Rudi’s Section

Mothers Day in Oasis

Sunday Roast

Sunday Roast In Oasis

Give mother the day off, this Sunday at the Oasis buffet we have almost everything needed to make sure mom, gran do not have to lift a finger, catering for all tastes. Starting with a cold buffet that has fresh oysters, prawns, smoked salmon and sushi. The salad selection is vast with lots including options to create one own Caesar with excess the way one normally would. Mediterranean mezze, tarts and charcuterrie for all tastes.
On the hot buffet we have the essential fix with Yorkshire pudding with that all time Sunday favourite, Mike Maliti’s oxtail, with roast lamb and beef, to make sure we leave very little for dessert. And if there is space waffles with ice cream or strawberry pavlova.
And if you must some warm malva pudding with some more ice cream to round the afternoon off. or 021 483 1948

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Greek Style Roast Leg of Lamb

Lamb leg

Greek Style Roast Leg Of Lamb, Photo Credit

This recipe is done by Chef Jaco who has been with me for many years, currently looking after the Banqueting operation at the hotel. What makes this recipe great the lemon and tomato, giving the lamb that smack for more. We prefer removing the lamb from refrigerator a hour before roasting to bring to room temperature. Adding more garlic is optional and advised. This Recipe was first published as part of an Easter recipe compilation for crushmag-online

Basting Sauce
5 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
salt & black pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano
juice of 4-6 lemons
250 ml olive oil
6 tomatoes, grated

2-2.5 kg leg of lamb
5 cloves garlic, sliced into quarters
15-20 sprigs rosemary
mirepoix (1 large onion, 1 large carrot, 2 sticks celery, 1 leek cleaned and sliced)
3 tomatoes, diced
10-12 baby potatoes
250 ml water

Preheat the oven to 180 °C

While the oven is preheating make the basting sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside until ready to use.

Turn the heat down to 165 °C.

Make small incisions in the flesh of the lamb on both sides. Insert the garlic slices into the incisions.
Season the lamb leg well with salt, pepper and baste.
Place the leg of lamb on a bed of rosemary, the mirepoix and the diced tomato. Roast for 1.5 hours, turning and basting the lamb every half hour.

Scatter the baby potatoes around the lamb and pour in the water. Add a little more water if it becomes too dry.
Finish at 190 °C for about 20 minutes. If you enjoy your lamb a little extra well done, cook for an additional half hour.

When the lamb is cooked, remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-12 minutes before carving.

Photo Credit

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Aioli Three Ways


Garlic, gift from the Gods

Aioli is simply an emulsion, similar to a mayonnaise made up of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and egg yolks. Recipes may differ from one to the next with the amount of garlic used. Some recipes may include mustard or part vegetable oil, even bread.
In some similar sauces egg is omitted as in the Catalan Allioli using only a pestle and mortar with only garlic and olive oil made slowly drop by drop. Another similar sauce called skordalia is made with potato, olive oil, garlic and vinegar.
Previously I featured aioli with a picture of Le grand Aioli featuring boiled or steamed fish, egg, potatoes and vegetables all prepared in the simplest manner served warm or at room temperature with lots of aioli.
So this time I received a sample of some garlic from a supplier growing 15 varietals, so we were wondering what garlic is the best for an aioli? Up to now we have always been at the mercy of the supplier, they give us what they have. Choosing a varietal has never really been an option.
I have been aware in limited experience of a Softneck (silverskin and artichoke), hardneck (racambole, porcelain and purple stripe) and the very large garlic, elephant garlic.

I was given four different garlic cloves each very different, Tuscan a Turban variety from Italy with a medium strength with large and fat cloves. Second one a Persian Star, Purple stripe variety from Uzbekistan a mild but spicy garlic
Third a Purple Glazer – Glazed purple stripe variety from Georgia a strong long lasting flavour.
Fourth, Rose Lautrec Creole variety from France Sweet and subtle.

I personally do not like a garlic that is to spicy in aioli, preferring a mild to sweet garlic.

I have added two more recipes to the blog, one using no egg and one that is great for vegans
The milk emulsion was introduced years ago by very good friend of mine, at the time I did not believe him. But admittedly a high speed blender does make it possible.
Milk emulsion (egg free milk garlic emulsion)
This is so easy so quick, milk, garlic, lemon, olive oil and yes a stick blender.

1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp lemon juice (assists with the thickness)
little zest
2 garlic cloves
dijon mustard optional
salt and pepper to taste
125 ml vegetable oil
75 ml olive oil
in a deep measuring jug add milk, garlic, lemon and mustard, with a stick blender start off slowly and increase speed, when everything is combined add oily slowly, adjust seasoning.
For a milder aioli use mashed roasted garlic.

Vegan Nut Aioli
100g cashew cheese
20g pine nuts soaked
8 small garlic cloves roasted and skinned
20m lemon juice
1/8 tsp fine rind
White pepper
2 tsp mustard dijon
50ml olive oil

Combine all ingredients, place in blender until creamy.

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Rejected Canapés

We had an opportunity to show and tell a large group of people this week, so for the group of 30, we did a selection of canapés showcasing 14 potential ideas around saving and working smart. What made this event interesting, was my chef’s and their contribution, thinking outside the box.

They pushed past the normal ideas and I was kind of stunned by the creative thinking. It once again highlighted how much of what we do daily must be integrated into a menu or a recipe. We have become so obsessed with perfect loins and cuts that we lost focus on the whole. During the discussion I brought up seconds and thirds during harvesting, often the best or the firsts are always in demand and are seldom a problem to sell, the challenge comes in in selling the tomato with a blemish. Often organic well looked after vegetables are picked at the right time when it is ready to eat and not while still unripe, like in many cases shops sell items that have been picked two weeks before it should have been. With picking at the right time many items ripen past the best, but are still good for certain applications, this would be considered thirds, it is at this point that waste is found, many will not touch, this sector must be looked at a it holds possibilities not just on menu’s but for the hungry. But more on this at a later stage.

But for our lunch we presented canapés some of these concepts for the event included crispy lamb fat and celeriac skin remoulade rolled in biltong dust, Cauliflower leaf latke with trout tartare, tomato ciabatta tortelloni, spinach stalk pakora and smoked trout belly rillettes. It must be said that we use waste in recipes in conjunction with ingredients in our recipes. We will be investigating and exploring some of these recipes at a later stage.

My personal highlights was the tortelloni, bread is so underestimated, underappreciated and just gets a bad wrap because of gluten. Get over all of that and its use and application becomes far more than a sandwich or a bread crumb. We often add toasted bread crumbs with anchovy to spaghetti, which is totally divine. In this application we combined skins from tomato and peppers, stale ciabatta, wine, olive oil that is cooked down before adding off cuts parmesan for the filling.

Cook the tortellini and toss it in butter or even better burnt butter with sage(stalks).

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WASTED 6 – Time!

Everyday we juice boxes and bags of oranges for fresh orange juice, we then throw away all the juiced oranges. On the other side of the kitchen we serve morning and afternoon tea and lots of it. It is missing something unique. Homemade goodness!
Cannot believe it took us this long to figure it out. But the first trial by Chef Jaco was snapped up by Craig our pastry chef for the cheese boards. The thinking was to make a marmalade for the scones and the preserve for the cheese boards.
But after tasting the orange preserve we all decided that it will work fantastically on the scones with clotted cream. The biggest challenge in making this preserve is time, and more time as the oranges are cooked multiple times in fresh water to remove the bitterness. The result is unique as the skins are soft, very soft and easy to apply.
We still have a lot of skins, we need to consider other applications, orange salt, candied oranges and marmalade.
With the shortage of water, we will have to cut one or two steps.

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Finding Burger Part 14! Southern Fried.

Chicken burger

Photo Credit –

If it has to be chicken then I would do a Southern fried chicken, mincing chicken for a burger just does not seem right. A couple of months ago we did a burger shoot with Crush on line. I this shoot we covered various options from fish to chicken to vegetarian.
There is something to fried food on a bun, like Gatsby with fried fish and chips on a bun, or a po’ boy sandwich. The same goes for fried chicken it just tastes so much better no matter how bad it sounds.
At the hotel we offer these in miniature slider versions with a little coleslaw and aioli.
In the picture we added grilled pineapple, coleslaw, pickles and chili aioli (because chili makes everything ok)

Recipe does contain some extra steps, but so worth it
600g de-boned chicken thigh or chicken breast if using breast cut into two thinner pieces in length. This is a lot of ingredients but well worth the effort

Cream Mix
600ml buttermilk
6 ea garlic cloves
1 small chili
1 ea spring onion sliced
¼ tsp Black pepper
1 ½ tsp White pepper
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp chili powder
2-4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander root included
1 tsp chopped thyme

Salt as needed

Flour (for dusting)
200g Flour
1 tsp Salt(to taste)
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp celery salt (optional)
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)

Oil for deep frying
Pour cream and eggs together into a deep cup and blend with a stick blender.
Add garlic, coriander leaves, paprika, salt pepper, fresh chilies continue to blend.
Add portioned chicken to the egg and cream mixture.
Leave over night before use.

Combine sifted flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne.
Dip egg drenched chicken pieces into flour mix. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before frying.
Into a deep fryer.
Fry until golden brown, if the pieces are very large finish in the oven.

For Burger Assembly

1 cup shredded ice berg lettuce
1 cup coleslaw
2 large pickled gherkins sliced thinly
Chili aioli
100g shaved pine apple grilled
4 ea sesame buns
Butter for buns to toast

Butter each bun top and bottom and toast in pan or grill until warmed trough and crispy.
On each base sprinkle a shredded lettuce followed by a spoon full of coleslaw.
Top with fried chicken followed by pineapple and sliced gherkins.
Drizzle some ranch dressing on top of everything, finishing with top of bun.

Photo Credit –

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WASTED 5 – Bin to Table, the fight


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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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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Roasted Carrot w Confit Onions


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

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
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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Wasted 4 – Fashionably Rejected


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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