Mouth-watering cookbooks and recipes

We’re celebrating local cookbooks and the chefs who cook them up as part of Exclusive Books’ Homebru Cookery campaign. So, tuck into three delicious reads from the Tasty Read – Mzansi Made selection with recipes you can try this weekend. It’s a pleasure!

All Sorts of One-Dish Wonders by Chantal Lascaris

Author Chantal Lascaris is the first to admit that she’s a messy cook, so the concept of dirtying as few dishes as possible and having a clean kitchen in the wink of an eye is really appealing. Yet when one says ‘one-dish cooking’ most people think ‘mid-week stews and casseroles’. Not so! With this collection of almost 80 dishes, Chantal proves that cooking in one pot or pan can be exciting and dinner party worthy. And obviously, delicious. Nor are they only for dinner parties – from breakfasts, a plethora of main courses and side dishes, right through to yummy desserts, you’ll be serving memorable meals to family and friends and still have time to do the things you want to do. With a focus on seasonal, fresh and healthy options, All Sorts of One-Dish Wonders will become a favourite of home cooks who are looking for the best meals that are also low maintenance and simple to prepare, with a dash of flair.

Olympian chicken

These flavours are classic Greek, Inspired by the rich flavours and bright colours of the Mediterranean, this dish is refreshingly easy to prepare. The tomatoes, olives, garlic and rosemary are perfect partners, but the surprise newcomer is the cinnamon, which adds another depth of flavour to the overall dish. It’s all pulled together by the potatoes that soak up the delicious sauce. A dish fit for the Gods on Mount Olympus.

You’ll need: 10–12 baby potatoes, halved; 1 red onion, sliced; salt and pepper to taste; olive oil for drizzling; 2 cloves garlic, crushed; 6–8 chicken portions; 1–2 tsp cayenne pepper; 1 cup white wine; 1 cup water; 2 lemons, cut into wedges (8 wedges); 3 sticks cinnamon; 1¼ cups pitted black olives; 1½ cups cherry tomatoes; 6–7 sprigs fresh rosemary.

How to:

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a baking dish.

Place the potatoes and onion slices at the base of the prepared dish. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and dot the crushed garlic on top.

Season the chicken portions with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and place on top of the potatoes and onion. Pour the wine and water over and tuck the lemon wedges and cinnamon sticks among the chicken portions. Bake for approximately 1 hour. Remove

and scatter the olives and tomatoes around the chicken and return to the oven for a final 15 minutes.

Serve with salad greens.

Cape Mediterranean the way we love to eat by Ilse van der Merwe

Cape Mediterranean food/ cooking is a South African style of cooking and entertaining influenced by one of the oldest and arguably also the healthiest cuisines in the world. It has developed naturally from within the Western Cape due to its Mediterranean climate and the abundance of classic Mediterranean-style local produce. This book features more than 75 delectable recipes, from breads, dips and tapas, to lavish salads, succulent roasts, freshly made pastas and heavenly desserts. The recipes bring seasonal produce to the fore and the balance of dishes and ease of preparation will have you inviting friends and family over in no time to share in this veritable bounty.

Arancini with smoked mozzarella & aioli

Of all the canapés that I’ve made and served in my lifetime, these little golden balls of delight are always scooped up first. They originated in Italy as a way to use up leftover risotto – the cold rice mixture is rolled into balls, stuffed with smoky cheese, crumbed and deep-fried. To add to the decadence, I serve it with a tangy garlic mayo. You can never get enough of it!

Note: Chilled risotto handles more easily than room temperature, so use the leftover risotto straight from the fridge. Assemble and re-refrigerate the balls in advance (with crumbs galore), then deep-fry just before serving.

Serves 6 as a snack/ canapé

You’ll need: For the Aïoli (garlic mayonnaise) – 2 egg yolks; 1 clove garlic, peeled; 5ml Dijon mustard; 30ml freshly squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 180–250ml canola oil.

For the Arancini – about 500ml prepared leftover risotto, chilled (any flavour will do); 100g smoked mozzarella, cut into 1 cm cubes; 125ml flour; salt and freshly ground black pepper; 3 eggs, lightly whisked; 500ml fresh breadcrumbs; 750ml canola oil.

How to:

For the aïoli, place the yolks, garlic, mustard and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper, then blend well. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream until fully incorporated and thick and creamy. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the arancini, take a small tablespoon of cold risotto and insert a cube of mozzarella. Shape the risotto to cover the cheese and roll it into a neat ball (cold risotto is easier to shape). Continue until all the risotto is used.

In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with some salt and pepper. Place the breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl, and the eggs in yet another.

Dip each risotto ball into the seasoned flour, then into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs, covering it all over. Place on a clean plate and repeat.

Heat the oil to about 180 °C, then fry batches of arancini until golden all over – about 3 minutes. Serve with the aïoli.

For a more formal way of serving, use a small plastic bag to pipe blobs of aïoli in neat rows onto a serving board, then ‘stick’ the arancini onto each piped blob to keep them from rolling around.

Simply Zola by Zola Nene

Yes, she’s back, and better than ever! Zola Nene has become quite a force on the South African culinary scene, yet her personal quest to show people that cooking great food needn’t be pretentious or difficult continues in her new book. Simply Delicious was a triumph and now, as Zola says herself, “My food journey is ever evolving and is a continuation of my life journey told through food,” and so Simply Zola is the mouth-watering result. The dishes (and drinks) are simple to prepare and each is a taste sensation. Zola doesn’t do bland or shy, so prepare to be swept away by the likes of Barley, grape and pecan nut salad, Prawn, lemon and chilli linguini, Cola-braised beef short ribs, and Rocky road waffles with salted caramel sauce. For those of you always complaining

that it’s impossible to cook properly for one, there’s a chapter devoted just to that, while the lazy among you will be cheered by a chapter of one-pot dishes. There’s even a chapter for those who want taste without the gluten.

Bobotie meatball curry

Curry is always a winner as a one-pot meal, but this one is extra special because it combines the sweet-savoury flavours of bobotie and the spicy, pungent notes of a curry in one magical dish.

Serves 4

You’ll need: 60ml milk; 125ml dried or fresh breadcrumbs; 500g beef mince; ½ onion, grated; 1 egg; 45ml sultanas, chopped; 45ml chopped fresh coriander; salt and pepper to taste; 30ml oil.

For the curry sauce – ½ onion, grated; 1 clove garlic, finely chopped; 15ml ginger paste; 30ml mild curry powder; 15ml tomato paste; 45ml fruit chutney; 1 x 400g can coconut milk; 30ml chopped fresh coriander.

How to:

Pour the milk onto the breadcrumbs and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the mince, onion, egg, sultanas, coriander, seasoning and the soaked breadcrumbs. Shape the mixture into 12 balls with your hands. Refrigerate the meatballs for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the meatballs; make sure not to move them around too much otherwise they will break up. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside. To the same pan, add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the garlic, ginger paste, curry powder, tomato paste and chutney, then stir into the onions and allow to fry for a minute.

Pour in the coconut milk, return the meatballs to the pan, check the seasoning and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the coriander before serving.

Serve with rice or rotis.

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