Spicy Moroccan Seafood

This is a fantastically spicy dish which you can almost completely prepare the day before. When ready to eat, you will need only 10-15 minutes in the kitchen to reheat and finish the cooking – giving you plenty more time to spend with your guests. If you happen to have a tagine, now is your time to whip it out and use it to serve the dish. The dish is spicy, so adjust the minced chili to your liking. I have included step-by-step pics below …. 

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Side Greens with Buttermilk Dressing

While I simply love meat, a lot of my attention is focussed on the accompanying side dishes. Think further than oven-baked chips or quickly-prepared frozen broccoli (gag), because there is a multitude of things you could do with veg, salads, potatoes or grains, making them interesting and fun. Here is one that is packed with flavour and can be served warm or as a side salad at your next braai…

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Pork Bao Buns

This is my version of shredded pork Bao Buns, also known as Hirata buns. I have wanted to make these for so long, but I was intimidated, overwhelmed .. who knows – I never got around to it!

Eventually, I gave it a bash. (TBH, I had to bin my first batch of steamed buns until I could create a recipe that works for me – and this one does! Soft and beautiful and pillowy, like little cushions of heaven… )

It was also the first time using my steamer, so the whole affair was quite thrilling (it’s the little things) here at casa de Palmer. The only downside is that it takes the better part of a Saturday to create these, and about 45 seconds to eat one (and you should eat them relatively quickly while they are still warm.) If you feel like a challenge and things like this excite you as much as it does me – go wild, you will be very pleased you did!

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Smoked Pork Sausage Rolls

For my South African friends… do you remember Russian Rolls? The Sausage Roll, but with a Russian in them? For all my USA/UK friends, I don’t mean a burly vodka-chugging bloke wrapped in pastry – a Russian in SA is the name of a well-loved smoked pork sausage. (And sometimes they have cheese in them.. !) KAASGRILLERS* they were called, if I can recall correctly.

I cannot track them down here in England but found one close enough in the cold meats section of most supermarkets where the Polish sausages are kept. (See pic for one I found at Lidl.) These sausage rolls can be whipped up fairly quickly and taste so much better than the 24-hour gas-station pie. Your kids will love it (or in my case, Funnyman was giddy with excitement!). Feel free to add any condiment, I like trusty ketchup, but added chopped, sweet vine-ripened tomatoes for some texture.

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Crunchy Kale… three ways

Poor kale has had a bad rep. It can be bitter and, well, let’s be honest – it’s kale. But once you try it prepared this way, it may convert you into a fan. Crunchy and partially charred, it’s a fab side-dish. Keep it low-cal by measuring the olive oil that you add on the kale and mix/coat it well using your hands in a large bowl ensuring each leaf is evenly coated before spreading out and roasting in the oven. (A nifty tip when coating anything drizzled with oil. While there are good and bad fats, a calorie is a calorie, so be mindful of a heavy hand when drizzling). I have given three suggestions at the end how you can pimp it too. 

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Ribs that fall off the bone

You won’t prepare your ribs any other way after trying this method! We slow-cooked each rack in its own (very) air-tight parcel of foil at a relatively low oven temperature. You can play around with different marinades (store-bought or your own creations) – I have included one here that I created. Its rich and packed with flavour, so brush on sparingly. The recipe calls for 2 racks of ribs. Ideally, this should serve 4 people, but neither Funnyman nor myself like to share, and can easily polish off a rack of ribs each in one sitting. If you can too, this is an ideal Saturday night treat for you and your loved one. While I would like to say ‘use your hands for this one’, the meat literally falls right off, so cutlery is best!

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Chicken and Chorizo Bake

This colourful dish may look effortless, but it requires cooking in stages for optimum results. The smokiness of smoked paprika adds a huge amount of flavour overall and while Chorizo is no one’s first choice when it comes to lean meat, we believe everything in moderation, so we added a very small amount and cut it into smaller pieces to go further… Click here to see this recipe I created for my clients Action Reaction Training in London, and the great work Olly and his team do..

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