Sunday, August 1, 2010

Let's play pretend

Today's game of pretend is "Let's pretend it is the 14th of June, and I'm not months late with this Daring Cooks challenge." Exciting, isn't it?

OK, I'll hand it to you. This reveal is hardly earth shattering. One can even go as far as saying it is SO two months ago! I'm sure everybody has already ooh'ed and aah'ed over everybody else's Tricolor Vegetable Pate's, but what can you do? Sometimes life gets in the way, and you need to be a few months late with your Challenge.

I could've just skipped it. You are allowed to skip two challenges a year, but I really liked the look of this one. Ideally I would have made one of the carnivore versions, but some people in my family (I promised to never name any names again) doesn't like liver. So, vegetables it is. Only, this vegetable version doesn't feel like a compromise at all. It was so easy to make, and so very delicious, it was just as good as any meaty version I've ever tasted. And it looks fabulous, much more difficult than the chopping and layering of vegetables it essentially is. Perfect party food.

The bread recipe is one I found in a South African magazine years ago, and have been making ever since. It's made of Nutty Wheat, a wholegrain flour made in South African consisting of 20% wheat bran (a useful fact I learned from Cooksister), so if you don't have it, make your own. Easy peasy. It also requires some sunflower and sesame seeds, but you can either skip them all together, or substitute with your favourite ones. This bread is easy and delicious, you'll see. Except maybe if you're young and male, like my brother, who calls this parrot food. This boy doesn't pull any pushes, let me tell you.

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

Tricolor Vegetable Pâté
Makes enough for 4 one cup capacity ramekins
Line your ramekins with plastic wrap, overlapping sides.

White Bean Layer

2 cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained thoroughly
1 tbsp / 15 ml fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp / 15 ml olive oil
1 tbsp / 15 ml minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 garlic cloves, pressed

Mash beans in large bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and garlic and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread bean mixture evenly on bottom of prepared ramekins.

Red Pepper Layer

210 ml jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, chopped
3/4 cup / 180 ml crumbled feta cheese

Combine peppers and feta in processor and blend until smooth. Spread pepper mixture evenly over bean layer in prepared dish.

Pesto Layer

2 garlic cloves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh basil leaves
1 cup / 240 ml fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup / 60 ml toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
1/2 cup / 120 ml low-fat ricotta cheese

Mince garlic in processor. Add basil, parsley and pine nuts and mince. With machine running, gradually add oil through feed tube and process until smooth. Mix in ricotta. Spread pesto evenly over red pepper layer.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

To unmold, invert pâté onto serving platter. Peel off plastic.

Fair Lady Bread
Makes one loaf

3 cups Nutty Wheat (or 150ml wheat bran mixed with 600ml all purpose flour)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 cups yoghurt
5ml honey
1/2 cup milk
7.5ml baking soda

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Prepare a loaf tin with some butter.
Mix all the ingredients together, and spread into the tin. Smooth the top of the dough.
Press some extra seeds into the top of the dough if you want.
Bake for one hour.
Cool out of the tin on a wire rack.

Enjoy with a cup of tea.


  1. Hoeraaa!!! She's back!!! Ek het my voorgeneem dat as ek inlog en weer moet lees van sop, gaan ek jou bel en grens oor die foon. Maar nou is jy terug in my goeie boekies, ook net betyds.

  2. Jy kan my enige tyd bel, bokkie, selfs al is dit om te grens oor sop.