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Hot and Sour Dipping Sauce or Dressing.

February 10, 2012 in Chinese Food, Crumbed Pork Chops, Dressings, Hot and Sour Chili Ginger Dressing, Janice Tripepi, Kylie Kwongs Recipes, sauces

I had the most uplifting swim at the beach this morning which has left me in a fabulous mood.  February in Durban is enough to wear anyone down.  We vacillate around the 28 to 30 something degree mark and we steam like a of basket dim sum, in at least 100% humidity.  Durban and all who live in her are sizzling; so any event that renders one feeling fresh AND fabulous is to be not only recommended, but regularly repeated.  Alliteration R-Us!

Friday is upon us and it is my intention to get up close and personal with my pool lounger this weekend.  TrickyRicky and I are planning a cook-off on Sunday so the topic of our conversations centres on what the main ingredient for this will be.  I say fish and he’s saying meat, so let’s see who wins this one! (Cue the Rocky XII music)

I have a very special Valentine’s Day planned in la casa Tripepi next week.  I can’t wait to reveal my plan; so watch this spot! 

Today’s recipe, a hot and sour dipping sauce is yet another of Kylie Kwong’s recipes.  I am glued to her series My China at the moment, as I have this cook book and in my world there is nothing better than hearing about a recipe, its origins and nuances, straight from the horses’ mouth.  (With respect Ms Kwong)  What is so great about this sauce is that it has so many applications.  I served crumbed chicken (cotolette di pollo) with this and a salad for dinner on Tuesday and hubby really enjoyed it.  Use it over braai meat, fish or as a salad dressing for a little sizzle.


Chilli Ginger Hot & Sour Dressing



Chopped garlic & coriander

Chopped garlic & coriander.

2Tbs finely chopped coriander with stems

5cm piece of ginger cut into thin strips

2Tbs finely sliced spring onions

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 large red chili finely sliced

Batons of fresh ginger.

2 ½Tbs light soy sauce

Finely sliced red chilli for a little colour.

1Tbs brown rice vinegar

1tsp brown sugar

1tsp sesame oil

4Tbs peanut oil




Combine all of the ingredients except the peanut oil in a heatproof bowl.

Add the soy sauce.


Heat the peanut oil in a small heavy-based pan until the surface shimmers slightly, then carefully pour it over the ingredients in the bowl.


Soft brown treacle sugar adds a nice caramel flavour to the sauce.

The peanut oil sizzles as you add it to the sauce and releases all the aromas of the ingredients –  is absolutely heavenly.

Give the dressing a good stir once you add the peanut oil.


Arrange your chicken/ fish/ lamb or beef on a serving platter sliced at an angle and spoon over the sauce then serve.

I served this dressing over crumbed chicken breast.

I served this dressing over crumbed chicken breasts.

  I cut little Rosa tomatoes and placed them on the crumbed chicken so the sauce, which is hot, slightly blanched them, releasing all their juices and flavour.

Thanks Kylie!


Have a wonderful fun filled weekend.

Try this sauce over some Crumbed Pork Chops.

Click here for the recipe.

Crumbed Pork Chops would love this dressing!


Wine of the Day by Michael Olivier

Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose 2010

THE Valentine’s Day Wine, Perfect red berries, fine bubbles so refreshing. KV’s 41st year. Buy some today, get it in the fridge and put in some pre-Valentine’s Day practice.

Great with smoked Fish, smoked Chicken breast. A pioneer in terms of MCC in South Africa.

Personally, I am all for a little V-day warm up, practice session…. Hehehe!


Valentines meals in bed are loads of fun ... especially with some bubbly!

As always

Buon Appetito




Kibbeh Bil Sanieh: Spicy Baked Lebanese Lamb

February 2, 2012 in Lamb .... cooking with Lamb, Middle Eastern Magic

Kibbeh Bil Sanieh is Spiced Baked Lamb with Bulgur Wheat & Pine Nuts.


I have been chasing my own tail for the last few days.  So much is happening here around la casa Tripepi, not the least of which is a last minute trip to Underberg this weekend.  I haven’t been to the Midlands since last year so I am incredibly excited to be saying goodbye to Durban and wending my way up the hill to some fresh mountain air.  This is just what I need. 

Carol has been a regular visitor here lately and every time she visits I score loads of wonderful fresh eggs and veggies from her farm.  I intend to photograph this veggie garden for all to see.  I just love a chat with her animals and sunrise in the veggie patch appeals to me no end!  I wonder if I will see any fairies!  I will go and see what the Underberg Meat Supply has on offer and a trip to Puckety’s farm stall is a given. 

This Lamb Kibbeh recipe is another Middle Eastern favourite of mine – and I have eaten a raw version of this dish made with minced leg of lamb.  It was kind of the Lebanese equivalent of steak tartar and it was absolutely delicious.

Some of our closest friends, Mike and Charmaine Makaab are both from Lebanese lineage and for many years we lived in a townhouse complex on the Berea together.  The entire complex was overflowing with Tripepi’s, Domiro’s, Makaabs and Quattrocchi’s; all the children grew up together.  We used to fondly refer to our block as the “Pueblo Ponderosa”.  Charmaine would spoil us with some of her Lebanese specialities such as fish Kibbeh, a version of this dish that is absolute heavenly with its orange perfume, pine nuts and sweet onions.


Crunchy, spicy Lebanese baked layered Lamb ... Kibbeh bil Sanieh.

Kibbeh Bil Sanieh

Layered Lamb and Bulgur Wheat


The Paste


2 cups of Bulgur Wheat

400g Lamb mince

1 large onion

1Tbs ground cumin

1tsp allspice

Olive oil

1 tsp Salt & 1 tsp black pepper


The Filling

1Tbs olive oil, plus some extra for brushing

2 onions finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic

1tsp ground cinnamon

1Tbs ground cumin

500g lamb mince

½ cup raisins

100g toasted pine nuts

For the Paste .... combine your ingredients in a food processor.


Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water for 30 minutes, drain and squeeze out excess water.

Place the lamb mince, onion, cumin, allspice, salt and pepper in a food process until combined.  Add the bulgur wheat and process to a paste.

Add the soaked Bulgur Wheat.

This was the best my food processor could do but ideally this should be processed to a smooth paste!





I need to add here, that my little 20 year old humble Sunbeam Food Processor just didn’t have the guts for this job!  It huffed and puffed and wheezed its way through this paste and managed to break the bulgur wheat up just a little bit.  So if you have a nice strong food processor you should be fine, if not, no worries your Kibbeh with just have a little more crunch to it.  No problem!

Refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the oven to moderate 180d and grease a 20 x 30cm baking tin.



The Filling

To make the filling, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 5 minutes, or until softened.  Add the cinnamon and cumin and stir for 1 minute.  Add the mince, stirring to break up any lumps and cook for 5 minutes or until the meat is brown. 

Fry the lamb filling mince with the onions, cinammon, cumin, salt & pepper, crimson raisins and add the toasted pine nuts.

Stir in the raisins and nuts and season.

Press half of the bulgur wheat paste into the base of the tin, smoothing the surface with wetted hands. 

Smooth half of the paste into the bottom of an ovenproof dish.

Spread the filling over the top and then cover with the remaining bulgur wheat paste and again smooth the surface with wet hands.

The filling goes into the dish next.

Score a diamond pattern in the top of the mixture with a sharp knife and brush lightly with olive oil.

Bake at 180d for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is brown and crisp.

Serve with wedges of lemon, some mint and Yoghurt and cucumber dipping sauce.


Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into diamond shapes.


Serve with the yoghurt dipping sauce I posted on Monday.

Cucumber, Garlic and Yoghurt Dipping Sauce


 On Monday I will be posting the awesome Halvas Fourno recipe.  This semolina cake is annointed with the most delicious syrup flavoured with cinnamon, orange and lemon.  It is absolutely delish served with full cream yoghurt and honey.

Diamonds are a girls best friend .....

 Have the most awesome weekend!

As always

Buon Appetito



Meat Free Monday: Lentil and Bulgur Wheat Fritters

January 30, 2012 in Janice Tripepi, Lebanese food, Lunchtime Recipes, Meatfree Mondays, Middle Eastern Magic, Vegetarian Meals

Crunchy Lentil and Bulgur Wheat Fritters with a Cucumber & Garlic Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

Last week my flavour buds seemed to go on a hormonal jive and I found myself craving all sorts of spicy food.  Resistance was futile and by Wednesday I could think of nothing else.  My taste buds were packed and on an aeroplane to the Middle East, there was just no going back.  I found this recipe for these vegetarian fritters in a cookbook that I bought from Woolworths.  It’s called Tastes of the Mediterranean and I often refer to it for Lebanese recipes.

I shall share all of the recipes for this Middle Eastern Food over this week.  Today, in honour of Meat Free Monday I am featuring the Vegetarian Starter, these Lentil and Bulgur Wheat fritters have a nice crunch in them and I added a touch of chili to give them an extra bite.  You can leave the chili out if you don’t enjoy it.

Lentil & Bulgur Wheat Fritters

With a cucumber and yoghurt dipping Sauce

Fresh Mint from my garden and Free Range Happy-Chicken Farm Eggs from Carol’s farm in Underberg, Midlands.


¾ cup brown lentils rinsed

½ cup bulgur wheat

1/3 cup olive oil

1 large onion finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 – 2 green chillies finely chopped – for a little less ‘heat’ de-seed the chillies

3tsp ground cumin

2tsp ground coriander

3Tbs finely chopped mint

3Tbs finely chopped coriander

4 eggs lightly beaten

½ cup plain flour

2tsp salt

1tsp black pepper

I have altered the quantities and added in some chopped chili and coriander to suit my own pallet.


Place the lentils in a saucepan with 3 cups of water, a bay leaf and a small onion studded with cloves.  Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for 40 minutes or until tender.

Lentils boiled with onion, bay leaf and clove.

Remove from the heat and add water to cover the lentils; pour in the bulgur wheat, cover with a tight fitting lid or some plastic wrap and leave for 40 minutes for the wheat to soften.  Once the wheat is soft transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.

Heat half of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Cook the onion, chilli and garlic for 5 minutes until soft and then add the cumin and coriander powder and cook for a further one minute to release all of the flavour from the spices.

I like to use red onion for these fritters.

Lightly beat the four eggs and add to the lentils and bulgur wheat with the onion mixture, flour and the chopped mint and coriander and the salt and pepper.

Mix until well combined.

My favourite T.G Green mixing bowl that Sous Chef found for me! Thanks again Sue!

Heat some oil on a medium heat in a frying pan and drop a heaped table spoon of the mixture at a time; cook each fritter until golden on each side – about 3 minutes a side will do it.  Serve with a sprinkling of salt, lemon wedges and some yoghurt dipping sauce.

Three minutes in medium to hot oil.


The Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

Cucumber & Garlic Yoghurt Dipping Sauce


 1 small Lebanese cucumber peeled, de-seeded and grated

1 cup (250g) of Greek or Bulgarian Yoghurt

½ tsp of salt

1 small clove of garlic – minced


Peel and de-seed your cucumber

Peel, de-seed and grate the yoghurt and combine in a bowl with the yoghurt, salt and minced garlic.

Here is the complete menu that I will be posting over this week.

Lentil & Bulgur Wheat Fritters

With a cucumber and yoghurt dipping Sauce

Kibbeh Bil sanieh

Minced baked Lamb with Bulgur Wheat

Lamb Kibbeh

Lubyi bi Zayt

Green beans with tomato and olive oil

Halvas Fourno

Semolina Cake

If you have DSTV – you can follow Kylie Kwong as she cooks recipes from her book that I often refer to, My China.

How awesome was the Australian Mens Tennis Final yesterday!

As always

Buon Appetito