The Cook with Biltong Club: Biltong, strawberry and mascarpone blinis

A heatwave has hit London…hooray. So it’s time for some summery food. Today I was inspired to make some biltong blinis using the beautifully juicy English strawberries that are around at the moment.

I cheated and bought ready-made canapé blinis (why wouldn’t you!) from Sainsbury’s. Then all it takes is a little slicing and some assembling and you’ve got creamy, sweet and savoury bite-sized snacks. My guests loved them!

Makes 24

24 mini blinis

1 small carton of mascarpone

12 strawberries, destalked and sliced in half

24 small slices of biltong

24 mint leaves

Spread the blinis with mascarpone.

Top with a mint leaf, then a slice of biltong and then half a strawberry.

Serve immediately.

I got my biltong from The Chichester Biltong Company. To order from a wide range of delicious flavours including habanero, garlic, barbecue, peri peri and of course classic steak, visit Chichester Biltong Company.

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Summer snacks for al fresco entertaining

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The three main ingredients

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Simply top your blinis with four ingredients for a taste sensation

 

Recipe: Cheesy, mustardy scones with biltong butter

Today I’m doing some cooking with biltong, well baking really. I love a savoury scone and these ones are beautifully cheesy and mustardy. The recipe was shared with me by my friend Riana (thank you Riana) and it’s totally delicious. I upped the mustard quantity (her recipe was for half a teaspoon and I added two) as I like a bit more of a mustardy bite.

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For the scones 

1 cup white cake flour

Half a cup of milk

Half a cup of cream

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsps mustard powder

Dash of cayenne pepper

Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 190c

Sift all dry ingredients and stir in the milk and cream, it should be quite a moist batter.

Spoon generous amounts of batter into muffin tin, about 3/4 of the way up the tin. Bake for approx 15 – 20 minutes.  Test with a skewer, if it comes out clean the scones are ready.

scones

The golden scones straight from the oven

For the biltong butter

60ml unsalted butter at room temperature

30g chopped biltong

While the scones are baking, make the biltong butter. Add the butter and biltong to a blender and blend until the two have mixed well together and the biltong is shredded.

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The blended butter ready to be spread

When the scones are ready leave them to cool for about 10 minutes, then slice open when they’re still warm and spread thickly with the biltong butter. The butter melts into the warm scones and you’re left with a delicious topping of shredded biltong. Irresistible!

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Spicy scones topped with the richness of biltong

Cooking with biltong: Biltong and Oregano French Toast

It’s time to get cooking with biltong again

I love French toast and when my biltong supplies arrived I had a thought that this classic breakfast/brunch dish would work really well with the addition of biltong. I also have my (rapidly dwindling) packet of Greek oregano bought on the dream island of Symi which I thought would add an extra something special.

I chose a bloomer loaf as the large slices can absorb plenty of the eggy mixture. And I do like my French toast very eggy!

A really simple dish that tastes fabulous and is on your plate in minutes. You have to give it a try.

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Golden French bread with tasty biltong bits

Biltong and oregano French toast

Makes 2 slices

2 eggs

3 tbsps milk

1 tsp dried oregano

1 large handful biltong, chopped into small pieces

2 slices thick white bread

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Beat the eggs, milk and oregano together throughly, then mix the chopped biltong through it.

Soak your bread thoroughly in the egg mixture, turning it a couple of times.

Heat the oil in a frying pan to a medium heat.

Add the bread and pour any egg mix left over the top so it soaks through.

Fry for about 4 mins on each side until the egg is cooked and it’s nicely browned.

Tastes amazing on its own or would also be good served with bacon or sausage for a more substantial breakfast. Or if you like a bit of sweetness, spread thinly with honey.

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Soak the bread thoroughly in the egg mixture

A special offer for Eating Covent Garden readers

Calling all biltong lovers living in the UK. A special offer for alleatingcoventgarden.com and The Cook with Biltong Club followers, you can get 20% off any order from the Chichester Biltong Company. Go to  www.biltongcompany.co.uk and enter SANDY20 in the code box when you order to claim your discount.

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Bubbling French toast

 

The Cook with Biltong Club: Biltong, goat’s cheese and avocado bruschetta

It’s the beginning of August, where is 2014 going? It seems to be super-speedy. Anyway, a new month means it’s time for my monthly biltong recipe. I love this mix of creamy goats cheese and avocado, spicy biltong and refreshing mint.

Really quick and easy to prepare, these bruschettas make the perfect starter or wonderful snacks with those alfresco summer drinks. And I think they look stunning, too!

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A plateful of delectable bruschetta

1 loaf fresh ciabatta

i large clove of garlic, peeled

150g soft goat’s cheese

2 avocados

100g Chichester Biltong Company peri peri biltong

2 handfuls of fresh mint leaves, pulled from the stem

Slice the ciabatta and lightly toast it on one side.

Rub the garlic clove over the toasted side.

Spread generously with the goat’s cheese.

Peel and slice the avocado and place a couple of slices on top of the goat’s cheese.

Top with the biltong slices and mint and your bruschetta are ready to eat!

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All the ingredients ready to go

Join our club and get cooking with biltong

If you can’t find biltong in the shops near you, don’t despair. If you live in the UK you can order online from the Chichester Biltong Company. Their tasty biltong comes in different flavours and you can select how wet and fatty you’d like your meat to be, too.

Go to http://www.biltongcompany.co.uk and enter the code EATINGCOVENT when you order.

Do you have any inventive ideas for using biltong? I’d love to try them out, please get in touch.

Please also like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CookWithBiltong

I love my sunflower plates which are from www.miafleur.com They’re just perfect for serving up summery snacks on a sunny day.

The Cook with Biltong Club: an exciting new creation

It’s always fun and a challenge to come up with new recipes. Thinking laterally about different ingredient mixes, ways of cooking and letting your imagination go. This was the most fun I’ve had cooking in a long time (and I always have fun!).

I was trying to think of a new way to cook with biltong while at the same time being challenged to come up with a new dish using Parmesan that was influenced by my country of origin. The two projects became one recipe! A perfect fit.

I think I’ve come up with something quite unique! So unique in fact that I had to make up a name for it as nothing else really fitted. So welcome to the food world to my Parchibis, a name created by using the beginning of the three main ingredients: Parmesan, chicken and biltong.

There’s an Italian/South African/Japanese fusion going on here. I’ve been cooking with biltong over the past year and love its versatility. So I thought that mixing it into these little cakes would add more flavour and texture to the smoothness of the chicken. The Parmesan adds the lovely cheesy depth. I’ve used Panko breadcrumbs as I love their texture and lightness – they are Japanese breadcrumbs which have a slightly flakier texture – but normal ones would also work.

This recipe is easily adaptable: add  vegetables, like peppers or onions; substitute the biltong with bacon or chorizo and experiment with different herbs and spices. The possibilities are huge! Though I think you’ll be hard pushed to beat the tastiness of this combination. I gave my new concoction to several people to try out…just to make sure I wasn’t just overwhelmed by the wonderfulness of creating something unique and their verdicts were unanimous – they loved them – “We thought we’d died and gone to food heaven.” Now that makes me very happy.

Have you created something unique in the kitchen? Have you thought up unusual combinations? Do get in touch.

Parchibis: Parmesan, chicken and biltong bakes

Makes 6 parchibis

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Little meaty cakes topped with crispy breadcrumbs

Half a cup of Parmesan

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 egg

500g chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic, crushed

200g biltong, chopped into small pieces

2 tbsps dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the panko breadcrumbs, half the Parmesan and the olive oil. Mix it well with your fingers.

Put the chicken into a food processor and blend until it’s soft. Place in a bowl and add the egg, garlic, biltong, oregano and the rest of the Parmesan. Mix well.

Lightly butter a muffin tray. Divide the mixture between the six. Top the mixture with the breadcrumbs, lightly pressing them down so they stick.

Bake for 25 to 30 mins until the panko is golden brown.

Take out of the oven and rest for 10 mins. Take a knife to loosen each cake, they should come away really easily.

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The parchibis in the muffin tray waiting to go into the oven

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Golden brown and smelling delectable…my exciting new dish

Join our club

I’m regularly going to post a new recipe using biltong, so watch this space.

And if you want to order some yourself, I highly recommend the Chichester Biltong Company where you can choose the wetness and fattiness of your biltong too (it’s very personal, you know).

Go to http://www.biltongcompany.co.uk and enter the code EATINGCOVENT when you order.

Please also like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CookWithBiltong

The Cook with Biltong Club: biltong, broad beans and garlic

It’s time for my monthly recipe using my favourite ingredient: biltong.

This dish was inspired by a beautiful ham and broad bean starter I’ve eaten in restaurants in Spain. I thought, if ham, why not biltong? It worked beautifully. And you don’t just have to take my word for it. My ever-keen South African neighbours came over for a tasting and voted it their favourite biltong dish I’ve forced asked them to try.

Dishes really don’t come much simpler than this, three ingredients, a little bit of olive oil, a quick fry and you’re done. A different and tasty starter on the table in minutes.

Serves 4 as a starter

The dish sizzles on the stove top

The dish sizzles on the stove top

2 tbsps olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

100g biltong, cut into small slices

500g broad beans, podded and peeled

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic for about 5 mins until it’s softened.

Add the beans and fry for another 5 mins until heated through.

Add the biltong and fry for another 5 mins.

Serve at the table in the pan for everyone to dig in.

Top tip

I always double pod broad beans which means taking them out of the pod and then removing the skin from each bean. It’s time consuming but I find it quite therapeutic. And I think the beans look much brighter green and taste better without their skins.

Three ingredients is all you need

Three ingredients is all you need

Join our club

I’m regularly going to post a new recipe using biltong, so watch this space.

And if you want to order some yourself, I highly recommend the Chichester Biltong Company where you can choose the wetness and fattiness of your biltong too (it’s very personal, you know).

Go to http://www.biltongcompany.co.uk and enter the code EATINGCOVENT when you order.

Please also like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CookWithBiltong