Tasty reads and recipes

This month, cook up a storm with Exclusive Books’ Homebru Cookery campaign. It is all about celebrating local cookbooks and the chefs who cook them up. So we share three mouth-watering cookbooks from the Tasty Read – Mzansi Made selection with recipes you can try at home. Enjoy!

The Flexitarian Foodie by Jax Moorcroft

The Flexitarian Foodie is a collection of proudly South African, budget-approved, family-friendly recipes that show how achievable it is to eat delicious real food and live consciously and mindfully, no matter the situation. With just a few tweaks, even the most carnivorous amongst us can be convinced that eating more veggies and less meat is attainable and enjoyable. Eating and living an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be a complicated, expensive, big-life change – in fact, with just a few simple changes it can be accessible to everyone wanting to improve their health and the health of our planet.

Chakalaka coronation chicken on sourdough

Serves 4

Fusing together a South African staple with a British classic takes your taste buds on a fiery yet fruity adventure that only cross-pollinated cultural flavours can bring to the table.

You’ll need: ½ – 1 cup shredded leftover meat from a chicken carcass (depends on how much chicken is leftover); No-nasties mayo; Juice of 1 lemon; 1 teaspoon tomato paste; 1 teaspoon mild curry powder; 1 red onion, finely diced; 1 red pepper, finely diced; 1 green pepper, finely diced; 1 yellow pepper, finely diced; 2 large carrots, grated; 1 rib celery, finely diced; 1 cup cooked cannellini beans; ½ cup raisins or cranberries; 4 spring onions, finely chopped; 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander plus extra to garnish; Slices sourdough toast or fresh rye to serve.

How to: 

Using two forks, pick off as much meat as you can from the leftover carcass, and place it into a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together 4 tablespoons of the mayo, lemon juice, tomato paste and curry powder.

Mix together all the other ingredients with the chicken and combine well with the curried mayo mixture until well incorporated.

Serve on warm sourdough toast or fresh rye and garnish with even more coriander if desired. Or for a low-carb version, wrap the mixture in crisp lettuce cups.

 All Sorts of Tapas by Chantal Lascaris

Good tapas are all about the perfect marriage of food, drink and sparkling conversation. Inspired by the bustling nightlife of the Spanish tapas bars and the pintxos bars of San Sebastian, these little dishes are packed with big flavours and are meant to be enjoyed with the people around you. In All Sorts of Tapas, you will find delicious tapas that bring to life the richness of Spain’s regional variations, styles and attitudes while incorporating some uniquely South African flavours. These little paintings will be a feast for the eyes and a feast for the tummy. They are the perfect way to satisfy carnivores and vegetarians alike – from breakfast to dessert. Enjoy the freshest and most fun way to eat with friends and family, all from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Spicy keema cups

I love the concept of edible cups. It’s the food that serves itself! These Keema curry cups are made up of incredibly flavourful ground beef curry with peas ‒ the very definition of comfort food ‒ all in an easy-to-eat container. Your guests will definitely be impressed with these clever little cups, and the best part, no bowls to wash up afterwards.

If it weren’t for India, our food would most likely taste a whole lot blander and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy the amazing health benefits that come with Garam masala. Apart from boosting digestion, it also helps with nausea.

You’ll need: 1 tsp olive oil; 500g beef mince; 1 red onion, finely diced; 1 tsp finely chopped garlic; 1 tsp finely chopped ginger; 1 tsp ground cumin; 2 tsp garam masala; 1 tsp ground coriander; 1 tsp medium strength curry powder; ½ tsp ground turmeric; 2 tsp tomato paste; ½ cup water; ½ cup baby peas; salt and pepper to taste; 3 wholewheat wraps; melted butter for brushing; fresh coriander for garnishing chopped chillies for garnishing.

For the raita – 5cm piece English cucumber; 2 tsp lemon juice; ¼ cup plain full cream yoghurt; salt and pepper to taste.

How to: 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the mince until it starts to brown.

Add the onion and continue to cook until the meat is completely brown and cooked through.

Stir in the spices and tomato paste and continue to cook for another minute or two. Pour in the water, add the peas and continue to sauté until the water has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.

To make the raita, grate the cucumber with the skin on it and combine it with the lemon juice and yoghurt. Season with salt and pepper.

Using a cookie cutter, cut out 10cm circles from the wraps. Brush both sides lightly with melted butter.

Place the wrap circles into the cups of a muffin tin and bake for 5–10 minutes or until they are browned.

Remove the cups from the oven and fill them with the mince mixture. Top each one with raita, sprigs of coriander and chopped chillies.

 Jan – A Breath of French Air

A memoir and celebration of renowned eatery JAN, a South African restaurant in the south of France. The restaurant is a showcase of South Africa’s tradition of hospitality, transported from a farm in rural South Africa to the glamorous French Riviera. JAN is proof that dreams can be lived and how a love for what you do can transform humble mosbolletjies into a masterpiece. Each chapter captures the mood and inspiration of what is served at JAN. Contains over 90 recipes.

Pork chops with whiskey-soaked figs

You don’t have to soak the figs in whiskey, but if you like that kind of thing it’s a beautiful combination.

Serves 4

You’ll need: 100ml whiskey; 4 dried figs; 60g butter; 4 thick pork chops; 2.5ml fine salt; 2.5ml ground black pepper; 150g apricot jam; 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked; 4 fresh figs, halved

How to:

Heat the whiskey in a small saucepan to just below boiling point. Soak the dried figs in the whiskey in a small bowl for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 160 °C.

Melt the butter in a large pan until sizzling, then add the pork chops and cook over medium-high heat, turning once. Season with salt and pepper then remove and set aside.

Use the leftover whiskey to deglaze the pan and add the apricot jam and rosemary to form a sticky sauce. Cover the pork chops with the sauce and place the figs in between the chops, well-spaced out. Bake for 10 minutes. Serve with the fresh figs.

Books can be bought instore, or online, via Uber-Eats (food and books, who could ask for more?), phone-in or Insta-shop.

Details: exclusivebooks.co.za

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