Monday, 29 July 2013

Fish Pie with Braised Cabbage

Taking a hike along the Wild Coast, from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay, was where I found all the inspiration any foodie, cook, mother or breadwinner could ever want for any circumstance in life.

Each night of the five-day hike, we were the guests of a local rural village woman. These are the women of our country who have to make a living out of nothing. Yet they feed children, grandchildren, themselves and any person who would happen upon their homes, come mealtimes.

The shops in the villages have little stock, just empty shelves filled with the promise of a delivery “sometime next week”. Still, meals are made, on a primus stove with only one pot.

There are certain items that always seem to be in stock, no matter which shop you stop at: One of which is Lucky Fish Pilchards. So we were blessed by generous women, making a feast for us each night from a tin of pilchards, cabbage or spinach (whatever veggie they can grow themselves) and a starch, usually samp or mealie meal.

This recipe is to show that it is not what you don’t have that makes a difference, but what you make from what you do have..

This is my weekly submission to Freshly Blogged competition, if you would like to vote for this recipe -
Fish Pie with Braised Cabbage

For the fish pie:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cold butter
1 egg
1/2 cup brine (from feta), mixed with 1/2 cup cold water

For the filling:
1 cup PnP brown rice
Water (to cook rice)
1 disc of PnP feta cheese
1 cup green beans, topped and tailed and diced
1 cup Sliced Mushrooms
1 can Lucky Star Pilchards in Tomato Sauce (400g), drained
1 egg to brush pastry
4-5 eggs, boiled and quartered (to garnish)

For the cabbage:
1 whole head of cabbage, shredded
1 tsp mild curry powder
100ml butter
1 tsp Aromat seasoning
Splash of water

To make the pastry: In a food processor, blend the cold butter and flour. Add the egg and then slowly add the other liquid, until a soft ball forms. Remove from processor, wrap in cling wrap and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.

To assemble: Roll out cold dough on a well-floured surface, to create a disc about 3mm thick.

Add a layer of rice mixture to about 8cm from edge of pastry. Top with green beans. Arrange Pilchards on top of the beans. Top with mushrooms. Lightly fold in the sides to form a free-form pie, leaving the centre open. Trim excess pastry. Place on heat-proof plate. Brush with egg wash.

To cook in a 'Dutch oven': In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, place a metal trivet on the base.
Preheat the pot on a high heat. Place the plate with the pie on the trivet, replace the lid of the saucepan and reduce heat to medium. 'Bake' for about 55-60 minutes, until golden brown and pastry is cooked through.

For the rice:
Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, crumble in the feta, stir and allow to cool.

For the cabbage:
Braise all the ingredients until soft, about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Drunken Ostrich Sosatie with Steamed Bread

My inspiration for this blog is blogging. I have now done two blog submissions at the homes of relatives. For the first time they have had to endure the build-up to presenting a blog post – the planning around ingredients, shopping, not understanding why tinned is not a substitution for fresh, all before a pot is put on the stove.
The biggest eye-opener is the styling. Hungry people are waiting to eat while I search for the most photogenic sosatie, slicing the bread just right, artistically placing sauce and laying leaves of thyme all in just the right place. Then getting torches, cellphones, backgrounds in place and taking more pictures than mouthfuls – this is all in the hope of capturing one perfect shot.
To all those out there that have never tried this, please spare a moment next time you read a blog to pass judgement on the quality of the photography. Most of us are doing the best we can with bad light, impatient families and little experience.

If you enjoy this recipe,
 please vote for it by clicking HERE.

Drunken Ostrich Sosatie with Steamed Bread

For the Drunken Ostrich Marinade

500g ostrich sausage
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped
100ml PnP chutney
200ml Drostdy-Hof Claret Select
3 green chillies, chopped
2,5ml ground black pepper
250g PnP mixed dried fruit without the prunes
3 large brown mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

Drunken Ostrich Marinade
Mix all ingredients together and marinade for 4-6 hours.
When ready to cook, thread sausage, mushrooms and dried fruit on to a bamboo stick.
Cook over medium hot coals, brushing with marinade while cooking.

For the Steamed Bread

100g soft salted butter
3 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp PnP chutney
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
5ml salt
250ml self-raising flour
350ml maize meal
5ml baking powder
100-120ml milk

Steamed bread

Cream together butter and sugar. Add rest of ingredients except milk.
Mix well and add enough milk to make a medium-soft batter.
Grease steamer well with butter.
Steam over boiling water for 35-45 minutes, checking water levels occasionally.
Test with a skewer to check if done. It should come out clean.
For the Tomato and Red Pepper Sauce

3 green chillies, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 large plum tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 large red pepper, chargrilled, skinned and chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped
2 tbsp PnP chutney
1 tbsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
Tomato and red pepper sauce
Fry garlic and chillies for 30 seconds.
Add rest of ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.
Add a little water if necessary while cooking.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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