A cook off amongst friends – Olé!!

Because the Stassen’s won the last cook off, they hosted this most recent one and the theme they chose was Mexican. We had the most wonderful day and we even had a guest team…Team Taylor…. joining us from South Africa. So without further a do, I present to you the Mexican cook off!!

We started the day off with some nachos and desperado’s. It was a lovely warm day so we ate these outside watching the kids run about in the garden. There was a delicious, spicy guacamole and sour cream for dipping. What a great start to the cook off and a great scene setter for what was to come.

Team Breetzke
So, this team kicked off the challenge by going first. They did burritos filled with slow roast beef, spicy rice and topped with tomato and cheese. They made a home-made tomato salsa for dipping with guacamole and sour cream. The juicy beef  just melted in your mouth and the spicy tomato rounded this dish off perfectly. What a fabulous dish!

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Team May
We went next with spiced pulled pork fajitas with a mango salsa. I have to say that the pulled pork on its own was sublime and the mango salsa was amazing with chilli and lime juice. But in my honest opinion, when we put all the ingredients together it wasn’t as amazing I thought it would be. Not to say the dish couldn’t be amazing but I confess I didn’t practice our dish and in hindsight, I should have. Well, suffice to say, I shall be practising the next dish to make sure it is perfect for next time! We still scored really well with the “judges” so everyone still seemed to enjoy them…

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Team Stassen
The Stassen’s were next with chicken quesadillas with chorizo, cheese and chilli and home-made guacamole and chilli sauce for dipping. Crispy, spicy and cheesy… all the good things you expect from a good Mexican dish. Lip smackingly good and so easy to make, it would literally take you a few minutes to rustle up!

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Team Taylor
So our lovely guests, Mr and Mrs T contributed to the day and seeing as they were there for the very first cook off (steak) it was so fitting to have them join us for this one. On this occasion, they presented mince Chimichangas. They are traditionally deep fried but on this occasion we had them soft and gooey. They were filled with spicy mince and refined beans with a home-made chilli sauce for dipping. The mince and beans were such a good combination and the chilli sauce just added the kick you needed at the end. They were absolutely delicious and I would love to try their fried counterpart too!

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Team Jooste
So this team is always the one to watch and this was no exception! They did beautifully plated sweetcorn fritters, pulled pork, crushed tortilla chips, feta and a sprinkle of chipotle chilli. so so good! The feta added a depth to this dish that was instantaneous! Such a lovely combination of flavours!

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We were so stuffed by the end of the day we couldn’t eat another thing but what a fabulous afternoon! Good food, good friends and lots of laughs.  The voting for this one was nerve racking! I personally didn’t think my dish was that good and the Breetzke’s were ready for a win.

After counting, the Stassen’s gave us the great news that the winner of the Mexican feast was…..

Team Breetzke!!

They took home the small roaming trophy and a bottle of tequila. Well done guys! A very well deserved win and we look forward to what you have in store for us at the next cook off!

Keep an eye on the recipe tab of the blog for some recipes from the day. If you want one in particular, do contact me.

Nos Vemos (Till next time)…

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The Challenge Is On! – A cook off amongst friends

Of course, as South African’s we have a love for all things meat and wine!! So when you get invited to a steak cook off with friends… who can refuse?? It is the perfect combination! Since then we have done 3 further cook off’s and the bug has well and truly bitten.

Our previous cook-off’s have been:
Steak, Burgers, Sosaties (Kebabs) and Meat-on-the-bone

The rules are as follows:
-The couple that wins will host the next cook-off and gets to choose the theme
-You need to bring your own goodies to plate and present your dish
-One couple at a time presents their dish
-We decide the order by picking numbers out a hat
-It is up to the host to decide how the scoring will work
-Enjoy!!

The previous 2 cook off’s have been great because the theme has been so broad that almost anything goes! Matthew and I won the burger cook off so we hosted the sosatie one. It was just before we flew to SA for holiday and it was a great excuse to see everyone before we left.

Team May
Matthew and I went first with a Middle Eastern inspired, chicken thigh sosatie. It had loads of spices, hummus and tabbouleh. I was inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe and I was so happy with how it turned out!

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Team Stassen
The Stassen’s did a delicious spicy chicken breast sosatie with freshly squeezed lemon juice to add a bit of punch. Such lovely, bold flavours!

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Team Jooste
A traditional South African lamb sosatie was displayed by the Jooste’s with curry and sweet chutney flavours. Absolutely amazing! This recipe would be even better with karoo lamb which is just unbeatable in flavour but not readily available in the UK.

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Team Breetzke
The Breetzke’s presented a incredibly tender, Thai inspired, chicken breast sosatie. Everything you would expect with the delicious Thai spices and the heat from the lemongrass and chilli.

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The winners that took home the trophy at the end of the evening were the Jooste’s who’s South African sosatie was a clear winner with the wonderful taste of home. They are certainly a formidable team, having won the steak round already and now the sosaties too… We going to have to watch these guys!!

We had our most recent cook off this past weekend and the Jooste’s decided on Meat-on-the-bone as the theme. Now this is an interesting one because you can literally do pretty much anything with this! Fish, ribs, roast chicken, leg of lamb, beef stew… I mean the world is your oyster! Matthew and I really struggled to think of something because there were so many options! I then figured that while the weather is getting warmer, it still feels like curry would go down really well and if you do it well, it is a sure winner!

Team Stassen
The Stassen’s went first with the most delicious, Indian inspired lamb chop spiced with a rub that left a crust around the chop and a tingly taste in your mouth. They cooked it on the BBQ/braai and served it with grilled aubergine and a mint dip. Truly inspired. They were so delicious that Emily ate 3 chops in one go. You just could not hold the kid back!! I knew then that we were in trouble!!

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Team Breetzke
Now, the Breetzke’s decided on a simple lamb chop seasoned well. They decided on a thick cut chop and I cannot express enough what a big difference this makes. They were perfectly seasoned and so juicy, we all had to eat them outside. The thickness of the chop keeps in all the flavour and tenderness. One of the nicest chops I have had in a while!

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Team May
We were next and Matthew and I presented our lamb neck curry that we cooked in the slow cooker over night. We served it with yellow rice and coriander. It was spicy but not hot and incredibly fragrant. I was very impressed with the recipe and I will certainly use it again.

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Team Jooste
The only team that did not do lamb! The Jooste’s presented an American style feast!! Spicy ribs that had been slow cooking for 6 hours, sweet potatoes and American style Macaroni cheese! Such a wonderful way to end. Those ribs people!!! They were so tender you would be forgiven if you forgot to chew! I am telling you… This team is dangerous!!

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Well, this one was a toughy because every single dish was amazing!! In the end, the Stassen’s kicked it out the ball park and took home our tiny roaming trophy. Well done you guys!! So well deserved.

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What a wonderful way to spend time with friends, eat some amazing food and enjoy the lovely weather (for now). Thanks for the lovely day Jooste’s and we look forward to finding out what our next challenge will be once the Stassen’s decide on the next theme!

*Please get in touch if you want any of the above recipes*