When it comes to juggling a high profile job with motherhood, the inspirational businesswoman behind the Icebolethu Group, Nomfundo Mcoyi, believes that food is the catalyst for change. It sustains us, intrigues us and brings us together. Ahead of Christmas, and the launch of her first cookbook, titled Boardroom to the Kitchen with Nomfundo Mcoyi: From Boss Meals to Supermom Dishes, Nomfundo invited us to have a peek at some of her favourite festive dishes.
As the title suggests, Nomfundo’s book offers readers a behind-the-scenes look into the her life as a highly-successful entrepreneur and how the kitchen has been an integral part of her family life. Filled with personal anecdotes and essays, this cookbook relates the story of humble beginnings and how she turned her dreams into reality.
Nomfundo, who positions herself as a cooking enthusiast rather than a cooking expert, hopes to inspire her readers to get into the kitchen. Her cookbook is filled with easy-to-interpret recipes and above all is designed to be a home kitchen-friendly recipe collection, with the recipes making use of ingredients that are pantry staples. A well-known adage amongst chefs is that you eat with your eyes first, so to ensure that the dishes are presented at their best, each recipe has been photographed and styled to capture the essence of the dish.
“Meals are an important part of our family and community rituals,” she says. “I was fully involved in the creative process of this cookbook and a lot of love, care and time has been invested into this passion project. I’m sharing these recipes not only because I enjoy them, but because I’d like to think others will too … perhaps even, like me, around your Christmas table! Happy cooking everyone!”
Nomfundo’s Taco’s Four Ways
Buttermilk Chicken Taco
6 chicken breasts, 1 cup buttermilk, 2 ½ tsp. smoked paprika, 2 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. dried chilli flakes, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 6 small tortilla, grilled, 2 cups of red cabbage, thinly sliced, 1 avocado, sliced, coriander
Green Goddess dressing
½ cup leaf parsley, ½ cup coriander leaves, ½ cup basil leaves, ½ cup dill, ½ cup mint leaves, 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped, juice of ½ lemon, 200g mayonnaise.
Mix butter milk and spices together in a bowl, add the chicken breasts, cover and chill for four hours or marinate overnight.
For the Green Goddess dressing, place herbs, garlic, lemon juice and mayonnaise in a food processor and blend until smooth. Cover and set aside until needed. Remove chicken from the marinade and allow any excess marinade to drip off. Cook on a grill pan or BBQ to medium high heat. Brush the pan with oil and cook the chicken. Turn the chicken while cooking until it is cooked through it is cooked through. Rest for five minutes and then slice. Spread the tortillas with green goddess dressing, layer with the chicken, cabbage, onion, chilli, avocado and coriander and serve immediately.
Sunday Roast Chicken
Serves: 6. Prep time: 5 mins; cook time: 1½ hours
2kg whole chicken (remove the, giblets and neck), ¼ unsalted butter, 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1 lemon, halved, Salt and freshly ground pepper, 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, 4 garlic cloves, 1 head of garlic, 3 fresh rosemary sprigs, 1 tsp. paprika.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with foil or lightly grease a roasting pan. Remove any excess fat from the chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Melt the butter; combine with the olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and over the chicken, under the skin and inside the cavity. Season the chicken liberally on the outside and inside the cavity with salt, paprika and pepper. Cut the garlic head through the middle, mince one half of the garlic and rub it over the chicken. Stuff the remainder of the garlic head into the cavity along with the sprig of rosemary and the squeezed lemon half. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string. Chop the parsley and sprinkle over the chicken. Place the chicken breast side up into the baking tray or roasting pan. Roast for about an hour and 15 minutes, or until juice runs clear when the chicken thigh is pierced with the skewer. Baste again, then broil for a further two to three minutes until golden. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve, drizzled with pan juices. Garnish with the remaining lemon half cut into wedges or slices.
Roast Leg of Lamb
Serves: 6 to 8. Prep time: 5 mins; cooking time: 2 hrs
2kg leg of lamb – bone in, 1 bulb of garlic, ½ a bunch of fresh rosemary, 1.5kg mixed vegetables, 1 lemon juice and grated zest, 100ml olive oil, salt and pepper
1 bunch of fresh mint, 1 tsp. sugar, 3 tbsp. wine vinegar
Ensure the leg of lamb is at room temperature before cooking. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, peel three, leaving the rest whole and roughly chop half of the rosemary leaves. Peel, halve and parboil the vegetables in a pot of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and allow to dry. Add the remaining rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves to the vegetables, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with some olive oil. Tip the vegetables into an oven tray and place beneath the lamb to allow the vegetables to absorb all the flavoursome juices from the lamb.
Crush the peeled garlic into a bowl; add the chopped rosemary, lemon zest and olive oil. Ensure that the lamb is liberally covered with the garlic rub and season with salt and pepper. Place the lamb on the bars of the oven rack above the vegetable tray. Cook the lamb for an hour 15 minutes for a medium roast or 1 hour 30 minutes for well done. While the lamb cooks, make the mint sauce. Chop mint leaves and place them in a small bowl. Mix in the sugar, add a good pinch of salt, a tablespoon of hot water and the vinegar and serve with the roast. Garnish with fresh rosemary.
Serves: 6 to 8. Prep time: 5 mins; cooking time: 10 mins
1kg sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
handful fresh thyme
1 tbsp. veggie spice
salt and pepper for taste
Preheat the oven on 180ºC. Roughly chop the vegetables. Add veggie spice and salt & pepper. Place vegetables on an oven tray and mix with olive oil. Garnish with thyme.
Serves: 6. Prep time: 5 mins;
cook time: 15 mins
410g corn, 410g red kidney
400g chickpea, 350g green beans, 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. vegetable spice.
Blanche green beans for five minutes and strain. Set aside. On a medium heat pan, sauté red kidney beans and chickpea and add vegetable spice. On a different serving dish, toss your dish with olive oil and add mixed beans. Add green beans and corn. For garnish, add finely chopped parsley and cherry tomatoes.
Serves: 6 to 8. Prep time: 40 min; setting time: 4 hours
85g packet of raspberry jelly, 420g Swiss roll cake, 500g fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, 480ml custard, 360ml whipped cream.
Make raspberry jelly in advance as per the instructions on the packaging. Pour in a small bowl and leave it in the fridge to set. When set, cut into 2cm squares. Slice the strawberries in half and combine with raspberries and blueberries. Cut the Swiss roll cake into slices. Line the bottom and sides of the bowl with Swiss roll slices. Layer half of the fresh fruit on top of the cake with half of the jelly squares and cover with half of the custard. Repeat the layering with the remaining ingredients and top with custard. Leave in the fridge for at least four hours to set before you serve. Garnish with the remaining fruit over the top.