Snap, Sizzle & Cook

Sharing my love of food

Archive for the month “November, 2012”


The 3rd December marks my family’s 1 year anniversary of living in Durban.  We moved up from Cape Town on the 3rd December 2011.  You may be asking yourself what crazy person moves from the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Cape Town to the beautiful but not so cosmopolitan city of Durban. The answer is a justifiable one, work!

What is not justifiable though is the fact that I still haven’t had a bunny chow since moving to Durban.   That’s like moving to Cape Town and not going on the wine route.  I think my conscience finally caught up with me today.    While I was considering whether or not I should purchase a loaf of bread and make a lovely pot of curry, I had a light bulb moment.  I would make my own “beer bread” in an empty food tin, hollow the bread out once baked and fill it with curry.  It can be enjoyed straight out of the tin, no mess, no fuss and not too many dishes.

I couldn’t see this concept turning out a total flop so I got cracking.  The one disadvantage though is that a 400g tin is a bit small unless you’re making mince curry.  In this recipe I opted for lamb curry with the bones of the lamb knuckles taking a bit too much space in the tin.  I do suggest mince curry for this recipe or use a bigger tin.

The Curry:
1kg lamb knuckles (recommended is mince)
1 carton of buttermilk
10ml cumin
10ml coriander
5ml tandoori masala
2.5ml chilli powder or flakes
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 stick of butter
Bunch of coriander roughly chopped
Method:  Place the lamb knuckles, buttermilk and spices in a bowl and mix well together.  Let it stand overnight (recommended) in the fridge to marinade or leave for about 2 hours. In a separate pot bring the tomatoes to a simmer to cook off the acidity.  Season and set aside.  Place the lamb knuckles in the pot and brown.  Add the remaining buttermilk/spice mix and tomatoes and let simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the butter and let simmer for a further hour.  Lastly add the coriander.

The bread:
500g self-raising flour
1 can beer (Castle Lager)
5ml salt
3 empty food cans washed, sterilised and lightly greased
Mix all ingredients together to form a dough (might be sticky but that’s fine).  Fill each tin three quarter of the way, place on a baking tray and bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes.  Slice the peak off the bread and set aside.  Taking a very sharp knife, insert close to the edge of the bread and cut all around removing the inside of the bread.  Fill with curry and place the peak back on.  Serve with a selection of sambals or just on its own.


Pita Bread with pulled pork & coleslaw filling

Today was a very joyous occasion for my 15 year old son (and me) who wrote his final exam for Grade 8. When I fetched him from school this afternoon, the first thing he said to me was, “I don’t have to study when I get home”. That feeling of officially being on holiday is priceless. Even better is the reality that we are one week away from our holiday in Cape Town. While contemplating dinner I decided on a meal fit for a growing young man who has just finished exams. I’m sure all the mom’s out there with teenage boys know what I’m talking about when I say my son has hollow legs. He is constantly hungry. I honestly mean it when I say I thank God that I love the kitchen. My son would have lived on takeaways or other unhealthy food like 2 minute noodles if I disliked cooking and baking. In my view a lovely Pita bread filled with pulled pork and coleslaw salad served with a side “order” of potato salad would definitely fill the gap for a few hours. So, off to the butcher I went and purchased my pork. Unfortunately I purchased the last of the smoked pork so had to opt for another piece un-smoked. No problem because I had in mind to marinade the pork with my own concoction anyway.

For the pork you will need:
1.5kg’s pork belly (smoked or un-smoked)
2 sticks of butter (I LOVE cooking with butter)
25ml whole grain mustard
50ml honey (good quality is best)
Handful of Thyme

In a heavy based saucepan, melt the butter, add other ingredients and combine well on low heat. Turn stove on high and brown pork slightly all round but be careful to not overdo it as the outer layer might be too cooked to pull. Take off the heat and wrap in heavy duty foil with the marinade and place on a baking tray. Bake at 160 degrees for about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool. Once the pork has cooled take a fork and start stripping the meat. It should be very stringy. Place the remaining marinade back into the saucepan (you can add a bit more honey) and bring to a simmer. Add the pulled pork and let it coat in the marinade that is now becoming thick and sticky. Serve on a warmed Pita bread with coleslaw. If you’re not a teen then enjoy with an ice cold beer.

Butternut Salad

If you ever thought butternut was only for winter and soup you’d be very wrong. Who would have thought that raw butternut is appetizing and appealing. Well it is! I love it and in my view it has a taste very similar to spanspek which is a delicious fruit now in season and one that I grew up on. This easy, delicious, 3 ingredient salad is so refreshing and an absolute winner for a braai.

Being a beautiful day in Durban, I thought I’d make a lovely barbeque chicken and butternut salad for dinner which is a light and easy meal. One of my friends or family in CT gave this recipe to me a few years ago because it’s recorded in my little black book of recipes but for the life of me I cannot remember who, so if you are the brains behind this gorgeous salad, please let me know so I can give you credit on my blog.

You will need
1 butternut, peel and grated
1 can crushed pineapple (including juice)
1 packet peach jelly (just powder, don’t prepare)

Mix all together, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate till needed. Give a good stir before serving as the peach jelly granules would have dissolved.

The Classic Burger

Every Friday afternoon between 3 and 5pm I offer basic cooking classes at no cost to the parents to a group of youngsters from our Church. My group is made up of boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 18. It is a growing group which has jumped from 4 children to 10 children in a matter of 5 weeks. I am very excited about the growth of this Ministry and have big dreams for 2013. You can read more about us under the page “About Snap, Sizzle & Cook”.

I try and alternate between cakes and or sweets one week and something cooked or savoury the next week. For example, one week we made Chocolate Cupcakes and the next week I taught them how to make pizzas by making their own pizza dough. This week (today) I decided to teach them how to make their own burger patties. Burgers are a great meal and don’t have to be laden with fat and unhealthy additions. I had cheese, tomato, fried onions and lettuce available for the children to build their burgers. Instead of buying frozen boxed patties why not make your own fresh burger patties from a packet of beef mince. I actually thought they would be grossed out by working with raw meat, but to my surprise they dug in there and got mixing. They devoured their burgers which they built themselves after I grilled the patties. We had a lot of fun and the recipe is so simple. The original recipe belongs to my mom which I’ve modified slightly; it goes like this:

500g Beef or Lamb Mince (whichever you prefer)
5ml ground cumin
2ml mild curry powder
2ml coriander
15ml Sweet/chilli sauce
2 slices of white bread (crusts removed)
100ml milk
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

Soak the bread in the milk. In a separate bowl, mix the mince, spices, sweet chilli sauce and eggs. Once bread is soaked through squeeze excess milk and add to the mince. Mix well and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Remove from fridge and break off slightly bigger than golf ball size pieces and flatten into desired patties. You should be able to make between 8 – 12 patties.

Slow cooked Karoo Lamb

According to Dr Peter J. D’Adamo in his book “Eat Right for your Type”, I am The Hunter. This means that because of my “O” blood type, I am a meat-eater. I thrive on intense physical exercise and animal protein. I couldn’t agree more. My upbringing saw me being raised in typical Afrikaans fashion: vleis, rys en aartappels. Sunday afternoons were classic for roast leg of lamb with the accompaniments of rice, gravy, roast potatoes and vegetables. A customary vegetable in our home was pumpkin which my mom would make with sugar, butter and a sprinkle of nutmeg. She also made a lovely green bean and potato mix which I just loved with salt and white pepper. I have naturally continued this heritage with my own family. Almost all of our meals comprise of meat; red meat, white meat or fish. My favourite red meat is lamb.

I just love the flavour and tenderness and although much more expensive than other types of red meat, it’s worth every cent. The recipe that I am about to share with you is my take on a slow cooked Karoo lamb. There are very few ingredients that actually go into this dish so it might seem strange as to how it could possibly be tasty. Well the magic of flavour is in the lamb and the slow cooker. I am a free range girl so if you’re like me, make sure the packet of lamb is labelled “free range”. I’ve used green beans in my recipe, but you could use cabbage, carrots or whatever vegetables you wish.

2 packets lamb knuckles
1 packet of green beans (top and tailed and cut into 10cm pieces)
1 Onion
1Tbsp coriander
1Tbsp mustard powder
1tsp. paprika
1 cup red wine vinegar

Brown lamb knuckles in a heavy based pan with a bit of olive oil. Set aside once browned. In the same pan add a knob of butter and sauté onions, coriander, mustard powder and paprika. Once onions are transparent, add the cup of red wine vinegar and simmer for about 10 minutes. Place the lamb knuckles and red wine/onion mixture into a slow cooker. Add the green beans and season. Top up with a litre of water. I slow cooked my lamb for 12 hours and served with mashed potatoes. The result is a beautifully tender and very tasty dish.

Roly Poly Pudding

When I started High School in the early 80’s (proud “flower power” child) it was compulsory for all the girls to take Home Economics.  It’s called Consumer Studies today.  It is a subject that teaches girls basic cooking skills combined with theory.  I’ve heard of one or two boys taking these classes too instead of the compulsory woodwork they were required to do.  Not sure how true this is as it didn’t happen in my High School.

The first skill we learnt in Home Economics was making a basic roux.  This was an expertise that I learnt very young and still benefit from today. It is the base of most of my cream style sauces.  The second dish I was taught was a warm, sweet pastry “pie” called a Roly Poly.  I remember testing the recipe on my family as soon as I learnt how to make it.  My mom especially loved it (she has a sweet tooth) so she would often asked for a “fix”.  I always jumped at the opportunity because of my love for baking.  Between the two of us we would devour the entire contents of the dish.  It is with great joy that I can share yet another of my childhood food memories with you.

250g Self raising flour
125g salted butter
30ml castor sugar
80ml water (approximately)
Smooth Apricot Jam

Syrup Sauce: – Melt in a small pot
250ml water
125ml castor sugar

Sift flour and rub in butter.  Add enough water to make a stiff dough.  Roll out into a rectangle shape and spread a thick layer of jam.  Roll up into a log and cut into thin discs.  Place discs into a greased casserole dish and pour over syrup.  Bake at 200 degrees for 40 minutes.  Serve with fresh cream or sour cream.

Spicy Obz Beef Soup

I’ve been scratching my head the last two days trying to think of a recipe to create from a packet of beef cubes.  I didn’t want any form of stew or goulash, I wanted different.  Part of my thought process was whether or not I had ever ordered a meal in a restaurant with beef cubes as the main ingredient.  The answer was no.  I do however remember eating at a Mexican restaurant a few years ago in Observatory, Cape Town and ordering a Mexican Spice Soup.  So while my beef cubes were busy defrosting on the kitchen sink I recalled this particular soup having chicken pieces, corn and black beans as its main elements.  My imagination was immediately tweaked and without any further ado, I got cracking on a list of ingredients to make my own Mexican inspired spicy soup using beef cubes.  I decided that my soup would have a thick spicy tomato base because I like thick soup with lots of chunky bits.  I couldn’t get hold of black beans so I opted for a can of mixed beans which works just as beautifully.   The inspiration for my soup has come from my hometown.  Why I thought of this little restaurant when I was looking for motivation in writing this recipe, I don’t know.   I worked in Woodstock not too many years ago.  I would have to commute through Observatory to get home and I just loved the buzz of the artiness and the students.  I therefore decided to call my soup “Spicy Obz Beef Soup”.

You will need:
1 Packet of beef cubes (500-700g)
3 Cups of beef stock
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. coriander
½ tsp. chilli powder
½ tsp. paprika
1 stick of butter
1 Onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely minced)
1 green chilli (chopped)
6 whole tomatoes (skins removed)
1 can mixed beans in brine (drained)
2 cups corn (NOT cream-style sweet corn)
1 small can of tomato paste
Cheddar cheese (a good quality one)
Sour cream

Before you start anything, score a cross on the top of your tomatoes, place in a large heat proof bowl and cover in boiling water.  The skin will just peel off. In a heavy based pot, fry the onion, chilli and garlic in a half stick of the butter. Add all the spices and allow to “cook-off”.  This method of frying spices firstly removes the raw flavour of the spice and secondly it releases new flavours and aromas which infuse the oil/butter in which it is fried.  This penetrates the meat more thoroughly.  This process is called Bhuno.  Click HERE for the source of information.  Once the spicy mix has been simmering for about 5 minutes, add the meat. Once the meat is cooked, remove from the pot and set aside. In the same pot, add the other half stick of butter and add the tomatoes which you would have removed from the water, skinned and diced. At this point you can add a little seasoning as well as the 3 cups of beef stock.  Be careful not to add too much seasoning as the beef stock is already a bit salty. Add the tin of tomato paste and allow mixture to simmer on low for about 15 minutes. Once the tomatoes are nice and soft and cooked through use a stick blender and blend in the pot till tomatoes are a smooth consistency. At this point return the meat to the mixture, add the tin of mixed beans and the corn and allow simmering for a further 30 minutes.
Serve with grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Creamy Chicken and mushroom Risotto

Many moons ago, as a working mom with two small children, I always opted for quick and easy meals. After a long day in the office, dealing with all sorts of issues, sitting in traffic and still needing to pop in at the shops, the last priority of providing a meal for the family was often shunted aside. Unfortunately for me, those quick and easy meals came in the form of either pre-packed, frozen or takeaways. I couldn’t have been further away from being stereotyped as a lazy mom. I was hard working, tired and way too thin. Weekends, however was a completely different scenario. I was relaxed and at home and could do what I loved doing most, experimental cooking and baking.

I am convinced I was born to be a home-maker because this is where I shone. I spent my weekends in the kitchen trying to improve my cooking skills so that I could turn out quick and healthy meals for my young family. All the recipes that I concocted and tested which turned out good I recorded in a little book which I still have and refer to today. These recipes are slowly but surely getting transferred onto my blog. One of the easy peasy recipes that I wrote that long ago is my version of creamy chicken and mushroom which I used to serve with rice till I mastered the art of cooking risotto. I have since modified my recipe to incorporate the risotto which is absolutely delicious.

My recipe has 5 major elements which include:
1 packet of chicken breasts cut into cubes
1 packet of mushroom sliced
1 cup white wine
1 tub of cream
1 cup uncooked risotto

Melt a stick of salted butter and add the mushrooms. Cook until tender. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, fry the chicken till done. Add a clove of garlic and a cup of white wine. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes before you add the cream. I pre-cooked the risotto on its own in some salted water before I drained it and added it to the creamy chicken. Place a lid over the pan, turn the stove off and allow the risotto to cook further with the creamy chicken. Serve with a salad or enjoy on its own. A delicious dish of comfort food!

Marshmallow Rice Crispies

My son goes through cereal phases. One week it will be Cornflakes for breakfast, the next Coco Pops. When the Coco Pops get boring, he’ll request Rise Crispies. So the trend goes on. Egg on Toast is his favourite but I don’t always have time in the mornings. Maybe not time, but energy……ok so I’m not a morning person!
I’m always making Crunchies for my husband, so the cornflakes seldom go to waste. I add about 125ml of crushed cornflakes to my Crunchie mix. Left over Coco Pops get transformed into lovely Rice Crispie treats which are made by mixing melted chocolate and sour cherries with Coco Pops and finally, plain Rice Crispies get morphed (love that word) into Marshmallow Rice Crispie treats by combining only 3 ingredients. I pack these in for school which go down like an absolute luxury.
You’ll need:
30g Butter
4 handfuls of marshmallows
5 cups rice crispies
Melt the butter and marshmallows over low heat. Be careful not the burn as this will spoil the entire batch. Once melted, remove from heat and add the rice crispies. Press mixture into a rectangular dish. Cut into desired size squares and place in fridge to set. It’s as easy as that.

Toffee Apples

Candied Apples also known as toffee apples outside of North America. They are whole apples covered in a hard toffee or sugar candy coating, with a stick inserted as a handle. These are a common treat at autumn festivals in Western culture in the Northern Hemisphere, such as Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night because these festivals fall in the wake of the annual apple harvest.
William W. Kolb invented the red candy apple. Kolb, a veteran Newark candy-maker, produced his first batch of candied apples in 1908. While experimenting in his candy shop with red cinnamon candy for the Christmas trade, he dipped some apples into the mixture and put them in the windows for display. He sold the whole first batch for 5 cents each and later sold thousands yearly.
Toffee apples were a big part of my life and other children’s lives growing up all over the world and I recon a huge part of most children’s lives even now.  What child does not enjoy a crunchy sweet, toffee coated treat?  Over time, this sweet ball of gorgeousness has become a huge favourite among many adults too……the ones without porcelaine crowns and dentures I guess 😉  When I saw Errieda du Toit’s beautiful recipe for Toffee Apple Camembert,  I felt like a 12 year old little girl again and decided  that I need to try these beautiful sweet treats for myself. The result was outstanding and the fact that Errieda used baby apples reminds me of shiney little bling bling bawbles that hang on your Christmas tree.  To try your hand at Toffee Apples, click HERE. You won’t be sorry!

The General Information on Toffee Apples was obtained from

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