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Soul Food That Hugs You From Within

The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, so skip the salads and make a beeline with comfort food. 

Southern fried chicken  

Serves 2 • Total Time 20 Min (Plus 1 Hour Marinating Time) 

For the chicken
1 chicken braai pack
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp smoked or regular paprika
1 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
1 cup flour
vegetable oil for frying 

For serving
4 waffles, toasted
maple flavoured syrup
2 spring onions, sliced

1. Generously season the chicken.
2. Combine the buttermilk, garlic, paprika and herbs in a large bowl.
3. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
4. Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot.
5. Place the flour into a bowl and season well.
6. Add 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk marinade to the flour and, using a fork, stir to create large flakes.
7. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade, dip into the flour to coat evenly. Fry in batches in the hot oil: 6-8 minutes for drumsticks and 8-10 minutes for thighs.
8.Drain the chicken on kitchen paper.
9. Serve the chicken on toasted waffles with a drizzle of syrup and spring onions.

TOP TIP: You can use chicken wings, or skinless chicken breast fillets cut into strips for this recipe. 

Pulled beef with carrot and cucumber pickle  

Serves 4 • Total Time 2 Hour 30 Min For The Pickle 


3 carrots, shaved with a vegetable peeler  

5 mini cucumbers, shaved with a vegetable peeler
½ cup water
½ cup white vinegar
1 tbsp mustard seeds or coriander seeds
2 star anise
3 tbsp sugar  

For the beef
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano or mixed herbs
¼ cup olive oil
1 kg beef chuck roast or brisket
3 beef stock cups
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 onion, chopped
Handful fresh coriander
½ cup BBQ sauce  

1. Place t carrot and cucumber ribbons in a large bowl.
2. Bring the water, vinegar, spices and sugar to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
3. Pour the liquid over the vegetables and cover with clingfilm to pickle for at least 15 minutes then allow to cool.
4. Preheat oven to 160°C.
5. Combine the salt, paprika, garlic powder, ground coriander and herbs.
6. Rub half the olive oil over the beef.
7. Evenly coat the beef with the spice mixture and set aside.
8. Place the stock, tomato paste, brown sugar, onion and fresh coriander in a large deep baking dish.
9. Heat the remaining oil in a large t pan and brown the beef for about, 3-4 minutes per side.
10. Place the beef into the filled baking dish, cover with foil and roast in the oven for about 2 hours. Rotate every 30 minutes to cook evenly. Top up with stock if needed.
11. Remove the beef from the juice and allow to cool slightly before shredding with two forks.
12. Blitz the pan drippings and the bbq sauce until smooth and pour over the shredded beef. Toss to coat evenly.
13. Serve the pulled beef with the carrot pickle and soft hamburger buns.  

TOP TIP: Use leftover pulled beef in a quick pasta, tacos or pizza.  

Spinach and feta phyllo pastry pie

Serves 6 • Total Time 1 Hour  


2 packs spinach or Swiss chard
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 punnet button or brown mushrooms, quartered
3 wheels crumbled feta
3 whisked eggs
freshly ground black pepper
1 roll phyllo pastry, defrosted
½ cup butter, melted
1 tbsp sesame seeds or onion seeds

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Wilt the spinach or Swiss chard in a dry pan and set aside to cool.
3. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions for 3-5 minutes or until golden.
4. Add the garlic and mushrooms and brown for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
5. Using a clean tea towel, squeeze any excess moisture out of the cooked spinach, finely chop and place in a large bowl.
6. Drain any excess liquid from the mushroom mixture and add it to the spinach.
7. Add the feta and eggs to the mixture and combine well. Season with pepper.
8. Brush the inside of a greased and lined 20cm cake tin.
9. Place a phyllo pastry sheet into the tin, making sure that the excess pastry hangs over the sides. Brush the pastry with melted butter.
10. Repeat the process with the remaining phyllo sheets and butter.
11. Place the filling into the prepared tin and smooth out using the back of a spoon.
12. Scrunch up the excess pastry to resemble a crown.
13. Brush the top of the pie with the extra melted butter and sprinkle with the sesame or onion seeds.
14. Bake the pie for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked through.
15. Allow the pie to cool slightly in the tin before removing.
16. Slice and serve while still warm.

Free-form pasta with blistered tomatoes and burnt butter sauce  

Serves 2 • Total Time 20-30 Min

6-8 lasagne sheets
3 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, creamed
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 punnet cherry or exotic tomatoes
handful fresh sage or thyme plus extra for garnish
¼ cup breadcrumbs, toasted

1. Cook the lasagne sheets in a pot of boiling salted water for about 5-6 minutes, or until tender.
2. Remove the sheets and place on a plate and drizzle with oil to prevent them from sticking together.
3. Heat the butter and garlic in a medium-sized saucepan until the butter starts to turn a light brown colour and smells slightly nutty. Remove from the heat.
4. Vigorously whisk in the flour until smooth and lump free.
5. Place the pot back onto the heat and add 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until the sauce starts to thicken.
6. Repeat the process with the remaining milk and cook for 6-8 minutes or until you’re left with a silky smooth sauce. Season well.
7. Heat the oil in a large pan and blister the tomatoes for about 4-5 minutes. Toss through the herbs and season.
8. Arrange the lasagne sheets onto plates, drizzle over the burnt butter sauce and top with the blistered tomatoes. Garnish with fresh sage or thyme and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

TOP TIP: Add 2 anchovy fillets to the butter and garlic when making the sauce to add a hint of umami.  

Words by Chad January
Photography: Zhann Solomons  

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