Category Archives: Appetizers

Pork Pies

Pork Pie

Recently I have been working on a lot of wasted recipes and the use of trimmings. My thought centred around using a the duck trimmings. If I could make pie using the duck trimmings it could be very special. So a must try recipe in the next couple of weeks will be a duck pie, like a little pate en croute with duck. In this recipe I used pork, these little pies are eaten cold. I did this recipe for crush-online a number of years ago as part of a pie shoot.


  • Pastry
  • 750 g Plain Flour
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 C 250 ml Boiling Water
  • 220 g Butter or pork lard
  • 1 tsp +/- salt
  • Pork Filling
  • 1.1 kg Pork Mince
  • 200 g Smoked Streaky Bacon Minced
  • Tbsp Fresh Sage, chopped 7.5 ml
  • 1 tsp Parsley 5 ml, chopped
  • ½ tsp Sage Dried 2.5 ml
  • 2 tsp Fresh thyme 10 ml
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Nutmeg 5 ml
  • 1 tsp Ground Cloves 5 ml
  • 1-2 Tbsp Ice Cold Water 15-30 ml
  • Salt and Black pepper
  • butter for muffin pan
  • 1-2 Eggs for Egg Wash
  • Aspic
  • 3 Leaves Gelatine
  • 200 ml Chicken Stock or Pork Stock – clear
  • 20 ml Sherry


  • Pastry
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  • Heat the water, add the butter and heat slowly to bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
  • Slowly mix the water into flour, mixing gently until combined. Add the egg and knead till well combined.
  • Add a little more water if needed.
  • Wrap in clingfilm and keep in a warm place to rest until needed.
  • Pork Filling
  • Combine all of the ingredients together and season. Ensure that the mixture is kept cold throughout the mixing process. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To Assemble
  • Preheat the oven 180 °C.
  • Split the dough into ¾ and ¼ .
  • Split the bigger piece of dough into 12 equal sizes. To ensure that you do this evenly,weigh the piece of dough first, divide the full weight by 12 and then roll individual balls to the measured weight.
  • Roll the pastry out to about 2mm, with a diameter of about 12-14cm, depending on the depth
  • Split the smaller piece of dough into 12 pieces, use the same method as above to ensure equal pieces..
  • Roll out pastry lids to cover your pies – lids should be about a 7-8cm diameter; cut out a 1 cm hole in the centre.
  • Grease or butter a muffin tray. Use the alrger pieces of pastry to line the muffin cups, allowing edges to hang over.
  • Spoon the filling into the pastry. Top with the smaller pastry disk lid.
  • Pinch the edges to seal.
  • Brush with the beaten egg.
  • Bake in the oven for around 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
  • Aspic
  • While the pies are baking, get the aspic ready. Soften the gelatine in cold water.
  • Heat the clear stock and add the sherry. Increase the heat to bring the pan to the boil to cook out the sherry and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before adding the softened gelatine.
  • Once the pies have been removed from the oven, allow to cool. Pour a little aspic into each pie..
  • Leave in the fridge overnight and serve the next day with pickled onions and a kale and spinach salad.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Roasted Red Pepper & Brie Soup

red pepper soup

Photo credit


Roasted Red Pepper Soup & Brie Soup

I featured this before, but after doing a shoot with crush I thought I would show it again, because it is so delicious. This time we added some whipped brie. This soup is one my all time favourite soups, I must confess that I am not a fan of raw red peppers but roasted and peeled seasoned with just salt and pepper is just amazing. Add some Le petit France Brie from Howick, in the KZN Midlands. I would suggest buying extra to ensure that you have some left for the soup. A couple of years ago I worked at the Hyatt and had to make this soup for the first time, I under estimated the amount of peppers needed and making this soup for 200 people…it is not funny. Peeling roasted red peppers can turn into a tedious long task, but peeling 6 peppers  is easy stuff. For something extra add a some sun-dried tomatoes which gives it a nice lift.


  • 00 g -500g Brie cheese chopped with rind (try a more mature brie for a stronger taste or add some blue cheese)
  • 12 large red peppers
  • 800 ml Chicken or Vegetable stock
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 300 ml cream optional
  • 1 onion large chopped
  • 2 clove garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp Lemon Zest
  • fresh thyme to taste
  • olive oil
  • fresh basil chiffonade to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 150 g whipped brie
  • Fresh bread or croutes


  • Char the peppers under a heated grill, turning them over a couple of times. Or roast in hot oven.
  • Remove and place in a plastic bag to sweat, so that the skins loosen. Peel and discard the skins and pips set flesh aside (Juices can be used but I often find them to be bitter)
  • Sauté the onions, thyme and garlic lightly in olive oil till they change colour; add the peppers.
  • Add the white wine and then the stock with lemon zest and bring to a simmer.
  • Add cream, season to taste and add the Brie pieces; continue cooking until the cheese melts fully into the soup. Liquidize and strain if needed.
  • Bring back to the boil Add basil
  • Serve with fresh bread or charred croutes or some bread sticks with whipped brie.
  • If you like a cheesier soup add more brie or a little blue.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Aïoli – A

Aioli – A

Part of A-Z, Series in Food Weekly – Sunday Times 2013
Le Grand Aioli featuring boiled or steamed fish, egg, potatoes and vegetables served at room temperature with lots of aioli.I love this stuff, over the years I have substituted the raw garlic with roasted garlic, but this simple emulsion is a great accompaniment to cold or hot seafood dishes, breads and vegetables. In fact it works on anything I mean anything. Made up of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and egg yolks. Recipes may differ from one to the next with the amount of garlic used.I like serving aioli as Le grand Aioli featuring boiled or steamed fish, egg, potatoes and vegetables all prepared in the most simple manner served warm or at room temperature with lots of aioli. (The amount of garlic is a personal thing so think of your guests)


  • 2 ea garlic cloves and more if you like
  • 4 ea garlic cloves roasted
  • 2 ea egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp mustard can be omitted, not a must
  • 300 -330 ml oil extra virgin or combination of vegetable and olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar
  • pinch pepper


  • Crush garlic to a fine paste, use the salt to assist in this process.
  • Combine garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard in a bowl
  • Whisk until foamy
  • Gradually add the oil in a thin stream until incorporated and thick
  • Adjust seasoning
  • Look out for Milk garlic emulsion too follow soon
  • First published in Sunday Times Food Weekly
Print Friendly, PDF & Email