red wine chicken casserole with herb dumplings

red wine chicken casserole with herby dumplings

This is a super easy and tasty ‘coq au vin’ style casserole that cooks slowly until the chicken falls off the bone. The herb dumplings turn it onto a hearty winter dish, but you can leave this out and serve it with mashed potatoes, cous-cous or rice instead.

I made this in my new Breville Multi Chef, which is a fantastic stand-alone cooking appliance. It can make risotto perfectly and generally appears to be the all-round-perfect-rice-cooker-machine. I can’t wait to get busy with recipes for these. It has a steamer basket that can steam anything imaginable in, and it’s also a slow cooker with two settings. Low slow and high slow, so a nice crock-pot for lengthy slow cooking using smaller quantities. I opted for the high slow setting, and cooked this red wine chicken casserole for a total of 2 hours 45 minutes. I love it when the meat starts falling off the bone. [click to continue…]

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strawberry syrup

Strawberry milkshake with strawberry syrup

how to make strawberry syrup

how to make strawberry syrup from fresh strawberries

I was beyond delighted when Food52 asked me to write a featured article for their site. Not only is it one of my favourite food websites (in the world), the recipe they suggested I do was strawberry syrup. I immediately imagined pink and red milkshake swirls and the delicious syrup poured over ice cream and a waffle. My foodstyling heart did a skip and a jump. [click to continue…]

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paella

by Sam on July 22, 2014

paella

My mind has been wandering to paella a lot lately so I’m relieved I finally got to make it. Packed with so many delicious flavours that I love, from the spicy chorizo, smokey paprika to mixed seafood and lemon, it has to be the ultimate one pan wonder of a dish. There are also no strict rules here. You can adapt this to your own taste adding whatever you have lying around. This rustic Spanish dish was designed to feed people en masse but it also somehow has an air of sophistication to it. I find it an utterly impressive dinner party dish.

The one thing you do need to have, and something I did not up until now, is a nice large pan with even heating. Even heating at different temperatures is even more impressive, and I used my new Breville non-stick electric frying pan. This pan is designed to saute, fry and steam, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s simply a perfect paella pan. [click to continue…]

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pork and zucchini burgers with spring onion and cumin

pork burger sliders in pita bread

This fabulous recipe was adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s recipe for turkey and courgette burgers from their book Jerusalem. I have made my own sour cream dip to go with it (inspired by theirs), and I have used pork because this is what I had in my freezer. Also, minced turkey is not easy to come by in South Africa.

I pretty much love everything these guys do and adore the Middle Eastern flavour combinations. My mixture was quite wet and didn’t bind well, so I added breadcrumbs and an extra egg. I never like it when my burgers fall apart into crumbs which can easily happen when you are adding so many extra things. I made big and small burgers. Smaller, because they cook more easily and speedily. Great as a snack. Big because I wanted this for shooting purposes. The smaller burgers can be eaten just with the soured cream and sumac dip, or stuffed into a mini pita breads to make sliders. All were delicious. [click to continue…]

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tomatillo salsa verde

by Sam on July 15, 2014

tomatillo salsa verde

Tomatillo salsa verde

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Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican Cuisine but living in South Africa it is not a fruit I had ever had the pleasure of seeing before. They are actually a direct relative of the Cape gooseberry – which is indigenous to South Africa, and in the same way, they are surrounded by a thin film-like husk. They have never been cultivated here which I guess is purely related to demand.

A Twitter connection grows tomatillos, had an abundant harvest recently and wanted to give some away. She offered, I immediately said yes, and here we are. Thank you Rosie.

I did loads of Googling and figured you could go with either a raw or cooked salsa, so I opted for both. My roasted tomatillo salsa turned out to be quite bitter which was puzzling because when you eat one of them raw they aren’t. This fresh salsa verde recipe is much better. It still has a slight bitter note which I tried to counterbalance with a drizzle of agave nectar but I prefer it much more. I’m not sure if bitterness is a normal characteristics of them, but I’m keen to know. [click to continue…]

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