What to serve a vegetarian guest at a "braai" (South African barbeque)? After all, barbequed meat is the essence of a "braai". The good news is that vegetarians don't have to settle for second best at a "braai", because a baked butternut served with spicy peanut sauce is a meal fit for a king, as either a main or side dish. Marietjie was introduced to West-African peanut sauce on an overland-safari with a few vegetarians. She was so impressed that she considered becoming a vegetarian herself.
A Kiwi friend introduced us to corn, avocado and tomato salad. Marietjie experimented a little by adding biltong and cheese to it, and found this addition adds a lovely South African character.
Unbaked, refrigerated squares or balls that are made from dates and crushed biscuits are a South African favourite. They can be flavoured with vanilla or brandy and can be cut into squares or rolled into balls. They are usually covered in desiccated coconut to make them less sticky, and some recipes add more butter to make them softer, but the basic recipe remains the same.
This lovely creamy oven baked fish is guaranteed to warm up a cold winter's evening, especially if combined with fresh salad, a bottle of Riesling, and good company. We found the original version of this recipe in a book called "Voortrekker Resepte", published in 1988 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the "Groot Trek" in South Africa. We adapted it a bit to suit our family, but this recipe is still fairly close to the original:
There are no words to describe tiramisu when it's been made with the correct ingredients. In fact, the literal meaning of Tiramisu, which is "pick-me-up", is bit of an understatement. Tiramisu is a desert worthy of a special occasion: neither making nor eating it may be rushed.
These lovely biscuits, also known as Highlander biscuits, are great for a coffee-time nibble, and can be baked with or without chocolate chips. This traditional New Zealand recipe is similar to the South African version, the main difference being that New Zealand's condensed milk biscuits are made without egg.
This recipe was born out of the need to cook a meal from ingredients in our fridge, was inspired by recipes from the "Simply Cooking at Northcity" cooking course and Ken Hom's book "Foolproof Chinese Cookery", borrowed techniques from Ross Dobson's book "Chinatown", and got the green light from our daughter. Fusion cooking in the true sense of the word!
Scrolls are delicious and economical, and great fun to make and eat. We enjoy them as morning or afternoon snacks, served as a side when we have soup, and in our lunch boxes.
This chicken, which is marinated overnight in buttermilk before being slowly baked in the oven, is tender, succulent and golden brown. It was inspired by Maryland chicken, but is healthier (and easier to make) because the chicken is baked rather than fried in oil.
This is one of our regular winter soup recipes. The important thing is to simmer it gently for the whole day to bring out that meat-bone heartiness, so you will need a slow cooker, or a slow stove plate and a heavy pot with a solid lid.
Melkkos is a comforting milk and cinnamon dish that can be served as a light breakfast, lunch or evening meal. The name "melkkos" (which means "meal made from milk") doesn't do justice to this wonderful dish that will warm up even the most dismal of winter days.
This simple sago pudding is just as satisfying as sago pudding with meringue topping, but somewhat easier to make. Jaco considers it to be one of Marietjie's top puddings.
Combining cinnamon and apricot jam, this sago pudding is creamy, comforting, and quite representative of South African cooking. This recipe's secret to success is to allow sufficient time for the sago starch to become translucent, before baking it at a low temperature.
We bake snowflake butter biscuits to proclaim the arrival of winter in New Zealand. These lovely biscuits, so pleasing to both the eye and palate, are suitable to celebrate almost any occasion from Mid-Winter Feasts to Christmas, because they can be decorated according to the occasion.
This recipe was originally published in Divine Cupcakes: A Book of Temptation, by Tamara Jane and reproduced on this site with her kind permission.Tamara decorates her cupcakes with chocolate filigree and tiny baked gingerbread hearts. Marietjie decorated hers with chocolate filigree hearts, as shown on the photo. You can also use crystallised ginger.
Because we have a peach tree in our back yard, late summer is a time of peach-abundance at our house. We love turning our peaches into home-made chutney and lovely Ginger Peach Pies. A Ginger Peach Pie is a great way to use orchard fruit such as apples, apricots, and peaches. It doesn't matter if the fruit's not perfect. Simply wash the fruit in warm, salty water, cut out the bad spots, and peel it.
Making and eating traditional hot cross buns is a serious affair. Mass-produced buns that are spice-starved, low in fruit, with soft crusts, wrapped in plastic and stacked in piles at the end of the supermarket isle, just doesn't cut it. You want your buns to be soft, fruity and spicy, slightly sweet, with golden crusts that are crisp and wonderfully sticky. If you bake them early in the morning on Good Friday, you want the fragrance of your buns to wake the sleepyheads from their beds, to gather the whole family around the kitchen-table for their Easter breakfast.
Easter biscuits lock the spicy flavour and taste of hot cross buns into a crunchy texture. As they will keep fresh for a few days and do not break easily, Easter Biscuits are great for Easter-weekend trips, picnics, and lunchbox treats. This recipe is for the South African version of Easter Biscuits, which contains mixed peel and more spices than the New Zealand version in the Edmonds Cookery book.
This simple, almost delicate dish is our family's variation of a recipe given to Marietjie by her cousin Heidi, who was given it by a colleague with an Italian husband. We buy dry chickpeas at Mefco and cook it overnight in a slow cooker until it is soft and tender. Alternatively, use canned chickpeas.