Sunday, 24 August 2014

Nothing like Fresh Bread - Rosemary Bread, Cheese Bread, Onion and Tomato

Making the dough

500g of white flour
1 tblsp yeast
1 tblsp cooking oil
1 tsp of salt
2 cups (500ml) warm water

Sift together the yeast, salt and flour. Make it into a pile on a clean surface and make a dip in the middle. Pour the cooking oil in the dip and add a little bit of the water. Start to fold, using your hands, the flour into the centre of the dip. All the while adding the water bit by bit. Do this until the dough no longer sticks to your hands. (You will know if you need all the water, as the above amount is an estimate. You may need less, you may need a bit more). After which knead the dough for a little bit longer. Then leave it with a metal bowl over the top of it for 30 minutes so that the dough can rise. Once it is ready follow the method regarding the different types of bread you want to make. Then stick it in the oven at 290 degrees celsius for 30 minutes or until it is cooked.

Rosemary bread

As much dry rosemary as you desire

Sprinkle the rosemary through the dough you have made following above instructions.

Cheese Bread

50g grated cheddar
1 egg

Flour a clean surface and then roll out the dough as made by the instructions above. Brush the whisked egg over the thinly rolled dough. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top. And then fold is up as you wish. You might like to follow Dixon's lead below! Then into the oven 290 degrees celsius for 30 minutes or until cooked.

Onion and Tomato Bread

1 tblsp cooking oil
1 1/2 onion
2 tblsp tomato ketchup
1/2 cube vegetable stock
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Dough as above. Finely chop and fry the onion off in the cooking oil until soft and golden. Mix with the tomato ketchup, vegetable stock, salt and pepper to taste. Roll out the dough and spread on the mixture as below.

Roll up as you so desire. Dixon's secret is to drizzle a few drops of water over it before putting it in the oven. 290 degrees celsius for 30 minutes or until cooked.

Summery Salads - Apple and nut salad, beetroot and pear, fresh orange coleslaw


Apple and nut salad

Normally the guys do this with a mayonnaise dressing but we were having coleslaw this day so it seemed a bit overkill. Dixon and I turned to our kitchen guru, Donna Hay and we found a delicious ranch esque dressing. With a bit of improvisation of lacking ingredients, here is our recipe!

3 apples chunked
250g packet of mixed nuts

3 tblsp milk
1/4 cup (60g) cream
75g crumbled blue cheese
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard 
2 tsp chopped spring onions
1 1/2 tsp chopped parsley

Beetroot and pear salad

10 beetroot
820g tinned pear half's 
1 packet of sunflower seeds

Peel the beetroots and boil until tender. Chop up the beetroot and pear halfs into chunks. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over liberally. This delightful recipes requires no extra dressing. 

Fresh orange coleslaw

The team still weren't happy putting two creamy salads out, so we decided for a fresh orange dressing instead for our coleslaw. Much healthier too!

1/2 white cabbage finely sliced
2 large carrots finely sliced

2 Oranges, zest of 1
1tblsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Special salad feature with Philamon and Jeremiah - Vegetable Patties, Green Salad, Mozarella and Tomato

This week we had a new team gracing the Bili kitchen and they did a fabulous job so we decided to share a few of their favourites! First let me introduce you to Jeremiah on the left and Philamon looking very fetching in my Granny's lion apron!

Vegetable Patties

1/2 butternut squash grated
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 sweet potatoes grated
1 courgette grated
1 1/2 cups (330g) ground nuts toasted and crushed
1/2 (110g) cup of flour
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Mix all the ingredients together with two eggs and the flour and season to taste. Make them into patties and fry them in the oil in a frying pan over a pan until crispy. A Philamon favourite!

Green Salad

2 whole lettuce
3 radishes finely sliced
1/2 red onion finely sliced
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 avocado 
1/2 packet feta cut in cubes (or Philamon says you can grate it and sprinkle it on top)

Here Philamon is all about the colour! He says the more colour you use the better it tastes!
No dressing for this one. This salad is all about letting the flavours speak for themselves!

Tomato and Mozarella Salad

4 large tomatoes
1 mozarella cheese
Sprig of basil

1 tblsp apple cider vinegar
1 tblsp olive oil
Pinch of salt

An easy classic! Slice the tomatoes and cut the cheese into diagonals. Decorate the plate as you desire but I think the guys have done a pretty good job above! Just before whisk the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Dreamy Desserts - Lemon Cheesecake, Chocolate Pancakes.

As requested by the Cave family- 

Isaac and Dixon's Lemon Cheesecake

500g cheese cream
75g fresh cream
125g caster sugar
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 fresh lemon both the zest and the juice

500g Marie Biscuit
50g butter
50g caster sugar

Serves 10


Crush the Marie Biscuit. Put it in the frying pan, add the butter and sugar and toast it until almost crunchy. Isaac and Dixon's secret is to drizzle some water over the pan of ingredients. After a minute put it into a cake tin. Use the flat end of a rolling pin or something heavy with a flat base to squash to base. Then bake it for thirty minutes. Remove it and let it cool. 

Now prepare the filling. Beat the cream cheese with the sugar. Then add the two whole eggs and the two egg yolks. Next add the fresh cream. And finally the lemon juice and the zest. Mix it until all evenly distributed and then pour it on top of the biscuit base.

Put it in the gas oven at 180 degrees Celsius for forty five minutes or until the cheesecake is done.

Serve with a slice of lemon and passion fruit.

As requested by Zanny and Francesca for Grandma Anne!

Isaac and Dixon's Choccie Pancakes

1 1/2 cup (375ml) milk
1 cup (220g) plain flour
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla

Chocolate sauce
200g dark chocolate
2 1/2 tblsp fresh cream

Serves 10

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Heat a non stick frying pan over medium raw heat. Rub the pan with butter (we are struggling in the kitchen to explain this, just don't do it with bare hands. I think the point the guys are trying to make is you don't need lots of butter). "So brush rub whatever!" As directed by Dixon. Then pour the mixture in so that it covers the pan, keeping it nice and in. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn the pancake and cook for one minute or until golden brown.

Melt the chocolate with the fresh creams and drizzle over the pancakes.

Bili's Summery Salads - Nicoise Salad, Coleslaw, Beetroot and Apple

Nicoise Salad

2 eggs
2 normal size lettuce
1 packet black olives
1 tomato
1/2 packet steamed green beans 
1 tin of tuna

1 tblsp grainy mustard
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 drop of white vinegar
1tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp castor sugar

Serves 8

Lay the lettuce on the oval dish. Isaac and Dixon like to use these for presentation. Next lay steamed green beans as in the picture. Hard boil the eggs for five minutes. Then just design the plate as seen above. For the dressing mix all the ingredients together and then drizzle liberally over the salad.


1/2 large white cabbage
2 large carrots
1 green apple (secret ingredient!!)
375g mayonnaise
Handful of raisins 
Orange and cucumber for garnishing
Sprig parsley for garnishing

Serves 8

Slice the cabbage and the carrots. Mix thoroughly with the mayonnaise. Sprinkle with the raisins. Garnish as you so desire. Dixon says "remember, you eat with your eyes!"

Beetroot and apple 

2 green apples
3 small beetroot
Handful of capers
Handful blue cheese and mint for garnishing
Bed of lettuce leaves for garnishing

1 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Serves 8

Finely slice the apples and the peeled beetroot. Mix together with the dressing ingredients. Lay the lettuce on the bottom of the bowl. The apple and beetroot mixture place in the middle of the lettuce. Liberally sprinkle capers, blue cheese and mint over the top.

Fish fry as requested by Ajay

Isaac and Dixon's Curry Fish Fry

With white rice, sugar snap peas and braised cabbage


10 fillets of talapia 
1 tblsp finely chopped ginger
1 tblsp red curry paste 
410g coconut milk
1 red onion finely chopped
1 tblsp fresh coriander chopped
Pinch of fish spice
Pinch of salt

Serves 10

Fry the onion and the ginger in a tblsp of oil until soft. Then add the coconut milk and the curry paste and the parsley. Season with the fish spice and salt and bring to the boil for five minutes. Take off the heat. Put the talapia in a baking tray and pour the curry sauce over the fish. Bake the fish just before you are about to serve. Once the starter has been served put the tray of fish in the hot oven, approx 290 degrees celsius for about fifteen minutes until cooked. "This dish was born and bred at Billimungwe!" Says Dixon

Soup for the soul - Coriander, Carrot and Butternut, Beef and Lime Broth.

After a chilly night drive its always nice to warm up with a hearty soup!

Joseph from Zunga's warming Coriander, Carrot and Butternut Soup

Serves 8

1 butternut squash
2 carrots
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tblsp butter
1/2 tsp black ground pepper
1 cup of cream
1 cup of milk

Melt the butter in the pot and add the chopped squash and chopped carrots. Leave this to boil for thirty minutes. Once tender mash them. Add the cup of milk and cup of cream. Next add the coriander and the black pepper.

Isaac and Dixon's Beef and Lime Broth

1.2litres rich beef stock
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 large tomatoes
2 large red chillies
160g green beans
100g green spinach
2 limes
2 tblsp paprika
1 tblsp oil
1 handful mint
1 handful basil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Serves 8

Chop the onions and fry them off in the oil until soft. Finely chop the garlic and add it to the onion. Once they are golden add the stock and bring it to the boil. Next slice the tomatoes into wedges and add them, the roughly chopped chillies, the topped and tailed green beans and the paprika, and bring to the boil. Allow the flavours all to combine fully. Finally add the spinach, basil, the juice of the two limes, mint and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Afternoon Tea - Mix and Melt Chocolate Cake, Scrumptious Scones, Coffee Butter Cake

Trying to get measurements for ingredients from Isaac and Dixon is a bit of a mission! These guys are so competent at just throwing all these dishes together, most of the time they will free pour, use handfuls here and there, and so on, so I apologise for the jumping around of measurements. Hopefully there is some uniformity in my recipes but if you are in any doubt please leave a comment, or email me at and I will get back to any queries as soon as I am out of the bush!

Isaac and Dixon's Mix and Chocolate Melt Cake

2 Cups (440g) white flour
1 1/2 Cups (330g) caster sugar
150g white chocolate
185g butter
1 cup (250ml) milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Choccie icing
150g dark chocolate 
1/2 cup (125ml) fresh cream

Melt the chocolate, sugar, butter and milk together in a pot. Once it is melted take it from the fire and let it cool. Once it has fully cool, mix in two eggs, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and put to the side. In a separate bowl mix the two cups of flour add 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder. Then add the chocolate mixture to the flour until it a nice smooth texture. Pour into a baking paper lined cake tin. Bake at 290 degrees Celsius if you are using a gas oven, for an hour. The guys explained that their oven has a bit of an attitude problem, sometimes it bakes fast, sometimes it bakes slow, depending on its mood! I will do a later feature on the kitchen itself because people are often amazed at how the team produces such incredible menus in such limited kitchens. So the moral of the story is, know your own oven.

For the icing melt the chocolate and stir in the cream, and pour over the cake when you are ready to serve it.

Isaac and Dixon's Scrumptious Scones

100g butter
3 tblsp caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) fresh cream
1 cup (250ml) milk
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups (660g) of plain flour

Serves 15

Mix the flour with the butter, sugar and baking powder until well combined and dough like. Then add the fresh cream and the milk. Knead it, but not too much. Roll it out, keep it an inch to an inch and a half in thickness. Use a cutter to make scone shaped. Put them on a baking papered tray and put them in the oven on 290 degrees celsius for twenty to twenty five minutes.

Sprinkle with using sugar and serve butter and jam.

Isaac and Dixon's Coffee Butter Cake

1 1/2 cups (330g) flour
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
125g butter
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tblsp coffee 
3 eggs

Coffee syrup (the ultimate secret!)
1/2 cup (110g) of sugar 
65ml of boiling water
2 tblsp coffee

Coffee icing
1 shot of Amarula (another Bili secret ingredient!)
150g butter
250g icing sugar

Isaac mixes the butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs to the mix until smooth. Separately mix the flour, baking powder and the bicarbonate of soda. Dissolve the coffee in two tblsp of boiling water, and add it to the flour mixture. Next combine the two mixtures until smooth. Pour into a cake tin that has been layered with baking paper. Place in the oven at 290 degrees celsius for forty to fifty minutes, or until cooked.

To make the syrup mix the sugar and coffee with the water until fully mixed. Two minutes before the cake is done, pour the coffee syrup over the cake and place back in the oven for the final two minutes.

Finally whip together the Amarula, butter and icing sugar and when the cake have sufficiently cooled, ice it liberally over the cake.

Mongolian magic!

An African sky at night is one of those experiences you will never forget. The only thing that can make it better (if that is possible) is a Bush Dinner under the stars.

This week at Bili we had the Cave family and as a surprise the Bili team decided to do just that. The Bushcamp Chefs are professionals in the art of the Mongolian - a choice of fresh seasonal veggies - 

carrots, eggplant, peppers, courgettes, green cabbage, baby corn, spinach the choices are endless for what you can include and the best bit, you choose only your favourites. No being forced brussel sprouts because its Christmas! .... or is that just me?!? Next a choice of chicken, pork, beef or for the carnivores amongst you why not pile on all three. Sauces - soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, homemade ginger oil, garlic oil, chilli oil, you are now the chef mixing flavours the way you want them. And finally the whole concoction is finished off with some egg noodles or rice, perhaps go for noodles on your first go and rice for seconds! Because there is always room for seconds at a Mongolian! Then the team cooks it up on a big wok over an open fire.

But on a serious note this is also a great meal for veggies, vegans and gluten frees. No fussing around making alternatives. Just go mad with the ingredients that suit you. Anyone with a Braii and a wok can successfully lay on a Mongolian, and it is such a sociable way to eat. I've seen men who never cook turn into Gordon Ramsey's (luckily with less expletives), much to their other halves amazement!

So lets watch Francesca, Zanny and James take us through how you do a Mongolian. 

As explained above the first things to go in your bowl are the veggies. 

Next are the meats and on top of these put your chosen sauces. 

The designated chef will then take your bowl and with a good glug of oil to the heated wok, they will begin to first fry off your meats. 

When these are nice and brown, the rest of the veggies go in on top. Once tender your choice of noodles or rice are added. It is probably a good idea to pre cook these last two ingredients because then it takes two seconds to combine your Mongolian goodies and dinner is served!

Isaac and Dixon at the helm of the Braii say don't be afraid to keep the wok moving. Use a holey spoon to keep turning over your ingredients, this prevents any of them sticking. 

We had some very interested hyenas keeping a close eye on any leftovers, but in true Mongolian style these were hard to come by!

Quick Quiche - Ham and Pineapple Quiche, Leek Quiche

Ham and Pineapple Quiche

Isaac used ham and pineapple because he knew the kids loved Hawaiin pizza, so he adapted a previous recipe. And it went down a treat!

Roll of ready made puff pastry (why faff when you can cheat!)
Packet of Ham
410g (1 tin) of pineapple
1 onion
3 eggs
1 cup (250ml) of milk
100ml of cream cheese
Cheddar grated on top

Roll out the pastry in a pan. Dixon's secret is not to roll it too much, as this will flatten the layers in the pastry and it will become hard and crunchy when it has been baked, instead of being a soft layered texture. 

(Here you will have to use your own guestimation as our pan has no measurements and we no tape measurer). Next Isaac prepared the filling, he fried off the onion until soft. Then add the ham and finally the pineapple and fry for two minutes. Take off the heat and let it cool. Separately mix the eggs, milk and cheese cream. The ham, pineapple and onion mixture then gets evenly spread in the pastry tin. Pour the liquid mixture over the top. Finally sprinkle cheddar, as much as you want, over the top. Bake it on 290 degrees Celsius (if you are using Isaac and Dixon's "tricky" oven, as they call it) for forty five minutes or until done.

Leek Quiche

Roll of ready made puff pastry 
500g leeks
3/4 cube vegetable stock
3 eggs
1 cup (250ml) of milk
Cheddar grated on top

Roll out the pastry in a pan. Slice the leeks and fry until soft in a pan. Sprinkle the vegetable stock over the leeks. Take the off the heat to cool when done. Separately mix the eggs and milk. The leeks then get evenly spread in the pastry tin. Pour the liquid mixture over the top. Finally sprinkle cheddar, as much as you want, over the top. Bake it on 290 degrees Celsius for forty five minutes or until done.

Winner winner chicken dinner - Stuffed Chicken, Roast Butter Chicken

Joseph from Zunga's Stuffed Chicken
with gravy, garlic mash, sugar snap peas, brocolli and sesame carrots.

Ingredients for the Chicken
8 chicken breasts
1 packet of feta cheese
4 cloves of garlic
Handful of coriander
Dash of chicken spice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

500ml water
1 chicken stock cube
50g butter
2 tblsp maizena
Pinch of chicken spice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Garlic mash
12 potatoes
3 cloves of garlic
Milk and butter to your taste

Seasonal Veggies
1 brocolli head
2 packets of sugar snap
6 carrots
1 packet of sesame seeds

Serves 8

The chicken breast is first sliced down the middle and butterflied. Joseph then beats it with a rolling pin to tenderise it. He next seasons the chicken with pepper, salt and a dash of chicken spice. Next he lays the chicken flat on a sheet of cling film. The stuffing which has been pre-mixed - feta cheese, garlic, coriander, salt and pepper, is spooned into the middle of the chicken. Joseph then rolls the cling film up nice and tight around the chicken forming a parcel.

These are later placed in boiling water and cooked for thirty minutes.

For the gravy melt the butter and add the maizena (instead of flour - Dixon says flour changes the taste, but Maizena doesn't change the taste). Next add the water and then the chicken stock cube, and bring it to the boil. Finally season your gravy.

Boil the peeled potatoes. When soft, drain and mash. Finely chop the garlic and mix through. Add milk and butter to your taste.

Steam the brocolli and sugar snap until tender

Steam the carrots until tender. Mix through the sesame seeds.

Isaac and Dixon's Roast Butter Chicken

with farfalle pasta, braised cabbage and mini corn

Ingredients for the Chicken 
1 whole chicken
1/2 garlic bulb
1 medium red onion
1 tblsp dried thyme
3 tblsp butter
100g mushrooms 
1 tblsp chicken spice
250ml white wine
250ml fresh cream

250g pasta
1 tblsp vegetable seasoning
1 tblsp fresh parsley

Braised Cabbage
1/2 red cabbage
50g butter
1 tsp cumin
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Baby corn
1/2 packet baby corn
1 tsp vegetable seasoning
1/2 tsp olive oil

Serves 5 


In a roasting tin Isaac lays the chopped onion and mushroom and on top of this he places the whole chicken. Mix the rest of the ingredients and rub them into the chicken. Put it in the oven at 290 degrees Celsius (again I warn, know your oven! These guys are working with an interesting little cooker!) for an hour. Isaac says baste half way through this time.

With the pasta, put in boiling water until tender. Drain and mix the veggie seasoning and parsley through.

Slice the red cabbage and put it in the pot with the butter, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes until it is tender.

Steam the baby corn and then mix through the veggie seasoning and olive oil.

Kwatha!! As they say in Njanja! Or Voila! As they say in France!

Miniature Morsels - Devils on horseback, Mini Meatballs

Devils on horseback

1/4 of a 500g packet of prunes
1 packet of streaky bacon
Tooth picks

Serves 8

De-stone the prunes as Dixon is doing below.

Next roll the prunes in the streaky bacon, and lay on a tray covered with baking paper.

Put in the oven at 290 degrees celsius for twenty minutes. Kwatha!

Mini Meatballs

500g minced beef
1 medium onion chopped finely
1 tblsp fresh bread crumbs
2 tblsp olive oil
1 lemon zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 bay leaf chopped finely
1 tsp thyme
1 egg
Pinch of chilli
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Serves 8

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Roll the mixture into little balls using your hands. Place on a grease lined baking tray. Pop them in the oven at 290 degrees celsius for 30 minutes or until done.