Thursday, 25 August 2016

Easy fish cakes

Most of us need to add more fish to out diets and fish cakes are a great way to do it, especially if you have small children who turn their noses up at a fishy supper.

500g boneless white fish fillets, roughly chopped
2¼ cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 green spring onions, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped (optional)
1 egg
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
Mayonnaise, small side salad and oven-baked potato chips, to serve

Process the fish, breadcrumbs, onion, dill and egg until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Using ¼ cup of mixture at a time, shape mixture into eight patties. Place on a tray lined with baking paper, cover and put in the fridge.
3. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half the patties to pan. Cook for three minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through.
4. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining oil and patties.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Canned food safety

Just because something hasn’t been opened yet, doesn’t mean that it’s good enough to eat. Follow these guidelines, and bon appetite!

• Buy cans and jars that look perfect – free of dents, cracks or bulging lids, which may indicate old stock.
• Don’t taste or use canned foods that show any signs of spoilage, like a bulging lid or leaking can. When you open the can, look for other signs such as spurting liquid, and unpleasant odour or mould. Spoiled canned foods MUST be discarded so that they cannot be eaten by humans or pets.
• Once cans are opened, the leftover contents should be placed in a clean, covered plastic or glass container and stored in the fridge. Do not store food in an opened metal can as tin and iron will dissolve from the can walls and the food may develop a metallic taste. Tin contamination could result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever or headache.
• Keep canned goods dry to prevent cans or metal lids from rusting, which may cause cans to leak and food to spoil.

Food storage
To maximize storage life of food at room temperature use the following tips:
• Store food in cool cupboards, away from heat sources, such as fridges and ovens.
• Store food in dark cupboards, especially if they are in transparent packaging.
• Store food in moisture- and air- tight containers.
• Rotation is the key to maintaining edible pantry food. Remember the principle “first in first out”.

Food safety

Never refreeze thawed food. While food is thawing, the food-poisoning bacteria do not die. Then when you defrost the food a second time it will contain higher levels of dangerous food-poisoning bacteria.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Crunchy choc chip biscuits

Who can turn down a good old chocolate chip biscuit? Even if you aren't an experienced baker, you can't go wrong with this simple recipe.

1 cup margarine or butter
1½ cups brown sugar
2 medium eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecan nuts

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Using a mixer beat butter and brown sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and blend.
3. Add flour, baking soda and salt and beat till smooth.
4. Add the chocolate chips and nuts and spoon the mixture out onto a baking tray.  You can make these biscuits as big or small as you like.
5. Bake for eight to ten minutes.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Spring issue 2016

The Spring 2016 issue of Club should be arriving on your doorstep any day now. The beautiful Boity Thulo is on the cover and the magazine is full of fantastic articles to keep you entertained in the evening. You'll also find some delicious cauliflower recipes and an essential guide for starting fresh and organising your life this Spring.

Plus, don't forget to check out our latest winners:
Superdraw winners
Benefit winners
Competitions winners

Become a Family Club member today and you could be a winner too!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Ratatouille pasta

Get your kids to eat their veggies with this simple, tasty pasta dish.

1 cup peppers of your choice
2 cups veggies of your choice – baby marrows, mushrooms, aubergines etc 
½ teaspoon salt
500g penne pasta
1 cup sliced onion
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried basil
Dash pepper

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, sauté the vegetables and onion in oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, garlic powder, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce to medium-low heat and cook, uncovered, for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Drain pasta and place in an ovenproof dish. Top with vegetable mixture and bake for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Cooking terms N-Z

Here's part two of your essential cooking terms. If you missed part one you can check it out here.


Pan broil: Cook food in a skillet over high heat by itself and remove fat from pan as it cooks off meat.

Pan fry: Cook with a small amount of oil or butter.

Parboil: Cook food partly in boiling liquid. Also called blanching.

Parchment: Heat-resistant paper used in cooking.

Pare: Peel or trim a food, usually vegetables.

Peaks: Egg whites whipped until stiff peaks form or they stay upright.

Peel: Remove the outer skin of fruit and vegetables with a knife or vegetable peeler.

Pinch: Add less than 1/16 teaspoon. See definition of dash.

Pipe: Use a pastry bag or plastic bag with a corner cut off to decorate food.

Pit: Take out the pip of a fruit such as cherry or peach.

Poach: Simmer in boiling liquid.

Pressure Cooking: Cook using steam trapped under a lid at a high temperature.

Proof: The process of adding yeast to warm water or milk.

Punch down: When baking bread you push down risen yeast dough with your fist.

Purée: Blend food together until it becomes completely smooth.


Reconstitute: Add water to dried food to return it back to its original consistency.

Reduce: Boil liquids down to enhance flavour or thicken.

Re-hydrate: Soak or cook dried foods in liquid.

Roast: Cook uncovered in an oven.

Roux: A thickened paste made from butter and flour usually used for thicken sauces.

Rub: A mixture of ground spices that is rubbed over meat and then baked or roasted.

Sauté: Cook food in hot oil in a pan.

Scald: Cook just under the boiling point.

Score: Cut diagonal slits on the top of meat.

Sear: Cook meat in a frying pan under high heat to seal in juices. Then the meat is usually cooked in the oven after searing.

Season: Flavour meat with salt, pepper or other seasonings.

Set: Allow food to become solid.

Shred: Cut with a knife, tear with your hands, or use a grater to cut food into long strips. For meat, two forks can be used to shred cooked roasted meat.

Sift: Remove lumps from dry ingredients with a mesh strainer or flour sifter.

Simmer: Cook over low heat so food or liquid doesn't reach the boiling point.

Skim: Take the top layer of fat from soups or other liquids with a slotted spoon or other utensils.

Skewer: Used for cooking on a wooden or metal stick.

Steam: Cook food in a covered pan with a small amount of boiling water.

Steep: Soak dry ingredients in liquid until the flavor is infused into the liquid.

Stew: Cooking meat and vegetables in broth. This works best with less tender cuts of meat.

Stir-Fry: Frying cut meat and vegetables on high heat with a small amount of oil.

Strain: Use a colander or strainer to drain liquid off cooked food.

Thicken: Stir together cornstarch and cold water and then adding to food to thicken.

Thin: Add more liquid to food.

Toss: Mix ingredients gently together to combine.

Unleavened: Baked goods with no baking powder, yeast or baking soda added.


Whip: Beat ingredients together quickly with a spoon or mixer until light and fluffy.

Whisk: Mix together by beating with a whisk or mixer.

Zest: Remove the outer part of citrus fruits with a small grater

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Cheese dip bread

Try this indulgent snack the next time you have friends or family over to visit.

2 tbsp salted butter
2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups milk
1 cup cream
1½ cups white cheddar, grated
1½ cup yellow cheddar, grated
4 cups steamed broccoli
Large round bread
Salt and black pepper

Melt butter in a large stock pot. Add onion and cook slowly until soft.
2. Stir in flour and cook for three minutes, stirring. Slowly add the stock, milk and cream, alternating until all are combined. Heat to boiling, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in the cheese and broccoli*. Keep stirring until the cheese is completely melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. The longer this sits, the thicker it gets, until you end up with a thick dipping sauce that won’t fall off a spoon.
4. Cut a round hole in the top of the bread to make a lid and remove some of the inner bread until you have a bowl shape. Fill the bread cavity with the dipping sauce and place the lid on top.
5. Wrap in foil and put in the oven for about 10 minutes until the bread is warm.
* To prepare the broccoli, steam until tender and pulse in a food processor or mash with the end of a fork, it will crumble easily.
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