Num Num

eat. cook. write.

January 18, 2011

Pandora's Box and Simba the Lion

The doorbell rang and I just had a feeling. I knew my box had arrived. The week of waiting was over.I ran out to fetch it and plonked it on the kitchen table. I felt as giddy as I did as a little girl in front of the Christmas tree, when my grandmother would reproach me: “Handjies agter die rug”; which loosely translates as ‘keep those little hands behind your back’.

With no restraining orders now, I ripped the pink Yuppichef tape off and delved into my box of treasures. There are quite a few things that excite me in life and one of them is those thin strips of brown paper nested in packaging.

Black Pepper Plum plans to do a bit of lip- smacking catering this year (Grahamstown: beware) and I have indulged in some goodies to ease the work.

I quickly uncovered the follwing in my Yuppiechef order:
  • 1x Kitchen Craft mandoline (heeeehaaaaa)
  • 1x Soehnle Kitchen scale that goes up in grams (= great joy)
  • 1x Rick Steins fabulous book Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey which I got for Mrs X and then absolutely had to order for myself- review coming soon but so far it has been amazing ( and is cheaper on Yuppiechef than in stores)
  • 1x tomato knife ( you can never have enough)
  • 1x Krupp’s ice- cream maker (Which is for Mrs X and not for me, but ooh I am excited to get on it. )

Then I promptly did the following: 
a.) Set up my scale and weighed the packaging, (small things amuse small minds, I know I know)
b.) waved my shiny new recipe book in the air as I danced, and 
c.) placed the ice- cream machine bowl in the freezer where it needs to chill out, bru for the next 24 hours before I can use it.
 d.) Then I set up my mandoline and went all cross- eyed at the prospect of all the fittings and proceeded to waste two potatoes and a carrot after which I discovered, with great joy, the ribbed fitting.

It took me straight back to Saturday mornings in the early nineties. We would gather around in front of our haywire TV ( We lived in the Lesotho Highlands, where signal strength was rather dim, and relied on a bunny ear arial set that was propped into a vase and fiddled with depending on the channel); to watch Simba Surprise. The opening scene was my favourite: all the little Simba chips (which are the equivalent to crisps, for non- Africans) would gather in formation waving their arms and crispy golden bodies around singing “I wanna be a Simba Chippie, III wanna be a Simba Chippie!”

Then the presenters would go around to schools and homes and surprise the lucky children, with Simba the Lion roaring “Simba Surprise” I can’t remember exactly what else the surprise entailed. Chips, I suppose, and maybe a party. But six- year old me would lie in bed and fantasize about Simba coming to surprise us at home. Which he never did, sadly.I guess he was a South African lion so Basotho kids didn’t have rights on him.

My reminiscing inspired a light lunch of Simba- like crisps and a health bread french toast treat fit for a snazzy bistro. I wish I could say that C roared with appreciation when she ate it, but she is quite genteel. However, she did say it was fit for a king, it follows that the lion is the king of all beasts, so I figure Simba would approve.  

Glorified Ham and Cheese

I got the idea for the moreish, pretty pink vinegared onion from chef Jenny at the quirky Haricot's in Grahamstown.

  • Heavy or wholewheat bread. Spar's is exceptionally yum. I buy loaves and freeze them for breakfast toast- They sell out so often it's worth it. Nice and stale is good, for french toast. Soaks that egg up. 
  • Butter
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Basil pesto
  • Serrano or parma ham (get from Deli’s if you’re in Hermanus, or from the cheese man at the Hermanuspietersfontein market, see Market Pickings post) 
  • Pecorino cheese, sliced, (I also tried Boerenkaas with cumin and it was delish)
  • 2 egg, whisked, per 2 slices of bread
  • 15ml olive oil
  • 10ml cream or 15ml milk per 2 slices of bread
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 30ml red wine vinegar
  • 3ml castor sugar
  • a few baby potatoes ( about 6 serve two people)
  • oil for deep- frying
  • salt
  1. Make sarmies with the yummy bread etcetera. 
  2. Heat up the olive oil in the frying pan and heat the oven to 180C
  3. Mix together the egg, cream or milk and season well. Dip the zarms in this mixture, holding them together and coating all over. 
  4. Toast in the hot oil until nicely browned on both sides, holding them up to do the crusts if you fancy. 
  5. Pop on a baking tray and into the oven to get that cheese oozing. 
  6. For the onion: finely chop the onion and combine with vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from heat. Onion must still be firm. 
  7. For the chips, slice to a a Simba-licious ribbed size on a mandoline, or else cut  thinly with your chef's knife, and don't be too sad that you don't have a mandoline ( waaahaaaa, sorry can't help gloating). 
  8. Heat up the oil in a medium saucepan. ( I used a small one to tray save on oil- what a fool. It took forever. See? Gadgetry doesn't help those with lesser brain capacity) and deep- fry until crisp and golden. Season well with salt and drain on paper towel. Serve with vinegared onion on top.


Anonymous said...

Looks really yummy pity I am intolerant to gluten, got any gluten free recipes?

Anonymous said...

Looks really yummy pity I am intolerant to gluten, got any gluten free recipes?

Anonymous said...

So 'n broodjie is net waarvoor ek nou lus is - helaas nie in hierdie huis te kry nie!!
Ek was so bly oor die link na Yuppichef - Mira het gister mondig geword en 'n geskenkbewys was net wat ek vir haar in gedagte gehad het. Sy was beslis in haar skik daarmee.
xx T Hanna

Carina Truyts said...

@ RR Hmmm. The cranberry jelly recipe I posted a while ago is a delicious gluten- friendly dessert. But I guess you're after main course stuff. Keep checking, I'm sure i'll come up with something soon. In the meantime check out an awesome site that focuses on gluten- free and allergy sensitive eating. Enjoy!

Carina Truyts said...

@ T Hanna en Mira-
Veelsgeluk Mira! Hoop jy kry vir jou iets lekkers. Ja nee, yuppiechef is gevaarlik- en aangesien mens so maklik met n bank- oorplasing kan betaal is dit effe gevaarlik vir die van ons wat verlief is op kook en gadgetry