I’ve never really been a savoury mince kind a gal. I remember going to a friends house after school and being horrified when her mother presented us with mince on toast! A firm favourite for many, i know, but not for this lady … or at least thats what I thought until, boredom of the same old chicken wrap, led me to experiment with this spicy mince recipe, which was inspired by Chef Pete Evans. The family and I enjoy it so much that its become a firm favourite. Even little Hudson is enjoying the mince, I add some spinach, some brown rice and a miellie and he is a very happy little toddler with a big belly. The state of the floor, the feeding chair and him is another story! If you going to try this with your little ones – feed them outside 😉 Hudson’s portion has less chilli … as does Andrew’s 🙂
This dish is perfect for feeding crowds, place all the prepared elements on the kitchen counter for a self service kind of vibe 🙂
You could substitute the wraps for oven roasted sweet potato slices, for a gluten free take on this dish. Enjoy x
Spicy Mince & Salsa Wraps
Yield: 15 (Great for lunch boxes the next day or for toddler meals which you can freeze)
For the Spicy Mince:
1kg lean beef mince
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and turned into a paste
2 red chilli’s, seeds removed and finely chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomato
salt & pepper
Dash olive oil
For the Salsa: (The salsa never stretches far enough, so be generous here)
1 red onion, finely diced
Few generous handfuls of fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
For the Guacamole:
3 ripe avocados, mashed
1 or 2 garlic cloves, crushed and turned into a paste
3 or 4 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
For the spicy mince: Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a pot and bring to heat, add the onions, reduce the heat and fry gently for 5 or so minutes until soft. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute or two before adding the mince. Increase the heat and cook until the meat has browned, stirring continuously to break up the pieces. Add the spices and the tomato paste and cook for a further minute before adding the tinned tomatoes. Once it comes to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
For the Salsa: Bring a small pot of water to the boil. Place a container with ice water, which will hold all the tomatoes, next to the stove. Using a small sharp knife make a small ‘X’ insertion on the bottom of each tomato. Gently place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds before removing with a slotted spoon and transferring to the ice bath you have waiting. (Do not boil the tomatoes for more than 30 seconds else they will soften and begin to cook). Once the tomatoes have cooled, you can easily peel the skin off, starting from the ‘X’. To deseed, cut through the centre of the tomato then cut into quarters. Using the small knife, cut through the flesh at the top and pull out the seeds, or use a teaspoon to scoop out. Cut the tomatoes into diced size pieces, add the finely chopped onion (be cautious of the onion overpowering the salsa so start with half the allocation – you can always add more) and the coriander. Add the lime juice, salt & pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.
For the Guacamole: Mix all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare your wraps according to the packaging and plate up ! Additional extras could include some grated mature cheddar and cream cheese.
Photography by Darren Bester
This recipe is so easy, you can whip it up within minutes, pop it in the freezer and forget all about it until you ready to serve. It makes for a great dessert when entertaining. Have some sugar cones available, little bowls with fresh raspberries, chocolate shavings, peppermint crisp wafers and whatever else you fancy – Gives your guests the freedom & excitement to garnish their own dessert, while making your job easier 😉 Now that’s smart hosting.
My handsome hubby Andrew, enjoying his cone
360g Fresh Raspberries
2 Egg yolks,
1 Vanilla Seed Pod
435ml Pouring Cream
1 Cup Caster Sugar
Put the raspberries in a food processor and blend until smooth, set aside. Over a pot of simmering water, place a heatproof bowl containing the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla bean and whisk for 4 or 5 minutes with an electric handheld beater, until pale and thick. Remove from the heat and continue whisking with a whisk until cool. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form and gently fold into the egg mixture. Reserve 500ml of the mixture and pour the balance into a deep dish. Fold the reserved egg mixture through the pureed raspberries and carefully spoon stripes over the the mixture in the dish. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours or until set.
Recipe inspiration by one of my favourite foodie hero’s – Donna Hay.
I am a potato kind of gal, always have been, always will be. Sadly, I am not one of those ‘ladies’ who will take just one or two roast potatoes when dishing up, I’m more of a 4 or 5 roast potatoes kinda gal *blush* Oh, and if its my Mom’s potatoes … oh boy, then I actually lose count! My Mom’s roast potatoes are legendary and for family affairs, roast potato duty always falls to her! I of course, do offer my services for ‘quality control’ and taste a few before meal time … its the least I can do and no, i don’t include those in my count ;p
So here is my Mom’s fail proof recipe for the crispiest and fluffiest roast potatoes ever! Warning: These roasties could eliminate banting forever !
Yield: Approx 20
approximately 375ml regular cooking oil
2kgs potatoes, washed,peeled and quartered
plenty of rock salt
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees
Place baking dish in oven with the oil to heat up
Place potatoes in cold salted water and bring to the boil. Allow to boil until potatoes are just soft but not so soft that a fork would slide right off. Drain with a colander and toss the potatoes to ruffle up it’s edges. Use a fork to prick each potato in a few spots – this will allow the hot oil to penetrate the potatoes. Sprinkle with a few good pinches of salt.
By now the oil in the oven should be hot, carefully place the potatoes in the oil and using a spoon, baste each potato. Roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, then remove from the oven, turn the potatoes, place back in the oven and cook for a further plus minus 30 minutes – until crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Place on a cooling rack and sprinkle generously with salt. Serve immediately.
Cooks Note: You may have to boil your potatoes in batches – don’t overcrowd the pot. Placing your potatoes on a cooling rack will allow air to circulate around the potatoes thereby avoiding the potatoes from steaming and losing their crispiness.
Photography by Darren Bester
Beetroot Cured Salmon
Yield: 10 as a main dish accompanied by sides
1.5kg side of Norwegian Salmon, boned & skin removed
4 Beetroots, grated
400g Caster Sugar
315g Coarse Sea Salt
2 Handfuls of fresh Dill, chopped
Zest of 3 Oranges
75g capers, chopped
Combine the beetroot, sugar, salt, dill, orange zest and capers in a bowl and stir to combine well. Line a baking dish or other dish suitable of holding your salmon comfortably, with cling wrap (but don’t tear off the cling wrap). Spread half of the beetroot mixture across the cling wrap, in the shape of the salmon, place the salmon on top of the mixture & cover with the remaining mixture, pressing it up against the sides to ensure all of the salmon is covered. Wrap tightly in the cling wrap a few times over to ensure its snug. Place a heavy pan or board on top of the salmon and place in the fridge for between 8 – 12 hours. Remove the cling wrap, rinse under cold running water, pat dry with carlton towel and either serve or refrigerate until required.
Cooks Notes: Don’t worry if your mixture becomes runny – just wrap up in the clingfilm as snug as possible. Be aware that over curing will result in a hard leathery exterior on your fish and it may become too salty so do not exceed the recommended curing hours.
Here’s the link to our Lunch Celebration Table, as featured on The Pretty Blog
Photography by Darren Bester
1 stale baguette
Approximately 250g Beef Fillet, cooked rare
2 heaped tsp Horseradish Cream from a jar
200ml Creme Fraiche
Handful Rocket Micro herbs
30 Thin slices of red onion
200ml Oil (Canola or Olive Oil)
Salt & Black Pepper
Olive Oil for drizzling
In a small bowl, combine the horseradish & creme fraiche and set aside. Cut the baguette into thin rounds. Heat a griddle pan until hot, pour the 200ml oil into a bowl and dip the bread in until both sides are covered in oil, pop onto the griddle pan and turn once crispy and marked by the grill pan, repeat on the other side. Remove from the heat and place on a cooling rack until cool. Thinly slice the beef. To assemble, dollop the horseradish cream onto each bread round, top with a piece of beef, micro herbs and slice of red onion. Grind over some salt & black pepper, drizzle with olive oil & enjoy!
Photography by Darren Bester
My Sister-in-law Carmen’s Pumpkin Pie is synonymous with the words braai, lunch, dinner & celebration in our family. No meal is complete without Carmie’s famous Pumpkin Pie! While everyone loves it, there are 3 of us who usually wrestle for seconds or for that much sort after ‘take away’. In the number 1 spot is Carmie’s Mom, my Mother-in-law, aka ‘the Matriarch’ – I know better than to try and take on the leader of the pack 🙂 Next, fighting for the leftovers is Carmie’s Husband Heinrich … again, I know the pecking order and know that if it was left to rank, I’d be walking away empty handed, but often, kind hearted Heinrich will give in and let me eat my way to happiness (Thank you Heinrich).
It made sense then, that I ask Carmie for this magical recipe so that I could make and share this delicious pie with friends (and always ensure I had a little leftovers stashed away). Upon making it for friends it became evident that this is not just a family favourite, but a favourite to all who taste it. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many requests to share a recipe … so here we go … Here’s my sister-in-law’s yummy Pumpkin Pie recipe, which she got out of a cookbook entitled ‘Cellarmasters in the kitchen’ and this particular recipe was contributed by Jan Boland Coetzee (On behalf of the nation – Thank you Jan!).
Yield: 6 (I usually double these measurements to ensure there’s enough for everyone and plenty of leftovers when catering for a bigger crowd)
250ml White Sugar
250ml Cake Flour
10ml Baking Powder
875ml Cooked & mashed Pumpkin (we use x 2 500grm bags.. a little extra pumpkin can’t be a bad thing)
250ml Fresh Cream
Ground Cinnamon for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180ºc & grease an oven proof dish
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the milk, sift in the flour and baking powder and stir until well combined. Add the pumpkin, eggs, salt and cream and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned on top (The pie will crack on top when ready). Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
Cooks Note: Carmie does substitute white sugar for brown sugar and uses butternut instead of pumpkin from time to time. The cooking time can vary greatly … When doubling up, I usually cook the pie for over an hour. The pie should still have a slight wobble in the middle, when done. Its good to let the pie stand for a bit before serving, so try and bake ahead of time & then just pop in the oven to heat through again just before serving. This pie freezes well.