#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

#strawberry salad – my favourite flavour combination of 2016

Strawberry Salad

Strawberries are in season…and at the moment they are at their sweetest and most delicious. I was reading the other day about the “not so well known” strawberry combinations and came across nectarines, black pepper and almonds. I decided to make a strawberry carpaccio with feta + naartjie + almonds + black pepper. It is quick, simple and definitely my favourite flavour combination of 2016

The salad
Slice a few strawberries, sprinkle with small pieces of feta, a few almonds, scatter a couple of naartjie segments and sprinkle with course black pepper. For the final touch, I added fresh mint leaves. You will not need a salad dressing – the juiciness of the strawberries and the juice of the naartjie is a built-in ‘salad dressing’.

It’s so simple but the salt and sweet …and then that pepper tang is a perfect combination and a perfect lunch – to be washed down with a glass of bubbly of course. What better way to celebrate Spring?

Strawberries- Anel Potgieter

Strawberry Festival at the Stellenbosch Slow Market
This Saturday strawberry season will officially be celebrated at the Stellenbosch Slow Market. Visitors can expect strawberry cocktails from Dr. Juice, strawberry tea and even strawberry bread from Fine Pastries. Native Chocolates will provide strawberry chocolate delights, and everyone should try the strawberry burgers from Flamed. And of course there will be strawberry fudge, strawberry sushi and even strawberry liqueur from Kaapse Liqueur. Ollie’s Sausages, who never disappoints with a variety of sausages of all types, will also be selling a uniquely created strawberry sausage.

See you there.

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my coconut #cake on a retro light fitting

my coconut #cake on a retro light fitting

White Coconut Cake
I recently received a brief from a client to make a white cake for a birthday celebration. She wanted a vanilla sponge; the cake had to be white; on a different cake stand (so not a normal cake stand) and she wanted one white candle in the cake. We trawled through Pinterest together and we found a white coconut decorated cake. This was the easy part.
Coconut Cake
All you need is two layers (cut each in two so you have four layers) of vanilla sponge cake and a big batch of vanilla icing. For the outside you only need coconut flakes. So first ice the cake and then with you hands … just gently push the coconut onto the cake. That’s it.

The cake stand proved to be the biggest problem. What did my client mean by ‘something different’? Well, I went to a few second-hand shops and eventually I found this retro thick glass light fitting. Yes, a light fitting off all things! It worked perfect with the cake… so dreamy and beautiful. I loved it and so did she.

Coconut Cake

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the président of cheeses

the président of cheeses

The other day I received a basket full of cheesy delights accompanied with a very clever name tag: Anél Potgieter for Président. You see Simonsberg cheeses will officially be adopting the Président branding but rest assured, it is only the name that is changing – you can still enjoy the same great taste and quality of the products you have come to rely on over the years to make your favourite dishes.

President Cheese

I immediately grabbed some ProVitas and topped it with the Smoked Salmon Cream Cheese – delicious!
Version 2
The Creamy Blue Cheese is so tangy and strong and worked brilliantly with my glass of whiskey. Yes, I love a good scotch and a good blue cheese and these two are in my eyes a perfect pairing. :-)
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I grated some Mature Cheddar and added that to a beef broth. It melted in the broth and gave it an extra layer of flavour and texture. And what is better than melted cheese?
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The camembert is still lying in my fridge, but Président sent me a recipe card for baked camembert with caramelised walnuts. It is on my to do list – I took a pic with my cellphone to share with you.
Have a great cheesy week everyone.
x
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#braai die perfekte #steak met die 3-3-3-formule – #braaidag

#braai die perfekte #steak met die 3-3-3-formule – #braaidag

Steak met brandewynpepersous - Foto Michelle Lategan

Steak met brandewynpepersous – Foto Michelle Lategan

Komende Saterdag is Nasionale Braaidag. Hoera! Nie dat my Ier enige aanmoediging nodig het om te braai nie, want hy sê mos: ”Friday is braai day. Saturday is braai day and Sunday is braai day too.” En as hy in die week ‘n kansie kry steek hy, tot my ergernis, weer die vure aan. Maar my liewe man kan nou maar net nie ‘n steak ordentlik braai nie. Óf hy maak dit te gaar óf hy probeer dit ná 10 biere oor koue kole braai. Mansmense tog!

Hoe om die perfekte steak te braai
Ek het verlede week een van Hussar Grill se steakmeesterklasse bygewoon en Sjef Greg Bax het ons touwys gemaak: “Maak seker dat die steaks kamertemperatuur is en nie direk uit die yskas gebruik word nie. Jou kole moet baie warm wees (gloeiend) en die skoon rooster moet liggies met sonneblomolie of olyfolie gesmeer word sodat jy die steaks maklik kan omdraai. Verf jou steaks ook liggies met olie en geur met jou gunsteling speserye. Ek verkies sommer net sout en peper. Gebruik ‘n tang (nooit ‘n vurk nie) om jou steaks om te draai. Die steaks moet toegelaat word om vir ten minste drie tot vyf minute te rus.”

As jy dit op ‘n gietysterriffelpan wil gaarmaak moet jy die pan rookwarm maak (ons panne het die aand vir ten minste 5 minute op ‘n groot gasvlam gestaan) en geen olie op die pan smeer nie. Onthou jy moet die steak met olie verf nie die pan nie.

Sjef Greg Bax van Hussar Grill: Foto Michelle Lategan

Sjef Greg Bax van Hussar Grill: Foto Michelle Lategan


Die 3-3-3 formule vir ‘n perfekte medium-rou steak
Gregg het ons geleer om die 3-3-3 formule te gebruik om ‘n perfekte medium-rou steak gaar te maak. “Braai een minuut aan elke kant vir elke een cm dikte. So, as die steak 3 cm dik is braai jy dit drie minute aan die een kant, drie minute aan die ander kant en laat dit vir so drie minute rus. Moet nie aan die steak andersins karring nie. Die totale braaityd is dus ses minute.” Dit is dit! Hou jou selfoontydhouer byderhand, moet dit nie ‘n sekonde meer of minder braai nie en ek belowe jou dat jy die mees perfekste medium-rou steak gaan braai. Hoor ek ‘n hiep-hiep?
Foto: Michelle Lategan

Foto: Michelle Lategan

Maklike stokmenger Béarnaise-sous
Béarnaise was nog altyd vir my ‘n nagmerrie om te maak, want dit skif gewoonlik. Maar met die onfeilbare stokmenger-metode sal ek dit nooit weer oor ‘n dubbelkoker probeer maak nie. Gooi die dragon-asyn saam met jou eiergele in die stokmengerhouer en terwyl jy dit oor medium spoed blits, gooi jy die gesmelte botter baie stadig by. So maklik soos dit!

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Die perfekte wyn saam met jou steak
Die aand by Silwood het Ernst Gouws ons bederf met sy wyne. Een van my gunstelinge van die aand was die die Ernst Gouws & Co Merlot 2014. Soos hulle self sê: “A savoury masterpiece. A richly-satisfying mouthful of dark plums and stewed fruit, this Merlot is full of earthy flavours with dark chocolate hints, savoury dried meat and plenty of spicy highlights.” Heerlik! Ja, ek dink ek het bietjie te veel van die masterpiece agter die blad gehad want ek het die volgende dag maar bietjie gesukkel. Maar dit was die moeite werd.

Wynmaker Ernst Gouws

Wynmaker Ernst Gouws

Hussar Gril se steakmeesterklasse R450/kop
Ek wil almal aanbeveel om dié meesterklasse by te woon. Dit is groot pret, jy gaan baie leer, lekker steak eet en ook heerlik weglê aan Ernst Gouws & Co se wyne. Vir besprekings kontak Silwood Cooking School by 0216864894 of cooking@silwood.co.za

Steak met Béarnaise-sous - Foto Michelle Lategan

Steak met Béarnaise-sous – Foto Michelle Lategan

Maklike stokmenger Béarnaise-sous
Genoeg vir 4
20 ml witasyn
20 ml water
4 ml gekapte vars dragon of ‘n groot knypie gedroogde dragon (tarragon)
1 ml sout
knypie peper
10 ml water
2 eiergele
190 g botter, gesmelt
rooipeper (na smaak)
suurlemoen (na smaak)

Gooi die asyn, water, dragon, sout en peper in ‘n potjie en verminder oor lae hitte tot 10 ml.
Verwyder van die hitte en voeg 10 ml water by. Voeg saam met eiergele in ‘n mengbak en verwerk teen medium spoed met stokmenger (stick blender) tot dik en romerig. Voeg nou die botter baie stadig bietjies vir bietjies in ‘n klein stroompie by en verwerk goed na elke byvoeging. Wanneer al die botter bygevoeg is, geur met rooipeper en suurlemoensap. As dit te dik is meng ‘n bietjie warmwater by. Bedien teen kamertemperatuur.

Die lekkerste brandewynpepersous
Genoeg vir 4
50 g botter
10 ml gemaalde swartpeper
15 ml sagte donkerbruin suiker (treacle)
30 ml brandewyn
65 ml port
150 ml beesvleis ekstrak
160 ml room
Knypie sout

Smelt die botter, voeg die suiker by en kook tot die botter verbruin het. Gooi die swartpeper by en braai dit verder vir so twee minute. Voeg die brandewyn by en flambé. Verwyder van die hitte totdat die vlam dood is. Voeg die port by en prut tot die alkohol verdamp het. Gooi die beesvleisekstrak by en verminder tot ¾. Gooi die room by en verminder tot dit verdik het. Geur met sout.

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early christmas with #woolworths

early christmas with #woolworths

christmas-box-800Christmas arrived early this year when Woolworths delivered a large box of beautifully packaged goodies to my doorstep. Lucky me! Inside this box was a whole host of festive goodies that will be on their shelves come Christmas time.
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It’s all about nostalgia this year at Woolworths. I wanted to spread the love so I handed the gifts to loved ones around me:

Teas from around the world
This beautiful box of individually packed teas I gave to my mom. It has a mash strainer where you scoop your tea in and put the strainer in water to steep your favourite tea. I just have to say mom and I loved the java gunpowder flavour!
christmas-tea-800

Lip tints
Don’t you just love these lip tints? They look like macaroons! I shared them with my friend Zola. They are easy to just stash in your bag and so damm cute to take out… and show the world.
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christmas-lip-tint-2-800

Turkish Delight
My friend Karin was so lucky to get this. This is my favourite gift out of the whole box. Dont you just love the beautiful container?
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Old tape recorder tin filled with milk chocolate coated toffees
My husband and I polished off the whole tin. The toffies were so delicious and we gobbled it up before we could press the stop button on the dummy cassette player!
christmas-tape-box-1

Luxury Christmas crackers
My housekeeper Doreen was very happy to get her hands on these luxury Christmas crackers. Making the traditional addition to the festive Christmas table, they are fit for a feast.
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Thank you Woollies!

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beesvleis wellington met #biltong

beesvleis wellington met #biltong

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Niks simboliseer ‘n meer luukse ete as ‘n propperse Britse Beesvleis Wellington nie. Man, daardie dik rooskleurige beesfilet wat toegevou word met ‘n lagie aardse sampioen-duxelle (sampioene wat tot ‘n pasta fyngemaak is), die soutige parmaham en dan die bros-bruin skilferkorsdeeg maak mos alles vir ‘n groot bederf. Een happie van die sappige vleis saam met ‘n lekseltjie rooiwyn jus maak my bene lammer as wat my Ier ooit sal kan. Eureka! Pa Coen wou natuurlik nooit sy lippe aan die Engelse storie sit nie, want die bitter van die Kakies het nog al die jare swaar op sy Boerehart gerus.

Die maak van tradisionele Beesvleis Wellington – die lang manier

Beesvleis Wellington is ‘n gereg wat met genoeg tyd, liefde en ‘n goeie bottel rooiwyn aangepak moet word. Span jou geliefde in om te help en saam-saam kan julle aan die Wellington én die bottel wyn werk. As julle alles nie haarfyn beplan en met presisie uitvoer nie, mors jy net ‘n peperduur stuk vleis op … so, gee dit jou alles. Ek het Gordon Ramsay se lang metode gebruik, maar het die resep wat vandag verkort.

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Sampioen-duxelle: Om die tradisionele duxelle te maak moet die sampioene baie fyn gekap word en hier het my voedselverwerker sy kant gebring. Maak botter baie warm in ‘n pan en braai die sampioene op hoë hitte tot die pan 100% droog is. Dit vat ‘n tydjie, maar stop vir liefie ‘n houtlepel in die hand en maak seker hy roer dit gereeld. Die resultaat is die geurigste sampioenpasta. Laat koel goed af.

Seël van beesfilet:
Na ‘n teugie wyn geur die filet met sout en peper en braai dit in ‘n baie warm pan tot bruin en geseël. So 30 sekondes aan al die kante. Dit verseker dat die sappe binne bly en geur die vleis. Laat dit heeltemal afkoel en verf dan die hele stuk filet met mosterd van jou keuse. My Ier gebruik altyd sy gunsteling mosterd – Masterfoods se warm Engels mosterd.

Die filet-bed: Stop, jy moet nou nie dink jy moet manlief én die bottel rooiwyn bed toe sleep nie! En moet ook nie dink die filet-bed is te veel moeite om te maak nie (skink maar nog ‘n glas wyn, knyp jou oë toe en druk deur), want as jy dié stap volg kry jy ‘n perfek gevormde Wellington. Plaas ‘n lang stuk kleefplastiek op ‘n plat oppervlakte en lê die snye parmaham langs mekaar in ‘n ry daarop uit. Die dun stukkies vleis moet mekaar oorvleuel en dit moet so lank soos die lengte van die filet wees. Smeer die duxelle versigtig oor die hele parmaham-oppervlakte. Plaas nou die afgekoelde stuk vleis bo-op en rol die vleis baie styf toe met die kleefplastiek. Rol die kante van die kleefplastiek toe en maak die rol so styf as wat jy kan. Plaas dit in die yskas vir 30 minute. Pssst …nou het julle ‘n tydjie om gou weg te glip kamer toe…

Skilferkorsdeeg:
Al moeg en uitasem? Byt vas. Gooi gou nog ‘n glasie wyn. Rol die skilferkorsdeeg effens dunner uit op ’n meelbestrooide oppervlakte en plaas die filet bo-op. Verf die kante van die deeg met water en vou mooi toe. Sny die orige stukke deeg af. Plaas die Wellington met die voukant na onder op ’n bakplaat.

Versiering en glans: Verf die hele besigheid nou met baie eiergeel. Plaas dit terug in die yskas vir sowat 15 minute sodat die deeg kan rus. Teen dié tyd moet die bottel al amper op wees. Om die Wellington nog mooier te laat lyk, sny een lang keep (moet nie heeltemal deur die deeg sny nie – trek net jou mespunt oor die deeg) in die middel af en dan snye kante toe – so 1 cm uitmekaar. Die einde is nou in sig! Vat jou verfkwas en gee vir Wellington ‘n laaste eiergeellagie. Strooi nou ‘n goeie hoeveelheid Maldon sout oor en uiteindelik is meneer reg vir die oond.

Baktyd: Bak vir 20 minute in ‘n voorverhitte oond teen 200 °C. Draai die hitte af na 180 °C en bak nog 15-20 minute tot die kors bruin is.

Rustyd:
Bottel nommer twee is natuurlik nou al oop. Moet nie haastig wees en die Wellington onmiddellik sny nie. Laat rus vir ten minste 10-15 minute voordat jy dit sny.

My Boere Beesvleis Wellington
Kyk, ‘n mens sukkel nie sommer met ‘n klassieke resep soos dié nie, maar om Pa Coen daar bo tevrede te hou het ek besluit om dit bietjie aan te pas en die helfte van die sampioene met fyn biltong te vervang. Gesondheid Coena ek drink ʼn glasie rooiwyn op jou! Die biltong is spesiaal vir jou Boerehart.
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Beesvleis Wellington met biltong
Die kortpad manier
Genoeg vir 4
30 ml botter
300 g sampioene, fyn gekap
1 knoffelhuisie, fyn gekap
blaartjies van 1 tiemietakkie
200 g biltong, fyn
750 g beesfilet
olyfolie
30 ml mosterd van jou keuse
8 snye parmaham
500 g skilferkorsdeeg
meel
2 eiergele, geklits
sout
swartpeper
Maldon Sout

Braai die sampioene, knoffel en tiemie in die botter tot gaar en heeltemal droog. Geur met ‘n bietjie sout en swartpeper. Laat afkoel. Meng die biltong deur en hou eenkant. Voorverhit die oond tot 200 °C . Maak ‘n kleefvrye pan baie warm. Smeer die filet met ’n bietjie olyfolie en geur met sout en peper. Braai aan al die kante tot bruin en geseël. Omtrent 30 sekondes aan elke kant. Laat goed afkoel. Verf mosterd met ‘n kwassie oor die hele stuk vleis. Rol die deeg effens dunner uit op ’n meelbestrooide oppervlak. Plaas die parmaham in die middel oor die deeg. Versprei die sampioenmengsel oor parmaham en plaas die filet bo-op. Verf die kante van die deeg met water en vou toe. Verseël en sny die oortollige deeg af. Plaas die Wellington met die voukant na onder op ’n bakplaat. Verf liggies met die geklitste eiergeel en sprinkel met Maldon sout. Bak vir 20 minute teen 200 °C. Draai die temperatuur af na 180 °C en bak vir ‘n verdere 15 minute tot goudbruin. Laat dit rus vir 10-15 minute voordat jy dit sny.

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#richards supper stage and bistro

#richards supper stage and bistro

I just LOVE dinner theatre experiences and really didn’t know what to expect of Richards Supper Stage and Bistro … but …. I was blown away by the performances and the sheer talent of the singers – all round it was a fantastic night out!
____richards-supper-stage-audience
“Kaapse Stories from the Mother City” had me enthralled from start to finish. Poignant, nostalgic, humourous and moving. From Grandpa Joe, to the rest of his talented family, to the car guard who just floored us with his gifted voice to the two bergies. It was Cape Town in full colour. I don’t want to give too much away but the music is a mix of South African songs (English, Xhosa and Afrikaans) and dance. I was brought to tears by the very remarkable tribute to Shirley Bassey. As the curtain fell, I went home with a full and happy heart… and very proud to be a South African.
____terry-smith-in-richards-supper-stage-kaapse-stories
The Food
This is not a gourmet meal but a good buffet.
Starters: When we arrived there was a Greek Salad and bread on the table. So if you are hungry you can start nibbling. We were then presented with snoek pâté and a samoosa. It was really tasty and scrumptious.
Mains: I was still torturing myself with a low carb eating regime which is an absolute pain when a big pot of sexy samp and a tray of baked potatoes are staring at you. I opted for some veggies, baked fish and fillet with a sauce. It was delicious and more than enough.
Dessert: The desserts are plated and there were cheesecake with koeksisters with a fruit skewer on our plates.
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The Price
R450 / head

Value for money
YES and yes again.

Who must see it
The whole of Cape Town. The whole of South Africa. And the whole world.

For Bookings
Contact 021 434 4497/021 433 1340 or go to richardscapetown.co.za.

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citrus #doughnuts with #cinnamon sugar

citrus #doughnuts with #cinnamon sugar

I just LOVE warm, fluffy and crisp doughnuts. Smothered in chocolate or caramel sauce or simply sprinkled with some cinnamon sugar. I never thought I would make doughnuts because they are a bit of a project, but they are much less work than you might think. We made these tasty citrus delights this morning on Expresso and used Sara Wineberg’s recipe. Once you have mastered this basic recipe you can do pretty much anything you like in terms of glazes, toppings and fillings.citrus doughnuts

Citrus doughnuts with cinnamon sugar
(Recipe by Sara Wineberg)

2 sachets (20g) dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
Pinch salt
3 Tbs margarine
1Tbs oil
4 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
Oil for frying
To serve
Castor sugar
Cinnamon

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 2 tsp sugar in ¼ cup warm water. Allow to stand for several minutes until bubbly. Add egg, remaining water, orange juice, salt, margarine, oil, flour and remaining sugar and knead until smooth. Cover dough and allow to double in size (about 1 hour). Roll out dough on a floured surface. Shape into balls. Leave on a greased wax paper to rise again for about 1/2 hour. Heat oil to 350 degrees deep fry with lid on and turn when golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon, drain and cool on paper towels. Make some cinnamon sugar and sprinkle over doughnuts

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south Africa’s best olive oils announced

south Africa’s best olive oils announced

A total of 36 extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) of the 2016 harvest were lauded as South Africa’s finest during the annual SA Olive Awards gala dinner held last night (Thursday, 01 September). These premium products walked off with Gold medals in three categories – 6 for Delicate, 20 for Medium and 10 for Intense. The competition, now in its 11th year, attracted a record 110 entries. In addition to the 36 Gold medals, 53 Silver and 11 Bronze medals were awarded.

The gold medallists in the Delicate category are: De Rustica Estate Delicate EVOO, Greenleaf EVOO, Mont Rouge Owner’s Reserve EVOO, River Press EVOO, Spar Authentic EVOO and Tokara Frantoio EVOO.

Tokara Frantoio walked away with a gold medal in the Delicate category

Tokara Frantoio walked away with a gold medal in the Delicate category

In the category for Medium EVOO’s top honours went to: Adamskloof EVOO, Andante EVOO, Cederberg Olives Frantoio EVOO, Chaloner Mountain Oil EVOO, De Rustica Estate Medium EVOO, Gabriëlskloof EVOO, Galenia Estate Director’s Blend EVOO, Galenia Estate Estate Blend EVOO, Kleinbergskloof Estate Blend EVOO, Kloovenburg EVOO, Kredouw Frantoio EVOO, Lettas Kraal Green Olive Blend EVOO, Lettas Kraal EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Medium EVOO, Mont Rouge Karoo Reserve EVOO, Rio Largo EVOO, Rio Largo Gold EVOO, Waterleliefontein EVOO, Wildekrans Field Blend Selection EVOO and Wildekrans Endless EVOO.

The top-performers in the Intense category are: Andante Forte EVOO, Andante Intenso EVOO, Anysbos EVOO, De Rustica Estate Intense EVOO, Kransfontein Coratina EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Intense EVOO, Marbrin Olive Growers Directors Reserve EVOO, Prince Albert Olives Karoo Blend Intense EVOO, Rio Largo Premium Blend EVOO and Willow Creek Director’s Reserve EVOO.

A team of professional tasters meticulously scrutinized the medal contenders one-by-one according to quality, complexity and balance in terms of aroma and taste during a four-day blind tasting.

The esteemed judging panel comprised internationally accredited olive oil tasting panel leader and consultant, Dr Antonio G Lauro from Italy, and members of the SA Olive tasting panel: Leonard Arangies, Robert Claasens, Gerrie Duvenage, Reni Hildenbrand, Birgitta Hofmeyr, Benedetta Lami, Louise Rabie and Kelly White.

Full results are available on the SA Olive website www.saolive.co.za

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cheats cacao cake

cheats cacao cake

cacao cake
These days I often find that I do not have the time to spend hours in the kitchen to bake and decorate a cake for a special occasion. I have to confess I cheat … but in my defence, many of the ready-baked options end up being just as delicious and beautiful as home-baked versions.

The cake layers
In this instance, I visited CAB Foods Factory shop and tried out their ready baked cacao sponge cakes. You can buy these frozen at about R23 per cake! Yes, not too bad. I did not know what it tasted like so I defrosted one and was I surprised? I do not think it would be possible for me to bake it any better – nor cheaper. Just to note…you will need to defrost these cakes properly for at least a few hours –make sure they are not cold in the centre.
cacao cake 2
Decorating
Outside: The icing was no problem. My friend Mari-Louis Guy introduced me to Pillsbury’s Ready-to-Spread Chocolate Fudge Flavoured Frosting. People this is dangerously delicious. You can of course make your own icing, but why would you do that if you have a frosting that is so velvety and chocolatey.
Layer 1: I opted for the Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting
Layer 2: You cannot go wrong with caramel. You will only use about ½ tin – of course I got stuck in with the teaspoon into the leftover caramel – and that was that!

And did anyone notice that I cheated? Nope, they thought the cake was scrumptious, moist and delicious … and yes, I took all the credit!

cacoa cake sliced
What you need
3 x layers cacao sponge cakes
1 x tin caramel
2 x Pillsbury’s Ready-to-Spread Chocolate Fudge Flavoured Frosting
1 x Pillsbury Vanilla Frosting

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New menu @ Reuben’s at the One & Only

New menu @ Reuben’s at the One & Only

I had a great evening at Reuben’s at the One & Only Cape Town the other night sampling their new menu.
Reuben's at One&Only CT 800
Sommelier
Probably the best sommelier in Cape Town (and SA), Luvo Ntezo, welcomed me with a glass of Rainbow’s End Cabernet Franc 2014 – which I LOVED. He also introduced me to the Noble Hill Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 – another fine choice.

Sommelier Luvo Ntezo

Sommelier Luvo Ntezo

Starters
Once seated we shared platters of lamb bobotie samosas (R110), the most succulent, fat mussels steamed in a Chenin Blanc (R115), octopus carpaccio with lemon gel (R140) and my favourite of the evening – beef tartar with ponzu, cured cucumber, makataan preserve, spicy ketchup rocket pesto, parmesan, mushroom marmalade and sous-vide egg yolk (R160). A mouthful … I know! But a fantastic mouthful. It was so delicious I could have consumed the whole plate of tartar on my own but had to – ever so reluctantly, share with my fellow table guests. :-)
Starters we shared

Starters we shared


Mains
For mains we could choose between pork belly (R240), smoked beetroot risotto, kingklip with smoked carrot puree (R265) or a beef fillet with Madagascan pepper crème (R290). As I was on another eat-less, low carb food regime (will it ever stop?), I opted for the fillet – it was just absolutely delicious. The pepper sauce was intensely peppery in flavour in a really good way and the fillet was done to a perfect medium rare. The Cabernet Franc that found its way into my glass was a perfect accompaniment to the fillet.
Very yummy beef fillet with Madagascan pepper crème

Very yummy beef fillet with Madagascan pepper crème

Dessert
Reuben’s new dessert menu offered a tantalising selection of desserts … from Cape Malay koesisters to Granny Smith tarte tatin. Doing my best to evade the calorie intake, I quietly told the waiter about my low carb thingie he just said: “Not to worry, I shall bring you some freshly cut fruit.” Such a thoughtful and generous gesture. The fruit was seasonal, fresh and a lot! Happiness was plastered all over my face.

Reuben
Reuben joined us for the evening. As always, his friendly, down to earth disposition and understated charm still puts him in my books as one of our country’s top chefs…and a really great individual.

OOCT Reuben's Riffel (HR) 800

The menu reflects a continued trend for shared food. “People like sharing so we’ll be continuing with our table topper, snacky type dishes and we’re excited to be using our own spice combinations in many of these – look out for Zaatar, Vadouvan and Ras el Hanout, softer, subtle spices that make food so interesting,” said Reuben.

For reservations
Call (27) 21 431 4511 or mail restaurant.reservations@oneandonlycapetown.com

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chicken #parmigiana without the parmesan

chicken #parmigiana without the parmesan

chicken parmigiana

This is one of those crowd-pleasing dishes and it’s also very easy to make. Chicken Parmigiana is normally made with breaded chicken and with parmesan cheese. As I had neither breadcrumbs nor parmesan in my house when I wanted to make this, so I simply left them out. It turned out just as delicious.

My version of chicken ‘parmigiana’ … without parmesan
(Serves 4 )
30 ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can ( 400g ) chopped tomatoes
handful fresh basil, torn
1.25 ml salt
1.25 ml freshly ground black pepper
4 chicken breasts, skinned and flattened
salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 slices mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Add the olive oil and garlic to the pan and just heat until the garlic begins to dance in the oil. Do not fry the garlic. Add the tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and simmer for 7 minutes. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper and fry in olive oil until brown. Place the chicken in a baking dish, spoon the tomato sauce over the top and finish with a slice of mozzarella on top of each piece of chicken. Bake for about 35 minutes and serve with pasta or a green salad.

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pork and sausage #cassoulet

pork and sausage #cassoulet
photograph taken with my mobile phone

photograph taken with my mobile phone

Although there are numerous versions of cassoulet, most are based on a stew of white cannellini beans and various forms of pork. The dish gets its name from the pot it’s traditionally baked in, the cassole, which is often shaped like a wide inverted cone to insure the greatest amount of crispy crust. This version of the cassoulet (I found it on Australia’s Taste website) includes pork and Italian sausages as well as tomatoes. You never see tomatoes in a traditional cassoulet, but even chef Raymond Blanc likes them for their colour and sweetness.
It’s easy to make and perfect for the last few winter nights.

Pork and sausage cassoulet
(Recipe: Taste – Australia)
120 ml olive oil
1 kg pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 3cm pieces
450 g Italian sausages
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
800 g canned tomatoes
250 ml chicken stock
2 dried bay leaves
450 g loaf ciabatta, crusts removed, cut into 1cm cubes
1 tablespoon sage leaves, finely shredded
400 g can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed

Preheat oven to 160 °C . Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Cook pork, in batches, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Add sausages to dish. Cook, turning, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a plate. Thickly slice sausages and set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil in dish. Add onion, fennel and carrot. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant. Return pork and sausage to dish with tomato, chicken stock and bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Transfer to oven and bake, covered, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours or until pork is tender. Increase oven temperature to 200°C. Combine bread, sage and remaining oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans to cassoulet. Stir to combine. Scatter bread mixture over top of cassoulet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until topping is golden and crisp.

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healthy potato bake

healthy potato bake

healthy potato bakeIndulge yourself – without the guilt!

I always crave a potato bake but I know that with each bite, the cream heads straight for my hips. Not good! So I decided to make this more healthy, yet equally delicious potato bake by replacing the cream with stock and adding a thin layer of parmesan as a topping. The thyme and onion add loads of flavour and in my opinion, this is as satisfying as its creamy rich cousin.

Healthy potato bake with onions and thyme
(4 – 6 portions)

1 kg potatoes, peeled and finely sliced (best to use a mandolin slicer)
200 g onions (1 big onion), peeled and finely sliced (again use your mandolin slicer)
leaves of three sprigs of fresh thyme
300 ml stock (you can use either chicken or vegetable)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
50 g parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Arrange the potatoes, onions and thyme in 40cm baking dish. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper – just be careful if you used store-bought stock – as it is rather salty. Pour over the stock and add the Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for an hour or until potatoes are soft and brown on top.

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skinny #bobotie

skinny #bobotie

Skinny bobotie - Anel PotgieterOMW has it just not been freezing cold of late? …And a perfect time to make a piping hot bobotie served with some steaming rice and chutney. Real Cape comfort food for the whole country!

I developed a healthier version of this traditional dish for the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association who is promoting a 50/50 mushroom to meat ratio – it’s called blendability. It’s rather clever I would say. By following this formula you decrease the total calorie, fat and saturated fat intake without losing any of the flavours that have made bobotie such a national favourite. In fact, mushrooms have a rich umami flavour profile that actually enhances and deepens the flavour of the meat naturally – whilst adding healthful nutrients such as potassium, B-vitamins and antioxidants to every bite. You will also be reducing your sodium intake by 25%.
Skinny Bobotie -Anel Potgieter 2

I would be most interested to know what you might think of this healthy take on a recipe that has been a part of our heritage for so long…

Skinny Bobotie
Serves 6-8

1 thick slice of brown bread, crust removed
80 ml skimmed milk
30 ml olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
400 g big brown mushrooms, finely chopped
400 g lean beef mince
15 ml mild curry powder
10 ml turmeric
60 ml lite chutney
20 ml white wine vinegar
5 ml salt
30 ml raisins (optional)
6 lemon leaves (optional)
Egg custard
2 eggs
250 ml skimmed milk
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 °C. Soak the brown bread in the milk to soften. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the onion until soft and lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and fry until dry. Add the meat and cook for about 10 minutes while loosening it with the back of a fork. Cook until you see no juices in the bottom of the pan. Add the bread, curry powder, turmeric, chutney, vinegar, salt and raisins and mix well. Gently cook for a further 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into a 25 x 20 cm baking dish or bake in individual dishes. Roll up the lemon leaves and insert them in an upright position in the meat mixture. Beat the eggs and milk together and season. Gently pour the egg mixture over the meat. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the custard has set. Serve with chutney, rice and tomato and onion salad.

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