Siba Mtongana is a powerhouse woman who needs absolutely no introduction. In addition to being a highly successful celebrity chef, author, businesswoman, and more, the 38-year-old is also a loving wife and mom to four adorable children. Talking to House and Garden SA, Mtongana opened up about how she would be spending Mother’s Day this Sunday and shared some of her favourite recipes for the occasion.
The multi-award-winning chef noted that her husband and children would be giving her the full queen treatment she richly deserves. “I will be spoilt on Mother’s Day! Brian and the kids usually prepare breakfast in bed with flowers and gifts. We normally then go out for lunch, and this year we will be at SIBA – The Restaurant at the V&A Waterfront. I love a spa treatment and hope to fit one in on Mother’s Day as well.” She explained.
Mtongana further shared that with moms normally giving all their love, attention, and care to everyone else in the family, Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to spotlight their efforts and unconditional nurturing. “This is the day to honour and acknowledge those who loved and cared for us, and all women who take on mothering roles to others. I also have other ‘mothers’ who have added to the woman that I am today who I will also be honouring on Mother’s Day,” the talented chef added.
Siba shares her Mother’s Day favourite recipes
If you’re worried about what to cook for your mom this Sunday, Chef Siba has your back. The brilliant woman has generously shared four of her favourite treats, including two savoury dishes, a must-try delectable dessert, and lastly, a chocolate treat that would make the perfect gift for your mother. We have compiled the recipes for each delicious delicacy below:
Deconstructed Spinach and Prawn Lasagne
This amazing dish is quick and easy to prepare. It takes only 10 minutes to prepare, has a 15-minute cook time, and serves two people.
• 2 ml sea salt
• Enough water to cover the lasagne sheets
• 6 good quality lasagne sheets
CREAMED SPINACH FILLING
• 60 g butter
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 20 ml all-purpose flour
• 325 ml full cream milk, hot
• Pinch of salt
• 15 ml olive oil
• 350 g Swiss chard, thoroughly rinsed with stems removed and chopped
• 200 g cream cheese
• 2 ml nutmeg
• 75 g parmesan cheese, grated
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
BUTTER SAUCE AND PRAWNS
• 30 g butter
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 5 ml ginger, finely grated
• 5 ml fresh thyme, sprigs removed and chopped
• 30 ml fresh coriander, roughly chopped
• 1 fresh red chili, seeded and chopped
• Juice and zest of ½ lemon
• 16 medium-sized prawns, shelled
1. To cook the lasagne sheets: Bring the salted water you will use for cooking the lasagne sheets to the boil in a large frying pan. Adding two lasagne sheets at a time, cook until al dente. Place on a plate lined with cling film.
2. Continue cooking and layer the rest of the pasta sheets on the plate. Place a lining of cling film between each layer. This prevents the pasta sheets from sticking to each other and drying out.
3. To make the creamed spinach filling: Heat the butter and sauté the garlic for 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir to make a ‘roux’. Now add the hot milk and whisk until smooth. Simmer for just over 5 minutes until cooked, stirring continuously. Season to taste with salt.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Stir-fry the Swiss chard and season with salt and pepper.
5. Now add the spinach to the white sauce (‘roux’) along with the cream cheese, nutmeg, parmesan cheese; and then season with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and the cheese is melted.
6. To make the butter sauce: Heat the butter and saute the garlic, ginger, herbs and chili in a large non-stick frying pan for 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice, and stir. Cook the prawns in the butter sauce for 4 minutes and set aside. Continue to cook the sauce until it reduces.
7. To assemble the deconstructed spinach & prawn lasagne: Take 2 cooked lasagne sheets and fold to make a zig-zag shape. Dot with dollops of the spinach filling in between. Top with the herbed prawns, and perfect the presentation with a drizzle of the left-over butter sauce and micro herbs.
Stuffed and Baked Salmon
This delicacy takes 15 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to cook, and serves two people.
• 30 ml olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 100 g mushrooms, sliced
• ½ red pepper, sliced
• 100 g Swiss chard or spinach
• 15 ml chopped fresh thyme
• zest of ½ lemon
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 x 250 g fresh salmon fillets, skin off
• 140 g sugar snap peas
• juice of ½ lemon
• micro herbs, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease a baking tray with cooking spray.
2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and sauté the garlic for a minute. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat for 4 minutes until slightly soft.
3. Add the red pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Next add the Swiss chard or spinach, thyme and lemon zest and cook for 3 minutes until wilted. Season and leave the stuffing to cool.
5. Make a slit lengthways along each fish fillets to make room for the stuffing. Stuff each fillet and place them on a baking tray. Lightly season and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Add the sugar snaps and bake for a further 2 minutes until the fish flakes when tested with a fork and the veggies are lightly cooked but still crunchy. The fish should not be overcooked.
7. Transfer to a serving platter, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and garnish with micro herbs. Serve while still warm.
Thyme-infused Berry Eton Mess
This delectable dessert takes 20 minutes to prepare and has a cook time of one hour. It serves two people.
• 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
• Pinch of cream of tartar
• 80 ml castor sugar
• A few drops of pink food colouring, optional
• 125 ml cream, whipped
• 45 ml icing sugar
• 125 g cream cheese
• 5 ml fresh thyme sprigs
• Berry coulis, store bought / ready-made (click here for the homemade recipe)
• 100 g fresh raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 120°C and lightly grease a baking tray with cooking spray or oil. Place parchment paper on the tray.
2. With a hand or stand-alone automated mixer, beat the egg whites until frothy for about one minute. Add the cream of tartar, beating until soft peaks form, about 5 − 7 minutes.
3. Add the castor sugar about two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition, until all the sugar has been incorporated, and the mixture is thick and glossy with firm, white peaks. This will take about 8 minutes.
4. Gently stir in a drop or two of the food colouring to only half of the meringue. This creates a marbling effect or ‘strokes’ of pink.
5. Transfer half the meringue into a piping bag with a star nozzle. Pipe onto the prepared tray. Place dollops of the other half of the mixture on the piped meringue using a spoon.
6. Bake both sets of meringue for 1 hour 20 minutes until crispy on the outside, but still slightly soft on the inside. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
7. To make the filling: In a mixing bowl, whip the cream until soft peak stage. In another bowl, place the cream cheese with the icing sugar and a few thyme sprigs. Whisk until combined. Gently fold in the cream.
8. To serve: Place a couple of meringues in a glass, followed by the thyme-infused filling, spoonfuls of berry coulis and the berries. Repeat until the glass is almost full.
White Chocolate Rocky Road
If your mother has a sweet tooth, put a smile on her face and gift her with this delicious treat you’ve made yourself.
• 750 g good quality white chocolate (like Lindt)
• 50 g Tennis Biscuits, broken into pieces (or any coconut tea biscuits)
• 50 g pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
• 80 g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
• 35 g toasted coconut chips
• 60 g rosewater Turkish delight, roughly chopped
• 20 g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
• 60 g Turkish delight, roughly chopped
• 50 g pistachio nuts, toasted and chopped
1. Line a 33 cm x 23 cm x 5.5 cm baking tin with wax or baking paper, allowing the edges of the sides to overlap so that you can easily pull it out when the rocky road is set. Lightly spray the tin with baking or cooking spray.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the biscuits, pistachio nuts, cranberries, coconut chips and Turkish delight. Mix together until well coated with the chocolate.
3. Tip the mix into the prepared baking tray and level it. Sprinkle with the topping ingredients making sure that you push them down into the mix, so that they stick to the chocolate. This helps them set with the chocolate and not fall off once the chocolate is set.
4. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours or until set, remove from fridge and lift the rocky road slab out using the overlapping paper for grip.
5. Wrap the slab as is with more wax or baking paper and tie a ribbon around it with a special message.
6. Alternatively, cut into squares or fingers and stack 3-4 pieces on top of each other, wrap with baking or wax paper and secure with a ribbon.