Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Smoked Turkey – South African Style!

The fiancé and I have been watching a few too many festive cooking shows and although Turkey is more a British Christmas tradition than South African, we found ourselves slightly obsessed with the idea of smoking a Turkey over open flames for a few hours…

So we bought a plump 4.something kg Turkey and some wood chips for smoking and got the process started. After defrosting in the fridge for 24 hours (although it’s advisable to defrost for 48 hours), we washed him, patted him dry and started seasoning.

Our South African twist on Stuffing:
4 x Skilpadjies (Spiced lambs liver wrapped in fatty netting), slightly browned on the fire and finely chopped.
4 Fresh Apricots, finely diced.
1 Medium onion, finely diced.
4 Garlic Cloves, finely sliced.
1 tsp Dried Oregano.
2 Tbls Braai Seasoning.
1 Egg.
2 Cups Bread Crumbs.

After seasoning, stuffing, basting every half hour and hot smoking for 4 hours, we ended up with this:

Delicious! (Way too much for two, so needless to say, we’ll be eating Turkey the whole week – yum!)

Happy Festive Season!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pita Pocket Tapas

We are busy planning our Christmas Menu, and if, like us, you are hosting a lunch event, these pitas are perfect as table snacks or as part of a cold Tapas spread.

Pita Pocket Tapas
Serves 6-8

You will need
Mini Pita Pockets (Buy at least 3 -4 per person)
Buy the little triangular ones or small round ones, and make sure they are fresh and puffy.

2 Spicy Sausages of your choice. Chorizo works well.

Butternut Filling
250g Butternut, cut in small blocks
20ml Olive Oil
5ml Cumin, powdered
Treacle Sugar

Caramelized Red Onion Filling
1 Spanish Onion, finely sliced
30ml Caramel Sugar or Treacle Sugar
30ml Balsamic Vinegar

Lentil Filling
1 White onion, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
1 Tin Lentils, drained
2 Big Tomatoes, chopped
15ml Tomato Puree
60ml Water

Chickpea Dip
1 Can Chickpeas, drained
1 Garlic Clove, chopped
20ml Olive Oil
10ml Lemon Juice

Bunch of fresh young Beetroot
Treacle Sugar
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper

How to make it

Slice open tops of pitas - you can butter the inside a bit if you wish.

Place Butternut blocks on oven tray, sprinkle with Olive Oil, Salt and a little bit of Treacle Sugar.
Bake at 180°C until soft, but not mushy. About 20 min.
Toss every now and then.

Peel and cut into small blocks.
Place on oven tray, sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, Treacle Sugar and drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar.
Bake at the same time as the butternut (saves some electricity).
Toss every now and then, until soft (not mushy) and glazed.

Caramelized Onion
Place all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot or pan.
Cook slowly until caramelized.

Fry onion and garlic in pan, when cooked add all the other ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Chickpea Dip
Whirr everything in a food processor until smooth.
Season to taste.

Slice Sausages.

To Serve
Dish all your fillings in separate little dishes with the pita pockets on the side.
Guests can stuff their pitas with a little bit of this or a little bit of that.

  • You can buy Mini Pitas at your nearest Spar.
  • To save time, buy pre-prepared butternut and just chop them a bit smaller.
  • Serve a chilli sauce on the side to add some bite.