Cooking for big groups this festive season?

We've got you covered with great recipe ideas from Spekko

Ribs with lentils and rice

Serves 6-8

This is an easy one-pot meal suitable for feeding up to 8 people. To make this for a crowd, simply double the ingredients. Ma Dorah Sitole developed this recipe for Spekko rice.

Cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

This is an easy one-pot meal suitable for feeding up to 8 people. To make this for a crowd, simply double the ingredients.

2 tbsp olive oil

1kg meaty beef short bibs or pork spare ribs

1 large onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

½ each green, red and yellow peppers, diced


1 bay leaf

½ tsp dried thyme

2½ tsp dried rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 cups water

½ cup IMBO black lentils

½ cup Spekko long grain parboiled rice                       

1 x 410g can chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

METHOD:

Heat oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish and brown ribs in batches on all sides. Remove ribs and set aside.
Add onions, garlic and peppers to casserole dish, cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Return ribs to casserole, add bay leaf, dry herbs, salt and pepper.
Add water and bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or more until the meat is cooked.
Stir in the lentils, rice and tomatoes, cover and simmer for a further 30 minutes or until the lentils and rice are cooked (add more water if stew is too dry).
Remove the bay leaf, adjust seasoning and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Brown rice salad from Umlazi with beans, tomatoes, corn and jalapenos

Serves 4

This is a crunchy salad with loads of texture and colour and a bit of bite. Chef Siwe Hlope from KZN cooked this for Spekko Rice on Kasi Kitchen. This is an easy salad to make for a large crowd. Serve with spicy chops or chicken for the special event. You can use Spekko long grain parboiled rice instead of the brown if you wish.

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked Spekko Saman brown rice

1 tbsp oil

1 cup corn kernels, cooked

2 cups cooked IMBO red speckled beans

2 limes, juiced

1 lemon, zested

30m (2 tbsp) olive oil

Salt and pepper

250ml (1 cup) halved cherry tomatoes

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

250ml (1 cup) chopped fresh coriander leaves

METHOD:

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan. Add the corn kernels and cook until they start to brown.

Stir in the beans and remove from the heat.

In a bowl, mix the lime juice, the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Put the rice in a salad bowl. Add the corn and beans, the lime juice mixture, the cherry tomatoes, jalapeno pepper and the coriander leaves. Mix through. Check for seasoning and serve.

Milk tart rice pudding

Serves 4

Instead of dishing up traditional milk tart, try this milk tart rice pudding, which is gluten-free.

Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise (optional)

1 strip of orange peel (optional)

¾ cup sugar

4 egg yolks

2 tbsp cornstarch

½ tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp butter

1½ cups cooked Spekko Royal Umbrella jasmine rice

ground cinnamon for sprinkling

METHOD:

Bring the milk, cinnamon stick, star anise, orange peel and 1/2 cup of the sugar to a boil in a large saucepan.

Whisk the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and gradually add the remaining sugar.

Whisk the corn starch into the egg yolk mixture.

Remove the cinnamon stick from the milk and temper the egg yolk mixture with a quarter of the milk. Return the tempered egg mixture to the rest of the milk in the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly.

When the custard starts to thicken, add the cooked rice and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the rice pudding from the heat and fold in the vanilla extract and butter.

Serve warm in bowls with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon.

Curried peach and brown rice salad

Serves 8 – 10

Crunchy, spicy and sweet all in one. The perfect summer salad or vegetarian meal.

Ingredients:

3 cups Spekko Saman brown rice

1 x 410g can yellow peaches in syrup, drained and syrup reserved

1 bunch spring onions, chopped

1 each red, green and yellow peppers, pips and pith removed and chopped

½ cup peach syrup – from the can

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp cornflour (Maizena)

1 cup roasted cashew nuts

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Cook the rice according to the instructions on the pack. Rinse in cold water and drain. Set aside to cool.

Cut the peaches into smaller chunks and add with the onions and peppers to the rice.

Mix the peach juice, curry powder, lemon juice and cornflour in a small pot and heat until thickened. Mix through the rice.

Add the cashew nuts, season and serve.