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December dining with J’Something

J’Something’s new cookbook Something’s Cooking is finally here, and we were drooling as we paged through it. We love that the recipes are super easy, traditional and are all great for entertaining. To give you guys a little sneak preview, we put together a three-course meal from the book. And if these recipes leave you wanting more, well, you know where to find them for only R330 (RRP is approximate) for the whole book!

NIBBLES – Lord of the wings


For the sauce
½ cup honey
½ cup sriracha
¼ cup soy sauce
Juice of ½ lime (about 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp sesame oil
For the wings
½ head garlic, sliced in half
1 stick celery, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
½ onion, chopped
1 leek, washed and sliced
5 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 L water
1 kg chicken wings
All-purpose flour, for coating
Salt to taste
20 g sesame seeds, toasted
1 spring onion
150 ml buttermilk
Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

1. To make the sauce, whisk together the honey, sriracha, soy, lime juice and sesame oil in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce comes together, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Place into a large pot the garlic, celery, carrot, onion, leek, peppercorns, bay leaf and the water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer.
4. Place the chicken wings in the pot, bring back to a simmer, and cook for a further 25 minutes at simmering point. Take out the biggest wing to check whether it is cooked. If so, remove the wings from the pot and leave to cool, then refrigerate.
5. Place the flour in a bowl and season with salt to taste. Set aside.
6. Toast the sesame seeds in a non-stick pan until golden and fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl.
7. Wash the spring onion, slice at an angle about 2 mm thick and place in a bowl, then set aside.
8. Pour the buttermilk into a bowl. Set up the bowls in the following order: the wings, the buttermilk and then the seasoned flour. Evenly coat the wings in the buttermilk, then dust with the seasoned flour, shake off any excess and deep-fry in oil until golden.
11. Over a medium heat, warm the sauce and thicken ever so slightly, keeping it warm until needed.
12. When the wings are golden, remove from the fryer and drain on a paper towel. Place the wings in a bowl, along with the warm sauce, and lightly toss to coat evenly. Immediately plate onto a serving platter and garnish with the spring onion and toasted sesame seeds.

MAINS – Meatloaf

J’Something says, ‘This is my friend and brand manager Dale’s favourite dish. He once requested just this as a birthday present. It is a delicious combination of both pork and beef mince and is served with polenta or spaghetti.’


500 g pork mince
500 g beef mince
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
Salt and black pepper, to season
4 tbsp breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
8–12 strips streaky bacon
150 g mozzarella, grated

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a loaf tin.
2. Place the pork and beef mince, paprika, oregano, rosemary, thyme and chilli flakes in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
3. Add the breadcrumbs and egg and mix thoroughly.
4. Place the mince mixture in the loaf tin and press down, then layer the bacon across the top and tuck the edges into the sides of the tin.
5. Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.
6. Remove from the oven, sprinkle over the grated mozzarella and return to the oven for 5–8 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is golden.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving.
8. Serve with polenta or spaghetti.

Pastéis de nata (lazy custard tarts)

J’Something says, ‘There is one thing you must have if you get to travel to Portugal, and that’s a pastel de nata! It’s a glorious experience, especially when it’s still warm and slightly burnt on top, and you’re enjoying it with a good espresso. I have created an easy version for you to make in the comfort of your home.


115 g caster sugar
1 egg (+ 2 egg yolks)
2 tbsp cornflour
400 ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 roll puff pastry
Cinnamon, for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
2. Place the sugar and egg in a saucepan and mix together with a spoon.
3. Place the cornflour in a small bowl. Stir some of the milk into the flour until it forms a thick, creamy consistency with no lumps. Then add the cornflour mixture to the egg mixture, along with the remaining milk and vanilla extract.
4. Gently heat for about 5 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken to the consistency of custard.
5. Roll the pastry and cut into thick 1 cm rounds. Roll them out into flatter rounds and gently lift, pressing them into muffin tins.
6. Pour in the cream mixture and place in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until golden.
7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.

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