This has got to be the simplest shortbread recipe I have ever had the pleasure of making. It takes all of 10 minutes to prepare and another 30 minutes until you can eat your heart out, they taste fantastic and freeze extremely well, what more could you ask for? I am told these are a Lebanese shortbread, not sure where the Lovers shortbread comes from 🙂
Folks, you really must make a batch of these, we used walnuts but you can make them without anything on top, with almonds or even a little dollop of your favourite jam. I reckon these are going to become very popular. Makes 2 dozen large short bread bisciuts.
What you need
375g salted butter
1 cup icing sugar
3 cups cake flour
2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
Walnuts, cherries or whatever you are going to top them off with.
Lots of icing sugar to sprinkle on top
Heat your oven to 190 Celsius.
In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and then pop it into the microwave for about 30 seconds or so. You want it to be soft enough to beat with an electric beater.
Add the icing sugar and beat it very well on high for about 5 minutes until it becomes very pale and creamy, almost white.
No toss in the flour and baking powder in 3 portions mixing after each addition.
Thats it, now all you need to do is form little balls of the mixture, roll them gently in your hand (yes round balls), place them on your baking sheet, press a little hole in the top with your finger and fill the hole with a nut, a lttle jam or even a piece of chocolate.
Pop them in the oven for about 7-10 minutes and then turn off the oven and leave them inside for another 15-20 minutes.
If you notice some of them browning on top you can open the oven to let out some of the heat and close it up again. We made batches that were very pale that melt in your mouth and also had some browned ones that were more like biscuits with a bit of a crunch that I must confess I enjoyed even more.
Remove them from the oven and allow to cool before covering with a generous amount of icing sugar.
Smoke Trout Pate
Any trip to Dullstroom has got to include trout and along with the corn bread muffins there will always be some smoked trout pate and this recipe is also from the book “savour” which I changed slightly. It is rediculously simple and Oh so very tasty. We smoke our own trout but store bought smoked trout is just as good. I must say, cooking trout whole has never been my favourite and the bones always seem to get me so this I have found to be the best and tastiest way to use those trout the kids bring back from fishing trips. (If you fish or have kids that fish you will know exactly what I mean – too often they lie in the fridge and get thrown out a few months later) This recipe is after having smoke a 1.2kg (that is not the biggest trout I have caught 🙂 ) whole trout which leaves you with about 500 or 600g of flesh.
halve the recipe if you need to, the proportions work well and depend only on how much trout you have.
What you need
600g smoke trout flaked into small pieces
1 and 1/2 cups creme fraiche
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoon creamed horseradish sauce
2 spring onions finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Pop all of the ingredients except black pepper into a bowl and fold it all together to evenly distribute.
Season with some ground black pepper
Thats it, Done, a beautiful chunky pate that is as good as any you will have in any restaurant.
If you like your pate smoother, use a fork to break up the smoked trout.
You can also add in some finely chopped pickled cucumbers or just chop them up and serve them on the side, they go perfectly with the pate.
Serve with your favourite crackers, toasted rye bread, french loaf slices or the corn bread muffins
Corn Bread Muffins
I was lucky enough to be given a fantastic recipe book called “savour” by some great friends, thank you Chris and Natheera. A bunch of us are off to Dullstroom for the weekend and what would a trip trout fishing be without something delicious to pop into your bag or pocket while out on the water so I tested a few recipes from the book and this corn bread recipe is awesome. I made them as muffins and not mini loaves but you can make the recipe as a large loaf, mini loaves or even in a pie dish. Makes about 20 muffins or 6 mini loaves
They are so easy, take about 30 minutes in total from start to eating and taste fantastic. I also added a little chili to some of the muffins for a mate who loves chili.
What you need
1 cup corn meal (maize meal/pap or even polenta if you like them very yellow)
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons melted butter(45ml)
1 x green chili seeded and finely sliced (optional)
Heat your oven to 180 Celsius.
Take a little butter and grease your muffin tins well.
Now add the corn meal to a large mixing bowl and sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Turn the dry mix a couple of times with a metal spoon to mix all of the dry ingredients.
Now add the melted butter, honey, egg and yoghurt and gently stir it until combined. You don’t want to mix it vigorously, it just needs to be combined.
Spoon the mixture into the tins about 80% full ( add a few slices of chili to some of the muffins for the chili lovers if you like) and pop in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes or until you are able to poke it with a tooth pick and it comes out clean. (If using a pie dish or large loaf your baking time will be 30 – 35 minutes) The tops should be beautifully browned and the smell, well the smell…
Let them cool in the pans if you can resist!
I like mine with a generous amount of butter and honey but are also great with herb butter, cheese and preserved figs. Let your taste buds guide you, you are going to love these.
Potato Bake with mushrooms
There are few dishes that give you that home comfort feeling like a great potato bake and this one, which I recently served with a Prime Rib Roast and Melanzanewas such a huge hit I am being forced to make it again… very soon 🙂 Just gotta love it when people enjoy your food! (makes enough for 6 people) Use an ove dish that is about 30cmx20cmx8cm high or similar
The three dishes for the meal required a bit of planning because they were all done in the oven so prepare the melanzane first and into the oven, prepare the potato bake next and then leave them in the oven until almost cooked. Then remove them and pop the prime rib in the oven high up in the oven leaving the second rack on the bottom. When you are about 1/2 an hour from serving, pop the potato bake and the melanzane back into the oven.
What you need
5 Medium potatoes sliced thinly
2 medium onions sliced thinly
1 punnet button mushrooms sliced
2 x 250ml fresh cream
1 packet dry cream of mushroom soup
1 and 1/2 cups Good cheddar cheese for the topping
Place a layer of potato, then onion, then mushrooms, then about 1/3 of the mushroom soup, repeat until the dish is 3/4 full (should be 3 layers.
Now pour the cream over the top and cover with a layer of cheese.
Pop into the oven on 180 to 200 Celsius for 40 minutes or so and the top is golden brown and bubbling. Check that the potato is cooked through by poking with a knife.
This is seriously delicious for a braai, as a vegetable with a roast or just because you want something that reminds you of home if you are in a far flung place away from home.
This has been such a hit amongst my friends that I just had to feature it again. I served it with a Prime Rib Roast and potato bake with mushrooms – all in all a huge success.
I had the most incredible Melanzane at Fournos in Benmore the other day that was everything a Melanzane should be, Creamy eggplant layered with tomato and topped off with a nice crust of Parmesan. It was so delicious I had to go back and get another helping. Well here it is folks, the most awesome Melanzane Parmigiana you will ever have. You can have this as a meal on it’s own with a bit of French loaf and a side salad for a brilliant vegetarian meal or as a vegetable with your meat. You will need an oven dish that is about 22x20cm and about 6cm high. Makes 4 -6 portions.
What you need
2 large cloves garlic sliced
2 400g tins chopped peeled tomatoes
2 large egglants sliced (or 3 smaller ones)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Handful of fresh basil leaves (optional)
Salt and pepper
First off heat your oven to 180 Celsius.
Next put a small pot on the stove on medium to low heat and place both tins of tomatoes into the pot, stir and then leave to simmer while you prepare the eggplants.
Chop the ends off your eggplant and slice into 1-2cm thick pieces lengthways so you have these long strips of eggplant.
Place a generous amount of Olive oil into a pan on a medium heat and fry the garlic, remove and add to the tomato sauce. Now fry the eggplant slices until lightly golden on each side. Place on kitchen paper to drain. This should take about 3 minutes per side and is important not to rush, you want nice creamy eggplant.
While these are cooking stir and taste the tomato sauce adding a little salt and pepper to taste (I also add about 1 teaspoon of sugar which really does the trick). You want to reduce the liquid and have the tomatoes still a little chunky but soft and a thickened sauce. Toss in the basil leaves ripping them as you put them into the sauce.
Now take your oven dish and spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom, then cover with eggplant and another slightly thicker layer of sauce. Sprinkle over a small amount of Mozzarella and then repeat the process until you have used up all of the eggplant. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the top, sprinkle the last of the Mozzarella and then top off with every last piece of the Parmesan.
make sure you have a nice layer of Parmesan covering the top.
Place in your oven for about 40 minutes until you have a bubbling cheesy crust that has a little of the tomato sauce oozing through.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. This lets the cheesy crust harden a bit which makes all the difference.
Double or trebble this recipe with no problem at all!
Delicious Spicy Pork with Chorico
This Mediterranean style stew was really fantastic and you could use any spicy sausage if you don’t have chorico, even a good pork sausage would do the trick, just add a little paprika into the mix. It has plenty of sauce and the crushed grilled potatoes are the perfect side dish to pick up the sauce. Really, if you like pork and a bit of spice in your food, you are going to love this one, it’s perfect winter food. (makes 4 servings)
What you need
500g baby potatoes boiled
Salt and pepper
500g Pork fillet cut into bite size chunks
150g chorico or your favourite spicy sausage sliced
1 medium onion sliced
1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes (440g)
Pinch chili flakes (1/2 to 1 teaspoon depending on how spicy you like it)
Juice of 1 lemon
First off put you grill on and while that is heating crush each baby potato with you hand or a fork so that it splits and place on a baking tray. Season with salt and ground pepper and then drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over the potatoes and then place under the grill for about 10 minutes or so until nicely crisped up.
While that is happening place a pan on a medium to high heat, add a little oil and fry the pork pieces, tossing them about every so often until lightly browned all over and cooked through. Remove and set aside.
Fry the chorico in the same pan until you notice the fat being released. Now add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes tossing every now and then. You want them to start softening but not browning (add a tiny bit more oil if needed).
Now add the tomatoes, lemon juice, chili and sugar. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil, stir about for a bit and simmer for 10 minutes so that all of those flavours meld together beautifully and some of the liquid from the tomatoes evaporates. (Don’t forget to check your potatoes – remove them when ready0
Now add back the pork and simmer for another 2 minutes or so to heat it through.
Thats that, done and dusted… a delicious Mediterranean meal!
Forget every scone recipe you’ve ever read. This is the only one you’ll need! (Makes 12 – 15 scones) Recipe by Rozanne.
When these came out of the oven I left my office and drove over to try them. It was worth every second in the traffic. They truly are fantastic, this is one of those recipes your children will be asking you to leave them in your will!
What you need
4 x 250ml cake flour
Pinch of salt
30ml baking powder
120g butter, at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten to glaze
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and make sure the oven tray is in the middle of the oven. Prepare two baking trays by lining them with baking paper.
Sift the flour, salt and baking powder twice into a large bowl
Cut the butter into blocks and rub into the flour mixture with your finger tips. The mixture should look just like bread crumbs. Make sure there are no lumps of butter at all.
Add the sugar and mix around with your hands
In a small bowl, lightly combine the buttermilk and 1 egg. Add this to the flour mixture and mix together with a round bladed knife. Add just enough water to make a soft dough. (Make sure the dough is not sticky and do not over-mix)
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead very gently until a ball is formed.
Pat the dough out with your fingers until it is about 3 cm thick. Cut out the scones using a round, metal cutter and place onto the baking trays (leave 2 to 3 cm between each scone).
With the remaining egg, whisk it up lightly and brush a bit on top of each scone.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Always cut one open to check if they are completely cooked through, if not, immediately put them back in the oven for another 3 minutes.
Just a few hints
A lot of people tend to replace butter with margarine when baking because it’s a lot cheaper. NEVER do this when making scones. There is a huge difference between a delicious, light and fluffy butter scone and a horrible margarine scone.
Scones are not scones if they are not made with buttermilk. It is abominable to own such recipes. Tear them up. Now!!!!
Don’t ever forget to glaze your scones with egg before you bake them. The gloriously golden top is the best part.
Always serve your scones warm with butter, jam and a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream. Scrumptious!
When warming, NEVER put them in the microwave because they will go stodgy. Rather do it in the oven. It takes a bit longer, but definitely worth the wait!
Your scones are perfectly cooked when the sound hollow if you tap the bottom.
Chicken Coriander & Cashew nut curry
The marvellous thing about a curry is that you can adapt the recipe to suit you. Don’t be scared to add a few extra chillies if you like to be dripping with sweat while you eat. This recipe has a bit of a kick, but isn’t too hot at all! Recipe By Rozanne
This is a rich and seriously delicious curry that has plenty of gravy that is fantastic just on it’s own with a bit of rice. G
What you need
75g raw, unsalted cashew nuts
4 onions, chopped
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
3 small green chillies, deseeded and chopped 25g fresh coriander
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cardamon pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
4 garlic cloves, crushed
25g fresh ginger, grated
3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
Fresh lime/lemon to serve
Soak the nuts is 200 ml of cold water for 20 minutes.
Begin cooking, by frying the chopped onions in 2 tablespoons of the oil until soft and slightly browned.
Once the nuts are soft, place them (with the water) in a blender. Add the onions, chillies and coriander and blend until a thick paste is formed.
Place the remaining oil in a saucepan and, on a low heat, fry the spices, garlic and ginger for a few minutes. Add the nut paste and chicken cubes and mix well. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Add 200ml of water to the saucepan and simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Squeeze over lime juice and serve with fluffy basmati rice
Just a few hints
A curry just isn’t a curry without poppadoms. They’re so easy to prepare, so there is really no excuse! Just buy them from and food store and fry in a bit of oil. Be careful though, they burn quite easily.
Sambals are often served with some curries too. Add some to the side of this dish to make the meal more festive and exciting
Spinach & Feta Muffins
These muffins are awesome! Not only can they be made in advance, but they are so versatile and light that they can be served for breakfast, lunch and supper. In fact, they are the best Sunday-night supper for all you lazy buggars (like me) who couldn’t be bothered to cook after a wonderful weekend! – Recipe by Rozanne
Folks, these little guys are a must try and for a little change try adding a handful of cubed(about 1cm) a steamed butternut or even a little red pepper but probably the best of all is to add some cooked chopped bacon. They are fantastic and can be frozen and ready for you in minutes. G
What you need
100g baby spinach leaves
15ml baking powder
100g feta cheese
12 cherry tomatoes
Grease a muffin pan and preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Heat up the milk in a pot and add the baby spinach. Make sure the stove is on a low heat and cook until the spinach is wilted.
Cool the spinach and milk mixture slightly and blend it until smooth. This shouldn’t take long!
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Next, Crumble up the feta cheese and add it to the dry ingredients. Mix together until the feta is evenly distributed through the dry ingredients.
Add the egg and oil the the milky-spinach mixture fold it in gently. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until JUST combined. It’s very important that you don’t over-mix the batter to ensure light fluffy muffins.
Spoon the mixture into muffin pans and top each muffin with a fresh cherry tomato. Bake for approximately 20 mins and serve warm with lots of butter!
Just a little hint
These delicious muffins look really great if they are made in small terracotta pots (just make sure you grease them well).
Special Baked Fish
This is an absolute delight which brings back so many memories of family dinners. It is quite an unusual dish, but it is perfect when accompanied by a fresh, crunchy salad and wonderful, warm bread. So folks, here’s the secret… Serves 6, Recipe by Rozanne
G’s comments: What a delicious and easy recipe, it’s from about 20 years ago from a You magazine that I am sure many out there have been looking for. Enjoy it, it’s a winner.
What you need
600g hake fillets, deboned
Freshly ground black pepper
200ml fresh bread crumbs
1 onion, finely chopped
Half green or red pepper, diced
250g button mushrooms, sliced
Oil (preferably olive oil)
500ml plain yoghurt
1 extra large egg, whisked
2 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
125ml cheddar cheese, grated
Start off by heating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease a 29cm oven dish with butter (or, if you’re a weight watcher, spray with Spray&Cook).
Soak the fillets in the milk for about 10 minutes. Drain them off and season with salt and black pepper, and then roll the fillets in the fresh bread crumbs.
Arrange the fillets in the greased oven dish, making sure that they do not overlap too much.
Next, you need to sauté the onions, peppers and mushrooms in a small amount of oil until they are tender. Spoon evenly over all the hake fillets.
In a small bowl, mix the plain yoghurt and whisked egg together and, again, pour over the hake fillets.
Lastly, arrange the tomato slices on top of the fish and sprinkle over the cheddar cheese.
Bake for about 45 minutes (or until the egg mixture has set and the dish is slightly golden on top).