Read of the Week

Boerekos with a Twist

Annelien Pienaar

Human & Rousseau

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

This book is a kitchen Wikipedia in 200 pages. It is great for beginner cooks because it contains not only recipes but also measurement conversions, explanations of the differences in cooking apparatus and appliances and the basic methods of doing just about anything in a home kitchen – pickling, drying, curdling, preserving, marinading, smoking, infusing or fermenting – without fancy equipment. For instance, the fanciest piece of equipment needed for the yoghurt recipe was a flask.

The boerekos referred to in the title means family recipes from the life of the author, who is a food scientist. Each recipe comes with a short anecdote, tip or both. While most of the recipes were simple, the twists promised in the title were odd additions to otherwise basic recipes, like roasting popped corn in a baking powder-enriched syrup or putting biltong in a cheesecake.

Our family tried out “Dad’s potato parcels”. The unconventional recipe had us layering bacon and potato chips into towers, skewered with a rosemary stalk, seasoned and baked. It was delicious. I have a feeling this will become one of my bring-and-share favourites.

My husband tried his hand at the pickled-fish recipe. The recipe was simple and similar to others that he’d tried before, except in the spice combinations, but the result was delicious. The book is great to keep around as a resource. It has all those old family recipes that get passed down generations as well as some new ideas.

As Good As Eating Out

Your Family

Human & Rousseau

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

This is the perfect book to dip into if you want to cook meals aimed at impressing.

It is a collection of recipes that have been featured in Your Family magazine, which the writers say are simple, good-looking and cost-effective – though I don’t agree with the cost-effective bit because some of the ingredients were a bit pricey. The book has all the elements for a three-course meal, except drinks.

I liked that, despite the food looking difficult to make, the recipes were actually simple. I also liked the variety in the book. There was something in it for everyone, so if you happened to be planning on entertaining a vegan, an ovo-vegetarian and someone who is banting during the same meal, you’d still find a simple enough recipe in the book to suit all requirements.

Our family decided to try the homemade pasta with which we made lasagna. It was a hit. Usually, our lasagna made with store-bought sheets, doesn’t last beyond one meal before it is completely consumed but the richness of the homemade lasagna sheets made it very filling and so what would have ordinarily been one meal, became two.

This book has great ideas for spicing up ordinary meals and for entertaining guests.