Most of us have our go-to recipes, be it for a mid-week lunch, a dinner party pleaser or a sumptuous cake that Nigella Lawson would be proud of. In case you’re stuck in a food rut, however, here are some of our readers’ fail-safe recipes from around the world to add your repertoire. Bon appétit!
Sharon Taylor, Cape Town
“This is our go-to staple for a delicious lunch or an easy dinner-party appetiser.”
Baked Beetroot and Goats’ Cheese Salad
• 3 medium-sized beetroots, sliced (keep 2 tablespoons of beetroot juice)
• 1 packet of goats’ cheese
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 sprigs fresh thyme
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Crusty bread to serve
• Rocket to serve
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place sliced beetroot in an ovenproof dish.
2. Slice the goats’ cheese and place it on the beetroot. Pour the wet ingredients over the cheese and beetroot. Top with the thyme and season.
3. Bake in the oven for five to ten minutes so that cheese just starts to melt.
4. Serve on a bed of rocket salad with crusty bread.
Note: Add a little more of the wet ingredients if you like to soak up the juices with the bread.
Karen Hamm, England
“There aren’t many pork recipes that I like, as I find it invariably ends up rather dry and tasteless. However, my husband and I love cooking this recipe as not only is it a showstopper that looks great when sliced up, but the pork stays deliciously moist from being wrapped in pancetta. This recipe makes extra stuffing which is great served on the side at dinner parties.”
Fillet of Pork Stuffed With Kumara and Cranberry (Serves 5-6)
• 1.5kg scotch fillet of pork
• 2 medium kumara (sweet potatoes), cooked and mashed
• 1 teaspoon butter
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
• Cracked pepper to taste
• ½ onion, finely chopped
• 170g dried cranberries
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
• 8 pieces pancetta or bacon
1. Preheat over to 160°C. Butterfly the pork by slicing three quarters of the way through the fillet, and then lie the pork flat on a board.
2. Mix together the kumara, butter, salt, pepper, onion, raisins and thyme in a bowl.
3. Place the filling in the centre of the pork fillet. Keeping the mixture as tight as possible, fold the pork over and wrap the pancetta around the fillet. Secure with string.
4. Place the pork on a rack in a roasting dish and cook for 90 minutes, or until cooked.
5. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
6. Slice the fillet thickly and serve with steamed new potatoes and roasted vegetables.
If you’d like to share your fail-safe recipe, send an email titled “Great Recipe Swap” to Beate at firstname.lastname@example.org with your recipe, a photo of yourself, and a few words about your dish. If we publish your recipe, you’ll win a great cookbook for yourself!
This story was first published in Expat Living’s May 2015 issue.