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: 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: Traditional pad thai

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Traditional Pad Thai with prawns, tofu, bean sprouts, garlic chives and rice noodles. Sprinkled with roasted peanuts wrapped in a egg basket. Garnished with lime, sweet chili sauce, coriander.

Ingredients:

  • 24 baby prawns
  • tofu
  • bean sprouts
  • garlic chives
  • rice noodles
  • roasted peanuts
  • 4 large eggs
  • lime, sweet chili sauce and coriander (optional)

Directions:

  1. Boil 2.5 litres of water, add 2 tablespoons of salt. Add rice noodles to boiling water and cook with lid on top of the pot until water comes to a boil again on the stove. Once done, remove noodles alone into a large bowl and pour 2 cups of cold water over noodles. After 5seconds, drain cold water out.
  2. 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. 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. When they’re done, remove them from the boiling water and place in a big bowl of iced water to cool them.
  3. Throw noodles, prawns, tofu, bean sprouts and garlic chives into wok. Adjust proportions according to personal taste. Fry until all ingredients are cooked, then set aside.
  4. Scramble 4 eggs, and fry neatly in a pan as if frying a pancake. Flip over when necessary and set aside once cooked.
  5. Place egg basket onto large plate, and place thai noodles in the middle of egg basket. Use lime, sweet chili sauce and coriander if desired for extra flavor.

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: Eggs Benedict

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Toasted English muffin topped with back bacon, poached egg and finished with freshly prepared Hollandaise sauce. Garnished with parsley.

Note: Makes 4 one-egg one-muffin servings of eggs benedict.

Ingredients:

  • 8 pieces of bacon or 4 pieces of Canadian bacon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar
  • 2 English muffins
  • Butter

Ingredients (Blender Hollandaise):

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne or Tabasco

Directions:

1. Start with the bacon. Heat a large skillet on medium low heat. Add the strips of bacon. Slowly fry, turning occasionally, until the bacon is browned on both sides, and if using strip bacon, much of the fat is rendered out (about 10 minutes). Use tongs or a fork to remove the bacon from the pan, set on a paper towel to absorb the excess fat. (Don’t pour the bacon fat left in the pan down the drain! Either sop it up with paper towels when it has cooled a bit, or pour it into a jar to be used later).

2. While the bacon is cooking, bring a large saucepan that is two thirds filled with water to a boil, then add the vinegar. Bring the water to a boil again, then lower the heat to a bare simmer.

3. Make the blender hollandaise. To make blender hollandaise, melt 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Put 3 egg yolks, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender, blend on medium to medium high speed for 20-30 seconds, until eggs lighten in color. Turn blender down to lowest setting, slowly dribble in the hot melted butter, while continuing to blend. Taste for salt and acidity and add more salt or lemon juice to taste. Transfer it to a container you can use for pouring and set it on a warm, but not hot, place on or near the stovetop.

4. Poach the eggs. Essentially, working one egg at a time you crack an egg into a small bowl and slip it into the barely simmering water. Once it begins to solidify, you can slip in another egg, until you have all four cooking. Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit for 4 minutes. (Remember which egg went in first, you’ll want to take it out first).

5. When it comes time to remove the eggs, gently lift out with a slotted spoon. Note that the timing is a little variable on the eggs, depending on the size of your pan, how much water, how many eggs, and how runny you like them. You might have to experiment a little with your set-up to figure out what you need to do to get the eggs exactly the way you like them.

6. As soon as all the eggs are in the poaching water, begin toasting your English muffins. If you can’t get all the muffins toasted by the time the eggs are ready, gently remove the eggs from the poaching water and set in a bowl.

7. To assemble the eggs benedict, butter one side of an English muffin. Top with two slices of bacon. You can trim the bacon to fit the muffin if you’d like. Put a poached egg on top of the bacon, then pour some hollandaise over. Sprinkle some parsley over it all and serve at once.

Recipe: Miniature chocolate marble cakes

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Baked chocolate marble cake base covered in light vanilla whipped double cream, topped with icing sugar powdered blueberry with strawberry, glazed in strawberry sauce.

Note: Serves 4 – 6.

Ingredients:

  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 130g vanilla double cream
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 50g melted dark chocolate (I used 70% dark)
  • icing sugar powder
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • strawberry sauce

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Butter a 4 cup circular tins and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl either in the microwave (about 30 seconds) or over a double boiler. Once melted, set aside to slightly cool.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Then add in the flour mixture little by little. Remove around 2/3 cup of the mixture and add the melted chocolate to the mixture left in the stand mixer bowl. Mix to just blend.
  5. Spoon mixtures alternatively into circular tins. Bake for around 30-40 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, whip the vanilla double cream. Wash the blueberries and strawberries, then slice up strawberries in halves. Also put strawberry sauce into a bowl, ready to pour over marble cake.
  7. Once marble cakes are done in the oven, allow to cool slightly before turning out.
  8. Spread some whipped vanilla double cream over the top of the marble cakes. Pour some strawberry sauce over the vanilla cream. Place two halves of the sliced strawberries in the centre, and line the outer circle with blueberries. Sprinkle with icing sugar powder.