Ham and Cheese Waffles

Ham and Cheese Waffles

savory waffle

Waffles are something I seldom make and for some reason I always get back to them after a long weekend in Dullstrom where we always, without fail have a meal at Harry’s Pancakes. My favourite are the savoury pancakes so here is a waffle recipe that you will love. (makes 4 or 5 waffles)

To make this a sweet waffle, just substitute the cheese and ham in the mixture with one heaped tablespoon of sugar and thats it, you have a light waffle recipe that you can now add other goodies to like chocolate chips, add 50g, or berries, add 50g, you get the idea.

What you need

210g cake flour (1 3/4 cups sifted flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
25g grated cheddar cheese
25g chopped ham
3 large eggs seperated
70g melted butter
125ml milk

The process

Heat your waffle iron.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks stage and set aside.

Beat the Yolks in another bowl, then add the melted butter and the milk. Beat them lightly to combine.

Sift the cake flour and baking powder into a bowl and then toss in the salt, cheese and ham and make a well in the center. Add the egg yolks mixture and using a fork mix the ingredients together working from the center out. Don’t spend a lot of time mixing, just get it combined so there is no dry flour about.

Now add the egg whites and fold them in until they are evenly distributed. The batter may be a a bit streaky but this is how it should be.

Thats that, you are ready to make your waffles. I am a big fan of marmalade for a savory and sweet combination but you may want to make a cheese sauce that you add a handful of chopped ham to as well, it’s simply fantastic.

Other savory variations could be cheese and spring onions, bacon and almost anything… just get together your favorite flavours and set to it. You can also quite happily add a poached egg on top and then smother in cheese sauce and bacon. Hell I am getting seriously hungry typing this!

Milk Tart

Milk Tart

Milk Tart

Milk tart or Melk Tert is as South African as biltong and dry wors and this is one of those recipes you are going to want to bookmark, print or share so that you never lose it. Milk tart has been one of my favorite desserts for a very long time and I have tried quite a number of Millk Tart recipes and if you have been following these recipes for a while, you will know that the easier the better for me. It’s a goodie this one, try it.

What you need

Crust
110g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
5 tablespoons caster sugar
60g butter

Filling
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons maizena (cornflour)
2 tablespoons flour
500ml milk
100g sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Cinnamon

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius

On a low heat melt the butter for the pastry.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour baking powder and caster sugar for the crust and give it a mix to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the melted butter and use your fingers to mix it into the dry ingredients until you get it all sticking together in a crumbly shortbread kind of consistency with no flour left in the bowl.

Now take your pie dish (about 20cm circle) and press the pastry into the base and up the sides with an even thickness. Prick it with a fork about 4 or 5 times over the base and then pop it into the oven for about 12 minutes or so until the pastry is light brown. Remove and set aside.

While the pastry is browning get another mixing bowl and add the flour, maizena and eggs, whisk them together.

Now take a small pot on a medium heat and add the milk, sugar and salt. Heat until the sugar has completely dissolved and you are stirring continuously. The milk should be threatening to boil at this stage with small bubbles appearing around the edge (don’t let it boil).

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then pour the milk in a slow stream into the egg mixture while you whisk. It is really important to add the heat gradually while you whisk. This prevents lumps from forming and does not cook the egg too quickly(If there is someone nearby to help you, that is best)

The mixture will be thickening while you whisk and once you have finished adding all of the milk mixture, return everything to the pot over a medium to low heat and add the vanilla essence. Cook it for a few minutes stirring constantly(slowly) until the custard has thickened to a wonderful creamy texture.

Fill up your base with the custard filling, give it a good dusting with cinnamon and set it aside in a cool place to set. Then pop it in the fridge for about an hour before digging in.

I know it seems like a long recipe but it’s really not…. I just want you to really enjoy this one!

Mushroom tarts

Mushroom tarts

mushroom tarts

Mushroom tarts

These mushroom tarts are amazing, they are like little crustless quiches that you make in a muffin pan and are perfect for picnics, lunch boxes or something special for the road instead of sandwiches. You really must try these, they are fantastic and so easy. (makes 12)

What you need

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped
500g button mushrooms chopped
hand full of parsley chopped
salt and pepper

4 extra large eggs
200ml milk
125ml cream
125ml cheddar cheese grated

The process

Heat your oven to 180 Celsius

In a pan on a medium heat, melt the butter and add the oil. Toss in the onions and cook them until they are transparent but not browned.

Now add the mushrooms and parsley and cook until the mushrooms are beginning to brown on the edges. Give it a grind of black pepper and a pinch of salt and mix again.

Remove from the heat and lightly butter your muffin trays. Evenly distribute the mushroom mixture into each muffin and set aside.

Now whisk the eggs, milk and cream with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture equally over the mushroom mix that is in each muffin tin and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of each one.

Pop the tray into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The cheese will be melted and beginning to brown on the tops.

Remove from the oven and let them cool a little while before devouring. They keep for a day or two in the fridge but I doubt that will be an issue.

This is another recipe that you can have a ball with, use less mushrooms and add some bacon, spring onions or anything else that really grabs you. Serve a whole lot of different types at a party, you will be lauded I tell you. You can also fancy them up a bit by topping them with a little bit of green and adding a touch of balsamic reduction.

Try this mushroom soup recipe, its fantastic

Homemade chocolate rum truffles

Homemade chocolate rum truffles

homemade chocolate truffles

Chocolate rum truffles

These homemade chocolate truffles are not the usual very rich almost too chocolatey truffles, they have a little crunch and use cocoa not chocolate. They are absolutely sublime and can easily be made without the rum for kids and those who don’t like alcohol. The best thing about this recipe is that it is so simple and can be made your own very easily, add a few nuts or cherries, less biscuit and more coconut, you get the idea. Have fun making them!

What you need

125g butter at room temperature
250ml icing sugar
100ml cocoa powder
1 packet Marie biscuits (must be bakers Marie Biscuits)
125ml Apricot Jam
2 tablespoons rum
Dessicated coconut

The process

Take your Packet of Marie biscuits and crush them up into small pieces. I use a bottle or rolling pin to break them up.

Pop the butter into a mixing bowl and cream it with a spoon until the colour changes to a pale smooth consistency. It doesn’t take long but is really important.

Sift in the cocoa and icing sugar, add the jam and the rum and give it a mix. Now add the crushed Marie bisuits and mix to combine all of the ingredients well.

Place your coconut (you can alo use crushed nuts of some sort but coconut and rum work very well together) and place it onto a plate, them roll balls by taking a tablespoon size piece and rolling it in your palms.

Drop into the coconut and then place on a baking sheet. Repeat until there is only one piece left for the cook!

Pop the tray into the fridge for about 1/2 an hour. Store them in the fridge in a tupperware.

You don’t have to use the rum for those who want a non alcoholic version of these simply little truffles. Try some of the other choclate dessert recipes

Easy Baked Cheesecake

Easy Baked Cheesecake

Baked Cheesecake

Don’t let the few ingredients of this cheesecake recipe put you off, it is a really tasty baked cheesecake. I actually prerfer baked cheesecakes to fridge style cheesecakes, they just seem more posh and the custard powder in this one does wonders to the flavour. Cheesecake is not meant to be low fat and this one is no exception, so if you are dieting this one is not for you.

What you need

Crust

120g Flour
60g butter at room temp
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg

Cheesecake

500g smooth, full fat cream cheese
250ml full cream plain ypghurt
200g sugar
2 teaspoon custard powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 large eggs

The process

Start out by seeting your oven to 180 Celsius and have the rack on the middle shelf.

You need a 20cm round sprinform cake tin and must line the base with baking paper. Do this by removing the base, cutting a piece of baking paper the same size and then snap it back together.

Place all of the crust ingredients ingredient together into a food processor and blitz it until the dough forms a ball in the processor. You can also use one of those hand processors but you will need to knead it a little after it syarts balling.

Line the base of the tin and about 1/2 way up the sides of the tin with the dough. This can be a little tricky so try to get it as even as possible around the sides.

Clean out your processor and place all of the filling ingredients into your processor and blitz again for about 1 minute or until it is well mixed.

Pour over the pastry and then straight into the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. You will know it’s done when the top has cracked and the edges are slightly browned.

Let it cool down and then top it off with some sliced strawberries that you have covered in caster sugar and let stand for about 10 minutes.

The German baked Cheesecake is another real winner and then there is the no bake Blueberry cheesecake which you will love.

Chilli poppers

Chilli poppers

chilli poppers

Chilli Poppers

When you make chilli poppers you want them to have a nice crunchy exterior and a stingy cheese mixture inside that bursts in your mouth when you bite into them. Jalapeno peppers that have had the seeds removed are not very hot but do have a nice cleansing bite to them if you know what I mean. Try these, they are really amazing and favourites all over the place. Be sure you do not touch your eyes or your face while preparing the peppers, you will have water streaming down your face and you won’t be able to see, so scratch or touch all you need to first and then start. These can be done in the oven or deep fried.

What you need

12 to 16 large fresh jalapeno peppers with the stems still on (available at any good supermarket)
500g cream cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

The process

First make the filling by adding the cream cheese, cheddar and mozzarella with the pepper to a bowl and giving it a good mix. Set it aside.

Now with a sharp knife make an incision into the length of the pepper without cutting it in half and using the back of a teaspoon, remove the seeds and the membrane, leaving a nice clean cavity for the filling. DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES. When you have completed all of the peppers, throw out the seeds and the membranes and wash your hands well.

Now fill each pepper with as much of the cheese mixture as you can and set them side.

You now need three bowls, one with the beaten eggs and milk, one with the flour and another with the breadcrumbs.

Dip each pepper into the egg, shake and then coat in flour and set aside. This is a really important part… leave them for 5 minutes or so to let the flour set and harden slightly. Get another glass of wine, change the music, snuggle you child but whatever you do leave them for a few minutes.

Now dip them back into the egg and then dredge them in the breadcrumbs to get a nice uniform coating, you can pat the crumbs onto them as well and again set them aside while you heat your oil or oven.

If you are deep frying heat your oil to medium hot, they will sizzle the moment you put them in but will not be completely covered by the oil bubbles after a few seconds. Fry until golden brown and very crisp. Set aside on paper towel to drain. Do about 4 at a time so as not to cool down the oil too quickly.

If you are doing them in the oven, heat the oven to 220 Celsius, place the poppers on a baking tray that has been sprayed with cooking spray and bake until brown and crisp.

Simply delicious.

You can change the cheese mix to be your own special mixture by adding a spice like cumin for example or using more mozzarella and a stronger cheddar, you get the idea.

Marinated chicken skewers

Marinated chicken skewers

chicken skewers

Chicken skewers

This recipe for marinated chicken skewers was sent by a reader who had won a competition with the recipe and was kind enough to share it with us. Thank you Christine. I gave it a try and well, it is going to be on my braai menu from now on for sure. It turns out beautifully garlicy with a sweet and fiery aftertaste that is quite amazing. You just have to try it and best of all it’s so simple. (makes 6-8 skewers) I didn’t do it exactly as Christine did, I prefer to thread then marinade but you can marinade then thread if you like.

What you need

3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 teaspoons hot English mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
salt and pepper to taste

The process

Soak bamboo skewers in water while you prepare.

Mix together all of the marinade ingredients with a whisk and set aside.

Slice your chicken breasts through the center to butterfly them and then cut into 4 thin slices. Thread them onto a soaked skewer and place in a flat dish.

Pour the marinade over the skewers, roll them around a bit to ensure that they are completely covered with the marinade, cover with cling film and place in the fridge over night to marinade.

They were fabulous and as she suggests, the marinade can be used for wings or drumsticks as well. This along with the marinated pork ribs, sosaties and potato bake makes for a great braai.

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse

Easy chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse

In the past I have had a few chocolate mousse disasters but this recipe from a 1995 Bryanston high school recipe book I came across in the market some time ago turned out beautifully.  It’s really simple and needs to be made at least 2 hours before serving.. perfect. I made the chocolate mousse without alcohol but you can add you favorite liqueur to fancy it up a bit. (makes 6-8 ramekins)

What you need

3 eggs separated
2 tablespoons caster sugar
100g dark chocolate
125ml fresh cream
pinch of salt
(Optional 1 tablespoon of kahlua, brandy, amaretto or Baileys)

The process

Place a small pot of water on the stove to boil then place a glass bowl over the water but not touching it and melt the chocolate.

In a large bowl add the catser sugar and the egg yolks then use an electric beater to beat the mixture until it is thick and creamy.

Add the melted chocolate ensuring you get it all by using a baking spatula to clean the bowl. Beat again until well blended.

In a separate bowl whip the cream until stiff, add to the chocolate mixture and fold in using a metal spoon. Don’t mix it, just fold it in gently until evenly distributed.

Now take another bowl and add the egg whites and pinch of salt. Beat with your electric beater (be sure to clean the beaters) until stiff.

Add to the chocolate mixture and fold in with a metal spoon until colour is uniform. If you are using alcohol, this is the stage you add it, together with the beaten egg whites.

Spoon into cups or ramekins and chill in the fridge for a few hours. It will need at least 2 hours to set well.

You can grate over a bit more chocolate or add a mint sprig, a dollop of cream… you get the idea. Truly one of the easiest and nicest tasting chocolate mousse recipes I have tried.

Creamed spinach

Creamed spinach

creamed spinach recipe

Creamed spinach

Whenever you go to a restaurant these days there is always creamed spinach as a vegetable and I personally love it. A great creamed spinach recipe will even have the die hard anti vegetable kids… or adults for that matter climbing in and enjoying it so here is a really great creamed spinach recipe for you all to get your greens the easy way. It makes quite a lot, about 6 cups but can easily be frozen for another day or simply halve the recipe.

What you need

1/2 cup finely grated onion (you are going to cry!)
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese (don’t leave this out)
Pinch of finely ground black pepper or about 1/4 teaspoon
Pinch of salt
120g cream cheese
600g finely chopped cleaned spinach
butter
Olive oil

The process

Prepare all of your ingredients before you start cooking, it does not take long to cook and if you are using frozen chopped spinach, thaw it completely, place in a colander and allow all of the water to drain off, then give it a squeeze to remove the last bit of water. Dry your eyes if you grated the onion… after you washed your hands.

If you are using fresh spinach, bring a large pot of water to the boil, toss in the spinach and allow to blanch for no longer than 1 1/2 minutes, drain in a colander and give it a squeeze to remove the water.

In a large pot on a medium to high heat melt 2 heaped tablespoons butter with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and allow them to cook for about 4 or 5 minutes or so while you stir.

Add the flour and stir constantly for about another minute or two to cook the flour.

Add the milk in a slow stream while you mix very well. You need the flour to be combined well with the milk. Once it is all in, reduce your heat to low and keep stirring until you have a nice smooth mixture.

Add the parmesan and cream cheese, season with salt and pepper, combine well and then toss in the spinach. Use a folding motion to combine the spinach and creamy sauce, cook for a minute or two and you are done.

To freeze a batch, allow it to cool, place in a Jiffy bag, remove any air, seal and into the freezer. It is brilliant to have frozen for when you just don’t feel like cooking after a long day.

Lamb sosaties

Lamb sosaties

sosaties

Sosaties

Summer is here and a braai is just not quite the same without lamb sosaties. Here is a really fantastic sosatie recipe that you will want to print and keep for your weekend braais. This sosatie recipe uses dried apricots on the skewers but you don’t have to use them, they are just as good without. For me sosaties should not be hot so I use mild curry powder.(makes 8 sosaties) Feel free to double it up.

What you need

500g deboned and cubed lamb about 3cm cubes (leg or shoulder)
2 Onions, 1 grated and 1 cut into chunks for the skewers
Splash of Sunflower oil, about 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder (mild unless you like them hot)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 dried bay leaves
Juice of half a small lemon or about 1 tablespoon
100ml beef stock
125g dried apricots
1 large green or red pepper cut into squares (similar size to the meat cubes)
Wooden or bamboo skewers

The process

Soak the skewers in water while you cut up all of the ingredients, then thread the skewers with a piece of meat, an apricot, a piece of green pepper and a piece of onion, repeating until the kewers are full and faily well packed. (If you have fresh bay leaves, add one or two onto the skewers)

Place them in a large dish and prepare the marinade.

In a pan on a medium heat, add the oil and the butter, then add the grated onion, garlic and curry powder. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes or so, stirring every now and then.

Now add the turmeric, the lemon juice and the stock, bring it all to the boil, turn down the heat, add the sugar and bay leaves and simmer for about another 3 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Pour the whole lot over the sosaties, shake them about a bit to ensure that each sosatie is covered with the marinade, then cover with cling film and allow to marinate in the fridge over night.

In the morning, or before you go to bed, give them another shake about to cover the sosaties again.

Braai them over hot coals and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Yummy I tell you. (You can also use this sosatie recipe on chicken, it tastes marvelous as well)

Try the Bobotie recipe and the Pork rib marinade if you like this type of Traditional SA food.