How to cre­ate a five-star dish

YOU Winning Recipes - - CONTENTS -

HOW do you pick a win­ning recipe? YOU food edi­tor Car­men Niehaus got to taste so many de­li­cious dishes as pre­sen­ter and judge on VIA channel’s TV food show Jy Het ’n Wen­re­sep! (channel 147 on DStv), it was dif­fi­cult to choose just one win­ning recipe per episode!

In each episode three con­tes­tants made a spe­cial dish, but only one could win the top rat­ing of five stars. The only fair way to judge their dishes was with re­li­able and care­ful cri­te­ria. This pre­vented sub­jec­tive judg­ments and en­sured the best dish won ev­ery time. We had five cri­te­ria with a star awarded for each one. The win­ning recipe needed to of­fer a short­cut, be fresh and af­ford­able, tasty, in­no­va­tive and healthy.

Far right is an ex­am­ple of how the stars were awarded on the TV show. In this mag­a­zine the stars are in­di­cated be­low each recipe ti­tle.



The dish should not re­quire huge ef­fort or take more than an hour to rus­tle up (ris­ing, chill­ing and marinating times excluded). It should not have too many in­gre­di­ents or steps. We don’t want to spend valu­able time in the kitchen so ev­ery­thing, even the wash­ing up, must be kept to a min­i­mum. We look at the short­cuts con­tes­tants take, such as cook­ing the meal in only one dish or mak­ing easy sauces that do not need con­stant stir­ring.


Fresh, af­ford­able in­gre­di­ents are al­ways a good thing when cook­ing and items in the pantry should prefer­ably con­tain as few ar­ti­fi­cial in­gre­di­ents as pos­si­ble. The in­gre­di­ents must also be eas­ily avail­able from most su­per­mar­kets. So ready-made pestos and spicy dukkahs score a star but not recipes packed with ar­ti­fi­cial flavour en­hancers.


The dishes must be tasty and fra­grant and fresh herbs are rec­om­mended. Con­tes­tants must know their flavour pro­files and which flavours go to­gether. Ex­per­i­ment­ing with flavours and sea­son­ing is also wel­comed.


The recipes must be orig­i­nal, in­no­va­tive, up­dated, fresh and new, but not so for­eign home cooks will find them too daunt­ing. If the recipe is ver­sa­tile and can be served in var­i­ous ways, even bet­ter.


An at­tempt must be made to make the dish health­ier. A star is awarded for low­er­ing the sugar or but­ter con­tent of a dessert, us­ing yo­ghurt in­stead cream, adding veg­etable or fruit purée to a dish or switch­ing from puff pas­try to phyllo pas­try. It’s also a good idea to ren­der as much fat from meat as pos­si­ble, serve meals with fresh sal­ads and in­clude fruit in desserts.


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