Creamy Cauliflower Puree

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

There’s all this fuss about cauliflower these days, its proving to be a great substitute for rice, pizza bases and mash potato.  Aaaah… Mash Potato, how I love thee … unfortunately though, you do nothing for my waistline!  So I thought, let me see how the cauliflower puree phenomenon will stand up against my beloved mash potato.   The result? A creamy, rich, indulgent and delicious ‘mash’ / puree.   Is it mash potato? Well, no but its a very good substitute for those trying to avoid carbs at dinner time.   So quick and easy to prepare and I caught a few fingers licking the plate … mine included  😉  

I served mine with Pork Chops which I fried with olive oil, garlic and sage leaves.   I fried a few of the sage leaves first in the hot olive oil for 3 or 4 seconds before draining on carlton towel and sprinkling generously with salt.   I then set these aside for garnishing.   The oil was then nicely flavoured with the sage, so I added the pork chops, which I had already marinaded in a little olive oil, with a clove of garlic which I crushed into a smooth paste, salt & black pepper.   As far as week night dinners go, it was a goodie! 

Pork Chop cropped for blog picture

Yield: 3 – 4 servings

Ingredients: 

1 head cauliflower – tough stalks removed 

1 cup chicken stock / Water 

3 Tbsp fresh cream

1 Tbsp butter

Salt & Pepper for seasoning 

Method: 

Roughly chop the cauliflower and put in a pot together with the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently until cauliflower is completely tender.  Strain in a colander, retaining a few spoons of the cooking liquid.  Put cauliflower in food processor and blend until smooth, adding about 20ml of the cooking liquid as you go.  Once processed to a smooth consistency, add the cream and butter and process again until combined. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy ! 

Cooks Note: I use the Woolworths organic ready made chicken stock for this recipe.  The stock freezes well, so I freeze whats left over after I’ve measured.  If you find the puree too thick, add a little extra cooking liquid or even better, extra cream 🙂

Header pic for pork chop resized

Mom’s Legendary Roast Potatoes

Mom’s Legendary Roast Potatoes

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

Ingredients:

approximately 375ml regular cooking oil 

2kgs potatoes, washed,peeled and quartered

plenty of rock salt 

Method:

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. 

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French Fries with Garlic Aioli 

French Fries with Garlic Aioli 

Photography by Darren Bester

Yield: Approximately 250ml

Ingredients: 

Thinly sliced french fries baked / fried & placed in canapé cones

2 Egg Yolks 

1 Heaped tsp Dijon Mustard 

Squeeze of Lemon Juice 

1 Garlic Clove Mashed 

125ml Canola Oil 

125ml Olive Oil 

Pinch of Salt 

Method: 

In a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, salt & lemon juice and give a quick blend on a low speed to combine (bout 10 or so seconds).  Slowly start trickling the oil into the mixture until you can see that it starts to thicken, once it starts thickening you can increase the flow of oil into the blender until all the oil has been combined.  Taste and season accordingly.  If too thick, add another dash of lemon juice.  

Cooks Notes: Refrigerate if not serving immediately.   Will keep for 3 days in the fridge. 

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Beetroot, Walnut & Bocchini Salad

Beetroot, Walnut & Bocchini Salad

Photography by Darren Bester

Yield: 10, as a side

Ingredients: 

5 Bunches Beetroot, boiled, peeled, cooled & cut into quarters 

200g Walnuts, broken into smaller pieces  

300g Bocconcini Mozzarella Balls 

2x 120g Rocket Leaves, roughly torn or punnet micro herbs  

Drizzle of Olive Oil 

Couple of squirts of Lemon Juice 

Few drizzles of Honey 

Salt & Black Pepper 

Method: 

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt & pepper and pour over the cooled beetroots and marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. 

Drain the Bocconcini balls and season with a dash of olive oil, salt & pepper, set aside. 

To assemble, combine the marinated beets, walnuts and rocket and toss delicately.  Spoon onto serving platter and carefully place the Bocconcini balls amongst the other ingredients. 

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This recipe was featured on The Pretty Blog – You can view the post here

Also visit here to see the full menu and beautiful setting we created for our Lunch Celebration!

 

New Baby Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

New Baby Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

Photography by Darren Bester

Yield: 10, as a side dish 

Ingredients:

x2 700g Bags of Baby Potatoes, boiled, skinned & cut into quarters 

10 – 12 Quail Eggs, hard boiled & seasoned with salt and pepper

Caper Berries, some chopped up and some retaining original appearance  

Red Onions, finely Chopped 

2 Handfuls Chopped Chives

2 tbsp Dijon Wholegrain Mustard 

2 tbsp Dijon Traditional Mustard

2 tbsp Honey 

90ml Lemon Juice 

250ml Olive Oil 

Salt & Black Pepper 

Micro Herbs for Garnishing 

Method: 

In a measuring jug whisk the mustards, honey, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper until well combined and adjust seasoning to taste.  Place the potato quarters, red onions, chives and capers in a large bowl and pour over the dressing, retaining a little for later.  Stir well to combine, taste and season with salt & pepper.  Carefully spoon the salad onto your serving platter.  Arrange the quail eggs on the salad and lightly drizzle with the remaining dressing.  Sprinkle over a few micro herbs for garnish & serve.

Cooks Notes: This salad is lovely served warm or chilled 

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Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

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)

Ingredients:

50grms Butter

250ml White Sugar

250ml Milk

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)

2 Eggs

5ml Salt

250ml Fresh Cream

Ground Cinnamon for sprinkling

Method: 

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.

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