RECIPES | Treat yourself this month end with these four yummy dishes

With food prices on the climb why not make these payday specials?

19 June 2022 - 00:00
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Spatchcock Cajun chicken.
Spatchcock Cajun chicken.
Image: Sean Calitz

From mouth watering spatchcock chicken to finger licking stick pork ribs, aromatic coffee-rub steaks and crowd pleasing lamb patties, pita bread and hummus, here are four delicious meals you can make without breaking budget.


Serves: 4-6


1 large chicken, ready spatchcocked or see directions in method

Olive oil

Cajun spice blend

Lemon-leaf meatballs:

250ml (1  cup) stale white breadcrumbs, not dried

125ml (½ cup) milk

350g pork or lamb mince

Salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves

1-2 red chillies, seeded and finely sliced

Handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped

Finely grated rind and juice of 1 small lemon

12 lemon leaves

To serve:

Ready-made tzatziki dip


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or preheat a gas braai.
  2. To spatchcock the chicken, place it breast-side down on a large board and use kitchen scissors to cut down each side of the backbone. Turn it over breast-side up and press down firmly to flatten.
  3. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil and Cajun spice. Place on a baking tray breast-side up.
  4. Roast for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the chicken, basting frequently with pan juices. If the chicken is browning too quickly cover the breast with foil, shiny side inside.
  5. While the chicken is cooking, make the lamb meatballs by combining all the ingredients except the lemon leaves.
  6. Mix well adding more breadcrumbs if mixture is too sloppy. Wet your hands and roll mixture into 12 balls. Wrap each meatball with a lemon leaf securing with a toothpick. About 15 minutes before the chicken is ready place the meatballs around the chicken and roast until the lemon leaves are a little charred.
  7. Rest the chicken for 5 minutes before carving and serve with meatballs and tzatziki dip.
Sticky spare ribs.
Sticky spare ribs.
Image: Circa May


Serves: 4-6


125ml (½ cup) chutney

125ml (½ cup) tomato sauce

45ml (3 tbsp) soy sauce

10ml (2 tsp) ready-made mustard OR 1-2 chillies, seeded and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

4cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange

Salt and pepper, optional

250ml (1 cup) water or cola

2kg fresh or smoked pork ribs


  1. Combine the chutney, tomato sauce, soy sauce, mustard, garlic, ginger, orange zest and juice in a bowl. Taste for seasoning and if it needs add salt and pepper remembering the soy sauce is fairly salty.
  2. Place the ribs in a baking dish and pour over the marinade. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight in the fridge.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190°C, lift the ribs and add water to the marinade and stir through. Return ribs to the pan and bake in the marinade for 30-40 minutes turning halfway through.
  4. If you prefer to cook them over the coals, remove the ribs from the marinade and use a paper towel to remove any excess marinade which will burn over the flame. Pour the marinade into a pan.
  5. Braai the ribs for about 10 minutes over the coals, basting with the marinade.
  6. Bring the remaining marinade to the boil and serve with the ribs, baked potatoes and coleslaw.
Lamb patties.
Lamb patties.
Image: Michael le Grange


Makes: 8-10


500g lamb mince or plant-based mince, you can also replace with beef mince

1 small onion, grated

15ml (1 tbsp) ready-made basil pesto

45ml (3 tbsp) finely chopped rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg, beaten

Oil for frying

10 mini pita breads

1 tub ready-made hummus

1 tub ready-made tzatziki or tomato and onion sauce


  1. Combine the mince, onion, pesto and rosemary. Season and mix well together.
  2. Add the egg and mix through to combine ingredients.
  3. With wet hands shape the mince mixture into 8-10 balls and flatten.
  4. Fry on both sides in preheated oil and cook to your liking.
  5. Serve patties with pita breads, hummus and tzatziki with salad if desired.
Coffee rub steak.
Coffee rub steak.
Image: Craig Scott


Serves: 2


Spice rub:

2.5ml (½ tsp) ground cumin

2.5ml (½ tsp) ground coriander

2.5ml (½ tsp) chilli powder

5ml (1 tsp) brown sugar

10ml (2 tsp) freshly ground coffee

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 sirloin or rump steaks

15ml (1 tbsp) oil plus extra

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 red and 1 orange pepper, thinly sliced

125ml (½ cup) black coffee

15ml (1 tbsp) balsamic vinegar

Fresh rocket to garnish


  1. Combine all the ingredients for the spice rub and rub the meat with the blend and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat a frying pan, add the oil and fry the steak for 3-5 minutes on both sides. Set aside to rest, covered.
  3. Without cleaning the pan, fry the onion in the juices until soft, adding a splash of extra oil if necessary.
  4. Add the garlic and peppers and cook 'til soft. Sprinkle over the sugar then add the coffee and vinegar and cook until reduced and thickened.
  5. Spoon onions and peppers on the base of a warm serving platter or board. Top with the steak and pour over the pan juices or serve separately.
  6. Garnish with rocket and serve.

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