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This is a very old traditional South African salad recipe. The instructions therefore ask that you adjust the dressing to your taste, as in days of old every cook made it to her own taste and without a recipe. Delicious with all meats, and well suited to winter meals as well. Preparation time includes the rather finicky task of peeling the little onions!! Sit outside, and you won't cry ...!
- Boil the onions in salted water until just done. They should on no account be too soft or fall apart! Drain and put in a bowl.
- Beat the eggs very well, until foamy. Add the mustard powder to the sugar.
- Slowly add the sugar to the eggs, and keep beating well until sugar is incorporated.
- Add the salt and white pepper.
- Add vinegar little by little to the egg-sugar mixture, beat in, and keep tasting until you have a sweet-sour taste.
- You can use a double boiler for the last step, but it will take longer to get the dressing to boiling point. Most of us use a small, heavy-bottomed pot.
- Put on low heat, enough to bring the mixture to an almost-simmer, but you MUST stir all the time. A whisk for the stirring works well. The dressing might become foamy while being heated, which is normal.
- Do not use high heat, but stir until the mixture thickens, then remove from heat and keep stirring until it cools a little: if it cooks, the egg will separate.
- The dressing should be approximately the consistency of mayonnaise -- pourable but thick.
- *If you are at all worried about the eggs separating, add 1/2 teaspoon cornflour to the sugar/mustard mixture. This might make the dressing slightly thicker, but might prevent the eggs separating. It's still best just to keep an eagle eye on the heat of the pot and the dressing. Normally nothing goes wrong.
- Pour the hot dressing over the boiled onions, and let cool. Serve at room temperature, not refrigerated. (Refrigerate the leftovers: it lasts a long time in the fridge).
- ** The Afrikaans name, Slaphakskeentjies, literally means "little limp heels". No-one at all has any idea how it originated!