2008-02-23 00:00

Cookery courses for domestic workers are popular. Both the domestic workers and their employers benefit. The domestic workers enjoy spending some time doing hands-on cooking in the kitchen. They learn new skills, which they can show off to their employers, and gain confidence to be able to prepare wholesome and nutritious dishes for the family. These dishes, which are taught during the domestic workers course at Meryl’s School of Cooking, are easy to prepare and make great family dinners.

Country fish pie


500g fish fillets

0,5 onion, peeled and sliced

400ml milk

Salt and pepper

2 TBSP margarine or butter

2 TBSP flour

1 cup frozen peas

3 hard boiled eggs

1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley

4 potatoes, cooked and mashed


Set the oven to 180ºC.

Place the fish fillets and onion in a shallow dish and cover with the milk. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until firm and cooked.

Drain the milk off the fish and keep to one side for the sauce.

Melt the margarine or butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute.

Add the leftover milk (from cooking the fish) and whisk until thick and smooth.

Season with salt and pepper.

Flake the fish and place in a dish.

Slice or crumble the eggs and place over the fish.

Sprinkle over the chopped parsley.

Place the peas on top and pour over the sauce

Cover with mashed potato,

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Chicken pie


1 whole chicken

Water to cover

1 carrot, peeled

1 onion, peeled

Parsley stalks


Place the chicken in a pot, cover with water and add the carrot and onion and some parsley stalks.

Bring to the boil and simmer until the chicken is cooked.

Leave in the liquid to cool then remove, drain. Skim off any excess fat.

Take off the skin and remove the bones.

Cut the meat into strips.


5 large carrots

1 onion

1 to 2 cloves garlic

Salt and pepper

Mixed herbs

50 g butter or margarine

50 g flour

400 ml chicken stock (400ml hot water with 4 tsp chicken stock powder or 1 stock cube)

100 ml milk

Pre-made puff pastry

1 egg for brushing the pastry


Set the oven to 200ºC.

Fry the carrots, onion and garlic together until slightly browned. Season with salt, pepper and herbs and lay at the bottom of an ovenproof dish.

Place the chicken meat over the vegetables.

Melt the butter or margarine and add the flour.

Stir and cook for one minute and add the stock and milk.

Stir until thickened.

Check seasoning.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Mix together. Cool slightly.

Roll the pastry slightly.

Cover the chicken with the pastry and crimp the edges to neaten and ensure all the pastry is secure.

Brush with the egg and bake for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the pastry is brown and well risen.

Cream of carrot soup


25 g butter

2 onions, peeled and chopped

500 g carrots, peeled and chopped

2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

900 ml chicken stock

130 ml milk

Pinch nutmeg

50 g rice, well drained


Melt butter and add onion and the rest of the vegetables.

Fry for five minutes in the butter until soft but not brown.

Add the chicken stock, milk, nutmeg and rice and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

Cool and liquidise. Reheat when ready to serve.

Meryl Haley owns Meryl’s School of Cooking, based in Kloof, from where she runs cooking courses for all ages, team-building sessions, provides convenient meals and offers catering for functions. She recently published Culinary Inspirations, which was written with Cheryl Goodenough and is available from Fascination Books in Hillcrest, Midlands Stationers, Adams Bookshop (in Pietermaritzburg and Musgrave) and Field News Agency in Kloof. For more information about Meryl’s School of Cooking, phone 031 764 6577, e-mail or visit

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