I am a big time fritter fan with pumpkin fritters being a favourite of mine but I have to tell you these sweetcorn fritters are just fantastic. I had them as a breakfast after being tired of eggs and bacon/french toast and smothered them in maple syrup but they are generally used as a bed for smoked salmon with a little cream cheese instead of a rosti which makes a great starter or add a bit of parsley and chilli for great savoury any time snack. Either way, try these. (makes 8-10 sweetcorn fritters)
The inspiration for this recipe came from one of my favourite recipe books which is Lannice Snymans Tortoises and Tumbleweeds
What you need
1 tin creamed sweetcorn (340g tin)
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
In a large mixing bowl, add the egg and give it a light whisk, add the sweetcorn and give it a mix.
Sift in the flour and baking powder with a pinch of salt. Mix it all together and you are ready to fry them.
Heat a pan on a medium heat with about 1/2cm of oil in it and take heaped dessert spoon size blobs of the mixture fro each fritter. Fry the fritters until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Simple as that.
Smother in syrup and devour immediately or try one of these variations.
Savoury: Add a teaspoon of mustard to the egg mix, a grind of black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg to the flour for a perfect bed for smoked salmon, prosciutto or even an egg.
Hot: Add the above ingredients along with a handful of chopped parsley and a sliced red chili.
This chocolate cake uses hot milk and (I can’t tell you scientifically why it works out better, it just does, take it from me) in the recipe and just to add a little decadence to the cake I used both a chocolate icing on the outside and a meringue filling on the inside… It tastes just like melted marshmallow and who could not like that! If it is the last thing you do in the kitchen this year, make this fantastic chocolate cake. (2 x 19 or 20cm diameter cake tins)
What You Need
2 cups of cake flour
2 tablespoons of butter
1.5 cups sugar
4 teaspoons of baking powder
250 ml hot milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ml of salt
Use this easy Meringue recipe. I mean it there is nothing to it.
You will have some left over so once you are done, make a small batch of meringues.
Preheat oven to 180⁰C.
Grease the cake tins with a little butter and make sure you get it into every little nook and cranny. Move the separator thingy(not sure what you call it) if you are using older cake tins and set them aside.
Crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl and give them a good beat with your electric mixer.
Add in the sugar and beat the hell out of them until they are light and fluffy, set aside.
Take a large mixing bowl and sift the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder and cocoa, together into a large bowl and set aside. You are almost ready to finish off.
In a pot on a medium heat, add the butter and milk and heat until you see bubbles forming around the edges. Let it bubble away for about 30 seconds.
Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and fold with a metal spoon until well combined.
Add the hot milk and butter to the mixture and mix well.
Now you are ready to finish. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tins a few minutes then onto a rack to cool.
Sandwich the cakes with the meringue mixture (seen here), fresh whipped cream and Raspberry jam(done it and it’s delicious) or caramel(done and very sweet but seriously delicious) and ice with a rich chocolate frosting.
If you have ever had Teriyaki chicken at a Japanese restaurant, this is as close as it gets and if you have not yet tried Teriyaki chicken, you want to try it, it is very simple and incredibly tasty.
When you serve this up to your friends or family they are going to Love it and the best part is that it takes just a few minutes and is no effort at all. It’s all about the marinade and the Mirin is a must, so pop into your local Chinese deli and grab a bottle.
This marinade works brilliantly for chicken skewers on the braai as well, just do them near the end of the cooking so that the coals are not too hot.
Serve it over a salad or with fried rice, either way you have a fabulous meal in minutes. (4 people)
What you need
4 chicken breasts skinless boneless or 6-8 thigh fillets (I prefer thighs)
1 onion finely sliced
4 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
6 Tablespoons light soy sauce
6 Tablespoons mirin
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 Teaspoon ginger juice or finely grated ginger
Place all of the marinade ingredients into a bowl and give it a good stir to dissolve the sugar.
Pat your chicken dry with a tea towel and slice into strips about 1cm in wide.
Add the chicken to the marinade, cover with cling film, shake it about to coat each piece with marinade and set aside.
In a pan on a medium heat, add a little oil, toss in the onions and slowly cook them until they are translucent and soft. Try not to brown the edges, then remove and set aside.
Wipe the pan, add a little more oil and now cook the chicken pieces in 3 or 4 batches on the same heat until nivcely browned on both sides. They will brown quite quickly as the sugar caramelises. Don’t fret if you think they are not cooked through.
Once you have browned all of the pieces, add them back to the pan, pour in the remaining marinade, put on a lid, and leave it to simmer for a 3 minutes. Now remove the lid, add the onions, stir and simmer for another 3 minutes or so until the sauc e begins to thicken.
Thats it, you are done and this is seriously delicious. Drape over rice or salad.
Buttermilk bacon Cornbread
I reckon cornbread is about as South African as you can get but seldom see it anywhere. Just as an aside, when you next make pap for the braai, add a tin of sweetcorn about 20 minutes before you serve it, it’s really great.
back to the cornbread. This cornbread recipe uses whole kernels which I like as a sweet pop in the mouth as you are munching your way through it. The buttermilk makes a huge difference so don’t be tempted to substitute and if you are a bacon fan like me, put a few strips of bacon over the top… YUM. It’s been so hot lately and is definitely braai time, but try it with a stew like the tomato Bredie or as a side with the Greek style Lamb shanks, it’s a real winner. Makes a large loaf, I use a 23x23x9cm (approximate) tin
What you need
2 cups cake flour
1 cup white corn meal (mielie meal)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
100ml vegetable/sunflower oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup corn kernels (not sweetcorn0
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 packet (125g) streaky bacon cut into pieces (optional)
Heat your oven to 200 Celsius and grease your tin well with butter, don’t be shy with the butter.
In a large bowl add the flour, mealie meal, salt and baking powder, make a well in the center.
In another bowl add the buttermilk, oil and egg, give it a really good whisk and then pour into the well in the dry ingredients and mix well to combine everything.
Now add the corn kernels and the cheese and use a folding motion to distribute the corn and cheese evenly.
Pour the mixture into the greased tin, cover the top with the bits of bacon(if you are using bacon) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is beautifully browned and the bacon sizzling.
Let it cool for about 10 minutes in the tin (if you can) before you remove it or you can serve it straight from the tin.
I saw these little beauties being made on television and just had to give them a try them, they looked so simple and in reality were not far off so you can happily call this an easy chocolate tart recipe. It looks complicated but once you get started you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. When you have added the cream and the raspberries it is just so perfectly delicious you will battle to keep your friends at bay.
It makes 4 x 11cm diameter tartlets and I found 1/2 to be enough per person but if you have some srious chocolate loving mates, give them a whole one. It’s really important to measure the ingredients, so get out your scale or stop in at your local supermarket to buy one.
What you need
240g cake flour
Pinch of salt (1/4 teaspoon)
160ml fresh full fat cream
180g dark chocolate, finely chopped
On the side
1 punnet raspberries/strawberries
250ml thick cream (full fat)
1 tbs caster sugar
Use a food processor for the pastry, it is very straight forward.
Take the flour, butter and salt and pop it into your food processor. Blitz it intermittently a few times and then give it a good blitzing until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add a tablespoon of cold water and then blitz again for 20 seconds or so, the dough will start to stick together and now it is done.
Tip onto a cool surface sprinkled with a little flour and bring it together into a ball. Don’t knead it, just form it. Now cover with cling film and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes (a littkle longer is not a problem).
Now take the dough and place onto a floured surface and with a rolling pin roll it out nice and thin, 3mm is about what you are looking for. The real trick is in the lining of the tart tins, you want to line them loosely so that when they cook they do not shrink too much. Line the tins and then prick the bases a few times with a fork and then pop them in the fridge again.
Take the chopped up chocolate and place in a glass mixing bowl that has been warmed and dried (just pour a little boiling water into it and then dry it). Add the cream and butter to a pot and heat slowly until the butter has melted and steam is coming off the cream. Pour the cream into the chocolate and mix gently until all of the chocolate has melted, voila.. chocolate filling.
Take the tins from the fridge, line with baking paper and fill with ceramic beads or dry beans (I got my tins and beads from Kitchenique in Woodmead, you want the ones with the loose bases) and bake them for about 7-8 minutes in a 180 Celsius oven. Remove the baking paper and beads and bake for another 10 minutes or until the pastry has a golden brown edge. Allow them to cool before removing the pastry.
Once cooled, distribute the chocolate evenly between the 4 pastry cases and your tarts are ready.
Whip some cream and place on the side topped with the berries. Bloody marvelous I tell you!
Dont forget to see what competitions and giveaways there are, you just never know!
It’s National Braai day on Saturday so get out your braai and head off to the supermarket for a whole bunch of chicken wings. These Buffalo wings are simply lip smacking delicious and will be on my braai tomorrow for sure. I may also make the Greek chicken pieces which are seriously easy and OH soo good.
If you like your buffalo wings nice and spicy add some more tabasco or a teaspoon or two of chili flakes to the marinade or leave the tabasco out of you are not feeling fiery.
This marinade works just as well with drumsticks and thighs so keep it as an any day chicken braai marinade.
Happy braai day all.
What you need
200ml Allgold tomato sauce
100ml soy sauce
100ml Vegetable oil
50ml Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg yolk
30 to 40 whole chicken wings (you can never have enough0
Joint the chicken wings removing the wing tips and separating each wing into 2 pieces, a mini drumstick looking piece and the middle piece. Toss out the wing tips or freeze them to make a chicken stock when you have enough.
Add all of the marinade ingredients to a large bowl and give a good thorough whisk.
Add the chicken wings and get your hands in there to mix it all up so that every chicken piece is coated in the marinade. Cover the bowl and place them in the fridge overnight or for up to 2 days.
If you are doing them in the oven, cover a grill with tin foil, place the grill in the roasting pan and then lay out your chicken winglets. Cook them under the grill until the skin is blistering and you notice dark patches on the ends. Turn them and grill until the other side is equally blistered and crisp. Take them out of the oven, toss back into the remaining marinade and with a wooden spoon give them all a last little coating. Then back onto the grill, reduce the oven to 180 Celsius and leave them to crisp up for about 15 minutes.
If you are doing them on the braai get your coals nice and hot so that the wings give off a nice sizzle when placed onto the grill. This can be quite challenging if you have a grill that has spaces large enough for a winglet to fall through but fear not, a piece of chicken wire placed over the grill does the trick. Move them around frequently until they are beautifully crisp and then back into the remaining marinade to before serving.
These are really lip smacking delicious and with National Braai day on Saturday, you have got to give them a go and never forget the chicken skewer recipe
Chicken Cacciatore has got to be one of the best recipes when you are entertaining. It is a sophisticated and very tasty dish that is easy to make and never fails to please. It is one of those dishes that you need to keep as an easy backup recipe for anytime entertaining, it uses sage and rosemary which are just fabulous with chicken so when you next want to impress with no hassle at all, give this ChickenCacciatore recipe a try. This is not a traditional cacciatore because I really love red peppers and add them in but you can happily leave them out (perfect for 4 or 5 people)
What you need
3 teaspoons crushed garlic
6 fresh sage leaves
1 pinch of fresh rosemary (should be about 10 leaves or so)
1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes (optional)
2 red peppers sliced
10-12 chicken pieces – legs and thighs (can be done skin on or off)
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 x 420g cans chopped tomatoes
In a heavy based pan on a medium to low heat, add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil, toss in the garlic, rosemary and sage leaves. Allow them to cook for about 30 seconds or so and then, if you are adding a little heatto your cacciatore, toss in the chili flakes and cook them for another minute or so.
Now increase the heat to medium high and brown your chicken pieces on both sides. This should take about 10 minutes or so. Add the red peppers and allow to cook for another 10 minutes, giving them a stir from time to time.
Once the chicken pieces are nicely browned and the peppers are beginning to soften add the wine and the olives, give it a stir and allow to simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half or even more. This should take about another 10 minutes or so and you should move the chicken pieces around every now and then.
Now stir in the tomato puree, add the tomatoes and a little extra liquid (water) if need be, reduce the heat to medium and leave to simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on.
If you are preparing ahead you can now remove from the heat until about 1/2 an hour before you are ready to serve. When you are ready, place on a medium to high heat, bring to a simmer and allow it to simmer with the lid off for another 20 minutes or so until the sauce has thickened a little and the liquid reduced.
Season with salt and pepper, taste, stir, taste, ok thats enough now… Serve.
This is great to serve with rice, mashed potatoes or crushed potatoes and a side salad. Try a few of the other easy chicken recipes.
Carpaccio is a perfect hot weather starter and a few weeks ago I made it for a dinner party along with the Eton Mess as a dessert and it went down so well I will be doing it again and again. The main was a slow roasted pork belly done by a mate of mine who is legendary with pork.
The best part of this recipe is that it is so simple, takes so little effort and is incredibly delicious. You do need a very sharp knife for this one, without it you will battle. You need about about 50g of meat per person maximum and depending on how thin you cut it. I didnt have the time to let it freeze so mine was a bit thicker than normal and quite difficult to cut but went down just as well. (8-10 people)
What you need
500g Fillet steak trimmed of any fat
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (you want quite a hard piece so go to a good deli)
Salad greens (lettuse, rocket, red leaves, basil)
Baby tomatoes halved
Cover a chopping board with a nice layer of salt, pepper and sprinkle of paprika. Roll your fillet over the salt mixture giving it a nice coat all over.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan to very hot and sear the fillet so that the entire outside is beautifully golden all over. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for about ten minutes.
Now wrap it up tightly in some cling film and pop it into the freezer for about 2 hours or until about 15 mins before you are going to serve.
When you are ready to serve take it out of the freezer and set it aside while you prepare the platters by tearing the greens and placing the tomatoes all over the platter.
Now unwrap your fillet and with a very sharp knife cut thin slices and place them all over the greens.
Now take your parmesan and with a potato peeler slice up a whole lot of thin pieces and place them on top of the carpaccio.
Drizzle generously with olive oil and give the whole platter a good grind of black pepper and salt. For something really special get a bottle of capers in brine and sprinkle a few over the top.
It’s really yummy folks, give it a go on a special occasion.
The secret to a great baked potato is the heat of the oven.
Baked or jacket potatoes as some prefer to call them are so under rated, they can be delicious, complete meals if you bake them properly and have a fabulous filling.
To make the perfect jacket potato and by that I mean, steamy soft and fluffy on the inside and crisp on the outside, this is what you need to do.
Take 4 to 6 large baking potatoes, scrub them clean and poke them with a fork all over about 5 or 6 times. Place them in a hot oven(200C) for about 50 minutes to 1 hour. They will be just perfect, a crisp outer skin and steamy soft inside.
If you want a quicker meal, poke them and then simply microwave them for 10-15 minutes first (all together) and then place them in the 200 Celsius oven for about 15-20 minutes, they will be just as good.
I generally make fillings with leftovers, like chicken, bolognaise sauce or whatever you have.
Cut the potato length wise or a cross along the top and heap over your filling. Serve with a green salad or coleslaw.
We all have certain favorite flavours, here are 2 of my favorites to fill jacket potatoes.
Chicken and spring onion
Chop up your leftover chicken(or cook boneless breasts or thighs), thinly slice a few spring onions and mix together with some cottage cheese and a generous grind of pepper and a little salt.
Whenever I make bolognese sauce I always make a bit extra. Spoon over plenty of bolognaise sauce, grate some cheese over the top and place under the grill for a few minutes.
There are endless fillings you can use for baked potatoes and are a great way to use up leftovers or vegetables when there is not enough to make a meal.
I often stir fry vegetables like onions, peppers, cabbage and patty pans when I only have a few of each left, cover the potato, top them off with cheese and pop under the grill.
Tonight, delve into your fridge and take out all of the leftovers or bits and pieces of vegetables that you will probably end up throwing away and make yourself a delicious baked potato.
Chicken mushroom casserole
Folks, here is a really fantastic one pot chicken meal that is just what I like, very little mess, short preparation, delicious and made with ingredients that most of you should have in your homes. The only thing you may need to go out and buy are the fresh herbs and if thats the case consider buying already potted herbs from the supermarket that you can pop onto your windowsill for any time fresh herbs. It does contain wine which makes a huge difference to the flavour and for those of you who would like to substitute the wine, pop over to Woolies or your closest good deli and get a bottle of verjuice.
It’s a rustic kind of meal that does not require fine dicing or anything fancy, it’s home cooking through and through.(for 4 hungry people like me or 6 quite happily)
What you need
8-10 chicken pieces or 1 whole chicken cut up
1 large onion roughly chopped
2 celery sticks roughly chopped
400g button mushrooms halved/quartered depending on size
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 litre chicken stock (hot)
350ml red wine
150ml full fat cream
Salt and black pepper
Fresh thyme, rosemary and a bayleaf
Tarragon and parsley roughly chopped
6 spring onions finely sliced
The best way to do it is in a cast iron casserole dish and if you don’t have one you are going to need a pan as well.
Place the cast iron casserole/pan on a high heat and add about 2/3 tablespoon of oil and brown your chicken pieces on both sides. You can leave the skin on but if you are everese to skin in your meal, take it off. remove the browned pieces and set aside.
Now reduce the heat to medium and take the pot off the heat while you get your onion, garlic, celery and carrots together. Place the pot back on the heat and toss in the ingredients, give them a few stirs and then toss in the thyme, rosemary and bayleaf and allow to cook for about 3 minutes giving it a stir every now and then.
Pour in the wine or verjuice slowly now and bring it to a simmer. Let it simmer until the bubbles have reduced in size which will tell you that it has reduced and the alcohol burned off. Now pour in your hot stock and bring to a fast boil, toss in your chicken pieces and reduce the heat to medium, put on the lid and allow to cook for 30 minutes. If you are using a corningware casserole dish, place the chicken in the dish, pour over the liquid and veg and into a 180 Celsius oven for 30 minutes.
Now remove the lid, add the cream, stir, add the mushrooms, stir and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid off. Taste and season.
A minute or two before serving add the spring onions tarragon and parsley, stir it in and thats it you are done, serve with mashed potato. It may look like a lot, but it’s very straight forward, so give it a shot and enjoy.
Variations: add about 100g of chopped bacon (added into my one) when you cook the onions. Also add a handful of par cooked potatoes when you add the stock for a complete meal. Add a cup of peas or beans that have been chopped with the mushrooms.