Recipe: Lasagna

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Homemade lasagna! With cottage, mozzarella, Cheddar cheese, finished in 3 tomato sauces topped with salami.

Ingredients:

.    454 grams sweet Italian sausage

.    340 grams lean ground beef

.    1/2 cup minced onion

.    2 cloves garlic, crushed

.    1 (794 grams) can crushed tomatoes

.    2 (170 grams) cans tomato paste

.    2 (184 grams) cans canned tomato sauce

.    1/2 cup water

.    2 tablespoons white sugar

.    1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves

.    1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

.    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

.    1 tablespoon salt

.    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

.    4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

.    12 lasagna noodles

.    454 grams ricotta cheese

.    1 egg

.    1/2 teaspoon salt

.    340 grams pound mozzarella cheese, sliced

.    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
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Recipe: Crème brûlée with strawberries as waiters in suits

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Crème brûlée with waiters in suits!

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 litres hot water
  • strawberries, melted dark and white chocolate (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

3. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

4. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually.

6. Pour the liquid into 6 (200 – 230 grams) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan.

7. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the crème brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

8. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

9. Remove the crème brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the crème brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

10. Dip strawberries in dark chocolate, then decorate with white chocolate using fingers and tooth picks. Place in refrigerator to set before placing on top of crème brulee.

Recipe: South African Braai

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South African Braai. T-bone steak marinated, along with Pap covered in blend of tomato, onion, sweet chilli sauce, with salads on the side. Boerie as well as a sosatie on side.

Ingredients:

  • 450 – 680 grams bone-in T-bone steak
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Boerewors
  • Bread rolls
  • Sosatie
  • Tinned tomato and onion
  • Wellington sweet chili sauce
  • Lettuce, tomato, cucumber (optional salad as a side dish)

Ingredients (pap):

  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • 1/2 tsp (2,5ml) salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) maize meal
  • 1 Tbls (15ml) butter

Directions:

  1. Put the water and salt in a saucepan. Bring to the boil.
  2. Turn to a low heat once boiling and immediately add in the butter and the maize meal. Don’t wait for the water to cool. Mix to combine.
  3. Adjust with extra water or maize meal to the consistency of your liking.  I like it the same consistency as mashed potato.
  4. Leave to cook covered on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, pan fry the T-bone steak, sosatie and boerewors. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Remember to have removed steak from the refrigerator a half-hour before cooking.
  6. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Pat steak dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Add oil to hot skillet and when it begins to smoke add steak. Reduce heat slightly and cook steak, sosatie and boerewors until browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer skillet to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into the steak registers 120 degrees F for medium-rare, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer steak, sosatie and boerewors to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut steak, sosatie and boerewors from the bone and carve meat across the grain. Keep them warm and set aside.
  7. 30 minutes should have passed by now, so pap should be ready. Keep pot off stove but keep it warm.
  8. Throw tinned tomato and onion into a pan and cook for 10minutes. Add some Wellington’s sweet chili sauce, as desired. Once done, set aside to drizzle on pap later.
  9. Slice up bread rolls and butter them. Place sosatie and boerwors inside.

10.    Make salad and serve.

Recipe: Pavlova

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Pavlova! Traditional meringue topped with vanilla cream, finished with strawberry, raspberry, blueberry drizzled in glazed strawberry syrup. Not to forget the sprinkle of granadilla.

Ingredients:

  • 6 (59g) eggs, separated
  • 1 1/4 cups (270g) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 2 tbs icing sugar mixture, sifted
  • Finely shredded rind and juice of 2 limes
  • strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
  • strawberry syrup
  • Pulp of 2-3 granadilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 120°C. Line an oven tray with foil. Brush with melted butter and dust with cornflour, shaking off excess. Mark a 24cm-diameter circle on foil.
  2. Use an electric mixer to whisk egg whites in a clean dry bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition, until meringue is thick and glossy and sugar dissolved. Rub a little meringue between fingers. If still “gritty” with sugar, continue to whisk until sugar dissolves. Add cornflour, vinegar and vanilla and whisk until just combined. Spoon meringue onto the foil, using the marked circle as a guide. Smooth sides and top of pavlova. Use a small spatula to forms little peaks around edge of pavlova. Bake in oven for 11/2 hours or until pavlova is dry to the touch. Turn off oven. Leave pavlova in oven with the door ajar to cool completely. When completely cold, transfer to serving plate or store in an airtight container until required.
  3. Use an electric mixer to whisk the cream and icing sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spoon cream onto the top of pavlova. Pour lime juice into a ceramic or glass bowl. Add banana slices and toss to coat with juice. Drain. Decorate pavlova with banana, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Sprinkle strawberry syrup and granadilla.

Recipe: Boeuf en Croute pastry

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Boeuf en Croute done with cheese and herb pastry with red wine sauce. finished with potato, baby carrots and beans on the side with beef gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 604 grams of beef tenderloin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 454 grams mushrooms, very finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup Madeira
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 x 453 grams packages puff pastry or frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • potato, baby carrot and beans (optional)

Directions:

1. Season the beef with salt, and pepper. Melt a tablespoon of butter with a drizzle of the olive oil in a sauté pan until hot, then sear the beef on all sides. Remove from the pan to a board, and let cool completely, then wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.

2. In the same pan as the beef, prepare the mushroom duxelles: Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and fry the shallots until translucent. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaf, and cook until very tender. Pour over the Madeira, and bring to a boil, and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Add the creme fraiche and cook down to a very thick paste. Season the mixture with salt, and pepper. Stir through the chopped parsley.

3. Roll out one block of pastry to a rectangle large enough to fit the meat with a roomy border. Place on a baking sheet. Remove the fillet from the refrigerator, and unwrap. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the center of the pastry and set the meat on top. Roll out the second sheet to fit over the whole fillet generously. In a small bowl, beat together the egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush the margins of the bottom pastry with egg wash, then drape the second sheet over, pressing to seal well. Trim the edge to a 1-inch border. Crimp the edges with your fingers. Refrigerate until ready to bake.

4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

5. Brush the whole surface of the pastry with egg wash and make two slits in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F, and continue to bake 20 minutes, depending on how well you like your meat done. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before serving in slices.

6. Serve with potato, baby carrots beans and gravy if desired.

Recipe: New English clam chowder with puff pastry

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New English clam chowder with puff pastry and french garlic bread.

Ingredients:

• 4 cups of small Prince Edward Island potatoes, peeled and diced

• 1 1/2 cups celery, finely diced (reserve scraps for stock)

• 1 1/2 cups Spanish onion, finely diced (reserve scraps for stock)

• 1 tablespoon minced thyme

• 1 tablespoon canola oil

• 114g of unsalted butter

• 2 tablespoons ground salt pork

• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• 4 cups of whole milk

• 8 cups of clam stock (see recipe below)

• 3 cups freshly chopped cherrystone clams (about 36 clams)

• 473ml of heavy cream

• Kosher salt

• 1 bunch chopped flat parsley

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 4 cups oyster crackers or saltine crackers

Directions:

  1. Place potatoes in a medium-sized pot with 1 tablespoon salt and cold water. Place on high heat and cook potatoes until they are tender but have a small amount of bite left to them. Immediately strain and run under cold water when the potatoes are ready.
  2. In a sauté pan sweat celery, onions and thyme with canola oil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Do not allow to brown. When the vegetables are cooked but still retain their color, remove from heat.
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot slowly melt butter. When butter is almost melted add ground salt pork. Render out salt pork with butter over low heat. Do not allow to brown. When salt pork is rendered with butter, add flour and whisk together. Whisk the mixture on low heat until it is well-incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add whole milk. Continue to whisk on medium-low heat. Gradually increase heat to medium. Bring mixture to a low simmer. Continue whisking occasionally. The mixture will begin to thicken. Continue to whisk less frequently, but do not allow mixture to stick to bottom of pot and burn.
  4. After about 15 minutes of low simmering and whisking, add Clam Stock to mixture. Whisk. Add celery and onion mixture to pot. Whisk. Add cooked potatoes and fresh chopped clams to pot. Stir with a spoon. Add heavy cream to pot and bring to a low simmer. After 10 minutes of low simmering, taste and season the chowder with kosher salt. Turn temperature down, leave in pot and serve. Garnish with a pinch of fresh chopped parsley and a few turns of cracked pepper. Crush oyster crackers into soup and eat. Serves 12.
(To prepare ahead of time, perform all steps up to adding potatoes. Chill and reserve soup. When ready to serve, heat up soup while stirring, then continue by adding potatoes and so on.)

Clam Stock:

• 10 cherrystone clams

• 9 cups of water

• Diced celery and onion scraps

In a medium-sized pot, place 10 washed and scrubbed cherrystone clams, 9 cups of water and reserved celery and onion scraps. Bring to a simmer until clams open. Take off heat and strain. Reserve. Serve with garlic bread.

Recipe: Egg roll with grilled kingklip

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Lightly spiced with pepper, herb and salt Kingklip grilled with melted Mozzarella topped with onion, tomato and parsley puree & prepared cucumber on soft butter mash. Finished with rolled spice egg filled with rich bacon and beans.

Ingredients:

  • 1 side of white fish, cleaned and scaled (approximately 2.5kg)
  • 4tbsn softened butter
  • 2tbsn fish spice of your choice
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • mozzarella cheese
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50 ml tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons italian mixed herbs
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 60 ml tomato sauce
  • 3 small eggs
  • 1 packet of back bacon
  • 1 can of beans

For the lemon-garlic butter:

  • 1.5 cups butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2tbsn cream
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3tbsn freshly chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°c.
  2. Place the fish on an oiled roasting tray and rub/brush the softened butter all over it. Sprinkle with the fish spice and cover with foil.
  3. Place in the oven and allow to bake/roast for 12-15 minutes and then remove the foil. Allow to bake/roast for another 5 minutes or until cooked throughout.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter, garlic and lemon juice together in a small saucepan.
  5. Add the cream and mix well (I use my handheld blender at this point but it’s not essential).
  6. Add parsley and pepper to taste.
  7. Mix onions, tomato, parsley, tomato sauce, tomato puree, Italian herbs, and garlic cloves on the frying pan and serve with kingklip when ready.
  8. Serve the fish with a generous spoonful of the lemon-garlic butter and a good sprinkling of capers.
  9. Fry an egg omelette with the 3 small eggs, then place it aside. Fry as many rashers of bacon as you’d like, and cook the canned beans. Serve together with kingklip.

Recipe: Shrimp madras curry with Durban inspired masala

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Prawn madras curry with special Durban masala! Served with basmati rice topped with coriander and home made naan bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo or large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 24 fresh kari leaves, cut into chiffonade; or 1 tablespoon dried kari leaves, coarsely powdered
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, fresh or canned
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
  • basmati rice (proportion depends on amount you like having with curry)

Ingredients (naan bread):

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling, see Cook’s Note*
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kalonji (nigella seeds), optional, see Cook’s Note**
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional, see Cook’s Note**
  • Melted butter for slathering on the finished naans
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. In a large glass, dissolve the dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water. Let it sit on your counter until it’s frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.
  3. Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and add the kalonji and fennel seeds, if using, and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. It will feel like there isn’t enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky and pliable dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let it sit in a warm place for 2 to 4 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your shrimp madras curry. Place the shrimp in a bowl. Add the Curry Powder, Garam Masala, kari leaves, garlic, and oil and crumble over shrimps.
  5. Heat a frying pan over high heat until very hot. Add the shrimps and sear, shaking and tossing, for 1 minute, or until they begin to turn pink and curl up. Whisk the tomato paste into the coconut milk and add to the shrimps. Continue to cook until the sauce is reduced to a glaze and the shrimps are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice and turn off the heat.
  6. Spread the watercress on a plate and mound the shrimps on top of it. Keep warm until serving time.
  7. 20 minutes should have passed now. Now cook the basmati rice, and once cooked, keep warm.
  8. Once 4 hours has passed since laying out the naan dough, start preparing to roll the naan. When you’re ready to roll, make sure you have two bowls on your counter: one with extra flour in it, and one with water. The dough will be extremely soft and sticky. Separate the dough into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.
  9. Shape the naan. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a teardrop shape, narrower at the top than at the bottom. Once you’ve formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it; the dough’s own weight will stretch it out a little. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.
  10. Warm a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s nearly smoking. Make sure you have a lid large enough to fit the skillet and have a bowl of melted butter at the ready.
  11. Dampen your hands in the bowl of water and pick up one of your naans, flip-flopping it from one hand to the other to lightly dampen it. Gently lay it in the skillet and set your timer for 1 minute. The dough should start to bubble.
  12. After about 1 minute, flip the naan. It should be blistered and somewhat blackened, don’t worry – that’s typical of traditional naan! Cover the skillet with the lid and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
  13. Remove the naan from the skillet, brush with a bit of butter and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.

Recipe: Chocolate Soufflé

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Chocolate Soufflé topped with chocolate and walnut shavings. Finished with white chocolate on triple ice cream on waffle and wafer sticks with Strawberry on the side.

Note: Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 4 1/2 tbscaster sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 160ml (2/3 cup) milk
  • 210g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thin cream
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • Strawberries, ice cream and chocolate wafers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush six 160ml (2/3-cup) ovenproof souffle dishes with melted butter to grease (using upward strokes on side). Sprinkle the inside with 1 1/2 tbs of caster sugar, shake out any excess.
  2. Melt 30g of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and use a wooden spoon to stir for 1 minute or until mixture is smooth and begins to bubble. Remove from heat, gradually add milk, stirring until smooth and combined. Return to medium heat, stir until mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 125g of the chocolate and remaining caster sugar until combined. Transfer to a bowl. Add egg yolks and stir until well combined.
  4. Use an electric beater to whisk egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Use a metal spoon to fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture evenly into prepared dishes. Place on a baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until well risen.
  6. Meanwhile: combine remaining chocolate, remaining butter, brown sugar, cream and vanilla essence in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is well combined. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place in a jug.
  7. To serve, place ramekins on plates. Dust with icing sugar. Use a spoon to make a hole in top of each souffle, pour in a little chocolate sauce. Add chocolate wafers, strawberries and ice cream on side if desired.

Recipe: Prawns on a bed of caramelized pineapples

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Prawns with orange sauce on a bed of caramelized pineapples, scented in vanilla finished with olive oil and sherry vinegar vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 24 tiger prawns (raw)
  • lettuce (freshly washed)
  • salt and pepper for seasoning (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Vanilla

Directions:

  1. Core and peel pineapple. Slice it lengthwise into eighths.
  2. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Coat pineapple wedges with sugar; place in hot pan. Cook, turning once and shaking pan often, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. While waiting for the pineapples, cook prawns so long. Bring 2.5 litres of water to the boil, add 2 tablespoons of sea salt.
Add prawns to boiling water. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Prawns are done when they float to the top of the water. To test, take out a prawn and hold it to the light, it is cooked when the flesh has shrunk from the shell slightly and the prawn looks translucent.
  5. When they’re done, remove them from the boiling water and place in a big bowl of iced water to cool them.
  6. Now the pineapples should be ready. Remove pineapples from pan, then stir 3 tablespoons water into pan, and heat briefly. Place washed lettuce on plate, then place pineapples on top of them. Drizzle sauce over pineapples. Place prawns on top of caramelized pineapples, and season with salt, pepper, olive oil, and sherry vinegar as desired.