That said …
April 3, 2012 in Vegetarian & vegetable dishes
… let’s agree to disagree for now and move on to some lekker local fare for the feast.
Like all religious feasts, Easter and Pesach are significant feasts when many foods, recipes and meals are steeped in symbolism. The foods of this period are fish (especially John Dory for the dark spot on the side known in certain religions as the Thumb Print), lamb (The Sacrifice), breads (Energy and Life), eggs (Re-birth and Resurrection), honey and almonds (Sweet and Pure) to name a few.
Many years ago the film Fiddler on the roof made a lasting impression on me when in its opening line, the father asks what makes being Jewish different? His own answer to his own question? Tradition! That’s why religious feasts make me glad as they call for the use of specific, traditional and symbolic foods and recipes as the super glue to get us around a table with loved ones in a magical bond of oneness for a moment in time.
With barely a couple of days to go until these big feasts, I say good luck in baking and making for Easter to my Christian friends, and happy fasting for Passover and cooking for Pesach to my devout Jewish friends. As a singleton, I will join the ranks of those eating bought hot cross buns, dishing out bought Easter eggs and having a braai ….
To ring the changes for those of us who love pap or pap pie or pap-en-sous, I will prepare corn bakes for (one of) our braais. Like a true native of the Orange Free State, I love corn in any form and if your ask Vrystaters, they will tell you that corn and cheese are great teammates … and popular on any braai menu. Ja-nee, indigenous soul food …!
As always, you can spruce and spice this dish up to your heart’s content with more – and even less – cheese and by adding to taste, chopped fresh green chilli to the mixture before baking, you’d add some skop to them. And, as to serving these yummy jewels, they can be a starter or light meal with any kind of topping like grilled bacon bits or caramelised onion. But if you were in the Vrystaat now, they’d tell you that these corn bakes are best served as a ‘fantastic little light meal’ on their own or with … cheese sauce on top!
I would add a rocket salad and dream of sunshine days playing hide and seek in cornfields … ag julle, local is SO lekker!
Corn & Cheese Bakes
- 500 g cooked and drained corn kernels
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 30 ml cornflour
- 15 ml mustard powder
- 250 ml prepared thick cheese sauce
- 125 ml fresh white bread crumbs (grate the bread)
- 250 ml grated mature cheddar or tasty Gruyere cheese
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 45 coarsely chopped Italian parsley
Place a third of the corn in a processor and add the eggs, cornflour and mustard powder. Process the corn until it’s coarsely chopped then add the rest of the ingredients except the parsley. Process briefly until well combined then season to taste, add the parsley and pulse once or twice, just to mix through.
Pour the mixture into 6 dariole moulds or ramekins that have been sprayed with non-stick spray and place in a deep baking tin. Pour sufficient boiling water in the tin to come half-way up the sides of the dariole moulds or ramekins. Place in the oven preheated to 180 ºC for 30 minutes or until cooked through and set.
Remove from oven, allow to rest for a few minutes then slide a knife around the rims of the moulds. Unmould the bakes onto a serving platter or individual plates. Garnish as you like and serve while warm.
PS: Stale hot cross buns make terrific bread and butter pudding. And use half evaporated milk and half fresh milk for really creamy texture.
PPS: The image was taken by my daugher, Michéle under the watchful eye of good friend and talented photographer and recipe developer-writer, Nina Timm of My Easy Cooking.
PPPS. Masterchef tonight. Can’t wait for the opinions and comments tomorrow morning! Is it my imagination or have all the initial moans and groans and negative ciritiques disappeared off the face of the ether? Please let me know if I am imagining it or if I should consider stronger patches …
For more deliciuous and easy meatless recipes, go to