Shakshuka Close

People often think KSK is a place for just desserts. Whilst I do enjoy a good dessert, I don't just sit around eating sweet stuff all day. I enjoy savoury too! This year I plan to add more savoury recipes to the site, so stick around for more of them. To kick the savoury year off, I'm starting with the most important meal of the day - breakfast! Shakshuka comes from North Africa and is basically eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It's traditionally eaten for breakfast but it's also pretty good for a quick lunch or dinner!

Where I come from (South Africa), we have a similar dish which people have for breakfast. We call it egg chutney. The only difference to shakshuka is that egg chutney is scrambled eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. Either way, I love it! Spicy tomato gravy, or chutney as they call it back home, is by far my most favourite type of sauce. It's so versatile that you will find people adding all kinds of things to it like sausage, dried fish, meatballs (which we call kebabs), boiled eggs etc. Shakshuka is really no different in this respect, you can add pretty much anything to it. As this is predominantly a breakfast meal, sausage would be great or even mushrooms or chickpeas if you're going down the vegetarian route.

Serves 4-6
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1 small hot chilli, finely diced (sub chilli powder or leave out if you don't like spicy)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
6 eggs

Heat olive oil in a large, deep oven safe pan. Add onion, capsicum and chili and cook until the onion has softened and become a little charred. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. You should have a thick paste sort of consistency at this point. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper and taste to adjust seasoning. If your tomatoes are sour, you can add a tsp of sweetener to it.

Once you are happy with your sauce it now time to add the eggs. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Make a well in the sauce and drop in your egg. Repeat for the other 5 eggs. Allow to simmer in the sauce for 1 minute then transfer to the oven to finish cooking the eggs to your liking. If you like your eggs runny, then it will take seconds for the tops to set.

Serve immediately with crusty bread!


Thai Tuna Fish Cakes

This is a recipe that kinda just happened one day when I got home and deiced to turn a boring can of tuna into something less boring. I had some red curry paste leftover from a curry I made earlier int he week, so it made sense to put it in here.  Et voila, this recipe was born. I've since made this several times and it's rather enjoyable.

I have quite the love affair with Thai/Malaysian/Indonesian food. I'm used to Indian spices, so this type of cuisine definitely gets my taste buds going! Thankfully the recipe isn't too complicated, so you can whip these up anytime!

Thai Fish Cakes
Makes 8 cakes
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 stalk lemongrass, finely diced
1 knob ginger, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 knob galangal, finely diced
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 Tbs red curry paste
425g tin tuna (I like John West Tuna in Spring Water)
1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
1 Tbs fish sauce
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 egg

Heat some oil in a small fry pan. Add your onion and allow it to soften and brown. Once soft, add your lemongrass, ginger, garlic, galangal, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and curry paste. Cook until the spices are all incorporated. Set aside.

In a bowl place your drained tuna, coriander, fish sauce and lemon juice. Add your cooked onion mixture and mix until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Once ready, add egg and mix well. Form into 8 small cakes.

Pan fry cakes until golden on each side. Serve while still warm with a dipping sauce. This cakes also make for a great burger, or simply serve with a salad for a lighter option.



Blue Mac & Cheese with Grilled Tomatoes

I've made macaroni and cheese a few times. I try not to have it too often because of the fat content. Hubby just loves it though. We recently ventured out to the Puhoi cheese factory and purchased some yummy cheese. One of them was their vintage blue cheese. The flavour is amazing! Hubby insisted he wanted mac and cheese, so I made it for him. Of course I added in some other goodies, to make it worth it.

Blue Mac and Cheese with Grilled Tomatoes
Serves 6
250g pasta of choice
10 button mushrooms, sliced
50g butter + extra for frying mushrooms
50g flour
600ml whole milk
1 tsp dijon mustard
Whole nutmeg, grind about 10 strokes
2 large handfuls of baby spinach
125g blue cheese (I used Puhoi Waxed blue)
125g cheddar cheese (I used Mainland Noble)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
4 tomatoes
Olive oil
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp coconut sugar

Fill a pot with hot water out of the kettle, add a bit of salt and put it on the stove. Add your pasta to cook. Follow packet instructions for cooking times.

In a saucepan, add a knob of butter, once it's melted, throw in your mushrooms and fry until brown. Remove it form the saucepan and set aside for later.

Next, start on your sauce. Put the 50g of butter in the same saucepan. Once it has melted, add the flour and stir with a spoon. Cook for a little bit to get the floury taste out of the mix.

Add a splash of milk and stir. Keep stirring until it forms a dough.

Swap your spoon for a whisk. Pour in a bit more milk and whisk it. The dough will start to "melt" into the milk. Keep whisking the whole time. Add the rest of the milk gradually and keep stirring. By adding the milk in stages you will avoid a lumpy sauce.

Once the sauce has reached a consistency similar to that of cream, its nearly ready.

Add salt, pepper, mustard and some ground nutmeg to the sauce. Add the cheeses and stir through until melted. Lastly add the spinach and stir until it has wilted into the sauce. Take off the heat and the sauce is now done.

Remove pasta from pot once done and put into a colander to cool. Add your pasta to the sauce and mix until all the pasta is covered in that cheesy goodness.

Transfer mixture into a baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs and some more grated cheddar cheese.

Slice your tomatoes in half. Place them in a baking ray. Drizzle over the olive oil, balsamic and sugar. toss to coat.

Put both the pasta dish and the baking dish with tomatoes into the oven at 220 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes. You want the cheese to melt and the breadcrumbs to crisp up. the tomatoes should be done in the same time.

Once it comes out of the oven, serve the pasta while it's still hot with the tomatoes on the side. Dig in!



The Best Lasagne

I use the term 'best' rather loosely in the title here. This lasagne is in no way traditional and Italians would probably cringe at the sight of the ingredients lol The reason I call it the best is because everyone who has ever eaten it goes mad for it. It's been a crowd pleaser for so long that I just had to post the recipe. I have had people request it several times, so here it is. 

Traditional lasagne is usually made with a white sauce and a ragu layered between sheets of fresh pasta. My recipe is "slightly" different to that. My ragu is basically an intense spicy meat and tomato mixture, and instead of making a white sauce, I use 2 cheeses which I only put on top. It doesn't sound amazing, but don't knock it til you've tried it!

I've made this lasagna so many times now, that each time I've tried adding different vegetables to make the dish more nutritious. I can confirm that the vegetables do not affect the taste of the lasagna, so don't be put off by it. It really is just an add-in to make you feel better about eating a calorie dense pasta dish hahaha!

Regarding the spices in the mince mixture, I tend to use more than what I have written in this recipe. Depending on your love for spice, you could add more than what I have stated. If you use any less than that you probably won't taste it!

The Best Lasagne
Serves 4-6
500g Beef or Lamb Mince
1 onion chopped
10 mushrooms sliced
425g tin of crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup stock, or use water
10-12 dried lasagne sheets, depending on the size of your dish
250g cottage cheese with garlic and chives*
250g lite cream cheese*
Cheddar Cheese

Optional Add Ins
1 carrot, grated
1 courgette, grated
1 large handful of baby spinach
1 capsicum, finely diced

Preheat oven to 180°C

Heat a dash of oil in a deep pan. Quickly brown the onion and then add the mince. Make sure the heat is on high so that your mince frys rather than boils. Break it up as it cooks. Add your spices and S&P and mix in. Add your crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Bring to the boil then simmer. Add your mushrooms, and optional add ins if using. Simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced somewhat. You want the mixture to still be runny, but not be drenched in liquid. Once it had reached the right consistency, turn the heat off.

Grease a 2L capacity baking dish and place a layer of lasagne sheets in it. Top with 1/3 of your mince mixture. Repeat layers finishing with a layer of pasta. (You should have 4 layers of lasagne sheets and 3 layers of mince mixture.)

For the topping, mix your cottage cheese and cream cheese together and spread over your last lasagne layer. Grate over some cheddar cheese, before popping into the oven for  approximately 30 minutes. You will know it’s done when the top is golden and when you place a knife through the layers the pasta is al dente.

Cut and serve while hot.

* For the cottage and cream cheese mixture start off mixing half of each pottle together and put that on top of your lasagne first. If there is not enough, then add more. Depending on the shape of your dish 250g of each may result in a very thick layer of cheese on top!