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Olive Tapenade

This Ancient Roman dish makes the perfect appetizer. You can use the Tapenade, also known as Olive Paste, as a condiment, with pasta or as a spread.  Be sure to try Olive Tapenade Palmiers.

500 ml black Kalamata olives
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Pinch of dried thyme
5 ml anchovy paste
45 ml extra virgin olive oil

  1. Pit the olives with an olive pitter or and transfer it to the bowl of a blender
  2. Remove the rosemary leaves from stalks and chop it finely before adding it to the blender as well.  Discard the stalks.
  3. Add the thyme and anchovy paste and blend thoroughly until the mixture forms a paste.
  4. Add the extra virgin olive oil a teaspoon at a time, keeping the olive paste more on the “dry” side.
  5. Transfer the paste to a serving dish and serve with bruschetta, crostini, vegetable crudités, etc.

blackolivetapenade

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Olive Oil & Parmesan Pop Corn

This is a new and tasty take on traditional butter popcorn.  It is quick and easy to make and will let the compliments roll in!

30 ml olive oil, or enough to coat the bottom of the pan
125 ml popcorn kernels
125 ml grated Parmesan cheese
15 ml salt

  1. Add oil to a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Place 3-4 individual kernels in the pan and cover.
  3. Once they pop, uncover the pan and add in the rest of the kernels so that they form a single layer on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Cover, and give the pot a shake so that they all get coated with the oil.
  5. Once the popcorn kernels start popping furiously, give the pot a good shake every 15 seconds or so to help the un-popped kernels fall to the bottom, which prevents burning.
  6. When the popping dies down, immediately pour the popcorn it into a large bowl with a lid, and sprinkle with the Parmesan and salt.
  7. Seal the bowl with its lid and give it a good shake.  The heat and moisture from the popcorn will help the toppings stick to the popcorn much better this way.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish or individual servings dishes and serve.

Olive-Oil-and-Parmesan-Popcorn

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Olive Tapenade Palmiers

A palmier (French for “palm tree”), is a French pastry that gets its name from its resemblance to a palm leaf.   It is also known as elephant ear, palm leaves, French hearts, palmeritas (Spanish).  It is made from puff pastry, so it is crispy and flaky.  The traditional sweet palmier is coated with sugar, but a variety of savoury fillings ranging from olive tapenade to sundried tomato paste, to basil pesto, can also be used.  Palmiers are made by folding the left and right sides of the pastry to the middle, then folding the dough in half again length-wise, sandwiching the first folds inside. Sliced into individual cookies, this is what gives the palmiers their distinctive “palm” or elephant-ear shape. You can also roll the sides of the puff pastry toward the middle, making even more layers and giving the palmiers a more rounded look.

1 x 400 g packet frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the fridge overnight
200 ml olive tapenade (clicks here for the recipe for home-made Olive Tapenade)
1 large egg, beaten with a little water

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200º C and line two baking trays with Wizbake baking sheets and set it aside.
  2. Remove the pastry from the packaging and unroll the pastry on a Wizbake baking sheet.
  3. Fold the left and the right sides of the dough inward so they meet in the middle.
  4. Fold the left side over the right side, like closing a book. This should make a very long, flat length of dough with the first two folds sandwiched in the middle.
  5. Cover the pastry “log” with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to give the dough time to firm up.  This will make them easier to cut and also help them puff better in the oven.
  6. Transfer the log back to a chopping board, remove the cling film and slice the log across into cookies roughly 1 cm wide with a sharp knife.
  7. Transfer the cookies to prepared baking tray, laying them cut-side up.
  8. Make sure to space the palmiers a few centimeters apart — they will puff quite a lot in the oven!
  9. Shape each slice with your fingertips so that it is round at the bottom with two neat curls at the top, so that it looks more or less like a heart shape.
  10. Brush the slices with the egg mixture
  11. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden.
  12. Let the palmiers cool for a few minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  13. Transfer the palmiers to a serving platter and serve as savoury cocktail snacks.

Note
Palmiers are best the day they are made, but can be stored in an airtight container for several days. They will gradually lose their crispiness over time.

blackolivepalmiers

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Olive Oil & Rosemary Roasted Almonds

Salty, crunchy, and full of flavor. This irresistible snack is healthy too!  Make a double-batch if you don’t want to run out halfway through a rugby game.

750 ml whole raw almonds
15 ml extra virgin olive oil
5 ml sea salt
5 ml rosemary, dried and crushed

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ° C.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well until the almonds are well coated with the oil.
  3. Line a large baking sheet with a Wizbake baking sheet and spread the almond mixture out onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes, stir, and continue roasting for another 10 minutes.
  5. Cool completely on the baking sheet before storing in an airtight container until ready to serve.

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Olive Salad

Olive Salad is one of the key ingredients in the Muffaletta sandwich, a make-ahead sandwich that consists of a round loaf of broad which is filled with cold cuts of meat, cheese, vegetables and olive salad.  It tastes just as great served as a relish with braaied meat, etc.

200 g green olives, drained, pitted and coarsely-chopped
200 g Kalamata olives, drained, pitted and coarsely-chopped
10 ml crushed garlic
1 anchovy fillet, mashed
15 ml capers, drained and rinsed
15 ml red wine vinegar
15 ml fresh lemon juice
60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
60 ml parsley, finely-chopped
freshly ground black pepper

  1. To make the olive salad, combine all the ingredients and then allow the flavors to mingle for at least 1 hour prior to serving.
  2. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to use as one of the fillings of the Muffaletta sandwich.

OliveSalad

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Olive Corn Fritters

Corn fritters are part and parcel of New Zealand’s favourite everyday food and served in Cafés all day long. Enriching these favourite fritters with additional vegetables and cheese turns them into a most nutritious and tasty light meal or in between snack.

375 ml self-raising flour
1 ml salt
a good grinding black pepper
a good dash garlic and herb seasoning
250 ml whole kernel corn
125 ml black olives, pitted
125 ml grated baby marrow (zucchini)
125 ml grated cheese
30 ml spring onion, snipped
3 large eggs
250 ml milk

To cook
olive or sunflower oil to grease the non-stick frying pan

To serve
natural yoghurt or sour cream or
sweet chilli sauce or
salad garnish such as avocado, tomato or cucumber or
grilled bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms

  1. Place the flour, seasoning, corn, olives, baby marrow, cheese and spring onion in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine evenly and make a well in the centre.
  2. Add the eggs and milk and mix gently until blended.
  3. Brush a non-stick pan with olive oil and heat to medium hot.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the pan and spread out into a neat circle about 1 cm thick. 
  5. Cook until light golden brown on both sides.
  6. Serve warm or cold with variable ingredients listed above.

Servings: 8 large or 12 – 16 small fritters

Note
1. The corn may be canned and drained, frozen or fresh
2. The baby marrow/zucchini can be substituted wtih chopped fresh spinach.
3. The cheese used may be Edam, Cheddar or Mozzarella

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

OliveCornFritters

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Roasted Pitas With Tomato & Avocado

This delicious-looking vegetarian and kid friendly recipe is from Heleen Meyer’s Make five/ Maak vyf recipe book and will be ready in 45 minutes.  Heleen writes: “One evening my kids were in the mood for pizza, but there was just not enough time to make dough. We cut open pitas to use as the pizza base and they were very impressed with this quick fix. Just don’t use too many toppings as it will become too heavy for the pita bases. The sauce comes with a bit of a bite, but you can substitute the spices with mixed herbs if preferred.”

1 x 410 g tin chopped tomatoes
10 ml (2 tsp) red wine vinegar
2,5 ml (½ tsp) cayenne pepper or smoked paprika
5 ml (1 tsp) mild curry powder
salt and pepper
4 plain or wholewheat pitas, cut open
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive or avocado oil
250-375 ml (1-1½ cups) grated mozzarella or white Cheddar cheese
2 spring onions, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, sliced
handful fresh coriander leaves
1 avocado, sliced

  1. Place tomatoes, vinegar, cayenne pepper and curry powder in a small saucepan. Season to taste and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened slightly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Place pitas on two baking trays and brush lightly with oil. Bake for a few minutes or until just golden brown. If your oven is small, do this in two batches. Cut open each pita.
  3. Divide the sauce between the pitas. Sprinkle over the cheese and spring onions and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  4. Place fresh tomatoes and avocado on top and garnish with coriander.

Serves 4.

Tips

  • Other veggies, such as spinach and peppers will also be delicious. Or add a cooked protein to the pitas, like bacon, chicken or spoonfuls of mince.
  • Serve as a starter with teaspoonfuls of sour cream and a homemade tomato.

Recipe by Heleen Meyer from Make five/Maak vyf.
Photo by Neville Lockhart.

Roasted pitas MakeFive March2016

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Spicy Nuts

You and your guests will not be able to stop snacking on these nuts!

400 g unsalted mixed nuts or 100 g each almonds, macadamias, cashews and pecans
15 g butter or 15 ml oil

Spice Mixture
5 ml salt
10 ml brown sugar
5 ml paprika
5 ml ground cumin
2 ml ground coriander
1 – 5 ml chilli powder, cayenne pepper or dried chilli flakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat the butter or oil and mixed spices in a heavy based saucepan and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute, stirring. Add the nuts and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Turn out the nuts onto a baking tray lined with a Wizbake baking sheet and spread the nuts out in a single layer.
  4. Bake 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  5. Cool and store in an airtight container until required or up to a month or two.

Makes 400 g or about 1 liter roasted nuts.

Note:

  • Try your own variation with spices or seasonings for the nuts such as Cajun seasoning.
  • Mexican-style spice mixture – replace the spice mixture above with the following sweet and spicy mixture:

30 ml castor sugar
5 ml ground cinnamon
3 ml salt
1 ml ground cloves
1 ml ground allspice
1 ml cayenne pepper

SpicedNuts

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Home-made Dukkah (Egyptian Spice Mix)

Dukkah (pronounced DOO-kah), is an Egyptian spice blend of toasted nuts and seeds.  The aromatic mixture is addictive when served as a dip with fresh bread and olive oil.  Traditionally dukkah is eaten by dipping fresh bread first into olive oil and then into the nut mixture, but it can be used in a variety of recipes, e.g. Dukkah Crusted Fish Portions. Continue reading Home-made Dukkah (Egyptian Spice Mix)

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Quick All-day Cheese Puffs

Feather-light cheesy puffs baked in mini muffin tins to serve as tempting snacks or in medium muffin tins to serve with soup or stews.

250 ml self-raising self-binding rice flour plus 5 ml baking powder OR
or gluten-free cake flour or flour mix plus 10 ml baking powder
2 ml salt
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
pinch mustard powder (optional)
100 g/250 ml grated Cheddar cheese
250 ml milk
1 large egg
15 ml oil
paprika or garlic and herb seasoning to sprinkle

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 º C and grease the cups of a mini muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Beat together the milk, egg and oil in a measuring jug and add to the bowl with dry ingredients.  Mix lightly only until combined.
  4. Divide the mixture, with the aid of two teaspoons, between the prepared cups and sprinkle with paprika or garlic and herb seasoning.
  5. Bake the muffins for about 10 minutes or until well risen and light golden.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature, as is or with butter and/or any savoury filling preferred.

18 to 24 mini puffs.

Variations

Parsley, spring onion or herb puffs
Add 15 ml chopped parsley and/or 30 ml chopped spring onion to the dry ingredients.

Goats cheese and peppadew puffs
Replace half of the Cheddar cheese with crumbled soft goats cheese (Chevin) or grated firm goats cheese (Gotino) and add 4 to 6 chopped mild or hot peppadews.

Cheese and biltong puffs
Add about 60 ml finely grated or chopped biltong to the batter.

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Wheat-free Pizza Muffins

These muffins will be a hit with young and old alike!

500 ml rice flour or gluten-free flour mix
20 ml baking powder
5 ml salt
5 ml garlic and herb seasoning
5 ml dried origanum
10 ml mixed dried herbs
1 ml cayenne pepper (optional)
100 ml finely chopped spring onion
50 g/125 ml grated Cheddar cheese
100 g/250 ml finely diced Mozzarella cheese
100 g ham, coarsely chopped (optional)
300 ml milk
2 large eggs
100 ml oil
30 ml tomato puree or pizza or pasta topping sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C Grease 12 medium or 8 jumbo muffin cups generously with margarine.
  2. Place the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine the milk, eggs, oil and tomato puree in a measuring jug and add it to the well in the dry ingredients.  Mix only until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
  4. Divide the batter between the greased cups and bake 10 minutes at 200 ° C.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 ° C and bake 8 to 10 minutes more or until golden and firm.
  6. Cool in the muffin cups a few minutes, loosen, lift out and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  7. Store in an airtight container.

12 medium muffins.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

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Pikelets (Crumpets)

The pikelets and toppings are easy to make and serve before a festive meal. Mini pikelets are great for savoury snacks served before a meal or at teatime.  See Ricotta & Smoked Salmon/Ham Topping recipe or the Spicy Ricotta and Almond/Chickpea Topping to serve with the pikelets.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: about 30 pikelets, depending on size

Pikelet batter
2 cups (500 ml) cake flour
1 Tbsp (15 ml) baking powder
½ tsp (2,5 ml) salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups (375 ml) milk
2 Tbsp (30 ml) melted butter
a little more milk or water if needed
butter or cooking spray to cook

  1.  Place the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Beat together the milk and eggs and add to the flour gradually while beating with a whisk to form a smooth batter. Stir in the melted butter.
  3. The batter should be of a consistency that will pour readily from a spoon. If necessary add a little more milk or water to achieve the optimal consistency.
  4. Heat about 2 tsp (10 ml) butter in a heavy saucepan or electric frying pan over moderately high heat and spread over the base, or spray with cooking spray. Use a round soupspoon and place spoonfuls of batter into the pan.
  5. Adjust the amount of batter used according to the size required. The batter should spread out to make thin neat pikelets. If it is still too firm, stir in a little water.
  6. Cook the pikelets until bubbles appear on top and they are pale golden underneath. Turn over and cook until golden on the other side.
  7. Adjust the heat as necessary to ensure that the pikelets do not brown too much or too soon.
  8. Place the pikelets onto a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep them soft and moist. When cool, store in an airtight container or freeze for later use.
  9. To serve, spread the toppings onto the pikelets and arrange onto a large platter. Garnish with greenery and salad ingredients as preferred.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.