Skip to main content

A South African Soirée

Despite my feelings about new year's resolutions in general, here's one that I really enjoy: to expand my culinary repertoire, I will plan and cook a dinner whose foods are new to me. Last year I managed a Cuban dinner, a Basque dinner, and a few others. This year, I'm aiming for twelve.

I kicked off 2010 with a South African Soirée to celebrate Brian's 37th birthday. I made: boontjiesop, bobotie, geelrys, three different sambals and melktert and cordials of Amarula liqueur for dessert.

I was a little surprised that everyone said this was - by far - the best meal they've ever had at my house. But I can see why. The layers of flavors exploded in your mouth and were sensational.

And because, as stated, I cannot follow a recipe to save my life, here's my version of the bobotie...

I browned minced shallots with ground beef and ground pork, then I seasoned the cooked meat with a mild curry and turmeric. I stirred in some apricot jam, homemade tomato chutney, slivered almonds, and a mixture of golden and regular raisins. Then I spread that along the bottom of a baking dish and topped it with beaten eggs mixed with chopped fresh herbs; I used mint, Italian parsley, and chives. I placed half a dozen bay leaves onto the top of the dish and baked till the egg custard was firm.

I served the bobotie with a carrot sambal, an apple sambal, and a cucumber sambal. My sambals were fast and loose, really just fresh relishes. My sauce was a mixture of apple cider vinegar and sugar, simmered till it begins to thicken to a syrup, then stirred with a dash of hot chili peppers. Then I poured that syrup into three dishes to dress the shredded carrots with chives, shredded apples with Italian parsley, and chopped fresh cucumbers with mint.

Up next month, a Palauan Feast.


Popular posts from this blog

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style {Spice It Up!}

photo by D For my Spice It Up! kiddos this week, I was looking for an exotic drink to serve while we learned about saffron. I found a recipe from food historian Maricel Presilla that mimicked traditional Spanish hot chocolate from the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos . When I teach, I don't always get to shoot photos. Thankfully, D grabbed my camera and snapped a few. Ingredients serves 14-16 1 gallon organic whole milk 3 T dried rosebuds - or 2 t rosewater 2 t saffron threads, lightly crushed 3 T ground cinnamon 3 whole tepin chiles, crushed 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise 1 C organic granulated sugar 1 lb. bittersweet chocolate Procedure In a large soup pot that can hold a gallon plus, combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater, if you are using that), saffron threads, ground cinnamon, chiles, vanilla beans, and sugar and warm over medium heat till it steams. Whisk to dissolve sugar, then lower heat an

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas