nine-hour #beef short rib

nine-hour #beef short rib

Beef short rib

On an invitation to visit Simonsig recently we were privileged enough to taste the Tiara 2011 – Simonsig’s classic red Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (66%), Merlot (21%) and Petit Verdot (9%). It is not just an easy drinking wine… it’s tantalisingly good.

Simonsig Tiara 2011 800We ate at the lovely Cuvée Restaurant and chef Lucas Carstens served the most delicious
beef ribs that had such deep red wine flavours that one almost lost oneself in the subtle complexities of the dish. The ratio between the fat and meat was just right and savoured with the Tiara had my taste buds doing cartwheels of delight. It was simple … but the dish was complex in both flavour and taste – just one of those real winter warmers on a plate.

I had to ask Chef Lucas for the recipe. Happy ribbing!

Nine-hour beef short rib
(Recipe: Chef Lucas Carstens)
1 whole beef short rib, deboned
3 onions, diced
4 carrots, diced
1 leek, chopped
1 bunch thyme
1 stick of celery, chopped
5 garlic cloves
1 bunch of parsley
1 bay leave
3 litre beef stock
300 ml red wine
salt
pepper

Preheat oven to 150 °C. Season the beef rib with salt and pepper, and place in a large oven tray. Sweat the onions, carrots, leeks, thyme and celery together in a large frying pan, and brown over med heat, add the garlic, parsley and bay leave, and deglaze with the red wine. Add the mixture to the beef rib and pour over the beef stock. Wrap the oven tray with foil. Place the tray in oven and cook for 9 hours. When rib is done remove the rib from the cooking liquid, strain the liquid into a pot and reduce the liquid till a rich sauce consistency.

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the beautiful hot black radish

the beautiful hot black radish
Names:  Black radish | Spanish radish | Gros Noir d’Hiver | Noir Gros de Paris |Black Mooli

Names: Black radish | Spanish radish | Gros Noir d’Hiver | Noir Gros de Paris |Black Mooli

I found these beautiful black radishes at the OZCF Market Day at Granger Bay on Saturday. It is significantly larger and stronger in flavour than traditional red radishes. The skin of the Black radish is particularly piquant and the flesh is crisp, white and slightly bitter and offers a hot and strong radishy bite.

Crisp, peppery radishes add instant zing to any dish, whether sliced raw as a garnish, added to salads, or served as a side. I still don’t know what I am going to do with mine, but I just wanted to share these beauties with you.

Radishes are available year-round, but are at their peak during winter.

Happy Cooking
A

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pea and eisbein #soup

pea and eisbein #soup

pea and eisbein soup
I don’t know about you but I am freezing. And a bowl of soup is the answer! There is something about making your own, homemade soup that is both soothing and satisfying. Thankfully the process is also free from all those chef rules and regulations – you don’t need measurements – just use what you have in your fridge and I can assure you it would be delicious.

If you have two able hands, some time to spare and a whole lot of veggies you can create something quite beautiful and warming for that cold winters’ day. Haul out your mandolin slicer, pour yourself a good glass of wine and you have something splendid in the making.

I am mad about a simple bowl of pea and Eisbein soup. All I do is cook the smoked Eisbein, take the meat,skin and fat of the bone and blitz this with the peas. The skin and fat of the Eisbein gives the soup a silky and smoky flavour. You have to try this for yourself – it’s delicious with a big D.

Pea and Eisbein Soup – a true winter warmer
(Enough for 10)
850 g smoked Eisbein, with bone
8 cups of water
200 g onion, diced
200 g carrots, cut into blocks
2 celery sticks, with leaves
handful of parsley
5 black peppercorns
1 t salt
1 kg frozen peas
To serve:
a handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
cream

Boil the Eisbein, water, onions, carrots, celery, parsley and peppercorns for about 3 hours until soft. Remove the Eisbein from the pot. Cut the meat and fat off the bone, then cut into smaller pieces and put back in the pot full of yummy liquid (fat, skin and everything). Put in the peas and salt and cook for a further 15 minutes. Then, blitz everything – either with a handheld blitzer or a liquidiser until all ingredients have been finely blended. Taste for seasoning. Serve with a dash of cream and some leaves of finely chopped mint.

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milk tart and how to zhoosh up store bought puff pastry

milk tart and how to zhoosh up store bought puff pastry

SONY DSCMy Irish husband decided the other day to compile his very own bucket list. On the list was … to swim in seven of the great oceans of the world; visit the Antarctic, take a motorbike trip through Africa – and yes, jump out of a plane. But bless his Irish soul, he also wants to take me to see the cherry blossoms in Japan and renew our wedding vows in the gardens of the Taj Mahal.

Then there was #16: To master the techniques of the world’s 50 most classic recipes…

Bouef bourguignon, coq a vin, crème anglaise, gratin dauphinous, puff pastry are on the list. As well as traditional South African favourite classics like melktert, koeksisters, bobotie and waterblommetjiebredie.

Melktert and puff pastry
Of course he is always too proud to ask for advice when it comes to his kitchen adventures, but I had to climb in boots and all when he announced he was going to make melktert and puff pastry … both from scratch! Let’s face it, to make your own puff pastry is no walk in the park and I always use bought pastry. But headstrong Rick would have nothing of this packet stuff… but I had a plan.

Rick very proud of his first milk tart

Rick very proud of his first milk tart


How to zhoosh up store bought puff pastry
I phoned Theresa de Vries of Kokkedoor and shared with me her recipe to zhoosh up store bought puff pastry. You take the bought pastry, open it up and grate 125g cold butter on top of the dough. You close the pastry by folding it from top to bottom and from side to side and roll it out. Then roll it out a second time. Perfect pastry for a milk tart.

Rick made Theresa’s milk tart filling as well. Some hours later with my nerves almost shattered, my Irishman did a sterling job and served up his first milk tart.

Melktert
(Recipe: Theresa de Vries)

Pastry
1 pack puff pastry
125 g ice cold butter, grated
For baking: 1 egg, separated and egg yellow whisked

Filling
500ml milk
1 cinnamon stick
10ml butter
2 eggs, separated
15ml flour
15ml corn starch
60ml sugar
1ml almond essence
5ml vanilla essence
1 ml salt

Pastry: Fold the dough open. Spread the grated butter over the dough. Fold in half from the bottom then fold from the top. Fold the left side towards the middle then fold the right half towards the middle. Push the dough down lightly with the rolling pin and roll out. Fold up, cover with cling wrap and put in fridge for an half an hour. Roll out for your tart.

Filling: Place 250 ml milk, cinnamon, salt and half the sugar and butter in a thick bottom saucepan and bring to the boil. Mix the remaining sugar, corn starch, flour, egg yolks and vanilla essence with the remaining 250 ml of milk and whisk until there are no lumps. Remove the milk from the heat and remove the cinnamon sticks. With a hand whisk beat the flour mixture quickly into the milk mixture until blended. Return to the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Take the saucepan off the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.

Bake: Place the dough in your baking tin. Brush the bottom of the dough with egg white and pour in the filling. Brush the edges of the dough with egg yolk. Bake at 200°C for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar on top and serve.

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Lomo al Trapo | Fillet in a salted cloth | Colombian style!

Lomo al Trapo | Fillet in a salted cloth | Colombian style!

Lomo al Trapo
I got so excited when I read about Lomo al Trapo – this is a Colombian specialty where a beef fillet is wrapped in a thick layer of course salt inside a dry cotton dishcloth and tossed straight onto the coals. Yep, dishcloth and all!

After a short while the wrapped cloth catches fire, allowing the fillet to cook within the salt encrusted layer. People when you light your next braai dare yourself to do something different…something adventurous…even cautiously reckless. I did, I took the original recipe and tweaked it a bit here and there. The outcome, as you break open the smouldering lappie and hardened, salted crust you will see a perfect medium rare steak with a salty outer layer. Just plainly awesome. Serve this with a gremolata or a bit or horseradish and you have a meal fit for a king.

This image via Food52

This image via Food52

Wrap the fillet

Wrap the fillet

Place on hot coals

Place on hot coals

It will look like this after 16 minutes

It will look like this after 16 minutes

Open at the table with great fanfare

Open at the table with great fanfare

First prepare your coals. Then proceed with preparing the fillet. As soon as you have wrapped and tied the fillet in the salt and herb-layered cloth, place it immediately and directly onto the coals. Do not allow the meat to stand in its salt-colth before cooking as this could make it too salty.

Beef fillet in a salted cloth

(Serves 6)
22 cm filet steak
250 ml red wine
3 garlic cloves, crushed
750g coarse salt
15 ml coriander seeds, finely ground in a pestle and mortar
5 ml black pepper, also finely ground in a pestle and mortar
10 ml freshly-picked rosemary leaves
One clean cotton dishcloth (that you are willing to sacrifice…)
String to bind the meat

Place the fillet, garlic and red wine in a basting pan and allow to marinade for two hours. Prepare your fire with a good quantity coals (wood or charcoal). Place the dishcloth flat on your work surface then spread the salt, herbs and spices evenly over the dishcloth. Remove the fillet from the red wine and pat it dry with paper towel before positioning it diagonally across the dish cloth. Then, tightly wrap the salt layered dish cloth around the fillet and bind with the string. Make sure you cover the whole piece of meat with salt. Place the wrapped-up fillet, cloth and all immediately onto the fire. In a few minutes it will catch fire. Braai the fillet for precisely eight minutes on each side and eight minutes on the other side. For best results, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat: For medium-rare the internal temperature of the fillet needs to reach 55°C tot 60°C. Once you have taken the meat of the coals, break open the smouldering cloth, crack-open the salt cocoon. Let it rest for 10 minutes and serve with your favourite sauce on the side.

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make your own green curry paste

make your own green curry paste

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Some time back I visited Bangkok and spent a fascinating week at the Blue Elephant Cooking School. There I was privileged to learn a bit more about Royal Thai Cuisine. The one recipe I have since clung to is this glorious Green Curry Paste. It is just so much better to make your own curry paste and quite frankly you simply cannot compare it to the stuff you buy in the shops. The recipe requires galangal, shallots and lime zest – as these ingredients are hard to come by, I have replaced them with ginger, spring onions and lemon zest.

The paste can be kept in an airtight container for two weeks in the refrigerator or one month in the freezer. If you would like to preserve it longer, add extra salt as this is a traditional Thai way of preserving food. For a vegetarian version omit the shrimp paste.

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Green Curry Paste (Kruang Kaeng Keaw Waan)
(makes 85 grams)
10 g hot green chillies, chopped
10 g fresh coriander, chopped (if you can get the roots, even better)
7.5 ml ginger, grated
7.5 ml lemon zest
15 ml lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, grated
40 g spring onions (about three), sliced
5 ml salt
5 ml cumin seeds, roasted and grounded
2.5 ml coriander, roasted and grounded
2.5 ml white pepper
10 basil leaves
2.5 ml shrimp paste

Pound all the ingredients in a pestle & mortar to fine paste or use your stick blender.

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easy #fat-free salty and sour #fish-ball soup

easy #fat-free salty and sour #fish-ball soup

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The chill is in the air and this easy salty and sour soup is a perfect fat-free winter warmer. It’s fresh, tasty and utterly morish. Buy the fish balls from any good Chinese supermarket. Enjoy and keep warm.

320g fish balls
2x Ina Paarman fish stock sachets
4 cups water
15 ml fish sauce
15 ml soya sauce
40 ml lemon juice
5 ml chillie flakes
100g bok choy
To serve
1 spring onion, chopped
10 g fresh coriander

Cook everything for 7 minutes except the bok choy. Add the bok choy and simmer for another minute. Serve in small bowls with chopped coriander and spring onions.

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Sjokoladekoek

Sjokoladekoek
Foto van 80 Cakes from Around the World deur Claire Clark

Foto van 80 Cakes from Around the World deur Claire Clark

Toe ek my Ier vir die eerste keer vir ete genooi het, was my slinkse Eva-plan om hom met die mees dekadentste sjokoladekoek tot in my binnekamer te verlei. Ek was holderstebolder-onderstebo verlief op hierdie sexy wese en moes ʼn halwe dag se verlof insit om die groot bak-gedoente sonder senuwees en met mening aan te pak.

ʼn Gewone laagkoek wou ek nie bak nie en het besluit op ʼn skewe-stapelkoek (topsy-turvy cake) om te wys hoe skeef en onderstebo-deurmekaar hy my hart en kop maak. Ek het ten duurste spesiale skewe-stapelkoekpanne en die beste sjokolade aangeskaf en op die maat van Ricky Martin se “She Bangs” en ʼn glasie koue sjampanje in die hand het ek die amper onmoontlike skewekoek aangepak. Wat die volgende paar uur gebeur het, kan ek net met een woord opsom: Tragedie! Om ʼn lang storie kort te maak – teen ses uur die aand het ek gelyk soos ʼn sjokolade bedekte, verlepte en tranerige lappop en die koek moes reguit ashoop toe.

Ek moes noodgedwonge ʼn wit leuentjie vertel en het vir Rick per SMS laat weet ek voel nie lekker nie. ʼn Vrou het mos haar trots en dit was mos waar. Twee weke later het ek weer ʼn paar ander nie-koek Jesebel-taktieke ingespan en drie maande later was ek tog voor die kansel met die sexy Ier.

80 Cakes from Around the World deur Claire Clark, word uitgegee deur  Bloomsbury en kos R505.00

80 Cakes from Around the World deur Claire Clark, word uitgegee deur Bloomsbury en kos R505.00

80 Cakes from around the world deur Claire Clark
Na die sjokoladekoek-fiasko wou ek nie weer ʼn sjokoladekoek in my lewe bak nie…tot ek onlangs 80 Cakes from around the world oopmaak en al die beeldskone koeke sien. Die boek is ʼn lieflike skatkis van avontuurlustige bakgenot. Clark verken 80 koeke van 51 lande en gaan maak swierige draaie in: Italië met ʼn Torte Gianduja, Hongarye met ʼn beeldskone Dobos Torte, Indië met die interessante Bebinca, Noorweë met ʼn Kransekake, Mexiko met die soete Tres Leches, Chili met ʼn Mil Hojas en so meer. Ek het die meeste van die koeke nie herken nie, maar die boek is meesterlik geskryf, het pragtige foto’s en gee ʼn kort en interessante geskiedenis van elke koek. 80 Cakes from around the world is ʼn inspirerende kroonjuweel en as jy lief is vir bak beveel ek dit ten sterkste aan.

Baileys sjokolade-aartappelkoek
(Resep uit 80 Cakes from Around the World deur Claire Clark)
18 cm skewe stapelkoekpan
50g donker sjokolade (70 %), fyn opgekap
115g ongesoute botter
200g strooisuiker
2 medium eiers
½ teelepel vanielje essens
100g gaar aartappels, fyn gemaak
110g meelblom
½ teelepel bakpoeier
¼ teelepel koeksoda
¼ teelepel sout
120ml karringmelk
25g donker sjokolade-splinters

Sjokolade ganache
150g donker sjokolade (70 %), fyn opgekap
150ml dik room
25ml Baileys Irish Cream

Sjokolade glaseersel
6 velle gelatine
120g kakaopoeier
150ml water
250ml dik room
400g strooisuiker
Baileys room
150ml dik room
30ml Baileys Irish Cream
ʼn paar druppels vanielje essens

Versiering
300g gemengde vars bessies

Voorverhit die oond tot 170 ° C. Smeer ‘n 18 cm skewe stapelkoekpan (‘topsy-turvy cake tin’). Sien foto of jy kan ‘n 20cm ronde diep koekpan gebruik. Voer die bodem van die pan met bakpapier uit en botter en meel die kante. Smelt die sjokolade in ‘n mikrogolfoond of in ‘n bak oor kookwater. Maak seker die water raak nie die onderkant van die bak nie. Klop die botter en suiker saam tot lig en donsig. Klits die eiers en die vanielje liggies saam en klop dit dan bietjie vir bietjie by die botter en suikermengsel. Klop goed ná elke byvoeging. Voeg die gesmelte sjokolade by en meng liggies tot gemeng. Roer die aartappels liggies by. Sif die meel, bakpoeier, koeksoda en sout saam en vou dit dan om die beurt met die karringmelk by. Vou die sjokolade-splinters by en skep in die koekpan. Maak die bokant gelyk met ʼn potlekker. Bak vir 25-30 minute tot gaar. Koel die koek vir 5 minute in die koekpan af voordat jy dit op ʼn draadrak uitkeer om heeltemal af te koel.Ganache: Sit die sjokolade in ‘n klein bakkie. Bring die room tot kookpunt en giet oor die sjokolade. Laat staan vir 1 minuut. Roer liggies om ‘n gladde, blink ganache te vorm. Meng die Baileys by en sit eenkant om teen kamertemperatuur af te koel.
Sjokolade glaseersel: Week die gelatien vir ongeveer vyf minute in genoeg koue water tot sag. Sif die kakao poeier in ‘n bak en roer die water by om ‘n gladde, dik pasta te vorm. Bring die room en suiker in ʼn pan tot kookpunt, roer tot die suiker opgelos is. Verwyder van die hitte en roer die kakao-pasta

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die beste macaroni-en-kaas gevind

die beste macaroni-en-kaas gevind
Derde plek: Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas

Derde plek: Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas

Macaroni-en-kaas is een van die verleidelikste trooskosse en in dié gereg gebruik jy nie jou spoggerige tuisgemaakte pasta of gesonde heelgraan pasta nie. Nee, jy koop ʼn pakkie macaroni, ʼn pakkie cheddar, ʼn bakkie room en spek, en jy maak dit sonder om aan die kaloriewaarde van die gereg te dink. Maar watter macaroni-en-kaas resep is die lekkerste? Na ʼn paar weke van soek, proe en vra som Stephanie Bourgeois van Food52.com dit die beste op: “Looking for the perfect mac and cheese can feel a bit like the quest for the Holy Grail.” Na wat soos ‘n Indiana Jones kos-advontuur en macaroni-en-kaas skattejag gevoel het, het ek het tog drie gunstelinge en ʼn wenner raak geproe!

En die wenner is…Heston Blumenthal se macaroni-en-kaas
Die gereg het my heeltemal in vervoering gehad en my heen en weer laat wieg (met ʼn groot glimlag op my gesig) op die maat van die mees perfek gebalanseerde sout, suur en umami smake. Vat ʼn paar happies, maak jou oë toe en proe jou weg deur die smaak-simfonie. Die eerste kos-note word deur die suurige-wyn-smaak gespeel, dan kom die soutige parmesaan-viool by, saggies in die agtergrond proe jy die macaroni-tjello raak en dan ʼn stadige truffel–umami-crescendo wat ʼn perfekte lang noot in die finale speel. Dit verdien ʼn staande toejuiging. Bravo!

Eerste plek: Heston Blumenthal se macaroni-en-kaas

Eerste plek: Heston Blumenthal se macaroni-en-kaas


In die tweede plek: Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas
Ek het groot geword met Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas met ʼn eier-en-melk in plaas van ʼn kaassous basis. Dit word sonder spek, sampioene of room gemaak en ma het dit altyd tong-skroeiend warm met ʼn groot bottel All Gold tamatiesous bedien. Ja, dit was nog die goeie ou dae toe ons nie skaam was vir bottels op die tafel nie!
Resultaat: Dit is my kinder-hartskos-trooskos en ek dink dit is heerlik. Daarom kry dit saam met my meer innoverende tamatiesous ʼn welverdiende tweede plek.
Tweede plek:  Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas

Tweede plek: Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas

In die derde plek: Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas
Jamie se macaroni-en-kaas is baie interessant en kry tamaties, lourierblare en tien knoffelhuisies in die kaassous. Ek het geskrik vir al die knoffel en het net ses gebruik, maar ek dink tog jy moet nie ʼn bangbroek soos ek wees nie en al tien insit. Al wat ek sal verander om dit meer romerig te maak is om die pasta met 100 g te verminder tot 500 g.
Resultaat: ʼn Baie geurige en bevredigende macaroni-en-kaas met ʼn unieke lourierblaar geur.

Wat sê die kookboek outeure?
Alida Ryder: Ek maak dit soos my ma dit gemaak het met skywe tamatie en baie witpeper. Vir my man maak ek ʼn bier en spek macaroni-en-kaas – hy vrek daaroor!
Errieda du Toit: Ek is ook mal oor Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas, en nee, dit gee nie ʼn knoffel-hangover nie.
Sonia Cabano: Ek hou daarvan om drie soorte kaas in die sous te sit met ‘n lagie gaar, fyngekapte spinasie wat met neutmuskaat gegeur is.

Heston Blumenthal se macaroni-en-kaas
(Heston gee al die bestanddele in gramme aan)
20 g sout
200 g macaroni
15 g truffel-olie
300 g droë witwyn
300 g goeie hoenderaftreksel, warm
80 g parmesaan kaas, fyn gerasper en 20 g ekstra vir bak
10 g mielieblom
80 g roomkaas

Voorverhit die roosterelement. Kook 2 kg water, gooi die sout en pasta by en kook vir ongeveer 7 minute tot al dente. Gooi die truffel olie oor die pasta, roer deur en sit eenkant. Kook die witwyn in ʼn pot tot dit na 30 g verminder het. Voeg die hoenderaftreksel by en bring tot kookpunt. Meng die parmesaan met die mielieblom en roer by die hoenderaftreksel totdat dit ten volle geïnkorporeer en verdik het. Gooi nou die pasta by en kook vir ʼn minuut of twee totdat die pasta warm is. Roer die roomkaas by. Geur met sout. Skep in gesmeerde oondvaste bak, gooi die 20 g parmesaan oor en rooster tot bruin.

My variasie van Kook en Geniet se macaroni-en-kaas
Bedien: 6
1 liter melk
5 eiers
15 ml mosterdpoeier
5 ml sout
2.5 ml swart peper
750 ml cheddar kaas, gerasper
4 koppies macaroni, gekook
Tamatiesous
250 g tamaties, in blokkies gesny
15 ml olyfolie
80 ml water
5 ml suiker
250 ml All Gold tamatiesous
ʼn handvol vars basiliekruid, geskeur
Voorverhit die oond tot 160 °C . Klits die melk, eiers, mosterdpoeier, sout en peper saam. Voeg die kaas en gaar macaroni by. Skep in gesmeerde oondvaste bak en bak vir een uur tot gaar. Tamatiesous: Verhit die olyfolie en braai tamaties totdat die pan droog is. Voeg die water by en kook weer tot droog. Roer die suiker en tamatiesous in en laat dit een minuut kook. Laastens roer die basiliekruid by.

Jamie Oliver se macaroni-en-kaas
45 g botter
3 rondvol eetlepels meel
10 knoffelhuisies, fyn gesny
6 lourierblare, vars
1 liter melk
450g macaroni, gekook volgens die pakkie aanwysing
8 tamaties, rof opgesny in blokke
150 g cheddar kaas, gerasper
100 g parmesaan kaas, gerasper
ʼn paar vars tiemietakkies, blaartjies gepluk
‘n paar skote Worcestershire sous
2.5 ml neutmuskaat
sout
swart peper

Voorverhit die oond tot 220 °C. Smelt die botter in ʼn groot pot oor lae hitte. Voeg die meel by en roer tot ʼn gladde pasta. Verhoog die hitte tot medium en voeg die knoffel by. Roer aanhoudend totdat die knoffel goudkleurig en klewerig is. Gooi die lourierblare by en roer. Gooi nou die melk geleidelik by en roer voortdurend tot die sous dik en glad is. Laat dit vir ʼn paar minute kook terwyl jy aanhoudend roer. Skep die pasta by die witsous en verwyder van die hitte. Geur jou gekapte tamaties goed met sout en peper en voeg dit saam met die kaas en tiemie by die pasta mengsel. Geur nou met Worcestershire sous en neutmuskaat. Skep in gesmeerde oondvaste bak en bak vir 30 minute.

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#tapas

#tapas

Ek so n rukkie terug by my vriend Louis Verwey in Castellón de la Plana, Spanje gekuier. Louis is ʼn boerseun van Willowmore se wêreld en bly al vir vyf jaar in die land van tamaties en bulle.

In Castellón de la Plana is dinge stadig, rustig en die inwoners is regte sosiale wesens. Voor werk ontmoet vriende mekaar al vir ʼn koffietjie en na vyf kom hulle by die taskas (straat kroëe) bymekaar vir ‘n yskoue cerveza (bier) en tapas.

Tapas 800

Tapas het die afgelope paar jare soos ‘n veldbrand oor die wêreld versprei en is vinnig besig om die aanmatige stywe restaurant-styl van eet oor te neem. Dit is wonderlike nuus vir my, want die vinger-eetstyl is rustiger en gemakliker en ʼn heerlike manier om saam met vriende en familie te kuier. En dan is die klein bordjies kos nie net gepak met geur (veral baie knoffel) en tekstuur nie, maar dit is ook ʼn baie gesonde manier van eet.

Wat beteken die woord Tapas?
Die woord “tapas” is afgelei van die Spaanse werkwoord “tapar” wat “om toe te maak” of “deksel” beteken. Daar is soveel legedes oor die oorsprong van tapas, maar die mees algemeenste wat ek kon opspoor is dat mense toentertyd ʼn item (bv. brood) bo-op ʼn drankie geplaas het om die vrugtevlieë uit te hou. Hulle het toe later ʼn koshappie bo-op hierdie “deksel” gesit en so sê hulle is tapas gebore. Wel, al wat ek kan sê is: dankie vrugtevlieë!

Louise verduidelik: “Tapas word gesien as ʼn proppie. So, die klein happies kos wat jy eet is fisies ʼn proppie wat jy in jou maag sit terwyl jy drink. Dit beteken jy kan langer kuier en ook nie té gou té vrolik raak nie.” Ja nee, kyk, die Spanjaarde is ʼn lawaaierige en vrolike nasie en het definitief proppies nodig om hulle deur hulle gefuifery te help. Hulle naweke begin sommer al Donderdae-aande en maak eers vroegoggend Maandae klaar. Terwyl ek hier kuier moes ek ook in ‘n ander proppie belê – ʼn oorproppie vir al die lawaai.

Louis vertel verder dat tapas eintlik mense aanmoedig om met mekaar te praat, want jy is nie gefokus op jou bord kos nie, maar eerder gefokus op die geselskap. Nou dit maak mos nou heeltemal sin vir my.

patatas bravas

patatas bravas

Wanneer eet die Spanjaarde tapas?
Omdat aandete in Spanje eers na tien saans bedien word is daar ʼn lang wagtydperk van na werk tot en met aandete. So na werk kom mense by taskas en restaurante bymekaar om ʼn drankie te geniet en aan tapas te smul – als voor aandete. Tapas kan ook natuurlik voor middagete geëet word.

Mees bekendste tapas in Castellón de la Plana en Spanje
“Tapas verskil van streek tot streek” sê Louis, “maar hier in Castellón de la Plana kraai patatas bravas (diep gebraaide aartappels met aioli), jamón (Spaanse ham), torraeta de anchoas (roosterbrood met ansjovis) en ensalada de tomate (tamatieslaai) koning. Ander gewilde tapas in Spanje is natuurlik chipirones (diep gebraaide baba seekat), banderillas (piekels op ʼn stokkie), albóndigas (frikadelle) en bacalao (gesoute kabeljou en tamatie op ʼn stukkie brood).”

Torraeta de anchoas

Torraeta de anchoas

Tapas in Suid-Afrika
My gunstling tapas restraurant is Liam Tomlin se Chefs Warehouse and Canteen in Kaapstad. Liam is briljant en sy boek Tapas sal is n groot inspirasie vir enige tapas maker. Gaan loer gerus op www.liamtomlintapas.com.

Ensalada de tomate

Ensalada de tomate

Patatas bravas
(gebraaide aartappels met aioli)

4 groot aartappels, geskil en elkeen in ses stukke gesny
olie vir diep braai
sout
soet paprika (nie gerookte paprika)

Aioli
2 groot knoffelhuisies
n groot knippie sout
1 groot eiergeel
50 ml olyfolie

Aioli: Plaas die knoffel en sout in jou stamper en vysel en stamp fyn. Gooi die eiergeel by en meng goed. Voeg nou die olie bietjies vir bietjies by (omtrent ½ teelepel op ‘n slag) terwyl jy dit aanhoudend roer. Dit vat omtrent 5 minute om al die olie by te voeg en as jy klaar is moet dit jou aan ‘n dik mayonnaise herhinner.
Aartappels: Kook die aartappels vir vyf minute in water. Dreineer en sit in yskas vir ʼn uur. Diep braai die aartappels tot gaar. Dreineer op papierhanddoek en geur met sout. Bedien aartappels op ‘n bord, skep ailo oor en sprinkel met paprika.
Geheime vir aioli maak
Wanneer jy die olie byvoeg gooi dit langs die kant van die vysel in. Nie direk op die eier nie.
Die roer beweging van die stamper moet altyd in dieselfde rigting wees. Hoekom weet ek nie, maar Louis het amper die horries gekry toe ek onbewustelik in ‘n ander rigting begin roer.
Moenie dat iemand oor jou skouer loer wanneer jy dit maak nie, die Spanjaarde glo dat jou aiolie dan ‘n mislukking gaan wees.

Torraeta de anchoas
(roosterbrood met ansjovis en paprika)

1 klein baguette (gebruik ou brood), in lengte in die helfte gesny en in vier stukke gesny
2 knoffelhuisies
4 eetlepels olyfolie
2 teelepels paprika
12 stukkies ansjovis

Verhit die oond tot 160 °C en bak die brood tot ligbruin en bros. Laat effens afkoel. Smeer die rou knoffel oor elke stuk brood – omtrent ʼn halwe knoffelhuisie per broodjie. Gooi mildelik met olyfolie (+- 1 eetlepel per stukkie brood).
Strooi baie paprika oor (+- ½ teelepel per broodjie) en rond af met stukkies ansjovis.

Ensalada de tomate
(tamatieslaai)

2 groot tamaties, in groot stukke gesny
1 medium ui, in groot stukke gesny
2 knoffelhuisies, fyn gesny
50 ml olyfolie
25 ml wit druiweasyn
10 swart olywe
sout na smaak

Meng als saam en bedien dadelik.

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kachumbari #salad

kachumbari #salad

On my recent travels to the island of Zanzibar, chef Prabhakar Kumar from the Diamonds La Gemma Dell’ Est Hotel, introduced me to the local Kachumbari salad. It is so simple that you might start thinking to yourself…so what is the big fuss? This scrumptious salad consists of onion, tomato, cucumber and carrot and is seasoned with lemon or lime and salt and pepper. But it’s the way that you cut your veggies that differentiates this from you normal run of the mill veggie salad. It must be cut with love into very fine thin slivers. Don’t discard the pips of the tomato or cucumber – use it all. This salad is a perfect accompaniment to poached fish.

Kachumbari salad

Kachumbari salad

Chef Prabhakar Kumar served poached fish on pilaf rice and a bit of kachumbari salad

Chef Prabhakar Kumar served poached fish on pilaf rice and a bit of kachumbari salad

Beautiful fresh fish poached in whole spices

Beautiful fresh fish poached in whole spices



Kachumbari salad

1 onion, halved and cut it into fine slivers
1 tomato, halved and cut it into fine slivers
½ cucumber, halved and cut it into fine slivers
1 carrot, julienned
10 ml lemon or lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Mix all the veggies together then add the lemon juice and salt + pepper.

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rose iced tea in #dubai

rose iced tea in #dubai

Dubai Tourism recently invited me to the Dubai Food Festival – what a magical and enchanting experience! One afternoon we wondered off to the Dubai Creek and sat down at a little restaurant. I ordered a rose iced tea. It was this beautiful, pale pink colour, refreshing and made from dried rose petals. Back home I just had to make some but had to do so without the rose petals… I made it with rose syrup. It’s just a delight to look at and reminds me of my truly wonderful Dubai experience. To to see more of my Dubai journey click here.

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The rose iced tea I drank on the Dubai Creek.

The rose iced tea I drank on the Dubai Creek.

Rose iced tea
Serves 4

2 tea bags
750 ml of boiling water
5 ml honey
50 ml of rose syrup (get this at any supermarket)
2.5 ml teaspoon lemon juice
rose petals
mint leaves
ice

Pour the boiling water over tea bags and let it steep for 2 minutes. Stir in the honey, rose syrup and lemon juice. Put the tea in the refrigerator and let it cool down. Put lots of ice in a glass, fill it with the tea. Top with a rose leaf and a mint leaf.

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black figs dipped in chocolate

black figs dipped in chocolate

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I am fig crazy at the moment and my favourite are these voluptuous plump black figs. They are so beautiful, so sweet and so sexy! My friend Diana brought me a whole box the other day … So, I melted some chocolate and dipped the fruit in it. To round it off I added some pistachios. Here is no recipe or quantities. Experiment with the chocolate and the nut flavours you like – play and have fun.

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fruit + vegetable salad with white chocolate mousse

fruit + vegetable salad with white chocolate mousse

I was introduced to this extraordinary fruit and vegetable salad with white chocolate mousse this past week by Italian chef, Leonardo Vescera at the glamorous Ga Gemma Dell’ Est Hotel in Zanzibar. Never in my wildest culinary dreams did I think that raw veggies and fruit could go so well together. The trick with this is that you need to cut your vegetables into small little cubes. The veggies provide sweetness and texture to an ordinary fruit salad.

Back home, I decided to make my own version. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. Give it a whirl…it is a taste adventure!

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Fruit and vegetable salad with white chocolate mousse
Serves 6
100g of the following fruit + vegetables (you can of course, substitute these with your own choices…)
Pineapple, banana, carrot, papaya, peach, baby marrows, patty pan squash
10 ml icing sugar
30 ml mango or pineapple juice
A squeeze of lime juice
A few chopped mint leaves

Cut the vegetables into small blocks. Mix all ingredients together and serve with a dollop of white chocolate mousse.

Two ingredient white chocolate mousse
1 cup cream
150 g white chocolate

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Heat 1/3 cup of cream. Pour heated cream over chocolate and mix well till smooth. Allow the chocolate and cream mixture to cool down to room temperature. Beat the remaining cream until stiff and fold into the chocolate. Put in refrigerator until needed.

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magical zanzibar

magical zanzibar

The past week I was most fortunate to spend a few days at the magnificent Diamonds La Gemma Dell’ Est Hotel in Zanzibar. All I can say is that it was… and is … paradise. I got lost between the beautiful rooms, the crisp white linen, friendly and brilliant staff and then of course the lovely facilities. This is heaven people! The beaches are just amazing and this place has the best restaurants and chefs on hand to tempt and please almost every discerning palate. From the Beach Bar, Coral Cove Pizzeria, the Pavilion Restaurant to the ultimate Sea Breeze restaurant (constructed on a wooden platform just above the emerald ocean), La Gemma Dell’ Est caters to every need.

lagemmadellest.diamonds-resorts.com

Yes, Diamonds La Gemma Dell'Est is paradise

Yes, Diamonds La Gemma Dell’Est is paradise

I cooked with the brilliant Chef Prabhakar Kumar – what a talented man. He served me a lobster bisque with a lobster salad – well, I could just as well been seated in a Michelin star restaurant in Paris, the man is that good. This inspiring chef and engaging personality taught me how to cook fish and rice the Zanzibar way. He shared his knowledge of local cuisine with me (more about what we cooked … next week). What a thrilling experience. Here are a few images for those of you who love to travel and to taste the food from around the world.

Chef Prabhakar Kumar from La Gemma Dell'Est Zanzibar shared some of his cooking secrets with me

Chef Prabhakar Kumar from La Gemma Dell’Est Zanzibar shared some of his cooking secrets with me

The Sea Breeze Restaurant - isn't it just to die for!

The Sea Breeze Restaurant – isn’t it just to die for!

Here I appropriately had plenty of G&T's

Here I appropriately had plenty of G&T’s

The pristine beach

The pristine beach

Spices are plentiful and beautiful. The lovely crowd of ZanTours took us on a tour. Feast your eyes …

The glamorous 'lipstick' plant - yes, they do make lipstick from the seeds :-).

The glamorous ‘lipstick’ plant – yes, they do make lipstick from the seeds :-).

Cinnamon bark. Did you know that they make vicks from the Cinnamon root?  Well, me neither.

Cinnamon bark. Did you know that they make vicks from the Cinnamon root? Well, me neither.

Nutmeg - how beautiful!

Nutmeg – how beautiful!

The magnificent coffee pod.

The magnificent coffee pod.

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