Tag Archives: eggs

breakfast + wine – i say yes!

breakfast + wine – i say yes!

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I am not a breakfast person. I would rather choose any other meal where I can drink wine. You are probably thinking I am stark raving mad, but to raise a glass of wine with a meal and to toast to life, happiness, health or whatever, is to me an appropriate way to dine.

I do have to admit that sipping on a glass of wine over breakfast has for many years escaped me – well that was until I recently visited my good friend Louis, who lives in Spain.

Lu is a country boy from Willowmore in the Easter Cape who moved to Castelion in Spain. On the first morning of my visit to him, he surprised me with a very simple Spanish breakfast… pan tumaca. Directly translated this is bread and tomato. Naturally, Louis in his usual flamboyant manner served this with a glass of Spanish red wine and the two of us celebrated with a toast to the good life and lasting friendships.

in spain with my good friend louis verwey

in spain with my good friend louis verwey

Following my visit to the continent there was just no stopping me. These days, very few breakfasts in my house are served without a glass of good red wine! One of the better breakfasts to enjoy …along with a tipple is John Whaite’s Lebanese Lone Wolf Eggs.

Lu, I am looking forward to your visit in December. I shall be making you a breakfast, open a a bottle of the finest red so that we can raise a glass to our friendship and your health!

 

Lebanese Lone Wolf Eggs
 
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Recipe adopted from John Whaite Bakes
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic cloves, grated
  • ½ red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sumac ( you can replace the sumac with a teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (I used pomegranate jam - otherwise use a tart berry jam)
  • 200g chopped tomatoes (1/2 can)
  • Leaves of two sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 eggs
  • Pita breads to serve
Instructions
  1. Fry the onions in oil for about 5 minutes in a small frying pan.
  2. Stirring occasionally, add the garlic, chilli, sumac, paprika, cumin and ground coriander. Stir well so that the spices coat the onions.
  3. Add the tomatoes and pomegranate molasses. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow the ingredients to gently bubble for about 5-10 minutes - or until the sauce is a good, thickish consistency.
  4. Stir in the thyme, fresh coriander, salt and pepper. Please taste and season the sauce.
  5. Crack in the eggs and allow the whites of the eggs to cook completely while keeping the yolks soft.
  6. Serve at once with pita bread. (…And a glass of good red!)

mrs bradfield + 1940’s anchovy toast and the gynaecologist

mrs bradfield + 1940’s anchovy toast and the gynaecologist

In loving memory of Dorothy Bradfield.

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Watch me make this by clicking here.

{gynaecologist}
After I left school I really did not know what I wanted to do with my life so I found myself as a receptionist at the rooms of a well-known gynaecologist, Dr Goosen. He was popular, he had one glass eye and the ladies loved him – I think it was because he had a restricted view and limited eye contact when it came to examining the ladies. 🙂

{smoking}
Anyway Mrs Bradfield was the matron who worked in the same rooms – she was a fantastic woman who smoked 30 cigarettes a day. In those days you could still smoke in offices – even in the consulting rooms of the hospital. Needless to say it was Mrs Bradfield who taught me how to smoke …

{mrs bradfield}
Every morning Mrs B would order anchovy toast which I would have to go and fetch for her. We then sat down with our cup of coffee, anchovy toast and cigarettes. To this day, I still have an affinity for anchovy toast and every time I see anchovy toast I remember Mrs B.

{1940’s anchovy toast}
I did a bit of research and found the basis for this recipe in the Household of Cookery for South Africa (1941). I tweaked it a little bit and added some lemon, a pinch of cayenne pepper and parsley.

Wherever you are Mrs B, I hope that you are smiling down on me and my anchovy toast – cheers to all the memories and good times shared.

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mrs bradfield + 1940's anchovy toast and the gynaecologist
 
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 5 anchovies
  • large squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg, hard boiled
  • 1 ½ Tbsp butter
  • large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • parsley, chopped
  • 4 slices of whole wheat toast
Instructions
  1. Put the anchovies and lemon juice in a pestle and mortar and pound till fine.
  2. Add the hard boiled egg yolk, butter and cayenne pepper and pound till fine.
  3. Spread mixture over hot toast and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  4. Optional: You can chop the white of the egg finely and add that to the anchovy toast.

eggs + friends = two magical ingredients of life . celebrate both tomorrow on world egg day

eggs + friends = two magical ingredients of life . celebrate both tomorrow on world egg day

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{eggs are magical}
Take just 3 eggs, a little seasoning and you can whisk up a flavourful + healthy + nutritious meal. Omelettes can fit into any occasion … you can make them for breakfast with a slice of toast … for lunch with a light salad or for supper with some chicken and cheese. There are a myriad of ways of making omelettes – and everyone has their own favourite way.

{friends are magical}
Last Monday, four of us friends played around with eggs and omelettes: Errieda Du Toit aka Huiskok – cookbook author + radio host + foodie doyen to the masses introduced me to her fluffy, fairy tale “pof omelet”. My bachelor blogger friend, Fritz surprised all with an egg carbonara omelette – so beautifully laced with spaghetti – and celebrity Chef friend Nic van Wyk blew everyone away with his mushroom dust + truffle oil omelette.  My egg dish for the evening was a sweetened pear omelette flambéed in our own award winning South African Brandy – recipe below.

image | errieda du toit

image | errieda du toit

Tomorrow is world egg day. Why don’t you invite a few friends, whisk-up a few omelettes and debate which came first … the chicken or the egg? *magical*

flambéed sweet pear omelette

flambéed sweet pear omelette

ENTER AND WIN: With a special thanks to the egg farmers across South Africa, lifeisazoobiscuit is giving away a beautiful, yellow hand blender.  COMPETITION CLOSED.

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For more information on eggs visit www.worldeggday.com or www.sapoultry.co.za.

flambéed sweet pear omelette
 
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 star Anise
  • 2 pears – cored and cut into1 1cm slices
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 Tbsp sugar (Use three Tbsp with the pears and one Tbsp for finishing the dish)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp cream
  • 1 large pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 Tbsp brandy
Instructions
  1. On medium heat in a large non-stick pan – melt the butter and add the Star Anise, cinnamon, pears and 3 Tbsp of sugar.
  2. Cook with the lid on for 10 min and then cook without the lid for a further 10 min.
  3. Stir from time to time but be careful not to break the pears.
  4. In the mean while beat the eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt together.
  5. Then pour the eggs over the pears.
  6. Cook until the eggs are set. Lift it on the sides to make sure it stays loose and that your egg mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Invert the omelette by turning the pan over onto a large serving dish, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the omelette and pour the 3 tablespoons of brandy over the dish. Carefully ignite or light the brandythen shake the platter until the alcohol burns off and extinguishes itself. Serve immediately.
  8. Tuck in and enjoy amongst friends.

mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes

mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes

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I have some wonderful memories of warm crumpets with melting butter and golden syrup dripping down the side. I used to scoff these up as a kid – so the other day I felt like baking a cake but when it came to it, I did not have the energy to go through all that kind of “baking” trouble – you know you get those days sometime 🙂 . Instead I decided to build a crumpet cake stack with caramel in between – you very well know by now that caramel is my downfall and is my ultimate sweet treat. To change the normal crumpet, I added some cocoa and a little vanilla essence.

So without baking for hours I presented my guests with these mini-chocolate-pancake-caramel-cakes and well … It was the best “bake” yet … sweet temptation at its best!

Watch me make this by clicking here.

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choc crumpet

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choc crumpet

 

mini-chocolate-crumpet-caramel-cakes
 
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Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 Egg
  • 30ml Sugar
  • 5ml Vanilla essence
  • 125ml Milk
  • 15ml Melted butter
  • 250 ml Flour
  • 2.5ml Salt
  • 15ml Cocoa powder
  • 10ml Baking powder
  • ½ Tin of caramel
  • Ice cream or cream to serve
Instructions
  1. Beat the egg, sugar and vanilla essence together.
  2. Add half the amount of milk and melted butter.
  3. Add the sifted flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder to the egg mixture. Mix through.
  4. Gradually stir in the remaining milk to form a smooth batter.
  5. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a hot greased pan.
  6. Cook on one side and when air bubbles appear, turn with a spatula and cook on the other side until golden brown.
  7. Stack with caramel generously smeared in-between the layers of crumpet and serve with ice cream or cream.

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

banana flan bread with amaretto biscuits + white chocolate + almonds

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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?

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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
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  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

italian ramen – chicken soup for the soul

italian ramen – chicken soup for the soul

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“The Italian Ramen is a delicious cross-cultural take on chicken soup. The angel hair pasta represents Italy; the soft-boiled egg and chile oil evoke Japan” – Food & Wine

Italian Ramen – I have this lovely American colleague that started working with me this year and she reports to me what she cooked the night before (and I of course report to her :-)) and sometimes she brings along a small tester portion for me to taste. The American’s name is Madeleine. I needed to clarify that because I have another American in my life that I love dearly – she is another talented foodie and I will talk about her at a later stage.

So one morning Madeleine brought this delicious chicken based soup to the office – an Italian Ramen. It just blew me away – the chicken broth was so intense and just perfectly infused with the herbs. The chicken was cooked to perfection and the crunchy carrots added a wonderful sweetness and texture to the dish. Madeleine sent me a link to this specific recipe on Food & Wine’s website and I decided to make it – this is not a dish you want to fiddle with – It is perfect as is. It takes about 3.5 hours to make but its well worth doing it.
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This soup is served with a beautiful soft boiled egg – the traditional Ramen way … the egg compliments the dish but does not steal the limelight from the perfect chicken broth and succulent fleshiness of the white chicken meat.

So here is a quick guide to boiling the perfect soft boil egg:
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil add the eggs and cook for 5 minutes. While the eggs are boiling fill another large bowl with cold water. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to the bowl of cold water for 2 minutes. Crack the shells and peel the eggs.

Italian Ramen - chicken soup for the soul

 

italian ramen - chicken soup for the soul
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For the broth
  • 1.3kg Chicken, cut into quarters
  • 2 White skinned onions, quartered
  • 4 Large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 4 Celery sticks, cut into large chunks
  • 4 Thyme sprigs
  • 2 Rosemary sprigs
  • 2 Basil sprigs
  • Salt
  • Other ingredients
  • 2 Carrots cut into fine matchsticks
  • 6 Large soft boiled eggs
  • 500g Angel hair pasta
  • Chilli oil
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Few basil leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 260°C. Arrange the chicken in a roasting pan and roast until the skin is lightly browned – for +- 20 – 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the chicken and any juices to a soup pot. Add the onions, carrot chunks, celery and herb sprigs. Add 3.8L of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the chicken is cooked, about 30 minutes.
  3. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the broth and let cool slightly.
  4. Remove the meat from the bones and pull into shreds; discard the skin.
  5. Return the bones to the pot and simmer until the broth is reduced to 8 cups, about 1½ hours.
  6. Strain the broth, discard the solids and skim off the fat. Season the broth with salt and keep warm.
  7. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente. Drain and divide the pasta between 6 large soup bowls.
  8. Top with the shredded chicken, carrot matchsticks and soft-boiled eggs.
  9. Ladle the hot broth on top, add some chillie oil and garnish with basil leaves and serve hot.

mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat

mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat

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This one is quick + easy and been a firm family favourite through the years. I remember sitting around the kitchen table, the radio playing in the background (there was no TV in those days)… My dad saying grace and thereafter mom bringing in this big baking tray full of steaming mac + cheese.

We did not have the fancy or posh mac and cheese – there was no bacon, no mushrooms, no cream etc … our mac and cheese came straight out of the Kook and Geniet and straight out of the oven. The basic ingredients are milk, eggs, macaroni and cheese. It’s the baked version that you can cut in blocks. We used to just get these blocks on our plates and in the middle of the table was a bottle of tomato sauce – and that was it for us … heaven.

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So today I took the same recipe my mom used and tweaked the ingredients to suit my adult taste buds. When it came to the tomato sauce I had to make a few changes – I fried some plump delicious rosa tomatoes in olive oil, added tomato sauce and fresh basil. Its still my  mom’s mac + cheese + tomato sauce – with a little twist. Life seemed much more simpler then. At least I can say that this recipe has remained simple and easy … give it a go.

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mac and cheese

 

mac + cheese + tomato sauce = no frills + no fuss + just eat
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1L Milk
  • 5 Eggs
  • 3t Mustard powder
  • 1t Salt
  • ½t Black pepper
  • 3 Cups of grated cheese
  • 4 Cups of cooked macaroni
  • Tomato sauce
  • 250g Rosa tomatoes - cut in half
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 80 ml Water
  • 1t Sugar
  • 250ml Tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves – shredded
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Mix the milk, eggs, mustard powder, salt and pepper all together. Then add the cheese and cooked macaroni.
  3. Butter a baking dish well and add the mixture and bake for 1 hour.
  4. For tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil and fry tomatoes till the pan is quite dry. Add the water and cook again till quite dry.Then add the sugar + tomato sauce – heat through. Finally add the fresh basil + season to taste + serve with your mac + cheese.

 

 

my aunt bettie’s bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket

my aunt bettie’s bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket

bread pudding

There are a few desserts that will always be on top of my nostalgic pudding list … and one of them is my mom’s bread pudding. She tells me that her version of bread pudding comes from my aunt Bettie from Kroonstad in the Free State. In this recipe you don’t use slices of bread but rather bread crumbs and you add nutmeg and this soft meringue blanket on top. In my version I used ghee to add a nutty flavour to the dish and if you want to be a traditionalist you can add some apricot jam on top of the pudding before you add the meringue. In our house, bread pudding was always served with homemade custard or a crème anglaise.

Watch me make this by clicking here.

mom's brood pudding recipe

This dessert’s simplicity lends itself to different interpretations and countless variations and any type of bread may be used – although white breads are the more commonly used. For me bread pudding is definitely comfort food with a big C.

bread pudding

But where does the original bread pudding come from? Bread puddings date back many centuries. Its origins can even be traced back to the days of the Romans! Back in those ancient times citizens could ill-afford to waste food so a variety of recipes stale bread were invented and became commonplace. Bread pudding was one of these recipes. Bread puddings were not only made by the Romans. Ancient versions of bread pudding include Om Ali, an Egyptian dessert made from bread, milk or cream, raisins and almonds; Eish es Serny, a Middle Eastern dish made from dried bread, sugar, honey syrup, rosewater and caramel; and Shahi Tukra, an Indian dish made from bread, ghee, saffron, sugar, rosewater and almonds.

bread pudding

my aunt bettie's bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups bread crumbs (6 slices of bread)
  • 2¼ Cups milk
  • 4 Egg yolks – beaten
  • ¼t Nutmeg
  • 2T Sugar
  • 3T Melted ghee (clarified butter)
  • ¼t Salt
  • To smear on after the first bake
  • 2T Apricot jam (optional)
  • For meringue
  • 4 Egg whites
  • 2T Sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for a few minutes and then add all the other ingredients.
  3. Put in a buttered baking dish and bake for one hour.
  4. While the pudding is baking beat the eggs till soft peaks and then add the cream of tartar + salt + add the sugar spoon by spoon. Beat till you get a soft meringue.
  5. Smear some apricot jam thinly on top of the pudding and then add the meringue on top of the pudding - bake till golden brown for about 8 minutes.
  6. Serve with homemade custard.

easter blondies anyone?

easter blondies anyone?

Blondie

Watch me making this by clicking here.

Bon Appetit magazine listed the “Blondie” as one of the food trends of 2013 and I can only concur. This is decadence with a capital D. For too long chocolate brownies ruled the dessert roost – in all shapes and sizes … yet I dare to re-introduce the Cinderella cousin … the Blondie!

– Bon Appetit Magazine | Blond(ie) is the New Brown(ie)
For dessert snobs, blondies have always been a pale imitation of their darker inspiration. But now the fairer-hued bar is coming into its own. In New York, Stellina sells a Dirty Blondie with peanut butter and toffee. And in San Francisco,Black Jet Baking Co. adds brown butter and Maldon sea salt to set a new standard for what the classic un-brownie should be.

She is so sexy, sassy and delicious. I added all my favourite stuff … like white chocolate (you can give me white chocolate anyday and anytime – just LOVE it) + pistachio nuts + because I am in an Easter mood I added some marshmallow Easter eggs. This is my most adorable sweety thing at the moment – try it. She is a real treat!

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blondies
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Eggs
  • 175g Demarera sugar (or you can replace this with Muscovado sugar)
  • 1t Vanilla essence
  • 100g Butter – melted
  • 100g Flour
  • ½t Baking powder
  • 50g Pistachio nuts
  • 100g White chocolate – cut into very small pieces
  • 3-4 Marshmallow Easter eggs – cut into small blocks
  • Sprinkle of Maldon salt
  • To serve
  • Raspberries
  • Crème Fraiche
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Beat the eggs till foamy. Add the sugar bit by bit. Beat for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla essence and then add melted butter, a little by little while beating.
  4. Mix the flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture. Fold in with spoon – don’t overwork the mixture.
  5. Add the Pistachio nuts, white chocolate, marshmallow eggs.
  6. Line a baking tray 20cm x 20cm with baking paper – add the dough and sprinkle with a bit of Maldon salt - bake for 35 minutes at 180°C.
  7. Let it cool down and serve with fresh raspberries and a dash of crème fraiche.

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two minute stick blender mayonnaise = something simple for you to try this christmas

two minute stick blender mayonnaise = something simple for you to try this christmas

Mayonnaise, easy mayonnaise, 1 min mayonaise, home made mayonnaise, easy mayonaise, flop proof mayonaise

Here is something simple for you to try this Christmas – a TWO MINUTE stick blender mayonnaise. Most foodies know this fool proof method but I am surprised at how many people still use the old drop-for-drop-oil-method.  The big secret behind this recipe is to add the ingredients in a narrow vessel/container in the right order…  egg + oil – this is critical. Let the ingredients settle  for a minute – then put your stick blender carefully on top of the egg yolk – the blender must touch the bottom of the container … then only then start blending until the mayonnaise starts emulsifying. S-L-O-W-L-Y pull the stick blender up to complete the emulsification process.

Here is a video clip to show you how easy it is to make your very own homemade mayonnaise.  Make a cupful or a bucketful, its fresh and fantastic. Its creamy and dreamy and perfect with just about anything…salads + potatoes + dips.

Sending you love, blessings and best wishes from Dublin, Ireland.  May you have an enchanting, carefree and fabulous Christmas.

two minute stick blender mayonnaise = something simple for you to try this christmas
 
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Author:
Serves: 250 ml
Ingredients
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Cup sunflower oil (250ml)
  • For seasoning
  • ¼ – ½ t salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 big squeeze of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. In this specific order - place the egg yolk in a tall container or jug, then add the oil.
  2. Place your stick blender right on top of the egg at the bottom of the jug and start blending until the mayonnaise starts emulsifying. SLOWLY pull the stick blender up to complete the emulsification process.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and serve.

 

meatballs with mint + pine nuts + butternut

meatballs with mint + pine nuts + butternut
spaghetti and meatballs delicious, easy

#spaghetti + meatballs

When I first opened my mystery basket on Dinner Divas and saw the mince the only thing that went through my mind was MEATBALLS!! Nothing else … I never saw the chicken … in fact I did not register any of the other mystery ingredients … but at that moment in time and space, in front of all the cameras your brain just freezes. In retrospect you always end up quizzing yourself … I could have done this or I could of done that … in situations like this hysteria creeps in and disrupt your thoughts but I was resolute and determined to make this dish and prepare it well.

The other thing was that I had made a commitment to myself before I entered the competition … to stick with my gut, make a decision, go with it and not entertain any reservations. When you start doubting or second guessing yourself, this is when things tend to go awry and in a competition there is no time for messing about.

When I saw Kristy making the same dish, I have to admit I was apprehensive and the seeds of doubt were teasing my brain. Fortunately I had the clarity of mind to press on – it was too late to back track – I had to stick to what I believe in and what I know I can do well …

Well the judges did not think so – “oh dear another meatball dish – really” + “the meatballs were just disgusting” … this cut deep at that moment in time – but now I am laughing about it all. I love Caro + Aubrey + Andrew – they have crept deep into my heart and they will have a very special place in my life forever and ever …

So here is my  version of meatballs – something between my mom’s meatballs + what i have tasted in New York + something I have tasted in Italy. I added some mint + pine nuts + loads of veggies and used my fantastic tomato sauce which you can look up here

meatballs and tomato sauce and spaghetti

#spaghetti + meatballs

 

meatballs with mint + pine nuts = fab grecian fare
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g Extra lean mince
  • 4 Garlic cloves - grated
  • 1 Potato large - grated
  • 3 Thick butternut rings – grated
  • 1 Carrot - grated
  • 2 Small onions – grated
  • 50g Pine nuts – lightly fried in a non stick pan till golden brown
  • 1 Slice of white bread – soaked in water and excess water squeezed out
  • 1 Egg
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 t Dry mint
  • 1 t Salt
  • ½ t Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Put your oven on grill.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Fry a small teaspoon and taste for seasoning – I normally use the microwave.
  3. Make small balls and grill till done - +- 10 minutes. After first 5 minutes turn them around and cook for another few minutes.
  4. Put in pasta sauce and simmer for a minute or two. Serve on spaghetti + parmesan shavings + fresh basil.

 

Tomato Sauce 

Click here for recipe.

goat curry + saffron egg basmati rice = a delicious indian feast

goat curry + saffron egg basmati rice = a delicious indian feast

goat curry and saffron rice

Goat and Bean Curry: People probably thought I was off my head when I decided to cook goat on Dinner Divas for national television. We have over 50 million people in this country, 11 official languages and a rainbow of cultures – I wanted to show the people of our beautiful nation that it is a healthy and delicious choice. It’s affordable too! Did you know more goat meat is eaten throughout the world than any other red meat? This is a fact!

Goat meat is a healthy alternative to beef and chicken because of its lower calorie, fat and cholesterol totals. It comprises 63 percent of all red meat that is consumed worldwide! Currently, goats make up the main source of animal protein in many North African and Middle Eastern nations. Goats are also important in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and other tropical regions across our planet.

saffron basmati rice with goats curry

Anyway, I got a shoulder of goat meat from my mom’s local butcher and decided to transform this into a delicious goat curry. You will often hear people say that goat meat is tough, tastes “funny”, poor man’s meat so to speak…this is where we are naive I think. If we are not prepared to try something and taste for ourselves we will be forever missing out on the real flavours that permeate our society and world. You have to try this goat for yourself. Take my word for it – it’s just delicious.

 

goat + bean curry
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 600g Goat (bite-sized goat pieces – softer pieces no bones for this one)
  • 2t Garlic and ginger mix - see recipe below
  • 2t Green marsala - see recipe below
  • 1t Red marsala - see recipe below
  • 11/2 t Salt
  • ½t Turmeric
  • 2t Medium marsala (curry powder)
  • 1t Cumin and coriander powder
  • 3 Medium onions chopped
  • 1T Ghee or normal butter
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks
  • 4 Cardamom pods
  • 3 Cloves
  • 410g Rhodes Tomatoes Chopped and Peeled
  • 5 Curry leaves
  • 410g Rhodes Butter Beans in Brine
  • 2T Fresh chopped coriander
  • Fresh coriander for serving
Instructions
  1. Mix the goat, garlic & ginger mix, green marsala, red marsala, salt, turmeric, medium marsala and cumin + coriander powder together and set aside to marinade.
  2. Fry the chopped onion in the oil and ghee till translucent.
  3. Add the star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Fry for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the goat and brown the meat.
  5. Then add the chopped tomatoes and curry leaves.
  6. Let it simmer closed on medium heat for about 50 minutes. Stir now and then - add a little water if you see the sauce gets too dry.
  7. After 40 minutes add the beans with the “juice”- and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  8. Taste for seasoning - or if you so prefer, add more chillies.
  9. Sprinkle with fresh coriander just before serving.

 
saffron egg basmati rice
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For rice
  • 1 Cups of Basmati rice
  • A few strands of saffron (if you don’t have saffron use a pinch of turmeric powder)
  • 2T Ghee
  • For onions
  • 3 Large onions
  • 2T Cooking oil
  • 2T Ghee
  • For eggs
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of hot water
  • Few strands of saffron (if you don’t have saffron use ½ t turmeric powder)
Instructions
  1. Cook the Basmati rice as per the packet instructions however add the few strands of saffron to the water and remember to also add salt before boiling the rice. Drain the rice using a sieve. Rinse with hot water. Then add the ghee and lightly mix through.
  2. Cut the onions in side lengths in strips. Fry till golden brown over medium heat in the oil and ghee.
  3. Boil the eggs. Tip: For perfectly hard boiled eggs – bring the eggs to boil and then turn the heat down and let the egss stand in the hot water for 10 minutes.
  4. Peal the eggs.Add the saffron to the water and add the pealed eggs.
  5. Let it stand for about 10 minutes to colour and flavour the eggs.
  6. To serve - Use the rice as a base in your serving dish. Cut the boiled eggs into quarters and place on top of your rice base. Sprinkle the fried, golden brown onions over the rice and eggs and serve immediately.

 
tomato salsa
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tomato de-seeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ Onion finely chopped
  • 1T Coriander finely chopped
  • 100g Cucumber finely chopped
  • 1 Green chillie finely chopped
  • 1T Cooking oil
  • 1T White vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch sugar
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Put in bowl and serve immediately as side dish

 
garlic and ginger mix + green marsala + red marsala
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For garlic and ginger mix
  • 2T Minced or grated peeled garlic
  • 2T Grated ginger
  • For green marsala
  • 1T Garlic and ginger mix
  • 2T Green chillies finely chopped or better milled finely
  • 1t Cooking oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • For red marsala
  • 1T Garlic and ginger mix
  • Two red chillies
  • 1t Cooking oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of turmeric
Instructions
  1. For garlic and ginger mix - mix both ingredients together.
  2. For green marsala - put it all ingredients in a mortar pestle and grind together or put through a mill.
  3. For red marsala - put it all ingredients in a mortar pestle and grind together or put through a mill.

 

 

 

 

goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg

goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg

“It took me 2.5 hours at 62°C – sitting by my stove with an electronic thermometer in hand to ensure that the water temperature remained constant. I was like a mother hen watching over her hatching eggs! It took some time and some doing but it was worth every single minute. The thick golden yellow yolk that oozed out of this perfectly boiled eggs was like liquid gold … and something you just have to try once in your life”

Delicious goose egg recipe on pea nest with prosciutto

Sous Vide Goose Egg on a pea and mint nest - prosciutto ham

Sous vide Goose egg on a pea and mint nest with prosciutto

Sous vide goose egg - on a pea and mint nest with prosciutto

The other day my dear friend Nina Timm surprised me with a gift of two beautiful and bountiful goose eggs. Eggs are a symbol of birth, of life – and these eggs were so fulsome and so perfect. It reminded me of the wonders that surround us but it also reminded me of Aesop’s fable of …

… The goose that laid the golden eggs
A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich.
“Just think,” said the man’s wife, “If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.”
“You’re right,” said her husband, “We wouldn’t have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day.”
So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs.

So what is the moral of this little tale? Riches do not lie in earthly things nor in the greed for more riches … Our riches are within and in each passing moment we have the opportunity to hold dear the real riches of this world like family, friendships, love and hope. We need to treasure it all …

But now let’s get back to recipe….the sun was out and spring was in the air…what was I going to do with these gorgeous goose eggs?

I went to Sat Bains for inspiration – he was the one who took the classic egg, ham and pea combination to a whole new level by using the sous vide method to cook duck eggs and to serve them with a pea sorbet.

I was determined to sous vide these two golden beauties and serve them on a nest of crushed minted peas and prosciutto with some little toasts. I do not have one of those fancy and very expensive sous vide water baths and I could not find a recipe … so I had to improvise. With a pot of hot water covering my eggs – it took me 2.5 hours at 62°C – sitting by my stove with an electronic thermometer in hand to ensure that the water temperature remained constant. I added cold water when the temperature went up. It took some time and some doing but it was worth every single minute. The thick golden yellow yolk that oozed out of this perfectly boiled eggs was like liquid gold …and something you just have to try once in your life. The perfect combination of the sweet peas and then the salty prosciutto and a scoop of the golden yolk on a crispy cut of toast are just absolutely from another planet. Of course, the dish was not complete without a sprinkle of salt and freshly grounded white pepper.

Thank you Nina and thank you Mrs Goose for bringing some rays of golden sunshine to my plate.

 

goose egg on a crushed-minted-pea-prosciutto-nest . the story of my golden sous vide goose egg
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For the goose eggs
  • 2 Goose eggs at room temperature
  • Electronic thermometer
  • Big pot filled with water – eggs need to be covered with water
  • For the crushed-minted-pea-and-prosciutto-nest
  • 250g Frozen peas
  • ½t Salt
  • 2t Sugar
  • 20g Butter
  • 1T Freshly chopped mint
  • 4 Slices of prosciutto
  • Little toasts
  • Fresh ciabatta cut thinly and lightly toasted
  • Seasoning
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. For the goose eggs – heat the pot with water to 62°C and then add the eggs. Keep it on the lowest heat level on your stove and try and keep the temperature constant for 2.5 hours. You just have to stand by the stove, check the thermometer and add a bit of cold water to bring the temperature down. When done, put the eggs aside to cool a bit. Then peel very carefully. The shell is very hard and thick and it’s not so easy. The outside of the white is going to fall away and you will sit with this beautiful thin white layer and the golden yolk.
  2. For the peas – cook the peas for about 3 minutes. Add the salt, butter, mint and sugar give it a good stir and then crush.
  3. To assemble - divide the peas in half and divide onto two plates. Add a slice of prosciutto on each nest and then add the egg. Sprinkle with white pepper and some salt - then add another slice of prosciutto and round it off with a little toast.

 

10 tips to poach the perfect egg

10 tips to poach the perfect egg

My favourite Saturday morning breakfast is a soft poached egg on whole wheat toast with a bit of wild rocket out of my garden and a pinch of Maldon salt. When you cut into that egg and the yellow slowly ooze onto the bread … it is like early morning sunshine on my plate! What I want to share with you today is not a specific recipe on how to poach the perfect egg but a few interesting facts and tips that might help you along the way. I am sure you will know most of them but one or two of these pointers are quite interesting.the perfect mother's day breakfast - 10 tips to poach the perfect egg
1. The fresher the egg, the easier the poach – fresh eggs hold together better when slipped into the simmering water.
2. To test to see whether an egg is fresh – put the egg into a bowl of water. A very fresh egg will immediately sink to the bottom and lie flat on its side – an old egg will float.
3. The eggs must preferably be room temperature.
4. Remember to add a bit of vinegar to the simmering water – it helps hold the egg together.
5. The water must be simmering not boiling.
6. Now, my best tip is to slowly submerse the whole egg with shell and all in the hot simmering water for 10 seconds before you break it. This ensures the whites on the outside of the egg hold together better during poaching.
7. Before breaking the egg into your simmering pot of water, use a spoon and give the water a stir so that it forms a little bit of a whirlpool…the centrifugal motion will pull the egg together when you slide it into the water.
8. When you break the egg break it into a saucer or cup first – be careful not to break the yolk and then simply slide the egg off the saucer or cup into the centre of the whirling water.
9. How long to poach the egg? Here’s a quirky snippet I read…when you put your bread in to toast put your egg in to poach…when your toast pops out of the toaster…your poached egg should be ready to be removed from the pot. Otherwise poach it for 3-5 minutes until cooked.
10. When done scoop out with slotted spoon or spatula onto a paper towel to dry excess water from the now poached egg.

It’s quick but fabulous when poached to perfection… decadent and yummy all at the same time!

Don’t forget too that a poached egg on top of a rocket + bacon salad makes for a wonderful salad option just ever so slightly out of the ordinary.

flambéed sweet apple omelette = a delicious yellow glowing matter

flambéed sweet apple omelette = a delicious yellow glowing matter

flambéed sweet apple omelette=a delicious yellow glowing matter

Watch me make this by clicing here

Flambéed Sweet Apple Omelette – Every now and then you experiment with something new, sometimes the outcome is just ok and other times it just blows you away. This is what happened to me when I tasted my own rendition of a sweet omelette – whoop whoop – it blew me away and it is so easy to make! But first let me tell you the story how I ended up with fruit and an omelette of all things…

I draw my inspirations from many different people … one person who really inspires me is Lidewij Edelkoort. What a fascinating woman – she is well-renowned as an international trend forecaster in any form of design. The other day I read on her website that yellow is a currently one of the primary fashion colours of the season – and as she says… “ the power of yellow with its strength and radiance, is able to change all volume and all surfaces, giving glow to all matter”. She shared some intriguing, and quite amazing references when it comes to eggs… she took us to France with “eggs + soldiers”…and then to Spain for an omelette. It just got me thinking. Before I knew it, I was traversing the world, the internet and my hoards of cookery books for something, yellow, eggy and interesting…. I eventually found something quite enticing and a recipe that woke up my taste buds….it was an egg + pear omelette … a dessert of all things.

I decided to use apples instead of pears and then used our local brandy to flambé the dessert. It did not stop there though… being my cheeky self, I added some cream, a pinch of nutmeg, a dose of cinnamon, a star anise and a heap of expectation….taste for yourself … it is delicious!

flambéed sweet apple omelette=a delicious yellow glowing matter

 

flambéed sweet apple omelette
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2T Butter
  • 4 Granny Smith apples – cored, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2T Sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 2T Cream
  • 1 Big pinch nutmeg
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 3T Brandy
Instructions
  1. On medium heat in a big non-stick pan - melt the butter and add the star anise, cinnamon, apples and 1T of sugar.
  2. Cook with the lid on for 10 min and then cook without the lid for a further 10 min.
  3. Stir from time to time but be careful not to break the apples.
  4. In the mean while beat the eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt together.
  5. Then pour the eggs over the apples.
  6. Cook till the eggs are set. Lift it on the sides to make sure it stays loose and your egg mixture does not stick to the pan.
  7. Invert the omelette onto a large serving dish, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the omelette and pour the 3 tablespoons of brandy over the dish. Ignite the brandy and then shake the platter till the alcohol burns of and extinguishes itself. Serve immediately.
  8. Tuck in and enjoy!