Marinated Olives

This is so easy to make, tastes wonderful, looks appetising and best of all costs very little to make.


2 jars of your fav olives - green & black - pitted or not, your choice, Green olives will have a tangier end taste, black olives will have a smoother flavour. Blend them together - Nice look.

Rinse the olives under running water, then soak covered in cold water for at least an hour to remove some of the salty brine. Drain and put into a bowl. Add the juice & zest of one medium lemon, 1/2 Tbsp dried rosemary, 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano, 1 bay leaf, 2 cloves minced garlic, black pepper to taste and if you like a bit of zing add 1/4 tsp dried chillis. Drizzle a good olive oil over the olives and stir til all the olives are coated.

Let sit at room temp for approx 2 hrs. Then pack into sterilized lidded jars & cover with olive oil. Seal and marinate in fridge for at least a week before eating. They will last several months in the fridge,  if you can resist them!


Spicy Mango Sauce

This is a great condiment to serve with pork, chicken & seafood.


4 medium sized mangos, 60 ml vinegar, 1 Tbsp.ground ginger, a good pinch of cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 C raw sugar, 1/2 C white wine, 1/2 tsp ground allspice, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 whole clove.

Remove flesh from mangos & place into blender or food processor with rest of ingredients. Puree til smooth.

Place pureed mixture into a heavy saucepan.  Simmer til reduced and thick. Remove from heat & allow to cool.

Strain through a fine sieve. Refrigerate 24-48 hrs to allow flavours to merge.

Makes approx. 3 C


Tandoori style Marinade


Blend the following together in a blender til smooth :

1/2 C natural yoghurt, 1 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 3-4 brown cardamom pods - slightly bruised with flat side of knife, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper.

This marinade can be used with chicken or fish.

Take a strong sealable bag, add chicken portions or chunks, pour yoghurt mixt into bag, seal & put in fridge for at least 8 hrs. (Yoghurt is a natural meat tenderiser). 
When ready to cook, remove chicken from yoghurt & tip mixt. out. Place on bbq or under grill & cook til brown to your liking.

If you are using fish, place fish in bag, add yoghurt mixt., seal & leave in fridge for no more than 30 min. Carry on cooking to your liking.


Turkish Dip


2 C crumbled fetta cheese, 1 Tbsp crushed garlic, 1 Tbsp dried oregano or basil leaves (2 Tbsp fresh), cayenne pepper, oregano or basil leaf for garnish

Blend ingredients together. Don't make the consistency too smooth, a few lumps is good. Now you can add the cayenne pepper with the other ingredients, in which case that would be about 1/8 tsp or to your taste of course. Or you can sprinkle it on top of dip when blended,  with a leaf of oregano or basil for garnish.


Chilli Oil


2 Tbsp chilli flakes, 1/2 C canola or peanut oil, thermometer for heating oil.

Place the chilli flakes in a heat resistant jar which can be sealed.

Heat the oil on the stove on med-high heat until it starts to smoke, continuing to heat for a further 20 sec. Remove pan from heat and let oil cool down for approx 3 min. The oil should be in the range of 107C - 122.5C. It is very important that the temp. of the oil  is right. Too hot & the flakes will burn, too cold and the chilli flavours won't be absorbed into the oil.

Once you get this technique right you can add other flavours to your chilli oil, such as garlic, ginger, cumin, etc.

Pour the oil over the chilli flakes in jar. Cool, then strain the oil, keeping the chilli flakes for future use. This oil can be used immediately but the results will be better if you let it rest in the fridge for a couple days. Keep refrigerated.

If the oil isn't hot enough for you, you can add more chillies or less oil.


Dill Sour Cream Dressing

2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice, salt & white pepper to taste, 1/2 C sour cream, 1/4 C natural yoghurt, 1 Tbsp dill tips

In a blender or food processor, blend mustard, vinegar, salt & pepper til combined. Add sour cream, yoghurt & dill. Blend til smooth.

This is nice in cucumber salad.


Marinated Mushrooms


1/4 C good quality olive oil, 750 gm medium sized button mushrooms (remove stems), salt & pepper to taste,

1 medium onion-sliced in thin rings, 5 garlic cloves-chopped, 1 Tbsp fennel seeds, 1 Tbsp dried basil, 2 tsp dried marjoram,

1 C tinned roma tomatoes-drained & diced, 1 C red wine, 1/4 C balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp salt, pepper to taste,

Heat oil in pan, add mushrooms & cook 5 min. Season & cook a further couple of min. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon.
Add onion & garlic to remaining oil & saute approx 10 min.. Add fennel, basil & marjoram & saute a further 5 min.
Put tomatoes, wine & vinegar in pan, add salt , pepper & simmer til slightly reduced.
Return mushrooms to pan, simmer a further 5 min. Remove from heat & let cool, stir occasionally. Cover & place in fridge 24-48 hrs before serving.


Hotdog Mustard

You'll be surprised how easy it is to make your own mustard.


2 Tbsp ground yellow mustard, 1 tsp ground brown mustard seeds, 1 1/2 Tbsp water, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

If you can not get ground brown mustard seeds, you will need to grind the seeds in an electric seed grinder or in a mortar & pestle.

Blend the yellow & brown mustard with the water into a thick paste and let sit for at least 10 min.

Then add the rest of the ingredients. If you like a thinner mustard add a few more drops of vinegar.

Let age for at least a week before using.


Lager Beer Mustard


1 Tbsp yellow mustard seed, 1 Tbsp brown mustard seed

Grind the seeds but only until they are a coarse grind.

Cover to excess with apple cider vinegar. Let it sit over night. In the morning drain the seeds and reserve the sludgy liquid.

In a sterilized glass jar blend: 1 1/2 Tbsp ground yellow mustard seed with 1 Tbsp water. Blend into a fairly thick paste & let sit for 15 min.

Add 1 Tbsp of the apple cider mustard sludge. Add more if you think it needs it.

Then add a pinch of salt & 1 Tbsp good tasting larger beer.

Age for at least 1 week.


Rosemary Walnuts

These make great gifts if you don't eat em all first!


2 C shelled walnuts, 2 1/2 Tbsp melted butter, 2 tsp crushed dried rosemary, 1 tsp salt (or to taste), 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 180C.

Spread walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Combine melted butter, rosemary, salt & cayenne. Pour over the walnuts & bake in oven  10-15 min. Stir occasionally.


Pickled Eggs


12 eggs, 1 C cider vinegar, 1/2 C water, 2-3 whole garlic cloves, 3 Tbsp pickling spice with chilli, 5 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt,

Hard boil eggs & shell. Boil the other ingredients for 10 minutes, then let cool. Place eggs in sterilized jars, pour vinegar mixture over them.

Leave eggs in vinegar mixture for at least a week.

Keep in fridge til ready to serve.


Tasty Seasoning

This is a great salad enhancer, leaf or pasta. Add to your salad dressings.


1/4 C grated Romano cheese, 1 Tbsp sesame seed, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp poppy seed, 1 tsp celery seed, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, dash of cayenne pepper

Stir all the above ingredients until well mixed. Store in a glass jar in the fridge.,


Pancetta, Sage & Onion Stuffing


2 Tbsp oil, 150 gm pc of pancetta - cut into 5mm cubes, 2 brown onions - finely chopped, 3 garlic cloves - crushed, 1/2 - 3/4 tsp dried sage, 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts, finely grated rind of 1 lemon, 1/2 C flat leaf parsley, 2 C fresh sourdough breadcrumbs, 2 eggs lightly beaten.

Heat oil in fry pan, add pancetta & cook, stirring til crisp & golden. Turn down heat to low, add onion & garlic. Stir til onion is soft. Stir in sage, remove from heat. Cool for 15 min.

Combine in a large bowl, cooled onion mixt, toasted pine nuts, rind, parsley, breadcrumbs & eggs. Season with sea salt & ground pepper. Use hand to mix well.

Makes 1 1/2 C

Stuff into a chicken or bake in a dish, sprinkle parmesan over top. Drizzle a little chicken stock over stuffing if baking in dish.

Sumac Mayonnaise


2 egg yolks, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp mustard powder, 1 tsp sumac, 1/2 C olive oil

Use your food processor or mixer - In a bowl place egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard & sumac. Blend til combined. Continue blending, gradually adding the oil in a slow steady stream til it thickens & is pale in colour. Season with salt & pepper.

Serve this mayo with fish or seafood.


French Tarragon Vinaigrette (Dressing)

This dressing is exquisite on seafood based salads, salads & vegetable dishes being served with fish dishes.


1 Tbsp lemon juice, 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp dried tarragon - crumbled (1 1/4 tsp fresh - minced), 1/4 tsp salt, pinch of pepper, 1 small garlic clove - crushed, 1/3 C oil

Place all ingredients in a glass jar. Shake well. Refrigerate overnight. Next day, shake vigorously & serve on your salad.


Horseradish Dressing

Combine in a food processor: 1/3 C mayonnaise, 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 tsp creamed horseradish, 1 garlic clove - crushed, a handful of flat leaf parsley, 1 1/2 C watercress, 1 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp warm water.  Process 1 min.


Barbeque Spice Mix


2 tsp of each - Celery seed, Dried Oregano, Brown Sugar - packed, 1 tsp of each - Paprika, Nutmeg, Chilli pwd - hot or med, Garlic pwd, salt, pepper.

Mix & place in an air tight container. Keep in fridge when not in use.

Rub on chicken, pork or beef before cooking. Always best if you can leave it marinate for 1/2 hr.


Coconut Curry Marinde


150 ml coconut milk, 2 tsp curry pwd, 2 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp chilli pwd, 1 clove garlic - crushed

Mix well.  This is nice for pork, chicken or fish dishes.

Makes 3/4 C


Basil Marinade


1/4 C Dijon mustard - seeded, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1/4 C brown sugar - packed, 1/4 C basil - chopped, 3 Tbsp olive oil, 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Blend in food processor or blender.  Use for chicken or fish dishes.

Makes 3/4 C


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