Crush 52


Our contributions in Crush 52 reinvents retro… We took four recipes and gave them a complete make over – and who doesn’t love a great make over! Retro will always be cool – so this challenge was a dream brief to chef Rudi and his team.

A reinvention of classics such as Aubergine Savarin, a Mushroom Pastry Sandwich, Chicken Kiev and Chilly Con Carne in Chef Rudi’s kitchen. The recipes are online for you to try at home.








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Snoek Fritters

Snoek fritters

Snoek Fritters

This is one of those recipes that came together because we needed a bar snack that was fish related, but at the same time highlighted a little of the Western Cape. We combined everything that was good about snoek. It loved chili but it also loved sweet potato, it loved garlic, snoek also loved apricot, butter loved snoek, lemon loved snoek. Combine the butter, apricot jam, lemon, garlic and chili baste on a hot fire and it is the making of a great relationship. As the fish caramelizes with the help of the sugar from the apricot jam with the burnt butter causing the smokiness in the fire, do not be tempted to turn the fish to early ……allow it to have colour. Finish with skin side on fire. This is where all the fun starts, the temptation not to finish the fish before being flaked.

Yield: 20 ea


190g roasted sweet potato/potato (mashed)
1 spring onions
10g parsley chopped
10g chervil chopped
5g coriander chopped
7g oregano chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 eggs
¼ cup bread crumbs (little less)

¼ chopped onion
30 g chopped apricots dried
1 chillies de-seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
¼ tsp lemon and lime zest
10g butter
5ml olive oil

220g snoek (cooked basted and flaked

(basting for snoek)
50 ml apricot jam
1 chilli chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 lemons juiced
50g butter

For basting bring all ingredients to boil and remove from heat.
Open snoek and baste, place under salamander, cook and baste until cooked through
when cool flake and remove all the bones, do this while fish is still warm.

Cook onions, apricots, garlic and chilli. Allow to cool add to flaked fish

Combine potato, eggs, crumbs, snoek, onion mix, spring onions, and herbs. Adjust seasoning.

Shape and dust in flour before deep frying.

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Makes about 12 ring doughnuts and 6 jam doughnuts


500g cake flour

2ml (½ tsp) salt

10g (1 sachet) dry yeast

60g sugar

210ml lukewarm milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2.5ml (½ tsp) finely grated lemon zest

2.5ml (½ tsp) vanilla essence

60ml (¼ cup) sunflower or canola oil, plus extra for deep-frying

Apricot jam, for filling

Caster sugar, for dusting


Mix the flour, salt, yeast and sugar together. Add the warmed milk to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla essence. Gradually add the oil, beating until well combined. Knead until it forms a ball.

Wrap in plastic or place in a covered container and leave to rise for about 40 minutes, until doubled in size.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1cm thickness. Cut into rings using an 8cm round cutter. Cut out the centre of each ring with a 3.5cm round cutter. Cover and let rise for a further 20 minutes or until doubled in size.

Roll the centre cut-outs into 6 balls (combining 2 cut-outs to form each ball) and deep fry in hot oil. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Heat clean oil (to 180°C if you have a deep-fryer) and deep-fry the “holey” doughnuts until golden. Remove and drain. Allow to cool, then pipe jam into the small doughnuts and dust all the doughnuts with caster sugar.


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Irish Stew


Irish stew

WHETHER or not you can trace a few roots back to Ireland, this rich, robust Irish classic will please any family.


1.5kg cubed lamb (from neck, shin or shoulder)

Water, to cover

1 bouquet garni (muslin sachet containing parsley, thyme and bay leaf)

300g onions, chopped

180g leeks, chopped

50g celery, chopped (optional)

90g turnips, peeled and cubed

250g carrots, cubed

400g potatoes, peeled and cubed

500ml (2 cups) lamb or beef stock

75g cabbage, shredded

Small bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Worcestershire sauce, to taste


Place the lamb in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then drain and rinse the lamb. (I like adding the bones to this initial cooking process for flavour, then removing them.)

Return the rinsed lamb cubes to the pot with the bouquet garni, onions, leeks, celery, turnips, carrots and 50g potatoes.

Pour over the stock, add enough water to cover all the ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, regularly skimming off any foam and fat from the surface. Add the remaining potatoes and continue cooking for about 25 minutes.

Remove the bouquet garni and stir in the cabbage and parsley. Season to taste and add Worcestershire sauce, according to your preference. Serve hot with soda bread or a nice country loaf. And a pint of Guinness, of course.

Published in Sunday Times 2012 


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I love eating and it is because of all fond food memories that I continue to enjoy food above making or cooking it, no ingredient has left such a deep impression like this fruit. From early childhood memories, enjoying grandma Dennie’s brinjal breyani, I remember every little detail up to the table cloth in her small Berea flat. My first vegan meal with brinjal and peanuts at the Hare Krishna house in Hillbrow, the aubergine  chutney served with the Flying Boar Burger by Wynand van Rooyen. My first outside catering function where we served fried egg plants. Every time I make salad at home it ends up having brinjal in it, and my daughter loves me for this.

How can I forget, two years ago while travelling through Malaysia on the Eastern Oriental Express en route to Singapore, we had just passed the River Kwai when lunch was served, a fiery Thai chicken curry with the tiniest little brinjal (makhuea pro).

As a young executive chef one of my first gourmet wine evenings working at the Parktonian hotel in Braamfontein, I got this amazing recipe from Art Culinaire, a pressed vegetable terrine with layers of delicately cooked vegetables, each flavoured to perfection then brought together in one moment with grilled brinjal, slow roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers. It was so simple but at the same time it was complex.

Call them what you want…… they are amazing, my new favourite baked with miso, so unbelievable!

If eaten raw it has a bitter taste, but once cooked it becomes a vessel that works with so many applications absorbing and highlighting the richness, as Fortunato Mazzone makes his “parmigiana di melanzane”, fried and baked with tomato and Parmesan, this is a recipe that is worth killing for.

Moussaka, Ratatouille, Baba Ghanoush, İmam bayildi, Caponata. It is clear that it is an important part of any vegans and vegetarians diet and it is clear to see why. Even dried brinjal that is seasoned with vinegar, salt, coriander and pepper then dried to look like biltong sticks.

Greatest thing about a brinjal is that it is available all year round, original word brinjal derived from Portuguese name beringela. Derived from the Arabic term badinjan. The French transformed it to Aubergine. Called egg plant when introduced to Europe and America because of the common variety grown resembled hen’s egg.

So call it what you want melanzana, garden egg, patlican, brinjal, egg plant, aubergine, badnijan

Baba Ghanoush (Egg plant dip)

4 ea large Brinjal
2 tbsp parsley chopped
2 tbsp mint chopped or chiffonade
4 Garlic cloves roasted and 1 raw chopped crushed fine

30ml lemon juice and 1/2  tsp lemon zest
2 – 3tbsp / 20-30ml tahini
40 ml olive oil
salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp sesame toasted

Prick the aubergines with a fork.
Grill the aubergines on an open flame grill until charred. Brinjal will be soft. This will take a good 20 minutes.
Allow to cool and remove pulp and chop fine
Combine garlic, zest, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil and pepper.
Combine the flesh with garlic mixture, parsley and mint.
Adjust seasoning and serve.

If you prefer a more smokey Baba Ghanoush, slice brinjals into thick slices, season rub with olive oil then grill.

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Baby marrow and patty pan salad


Baby Marrow and Patty Pan Salad


100g thinly sliced baby marrows
100g thinly sliced patty pan
5g toasted sunflower seeds
5g toasted sesame seeds

5g pumpkin seeds

10g baby mix leaves

for the dressing:
1/2 cloves garlic
½ tsp ginger
½ chilli
1tsp chopped coriander
½ tsp  dijon mustard
½ tsp  honey
25 ml canola oil

12 ml rice wine vinegar

Juice of ½ lime

little zest
salt and pepper to taste


Finely chop or grate ginger and garlic add chopped coriander and chopped chilli.

Whisk the honey and mustard and add the vinegar add oil slowly to form a dressing.

Add the remaining dressing ingredients and stir.


Assemble the salad by tossing all the ingredients together with the dressing as required.


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Quinoa salad

Quinoa salad 2

Quinoa salad

This easy salad was introduced on to the menu two seasons ago, thinking that we needed to a healthier option for the menu, I was making this at home and it was loosely based on a couscous salad I was making already, which was made up of nuts and seeds so we added some feta and sprouts, grilled chicken and then it remained on the menu ever since.

Quinoa and chicken salad
Yields enough for 6


400g cooked spiced de-boned chicken thigh cubed
156g cooked quinoa red
156g cooked bulgar wheat
156g cooked millet
20g toasted sesame seeds
60g crushed toasted cashew
60g dried cranberries
40g sunflower toasted
30g toasted almonds
40g pumpkin seeds toasted
50g goji berries
40g Dried cranberries
20g Italian parsley
200g Greek feta
30g spring onion
300g granny smith apple cubed skin on
30g mixed sprouts
20g pea shoots

120g basic vinaigrette
10ml Dijon mustard
10ml Honey

Combine basic vinaigrette with honey and mustard
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine with vinaigrette.


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Purple Kohlrabi



Walk in to most convenience stores and try find a kohlrabi, it is not going to happen. Finding this turnip cabbage is hard, but for chefs with friends, yes this would be Steve, it is slightly easier as he grows them almost through out the year.

Great raw, in a stew, soup, puree, baked, roasted and as part of a stir-fry.

Must peel them past the fibrous layer, once peeled a fine julienne works well with partners like apple and carrot. We get them purple as well as green, once peeled, a light yellow slightly green in colour. The young leaves work well in a salad and the older tougher leaves also work fantastically with stews or even as part of a stir-fry. If using them in  a salad they do have a tendency to be on the dry side, so extra moisture is needed in the dressing.

Kohlrabi slaw

2 medium kohlrabi, peeled and trimmed
1 cup shredded cabbage
3 green leaves from kohlrabi washed and finely shredded
1 carrots, grated
1 apple granny smith grated
walnuts crushed as needed

1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp toasted mustard seeds
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 cup mayonnaise (or more, if you prefer)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Chill for several hours before serving.


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Strawberry Jam


Strawberry Jam and scones

Strawberry Jam and scones

Tea is not quite the same with out home made strawberry jam, nothing beats it….maybe homemade apricot jam. We make the jam only for scone service served at tea.

Served with fresh cream or clotted cream. The recipe below is from our pastry chef Craig Hibert

Home-made strawberry Jam (Chef Craig’s Recipe)

Yields 6 bottles (1000g)


3kg Fresh strawberry
2kg Sugar
1 each Vanilla pod
75g Apple pectin
500g Sugar
100g Lemon juice


Take 1kg of the strawberries and blend to a purée
Boil the purée, the remanding strawberries, Vanilla pod and 2kg of sugar for 40min
Whisk to break up
Mix the 500g sugar with the pectin until well combined
Whisk the hot purée with the pectin mix (tip: combine slowly while whisking to stop lumps forming)
Place back on the heat for 20min, stirring every now and then to stop it burn on the bottom
Add the lemon juice and boil for a further 5min
Sterilize the jar by steaming the or boil in boiling water for 15min
Fill the jar and steam for an extra 5min to seal the jar

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Onion and shallots

Back with my friend Steve and this time he manages to sell me the most beautiful shallots and manages to squeeze in a bag of small limes from a neighbours farm which I am dying to use on a ceviche. As the morning conversation with Steve mostly revolved around growing onions, shallots and how he came about growing shallots. I could not help wondering what to cook with them, we have used the banana shallots from Steve for a number of years now, love the way they make our springbok dish shine with sour and sweet notes not mushy but firm and crisp. For years we were not so spoilt being mostly exposed to  yellow onions which  pretty much was used for everything.  So when Wednesday arrived I was so excited when we received our delivery of golden and red shallots.

I must make it clear that if my kitchen does not have onions it is a catastrophe, the world will come to an end, I cannot imagine cooking without onions, it is an essential  seasoning, building block in creating layers of flavour in any dish, just like the addition of spice and stock. Leave it out and the dish will lack the required depth it needs to be complete. Imagine an Indian curry without onion, how will it be possible to create a proper thickness in the sauce?

Shallots form part of the allium family and I find them milder than large onions. They have a great way of bringing flavours together and melt away so beautifully when cooked. They grow in sulphur rich soil in clusters similar to garlic. They are more pricy and they do take a little more effort, but so worth it.

I still wanted to cook something that was only going to make the onion shine, why not make  Slaphakskeetjies with the shallots, I have not cooked this in years, the last time with baby onions. It has been in the back of my mind for months after eating it at Overture, Bertus made me jealous!

Slaphakskeetjies is basically onions in a sweet and sour mustard sauce and very South African. The sour sauce also works well with green beans. Great served at room temperature.

Typically the recipe is straight forward with sugar, vinegar and English mustard. Over the years the recipe I now use has changed a couple of times, I now add a little cayenne pepper and turmeric after trying a recipe from Peter Veldsman from Emily’s.  The sauce is thickened with egg yolk and corn flour.


1.2 kg pickling onions, peeled but kept whole with the base intact. Place in hot water for a couple of minutes this will make them easier to peel.

80ml sugar
15 ml mustard powder
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1½ Tbsp (22.5 ml) corn flour
¼ tsp turmeric
Pinch cayenne
4 egg yolks
1 egg
80ml white wine vinegar
125 ml water
2 bay leaves

100 ml fresh cream (optional, and can be substituted with water)

Place the peeled onions in boiling water, bring back to the boil for 2 minutes, remove and leave in water for about 10 minutes until soft. Drain.

Mix the salt, mustard, half sugar and corn flour together.
Over a double boiler add the eggs and half sugar, whisk over a double boiler until doubles in volume and is nice and thick.
Bring the vinegar and water to boil, make sure corn flour is well incorporated and cooked out.
Temper the egg mixture with a little mustard mixture, before adding all together.
Adjust seasoning
Add the cream
Pour the sauce over the onions and serve .

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