Tomorrow is Heritage Day in South Africa. In recent years it has come to be known as Braai Day . Which ordinarily I would be the first to endorse. I love a good braai! I totally endorse the sentiment expressed by the movement in their mission statement –
“Across race, language, region and religion, we all share one common heritage. It is called many things: Chisa Nyama, Braai and Ukosa to name few. Although the ingredients may differ, the one thing that never changes is that when we have something to celebrate we light fires, and prepare great feasts.
We encourage all South Africans to unite around fires, share our heritage and wave our flag on 24 September every year.
We liken this initiative to annual celebrations cherished by other leading nations of the world; Thanksgiving for Americans, St Patricks Day for the Irish, Bastille Day for the French and Australia Day for Australians.
This is a noble cause, which will contribute to strengthening South Africa as a nation through this act of nation building and social cohesion. “
Yet I still feel our Heritage is so much richer and deeper than this, and extends to far more than just meat, a fire or a pot. It extends to flowers, to design, decor and even a simple bowl of breakfast porridge.
However you choose to celebrate Heritage Day tomorrow, I hope its FUN!
I say, “thank you!” to the lovely people at ZZ Tomato.
I LOVE receiving letters and cards in the post. I try send my Christmas cards with “snail mail” every year, but unfortunately that’s all I seem to manage. I often long for a quieter life with more time to wrap and send parcels, compose personal notes to friends, buy, lick and stamp hand addressed envelopes. Modern life is not like that, and seems to be moving away from such “quaintness” at an alarming rate. When I do receive a parcel or gift in the post ( or in this case via courier ) I am absolutely delighted! Even more so when it’s a surprise and totally unexpected!
zz2 Tomatoes kindly sent me a selection of their awesome Roma & Cocktail tomatoes, watch this space for what I’ve been doing with them…
Rather than embark on mission impossible, I took the advise of my daughters kindergarden teacher and applied it to the party. When faced with disciplining issues ( which I hardly ever have because my child is an angle, ha ha ) She sagely advised, ” pick your battles, and only fight the ones you can win.”
So rather than attempt a 2 year olds party without the obligatory cupcakes I strategically applied my no sugar rule where I could. I follow a LCHF diet ( low carb, high fat ) commoningly known in South Africa as Banting. A few of my friends follow the same and I wanted the adult food to cater for them.
I made all the sauces, the lemonade and a couple of cakes using xylitol as a sugar substitute and I was thrilled at how they all turned out and tasted. I dont like the artifical taste of Stevia, and I haven’t tried Erythritol. If you’re not worried about carbs or calories, you can use sugar or honey in any of the recipes.
We made boerewors ( South African type sausage) rolls with either cauliwraps ( recipe here) or hot dog rolls ( for those not following low carb) and Im thrilled to say , judging by the “leftovers” or lack of, the food was all a success! From the coldrinks to the cake, I felt I achieved my objective to be balanced and as sugar free/ low carb as possible under the circumstances.
Now for next years party….
SUGAR FREE HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 med onion, chopped
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup honey or xylitol for sugar-free
1 teaspoon salt
700g tomato puree/ passata
300g tomato paste
1 tspn mixed dried herbs
Heat oil, Add onion and cook until softened.
Pour in vinegars, honey and salt.
Bring to a boil.
Add tomato puree and paste.
Bring to a boil.
Cook until reduced and sauce thickens about 15-20 minutes.
Pour into blender and blend until smooth.
Refrigerate. Makes 2 consol jars
Notes Adapted from this recipe -http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/healthier-homemade-tomato-ketchup/
SUGAR FREE BBQ SAUCE ” RECIPE” This is more of a guideline as I improvise each time I make this recipe.
1 med onion, finely chopped or minced ( I whizz in a food processor)
1 tblspn garlic, crushed
1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 can diet (sugar-free) Cola
1 cup sugar-free tomato sauce
3 T mustard, I used commercial whole grain mustard which does contain a small amount of sugar
1-3 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch ground cloves
Hot sauce ( optional ) see note
Boil together for 20-30 minutes, reduce until thickened
It will not be as thick or sticky as commercially made sauces
Note – I divided mixture in half and added Tobasco to one to make a spicy sauce and 1/4 cup honey to the other to make a sweeter sticky sauce
Play around with what works for you
Made approximately 2 consol jars HOMEMADE PINK LEMONADE
Serves 4 – 6
1 cup sugar or xylitol (can reduce to ¾ cup if using sweet grapefruit) or 1/2 cup honey for Paleo
1 cup water (for the sugar syrup)
1 cup lemon juice or pink grapefruit
3 to 4 cups cold water (to dilute)
1. Make a simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
2. While the sugar is dissolving, use a juicer to extract the juice from the fruit , enough for one cup of juice.
3 Add the juice and the sugar water to a jug. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes.
If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
Serve with ice, sliced lemons or cubes of frozen grapefruit wedges
300g Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate
250g castor sugar/ or zylitol
6 meduim free range eggs
150g almond flour
100g coconut flour
For the ganache
200g Lindt 70% cocoa dark chocolate
1/2cup/ 125ml cream
1. Line and grease a 23 cm spring form tin, preheat oven to 180oC
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler
3. In a bowl beat the butter and zylitol until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, eating between each addition. Do not be alarmed if the mixture begins to appear curdled, it will come together again when you add the chocolate
4.Slowly stir in the melted chocolate, alternating with tablespoons of almond and coconut flours.
5. Pour batter into prepared cake tin and transfer to the oven.
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
7. Switch off oven and leave cake to cool in the oven with the door ajar.
8. Cake can be prepared a day ahead, and will keep for 5 days in an airtight container
For The Ganache
1. Melt the cream and chocolate together in a double boiler.
2. Allow to cool slightly before spreading over the cold cake.
3. Serve decorated with berries and a dusting of icing sugar.
I wrote a while back about this project and what a joy it was for me. Not only is Caron Melamed one of the nicest people I have ever worked with but I also got to work with my friend and photographer Roelene Prinsloo.
These are a few of the images Roelene and I did together for the book ( not all the images in the book are by Roelene)
Mazel tov Caron ! You can stop pinching yourself , your dream is a reality.
Thank you that I could be a part of it !
The book is available directly from Caron Melamed.
In this article ( such a great pic of Caron) it says the book is now available at selected Exclusive books stores in Johannesburg, and at Thrupps.
Whenever I mention I’m a food stylist, I’m guaranteed to be asked a few of the same questions, ” is it true you spray vanish on the food ?” Or ” do you really paint the food with glycerin?” And my all time favourite ” do you use mash potato for ice cream ”
And always, always ” do you get to eat the food afterwards”
I usually just say it’s urban legend, and try change the subject.
On a good day I will go to great lengths to explain how stuff like this might have been done in the past ( like way back in the 80’s) but for the most part it’s not true.
Today’s a good day, so here goes.
Photoshop and digital enhancement and/or manipulation have forever changed the landscape of photography. That being said,and most importantly, whether for editorial or advertising purposes the food being photographed still needs to maintain a degree of authenticity and accuracy.
The question about enhancing the food to look as good as possible, often leads to the next question ” why doesn’t my burger look like the one on the billboard/ menu board? ” isn’t this false advertising ?
In my opinion no, it’s not !
When you go for a job interview, you get dressed up, you put on your best suit or dress, you do your hair and make up, you practice your winning smile in the mirror and inflict your voice with a friendly,cheery tone.
Once you have the job, you might not go to the same lengths to impress your boss with your appearance .
Did you misrepresent yourself or were you just ” putting your best foot / or face forward ” you can still do your job without any of the “add-ons”
I don’t always go to the trouble to put on make up, or style my hair. But my clothes are clean ( for the most part – if the 4 year old didn’t grab me with mucky hands) my teeth are brushed and I’m wearing deo. None of these things affect my ability to do my job.
Same for the burger.
Not always ” made up ” to look it’s best, but all the same ingredients are there, in the correct order, and doing his ” job” which is too fulfill your hunger.
So no, we ( food stylists, photographers, or the photoshop retoucher guy ) are not lying, misleading or tricking you when we present and portray the product in a particular way.
So how about this beautiful autumn weather then ? *changes subject* wink
Before today I probably would have said I’m a bit over soup.
I know! Quiet a rash statement and odd as I have a reputation for my soup making skills, along with a confession on this blog that I like to slurp 🙂
Today such utterances are plain foolish! Crazy talk. We don’t need any of that around here at the moment.The temperature has plummetted and Johannesburg is shivering at winter’s announcement that it is here, and means business!
We had some prior warning which I paid no attention to. We all know how I procrastinate, and this was no exception. SOOOO, I’m now scrambling through my hard drives for the recipes I feel like making and frantically dusting off the pressure cooker to fast forward my soup action. I think I’m going with this delicious Cream of celery, white bean, and pancetta soup. One of my favourites from a photoshoot a while back for Food & Home Magazine. Nope, actually I’m going with the two Banting friendly recipes ( LCHF) the Tomato, Tamarind & Aubergine Soup with Coconut crisps is an absolute winner, and so is the Leek, Smoked Chicken & Cabbage Soup.
Maybe I’ll make the Medley of Mushroom soup for my vegetarian friend …?
Decisions decisions, now you know why I end up procrastinating
Oh what the heck, they’re all good ! Hopefully you haven’t left it to the last minute, but if you need some soup inspiration check out all the recipes below.
Keep warm & Happy Friday !
Creamy Celery Soup with White Beans and Pancetta.
50ml olive oil 50g butter 1 large bulb of celery, approx 8 stalks, washed and finely sliced 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 4 sprigs fresh thyme 200g block pancetta, cubed 1 x 440g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed 1 litre good quality chicken stock 500ml cream Salt & pepper
Heat the oil and butter over medium heat and sauté the celery and onion for 5-8 minutes, add the garlic and pancetta. Add the beans, thyme and stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, add the cream and heat through. Serve in warmed bowls with crusty bread and garnished with fresh thyme
Leek, Smoked Chicken & Cabbage Soup
50ml olive oil 6 young leeks, washed and sliced ( white part only) 1 small white onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic , crushed 4 smoked chicken breasts, finely sliced 2 litres good quality chicken stock. 2 baby cabbage, thinly sliced Salt & pepper to taste
Sauté the leeks and onion for 5 – 8 minutes until translucent, and add the garlic.
Add the stock and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the chicken and cabbage and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until heated through.
Serve in heated bowls, drizzled with olive oil.
Tomato, Tamarind & Aubergine Soup with Coconut crisps
50ml olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1 large aubergine, diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 tin chopped tomatoes 4 sprigs curry leaves 2 tablespoons tamarind paste 500ml Tomato Passata 1 litre good quality chicken stock 1 x 400g tin coconut cream Toasted shaved coconut to garnish
Sauté the onion and aubergine until golden brown, and add the garlic, chopped tomato, curry leaves and tamarind paste, and cook for 2- 3 minutes. Add the passata, chicken stock and coconut cream and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve garnished with toasted shaved coconut.
Hot & Sour Medley of Mushroom Soup
30 ml olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 sticks lemon grass, chopped 2 tablespoon galangal 2 cloves garlic crushed 1 red chilli, deseed & chopped ( optional) 500g assorted mushrooms, button, portabella, shitake and porchini. 50g dried wild mushrooms, soaked in 250ml boiling water and liquid reserved 6 lime leaves 1 litre good quality chicken or vegetable stock Juice and zest of 2 limes 1 tspn fish sauce 50ml Very dry Sherry ( do not use full or medium cream sherry) Chopped coriander to garnish
Sauté the onion and lemon grass until onion is translucent, add the galangal, garlic, chilli, mushrooms and lime leaves and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the mushroom water from the dried mushrooms, the stock, lime juice and zest and fish sauce, and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, and a shot of dry sherry before serving.
Serve over ramen or udon noodles and garnish with fresh coriander.
Recipes and styling – Taryne JakobiPhotography – Vanessa Lewis Article appeared in Food & Home Magazine Aug 2012
Inspired by the current trend for all things beer and bacon I wanted to do a shoot on cooking with craft beers. I had no idea my idea would turn into a finger lickin, lip smacking, chilled afternoon. We hung out on a random week day, the cool hipster friends showed off their tattoos and drank the beer, I cooked with it and Vanessa took the photos.
***The recipes are a rough guide.
Beer & Bacon Jam
Red onion finely chopped, about 2 , approx 500g bacon, chopped ( use nice bacon rindless back, or streaky ) Craft Beer of your choice – preferably a dark ale, brown sugar, about 1 cup, and ½ cup malt vinegar.
Fry the onion and bacon together, drain the fat, add the rest of the ingredients, simmer until reduced and sticky, about an hour, I wasn’t checking the time. It should be thick and a dark rich colour. Dollop on burgers or spoon in a jar, will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.
Beer Battered Onion Rings
Whisk beer , light ale or lager into sifted flour, to make stiff batter. Seasoned with salt, toss in onion rings, and deep fry until golden brown. Drain and serve hot.
Cheddar & Pale Ale Soup
This soup was heaven in a bowl!
Sauté 2 sliced leeks in a generous blob of butter, add a bit more butter and flour( approx 1/4 -1/3 cup) and 1-2 tablespoons of English mustard powder, to make a roux, stir in the Pale Ale (1 1/2 cup) , same amount of milk and good quality chicken stock, throw in a bay leaf and some mace if you have. Allow to simmer gently,for 20 minutes or so, do not boil. I said do not boil.
Add 1 cup grated very mature cheddar ( please, not that greasy bland yellow stuff, I’m asking nicely)
Add a spash of Worcestershire sauce, adjust seasoning, scoop out mace and bay leaf. Serve in warm bowls with crispy crumbled pancetta.
Sticky Beer Glazed Ribs ( top picture)
This was the most random of all the recipes and went something like this…
1 bottle of Craft Beer – preferably a lager. 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 BBQ sauce, 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 brown sugar, 2 tablespoon paprika , 1 tsp chilli powder. 1 Tspn mustard powder. Whisk everything together . Enough for about 3 kg of ribs.
Pour over and bake and baste in a medium oven until sticky and yummy. No idea how long, as I said we were chatting, and sipping and eating, but at an educated guess I would say 11/2. – 2 hours. Don’t be tempted to crank up the oven, slow and low is better.
Pass the serviettes.
Ps. If you have time make ahead and marinade for 24 hours.
Cheats Chocolate Brownies with Milk Stout
Substitute milk stout for the milk in your favourite brownie recipe, or grab a box of Ina Paarman Chocolate a Brownies, add eggs and oil, and substitute milk stout for the quantity of milk. Mix and bake as per instructions on the packet.
Make a chocolate beer glaze by melting a slab of dark chocolate with 1/4 cup of the beer, allow to cool slightly and pour over the cooled brownies. Serve with ice cream.
***this is not a recipe blog. I had an epiphany about this the other ( details in another post ) so from now on all recipes I post will be as a guide only .
I intend to blog how I cook. I don’t often measure or time recipes – except for baking, For the rest it’s pretty much gut feel.
If you’re looking for precision recipes you’re in the wrong place.
If you’re looking for inspiration you’re in the right place, grab a beer or a coffee, I hope you’ll hang around.