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

IMG_6636

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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#fromthepass – Grilled springbok loin

CT Springbok

Chakalaka basted Swiss chard and grilled, morogo puree, braised pulled shank brinjal parcel, steamed brinjal rubbed with morogo puree and baked
Although we have always enjoyed springbok on menu in some shape or form, this popular chefs table dish is a combination of South African flavours and ingredients that comes from Dion’s inspiration eating from venders out side of huge factories in Jozi (pap, smilies (sheep head), morogo and chakalaka)”I still go and catch a lunch every chance I get when I’m in Jozi “

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Roast Turkey With Bacon and Apple Stuffing

Turkey

Photo Credit www.crushmag-online.com

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

Gravy
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.
Gravy
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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Octopus on a blue plate

Octopus on blue plate

Octopus with a spek-boom salsa

Dion’s description of his run next to the ocean brought this blue plate to life, with foam that occurs when the waves hit the side of the rocks and the aroma that lifts from the seaweed smashing on the rocks. “I pictured the octopus shying away in between those rocks and the tentacles just peeping out, I could taste the saltiness from the ocean water, which inspired the speckboom salsa verde, giving homage to the octopus and putting it back into its natural environment”

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Restaurant Week, 5 YEAR Anniversary 2017 Winners edition.

Restaurant Week, 5 YEAR Anniversary 2017 Winners edition Extension. From 23 November to 3 December. Based on the votes from the public on the quality of the menu/value for money, the service and ambience during this culinary event. The top 10 Winners are taking part in this extension of restaurant week, giving dinners an opportunity to visit their favourite spots again. So we are in great company with Greenhouse, Ben Wei, Myoga, Dash, Lou Lou’s, Reuben’s, The Stack, The 41 and Spice on Main.

Reservations start on 11 November

Menu will remain the same with Starters, Beef carpaccio with twist, we have added some extra beefy bits with crispy fried beef tendons and pulled oxtail fried in a pokora batter served with a spiced chick pea puree.
For the main course we are serving a poached sea bass with coal cooked potatoes and a mussel velouté, with seaweed and grilled tender stem broccoli.
and to finish we have combined a couple of interesting flavours with popcorn, miso, Tonka beans and sencha tea

R400 per person, for more information go online at http://www.restaurantweek.co.za

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DUCK CONFIT

Duck Confit Neville Lockhart Photography

Duck Confit
Neville Lockhart Photography

Yield: 4
Soon to feature again in the lounge, firm favourite amongst the chefs in the kitchen, confit translates into preserved and is a simple process.
Basically it is meat poached in fat and preserved in the same fat it was poached in.
In olden times it was required and a necessity preserve and cook meat in such away, as fridges were not available, but in today’s time it has become an integral part of food and cuisine.
We serve the confit with bean or lentil cassoulet and a root vegetable puree like celeriac.

INGREDIENTS
4 ea large duck leg and thigh (180 -200g each)
+/- 50g course rock salt
1 tbsp crushed black pepper corns
6 cloves peeled garlic sliced thinly or crushed
5 bay leaves crushed
5 sprigs thyme picked
1 orange rind
star anise, cloves and coriander seeds as needed
800g duck fat

METHOD

In a tray distribute half the ingredients
Place legs on salt fat side facing down .
Distribute the remaining salt mix on top of duck.
Leave to marinade covered for 8 – 12 hours.

Wash off the salt and dry with paper towel.
Place the duck legs in a sauce pan or an oven dish.
Cover with the duck fat and cook for 4 – 6 hours in a preheated oven (82-92°C) can cook longer if required. Over cooking makes it mushy so be careful.
Ensure that you do not go over the set temperature the fat must be kept under a simmer.
If you are not using the duck immediately leave in the fat till required.
Remove duck when required
Place in pan and fry no need to add other oil it should take about 5 minutes depending on the size.
Finish in oven if needed.
It important to remember the fat on the duck must be crispy.
Drizzle with a little red wine vinegar before serving

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CURRIED DUCK EGG

Curried Duck Egg

Curried Duck Egg

We have always featured egg in some form or the other, it is after all the perfect meal. Recently I discovered a wonderful new supplier (Feed Me Free Range Products) situated just below Sir Lowry’s Pass with beautiful chickens, ducks and goose lying in the fields basking in the sun. Lou passed on some duck eggs to try, so I could not resist one of my favourites.

As curry and egg belong together, we decided to cook the duck egg at a low temperature, 63.3 C for one hour, at the base we placed a lentil dhall. Accompanied by a sweet and sour curry sauce, mango atchar, poppadoms and charred potatoes.

Photo credit – www.crushmag-online.com 

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CHICKEN & MUSHROOM PIE

Chicken Pie www.crushmag-online.com

Chicken Pie www.crushmag-online.com

INGREDIENTS
500g shortcrust pastry or puff pastry
50ml egg wash

Chicken
1 whole large chicken
1 onion cut rough
1 celery stalk
1 leek
2 bay leaf
2 cloves
1 litter chicken stock

Filling
600g Shredded chicken from whole chicken
400g Chicken sauce

Chicken sauce

600ml chicken stock
45g Butter
45g flour
60g onion diced
60g carrot diced
60g celery diced
200g Sliced mushroom
3 sprig thyme
1 small chillies
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cloves garlic

METHOD
The recipe seems complicated but it is very simple, if pastry is not your thing buy some puff pastry.
As for the filling it is not necessary to use whole cooked chicken, roast or cooked cubed chicken will also work.
In this recipe we have shredded cooked chicken.
Depending on how moist you like your pie I would depend on the amount of sauce added to chicken.

Chicken
Place all together in a pot bring to a gentle simmer for 1 hour, remove chicken when cooked and allow to cool, continue cooking stock for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove meat from bone and shred into small pieces and set aside.
Sauce

Heat butter in thick bottomed sauce pan
Saute onion with carrot and celery with thyme and garlic.
Add sauteed mushroom.
Dust with flour and add stock
Continue to cook until flour is cooked out
Cool and combine when cool.

To make pie
Fill shallow 25-28cm shallow oven proof ceramic dish with chicken filling

Roll dough out to 2 – 3mm thickness on a floured surface
cut into thick strips 2.5 cm
lattice over pie
Brush with egg wash
Bake for 35 -40minutes at 185C until golden brown

Pastry
460g flour
pinch of salt
240g butter
30ml water
50ml egg wash
On a clean surface place flour add butter to the centre with water and salt and start rubbing the butter and flour together, knead into a smooth dough. Rest until needed. Roll out to about 2-3mm thickness with a 12cm diameter.

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Peri Peri Liver Gatsby

Rudi Heritage7

Peri Peri liver Gatsby Photo credit – www.crushmag-online.com

TITLE: Chicken Liver Peri Peri Gatsby
Yield: 4 portions
A couple of years ago I did a post on peri-peri livers, I have used the same recipe, this was also posted on crush on line awhile ago. This is my favourite way to pig out, with fries, mayo on a bun.

INGREDIENTS
400g Chicken livers cleaned and soaked in milk for one hour
120g Seasoned flour (salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, chilli powder) optional

60ml Peri-Peri oil
60ml Butter
200g Onions chopped
6 ea Garlic cloves crushed
100 ml White wine
80ml White wine vinegar
2 ea Bay leaf
6 Thyme sprig
1 Clove
8ea Chili
80ml Peri-Peri oil
1 ea Lemon juice
2 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tsp Paprika
1.2 kg Tomatoes chopped
20 -30ml Tomato paste
10 -20ml Worcestershire sauce
250ml Chicken stock
Chopped parsley as needed

150 ml sour cream optional

METHOD

For the seasoned flour I have left it to the individuals discretion’s, I prefer adding a little more spice than the usual, for a cup of flour 1 tbsp of seasoning should be sufficient. You also do not have to dust the livers in the flour mixture.
If using livers that have been dusted in seasoned flour and fried it will make the sauce very thick when finishing off. This is optional. You can cook livers and just cover livers in sauce as well as an option
Clean livers and soak in milk for 1 hour, drain and pat dry.
Cut into half, and fry in Peri-Peri oil and butter do not over crowd pan and do in batches must be under cooked. Place one side until needed to finish.
For the sauce heat peri peri oil and sauté onions, garlic, chilli, bay leaf with clove. Cook over a moderate heat for about three minutes. De glaze with wine and vinegar, add tomatoes, tomato paste and remaining spices.
Cook out tomatoes, this should take about 40 -50 minutes and reduce sauce. Blend with a stick blender to a smooth sauce, this is optional.
Adjust seasoning and add Worcestershire sauce.
Add livers and cook through ensuring that it is not over cooked, livers still need to be a little pink on the inside.
Add chopped parsley and serve.
If cream is used add after tomatoes have been cooked out, simmer for an extra 5-10 minutes before adding livers.
Two baguettes or four foot long rolls

2 tomatoes sliced thinly
2 baby gem lettuce cleaned and washed or ice berg lettuce
100 ml mayonnaise
400g potato fries

Toast rolls
Butter rolls
Season tomato and lay on roll topped with lettuce
Top with livers
Top with fries
Add mayonnaise
Top on and serve

Photo credit – www.crushmag-online.com

 

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The Chef’s Table

CT

Chefs table

We have been working for some time now developing our own little personality. Now this would not be possible if we did not have a great team in the scene, we have become more established. Dishes have developed that are a very part of our soul. These dishes are important as it is very much what we enjoy eating and sharing.

I cannot remember when last I saw a group of young chefs so inspired, creative and proud. As we progressed through the year we have established some dishes that keep on returning, some the same, some rearranged and reincarnated as something new or polished. It is not uncommon to find menu items true to our own heritage from curry to springbok, konfyt to samp and beans.

Nothing has really changed in the last year except the confidence with witch each young chef approaches the table. The pride they show. Dion has converted the team into a great tour de force.

One of these dishes that is a true reflection of our kitchen and our process, is a beautiful compilation of things we enjoy, not only from a visual point of view but rather from a process. The beauty is in the beef from Angus, a true friend from the start. With smoked marrow, homemade shiraz drenched bresaola and crispy fried biltong dusted beef tendons served with most luxurious beef oxtail croquettes. With some crispy bits of onion and celeriac puree.

It does taste like more, it is not anything new. But when you sit inside the kitchen and you look up at the big red wall with all the quotes and you read “a carrot is not just a carrot” We are reminded that the ingredient is the master.

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