Roast lamb and farewell lunches

I prepared a farewell Sunday lunch of sorts today.

“Of sorts” because every lunch and dinner these past weeks had that farewell feeling of meals with meaning and meals with a brick in my throat every time I see me daughter’s face, who is yet again leaving for a year’s working stint overseas.

Excited for her and she is doing exactly what I would have done but still, oh but still…..the mind understands but the heart is not on the same page.

She had a list of favourite things to eat and meals to have when she returned from Chile last year and the same list is repeating itself for the “I am leaving again” list and then some! This time the destination is South Korea and I have absolutely no idea if she will find some of the ingredients there, or all, or nothing but she is leaving armed with a few favourite handwritten recipes to try on her own there in the faraway lands.

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On the menu:

  • Roast lamb in apple and white wine sauce- the recipe is that of Nataniel, a well known foodie and cook in South Africa and he made it on his television program Die Nataniel Tafel. See http://www.dienatanieltafel.co.za
  • Pumpkin fritter with caramel cream sauce- yes we did not hold back on the sugar today….my son eats these for desert he loves it so much
  • Green beans with red pepper, onion and feta
  • Green salad followed by chocolate mousse
  • Music on the go- golden oldies

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Pumpkin Fritters with creamy caramel sauce

1 cup cold cooked pumkin (any variety)

1 cup flour

1 egg

1,5 teaspoon baking powder

25 ml sugar

2 cups vegetable oil-to deepfry the fritters

Mix the ingredients together and fry spoons full in oil over medium heat until cooked through-drain on kitchen paper

Caramel Sauce:

Boil over medium heat until thick

2/3 cups cream

25 ml butter

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

1/3 cup sugar

Pour over the fritters.

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Leg of Lamb with apple and white wine sauce

2kg leg of lamb-season with salt and pepper to taste

250 ml apple juice

180 ml white wine

1 grated apple

1 onion-diced

2 table spoons flour

salt and pepper

fresh thyme

Seal the meat in a pan and therafter lightly fry the onion in the pan juices.

Put the meat in a casserole, pour over the wine and apple juice and add salt and pepper to taste again. Add grated apple and fried onions and a few sprigs of thyme and bake for 3 hours covered on 150 degrees Celsius.

Remove the leg of lamb from the casserole dish and place in an open dish for 30 minutes in the oven. Pour the juice/sauce in a saucepan, thicken with the flour to make a thick sauce.Taste the sauce and season (if necessary) to taste.Serve with the warm carved meat. Thank you for this recipe Nataniel!

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Eggplant/ Brinjal Bake and New7wonders!

Cape Town (the Mother City) really celebrated its own Mother’s Day with her best dress today. Windless, clear and bright as only Cape Town can be, when she of course wants to!  My family took me for and early breakfast at the Rhodes Memorial, halfway up the slopes of Table Mountain and we decided thereafter to take the cable car all the way up the mountain and spent the rest of the morning on one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Visit www.new7wonders.com. It just never fades, the beauty of our mountain and city.

View from Rhode's Memorial

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But what has her mountain got to do with a brinjal bake they ask? Well, Mother’s Day has all to do with it as the new addition to my kitchen is a lovely cream Le Creuset pan, thanks to my family!

I just imagined frying onions in my new pan and that is how I got to make the brinjal bake! See. Easy peasy.

Ingredients:

3 eggplants/brinjal

juice of half a lemon

olive oil to drizzle

salt

black pepper

3 onions( I used red)

4 tomatoes

a handful of cherry tomatoes is you have

75 ml or more tomato paste

sprinkle of sugar

500 ml grated mozzarella cheese

Thyme/oregano

basil leaves for garnish

Cut the brinjal lengthways and drizzle with lemon and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste and grill for 5 minutes a side in a hot oven.

Fry diced onion and add diced tomato and tomato paste. I always add a hand full of frozen cherry tomatoes that I keep in my freezer to soups,sauces or stews as it adds to the juiciness. Add salt, pepper, thyme/ oregano to taste and a sprinkle of sugar. Simmer the tomato relish until cooked through.

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I just had to add the below hazy photo as it has my new pan in it! It seems that the pink cutting board gave a pink glow to everything in the photo and it is the only one I took of my simmering sauce.

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Layer grilled brinjal, tomato relish and a few basil leaves in a baking dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in a warm oven for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Garnish with basil leaves.

Serve as a vegetarian dish with green salad or as a vegetable side.

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Picnic at the Eiffel

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Oh boy, I visited Paris again and need I say more…. It truly was the perfect holiday and the tastes, sounds and beauty will linger on for life. On a perfect Sunday I went for a picnic in the Champ de Mars with my friend Odette who lives is Paris( yeah, I have a friend living in Paris!) and together with a few of her friends we whiled away the afternoon with picnic food, French baguettes and the Eiffel as a backdrop. To die for and I even took a nap on the picnic blanket as one does. I will in the comming weeks blog about my experiences, and post a few of the recipies I enjoyed the most and also the authentic Racklette we had in the town of Annecy in the Alps. First need to unpack and unravel the contents of way too heavy suitcases and find space for things that used to have spaces before I left but now seems to fit nowhere- the usual unpacking schlep.

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All excursions were started, interrupted and/ or ended with coffee at street cafes and I may or may not have tried just a few macaroons here and there…imageimage