Archives for December 2017

To Waste or not to Waste!


Cauliflower and Broccoli Stalks

As a kitchen we have moved away from hiding the unwanted and keeping all waste above table. This has not always gone down as a popular decision. Chefs are damn stubborn when it comes to change.
We are only focusing on one specific part of waste, the unwanted!
Perhaps calling unwanted parts as waste is incorrect as it still has a negative connotation associated with the part, the part needs to gain popularity in order to move up the chain and be wanted.
Recipes generally are created keeping in mind all the prime, good and sexy parts. Celery leaves are left garnishing the bin, green parts of leeks frowned at and the stalks from cauliflower and broccoli destined for either the bin or badly made soup. What we starting doing in our kitchen is writing recipes with waste in mind. Recipe books are to blame for poor cooking decisions like cross seasonal ingredients being used or no reference anywhere in what must happen with stalks and those unwanted pieces.
Food has become cheap, as it is too easy to bin something, instead of maximising each ingredient and using it to its full potential. We continuously consume without really looking at what we are consuming, wanting more and more and more. It is all just so convenient and so easy. If we felt it in our pocket we might think twice. We are so far removed from what reality is. We have no respect for ingredients, we have no respect for farmers who have taken months in growing beautiful vegetables just for us to show contempt for vegetables.
Part of this journey of ours is rediscovering ways of not wasting, maximising products in ways that guest can appreciate and staff can respect processes. We have started encouraging the lesser to be used before the popular in order to stimulate the use.
There has been numerous online publications, books as well as movies that have been written & created in order to expose and highlight the problem we face in kitchens all over from our modest homes to professional outfits with egos and attitudes.
There are off course limitations in that in some cases certain items cannot be used and for these we have a worm farm. Our objective is not to feed the worms, but instead use everything first and then feed the worms.
A good example is the quiche recipe used on our afternoon tea. It has specifically been formulated to use stalks from Swiss-chard as well a baby gem lettuce as part of the mix. This allows us to be responsible in our choices. In no part has the end product suffered.
This is a journey of discovery and learning how to cook!

Every Week a new picture will be published looking at our new favourite parts.

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Roast Turkey With Bacon and Apple Stuffing


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Bacon and Apple Stuffing
20 ml olive oil
3 medium onions, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
130 g bacon, chopped
100 g butter
15 g sugar
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed (small)
100 g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
½ C (125 ml) apple cider
½ C (125 ml) chicken stock
30 ml sage, chopped
30 ml parsley, chopped
30 ml fresh thyme, picked
1 tsp (5 ml) lemon zest
50 g liver, minced
500 g stale bread (ciabatta), dried
salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs (optional)

Roast Turkey
5-6 kg turkey, whole
salt and pepper
200 g carrots, cubed
200 g apples, cubed
200 g onions, cubed
200 g celery, cubed
2 oranges, halved
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
50 g butter
500 ml chicken stock
2 heads garlic, whole, cut in half crossways
16 baby onions, skinned
12 small to medium sized whole carrots, peeled

reserved juices (from roast)
100-150 ml white wine, sherry or cider
extra stock, as needed
beurre manie, as required
reserved turkey liver, cleaned and chopped (optional)

Roast potatoes
12 -16 whole potatoes, peeled
salt and pepper
pinch paprika
rosemary or thyme, picked
100 g duck fat (use more if needed)

Bacon and Apple Stuffing
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions until soft. Add the celery and bacon and continue to cook until the celery is soft. Add the butter, sugar and apples and continue to sauté allowing the mixture to caramelise slightly. Add the pecan nuts and garlic.

Add the cider to deglaze then add the stock and reduce by half.

Add the herbs, lemon zest and minced liver.

Add the bread and allow the liquid to be absorbed, continue mixing until soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.

The stuffing can be made the day before. I do not add egg to my stuffing but if a tighter stuffing is preferred, add three whole eggs when finishing off the stuffing.

Roast Turkey
As this is a big bird it will benefit from being covered for the first half of the cooking time in the oven. For a turkey between 5-6 kg allow 3-3¾ hours in the oven. Covering the bird with foil for the first 1-1 ½ hours, will avoid the skin burning. Take care not to wrap the foil too tightly around the skin as the foil will stick to the skin.
Remove giblets and neck, use with mire poix vegetables when roasting. Keep the liver for use later.
Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
Season the bird inside and outside with the salt and pepper.
Fill the cavity with the stuffing and truss the turkey. Rub the outside of the turkey with butter and place on a bed of the cut vegetables in a roasting pan. Add the giblets and necks. Add the oranges, thyme and bay leaves. Pour the stock into roasting pan and cover with foil (shiny side down).Remove the foil after 1 hour to check the turkey and rub with butter again.

Add the whole carrots, the baby onions and the whole garlic heads (cut across in half). Continue cooking and basting for the remaining time. Take care not to burn the turkey. If it gets too dark, place foil over it again to finish.
If using a thermometer to check the internal temperature, remove the turkey from the oven when it reaches 70 °C and allow to rest (temperature will rise to 78 °C after resting).
Remove carrots, onion and garlic.
Remove the turkey from the roasting pan while resting to make sure that you catch all of the juices. Rest covered.
As I do not have an exact recipe for the gravy, instinct must guide you. Retain all of the juices and drippings to make a great gravy. Deglaze the roasting pan with cider and place the liquid into a small saucepan over medium heat, making sure that all the pieces of the mirepoix, the neck and gizzards are added. Add more stock if needed and continue to reduce until the flavour is perfect. Add a small amount of beurre manié to thicken.
Strain and add chopped liver for the final sauce (optional).
Roast potatoes
Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place into cold salted water. Bring to the boil for about a minute and half, remove and place in a colander. This is important as the potatoes must get moved around to ruffle the edges and surfaces as this creates delicious crispy bits.
Place in a roasting pan, season with salt, pepper and paprika and sprinkle with picked rosemary or thyme. Roast in duck fat for about 40- 60 minutes depending on the size. Turn potatoes regularly to ensure even browning.

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Honey & Balsamic Roasted Beetroot with Apricot, Labneh and toasted pumpkin seeds

Roaste beetroot and apricot w labneh B

We have a tendency to always add orange to our beetroot salad, so we tried this salad with slightly sour apricots that was roasted, would have been better grilled or pan-fried, keeping them firmer. Labneh is not essential as plain yoghurt can also be added.

300g Beetroot Cooked Peeled Cut into batonnet
Sprigs thyme as needed
150g Apricot pip removed
150g Labneh
30g Pumpkin seeds
40ml Olive oil
15ml lemon
30ml Balsamic
30ml Honey
Fresh Crushed pepper

Combine, thyme, beetroot, half olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.
Place into roasting tray and roast at 190 for 20minutes.
Remove and cool.

Combine Apricots, honey, salt and pepper
Place in roasting tray and roast at 190 for 10 minutes or put in a non-stick pan and caramelise. Remove and cool.

Combine and top with labneh and toasted pumpkin seeds

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#fromthepass – Peppered duck, green guava and stone fruit salad with sprouts and sesame ginger dressing

Duck and Plum
One Dion’s favourite ingredients seasoned with two peppercorns, black and Szechuan. Now even better since we have been getting our whole ducks from Lou’s farm just below Sir Lowry’s pass. As Dion explains this is how he enjoys duck seasoned with peppercorns, bringing a balance to the fatty rich taste and explodes with duck flavour. “I immediately thought of using stone fruit when I walked into the vegetable fridge one afternoon and bit into a green peach then a green guava and it reminded me of when I was a kid and stole green peaches and apricots from our neighbours trees when they weren’t around and we would eat them with salt and chili powder as we played in the streets, this automatically scram at me and said use me with the pepper duck”
Featured on the chefs table as part of a journey in the kitchen.
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Chickpea Salad w Fennel Seeds, Quinoa & Corn

Chickpea Salad with Fennel Seeds, Quinoa & Corn

Every Friday we will celebrate summer and feature a simple salad or not so simple, Chef Kim Grosch who looks after the cold selection in the Oasis, has put together some great salad ideas that she will share every Friday for the next year. In this weeks salad we showcase chickpeas with quinoa, this salad is very simple and can be changed to include cracked wheat, couscous or lentils. We have not added any garlic, chili or ginger. Wanted to keep fresh clean flavours with lots of lemon.

4 People

200g Chickpeas cooked
100g Quinoa cooked
30g Toasted sunflower seeds

Zest of one lemon blanched
1 Spring Onion sliced fine
1 Onion Red Roasted & Cut into chunks
5og corn cooked
1 Tbsp Chopped Coriander
Hand full picked Parsley
50ml olive oil
30 ml Lemon juice
Salt, Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Fennel seeds toasted

Combine ingredients and serve

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