Build-your-own-salad-platter

What to dish up on a lazy summers’ afternoon? Why, a build-your-own-salad-platter, of course!

Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking and it fills me with pleasure to whip up delicious things, but sometimes {especially on a lazy Sunday, when you’ve already spent the day sweeping and picking up toys} you just want to be able to snap your fingers and make something appear!

Ah, well, that’s not going to happen soon, so instead, it’s handy to just throw together a platter and let everyone help themselves.

Here’s my seafood salad platter – using items I already had on hand:

Simple salad {lettuce, cucumber cubes & tomato, dressed with olive oil}

Tinned smoked mussels

Smoked snoek {remember to remove the bones!}

Blanched green beans, drizzled with olive oil and capers

Fresh tomatoes {on the vine}

Boiled eggs, seasoned with salt {I boil the eggs for exactly 7 minutes to get a nice soft-boiled egg}

Lemon mayonnaise dressing {just add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to mayonnaise}

Everyone can help themselves to what they want and build their own salad – enjoy with cold white wine or a crisp Savannah!

x

Build-your-own-salad-platter

Tapas-style platter & pannacotta for dinner

What can I say – I have a teensy bit of an obsession with pannacotta…

The first time I made it, the gelatine didn’t dissolve properly and I used too much – leaving a weird blob of gelatine at the bottom. I made it again a few times and it either came out too runny, too ‘solid’ or too creamy. Well I suppose it can never be too creamy, but maybe the portions were too big and it was just too much ‘richness’..

So, I tried it again tonight, with half buttermilk and half cream and I set the gelatine in water first (might sound obvious, but all previous recipes I used called for the gelatine to be added straight to the warm cream mixture) and then added it to the cream mixture. This worked much better!  (Basic pannacotta recipe from Donna Hay – love her! – with my addition of peach & apricot.)

So here it is – buttermilk pannacotta with peach & apricot:

1 cup of cream

1 cup of buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp gelatine

2 tbs water

1/2 a cup of icing sugar

2 tsp chunky apricot jam

1/2 a peach, cut into thin slices

Mix gelatine with water, stir and set aside.  Heat cream, buttermilk, vanilla & sugar until sugar has dissolved. Add gelatine and let it dissolve properly.  Pass through a sieve and set aside.

Next, place peach slices into 2 cups or small ramekins and top with a teaspoon apricot jam in each. Pour pannacotta mixture onto the fruit, refrigerate for at least 7 hours until set.

To serve, simply invert onto a plate (insert a sharp knife and edge it all around the cup to loosen) and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

image

{Best pannacotta ever!! Seriously – SO yum – a real winner!}

With summer on our doorstep, I decided to serve up a platter with all sorts of delights that we can simply eat ‘finger-food-style.

My platter consisted of:

Grilled aubergine (Brush with olive oil and grill on a griddle pan)

Goats cheese

Danish feta cheese

Roasted, cooled beets (leftover from our Heritage Day feast)

Assorted lettuce leaves

Marinated tomatoes (2 diced tomatoes marinated in salt, freshly chopped garlic and olive oil)

Slices of cabanossi sausage (smoked & cured pork sausage)

Crispy grilled chicken livers (dusted in flour, paprika & cayenne pepper, fried in butter & olive oil. To get them nice & crispy, place a weight on top while frying. I use the bottom of another pan or pot – this also helps to prevent splatter from when the livers ‘pop’)

Perfect summer’s meal – refreshing, romantic and delicious! We enjoyed our dinner outside on the patio with a glass of crisp Pinot Grigio.

image

Enjoy! X