Tag Archives: dinner

lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes = blissful + whimsical combination

lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes = blissful + whimsical combination

lemony pork and garlic scapes

Sometimes life just stumps you.  Such was the case when these absolutely, incredibly, beautiful and delicate garlic scapes found their way into my kitchen and onto my plate. A friend of mine, Daleen gave me a bunch of these green little wonders and said that I needed to cook something with it. But there I was, utterly stumped.  What was I going to do with these culinary flowers?  They belonged in a pretty flower vase on the window sill surely?  At first I thought the little buds on these slender green shoots were “onion flowers” and then with a wicked smile, Daleen informed me that they were actually garlic scapes or garlic flowers. I had never seen these little miracles before …Clearly, I need to get out more… Anyway, these flowers were just so fragile and perfect – long leafless stems with the little closed flowers on the top – and inside the flowers were the seeds of the garlic plant.  It was another wonder of creation.

garlic scapes, garlic flowers

But how and what could I do with these edible creations?  As always my weekly food journey starts with the world’s greatest encyclopedia, the internet. I read that the flower of the garlic plant is sometimes eaten and that it has a much milder flavour than the actual garlic bulbs. I read further that these seeds were mostly consumed while immature and still tender. This seemed to make some sense as the bottom part of the stem was rock hard. These stalks will be great in soups and stews.

inside of the garlic scapes, garlic flower

I don’t know why but my mind took me to Asia when I saw them … a dish of greens and pork. That is what I eventually decided to do…. My secret for this recipe was to keep everything simple.  The idea was to let the subtle garlic scapes infuse with lemon and then just let this flavour the greens and the pork.   The delicate simplicity of the flavours makes this a genuinely blissful, if not whimsical combination. Garlic scapes are available in stores at the moments – so please try it – it’s both fun and delicious.

lemony pork and garlic scapes

 

lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For the pork
  • 300g Pork fillet
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1T Soya sauce
  • Black pepper for seasoning
  • Salt – if you need extra seasoning
  • Oil for frying in pan
  • For the garlic scapes
  • 4-6 Garlic scapes (keep some whole and have some cut in halves) - use only a small piece of the stem and the flower
  • 2T Butter
  • Fresh juice from ½ lemon
  • A bit of white wine - +- 50ml
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • For the Asian greens
  • Asian greens for two people - I went to the Chinese market and got a variety of greens i.e. bok choy
  • 1-2T Soya sauce
  • Oil for frying
  • Fresh juice from one lemon
  • Lemon infused olive oil to drizzle over your dish when cooked
Instructions
  1. For the pork: Add the oil to the pan and sear the fillets.
  2. Then add your seasoning - pepper + lemon juice + soja sauce - fry the pork fillets on medium high heat till done.
  3. Make sure your fillets are properly cooked through - but do not over cook. Add a bit of salt if you like.
  4. For the scapes: Add butter to a medium hot pan.
  5. Braise the garlic scapes till soft in butter and wine. This will take about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper for seasoning.
  7. For the other greens: Heat a wok until it is very hot – add the oil and then the greens.
  8. Flash fry the greens for a few minutees and add the soya sauce + lemon juice + pepper.
  9. Taste for seasoning.
  10. To serve: Add the greens to the plate.
  11. Cut your pork and put that on top of the green.
  12. Drizzle the juices of the pan over the pork + drizzle some lemon infused olive oil over the whole dish.
  13. And then place some garlic scapes on top.

 


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food + fears + dinner divas + everything else

food + fears + dinner divas + everything else

On Saturday, 27 October you will see me in action on Dinner Divas, SABC 2 or for those with Dstv Channel 192 @ 8.30am.

I was as nervous as hell at the prospect of exposing myself to the whole of South Africa.  Nervous of the cameras – don’t we all hate seeing ourselves packing on another 5 kilos when we are already overweight?  Seeing every imperfection of ourselves on these modern day large format TV screens?  What would my first school boyfriend (Hennie Theron)  think seeing what I look like now? How would I measure up to the extreme and grueling challenges of breakfast TV? Would I be able to show my abilities and keep my nerve on camera, focus on thinking clearly and not strike a blank – well, let’s be honest here….not to make my name ass? And what about the thing we all don’t want to hear – criticism – to be criticised by amazing chefs and food people for something you love to do – for something you think you are good at?

Gathering the courage to enter Dinner Divas took a lot of guts as I had to overcome so many of my own personal fears. Before I entered, I had all these negatives in my head – I did not want to do it because I did not want to feel hurt or feel exposed… yet  I decided to face my fears  with the support of my biggest fan, my amazing husband Rick.

The great thing was that I could take my blog with me – I was not alone. I am so proud of this little blog of mine – lifeisazoobiscuit.  It brought me out of a deep depression and I wanted to see how much further this blog could lead me in life.

Can you actually believe that this blog took me out of the depths of depression?  Throughout my whole life I had been searching for that “thing” that would make me happy – I have always been fortunate enough to have been  successful in my career but there was still this thing – I wasn’t ever happy with myself, with me  who I was and who I am and all that I had achieved so far – something was missing.  To counter all these negativities I would eat and then I would gain weight … go on diet … and then the whole vicious cycle would begin again.  You see I love food but then again I   hate it as well – it is my passion and my poison.  But through it all and more than anything I wanted to prove myself to my mom, my brothers, my family, my friends how good I was with food, thinking about food, working with food,  for putting flavours together and everything else.    I tried to start a restaurant, I did my own deli range at the local markets … but at the end it all just faded away again …

But then earlier this year, again in the midst of a very deep and lonely depression I started eating (againJ) zoo biscuits … a week later on 12th April 2012 still eating zoo biscuits I woke up and decided I needed to write about food … and the blog lifeisazoobiscuit was born. Well, since then nothing has been the same.

lifeisazoobiscuit gave me the chance to appear on Dinner Divas and I recall that I did not sleep the night before we started the first shoot. When I arrived on set for make-up, the producer of the show Anne Myers  just looked at me once and said “on the coach lady, legs up under the cushions, and bring the tea bags”. I realised then and there that I was in good hands and although nervous and insecure as all hell, I knew it was going to be one of the most exhilarating days of my life. 20 minutes later I met Barry. How on earth was I going to compete against this big huggy bear of a man?

Watch me this Saturday on SABC 2 overcoming my fears + making very good friends with one of the most amazing men I know!

Carpe Diem.

 

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white pepper is back …viva! = steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms

white pepper is back …viva! = steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms

white pepper is back ...viva!=steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms

For some time now, some of my foodie friends and I have been wondering whether white pepper is making something of a comeback….well, I can reliably confirm that it is back. That everyday seasoning that for so many years has done duty on our mother’s and grandma’s dinner tables but somehow got lost over the past decades between her black, pink and red peppercorn brothers and sisters … Lady White Pepper … is back!

Before I share more about the return of the white pepper I need to make it clear that my aspirations for this blog are not to win favour, nor benefit from freebies.This is my journey and my experiences with food. This being said I do believe that good experiences need to be shared, and in this instance I just want to shout if from the top of Table Mountain – if you are looking for a good food and wine experience….this is it … go and experience it at De Grendel Restaurant. It is not an inexpensive outing I might add, but worth saving the pennies just to savour this culinary sojourn through amidst the Durbanville vineyards.

But without further blabbering, let me get back to that somewhat magical afternoon and the white pepper….there we were, Sue-Ann and Ilse from Masterchef and foodie doyen and all-round intriguing persona, Errieda, wine-fundi Samarie, cookbook publisher Daleen and De Grendel’s winemaker Elzette – breathing in the majestic views, soaking up the ambience from table to plate. We laughed, we ate, we drank and toasted our shared passion – we became the absolutely fabulous olympic #chicksthatchow! As Errieda said: “Some chase for gold; others chow for gold”!

Back to the white pepper … I tasted the prime rib with white pepper, pearl onions and broccolini that Errieda ordered and it blew me away. It WAS the best steak and sauce I have ever eaten – the sauce combined with the steak just melted in your mouth with a flash grilled flavour, subtle yet striking. This bite confirmed to me that the sultry Lady White Pepper is back … out of the shadows and back on the plate … she is sexy, sharp. shining and ready to take over the pepper world.

Chef Ian Bergh inspired me so much with his creation that I had to try this back at home – my version was also delicious, simple with a dash of brandy and cream. I tried my utmost to replicate the delicate balance, silkiness and sharpness of their sauce, but I have to confess despite my best efforts I fell short … but please do try my recipe – it is still yum! I served the steak with some beautiful white peppery King Oyster mushrooms.

Welcome back in our pots and on our tables Lady … Viva … Lady White Pepper … Viva!

white pepper is back ...viva!=steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms

steak + white pepper sauce + peppery mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Steak
  • 500 g Prime Rib (I used rump but you can also use fillet) –
  • White Pepper Sauce
  • 1 Small onion – finely chopped
  • 1T Olive oil
  • 1 Knob of butter
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 40 ml Brandy
  • 200ml Thick cream
  • 3t Fine white pepper ( I even like a little more but be careful, I believe white pepper is deceptively hotter than black pepper)
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 150 g King Oyster mushrooms – sliced length ways
  • 2T Olive oil
  • 1T Butter
  • ½ t White fine pepper
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Steak: Fry to your taste. My guidelines - hottest plate, oil, season, +-3½ minutes on each side, rest for 6 minutes.
  2. Mushroom Sauce: Plate on medium - heat a pan and add the olive oil, butter and add the onion. Sauté for about 3 minutes until nice golden.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the brandy to the pan – not too much as you do not want to set your kitchen alight - heat it up and then ignite the brandy with a match. Flambé the steak by letting the alcohol burn off the liquid. Let it burn till finished – it needs to extinguish itself naturally.
  5. Add the cream, then stir in the pepper along with a pinch of salt.
  6. Taste for seasoning. Heat through for a minute or two.
  7. Pass the sauce through a sieve to catch the onions and garlic – I normally use the sieved garlic and onions as a base for the steak and then pour the sauce liberally over the steak just before serving.
  8. Heat a pan until it is very hot - add the olive oil and butter then add the mushrooms , sprinkle with the pepper and a big pinch of salt. Fry fast for about 3-4 minutes till brown and done.
  9. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve hot over the steak.

 

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