Grilled Chicken Tacos

3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried parsley
12 corn tortillas, warmed
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, jarred salsa verde and chopped avocados, onions, tomatoes and cilantro, for serving

In a blender, puree the tomatoes with the lime juice, water and salt. Transfer the puree to a large resealable plastic bag and add the chicken thighs. Seal the bag, pressing out the air. Refrigerate the chicken for 6 hours or overnight.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and pat them dry. Brush with the oil and sprinkle with the paprika and parsley. Grill over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until the chicken is lightly charred and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a work surface and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken thighs into strips and serve with the warmed tortillas, cheese, salsa verde, avocados, onions, tomatoes and cilantro.

Barbacoa Beef Tacos with Two Sauces

4 large ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
15 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
8 bay leaves
Six 1-lb., English-cut, bone-in beef short ribs
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt
Pepper
Warm corn tortillas, cilantro sprigs, finely chopped white onion and lime wedges, for serving
Salsa Verde Cruda, for serving

BRAISE THE MEAT
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a medium skillet, toast the ancho chiles over moderate heat, turning, until pliable and charred in spots, about 2 minutes; let cool slightly, then tear into pieces.

BRAISE THE MEAT
In a large roasting pan, toss the ancho and chipotle chiles with the celery, carrots, onion, garlic and bay leaves. In a large bowl, toss the short ribs with the oregano, cumin and 2 tablespoons of salt. Arrange the ribs over the vegetables in the roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water to the pan, cover tightly with foil and braise in the oven for about 3 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender.

MAKE THE CHILE SAUCE
Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet. Strain the braising liquid through a colander set over a heatproof bowl; skim off any fat. Discard the bay leaves and return the vegetables and chiles to the braising liquid. Working in batches, puree the vegetables and liquid in a blender until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

GRILL
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Working in batches if necessary, grill the ribs over high heat, turning occasionally, until charred and crisp, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and, using two forks, shred the meat; discard the bones. Serve the barbacoa in warm corn tortillas with the sauce, cilantro, chopped onion, lime wedges and Salsa Verde Cruda.

Steak Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon finely grated garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into 5-inch lengths
Salt
Pepper
Warm corn tortillas, for serving
Diced fresh pineapple, for serving
Thinly sliced red onion, for serving
Cilantro leaves, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the garlic and ginger. Brush the mixture all over the steak and season lightly with salt and pepper. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Add the steak and cook over high heat, turning once, until charred on the outside and medium-rare within, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a carving board and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve the steak against the grain and serve in warm corn tortillas with diced pineapple, sliced red onion and cilantro leaves.

Tacos al Pastor

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 guajillo chiles—stemmed, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons achiote paste
Sea salt
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 medium pineapple, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 medium red onion, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
Warm corn tortillas, chopped cilantro and lime wedges, for serving

In a medium saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the oregano, cumin, pepper and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chiles and cook, stirring, until blistered in spots, about 30 seconds. Add the pineapple juice, vinegar and achiote paste and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Transfer the chile mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt. Scrape the marinade into
a large, sturdy plastic bag.
Add the pork and turn to coat. Set the bag in a small baking dish and refrigerate overnight.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the pineapple and onion with oil. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a carving board and tent with foil.

Remove the pork from the marinade. Grill over high heat until lightly charred and just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Cut the pineapple, onion and pork into thin strips and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt. Serve with corn tortillas, chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

Bacon-Wrapped Grilled Shrimp

SHRIMP
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 small jarred or dried Calabrian chiles, minced
20 jumbo shrimp, shelled with tails intact
10 slices of bacon, cut in half crosswise

COCKTAIL SAUCE
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup prepared white horseradish, drained
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving

PREPARE THE SHRIMP
In a large baking dish, whisk the 1/2 cup of oil with the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and chiles. Wrap each shrimp with a piece of bacon and add to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour; turn the shrimp halfway through marinating.

MAKE THE COCKTAIL SAUCE
In a bowl, whisk the ketchup, horseradish, shallot, vinegar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

GRILL THE SHRIMP
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; brush with oil. Season the shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until the bacon is browned and the shrimp is just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve with the cocktail sauce and lemon wedges.

Barbecued Shrimp (or Pork, or Beef) with Tomato Salad

1/3 cup packed basil leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
24 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 large yellow heirloom tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

In a blender, puree the 1/3 cup of basil leaves with the olive oil until smooth. Season the oil with salt and black pepper.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, mix the sweet smoked paprika with the pure ancho chile powder, light brown sugar, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Brush the shrimp with the canola oil and season all over with the spice mixture. Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until they are lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes total.

Arrange the tomato and onion slices on a platter and drizzle with the basil oil. Top with the shrimp, garnish with the remaining basil leaves and serve.

Grilled Shrimp and Watermelon Salad

CUCUMBER WATER
2 large cucumbers (about 1 1/4 pounds)—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt

SALAD
2 cups diced (1/2 inch) seedless red watermelon
2 cups diced (1/2 inch) seedless yellow watermelon
1 1/2 pounds red tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
One large cucumber—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup pure olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups baby salad greens

In a blender, puree the cucumbers with the sugar, rice vinegar and salt. Strain the puree through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl. Refrigerate the cucumber water until chilled.

In a large bowl, toss the red and yellow watermelon with the tomatoes, cucumber, shallots, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice and tarragon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and for up to 6 hours.

Shortly before serving, light a grill or heat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the pure olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp over high heat until browned and just cooked, about 3 minutes per side.

Spoon the watermelon salad into 4 shallow bowls. Arrange the grilled shrimp on top. Ladle the cucumber water into each bowl, top with the baby salad greens and serve.

MAKE AHEAD
The cucumber water can be made up to 1 day ahead. Stir before adding to the salad.

Grilled Shrimp with Oregano and Lemon

1/2 cup salted capers—rinsed, soaked for 1 hour and drained
1/2 cup oregano leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
Salt

On a cutting board, finely chop the drained capers with the oregano leaves and garlic. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season the sauce with pepper.

Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Thread the shrimp onto metal skewers and grill over high heat, turning once, until the shrimp are lightly charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp from the skewers and transfer them to a platter. Spoon the sauce on top and serve.

Ginger-Garlic Grilled Shrimp (or Chicken, or Pork)

SHRIMP
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined

DIPPING SAUCE
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 stalks of fresh lemongrass, tender inner bulb only, minced
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Kosher salt

In a large bowl, mix the vegetable oil with the parsley, garlic, basil, ginger, lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Stir in the ginger, garlic and lemongrass and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt. Transfer the sauce to ramekins.

Light a grill. Loosely thread the shrimp onto 10 skewers. Grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to plates and serve with the tomato sauce.

Grilled Miso Shrimp

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons yellow miso
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
3 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sambal oelek

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons of the lime juice with the miso, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic and brown sugar. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Thread the shrimp and scallions on eight 8-inch skewers.

Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the sambal oelek and the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Serve the shrimp with the sambal mayonnaise.

Curry Grilled Shrimp with Cucumber Salad

1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint
2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large English cucumber (1 pound)—halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced on the bias
1 medium jalapeño—halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
Lemon wedges, for serving

Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the curry powder, cayenne, ginger and coriander and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat until slightly charred and white throughout, about 2 minutes per side.

In a medium bowl mix the yogurt with the mint, cilantro, cumin seeds and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in the cucumber and jalapeño, and season with salt and pepper. Serve the grilled shrimp with the cucumber salad and lemon wedges.

Harissa Grilled Shrimp

2 pounds large shrimp
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 small garlic cloves, finely grated
Kosher salt
Lime wedges, for serving

In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the lime juice and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the caraway, coriander and cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool, then add the crushed red pepper and grind into a powder. In a large bowl, whisk the ground spices with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, the paprika, garlic and 1/4 cup of water. Season the harissa with salt.

Light a grill. Season the shrimp lightly with salt and grill over high heat, turning, until lightly charred and just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add the shrimp to the harissa and toss to coat. Transfer the shrimp to a platter and serve with lime wedges.

Durban Carrot Salad

2 large carrots
10cm long piece of cucumber
2 medium chillies
6 cherry tomatoes or 1 whole tomato
quarter piece iceberg lettuce
3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1teaspoon salt

Optional
1 onion

Prepare the vegetables by rinsing then pat dry. Peel the carrots. Grate along the length of the carrot to form long grated strands (use a julienne cutter).

Shred lettuce into thin strips.

Dice or julienne the cucumber.

Slice the tomatoes and chilies into thin discs or preferred shapes.

Once all vegetables have been cut combine in a dish then add the vinegar dressing.

To make the dressing add 3 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice to 1 teaspoon salt. Mix until the salt is dissolved then pour over the salad just before serving.

Carrot salad is best enjoyed fresh-on the day of preparation.

Jollof Rice

60 mls cooking oil
1 onion
1 inch ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes (or 4 large ripe tomatoes)
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 vegetable stock cube
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of mixed herbs
2 cups of long grain rice (basmati or jasmine)
2 cups of boiling hot water

Wash the rice then soak it in some boiled water until ready to use.

In a large, heavy based pot, heat up the olive oil.

Finely chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Add them to the oil and fry until golden brown. This will take 6 to 8 minutes.

When the onions are golden brown, add the tomato puree followed by the canned tomatoes and allow to cook down into a sauce. Chop the scotch bonnet pepper and add it to the gravy. Tip: If you do not want much heat from the pepper but would still like the flavour, add the pepper whole and allow to infuse in the sauce.

Crumble the vegetable stock cube into the gravy and stir. Add the bay leaves and herbs. Allow the sauce or jollof stew base to simmer and cook on a medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring to prevent burning.

5Once you notice oil rise to the top of the sauce, strain the soaked rice and add it to the pot. Top up with 500 mls (2 cups) of boiling water, you may need to use less water or top up if the rice is still hard. Bring to the boil, stir, then allow to steam on a low heat.

After about 7 to 9 minutes, when most of the moisture has been soaked up by the rice but it is still mildly soggy, cover it with parchment paper right above the rice followed by a lid and close tightly.

After 5 minutes, you need to stir with a 2 prong fork. I choose to use the 2 prong fork as it will not mash up the rice during stirring in the same way that a spoon would. Cover the jollof and after a further 10 minutes, stir a couple of times just to make sure the heat is distributed evenly.

Check if the rice has cooked. Serve with some oven roasted fish or chicken and a side of salad. Coleslaw works extremely well with jollof. For a vegetarian feast, try it with koose.

Bobotie

2 tbsp butter
1 tsp curry powder
3 cloves
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
600g mince beef
2 tbsp Mrs balls chutney
1 beef stock cube
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
2 slices white crustless bread soaked in milk
1 egg
125 ml milk (1/2 a cup)
2 tbsp double cream (optional)
1 level tsp turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 170 degrees centigrade.

Fry the onions, garlic and ginger in the butter until soft and golden brown. Add the spices, the mince, vinegar, Worcester sauce and stock cube. When the mince has browned, add the pre-soaked bread and work into the mixture.

Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake, covered, in the oven for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg, milk and turmeric to make the savoury custard mix.

Add cream for an extra rich custard topping. Season with a little salt and pepper. Remove the mince mixture from the oven, uncover, then pour the egg mix over. Arrange th bay leaves on top then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

The bay leaves should be fragrant and the surface of the custard, golden brown. Serve with rice.

Chicken Rendang

Sauce:
1/2 can good-quality coconut milk
2 tbsp. fresh lemongrass, finely chopped (can also be purchased frozen at Asian food stores)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece galangal (or ginger)
1 to 3 red chilies, depending on how hot you like your curry (de-seeded if less heat is desired), or 1/3 to 3/4 tsp. dry chili flakes
3/4 tbsp. tamarind paste
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. dark soy sauce
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 heaping tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. shrimp paste (available by the jar at Asian food stores), or add 1 tbsp. more fish sauce

For Dish:
1 lb. chicken pieces
2 whole star anise (available at Asian food stores), optional

For Garnish:
Fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, optional

Place all sauce ingredients in a food processor. Process well to form a thick curry paste. If you don’t have a food processor, simply chop onion and herbs finely and combine with the coconut milk, spices, and other ingredients. These herbs and spices can also be ground together with a pestle and mortar.

Do a taste test for salt and spice, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough. If not spicy enough, add more fresh chili or chili sauce. If too sour, add a little more brown sugar.
Place sauce in a wok or pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces plus the whole star anise, if using, and stir well. Continue stirring occasionally as you bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer. Do not cover, as you want the sauce to reduce and become thicker.

Allow the curry to simmer, stirring occasionally, for up to 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked and tender. The sauce will reduce so that it is almost like a coating on the meat (plus there will be a little sauce leftover in the pan).

Serve directly from the wok with any extra sauce poured over. Garnish with a sprinkling of fresh coriander, if desired. Serve with Thai jasmine-scented rice or easy Thai coconut rice. This dish can also be served with flat bread.

Chicken Balti

SPICES MIX FOR THE BALTI
½ teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
4 dried curry leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
3 green chilies, chopped
4 cardamom pods, split

OTHER INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon groundnut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
250 ml vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon tomato purée
Salt to taste
1 bay leaf
1 large tomato, sliced

Assemble all the spices. You will find it easier to make the curry if you get all the spices ready beforehand.

To begin the curry first you need to heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot but not smoking, add the lightly crushed mustard seeds, cook for 30 seconds only, beware they may pop and spit out of the pan. Add the chopped onion, lower the heat and cook for approx 3 – 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Then, add all the spices plus the garlic and ginger. Cook on a medium heat taking care to ensure the spices don’t burn.

Add the chicken, the sugar stirring well to make sure all the chicken is coated in the spices. Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally to make sure the chicken or spices are not burning.

Finally, add the stock, the tomato purée, a samll pinch of salt and the bay leaf. Stir again and then lower the heat. Cook gently for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Finally add the cilantro/coriander and tomato, stir and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Serve piping hot in balti dishes with naan breads on the side.

Durban Chicken and Potato Curry

2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, sliced into rings
1 sprig curry leaves
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger root
3 tsp curry masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1kg skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
3 small Chillies finely chopped (or left whole if you prefer it mild, you fish them out at the end of cooking time)
2 medium tomatoes
200ml chicken stock
1 tsp tomato purée
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
fresh coriander leaves, to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion and curry leaves until the onion is soft and golden brown. Stir in the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for a couple of minutes over a low heat.

Increase the temperature and add the chicken and chillies, stirring well for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes, half the stock and cook for about 10 minutes before adding the tomato purée.

Add the potatoes and the remaining stock; cover and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

Remove the chillies and curry leaves, adjust the seasoning if necessary and sprinkle with the coriander before serving.
Serve on a bed of rice with the tomato and mint sambal.