Panzanella Salad with Burrata

Panzanella Salad with Burrata

Traditionally panzanella/Italian bread salad is not served with cheese but the creaminess of the burrata adds a deliciousness beyond words!

4 x 2cm thick slices of sourdough bread
6-8 ripe tomatoes, room temperature
half a cucumber
1 burrata cheese
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
125ml olive oil
60ml balsamic vinegar
juice of one lemon

Preheat your oven to 190℃ and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Cut the sourdough slices into cubes of 1,5-2cm – they should look like chunky croutons.
Spread the bread on the prepared baking sheet and liberally drizzle with olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper.
Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the croutons are golden and crisp.
Remove from the baking sheet and set aside.
For the dressing:
Chop 3-4 tomatoes into very small pieces. The chopping is best done in a shallow bowl so that you can preserve all of the tomatoes’ juice.
Add the tomato and its juice to a mixing bowl.
Chop the onion as finely as you can, mince the garlic and add to the tomato.
Now add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.
Mix the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

Slice the remaining 3-4 tomatoes into chunks and place in a large bowl.
Slice the cucumber into chunks and add to the tomato.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix through.
Scatter the croutons and basil over and mix again.
Spoon the salad onto a serving plate and place the burrata on top.
Serve with a cold Babylonstoren Rosé.

Parmesan Potatoes

Parmesan Potatoes

1 kg small potatoes
90g butter, melted
30ml minced garlic
30ml finely chopped rosemary
125ml grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 190℃.
Clean the potatoes and slice each in half.
Now cut a diamond pattern into each half without cutting through. Set aside.
Pour the melted butter, garlic and rosemary into a roasting pan.
Brush the cut side of each halved potato with the mixture and then dip it into the parmesan.
Place the potato halves cut-side down in the roasting tin and repeat with the rest.
Roast the potato for 45 minutes.
Serve immediately.

South African Pumpkin Tart

South African Pumpkin Tart

I want to explain myself: this is a TART because a PIE usually has a “lid” or covering of pastry of a sort. Soooo, this dish might remind one of pumpkin pie, but strictly spoken it is a tart. What makes it even more unique is the fact that it is a South African Tart. It has an earthiness from the pumpkin that is utterly yum and the cinnamon that is sprinkled on the hot tart, gives that wonderful homely warmth that is truly South African and perfect for winter meals.

This is the easiest tart you will ever make and be warned; keep a copy of the recipe because you will be asked for it!

250ml flour

250ml sugar

5ml salt

750ml cooked, well-drained pumpkin

60ml butter, melted

250ml cream

3 eggs, lightly beaten

5ml ground cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 180℃.

Lightly spray or grease a 25cm ceramic pie dish.

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.

Add the sugar and pumpkin and give the mixture a stir.

Add the melted butter and cream to a wide mouthed jug and whisk together. Add the eggs and give the mixture another thorough whisk.

Pour the wet ingredients into the pumpkin mixture and mix together really well.

Pour the mixture into the pie dish and bake for 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle an even layer of cinnamon over the tart while it is hot.

In winter I like serving this pumpkin tart warm as a side dish to a meal but it is equally delicious in summer, when served at room temperature.

Pork Rib-Eye Steaks with Grape Sauce

Pork Rib-Eye Steaks with Grape Sauce

8 pork rib-eye steaks
a small handful of sage leaves, chopped
8-10 small onions, peeled and halved
50g butter
500g seedless grapes, half kept whole and the other half sliced in two
125ml balsamic vinegar
60ml brown sugar

Season the pork steaks with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the chopped sage and press the herbs onto the meat.
Place a saucepan on medium-high heat, add a splash of vegetable oil and brown the meat, about 4 minutes per side.
Take the steaks from the pan and keep on the side.
Add the butter to the pan and wait for it to melt.
Now add the onions, cut side down and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the grapes, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and simmer for 2 minutes.
Place the pork steaks on top of the grapes and onions and place a lid on the saucepan.
Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
Serve warm with mashed potato and a fresh salad.

Candied Pork Rashers

Candied Pork Rashers

8 boneless, pork rashers
125ml brown sugar
2,5ml smoked paprika
7,5ml dried chilli flakes

Preheat your oven to 200℃ and line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Stand a metal cooling rack in the baking sheet.
Spread the rashers on the metal rack in the baking sheet and salt them on both sides. Set aside.
Mix together the brown sugar, paprika and chilli flakes and spread it evenly onto each rasher.
Bake in the oven for 8 minutes, remove and flip the rashers.
Spread this side with the rest of the sugar mixture and immediately place it back in the oven for another 8 minutes.
Flip the rashers once more and bake for another 5 minutes per side, until beautifully browned and crisp.
Serve warm.

Udon Noodle Broth

Udon Noodle Broth

200g mushrooms, sliced
50g butter
750ml chicken (or vegetable) stock
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2,5ml ground ginger
20ml soy sauce
10ml sugar
20ml dry sherry (or Chinese cooking wine if you can get hold of any)
2,5ml sesame oil
2 x 200g fresh udon noodles
a small handful of chives, chopped

Place a frying pan on medium-high heat. Wait for it to heat up and then add the butter and mushrooms.
Fry until golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Add the stock, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sherry and sesame oil to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat so that the broth can simmer.
Place a lid on the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the garlic and add the noodles to the broth.
Agitate the noodles with a fork so that they break up and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the fried mushroom and remove the saucepan from the heat.
Ladle the noodles and a good amount of broth into serving bowls and top with a sprinkling of chives.

15-Minutes Gnocchi

15-Minutes Gnocchi

500g gnocchi
15ml olive oil
30ml butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
5ml mixed Italian herbs
1 x 400g tin of diced tomato
125ml tomato sauce (ketchup)
125ml vegetable stock
80ml cream
5ml salt
a few grindings of black pepper
a few sprigs of thyme
parmesan cheese, to serve

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
Add the gnocchi, cook for 2-3 minutes (they should start floating) and drain.
Drizzle with some olive oil and mix through so that the gnocchi doesn’t stick – set aside.
Place a saucepan or large pan on medium-high heat and add the butter.
Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute.
Add the gnocchi to the pan and sprinkle the herbs on top. Stir to coat.
Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Spoon the gnocchi into a bowl and keep warm on the side.
Now add the tin of tomatoes, tomato sauce and vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Pour in the cream, add the salt and a few grindings of black pepper.
Add the gnocchi back into the pan and heat through.
Scatter some fresh thyme over and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Serve immediately.

Pad Thai Miso Noodles

Pad Thai Miso Noodles

This recipe will serve 2-3 people. Double up on the sauce if you are serving more.

2-3 chicken breasts
15ml sunflower oil
10ml garlic salt
5ml origanum
5ml smoked paprika
30 ml butter

2 x 200g packets of fresh Pad Thai noodles

For the sauce:
15ml peanut butter
25ml miso paste
15ml sesame oil
7,5ml chilli sauce
10ml soy sauce
7,5ml honey
7,5ml lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
60ml chopped chives

Drizzle the sunflower oil over the chicken breast and rub all over.
Mix the garlic salt, origanum and paprika in a small bowl, sprinkle it over the chicken and rub it over the breasts.
Place a pan on medium-high heat and wait for it to heat up.
Add the butter to the pan and wait for it to melt.
Now add the chicken and partially cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 4 minutes.
Flip the chicken and cook for another 3 minutes, once again with the lid partially on the pan.
Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.

Add all the ingredients for the sauce to a small bowl and mix together.
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
Add the noodles to the sauce ingredients and mix through to coat all the noodles.
Spoon into serving bowls, slice the chicken and place on the noodles.
Serve immediately.

Chinese Flatbread

Chinese Flatbread

Also called Scallion Flatbread or Green Onion Flatbread, these tiny breads are flaky with a crispy outside and wonderfully soft inside. Easy and very straightforward to make!

250g flour
160g HOT water
sunflower oil

30ml sunflower oil
30ml flour
2,5ml salt
40g green onion/scallion, chopped

Add the flour to a mixing bowl and pour in the hot water. Stir with a spatula/spoon until no more flour can be seen.
Combine the mixture into a rough-looking dough with your hands.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
Uncover and knead by hand until it becomes smooth.
Rub a thin layer of oil over the dough as well as on the work surface.
Roll the dough into a rectangle of about 43cm x 33cm.
Add the 30 ml sunflower oil, flour and salt tot a small mixing bowl and mix together.
Brush the mixture over the rolled dough and sprinkle the green onion over.
Roll the dough, from the short side, into a log that is not too tight.
Cut into 4 equal pieces.
Stand a piece on its cut side, press it down with your hand to flatten slightly and then roll out into a 13cm diameter circle. Repeat with the remaining 3 pieces of dough.
Place a frying pan over medium heat and pour a small amount of oil into it.
Wait for the pan to heat up and place the breads in the pan if you can fit all of them. You may also cook 2 breads at a time if space is a problem.
Place a lid on the pan and cook the flatbread for 3 minutes.
Flip them over and cook for another 2 minutes until done.
Serve while warm.

Saucy Udon Noodles

Saucy Udon Noodles

The recipe makes one large portion but may be doubled as needed.

30ml cornstarch
125ml water, room temperature
60ml soy sauce
45ml honey
15ml lemon juice
2,5ml sesame oil

200g udon noodles
100g mushrooms, pan-fried
cucumber cut into thin “sticks”
radish cut into thin “sticks”

Ensure that the mushrooms are cooked and the cucumber and radish have been sliced and prepped.

For the sauce:
Add the cornstarch to a small mixing bowl and add just enough of the 125ml water to dissolve the cornstarch. Stir briefly.
Add the rest of the water, soy, honey, lemon juice and sesame oil and whisk together until fully incorporated.
Place a pan on medium heat, add the sauce and simmer for 2-3 minutes while stirring continuously.
Remove the sauce from the heat as soon as it thickens – it is going back on so simply pull it away.

Cook the noodles according to packet instructions.
Place the sauce back on the heat and add the noodles.
Stir for about a minute so that the noodles absorb some of the sauce.
Spoon the noodles and any sauce into a serving bowl and arrange the mushroom, cucumber and radish on the noodles.
Serve immediately and slurp away!!