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beef burger – keep it simple

beef burger – keep it simple


{This recipe was inspired by an ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #10 competition}

Burgers in my opinion are connected to experiences. The best burger I ever ate, was at the age 18, my first year at varsity, half-intoxicated after an evening of drinking and dancing. It was 4 am in the morning, my buddies and I were at a roadhouse on the PE beachfront. It was a messy tomato chillie burger. Was it the best culinary burger? No, but it was the burger I will remember forever!

I decided to ask five of my favourite chefs what was their best burger and potato side dish. Nic van Wyk (Diemersdal Eatery), Pete Goffe-Wood (Masterchef judge), Jackie Cameron (Hartford House), Henry Vigar (La Mouette), Andrew Robertson (Tsogo Sun) shared their opinions. Unsurprisingly, it’s all about honouring and respecting the ingredients… simplicity gives the burger its originality.

They wanted a good bun, a real beef patty, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, homemade mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, onion (cooked or raw), gherkins, homemade chips with aioli or mayonnaise and Nic added what I love – the Jalapeño relish.

So listening to the professionals I made a burger with a simple flavoursome beef patty, mature cheddar cheese, chunky homemade chips, homemade mayonnaise and added my favourite topping tomato + gherkin + Jalapeño relish. It was delicious, simple and honest.

By all means, taper your burger to your taste…but keep it simple, honest and true and it will be a happy memory for whoever may venture a bite.



beef burger - keep it simple
  • Beef Patty
  • 1 large onion (200g) onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g beef chuck, deboned with sinews removed and milled OR 500g mince
  • 1 egg
  • ½ hamburger bun, soaked in water and then water squeezed out
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp milled black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • For patty grilling
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • ¼ cup Spur Original and Spicy grill basting sauce
  • Tomato, gherkin and Jalapeño relish
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tomatoes (350 g), chopped
  • 3 large gherkins (110g), chopped
  • 70g pickled Jalapeño chillies, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Spur Original and Spicy grill basting sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp milled black pepper\
  • Homemade Fries
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into your favourite chip size – do not cut them too small.
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Maldon salt
  • Two-minute stick blender mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup oil, sunflower oil – not olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Large pinch of garlic powder
  • "Raw" onion
  • ½ onion, sliced into rings
  • ½ cup of boiling water
  • Other ingredients
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • 4 thick slices of mature cheddar cheese
  • iceberg lettuce, cut very finely
  1. Beef Patty - Fry the onions in olive oil for 30 minutes on slow to medium heat. This allows the onions to become soft and caramelised until they take on a deep caramel colour. We want to infuse the sweet flavours of the caramelised onions into the burger.
  2. Add the onions to all the other burger ingredients.
  3. Mix well and form patties of 150g each.
  4. Add oil to griddle pan and fry till done as per your taste, basting with the Spur sauce every time you turn the patties.
  5. Tomato, gherkin and Jalapeño relish - Add all ingredients into a pot and cook for 20 minutes over medium heat. Stirring occasionally. The relish should have a thick consistency.
  6. Homemade Fries - Parboil your cut chips in salted water for 4½ minutes.
  7. Drain and leave to dry. Allow at least 1 hour for the cut chips to dry properly.
  8. Heat your oil to 180 ˚C and fry until golden and crisp.
  9. Drain on kitchen towel and sprinkle with Maldon salt.
  10. Two-minute stick blender mayonnaise - Break the egg into a tall container (the best is to use the stick blender’s own container) or jug, then add the oil. Let it settle for a few minutes.
  11. Place your stick blender right on top of the egg at the bottom of the jug and start blending until the mayonnaise starts emulsifying. S-l-o-w-l-y pull the stick blender up to complete the emulsification process.
  12. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  13. "Raw" onion - Pour the boiling water over the onion and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.
  14. By following this method, you will still retain the crunchiness, crispness and flavour that you need but will tone-down the original pungency of the onions.
  15. To assemble - Generously smear the mayonnaise on your toasted bun, adding the shredded lettuce.
  16. Add your cheese then the beef patty. Top your burger with the tomato relish and the crunchy onions. Serve with some homemade, hand-cut crispy fries.
  17. Five ideas to pimp up your homemade mayonnaise -
  18. Add chopped fresh parsley and coriander for that fresh flavour with salads;
  19. Add a bit of wasabi paste to your mayo you can really impress your guests when you serve sushi;
  20. Add some black pepper and it will be with baked potatoes;
  21. Chopped capers and lemon will work wonders to a simple fish dish;
  22. Add a bit of masala mix and try it with some home fries.

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana 1 800

Ever since I started writing my blog my husband has been pestering me to bake a banana bread. He is just crazy about the flavour, sweetness and cake like texture. It’s such an easy thing to bake and we always have a few overripe bananas loitering in our fruit bowl. What I do like about banana bread is that it is a no fuss thing – and very easy to put together. Once you have the basic recipe you can always add raisins, nuts, chocolate chips – actually just about anything you fancy to make it your own.

Watch me make this by clicking here.
banana bread

The way I made this a lifeisazoobsicuit banana flan bread was by:
#1 changing the shape – I decided to bake it in a flan pan and serve it in a tart of sorts instead of a loaf and then
#2 I added three components that work extremely well together with bananas – white chocolate buttons, amaretto biscuits and almond flakes
#3 I was not keen to serve it with the traditional icing – so I opted to serve it with the crème fraiche instead.

My hubby, Rick had three helpings … Need I say more?

banana 3 800

A few banana facts or fiction I found on the www 🙂

1. Bananas float in water, as do apples and watermelons.
2. More than 100 billion bananas are eaten every year in the world, making them the fourth most popular agricultural product.
3. A cluster of bananas is called a hand, and a single banana is called a finger. Each banana hand has about 10 to 20 fingers.
4. Thanks to its oil, rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite – will help keep it from itching and getting inflamed.
5. To whiten teeth naturally, rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth for about two minutes every night. If you gargle with salt water, this will heighten the effect. Expect results in about two weeks. It works because of the effect of the potassium, magnesium, and manganese in the banana peel.
6. If you peel a banana from the bottom up (holding on to the stem like a handle), you will avoid the stringy bits that cling to the fruit inside.
7. Bananas are low in calories and have no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol. They contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.
8. More songs have been written about bananas than about any other fruit.
9. Bananas are the only fruit that contains the amino acid tryptophan plus vitamin B6. They help your body produce serotonin—a natural substance that alleviates depression.
10. If you put a banana in the refrigerator, the peel will turn dark brown or black, but it won’t affect the fruit inside.

source: thebananapolice.com

banana bread



banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 60ml Butter at room temperature
  • 125ml Castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Bananas smashed
  • 1t Vanilla essence
  • 250ml Cake flour
  • 1t Baking powder
  • ¼t Salt
  • 50g White chocolate buttons
  • 50g Amaretto biscuits – broken into pieces
  • 40g Almond flakes
  • Crème Fraiche for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Butter a medium loose bottom flan pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then add the egg and mix it in with the butter and sugar mix.
  3. Mix the bananas and vanilla essence into the mixture.
  4. Add all the dry ingredients gently – be careful not to over mix – and pour into prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar and a few dollops of crème fraiche

eat out honours + accolades + the universe + everything else

eat out honours + accolades + the universe + everything else

“There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments.” – Chris Rock

anel eat out award

2013 Eat Out DSTV Food Network Best Local Food Blog Award

So what do you write for your next blog after you have received such a prestigious award as the 2013 Eat Out DSTV Food Network Best Local Food Blog Award? …I can honestly admit that I am somewhat intimidated and overwhelmed by it all. Who would have thought that something that I love so much and that I wanted to share with the whole world … will give me so much joy?… my love for food and my wonderful little blog, lifeisazoobiscuit …

I just want to thank everyone who voted for me – I am still completely bowled over by the whole idea and attention and am still struggling to get the smile off my face … at least I am over my hangover after the awards ceremony 🙂 … but that was well worth it!

I have to confess, for once I do not know what to say or share, but the thing I have always known …The universe is a complex yet simple space. Between all the molecules and science stuff there is energy – both good and bad – or as the cosmos theorists would put it – positive and negative. I know nothing about this stuff but I do know that if there is passion and a love exerted into every action, there is an equal, opposite reaction.

What does this all mean to me and to all that have joined me in this zoo biscuit adventure? If you work your passion then you can achieve anything. It’s all about just doing what you love! If you do what you love you will achieve success! It is so simple. So simple! If you love cooking, cook with your whole heart, if you paint – walls or masterpieces….it does not matter just paint with your whole heart, if you love, love with your whole heart – never, ever let go of chasing the dream that you want to achieve.

I am humbled by the kind words of encouragement and thank you all as each word – each message I have received has refueled my passion and belief in the very recipe that makes our world wonderful.

I want to leave you with something … although I am not one to quote American comedians – unless they are funny of course, but I do think Chris Rock sums things up pretty well … “There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments.”

With that I can only say … dankie, thank you, ngiyabonga, ndiyaphila, cheers, salute and pass the bubbles, sweetie darlings.

Talking about bubbles I found this great and interesting article on 10 Unique Champagne Food Pairings by winefolly.com – check it out!