Archives for the month of: December, 2016

It was meant to be a low-key Christmas. And then ALL THE FOOD happened.

Boerewors, baked and fresh veggies with feta and sprouts, wine, more wine, and the richest cheesecake in the world. And that was only Christmas eve.


Part One: boerewors

Being a foreign orphan at Christmas means you get to toy with your traditions from home and make new ones. This time it turned into making South African boerewors for the first time. Traditional braai (barbecue) food, but not so much for Christmas dinner.

A friend and I decided we will try our hand(-s) at it. And… It is surprisingly easy! Playing with real intestines didn’t turn out nearly as slippery and gross as expected. It was actually fascinating working with them and feeling the strength and texture. Amazing stuff.

We learned some things that we “knew” before, but now we definitely know. Boerewors is all about the right spices and the texture. We used beef and pork mince, but next time we will be grinding our own. The texture needs to be rough enough so that you see bits of meat and fat in the sausage. Not giant globules though.

We used this recipe for our first attempt at wors:

South African Sausage (Boerewors)
I’m a bit of a boerewors snob. At home I almost exclusively have “Stilbaai Wors”. If you’ve had it, you’ll understand…  But, since their recipe is staatsgeheim, a state secret, this recipe will do just fine. We were very happy and shocked at how easy it was to make wors. I’ve spent the last 5+ years suffering crap sausages needlessly!

*I will post a separate boerewors recipe once we perfect our craft… We’ve already made more, but haven’t cooked and taste-tested yet. Watch this space.


Part Two: salmon and spinach roulade

Food for friends.

Christmas day was a big chill with friends and drink and food and movies. Everyone made and brought some food and we grazed all day. Perfect for a very rainy day in Scandinavia.

This salmon and spinach roulade is very easy to make, especially after you’ve made it once. I use a lot more spinach than the recipes I googled, partly because it’s not expensive and partly because I like it.

I based my own rolls on this recipe:

Spinach and egg rolls with smoked salmon and cream cheese,

but I googled around for a few recipes and used a combination. There really is no right or wrong with this kind of recipe, other than separating your eggs properly.


Part Three: brownie cheesecake

Wowsers. This cheesecake is incredibly rich and creamy and chocolatey. It is actually almost impossible to overeat because it is just so rich.

kaaskoek1

Brownie cheesecake in its naked, natural form.

I used this amazing recipe from the All Day I Dream About Food blog, of course:

Brownie cheesecake – low carb and gluten free.

This is my first time ever making a baked cheesecake, so I’m very happy that it turned out (a) round and (b) edible. Point is, if you’re scared of f-ing up, don’t be! Follow the recipe above word for word and you’ll be fine. 🙂

I added the raspberries and I cannot imagine not having them there. They bring a zing that both breaks and compliments the creamy richness. Next time I’ll also use much less erythritol – I don’t think quite so much is necessary.

I keep looking at this post as a useful reference for ganache:

How To Make Chocolate Ganache for Any Dessert.
I don’t make it often and the ingredients aren’t exactly cheap (crap or fake dark chocolate is not worth it), so definitely don’t want to mess this up.

This cheesecake is beautiful with a strong cup of coffee. 🙂

kaaskoek2

Brownie cheesecake clothed in ganache and raspberries.

This was my first “orphan” Christmas, and it was wonderful. Good friends and good food is all one can ask for. 🙂

Here’s an introduction to the world of lipids, proteins, and other pieces making up the internal language of goo that runs us.

It’s an almost-40min presentation by Dr. Cate Shanahan, medical doctor and previously trained biochemist (YAY for science ladies!).

I won’t do any of the jargon justice, not yet anyway. So, here’s the presentation with a good deal of useful explanations on PUFA’s, oxidative stress, lipid panel measurements and what the hell these words mean: