whole peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

3 liters water

salt, to taste

soy sauce and fresh sliced ginger, for serving (optional)

fresh herbs or edible flowers, for serving (optional)

Method:

Place the chicken bones, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, ginger, lemon, peppercorns, bay, star anise, cinnamon on the Instant Pot and add 3 liters of water. Cover with the lid, select the “slow cook” function and set the time for 12 hours. Wait for a few seconds, you’ll hear a soft beep and the timer will start. Leave to cook until the timer is up, then leave to cool in the pot. Strain through a regular fine metal sieve, then season generously with salt. You’ll see that the broth can do with a lot of salt. If you’re using preserved ginger for serving, you an also add a few teaspoons of the preserving ginger liquid for some added sweetness. Serve warm in cups or bowls with a dash of soy sauce and more ginger.

Store any leftover broth covered in the fridge for up to 5 days (freezes well too).

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Pulled lamb pitas with tomato salad & tzatziki

15 May

Juicy tender pulled lamb on freshly toasted pitas with double cream tzatziki and tomato salad. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

 

Once you’ve tasted a proper Greek-style souvlaki, few things can beat this meaty “sandwich”: slightly sticky pieces of tender, slow roasted lamb on a toasted pita with fresh tomato and red onion, slathered with double cream tzatziki. It’s a slice of heaven.

With pulled lamb, there’s only one way to do it – slowly. Covering your leg of lamb in baking paper and two layers of foil means that the meat steams while roasting, resulting in a really tender roast that literally falls apart. I roast it overnight at 120C for 8 hours, but you can also do it even slower at 100C for 12 hours.

With pitas, there are two ways of doing it: stuffing them, or using them as a foldover. I prefer the foldover, because it tends to hold better and not break apart. You’ll be surprised to see that naan bread also works wonderfully as foldovers, because of their elongated shapes. Use whatever you prefer!

Note: Use the leftover pulled lamb to make lamb ramen or tabbouleh bowls with lamb – great for lunch/dinner the next day.

Ingredients: (serves at least 6)

For the pulled leg of lamb:

  • 1,8 – 2 kg leg of lamb (bone-in)
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 10 ml dried oregano
  • 10 ml chopped fresh rosemary
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled, whole
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 250 ml dry white wine

For the tzatziki:

  • 500 ml double cream yoghurt
  • 1/2 English cucumber, seeds removed and roughly grated
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • a small bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For the tomato salad:

  • about 400-500 g ripe small rosa tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons capers
  • a handful fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • a handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 10 ml red wine vinegar
  • 15 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste

To assemble:

  • 6-12 round pita breads (or foldovers, or naan breads), heated or toasted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 120 C. In a medium size roasting tray, place the leg of lamb then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oreganum, rosemary, salt & pepper. Place the onion quarters and garlic around the sides, then add the white wine. Cover with a layer of baking paper, tucking it in around the sides of the meat, then cover the pan with 2 layers of foil. Roast for 8 hours until the meat falls from the bone. Use two forks to pull the meat apart and let it lie in the cooking juices, removing the large bones. Set aside.
  2. While the meat is roasting, prepare the tzatziki: Add the yoghurt to a medium mixing bowl. Squeeze the grated cucumber to get rid of the excess water, then add the shreds to the yoghurt along with garlic and mint. Season with salt & pepper, add the olive oil and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. For the salad: make just before serving – toss all the ingredients together and set aside (don’t make ahead, or it will draw a lot of water).
  4. To assemble: plate freshly toasted pita breads with a dollop of tzatziki, some shredded warm lamb and some tomato salad on top – it’s a nice idea to let your guests each plate/assemble their own. Fold over and enjoy.

This recipe was created in collaboration with Lamb & Mutton South Africa. #CookingWithLamb #LambAndMuttonSA #WholesomeAndNutritious #CleanEating #TheWayNatureIntended

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Tabbouleh bowl with shredded lamb

15 May

A fresh, crunchy bowl of bulgur wheat with cucumber, tomatoes and fresh herbs, topped with soft shredded lamb.

 

If you haven’t cooked with bulgur wheat before, you’ll be amazed that it only needs 20-30 min soaking (no boiling). You can’t mess it up! Apart from that, it’s a great source of plant-based protein and very high in fibre. With the addition of herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, tomatoes and cucumber, this classic Eastern Mediterranean favourite is the perfect “bed” for some juicy shreds of lamb.

Again, this dish is a great way to reuse your leftover pulled lamb or lamb roast of the weekend, turning it into a fantastic midweek office lunch or fresh, light dinner. It is bowl food at its best.

*Note: Head over to my recipe for pulled lamb pitas to cook your pulled leg of lamb from scratch, otherwise use a smaller cut of lamb like a knuckle, braised in stock & vegetables for 2-3 hours until it falls from the bone. Pan-fried or flame grilled lamb steak or chops will also do: just slice into thin slivers after frying, add a little stock to the pan and reduce for a little saucy goodness to pour over the slivers.

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 1,5 cups bulgur
  • 1,5 cups boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 cups baby tomatoes, quartered
  • 1,5 cups cucumber, seeded & cubed
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 cups cooked shredded lamb, with some of the cooking liquids (if using leftovers, or see *note above for more info)

Method:

  1. Place bulgar and boiling water in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it stand for 20-30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed, then fluff with a fork.
  2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, parsley, mint, spring onions, tomatoes, and cucumber and mix well. Season generously with salt & pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. If you are using leftover pulled lamb, place 3 cups of shreds in a small saucepan along with about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid (or mutton stock with a pinch of salt). Heat to a simmer and reduce until the liquids have almost evaporated.
  4. Plate the tabbouleh into bowls (best served at room temperature), then place the hot lamb shreds on top. Serve at once with lemon wedges on the side.

This recipe was created in collaboration with Lamb & Mutton South Africa. #CookingWithLamb #LambAndMuttonSA #WholesomeAndNutritious #CleanEating #TheWayNatureIntended

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Lamb steak salad with figs, rocket, grilled courgettes and yoghurt dill dressing

15 May

Pink slivers of lamb steak with figs and grilled courgettes on a bed of rocket, drizzled with a yoghurt dill sauce. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

 

There’s certainly more than one way to enjoy a good steak – and it doesn’t have to include potato chips and heavy sauces. Whether it’s Winter or Summer, a scrumptious lamb steak salad is such an enticing way of serving perfectly grilled pink meat on a beautiful platter.

Substitute the ingredients with whatever’s seasonal and to your liking – tomatoes, aubergines, mushrooms – the variations are endless. The yoghurt sauce is packed with herbs and has an extra tang thanks to fresh lemon juice and some Dijon mustard – a match made in heaven with the rich lamb flavours.

Take a look at my easy how-to video:

Ingredients: (serves 4 as a light meal)

  • 4-6 courgettes, thinly sliced into long ribbons
  • 600-800 g lamb steaks (or boneless leg of lamb, cut into thick steaks)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • a bunch fresh rocket leaves
  • 4-6 large ripe figs, quartered
  • for the dressing:
    • 3/4 cup double cream yoghurt
    • a few sprigs fresh dill, finely chopped
    • 15-30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 10 ml Dijon mustard
    • 15-30 ml extra virgin olive oil
    • a pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Using a griddle pan, grill the courgette ribbons over a very high heat (without any oil) until the ribbons have charred marks on each side (can also be done over a fire). Set aside.
  2. Place the steaks on a plate, drizzle with oil and season well with salt & pepper. Grill the meat in the same hot pan for about 3 minutes a side (depending on the thickness of your steaks). Set aside to rest while you assemble the rest of the salad.
  3. On a large platter or on individual plates, arrange the rocket leaves, grilled courgette ribbons and sliced figs. Slice the lamb steaks into thin slivers, then arrange on top and season lightly with salt & pepper.
  4. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together, then drizzle over the top. Serve with more of the dressing on the side, along with fresh lemon wedges and more olive oil.

This recipe was created in collaboration with Lamb & Mutton South Africa. #CookingWithLamb #LambAndMuttonSA #WholesomeAndNutritious #CleanEating #TheWayNatureIntended

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Italian-style white bean soup with lamb knuckle

14 May

One of my favourite recipes this winter: a brothy white bean soup made with lamb knuckle and topped with salsa verde. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

 

Although many of us know and love traditional South African bean soup made with red speckled beans, there’s another variety that you absolutely have to try. It is made with small white haricot beans (almost like Italian canellini beans, which are not very common in SA in its dried form). These beans are very smooth in texture and they tend to not fall apart as easily as their speckled cousins, resulting in a non-stodgy end result. This is a slightly thickened brothy soup with chunks of deliciously tender meat and beautiful, small, silky beans. Made with chicken stock instead of mutton or beef stock, the soup is also lighter in colour than most bean soups. A dollop of punchy green salsa verde adds just the right lift to this meal.

A single lamb knuckle, sliced by your butcher, is enough to add the meatiness that this soup needs. It’s an economical way to serve a stylish soup in a fresh way this Winter. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • about 600 g lamb knuckle, sliced horizontally by your butcher
  • 1 large onion, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1-2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large (or 2 medium) carrots, peeled & finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 2 liters chicken stock
  • 500 g small white beans (haricot)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • for the salsa verde:
    • a handful each parsley, basil & mint
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 2 teaspoons capers
    • 15-30 ml lemon juice
    • 45-60 ml olive oil
    • a pinch of salt
    • 10 ml Dijon mustard

Method:

  1. Heat the oil on high heat in a large wide pot (at least 6 liters capacity), then fry lamb knuckle in batches until browned on both sides (cut larger chunks of meat in half). Remove the meat from the pot and set aside, then turn down heat to  medium.
  2. Fry the onion, celery & carrot until soft, stirring often (add a little more oil if needed). Add the garlic & rosemary (add the sprigs whole, you’ll remove the woody stems later) and fry for another minute.
  3. The bottom of the pot should be coated with sticky brown bits by now. Add the white wine and stir to deglaze. Add the fried meat with all the juices back into the pot, then top with stock. Add the beans and stir. Note: Don’t add any salt until tright at he end, otherwise the beans won’t become tender.
  4. Bring to a simmer, stirring now and then, then turn heat down to low, cover with a lid and cook for about 2,5-3 hours until the meat is falling from the bone and the beans are really tender.
  5. Season generously with salt & pepper and remove from the heat to rest for about 15 minutes before serving.
  6. To make the salsa verde, chop all the ingredients together by hand or in a food processor. Taste and adjust with more salt or lemon juice if needed.
  7. Serve the soup in bowls with a dollop of salsa verde (and some crusty bread for dipping, optionally).

This recipe was created in collaboration with Lamb & Mutton South Africa. #CookingWithLamb #LambAndMuttonSA #WholesomeAndNutritious #CleanEating #TheWayNatureIntended

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Broccoli, kale & spinach salad with parmesan and toasted seeds

20 Feb

Green, greener, greenest! Roasted kale & broccoli salad on fresh baby spinach with a soy dressing, shaved parmigiano and toasted seeds. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

 

I know a lot of people that don’t like kale. It’s a relatively new thing in South Africa (although much better known in some other parts of the world) and part of the cabbage family. Although it resembles spinach, it doesn’t wilt or shrink like spinach and can be baked in the oven until it turns crispy. And I have to say, I love it!

Last year I was invited to Longridge for a media event. One of the courses was a broccoli and kale dish with parmesan custard and an umami rich dressing that was just incredible. So this is my spin on it – roasted veg on a bed of fresh baby spinach, with an Asian-style dressing, some shaved parmigiano and toasted seeds. It’s packed with flavour and such a great alternative to regular green salads with lettuce and cucumber. And it’s fantastic served at room temperature, which means you can make it ahead. Greens for the win!

Ingredients: (adjust quantities to your liking)

  • a few broccoli spears
  • a few kale leaves
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt & pepper
  • a handful baby spinach leaves
  • parmesan cheese, shaved
  • mixed seeds, dry toasted
  • for the dressing:
    • 30 ml soy sauce
    • one teaspoon grated ginger
    • 15 ml olive oil
    • 10 ml lemon juice

Preheat oven to 220 C. Place the broccoli and kale on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt & pepper, then roast for about 15 minutes until the kale starts to go crispy on the edges and the broccoli is just starting to go tender. Remove and let cool. (You can do this the day before, if you like.)

Arrange the salad: baby spinach, broccoli, kale, parmesan, toasted seeds. Drizzle the dressing over right before serving.

Note: This is also a brilliant side dish to a more elaborate main course.

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10 water wise recipes that’ll help you save

8 Feb

Never leave a running tap unattended. Use a thin stream of water with great care and intent, and only when necessary. (Photo by Kaboompics // Karolina from Pexels)

 

We’re all looking to gain smart new habits for coping with the little water left in the Western Cape. Hoping to avoid “day zero”, let’s adjust to a new normal of being truly water conscious and saving every drop that we can.

When we were struggling with power outages a few seasons ago, Private Property wrote an article, Energy savings will be crucial this winter. With the current water shortage they asked me to put together a few dos and don’ts of foods/recipes to embrace and to avoid. Check out Private Property’s houses for sale, and remember these handy tips: Keep a water-less hand cleanser in the kitchen and bathroom to minimize rinsing your hands under running water. Keep the plug in the basin plugged in (or use a larger bowl/bucket) to reuse grey water as far as you can.

Water wise foods to welcome:

  • anything braaied/grilled (remember to serve these on paper plates that won’t require any washing up)
  • oven roasted vegetables instead of boiled vegetables (remember to use a sheet of foil or baking paper on your tray to minimize dirty trays)
  • roast chicken (or other meat) that can double up as leftovers on a sandwich the next day, limiting more cooking and washing up
  • salad, fruit and vegetables that can we wiped with a damp cloth (that don’t need extensive washing)
  • “hand food” that doesn’t require plates or cutlery (minimizing dirty dishes for washing later)
  • one-pot dishes that can go from oven/stove to table to fridge (minimizing dirty dishes for washing later)

Water unwise foods to avoid:

  • foods that need to be cooked/soaked in a lot of water, like rice, legumes and pasta
  • foods that need lots of water for rinsing, like sandy mussels or spinach (unless you can minimize the rinsing water and reuse it later as grey water)
  • foods that require large amounts of stock, like soups and risottos
  • food that will dirty various bowls/pots/trays (unless you use baking paper or foil on your trays that can be discarded) and will use more water for washing up than usual

Here are some of my favourite recipes that don’t contain any water, are made in one pot/pan, or require very little (or no) washing up:

Spinach, mushrooms & cheddar frittata with sage butter. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

  1. Mushroom, spinach & cheddar frittata: this is a one-pot recipe that is perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, and also as leftovers for the office the next day. It can be eaten hot or cold, so no reheating required, and no extra dirty dishes gained. And yes, you can ditch the sage butter!

    Delicious buttermilk rusks with various seeds, nuts, oats, coconut and pecan nuts.

  2. All-in-one breakfast rusks: limit your tea/coffee intake by filling up with these “waterless” rusks – dip 2 or 3 in your one cup of daily coffee, and you might not require another cup soon.

    Freshly toasted granola with cranberries. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

  3. Granola with almonds & cranberries: made with no water, this granola recipe is so delicious topped with a dollop of yoghurt. To minimize dirty dishes, add a few tablespoons directly to your plastic yoghurt tub (and not other way around).

    Freshly braaied ciabatta sandwiches with fior di latte, tomato, basil and chutney. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

  4. Afritalian braaibroodjies: these can be assembled anywhere without using any water. Eaten with your hands straight from a plankie, they’re the perfect waterless food items.

    My ultimate caprese salad with soft mozzarella, an array of tomatoes, fresh basil, pesto and toasted pine nuts. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

  5. Ultimate caprese salad: no rinsing necessary (unless you want to wipe the tomatoes with a damp cloth), easy to assemble, and the juices can be mopped up with crusty bread straight from the plate.

    Baked tomatoes with feta, garlic, thyme. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

  6. Baked tomatoes with feta, garlic & thyme: add a sheet of foil or non-stick baking paper to the tray, which you can pop in the bin afterwards. No pre-rinsing, no washing up.

    Roast garlic prawns served with fresh limes. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

  7. Roasted garlic prawns: another roasted favourite that can be done with a sheet of foil and eaten straight from the pan!

    Panzanella: a traditional Tuscan bread salad. Photography by Tasha Seccombe, styling by Nicola Pretorius.

  8. Panzanella with smoked chicken: what a delightful, meaty, summer salad with oodles of crunchy croutons – perfect for entertaining a crowd. Make the croutons in the oven on a baking sheet lined with foil and save on washing up!

    Fresh, crunchy, beautiful to look at and oh-so-delicious Vietnamese vegetable spring rolls (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

  9. Vietnamese chicken & vegetable spring rolls: although these paper rounds are made of rice, they require no cooking – only one minute of soaking in a little cold water (you can use a wide bowl with 1cm deep water for the whole batch and still reuse the water left for rinsing anything that’s dirty etc.) It’s hand food at its best, dipped in a fabulously salty peanut sauce.

    Braaied lamb chops make the ultimate shawarma topping. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

  10. Quick braaied lamb shawarmas: marinate in a plastic bag, braai, assemble on chopping board, eat with hands, wipe with kitchen paper – almost no dirty dishes! Perfect for outdoor entertaining.
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