Best Bobotie – boy-oh-boy-boetie!

 

Sherry has created some lovely boboties, but this one rocked and sets the benchmark!

 

Ingredients:

 

One inch thick-slice of crustless bread (used some home-baked French loaf)

250mls full-cream milk

25mls olive oil

10mls butter

4 shallots medium chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

20mls bassar masala curry powder

10mls salt

25 Mrs Balls chutney

15mls smooth apricot jam

15mls worcester sauce

5mls turmeric (plus a pinch to sprinkle at end)

25mls brown vinegar

500g beef mince

100mls sultanas (not raisins)

3 eggs

pinch of salt

3 bay leaves

tablespoon of almond flakes

 

Method:

 

In the olive oil and butter, fry the shallots until soft, add the turmeric and curry powder. Stir for a minute. Add the meat. Stir around for couple minutes. Add all the ingredients except the eggs,  milk, bay leaves and bread.

In the meantime, cut the bread into chunks and soak in the milk soakes in.

Meat can still be a little pinkish but take it off heat.

Squeeze milk out of the bread and add the bread to the meat. Add a beaten egg and stir in well. Take the residue milk and add two beaten eggs. Throw over top. Add the bay leaves and that pinch of turmeric with the flaked almonds over top.

Bake for 45 mins on 180 degrees.

Serve with yellow (pinch-of-turmeric) basmati.

 

Too damn good! Best ever!

Well-Grounded Gorgeous Chicken-Sweet-Potato Curry

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The gourmet secret to this dish is in the grounding of the spices. Ground to perfection, heated and cooked with the chicken and sweet potato, they deliver a delicious textural element to the dish…not unlike the texture of dessicated coconut flakes…minutely chewy, minutely crunchy…totally exquisite.

 

Ingredients:

1 TBS Turmeric

1/2 TBS red chilli flakes

1/4 TBS Cumin seeds

1/8 tsp of ground cloves

1/2 tsp of ground ginger

1/2 tsp of garlic powder

1/2 tsp of yellow mustard seeds1/2 tsp of ground black pepper corns

Pinch of Allspice

Pinch of ground cinnamon

1 tsp coarse salt

1/2 tsp Basar Masala Curry Powder

1 TBS Panch Puran

Combine the above spices, add to a pan and heat moderately until fragrant. Cool and then grind in a electric pepper mill/coffee grinder. Critically: it’s essential here to NOT overgrind. Depending on your grinder, two or three pulses is sufficient. You want to keep some of the coarseness for texture. Divide 2/3rds, 1/3rd for later additions. (If there is any mixture remaining, keep for another dish).

1 large onion finely chopped

1 TBS fresh grated ginger

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 medium sweet-potato, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 can rich coconut milk

1/2 tsp brown brown sugar

1 cup of chicken stock (or more if necessary)

500g of 1″ diced chicken thighs

Fish sauce, if required

Method:

In a bowl, add 2 TBS of the ground spice mix above to the raw diced chicken thighs with a dash of olive oil. Combine.

In a large cast iron casserole dish, warm some olive oil on a moderate heat. Add the thyme, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes and the other 1 TBs of the spice mix. While stirring, add some chicken stock, some coconut milk and the sugar. Cook until the potatoes are medium firm. Add the chicken. Cook until tender. Add small quantities of chicken stock, fish sauce (if it need salt) and coconuit milk as required. Keep consistency fairly dry, not too liquidy.

Result:

A heavenly tasty, textural, mouth-tingling, heart-warming, pleasure of a dish!

 

 

 

 

 

Lamb Curry

DSC_0476

 

An awesome lamb curry reminding us of our favourite at Durban Country Club.

 

Ingredients:

500g leg of lamb, cubed

3 fresh medium-sized chilies, sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

1 thumb of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

3 large garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 bottle Napolina tamato & basil pasta sauce

1/2 tsp cardamom seeds

1 TBS panch puran

1 TBS pakasatani basar masale

1 1/2 TBS fish sauce

3 TBS coconut cream

1 TBS brown sugar

1/2 tsp asofoetida

5 curry leaves

handful fresh coriander

 

Preparation:

Saute onions till translucent. Add the asofoetida, basar masala and panch puran and stir for 4 minutes. Add the lamb – brown slightly. Add the pasta sauce, cardamom seeds, brown sugar, curry leaves, garlic, ginger and chillies. Simmer for 1/2 an hour. Add the fish sauce a 3 TBS of coconut cream (or more depending on the richness and quality). Serve with Mrs Balls chutney and fresh coriander.

 

 

Date-elicious Moroccan chicken with quinoa and chickpeas

DSC_0276

This sweet spicy dish reminds me a little of the Cape-Malay dishes we loved in South Africa. The sweetness of the dates is tempered by the spices and buttery flavours of the chickpeas and butternut. The spices tantalise and bounce across your tongue with each crunch through chickpea and almond flakes. It’s a Moroccan keeper for us.

 

Ingredients:

600g of deboned, skinless chicken thighs, diced into thumb-size pieces

1 TBS regular flour

3 TBS olive oil

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 1/2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout

3/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 TBS lemon juice

10 pitted dates

3 TBS slivered almonds

3 TBS fresh chopped cilantro

 

For the accompaniment:

1 cup of quinoa

80g tinned chickpeas

2 shallots, chopped

3 garlic cloves

200g of butternut, diced into 3/4″ cubes

sprinkling of Ras el Hanout

2 TBS olive oil

(we cheated here and used Sainsbury’s Quinoa, bulgar wheat and chickpea mix)

 

Preparation:

Roast the butternut, shallots, garlic cloves in a shallow pan with 1 TBS olive oil for 30 minutes at 180 degrees celcius. The quinoa, bulgar wheat and chickpea mix was simply heated in the microwave and transferred to a warmed pot with the other TBS of olive oil. Add the roasted vegetables to the mix and sprinkle a little Ras el Hanout into the mix.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and flour. Heat a TBS of  olive oil in a largish pot on a medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until golden on all sides. Remove. Reduce heat to medium, add the shallots and cook until golden. Add the cinnamon sticks, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Stir for a minute or two until fragrant. Increase heat to high and add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Boil over medium heat, reduce heat and add the dates. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened – approx 10 minutes. Return the chicken pieces and boil over medium heat. Add the flour if the sauce hasn’t thickened enough. Stir in a sprinkling of Ras el Hanout.

Toast the almonds for a few seconds in a pan.

 

Serve with the Moroccan chicken with the quinoa, chickpea mix – sprinkled with toasted almonds and the chopped fresh cilantro.

Mmmm…sooooooooo good

 

 

Panch Puran Chicken Curry

Panch Puran Chicken Curry 2

Now here’s a fresh, fragrant curry with a complex and delightful tongue-pleasing, tastebud-popping, and wonderfully satisfying flavour. Another lick-the-bowl treat!!

 

Ingredients:

600g Chicken thighs, skinless and boneless

1 Onion, chopped

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

20 mls Pakistani Bassar Masala curry powder

1 TBS Panch Puran (the seeds of fenugreek, kalwanji (nigella), mustard, cumin and fennel)

3 Garlic cloves, crushed

1 Thumb of ginger, grated

2 three-inch long mild chilis, seeds removed (optional)

1/2 jar Napolina pasta sauce (tomato and basil)

1 TBS dessicated coconut flakes

1 TBS fish sauce

handful of chopped cilantro to garnish

 

Method:

In a pan, fry the onion on a medium-high heat until soft and translucent. Add the spices and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add the garlic, ginger, and sauce. Stir in  for a minute or two. Add the fresh chilis and chicken and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Add the coconut and stir in. Finally, stir in the fish sauce. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Basmati rice.

 

Prepare to be delighted!

 

 

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao Chicken 2

 

 

Possibly the best Chinese chicken dish I’ve ever tasted. The combination of sesame, peanuts, soy sauce, hoisin and szechuan pepper is addictive and will have you licking the plate!

 

Ingredients:

500g skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into chunky thumb-sized pieces

 

Marinade:

1 TBS soy sauce

2 tsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Sauce:

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp hoisin sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp ground Szechuan pepper

For the wok or pan:

2 TBS peanut oil

1 tsp dried chili flakes

3  spring onions, thinly chopped (roughly separating the whites from the green)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1/2 a medium red pepper finely chopped

 

Method:

Mix the cornstarch in with the marinade ingredients until dissolved.  Marinade the chicken with the marinade ingredients in a glass bowl for 15 minutes.

Prepare the sauce in another bowl by combining the vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch and Szechuan pepper. Stir until sugar and starch are dissolved.

On high heat, place a wok or pan.  Add the peanut oil and coat the base of the pan. Add the chilies, then add the chicken and stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Add the spring onion whites, garlic, red pepper and ginger and stir-fry for a minute. Pour in the sauce and stir to coat all ingredients. Stir in the peanuts add cook for another couple of minutes.

Serve with a sprinkling of spring onion greens on top.

 

Fresh Chinese at it’s best!

 

Kung Pao Chicken 1

 

 

Black Bean Beautiful Baked Thai Salmon

Black Bean Salmon

 

The one thing about Thai food that we love, and always has us begging for more, is the mind-blowing gastronomic surprises that result from  fresh, crisp, honest, punchy (and crunchy) ingredients. This dish is so pure and pleasurable, it’s become a huge favourite and we think you’ll agree.

 

Ingredients:

2 Salmon fillets, skinless

Sauce:

80 mls (or just over 5 TBS) chicken stock

3 TBS Black Bean sauce

2 TBS medium cream sherry

3 Garlic cloves, minced

1 thumb ginger, grated

1 TBS lime juice

1 TBS fish sauce

1 TBS brown sugar

1/2 tsp dried chili flakes

Garnish:

1/2 handful of fresh coriander

2  spring onions, thinly chopped

1/2 TBS toasted sesame seeds

Sesame oil to drizzle over the finished dish

Rice:

1 cup of basmati rice

1 TBS dessicated coconut

1 spring onion finely chopped

1/2  handful fresh coriander

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius

Place the salmon in a flat baking dish

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to dissolve the sugar.

Pour over the fish, ensuring both sides are well coated.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning the salmon over half way. (If, because of your dish, it looks like you’re poaching the salmon…al the better)

 

Rice:

Boil down using reduction method.

Throw in the dessicated coconut, spring onion and coriander.  Stir in.

 

Serve the salmon on the rice with a good bit of the sauce around. Top with the garnish of coriander, spring onion, sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil.

Prepare for heaven!

Beguiling Bombay Potatoes

Bombay potatoes

 

This can be a tantalising side-dish or a deliciously satisfying vegetarian main meal.

Either way, you’ll want more. It’s possibly the best spicy non-meat dish I ever enjoyed.

 

Ingredients: (side-dish for 2, multiply for more)

4 potatoes 1″ cubed

1 thumb of ginger, grated or finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

100g of cherry tomatoes, quartered.

3 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 TBS mustard seeds

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1 onion, sliced

1/2 tsp tumeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked garam masala

1 tsp chili powder

Handful of baby spinach

Method:

Boil the potatoes until almost tender. Blend the half the cherry tomatoes (holding back half), ginger and garlic with a blender.

Heat oil in a pan to medium heat.  Add the cumin, mustard and coriander seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle and pop, add the onion. Cook until translucent.

Stir in garlic, tomato, ginger blend and add the the tumeric, cumin, garam masala and chili powder.

Cook for 2 minutes and then stir in the potatoes.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes until well blended. Stir in the remaining half of the chopped tomatoes.

 

Result: a delicious and “smorish” taste of India!

 

Northern Thai Curry – tantalisingly robust, well-rounded and gorgeous!

This is a dish that sings!

The lime and curry combine to tongue-tantalise you and then leave you with a delicious, deep-satisfying warmth to savour.

 

Ingredients:

650g of deboned, skinless chicken thigh chopped into one inch cubes

One small eggplant or 1/2 a large one diced into 1/2 inch pieces

4 small-to- medium-sized, young potatoes, diced into half-inch cubes

a cube of chicken stock

3 Kaffir lime leaves, scissor-cut into fine strips

2 shallots, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 thumb of ginger, finely chopped

a 3-inch long red chili and a 3-inch long green chili, finely chopped (or 2 tsp chili flakes)

1/2 tsp turmeric

3 bay leaves

1/4 tsp cardamom seeds

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp allspice

1 1/2 TBS tomato puree (or ketchup)

2 TBS fish sauce

1 TBS soy sauce

1/2 – 3/4 can coconut milk (depending on thickness)

1/2 tsp brown sugar

handful of basil

2 TBS vegetable oil

1 TBS dried coconut flakes

 

Method:

The trick in this dish is to get the potato cubes to absorb  all the exquisite juices so that each later mouthful is an explosion of flavour.

 

In a medium-warm wok or pan, heat the vegetable oil and throw in the shallots, garlic, ginger, chili and kaffir lime leaves.  Cook until shallots are translucent. Add the chicken and stock. Bring to a boil. Add the turmeric, bay leaves, allspice, cardamom seeds and cinnamon.  Remove the chicken (at this stage it should be cooked on the outside but still plump and raw inside as you don’t want to overcook it). Add the tomato puree, eggplant and potatoes. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Return the chicken to the pan and cook through. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and coconut milk.  Finally, toss in the basil and coconut flakes.

Serve with basmati rice and prepare to be blown away!

 

 

Porchetta a la BBQ

Now this was a challenge on a small BBQ!

But the end product was an exquisitely tasty pork with delightful crackling. Done properly and with the right pork belly, the fat will add fabulous flavour to the loin inside and will dissipate dramatically to leave you with a wonderfully contrasting delicious (remarkeably unfatty) outer circle as well. Our favourite part of the porchetta was, in fact, the outer circle of belly pork.

Ingredients:

6 pound piece of skin-on pork belly

3-4 pound boneless pork loin

3 TBS fennel seeds (you can subtract a TBS of fennel seeds and add an extra TBS of sage if you wish)

2 TBS dry red chili flakes

1 TBS dry sage (or 2 TBS fresh)

1 TBS fresh minced rosemary

3 garlic cloves, crushed

Coarse sea salt

1/2 an Orange, thinly sliced

Method:

The herb mix: Toast the fennel seeds a chili flakes in a pan over a medium-high heat for a minute or two until you can smell the fragrance. Remove them from the pan and let them cool in a bowl. Medium grind the fennel seeds and chili flakes in a spice/coffee  grinder. Mix with the sage, rosemary and garlic.

Lay the belly out skin down. Place the loin in the centre and roll the belly around it. Trim any excess belly or loin. To ensure a tight closing fit, trim some meat and fat away, thinning out one end of the belly so that when circling the loin you get a comfortable one inch overlap. Unroll again. Set the loin aside. With the belly still skin down, score the upside flesh with a sharp knife creating diamonds the entire width and length of the belly. Make the cuts at least 1/4 inch to ensure all the juices can escape into the loin when cooking. Flip the belly over so that it is skin-side up. With a very sharp pointed knife, prick a couple of hundred 1/4 inch holes all over the skin. Go wild! You want the fat to secrete out as it cooks. Turn the belly over again. Rub coarse salt liberally into both it and the loin. Rub in the herb mix into both. Place the orange slices in a row in the middle of the belly. Place the loin on top of the orange in the centre of the laid out belly and roll the belly around it closing it all around the loin. Tie  kitchen twine around the belly at one and half inch intervals. Rub coarse salt liberally all over the rolled belly. Place on a wire rack and into a roasting tray. Leave in the fridge for  24-48 hours. Occasionally dab moisture away from the pork.

When ready to cook remove from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours.Preheat the BBQ to 500 degrees F (260 C). Roast on the wire rack in the roasting pan for 45 minutes, turning once. Reduce the heat to 300F (150C) and roast for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning occasionally. It’s best to use a temperature probe. When inserted into the middle, it should read 145 F (62c).  If the outside is not beautifully crackly, ramp the temperature back up to 500F (260C) again and nuke it for 10 minutes. Remove and let it cool for 30 minutes before serving. Using a serrated knife,  cut 1/2 thick portions. Serve with vegetables, roast potatoes and a nice thick brandy infused gravy.

It’s a showstopper!