Archives for January 2018

WASTED 5 – Bin to Table, the fight

BIN TO TABLE CAULIFLOWER

Cauliflower kimchi

When we talk about bin to table we are not taking food that is going to the bin, but rather the foods that are rescued before going to bin.
We made the kimchi two weeks before Christmas, I was angry that day because I kept on finding pieces of cauliflower stalks with no owners, if you work in a kitchen you will understand, the owner disappears, stopped working, immigrated or died. No one knows how it got there, no one saw it put there, it just appeared. So in a fit of rage I thought I would create a recipe for the cauliflower bits, to ensure that ownership is secured. We made the kimchi with a combination of leaves and stalks from cauliflower and combined it with the cabbage.
I have subsequently changed my mind and we will use more stalks in the vegetables which is a more sensible thing to do, all the outer leaves will be used in the mixture for the kimchi.
But the fight for fashionable rejected cauliflower comes with the atchar producers in our kitchen, as we have to ration who gets what.
In the first trial recipe we reduced the cabbage and made up the weight with shaved cauliflower stalks and leaves which we brined for 24 hours. For the seasoning we used dried chili flakes, garlic, ginger, apple, cooked rice, fish sauce, onion and sugar which was made into a paste before adding to cauliflower mixture.
To finish we added carrot, radish and spring onions. This was left for over three weeks before testing the first time.
After that trial not much can change it was that good. We can now start a bigger batch.

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Slow Roasted Tomato Salad with Confit Onions

Roasted Tomato Salad

Slow Roasted Tomato with Confit Onions, Garlic & Parsley

We do not have a recipe for this, it just happened. I asked Kim to cook the cooked onions in olive oil, with garlic, pepper and bay leaf. I sort off had a plan, wanted a salad with a concentration of flavours that would normally be associated with a hot dish, served cold. We Cut the tomatoes in half and the large ones in quarters, seasoned them with garlic, pepper, salt, thyme and olive oil.
These were then placed on sheet and slow roasted at about 70 degrees for two days. The onions were left on a warm place on the stove and gently cooked through, never over a direct flame. The result was soft soft onions, but still retaining it’s shape.
Allowed the onion and the tomato to cool and gently combined.
Added some picked parsley, a squeeze of lemon.
Ended up sounding more complicated than intended, should add olives to this combination or even haloumi.

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#Fromthepass Quail II

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Featured is a roasted quail breast, served with a saffron and chorizo Israeli couscous, tempura confit leg and crispy tapioca crackers

Vusi and Dion decided to play around with Israeli couscous, not something we find on a regular basis, but those large pearls give us endless options. In this versions they cooked it with a vegetables stock, saffron and chorizo oil. Just this alone with a spoon will do for me.
“All the flavours just made sense with quail especial after we added roasted quail carcase to the base of the couscous, the infusion of the game roasted bones just took the balance to another level, the soft textures with the crunchy elements made for a pleasant tasting dish”

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WASTED – Announcement!

Leafy Waste2

Yesterday was a truly special day, so I have replaced this week’s post on kimchi with this short story .
We prepared our first wasted lunch at the chefs table yesterday, with all the dishes prepared from rejected, wasted and shunned produce. Five courses of pure genius from my team. I think the most important message is that nothing was new, but the level of respect for the ingredient was evident, food has become cheap and we have forgotten how to use everything, forgotten how to cook like we should, everyone can take the best parts and be creative. But the unwanted always suffer. With the menu we served some homemade kombucha and pineapple cordial. We started the lunch with “all things crispy “ from leaves to skin and tendons served with whipped beef fat flavoured with mushroom powder. The next course was made up with using the outer leaves from lettuce to make a cold soup served with charred leek picked from the greener parts. The fish course was beautiful and fresh, a tartare of trout scraped and removed from all the bones with a tempura of confit trout removed from the collar finished with a pickled lemon skin salsa.
The chicken course should read carcase and spaghetti, but what we served was a parcel made from blended spaghetti made into a dough filled with meat from the roasted carcase in a chicken veloute. With some crispy bits skins from chicken skin and parmesan skin.
Dessert was simply orange rind that essentially was made into a marmalade and then turned into a ice cream served on a croissant pudding.
Look out for a truly remarkable experience at our chef’s table only on Saturdays for lunch where we will be showcasing a wasted menu and sharing experiences and stories from and in our kitchen.

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Celebrating Peanut Butter

Rice Paper wraps

Rice Paper Wraps With Peanut Sauce

To celebrate peanut butter day tomorrow, how about a peanut sauce or also known as satay sauce.
My first taste of peanut sauce, I was working at the Hyatt the recipe was made up of blended toasted peanuts, garlic, onion, ginger, soya and coconut milk and pineapple juice. I could drink the stuff. Later while traveling to Indonesia I tasted my first peanut sauce on foreign soil, this breaks the mould of everything that was tasted before. With multiple different recipes each slightly different depending if from Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia or Thailand.
Served with satays/sate made with chicken, beef or pork. But for the pool menu we serve rice paper wraps with or with out prawn with mint and coriander. The sauce make is a influence from all South Asian Countries.
It is also not needed to use whole toasted peanuts, as we celebrate peanut butter, it is not only good for a sandwich, but as a cheat in a sauce it will also do the trick. It must just have a balance of sweet, sour and spice. We add lime leaves as well as tamarind to give it that extra kick.

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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

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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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