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Poor Man’s Caviar (Aubergine Paté)

A paté or dip made from the flesh of roasted aubergines with ingredients such as garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. The paté looks similar to caviar, but does not have the same price tag.  Pickled mustard seeds (pictured below) are also known as poor man’s caviar due to its texture which is similar to that of caviar.   It is a tongue in the cheek expression for having a rich man’s taste but a poor man’s budget.

500 g aubergine/eggplant/brinjal
4 dried apricot halves (optional)
30 ml coriander, finely chopped
5 ml ground cumin medium
10 ml lemon juice
10 ml olive oil
10 ml crushed garlic
15 ml peanut butter
60 ml plain yoghurt (optional)
2 ml salt
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 º C and line a baking tray with a Wizbake baking sheet.
  2. Prick the aubergines all over with a utility knife and place them on the baking tray.
  3. Roast the aubergines until it is tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. Larger aubergines will take longer to roast than smaller ones.
  4. In the meantime, soak the apricots for 10 to 15 minutes in a bowl of boiling water. 
  5. Transfer the apricots to a food processor and reserve the water.  You might need to add it to the pate if the paté is too thick.
  6. Chop the coriander finely and add it to the food processor.
  7. Cut each aubergine in half on a chopping board with a cook’s knife and scoop out the flesh with a table spoon. Discard the skin.
  8. Add the cooked aubergine flesh to the food processor.
  9. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and puree the mixture using a pulse action until it is smooth.
  10. Add a little of the soaking water if the pate is too thick.
  11. Transfer the paté to a serving dish or container and serve immediately with crackers or fresh bread or use as a spread on a sandwich.

Store leftover paté in an
airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

6 servings.

Adapted from Gabi Steenkamp’s recipe.



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Tartar Sauce

Tartar sauce is based on either mayonnaise (made from egg yolk, mustard or vinegar, oil) or aioli (made from egg yolk, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice), with certain other ingredients added. In the UK, ingredients such as capers, gherkins, lemon juice and dill are added. US recipes may include chopped pickles, capers, chives and fresh parsley.  Chopped hard-boiled eggs or olives are sometimes added, as may be Dijon mustard and cocktail onions.  The sauce can be served with Batter-fried Calamari Rings, Best-ever Batter-fried Fish, Prawn Tempura (Batter-fried Prawns), Tuna Fish Cakes, etc.

125 ml mayonnaise
15 ml fresh parsley, finely chopped
15 ml onion or spring onion, finely chopped
15 ml chives, finely chopped
15 ml gherkins, finely chopped
15 ml capers, finely chopped (optional)
5 ml salt
  1. Combine the ingredients for the tartar sauce in a mixing bowl.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a serving dish, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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Mexican-style Meat Sauce/Filling

This sauce has enough bite to make it Mexican but it is not too strong for those who enjoy flavourful and lightly spiced food,

1 kg lean beef mince
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed or 2.5 ml garlic and herb seasoning
5 ml salt
5 ml beef stock powder
2.5 ml dried origanum or mixed dried herbs
10 ml Worcestershire sauce
125 ml cake flour
1  x  410 g tin Mexican-style tomatoes
1  x  410 g tin tomato and onion mix or red kidney beans
30 ml tomato paste

  1. Stir-fry the beef, onion, garlic or garlic and herb seasoning over moderate heat until loose and crumbly and lightly browned.
  2. Add the salt, beef stock powder, origanum or dried herbs and Worcestershire sauce and stir-fry for a further few minutes.
  3. Stir in the flour, contents of the tins and tomato paste. Mix well until evenly blended, cover partly and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the meat is tender and a thick sauce has formed.
  4. Season to taste and serve as a filling for pancakes or a topping for baked potato or use it in Mexican food.

8 to 10 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art of Cooking Recipe Book p. 357.


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Mexican Mince In Tortillas

Another version of Mexican Enchilada‘s to try!  This recipe is from Heleen Meyer’s Make five/Maak vyf recipe book. Heleen writes: “Mexican food typically contains red peppers, paprika and corn. Bake this in filled tortillas for a delicious weekend meal and serve with coriander leaves and avocado. A spoonful of yoghurt or sour cream rounds it off beautifully.”

15 ml (1 tbsp) olive or avocado oil
500 g lean beef mince
1 each red and white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, seeded and cubed
2 carrots, coarsely grated
1 bay leaf
10 ml (2 tsp) ground coriander
10 ml (2 tsp) smoked paprika or 25 ml (5 tsp) ordinary paprika
2,5 ml (½ tsp) cayenne pepper
1 x 50 g packet tomato paste
1 x 410 g tin chopped tomatoes
125 ml (½ cup) red wine
80 ml (⅓ cup) chopped fresh herbs of your choice, such as Italian parsley, origanum or thyme
lemon juice, salt and pepper
1 x 410 g tin red kidney beans, drained
250 ml (1 cup) frozen whole kernel corn, rinsed
4 to 6 torillas or wraps
125 ml (½ cup) grated Cheddar or mozzarella cheese
1 avocado, sliced
large handful fresh coriander leaves

  1. Heat a thin layer of the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry mince until golden browned. Spoon out and set aside.
  2. Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and sauté onions and garlic for a few minutes. Stir in red pepper, carrots, bay leaf and spices and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and sauté for 1-2 minutes to thicken slightly.
  3. Stir in the mince with the tomatoes and rinse out the empty tins with wine. Stir in wine and herbs and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 30 minutes or until cooked. Season to taste and stir in the beans and corn into the mince mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  6. Place spoonfuls of the warm mince mixture onto the tortillas or wraps and roll up. Place filled tortillas next to each other in an oven dish.
  7. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and the cheese has melted.
  8. Serve hot with slices of avocado and coriander leaves.

4 to 6 servings.


  • Make an avocado salsa to serve with the mince. Cut 1 avocado, 1 ripe tomato, ½ red pepper and a piece of cucumber into cubes and mix together lightly. Season to taste with olive oil, grape vinegar or lemon juice and fresh coriander leaves.

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

Mexican mince MakeFive March2016

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Mexican Corn Salad

This colourful salad is sure to be a hit with your guests.  Serve it as a topping for Mexican dishes such as Quesadillas or Enchiladas or as a side dish at a braai.  It is equally delicious served hot, cold, or at room temperature.

500 ml/600 g fresh or frozen corn kernels
30 ml olive oil
125 ml red onion or spring onion, finely sliced
250 ml red or yellow sweet pepper, diced
125 ml flat-leaf parsley or coriander, finely chopped
generous pinch of chili powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
200 g Danish feta or goat’s cheese, crumbled (optional)
juice of 1 lime

To serve
lettuce of your choice, e.g. butter lettuce

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
  2. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste.
  3. Serve as part of a Mexican-themed feast or as an accompaniment to braaied meat.


Recipe adapted from original recipe by David Lebotvitz.  Photo by David Lebovitz.

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Pink Seafood Sauce

There can hardly be a more delightful seafood cocktail than cooked cold fish, prawns or seafood tossed with this special sauce.  Also see the recipe for Avocado Ritz.

½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup cream or yoghurt
¼ cup tomato sauce or pasta sauce
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot or mild sweet chilli sauce

To garnish
ground black pepper or sumac (pictured below)

  1. Combine all the ingredients and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art Of Cooking recipe book p. 483.


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Home-made Tomato Salsa

This is a simple and delicious sauce to compliment any egg, meat or fish dish that is lacking in flavour.  It can also be used as a topping or a dip, e.g. with nacho’s.  Be sure to try the recipe for Cajun-style Blackened Chicken & Salad Sandwich too.

250 g ripe tomatoes
1 large onion
10 ml crushed garlic
1 green or red chilli, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
50 ml oil, e.g. coconut or seed oil
30 ml fresh parsley or coriander, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Cover the tomatoes with boiling water, allow to stand for a while, drain, peel and chop coarsely.
  2. Saute the onion, garlic and chilli very gently in the oil until softened but not at all browned. Add the tomato and bring to the boil, stirring.  Simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the parsley or coriander, season to taste and simmer for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into clean glass jars, seal, cool and refrigerate until required.

Makes about 375 ml salsa.

The salsa can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

Recipe by Carolie de Koster from the Art of Cooking recipe book p. AOC p. 486.



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Tomato & Onion Sauce

tomato sauce

This sauce is very versatile and will not last long, so you might want to double the recipe!

5 ml canola oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 medium red apples, grated
5 ml crushed garlic
3 medium tomatoes, finely diced
125 ml tomato sauce
250 ml water
5 ml salt
20 ml treacle or Demerara sugar
20 ml Worcestershire sauce
20 ml mild mustard sauce

flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and stir-fry the onion, apple, garlic and tomato until cooked – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on a low heat until reduced.
  3. Serve with braaied meat, pasta, etc.

Add 250 g sliced mushrooms.

Recipe adapted from Gabi Steenkamp’s Barbeque Sauce.


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Eggs Benedict With Hollandaise Sauce

Although Hollandaise sauce is probably most known as an accompaniment with Eggs Benedict, it can also be served with asparagus or artichokes, or with any kind of grilled or poached fish.

4 English muffins, halved
8 slices smoked ham or salmon
butter (for spreading on the muffins)
100 ml white wine vingear
4 large eggs

Hollandaise Sauce
2 large egg yolks
15 ml lemon juice
15 ml white wine vinegar
110 g butter
salt and pepper to taste

30 ml parsley, finely chopped 

  1. Heat the oven to 160°C.
  2. To poach the eggs, fill a large saucepan with water and add the white wine vinegar.
  3. Bring it to the boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer.
  4. Crack the eggs into four separate bowls. Work with one egg at a time and pour the egg through a strainer or sieve to get rid of excess egg white.
  5. Transfer the eggs one at a time to the saucepan with simmering water and lower it into the water with a swirling motion to release the egg into the water.  Do the same with the rest of the eggs.
  6. Simmer for 4 to 6 minutes while stirring continuously until set or to taste.
  7. While the eggs are poaching, brown the ham in a saucepan.
  8. Remove the poaching pan from the heat and cover partly with a lid. Keep the eggs warm in the pan until you are ready to assemble the dish.
  9. To make the hollandaise sauce, place the egg yolks in the bowl of a food processor and season them with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Process the eggs for about 1 minute.
  10. Heat the lemon juice and white wine vinegar in a small saucepan until the mixture starts to bubble and simmer.
  11. Switch the food processor on again and pour the hot liquid onto the egg yolks in a slow, steady stream. Switch the food processor off.
  12. Melt the butter in the same saucepan over a low heat – be careful not to let the butter brown.
  13. When the butter starts to foam, transfer it to a heated measuring jug (fill the measuring jug with  boiling water and discard the boiling water and then transfer the butter mixture from the pan to the jug.)
  14. Switch the food processor on and pour in the butter in a thin, slow, stream – the slower you add it the better.
  15. When all the butter has been incorporated, process again for a few seconds and serve immediately.
  16. Halve and toast the muffins until golden, spread with butter, then sandwich a piece of ham in the middle and put in the oven to keep warm.
  17. Place the muffins on warmed plates, lift the top muffin and place an egg on top of each slice of ham and then spoon over a generous amount of sauce.  It should cover the egg and run down the side.
  18. Season with pepper, gently place the top muffin back and serve immediately.


  • Beat 2 egg whites until they hold soft peaks and fold into the sauce before serving
  • Whip 125 ml cream until stiff and fold into the sauce just before serving
  • Add a few drops of tobasco sauce, a pinch of mustard or finely chopped fresh dill or spring onion.
  • Omit the ham and use 50 to 100 ml heated creamed spinach for Florentine Eggs Benedict.

– Serve leftover sauce cold, as reheating will cause the sauce to separate.
– If the hollandaise sauce separates, do one of the following:

  • Add about 15 ml boiling water to the sauce – a few drops at a time while whisking constantly.
  • Pour the separated sauce into a jug. Place a fresh egg yolk in the bowl, whisk and place the bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Add spoonfuls of the separated sauce to the bowl, beating constantly.

4 servings.

Photo by


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Quick Savoury Mince Sauce Or Filling

A most delicious and savoury mince to use as a filling for vetkoek or pancakes or a topping for pasta.

500 g lean beef mince
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
50 ml cake flour
7.5  ml beef stock powder *
300 ml water
30 ml tomato sauce
15 ml chutney
5 ml Worcestershire sauce
2.5 ml mixed dried herbs
2.5 ml barbecue spice or steak and chop seasoning
salt and ground black pepper
15 ml chopped parsley

  1. Place the meat, onion and garlic into a saucepan and stir-fry over moderate heat until the meat is loose and crumbly and lightly browned.
  2. Add the flour and stock powder and stir-fry 2 – 3 minutes more.
  3. Add the water, tomato sauce, chutney, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and barbecue spice and bring to boil, stirring until evenly combined.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer partly covered or covered with a special perforated lid for about 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender.
  5. Adjust seasoning and serve as a filling for “vetkoek”, jaffles or pancakes.

8 to 10 servings

* The flour and beef stock powder can be substituted with 50 ml Instant Brown Gray Powder Mix.

Brown Gravy Powder Mix
The gravy powder mix is a successful shortcut to produce a shiny and thick brown gravy with a lovely flavour. It may be used on it’s own or to moisten and enrich stews or meat dishes. To adjust the consistency, use more or less sauce powder than recommended below.

1 x 500 g self-raising flour
2 x 250 g brown gravy powder (Bisto)
1 x 40 g packet cream of mushroom soup powder
1 x 40 g packet cream of tomato soup powder
1 x 40 g packet brown onion soup powder
1 x 40 g packet white onion soup powder

  1. Place the ingredients in a large bowl and mix very well until all is evenly combined.
  2. Spoon into screw top jars and store airtight for several months if necessary.
  3. To make a flavourful brown gravy in an instant, blend 30 ml gravy powder mix with 250 ml water.
  4. Add to a saucepan, bring to boil, stirring and simmering 3 minutes.
  5. Alternatively, mix the gravy powder mix and water in a jug suitable to microwave and cook on HIGH for 1 minute.
  6. Beat well and microwave on MEDIUM until the sauce thickens and starts to bubble. Beat well.



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Greek Yoghurt & Cucumber Dip (Tzatziki)

Serve as a dip with crusty bread, fresh vegetables such as broccoli or cauliflower broken into florets or carrot and celery cut into julienne strips.  For special appeal, spoon the Tzatziki into a hollowed bread roll and serve with the raw prepared vegetables!

1 large cucumber peeled and finely grated
500 ml Greek or full cream yoghurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and white pepper

To serve and garnish (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
a little crumbled Feta cheese
fennel sprigs or mint to garnish

  1. Place the cucumber into a fine sieve over a bowl to drain well. Line a colander with a double layer of porous kitchen cloth and pour the yoghurt into the colander.
  2. Drain for about 10 – 15 minutes or until a good thick consistency is obtained.
  3. Add the yoghurt and garlic to the cucumber and mix well.
  4. Season to taste with salt and white pepper, cover and chill well.
  5. Sprinkle with black pepper before serving and garnish with fennel sprigs or mint .
  6. Refrigerate up to 4 days.

Makes 500 ml dip or 10 to 12 servings.


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Ricotta & Smoked Salmon/Ham Topping

A tasty and nourishing topping or filling for sandwiches.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: –
Serves: 1½ cups (375 ml) topping or dip

1 cup (250 ml) Ricotta cheese
½ cup (125 ml) coarsely chopped smoked salmon or ham
1 Tbsp (15 ml) tomato sauce or topping (or a little more if preferred)
1 Tbsp (15 ml) mild or hot sweet chilli sauce
paprika and finely snipped chives or spring onion to flavour or garnish

  1. Mix the ingredients together – the paprika and spring onion can either be used as garnish on top or mixed into the topping for flavour and colour.

Recipy by Carolié de Koster.

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Spicy Ricotta & Almond/Chickpea Topping

A dip or topping filled with flavour and nourishment for high days and holidays! Serve on pikelets, crackers, toast or with vegetable sticks. OR serve as is typical in the southern American regions, spooned into a bowl and surrounded by fruit such as grapes, sliced pears, apples or bananas on cocktail sticks.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: –
Serves: 2 cups (500 ml) topping or dip

1 cup (250 ml) Ricotta cheese
½ cup (125 ml) slivered almonds or drained canned chickpeas
1/3 cup (75 ml) fruit chutney such as Mrs. Ball’s or peach or mango
2 tsp (10 ml) curry powder (mild or hot as preferred)

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Scatter the almonds or chickpeas onto a baking tray and bake 6 – 8 minutes until toasted to a light golden brown colour. Take great care not too brown them too much.
  2. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Use as a topping or once refrigerated the mixture will become firm enough to shape into a dome on a serving platter. Very elegant sprinkled with more flaked and toasted almonds and surrounded by the crackers and fruit.

Carolié de Koster.