Archives for January 2018

Celeriac Salad with Celery, Fennel, Apple, Walnuts and a Mustard Dressing

Celeriac Salad

Celeriac Salad with Celery, Parsley, Walnuts and Spiced Mustard Mayonnaise

1 large Celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced or shaved
1 Green apple cored and thinly sliced
1 Fennel Bulb shaved
3 Celery stalks thinly sliced or shaved
50g Walnuts chopped
50g Cranberries
Chopped Parsley
Picked celery leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
Juice one lemon

Season salad and lightly dress with lemon

Dressing
3 tbsp Whole grain mustard
1 tbsp Honey
6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine

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#Fromthepass – Roast Quail

IMG_6497 (1)

Roast quail breast

 

Roast quail breast, poached tomatoes, pecan nut praline shards, confit leg, Gorgonzola, quince apple jam, green sorrel

Quail is a firm favourite in the kitchen and one of Chef “D” favourites to eat as he points out.

“We decided to pair the quail with tomatoes as they are entering into season and they have the most amazing natural flavours imaginable, sweet, tangy, sour, bitter, sharp, natural MSG as I say, I literally walk into the vegetable fridge and eat them like apples”

‘For this dish at the chefs table we added our favourite blue cheese from cremalat and some quince jam as an unexpected combination that actually works.

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ROASTED CARROT & CONFIT ONION SALAD

Roasted Carrot w Confit Onions

ROASTED CARROT & CONFIT ONION SALAD

I have a thing for roasted carrots & roasted onion, I do not think I am the only one with this problem. When we cook it as an accompaniment to a roast it is the best. When left for the next day, if you are lucky enough, it is equally as delicious. But it did need an extra element to cut through the olive oil, first we made the dressing with yoghurt, which worked very well.
Then we decided to try using another favourite, hummus, and thinning it out a little. This opened a whole lot of other possibilities, adding mint, zest, sesame, pine nuts, cashew and parsley.

500g Baby Carrots
300g Confit Baby Onions
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
3 Bay Leaves
4 Garlic Cloves
Sprig Thyme
1 TSP Black Pepper Corns
1 Cup Olive Oil + 15 ml for Carrots
2 Tbsp Honey
Salt
Pepper

Dressing
100g Hummus
2 Tsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
2 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil form confit
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
10 ml Lemon Juice
Method
Combine Carrots with olive oil, honey, salt & pepper
Roast for 10-15 Minutes at 160°C

For the onions
Place Baby Onions in small saucepan covering with olive oil, add pepper corns, Olive oil, Bay leaves, salt, thyme and garlic. Close with foil.

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#fromthepass – Burrata, prosciutto and asparagus salad

Prosciutto

Prosciutto Salad

While travelling to London visiting an old friend whom Dion cooked with many years ago during his junior stages in the kitchen, she decided to take Dion to the Borough Market. “we bought tons and ate like pigs but what stood out the most was the insane prosciutto that was sliced paper thin and simply melted once it touched you tongue, we had it with burrata which was literally made in front of us and asparagus which was cooked on this open charcoal grill. Those flavours still cannot be erased from my memory and its the simplicity of having a few great products which simply speak for itself”

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Look out on this summer day, we have added to the Vegan tea selection.

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When Kirsten brought me the first grey looking vegan macaron I was very excited, it tasted so close to the real thing. We both smiled and left it there. Some small things were missing, as we knew she had to take it further. That is the thing about Kirsten, nothing was said, it will just happen and it will be perfect.
And then it happened, a palate blue and grey. All we are now missing was a hint of Venus.
But from the asylum in the back of the kitchen this creation was layered and filled with a cashew cheese flavoured with raspberry.
The liquid – Aquafaba, the water in which chickpeas have been cooked in, especially the tinned version. It has similar properties to that of egg white, which is magical in making egg free, vegan cooking possible. We first started experimenting with meringues. It had a great shelf life. In some cases people enjoyed it more than its egg counterpart. The obvious next step was to make macarons. Happy days!

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Wasted 4 – Fashionably Rejected

SWISS CHARD

Further to the last conversation around the wasted skin and flesh, is it really waste that we are talking about? It is destined for the bin due to laziness, lack of interest, poor skills or cheap food and because it is destined for the bin, it is waste or perhaps we could call it the unwanted, shunned or fashionably rejected. It is still disrespectful and this introspect is needed.

Currently we are busy working on a number of projects and re writing a bunch of recipes. One idea we discussed is that we should not cut up anything new for creating an atchar or jam, but instead use the items left to waste. So some of these projects include kimchi with shaved cauliflower stalks, cauliflower atchar made with stalks, lime atchar, orange skin preserve, melon skin preserve, celery salt, tomato salt and marmalade made with all the oranges left over from juicing. The more we dig the more we find, the more we find the more guilt we are surrounded with, as we have forgotten how to really respect ingredients.

One of our success stories has been the complete utilisation of Swiss chard and writing the recipe around the use. It took a long time, four years probably before all the staff bought into the system that we use all. The only way was to write the recipe specific. But we had to be smart and include other bits, like the outer leaves from the baby gem leaves. Over the months we tweaked the recipe adding a little onion, chili, carrot and feta. Eventually we made the whole thing gluten free with the no crust adding some quinoa.

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Roasted Carrot and Mango Salad with a Sesame Dressing

Carrot and Mango B

100g Red Cabbage
50g Shaved Carrots
50g Sugar Snap Peas blanched and sliced
200g Baby carrots roasted with sesame oil
1 Mango peeled, sliced or cubed
30g kale shredded
50g Corn
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Garlic, Ginger Sesame Dressing
50ml Vinegar Rice Wine
50ml Soya
3 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp grated ginger (microplane)
1 Tsp sesame oil
3 Spring Onion sliced thinly

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#fromthepass – Laksa with sea-bass and prawn

Laksa w prawn and seabass

Laksa w prawn and seabass

Dion fell in love with laksa the first time during the early stages of working with me at the Saxon Hotel as a junior CDP, we had a crocodile and prawn laksa where we skewered the crocodile with lemon grass.
Through the years Dion mastered the complexity, bringing together all the flavours. Enter Marcus a talented young chef who has an undying love for Asian flavours, having travelled to Asia as youngster on numerous occasions he always has a great understanding with the complex flavours. So when he made a laksa Dion of course got excited, “I hope you know I’m the king of laksa, so please blow my mind.” An hour or so late he did just that, blew my mind and socks off, It was at that moment that I could not leave it of the chefs table menu for that night, so we took the base and worked it into a pretty looking dish but of course giving homage and respect to the all glory full laksa.”

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Mango & coconut torte, vegan meringue, coconut and vanilla sorbet and mango salad

Vegan Dessert

Date crust filled with a creamy coconut filling topped with a mango glaze, served with a refreshing coconut and vanilla sorbet and a vegan meringue made from aquafaba to give an element of crunch (still one of our best discoveries of 2017) and a mango mint salad to complement the nutty and sweet flavours from the torte and meringue.

Chef Kirsten in pastry has been tasked to create a whole lot of dairy/egg free dessert/tea items for the tea selection as well as a la carte dessert options. Making these vegan items friendly to the palate has proven popular to even the normal guests, this dessert is currently featured on the Planet menu, but it does look like it will have to find a permanent home.
So ditch the dairy and eggs but not the flavour with this mango and coconut torte. Great for a hot summers day.

With the chickpea aquafaba, Kirsten has also managed to make the most beautiful macarons which is now featured on our vegan tea selection.

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Finding Burger Part 13, The Ultimate

Bacon Egg Burger

Ultimate Burger with bacon, egg, mushroom ragout and cheese

I wanted to put a list together with my favourite top ten burgers, got to number eight on the list and realised that I missed two burgers on my list, I was fixating on the local stuff and not my travels.

And you may find yourself, ordering a burger in another part of the world, and you may find yourself staring at the most beautiful thing, and you may ask yourself well how did we get here? Once in a life time, eating a burger at Bar Boulud in New York, and you may tell yourself, this is the most beautiful thing in the world, am I right or am I wrong. Americana at its best. The original DB burger with braised short rib, FG and black truffle on a Parmesan Bun. Once in a life time experience.
So this is an ultimate burger experience in Finding Burger, but I would not necessary want to have this on a regular basis, maybe. A couple of months ago we did a shoot with Crush online doing a shoot on four different burgers from veggie to seafood and chicken. Then it hit me, sometimes going over the top is Ok, it is part of who we are, as a chef I want have a burger like this, I dream about this. Creating a burger topped with a soft fried egg, bacon, seriously good patty, mushroom ragout and cheddar cheese. I can feel, I can see the juices making mess all over my shirt the table, but it is so good. It will cure even the harshest hangover.

The second burger forgotten was from my travels, at the spotted pig also from New York.

Photo Credit www.crushmag-online.com

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