Karoo Potjie served with Sadza

Food culture fascinates me. My father, who plays a large role in my food knowledge and inspiration, grew up in Zimbabwe, he influenced me with many African inspired dishes, thus creating my love for African cuisine. The Potjie being as South African as can be, was right on top of my list of dishes I wanted to showcase on Freshly Blogged, I was just waiting for the right ingredients.

The combination of ingredients for this challenge had me in a state of nostalgia about the time spent working in a Karoo kitchen.  There is just something magical about the Karoo that is so difficult to explain, you have to experience it for yourself, a place of relaxation, replenishment and inner peace.

Karoo Potjie served with Sadza
serves 4

Karoo Potjie with Sadza - proof on coals1 ½ cups Drostdy-Hof Pinotage
500g Ostrich Sausage
2 ½ cups Mealie Meal
1 punnet green beans
½ cup PnP Chutney – Original
250g PnP Dried Fruit
2 tsp Five spice
1 tsp BBQ spice
1 packet PnP Baby Carrots
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 tbsp butter
500ml water
1 tbsp flour mixed with 1 tbsp oil
Salt
Black Pepper

Remove stones from the prunes.  Place all the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with 1 cup of red wine.  Set aside for about an hour.

Light a fire, you want to cook over medium coals

Cut the ostrich sausage into 4cm long pieces – set aside.
Cut the green beans into 3 – set aside.
Mix the chutney, left over wine, five spice, BBQ spice and salt and pepper together – set aside.

Once the coals are ready, move the coals aside, place the potjie pot in the middle, you do not want direct heat from under, creating a slow cooking process.

Using the butter, fry the onions until translucent. Now layer the sausage and vegetables alternatively, add the soaked dried fruit on top, including the liquid.
Pour the chutney mixture over.
Cover with potjie lid and leave for an hour and a half.

Over high heat, bring the 500ml water to a boil, salt the water; add the mealie meal, stirring continuously.  Drop the heat to a low heat and let cook for 20 – 25 minutes. Using a fork, mix the mealie meal sporadically.

Once the potjie is about to come off, use a soup ladel, dish out some of the sauce.  Mix with the flour & oil mixture and gently stir back into the potjie, letting the flour cook out for a few minutes. Be careful not to break up the vegetables and sausage, but thickening the sauce slightly.

Remove and serve.

Karoo Potjie with Sadza If you like this recipe and wish to vote, please follow this link – PnP Freshly Blogged.

Rose Liqueur Gumdrops

I love the playful nature of gumdrops.  These little balls of jelly bring innocent smiles and giggles to mind.  Taking me back to when we were kids and how much pleasure we would derive from jelly coated in sugar.

Back to a time when boys teased and chased girls around the playground, pulling on braids while girls made kissy kissy noises.  Back to a time when competitions included egg & spoon races and wheelbarrow races and laughter uncontrollably exploded from little bellies.

One of my most treasured childhood memories was the first boy who crushed on me.  I use to tease him, calling him Travis Too-naughty.  On a daily occurrence, he would run to my mom after playschool let out, affectionately using my childhood nickname, beg my mom ‘”to make Lika marry me”.

Rose Liqueur Gumdrops

Rose Liqueur Gumdrops

250ml cold water
20g gelatine powder
180ml water
2 cups white sugar
180ml rose liqueur
sugar for coating

Mix the gelatine and 250ml cold water together.  Set aside.

Over a medium head, add the 2 cups of sugar and 180ml water, stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and all the liqueur, followed by the gelatine mix.

Pour into molds, I used ice-cube trays, place in fridge overnight to set.  You need to leave them to set for at least 24 hours.

Using a pallet knife, remove the jelly and coat in sugar.

This months I Made It Challenge was set my Tami over at Rumtumtiggs

i made it challenge

 

Beef Roulades with Potato and Turnip Dumplings

The second challenge for Freshly Blogged is out.  I love seeing the creativity from everyone, such different ideas; I am definitely going to be trying some of my fellow bloggers recipes.

This challenge was sponsored by Knorr – a brand that is a staple in my pantry.

I love comfort food – a slow-cooked meal which sends beautiful aromas through the house, enticing your senses and making you salivate in anticipation. Different cultures consider different dishes to be comfort food. To me these ingredients lend themselves to just that typical meal. Best of all, it’s the kind of dish you can eat family-style with people you love. To me, this is what food is all about… Comfort and family.

Beef Roulades with Potato and Turnip Dumplings

Beef Roulades with Potato and Turnip Dumplings

125ml PnP White Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 punnet PnP Soup Pack (carrot, leek, tomato, celery, potato, turnip)
Zest of 1 lemon
5 Salticrax, crushed to breadcrumb consistency
500g beef shin
Olive oil for frying
4 tbsp freshly chopped oregano
1 Knorr Beef Stock Pot
1 whole PnP star anise
1 cup self-raising flour
1 egg
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C.

Mix white wine vinegar and sugar in a bowl, julienne half the carrot and half the leek. Add to bowl. Set aside to marinate.

Roughly dice the remainder of the carrot and leek, as well as tomato and celery. Set aside.

Mix lemon zest and Salticrax together and set aside.

Dice potatoes and turnips. Set aside.

Cut meat off the bone. Roast bones in oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove and set aside. Reduce oven heat to 150 degrees.

Using a very sharp knife, cut beef shin into 6 large chunks. Slice each chunk 3 quarters – way through the middle to make a thin fillet. Place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently, creating a wafer-thin slice of meat. Repeat with each chunk. Set aside.

Place sliced meat on a flat surface and season. Put a little of the lemon zest and cracker mix in the middle. Do the same with the pickled carrots and leeks. Roll tightly and secure with one or two toothpicks. Repeat until you have stuffed all the beef slices.

Note: Julienne is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is cut into long thin strips, similar to matchsticks. Sometimes called “shoe string”.

Cooking method

Use an oven-friendly dish that can be used on the hob. Heat over medium to high heat.
Brown beef roulades in a little olive oil. Set aside.
In the same pot, fry roughly diced vegetables until soft, add oregano and 3 tbsp of pickling liquid.
Add beef stock pot and 1l of boiling water. Add roasted bones and star anise and simmer. Season. Add beef rolls gently, cover pot and place in oven for 2 hours.
To make the dumplings, cook potatoes and turnips in a pot of salted boiling water until soft enough to mash. Drain water and mash until smooth. Add flour and mix through. Add egg and mix until all is well incorporated. Season to your liking. Set aside.
After 2 hours, place a heaped tbsp of dumpling mixture into pot with meat. Repeat until you have used up all the mixture. Place back into the oven at 180 degrees and cook for 1 hour. Turn off oven.
Remove pot from oven. Take out dumplings and meat and keep in the warm oven. Blitz sauce and place on medium heat to reduce slightly until thick.

Plate up and enjoy. Perfect wintery night comfort.

Note: The sauce is so versatile, you can use it as stock for your next dish or make it into a soup.

If you like this recipe and wish to vote, please follow this link – PnP Freshly Blogged.

Avocado, Coconut and Lime Ice-Cream

I wanted to take this challenge to a whole new level and really show something innovative, without complicating the delicious simplicity of an avocado and more importantly, emphasizing the scrumptious flavour.  I have to admit that when I was approached to do the “More than just guacamole!” Afrikado Blogger Challenge, I was stumped. I needed inspiration to hit, otherwise I would never be satisfied with my end product. Once I found it, I couldn’t stop myself!

I now look at avocados in a whole new light and I am inspired to create different dishes using this super healthy fruit. Avocados are packed with nutrients and heart-healthy compounds, and fantastic to eat if you want to lower cholesterol levels.

Avo ice cream

Avocado, Coconut & Lime Ice Cream, served with a Chilli  Coulis
serves 4 – 6

3 ripe avocados – pit & skin removed
200ml lime cordial
½ tin coconut crème
pinch of salt

Place all the ingredients into a blender.  Pulsate until thick and smooth.  The avocado will create a velvety texture.

Place into and ice cream maker and churn.

Place the ice cream into the freezer until you are ready to use. Remember to take it out 10 minutes before you want to use to soften slightly to make dishing up easier.

In my mind, this needed something to really compliment the fresh flavours, and what better than a Chilli Coulis.  You can make a big jar and store, using it with different creations as you go.

250g diced red chillies (including seeds)
2 large red peppers, roasted and skin peeled off
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
seasoning
1 litre of water

Place all the chilli coulis ingredients, except the water, into a thick based pot.
Pour water in, just covering the top of the mixture.
Cook the mixture over a low heat until it has reached a point that when you dip a cool teaspoon into the mixture, and lift it out, your mixture slowly drips off. When the drips join together in a sheet, instead of separate drops, the coulis is ready.
Remove and set aside to cool before using.

 
Please note that this is a blog challenge set up by The Squashed Tomato on behalf of ZZ2. I will be receiving a voucher to the value of R200 from Woolworths for taking part.  The prize is a R2000 Woolworths shopping voucher and a hamper from ZZ2. 

Thai Vegetable Latkes with Citrus Phyllo Crisps & Pineapple-Orange Emulsion

I am currently part of a few blog challenges, which keeps me rather busy, so I thought I would share what I have been up to.

This challenge is called Freshly Blogged – Frozen Assets.

We were given this…

20130630_182752And had to come up with something that would knock the socks off people…

My inspiration behind this challenge was Chanukkah.

Chanukkah came straight to mind when I saw the list of ingredients for this challenge. Memories of making latkes with the kids, during their Chanukkah celebrations, flooded back. Chanukkah is a Jewish holiday, known as the Festival of Lights / Feast of Dedication, where fried foods are eaten to honour the commemoration of the miracle of the oil burning for 8 days in the menorah, which was only suppose to burn for 1 day.

This is a time for family and friends to gather and share special times together whether cooking the dishes or enjoying them around the dinner table.

I love versatility, and this dish lends itself to it. Present these latkes at your dinner party as a canapé; or serve it at the beginning of a heavy wintery meal, or enjoy as a light lunchtime dish with a glass of Chenin Blanc.

 

Thai Vegetable Latkes with Citrus Phyllo Crisps & Pineapple and Orange emulsion

Thai Vegetable Latkes with Citrus Phyllo Crisps & Pineapple-Orange Emulsion
Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

2 packets (500g each) Findus Wok Thai vegetables
½ roll (500g) PnP Phyllo Pastry
6 tsp PnP Cook Additions crushed Garlic, Ginger & Dhania paste
1 pkt PnP 2-minute Noodles – Thai Sweet Chilli Flavour
1 orange
1 fresh pineapple
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp coarse salt
1.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
5 tbsp self raising flour
Small bowl of seasoning (salt & pepper)
Small bowl of sugar
Small bowl of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200°C

Zest the orange and squeeze out the juice, keeping some of the pulp too.
Peel and slice half the pineapple into thin rings, removing the core. Slice the other half into thick chunks.

Mix sugar and water together, with the zest of the orange in a small saucepan.  Place over medium heat and let cook until a thick syrup is formed. Remove from heat.

On a dry surface, lay out a layer of phyllo pastry, brush the syrup over and place another layer on top. Repeat twice.  Using a sharp knife, cut triangle shaped crisps, place on baking tray and bake for 5 – 7 minutes, just until golden brown. Before plating, brush the crisps with the orange glaze.  Make as many crisp as you want as these are nice to snack on.

Place the frozen vegetables in a colander and pour a litre of boiling water over.  Set aside and let the water drain.

Place the noodles in a mixing bowl, pour 2 cups of boiling water over the noodles, cover with cling wrap and set aside for about 3 – 4 minutes.  Drain and sprinkle the Thai sweet chilli seasoning over the noodles.

Mix the noodles and vegetables together, with the garlic, ginger and dhania paste, add salt & pepper (season to taste), add half the orange juice and half the pulp.  Set aside.

In a small pot, over a medium heat, add the olive oil and vegetable oil.  Heat until the oil reaches 180°C.

While the oil is heating, add the pineapple chunks and left over orange juice into a blender, season and add 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp sugar and a dash of the liquid from the garlic, ginger and dhania paste. Blitz until smooth. Set aside.

Using the vegetable and noodle mixture, a heaped tablespoon at a time, roll into balls; gently drop into the hot oil, careful not to splash yourself. Repeat with a few more balls at a time, careful not to overcrowd the pot.  Work gentle with the balls, they are delicate. Cook until golden brown (about 7 – 10 minutes depending on size)

Brush a little olive oil over the pine apple pieces and grill, I used a skillet as I love char grilled look and flavour.

If you like this recipe and wish to vote, please follow this link – PnP Freshly Blogged.

Please note this challenge was sponsored by Findus in conjunction with Pick N Pay for the Freshly Blogged Bloggers Challenge..

 

Brioche – a ‘must try’ in Port Elizabeth

As my loyal readers know, I am all for mom & pop kind of places, I love visiting the non touristy type places.  So every time I go to Port Elizabeth, I look for such places, even my friends know that if we going for lunch, it must be new, different, quirky and not touristy at all!!

Leely hit the spot when she introduced me to Brioche. This gorgeous Coffee Shop / Bakery is situated in the Walmer area, which is an area I frequent consistently when I am in PE, just somehow have always missed this quaint establishment.

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The old historical building is such a beautiful site, the house was built in 1884, with the original deed framed and hanging on the wall.  The menu boasts a few great easy lunch time meals (I didn’t get a look at the breakfast menu).

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Tuna Fishcakes, served with fries and caper mayo

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Homemade beef hamburger, topped with onion rings.  What caught my eye was the homemade bun, you seldom get this luxury at a restaurant, it was refreshing to see this.

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A variety of pizza, this was basil pesto, olives, parmesan, topped with rocket – thin crusted pizza.

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Other menu items, to name a few, included soup of the day served with roosterkoek, pastas, salads and a variety of sandwiches. There are also freshly baked breads (the ciabattas looked phenomenal)  and pastries to choose from.

I was introduced to the Vanilla Meringue Milkshake, and let me say, for someone who doesn’t like milkshakes, I was in love.  This is a signature here at Brioche and, in my opinion, a must try when visiting this little gem.

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Other items on the beverage menu included a great selection of coffees and teas, the classic Chai Lattes, however, I settled for freshly squeezed apple & ginger juice…this was just fantastic and refreshing, and the time it took to get to the table was well worth the wait.

With the lovely sunny winter weather we have been experiencing, we decided to sit outside, which is a great option as the garden is well manicured and hosts a jungle gym to keep the kids entertained and ample space for them to run off some energy.

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The food was fantastic, with the perfect setting, I do have to mention that the service was a little slow, yet very friendly. Food and drinks came out at different times and some of us at the table had to wait longer than other however, I can not really fault this as good food is not fast food. I thoroughly enjoyed this find, and will definitely be visiting again.

Brioche can be found at 181 Main Rd Walmer, Port Elizabeth, Eastern .
Tel: 041 581 2136
Open: Mondays to Fridays 7.30am to 4pm and on Saturdays from 7.30am to 3pm

 

 

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by anyone, I was not asked to review this restaurant, I am merely sharing my experience at this establishment.

Tomato and Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank

During my 3 year stay in the USA, lamb made very few and far between appearances, I always asked why and got the same answer…it smells when cooking. Now I have always been confused by this statement, personally I cannot ask for a better aroma to flood through my house than when cooking lamb, whether it is in a stew or a roasting in the oven.

Slow cooked, family style food which brings comfort and warmth when you indulge, in my opinion, is my signature style.  This can be anything from my favourite lamb shank (or Springbok shank if you can find), to a melody of curries, the cooked to perfection oxtail, unhurried roasts or home baked breads , studded with olives, rosemary and coarse salt served with freshly made pâtés and preserves. Definitely not waistline friendly…however, I try to keep that balance of healthy vs. pure food bliss. During winter time, the later has the upper hand.

With us being in the midst of winter, there is nothing more comforting than sharing slow cooked lamb shanks, and a wonderful bottle of wine with family to shoo off the cold.

Tomato & Red Wine Braised Lamb Shank
serves 4

lamb shank plated

4 lamb shanks
300g flour
2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
Olive Oil for frying
1 tsp white sugar
2 large onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely diced
1 pkt celery, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 pkt carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 whole star anise
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 Knorr beef stock pot
¾ bottle of red wine (I used a Fairview La Capra Merlot)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
1 pkt tomato paste
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
seasoning to taste

Preheat the oven to 150°C

In a plastic packet, mix the flour, paprika, salt and black pepper, place the shanks in – one at a time – and shake.  You want to coat the entire shank well with the flour mixture. Set aside.

In a deep, cast iron pot, heat olive oil over a medium to high heat, brown the lamb shanks.  Set aside.

Without cleaning the pot, fry the onions, carrots, celery and sugar until soft.  Add the tomato paste and garlic and fry further until you see the oil starts splitting from the tomato paste.

Add the star anise, cloves cinnamon stick and stock pot.  Stir before placing the lamb shanks in the pot.  Cover with wine and whole peeled tomatoes and add rosemary sprigs.  You want to just cover the shanks, if the wine doesn’t cover the lamb shanks, add some boiling water.

Cover the rim of the pot with flour & water glue (See Chef Note at the bottom of the page).  Place the lid on top and squash, you want to have a completely sealed pot which won’t let steam escape.

Place in the oven for 4 to 5 hours. This time may vary based on your oven, so use this only as a guide.  You want the shank to be so soft that you can just pull the bone out without breaking the meat apart.

Turn the oven to grill, take shanks out of the sauce and set under the grill.  Careful not to burn, you just want some colour on the meat.

Using a handheld blender, blitz the sauce, if it is not thick, place it in a pot and reduce, or to cheat, thicken with corn flour.

Serve with parsley & garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables.

 lamb shanks in pot

Flour & Water Paste:
This is a paste made from water and flour which create a type of glue which you can seal pots with to ensure that no steam escapes.  Use about 1 ½ cups flour, to about 3/4 cup  water, for the paste. You are looking for play dough type consistency.
Working on a floured surface, shape the dough into a long sausage shape, then press the sausage onto the rim of the casserole.