Whether you consider yourself a pro or an amateur in your home kitchen, you’ll love these super simple cooking tips and tricks from the latest season of Come Dine With Me SA. Yes indeed, the seemingly complicated recipes featured on the show just became that much easier!
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply cooking a mid-week family meal, it’s easy to impress your guests with a flop-proof soufflé, luscious lamb shanks, smashing sorbet and the perfect pastry!
1. Foolproof soufflé
Joburg contestant, Kevin Collins, wowed his fellow contestants with his triple cheese twice baked soufflé. Collins’ says the trick to flawless soufflé is to use eggs that are not too fresh (3 or 4 days old is ideal) to ensure that the yolk and white separate easily. It’s also important to use a completely clean stainless steel bowl to beat the egg whites as plastic bowls tend to retain a layer of hard-to-remove grease, which may make it impossible to achieve perfectly fluffy whites.
If you’re worried about your soufflé mixture flopping, add a small pinch of salt or cream of tartar to your egg whites when they’re halfway beaten, which will help maintain volume.
Better yet, you can make and bake this soufflé ahead of time (the morning of your dinner party, or even the night before). Remove from the oven, invert, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate until a few minutes before serving. Re-bake the soufflé for a few minutes and add a generous amount of cream – it’ll puff up perfectly again!
Click here for the full recipe for Kevin Collins’ foolproof souffle.
2. Luscious lamb shanks
Contestant Katlego Ramagaga nailed her recipe for spicy lamb shanks and you can too! Popular foodie blogger, Luyanda Mafanya of Cooking with Luyanda, recreated this dish and recommends two key tips for the ideal lamb shank.
Firstly, ensure that you seal the meat with heat before cooking – this builds the most amount of flavour and ensures succulent meat. Do this by adding some olive oil to a large pan, along with garlic, shallots, thyme, and finally the lamb shanks. Seal the meat on all sides until nicely browned. The secondly, and probably most important tip, is to give your meat time. Cook your shanks slowly until tender and you’ll have succulent, fall-off-the-bone lamb shanks to serve your guests.
Click here for the full recipe for Luyanda Mafanya’s lamb shanks.
3. Super smooth sorbet
The perfect sorbet should be smooth and packed with flavour. Jathil Bhika served up the perfect sorbet on the latest season of Come Dine with Me South Africa and had her guests chanting for more.
To ensure your homemade sorbet doesn’t become icy, Jathil Bhika suggests using an egg. It might sound bizarre, but dropping an egg into the mixture after you’ve combined the sorbet ingredients together will help to ensure your sorbet is silky smooth. If the egg floats, you’ve added the correct amount of sugar, meaning your sorbet won’t become icy when you freeze it. Just don’t forget to remove the egg before you stick the sorbet in the freezer!
4. The perfect pastry
The best pastry is undeniably homemade pastry. The quality of ingredients is of utmost importance, so try and buy the most high-quality, organic stuff that you can afford. Avoid margarine at all costs and use real butter for the most flavour and to achieve the ideal golden colour.
For the perfect puff pastry, make sure you don’t overwork the mixture as it becomes more difficult to handle. Also, ensure that you let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour before you start to shape it. Another top chef tip is to maintain a cool temperature for the dough to ensure the butter doesn’t melt, which causes overly buttery layers. Bake at a high temperature (around 200°C) to ensure the perfect puff.
For more menu tips and fabulous moments, watch Come Dine With Me South Africa on BBC BRIT (DSTV channel 120) every Thursday at 20:00.