Recipe Challenge Anyone???
  Re: (...)
Since I have not been nearly as active as before, I know, thank goodness for that! I have not done any "challenges" lately, I know, thank goodness for that! Well, since my "honeydo" list isn't too long today I figured I post a dish name and see how many recipes and interesting facts on its origin and such we can come up with. Any takers?

The dish is...bobotie...good luck!
"Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected, by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table."-Charles Pierre Monselet, French author(1825-1888)
  Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by firechef (Since I have not bee...)
Wikipedia for the win!!

Bobotie is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping. The recipe probably originates from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia, with the name derived from the Indonesian Bobotok. It is also made with curry powder leaving it with a slight "tang".
  Re: Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by DFen911 (Wikipedia for the wi...)
Yeah, but where's the recipe???

Of course I have even more information and a recipe in the wings but you only got part of it..."A for Effort" of course!
"Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected, by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table."-Charles Pierre Monselet, French author(1825-1888)
  Re: Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by firechef (Yeah, but where's th...)
You know, when I read the first recipe, I couldn't make the connection. But when I realized it was "not dissimilar to moussaka" it finally made sense....LOL! Interesting reading....thanks!
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From Cooking By Country:
"The term "Rainbow Nation" is the perfect description of the South African population which is made up of many different peoples. As would be expected, with such diversity comes an explosion of culinary cultures forming a unique cuisine worthy of note.

The country has a 2,954km coastline bordering both the Indian and Atlantic oceans so fresh fish and seafood are abundant. However the "temperate" climate (with average maximum temperatures of about 25C/77F in the summer) plus adequate rainfall, makes for good natural grazing for livestock and excellent farm land so fresh produce and a variety of domestic animals abound .

Ancient Times and Influences

Hunter gatherers first occupied this land of plenty thousands of years ago. Among them the nomadic San, Bushmen and Khoikhoi, collectively called The Khoisan lived mainly along the south-west coastal strips. Their diets were rich with meat and game….and insects such as termites, mopane worms (caterpillars) and Locusts.

By the 3rd century AD, the Bantu people who had settled the eastern coastal areas, were practiced in farming, growing corn, sweet potato, millet and other vegetables and raising and keeping livestock such as cattle.

It seems very strange that fish didn't feature in the diets of the Khoisan, however there was a small group of native people called Goringhaicona (nicknamed Strandlopers or Watermen by the Portuguese) who are said to have survived purely on shellfish, the flesh of beached whales, penguins, segulls and certain root vegetables.

Whilst it was the Portuguese who were the first Europeans to set foot in South Africa, it was the Dutch, French Huguenots and English who were to have the most influence on the cuisine. Many would say that food was the main instigator for the arrival of the Europeans in their search of a stop-over place en route to trade for spices back in the 1600s. Amongst other things they introduced sausage and stews such as potjiekos and bredies and cultivated crops such as beans, peas, spinach and lettuce.

The expansion and fortification of Dutch settlements led to the import of slaves towards the end of the 17th century as the local Khoisan proved difficult to "press into service". Whilst the very first slaves were Africans from places such as Mozambique, Madagascar and Angola, it soon became apparent that it was easier to import Malay slaves from Java. It was the Malay's superior knowledge of using spices and their expertise in fishing which would drastically change Cape cooking. They also brought with them saltpetre used for pickling.

By the 19th Century indentured workers from India came to work on the sugar plantations adding a further band to the culinary rainbow as did German immigrants.

Current Day Cuisine

Many dishes eaten today are closely based on dishes from past times, such as Pap, an accompaniment made from maize and eaten much like rice, which was and is a native black African staple, Bobotie, a spicy Malay dish similar to Shepherds Pie and Potjiekos which became an important dish during the Afrikaner's great trek and which you can read about in the Speciality Dish section. Amongst other favourites of the various cultures are biltong or dried meat, Boerewors, a type of sausage which is a legacy from German immigrants and Chakalaka which is a salad of Malay/Indian origin.

Another popular South African pastime is the braai, equivalent to our barbecue, which also dates back from the trekking days. All manner of fresh foods are cooked over coals and most suburban houses have a braai area.

As with many cuisines, a typical South African meal can range from from one dish to several dishes served at the same time or in courses. There are few hard and fast rules and this cuisine has something for everyone: from fresh crayfish simply cooked, to spicy Malay curries, to hearty Dutch stews and even variations on the British meat pie. "

And now for the recipe. There were many including one on Epicurious from Rainbow Cuisine: A Culinary Journey Through South Africa. I opted for the following from the aforementioned site. (I will add that some recipes used different meats...lamb, being the most obvious...for the mince, but for religious reasons, beef is more traditional. Also, there are many different fruits used, including apricots.)

Bobotie HT MC South African 110mins
Serves 4 Hot Beef Nuts Dried Fruit Spices Herbs Meat Main Course S. Africa

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Onions, chopped
675g/1½ lb Minced Beef
1 slice of Bread
240ml/8fl.oz. Milk
1 tbsp Mild Curry Powder
Black Pepper
½ teasp Ground Turmeric
1 tbsp Sugar
50g/2oz Sultanas
2 tbsp Chutney
6 Whole Almonds, quartered
The juice and grated rind of ½ a Lemon
4 Bay Leaves
1 Egg

1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas mark 4.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and meat and fry until brown, turning from time to time. Drain off the excess oil and set aside.
3. Soak the bread in half of the milk then mash with a fork and add to the meat.
4. Add the remaining ingredients except the egg, remaining milk and bay leaves to the meat mixture and mix well.
5. Transfer the mixture to the casserole and stick the bay leaves into the mixture evenly spaced apart. Bake for 1 hour.
6. Remove the bay leaves. Then beat the egg with remaining milk and pour over the meat mixture. Return to oven for a further 30 minutes.

Traditionally served with yellow rice.
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by Gourmet_Mom (You know, when I rea...)
Very good Mom...we'll give Denise points for jumping in first but you get all sorts of extra credit for all of the is the recipe I got from Afri Chef. I get their newsletters and figured it sounded good...

Slightly sweet, spiced minced dish


This CAPE MALAY BOBOTIE RECIPE is for the traditional plain version of Bobotie.It makes a pleasingly spiced slightly sweet dish, with a very light curry flavor. A recipe for the more elaborate fruity version of Bobotie is included in the Afri Chef African Recipes Cookbook.


· 1 lb beef, minced
· 2 eggs
· 2 slices white bread, stale with crusts removed
· 1 onion, thinly sliced
· 2 tbsp cooking oil
· 2 tbsp hot water
· 2 tbsp sugar
· 2 tbsp lemon juice
· 2 tsp curry powder
· ½ tsp ground cloves
· 1 tsp garlic, crushed
· 1 tsp turmeric
· ½ tsp salt


· 1 egg, lightly beaten
· ½ cup milk
· bay leaves or lemon leaves for garnishing

Pre-heat the oven to 325o F.

Soak the bread in water for 10 minutes, squeeze out the excess and then crumble.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and braise the onion until golden.

Break the two eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly. Mix in the mince

Add the onion mixture from the frying pan, the hot water, lemon juice, crumbled bread, turmeric and sugar to the mince, mixing well.

Spoon the mixture into a well-greased, oven-proof dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and then remove from the oven.

Combine the other egg with the milk and beat well. Pour the mixture over the bobotie and arrange the bay/lemon leaves as garnish. Return to the oven and bake at 350o F for 10 minutes, or until the topping is set.
Serve the Bobotie with a large salad and rice.

How about even more bonus points for making one of the recipes and reviewing it??? I would think Rox has tried this??? Wonder if she has made it???
"Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected, by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table."-Charles Pierre Monselet, French author(1825-1888)
  Re: Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by firechef (Very good Mom...we'l...)

How about even more bonus points for making one of the recipes and reviewing it??? I would think Rox has tried this??? Wonder if she has made it???

Yea, I thought of Roxanne right off also. Maybe she'll pipe in. At first I thought it was her appearance yesterday that brought this on.

I saw this exact recipe also. Since I don't care for moussaka or fruit in savory dishes, especially dried fruit, I don't think I'd care for this. I'll let you tell me if you like it...LOL!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by Gourmet_Mom ( [blockquote]Quote:[...)
I might just have to step up to this one. I am coming up with a list of stuff for fall once all of the hub-bub of summer is gone and I can still open windows while cooking and this might just make the list.
"Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected, by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table."-Charles Pierre Monselet, French author(1825-1888)
  Re: Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by firechef (I might just have to...)
From: Soul of a New Cuisine by Marcus Samuelsson.

On Sunday afternoons, South African families gather for dinner with their families. Whether they are Afrikaners, Cape Malay, or of black descent, there is one dish that can be found on almost all tables throughout the country - bobotie; a one-dish casserole. Like any national dish, the recipe changes from family to family. Malay families might add almonds or raisins, for example, while Afrikaners prepare a simpler version, similar to Britain's shepherd's pie. I serve a Malay-style version at one of my restaurants, and people who try itlove the comforting appeal of this hearty home style dish.

1 1/4 lb. ground beef
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, nimced
1 TBS Green Masala or curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed coriander seeds
2 tomatoes chopped, or 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1/4 c. crushed peanuts or smooth peanut butter, unsweetened
2 tsp. salt, divided
1 c. milk
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
pinch of ground nutmeg

Heat a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and onion and cook, stirring to break up any lumps, until the beef is well browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, masala, cumin, coriander, and tomatoes, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs, peanuts, 1 1/2 tsp of the salt and 1/2 cup water and cook for another 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the beef mixture from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Generously butter a 2 quart baking dish. Spread the beef mixture in the bottom of the pan and press down to pack well. Whisk together the milk, eggs, egg yolks, nutmeg, and the remaining salt and pour over the beef mixture.

Set the baking dish in a larger baking pan and add enough hot water to come 1" up the sides of the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes, until the custard topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cut into squares and serve with Mango Sambal and creamed swiss chard.

6 servings.

Hmmmmmm - I wonder why I haven't made this???? Sounds really good - like I would dearly love my kitchen to smell like that right now!!!

I only have 2 questions, would ground turkey work??? and would Jennifer eat it???? Hmmmm - have to think about this.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
  Re: Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by Harborwitch (From: Soul of a New...)
A little more? How's this from the NY Times. I can't help but wonder if Roxanne has visited this place. Hopefully, she'll pop in and fill us in.

"December 20, 1981
Food had almost everything to do with the fateful or, as many of their countrymen might now view it, baleful decision of white men to establish themselves in the city that is known today as Cape Town, at the tip of the African continent. In the beginning - that means 329 years ago - the Dutch East India Company was not at all interested in colonizing the Cape of Good Hope, only in setting up the 17th-century equivalent of a truck stop there for its Java-bound ships.

Within months the company's men had their kitchen gardens under cultivation; within a couple of years, their first vineyard. The ships that called at Cape Town on their way back to Holland from what is now Indonesia started depositing spices and, a little later, Malay-speaking slaves to work in the kitchens of the whites. Thus, almost from the start the ingredients were on hand not only for racial conflict but a distinctive cuisine, blending Eastern and Western influences. That, in short, is how bobotie was born - but more of that later.

When the British took over the Cape in 1806, this native cuisine was very nearly driven underground. ''One of the most depressing factors of eating in southern Africa,'' Laurens van der Post, the writer, remarked, recalling his childhood, ''is the complete absence of our national dishes from the menus of hotels, restaurants and trains.'' Yet until the apartheid era, these dishes survived on Cape Town's side streets in Malay ''cook-shops'' specializing in ''kerriekerrie'' (curry in Afrikaans).

With the increasingly strict application of the country's racial codes, the only truly indigenous cuisine was forced to retreat even further into the segregated residences of white and brown South Africans, becoming steadily less accessible to visitors. The ''slegs blankes'' - whites only - restaurant scene was then dominated by immigrants from Italy, Greece and Spain - who found it profitable to serve a pretentious, lethally rich ''international'' cuisine that systematically violated the best food traditions of guests and hosts alike.

Now, finally, the cultural if not the political pendulum has started to swing, to the point that it is regarded as somewhat fashionable rather than boorish to put authentic South African dishes on South African menus. As a result, the Malay influence is out in the open again and a good plate of bobotie is relatively easy to find.

Bobotie is sometimes described as a South African moussaka. That is not bad as a kind of culinary shorthand, but bobotie is usually less creamy and always spicier than its Hellenic analogue. Any reasonable palate, I think, would find it an altogether more interesting dish.

Most South African recipes now call for commercial curry powder in addition to onions, garlic, black pepper, raisins and lemon leaves - bay leaves are regarded as a poor but acceptable substitute - to flavor the chopped lamb or beef, which was traditionally taken from leftover roasts. In the old days, the Malay cooks poured a light custard over the top and returned it to the oven until it was burnished to the appropriate color.

Today in the Cape Town area there is no longer any shortage of places to eat bobotie or any of the other traditional Cape dishes. Among the restaurants I would recommend are the Cape Kitchen in the Heerengracht Hotel in the center of Cape Town. Another, near the public gardens on Queen Victoria Street, is the Kaapse Tafel (or Cape Table). In the university town of Stellenbosch, less than an hour away, there are the Lanzerac and the Volkskombuis, and in the town of Paarl, slightly farther away in the heart of the Cape's wine country, there is Laborie.

But if ambience makes a difference - and when the sun drives the fog off the mountains in the Cape, it can make a powerful difference - then it would be hard to improve on lunch in the former wine cellar of an estate called Boschendal, outside Paarl. In South Africa's fancier restaurants, the white authorities tend these days to enforce neither racial discrimination nor nondiscrimination, thus creating a social and legal muddle in the name of what they call ''free association.'' Boschendal, like all the other restaurants mentioned here, says firmly that it would never turn away a guest on racial grounds.

The old Boschendal manor house, which is just a few steps from the restaurant, is perfectly set in a gloriously green valley whose vineyards slope to a fold of jagged mountains known as the Drakensteins.

The present Boschendal homestead, which has just been painstakingly restored, dates from 1812. It is a working wine estate, now mostly owned, as so much else in South Africa proves to be, by the vast Anglo-American Corporation, which acquired an interest once held by one of its progenitors, Cecil Rhodes.

A luncheon guest at Boschendal can pick up a glass of sherry in the restaurant and then stroll through the manor house and its gardens before sitting down at the table. The meals are served buffet-style in a large whitewashed room decorated with fresh flowers.

The complete lunch for two at Boschendal, including a bottle of Boschendal wine, comes to about $27. Lunch for two at the other restaurants in Cape Town and vicinity that serve bobotie costs less, ranging from under $15 at the Volkskombius to about $20 at the Lanzerac, including wine.

Reservations for lunch are essential at Boschendal; for a lunch on a weekend, they must be made at least a month in advance. (The restaurant is not normally open for dinner.) Overseas visitors can secure a reservation by writing to Michael Oliver at Anglo-American Farms, Ltd., Groot Drakenstein, Cape Province 7680, South Africa. Bobotie (The Boschendal's recipe) 2 large onions, finely chopped 2 large cloves garlic, crushed 2 tablespoons of oil 1 tablespoon curry powder 1 slice day-old white or brown bread 1 cup of milk 2 eggs 1 tablespoon of sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon turmeric juice of one large lemon 3 tablespoons chopped mango chutney 12 blanched almonds, chopped 1/2 cup seedless raisins 4 pieces of lemon rind 2 pounds minced lamb or beef.

1. Brown the onions and garlic lightly in the oil and add the curry powder. Cook gently for about two minutes. Meantime, soak the bread in the milk and squeeze dry, saving the milk. In a large mixing bowl, add the onion mixture to the bread plus all the remaining ingredients except one egg. Mix well.

2. Pack into an ovenproof dish that has been rubbed with butter. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.

3. Beat the remaining egg with a little of the saved milk and pour over the top.

4. Bake a further 15 to 20 minutes until the custard is set and the top a golden brown. Serve with rice and stewed apricots. Yield: 8 servings.

The Boschendal recipe does not mention lemon leaves, which other authorities say are essential; add some if you happen to have a lemon tree.J.L. "
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Recipe Challenge Anyone??? by Gourmet_Mom (A little more? How'...)
Have any of you ever seen this stuff? Nice 'n Spicy I was looking around for fun and saw it mentioned on this gal's blog. She mentioned that the spices in these things were more authentic.
Keep your mind wide open.

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