Oxtail with chickpeas


This recipe was given to me years ago by my cooking hero! It’s not the prettiest dish, but you need to take my word for it, this is a little bit of heaven on a plate!  Oxtail is amazing on a cold winter’s night served with fluffy basmati rice and some lovely veggies on the side.


2 Punnets Oxtail

2 Onions

Olive Oil

2 Bay leaves

2 oxtail stock cubes

1 lemon

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 tin tomato paste

2 tbs dried parsley

3 tbs sugar

2 tins chickpeas (drained)

Basmati rice


  1. Brown the oxtail in a little oil and set aside to drain on paper towels
  2. Add 2 finely chopped onions to the oil in the pot
  3. Add the browned oxtail
  4. Mix the stock cubes in one litre of boiling water and add to the onions and oxtail together with the bayleaves. Make sure that the meat is covered by the stock.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low heat and allow to cook and lessen for 4 – 5 hours , stirring every 20 mins
  6. Once the mixture has reduced, add the juice of 1 fresh lemon, the tomato paste, the garlic, parsley and sugar and cook for 45 mins at a gentle simmer
  7. Add the drained chickpeas and allow them to heat through in the mixture but turn the stove off.
  8. This dish is best served the day after with Basmati Rice.


Serves 4

Recipe by Rene Kairuz


Hake Fillets with a Melanzane Twist

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I created this dish in one of those ‘stare blankly in the fridge’ moments. It was the end of the month and I only had fish left in the freezer and an aubergine, some parmesan and mozzarella. So I decided to experiment a bit and it turned out beautifully. Ive made it twice now and my family love it !

6 frozen hake fillets

Olive oil

Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

1 fresh lemon, sliced

2 medium onions, sliced

2 medium carrots, grated

1 cup red wine

2 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1 tin tomato puree

2 Tbsp Banditos sauce (or other chili sauce that you like) – optional

1 handful fresh basil (leaves only, finely chopped)

1 Tbsp sugar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

1 large aubergine (eggplant)

Olive oil or peanut oil to fry

2 or 3 balls of buffalo mozzarella (you can use normal mozzarella)

100g fresh parmesan cheese, freshly grated

A sprinkle of origanum to garnish

–       Preheat your oven to 200 C

–       Line a baking tray with foil and place the frozen hake fillets onto the tray. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper and a slice of lemon on each fillet. Bake for about 10 minutes until nearly done. Take out of the oven and set aside.

–       Turn the oven down to 180 C

–       While the fish is in the oven you can start your tomato sauce. Fry the onions in about 2 tbsps olive oil and once they soften a bit add the carrots and fry for a minute and then add the red wine. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes.

–       Add the fresh tomatoes and the tomato puree, sugar, salt and pepper and then simmer gently for about 30 – 40 minutes.

–       While the sauce is simmering, prepare the Aubergine. Cut off the top end and the bottom end and then slice (about 5mm thick). Place the slices in a colander in an empty sink. Cover the slices with some coarse salt and leave like that for 30 minutes) This will draw out any bitter juices and is a very important step.

–       Once that is done. Rinse the slices under cold water and place on some paper towel to get rid of any excess water.

–       In a frying pan, heat about 3 – 4 Tbsp olive oil. When hot, add the aubergine slices and fry until beautifully golden. Place on paper towel to drain. You will have to do this in batches to avoid over crowding in the pan.

–       Once the sauce has simmered form 30 – 40 minutes, Turn the heat off and wither use a hand blender or place it in a blender and blitz to make it smooth.

–       In a large casseole dish, place most of the tomato sauce at the bottom and then put the fish fillets (without the lemon) on top of the tomato sauce. Then layer the fried aubergine slices on top of the fish.

–       Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the aubergine and then a few more dollops of tomato sauce. Then cover with sliced mozzarella and a sprinkle of origanum.

–       Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. If the cheese has not turned golden then grill it for a few minutes at the end watching it carefully.

–       Serve with fluffy cous cous

Serves 4


Trifle 1 pic

Trifle = childhood happiness. The End.

This is a great dessert that you can make look absolutely gorgeous and let your creativity run wild. It’s very versatile too. This recipe calls for strawberries but you can use any other fruit that you enjoy – bananas are good. So are tinned peaches or fresh mango. Raspberries and kiwi also make it look gorgeous. Another nice and more contemporary way of doing this dessert would be to make individual trifles in pretty glasses to serve to guests at a dinner party. It will always go down well!

1 large jam Swiss Roll (or any plain sponge cake – available at your local grocery store or bakery)

1 packet of instant jelly (raspberry or strawberry flavour)

75ml sweet or medium sherry (you can substitute with rum or brandy)

2 punnets of fresh strawberries, sliced +- 500ml Home-made custard (You can use store bought custard, but its better home made – see recipe below)

100g chopped walnuts or pecan nuts

1 cup fresh cream, whipped with a teaspoon of castor sugar

Grated chocolate or strawberries and nuts to decorate

– Make the jelly according to packet instructions and allow to set in the fridge.

– Make the custard and set aside to cool.

– Slice the Swiss Roll or sponge cake and place the slices at the bottom of a glass bowl (round and deep is good).

– Pour the alcohol over the swiss roll or sponge to moisten it. Refrigerate until the Jelly is set.

– Once the Jelly is set, cut it into pieces and place on top of the sponge / swiss roll.

– Add the strawberries (and other fruit if you are using other fruit)

– Cover with the custard and then sprinkle the nuts on top.

– Finally, top with the whipped cream and decorate with the chocolate, nuts and a few strawberries.

– Refrigerate (overnight is best as the flavours will develop)

– Serve cold

Home Made Custard:


250mls whole milk

250mls double cream

50g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod, split

6 large free range egg yolks

– Put the milk, double cream and 1 tbsp of the sugar into a heavy based saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the pan. Heat until almost simmering. Then take off the heat.

– Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until creamy.

– Gradually pour the hot creamy milk onto the sugary yolks, whisking as you do so. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean pan.

– Stir the mixture over a low heat until the custard thickens enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil as it will curdle.

– Remove from the heat and strain the custard again through a fine sieve into a cold bowl (unless you are serving it hot right away). Leave to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

Photo courtesy of google.com

Date Pudding with Toffee Sauce

Date pudding with toffee sauce pic

Don’t be fooled by the dates, they add an incredible dense and sticky texture to this gorgeous pudding. True decadence for a real spoil! 🙂

200g pitted dates, chopped

300ml water

5ml (1tsp) bicarbonate of soda

80g butter, softened

200ml (3/4 cup) castor sugar

2 extra-large eggs

250ml (1 cup) cake flour

8 ml (1 ½ tsp) baking powder

Toffee Sauce

125ml (1/2 cup) fresh cream

100g butter

125ml (1/2 cup) treacle or any brown sugar (dark and sticky sugars give a better flavour)

–       Place the dates and water in a small heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the dates are soft. Remove from the heat and add the bicarbonate of soda.

–       Cream butter and castor sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until light and creamy.

–       Sift flour and baking powder together. Fold into egg mixture. Stir in dates and water mixture until well combined.

–       Spoon into a greased medium ovenproof dish and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for about 45 minutes, or until firm.

For the Sauce:

– Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small heavy-based saucepan and stir over a low heat until butter melts. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until thickened. Serve warm with sauce.

Serves 4 – 6

Recipe from the Royal Kitchen cook book

English Muffins

English Muffins pic

These are amazing just simply served with butter and cheese or jam. But you can also use these as a base to a great breakfast. Either eggs benedict or a ‘breakfast bun’ with bacon and egg and fried tomato. Simple deliciousness.

625ml (2 ½ cups) cake flour

20 ml (4tsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

15ml (1 Tbsp) white sugar

2 extra-large eggs

375ml (1 ½ cups) milk

60 butter, melted and cooled slightly

Cooking oil for frying

–       Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add sugar

–       Whisk eggs, milk and melted butter together. Add to dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Leave to stand for 30 minutes.

–       Heat oil in a large frying pan. Place cutters or rings of about 7sm in diameter in pan. Pour mixture into cutters or rings to about 1.5 cm deep.


–       Fry slowly over medium heat until batter starts to set, then remove the cutters. Turn over and fry until golden brown or done.

–       Serve immediately

*Fry the muffins SLOWLY on both sides to make sure they are cooked through.

Makes about 15

Recipe from the Royal Baking Cookbook “The Royal Kitchen”

Pecorino and Breadcrumb-Crusted Lamb Cutlets

Pecorino and breadcrumb crusted lamb cutlets pic

This recipe is indeed a classic and is really not that difficult. Take your time with it and do it with love. Don’t rush the frying either by making the oil too hot. These will be wonderful if they are allowed to fry gently and become beautifully golden and cooked just right inside. The flavour friends in this dish are definitely the mustard and thyme with the pecorino. Its a great combination for Lamb!


2 pita breads (you can also use 3 or 4  slices of ciabatta loaf)

1 sprig rosemary (leaves only)

2 sprigs thyme (leaves only)

½ cup (125ml) coarsely grated pecorino cheese

Salt and milled pepper

12 lamb rack cutlets (French trimmed)

¼ cup (60ml) Dijon mustard

Flour for dusting

2 eggs – beaten

Vegetable oil, for frying

Tzatziki, for serving

–       Place crumb ingredients in a blender and pulse until medium-sized breadcrumbs form. Tip onto a plate.

–       Season the cutlets and brush all over with mustard. Dust in flour and dip in egg. Coat in crumbs and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set crumbs.

–       Heat about 4cm oil in a pan and fry cutlets until golden all over.

–       Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with tzatziki.

Serves 4

Recipe from the Pick ‘n Pay Fresh Living Magazine

Tray Baked Pork Chops with Herby Potatoes, Parsnips, Pears and Minted Bread Sauce

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This is not as complicated as it sounds! Its one of those stick everything into the oven dishes and wait! Your home will be filled with delicious smells as the pork chops roast in the gorgeous herby lemony garlicy deliciousness. The key here really is to try an find THICK pork chops. Otherwise you need to put your veggies in first and your pork chops in a little later. you can also use chicken thighs or chicken pieces or lamb chops will also work beautifully. The bready sauce seems a bit strange but is delicious smeared over the chops! Its a perfect winter sunday lunch meal.

6-8 thick pork chops

3 parsnips, peeled

3 small smooth skinned pears – cores removed

4 large potatoes , scrubbed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the Marinade:

2 handfuls of fresh rosemary (no stalks – leaves only)

6 cloves of garlic, peeled

The juice and zest of 3 lemons

5 tbsp olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper


For the Minted bread sauce:

3 handfuls of fresh mint (no stalks – leaves only)

1 handful of chopped ciabatta loaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp whole grain mustard

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil


–       Start with making the marinade. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small food processor and blitz until well combined. Cut slits into the pork chop fat to prevent the chops from lifting up during cooking and then rub the marinade all over the pork chops. Place them in a glass or ceramic dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours. This marinade can work with Lamb, chicken and beef as well if you want to switch the recipe up a bit.

–       Preheat your oven to 220 C. Wash the parsnips, pears and potatoes. Cut the parsnips and pears into quarters. Slice your potatoes up into wedges (you can leave the peels on or remove them).

–       Take the pork chops out of the marinade and toss all the veggies and pears and pork chops together getting the marinade mix to coat everything. Line one or two baking trays with foil and brush lightly with a little olive oil. Then spread it all out on a large baking tray (or even on two if you can fit that into your oven) Try not to overcrowd the baking tray. Season well with salt and a bit more pepper and then place in the oven to roast for 45 minutes.

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–       While that is roasting you can make the minted bread sauce by placing all the ingredients for the bread sauce into a food processor and blitzing it all up until well combined. If it’s a bit  thick you can add a touch of water to loosen it a bit. Let it sit while the chops are roasting as the flavour develops well as it sits. You can taste and balance flavours if need be.

–       Serve the veggies on a plate with the chops on top and then top with sauce.


Serves 4

Recipe by Janet Swanepoel


Mexican Chili Lamb Chops with Sweet and Sour Leeks

Mexican Chilli lamb chops with sweet and sour leeks pic

The sweet and sour leeks compliment the spicy lamb chops beautifully! A very easy and quick dish that packs massive flavour! This one will have you addicted in no time and looking for more…

600g lamb loin chops

2 red peppers – sliced

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 Tbsp dried chili flakes

1 Tbsp (15ml) ground coriander

1 ½ cups (375ml) vegetable stock

1 – 2 tsp (5 – 10ml) Tabasco sauce

4 tsp (20ml) butter

2 packets baby leeks

2 Tbsp (30ml) brown sugar

2 Tbsp (30ml) red wine vinegar

For the Lamb chops:

–       Sear the lamb in a smoking hot pan until browned on both sides

–       – Add the peppers and garlic and fry for 3 – 4 minutes

–       Add the chili flakes and ground coriander and pour in the vegetable stock and Tabasco

–       Simmer for 10 minutes

For the Sweet and sour leeks:

–       Melt the butter and add the whole leeks and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until soft

–       Add the sugar and stir until melted and caramelized

–       Add the red wine vinegar and cook for another minute

–       Place the lamb on a warm plate and serve with sweet and sour leeks.

Recipe and photo from the Pick ‘n Pay Fresh Living Magazine

Asian Style Sticky Short Rib

sticky short rib pic

Ribs are one of those things that are just decadent and make you feel like you are on holiday! Well thats how I feel when I eat them. You can lighten up the meal by serving it with a gorgeous side salad or you can serve it with some onion rings and crunchy chips! 🙂 This recipe has a bit of a teriyaki vibe going on… .one of my new found favourite flavours! yummm!!!

2 kg Short rib

1 x 6cm piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

2 red chillies, chopped (take the seeds out for milder heat)

250mls (1 cup) soya sauce

6 Tbsp brown sugar

3 Star anise

250mls (1 cup) apple juice

125mls (1/2 cup) water


– Preheat your oven to 160 c

– Brown the short rib in a little oil over medium heat to get a bit of colour and transfer to a baking tray

– Add all the other ingredients to the baking tray

– Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 3 hours, turning once half way through

– Take the ribs out of the sauce and place all the sauce into a frying pan and reduce the sauce on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until sticky.

– Toss in the ribs to coat them with the sticky glaze and serve.


Serves 4

Recipe & photo from the Woolies Taste Mag

Butter Biscuits

New Recipes0017

Who doesn’t love a little butter biscuit? These are great as you can add pretty much whatever you like to them. There are a few suggestions at the bottom for variations but you can totally get creative. You can add chopped up pecan nuts (my favourite). You can even chop up your favourite nougat and pop that in. Or your favourite chocolate (Chopped up barone is amazing) … go nuts!! (no pun intended) 😉

125g butter, softened

80ml (1/3 cup) icing sugar, sifted

1 extra large egg yolk

3 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla essence

250ml (1 cup) cake flour

3ml (1/2 tsp) baking powder

1 ml (pinch) salt

–       Preheat your oven to 180 C

–       Cream butter and icing sugar together. Add the egg yolk and essence and beat well.

–       Sift flour, baking powder and salt together

–       Add to butter mixture and mix well to a smooth, firm dough

–       Place dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a log of about 5cm in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge or freezer until firm.

–       Cut the chilled dougn into about 7mm thick slices and place on greased baking trays.

–       Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden.

–       Turn out onto wire racks to cool. Store in an air tight container.

*Tip – the dough can be stored for up to two weeks in the fridge.


Cherry biscuits: Add 60g red glacé cherries, coarsely chopped

Chocolate chips : Add 60g chopped up chocolate pieces

Coconut biscuits: Add 60ml (1/4 cup) desiccated coconut

Makes about 24

Recipe and photo from the Royal Cook Book