Last Updated on 15 May 2024 by Adrienne

I’ve been cooking since I was 12 years old and cooking from recipes has never been one of my strengths. I used recipes for inspiration, but often I felt intimidated by the specialized ingredients, the complicated techniques and sometimes just the use of foreign terms like mirepoix or jus or or ….

Once you get to know these techniques or ingredients, it becomes a lot easier, but for novice, amateur cooks who want to experiment, it can become quite daunting.

So, I have decided to create this page which goes back to basics and try to simplify things a bit. This page is not intended for seasoned cooks and by no means provide the best recipes. It is a place for novice cooks to learn some basics and expand from there. This page is also for my personal use where I would dot down small recipes instead of keeping it on a little piece of paper somewhere (which eventually lands up in the bin)

This page consists of a table of contents (so you can easy jump to the specific recipes) and then the contents. It would be frequently updated so make a point to visit it frequently.


Rubs & Marinades

All Purpose Brine

Brine is a wonderful way to make (especially white) meat a lot more succulent and tastier. I was introduced to brining by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn in their wonderful Charcuterie bible.

It is very simple to prepare.

Ingredients

Very Simple

  • 2l of water
  • 100g coarse salt
  • 65g sugar

Simple

Add some garlic gloves, bay leaves, pickling spice and other herbs like sage for pork, fennel for fish etc. to enhance the flavours.

Instructions

Put the water and ingredients into a pot and bring to boil. Dissolve the salt and sugar. Let it cool down to room temperature and put it in the fridge to cool down even more. Add to meat and make sure the meat is fully covered. Leave the meat in the brine for 2 to 24 hours, depending on how much you want the brine to penetrate and the density of the meat.

Notes

  • Try to use good quality (non-iodized) salt if possible
  • Use brown instead of white sugar, if possible
  • If you are in a hurry, use only 1 liter of water to dissolve the sugar and salt and then add 1 liter of ice and cold water

Dry Steak Rub

On the left the roasted spices, on the right the rubbed steak

Ingredients

This is a quick, trusty recipe I use as a steak rub.

  • 3 measures coriander seeds
  • 1 measure black peppercorns
  • ½ measure cumin seeds (if you like cumin)
  • 1 measure garlic powder
  • ¼ measure brown sugar

Instructions

Roast the coriander seeds, black peppercorns and cumin in a dry pan. Be careful not to burn the spices. Crush in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. In a measuring cup, mix the ground spices, garlic powder and sugar. Rub the steak at least 4 hours before cooking, but you can rub it 24 hours before the time.

Notes

  • If you want the rub to be more a paste, add some olive oil.
  • Do not add salt. Salt the steak while you are cooking
  • Make sure your steak is room temperature before cooking it
Grilled steak

Wet Steak Rub

This is very much the same a the Dry Steak Rub, but you add olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard and replace the garlic powder with fresh garlic.

  • 3 measures coriander seeds
  • 1 measure black pepper corns
  • ½ measure cumin seeds (if you like cumin)
  • 1 garlic clove per measure, finely chopped
  • ¼ measure brown sugar
  • 1 measures Dijon mustard
  • 3 measures olive oil
  • 1 measure Worcestershire sauce

Roast the coriander seeds, black pepper corns and cumin in a dry pan. Be careful not to burn the spices. Crush in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. In a measuring cup, mix the ground spices, garlic, sugar, mustard, oil and Worcestershire sauce. Rub the steak at least 4 hours before cooking, but no longer than 8 hours.

A bit more effort

Add the following:

  • 1 measure of fresh, chopped rosemary
  • 1 measure of fresh, chopped thyme

Notes

  • If you want to make it more liquid so that you can brush it on, add more olive oil
  • Do not add salt. Salt the steak while you are cooking
  • Make sure your steak is room temperature before cooking it

Californian Coffee Rub

This rub is brilliant for all types of steaks. The following ingredients will be enough for 4 large steaks:

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp finely ground coffee
  • 1½ Tbsp Maldon salt
  • 1½ Tbsp garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Some soy sauce to cover the steaks

Mix all the ingredients except for the soy sauce in a small bowl.

Dip the steaks in the soy sauce or use a brush.

Generously use the rub on the steaks.

All Purpose Greek Seasoning

I found this very easy all purpose Greek seasoning recipe by @cervantesbrandi.

Ingredients

  • 3 measures dried oregano
  • 2 measure dried mint
  • 2 measures dried thyme
  • 1 measure dried basil
  • 1 measure dried marjoram
  • 1 measure dried onion flakes
  • 2 measures dried garlic flakes

Mix all well together and store in an air tight jar.

Greek Lamb Rub

Building on the All Purpose Greek Seasoning, you can create a rub very suitable for lamb.

The spices mixed together

Ingredients

  • 3 measures dried oregano
  • 2 measure dried mint
  • 2 measures dried thyme
  • 1 measure dried basil
  • 1 measure dried marjoram
  • 1 measure dried onion flakes
  • 2 measures dried garlic flakes
  • 2 measures dried parsley
  • 3 measures dried rosemary
  • 2 measures mustard powder
  • 2 measures paprika

Mix all well together and store in an air tight container.

The rub on lamb chops and chicken wings
The rub used on a spit lamb

Emeril’s Essence

Named after the American celebrity chef, Emeril John Lagassé, this rub is perfect for grilled chicken and pork.

Emerils

Ingredients

  • 2½ measures paprika
  • 2 measures kosher salt
  • 2 measures garlic powder
  • 1 measure black pepper
  • 1 measure onion powder
  • 1 measure cayenne pepper
  • 1 measure dried oregano
  • 1 measure dried thyme

Mix it all well together and store in an air tight container.

The essence used on grilled chicken wings

Ras el Hanout

Ras el Hanout is an earthy, Moroccan spice mix which comes in many variations and can be used in various dishes. Some versions contain up to 80 spices! Here is an easy recipe using already ground spices.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground anise seed
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

Instructions

Mix it all well together and keep in an airtight container.

Ras el Hanout on chicken

Spit Braai Basting

Ingredients

Very Simple

  • 2 liter water
  • 1 packet Robertson Whole Pickling Spice
  • 1 cup coarse salt

Simple

Add the following:

  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

A bit more effort

Replace the Robertson Whole Pickling Spice with 4 tablespoons of home made pickling spice (see below).

Instructions

Put the ingredients in a 2 liter disposable water / cooldrink bottle. Add 2 liters of hot (not boiling) water. Shake well. Leave the bottle for at least 48 hours, shaking it now and then.

Pierce the cap of the bottle with a knife and spray over the meat every half an hour or so while it is on the spit.

For a whole lamb / sheep you will need 4 – 6 liters of this mixture.

Prego Sauce

Steaks over the grill in prego sauce

Ingredients

Liquidize the following ingredients:

  • 1 tin (400g) tomato passata / puree
  • 8 big cloves of garlic
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp fine cumin
  • 4 birds eye chillis – seeds in (here is where you determine how hot the sauce must be)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • ½ tsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 35ml white wine vinegar
  • ½ tbsp salt

Marinade the meat for at least 4 hours.

Niter Kibbeh

Niter Kibbeh is a spiced clarified butter that is a key ingredient in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. It’s used as a flavorful cooking fat in various dishes. Here’s an authentic recipe to make Niter Kibbeh:

Ingredients

  • 500g unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 3 black cardamom pods
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 5cm cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice berries
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds

Instructions

Fry all the whole spices in a dry pan until fragrant. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.

Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the mixture is fragrant.

Add all the spices to the butter mixture. Allow the spices to infuse the butter for about 10-15 minutes over low heat. This step is crucial for building the rich flavor of Niter Kibbeh.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.

Once the mixture is lukewarm, strain it through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a clean, dry container. Discard the solids.

The clarified spiced butter left in the container is your Niter Kibbeh. Allow it to cool completely before sealing the container.

Store the Niter Kibbeh in the refrigerator. It can be used for cooking Ethiopian and Eritrean dishes, adding a unique flavor to stews, sautés, and more.

Niter Kibbeh can be prepared in larger batches and stored for several months in the refrigerator. Its aromatic blend of spices adds a distinctive taste to the cuisines of the region.

Berbere Spice

Berbere spice is a crucial ingredient in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisines, adding rich and complex flavors to various dishes. Here’s an authentic recipe for making Berbere spice which I found here:

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 whole allspice berries
  • Seeds of 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 dried red chilies , seeds and membranes removed and broken into small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric

Instructions

Heat a sturdy skillet over high heat. Toast the whole spices and chilies, shaking the pan occasionally, until they become highly fragrant, around 3 minutes. Put them in a bowl and allow them to cool fully.
Using a spice or coffee grinder, finely grind the cooled spices. Incorporate all the other ground spices and salt, grinding everything together.
Store the blend in an airtight container in a dark, cool place.

Nagi’s Steak Marinade

This recipe comes from RecipeTinEats and can be found here. This marinade is enough for 2 steaks.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, cleaned and minced
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Begin by combining the Dijon mustard, minced garlic, and onion powder. Then, mix in the remaining ingredients to create the marinade.

Place the beef in a ziplock bag along with the prepared marinade. Allow it to marinate for 12 to 24 hours, ideally overnight.

Remove the marinated beef from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring it to room temperature, which is crucial for even steak cooking. Shake off any excess marinade.

Grill the steaks while basting with the excess marinade.

Japanese Steak Marinade

This recipe is enough for 600g to 800g of cubed steak.

Ingredients

  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 Tbsp sake (Japanese rice wine) or just add 2 more Tbsp mirin
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Instructions

In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar, minced garlic, grated ginger, sesame oil, and vegetable oil.
Place the steak in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag.
Pour the marinade over the steak, making sure it’s well coated. If using a plastic bag, remove excess air and seal.
Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or for more flavor, you can marinate it for up to 24 hours.

White Meat Marinade

This marinade works wonderfully with white meats such as chicken, fish, pork, or even crocodile when used for skewers, sosaties, or kebabs. This recipe will cater for about 400g – 500g meat cut into large cubes.The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 2 red chillies, finely chopped with seeds
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, cleaned and grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, cleaned and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Combine with the meat and marinade for at least 2 hours in the fridge.


Pickling and Fermenting

Fermenting brine

Most vegetables can be fermented using a 5% salt solution i.e. 50 grams of salt dissolved in 1 liter of water. Use distilled water instead of tap water preferably. Make sure the jars are sterilized.

Home Made Pickling Spice

I got this recipe from the Charcuterie bible by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 Tbsp dried chili flakes
  • 2 Tbsp allspice berries
  • 1 Tbsp ground mace / nutmeg
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks broke into pieces
  • 24 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp wholes cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger

Roast the peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds slightly in a dry pan. Crush it slightly in a pestle and mortar and mix with the other ingredients. Store in an air tight holder.

Pickled Radishes

The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radishes, about 250g, properly cleaned and cut into 2-3mm slices
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp dried crushed red pepper optional
  • 1 whole star anise

Method

Place the radishes in a hot, sterilized jar.

Bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil in a pot. Pour the hot liquid in the jar, making sure the radishes are covered. Seal the jar.

Pickled Mushrooms

The original recipe can be found here.

Pickled Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 500g Portobellini mushrooms (or white button mushrooms), cleaned
  • Water, enough to cover the mushrooms
  • 6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • The Marinade
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp salt
    • 6 bay leaves
    • 8 whole peppercorns
    • 6 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Method

Blanch the mushrooms for 1 minute in boiling water and the ½ cup of white wine vinegar. Strain the mushrooms and put it in an airtight container(s) or glass jar(s) with the garlic. Discard the liquid.

Bring the water, sugar, salt, bay leaves and peppercorn to a boil in a separate pot. Once the salt and sugar have dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the 6 tablespoons of vinegar.

Pour the marinade over the mushrooms and seal the containers.


Curry Powders and Pastes

I list of often used curry recipes.

Jamaican Curry Powder

The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 2½ measures turmeric, ground
  • 1 measure coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 measure cumin seeds, ground
  • 2 measures all spice, ground
  • 2 measures ginger, ground
  • 2 measures yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 measures fenugreek seeds, ground
  • ½ measure black pepper, ground
  • ¼ measure clove, ground
  • ⅓ measure nutmeg, ground
  • ½ measure cayenne pepper, ground

If you are using whole spices, roast them slightly for 2-3 minutes and then it process in a spice grinder. Put in a resealable container.

Red Thai Curry Paste

The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

Ingredients for red Thai curry paste
  • 16 dried chillis, 12 of them de-seeded. All of them cut into 1cm pieces.
  • 2 pieces of lemongrass, outer skin removed and cut into 1cm pieces.
  • 2cm piece of galangal, peeled and grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp shrimp paste
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander stem and roots (make sure it is properly cleaned and all the sand is removed)
  • ½ red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp lime zest, grated
  • 60ml reserved chilli water

Instructions

Place the chillis in a bowl and cover with about 250ml boiling water. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes, then remove the chillis and set it aside. Keep the water.

Wrap the shrimp paste in a (single layer) foil parcel and dry fry in a pan, 2 minutes on a side.

Mix the coriander and cumin seeds and fry it in a dry pan until you can smell the spices. Be careful not to burn the spices. Place the coriander and cumin in a pestle and mortar and grind the spices to a powder.

Put all the ingredients, including about 75ml of the chilli soaked water, into a blender. Blend until you get a smooth paste.

Thai red curry paste

Green Thai Curry Paste

The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

Ingredients for the green Thai curry paste
  • 4 green cayenne chillis, seeds shaken out and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 6 Thai green chillis, cut into 1cm pieces
  • ½ red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 pieces of lemongrass, outer skin removed and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 2cm piece of galangal, peeled and grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2½ Tbsp shrimp paste
  • 2 tsp lime zest
  • 7.5 ml coriander seeds
  • 7.5 ml cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 1cm fresh turmeric, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped coriander root and stem (make sure all the sand is removed)
  • ½ cup coriander leaves, loosely packed
  • 3 Tbsp water

Instructions

Mix the coriander and cumin seeds and fry it in a dry pan until you can smell the spices. Be careful not to burn the spices. Place the coriander and cumin in a pestle and mortar and grind the spices to a powder.

Wrap the shrimp paste in a (single layer) foil parcel and dry fry in a pan, 2 minutes on a side.

Put all the ingredients, including about 75ml of the chilli soaked water, into a blender. Blend until you get a smooth paste.

The green Thai curry paste

Sri Lankan Curry Powder

The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp basmati rice
  • 1 Tbsp cardamom pods (only use the seeds – 12 to 15 pods)
  • 3 tsp whole cloves (10 to 15 cloves)
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (heaped)

Notes

You can add some curry leaves if you want to or just add the curry leaves separately in the curry.

Use less cloves if you find it too overpowering.

Instructions

Fry the rice in a dry pan over medium heat until it changes colour.

Turn down the heat to low and add the rest of the spices.

Roast for another 3 – 5 minutes until the spices changes colour and becomes fragrant.

Be careful not to burn the spices.

Let the spices cool down and use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to grind the mix into a powder.

Mauritian Curry Powder

This is a multi-purpose curry, but it is especially used with fish in Cari Poisson.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 3 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ Tbsp black peppercorns
  • ½Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 5cm stick cinnamon
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 7 dried chillis (optional)
Ingredients for the Mauritian curry powder (curry leaves included)

Instructions

Dry fry all the ingredients, except the turmeric, in a pan until the spices turn colour and become fragrant.

Be careful not to burn the spices as it will make the curry powder bitter.

Spices dry fried in a pan

Let it cool down and the grind the spices, with the turmeric, in a spice grinder until it turns into fine powder.

Mauritian curry powder

Notes

The dried chillis are optional, but I prefer some spiciness.

Some recipes will add curry leaves to the powder. I prefer to add them directly in the dish.


Condiments

Remoulade

Ingredients for the remoulade

Ingredients

  • 250ml mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp capers, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • paprika and chopped spring onion for garnish (optional)

Mix all the ingredients except the paprika and spring onion together. Garnish with paprika and spring onion.

Mustard and Sour Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 250ml sour cream
  • 125ml mayonnaise
  • 60ml Dijon mustard
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1 dash of hot sauce
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together.

Gremolata

Gremolata is an Italian condiment served with various dishes, but especially osso buco.

Ingredients

  • 30g Italian flat parsley, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Guacamole

An easy and authentic guacamole recipe, often served with nachos or on top of Mexican soups or stews.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced (if possible, try to use fleshy tomatoes without a lot of juice)
  • 3 Tbsp of finely chopped coriander
  • 1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt

Peel the avocados and remove the pit. Mash the avocados until you get the consistency you like.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Adjust the seasoning with the salt and black pepper.

Café de Paris Butter

Café de Paris butter was first served in the 1940s at the Café de Paris restaurant in Geneva. There are many different variations but the key ingredients are usually citrus, herbs, curry powder and anchovies – not a combination that sounds very compatible but this flavoured butter is delicious.

Café de Paris butter

Ingredients

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 Tsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 100ml parsley leaves
  • 100ml basil leaves
  • 50ml thyme leaves
  • 100ml tarragon leaves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp orange juice
  • ½ tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • ½ tsp capers, rinsed
  • 2 tsp cognac or brandy
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger

Instructions

Heat the oil and cook the onion and curry powder over low heat until soft and translucent.

Process with rest of the ingredient until just combined.

Roll butter into a 5cm diameter log, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. This also freezes very well.

Café de Paris butter served on grilled sirloin steak

Nước Chấm (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)

This dipping sauce is normally used with fried fish, grilled pork, egg rolls, spring rolls and many other dishes. The original recipe can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp castor sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bird’s eye / Thai chilli finely sliced

Instructions

Mix the water and sugar in bowl until the the sugar is dissolved.

Add the lime / lemon juice a bit at a time until you are happy with the taste. It should taste like lemonade.

Add the fish sauce little by little. It should be on the strong side as this dipping sauce is often used with unseasoned food.

Top with garlic and chillis.

Notes

If you are struggling to dissolve the sugar, heat up a ⅓ of the water, dissolve the sugar and then add the rest of the water.

Salsa Verde

The are many, many varieties of salsa verde or green sauce, but I find this recipe of Yotam Ottolenghi to be the most versatile.

Ingredients

  • 10g parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 10g basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 5g mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp capers (rinsed if salted, drained if brined), finely chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Method

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and let it rest for at least an hour before serving. You can make this at the most a day ahead. Do not use a food processor as you want a rustic looking appearance.

Chimichurri

Chimichurri is a condiment used in Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisine and mostly served with grilled meat. I found this authentic recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 100ml finely chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic , finely chopped or minced
  • 1 red chili, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and let it rest for at least 2 hours before serving. Do not use a food processor.

Dukkah / Duqqa

Dukkah (also known as duqqa) is an Egyptian nut, seed and spice blend, mostly enjoyed with bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but also used as a sprinkle over certain dishes. There are many varieties out there, a lot of them claiming to be authentic and the real thing.

Ingredients for the dukkah

Ingredients

  • 60g hazelnuts
  • 10g pine nuts (optional)
  • 30g almonds
  • 30g pistachio nuts, shelled
  • ½ Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 30ml black sesame seeds
  • 45ml white sesame seeds
  • 30ml cumin seeds
  • 30ml coriander seeds
  • ½ Tbsp kosher salt
  • 15ml mixed peppercorns (or green/black peppercorns)
  • ½ Tbsp dried origanum
  • 15ml paprika
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 5ml cayenne pepper (optional)

Method

Using a dry pan, roast the peppercorns and allspice for 1 minute. Add the coriander and roast for another minute. Add the fennel and cumin and roast for another minute. Put the contents of the pan in a pestle and mortar, and grind it into a fine powder.

Using a dry pan, roast the hazelnuts and almonds for 2 minutes. Add the pistachios and roast it for another 2 minutes. Add the pine nuts and roast for another minute. Using a pestle and mortar or a stick blender, grind the contents of the pan into a rough mixture. Do not over grind / blend as you still want some texture in the dukkah.

Using a dry pan, roast the sesame seeds for 1 minute.

Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush, also spelled baba ganoush or baba ghanouj, is an eggplant-based dip normally served as part of a meze with bread. The recipe I worked off can be found here.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium to small aubergines / eggplant
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 Tbsp tahini paste
  • 2 Tbsp flat leave parsley, chopped
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 80ml olive oil

Method

Cut the aubergines in half, length wise and brush the cut side with olive oil. Grill the aubergines in an oven, over an open fire or in an air fryer until the flesh is very soft.

Scoop the flesh out into a sieve and let it cool down a bit. Discard the skin. Squash the flesh slightly with a spoon to remove excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl

Add the garlic and lemon juice and stir vigorously or use a stick blender. Add the tahini and mix well. Then slowly add the oil oil while stirring. Keep on stirring until the mixture is creamy.

If possible, let it settle for a couple of hours before serving.

Ottolenghi’s Almond Dressing (for Lamb)

I found this recipe here. This is a brilliant dressing for any red meat, but it is especially good with lamb.

Ingredients

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 175g almonds
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp orange flavouring (this is optional and the original recipe uses orange blossom water)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 10g mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil in a small pan and add the almonds. Cook until the nuts are golden brown, stirring often. Remove the pan from the heat and let the nuts cool down a bit.

Put the nuts in a food processor (or use a stick blender) and roughly blend the nuts – not too much as you still want some texture in the sauce.

In a small bowl, mix the nuts, zest, juice, honey, orange flavouring, salt, pepper and the remaining olive oil. Set it aside.

Mix the fresh herbs with the sauce just before serving.

Zhoug

Zhoug, also known as zhug, skhug, sahawiq, bisbas or ma’boo is a bright, spicy coriander (cilantro) sauce originating in Yemeni cuisine and often served with stews and soups.

Ingredients

  • 45g coriander
  • 2 hot green chillies, trimmed
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • a pinch of salt

Method

To make the zhoug, blend all the ingredients until smooth. Cover and use as needed.

“Hellman’s” Mayonnaise

I got this recipe directly from Drizzle & Dip and all the credit must go to Sam Linsell for this recipe to make a copycat Hellman’s mayonnaise.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole free range-egg
  • 1½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 200ml sunflower or canola oil

Instructions

Crack the egg into the stick blender container and add all the seasonings.

Position the stick blender directly over the egg, ensuring the blades make contact with the egg. Gradually pour the oil into the jug.

With the stick blender held down, start blending at a high speed and wait for the emulsion to begin forming. This usually happens quickly after blending begins. As soon as the emulsion starts, slowly lift the blender slightly to incorporate more oil.

As the mayonnaise thickens and becomes well emulsified (there might still be some unmixed oil), move the immersion blender up and down to fully incorporate the remaining oil.

Once your mayonnaise reaches a thick and well-blended consistency, taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

Transfer the mayonnaise to a sealed jar and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Thai Peanut Sauce (Satay)

Peanut sauce has its origins in Indonesian cuisine and is often referred to as “bumbu kacang” in Indonesia. In the United States and some other Western countries, what is commonly known as peanut sauce is similar to the satay sauce served with satay, a popular Indonesian dish of skewered and grilled meats. The association of peanut sauce with Thai cuisine might be due to its popularity in Thai restaurants and its use in dishes like chicken satay.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2-3 Tbsp warm water (adjust for desired consistency)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

In a bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger until well combined.
Add warm water, one tablespoon at a time, and whisk until you reach your desired consistency. The warm water helps to achieve a smoother and dippable consistency.
Taste the dip and adjust the flavors to your liking. If you prefer a bit of heat, add crushed red pepper flakes.
Once well mixed, let the dip sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Serving

Pour some sauce into a bowl. Sprinkle with some peanuts – stir some through if you want
Pile satay skewers onto a platter, sprinkle with remaining peanuts, coriander and chilli.
Serve with sauce on the side for dipping. Add a side of Jasmine Rice or Thai Fried Rice to complete the meal.

Tempura Dipping Sauce (Tentsuyu)

Tentsuyu is a versatile dipping sauce in Japanese cuisine, commonly paired with tempura, a dish consisting of battered and deep-fried seafood or vegetables. The sauce is a fundamental component, adding a savory and umami-rich flavor to the light and crispy tempura. Typically made from a combination of dashi (a Japanese stock), soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), and sometimes sugar, Tentsuyu strikes a delicate balance between sweet, salty, and savory notes. Some variations may include grated daikon radish or minced green onions for added freshness. Tentsuyu enhances the dining experience by providing a complementary and flavorful element to the delightful textures of tempura.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup dashi (Japanese soup stock) (if you are using dash powder, mix 1 tsp of dashi powder with 180ml water)
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 inches daikon radish (grated, lightly squeezed of liquid; optional)

Instructions

Combine ¾ cup dashi (Japanese soup stock), 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp mirin, and 2 tsp sugar in a small saucepan.
Bring it to a simmer and let the sugar dissolve completely. Turn off the heat and let it cool before pouring the sauce into a mason jar.

Serving

Warm the Tentsuyu and serve in a small individual bowl alongside your favorite tempura. If desired, grate 2 inches daikon radish and gently squeeze out most of the liquid; serve a small portion to add to the sauce, as you like.


Dough

Pasta

Here’s a couple of recipes to make pasta. Any of these recipes will produce pasta that is superior to mass produced, commercial pasta.

Ingredients

Very Simple

  • 4 eggs
  • 400g all purpose flour

Simple

  • 4 eggs
  • 320g all purpose flour
  • 80g semolina flour

Still Simple

  • 4 eggs
  • 320g 00 flour (Zero Zero flour – an Italian milled flour used for pasta)
  • 80g semolina flour

Rich and superior

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 320g 00 flour
  • 80g semolina flour
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 40ml cold water
  • (add more water if the dough is too dry)

Instructions

Mix the ingredients well together and stretch the dough with the bottom of your hand across the table for about 10 minutes. Wrap the pasta in cling wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. A good video to watch is this one by Gennaro

Notes

  • Use large, good quality eggs

Outdoor Potbrood

Ingredients

  • 500g self raising flour
  • 340ml warm beer
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1 packet (10g) instant yeast

Instructions

Mix the ingredients well together in a bowl. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes until your hands come of clean. Cover the bowl and put it in a warm place for 2 hours. Do not put it in direct heat or sunlight. Knead the dough again very lightly and only for about 10 seconds. Shape the dough and put in a cast iron (bread) pot. Again put the pot in a warm place out of direct heat for about 1 hour. Cook over medium coals, but make sure you have twice as much coals on top of the lid of the pot. Cook for 45 – 60 minutes until the bread is ready.

Mauritian Faratas Bread

This recipe makes 2 flat breads.

Ingredients

  • 300g white bread flour
  • 200ml warm water
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vegetable oil
  • more melted butter for brushing

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt and oil. Add the 1 Tbsp melted butter and rub the flour.

Add the warm water gradually while mixing to make a soft dough. Add more flour if needed.

Set it aside, and leave for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces (about 250g each) and roll it out into discs using a rolling pin.

Roll it into discs

Brush the discs with the melted butter, fold in half and brush again.

Fold it again so that you have more or less triangular shapes. Roll it again into discs.

Fry in a pan on medium-high heat until it has a good char on both sides.

Faratas with a good char

Rye and Molasses Sourdough Bread

This is one of my go-to recipes when I bake bulk bread at home. This recipe produces roughly 6 x 550g loafs.

6 x 550g loafs

Ingredients

  • 540g rye flour
  • 1260g white bread flour
  • 300g sourdough starter
  • 36g fine salt
  • 150g molasses
  • 960g lukewarm, bottled or distilled water

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. In a medium bowl, mix the molasses, starter and water very well. Let it stand for 30 minutes.

Pour the contents of the medium bowl into the large bowl and mix very well. Let it stand for 45 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl and stretch it 3 times, waiting 30 minutes in between.

Transfer the dough back in the bowl and let it bulk rise for about 4 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl, stretch it 1 more time and then divide into 550g loafs.

Pre-heat the oven to 250°C with the trays inside.

Bake the loafs at 250°C for 30 minutes. Turn down the oven to 220°C and bake for another 20 minutes. This may vary from oven to oven.

Injera

Injera is a traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean flatbread made from fermented teff flour. This spongy, tangy bread serves as a utensil and base for various dishes. Its large size encourages sharing and represents unity. Injera’s unique flavor and texture complement the rich flavors of Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. It holds cultural significance, symbolizing community and togetherness.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups teff flour
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)

Method

In a large bowl, combine the teff flour and water. Stir well until there are no lumps. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours to ferment. The longer it ferments, the tangier the flavor will be.

Dissolve the yeast in a small amount of water and add it to the batter. Mix well. Let the batter rest for an additional 1-2 hours to allow the yeast to activate.

Heat a non-stick skillet or injera pan (mitad or tawa) over medium heat. Do not use oil.

Pour a ladleful of batter onto the skillet and quickly swirl it around to spread the batter in a circular shape. The injera should be thin and about 8-10 inches in diameter.

Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for about 1-2 minutes until the surface of the injera is covered with small holes and the edges lift easily from the pan.

Remove the injera from the skillet and let it cool. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Manoushe (Lebanese Flatbread)

Manoushe is a delightful and flavorful Lebanese flatbread that’s perfect for breakfast or as a snack. The combination of the aromatic za’atar spice blend and the soft, freshly baked dough creates a truly authentic and delicious treat.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast (or 70g sourdough starter)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

For the Za’atar Topping:

  • 3 Tbsp za’atar spice blend
  • 90ml olive oil

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar.
  • In a small bowl, mix the yeast with warm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.
  • Add the yeast mixture and olive oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough comes together.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 220°C
  • In a small bowl, mix the za’atar spice blend with olive oil.
  • Punch down the risen dough and divide it into smaller portions, about the size of your palm.
  • Roll out each portion into a thin oval or round shape on a floured surface.
  • Transfer the rolled dough onto a baking sheet or stone.
  • Spread a generous amount of the za’atar paste over the surface of each rolled dough.
  • Place the topped dough in the preheated oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the bread is cooked through.
  • Remove the Manoushe from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.

You can enjoy Manoushe as is or with some labneh, tomatoes, olives, or other traditional Lebanese toppings.

Nagi’s Naan Bread

Naan bread is a soft and fluffy leavened flatbread that originates from South Asia. This versatile and popular bread is known for its deliciously chewy texture and slightly charred, bubbly surface. It’s typically made from a simple mixture of flour, yeast, yogurt or milk, and a pinch of salt. Naan is traditionally cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven, which imparts a distinctive smoky flavor and creates those characteristic bubbles.

I got this recipe from Nagi’s RecipeTinEats.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 125ml lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp full-fat milk
  • 1½ Tbsp whisked egg (at room temperature)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 450ml bread flour
  • 30g ghee, melted
  • 60g ghee, melted (for finishing)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds (for finishing)

Instructions

Roast the cumin seeds in a dry pan until fragrant, then set aside.

In a small bowl, mix yeast with warm water and sugar. Cover with cling wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes until foamy.

Whisk milk and egg together.

Sift flour and salt into a separate bowl.

Make a well in the flour, add yeast mixture, butter, and egg mixture. Mix together to form a ball.

Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave it in a warm place for 1 – 1½ hours until it doubles in size.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and shape them into balls.

Place balls on a lightly-floured tray or plate, then cover loosely with a lightweight tea towel. Let them rise for 15 minutes until they increase in size by about 50%.

Roll out each ball into 3 – 4mm thick rounds (about 16cm wide).

Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat until you see wisps of smoke.

Cook each naan for 1 to 1½ minutes on each side until bubbly and golden.

Brush freshly cooked naan with melted ghee and sprinkle with cumin seeds.

Tempura Batter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup club soda, chilled
  • Ice cubes (optional, to keep the batter cold)
  • Pinch of salt (optional)

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and baking powder.
Gradually add the chilled club soda to the dry ingredients, stirring gently to avoid over-mixing. The batter should have a slightly lumpy consistency.
If you want an extra cold batter, you can add a few ice cubes to the mixture. Stir until just combined.
Use the batter immediately for coating your fish or vegetables for tempura.
Remember to keep your club soda and other ingredients cold to maintain the desired crispiness in the tempura batter.

Fish Tempura

Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

Method

Mix the masa harina with salt in a large bowl. Gradually add hot water while mixing. Knead the dough for a few minutes until firm but springy. Adjust consistency with flour or water if needed.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into ±40g balls. Place the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper in a tortilla press and press down. If you don’t have a tortilla press, use a rolling pin to flatten the dough.

Cook the tortillas in a non-stick skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side until brown and cooked through. Wrap the tortillas in cloth until ready to use.


Charcuterie

Most of these recipes come from other authors with some slight changes made by me.

Salsiccia Sausage

I got this recipe from Richard Bosman on one of his charcuterie courses. I adapted it slightly.

Ingredients

  • 6.5kg pork shoulder, cut into chunks
  • 2kg pork back fat, cut into chunks
  • 115g fine salt
  • 35g fennel seeds
  • 15g black pepper, freshly ground
  • 7g nutmeg powder or freshly grated
  • 4g fine cloves
  • 35g fresh garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 300ml dry red wine
  • 80ml red wine vinegar

Method

Mix all the ingredients except the wine and vinegar together and freeze overnight.

Add all together, mix well and mince through plate #8. Mince half off the mince for a second time.

Mix well by hand until the mix becomes tacky.

Fill into 32/35 casings.

Bresaola

Bresaola is a cured, air-dried beef that originated in Northern Italy. It is made from high-quality cuts of beef, typically lean and tender, which are seasoned with a blend of salt, herbs, and spices. The beef is then air-dried for several weeks until it becomes firm and develops a rich, concentrated flavor. Bresaola is often sliced thinly and enjoyed as a cold cut or used as an ingredient in salads and appetizers. It is known for its delicate, slightly sweet taste and is a popular delicacy in Italian cuisine.

Ingredients

  • 2kg topside or silverside, trimmed
  • 60g kosher salt
  • 5g Muscovado sugar
  • 4g curing salt
  • 8g roasted course black pepper
  • 12 crushed juniper berries
  • 8g rosemary leaves
  • 8g thyme leaves
  • 5 crumbled bay leaves
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground cloves
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ cup dry red wine

Method

Combine all the ingredients, except for the meat and wine, in a mixing bowl. Place the meat in a zip lock bag and pour the mixture over it, ensuring that the meat is fully covered. Pour in the wine as well. Seal the bag tightly and refrigerate it for 14 days, remembering to turn the bag once a day.

After the 14-day curing period, remove the meat from the bag and rinse it thoroughly. Discard the liquid. Place the meat in a meat net and hang it in a cool, well-ventilated area with a temperature of approximately 13°C to 16°C and a humidity level of around 80%. Allow the meat to hang for 2 to 3 months until it has lost around 35% of its original weight.

Once the drying process is complete, carefully cut the meat into thin slices and enjoy.

Chiang Mai Sausage

Chiang Mai sausage, a specialty of northern Thailand, embodies the region’s rich culinary heritage. This savory and aromatic sausage is crafted from a blend of ground pork and a unique mixture of local herbs and spices. Its distinctive flavor profile, often enriched with ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, encapsulates the vibrant tastes of Thai cuisine. Chiang Mai sausages are typically grilled or fried, showcasing their irresistible smoky exterior and tender, flavorful interior. A true representation of northern Thai gastronomy, Chiang Mai sausage offers a delightful harmony of ingredients that transport the palate to the heart of Thailand’s culinary tradition.

Ingredients

  • 1.1kg boneless pork shoulder, cut into small pieces (3cm cubes)
  • 400g pork (back) fat, cut into small pieces
  • 20g dried chilies, seeds in, chopped
  • 15g galangal, chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 8cm fresh turmeric, chopped
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tsp fermented shrimp paste (gapi)
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • zest and juice from 1 lime
  • 15 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced and minced
  • 20 stems cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped

Method

Blend the chilies, galangal, lemongrass, turmeric, shallots, and garlic until a paste forms.

Stir in the shrimp paste, fish sauce, lime zest, and lime juice until thoroughly combined.

In a bowl, mix the pork, fat, and paste until all the meat is coated evenly.

Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it in the freezer for 12 hours.

After freezing, take out the bowl and mince the meat using a #8 plate.

Add kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, and onion to the minced meat, stirring until the mixture becomes sticky.

Carefully fill the mixture into 32/35 casings.

Makanek (Lebanese) Sausages

Makanek sausages, a beloved Middle Eastern delight, offer a burst of flavor in every bite. These succulent sausages are typically crafted from a blend of ground lamb or beef, aromatic spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and hints of garlic.

Ingredients

  • 500g ground beef
  • 500g ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion, finely grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (panko) breadcrumbs
  • 6cm whole cinnamon
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 1 whole nutmeg, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 12g fine salt
  • 100ml ice-cold water

Method

Toast the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and peppercorns in a dry pan until they release their aroma.

Grind the toasted cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and peppercorns into a fine powder using a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.

In a spacious mixing bowl, combine the minced meat, ground spices, onion, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, salt and water. Mix until the mixture reaches a sticky consistency.

Chill the bowl in the freezer for at least an hour.

Stuff the mixture into 32/35 casings.

Kranjska Klobasa / Carniola (Slovenian) Sausage

Kranjska klobasa, a Slovenian culinary gem, embodies tradition and flavor in every bite. Originating in the picturesque region of Carniola, this sausage features a blend of coarsely ground pork, bacon, and a hint of garlic. Its distinctive smoky aroma and mild, savory taste make it a beloved staple in Slovenian cuisine. Traditionally prepared by smoking and cooking, Kranjska klobasa is often enjoyed with sauerkraut and fresh bread. With its deep-rooted history and robust profile, this sausage pays homage to Slovenia’s rich gastronomic heritage.

Ingredients

  • 1kg boneless pork shoulder
  • 150g pork back fat
  • 150g bacon
  • 20g salt
  • 2g black peppercorns
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2g white peppercorns (or ground)
  • 2g whole nutmeg
  • 2g whole allspice
  • 2g mustard seeds
  • 2g coriander seeds
  • 2g celery seeds
  • 100ml ice-cold water

Method

Begin by dry roasting the peppercorns, nutmeg, allspice, mustard seeds, coriander, and celery seeds until they release a fragrant aroma.

Grind the roasted spices in a spice grinder until they form a fine powder.

In a spacious mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, excluding the water, to ensure the meat is uniformly coated.

Wrap the bowl with cling wrap and place it in the freezer for 12 hours.

After the freezing period, remove the bowl and use a #8 plate to mince the meat.

Introduce the water to the minced meat, thoroughly mixing until the mixture reaches a sticky consistency.

Proceed to fill 32/35 casings with the prepared mixture.

Summer Chicken Sausage

Summer chicken sausage offers a lighter take on a classic favorite. Made with lean chicken meat and a blend of vibrant herbs, it brings a burst of fresh flavors to the table. Its juicy texture and wholesome ingredients make it a delightful option for summer grilling and lighter meals. Whether paired with salads, grilled veggies, or served in a bun, summer chicken sausage is a delicious way to savor the season’s essence with every savory bite.

Ingredients

  • 2kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 10g fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 10g thyme leaves, de-stemmed, finely chopped
  • 30g fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon (grated)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 20g salt
  • ½ cup ice-cold water

Method

Combine all the ingredients, excluding the water and lemon juice, in a spacious mixing bowl, ensuring even coverage of the meat.

Wrap the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate it for 12 hours.

Remove the bowl and grind the meat using a #6 or #4 plate.

Mix in the water and lemon juice with the minced meat until a sticky mixture forms.

Proceed to fill casings with the prepared mixture.


Drinks

Pineapple and Ginger Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 medium pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50g fresh ginger, cleaned and sliced (if you are really into ginger, you can up this to 75g)
  • 10g fresh turmeric, cleaned and sliced
  • 250ml double cream plain yogurt
  • 250ml orange juice (or pineapple juice)
  • 2 Tbsp honey

Method

Blend all together in a blender.

Note: Do not try to remove the “eyes” of the pineapple, the fibre is good!

Pineapple & Ginger Smoothie

Other

Easy Microwave Polenta

This is a very easy recipe to make polenta in a microwave.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of polenta
  • 2 cups of water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 25g butter
  • 25g Parmesan cheese, grated

Method

To make the polenta, place the polenta, water and salt in a microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave on high for eight minutes, add the butter and Parmesan and stir until the polenta becomes thick and creamy.

If the polenta is not thick enough, return to microwave for two more minutes.

“Koekies se Mash”

This recipe is for a friend of mine, Willem Burger, who doesn’t particular like mash, but loves this recipe. This serves 4-6 big portions.

Ingredients

  • 60g butter
  • 800g potatoes
  • 800g sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 250ml cream
  • 6g chives, chopped (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg (or fine nutmeg)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated (or any other hard Italian cheese)
Ingredients you will need for the mash (butter not shown)

Method

Boil the sweet potatoes and potatoes in salt water until they become very soft. Then, peel them.

In a separate large pot, melt the butter over medium heat and fry the onions and garlic until they turn golden brown.

Combine all the ingredients together and mash them until you achieve the desired consistency.

Serve the dish hot with your favourite meat.

Koekies se Mash

Additional

For an added touch, consider incorporating crispy bacon or guanciale pieces.

You can also try pealing the potatoes and sweet potatoes beforehand and then boil it in chicken stock. Then use some of the chicken stock afterwards to get the mash to the required consistency.

White / Béchamel Sauce

Here are 2 recipes to make a white / béchamel sauce:

Recipe 1

Ingredients

  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 750ml of whole milk, warmed
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt

Method

Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Stir the flour into the melted butter and cook for a couple of minutes.
Gradually whisk in the hot milk to create a smooth mixture.
Add the bay leaves and cook the mixture until it thickens and becomes a sauce.
Stir in the nutmeg, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Add additional salt to taste and remove the saucepan from the heat.

Recipe 2

Ingredients

  • 60g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 600ml milk, warmed
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 75g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vegetable or chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • salt to taste

Method

Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Stir the flour into the melted butter and cook for a couple of minutes.
Gradually whisk in the hot milk to create a smooth mixture.
Cook the mixture until it thickens and becomes a sauce.
Stir in the cheese, nutmeg, stock powder, and pepper. Keep stirring until the cheese melts completely.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
Whisk in the eggs.
Add salt to taste.