September is Heritage Month in South Africa and I am going to be bringing you heaps of recipe books, all packed with South African tastes and flavours. Just have to say that if you are looking to improve your “Eat the Rainbow” strategy and provide bold and colourful recipes to your family menu… then South African Chefs have been in full fantastic publishing mode lately, loads of bright and flavourful cookbooks just ready to inspire us as we try new things to relieve the long and seemingly endless days of lockdown.
Three Brilliant Cookbooks Published by Struik Nature Latley
Simply Zola by Zola Nene
If you are looking for South African food with a lovely local vibe, then look no further than the fabulous Zola Nene… this is a gal with extra energy, and recipes with a special va va voom. If you don’t follow her on instagram then click on this link and take a look at her highlights reel for literally dozens of her recipes. Her recipe book, Simply Zola, is a treasure trove of recipes… from family feasts to dinners for one. We love her one pan meals and so many of her meals have become meals in our day to day menu, bringing a lovely fresh energy to our meal rotation.
Se7en Recipes We Tried and Tested
- Baked Peri-Peri Chicken and Onions: My kids love flavour and the spicier the better, this is one of those dishes that you can really spice up if needs be… or calm down completely for guests who might not be mad for hot, hot, hot.
- Chicken and Butternut Pan Roast: We usually make these two recipes together, then those folk that like their dinner hot, have from the peri-peri tray and those that prefer milder… have the butternut dinner. They are both delicious and I will never cook chicken with vegetables on the side again… this is the way to go.
- Honey Glazed Carrots: My family adore carrots, even the pup… will munch away on carrots… they were extremely happy to try out honey glazed carrots and they are even happier to make them again and again!!!
- Roasted Preserved Beets: We adore preserved beetroots, adore… and I always have a jar or two or three at hand. But this recipe roasts them first, the flavour is richer… everything is better and we won’t be looking back!!!
- Cheese, Tomato and Ham Bread:
- Chocolate Malva Pudding: Have to say that Malva pudding is the easiest, most delicious comfort-food recipe on the South African menu. Also, the must under-rated. Maybe because it is so easy to make? Anyway, add a little tweak, not to mention a little cocoa and you have an absolute winner.
- Mosbolletjies: We have been working on our sourdough Mosbolletjie recipe lately, in the meantime look no further. Mosbolletjies are a staple treat on ALL South African road trips, for years we tried to make them… it is more than your basic bread recipe… it is the lovely cake-like texture and the aniseed flavour. Yum, yum, yum…
- Cranberry and Buttermilk Rusks: Buttermilk rusks… another South African staple. Will now need to have cranberries added to them, for all future baking adventures… because they really do raise the rusk game to the very next level.
Share by Errieda Du Toit
This is your classic counter top South African cookbook, it is a lovely collection of family favourites. We tried so many recipes from this book, not because they were new and exciting but because they were old family favourites that we had forgotten how to make or that grannies and childhood family friends made and we had no idea how to make them… it was lovely, this is a book down the memory lane of most South African pallets. I love the vintage feel of the book, I love how they took photographs using plates and props that our aunties might have used.
Things to bring to a braai for example, the recipe pages feel like you are scrolling through your moms recipe book full of her friends recipes. Things like noorsies and tuna chip casserole and lemon meringue pie and every aunties’ scone recipe. It is just perfect fun a real trip down memory lane and some of the recipes I had completely forgotten about and they are now back on the menu and firm favourites.
Cookbooks never included braai recipes, because as the recipe books says, “Everybody knows how to braai.” But that is not necessarily the case: this cook book has everything from Skilpadtijies, Minty Cucumber Salad, Se7en Layer Salad, Fluffy jelly… using a tin of evaporated milk in your flavoured jelly powder… my kids would rather die, but it was something served at almost every dinner party when I was a child.
Se7en Recipes We Tried and Tested
Wouldn’t be a South African cook book without that school cake sale favourite: Cappuccino Fudge, we use a very similar recipe to make our fudge in the microwave and an extremely popular treat in our house, that I have only taught one child how to make, it is his masterpiece!!!
- Buttermilk Rusks: Buttermilk Rusks are a firm family favourite, and one of those recipes that create as gifts for visitors, because you know that everyone loves them.
- Jam Squares: Were new to my kids. I have corrected that and these have now been added to the list of “can we bake…” items. They are so so easy to make and a lovely little tea-time treat, and even better after they have been squashed about a bit in a backpack for a hiking treat. Just perfect really.
- Peppermint Crisp Tart: The ultimate treat and commonly known as mud pie. This is one of those sweet revenge desserts, where you would love to eat it all, but seriously, you can only do so much.
- Pork Sausages, Onion Jam and Sweet Potato Chips: This was an instant hit with my family, they loved it… ticked all their boxes for a “real meal” with vegetables, meat and potatoes… and you can cook it all in one dish so I love it as well… in fact I cannot tell you how often we have had this meal for dinner during lockdown… way too often, really, but everyone loves it.
- Warm Apple Tart: I had a friend who used to bring these as muffins to our new moms meetings after I had my first baby… and my goodness you would think just a hint of the apple and cinnamon would be enough, but it is the sauce made with evaporated milk poured over it, that makes this absolutely the best comfort food ever!!! If you are at the stage of sending your kids out into the world then this is the recipe that they need to take with them.
- Stokbrood: My kids call this Braai bread for obvious reason, and it is essential bread dough wrapped around a stick and then cooked slowly over the fire. The book suggests a whole lot of fillings, but we have never got past the “hot and straight off the fire stage.”
- Pumpkin Fritters with Muscadel Sauce: We use butternut rather than pumpkin and we left the Muscadel Sauce to the side and went straight for the fritters. My mum used to make these ALL the time when we were little, they were a great winter treat!!!
500 Meals for One.
This is a little cookbook is really packed with a lot of content. And you might ask why in the world would a family of ten need to read a cookbook about creating meals for one? Quite simply, it is absolutely packed with fabulous recipes. There is a good solid core of your basic recipes. Recipes for breakfast, lunch and supper and everything in-between… comfort food, desserts, and even make ahead meals. More than that, for each basic recipe there are a number of variations.
Se7en Things That We Loved About This Book
- Masses of breakfast all day ideas!!!
- The recipes are easy to double, triple and quadruple up…
- We love that the recipes come with pages and pages of add ons and alternatives… every basic recipe comes with a plethora of ideas to extend it.
- Even the desserts have heaps of extras and ideas… when the title of a book says 500 recipes, you may actually doubt it… but this little recipe book is the real thing!!!
- I love that I can hand my kids this cook book and I know they will find something that they will want to cook and…
- Not only that, but the list of ingredients will be pantry staples… so great for mid-night munchies and second suppers.
- Not only that, but there is a whole make ahead section for those folk that are a little “last-minute-dot-com” types… this is perfect for
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You can find these books in local books stores and on the Penguin Random House South Africa website: Simply Zola, the Journey Continues.
These books was published by Penguin Random House South Africa and Struik Nature. We would like to thank Penguin Random House South Africa and Struik Nature for providing us with copies of these books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely our own.