Casual weekend meals, braais for guests, a book for a present or yummie gifts to bake… there are some great new cookbooks on the shelves this festive season


Go! Weekend Food

by Aletta Lintvelt (Human & Rousseau)

This book is crammed with simple, affordable recipes and is divided into chapters which make it easy to find exactly what food will suit your mood.

From comfort food – featuring one-dish wonders, such as winter sausage hotpot and chicken pie – to quick nibbles, such as biltong nachos and two-minute sweet chilli shrimps – you’ll find something to satisfy the soul and impress your guests.

The photographs alone are enough to get you into the kitchen and the ingredients are things you should find in your grocery cupboard (bar one or two more exotic items).

Weekend breakfasts will never be the same again once you’ve whipped up buttermilk flapjacks or mealie meal pancakes and “Fancy Scrambled Eggs”.

Eat, drink and be merry with the likes of “Bob Marley Chicken Wings” and “Roast Bacon and Potato Salad”, marinades and interesting side dishes.

There are some great bread recipes and the “Sweet Tooth” section has some gems, such as “Golden Syrup Dumplings” and “Milk Tart Pancakes”, which makes one giant cake to feed 20 hungry guests.


Make Give Sell

by Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy (Human and Rousseau)

This is the fourth offering by brother-and-sister team Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy and one that will for ever grace my kitchen bookshelf.

The idea is to embark on a new journey – leaving processed, mass-produced supermarket food behind and discovering the fantastic local fare and produce available at food markets right on our doorstep.

Each page in this book is a visual feast, creative and colourful and filled with fantastic recipes that you can reproduce at home, make as gifts, for school fetes, fund-raisers or sporting events, or to supplement your income (a good skill to have in these tough times).

Each chapter is aimed at a specific market, such as farm stalls, urban markets, farmers’ markets, future and world markets, school fetes and fund-raisers.

Highly recommended.


Roots, Shoots & Muddy Boots

by Samantha van Riet (Tafelberg)

Samantha van Riet is a successful illustrator, having worked on a number of children’s books and education, adult cookery and natural history titles over the past two decades.

She is also an avid gardener and her passion has resulted in this beautiful book aimed at children aged from six to nine.

They will learn all about veggie gardening, from types of soil, preparation, planting and pruning, to harvesting and cooking home-grown veggies, herbs and salads.

It features simple recipes and gardening craft projects, as well as facts about recycling, the seasons and insects and birds. This is a great way to get kids off the couch and into the garden while learning about nature, ecology and healthy living.


Fuss-free Braais

by Hilary Biller (Struik Lifestyle)

Food editor Hilary Biller has come up with another gem. This beautifully illustrated cookbook features more than 100 tasty recipes that have been prepared on three types of braais: a built-in traditional charcoal or wood braai, the Weber Q300 Gas Braai and the Weber One Touch Original Kettle Braai.

Hilary gives you every bit of info you need for fuss-free cooking. Her recipes cover everything from beef, lamb, pork, poultry, game and seafood to veggies, salads, accompaniments and desserts. Try your hand at “Smoky Cola T-bone Steaks”, “Bobotie Burgers” or “Club steaks with Chimichurri”. Or how about “Lamb Kebabs with Feta, Sage and Onion Pork” or a “Chicken Flattie with Cream Cheese Stuffing”?

This is a must for every South African, a true toast to the tradition that brings us together for any occasion.


Lessons with Liam

by Liam Tomlin (Human & Rousseau)

Dublin-born Liam Tomlin has spent the past few years sharing his expertise and passion for fine cuisine with up-and-coming chefs at his cookery schools in Cape Town and Franschhoek.

This book is not just a collection of recipes, but also covers some important basic cooking skills.

Liam says: “Start with simple techniques and work gradually towards more involved and complicated skills that may have to be performed several times before being perfected.

“Only after time and practice will you begin to see and taste the results and benefits of your hard work. But it is certainly worth the effort.”

Liam takes you step by step through basic techniques, perfectly illustrated, and with invaluable notes and tips on everything from knife skills to blanching vegetables; butchering meat and filleting fish; preparing fresh crab; breads; pasta and oils such as lemon, crustacean and Parmesan; sauces; compound butters and consommes.

Imagine serving your dinner party guests dishes such as “Shellfish Bisque”, “Vichyssoise of Oysters, Prawns in Potato Waistcoats with Curry Salt”, “Entrecote Café de Paris”, “Tartare of Tuna with Togarashi Dressing” or “Duck Rilletes”… You can, with a little help from Mr Tomlin.

This book is every foodie’s dream. - Juliette Donkin