Dominate in the kitchen with tips from Your Family’s Food Editor
Our chef of the month and Your Family magazine’s Food Editor, Margie Els-Burger, is an expert at preparing easy meals for the family and entertaining on a budget.
We chatted to her about her passion for food and got some of the niftiest kitchen tips we’ve ever heard!
Which fast and tasty dish would you recommend for taking to a gathering of family and friends?
I always go for either Panna Cotta or Crème Brûlée as they are easy to whip together, flavour options are endless, everybody likes it and it’s easy to travel with.
Exploring recipes during the week can be a mission for moms with hectic schedules, how can we stay motivated to try new, exciting dishes?
Plan ahead – take time over the weekend to choose seven recipes to make that week. This process can be fun with the help of magazines, cookbooks and searching online (make sure to use trustworthy sources or it can be very demotivating when dishes don’t work out).
Then you can make one big trip to the shops, instead of stopping every day. It also helps to make dishes ahead to freeze. It will take pressure off the evenings you really don’t have the energy to cook.
I also try to get the family involved. This can be a great time to bond and will make it feel less like a chore.
There are wonderful tools out there to make cooking fun and more convenient like pressure or slow cookers or even just something new like a vegetable spiraliser or a good chef’s knife can make a world of a difference.
You must have gathered so many great tips over the years, what are your favourite kitchen hacks to make life a bit easier?
Grease measuring cups and spoons with cooking oil or spray before measuring sticky ingredients like honey or liquid glucose to get it all out easily.
Boil water before you freeze it for crystal-clear ice lollies or ice cubes. Boiled water that has cooled will also freeze faster than water from the tap which is handy when you’re having a party and need to make lots of ice.
If you over-salted a pot of soup or stew, just drop in a peeled potato. The potato will absorb some of the excess salt.
What is your favourite local ingredient to cook with?
Being a farm girl, Karoo lamb is my go-to! Who can resist a slow-roasted leg of lamb or tjoppie on the braai. This takes me back to cooking meals with golden oldies like Queen, Def Leppard, Abba and Simon & Garfunkel playing in the background.
Do you have a tip for aspiring food stylists and chefs?
If you have a true passion for this industry, it will be the most fulfilling career you can imagine. Never stop learning, asking questions and experimenting.
We’re giving away a copy of Your Family’s latest cookbook, As Good as Eating Out, packed with recipes tried and tested by Margie and the team.
Head here to stand a chance to win!
Recipe from the Chef
Frozen Rum and Raisin Rice Pudding
180ml Spekko Royal Umbrella Jasmine Rice
1 cinnamon stick
250ml castor sugar
3 egg yolks
1. Heat the rice, milk, cinnamon and half the sugar on high, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 35 minutes until tender. Remove the cinnamon stick and add the raisins.
2. Beat the remaining sugar and egg yolks until pale. Add 180ml cream and the rum and whisk to combine. Add to the rice and cook over medium-high heat, stirring continuously, for 5-7 minutes until thickened. Chill in the fridge until cold.
3. Add the remaining cream and freeze for about 3 hours, mixing every 30 minutes. Freeze until set.