A foodie family's diary of travel, food, and photos

What to do with Jerusalem Artichokes

November 25th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Lunch | Snacks - (Comments Off on What to do with Jerusalem Artichokes)

With 3 Jerusalem artichokes in hand – the dilemma of what to do with them at lunchtime loomed.  I wanted something snacky, not too much effort and tasty to boot.  Well Jerusalem artichokes are not known for their strength of flavour so it had to be something that I could compliment with a more flavoursome paring.  The solution of course included garlic.

I finally settled on a style of fritters served with Aioli Mayonnaise

Note: The Aioli mayonnaise should be prepared ahead of time and left in the fridge to cool

To prepare the Aioli mayonnaise add ½ teaspoon of crushed garlic to ½ cup of homemade mayonnaise

I use a Bamix to make mayonnaise and also use their recipe which is absolutely foolproof and to which I add a variety of ingredients depending on my tastebud’s mood.

Recipe for Artichoke Fritters

What you’ll need to serve 2:

oil for frying

3 Jerusalem artichokes

2 tablespoons gram flour (chickpea meal)

1 tablespoon cornflour

1 tablespoon self-raising flour (I used gluten-free but any flour is ok)

¼ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons ice cold sparkling water

To prepare:

  1. Place the oil in a deep saucepan and heat – while the oil is heating prepare the rest
  2. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and slice into chip size pieces (pat dry)
  3. Mix all of the dry ingredients (first 4)in a small deep bowl
  4. Test the oil to check if it is ready (test with a little piece of peel – it should sizzle and float to the top in a couple of seconds)
  5. Pour the sparkling water into the dry ingredients and mix roughly into a batter (it does not need to be smooth) but should coat the back of a wooden spoon
  6. Stir the artichoke pieces into the batter
  7. Lift the pieces out 1 at a time and drop into the oil – cook a few at a time so that the oil doesn’t cool – turn each piece once
  8. When golden brown remove with a slotted spoon and drain
  9. Serve with Aioli dip

Note:  Of course you can use almost any vegetable to make these fritters – courgettes, sweet potato and peppers are particularly good


Perfect Pickled Fish

September 17th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Lunch | Starters | Summer - (Comments Off on Perfect Pickled Fish)

Most South Africans are familiar with pickled fish. It’s a typical Cape Malay dish and one of those dishes that I must eat whenever I go to SA. Having not been back to SA for well over a year now and with no plans to return in the foreseeable future I decided it was time to find the right recipe.

Cheri and I have had some interesting experiences lately with our attempts to recreate typical south African dishes.  The recipes are usually easy enough to find but very few produce a perfect result and so it was for the pickled fish.  After a few attempts, the first too vinegary, the second too bland I’ve finally arrived at my version of perfect pickled fish.  Almost any white fish can be used, and either sea or fresh water fish.  I’ve used haddock, tilapia and red snapper with equal success.

For those of you who’ve never eaten pickled fish it’s a lot better than you might imagine.  It’s usually eaten cold or at room temperature with a salad of your choice and a hefty chunk of artisanal bread.  Although I usually skip the salad and eat it with bread and lots of butter.


Pickled Fish Recipe


4 Tablespoons oil + 1 extra spoon
2 pieces white fish fillets about 400grams (haddock, hake, tilapia)
2 Tablespoons flour +1 extra spoon
1 onion thickly sliced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (medium strength)
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar +1/4 cup extra
1 cup water
1. Dust fish in flour
2. Fry fish in old till lightly golden on both sides then remove with slotted spoon to a plate
3. Add the extra oil to the frying pan and fry the onion over a slow heat until softened  (about 8-10 minutes)
4. Add all the spices and extra flour and fry for a further 2 minutes
5. Add the vinegar, sugar and water and turn the heat up and simmer briskly for about 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to reduce and thickens slightly
6. Remove from heat and add the extra vinegar.  Remove the bay leaves and allspice.
7. Layer the fish and sauce in a dish and allow to cool.  Keep in the refrigerator until about 30 minutes before needed.  Bring to room temperature before serving.
Is best eaten a day or 2 later so that the sauce has time to soak into the fish.
It’s also available from the SA stores dotted around the planet – looks like this:


Feta and Coriander Samosas

August 20th, 2012 | Posted by Ruby in Condiments | Lunch | Snacks | Starters - (Comments Off on Feta and Coriander Samosas)

Feta and Coriander Samosas

It has been a few years since I last had these tasty morsels.  In fact the last time was in Kenya.  I spent about a year living in Karen, Nairobi and one of the regular haunts for expats was the Talisman Restaurant and this was definitely one of there most popular starters (there’s is served with a tomato chilli sauce which is equally yummy).

Sitting in front of the roaring fire having pre-dinner drinks I could never resist ordering a few portions.  This is my take on an old favourite.

Recipe for Feta and coriander samosas

Ingredients (makes 12)

1 small bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped

200 grams feta cheese

4 sheets of phyllo pastry (sheets usually about 40cm x 30cm)

melted butter



  1. Crumble feta with back of fork in a bowl
  2. Add chopped coriander
  3. Lay 1 phyllo sheet on flat surface and brush with butter
  4. Lay 2nd sheet on top smoothing over buttered surface
  5. Cut this double sheet layer into 8cm lengths along the shorter dimension (see photo below)
  6. Place 1 heaped teaspoon on feta mixture in top most corner of strip and start folding tightly as shown
  7. Brush final edge with butter to seal
  8. Repeat until all pastry strips are used then repeat from point 3 with remaining pastry sheets
  9. Place samosas on greased baking tray and brush tops with butter
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden


Recipe for Sweet chilli dip


½ cup sugar

½ cup water

1 red chilli finely sliced

½ carrot finely grated along length of carrot



  1. Place water and sugar in saucepan and bring to boil
  2. Boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by 1/3
  3. Add chilli and carrot to liquid and allow to cool

Dip can be stored in airtight jar in fridge for 2-3 weeks