oysters 3 ways

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

When I was tiny a family friend paid me R20 (which was A LOT back then) to eat an oyster because I thought they were the nastiest things i’d ever seen. Today the husband has to stop me ordering more before we have to declare bankruptcy.

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

My favourite places to eat oysters in Cape Town are Chefs Warehouse and The Duchess of Wisbeach. So this weekend after many an oyster and many a bottle of wine I called up my favourite fish shop to place an order for some fresh oysters that we could enjoy at home.

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

I am a big fan of just a squeeze of lemon and a tiny dash of Tabasco. But for the sake of some fun i’ve done them three ways. Mignonette which is a classic, a punchy Asian style sauce and Bloody Mary oysters. I got the idea of the Bloody Mary oyster from Sweet Paul Magazine and had to try it. I did mine a bit differently but it’s definitely a winning idea.

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

Oysters 3 ways

each recipe makes enough for a dozen oysters

Mignonette: 

  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sushi vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and allow to to sit for at least an hour before drizzling over freshly shucked oysters.

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

Asian:

  • 1 Tbsp pickled ginger, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sushi vinegar
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • dash of Sriracha
  • finely sliced spring onions

Combine all the ingredients and spoon onto freshly shucked oysters.

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

Bloody Mary:

  • 60ml tomato juice
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • about 10 good dashes of Tabasco
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 celery stick, finely diced

Combine everything except the celery. Dress oysters with the sauce and then finish with a sprinkle of the diced celery.

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

If shucking your own oysters is a tad daunting head over to Serious Eats for the very best oyster shucking step-by-step guide i’ve ever come across. (picture a big thumbs up emoji)

Bon appétit!

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

oysters 3 ways | The Secret Life of Bee

the perfect homemade pizza

homemade pizza | The Secret Life of Bee

God bless dough. Dough is king. Cheese and meat on crispy dough is a magical thing. There are few things on this earth I enjoy more than a homemade pizza straight out of the oven. It’s such a social thing. I put the husband to work on rolling out the bases. The mamma bear is generally on wine pouring duty and I get the sauce and toppings going. I have a little Earthfire pizza oven that works like a bomb but we sadly can’t use it at our apartment complex. So we just blast the oven as high as it will go and pop a pizza stone in to get piping hot.

homemade pizza | The Secret Life of Bee

I made this pizza a couple of weeks ago before I went to the US on a foodie extravaganza with the husband. Two of the very many highlights were going to the famous institution that is Joe’s Pizza for the best slice in NYC and getting a serious dose of Italian food porn at Eataly. Walking into Joe’s Pizza is hysterical because no one is talking. They’re all way too busy chewing and munching on one of the best slices of pizza i’ve ever had. The back wall is lined with photos of Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Murray and every other famous person you can think of getting their NYC slice on at Joe’s.  The husband went for the pepperoni and I went for the mozzarella. Both were delicious and perfectly balanced. Thin chewy base with just the right amount of toppings.

Joe's Pizza NYC | The Secret Life of Bee

Joe's Pizza NYC | The Secret Life of Bee

Joe's Pizza NYC | The Secret Life of Bee

We then hit Eataly where the finest ingredients on the planet are all on steroids. The creamiest mozzarella, ripest Italian tomatoes and a cheeky Italian dude making the pizzas and chatting away over the counter added to the vibe. The pizza was delicious and at $25 we made sure there wasn’t a crumb leftover.

Eataly | The Secret Life of Bee

Alrighty. So enough blabbing. Pizza time.

If you don’t have a pizza stone an all natural unglazed tile will do the trick. Or just use a baking tray. The crust won’t be as crisp but it’ll still be fun and yum!

The perfect homemade pizza

makes 2

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 300g doppio zero “00” flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 200ml warm water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast

Combine warm water, olive oil and yeast in a jug and leave for 5 minutes. Combine salt and flour in a large mixing bowl and mix well to distribute the salt. Pour the water mixture into the flour and mix well with your hands. Knead the dough until bouncy and elastic. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. Split rested dough into two and knead each ball for a few minutes. Cover both with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 2-4 hours at room temperature.

Sauce:

  • 1 tin whole peeled Italian tomatoes, blended
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • sea salt to taste
  • bunch of fresh basil, roughly chopped (optional)

Gently fry the garlic in a saucepan with the olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the tomato paste, oregano and salt and cook for a few minutes. Finally add the blended tomatoes and sugar and allow to simmer gently for 1 hour until reduced. Stir through the chopped basil once the sauce is thick and check seasoning.

To make the pizzas:

Preheat your oven as high as it will go! Place the rack into the top third of the oven and if you have a pizza stone pop that in there too.

Roll and stretch the dough out on a floured surface. If you have a pizza shovel assemble pizzas on there. If not an upside down baking tray works just fine!

Spoon about 3 Tbsp of the tomato sauce on the pizza. Spread it out with the back of the spoon. Brush the edges of the pizza with olive oil for a great crust.

Add toppings of your choice.

Here I used buffalo mozzarella, asparagus, parma ham and fresh rocket. And I decided to #putaneggonit

If you want to keep your yolk nice and runny pop the pizza into the oven for a few minutes first, then crack the egg on and finish the cooking.

Be careful when transferring the pizza onto the super hot pizza stone. Preferably drink wine moderately until this is done.

Cook each pizza for about 5 minutes until golden, bubbling and crispy!

Buon appetito!

homemade pizza | The Secret Life of Bee

 

egg-in-a-hole grilled cheese sandwich with Tabasco butter

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

This is not your average breakfast sandwich. This egg-in-a-hole grilled cheese is the ultimate crunchy, buttery, eggy, spicy, cheesy indulgence. Oh and there’s bacon so yeah… Bring it on.

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

The husband is always on Reddit and therefore constantly providing me with titbits of the latest news, a lot of useless information, funny cat pictures and cool food snaps. One of the food pics inspired him to demand a grilled cheese with an egg in the bread. You never have to ask me twice to put an egg on something but now an egg IN something seems way more exciting!

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

I’m fairly egg mad and so why not just double egg it and have yolks for days. Also seeing as we’re taking some bread out of the equation technically we can say this is low carb right? That’s how it works… i’m sure of it. (These jeans also definitely shrunk in the wash.)

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

The Tabasco spiked butter is a revelation. The yolks are very rich and the vinegar and chilli peppers cut through that richness adding a depth of flavour and some great heat. Go as wild as you like with the Tabasco. I even chucked some on top and sadly some in my eye. Preferably don’t do that. But do make this sandwich. It’s just all kinds of delicious.

egg-in-a-hole grilled cheese sandwich with Tabasco butter

makes 1 sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 thick slices of sourdough bread
  • 50g butter, softened
  • Original Red Tabasco
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 rashers of bacon, cooked to your level of crispiness
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sea salt & black pepper

Method:

Preheat oven on the maximum grill setting.

Mix a few good shakes of Tabasco into the softened butter. Cut holes out of each slice of bread using a cookie cutter or a small glass.  Spread each slice with a generous amount of Tabasco butter on both sides.

Using a large non-stick frying pan fry the bread until golden brown. Crack one egg into each hole and cook for about a minute until the egg white is slightly set underneath and you can gently turn the slices over with a fish slice or similar wide flat egg lifter. Cook for another minute or so (you really want to keep the yolks runny for maximum yumness) season the eggs and then top one slice with the grated cheese.

Place the cheesy slice under the hot grill to melt the cheese. Remove and top with bacon and the other slice of eggy bread.

Eat every last bite and pair with a cold beer or bubbles because you deserve it and it’s always five o’clock somewhere.

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

bacon & egg grilled cheese | The Secret Life of Bee

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by the awesome folks at Tabasco SA 

WIN R10 000 if you head over to the Tabasco Facebook page.

Like their page and SHARE my eggy blog post. Every share is a vote for me and a chance for you to win the cash! And of course i’ll be eternally grateful and Fedex you some food 🙂

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

I’ve been Casper the invisible blogger lately but alas sometimes real work has to happen to pay the very real bills! I’ve also been a rather useless wife serving the husband some fairly boring dinners lately so it was time to make up for it. Enter chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes. Yes please.

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

These pockets of joy are truly one of the yummiest and most satisfying meals i’ve ever had. The rich and spicy chili con carne pairs so well with the sweet, smooth flesh of these orange sweet potatoes. You can of course use the white ones as well- I just find them a tad more starchy so tend to use them for creamy bakes or cottage pie like toppings. Either way they are a delicious little nest for the meaty goodness that is a patiently made pot of chili.

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

When making the chili and any dish using mince all I can say is never ever crowd the pan. Use a really large pot and brown your mince in batches. If you put too much in at the same time the meat sweats and boils and goes grey. No bueno. As for the rest of the dish you can really make it your own. Go as heavy or light on the spices and of course the chilli powder as your heart desires. I used rather large heaped teaspoons of all the spices! This recipe makes a really fragrant, spicy dish that gets even better the next day. I had some left overs with a fried egg on top for breakfast and it was sublime!

Chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes

serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 sweet potatoes, washed and dried
  • 2 red onions, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large sticks of celery, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried origanum
  • 1 kg best quality mince
  • 2 x 400g tin Italian chopped/crushed tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • olive oil

To serve: sour cream, tomato & onion salsa, fresh coriander

Method:

Heat oven to 180˚C. Rub sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. Prick with a fork or small knife, season with a little salt and roast until soft for 40 minutes depending on their size.

In a very large pot brown the mince in batches and remove from the pot. Add a fresh glug of olive oil and sauté the onions, carrots, celery, red pepper and garlic. Add the spices and cook until the veg had softened slightly, got some colour and the spices are fragrant.

Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes. Rinse the residual tomato out of each tin with a splash of water and pour into the pot. Bring to the boil and allow the tomatoes to reduce until thick.

Add the mince and kidney beans, season well and simmer for about 1 hour.

To serve- slice the sweet potatoes down the centre and stuff with a generous spoonful of the chili mix. I topped ours with sour cream, tomato & onion salsa, fresh coriander and even a dollop of guacamole.

Enjoy!

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

To be perfectly honest I didn’t even wait for the husband to come home from work before I started tucking in.

chili con carne stuffed sweet potatoes | The Secret Life of Bee

peri-peri fish tacos with pineapple salsa

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Fish tacos are darn delicious. Layers of flavour and texture all neatly packed into a little edible parcel. Fried or grilled these babies are a crowd pleaser and so versatile you can go wild with flavour combos, sauces and spices. I decided to pan fry the fish for these tacos keeping things on the healthier side and also my kitchen on the cleaner side! Once cooked I finished the fish off with a generous whack of peri-peri sauce and fresh lime juice. Yum.

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

The peri-peri sauce in question was made by the girls from ShortChefSkinnyChef. Claire Allen and Siphokazi Mdlankomo make up this duo and clearly both of them like a touch of spice in their lives. This flavour packed sauce is pure homemade deliciousness free of preservatives so if you make this recipe use the very best peri-peri sauce you can get your hands on or make your own!

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Select your fish wisely. Make sure you buy fish or any seafood off the green SASSI list. They have an app and even a nifty sms number you can text the name of the fish to and you’ll get a reply letting you know if the fish is green for go, orange for not ideal or red for hell no. Stick with green choices and maybe our grandkids will have some fish on their table someday. I went with Cape Yellowtail. It has beautiful large flakes when cooked which makes it ideal for tacos and absorbing lots of sauce. With all the heat from the peri-peri sauce I balanced it with some sweetness from the pineapple salsa which includes some kiwi fruit for added zing! The crunch from all the fresh fruit and veggies, the creamy avocado and drizzle of sour cream make these tacos a real textural delight.

Peri-Peri fish tacos with pineapple salsa

serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 500g yellowtail or similar fish, filleted & cleaned
  • olive oil
  • peri-peri sauce
  • fresh limes
  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 pineapple, diced
  • 1 kiwi fruit, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • fresh coriander
  • sour cream
  • sea salt & black pepper
  • 6-8 soft tortillas

Method:

Slice the fish into small fillets and pan fry in olive oil. Season well. Once the fish is cooked, turn the heat off and add the peri-peri sauce to taste and the juice of half a lime. When cool enough flake the fish, toss well and leave in the sauce.

Finely slice the red cabbage and the avocado.

Combine the diced red onion, pineapple, kiwi fruit and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and the juice of 1 lime. Add coriander leaves and toss.

Heat a dry pan and colour tortillas on both sides until warm and golden brown. (I love this easy recipe but store bought is just fine too)

Assemble the tacos. Start with some slices of avocado and red cabbage. Top with peri-peri fish, the pineapple salsa, fresh coriander and a drizzle of sour cream. Enjoy!

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

peri-peri fish tacos | The Secret Life of Bee

Catch Claire Allen, The Foodie in Love, at The Good Food & Wine Show this coming weekend (27-29 May) for a live chefs theatre performance as well as the skinny half of the ShortChefSkinnyChef duo performing in their own live theatre cooking up a storm.

~Disclaimer ~ I was invited to be a media partner for Claire Allen & the ShortChefSkinnyChef duo.

 

 

 

 

broccoli, coconut & chilli soup

broccoli, coconut & chilli soup | The Secret Life of Bee

This is my absolute favourite soup. It’s perfect for autumn weather. The broccoli and chilli keep things light and vibrant, the coconut cream makes it luxuriously silky and the fresh whack of coriander wakes up your palate. I’ve made this soup for years and it takes minutes. All of the ingredients are cheap and cheerful so you can feed your family in no time at all with a delicious meal that is very easy on your wallet! Also broccoli is really really good for you. Don’t believe me? Read this 6000 word ode to broccoli on Well Being Secrets and you’ll be buying it by the ton!

broccoli, coconut & chilli soup | The Secret Life of Bee

This soup is vegetarian/ vegan if you make it as is but you could always use chicken stock or add some crispy fried chorizo bits on top. Shavings of Parmesan cheese would also be an excellent addition or melted cheesy toasts for dipping. I like it as is. The husband and I have drastically reduced our meat intake in any case and loving a more veggie intense diet. If you are going to add meat make sure it’s the very best free-range, organic, grass fed and ethically sourced meat you can find. To add a punch of umami I used half vegetable stock and half mushroom stock. The mushroom stock has exceptional earthy, meaty flavour. If you can’t get your hands on some and don’t feel like making any either straight up veggie stock is perfect.

broccoli, coconut & chilli soup | The Secret Life of Bee

Broccoli, coconut & chilli soup

serves four

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of broccoli (about 500g)
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 2 small bird’s eye chillies
  • 400ml coconut cream (1 tin)
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 250ml mushroom stock
  • handful fresh coriander
  • olive oil
  • organic sesame oil
  • salt & pepper
  • Fioretto stems for garnishing (totally unnecessary but heavens they’re pretty!)

Method:

In a large pot- sauté the red onion and chilli with a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and cook until soft and translucent. Remove the broccoli florets from the stem, chop roughly and add to onions. Sauté the broccoli for a couple of minutes and then add a splash of water to your pot and cover with a lid to allow the broccoli to steam until cooked through.

Once the broccoli is cooked add coconut cream and stock. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes. remove the pot from the heat and add a handful of fresh coriander, stems and all.

Blend the soup while hot using an immersion blender. Be careful. That’s why using a large pot will help keep the swirling liquid in the pot and not on you.

Check seasoning and adjust with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve the soup with some crispy fried Fioretto stems, fresh coriander leaves, a drizzle of sesame oil and some crusty bread for dunking.

broccoli, coconut & chilli soup | The Secret Life of Bee

 

 

popcorn chicken with chipotle Tabasco & basil mayo

popcorn chicken | The Secret Life of Bee

You will never need fried chicken again. Ever. This popcorn chicken is baked to perfection and has the most delicious textured crunchy crust you’ve ever experienced. Yes- this chicken is an experience. So chuck out the frying oil and bid Colonel Sanders adieu. Popcorn chicken is about to become your best friend.

popcorn chicken | The Secret Life of Bee

Corn flakes are the hero here. They create a crisp and crunchy crust that has layers of texture. When blending them up don’t go wild and end up with powdered corn flakes. You want some variation. Some bits bigger than others and mostly the texture of what’s at the bottom of a bag of cereal. Crushed up crumbs. The buttermilk replaces a traditional egg wash to get everything to stick. Buttermilk is rich and tangy and adds more flavour while the acids in the buttermilk also tenderise the chicken. All this delicious crunch needs something to be dunked into and the smokey chipotle Tabasco and basil mayo is it! It’s creamy and delicious but refreshingly herby and gives you that BBQ, braai flavour of something cooked over coals.

popcorn chicken | The Secret Life of Bee

Popcorn chicken with chipotle Tabasco & basil mayo

serves 4 

Ingredients:

  • 500g free-range chicken breasts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 100g flour
  • 100g cornflakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 15g freshly grated Parmesan
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 100ml buttermilk
  • chipotle Tabasco

Mayo:

  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup neutral oil
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  • chipotle Tabasco to taste

Method:

For the mayonnaise: Combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and mustard in a small container that fits the head of an immersion blender snugly. Blend until light and frothy. Begin pouring in a very thin stream of the neutral oil slowly while constantly blending. Once you have gone through about half of your oil you can speed up the pouring until you have your desired thickness. Now blend in the basil leaves and a healthy dollop of chipotle Tabasco and adjust seasoning. Keep in the fridge.

For the chicken: Slice the chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Finely grate over the garlic cloves and lemon zest, mix well. Leave to rest.

Place the flour in a mixing bowl and preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Combine the cornflakes, paprika, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until chunky different textures of crumbs have formed. Place this mixture into another bowl.

Add the seasoned chicken into the bowl with the flour and coat well.

Mix the buttermilk and a dash of chipotle Tabasco in another bowl. Add the floured chicken pieces to this and coat evenly.

Finally coat the buttermilk chicken with the cornflake mixture. Place the chicken pieces on a baking tray lined with foil and brushed with olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.

Serve with the homemade mayo and a wedge of lime.

popcorn chicken | The Secret Life of Bee

popcorn chicken | The Secret Life of Bee

*Disclaimer- this post has been sponsored by the awesome folks at Tabasco SA

 

Tabasco bloody mary sorbet

bloody mary sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

Bloody Mary sorbet. What a glorious thing. Not overly sweet, perfectly spicy and very refreshing! This sorbet is a wonderful dessert or palate cleanser. Throw on an extra few shots of vodka and serve it poolside as an adult slushie. (You can tell i’m really excited about winter)

bloody mary sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

The trick with this sorbet is using top quality tomato juice. So none of that horrid stuff in the tin! Same goes for normal Bloody Marys and everything else in life. Top quality ingredients will give you a top quality result. You can spice it up as much as you like. Taste as you go and you can squeeze in some extra lemon or add a crack of freshly ground black pepper. You can also serve the sorbet with something fun like a celery salt cookie or black pepper shortbread.

bloody mary sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

Tabasco Bloody Mary sorbet

Ingredients:

  • 750ml tomato juice
  • 110ml water
  • 110g sugar
  • 45ml vodka
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • pinch celery salt
  • a dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Red Tabasco

Method:

Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until it becomes syrupy. If you have a thermometer it should read 112˚C when the syrup is ready.

Pour the sugar syrup into the tomato juice and mix. Add the vodka, lemon, celery salt, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco all to your taste.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine- pour the mixture into a zip lock bag and freeze. Remove when frozen and blend it a few chunks at a time in a food processor or using a stick blender. Return to the freezer in a container and freeze until firm.

bloody mary sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

bloody mary sorbet | The Secret Life of Bee

*Disclaimer- this post has been sponsored by the awesome folks at Tabasco SA

Tabasco deviled eggs

Deviled eggs | The Secret Life of Bee

Get your retro dinner party on and devil some eggs! Deviled eggs remind me of my grandmother’s dinner parties. Just add some fish mousse (moulded like a fish of course) complete with cucumber scales and you’ve really nailed the evening. Just don’t forget the sliced olive for the eye- that was my best. There’s something so nostalgic and fun about deviled eggs. They look merry and always remind me of festivities.

Deviled eggs | The Secret Life of Bee

So this old fave is a crowd pleaser for any occasion. They’re easy to make, easy to eat and you can really go wild with the fillings. Deviled eggs lend themselves well to helping you empty out those almost finished jars of mustard, pickles, chutney and horseradish in the fridge. You can go fancy with caviar and prawns/shrimp or keep it simple with good old fashioned tomato sauce, mustard and mayonnaise. You can also boil your eggs ahead of time, make your fillings in advance and assemble everything just before your guests arrive. What a great host you are!

Tabasco deviled eggs

makes 18- 6 halves of each flavour

Ingredients:

9 eggs- hard boiled

Avo & bacon:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • pinch salt
  • a few generous glugs green Tabasco
  • 3 crispy bacon rashers
  • paprika

Mexican salsa:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 small red chilli, diced
  • 1 small green chilli, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato, diced
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • corn, cooked
  • chipotle Tabasco
  • salt
  • pepper

Prawn cocktail:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • red Tabasco
  • black pepper
  • 6 cooked prawns/shrimp
  • chives, chopped

Method:

Slice hard boiled eggs in half and remove the yolks.

For the avo & bacon: Place all ingredients except the bacon in a container and blend smooth using a stick blender. Adjust seasoning and add enough Tabasco for a good kick! Dice the crispy bacon. Pipe your avo filling into the egg whites, top with bacon and a sprinkle of paprika.

For the mexican salsa: Use a fork to squash the egg yolks. Add the lime juice, chillies, tomato, coriander, chipotle Tabasco and season well. Finally toss in the cooked corn and scoop the filling into the egg whites.

For the prawn cocktail: Place all ingredients except the prawns into a container and blend smooth using a stick blender. Spoon the filling into the egg whites and top with a prawn and a sprinkle of chives.

Serve your deviled eggs on a bed of lettuce with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Deviled eggs | The Secret Life of Bee

Deviled eggs | The Secret Life of Bee

*Disclaimer ~ this post has been sponsored by the awesome folks at Tabasco SA

mushroom & pulled pork sliders

mushroom & pulled pork sliders | The Secret Life of Bee

I love sliders. I love pulled pork. I love any cutesy burger that packages itself well with the right ratio of bun, meat and fixings. The bun is a soft little pillow of brioche that is the finest vehicle for theses toppings. The pulled pork is a revelation. The addition of mushrooms is amazing and from now on my pulled pork will only ever be like this. The mushrooms add a punch of umami, moisture and flavour.

mushroom & pulled pork sliders | The Secret Life of Bee

The folks at The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association have got a cool concept called ‘blendability’. They’re encouraging people to eat less meat and more veg by subbing in 50% of your meat dish with 50% mushrooms. It’s rather nifty as mushrooms are yum but also packed with nutrients, they’re cheap and best of all low in calories. If this dish is anything to go by then they’re seriously on to something!

mushroom & pulled pork sliders | The Secret Life of Bee

Mushrooms are like meat in more ways than one. Don’t crowd the pan or they’ll sweat. So cook them on a very high heat with a dash of olive oil and salt and they’ll brown beautifully. This sauce is delicious but you can add as much or as little to the pork and mushroom mix as you like. Reserve any leftovers in the fridge to spice up another dinner. I find the pork and the bun are rich and flavourful enough so I went with a clean and crisp slaw using just vinegar and seasoning as opposed to the American mayonnaise style slaws but you can always add some if you like. Most importantly just make sure you invite some friends over when you make this. It’s a little bit effort intensive but it’s so worth it and you’ll be so chuffed with yourself you’ll want to share this!

mushroom & pulled pork sliders | The Secret Life of Bee

mushroom & pulled pork sliders

makes 12 sliders

Ingredients:

  • 500g Portabella mushrooms
  • 500g pork shoulder meat (so with bone in & fat cap: +- 1kg)

Buns:

  • 250ml warm water
  • 45 ml warm milk
  • 8,5g dry yeast
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 450g strong white bread flour
  • 60g all-purpose flour
  • 13g salt
  • 55g butter, softened

Rub:

  • 1Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 250ml beer
  • 1 tsp garlic flakes
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke

BBQ Sauce:

  • 180ml tomato sauce
  • 25g Demerara sugar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 60ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Tabasco to taste

Slaw:

  • 1 baby red cabbage
  • 1 baby green cabbage
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 green apple
  • apple cider vinegar
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method:

For the buns: Preheat oven to 200˚C. Mix the warm water, milk, sugar and yeast together and leave to get frothy and foamy for about 5-10minutes. Mix the two flours, salt and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the yeast mixture as well as one of the eggs, beaten, to the flour mixture and let the mixer do the work for you on medium speed for about 7-10 minutes until a silky, elastic dough has formed. Place in a greased bowl and cover with clingfilm. Once the dough has doubled in size turn out onto a floured work surface and divide into twelve. Roll into balls and place onto a lined baking sheet. Once again let them double in size. Don’t rush this second rise! It’s super important. When the buns have doubled in size brush them with an egg wash. Mix the remaining one egg with a teaspoon of water and brush all over the surface of the buns. Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the pork: Preheat oven to 225˚C. Score the fat of the pork shoulder. Combine all the rub ingredients well. Massage the pork with the rub making sure to get it in all the nooks and crannies. Discard excess. Place the pork in a roasting tin lined with tinfoil. (leave some excess tinfoil hanging over the edge)

Place the pork on the tinfoil and roast at 225˚C for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Turn the oven down to 125˚C. Add the beer, garlic flakes and liquid smoke to the roasting pan. Seal the pork into a parcel with the tinfoil and continue to cook for another 4-5 hours. Remove and let it rest for 30 minutes before pulling it apart using a fork.

Clean the mushrooms by brushing them with a damp pastry brush. Slice them very finely into long strips. Fry the mushrooms on high heat in several batches with a touch of olive oil and sea salt until golden brown.

Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

For the slaw- slice the cabbage very finely. I use a spiralizer and it works like a charm. Grate the carrots and julienne the apple. Mix everything, drizzle with apple cider vinegar and season well.

Mix the pulled pork with the mushroom slices. Add some BBQ sauce and mix well. Serve on the buns topped with the crunchy coleslaw.

mushroom & pulled pork sliders | The Secret Life of Bee

mushroom & pulled pork sliders | The Secret Life of Bee