Chilli Chicken Liver Pancakes and Bunny Silhouettes, Part 2 of 3….. Easter at Bosbokfontein Nature Reserve

Waking up at Bosbokfontein Nature Reserve is a magical experience, the light through the huge windows gives a blue haze and the wooden house feels like a big ship floating on the open sea….

2. chicken liver.jpg

Evie treated me to a real coffee experience and we downed huge cups of steaming coffee discussing the menu’s of the day…

The real coffee experience WITH a view...

The real coffee experience WITH a view…

5. chickenliver.jpg

We moved inside, to the kitchen with the “best view” I’ve ever cooked in and Evie spoiled me with these lovely baked pancakes filled with chilli chicken livers…and more coffee….

A kitchen with a GREAT view...

A kitchen with a GREAT view…

For the Baked Pancakes filled with chicken livers you will need:
1 x batch of pancakes- see recipe on recipe card
500g free-range chicken livers
1 onion and 1 clover of garlic chopped
Black pepper and Ina Paarman chilli and garlic salt
Dash of Wellingtons Hot Sweet Chilli marinade
2 tablespoons rosemarie leaves
200 – 250 ml cream
Lemon juice and grated white cheddar cheese

Chicken liver pancakes ………. RECIPE CARD Cut on this link for a printable PDF recipe card.

The process...

The process…

We asked the girls if they wanted some Chicken Liver Pancakes as well…. look at the faces we got…

Lips in spasm...

Lips in spasm…

Evie busy in the kitchen… it took her about 45 minutes to get this dish on the table… nice chat time for the two of us …

Evie busy spoiling me ....

Evie busy spoiling me ….

Suite the onions and garlic in a little bit of olive oil and butter. Once soft add the roughly chopped chicken livers. Fry until cooked and nicely browned. Add black pepper and 2 good shakes of Ina Paarman Chilli and Garlic salt. Add a dash of Wellingtons Hot Sweet chilli marinade and +/- 250 ml cream. It should not be too runny. Add 1 tablespoon of rosemarie leaves and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and cook through.

Fill the pancakes and add a thin line of mayo over the chicken liver mix before you close the pancake.

Add grated white cheddar and bake for +/- 20 minutes until crisp on top.

Yum yum...

Yum yum…

Ready for the oven... bake until crisp..

Ready for the oven… bake until crisp..

After our BIG breakfast it was time for a quick walk on the beach…

12. chickenliver.jpg

And then, Evie and Albert went to show me the farm… Evie, apparently is the “better” driver and in the loose sand we needed a GOOD driver. At one point we went up a very steep hill and could not see the road going down, Albert shouted “sharp right” which was what Evie did…. but it was not as sharp as what we thought….

A view of the Nature Reserve..

A view of the Nature Reserve..

Our very capable driver..

Our very capable driver..

A quick damage check...mmm not tooo bad...

A quick damage check…mmm not tooo bad…

CREATIVE BUNNNNNY TIME……

We’ve decided to cut out 20 black silhouette bunnies for the easter egg hunt. We did not want to disturb the vegetation and decided to do the hunt all along the access road, and marked the “nests” filled with chocolate eggs with our black bunnies on a stick.

Evie busy cutting out the bunnies...

Evie busy cutting out the bunnies…

Bunny silouette

Print the bunnies on A4 white paper and make photocopies on the darkest setting, roughly cut them out and stick them to cardboard. Cut them out and tape a small stick to the back…

Midnight creative fun by candle light..

Midnight creative fun by candle light..

Evelyn woke me at around 6 on Sunday morning… mmmmm it was drizzling outside but we had to get this done before the kids wake up…

Early morning fun, think we had more fun than the kids..

Early morning fun, think we had more fun than the kids..

WE also had some mmmmmmm bunnies for the adults…

Bunnies for the Adults..

Bunnies for the Adults..

Let the HUNT begin…

The HUNTERS...

The HUNTERS…

A little bit of hassle, a HUGE lot of creative fun…

Full of smiles...

Full of smiles…

To follow in part 3, Shannon’s Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle and bunny paw prints…

The week of the Braai Pie and “Bakkie sakkie”, riots, fires and high stress…

What a start to the year, labour unrest, fires, high stress, and then a relaxed evening and my first introduction the a “braai pie” and “bakkie sakkie”…. at least I can say it ended on a high and it seems that peace have returned to our beautiful Elgin Valley….

We were invited for a Saturday evening braai, a supposedly “quick one” as Matthew had to do his “farm watch” duty, a late and nearly midnight shift, very abnormal for our peaceful little town.

Mandy whipped out Matthew’s Christmas Gift, a lovely “braai” cookbook and made this lovely “braai pie” …… I loved it, something new ….

For the “Braai Pie” you will need:
2 x 500g rolls puff pastry 2 – 3 baby marrows
1 large onion chopped 1/2 cup cubed feta
1 yellow pepper sliced 1/2 cup grated matured white cheddar cheese
250g sliced brown mushrooms 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4 chicken breast fillets cubed olive oil
OR ANY FILLING OF YOUR CHOICE salt and pepper

Mandy prepping the pastry...

Mandy prepping the pastry…

EARLIER IN THE DAY…
Fry the onions, mushrooms and sliced yellow pepper in a bit of olive oil until soft. Fry the cubed chicken and season well. Leave to cool and refrigerate – the pastry needs cold ingredients.
Defrost the pastry in your fridge.

Adding the ingredients...

Adding the ingredients…

ONE HOUR BEFORE SERVING…
On a tray that fits into your fridge, open the first roll of puff pastry, brush with a bit of olive oil and flip it over onto the plastic sheet on the tray. Scatter the cooked chicken, onion, mushrooms and yellow pepper. Make sure you drain all the liquid before adding the filling on the pastry. Add the cheese and top with thin slices of baby marrow, ( Mandy used a potato feeler to slice the marrows). Season with salt and pepper…

Adding the cheese...

Adding the cheese…

Cover with the second sheet of puff pastry, close the sides by pressing lightly with a fork all around the edges. Brush with olive oil and refrigerate. It is important to refrigerate the “braai pie” for at least 45 minutes otherwise the pastry will be too soft for the braai grid.

Close the sides...

Close the sides…

FOR THE BRAAI…
Transfer the “braai pie” from the tray and plastic onto the braai grid. Braai for +/- 10 minutes over a medium heat, make sure the pastry don’t burn.

Turning with a semi closed grid...

Turning with a semi closed grid…

Carefully close the grid, don’t press it tightly, and turn over. The pie might be slightly stuck to the “now top side” of the grid, carefully loosen it, and braai for another 10 minutes on a low heat until golden brown..

Serve immediately

No 9. braai pie

OK, us girls, we don’t normally do this, but we had to get rid of the week’s stress …..

The "bakkie sakkie".... portable fire cart on the back of a "bakkie"...

The “bakkie sakkie”…. portable fire cart on the back of a “bakkie”…

And then it was time for Caroline to introduce me to the HERO OF THE WEEK, “die bakkie sakkie”….. we’ve had several fires in the Valley this week and “DIE BAKKIE SAKKIE” definately helped the farmers getting to the “hot spots” quickly and on time…

A STRESSFUL WEEK…… BUT I CAN REPORT THAT CALM HAS RETURNED TO OUR VALLEY…

Slow roasted acorn-fed pork shoulder with honey and buttered apples and pears….Christmas with friends…

Christmas, friends, gifts, acorn-fed tender pork shoulder, honey and buttered apples….. what more do you want for a lovely early Christmas get-together with friends to exchange gifts and eat delicious food produced here in our beautiful Valley…

Once a year a couple of our friends get together to celebrate Christmas the weekend before “Christmas”. As usual it will take us a week or two to decide on “what to cook”, this year we outsourced the snacks, starter and desert to two of the other families and myself and Shannon focused on the Main Meal…. we did however demanded Yummy Galore food from the contributors and they knew they had to perform or be scrapped for the invite list, and believe me they did not disappoint…

Shannon decided on a simple yet beautiful and tender acorn-fed pork shoulder for The Pool Room at Oak Valley Estates… wow, what a beautiful piece of meat, you should have seen Shannon handling that lovely shoulder, rubbing it with the lemon salt with true respect…
We are spoiled with various restaurant’s in the Elgin Valley and THE POOL ROOM with chef Nicole Precoudis, is the latest edition to a growing list… they also have a deli and restaurant filled with local produce, flowers, freshly baked breads and bakes, acorn-fed pork, beef and their own Oak Valley Wines.

No 24. w2s the poolroom

No 21. w2w the poolroom deli

For the slow-roasted acorn-fed pork shoulder you need to follow the following steps:
The day before, soak the shoulder in brine…
+/- 3kg or larger acorn-fed pork shoulder with the bone and skin on
1/4 cup sea salt
3/4 cup castor sugar
2.5 litres water
6 bay leaves, rosemary, a hand full of sage leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried sage
1 whole head of garlic with the top cut off to expose the cloves
1/4 cup green peppercorns

Make the brine, by adding the salt, sugar and water to a saucepan, slowly bring to the boil and dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the cooled liquid to a plastic bowl, big enough to fit and cover the shoulder. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, sage, whole garlic and peppercorns. Prick the shoulder with a skewer and dry the skin. Score the skin at 1cm intervals with a small sharp knife or ask your butcher to do it, rub with salt… Place the shoulder in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.

4 hours before serving…
Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees. Remove the shoulder from the fridge and discard the brine. Pat DRY with paper towelling.

Handled and rubbed with LOVE it could not be anything else that tender...

Handled and rubbed with LOVE it could not be anything else than juicy and tender…

Make the Lemon Salt rub..
Make the Lemon Salt Rub by grinding together in a pestle and mortar…
1/3 cup sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon rind
1/3 cup green peppercorns
1 tablespoon olive oil

No 4. christmas with friends

Rub and massage the DRIED shoulder tenderly and with LOVE with the Lemon Salt mixture…work it into the scored/cut skin.
Line a roasting pan with foil, and add 500ml of boiling water, rosemary, sage and bay leaves. Place the shoulder skin side up in the roasting pan. The water should come up +/- 3 – 4cm in the pan. Roast for 35 minutes at 220 degrees. Remove from the oven and cover with foil, REDUCE THE HEAT to 150 degrees. Roast for 3 hours 30 minutes, remove from the oven, uncover the pork and crisp at 200 degrees for a further 30 minutes until crisp. Rest for 15 minutes, remove the skin and cut the skin into smaller pieces to serve as cracking with the sliced tender pork.

For a printable version of the recipe click on the LINK BELOW
Slow-roasted acorn-fed pork Shoulder with Honey buttered apples and pears … RECIPE CARD

No 7. ch5ristmas with friends

We’ve set the table as per Shannon’s instructions, silver and white, while the pork roasted in the oven and finished a couple of bottles of bubbly on the kitchen floor, life like we love it…..

Me in kitchen heaven...

Me in kitchen heaven…

The silver and white themed table...

The silver and white themed table…

Shannon decided to serve the tender pork with sweet honey and buttered apples and pears straight from the farm…
Poach the peeled and cored apples and pears until slightly soft but still firm. Drain and fry on a high heat with 1 and a half tablespoon of butter and a big squirt of honey until golden brown…

Honey and butter like the girls in the kitchen...

Honey and butter like the girls in the kitchen…

We started the afternoon with me and Shannon and the other friends joined us a bit later… the girls all dress up for our dinner…

After dinner it was time for the VERY important “exchanging of gifts”…. thanks to Vissie for being very “willing” to be Father Christmas, I wonder why??

No 27. christmas with friends

So Shannon promised me a scale,( see it is in Vissie’s hand on the pic above) yes I don’t have a kitchen scale and every second day phone her to “weigh” flour ect for me and give me the ml’s…. so when I saw my flat small parcel I gave it back to her, unopened and said “WHERE IS MY SCALE??”, she gave it back and once opened I saw it’s a VERY FANCY flat electronic scale that can take any type of bowl… wow how lucky am I…

And for the “outsourced” desert … a truly decadent triple layered chocolate mousse… to follow on the blog as soon as I can get Elzaan to make it for me again…Elzaan I demanded Yummy and it was “Yummy GALORE”…

nO 29. christmas with friends

Christmas is all about tradition, and this is one tradition I would like to keep…

Sweet potato and phyllo bake ….. Christmas at Bodemloos Kombuis

Thanks to Maryke van Niekerk for sharing this recipe with me, I need to create a “noddy badge” system on my blog to highlight my top 5 recipes, yes….. , it will be┬áreal easy to select my top 5, but to start with, this recipe will be right there at the top….

1a

Bodemloos Kombuis, the venue for our Office Christmas Dinner, will stay one of my favourites in our Valley. Looking out over our beautiful Elgin Valley it is ideal for smaller size functions like our recent Office Christmas Dinner. Maryke and Henk’s friendly approachable and enthusiastic nature combined with great food made us return year after year to this venue… and let me not mention the “rolled up lamb spit” and her sweet potato bake and and and…

Bodemloos Kombuis at night...

Bodemloos Kombuis at night…

Nicole, our General Manager’s wife, always goes “all out” with creating a real Christmas feel to these dinners, and I once said that she is maybe the only person apart from Shannon (my blog partner) who I will trust blindly with decorating and setting up for a function without any “interference” from my side.

The beautifully decorated tables by Nicole and Maryke...

The beautifully decorated tables by Nicole and Maryke…

Always something different...

Always something different…

For the second year in a row, we’ve selected the Bodemloos Lamb roll on a spit…. and I will put money on it that next year we might choose it again.

Bodemloos Lamb roll on a spit ...

Bodemloos Lamb roll on a spit …

Let’s get back to that Sweet Potato and phyllo bake that accompanied the tender and juicy lamb.

For the Sweet Potato and phyllo bake you will need:

This recipe is for +/- 12 people….

Shortcut sweet potato method

Shortcut sweet potato method

2.5kg sweet potatoes (or a bit more)
125ml or half a cup of butter
187ml brown sugar
125ml golden syrup
one roll of phyllo pastry
+/- 1 cup or tub of cream
125ml brown sugar, half a cup

Cook the sweet potato by your method of choice, basically the “traditional South African” way, and if you don’t know how to do that, follow the easy method below, thanks to Ilse Groenewald for sharing this method with me.

Peel the 2.5kg sweet potatoes, immediately put the peeled sweet potatoes in water to prevent browning. Once peeled slice the sweet potatoes in 5mm thick rings and keep covered with water. In a heavy based pot melt together 125ml butter, 187ml brown sugar and 125ml golden syrup, simmer together for about 5 – 10 minutes until it looks like a slightly thick caramel. Drain the sweet potatoes and add the rings to the simmering caramel. Give the caramel and sweet potatoes a good stir. Add boiling water to “just cover” all the sweet potatoes, this is the strange part, as the traditional method cooks the sweet potato without adding any water. Simmer for about 45 minutes on a low heat without stirring until well cooked and all the water has dissapeared. Keep an eye on it for the last 10 minutes as you only want to cook it until there’s about 1 cm of liquid remaining. Let it cool.

Once cooled completely start rolling the pastry rolls.

Very important when working with phyllo is to firstly defrost it overnight in your fridge, and once ready to use make sure you have a damp tea towel at hand to immediatly cover the sheets of phyllo as soon as you remove them from the plastic packet, if you don’t cover the flat opened sheets they will dry out quickly and stick together. I love working with phyllo, as long as you remember to cover it with that damp cloth.

Remove one sheet, and spoon one long line of sweet potato 5cm from the bottom of the pastry over the full lenght of the sheet, refer to the pic below, and roll it up tightly. Cut into 4 – 5 cm long pieces and pack the rolls into our dish. Make sure you cut the all the same length to create an even layer of little rolls stanking up in your dish…

The process...

The process…

Up to this stage you can prepare in advance, I would guess up to 3 or 4 hours before you need to serve….

About an hour before you need to serve, drizzle the cream over the sweet potato rolls and sprinkle with the 125ml of brown sugar, add a bit more sugar if the 125ml don’t seem to be enough, the cream will absorb into the phyllo and the brown sugar will turn into a crispy layer on top of the rolls… sweet crispness at the top and soft heaven inside…

The unbaked rolls sprinkled with brown sugar...

The unbaked rolls sprinkled with brown sugar…

Bake for about 40 minutes at 180 degrees or until crisp at the top and all the cream absorbed into the pastry…

For a printable recipe card click on the PDF link below:
Sweet Potato and filo bake … RECIPE CARD

The crispy top

The crispy top

I loved this recipe so much that we made it on Friday night before Christmas at our “Christmas with friends” dinner and AGAIN on Tuesday for our Christmas Lunch….

Maryke, serving crispy prawn snacks...

Maryke, serving crispy prawn snacks…

Thanks to Ilse for always grabbing my camera and taking a couple of pics….(not a lot of people will be brave enough as they might get a growl), I don’t have a lot of pics of myself and really love the fun pics I find on my camera late at night when lying in bed and quickly scanning through the evenings pics on my camera…

Me and Bruce, thanks Ilse for taking the pic

Me and Bruce, thanks Ilse for taking the pic

Now time for something sweet…

The yummy dessert.

The yummy dessert.

LET THE PARTY START!! But I’ve had a busy busy week… (one of the pics I found on my camera)

A find on my camera...

A find on my camera…

What a GREAT evening, I think we went home at 3…. the next morning….

11

And next year we will be back…. Thanks Maryke for your great food and Henk for the music that made us dance the night away…

9a

Picture perfect summer picnic at the HOPE 2012 concert in aid of the Thembalitsha Foundation

IN AID OFF

When I think back to the HOPE 2012 concert, I think of PERFECTION…. the evening turned into a peach, every little detail from parking our car, the taxi’s that transported us to the Country Club, the friends who joined us drinking glasses filled with pink Rose, to the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever experienced and then I have not even talked about the Parletones, Watershed, Gian Groen and my picnic jars and lots lots more, and let me end by saying when Emma (7) wanted her Rooibos Tea at 11:15, I walked hand in hand with her and found the most amasing kiosk which made her a cup of tea….

The HOPE 2012 concert was in aid of The Thembalitsha Foundation, Thembalithsa is the Xhosa word for NEW HOPE and they aim to bring and restore hope to the desperate and needy people of South Africa, here in our Valley. Developing them to a point of self-reliance through the provision of healthcare, education and training….

Let me start with a couple of pics I took some months ago of what they do….

Visiting the needy at home...

Visiting the needy at home…

Home visits...

Home visits…

Caring for the sick at Thembacare..

Caring for the sick at Thembacare..

Now back to the concert….

Our spot...

Our spot…

Thanks Elzaan for keeping a spot for us, centre stage…

Shannon and Nicole who returned for her 30 day "trek throught the wild" on a school outing..

Shannon and Nicole who returned for her 30 day “trek throught the wild” on a school outing..

Now for the best pic of the night… Nicole went on “trek” walking, kayaking and cycling for 30 days, … she left as a young girl and returned a young women…. you are soooo beautiful Nicole…

Nicole, need I say more.

Nicole, need I say more.

Nina, Abby and Bella   .... friends having fun...

Nina, Abby and Bella …. friends having fun…

Little Emma and Lea..

Little Emma and Lea..

THE FOOD- CHILLI PRAWN JARS WITH PINKISH MAYO..

And now for the picnic snacks, lets start with the Cucumber avo chilli prawn jars with pinkish mayo…

Cucumber avo chilli prawn pots with pinkish mayo...

Cucumber avo chilli prawn pots with pinkish mayo…

You will need:
Cubed cucumber
Cubed firm but soft avo
Devained and peeled prawns
Chilli flakes
Butter and Olive oil
Mayo and a squirt of tomato sauce

Layer the cubed cucumber and cubed avo in the jars. Flash fry the prawns in a little bit of butter and olive oil, add chilli flakes and season well. Cool. Make the dressing by mixing 1 cup of mayonaise with a couple of squirts tomato sauce…

Click on the link below for a printable PDF RECIPECARD..
Chilli prawn and avo jars with pinkish mayo RECIPE CARD

No 12. Hope

Trading Prawn jars for Yummy Langbaken cheese... with Amanda

Trading Prawn jars for Yummy Langbaken cheese… with Amanda

TENDER PESTO AND YOGHURT CHICKEN SATES…..

If I need to list my 5 most used recipes, this one will feature on that list, I make it at least once every two weeks…. not on the stick but cut the chicken pieces in half after frying and dipping and then you stir the luke warm soft chicken into egg noodles, including the remaining yoghurt and pesto mix…. soft tender chicken with a hint of pesto… topped with grated parmesan and roasted pine nuts… lets return to the picnic….

The process... easy and really worth a try.

The process… easy and really worth a try.

You will need:
8 Elgin Freerange chicken fillets
1 small tub of bulgarian or greek yoghurt
2 heaped teaspoons pesto
1 cup flour
chicken spice

Slice the chicken fillets in half lenghways, and in half again (refer to picture above). Spice well with chicken spice, salt and pepper and roll the mini fillets into the flour. Pack the floured chicken fillets in one layer, if you stack them on top of each other they will become soggy. Mix the yoghurt, about 250 ml or a small tub with the pesto, don’t use more than 2 teaspoons of Pesto as you don’t want the pesto to be overpowering, the yoghurt needs to have a light green colour. Flash fry the fillets in a little bit of canola oil, secret no 1….. FLASH FRY, they must be just cooked but brown, and make sure the pan is hot before you start. Secret no 2…… remove the cooked fillets (the flour should have disappeared and crisped up the fillet) and take them from the pan with a tongue and dip them one by one straight into the bowl of pesto yoghurt, first the one side, then the other side and place on a flat plate to rest…. all in one movement, the very hot crisped cooked flour on the chicken will absorb the cool yoghurt and I am not sure WHAT happens but it turns the chicken into these tender soft juice little bites… so hot oil, don’t overcook, immediately dip into yoghurt and let rest…..

Once slightly cooled skewer them onto a medium length sosatie stick and cover…. ready for the picnic…. can be served at room temperature or warm…

Print on the recipe card for a printable PDF recipe card:
Tender Pesto and Yoghurt chiken sates RECIPE CARD

Sharing with friends...

Sharing with friends…

Nina and Abby, what a carefree age....

Nina and Abby, what a carefree age….

Amber, Emma and Rosie... fun fun fun...

Amber, Emma and Rosie… fun fun fun…

AND NOW, FOR THE MINI MILKTARTS….

Mom and daughter having fun...

Mom and daughter having fun…

These little milktarts are soooo easy I will most definately make them again for a picnic… they look great and taste even better, I had about 5 friends and little Danny asking for more…. but what a pity there were none left… Danny, now your mom can make them for you…

I am not going to add the recipe here but will insert the recipe card….
Easy mini milktarts… RECIPE CARD

Only the filo needs to bake for 10 min's....

Only the filo needs to bake for 10 min’s….

Little Danny, I promise that next time I will make a double batch…

No 38b. Hope

LET THE CONCERT START !!!

No 41. Hope

What a stage Emily organised!!! WELL DONE...

What a stage Emily organised!!! WELL DONE…

Emma having fun

Emma having fun

I think a 7 year old can only handle that much and at 11:15 she demanded Rooibos Tea….

Jayyyy we found some tea...

Jayyyy we found some tea…

Passed out under the picnic blanket, and resting for our BIG race of tomorrow morning...

Passed out under the picnic blanket, and resting for our BIG race of tomorrow morning…

Not part of this blog, but let me show you the race Mom and daughter did early the next morning…

Emma and Lara, the "lappoppe" at the Jolly Jester triathlon..

Emma and Lara, the “lappoppe” at the Jolly Jester triathlon..

Tying up the pink hair before our dam crossing...

Tying up the pink hair before our dam crossing…

Did I say this was an adventure race, me and Emma decending the very steep dam wall...

Did I say this was an adventure race, me and Emma decending the very steep dam wall…

The end... well done girls we might have come last, but you've completed the 3 km trail run, 12 km MTB cycle and dam crossing...

The end… well done girls we might have come last, but you’ve completed the 3 km trail run, 12 km MTB cycle and dam crossing…

WHAT a weekend, it started with our Christmas Party at Bodemloos Kombuis, where I’ve had the most devine sweet potato bake, (on the blog in a couple of days), then prepping for the Hope 2012 concert Saturday night, and Sunday morning the Jolly Jester triathlon… I think I need a couple of hours sleep….

Well done if you’ve managed to read through this blog post, it is a bit long, sorry, but what a fun filled evening for a GREAT cause….

Cannot wait for next year EMILY HOUSE!!!

Chickpeas, spinach and sweet potato… Part 3…. Cooking for Jacques and testing recipes for Chritsmas Lunch

This is the last recipe I would like to share with you from our late November Sunday lunch with Jacques, a great side dish for our chicken braai or the ideal “main meal” for my no meat friends like Melisse…

I’ve heard of this recipe from my sister, Liezel, she emailed it to me and said it is really worth a try, it is from a book I recommended to her by “Ottolenghi”, a great book, but being a bit of a “picture” girl I battle to cook from this book as I find that the pictures are very dull and non inspiring… a terrible thing to say I know, but the truth, and now I also need to say that EVERY recipe we’ve tried from this book is a real winner. So if you have the book, don’t look at the pictures, but do try the recipes as they are great….

I try out many recipes from books and magazines around me, and sometimes like with this recipe, you just know that it will become a favourite and real winner, so this one will most definately find a special place in my recipe file.

No 3. Garden

For the Chickpea, spinach and sweet potato dish, adapted from Ottolengi you will need:
1 tin drained chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1,5 tsp fine cumin
1 tsp fine coriander
1 tbsp tomato puree
400g tinned italian tomatoes
1 tsp castor sugar
100g baby spinach leaves
a handfull chopped coriander leaves
salt and pepper

500g sweet potatoes
water for cooking
50g butter
4 squeezes of honey
salt

No 2. chickpea spinach and sweet potato

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, fine cumin and fine coriander. Saute until soft. Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes and sugar. Cook together for about 5 minutes, add salt, pepper and drained chickpeas. Add the spinach leaves, mix through and cook until wilted. Put to the side and warm through just before serving.

No 3. chickpea spinach and sweet potato

Peel the sweet potato, remember to keep the uncooked sweet potato covered with water to prevent browning. Slice the sweet potato into 4cm high rings, add to a saucepan, add the butter and drizzle with honey. Fry a little bit and then add boiling water to the saucepan, covering the sweet potato about 2/3’s… Cook with a lid on until cooked, don’t stir as you want the sweet potato to keep it’s shape, top up with water every now and then until cooked. Leave in the saucepan until just before serving.

Time to set the table…

No 2. Garden

Just before serving warm the tomato and sweet potato, use a flat shaped serving bowl, first add the tomato and chickpeas then top with the sweet potato, add a handfull of chopped fresh coriander. This dish can be served at room temperature but I prefer it slightly warm.

No 4. chickpea spinac and sweet potato

On perfect summer afternoons like this one our lunch can drag on till late afternoon…. then we quickly pack a platter of leftover’s and feed everyone again just before they need to go home, as tomorrow is Monday…

No 5. Garden

No 4. Garden

No 6. Garden

No 7. Garden

Jacques, it was great having you for lunch, hope we will see you in December for that cycle in our beautiful valley…..

For a printable recipe card click on the link below
Chickpea, spinach and sweet potatoe side dish RECIPE CARD

Crushed pesto potatoes….. Let’s cook for 50 at a good friend’s 50’th….. part 6 of 9

Let me start by saying “I can have a whole plate full of this right now….” filled with luke warm crushed pesto potatoes, topped with crunchy macadamia nuts and shavings of parmesan, sorry but have to say it, with a sprinkle of coarse maldon salt… ok, lets get back to this recipe.

We needed a “starchy” veg to bulk up our lunch, and Evelyn suggested and made these ultra yummy luke warm crushed pesto potatoes for the party.

For the Crushed pesto potatoes you will need:
(can be made up to 2 hours before the time, but still needs to be luke warm)
1 kg small baby potatoes
60 g basil pesto, or more… (we used the small tub mediteranean pesto from spar)
1/2 cup roasted crushed macadamia nuts (or roasted pine kernels)
shavings of parmesan cheese
Olive oil (+/- 1/4 cup)
Maldon salt and black pepper
Basil leaves for decoration, not really needed

Boil the baby potatoes until soft, they need to be really soft….. drain the water and add the pesto, olive oil, salt and pepper to the warm potatoes. Cover with a lid and let it rest at room temperature until needed.

Just before serving, re-heat the potatoes, and slowly stir in all the ingredients that’s been resting on top of the potatoes…. they don’t need to be heated for long, you just want them semi warm, and some of the potatoes will “crush” and break up but that is what they need to do.

Serve on a flat platter, and top with shavings of parmesan and roasted (roast in a dry pan until light brown) macadamia nuts.

Double click on the RECIPE CARD LINK below to open a pdf format printable version of this recipe
Crushed pesto potatoes RECIPE CARD