Fresh Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Bowl

Fresh Sausage, Spinach and Tomato Bowl

 

*Serves 3

This is a great recipe because it is quick and easy to make. When you are looking for fresh ground pork, sausages are a great cheat. More often than not, they already have a great combination of herbs and spices mixed in. Visit your local butcher and explore the different free range options.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • coconut oil
  • 300g salsiccia sausage
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried coriander
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 150g rosa tomatoes halved
  • 2 generous handfuls baby spinach
  • olive oil to dress 

Instructions:

Cook the brown rice as per packet instructions. Once it is ready and fluffy, set aside.

In a medium frying pan over a medium heat add the oregano, chili flakes, and coriander with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Fry for a minute to release all of the flavours. Add the onions and saute until soft. 

Slice the sausage open, discarding the skin, and add the meat to a frying pan over a medium heat. The sausage can sometimes have more or less fat, so adding oil to the frying pan is not always necessary. However, if you see that the sausage and pan is a bit dry, you can add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Fry until golden bowl, about five to ten minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl add the tomatoes and spinach. Add the rice and toss. Once the mince is ready its time to build your bowl starting with the salad and ending with the mince and a dash of olive oil. 

Food Tip:

My goal is for all meat eaters to become mindful of their choices. Do you know where your meat comes from? Visit your local butcher and discuss healthy free range meat. Most meat in supermarkets is no longer free range and is mass produced. Be a conscious consumer and make healthier choices by knowing where your food really comes from.

-Melissa 

 

 

Hog House Brewing Company

Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House
Hog House

This year has started off with quite a bang. We started with moving house and it simply hasn't stopped. Did you know that this year is the universal year of one in numerology? This means it is a year for growth, progress, and change. So I know it is going to be a good one! 

On the note of the change. I don't often venture out of the city for dinner. I seem to have become the typical Capetonian that finds any 20-minute drive very far away. Which for the better part is ridiculous. Most places are less than 15km from my house and not quite the Cape to Cairo journey I imagine it to be. 

One of these places is Hog House Brewing Company in Pinelands Ndabeni, a smokehouse with an elevated experience. It is an awesome spot that I recently ventured out to. I always have their pasteis de nata's at the Granger Bay city farm market. If you follow me on Instagram stories or snap chat you will see that every Saturday morning before I do my organic vegetable shop at the market, my first stop is coffee and pasteis. It is a religion and I cannot go without one if I am at the market. Regardless of the sugar curbing vibe, I might be on. They are simply spectacular. 

Now on my adventure 'out' of the city (I'll have you know it takes all of 15 minutes to drive there) I discovered the restaurant behind the perfect pasteis and to be honest, the food isn't far behind on the perfection. They offer phenomenal dishes that simply are mouth watering. The Hog House does slow smoked meat using rooikrans wood, that is cooked in its natural flavour without sauce. All meat is free range and locally sourced and homage is paid to the smokey texas style of cooking. They have a full brewery that on a busy day can bottle up to 2000 bottles of fresh, crisp beer brewed with different flavours such as caramel. Now, who doesn't want a cold one? 

The menu is extensive and offers meat lovers a full variety of delectable ribs, pulled pork, burnt bacon bits, braai brootjies, chili poppers and more. The flavours are spot on and the meat is tender and juicy. What about the vegetarians? It is not often you go to an establishment where the sides shine as bright as the mains. Hog House offers sides that will allow any vegetarian to feast and be happy. From cheesy baked aubergine to roasted cauliflower topped with cheese and crisp capers there will be a meal for everyone! The cherry on the cake was definitely the ice cream cone for dessert along with the pasteis (yes I did both)! 

Booking is essential and spends per head would probably average R250. Executive Chef PJ Vadas has truly created a great establishment that I would rush back to although the cooking is low and slow!  

If you want to book (and you should) here are the details: 

bbq@hhbc.co.za
bookings 021 810 4545
office 021 531 0721

-Melissa 

Waterblommetjie bredie

Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede

Capetonians can experience four seasons in one day. In fact, if Cape Town is in the mood, possibly five. 
There is a local saying that goes “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” 

The up side of a moody city is that, although it is spring, you can easily end up with a cloudy cool day that demands a hearty meal that oozes comfort. (and offers the perfect excuse to laze on the couch, guilt-free). The down side; well… hapless, underprepared tourists caught in a quick-as-a-flash temperature plummet.

This recipe is exactly what the (cape) doctor ordered on days like this. It is a traditional South African dish made from flowers that grow around this time of the year in the lakes and dams. The flower is called the waterblommetjie (Afrikaans) with the direct translation meaning ‘little water flower’. It grows similar to a water lily and can be found at any good local farmers market. 

This dish combines a rich lamb stew and vegetables with the crowning ‘waterblommetjie’ as a fragrant element that ties all the flavors together beautifully. 

I am in love with it not only because it is insanely good, but is a great comfort food, and of course, who doesn’t love eating flowers? I mean you might as well be a unicorn! 

This dish is consciously seasonal and well worth the effort.

I must admit it was my first attempt at playing with a traditional South African recipe and I was blown away with the results.

In Afrikaans there is a perfect phrase to end off a perfect meal…magies vol en oogies toe.
Tummy is full and eyes are closing...

I couldn’t have said it better if I tried.


Serves 6, cook time: 1 ½ hours
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg lamb(knuckle or neck)
  • Cake flour to dust meat.
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups lamb stock
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1.5 kg waterblommetjies
  • 500 grams baby potatoes
  • 1 ½ tins of apricots (save the rest for dessert!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested 


Instructions:

Dust meat with flour. Add a glug of olive oil to your casserole dish and bring to a high heat.

Brown the meat in batches until golden brown. Do not add it all at the same time as you wont get that perfect golden colour!

Add the onions and fry until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a further five minutes.

Add the coriander, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and fry for a further two minutes.

Add the lamb stock and make sure you deglaze the bottom of the pot to get all the flavour.  Add the soya sauce.

Close the lid and reduce the heat to a medium heat and let cook for 40 minutes.

Mix in half of the waterblommetjies and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Add the potatoes, apricots and the remaining waterblommetjies and cook for a further 30 minutes on a low-medium heat.

Add the lemon zest five minutes before serving.

Enjoy! 

The Hickory Shack

The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack
The Hickory Shack


When last did you take a road trip? 
With spring in the air and blossoms showing their pretty faces in the country side, I recently took a shot left to Elgin. Just an hour outside of Cape Town, on the N2 over Sir Lowry's pass, the countryside changes rapidly and before long, you find yourself amidst mountaneous hills dotted with pine trees, waterfalls, rocky outcrops and lakes.
It is an exceptionally beautiful part of the country that plays host to a plethora of outdoor activities.

Did I mention the area is also rife with glorious apple orchids and vineyards?
I could not help but get lost on the farm roads and between the little dexter cows (you are going to have to google them) and the ducks waddling down the road, I was swept off my feet by Elgin. 
I had been threatening to take a trip to explore the area for the longest time, but it was only until I found a suitable gastronomic reason to put my procrastination to bed did I eventually "bust a (proverbial) move"
Whoever said food is not a grand motivator has obviously never been to The Hickory Shack.
Owned by Jay Haupt this spot is all about slow cooking Texas style. Their wildly talented pit master, Eugene nurses the pit flames like a new age alchemist to ensure the perfect, tender, juicy meat. From brisket and ribs to chicken wings and cowboy beans, I guarantee that your taste buds will never be the same.
It is a carnal, sensory and simplified space with emphasis on the quality of the meat, both in taste and ethics.

The atmosphere is as relaxed as your favourite pair of jeans with country blues playing in the background while the fire place crackles in in agreement. This is a place where you will get drawn into the slow lane and end up staying for a while.
The decor is beautiful with wood at every turn. I couldn't help but think it pays homage to the beautiful forest surroundings. 
The tables are generous in seating and definitely built for extended family style feasting. More is more at the Hickory Shack and I loved it. 
Now lets get down to business and talk food. It was absolutely phenominal. 
The meat is prepared with a Texas dry rub. No sauces or artificial flavours are added to their product. 

Locally sourced meat is smoked in a huge smoker for several hours prior to serving. The duration dependant on the cut and type of meat; namely chicken, brisket, ribs and pork with the brisket demanding the most attention at 30 hours.
The meat mains are accompanied with sides that are true to texas flavours. The cowboy beans are a labour of love and take 3 days to make. They contain brisket cut offs and their smokey flavour coupled with another side of buttermilk mash is what I would call a match made in heaven. 
They have a sweetcorn salad on offer and (my favourite) coleslaw which is prepared with vinegar, cut through the richness of the meat with such sweet perfection - I wondered how I would ever eat anything else again. 

Every side is a well thought out addition with a clear intention to compliment the meat perfectly. 
The average spend is around R250 per person including a beer or two.
I had to try the pomegranate cider which I highly recommend (and to be honest if I wasn't driving I would have had another five or ten)
So if you are wondering what to do this weekend - why not take a road trip and experience slow cooking at its finest! 
Just remember more is more so you will need an empty stomach and very big eyes.

-Melissa

*This blog post is sponsored by The Hickory Shack all opinions are my own. 
 

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/the-hickory-shack

Risotto salsiccia funghi

Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi
Risotto salsiccia fungi

I met Maybe Corpaci a few years ago, when I was adamant that I was going to be a fashion photographer. Yes you heard me! Just two years ago I would never have thought (in my wildest dreams) that my career path would end up in food. 

Maybe worked at the wildly popular and very well known Elle magazine South Africa. I was a photographic assistant to the incomparable fashion duo, Elford De la Foret at the time and surprisingly, Maybe and I connected over food. 

In retrospect, I should have already known then that the stars were aligning into a shape of a crockery pot. Needless to say, all these years later; Maybe and I decided to do a little cook for you. 

Maybe is a fiery Italian women that is fearlessly beautiful and knows her way around the kitchen. When I asked her what we would be cooking, a singular booming word was the reply, Risotto!

Now, I might be many things, but certainly not one to argue with an Italian who wants to cook the elusive risotto and show me the ropes.

So here it is. 

Believe it or not, I over salted it at the end; so watch out for that. The salsiccia sausage and the broth both have plenty of salt, and coupled with the Parmesan, leave the dish perfectly seasoned.

A rookie error on my part, never to be repeated.

However, having said that, allow your guests to season for themselves if they are so inclined, but caution them accordingly.

A simple, "Put down the salt Grandma!" should suffice.


Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 150 grams salsiccia sausage 
  • 1 cup risotto
  • ½ a cup of white wine  
  • 1 liter beef broth 
  • 1 teaspoon saffron 
  • 4 wild mushrooms (shitake) sliced. 
  • 3 knobs of butter 
  • 40 grams of Parmesan cheese 

Instructions: 

Chop the onions finely and add to a casserole pot with your olive oil and soften. Make sure the pot has a lid. 

Remove the sausage from the skin and break it up with your fingers. Add it to your onions and fry until golden brown. 

Add the risotto and fry on a medium to high heat until the grain becomes slightly translucent. 

Add ½ a cup of white wine and cook for 2-3 minutes. You want the alcohol to evaporate. 

Add your beef broth one ladle at a time. Keep stirring. As the liquid absorbs add more broth feeding your risotto. Your cooking time should be 15-18 minutes. 

At the 13-minute mark add a tablespoon of broth to the teaspoon of saffron in a separate bowl. Let the saffron steep for 3 minutes. Add the saffron to the risotto. 

Slice the mushrooms and fry with a little butter in a separate frying pan over a high heat until golden brown. 

Add the mushrooms to the risotto and fold through. Remove from heat and pot the lid on the casserole. Let the risotto sit for 3 minutes before serving.

-Melissa

Source: www.thetrufflejournal.com/risotto-salsiccia-funghi