Tag Archives: Apricots

South African Sosaties

Spending over a week with a handful of South Africans means that you must be ready to eat a lot of meat.  A lot of meat, prepared on the grill.  A lot of grilled meat, accompanied with salads and fruits and grilled corn on the cob.

I am so okay with this.

So here’s an awesome recipe for yet another South African grilled classic, sosaties (in Afrikaans meaning “skewered meat with spicy sauce”, thanks to Wikipedia).

South African Sosaties Printable Recipe Card

for the sauce (sous):

  • 1 large onion, sliced into half-rounds
  • 4 C water
  • 2 T mild curry powder
  • 1/2 T ground turmeric
  • 4 T sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 C malt vinegar
  • 2 C apricot jam
  • 1/2 T lemon juice (optional)
  • salt and white pepper to taste

for the skewers

  • 3-4 lbs beef or lamb roast, cubed into 1″ cubes
  • 1 small package dried apricots
  • 1/2 package of bacon (1 strip for each skewer)
  • about a dozen skewers, if wood, soak in water before using

The meat must be prepared ahead of time and marinated for at least 24 hours in the sosatie sauce, so make sure you have time and room in the fridge!

To prepare the sauce, first slice the onion and bring it to a boil in the four cups of water.  Set aside.  Combine the dry ingredients (curry, turmeric, sugar, cornstarch, and some salt and pepper), then add in the wet ingredients (jam, vinegar, and lemon juice).  Pour this mixture into the pan with the onions, and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Set aside and allow it to cool.

Once the sauce is cooled, you can prepare the meat for the marinade.  Layer apricots, bacon, and the cubed meat in a plastic or glass container.  Cover with the cooled sosatie sauce.  This container was really convenient because it can be flipped to allow for the easiest mixing ever–but otherwise, you may have to get your hands dirty. 

Keep in the fridge for at least 24 hours before grilling.

To make the kabobs, skewer the beef, apricots, and the bacon (we’d suggest not having apricot on the ends, because they’ll tend to fall off during grilling). 

Grill the sosaties over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until they are cooked through.  Baste periodically with leftover sosatie sauce.

Enjoy!  These are tender and juicy, and the perfect combination of sweet and spicy.

And if you have never had a grilled apricot, then you haven’t lived.  Trust me when I say you might want to go out and find a South African to marry, if you haven’t already, because they make really great food:

The men are also quite handsome:

The sosaties were even better the second day, warmed up for leftovers with a giant salad–but I can promise you that the leftovers won’t last long.

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Indian Lamb with Apricots (Crockpot)

Since my last recipe involved a  crockpot, don’t be too sad that I’m breaking it out again for this recipe.  I had some lamb stew meat in the freezer that I took out and I decided that the recipe I wanted to use would be better in the crockpot because I was using a cheaper cut of meat and therefore needed the extra couple…ahem…six hours of tenderizing.

Turns out that this was a fantastic idea for the reason that I threw everything into the crockpot in the morning, ran a million errands, and came back to have dinner all ready to go!  Even better because I made a last-minute plan for my lovely friend Lola to come over for dinner, and I definitely would not have had time to make something more impressive.  Not to mention I had some leftover cardamom rice, which went perfectly with this stew.

I just love when everything works out so well, don’t you?

Don’t be intimidated by the huge quantities of spices in this recipe–it’s not hot, just flavorful.  I also used a trick I learned over Christmas and added a bit of chutney to my plate that added an amazing tang and sweetness that I loved.

Indian Lamb with Apricots (adapted from Global Feast Cookbook)

  • 12 dried apricots, soaked in water until soft and sliced
  • 2 T curry powder
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 2 t ground coriander
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 lb diced lamb stew meat
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t sugar

Oil the crockpot lightly with olive oil, then add…all the ingredients (this is why I love the crockpot).  The order I used was: onion, garlic, spices, lamb, tomatoes and paste, apricots, lemon, and sugar.  Combine everything, and set on low for six to eight hours.

The cookbook suggests you serve over rice and, if you have it (I didn’t),  poppadums, an Indian bread like crackers.

Serious Y-U-M.

While Lola was here, we also watched the documentary Babies, which made me want to adopt the fattest-cheeked Mongolian baby I can find.  So stinkin’ adorable.

Speaking of things that are adorable, I will leave you with an image that I completely forgotten that I had, but made me actually laugh out loud when I rediscovered it.  It’s my parent’s giant Irish Wolfhound, Hadley, sitting on the couch with my mom and Jordi.  Yes, sitting.  On the couch.  Like a human:

Have a lovely evening!

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Trail Mix (Fritz’s Brain Food)

Finally, with two more tests down (and only two weeks of tests left to go) I actually have a minute to catch my breath, blog…and watch Biggest Loser.  It’s been a lot of studying these last few weeks, and if you know me even the slightest bit, you know that I’d rather sell my soul to the devil do almost anything besides crack open those books.  Despite my best procrastination efforts, my cooking has still been cut down a bit–but in order to get Fritz through a day of dental lectures without passing out I needed to make him a high-energy snack food.  And if you know Fritz at all, you know he loves trail mix.  So voila!

Brain Food Trail Mix

  • 2 C raisins or other small dried fruit or berry
  • 16 oz bag organic banana chips, preferably unsweetened
  • 16 oz raw almonds
  • 8 oz raw cashews
  • 8 oz dried unsweetened apricots
  • any other fruit or nuts you want! I had some leftover pine nuts so I tossed those in.  I’ve also used yogurt covered raisins, and I know Fritz would love it if I added some peanut M&Ms (but I’m not going to. Sorry!)

Mix everything together and store in an airtight container.  You’d be surprised at how fast this goes, even though we store an 1/4 C measuring cup in the container so we take appropriately sized portions.

Wanna know some of the healthy benefits stored in that container?  Banana chips are a great source of fiber, manganese, potassium and iron.  Raw almonds are one of the most nutritionally dense nuts, containing vitamin E, magnesium, and protein.  Raw cashews (most aren’t really raw–just not roasted!) contain B vitamins, zinc, and protein.  Raisins are high energy because they are chock full of sugar like any dried fruit, but also provide fiber and antioxidants.  Lastly, dried apricots obviously have lots of fiber, but also produce the widest range and highest levels of carotenoids, antioxidants that help fight heart disease.  Don’t forget to eat in moderation, but you can feel secure knowing there is not added sugar, salt, or preservatives in your homemade mix.  Not to mention–it’s cheaper than buying a pre-made bag!  You can buy an eight-pound bag of raw almonds at BJ’s for $9!

Even though it’s more work to shop for and throw together these ingredients, it’s definitely worth it because it takes only about an extra five minutes and you’ll feel so good!  Sometimes it’s worth the extra mile, ya know?

I took a picture of our dinner tonight because it was so yummy and once again super healthy.  One of our favorite ways to relax (and eat a TON) is to have taco night! I’ll let you see for yourself:

 

I used ground turkey and black beans (I use dried beans, not canned, because they are cheaper and aren’t packed in sodium) for the filling, with some onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, and chili powder.  Chop up and throw on any veggies (we used tomatoes and avocados), some fresh chopped cilantro, and a tablespoon of plain greek yogurt (that’s right–it tastes just like sour cream in this mix!) and you don’t even need cheese or other fatty additions.  Toss it on a whole-wheat mini tortilla and you can eat three and still not feel guilty (which I did…and you should).

In some other lovely news, our good friends Breanna and Zev (henceforth known as “Zevanna”) came to visit this weekend!  We went to our favorite breakfast place, Toast, and pumpkin picking at a farm out east and had a great time.  You know how there are some people who you don’t get to see that often, but when you do get together, you can’t stop talking?  That’s what these guys are like.  On top of that, it was a celebratory weekend because Zev just took his DATs (to get into dental school) and got amazing scores.  Congrats guys!

I bought ingredients for pumpernickel bread, so as soon as I have enough hours at home I’ll be making that.  I also recently realized that I have dried chilis, chickpeas, and tahini–hot, spicy hummus here I come!  On a non-food note, I have an appointment tomorrow to get my hair cut, so I’ll be posting a fabulous update soon.  ‘Till then!

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Filed under Snacks