You may link to my blog but if you want to copy my article to your own blog, please give the following credit: From "Ampers' Rants" at Thank you.

Fill in a one question questionnaire - it only asks how you arrived at my blog. Thank you. Just click on this link.

If you like what you see, why not subscribe to the blog? You can follow Ampers' Rants by adding your email address in the box below (right) Notifications are also shown in my Twitter account: @AmpersUK.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Have a slightly different Christmas with these mouthwatering South African recipes

Click on the above for more recipes.

These recipes come from Peter Jasie's South African recipies CD - I also get his monthly newsletter called "FunkyMunky" - google for it as it is a great read. If you like it, don't forget to sign on for it. I met Peter recently on his trip to London and he is even older than me, and that's saying something :-)

Click on "read the full article" and enjoy all the recipes.

Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sausage Stuffing

340g ground pork sausage
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups diced celery
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp sage, rubbed
1 cup cranberries, cut in half
4 1/4 cups dry bread cubes
1/2 cup chicken stock or water, plus a little extra
1 turkey, about 6kg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups chicken stock

1. Cook sausage meat for 5-7 minutes over a medium heat, stirring frequently and breaking up meat until cooked through
2. Transfer sausage meat to a large bowl
3. Melt butter in the same pan, add onion and celery and cook 4 - 5 minutes, stirring frequently until tender
4. Stir in the next 5 ingredients and salt and pepper to taste
5. Transfer onion mixture to the bowl with the sausage meat, mix thoroughly, adding more stock if too dry
6. Season inside of turkey cavity with salt and pepper to taste
7. Fill neck and cavity with stuffing and truss bird with string
8. Pat skin dry with paper towels and brush turkey with melted butter
9. Place on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan and roast @ 160°C for 20 minutes per 500g, basting with chicken stock and brushing with butter every 25 minutes
10. Remove turkey from the oven and reserve fat and cooking juices for gravy
11. Allow turkey to stand for 20 minutes before carving

Tangy Mustard Glazed Ham

1 large ham , about 4 - 5 kg
1 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbsp golden syrup
2 Tbsp flour
1.4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp water

1. Heat over to 160°C and line a roasting pan with foil
2. Wrap the ham in foil, fatty side up, and place in pan
3. Bake for 20 minutes per 500g
4. Meanwhile make the glaze in a medium saucepan by combining sugar, cinnamon, flour, mustard and vinegar - stir over medium heat until smooth
5. Add water and bring to a simmer - simmer, stirring for 1 minute
6. When cooked, remove the foil from the ham and remove excess fat and skin
7. Score the ham all over the surface, creating a diamond pattern
8. Return to the over and continue baking for about 30 minutes, basting frequently with the glaze
9. Allow to stand for 20 minutes before slicing

Herb Turkey Stuffing

1 large onion, chopped
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
12 cups white bread cubes (about 24 slices)
3/4 cup parsley, chopped

1. Sauté the onions in the butter until translucent, but not browned
2. Stir in celery, chicken stock, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper and heat just to boiling point
3. Pour gradually over bread in a large bowl, stirring as you work to not dampen the mixture too much - toss lightly until evenly moist
4. Stuff in the neck and centre cavity of your turkey

Orange Liqueur Turkey Stuffing

1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups orange liqueur
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
500g spicy sausage, casing removed
500g herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix
1 cup chopped pecan nuts
4 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
2 cups chicken stock
4 tsp chopped fresh sage
salt & pepper to taste

1. Place the raising in a small saucepan and cover with 1 cup water - bring to the boil, remove from the heat and set aside
2. In a large pan, melt half the butter, add the celery and onion and sauté over a medium heat for 10 minutes - transfer to a large mixing bowl
3. In the same pan, cook the sausage over a medium heat until crumbled and evenly brown - remove from heat, drain and add to the celery-onion mixture
4. Add the stuffing mix to the onion/celery/sausage mixture, then stir in the raisins and 1 cup of liqueur
5. Add pecans, apples and combine thoroughly
6. In a saucepan, melt the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the chicken broth and pour over the stuffing along with the remaining 1/2 cup of orange liqueur - stir well
7. The stuffing should be totally moistened
8. Season with sage, salt and pepper
9. Use to stuff either neck, stomach cavity, or both

Chilled Melon with Port

This makes an excellent start to a Christmas meal. It is a light starter to a heavy meal.
1 medium sized melon
90ml port
fresh mint for garnish

1. Wipe the melon with a damp cloth, then cut into 6 equal sized wedges and discard the pips
2. Carefully separate the flesh from the skin with a sharp knife, without removing it
3. Cut the fruit across in neat pieces keeping the wedge shape intact on the melon skin
4. Arrange the wedges on 6 plates and pour over the port, allowing 15ml per serving
5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours before serving, garnished with fresh mint
You can also edge the plates with lemon juice and coloured or white sugar. Rub the edges with the lemon juice and then dip them in the sugar

Composed Grapefruit Salad

4 pink grapefruit
2 large avocado
juice of 2 lemons
2 smoked chicken breasts
150ml sunflower oil
curly endives
2 tsp whole seed mustard
2 tsp honey
salt & freshly ground black pepper
snipped chives for garnish

1. Peel and quarter the grapefruit lengthways, remove the seeds and slice them into neat sections
2. Peel and slice the avocado and soak it in the juice of the lemons
3. remove the skin from the chicken breast, cut the skin into strips and crisp in 15ml of hot oil - drain well and set aside
4. Slice the chicken breast very thinly
5. Line 8 dinner plates with washed and well drained endive
6. Arrange the grapefruit in an overlapping fan to take up 1/3 of the plate and do the same with the avocado and chicken
7. Mix the remaining lemon juice and oil with the mustard and honey, adding seasoning
8. Sprinkle some snipped chives over the avocado and place the crisped skin over the chicken slices
9. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate
10. Spoon over the dressing just before serving

Cold Christmas Pudding

1 large tin evaporated milk
30ml water
1 box vanilla instant pudding
1 Tbsp gelatine
1/3 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp sultanas
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp currants
100g cherries
a little water for boiling the fruit
1/2 cup brandy

1. Boil the fruit for a few minutes, then pour off the water and pour over the brandy - leave for a few hours, or overnight
2. Put evaporated milk and 30ml water in a bowl and add the instant pudding, beating until thick
3. Fold in the fruit and add the dissolved gelatine (in the 1/3 cup of boiling water) and mix well
4. Pour into a mould and put in the fridge to set
5. Serve with custard or cream

Mince Pies

175g flour
1/2 tsp salt
15g sugar
113g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 2.5cm pieces
30 - 60ml ice water
312g jar mincemeat
1/2 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and grated
zest of 1 lemon

1. In a food processor place the flour, salt and sugar and process until combined
2. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds)
3. Pour 30ml water in a slow, steady stream until dough just holds together when pinched - if necessary add more water - do not process for more than 30 seconds
4. Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball
5. Divide the pastry in half, flatten each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using
6. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour
7. While the pastry is chilling, combine, in a small bowl, the mincemeat with the grated apple and lemon zest, adding more or less of each to taste - you can also add orange zest, chopped nuts or dried or candied fruits and a little extra brandy or rum
8. After the dough has chilled, take one of the disks of pastry and place on a light floured surface
9. Roll out until 3mm thick and cut 24 rounds that are slightly bigger than your muffin tins
10. Gently place the rounds into the muffin tins and place a teaspoon of mincemeat mixture into each tin and set aside while you make the pastry stars
11. Roll out the second pastry disk and cut out 24 stars and gently place them on top of the mincemeat
12. Brush the tops of the stars with a little egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water) and sprinkle with granulated sugar
13. Bake @ 200°C for about 10 - 15 minutes or until pastry has lightly browned
13. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack
14. Dust with icing sugar before serving at room temperature
These tarts freeze very well

Leftover Turkey Casserole

3 cups cubed, cooked roast turkey
1 cup celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
leftover gravy + water to equal 1 cup - or 1 cup cream of mushroom soup
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
paprika for garnish
crushed potato crisps

1. Preheat oven to 180°C
2. Mix all the ingredients except for paprika and potato crisps together and put into a casserole dish
3. Cover with crushed potato crisps and sprinkle with paprika
4. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until crisps begin to brown

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is traditional at a German Christmas celebration.
4 cups red wine (burgundy or claret)
1/2 cup water
peel of 1 orange
peel of 1 lemon
1 stick cinnamon
6 cloves
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)

1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer gently for 5 - 10 minutes
2. Strain through a sieve
3/ Serve while still hot

Oysters with Pine Nut and Bacon

24 oysters
2 rashers rindless bacon
30g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
125g rocket leaves
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp pine nuts, chopped and toasted

1. Remove the oysters from their shells - clean and dry the shells
2. Finely chop the bacon and fry for 2 minutes until just soft - remove from the pan
3. Melt the butter in the same pan and add the onion and stir until soft
4. Add torn rocket leaves to the pan and stir until just wilted
5. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce
6. Divide the rocket among the oyster shells, replace the oysters in the shells and top with the combined bacon and pine nuts
7. Grill under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp

Glazed Gammon

3-4 kg gammon
1 x onion
1 x carrot
1 x stick of celery
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
500ml apple cider
glaze of your choice

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C
2. Put the gammon in a large casserole dish together with the chopped onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns
3. Add the apple cider and cover with foil
4. Cook for 20 minutes per 500g of meat - allow to cool in the liquid
5. Remove the gammon from the liquid and vegetables
6. Remove the rind by running your thumb around the edge and carefully pulling the rind back, easing your hand under between the fat and the rind
7. With a sharp knife, lightly score the fat to form a diamond pattern - do not cut through to the gammon, or the fat will fall off while glazing
8. Spread half of the glaze of your choice over the gammon with a palette knife or the back of a spoon and press a clove into each diamond
9. Put the ham on a rack of a deep baking dish and pour a cup of water into the dish
10. Cover the dish securely with greased foil and cook @ 180°C for 45 minutes
11. Remove from the oven and brush or spread the remaining glaze over the gammon
12. Increase the heat to 210°C and bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the surface is lightly caramelized - set aside for 15 minutes before carving

Mix 125g soft brown sugar, 3 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp hot English mustard together in a bowl

Stir together 250ml orange juice, 140g soft brown sugar, 1 Tbsp French mustard, 175g honey, 2 tsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp Grand Marnier in a bowl

Put 90g Dijon mustard, 315g redcurrant jelly, 4 crushed cloves of garlic and 2 Tbsp each of oil and soy sauce into a small saucepan. Stir and gently warm over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the jelly has melted. Take care the glaze doesn't catch on the base of the pan.

Pork Fillet with Apple and Mustard Sauce and Glazed Apples

750g pork fillet
30g butter
1 Tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp fresh, grated ginger
1 Tbsp seeded mustard
60ml apple sauce
2 Tbsp chicken stock
125ml cream
1 tsp cornflour
2 green apples
50g butter
2 Tbsp soft brown sugar

1. Trim the pork fillet and remove any fat and sinew - tie with kitchen string at 3 cm intervals to keep in shape
2. Heat the butter and oil in a pan, add the fillet and cook until lightly browned all over - remove and place on the rack of a baking dish - retain pan juices
3. Add 125ml water to the baking dish and bake @ 180°C for 15 - 20 minutes - leave for 10 minutes before removing string and slicing
4. For the sauce, reheat the pan juices, add the garlic and ginger and stir for 1 minute
5. Stir in the mustard, apple sauce and stock
6. Slowly stir in the combined cream and cornflour and stir until mixture boils and thickens
7. For the glazed apples, cut the apples into 1 cm slices
8. Melt the butter in the pan and add the sugar - stir until dissolved
9. Add the apple slices and pan-fry, turning occasionally, until lightly browned and glazed
10. Slice the pork and serve the apple and mustard sauce over it - serve with the glazed apples
Pork fillets can be thick and short or long and thin and the time they take to cook will vary accordingly

Roast Chicken with Bacon and Sage Stuffing

2 x 1.2 kg chickens
4 rashers bacon
2 Tbsp oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped, fresh sage
125g fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 180°C - trim the chickens and pat dry inside and outside with paper towels
2. Finely chop 2 of the bacon rashers
3. Heat half the oil in a pan, add the onion and bacon and cook until the onion is soft and the bacon starting to brown
4. Transfer to a bowl and cool
5. Add the sage, breadcrumbs and egg to the onion, season to taste and mix lightly - spoon stuffing into each chicken cavity
6. Fold the wing back and tuck under the chicken - tie the legs of each chicken together with string
7. Place on a rack of a large baking dish, making sure they are not touching and brush with some of the remaining oil
8. Pour 1 cup of water into the baking dish
9. Cut the remaining bacon into long, thin strips and lay across the chicken breasts - brush the bacon with oil
10. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a skewer
This chicken dish is delicious served with a gravy with wine sauce and roast vegetables

Roast Turkey

3 kg turkey
1 quantity of stuffing - see below
2 Tbsp oil
500ml chicken stock
2 Tbsp plain flour

1. Remove the neck and giblets from inside the turkey and wash the turkey well and pat dry
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C
3. Make the stuffing you prefer and stuff into the turkey cavity
4. Tie the legs together, tuck the wings underneath and place turkey on a baking rack
5. Roast for 2 hours, basting with the combined oil and 125ml stock
6. Cover the breast and legs with foil after an hour if the turkey is overbrowning
7. Remove from oven, cover and leave for 15 minutes to rest
8. To make the gravy, drain off all except 2 Tbsp of pan juices from the baking dish
9. Place the dish on the stove over a low heat, add the flour and stir well
10. Stir over medium heat until browned
11. Gradually add the remaining stock, stirring until the gravy thickens and boils
Do not stuff the turkey until you are ready to cook it. Stuffing can be made ahead of time and frozen for up to a month in an airtight container. If you prefer to cook the stuffing separately, press it lightly into a greased ovenproof dish and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Small muffin tins can also be used (bake for 15 - 20 minutes) Alternatively, you can form the mixture into balls and fry in a little melted butter or oil, over a medium heat, until golden brown all over.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan and cook 1 finely chopped onion until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and cool. Add 200g sausage meat, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 2 cups of fresh white breadcrumbs, 2 teaspoons each of grated lemon and orange rinds and 60g finely chopped pecans, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix.

Melt 45g butter in a small saucepan and cook 1 finely chopped onion and 1 sliced celery stick over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Transfer to a bowl and add 10 shredded, large fresh sage leaves, 2 cups fresh white breadcrumbs, 1 1/2 tsp dried sage, 4 Tbsp finely chopped, fresh parsley, 2 lightly beaten egg whites, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper.

Melt 60g butter in a frying pan and cook 1 chopped onion until golden. Cool, then mix thoroughly with 2 cups cooked, long-grain brown rice, 1 cup chopped, dried apricots, 1/2 cup unsalted cashews, 3 Tbsp chopped, fresh parsley, 2 Tbsp chopped, fresh mint and 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slow Roasted Lamb with Cumin and Paprika

2.2 kg leg of lamb
75g butter, softened at room temperature
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp cumin extra for dipping

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C
2. With a small, sharp knife, cut small, deep slits in the top and sides of the lamb
3. Mix the butter, garlic, spices and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl until a smooth paste forms
4. With the back of a spoon, rub the paste all over the lamb, then use your fingers to spread the paste and make sure all the lamb is covered
5. Put the lamb bone-side-down in a deep baking dish and place on the top shelf of the oven - bake for 10 minutes, then baste and return to the oven
6. Reduce the temperature to 160°C and bake for 3 hours 20 minutes, basting every 20 - 30 minutes to tenderize the meat
7. Allow to rest for 15 minutes, then carve into chunky pieces
8. Mix the cumin with 1 1/2 tsp salt and serve on the side for dipping

Ice Cream Bombe

1 large mango, finely chopped
1 cup canned pineapple pieces, drained
60ml Grand Marnier
250g fresh strawberries, pureed
400g can condensed milk
600ml cream
80g dessert nougat, chopped
35g roughly chopped unsalted pistachios
strawberries, extra, halved to garnish
90g caster sugar

1. Lightly grease a 2 litre pudding bowl and line with plastic wrap, allowing to hang over the side of the basin
2. Put it in the freezer until ready to use
3. Drain the mango and pineapple in a sieve
4. Mix the Grand Marnier, strawberry puree and condensed milk in a large bowl
5. Whisk the cream to soft peaks, then add to the bowl and continue whisking until thick
6. Fold in the drained fruits, nougat and pistachios
7, Pour the mixture into the pudding bowl, cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight, or until firm
8. To serve, remove the plastic from the base and invert the pudding onto a chilled serving plate - remove the bowl, but leave the plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 - 25 minutes to soften slightly
9. For the toffee bark, line a baking tray with baking paper
10. Heat the sugar over a low heat in a heavy-based saucepan for 2 - 3 minutes, or until melted and golden
11. Carefully pour into the tray
12. Tilt the tray to get a thin, even layer of toffee over the paper and cool slightly
13. While still pliable, drape the paper over a rolling pin and allow to cool for 30 - 60 seconds before peeling away strips of toffee in large irregular shapes
14. Cool - to serve, remove the plastic and decorate the bombe with toffee bark and strawberries
Dessert nougat is a soft nougat available at confectionery shops and some delicatessens

Summer Berries in Champagne Jelly

1 litre champagne or sparkling white wine
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine
250g sugar
4 strips lemon rind
4 strips orange rind
250f small strawberries, hulled
250g blueberries (or any other blue berries)

1. Pour half the champagne into a bowl and let the bubbles subside
2. Sprinkle the gelatine over the top in an even layer
3. Leave until the gelatine is spongy - do not stir
4. Pour the remaining champagne into a saucepan, add the sugar and rinds and heat gently, stirring constantly, until all the sugar has dissolved
5. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the gelatine mixture and stir until thoroughly dissolved
6. Leave to cool completely, then remove the rind
7. Divide the berries among eight 125ml stemmed wine glasses and gently pour the jelly over them
8. Refrigerate until set - remove from the fridge 15 minutes before serving

Rum Truffles

200g dark cooking chocolate, finely chopped
60ml cream
30g butter
50g chocolate cake crumbs
2 tsp dark rum, brandy or whisky
95g chocolate sprinkles

1. Line a baking tray with foil
2. Put chocolate in a heat-proof bowl
3. Combine the cream and butter in a small pan and stir over a low heat until the butter melts and the mixture is just boiling
4. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth
5. Stir in the cake crumbs and rum
6. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until firm enough to handle
7. Roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into balls
8. Spread the chocolate sprinkles on a sheet of greaseproof paper and roll each truffle in sprinkles
9. Place on a tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm
10. Serve in a small paper patty cup, if desired
Truffles can also be rolled in dark cocoa powder. They can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container

Sugar-Free Christmas Pudding

6 ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (370g) mixed dried fruit
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
315ml cream
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Place a 1.25 litre pudding basin in a large pan, on a trivet or upturned saucer, and pour enough cold water to come half way up the sides of the basin - remove the basin and put the water on to boil
2. Combine the egg, dried fruit and breadcrumbs in a bowl, then spoon into the pudding basin
3. Cover the basin and make a handle as shown below
4. Gently lower the basin into the boiling water, reduce the heat to a fast simmer and cover with a tight-fitting lid
5. Cook for 1 1/2 hours, checking the water after an hour and topping up to the original level with boiling water if needed
6. For the orange cream, combine the cream, orange juice, rind and vanilla in a bowl and mix well - serve over the pudding
and finally...
Sent to me by Anne Cotton in the UK. Just a small recipe for all the Scots (and other ex-pats) in sunny South Africa.

Glesga (Glasgow) Fruitcake


1 Cup of Water
1 Cup Caster Sugar
4 Large Eggs
2 Cups Dried Fruit
1 tsp Baking Powder
sp Salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
Lemon Juice
1 Cup Butter
Chopped Nuts
1 Gallon Whisky


Sample the whisky to check for quality
Take a large bowl.
Check the whisky again to be sure it is of the highest quality.
Pour one level cup to drink and repeat.
Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and beat again.
Make sure the whisky is still OK. Cry another tup.
Turn off the mixer. Break 2 legs and add to the bowl and chuck the cup of dried fruit.
Mix on the turner. If fried druit gets stuck in the beaters, pry loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the whisky again to test for toncistency.
Next, sift 2 cups of salt ……………….. or something else, who cares?
Check the whisky and then sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add 1 tablespoon of sugar or something – whatever you can find.
Grease the oven.
Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees.
Don’t forget to beat off the turner.
Throw the bowl out of the window.
Check the whisky again.
Go to bed.
Who the hell likes fruitcake anyway? (hic!)

No comments: