Food & Drink

Sunday Lunch from around the world - South African Bobotie

South African BobotieIngredients:-

500 g beef, minced

2 eggs

2 slices stale white bread with the crusts removed


1 onion, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons cooking oil

2 tablespoons hot water

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons curry powder

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 teaspoon turmeric

1⁄2 teaspoon salt


1 egg, lightly beaten

1⁄2 cup milk

Bay leaves


(1) Pre heat oven to 160°C.

(2) Soak bread in water for around 10 minutes, remove and squeeze excess water and tear into small pieces.

(3) Add 2 eggs to a large bowl and whisk. Add mince and mix to combine. Set aside.

(4) In a large frying pan, heat oil and fry onion until golden in colour.

(5) Add onion mixture to mince along with crumbled bread, hot water, sugar, lemon juice, curry powder, cloves, garlic, turmeric and salt. Mix to combine all ingredients.

(6) Spoon mixture into a greased, oven proof dish and cook in oven uncovered for 40 minutes, remove from oven.

(7) Combine topping ingredients and pour over bobotie. Place back in oven and cook for another 10 minutes. Or until topping is set.

Anybody for Bacon Jam?

Anybody for Bacon Jam?Bacon Jam – There are some recipes / dishes / condiments who's names belie their potential. Take Bacon Jam for example. Initially this concoction sounds hideous, but in actual fact look at the ingredients read the recipe and give it a go and you'll be thoroughly surprised – in a good way!


1 lb. thick cut bacon

2 extra large sweet onions, quartered and thickly sliced

½ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup strong coffee

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


(1) Cut the bacon into half inch slices and add to a large frying pan. Don't worry if the bacon pieces stick together, they will come apart as they cook. Cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the bacon is cooked but still quite chewy. A few crispy bit are ok.

(2) Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.

(3) Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes then reduce the heat to low. Add sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the coffee, ½ cup of water and the reserved bacon and continue to cook, stirring about every five minutes, until the onions are thick and jam like, about 30 minutes.

(4) Remove from heat and stir through the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt if necessary.

Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. Bring back to room temperature before serving. 

Baklava - Recipe

Baklava - RecipeAlmost all the peoples of the Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans, Caucasia; Turks, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians introduce baklava as their national dessert. When we consider that all of these regions once belonged to the Ottoman Empire, it is possible to think of Baklava as an Ottoman dessert. But because Ottoman is mostly equivalent with ‘Turks’, the modern day Greeks and Arabs don’t like this suggestion.

Greeks claim that Turks had borrowed Baklava from Byzantine . It has been suggested that Baklava is very like the dessert kopte or kopton (koptoplakous) very much liked during the Byzantine period. 


30 sheets of phyllo pastry

500g (17 oz.) chopped mix of walnuts, pistachios and almonds

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp grounded clove

1 tsp sugar

300g butter, melted (10 oz.)

For the syrup:-

650g sugar (23 oz.)

400g water (14 oz.)

80g glucose or honey (2.8 oz.)

zest of 1 lemon or orange

1 cinnamon stick


1. To prepare this baklava recipe, start by melting the butter in a saucepan over low heat, being careful not to burn it. Using a cooking brush butter the bottom and sides of a baking pan. (For this baklava recipe you will need a large baking pan approx. 40*30cm). Begin by layering the sheets of phyllo on the bottom of the baking dish to form the base of the baklava. Layer the sheets one at a time, making sure to sprinkle each one with melted butter.

2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped nuts, the sugar, the cinnamon and grounded clove. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the phyllo base and continue forming the top of the baklava. Top the nuts with the rest phyllo sheets, sprinkling each one with melted butter and brush the top of the baklava with enough butter.

3. Place the baklava in the fridge for 15 minutes to make it easier to cut into pieces. Remove the baklava from the fridge and using a sharp knife cut the cut the pastry all the way down into pieces. If you fancy the taste of clove, place one whole clove berry into the middle of each baklava piece and sprinkle the top with some cold water.

4. Place the baklava in preheated oven at 150C on the lower rack (both top and bottom heating elements on) and bake for about 1 hour 30 minutes, until all the phyllo layers are crisp and golden.

5. Prepare the syrup for the baklava. Into a small pot mix all the ingredients for the syrup and bring to the boil. Boil fro about 2 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. As soon as the baklava is ready, ladle slowly the hot syrup over the hot baklava, enabling it to be absorbed.

6. Let the baklava cool down completely and serve after the syrup is absorbed. Enjoy!

Pelmeni Recipe - пельме́ни

Pelmeni Recipe - пельме́ни These are meat dumplings, a bit like Italian ravioli, but not quite. The rule of a thumb is to freeze Pelmeni at least for 24 hours before boiling and serving them. They are great served melted butter, chopped dill, mustard, sour cream or vinegar


For the dough:

3 eggs

700 ml all-purpose flour

200 ml water

1 tsp salt

For the filling:

1 kg minced meat (a 50/50 mixture of pork and beef works well)

1 onion


black pepper

2 tbs vegetable oil

Serve with melted butter, mustard, sour cream or vinegar.


(1) Sieve flour into a heap with a small well on the top. Gradually beat in the eggs, salt and add water little by little to form a dough. Mix and kneed it well for a few minutes, so that it is quite tight. Leave it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

(2) Mix the mince with finely chopped onion, salt and pepper. Stir in vegetable oil and mix well.

(3) Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out into medium flat discs, about 2 mm thick. Cut out small round discs, about 6-7 cm in diameter, using a glass. Spoon a 1 tsp of mince into a dough disc, and pinch the edges together, so that the dumpling forms a half-moon shape. Make sure the edges are well pinched together. Place the dumplings on a plastic tray, leaving the space between them, and freeze for at least 24 hours.

(4) Boil a good amount of water, adding a little salt. Boil the frozen pelmeni, until they float on the surface - that's when they are ready. Drain them with a spoon and serve with melted butter, chopped dill, mustard, sour cream or vinegar.

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad Recipe

Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad RecipeA delightful pasta salad with the great taste of bacon and a creamy sauce made with DIY ranch dressing.


1 pack uncooked tri-color pasta

10 slices bacon

1 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons dry ranch salad dressing mix (Dried parsley, ground black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme)

1/2 cup milk, or as needed

12 cherry tomatoes halved

1 can black olives, sliced


(1) Boil the pasta until cooked, but not cooked to death!

(2) Drain and set aside to cool.

(3) Grill the bacon until it is crispy.

(4) lay on kitchen paper to cool.

(5) Chop the tomatoes

(6) Once the pasta and bacon are both cool,  break the bacon up and mix all the ingredients.

(7) If the end result looks a little dry, all milk and mix thoroughly until you are happy with the consistency



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