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South African Cooking in the USA Paperback – September 4, 2015
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One of the most difficult things about moving to the U.S.A. initially is not knowing food equivalents here, which makes it difficult to duplicate your favorite South African dishes.
This book helps to guide you to good alternatives and optional measurements.
For new cooks making choux pastry will be a bit of a challenge and I myself had to make the chocolate eclairs recipe twice to get it right. The secret is to put the dough in a ziplock plastic bag and to measure one corner with a ruler so you snip the corner where it is exactly one-inch across. Otherwise your pastries won't cook properly and will have lots of dough in the middle. I also ended up adapting the recipe slightly so they cooked at 400 degrees for fifteen instead of ten minutes and then I dried them out by cooking them at 325 for twenty-five minutes instead of ten-twenty. When making the chocolate glaze I also added some confectioners' sugar to taste.
The other recipes I tried from this cookbook were Bobotie and Sausage Rolls. The sausage rolls are flavored with thyme which makes them a little more gourmet. I cooked a few of them but froze the rest. This is a good recipe for an appetizer at a party. I'm still going to have to find out what was in them when I was a child since they didn't taste exactly as I remembered. The Bobotie turned out perfect although I'll add more curry powder next time. Bobotie is sort of like a South African meatloaf made in a casserole dish with an egg custard on top. It is really good with chutney and rice.
I plan on making the Buttermilk Rusks next. Other recipes that look intriguing include:
Spinach Roulade - A spinach roll with creamy mushroom sauce
Sosaties - lamb kebabs
Koeksisters - a braided doughnut drenched in syrup
I think you will enjoy cooking from this cookbook. I found three recipes I truly love and that is more than I find in most cookbooks. I'm excited to try new recipes from this book.
~The Rebecca Review
P.S. I adapted the sausage rolls and used ground chicken in place of the ground pork. I did
omit the thyme and used seasoning salt in place of the regular salt. They were so good
my husband asked for more. Now I make them on a regular basis.
My favorite main dish is the chutney chicken, and my South African husband enjoys the bobotie. I've made it several ways, including with ground turkey instead of lamb. Other great mains include fish breyani, fish and chip bake, vegetarian bobotie (surprisingly good!), chicken breyani, chicken pie, cottage pie, and hot durban curry.
The mock snoek pate is perfect for entertaining either at your own place or for taking something along to someone else's house. For a hot day, the cold cucumber soup is delicious and easy to make in advance. The mixed vegetable soup is my favorite. Mouth-watering sides include tamatiesmoor, red cabbage with apple, Armadillo potatoes, candied carrots, and glazed sweet potatoes. Some of my favorite salads are the curried peaches (always a hit, although I use a little less onion than what is called for), the bean salad, and the copper penny salad.
My kids like the putupap, or corn porridge. I was surprised at how simple yet how tasty it is! I feel like most of the recipes in the book are like that. Everyone loves fresh bread straight out of the oven, and both the brown and white are winners. I haven't made many of the desserts myself but I've been lucky to have had quite a few of them (thanks to others in my family), and they are all fabulous! The pavlova is a veritable smorgasbord of delightful textures and flavors, the jelly whip whip is light and airy, and there are several great poedings (puddings)-- my favorite is sticky date pudding. The fudge is very sweet and not hard to make.
I wish there were pictures so you could see how scrumptious everything is! The good news is the author has a wonderful website where she regularly shares recipes, including step by step instructions, great photos, and interesting information about the food's origin, history, or health benefits. She's already added four new recipes in the last six weeks! It's a great supplement to the book and well worth following: http://capepointpress.com/blog/