Rookie Cook

Kitchen & cooking essentials

Strawberry & Lime Sublime


I grew up in a household where the only ice cream available was of the sugar free, sugar free (!?) kind, due to my Mother being a serious diabetic. This was graciously tolerated up until the point of teenage-dom, when the complaints became more frequent about how ‘everyone else’ gets normal ice cream after dinner. My Mom eventually caved and stocked the fridge with a hearty supply of Magnum’s for my brother, Dad and I. Thus, ironically out of my own callous demands, was born my first weight problem. Once the complaints shifted from the lack of sugary cream in the freezer, to the abundance of sugary cream on my muffin tops, the Magnum’s were swiftly phased out. What a delightful child I was.

This is such an easy dessert to make – honestly the only skills necessary is to operate a scale and have a bit of gusto with the whisk. What I particularly love about it, is that the two core ingredients – double cream and icing sugar – make an amazingly kind canvas for flavour combination experiments. That, and it is a super easy pudding to prepare days in advance for a dinner party.

Serves 4         Takes 30 mins       Freezing time  5 hours


400g Strawberries, topped, squashed & strained

75g Icing Sugar, sifted

250ml Double Cream

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

2 Limes, juiced


Clean and top the strawberries. Pop into the food processor and pulse until they form a nice pulp, takes about 2 minutes. Remove from the processor, and pour into a sieve placed above a medium sized bowl. With the backside of a large spoon, smear the pulp around whilst applying pressure – so that all the beautiful juice is pressed through into the bowl below. This takes a bit of time, probably 10 minutes or so – but is worth it. If you like having the seeds in your ice-cream, then skip this step – I have just never liked anything that has ‘bits’ in it. Once all the strawberry juice is in the bowl, squeeze in the juice of the limes and then sift in the icing sugar, stirring vigorously with a fork for a few minutes.

Add all the double cream into the bowl and with a whisk, beat the mixture for about 10 minutes until it forms soft, stiff peaks. Spoon into a tupperware for freezing. Depending on how cold your freezer is set, it can take up to 5 hours to freeze properly. I couldn’t resist a spoonful after 3 hours and it was a delicious soft smooth texture – but not quite officially ice cream. Eat it how you please!


Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy


I always hover around the fish refrigerator section in the grocery store, paralysed with the indecision of whether or not I should splash out on some fresh salmon, yellowtail kebabs or fresh tuna. It’s always a whack to heft out, and unless you consume that entire fish there and then, (or don’t mind eating the same thing two days in a row), it lands up in the dog’s bowl.

Thus, it was with great zing that I happened upon individually wrapped 50g portions of sustainably sourced Oak Smoked Trout Ribbons this morning in Woolworths. I love having smoked trout for lunch on some fresh health bread with a bit of sour cream, some scattered dill and of course, a lemon thoroughly squeezed to death upon the whole lot.

What normally was a treat – the 100g portion, (having to be gobbled all at once, or in successive days), is now a far more accessible lunch option packaged as 50g, and is excellently priced for the quality of the fish at R19.99. You’d think somebody was paying me to say this, they aren’t – I’m just this delighted.


Oak Smoked Trout Ribbons on Health Loaf

Serves 1            Takes approx. 5 mins 


1 x chunky slice of Seeded Health Loaf

1 x 50g pack Oak Smoked Trout Ribbons

2 tsp Sour Cream, room temp

1 x small Lemon, juice

Freshly cracked Black Pepper

Scattering of Dried or Fresh Dill


Hollandaise Sauce


Hollandaise sauce has always been something synonymous with restaurant eating and cook-shows – we tend to view it with some trepidation, but really it isn’t much fuss. The only prerequisite in making it in the comfort of your own home is that you need to own (beg, borrow or steal) a blender. I’m yet to add one of these nifty’s to my collection – but I do have my ever trusty – best-buy-of-culinary-existence – the mighty, food processor. I will sing its’ praises more in another post, but for now let’s focus on the Hollandaise.

I’ve relied upon the original domestic goddess in the kitchen – Delia Smith, whom I learned most of my practical cooking skills from. This recipe comes from her ‘Delia’s How to Cook – part one’ book, that I bought about 8 years ago from a second hand bookstore on the streets of NYC. For me, Hollandaise sauce is best served poured like lava atop a heap of smoked salmon (or smoked trout), two perfectly poached eggs and a toasted traditional English muffin. TOO delicious!

Go to the full recipe…