Sunday Afternoon Poitjiekos and Cannellini Bean & Beetroot Salad

Poitjie is such a South Africa tradition, and personally one of my favourit meals to prepare. I love doing a great poitjie, and have been lacking in doing so since we moved into the flat.

A little history on the poitjie…The round potbellied cast iron pot was the perfect cooking utensil to suit the nomadic lifestyle of the black tribes and the Voortrekkers during the 17th and 18th centuries. Potjiekos evolved as a stew, made of venison and vegetables (if the latter were available). The pot with its contents protected by a layer of fat was hooked under the wagon by the Voortrekkers while travelling and unhooked at the next stop to be put on the fire again.

When the wagons stopped at the end of the day and camp was made, game was stewed and sometimes mutton, goat or old oxen when available. As each new animal was shot, it was slaughtered and the meat added to the pot, together with whatever vegetables that could be found. The large bones were added replacing the old ones, to thicken the stew. Surplus meat was preserved by seasoning and drying.

So on my day off, I thought I would do a little poitjie. The first step to a good poitjie is to burn the pot. Wash it thoroughly, then place it back on the fire to get it really hot before cooking again.

The best part about a poitjie is that you can add whatever meat and vegetables you wish to add, and your cooking liquid is all up to you. I used beef with red wine. Another great combo I love is chicken and beer poitjie.

Now what does one serve with a poitjie? Well, traditionally it would be “pap” or dumplings and in many homes it is rice. I also served one of my cannellini bean salads, which was actually very nice. The cannellini bean’s meatiness worked really well with the poitjie, and you could even add it directly to the poitjie, however, I rather did a salad.

Cannellini & Beetroot salad

2 cups cannellini beans, leftover night to soak, and boiled until soft
fresh beetroot, boiled until soft
Danish feta
fresh rosemary
balsamic reduction

Add all together, ensure your beetroot is cooled properly before you add to the salad.

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Sunday Roast and Place In The Sun Shiraz…

I think a Sunday roast is a luxury that we tend to take for granted. Having Sunday off, I thought that would be exactly what I would do, although I didn’t do a traditional roast as such. I made a deboned leg of lamb, with roasted vegetables, with a cous cous salad and green salad.

I have had this cut of lamb in the freezer for a while, slightly to big to just have for 2 people, so I have had to wait for the right occasion. Sunday roast sounded like the perfect occasion!

Deboned Leg of Lamb Roast

Leg of lamb

olive oil
rosemary
garlic
salt
pepper
lemon juice

Make a marinade from all the ingredients, and rub onto the meat. Place in fridge for about an hour, if you have the time, you can do this the night before and leave it in the fridge over night. Remove from fridge and let stand to come to room temperature before you place in oven.
Preheat the oven to 160° C
Place marinated lamb into a roasting pan, cover with two sheets of tinfoil and into the oven for 3 hours.
Remove from oven and take the lamb out of the roasting pan. Let rest on a cool surface until room temperature.
Take the all juices from the pan and place into a pot, and bring to boil, add a glass of red wine and let cook out over a medium heat.
Place lamb back into roasting tray with vegetables and potatoes. Drizzled vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herbs of choice, I used mixed herbs.
Place back into the oven at 180° C for 45 minutes, uncovered.
Remember to let lamb rest again before you start slicing it.

Cous Cous Salad

we all know my great love for cous cous, this one I just fine diced whatever I had in my fridge.
Tomato, pickled onions, peaches, feta, pumpkin seeds , Verlaque mango chilli dressing and fresh parsley.
We enjoyed this roast with my MIL & FIL, a small thank you to them for all the help they gave with the wedding.

We got a bottle of wine from friends for Justin’s birthday, it was a wine I didn’t know, so we thought we would open that too, and wow, was I blown away. What a lovely bottle of wine, called Place in the Sun. So I did some research on this wine, and I have to say, I am very impressed, will be drinking more Place In The Sun Wines thats for sure!

our honeymoon continues…

Driving back in the direction of home, I decided I had to have a braai mealie. There were these ladies standing along the side of the road, with little fires, braaing mealies, which just blew my mind…street food at ts best. Justin was very skeptical, and decided not to enjoy a road side braai mealie, I did and let me tell you, it was wonderful!!!!


Continuing on our honeymoon, we spent a night in a place called Cintsa, we stayed in a little backpackers which showed me a side of my wonderful husband that I never knew.

I have had the pleasure of backpacking before, it’s how I managed to travel 30 states while I was in the USA, was the cheapest option, and those who have backpacked before know, not always the most hygienic or private. I shared dorm rooms with 15 other people, from all over the world, this time, we did a private room, which claimed to be “en suit”. Well, let me tell you…the view was nice.

We were treated to a “Mexican Feast” which consisted of tortilla wraps, mince out of a pot, crushed kidney beans, guacamole, ice berg lettuce and a coleslaw…or something to the likes of coleslaw. It was tasteless, but I know to many of the people there, it was a feast compared to their diet of 2 minute noodles and brown bread. For us…it filled us so we could go sleep! My lovely husband had a sensory over load, just watching these people and the interaction of all these travellers. But…having said all that….the view was beautiful!

Our last day of honeymoon was spent at Shamwari Game Reserve, which was wonderful, again, the food was exquisite, the service was wonderful, and we had the most wonderful ranger who took us on the game drives. We saw so many animals, and the sunset was wonderful.

One of the highlights of the trip was a starter I had at Shamwari. Ostrich carpaccio on a bed of rocket, roasted onions, green fig, parmesan drizzled with olive oil. It was amazing! So simple, yet wonderful.

Coming home was very sad, I loved spending a week with my husband, away, just the two of us, starting our married life with nothing but unconditional love and happiness together.

Sunday Lunch at Hankey Hotel

I don’t often write about a place I have eaten at, unless I am completely blown away, or I am horribly disappointed. In this case, The Hankey Hotel just blew me away…I don’t often get the chance to go off the beaten track, so when I do, I grasp it with both hands.

The Hankey Hotel is in the little town of Hankey, in the Eastern Cape, not far from where I currently live. Having heard so much about the Sunday Lunch Buffet that gets served at this establishment, and all the praise it gets, I was determined to experience it for myself. Let me tell you, it’s such a gem.

The owner, Mario, welcomes you shows you through to the bar for a pre lunch drink, the doors to the hall where the food is served only opens at 12:30 on the dot, there is only one sitting, so you arrive a little early and you enjoy a drink in the real small town type bar. The bar is so quaint, with 2L bottles as opposed to the 330ml cans we are so use to, and beer in cans ( I can honestly not remember the last time I saw a beer in a can.) Mario then comes around to each table and tells us that they are ready and we may go through.

The dinning room is exactly that…a large dinning hall, the type that would remind you of your assembly’s in primary school. In the one corner there is a grand piano, and a gentleman on a guitar who gets your foot tapping happily along to the classics. You are then once again welcomed by Mario, who proceeds to explain the way the buffet works. You typical course for course, but all set out in buffet style, with the mismatched plates and service gear…I have to admit, it was absolutely charming.

Starters consist of choices of either minestrone soup or fish soup, served with rosterkook, or a choice of brown or white farmstyle bread.
Mario and his lovely wife do all the cleaning of the tables, they cook and serve, and are just gracious hosts! They know everyone by their first name and make you feel so welcome.

Then comes your fish course with your salads, on offer were a garden salad, curried pineapples, smoked snoek, mussels in half shell with a creamy sauce or crumbed, pickled fish, snoek kookies, fish nuggets, deep fried calamari, deep fried fish, potato salad, beetroot and an arrangements of little sauces.

After your fish course, you are encouraged to the hot mains. Mario knew that my father in law wanted “afval” and therefore brought him a small portion, it is not always available, but he knew we were coming so he made a plan. Other than the afval, which is on my list of “no no’s” there was so much on offer. Creamed spinach, cinnamon pumpkin, cauliflower, green beans, sweet carrots, rice, roast chicken, roast pork, beef stirfry, brisket and roast potatoes, which Mario refers to as His Roast Potatoes, and were delicious!

In the middle of mains, Mario too a break from clearing tables and climbed on the grand piano and proceeded to entertain us with his musical ways accompanied by the gentleman with his guitar, the atmosphere was so friendly, so family orientated, took me back to the days when I grew up in Vryburg and our Sunday lunches which was also such a large affair, with all the food and family. The home cooked meal vibe took me far back into my childhood, my grandparents and how, at the age of 8 I would sit and watch my father cook like this.

Dessert, which is not really my forte, but I had to go and try because of the peppermint fridge tart which I have been told about, consisted of another large selection. Along with the peppermint tart, there was a lemon meringue, marshmallow and pineapple tart, banana tart, fruit salad, sago pudding, jelly and custard and last but not least, poached pears.

This spread of home cooked food sets you back R100 per person. I can say, very well worth it! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. If you are in the area on a Sunday, I would recommend a visit! Contact Mario +27 (0) 42 284 0325

Pork Neck stuffed with Rooibos & Brandy infused Dried Fruit

I know I have been neglecting my site; I am going to try get that sorted out soon!!!!  Forgive me!

I have just been so crazy busy, my Head Chef went on leave, his wife just had their 2nd child, so a very warm welcome to the new bundle of joy, who join the family.

While he has been away, I have been holding down the fort, let me tell you, harder than I expected, and I am really looking forward to his return so we can share the work load again.

The property I come from, although I was head chef there and did the job with ease, it is much smaller than this one, and along with having to run a halfway house, a main kitchen doing al la cart breakfasts and lunches, Monday Night Easy Dinner, and Wednesday Night Curry Evening, I also have to do functions for golf groups and feed a daily staff of about 40 people.

And then of course the bane of any chef’s existence, the paperwork and random admin duties that needs to be done and kept up to date. So its been a challenge, a learning curve and I have embraced every moment of it, and loved it, knowing that I am only learning more and more…and living the dream!

As all my followers know…”signature” ingredients are

Brandy, Cumin, Rooibos, Cilantro, and now my new one is Jack Daniels!

Not all together I might add, but these are referred to as my signature ingredients.

So when I had to think of a menu for this month, I wanted to see where I could throw in my signature and really make my own identity here…and one of the dishes I did stood out the most for me…personally and for a lot of people!

Pork Neck stuffed with Rooibos & Brandy infused Dried Fruit

Pork neck, deboned
Dried fruit (infused in the Rooibos & Brandy Syrup)
Rosemary
Garlic
Salt & Pepper

To make the Rooibos & Honey Syrup

Rooibos tea bags
Brandy
Honey
Lemon Juice
Vanilla Pod
Sugar
Water, enough to just cover the sugar

Just place all the ingredients into a saucepan, and let simmer for about and hour

Then, soak your fruit in the cooled syrup overnight.

When you are ready to make the magic happen, cut a pocket into your pork neck, and rub some garlic, rosemary and seasoning, place fruit into pocket, and tie up with butchers string.

Roast in the oven @ 180 C; keep basting it with the left over syrup, until cooked.

I find Pork is such an underrated meat, and I understand the religious aspect of not eating pork (I lived strictly Kosher for 3 years), but you can do such amazing things with this cut.

Don’t knock it until you have tried it!

 
Last night I did a jack Daniels marinated rump on the spit…more about that later!

Milkstout Ice – Cream

I got this idea a while ago, I first used Amarula, but then I had a trainee who put me onto the idea of milkstout. I have used this in a few of my functions, used it on Monday night again, and just made me realize that I have not published the recipe on this blog. I have tweaked this a little more to my own personal liking…this is so easy and never fails!

So here it is:

Milkstout Ice – Cream

3 tbsp nespray powder milk
1 can milkstout beer
1 tin condensed milk
3 cups double cream

Beat cream to a stiff consistency, careful you don’t want to make butter

Mix powder milk, condensed milk and milkstout together until smooth

Add mixture to cream

Place in freezer over night, you will need at least 10 hours to chill this. Once you start using it, it starts to melt quickly and takes time to freeze again.

This is a wonderful combination with deep rich chocolate.

You can replace the milkstout with other flavors as well – Amarula, Cape Velvet, flavored liqueurs – strawberry liqueur with chopped fresh strawberries. The possibilities are endless!!! Go wild, be creative!

Go as far as using less liquid, and it can be turned into a lovely cream icing for your favorite chocolate cake. It is simple, easy and oh so versatile! And that is what I believe cooking should be!

Brie & Green Fig Snoek

I spent a few days with my family about 2 weeks ago…and whenever my mom sees me, she always asks “when are you going to make me snoek like you always promise”

Now, let me give you some background on me and my (lack of) love affair with snoek.
Growing up, I had a very large Afrikaans influence, and my grandparents had holiday homes both on the West Coast, as well as in the Garden Route. Now…we all know what magical things spring from the West Coast of our beautiful country…yes yes…Snoek and Crayfish.

As a child I use to always want to help my father set up the smoker for the snoek, it would be a regular dish on the Sunday lunch table and MC was often referred to as the master of snoek.

So always being exposed to snoek, I was not to fond of the scent…the cooking process was fine, and eating it was fine…not my fave but definitely not one of my NO NO dishes…however what use to really put me off snoek was that smell that lingered throughout the house for days and days afterwards.
Now days, it does not phase me so much, so I happily make my mom snoek whenever I have the opportunity…this time round…I thought a little out of the box…and this is my latest easy peasy snoek recipe…and in true Chef Angeliqueca style…sorry, I don’t have exact measurements…just go with feeling…

Brie and Green Fig Snoek

A nice large size snoek, cleaned and butterflied. I personally like to remove the “spine” of the snoek, otherwise known as the “giftige stukkie” but my mom and brother love it, so I didn’t remove it.

I got this really great Brie and green fig cheese from the local fruit market in George (they have some great brie combinations, and all round some great cheeses – locally produced cheeses from the Karoo and surrounding areas!)

Bottle of whole Green Fig preserve
White wine
Butter
Crushed garlic
Salt & Pepper
Fresh parsley

I placed the snoek on some tinfoil, seasoned it, rubbed it with some butter and crushed garlic. Placed slices of Brie generously over the snoek, a few whole green figs here and there, splashed the snoek with white wine and a little of the syrup fr om the fig preserve. A little parsley for some flavour…wrapped up the snoek in the tinfoil parcel and placed in on the braai)

I would personally enjoy this with some home made pot bread, a well chilled Durbanville Hills Sauvignon Blanc…and great company…which I had all 3 and then some!