Tag Archives: herbs

Bacon-wrapped pork neck roast with pecan apple herb stuffing, apple onion gravy and Jerusalem artichoke potato mash

26 Mar

I’m very proud to be teaming up with Klein Joostenberg Deli once again, bringing you my most festive pork roast for Easter. Joostenberg has always been my go-to butchery when I need superb pork cuts, and their boneless pork necks are just exquisite. Apart from being very economical, it is a cut that is much lower in fat than pork belly or shoulder and it is naturallly shaped in a log which makes it ideal for stuffings. In this case, I stuffed the neck with a mixture of herbs, onion, apple, pork mince, pecan nuts and bread crumbs, then wrapped it in streaky bacon to keep the meat moist and add extra flavour. It was placed on a bed of onion and apple quarters with beautiful yellow carrots, more herbs and some Joostenberg chenin blanc. I pureed the onion and apples with the pan sauce at the end of roasting to create a delicious pale gravy, adding a dollop of Dijon mustard. To serve, I made a Jerusalem artichoke and potato mash and served it all with Joostenberg’s Fairhead white blend – a flavour celebration that blew everyone at my table away. Absolutely scrumptious!

I hope you’ll try this stuffed roast, it serves a crowd, it’s easy to make and it is honestly one of the most delicious pork recipes that I’ve ever created. Find all the ingredients (and the wine) in the recipe at Klein Joostenberg’s deli and butchery. Happy Easter!

For the stuffing:

  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 rosemary sprig, stalk discarded, leaves chopped
  • 5 thyme sprigs, stalks discarded, leaves only
  • 300 g pork mince
  • 2 slices white bread, torn into chunks
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) pecan nuts
  • 1 apple, sliced into chunks (core discarded)
  • a small punnet (20 g) Italian parsley
  • 1 XL egg
  • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) salt
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper

In a wide pan, heat the oil and fry the onion until translucent but not brown. Add the garlic, rosermary and thyme and continue to fry until the onion is soft and light brown. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, then add the mince, bread, pecan nuts, apple, parsley, egg, salt & pepper. Process to a coarse paste, then set aside.

For the pork roast & gravy: (serves 6-8)

If your roast is not butterflied you have two options: 1) use a large sharp knife to cut a hole along the centre from one end to the next, then use a wide nozzled piping bag to fill the centre of the roast, or 2) butterfly the roast so that you can layer the stuffing evenly and roll it up. I chose option no.1.

  • 1,5 kg whole boneless pork neck
  • stuffing (see above)
  • salt & pepper
  • 3-4 onions, sliced into wedges
  • 2 apples, sliced (cores discarded)
  • a few sprigs rosemary
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • about 400 g smoked streaky bacon
  • about 8-12 whole carrots, medium size
  • 250 ml dry white wine (I used Joostenberg’s Chenin Blanc 2020)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml ) Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 160 C (convection, not fan assisted). Lay the pork neck out on a clean working surface, removing the stretchy string casing (if covered). Create a stuffing hole lenthways in the centre with a long bladed knife (or butterfly the meat for rolling up). Stuff it with the prepared stuffing, using a piping bag with wide nozzle (or spread the mixture in a thin layer all over the butterflied surface, then roll it up). Season it all over with salt & pepper. Cover the top of the roast with streaky bacon, slightly opverlapping, then use cotton string to tie up the stuffed neck into a neat log. In a large roasting tray, add the sliced onions, apples, rosemary, thyme and drizzle all over with olive oil. Place the prepared stuffed neck on top of the vegetables, then add the carrots on the sides (drizzle them with a little more oil) and add the wine into the pan. Roast without covering for 3 hours, then remove from the oven and make the gravy. While the meat is roasting, make the mash.

For the apple onion gravy:

When the pork roast is complete, transfer the meat carefully to a cutting board to rest. Remove the carrots to a serving plate, then transfer the onions, apples and pan liquid to a blender, discarding any whole sprigs of herbs. Blend to a smooth puree, then add the Dijon mustard and add more salt & pepper if needed. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a gravy jug.

Knobbly Jerusalem artichokes might seem tedious to prep, but they are so worth it.

For the Jerusalem artichoke and potato mash:

  • 4 large potatoes (about 800 g), peeled and quartered
  • salted water, for cooking
  • about 300 g Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and peeled
  • about 250 ml milk, for cooking, plus extra
  • 80 g butter, cubed
  • salt & pepper

Place the potato cubes in a medium size pot with enough salted water to cover them, then bring to a simmer and cook until very tender, then drain and set aside. In the meantime, place the Jerusalem artichokes into small saucepan with enough milk to just cover them (cut larger chunks in half). Bring to a slow simmer and cook until very tender. Place the artichokes with cooking liquid into a blender and process to a smooth puree. In another bowl, use a potato masher to mash the potatoes, then add the cubed butter, a splash of milk and the artichoked puree. Use the masher to blend well, and season generously with salt & pepper. Set aside until the roast is ready to serve.

To serve:

Remove the pieces of string, then serve the roast warm, sliced into rounds, with the warm carrots, mash and gravy on the side. Note: The gravy and mash can easily be reheated in the microwave before serving.

Preparing a wrapped stuffed pork roast is very rewarding! The prep is part of the fun. Pour yourself a glass of wine after using some for the roasting tray.
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23 Aug

Steamy bowls of bouillabaisse made with black mussels, yellow tail and prawns. Serve with rouille and croutons.


Our friends at Le Creuset South Africa  just launched a brand new colour: Ocean. It’s a beautiful graded teal, perfect for flavoursome fish dishes from the deep.

To celebrate this stunning new colour, I’ve collaborated with the team from Le Creuset in creating a new seafood recipe for them (cooking in a 26cm Ocean-coloured casserole) along with a short cooking video. Bouillabaisse certainly is the king of French-style seafood stews, and it was such a pleasure to cook with all the various fresh ingredients in creating this classic, brothy, saffron-induced dish.

Although bouillabaisse has its roots in humble beginnings as a poor fisherman’s dinner using whatever didn’t sell at the market that day, this French classic takes a little time and effort to prepare: the flavours can only be as good as the love and patience that you put into making a great stock, and your choices of fresh seafood that is cooked to tender perfection. So plan ahead, visit your closest seafood specialist shop, make a proper stock and rouille, and you will be richly rewarded. What an excellent way of entertaining guests at your next dinner party!

Shop the Le Creuset Ocean range online.

Watch how to make Le Creuset’s bouillabaisse:

An inviting casserole of bouillabaisse, in Le Creuset’s new colour: Ocean.

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Lentil salad with roasted vegetables, lemon & goats cheese

20 Mar

An earthy salad of lentils, roasted seasonal veggies, chunks of creamy goats cheese, lemon rind and parsley (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

When I heard the word “lentils” when I was in my twenties, I immediately associated it with people who go over-the-top on health foods. Lentils sounded boring, brown and tasteless. My mother never cooked it for us as kids, so I had no frame of reference in terms of moorish lentil dishes at all. I saw lentils only as a poor substitute for meat – like a lentil patty on a burger bun. How horrible.

Then I discovered dhal – an Indian lentil side dish with as much flavour as the best meat curry that you’ll ever have (if it’s proper dhal). Glorious dhal, with a side of naan bread and lots of extra coriander leaves. It’s a close contender for my “last meal” choice – after my first choice of fresh ciabatta with extra virgin olive oil and a nugget of extra mature gouda.

So then I began experimenting with lentil soup, lentil bobotie en even lentil salad. As Autumn settled into Stellenbosch with its magnificently milder days and cooler nights, I longed for food that is more nourishing than a crisp, leafy salad. That is how my earthy lentil salad was born.

I absolutely love roasted vegetables (above steamed, boiled or fried). Together, the lentils and the veg and the goats cheese make for a super satisfying, wholesome and nourishing meal. Add glugs of extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste and serve with toasted pine nuts – the perfect meatless Monday dish or the perfect side dish to your larger feast. It’s going to be on my go-to list all Autumn and Winter long.

Note: Always remember that vegetables will shrink in the oven when roasted. Start with more than you think you’ll need.

For the lentils: (serves 4 as a main meal)

  • 250 g brown lentils (half a packet)
  • water, to cover
  • 45 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • juice and finely grated rind of a medium lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • a handful parsley, chopped

Method: Place lentils in a large pot and cover with cold water (about 5 cm above the lentils). Cook for about 30 minutes until tender, then drain and rinse well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, then add the olive oil, lemon juice & rind and season generously with salt & pepper. Add the parsley and stir well.

For the roasted vegetables:

  • an assortment of your favourite vegetables, peeled and cut into bite size chunks (I’ve used beetroot, carrots, brussels sprout and leeks – enough to fill a standard roasting tray in a single layer)
  • 45 ml olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Method: Roast at 220 C for 30 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

To assemble:

  • 100g plain goats cheese (chevin)
  • a handful of pine nuts, toasted
  • more parsley to scatter over

Method: Add the roasted veg to the cooked lentils, add chunks of goats cheese, then scatter with more parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Vietnamese chicken & vegetable spring rolls with peanut sauce

19 Dec

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

If you have never eaten these translucent rolls before, you just have to give it a try. Unlike deep-fried Chinese spring rolls, Vietnamese-style spring rolls are made with water-soaked rice paper. They are absolutely beautiful to look at and such a joy to eat: tender and moist on the outside (yes, it’s a weird kind of texture), packed with all the freshness that resembles Vietnamese cuisine on the inside.

But the star of this show is the peanut sauce – a deeply savoury, complex dip that will make you fall in love with it, bite by bite. This sauce is so good that I can eat it with a spoon. So much more than “just” a peanut sauce.

Note: Although Asian pantry ingredients might not be cheap, they go a very long way. Invest in these few pantry ingredients (like hoisin sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce) and you’ll be able to cook up some magic for quite a few meals.

For the peanut sauce:

  • 1 cup unflavoured, natural, smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup good quality soy sauce (I use Kikkoman)
  • 5-10 ml fish sauce
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 medium size garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped


Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix with electric beaters until smooth (or give it some elbow grease with a wooden spoon). Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary – it should be deeply savoury, nutty and a little sweet and sour all in one.

For the spring rolls: (serves 4-6 as a starter)

  • 16 Vietnamese-style large rice paper rounds
  • water, for soaking
  • 1 baby red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, finely julienned
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely julienned
  • 2 bunches spring onions, finely sliced
  • a few red chillies, finely sliced (optional)
  • 1 punnet mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 punnet basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 punnet coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts, steamed/grilled and shredded with 2 forks
  • 1 small bunch fine bean sprouts (optional)


  1. Prep all the ingredients according to the list, then place each one separately in bowls in the correct order, as listed, from left to right (place about 5cm deep clean room temperature water in a bowl that is wider than the surface of the rice paper). Place a clean damp folded tea towel next to the water bowl on a clean work surface.
  2. Soak one rice paper at a time for about 30 seconds or until just soft. Remove from the water, then place on the tea towel to drain slightly while you fill it.
  3. Place a small amount of cabbage, carrots, cucumber, spring onions, chilli, mint, basil, coriander, chicken and sprouts horizontally in the middle of the soaked paper. Carefully but firmly fold over the bottom of the paper, then the sides, then roll it up to form a stuffed roll. Set aside and cover with a damp clean tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve (not more than 2 hours, preferably) or serve immediately with the peanut dipping sauce.

Note: “Julienned” vegetables is a style of cutting that resembles very fine strips. If you have trouble doing this, rather use a coarse grater to produce similar strips in long strands.

And: Omit the chicken for a just-as-good vegetarian option.

Some of the exotic ingredients for my spring rolls. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

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Smoked trout terrine

11 Aug

A beautifully laid-back yet elegant starter for your special occasion (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

A beautifully laid-back yet elegant starter for your special occasion (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

There’s just something about a beautiful terrine that looks like it’s time to celebrate. This festive loaf is lined with smoked trout ribbons and filled with a creamy mixture of flaked cooked trout, fresh cream and lots of herbs.

It is not cheap to make, but it will feed a crowd and I promise that they’ll ask you to make it again. I love serving this as an elegant yet laid-back starter with crips melba toasts or crackers and some lemon wedges.

Although this terrine is such a summer stunner, you can make it all year round – all the ingredients should be available in a good supermarket. If you prefer a smoky flavour, use hot smoked trout for the filling (if you’re a progressive cook, you might even have the tools to smoke the fish at home!), but for a milder flavour you can opt for poached/steamed/grilled trout.

A slice of pale coral trout terrine and melba toast (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

A slice of pale coral trout terrine and melba toast (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Ingredients: (serves 10-12)

  • 15 ml oil (for brushing inside of terrine tin)
  • 200 g cold smoked trout ribbons
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 20 ml gelatine powder
  • 3 cups deboned flaked trout (cooked or hot smoked, skin and bones removed)
  • juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 250 g plain cream cheese
  • a large handful of chopped herbs (chives, dill, parsley)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 125 ml cream, whipped
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • capers, for topping (optional)
  • pea shoots, for topping (optional)


  1. Use a pastry brush to oil the inside of a classic terrine dish or a 30 x 11 x 7 cm loaf tin. Line the inside of the tin with plastic wrap – leave the excess to hang over the sides for later.
  2. Use ribbons of cold smoked trout to carefully line the inside of the tin, slightly overlapping to create a continuous effect (leave 2 or 3 for covering the top at the end).
  3. Pour the cold chicken stock in a small sauce pan, then add the gelatine powder and stir to combine. Leave to sponge for 10 minutes, then heat gently on the stove top and stir until the gelatine has dissolved completely – do not boil. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. In a food processor, add the trout flakes, lemon juice, cream cheese and herbs. Now add the still slightly warm gelatine mixture and process to combine. Season generously with salt & pepper, then mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, then add the whipped cream and gently fold it in until thoroughly mixed. Pour into the trout-lined tin and use a spatula to smooth the top.
  6. Cover the mixture with the remaining trout ribbons, then carefully fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the terrine. Use another sheet of plastic wrap to cover the top of the terrine, then place in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  7. To serve, remove the top layer of plastic wrap and fold the sides of the wrap open. Turn out onto a serving board, then carefully remove the tin and rest of the plastic wrap. Sprinkle with more chopped herbs or pea shoots and a handful of capers, and serve with a few slices of lemon wedges and your choice of toast or crackers.


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

Photography & styling: Tasha Seccombe

This recipe has been featured on The Pretty Blog.

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Toasted sourdough sandwich with herbed chicken mayo

14 Mar

My favourite sandwich: a toasted herbed chicken mayo on sourdough bread (photography by Tasha Seccombe, styling by Nicola Pretorius)

If there is one sandwich that I cannot resist, it’s a good chicken mayonnaise. Sometimes I buy a cheap one at my local supermarket when I don’t have time for lunch – some days they even have chicken mayo vetkoek (almost like a massive doughnut filled with chicken mayo). But some days I sit down for a proper chicken mayo at Schoon de Compagne. Nothing beats a proper sourdough toasted sarmie. And when it’s filled with freshly roasted chunks of chicken swirled in homemade mayonnaise, it’s the king of sandwiches.

If you’re feeling lazy, use your favourite good quality store-bought mayonnaise and a ready roasted chicken. I won’t tell a soul.

Ingredients: (makes 2 large sandwiches)

  •  2 chicken breasts, bone in and skin on
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • about 1/2 cup (125 ml) home-made mayonnaise (see below)
  • about 1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped herbs (I used a mixture of parsley & chives)
  • 1 medium size sweet & tangy dill cucumber, finely chopped (optional)
  • a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 4 slices of sourdough bread (I use the middle of a round loaf to get the largest slices possible)
  • butter for spreading


  1. Pre-heat oven to 220 C.
  2. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Use a pastry brush to coat them with olive oil, then sprinkle generously with salt & pepper (I sometimes use a Cajun spice when I’m in the mood for a kick). Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the skin is golden and the thickest part of the breast is just cooked (juices should run clear). Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the roasted chicken from the bone, then cut the meat into chunky slices. If the skin is nice and crispy, I like to leave the skin on – it adds a whole lot of flavour. Place the chicken slices/chunks in a mixing bowl, then add the mayonnaise and herbs and mix well. Season with a little extra salt & pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  4. Butter the slices of bread on both sides, then fill each sandwich with a generous amount of filling. Use a hot griddle pan (or normal pan) to toast the closed sandwiches on each side until they’re crisp and golden – press down gently on the sandwich using an egg lifter, while toasting. Serve at once.

For homemade mayonnaise: (makes about 1 cup)

  • 1 whole free range egg, as fresh as you can get
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 10 ml Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) canola oil

Method for mayonnaise: Using a stick blender and tall cup (or a food processor) add the eggs, lemon juice, mustard and salt & pepper. Give it a good whizz, then start adding the oil in a very thin stream while blending. Continue to blend until you get a thick, creamy consistency. Use immediately or store in a closed container in the fridge for a few days.


This post was originally written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography: Tasha Seccombe

Styling: Nicola Pretorius

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Roasted cracked baby potatoes with garlic

7 Jan

Roasted cracked baby potatoes with garlic (photography by Tasha Seccombe, styling by Nicola Pretorius)

Although I am an advocate for cold summer meals like charcuterie and salads, there’s one dish that will get my vote come rain or shine: roast potatoes. They are often the most popular dish on the menu, beating meaty roasts and beautiful pudding by a long shot.

I prefer to work with baby potatoes, as they are already a great size – no cutting required. I boil them until they are just tender, then crush them gently with the back of a spoon until they crack open, yet still remain in tact. These beautiful potatoes then get a luscious coat of olive oil and a good seasoning of salt & pepper before joining a bunch of whole garlic cloves in the oven. I turn them once through the roasting process to make sure they are golden on both sides, then transfer the precious nuggets to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, then serve with your main meal along with my versatile yoghurt & mustard sauce.

I’ve also serve these at room temperature – they just become better and better. Great as an in-between snack, dunked in the yoghurt sauce. These will become a household favourite – I can promise you that!

Serve these potatoes with a yoghurt mustard sauce (photography by Tasha Seccombe, styling by Nicola Pretorius)

Ingredients: (serves 6-10)

  • 2 kg firm baby potatoes
  • 2 heads of garlic, skinned but whole
  • 1 cup good quality olive oil (or canola oil, or a mixture)
  • salt and black pepper
  • a handful of parsley, chopped


  1. In a large pot, add the potatoes, then cover with cold water. Bring to the boil on the stovetop, then cook until just tender – about 10-13 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 220 C.
  3. Drain off the water, then transfer the potatoes to a large roasting tray. Use the back of a spoon to crack each one gently, still leaving them in tact but creating crevices for the oil & seasoning to be absorbed.
  4. Add the garlic cloves, drizzle the oil all over, then season generously with salt & pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn each potato with tongs and return to the oven for another 10 minutes until they are golden brown on both sides.
  5. Remove from the oven, then transfer to a serving dish using a slotted spoon (discard the excess oil). Scatter with chopped parsley.


This post was originally written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography: Tasha Seccombe

Styling: Nicola Pretorius

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Grilled whole trout stuffed with lemon, fennel & herbs

3 Dec

Whole baked trout, stuffed with fennel, lemon & herbs (photography by Tasha Seccombe, styling by Nicola Pretorius)

As we are gearing up for another summery festive season, many of us are starting to put together ideas for our Christmas lunches and dinners. To me, it is probably the most festive meal of the year, where family and friends are treated to the best of our bounties and abilities.

Christmas food doesn’t have to be formal, though. I’ve noticed that more people are moving away from heavier red meat roasts and vegetables, opting for  lighter, summery, al fresco choices. With Christmas falling in the middle of summer time in South Africa, I’ve always loved food that you could eat cold, like my cold Christmas platter, or food that you can braai as part of a relaxing afternoon with family and friends. While most of us are on holiday at the coast during this time, it just makes sense to consider fish as a main course.

Rainbow trout is a sustainably farmed local freshwater fish, and a perfect choice for a Christmas lunch or dinner. It’s delicate pink flakes are so beautiful to look at, and wonderfully tasty to eat. If you can get hold of a whole trout from your local fishmonger, make sure that is fresh, gilled and gutted. This way you can just rinse it at home, stuff it, and put it on the braai or in the oven. So very easy.

I love to serve this trout with a crisp green fennel & celery & apple salad, as well as cracked roasted baby potatoes and a fantastic versatile yoghurt mustard sauce. The recipes for the salad and potatoes will follow shortly, but I’ll include the recipe for the yoghurt sauce here. Remember that you can use the sauce on the fish, but also on the salad and the potatoes. The fish and potatoes are best served warm, but can certainly also successfully be served at room temperature.

Ingredients for whole stuffed trout:

(Serves: 6)

(Difficulty: easy)

  • 1 x whole trout, gilled and gutted (about 1.6 – 2 kg)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 x medium lemons, sliced
  • 1 x large fennel bulb, sliced
  • a handful of fennel fronds (reserved from the bulb)
  • a handful of chopped Italian parsley
  • juice of a lemon


  1. If you are going to use an oven to cook your fish, pre-heat it to 200 C. If you are going to braai it, get your fire ready to braai the fish over medium hot coals.
  2. Rinse the trout well under cold water, then pat dry with a tea towel.
  3. Using a very sharp knife, make angled incisions in the sides of the fish, about 3 on a side. Season the inside of the incisions well with salt and pepper. Season the inside of the gutted cavity as well.
  4. Use lemon sliced, fennel slices & parsley to stuff into the incisions and cavity, then drizzle the stuffed parts with lemon juice. Season the outside of the fish with salt and pepper, then place it on a piece of oiled foil on a roasting tray and roast in the oven at 200 C for 25-30 minutes. If you are going to braai it, place the fish inside a large hinged grid (without any foil), then braai over medium hot coals on both sides for about 30 minutes in total. Oil the inside of your grid to ensure that the fish doesn’t stick to the grid.
  5. Transfer the fish to a large serving platter, and serve with a fresh fennel salad, roast potatoes and a yoghurt mustard sauce.

For the yoghurt mustard sauce:

  • 250 ml double cream Greek yoghurt
  • 2 heaped tablespoons good quality mayonnaise
  • juice of a medium size lemon
  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 30-45 ml chopped fresh dill (or fennel fronds)
  • some cracked black pepper
  • a pinch of salt

Mix it all together and serve cold, with the fish.


This post was originally written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography: Tasha Seccombe

Styling: Nicola Pretorius

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Warm potato salad with anchovy butter

6 May

Warm potato salad with anchovy butter and fresh herbs (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Although I’m always a sucker for an old-fashioned cold potato salad with store-bought mayonnaise, I sometimes like to change things up a bit and serve my potato salad warm with a flavoured oil or a butter sauce and lots of fresh herbs.

In this case, I yearned for the savoury taste of anchovies and the richness of soft boiled eggs, so I combined the 2 to make a fantastic warm potato salad. If you prefer to serve this at room temperature, rather use good quality extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, as the butter solidifies when cooled down. But served hot, there is just no substitute for melted butter.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 kg small/baby potatoes, halved
  • 3 softly boiled eggs, quartered
  • a handful of toasted almonds
  • a handful of chopped chives
  • some micro herbs for garnish (optional)

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 60 ml butter, melted (or more, if you really like butter!)
  • 3 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1/2 T chopped dill
  • 1 T chopped chives
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare all the ingredients for the salad. Arrange the potatoes and eggs on a large salad platter/plate.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing, then pour it all over the potatoes and eggs.
  3. Top with toasted almonds, chopped chives and some micro herbs. Season with extra salt and pepper.


This post was written especially for The Pretty Blog.

Recipe, text and food preparation: Ilse van der Merwe from thefoodfox.com

Photographer: Tasha Seccombe

Styling: Tasha Seccombe and Nicola Pretorius

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Herbed mackerel butter

5 Jul

Mackerel butter with lemon and parsley

Cured mackerel fillets must be the Mediterranean version of smoked Cape snoek! These fabulous little fish fillets are much smaller than snoek, but can be used very much in the same way.

Rather than making a regular pateé, I opted for making a rich herbed mackerel butter instead. With no cream or soft cheese added, this buttery spread really melts in your mouth, and is the perfect topping for warm toasted bread. Most Mediterreanean foods are quite light, so the rich contrast of this spread works very well when used as a starter to a long, lazy meal with many courses.

It keeps well in the fridge for at least a week, depending on the freshness of the fillets.


  • 2 x medium-sized Mediterranean Delicacies Herb Mackerel fillets (skins removed)
  • 150-200 g butter, softened, but not melted
  • a generous handful of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • juice and grated rind of half a lemon
  • 2 T (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted ciabatta to serve


  1. In a food processor, blend mackerel fillets, butter, parsley, lemon juice & rind, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Blend to a smooth paste.
  2. Serve at room temperature with warm, freshly toasted ciabatta.

WIN this hamper!

This post is the second in a 4-week series that I am doing in association with Mediterranean Delicacies.

WIN a fabulous Medi Deli hamper by entering their competition on Facebook! Competition have been extended untill end of of July 2012. Hamper includes a gourmet pasta maker, cheese board and a selection of delicious wines and Mediterranean Delicacies’ products.

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