If you’re looking for a chewy and flavourful snack on the go, search no further than a South African favourite: biltong. Besides being delicious, biltong is lower in calories, and higher in nutritional value than other snacks like chips or chocolates.
It has protein, is low in carbohydrates and fat, and is naturally gluten-free. It also has a reasonable amount of Vitamin B-12, which helps with healthy nerve cells and blood. What’s more; it can easily be taken to work or school as a snack.
But don’t limit yourself to snacking on this meaty treat: its rich taste makes biltong the perfect ingredient to spice up everyday meals. Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Biltong and Caprese salad
- 350g tomatoes.
- 150g fresh mozzarella.
- 2 cups chilli biltong.
- 3 tbsps basil pesto.
- Handful of basil leaves.
- Olive oil to serve.
- In a large salad bowl, arrange the sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and biltong.
- Spoon the basil pesto over the ingredients.
- Garnish with basil leaves and serve with olive oil.
Olive oil is filled with heart-healthy fats, while garlic may help to lower blood pressure. Basil is a rich source of Vitamin K, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium and dietary fibre.
Crumbed biltong and ricotta fritters
- 375ml Greek yoghurt.
- 45ml (3 tbsps) wholegrain mustard.
- Zest of ½ lemon.
- 230g (1 cup) ricotta.
- Pinch of cayenne pepper.
- 100g (1 cup) sliced biltong, roughly chopped.
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped.
- 15ml (1 tbsp) chives, finely chopped.
- 5ml (½ tsp) fine salt.
- 1 egg.
- 45ml (3 tbsps) cake flour.
- 375ml (1½ cups) panko crumbs.
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying.
- For the dipping sauce, stir everything together and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.
- For the fritters, combine the ricotta, cayenne pepper, biltong, spring onion, chives and salt.
- Lightly whisk the egg with a fork and stir it into the mixture. Stir in the flour.
- Form it into 12 balls and roll it in the panko crumbs.
- Heat the oil. Fry the fritters in batches and drain them on a paper towel.
- Serve with dipping sauce on the side.
Ricotta is a cheese with a similar texture to cottage cheese. It contains a substantial amount of protein, calcium and vitamins A and B. It’s also low in sodium. Paired with biltong in these fritters, it makes a tasty meal or snack.
Baked potato with mushrooms and biltong
- 4 large potatoes, boiled until soft in the centre – but not mushy.
- Olive oil.
- Salt and pepper.
- 1 small onion, sliced.
- 250g button mushrooms.
- 1 sprig rosemary.
- 250ml sour cream.
- 125ml chicken stock (5ml stock powder and 125ml water).
- Pinch of paprika.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C and prick a few holes in the cooked potatoes. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast for 20 minutes.
- Sauté the onions until golden and soft, add the mushrooms in batches and fry until browned or the liquid has cooked away.
- Over medium heat, stir in the cream and stock and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning to taste. You can make this in advance.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven; the skin should be crisp with a soft centre.
- Cut each one and squash open. Top with creamed mushrooms, biltong and black pepper.
This quick, comfort food is packed with fibre and antioxidants to boost your immune system.
Mini cheese and biltong quiches
- 2 rolls of ready-made short crust pastry.
- 30ml softened butter.
- 1 large onion, finely chopped.
- 100g finely chopped biltong.
- 250ml cheddar cheese, grated.
- 3 large eggs.
- 375ml milk, cream, or a mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Roll out the pastry and use a cookie cutter to cut circles to fit into mini quiche or muffin tins. Line the tins with the pastry.
- Pre-bake for 10 minutes. Heat the butter and sauté the onion until soft.
- Spoon a little into each pastry case. Top with biltong and cheese.
- Mix the eggs and milk together in a jug.
- Pour into the pastry cases until they’re almost full. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until set.
Biltong and basil paté
- 1 tub full cream, smooth cottage cheese.
- 1 cup powdered biltong.
- 1 handful fresh basil.
- Half a chopped onion.
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- A few grinds of black pepper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
- Line a dessert bowl or plastic container with clingfilm, transfer the pâté, cover and refrigerate until you want to eat.
This yummy pâté offers a boost of Vitamin C, protein, and calcium.