Thursday, May 26, 2011

SA Soup Day

Joburg is freezing today - very appropriate since it's the first National Soup Day (support a charity by buying and donating a can of soup). This recipe is the perfect winter warmer, delicious and super filling to boot.

Bean, Chippolata and Butternut Soup
Serves 6

250 g Chippolata's (Mini Pork Sausages) 
125 g Lean Bacon
1 Onion, chopped
1 Chilli, chopped (without pips if you like it mild, with pips if you like it hot)
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
½ Tbls Paprika
1 Tbls Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
500g Butternut, diced into small pieces
1 can (410g) Kidney Beans
1 can (410g) Chopped Tomatoes
6 Cups Chicken Stock
Croutons or Fresh Bread
Fresh Coriander
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Dash of Sugar

How to make it
Fry Bacon until crispy in heavy bottomed pot.
Remove, drain on kitchen towel and chop. Keep aside.
Fry Sausages in the same pan - don't make it to hot or your sausages will pop.
Remove, and dice into small pieces. Keep aside.
Fry onion, garlic, chilli, paprika, coriander and cumin in fat of bacon and sausages.
(Add a dash of olive oil or knob of butter if there is not enough fat in the pot.)
Add tinned tomatoes and chicken stock.
Add Salt, Pepper and about a tablespoon of sugar.
Add diced butternut and simmer until butternut is cooked, about 20 - 30 minutes.
Add drained kidney beans and diced chippolata's - heat through and check flavour.
Add more salt or pepper if needed.
Serve in hot bowls, topped with croutons, diced bacon and coriander.

  • If you like your soup thicker - add about 1 tablespoon of flour to your pot just after you have fried the onion and spices, stir through and then add the stock and tomatoes - just keep an eye you might need to top up with boiling water if it gets too thick.
  • Or you can thicken it the French way - mix equal parts soft butter and flour into paste and stir it into your soup, let it simmer until dissolved, then add sausages and beans. Equal could be 1 tablespoon of each. 
  • You can leave out the chilli if you don't like it hot and spicy, or add more if you do.
  • You can use Chorizo sausage instead of pork sausages.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Lindt Experience

South Africa is slowly catching on when it comes to quality chocolate, and Lindt is here to educate us!

It’s no secret that us LekerBekke prefer Lindt above almost any other chocolate brand (especially the 80% Cacao, Chilli and Orange…mmmmm!), so it was only appropriate that we attended a Lind ‘Chocolate Appreciation’ class.

The new studio at The Design Quarter in Fourways is slick and well run. We were met with great coffee and then enjoyed an evening of informative chocolate talk, tastings and even making our own truffles. Lindt is special (we can tell you that just by tasting it) but this class sheds light on the history as well as manufacturing processes of this iconic brand.

We’re not going to give too much away… It’s a really nice evening out, and believe it or not, we couldn’t finish all the chocolate they gave us to taste!

Our welcome bunnies.

The Conch machine as designed by Rodolphe Lindt – 
the secret behind the smooth texture of the chocolate. 

Cocoa bean.

Informative talk from our hostess. 

Selection of tasters – from real cocoa butter, 
to milky sweet white chocolate to solid dark.

Making Truffles 

To die for!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hey Pesto!

We had a bumper crop of Basil this year, and with winter setting in we had to harvest the last of fragrant green leaves… But what to do with so many? Basil Pesto!

Our basil bush.



Simple recipe:

4 cups fresh Basil eaves, packed
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino
1 cup extra virgin Olive Oil
½ - 1 cup Nuts of your choice (we used pine nuts)
4- 5 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a food processor combine the Basil, Nuts and Garlic.
Pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped and mixed together.
Slowly pour in the Olive Oil while the food processor is still on.
Add the cheese and combine well.
If the mixture looks a bit dry, add some more Olive Oil.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bottle in a sterilised jar or serve immediately. 

  • You can really get creative with pesto, try different combinations of cheese and nuts, and add some of your favourite spices. Even try different herbs.
  • Once you’ve bottled your pesto, top it with olive oil to prevent it from going black.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wirie’s tales from Portugal

Andre and I recently spent 10 days in Portugal, in the ancient little town of Tavira in the Algarve. A look see around the local restaurants did not excite me, much of a muchness, so to speak. So what does a travelling LekkerBek do? Find the local fresh produce market (Mercado) as soon as possible!

The market turned out to be walking distance from the little house we were renting. It was not a pretty market, like those you would find in France and Italy – it is for the locals by the locals, and not a word of English is understood. Old men sitting in the middle drinking coffee and discussing whatever they discuss, little old ladies bustling around buying a handful of this and a handful of that. Loads of fresh fish - which permeates the whole market with that distinctive fishy odour.

I managed to find really fresh shrimps, gorgeous tomatoes, garlic, fresh shallots, potatoes directly from the earth, the best olives and juicy lemons. The veggies were fresh and lovely, the fruit mostly imported and pricey. All you need is a hot pan, olive oil, dash of butter, lemon, salt and pepper and you have a pan full of shrimp goodness – so fresh you eat the whole shrimp!
Salad on the side, with hot crusty bread, olives to pick on and a bottle of dry Rosé wine and that was our staple diet. Bom! (good)

Fresh market produce


Morning coffee

Local fishing boats

Fresh shrimps

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day - Portuguese style with a South African twist

Mother’s Day this year was inspired by Wirie’s recent trip to Portugal (we’ll post some foodie stories on that soon) and a feast was had by all!

South Africa has great weather this time of year – chilly but bright and sunny – so we sat on the ‘stoep’ to celebrate our amazing mom. We kicked off with cheeses that they smuggled back from Portugal, accompanied by fresh figs, delicious cured ham, rocket and melon.

Our main was inspired by a seafood meal they had in Portugal called a Cataplana (also the name of the pot that it’s cooked and served in) - basically a clam shape with a lid that clamps onto the top. We don't have a Cataplana pot, so Wirie made Portuguese style seafood in a South African potjie – brilliant! Packed with clams, mussels, prawns, pork, chorizo, bacon and coriander it is slightly spicy and fantastic served with crispy bread to soak up the sauce.

We topped off our meal with a delectable dark chocolate and orange cake (get the recipe here), served with espresso in cups that they bought during their trip, what more could a family ask for?

Hope all the moms were spoilt rotten!

The Cataplana inspired Seafood Potjie

The Starters

Dark Chocolate, Sweet Potato & Orange Cake

Strong Espresso

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day Inspiration

Last year we feasted on a delicious High Tea in celebration of Mother’s Day, yum!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pumpkin, sweet potato and sage dumplings

Much like potato Gnocchi, these subtle yet fragrant dumplings are perfect for Meat-free-Mondays, but also great with Chicken or Beef!

Serves 6

500g Pumpkin or Butternut
2 Large Sweet Potatoes (we used the orange variety)
1 Packet Fresh Sage, half finely chopped
2 Egg yolks
1 1/2 cup Flour, sifted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbls Butter

Baby spinach and parmesan shavings for serving.

How to make it
Chop pumpkin and sweet potato into small cubes and cook in salted water for 10 - 15 minutes until soft.
Drain and return to the pot, cook for another 5 minutes to allow some moisture to evaporate.
Set aside to cool.
Once cooled, mash the mixture as finely as you can (use a blender if you've got one).
Mix chopped sage, egg yolks, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
Add pumpkin & sweet potato and mix well.
Add flour 1/2 cup at a time and blend thoroughly.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
Using two teaspoons to shape the mixture into balls, drop them into the water one by one. (Cook a third of the batch at a time) Cook dumplings until they float to the surface and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Remove dumplings from water and drain well.
Repeat with remaining 2 batches.
* At this stage the dumplings appear wet and slimy, but they will become drier and crisper with the next step.
Once all the batter is cooked, heat the butter in a large pan, add the dumplings and remaining sage leaves (tear them if they are too big) and brown on both sides. (Do this in batches if your pan is too small).

Season with salt and ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Dish up on a bed of fresh baby spinach topped with parmesan shavings. Serve with chicken or beef, or as is for a veggie version.

·         This is not the kind of dish to make if you are pressed for time.
·         If you like a dish with some kick, add some peri-peri powder to the pumpkin mix.
·         We served the dumplings with beef that we poached in a red wine and a Portuguese spice mix, cooked covered in the oven for about 3 hours. 

Mother's Day Goodies


Bubbly & Chocolate Truffles
Villiera Tradition Brut Rosé
LekkerBek Handmade Truffles (x4)


LekkerBek Home made meals

Chipolata, Bean and Butternut Soup
R35.00 per person
(minimum order four servings)

Broccoli Soup
R28.00 per person
(minimum order four servings))

Chicken Tikka with Sambals
R65.00 per person
(minimum order four servings)

Decadent moist chocolate cake
R200.00 per cake

Family or Friends Picnic
(Enough for 4)

Salami, Mozzarella & Rocket on Olive Ciabatta
Country Ham, Cheddar & Lettuce Ciabatta
Sesame Chicken Strips
Mini Mushroom Meatballs
Paté (x 2)
(Choice between Biltong, Tuna, Chicken Liver or Herb)
Cheese Selection
(Gorgonzola, Huguenot, Brie, Smoked Mozzarella & Tomato & Garlic Gouda)
Spicy Orange Preserve
Cherry Tomatoes & Rocket
Handmade Chips & Dip
Chocolate Brownies (x4)
LekkerBek Nut Wafers (x8)
Provita (2 Packets)
Liqui Fruit (x 2)

(Includes Basket, Plates, Knives, Forks & Serviettes)

R620.00 With Villiera Brut Rosé MCC and 2 Wine Glasses
R560.00 With Riebeek Cellars Rosé and 2 Wine Glasses
R540.00 With Monis Sparkling Grape Juice and 2 Wine Glasses


For orders or more information, contact:



*Excludes Delivery* 
*Personalised card can be added for an additional R5.00*

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Indian Cooking Classes at Karma

As LekkeBekke we are always on the lookout for a fun foodie experience, and cooking classes are a blast!

We attended an Indian Cooking workshop at Karma recently, and to be honest, if we hadn’t gotten the booking on a special, the R400.00 fee they usually charge would have been too much.

The class starts off with quite an formative introduction to Indian spices and the general concept of Indian cooking. Each couple is given a prep station with two recipes and all the ingredients needed for them. The first problem is that the classes are extremely full so unless you ask for help all the time you’re not given much guidance - I didn’t think chopping my own onions and following a recipe print-out was teaching me much about cooking…

The other problem is that each couple is given a main and a side dish to prepare, so you go in there thinking that you are going to learn to cook a couple of Indian dishes but really you don’t (they do give you all the recipes at the end of the evening, but I can get those form a book or the internet too…)

In the end, the entire class sits down to taste all the different dishes that were prepared that evening – really great idea, but I suggest that the organisers dish up for everyone as we didn’t get to taste some of the dishes that were made.

This class is ideal for a team building exercise and a fun evening out, but if you really want to learn new recipes and more about Indian cooking, this is not the class for you. 

For more information on the classes click here.

Cooking with friends!

Our Butter Chicken cooking away.

The hot cooking station.

Our Coriander and Yogurt Dip.

Prep station.

Folding Chilli Chocolate Samoosas.