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Finding Burger Part 16, It has happened again!

Months went by where we had no problems, brisket and chuck came from two suppliers. The product was consistent, we became complacent and confident. Then it struck again, that pink burger as we made the burgers fresh how was this possible, and off course the only people that picked it up was the guests eating well done burgers. We even blamed seasonality and the grass.
I spoke to a good friend and through our conversation he mentioned that if a butcher used nitrates in their shop certain cross contamination could occur. That had to be it, the problem is that both sources are too ethical, too honest and we had scrap that idea.
We went back to the drawing board removing everything, making burgers with no salt, only parsley and only mustard. Results after two days of allowing the burger to stand was a little annoying as the salt seemed like the culprit. The question I had is, how much nitrates are present in salt, does it make a difference if the salt is sea salt or not?
Some vegetables like celery, beetroot, cabbage, some root vegetables and parsley all contain a percentage of nitrate. Sea salt contains a percentage of nitrate, be it very small amounts. When nitrates are exposed to certain types of bacteria the nitrate is converted into nitrite. This reaction is similar in characteristic to traditional cured meat products.
All of this meant that we have to relook the recipe for the guests wanting a well done “’bloody pink”burger.
The problem has been solved for now.

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Trout
Poached sea trout
Ocean greens, spekboom and sea asparagus salsa verde, lime air, cucumber flowers, cucumber oil
Inspired by flavors of the ocean due to the leaves that we recently got as samples from wild peacock, we have been asking and searching for a long time.
“the oyster leaf and ice leaf simply played mind games when tasting them, they literally taste like the ocean, it was evident that the sea trout would best suite these beautiful greens, the cucumber flowers are like micro cucumbers with bold cucumber essence a light burst of acid with this bitter sweet under tone makes for a perfect marriage for the trout”

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CHICKPEA & BRUSSEL SPROUT SALAD w A LEMON & MINT YOGHURT

IMG_6914 (1)

Serves 4

Ingredients
300g Chickpeas cooked
150g Brussel sprouts cut into half
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Cumin
2 Cloves garlic chopped fine
30ml olive oil
30ml honey
20ml Cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

50g kale fired crispy to finish
200g Lemon and mint yoghurt

Method
Preheat oven to 180
Combine all ingredients in a bowl mix and place in baking tray.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes.
Allow to cool place bowl with yoghurt in centre of salad with crispy fried kale on top.

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#From The Pass – Autumn Squash Salad

Autumn Squash Salad for Ouma

Autumn Squash Salad

We have used squash in various salads over the years, mostly marrow and patty pans. Last year Dion started playing with more squashy ideas from charred squash to risotto and lots of salads. “In it’s young form during the end on summer into Autumn they are so wonderful they have this natural sweet, gentle sour and bitter under tone, so we decided to shave them dressed with a touch of olive oil, lemon juice and maldon salt” Then Rameez in larder chirps, that in needed some heritage. “So I turn to Rameez and ask him to make me those pumpkin cookies that his ouma used to make for him during his younger days” So they make a puree with those exact flavours with out adding eggs or dairy, later on adding some crunchy textures like freshly toasted nuts, seeds, coconut, and goji berries. “So the end result was this pumpkin puree at the base of the bowl with the dressed shaved squash and this crunch mix scattered on top, we tasted it and almost could not believe that the dish was vegan, it reminded us all of our oumas pampoen koekies.

 

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Crushed chickpea & lentil salad with bulgur wheat

Chickpea and lentil

Almost like a tabbouleh but with crushed chickpeas, lentils and seeds

(Will serve 6)
100g cracked wheat cooked
100g crushed cooked chickpeas
50g cooked lentils
30g sunflower seeds
30g pumpkin seeds
20g sesame seeds toasted
2 bunches flat leaf parsley (40g)
2 bunch mint (30g)
4 spring onions
250g cocktail tomatoes cut into quarters
120ml lemon juice
100ml olive oil
½ clove garlic crushed
¼ tsp lemon rind
Seasoning salt and pepper
METHOD

Wash and chop parsley (optional can be kept whole)
Wash and chop mint (optional can be kept whole)
¼ Cocktail tomato
Combine

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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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