Tag Archives: onion

french onion soup

french onion soup

french onion soup

The other day I read that Viresh Maharaj, CEO of Sanlam Employee Benefits: Client Solutions said, “if the middle class was a country it would be relegated to junk status.” Phew, this is startling, he goes on to say that 46,46% of the people who participated in Sanlam’s Annual Benchmark Survey, could not meet their financial commitments. Naturally, this causes considerable financial stress…and I have to tell you I feel that pain too.

To what can this be attributed, I ask? Should we blame Zuma because he showed Pravin the door? Actually, we have only ourselves to blame for the simple reason that we to often choose to live beyond our means. Short-term debt such as credit cards, motor payments and personal loans is the very source of this financial stress. Sigh.

I too decided to investigate why my credit card was going through the roof – and it was easy to see why. A convenience store such as Woolworths is eating away at my credit card. I just want to buy a bag of tomatoes, but fifteen minutes later, I have R600 worth of groceries! Times this by four and again by twelve and that’s R4 800 debit on your credit card over a 12 month period!
Just like that. #MoreStress.

With the onions being plentiful, my Irishman whipped up a wonderful French Onion soup. Low carb and all. The rich flavours of the onion soup were rounded off with a cabbage and parmesan crouton. Talk about innovation.

If there ever was a time to tighten the belt and take responsibility for your financial future, that time is now. Being more economical with your grocery purchases does not mean you have to go hungry – just be smart with your money. If you are wise you can still eat like a king – and with less financial stress you will be able to sleep better and live better.

French onion soup with cabbage and parmesan crouton
(serves 6)
30 ml olive oil
50 g (55 ml) butter
1.3 kg onions, cut into rings
handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 bay leaf
1.3 chicken stock
salt
black pepper
Cabbage and parmesan crouton
60 g cabbage, finely sliced
60 g parmesan, grated

Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, thyme, garlic and bay leaf and stir well until covered in oil and butter. Reduce heat and cook for 25-30 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Without lid simmer for 25 minutes. Heat oven to 180 °C. Divide the cabbage into six individually buttered ramekins and place the parmesan on each. Bake for 20 minutes or until brown on top. Ladle soup into soup bowls. Carefully take the crouton out of the ramekin (I used a spoon) and place on top of soup. Serve immediately.

Comment on this Post

carbonnade | classic belgian beef, onion and beer stew

carbonnade | classic belgian beef, onion and beer stew

SONY DSC

I visited my friend, Chef Peter Ayub to make this very moreish classic Belgian beef, onion and beer stew. Perter says: “Use any piece of beef from the forequarter of the animal, such as the brisket or chuck. These are some of the cheaper parts, but has the most flavour. What gives the dish it’s unique flavour is the caramelized onions and beer combination. The dish is only seasoned with thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper.”

Serve this up with crushed potatoes, gnocchi, rice, noodles or a baguette. If you want to give it an Eastern flavour add some dill and sumac and serve it with minted yogurt and flatbreads.
_Chef Pter Ayub - Foto Verskaf 800
Carbonnade
(Recipe Peter Ayub)
1.5 kg of beef topside and beef chuck, cut into bite size pieces
salt and black pepper
60 ml canola oil
75 g salted butter for sautéing onions
1 kg of finely sliced onions
100 g salted butter for roux
100 g cake flour
3 bay leaves
25 g Brown sugar
10 g fresh thyme leaves –– roughly chopped
700 ml of draught beer
1 litre of beef or chicken Stock (shop bought is absolutely fine)
salt and black pepper
2 handfuls roughly chopped parsley

Pat the beef pieces dry with paper towel and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in large heavy based saucepan or Casserole dish – to almost smoking. Brown the meat – you will need to do this in batches – remember do not keep stirring – you need to give the meat time to brown. Keep all the browned meat aside. In the same pot heat the 75g butter and sauté the onions until soft and slightly brown and at the same time, scrapping all brown bit of the bottom of the pot from searing the meat. Add the 100g butter, melt and then add the flour. Cook gently and form a roux – low heat. Return the beef to the pot. Add the bay leaves, sugar, thyme and little more salt and pepper. Add the beer – cook on low heat for about 5 minutes and add the stock. Bring to the boil and skim off any excess fat. Cover with lid and place in the oven at 160 °C for approximately 2 hours. Before serving skim off any excess fat and adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with Freshly chopped parsley

Comment on this Post

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.

Comment on this Post

picasso’s chicken

picasso’s chicken

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them”- Pablo Picasso

When I saw Anke’s article in Fresh Living magazine using Picasso as one of her inspirations, I knew that I would have to look no further. The first thing that came to my mind was the Spanish painter’s beautiful chicken drawings. These were not paintings, just beautiful drawings. It was like he wanted to be normal – to be like us, to draw and not paint. But these were still no normal chickens – these were Picasso’s chickens.

{This recipe was inspired by an ingredient list I received from Pick n Pay for their freshlyblogged challenge #8 competition}

Picasso's chicken

I could never match up to his artistic genius, but to a certain measure our philosophical palette shares similar thoughts about life.

“I am an artist too, you see, when it comes to cooking, I cook ingredients the way I think of them, not the way I see them.”

My food creation is something of a deconstructed paella – just without the rice of course. Each of the ingredients – including the sherry can be found in your traditional Spanish paella.

I really wanted a smoky paprika taste to my chicken so I char grilled the peppers and added them with the chorizo under the skin and then used the peppers with garlic and lemon on top of the skin. The garlic mash was a layer of colour and flavour I added to this food canvas and works brilliantly with chicken.

So this is my culinary interpretation of a Picasso’s chicken. Remember … we are all artists in our own right and we must remember to draw inspiration from the canvas of life. Carpe diem!

SONY DSC

 

Tips for char grilling peppers

Oven: Preheat the grill. Half your peppers and coat with olive oil. Place the peppers skin side-up under the grill. Grill until the skin is blackened. Place the charred peppers into a plastic bag and allow to sweat. Remove the skin filament from the peppers ( I love to keep the skin on).

To grill: over a gas hob: Using a tong (or long braai tong) hold the peppers over the open flame until blackened. Place directly on the hob and rotate over the open flame occasionally. Put in bag to sweat. Remove skin.
Preserve: Add the peppers, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to a jar. Leave in closed jar in fridge. Delicious on sandwiches – try it on toast too!

picasso's chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Chicken and marinade
  • 1.3 kg chicken spatchcocked and cut in half
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Sedgwick’s Old Brown Sherry
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1tsp salt (use smoked salt if you have)
  • 1tsp milled black pepper
  • Chorizo Stuffing
  • ½ onion, chopped into small blocks
  • ½ Tbsp butter
  • 100g chorizo, sliced into small blocks
  • 1tsp fresh origanum, chiffonade
  • ½ red char grilled pepper, chopped with skin (see below tips how to char grill a pepper)
  • Wet smoky pepper rub
  • 2½ red char grilled peppers, chopped with skin on
  • 2 tsp fresh origanum, chiffonade
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp lemon rind, grated
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp salt (use smoked salt if you have)
  • ½ tsp milled black pepper
Instructions
  1. Marinade - Mix all the marinade ingredients together and rub into chicken and marinade for about 1 hour. Set aside. Turn a few times.
  2. Chorizo stuffing - Fry the onion in the butter until translucent.
  3. Add to all the other ingredients. Don’t fry the chorizo, we want it to cook underneath the skin so the fat can seep in and flavour the chicken. Set aside.
  4. Wet smoky pepper rub - Blitz all the ingredients together to a pulp. Set aside.
  5. Basting, stuffing and roasting the chicken
  6. Chicken - Preheat the oven to 200 ºC.
  7. Take the marinated chicken and loosen the skin carefully with your fingers – as far as you can down the thigh and wing as well. Stuff the chorizo mixture under the skin. Take toothpicks and fasten the sides. We don’t want the stuffing to fall out or to lose the flavour of the chorizo fat.
  8. Then generously pour the wet rub over the chicken. Make sure the whole chicken is covered.
  9. Roast for 40 minutes until cooked through. The juices must run clear.
  10. Remove the cooked chicken from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving into portions.

 
garlic mash
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 650 g boiled potatoes, skinned and passed through a potato press
  • ¾ cup milk, warmed-up
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Cook the potatoes and mash. Add the milk and salt.
  2. Fry the garlic in the butter – wait for the butter just to start to discolour then add it piping hot to the mash. The garlic must just slightly brown and crisp up – not burn. Mix through and taste for seasoning.
  3. Serve immediately.

Comment on this Post

longing for braaibroodjies + sunny skies + chevrolet

longing for braaibroodjies + sunny skies + chevrolet

Watch me make braaibroodjies by clicking here

Braaibroodjies

Will the real Braaibroodjies please stand up? Everyone in South Africa loves braaibroodjies. They are just one of those “must haves” at any braai. However, despite the boastings of the braaimaster ( usually male with lager in hand) … these normally end up being:

A: burnt
B: soggy
C: tomato + onion = not cooked
D: cheese = not melted
E: all of the above.

So how do we ensure that these traditional toasties are:
A: not burnt
B: crispy
C: cooked tomato + onion
D: with melted cheese
E: all of the above?

Well I have a few sneaky tricks up my sleeve – use them or lose them as they say but do so at your own peril … but I can assure you that if you follow these tips you will have the perfect braaibroodjies every single time … And put any gloating braaimaster in awe of you for life …

Braaibroodjies

Braaibroodjie Tips

1. Butter one side very lightly (not both sides).
2. Cut the onion into thin big round slices – keep the circles whole and pack on the one buttered side of one slice.
3. Then add the thinly sliced tomato circles – sprinkle with salt and pepper. You will note that I place the tomatoes in the centre of the sandwich filling – this prevents the broodtjie from becoming soggy.
4. Grate strong cheddar and generously sprinkle over the tomato and cover with the other slice of bread. Make sure you cover all of the tomato slices with cheese.
5. Put a griddle rack on a baking tray and put the sandwiches on top of that – then while the rest of the braai is on the go place the sandwiches in the oven at 100°C to bake for +- 1 hour – it will crisp the bread up and it will cook everything slowly.
6. Then after everyone has braaied and the coals are low – pop them onto a braai grid and allow to toast until they are browned on both sides! Depending on how hot your fire or coals are you will need to watch these carefully as they can toast quickly enough.

Some people like to add all sorts of other condiments like chutney etc to their broodjies … for me some things need to be kept simple like it was in the old days of braaivleis, sunny skies and Chevrolets.

Braaibroodjies

Braaibroodjies

Ingredients
Sliced bread
Butter
Onion
Tomato
Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper

Method
As above

Comment on this Post

pizza … my style – just don’t tell mamma

pizza … my style – just don’t tell mamma

brown bread pizza

Watch me make this live by clicking here.

Stand back … I can honestly say this is one of the most amazing things I have ever made. It astounds me that I did not discover this earlier in my life … you know all those times you sat hankering after a pizza but were just too lazy to call the pizza delivery guys. Well, now there is just no excuse. Just take a slice of whole wheat bread + roll it out with a rolling pin + brush with garlic and olive oil + fry in griddle pan + add your toppings + and bake! This takes just minutes to prepare and you can decide on what toppings you want…healthy or decadent…the choice is yours.

Just tell me this isn’t good? I know that you cannot beat an original Italian pizza base….you know the ones they make in Italy – but this is just as delicious, believe me. Just don’t tell Mamma!

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

pizza ... my style - just don't tell mamma
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Pizza base
  • 4 Slices of bread
  • 2 Cloves garlic – grated
  • 3T Olive oil
  • Topping
  • 140g Ina Paarman Sundried Tomato
  • 1 Small block of mozzarella cheese (this all depends on how much you want to layer on)
  • Dried origanum (optional) – a very small pinch per “pizza”
  • 8 Slices cooked salami
  • Kalamata Olives
  • 1 large onion – sliced and slowly fried in a bit of olive oil till golden brown
  • To serve
  • Rocket
  • Fresh basil
  • Chillies
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220 ºC.
  2. Take a rolling pin and roll the bread till flat.
  3. Mix the garlic and olive oil and brush the slices of bread with it.
  4. Fry each slice on both sides in a griddle pan tuntil the brown etching lines appear on your bread
  5. Take the sundried tomato and mesh it together with a fork. Smear the tamato on one side of the bread.
  6. Then add the mozzarella and all the toppings.
  7. Pop in the oven at 220ºC till the cheese in melted and bubbly.
  8. Serve with fresh rocket, basil, chopped chillies and always wash down your creation with a glass of good wine.

 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Comment on this Post

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection

“If you enjoy reading my blog please vote for it in the Eat Out Best Local Food Blog Award by 1) clicking on this link {eat out best local food blog award} 2) and casting your vote at the bottom of the Eat Out web page.”

SONY DSC

Lesson #1 Alain Passard – Elevate vegetables to the main course. Respect them. Love them.

Cabbage Greek Salad … Just recently, I was fortunate enough to meet and eat at a Parisian restaurant owned and run by one of the best chefs on the planet – and one of my great food heroes. The place was L’Arpege + 3-Star Michelin Restaurant and the chef was none other than Alain Passard!

Having lunch at one of the top restaurants in the world turned out to be a very emotional day for me as we made our way through 13 courses of what can only be described as an expedition to some sort of culinary Nirvana. This was not a sampling menu, it was 13 courses of considerable portion of food.

In order to give fair justice to the skill and care that was taken in serving each course, I intend discussing (or is it dissecting?) various elements of this extraordinary experience over the next few weeks. The sum of which continues to jolt my brain and senses in the most wonderful of ways. More of that later but back to Alain…My hubby and I sat down just on midday and only left the restaurant four and half hours later. It turned out to be not just a meal but more a journey enticing discoveries. It was an explosion of the senses on all fronts from tantalizing the palate, to engaging the brain, to touching my heart. It was all of these things.

Then out of nowhere and so very casually, Alain Passard himself appeared in front of us… and so charmingly and non-chalantly introduced himself. He stood humbly before us wanting to know where we were from and then thanked us for making the effort to eat at his restaurant. Could you believe he thanked me!! I was speechless. He said that if I wanted to know anything, I must just ask him. He was most amused by my little black notebook. It is that little notebook that I take everywhere with me jotting down my thoughts and different food experiences. Alain then just said the following “eat slowly and enjoy every bite, try to stay till dessert because I have a surprise for you” and before you could offer a shy stammer of awe and appreciation he whisked himself back into his kitchen. *more about the surprise and what he meant in a later blog*.

SONY DSC

In between the courses that followed he came out to serve us … how amazing was that!! I was in dreamland and I think for the first time in my life, I was beyond speechless. What I took away from this restaurant and this genius of a chef was that you need to live and practice the credo of this talented food maestro….remember to elevate vegetables to the main course – it is not a side dish – respect them and cook them with love.

Ok, I got a little carried away by my recollections of this exceptional outing, back to dish at hand…..
Today I have taken the often disregarded, humble purple cabbage and added it to make a greek salad the way my dear and wonderful Mediterranean friend Thea Maroela taught me. Thea is +- 79 years old now and lives in Cyprus. Thea always made this particular Greek salad with white cabbage and I used to often eat this salad at Thea’s house with fresh bread and a tumbler of white wine – which Thea always kept in a bottle under the sink for me as she herself did not drink. This dish is a “must make”. It’s fresh, inspiring and delicious.

Note to self: Add to bucketlist – Visit Thea in Cyprus again. Book table and eat again at any restaurant owned by Alain Passard.

Recipe
This recipe has no measurements in terms of ingredients…it is only dependent on the quantity of ingredients you have in your fridge.

a simple cabbage greek salad + alain passard = veggie perfection
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Note
  • This recipe has no measurements in terms of ingredients…it is only dependent on the quantity of ingredients you have in your fridge.
  • Ingredients
  • Red cabbage – finely sliced
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Feta cheese
  • Dressing
  • Good Olive oil
  • White vinegar
  • Salt + black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Pour generously with olive oil and then some vinegar, add the salt and pepper and mix well in a bowl before you dish it up.
  3. Serve with fresh bread.

 

 

Comment on this Post

meatballs with mint + pine nuts + butternut

meatballs with mint + pine nuts + butternut
spaghetti and meatballs delicious, easy

#spaghetti + meatballs

When I first opened my mystery basket on Dinner Divas and saw the mince the only thing that went through my mind was MEATBALLS!! Nothing else … I never saw the chicken … in fact I did not register any of the other mystery ingredients … but at that moment in time and space, in front of all the cameras your brain just freezes. In retrospect you always end up quizzing yourself … I could have done this or I could of done that … in situations like this hysteria creeps in and disrupt your thoughts but I was resolute and determined to make this dish and prepare it well.

The other thing was that I had made a commitment to myself before I entered the competition … to stick with my gut, make a decision, go with it and not entertain any reservations. When you start doubting or second guessing yourself, this is when things tend to go awry and in a competition there is no time for messing about.

When I saw Kristy making the same dish, I have to admit I was apprehensive and the seeds of doubt were teasing my brain. Fortunately I had the clarity of mind to press on – it was too late to back track – I had to stick to what I believe in and what I know I can do well …

Well the judges did not think so – “oh dear another meatball dish – really” + “the meatballs were just disgusting” … this cut deep at that moment in time – but now I am laughing about it all. I love Caro + Aubrey + Andrew – they have crept deep into my heart and they will have a very special place in my life forever and ever …

So here is my  version of meatballs – something between my mom’s meatballs + what i have tasted in New York + something I have tasted in Italy. I added some mint + pine nuts + loads of veggies and used my fantastic tomato sauce which you can look up here

meatballs and tomato sauce and spaghetti

#spaghetti + meatballs

 

meatballs with mint + pine nuts = fab grecian fare
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 500g Extra lean mince
  • 4 Garlic cloves - grated
  • 1 Potato large - grated
  • 3 Thick butternut rings – grated
  • 1 Carrot - grated
  • 2 Small onions – grated
  • 50g Pine nuts – lightly fried in a non stick pan till golden brown
  • 1 Slice of white bread – soaked in water and excess water squeezed out
  • 1 Egg
  • Handful of finely chopped parsley
  • 1 t Dry mint
  • 1 t Salt
  • ½ t Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Put your oven on grill.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Fry a small teaspoon and taste for seasoning – I normally use the microwave.
  3. Make small balls and grill till done - +- 10 minutes. After first 5 minutes turn them around and cook for another few minutes.
  4. Put in pasta sauce and simmer for a minute or two. Serve on spaghetti + parmesan shavings + fresh basil.

 

Tomato Sauce 

Click here for recipe.

Comment on this Post

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.

 

Comment on this Post

chocolate mousse + crispy onion sprinkle = surprising + delicious dessert

chocolate mousse + crispy onion sprinkle = surprising + delicious dessert

chocolate mousse + crispy onion sprinkle=surprising + delicious dessert

I know many of you think I must be off my rocker … but this is a MUST TRY. Lately, I have been reading a lot about modern food combinations with unusual flavours. Let me mention a few …

1. dark chocolate + parmesan cheese
2. chocolate mousse + crispy onion sprinkle
3. oysters + coconut + lychee + rose
4. lobster + passion fruit
5. belgian endives + chocolate + vanilla ice cream.

The one that really aroused my curiosity was the chocolate mousse and crispy onion sprinkle. I just had to try it so I dashed off to my Woollies store down the road and bought a tub of chocolate mousse and a bag of crispy onion sprinkle, you know the type that they sell as a soup topping. So that evening I took a scoop of chocolate mousse and a healthy serving of onion sprinkle and I served this unusual matching to some very startled guests …! Well, well, well, if you want to impress your friends with an amazing out of the box dessert that you don’t even have to make yourself …try this. The tastes just gel together and produce a surprising and unusual delicious combination. Put this on your list the next time you are out of ideas for dessert!

nom nom nom …

Comment on this Post

ostrich fillet + red wine + king oyster mushrooms + beetroot blocks

ostrich fillet + red wine + king oyster mushrooms + beetroot blocks

ostrich fillet + red wine + king oyster mushrooms + beetroot blocks
Today, I need to tell you about my little weekend adventure … the Ultimate Braai Challenge… This past Saturday my friend Joani and I took part in the Western Cape auditions for the Ultimate Braai Challenge. This turned out to be one of the best foodie experiences of my life – the 100 crazy teams, the ‘gees”, the organizers, the judges were just amazing and Justin Bonello is such a fabulous guy and so down to earth! Kudu’s go to all the organizers, the sponsors and everyone that took part both young and old. I was really gob-smacked by all the different people that took part – their liveliness, their spirit and what passion we South Africans have! I realised once again – we LOVE a braai! I cannot wait for this show to start – I really think it is going to take SA by storm!!

But let me get back to what food we presented to the judges – our main course was braaied Ostrich fillet in a red wine and mushroom jus with beetroot blocks – all done on the braai. One of the judges told us that this specific dish was the best dish he had tasted on the day. So I thought I would share this recipe with you. For sure you can do this on the stove as well but for those of you who are adventurous why not also try this on the braai…? Serve this with buttery, mustardy, crushed new potatoes. If you are not so much an ostrich steak fan you can always swap this with a cut of beef or even kudu fillet. Do not forget to enjoy this with a good glass of red wine …

Happy Braaiing … remember where there’s smoke … there is a braai!

ostrich fillet + red wine + king oyster mushrooms + beetroot blocks
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For steak
  • 4 x 200g Ostrich Fillet
  • 1Tablespoon cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the Jus
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ large onion, cut in quarters and parted
  • 3 king oyster mushrooms, cut in 3x lengthwise
  • 4 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 Tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
  • Big pinch of black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups of red wine
  • 1 Cup chicken stock (it is ok to use stock cubes diluted in water as per instruction)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 20 g butter
  • For beetroot blocks
  • 250g cooked beetroot cut into 1cm x 1cm cubes
Instructions
  1. Add the oil and butter to a pot then add the onion – caramalise the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Onions need to have that beautiful honey colour.
  3. Add the mushrooms, thyme, rosemary and the salt and pepper. Fry for a further 10 minutes. I love to hear the snap-crackle-pop of the thyme!
  4. Add the red wine and garlic and de-glaze the pan.
  5. Then add the chicken stock and the tomato paste. Simmer till half the amount is left. This is important - it needs to be a thickish sauce consistency.
  6. Add the rest of the butter and let it melt. Taste and season.
  7. Sieve through a fine sieve and add the beetroot blocks. Set aside.
  8. Keep the big onion pieces and oyster mushrooms aside – discard the thyme and rosemary.
  9. Heat the oil in the pan and fry the ostrich according to your taste – medium rare for me. Season meat to your taste.
  10. Add the onions and mushrooms (that you used in the jus) and fry these with the steak.
  11. Take the steak out of the frying pan to rest (let it rest for least 8 minutes) and add the red wine jus to the steak juices in the pan.
  12. To serve: Put the steak on a plate – add some onion pieces and giant oyster mushroom on top. Then pour some jus at the bottom of the plate. Dress with a few blocks of beetroot around the steak.

 

Comment on this Post