December Holiday Specials
By: Sharon Lurie
The summer months in South Africa often include a seaside holiday or a home holiday besides the pool where “braai time, chill time, and fry time” go hand in hand. Why fry time? Because Chanukah normally falls somewhere in the middle (18-26 December) so oil needs to be added into the mix.
In this article I’ve included a comforting soup for Shabbos (or any day of the week) for soup lovers, like me! A ‘sarmi’ sure to make you one of the most popular people on Clifton beach! Bangers and mash tato tots, perfect for drinks, starters, and Chanukah too. Chops and Cheats cornbread for those braaing nights. A salad to keep those beach bodies in shape. And a dessert that you won’t be able to escape.
NORTH AFRICAN SOUP
This delicious recipe which was given to me by a friend living up North takes your tastebuds on a tantalising culinary tour! As many of you know, according to my family, if a dish doesn’t contain meat, it’s not a meal. However, this meatless soup was a meal on its own! I served it over Sukkot with most requesting another bowl rather than mains!!
3 Tbls oil
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
3 stalks celery, cut into 1 cm slices
1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls harissa paste, or 2 tsp harissa spice blend (or to taste)
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp black pepper
3 Tbls tomato paste
1 can chickpeas 450 g
1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed well
1 can chopped Italian tomatoes
2½ litres water (maybe a bit more… it should be a thick soup)
1 packet tomato soup powder (I like Imana)
1 packet beef and brown onion soup powder (60g)
1 cup Israeli pearl couscous.
1 can beans in tomato sauce
Salt – to taste
35-40g bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves finely chopped
35-40 g fresh coriander finely chopped
Add oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced carrot, celery, and onion to the pot. Sauté for 5-6 minutes, or until it starts to soften. Add the minced garlic to the pot and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the harissa, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika, pepper, and salt to the vegetable mixture. Stir until everything is well coated and sauté for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste to the pot, stir and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils, the chopped tomatoes, soup powders and water to the pot, then increase the heat to high. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for 60-90 minutes. Keep watching it as you don’t want it to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the couscous and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chickpeas and baked beans. Taste and season as needed, add more liquid if needed. Turn off the heat and just before serving sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and cilantro.
At the time of writing this article Sukkot was still very much there and not a distant memory, new recipes were fresh on my mind. One that really stood out was a salad I enjoyed in a friend’s sukkah. I love experimenting, and adding my own spin on what I see and taste. This one has been requested again and again since Sukkot.
2 packets assorted salad greens
2 avocado pears (peeled, sliced, and placed into a bowl with ½ cup of lemon juice mixed with ½ cup cold water.)
1-1½ cups fresh shelled peas
½ cup Bobba Shar’s Heimishe salad dressing
½ cup mayonnaise
2 Tbls Princess pesto (Basil or Coriander and chilli)
2 Tbls chopped mint
Sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper
2 pumpkin seed brittle (Woolworths) or sesame brittle
Place lettuce on a platter. Sprinkle peas over lettuce Make up dressing by mixing salad dressing, mayonnaise, pesto, and mint together. When ready to serve, place avocado pears on top of lettuce, followed by a generous helping of salad dressing. Finally, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and crushed pumpkin brittle.
Additional options for the salad:
½ cup thinly sliced fresh fennel
1 cup sliced snap peas
250g fresh thin green asparagus (placed in flat dish and covered with boiling water for 1 minute, then drained and sliced into 1cm pieces)
½ cup chopped spring onions.
FIRED-UP LAMB CHOPS AND CHEATS CORN BREAD
8 lamb chops
Couple twigs fresh rosemary (4×10-12cm)
4 stems mint (10-12cm)
2 cups apple juice
1 tsp crushed fresh garlic
1 heaped teaspoon mustard powder
1 tsp cracked black pepper
In a rectangular dish (or roasting pan) place two long stems of mint and two long stems of rosemary on the bottom. Place lamb chops on top of mint and rosemary, side by side in one layer. Place the remaining mint and rosemary on top of chops. Combine apple juice, garlic, mustard powder, and black pepper in a bowl, mix well, and pour over lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate overnight. When ready to braai, remove chops from marinade and discard marinade. Braai or fry chops over high heat and when ready to serve squeeze a little lemon juice over the chops and finally sprinkle with salt.
CHEAT’S CORN BREAD
It breaks my heart when I look into my bread bin and see two day old challah all wrapped up with nowhere to go. There she was the bell of the ball on Shabbos and today she’s passed her sell by date! So, I decided to experiment again! And, it turned out exactly as intended, perhaps better than expected as there was not a piece left!
The equivalent of 1 regular sized challah (compared to bakery sized challah)
2 chicken stock cubes dissolved in 2 cups boiling water
1 tin cream style sweetcorn
2 cups frozen corn (defrosted)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut the bread into cubes (generally the crusts on challah are soft so we don’t need to cut them off). Place them into a deep round bowl and pour the chicken cube stock dissolved in 2 cups of boiling water over the bread. Once all the pieces have been soaked, place a strainer/sieve over a bowl and pour the bread mixture into the strainer/sieve, allowing any excess liquid to drain off the bread. Meanwhile, in a medium to large bowl, beat egg, add the cream style corn, mix well, and add the corn, flour, and baking powder. Fold the moistened bread into the bowl with the mielies and corn. Pour into a well-greased casserole or baking dish approximately 25x15cm. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour until golden brown and no longer wobbles when you shake the dish.
BANGERS AND MASHED POTATO TOTS
1 pkt Segals Vienna sausages
4 medium sized potatoes
½ cup potato flour
1 tsp salt
Oil for frying
Microwave potatoes on high (5 minutes per potato), The reason I prefer to microwave rather than boil is that the potato should be firm and not too moist from liquid. If you’d rather boil them, you can, but keep the skin on. Meanwhile, carefully cut sausages in half, lengthwise, then into ½ cm slices. Beat egg with salt and set aside. When potatoes are soft, allow them to cool then peel and mash. Add potato flour and sliced viennas to mashed potatoes. Finally, fold in egg and mix well. Flour a board with all-purpose flour or potato flour to keep it gluten free. Roll the potato and sausages into balls (ping pong ball size) and place onto floured board. You may need to wet your hands with water or a little oil between rolling balls as the mixture may stick to your hand. Flatten slightly and fry in oil over medium to high heat until golden brown.
CHOC POP SUNDAE
A sundae to be eaten any day of the week! This recipe should be enough for 3 or 4 people
1 litre of your favourite ice cream (this should be enough for four)
1 small packet pretzels, crushed
1 small packet wafers, crushed
1 small packet honeycomb crushed
1 small packet caramelised popcorn
1 cup roughly chopped peanut brittle
200g dark chocolate chips (I like Orit’s)
For this dessert I coated all the ingredients with chocolate by melting one sachet of Orit’s chocolate chips in the microwave on high for two minutes. Start off by melting for 1 minute then in 30 second increments. Microwaves differ. The chocolate can also be melted in a double boiler. Prepare your sundae as per the pic, starting with ice cream and piling the rest of the ingredients over the ice cream.
DIPS ‘N CHIPS
1 box 400-500 g phyllo pastry (frozen)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 bottle ‘everything bagel’ spice
1 egg (lightly beaten)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Oil six whole sheets of phyllo pastry individually and place them one on top of the other as you do so. Paint the final sheet (the sixth sheet) facing you with egg then sprinkle with ‘everything bagel’ spice. Slice into triangles and bake on 180 until golden brown. Serve with your favourite dips. I used Humus, Matboucha, and schoog. They’re also great with eggplant and guacamole
MULTILAYERED CRUMBED CHICKEN STACK
A sandwich to keep most going all day! This is for one sandwich.
1 ciabatta roll
Enough pesto to spread on both inner sides of the roll
Enough mayonnaise to spread on both inner sides of the roll
Thinly sliced pickled cucumber
Thinly sliced red radish
Couple of pieces of rocket
Two crumbed, cooked, chicken schnitzels
Marinated red peppers, sliced
Fresh green peppers, sliced
Eggplant salad (available at your favourite deli)
Layer the bread as per the order of the ingredients above. Starting with pesto, mayonnaise, cucumber, etc. Of course, you can add your own preferred layers, this is just our family favourite!