The Home Centre in Springfield Park, Durban, was celebrating its 13th year birthday on the 8th of October 2011……
I got invited to be part of the celebrations and captivate the audience with my dishes. Joining me were the students from the 1000 Hills Chef’s School. The student chefs were also preparing their speciality dishes for shoppers to nibble and enjoy. It didn’t end there, they were grouped into teams and the shoppers were given the liberty to choose the best team. There were also prizes up for grabs for the customers.
On the entertainment side, René Tshiakanyi dazzled the crowds with his live music. There’s nothing like cooking with a guitar and soulful sounds playing in the background. The Centre’s DJ also rocked the house. Ooops! I almost forgot the Programme Director (MC), the dude was funny and entertaining. To make things even more interesting, beer was on tap.
When I got there the crew was busy putting the final touches on my demonstration table. I realised that I forgot my chopping board duh! So, I went around frantically looking for a shop that sells chopping boards. Most of the shops at the centre are decor, furniture, outdoor living, hardware shops etc. Then you get shops like Fruit & Veg City and some restaurants.I decided to turn this chopping board hunt into a scouting as well. In between hunting for a chopping board, I was inviting people to come and join us and be part of the cooking, food and tasting experience. Aaaah! Such fun! I got my chopping board at the Cargo Shop. The ladies working there also gave me a discount just because I was working at the centre for the day. They also promised to join the cooking, nibbling and mingling later.
I was asked to prepare two dishes. I started off with what I call a Pap pizza with spinach, biltong, mushrooms and feta topping. The wow factor in this dish is the combination of the flavours and the crispiness of the veggies as it is important that you don’t overcook them. Pap Pizza? I’m sure you are wondering…..Usually, a pizza is made with a flour base. I always get people coming up to me and saying, “ Thuli, you know my husband and I love pap but I would love a different way of presenting it instead of dishing up that pile on the plate. Plus, when we cook at home our food never tastes nice as the food we order at the restaurant.” So what better way to use your pap than to use it as a base for a pizza?
For my second dish, I decided to prepare something traditional from the Zulus since I was on their home ground. I made Isiphuphulu SikaBhontshisi naMazambane served with Hake fillet drizzled with Lemon Butter Sauce. I will be sharing the recipes at a later stage. I’m not sure whether the audience was too hungry or the dishes I prepared were too nice but the food just disappeared. If I had known they would be enjoyed that much I would have prepared the recipes in bulk hehe! It was pleasant to see the faces I had personally invited during my chopping board hunting expedition. I appreciate the support.
I would like to thank the event organisers, Beetle Inc crew and The Home Centre for inviting me to the stunning event it was. I’m glad I could be part of the celebrations. I thank Durbanites for their LOVE! You are awesome! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a shopping centre’s birthday than giving back to the customers!
Today I’m sharing the Pap Pizza recipe with you…..with a twist on the topping. Instead of using biltong I’ve now used Sun-dried Tomatoes…I’ve paired the dish with Zonnebloem Lauuret 2009. Happy Cooking!
Pap pizza with spinach, mushrooms, sun-dried tomato & feta cheese topping
1L boiling water
75ml cold water
125ml (½ cup) maize
350ml maize meal
bit of butter (optional)
- Transfer the boiling water to a medium-sized saucepan.
- Make a paste with cold water and 125ml maize meal.
- Add the paste to the boiling water and continue stirring until it boils.
- Let simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add the 350ml maize meal and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.
- Remember: The vigorous stirring is important at this stage to prevent lumping.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Spread onto a greased square baking tray using a spatula to level the surface.
Spinach, Mushroom, Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Feta Cheese Topping
15ml (1Tbsp) olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
250g spinach, shredded
1 packet button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
±50g sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
±100g traditional feta cheese, crumbled
- Heat a saucepan then sauté the onions.
- Add the chilli, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes.
- Stir continuously. Do not overcook.
- Add 75g of the cheese and continue stirring.
- Spoon over the pap circles.
- Sprinkle with some feta cheese.
Cut the warm pap with a cookie cutter, add the spinach topping and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Garnish with parsley.
- For an even more traditional dish, Morogo leaves can be used to replace the spinach.