Weekday Dinner Dashes
Don't break the bank. Who said budget meals had to be dull? With a bit of creativity, everyday meals can be family winners, writes Hilary Biller and Dorah Sitole
30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
45ml (3 tbsp) finely chopped fresh parsley
2.5ml ( tsp) dried oreganum
3 anchovy fillets, cut into strips
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
85ml ( cup) black olives, pitted and halved
1 fresh red chilli, seeded and chopped
60ml ( cup) capers, drained
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic until softened. Add the parsley and oreganum and stir until fragrant. Add the anchovies, tomatoes, olives, chilli and capers and simmer until the sauce thickens. Cook the spaghetti until al dente and drain, reserving 2-3 tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the drained pasta and reserved cooking water to the sauce, mix to coat, heat through and serve.
1 large chicken
1 x 400g can coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
3-5 dried chillies
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 fresh chillies (or to taste), seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
45ml (3 tbsp) butter
60ml ( cup) olive oil or peri-peri oil
To spatchcock the chicken, place it on a wooden board breast-side down. Using poultry scissors or a sharp knife, cut down one side of the backbone to open out and then cut down the other side of the backbone and remove the bone. Turn the chicken breast-side up and with the palm of your hand press down on the breast to flatten the bird. Cut slits to allow the marinade to penetrate the chicken. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a container large enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade and leave for at least an hour or overnight. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dry with paper towel. Combine the peri-peri basting ingredients in a small pot over low heat. Stir until fragrant and set aside to infuse. Baste the chicken generously and cook breast-side up under a preheated grill or on the braai until done, basting every 10-15 minutes.
Popularly known as mala-mogodu or simply mogodu, offal is one of the few traditional dishes that has made a successful transition into the urban lifestyle.
I have fond memories of my late aunt sending us to the butcher and emphasising that we must make sure to get ulusu olunesinyaka - tripe with fat (lard). The fat gives the tripe flavour and keeps it moist during cooking. These days some prefer to remove the lard from the tripe, for health reasons. Bleached tripe is a definite no-no; it has lost all the elements that make mogodu taste like mogodu . Adding a spoonful of vinegar to tripe makes it less pungent.
2 beef stock cubes dissolved in 1 litre water
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
Clean offal thoroughly and rinse under cold running water, making sure it is completely free of any grit. Bring stock to the boil and cook offal gently for about 2 hours for mutton and 3 hours for beef offal. Remove meat from pot and cut into strips. Add onions and garlic to sauce, return meat to the pot and season with salt and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes to make a thickish stew. Serve warm with maqebekwane.
360g (3 cups) cake flour
5ml (1 tsp) salt
30ml (2 tbsp) sugar
10g (1 sachet) instant dry yeast
250ml (1 cup) fermented mealie-meal paste (sibidiso)
1 large egg, beaten
About 500ml (2 cups) lukewarm water
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add sugar and yeast. Make a well in the middle and add sibidiso and egg. Mix well, adding enough water to form a soft, pliable dough. Knead for 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled in size. Knock down and place in a greased enamel bowl. Allow to rise again until doubled in size. Place the bowl in a saucepan containing enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Cover pot tightly and steam gently for 1 hour, adding water if necessary.
DORAH'S BUDGET TIPS
Ask your butcher for inexpensive off-cuts, which are perfect for one-pot stews and soups cooked with potatoes, rice or pasta. When cooking cheaper cuts, bring stew to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently.
Slow cooking makes the meat more tender. To stretch a stew, add legumes like lentils or barley to bulk it up. Add fresh vegetables to leftover meat to create a new dish the next day. Beans are high in protein and an excellent substitute for meat.