From smoky to tangy to spicy, these protein-based dishes will please an array of palates.

Smoked snoek fish cakes

  • 500g smoked snoek,
    deboned and flaked

  • 4 red onions, thinly sliced

  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 kg sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and roughly mashed

  • 3 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 lemon, half juiced and zested

  • pepper, to taste

  • salt, to taste

  • flour seasoned with salt and pepper, for dusting

Tartar sauce:

  • 2 extra-large free range eggs, beaten

  • Dijon mustard

  • 15 ml canola oil, plus extra for greasing

  • 4 Tbsp gherkins, finely chopped

  • 2 Tbsp capers, roughly chopped

  • 3 Tbsp parsley, chopped

To make the fish cakes, fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft and translucent. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the smoked snoek, cooked sweet potatoes, onion mixture, smoked paprika, parsley and the juice of 1 lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Check the seasoning and adjust.

Form handfuls of the mixture into fish cakes and dust with the seasoned flour.

Place on a greased tray and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile, make the tartar sauce. In a blender, blend the egg yolks, mustard, the remaining lemon juice and salt. Blend for 30 seconds.

With the blender running, slowly pour in the canola oil. If the mayo gets a bit thick, you can add a few tablespoons of water before continuing with adding the oil.

Taste the mayo and adjust the seasoning.

Add the chopped gherkins, capers, and parsley and adjust the seasoning again.

To cook the fish cakes, heat your oven to 180 C and bake the cakes until golden brown on both sides.

Pickled fish

  • 2 T olive oil

  • 5 large onions, cut into thin rings

  • 1 x 3 cm piece fresh ginger, grated

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 5 t mild curry powder

  • 2 t turmeric

  • 6 bay leaves

  • 1 t whole allspice or allspice powder

  • 1 t coriander seeds

  • 1 t whole cumin or cumin powder

  • 1 litre white vinegar

  • 300 g honey

  • 2 kg kingklip, butterflied, or deep-sea hake fillets, cut into portions

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a stainless-steel saucepan over a medium heat, add 1 T oil and, when hot, gently sauté the onion until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and spices and fry gently for a few minutes, or until fragrant.

Add the vinegar and honey and stir until the honey has dissolved. Simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, dust the fish with the seasoned flour and pat off any excess.

Heat 1 T oil in a heavy-based frying pan and, when hot, fry the fish until golden but still succulent.

Place a layer of fish in a deep sterile glass or non-metallic container and pour a little of the hot sauce over it, to cover. Continue layering fish and sauce until all the fish is covered. Cool, then chill until ready to serve.

Spicy poached eggs

  • 1/2 cup onion, sliced

  • 5 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 large red or yellow pepper, chopped

  • 1 medium brinjal, chopped

  • 1 x 400g tin Italian chopped tomatoes

  • 1 tsp fresh chilli, crushed

  • a pinch of sea salt, plus extra to taste

  • black pepper, ground

  • 4 Free-range eggs, beaten

  • 2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • wholewheat couscous, cooked according to package instructions

1 Tbsp chilli sauce

Soften the onion in 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pan.

Stir in the garlic, pepper and brinjal, plus the remaining olive oil.

Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice until the vegetables start to soften.

Add the tomatoes, chilli and a little seasoning. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, until the vegetables are cooked and the sauce has a good consistency.

Season to taste.

Add the eggs, cover and poach gently for 5 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks slightly runny.

Sprinkle with parsley and spoon over the hot couscous.

Roast leg of lamb


  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 2 stems rosemary, de-stalked

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

  • 2 red chilies, with or without seeds, depending on taste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt flakes

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the roast

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 5kg free-range leg of lamb

  • 4 onions, peeled and cut into wedges

  • 1 whole garlic bulb, halved

  • 3 stems thyme

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar

Starting with the marinade, toast the coriander seeds in a dry pan for several minutes until fragrant.

Place all the marinade ingredients, except the olive oil in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Pulse or grind until fine. Combine the spices with the olive oil.

Massage the spice marinade into the lamb, place in a non-metallic dish and cover with cling film. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove the lamb from the fridge and bring up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180º C.

Place the onions, garlic and thyme in a large roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the leg of lamb with the fatty side facing down on top of the onions. Pour the stock in around the sides of the roasting tin. Cover loosely with foil and roast for 2 ½ hours.

Remove the foil and turn the lamb over. Add the honey and balsamic vinegar to onions and stir through to combine. Roast for a further 1 hour, uncovered. Turn the heat up to 220º C and cook for about 20 minutes.

Remove the leg of lamb and garlic bulb halves from the roasting tin and cover with foil. Set aside to rest.

Place the roasting tin with the onions on the hob. With the heat on high, reduce the pan juices until sticky. Add plenty of black pepper and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Return the leg of lamb to the pan and heat through. Serve with root vegetable sides.

Start typing and press Enter to search