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Chicken Liver Pâté With Bacon & Port

Pâté is a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste. Common additions include vegetables, herbs, spices, and either wine, brandy or cognac.  Pâté can be served either hot or cold with crackers or crudité.  It can be served as an appetizer at a dinner party, or as a light lunch.  It takes less than a half-hour to prepare, and it will firm up in the fridge in a few hours. Simply transfer the mixture to a serving dish or individual containers or glass jars, cover and refrigerate.

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Chicken & Chicken Liver Pâté Phyllo Roll

Baked paté as good as it gets! Serve warm as a nutritious light meal with mashed potato and steamed vegetables or snack-style, either warm or cold, with favourite pickles or pickled vegetables, sweet chilli sauce and olives. Be sure to also try Carolié’s Chicken Liver Pâté With Bacon & Port.

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Fish And Rice Terrine With Prawn Sauce

Very neat to serve as a warm first course or light meal. A fragrant white rice such as Basmati rice or jasmine rices gives excellent results but brown rice, cooked until very tender, may also be used. If preferred, the prawns in the sauce may be replaced by shredded smoked trout or salmon, a small tin of anchovies drained, or 250 ml sliced and sauteed mushrooms. Left-over fish terrine may be served cold with bread or salad and pickles.

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Roasted Olives

These olives can be served warm as part of an antipasti or meze platter.  Tip:  Always buy whole olives and pit them yourself with an olive pitter.

500 ml brine-cured olives, rinsed and pitted
60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 ml crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 rosemary sprigs

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.
  2. Combine the ingredients in an 20 cm square baking dish, cover with foil and bake until fragrant and heated through – 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and serve warm as part of an antipasti platter or stir into cooked pasta, etc.

Recipe adapted from Sarah’s Cucina Bella.

Roasted-Olives

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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.

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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.

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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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Olive & Eggplant Dipping Sauce

This tasty sauce can be served as a dipping sauce with crudités, crisps, bruschetta or fresh bread. It can also be mixed with cooked pasta!

2 large aubergines/eggplants/brinjals
2 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped (optional)
125 ml spring onion, finely sliced
5 to 10 ml crushed garlic
180 ml olive oil
125 ml black olives, drained and pitted
30 ml parsley, finely chopped
30 ml basil leaves, finely chopped
2.5 ml sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
100 to 200 ml plain yoghurt or crème fraîche (optional)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C. 
  2. Line a baking tray with a Wizbake baking sheet and set it aside.
  3. Peel the aubergines and slice into 1 cm thick slices.
  4. Transfer the aubergine slices to the prepared baking tray and brush each slice on both sides with olive oil.
  5. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the aubergines halfway through the cooking time.
  6. Set the aubergine slices aside to cool.
  7. To skin the tomatoes, fill a medium saucepan half full with water and bring it to a boil.
  8. Fill a medium mixing bowl half full with water and add some ice cubes. Set the bowl aside.
  9. Slice a shallow X into the bottom of the tomato (opposite the stem side). 
  10. Place the tomatoes into the boiling water and for about 30 seconds or until you see the X begin to split open wider.
  11. Transfer the tomatoes to the bowl of ice water and let them cool off. This will help to stop any “cooking” that has started. 
  12. Remove the tomatoes from the ice water and place them on a chopping board.
  13. Begin peeling the skin at the X, pulling the skin back gently towards the stem side.
  14. Discard the skin and quarter the tomatoes.  Remove the seeds and transfer it to the bowl of a food processor.
  15. Add the cooled aubergine to the food processor and set it aside.
  16. Transfer 5 ml of the olive oil to a saucepan and stir-fry the spring onion and garlic in the heated oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the spring onion mixture to the food processor.
  17. Add the olives, parsley, basil, sugar, salt and pepper to the food processor and process with the pulse action until smooth and blended.
  18. Stir in a tablespoon of yoghurt or crème fraîche if you like a creamier dip.
  19. Spoon into a serving dish and serve as a dipping sauce with crudités, crisps, bruschetta or fresh bread.

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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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Fattoush Salad With Sumac Vinaigrette

Fattoush is a Lebanese version of a bread salad that includes toasted and crumbled pita bread chips. Fattoush means “crumbled bread” in Arabic.  It is similar to Panzanella, the Italian bread salad.   The Italians use ciabatta croutons instead of pita bread.

Salad Ingredients
1 English cucumber, seeds removed and diced

250 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green sweet pepper, seeded and diced (optional)
125 ml spring onions, sliced thinly
1 to 2 cooked chicken breasts, bones and skin removed and cut into thin strips (optional)
1 x 400 g chickpeas, drained and rinsed (optional)
a handfull romaine lettuce, watercress, butter lettuce, etc.
80 ml coriander, finely chopped
80 ml parsley, finely chopped
15 ml mint leaves, finely chopped 

Sumac Vinaigrette
60 ml olive oil
30 ml lemon juice
15 ml sumac
2.5 ml crushed garlic
pinch sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pita Bread Chips (see photo below)
4 large pita bread rounds, each cut into 8 triangles
60 ml olive oil
5 ml crushed garlic
2 ml sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and add to the bowl. Toss all together lightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. To make the pita bread chips, pre-heat the oven to 190°C.
  4. Cut the pita breads into triangles and arrange in a single layer on two large baking trays lined with Wizbake baking sheets.
  5. Combine the olive oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl.
  6. Using a silicon brush and coat both sides of the pita triangles with the olive oil mixture.
  7. Bake the pita triangles for 10 to 12 minutes or until a light golden brown color.  Turn the pita triangles over half way through baking. Be careful not to burn them!
  8. Set the pita chips aside to cool.
  9. Transfer the salad to a salad bowl or platter and garnish with crumbled pita bread chips.

6 servings.

Notes

  • Leftover pita bread chips can be left whole and served with hummus or your favorite dip.
  •  The pita bread chips can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
  • The pita bread chips can be substituted with wheat-free crackers, etc.

Fattoush

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Home-made Minted Labneh

Labneh is made by draining full cream yogurt for a few hours to remove its whey, resulting in a relatively thick consistency, i.e thicker than conventional yogurt but less firm than cheese), while preserving yogurt’s distinctive, sour taste.  Labneh is a popular mezze dish and sandwich ingredient in the Middle East.  It is usually eaten in a fashion similar to hummus, spooned on a plate and drizzled with olive oil and often, dried mint.

1 kg full cream plain yogurt
5 ml salt
60 ml fresh mint, finely chopped
15 ml dried mint
2.5 ml crushed garlic (optional)

  1. Line a strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth or muslin cloth  and set the strainer over a deep bowl.  It should be deep enough so that the bottom of the strainer is a few millimeters above the bottom of the bowl, where the strained liquid or whey will collect.
  2. Stir the salt into the yogurt, then transfer the yogurt into the lined strainer.
  3. Fold the ends of the cheesecloth or cloth over the yogurt and refrigerate for at least 8 to 12 hours.  Or longer if you want a thicker labneh.
  4. Remove the strained cheese from the cloth and transfer it to a bowl.  Set it aside.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
  7. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and serve with store-bought or Home-made Pita Bread.

Notes
Shop-bought Greek yogurt can be used if pressed for time.

Labneh

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Chicken Liver Mousse

I just had to include Julia Child’s chicken liver mousse which I adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Be sure to also try Carolié de Koster’s Chicken Liver Pâté With Bacon & Port from her Art Of Cooking recipe book.

500 g chicken livers
30 ml minced shallots or spring onion
30 g butter
80 ml cognac
60 ml whipping cream
2.5 ml salt
1 ml allspice
1 ml white pepper
1 ml dried thyme
125 g butter, melted

  1. Remove any greenish or blackish spots from the livers, as well as any sinew. Cut the livers into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Pat the livers dry, then place in a large mixing bowl and cover with milk. Cover and let sit in a refrigerator for at least two hours, or overnight.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat in a sauté pan until foam has subsided.
  4. Sauté the livers with the shallots in butter for 2 to 3 minutes, until the livers are just stiffened, but still rosy inside. Scrape into the blender jug.
  5. Pour the cognac into the pan and boil it down rapidly until it has reduced to about 50 ml. Scrape it into the blender jug.
  6. Add the cream and seasonings to the blender jug, cover and blend at top speed for several seconds until the liver is a smooth paste.
  7. Add the melted butter and blend several seconds more. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  8. Pack into a jar, seal and chill for 2 to 3 hours.
  9. Serve with fresh bread.

Makes about 500 ml.

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