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Africa’s Lit: Recipes from The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen, Simply Zola and Set a Table

The Lazy Makoti's Guide to the KitchenMama’s Tea Biscuits from The Lazy Makoti’s Guide to the Kitchen by Mogau Seshoene
Makes 30 biscuits, preparation time: 20 minutes, baking time: 10 – 15 minutes
500 g margarine
1 ½ cups castor sugar
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs
6 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

These biscuits have been a staple in my house for years. My mother always makes extra to give as a gift to any visitor that leaves our home. As my father is a pastor we have a lot of visitors, so you can imagine how many of these biscuits we have in the house at any given time. I love the fact that they are delicious and so easy to make. And you can adjust the sugar content to make them a little less sweet.

Tea BiscuitsPreheat oven to 180°C. Cream margarine and castor sugar till smooth. Add vanilla and beat in eggs, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine as you go.
Fill a cookie gun with the dough and turn out cookies 3 – 5 cm apart onto a greased baking pan. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until light brown.

Simply ZolaCheesy pap with spicy tomatoes from Simply Zola by Zola Nene

I love pap. It’s versatile and on a chilly winter’s night this is the perfect bowl of comfort. Instead of cooking it in water, I use stock for more flavour. The spicy tomatoes are an updated version of my mom’s ushatini, which is a spicy tomato relish. Together with the creamy pap it’s a divine combination.

Serves 1

Cheesy Pap125ml maize meal
500ml vegetable or chicken stock
15ml olive oil
½ onion, sliced
½ red pepper, sliced
5ml smoked paprika
2.5ml cayenne pepper
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
15ml sugar
salt and pepper
100g cheddar cheese, grated

Combine the maize meal with 125ml cold stock. Bring the remaining stock to the boil in a covered pot, then add the maize meal mixture. Cover and allow the pap to simmer for at least 
30 minutes, stirring occasionally
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, then sauté the onion and red pepper until softened. Add the paprika, cayenne pepper and cherry tomatoes, then cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes until the tomatoes start to split. Stir in the sugar, season to taste, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.
3. Stir the cheese into the pap, check the seasoning, transfer to a bowl and top with the tomatoes and more cheese if you like.

Prawn LinguinePrawn, lemon and chilli linguine from Simply Zola by Zola Nene

Serves 1

15ml olive oil
1 spring onion, sliced
½ red chilli, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
150g shelled and deveined prawns
60ml fresh cream
60ml fresh or frozen peas
salt and pepper
100g fresh linguine pasta, boiled until al dente
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
15ml chopped fresh parsley

Pasta is something I always have in my cupboard and I often have prawns and peas in my freezer, so this is a great dish when friends or family invite themselves for dinner during the week. Yet it’s as easy to make for a crowd as it is to make for one.

1. Heat the oil in a pan, then fry the spring onion until softened. Add the chilli, garlic and prawns, then fry until the prawns are browning at the edges.
2. Add the cream and peas, season to taste and leave to simmer gently for 2 minutes. Toss in the pasta, lemon zest and juice, and parsley.
3. Serve immediately.

Set a TableMustard & Marmalade Chicken from Set a Table by Karen Dudley
Would you believe that I used to rollerblade down Kings Road from Putney to get to Finns on Chelsea Green, where I worked as a chef in a small galley kitchen? A bunch of Australians, Kiwis and some South Africans too, we worked long days producing food for London’s high society: actors, pop stars and eccentric gentry, taking food to the country or entertaining in their London homes. This recipe is my scaled-up version of a comforting classic, very popular at that time. At a push you could wing it without the mirepoix, but with it the dish becomes even more succulent and hearty. It is an excellent choice for a more conservative palate.

Mustard & Marmalade Chicken3 tbsp vegetable oil
8 chicken breasts, deboned, skin-on
salt and white pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, thoroughly washed and sliced
1 bay leaf
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 ½ cups marmalade
3 tbsp English mustard
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup orange juice
10 g chives, snipped, or 10 g Italian
parsley, roughly chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rub 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil over the breasts and season with salt and white pepper. Set the breasts aside on a plate or board. In a saucepan or heavy-bottomed pan, fry the onion, leeks, bay leaf and celery in the remaining vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt, turn the heat to low, pop the lid on the casserole and allow the mirepoix to cook gently, undisturbed, for 5–6 minutes. When the onion mix is becoming translucent and fragrant, add ½ cup of marmalade, the mustards and the chicken stock and cook for another minute. Pour the mustardy mirepoix into a roasting dish and lay the prepared chicken breasts neatly on top. Spread the remaining marmalade over the breasts, pour the orange juice around the dish and bake for 30 minutes at 170°C.

To serve, allow the chicken to rest for a good 10–15 minutes before slicing each breast into a fan shape. Transfer the marvelously flavoured vegetables to a warm serving platter (or dinner plate) and place the breasts on top. Garnish with the snipped chives or chopped parsley if using. Serves 8

Pork TerrinePork Terrine from Set a Table by Karen Dudley
This Terrine has been a favourite of mine for many years. The recipe has been adapted from one by Ina Paarman, that beloved doyenne of South African food writers. It has the benefit of looking terribly impressive but being a joy to assemble.

I like to serve it with good mustard (I have a few jars in my fridge waiting for their moment!) and a crisp celery leaf salad.

2 pork fillets
salt and white pepper to taste
250 g pitted prunes
¾ cup medium-cream sherry
500 g excellent pork sausage
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp chives, snipped
3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
(curly parsley is fine here)
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 large Granny Smith apple,
peeled and grated
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Halve the fillets lengthways so that you have 4 long pieces of more-or-less equal size. Season with salt and white pepper or your favourite rub. Lay the fillet pieces one at a time between 2 sets of cling film and beat with a rolling pin (or similar) to 1 cm thick. Put the prunes into a medium-sized bowl, heat the sherry, then pour over the prunes and leave them to swell. Remove the sausage casings from the pork bangers, creating a mince, and add all the remaining ingredients to the pork mince except the nuts and oil. Lay the first flattened fillet on a working surface and spread 1/3 of the seasoned pork mince over the fillet. Distribute 1/3 of the prunes over the pork mince and arrange the walnuts in the gaps between the prunes. Make another 2 layers with the remaining 2/3 of your mixture, ending with the last strip of fillet. Squash the layers together gently and then tie at intervals with kitchen string and brush generously with vegetable oil. Place the sandwiched Terrine on a trivet placed over a baking pan of water and bake for 1 hour at 180°C. Leave the meat to cool and refrigerate overnight. To serve, remove the string sandwiching the Terrine together and slice carefully with a sharp carving knife.
Serves 8–12

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