FORMER Nelson Mandela Bay PR practitioner Anél Potgieter, winner of SABC2’s Dinner Divas cooking series, is now hoping her food blog, lifeisazoobiscuit.com, will be voted SA’s best.
Anél, who lives in Cape Town with her husband, Rick, was disappointed not to make it beyond the top 35 on popular cooking reality TV show MasterChef SA last year. She she turned to an old childhood favourite, zoo biscuits, for comfort. And so came the light-bulb moment for her blog.
Success on Dinner Divas – a show pitting food bloggers against each other – would follow, and lifeisazoobiscuit is now among 30 blogs vying for the Eat Out DStv Food Network Produce awards for “best food blog of the year” – a people’s choice award.
Anél says she is no chef, just a passionate foodie. She blogs mainly in her spare time, as she works full time as communications head for a group of architecture and design companies.
Visit www.eatout.co.za/blogger-voting before the closing date on Monday to vote for her blog.
Anél spoke to us about her love of cooking, and now also blogging, while sharing one of her favourite summer recipes below.
Recipe: Strawberry carpaccio summer salad
This is one of Anel’s favourite recipes, specially at this time of year when cherries and strawberries are plentiful. Serves 2.
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time and cooling down time for balsamic glaze: 20 min
For the salad: 200g strawberries, finely sliced; 100g Black Forest ham; curly lettuce; 10 cherries, fresh
For goats’ cheese crostinis: 100g goats’ cheese (plain); 30g dried cranberries; 1 big basil leaf (cut into fine strips); melba toasts or crostinis (3 per person); pink peppercorns
For the balsamic glaze: 125ml balsamic vinegar; 2T orange blossom honey; 1/2 tsp rose syrup; 2 Tbsp water; 5 pink peppercorns, crushed; pinch of salt
For the balsamic glaze, put all ingredients in a small pot and boil for 8 to 10 min over medium heat. Remove from stove and allow to cool.
For goats’ cheese crostinis, mix the goats cheese, cranberries and basil together. Smear the goat and cranberry spread over each little toast. Carefully place 2 to 3 pink peppercorns onto each crostini.
To serve: Arrange the sliced strawberries on the bottom of the plate. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze. Place a few salad leaves over the top. Add the goats’ cheese crostinis, ham, cherries and extra peppercorns. Drizzle with more balsamic glaze and serve.
Q&A wit ‘Dinner Diva’ Anel Potgieter
My first food memory was at the age of eight, when my mom told me to bake “dadelbrood” (date loaf) for the next day. After that I did it every Saturday.
My friend Louis in Spain sends me paella recipes and the Mediterranean influences seem to rub off on me.
My friend Leonard gives me lessons on how to make the best Indian curries in the whole world. Doreen lives in Guguletu and has taught me her real African dishes.
My friend Mary is 70 and she inspires me through her “plattelandse” cooking with a modern twist.
My boss Derick inspires me by sharing his food experiences and by advising me which wine complements the food I make (he is the co-owner of a few wine shops).
Starter: Cabbage Greek salad with olive oil and vinegar with freshly baked breads. Main: Whole baked fish. Dessert: I love making my own ice cream, drizzling some good olive oil over it and serving it with a sprinkling of Maldon salt. That’s dessert with a twist!
Always serve butter, not margarine – and don’t forget the balsamic vinegar and good olive oil.