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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mexican Eggs

I am surrounded by wonderful people (I know, here we go with a soppy post, you want to vomit don't you) But seriously I am (perhaps scroll down if you're not in the mood for what I like to term 'happy-feet-waffling'); I work with inspirational people with good hearts and great minds, my friends are supportive and beautiful inside and out, the person I love is..well...all-together-lovely, my family is wonderfully mad and my parents think that everything I do, from boiling an egg to getting dressed in the morning embodies some form of artistic genius...let it be said I am one lucky las.

So 'yay' for me and, you ask, what’s is the point? The point is that we should cherish beautiful people, we should tell them and show them how much they mean to us and appreciate the smiles that they bring to us and the laughter they inspire in us because without beautiful people in our lives, we have nothing. Sharing has to be one, if not the greatest joy, for what is a meal if not shared and what is the point of a gut-wrenching laugh if you're on your own.

What does this all have to do with Mexican Eggs? Well, I went away with one of my dearest friends and her family a few years back. We went to an exquisite Game farm and all we did was cook and eat and talk. It was food for the soul. On one of the best mornings after a long run, seeing the most amazing sights and a subsequent dip in the pool, they cooked this up for everyone; we all sat around laughing and talking while her family showed me how to make their most-loved breakfast. It is indeed a sharing breakfast and one that is best served to a crowd because you cook it all in the same pan, you can sit around and let it all happen slowly, leaving room for banter of the best kind. Now every time I make it I think of her and yes, it always makes me smile. So cook this for someone and share a little while you do because it makes the world of difference.

Mexican Eggs

Ingredients: (serves 2-4)
200g Chorizo (sliced) Alternatively use bacon
1/2 onion (diced)
1/2 large red/yellow pepper (sliced)
1 large clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 red chilli (finely chopped)
5 tomatoes (chopped)/1 1/2  tins chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp sugar
4-6 eggs 
100g grated cheddar/feta
1 avo (sliced)

Pour a little oil into a large fryingpan on put it on medium heat. Add Chorizo, onion and peppers and fry for about 2-3 minutes until the onions and peppers have softened and the chorizo is lightly browned.
Add garlic, chilli, tomatoes and sugar and cover. Simmer gently for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce is thick and gorgeous.
To cook the eggs: make little indentations in the sauce by pushing down with a large spoon. Crack the eggs into the spaces, grate/crumble over the cheese and cover once again to allow the eggs to poach for 4 minutes.
Scatter over avo before scooping generous portions into bowls or straight on top of toasts. Yum

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Babotie spring rolls

This was an idea given to me by my lovely friend Caro; I had been asked to cater a small function and they wanted trendy South African 'street food'. She said she had tried these at a very popular restaurant in Knysna called 'Ile de pain' (I have been and it is out of this world - best croissants this side of the equator) I thought it was a great idea and so set about making my own version.

For all of those out there who have no idea what 'babotie' is: 
Bobotie also spelt bobotjie, is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. It is thought that colonists from the Dutch East India Colonies introduced bobotie to South Africa after which it was adapted by the Cap Malay community.

To be honest, if you have left-over babotie you could just as easily mix it together and use it for your filling. If you don't want to make a huge amount simply halve me recipe.

Babotie spring rolls

Ingredients: (makes 30 spring rolls)
3 onions
3 tbsp garlic and ginger paste/4 cloves garlic & 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (grated)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp medium strength curry powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1kg mince
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp apricot chutney
2 pieces of white bread (crusts removed) soaked in 125 ml milk
125ml raisins (optional)
2 handfuls of coriander (chopped)

spring roll wrappers
1 egg mixed with 3 tbsp water
oil for frying

Put a large saucepan on medium heat. Drizzle in a good glug of olive oil/sunflower oil (4tbsp) and saute the onions until translucent.
Add the garlic and ginger, salt, sugar and all of the spices and fry for a minute or two (if the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan add a little water)
Add the mince and fry until browned (about 5-8min)
Squeeze excess milk from the bread, break apart and add to the mince along with the tomato paste, chutney and raisins.
Simmer for 15 minutes to reduce.
Remove from the stove and allow to cool.
Once cooled add the chopped coriander.
Place a heaped tablespoon of the mixture on the centre of each spring roll wrapper and shape into cylinders. Fold over the sides, brush the top edges with a little egg was and roll up to seal.
Fry in batches and serve with sweet chilli sauce/tsatsiki/simple salad/all of the above