Smoked Snoek or Trout pate

Smoked Snoek or Trout pate

Smoked snoek pate

Snoek pate is really a favourite of mine that I make whenever I am in the Cape. This is a really easy smoked fish pate recipe that works well with smoked trout or snoek. Don’t confuse smoked snoek with the dried and smoked version, you want a freshly smoked snoek that still has some moisture in it, it is not a stiff pate but an easy spreading pate.

What you need

250g smoke fish
2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons full fat double cream

Ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

The process

Remove the skin and flake the fish making sure there are no bones.

Add the fish and the butter to a blender and give it a quick blitz until combined and fairly smooth.

Now add the olive oil and lemon juice and blitz again for a few seconds to combine, it should be light and creamy at this stage.

Add the cream and give it another qfew seconds of blitzing to combine. Taste and season with cayenne pepper and black pepper. You may also want to add a little more lemon juice.

Place in a bowl, chill and serve with fresh finely chopped chives or parsley and crisp toast, brown bread or pita bread. Yuuuummmmy.

Alternatives: To make something really fancy, make the pate with smoked trout and then line little domes with smoked salmon (rub the inside of the dome with a little oil first), fill with the pate and pop into the fridge to set for a few hours, then turn them out. Simple and decadent.

Bringal and Red pepper pate

Bringal and Red pepper pate

brinjal pate

Brinjal pate

There are so many brinjals at the moment and they cost next to nothing so this is a great recipe to use them. It is vegetarian and a real winner that takes no time at all to make. It is a creamy delicious pate that I always slosh a good amount of olive over before serving. It’s a bit like Baba Ghanoush with fewer ingredients that has a wonderful fresh taste.

What you need

1 large brinjal
1 large red pepper seeds removed
1 large clove garlic
1 medium grated onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

The process

Cut the brinjal the red pepper(remove seeds from the pepper) in half.

Heat your oven to 200 Celsius, place the brinjal and red pepper into an oven proof dish with the oil, cover and bake until the brinjal is tender and soft.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Pull the skin off the red pepper and scoop the inside of the brinjal leaving the skin behind.

Pop it all into a blender and blitz until smooth.

Thats that, place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, top off with some fresh roughly chopped parsley and serve with melba toast, hot pita breads or whole wheat bread.

Sweetcorn Fritters

Sweetcorn Fritters

Sweetcorn Fritters

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 egg
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

The process

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.

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.

Buttermilk and bacon Cornbread

Buttermilk and bacon Cornbread

Buttermilk bacon Cornbread

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)

 

The process

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.

Braai day Buffalo wings

Braai day Buffalo wings

buffalo wings recipe

Buffalo wings

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
20ml tabasco
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg yolk

30 to 40 whole chicken wings (you can never have enough0

The process

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

Bar One Cheesecake

Bar One Cheesecake

Bar One Cheesecake

The beautiful marble effect that this creamy, smooth and tangy cheesecake has is undeniably unforgettable. This cake is definitely not low in calories, but every mouthful is worth it!

What you need

Crust

100 g marie biscuits
50 g demerara sugar
50 g butter (melted)
1 Bar One (42 grams) (place in the freezer for minimum 1 hour before use)

Bar One Sauce

6 Bar Ones
100 ml cream
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon very soft butter

Cheesecake

750 g smooth cream cheese
180 g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350 ml double thick cream

The process

Grease and line a round, 20 cm cake tin (NB: cake tin must have a removable base, and only line the bottom of the tin, not the sides)

Making the crust
Place Marie Biscuits in a plastic packet. Using a rolling pin, crush the biscuits until they become very fine crumbs.

Grate the bar one – this may be a very tedious task, but adds to the deliciousness of the cheesecake. Add the grated bar one and demerara sugar to the crushed Marie Biscuits and mix thoroughly.

Melt the butter in the microwave; add it to the Marie Biscuit and Bar One mixture. Mix well.

Place the biscuit mixture into the prepared cake tin and press down firmly, ensuring that the entire base is covered. Place in the fridge to set.

Making the Bar One Sauce
Fill a pot half way with hot water. Place on a hot stove and bring to the boil.

Once the water is boiling, pour the cream into a glass bowl and place the glass bowl on top of the pot to create a double boiler (NB: it is very important that the hot water does not touch the bottom of the glass bowl – the steam is used to heat up the cream and melt the chocolate).

Once the cream has been slightly heated, add the Bar Ones (two at a time). Mix with a whisk continuously until a smooth, fairly thick sauce is formed. Whisk in the soft butter and pinch of salt. Remove from heat and set aside.

Making the cheesecake
Using a whisk, mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract. Make sure the all the ingredients are well combined. Fold in the double cream.

Take the chilled crust out of the fridge and spoon a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture onto the crust. Spread evenly until the entire crust is covered, right up to the edge of the cake tin (NB: ensure that there are no air bubbles).

Take the Bar One sauce, whisk it up and generously drizzle it over the cream cheese mixture.

Continue making layers of the cream cheese mixture and Bar One sauce (remember to save some of the Bar One sauce to pour over the top of the cheesecake when it is complete.)

Leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.

Serving the Cheesecake
Take a sharp knife and slide it around the edge of the cake tin to loosen the cheesecake. Push the base of the cake tin up to detach it from the sides.

Serve and Enjoy! (NB: this cheese cake will not become extremely firm when it has set, but remains fairly light and soft. In order to cut it, use a sharp knife with a warm blade – place the blade in hot water for a few seconds and then dry it.)

Vanilla cup cakes

Vanilla cup cakes

Vanilla cup cakes

When you find a great sponge recipe it is something you are going to want to keep. Cup cakes are pure delight and when you top them with your favourite icing, fruit or shaved chocolate they can be as decadent as you need them to be. This is one of those recipes folks thanks to baked and delicious, so print it, bookmark it or copy and paste it, but whatever you do don’t pass it by. (makes 12 cup cakes)

What you need

The cupcakes

125g softened butter
125g caster sugar
2 large eggs beaten
125g self raising flour
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

The icing

75g softened butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
225g icing sugar
raspberries

The process

Pre heat your oven to 190 Celsius.

Beat together the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture light and fluffy.

Now take a whisk, add 1/2 the beaten eggs and whisk, then add the rest of the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the flour and whisk again to combine.

Now take a metal spoon, add the rest of the flour and fold it into the mixture. Add the milk and vanilla essence, give it a final few folds and then set aside while you lay out your cup cake papers onto a baking tray or muffin tin.

Spoon in equal amounts of the misture into each cup cake paper, pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes until beautifully risen and golden on top. It’s really important not to open the oven so resist the temptation.

Remove them from the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack while you prepare the icing.

For the icing, place the butter in a bowl and beat it until it is completely soft, now add the milk, vanilla extract and 1/2 the icing sugar. Beat it for at least a few minutes and then add the balance of the icing sugar and keep beating until it is light and fluffy.

If you are going to colour your icing, add the colouring now, drop by drop while mixing until you get the right colour.

Ice each cup cake with a generous portion of the butter cream icing and top off with fresh raspberries.

These are real winners folks, try them.

Baked and delicious offer a fantastic collection of step by step fully illustrated recipes that are completely foolproof so go on over to baked and delicious and check out what they have on offer. They have an introductory offer that gives you the binder and free gifts which includes a kitchen scale, check out the subscription offer.

Coffee and chocolate froth

Coffee and chocolate froth

Coffee froth

This has got to be one of the easiest desserts to make and is so versatile you just have to try it. Make it with Enrista’s 3 in 1 coffee of chocolate for Coffee froth or chocolate froth or a combination of the two. You can have it as it is or dress it up with whipped cream and fruit and a few chocolate shavings but the froth is awesome. Imagine an aerated creamy jelly, just try it you will love it. Makes enough for 8-10 people depending on how you dress it up.

What you need

1 380g tin Evaporated milk
2 sachets clear unflavoured gelatine (look in the jelly section for Sheridans)
2 strong Enrista 3 in one coffee
2 Enrista hot chocolate

The process

The first thing you need to do is pop the tin of evaporated milk into the fridge to chill. Pop it in, in the morning for when you are ready, you want it to be nice and cold.

Get 2 serving bowls for the 2 different flavours.

Take 2 small mixing bowls and add 200ml hot water from the kettle and melt the 2 coffee sachets in one and the two chocolate sachets in the other. Mix it up with a spoon to ensure that the contents are completely dissolved. Then add a sachet of the gelatine to each and mix to dissolve.

Now place the two bowls in a cool place to cool. Don’t put them in the fridge, we don’t want the jelatine to set, we want it to cool. In winter it takes about 10 minutes.

Once it’s cooled add the cold evaporated milk to a large bowl and with your electric beater, beat the hell out of it for about 5 minutes until it has increased in volume about 4 times and is fairly thick.

Now put half of the cold cream into another mixing bowl and add the cooled chocolate mixture, beat it well for another minute or so and then transfer into a serving bowl, do the same with the coffee and then pop them into the fridge for about 10 minutes to set.

That’s it, simple and delicious, not too sweet and a texture unlike anything you have tried.

The idea for this came from my mom who makes it with fruit flavoured jellies.

Quick apricot chicken pieces

Quick apricot chicken pieces

Apricot chicken pieces

This chicken recipe has got to be one of the easiest recipes I have ever come across, is seriously tasty and one of those easy recipes you can put together in minutes and please anyone. It’s an ideal weekday recipe when you feel like something really tasty but just want to put your feet up after a busy day at the office. A tip to save you time is to cook up a big pot of rice over the weekend, use what you want for the weekend meal and then to place portions of the cooked rice in bags and freeze it for whenever you need it. All you need to do is pop the frozen rice in a sieve over a pot of boiling water to thaw and you are ready in an instant. You can double or triple the chicken recipe without any problems, the only limiting factor is the size of your dish or roasting pan. (this is for 4 people)

What you need

10 Chicken thighs
1 cup chicken stock
1 heaped tablespoon smooth apricot jam
1 tablespoon mild curry powder
Handfull of dried soft apricots
Handfull of baby onions halved (optional but recommended)
Salt and pepper

The process

In a bowl whisk together the chicken stock, apricot jam and curry powder.

Place all of the chicken pieces, the apricots and onions into a bag, pour in the apricot marinade you have just whisked up, seal and set on the counter in a cool place for at least 1/2 an hour, longer is better.

While the chicken is marinading go and change, pour a glass of wine or crack open a beer, chat to the family, watch a bit of telly, you get the idea relax a bit you have pretty much already got the dinner sorted.

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius and place the chicken pieces in an oven proof dish or roasting pan and then pour over the remaining marinade. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes until nicely roasted and brown on top.

Done, serve with rice and frozen cooked peas or any green veg. To give the family all the veg they need, start them off with a bowl of the vegetable soup you made that you froze for just this sort of evening.

Another easy recipe is the Greek style chicken recipe from Jeremy Mansfield’s book Zhoosch which is really awesome.

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

onion soup

French onion soup

There is something very special about a good French onion soup and what I like best about it is the soaked toasted bread that floats to the top with it’s melted strong cheese and crisp edges on the bread. This is a classic French style soup that is great to have a small portion of before a meal. (makes 6 servings) You need soup bowls that can go in the oven.

What you need

2 tablespoons butter
1 kg yellow onions thinly sliced
4 1/2 cups veal stock
Salt and pepper

1 French loaf
Grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

The process

In a pot on a medium to low heat melt the butter and add the onions. Cook them slowly stirring every now and then until they are beautifully soft and beginning to colour. Now continue to cook them stirring frequently until they are a nice golden brown colour, this should take about 20 minutes.

Add the stock, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and leave to simmer for 20 minutes or so. Taste it now and add any additional seasoning.

Slice up the French loaf into rounds that are about 1 1/2cm thick and toast them on both sides by placing them under the grill in the oven.

Now place 2 or 3 slices of the toast into the bottom of each bowl and pour soup over the bread. The bread will float to the top and now you want to cover it with a generous amount of cheese, pop them under the frill and grill the cheese until bubbling and brown.

Serve immediately by placing the bowls on a side plate.

Hint: when covering with cheese try not to get any on the sides of the bowl, it will look like a bit of a mess when the cheese browns.

It’s wintery now so there are a whole host of soup recipes on the way.