Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Breyani - David Kramer's recipe

I had no idea what to expect. I mean I have had a nibble of his work here and there, but never a complete David Kramer creation, from start to finish. Paired with a glass of Solms Delta Cape Jazz it was a sumptuous evening.

David Kramer and 10 other brilliant preformers lit the concert hall at the baxter on a night of Wine and Theatre (you thought I would say food, didn't yeah) but David Kramer's Breyani recipe requires no rice, or spices, nor chicken or prawns. Still many left the evening bursting at the seems filled with delight (and a glass or 2 of Vastrap or Langarm)

Greeted in the early evening by men in shiney hats, ready to pour happiness into a glass, many milled around chatting, meeting and tweeting (a screen was set up to follow all the tweets) awaiting the presentation of the classic Cape Town dish

David Kramer's Briyani

What you need:
Die Sonskyn Sisters (Ruth Hector and Elspeth Davids) on vocals
Nielen Prinsloo on Blue Grass Banjo
Camillo Lombard on piano accordion
Gammie Lakay on acoustic lead guitar
Donveno Prins on sax
Jacques Steyn plays mandolin and bass
Charlie Rhode on banjo 
Howard Links on banjo and bass
Loukmaan Adams on vocals and ghoema drum
David Kramer to taste

What to do:
Take some David Kramer old favourites, mix in some restrung old folk songs, some tribute songs and a willing stage an audience. Mix for +/- 2 hours and pour out the doors

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sushi for beginners

I am one of those people who wishes the "sushi fad" will pass, I have been wishing this since it started being a fad. Since people started eating sushi with a knife and fork, with salt and pepper. Since people started putting biltong and cream cheese in sushi. What do greek restaurants have to do with sushi exactly? I may be unpopular for my thoughts but so be it. I started eating sushi 15 years ago when it cost a lot less because it was less in demand and I would really like it to stop being a luxury already.

It's not all bad though, while in most places sushi is still stupidly expensive, without it being a fad we wouldn't have great all you can eat specials. Sushi supplies are also a lot more readily available in shops all over the place. So not all bad because it means I get to make sushi.

There are 2 secrets to great sushi. The rice and the fish. The rice needs to be slightly sticky but not mushy and the fish needs to be as fresh as possible. If you have those 2 things right, the rest is all just practice, practice, practice.

I learned by watching sushi chefs when ever possible, for me the videos and "sushi making kit" booklets were just confusing but watching masters at work put it all in perspective. I roll the pieces with my hands then shape with the mat, I find that the easiest. You, however, must do what feels right. Make sure your nori is fresh, if it's not 100% fresh, toast it a little. Fill it with what ever your hear desires and remember to clingwrap your mat.

Sushi rice

What you need:
4 cups sushi rice
4 cups water
1 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt

What to do:
Soak the rice for an hour. Drain then put in a pot with a tight fitting lid and add the 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil, cover and drop to the lowest heat possible. KEEP COVERED, do not lift the lid. Cook for 15 minutes then take off the heat. DO NOT LIFT THE LID! Steam for another 15. 
In the meantime heat up the vinegar with the salt and sugar till everything dissolves. 
When the rice has steamed, you can now take the lid off (no more shouting I promise), pour the rice into a plastic or wooden bowl. Pour the vinegar solution over the rice, dispersing it evenly. Mix the rice using a cutting motion to avoid squishing (yes, squishing is a perfectly acceptable word) the grains.

Allow to cool. 

As for the actual rolling part, that is something you need to see but make sure to make the rice layer thin and don't press the rice down or squish it too much

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"sushi" in a bowl

Monday afternoon, while innocently sitting at work, handing out sushi advice to a friend I received an SMS from the fishmonger across the road. Now before you think there is something fishy going on, I only get them when the tuna comes in. How could I resist, fresh yellowfin tuna (orange on the SASSI list) and after spending so much time explaining to my friend the steps to perfect sushi I had to get it.

Only problem was that it was monday and I am sorry to break the news to you but FISH count as MEAT. When I got home with my tuna I suddenly got paranoid about whether it would stay fresh enough in the fridge to be eaten raw the next day so I decided that marinating was the way to go. I cut 2 steaks from the piece I had and marinaded them in the fridge until the next evening.

Still the sushi idea didn't want to leave so I got to making the rice. however, by the time TheHusband was done with work it was 10pm (I had to go fetch him) and the last thing I wanted to do was roll sushi. So I stopped off at woolies and grabbed some prawns, then fetched TheHusband and hurried home. I coated my tuna in sesame seeds and seared it, stir-fried the prawns with some garlic and spring onions and served it all on a bed of chilled sushi rice with a soya and wasabi mayo sauce.

Sesame crusted seared tuna

What you need (served 2 + leftovers for lunch):
500g fresh tuna
1 tbs hoisin sauce
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tsp honey soy marinade
½ cup water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp wasabi (more if yours isn't strong like mine)
½ cup white sesame
½ cup black sesame

What to do:
Mix all the wet ingredients together making sure the hoisin is dissolved well. Place the tuna steaks in and leave for as long as possible (mine were in there for longer than 24hours). Heat a frying pan nice and hot. Mix your sesame seeds together and coat your steaks on both sides. Pop in the hot pan for about a minute each side (remember SEARED, not COOKED) then remove and allow to rest for a minute or 2 (I stir-fried the prawns in that time). Slice the steaks into chopstick managable sizes :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Meat free Monday - Parmesan Pancakes with Blue cheese mushroom filling

I have another meat free monday post waiting in the wings and while it was super tasty I just couldn't help it and had to post this one first. 

For some unkown reason I decided to browse my old food24 blog, I think I wanted to check when my blogaversary is supposed to happen but I got caught up in reading my old posts. There I found a recipe I really enjoyed and completely forgot about and the cheese-slut in my rejoiced at the find.

What to fill it with though? The first time I served it with a beef stew but I wanted this for meat free monday so narrowed it down to 2 choices. Mushrooms or Cheese

What was I thinking?!?! Some twitter friends put me right and reminded me that I can must combine the two. Things happened, people were late so I had to rush my shopping. 1 box mixed button and wild mushrooms and then for the cheese...what cheese? Originally I wanted to get some ricotta but the cheesegods did not will it so there was none in the shop. First I picked up a block of haloumi, went to get another can of Dr Pepper and decided Haloumi would not work. I went back and had a brainwave while staring at the contents of the cheese fridge. BLUE!! I grabbed a triangle of the strong and creamy cheese and I was ready for a Meat Free Feast

Wholewheat parmesan pancakes with a mushroom and blue cheese filling

What you need (feeds 2): 
For the mushrooms:
1 box mixed mushrooms, chopped but not finely (or any mushrooms)
1 triangle blue cheese (I used Blue Rock from Fairview)
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

For the pancakes
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups milk
4 jumbo eggs
1 cup parmesan, grated (or to taste)
Olive oil

What to do:
Suatee the onions and garlic in some olive oil till they start to brown. Throw in the mushrooms and stir fry until that lovely smell of cooked mushrooms wafts from your pan (I used a wok) and the mushrooms are about ½ the size. Crumble in the blue cheese and lower the heat so it melts slowly, then pour in the milk and simmer till it all thickens up.

In the meantime mix all your pancake ingredients until smooth, the batter must be slightly watery so if needed add more milk. Heat up a pan nice and hot and coat with olive oil (I pour in a little oil then use a kitchen towel to spread it evenly). Pour enough of the mixture in to make a nice size pancake and swirl around the pan to spread it evenly. When holes appear on the top and don't close up, loosen the ends and flip over. Repeat as needed.

To assemble: 
Pop a pancake on a plate. Put some of the mushroom mix on the one side, then roll that side over, fold up the 2 ends and roll again till the end.

Suggestion: Add some chillies or mix up some herbs for more complex flavours 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcake Course for Noah

To find out more about Noah go here
If you want to sign up, email me on goldenangel [at] gmail [dot] com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hummus Im Bassar and Happy Birthday to TheHusband

3 posts in 1 week, incredible! Ok so one of them was to announce this month's sushi club but still, more than usual.

Now my husband is the kind of man who eats because it's food. He appreciates fine food but he isn't likely to mmmmmm and aaaaaaa and smile from ear to ear with a glint in his eye when tasting some something delightful (guess who does?).‡ So knowing his favourite food is a big thing. when he asks for something by name it's even bigger.

Luckily on Sunday he mentioned wanting honey poached pairs, he said it like he didn't think I could do it...hahaha. That coupled with knowing he loved a popular middle eastern dish made his birthday menu easy:
I have no idea if there grammar here is right, please don't kill me
Hummus im Basar 

followed by honey poached pears

Hummus Im Basar:
By now you are probably dying to know what that means (or not, but I will tell you anyway), it translates to "Hummus with Meat" but what it means when you order it at a restaurant in Israel is A plate full of hummus, topped with fragrant minced, or finely chopped, lamb garnished with paprika, olive oil, whole chickpeas and roasted pine nuts. Add to that some warm pita breads, pickles and salad and you have a hearty, healthy and very very filling meal.

The trick to a good Hummus im Basar is the spices. Loads of cummin and paprika, a bit of a cayene pepper kick (in hebrew we call it "hot paprika") salt and pepper. Obviously you need to find the right balance, too much cummin and it will be sour, too little and well it won't really taste right.

This is why I love my mom's Kenwood chef
I minced my own lamb but if you can find it already minced you can go for it. Much like chicken I preffer mincing my own and I can control how fine it's minced. This dish works better with courser mince.
You can learn more about the process of putting food together in a pleasing way by attending California culinary schools.


I admit, there are a lot of really good premade hummus and tahina options, we love to get those done by Salad Valley and Picante but for this dish, make your own. The only shortcut I will allow you to take (because I did) is using tinned chickpeas but trust me if you have (we discovered on sunday night that we had ½ a cup left) dried chickpeas, soak them and boil them yourself, you CAN taste the difference.

To make hummus:
Blend chickpeas with some tahini paste, water to loosen, salt and pepper to taste and garlic to your heart's desire. 

To make tahina:
You don't even need a food processor for this one, so no excuses. Mix together tahini paste with some water, a little bit at a time till the colour changes and it becomes runny, add some lemon juice and garlic to taste and then some salt to finish it off

Don't skimp, every flavour in this dish is important, use a GOOD olive oil, something peppery, both when cooking your meat (high heat, fast cooking, don't boil the lamb) and when serving the dish. The olive oil that comes out of the Arab villages in Israel is something special, cloudy and peppery but fresh at the same time. One day I will learn the secret and then bring it home to make all your lives that much richer.

Tip: to warm your pita breads without drying them up, first heat up your oven till it's nice an hot then turn it off. Pop the pita breads in till warmed through.

Now the pears were something new so I googled. Most of the recipes had white wine and I knew that method already, however my husband doesn't drink, he doesn't like the taste of alcohol so I searched a little deeper and found this recipe 

Really easy recipe, fresh and tasty, although very very sweet. May just drop the amount of sugar we add next time (or taste the pears first and add accordingly)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

La Mouette - A Review

I have not done a review in a while but I really feel this one needs to be shared. It's taken me some time to write it because I was hoping to go to La Mouette again for their garden party and do a sort of "Double review". One for an intimate dinner for 2 and 1 group dining experience.

Unfortunately I will have to wait for next time for the group experience but in the meantime I will share what it was like for TheHusband and I on a long overdue date night.

Let me start off by saying that this was not just "going out for dinner" the whole experience from beginning to end was just that, an experience. From making my booking over twitter to getting a personal goodbye from the manager Nanette and all of the great banter, knowledge and professionalism of Frans in between.

We went in for the spring tasting menu, TheHusband just for the food part and me, I just had to pair it and boy was I glad that I did.

(Disclaimer: My camera battery was dead so pics were taken on my iphone and TheHusband's blackberry, sorry. Well all except the first 1 on this post and the picture for the starters, those are courtesy of La Mouette)

To start off the evening, Mari had organised some lovely bubbles for us, TheHusband had a sip to toast the beginning of a great night (oh boy did we underestimate what a great night it was to be) and the rest of his glass was mine too (I tried the bubbles with everything *evil grin*) as he doesn't drink.

We were then offered a delicious home baked roll which I forgot to ask about but tasted like maybe it had sundried tomatoes in it, it was a really great start to the meal too (and went well with my bubbles).

My choice: Cheese and truffle croquettes paired with Jack Black Premium beer (there was also an option to pair it with Villiera brut N/V which I think I did anyway if our complimentary bubbles were that). There is something about crumbed food and beer that just works so well together and this was no exeption, the earthyness of the truffles with the beer worked really well. 

TheHusband's choice: Smoked mozzarella and sundried tomato arancinni (paired with the Villiera brut N/V if you took that option)

Soup course
My Choice: Coconut broth, vegetable dim sum and sesame seeds paired with Thelema Muscat de Frontignan 2009 (and bubbles, ok ok I will stop now) 

I have to pause for a second here to point out that while I loved every single course equally, this pairing was my favourite by a mile, a match made in heaven. If I had to edit the experience I would add spot lights and choir boys signing in post-production.

TheHusband's choice: Artichoke and potato veloute, truffle foam and bĂ©arnaise relish (the pairing option was Diemersdal Chardonnay 2010)

To tell you the truth this soup course was my most difficult choice, I love veloute's but I was in a dim sum mood and well I got to taste both anyway.

By now I was in a very happy space, my tummy was slowly filling with good food and good wine and I was really enjoying the space we were in. It was like a treasure hunt without moving, what flavours will I find. I was so happy that the meal was far from over and I had 3 more courses to explore.

My choice: Salt and pepper prawn, pea puree, shaved vegetables and crispy pancetta with Villiera chenin blanc 2009

The prawns were amazing, juicy, sweet and tasty. They worked excellently with the wine, which unfortunately was a little too dry for my taste but wine is very subjective and I could still appreciate the pairing.

The Husband's choice: Goats cheese pannacotta, grilled asparagus, balsamic, quince jam and bread crisps(The pairing option was Diemersfontein Pinotage 2009)
It tasted as I expected it to, which was great for the TheHusband and made me happy with my choice

My Choice: Beef Sirloin, pommes pont neuf, watercress puree and hollandaise with Waterford Pebble hill 2008

Looking at my glass you may have thought I didn't enjoy the merlot, you would be very wrong. I am llergic to the tannins in red wine and it is the only thing that gives me a hang over. So while I love it, it hates me and so I had to leave a lot in my glass. The beef was so very succulent, perfectly prepared and soft as butter (As I had proven, using my butter knife while waiting for the steak knife to arrive)

TheHusband's choice: Roasted line fish tomato cassoulet, baby spinach and calamari (normally paired with Jordan Chameleon 2009)

I am very picky when it comes to fish but this was very tasty and TheHusban kept giving me bits of calamari (I LOVE calamari)

My choice: ‘Cappuccino’ coffee ice cream, milk foam and chocolate macaroon paired with Glen Carlou ‘the welder’ 2009

Who can resist a 'mac'. I was totally in love with this dessert! Had a really nice discussion with the waiter about crispy macs v.s. chewy macs. The foam on the dessert was excellent and as TheHusband knows, its my favourite part of his cappuccino (I eat his foam before he gets to drink that sounds bad)

TheHusband's choice: Kimberley chedder with peppercorns quince jelly and lavoche (normally paired with Allesverloren Vintage Port 2007)

The quince jelly was yum and he cheese tasty, loved the cracker and the presentation. 
I really had an amazing experience and I can recommend them 100% to anyone who asks. 

View there menu
contact them:
Twitter: @teamlamouette

phone:  021 433 0856

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Sushi Club Active Sushi

Image courtesy of Active Sushi

JamieWho and Food24 were ranting about Active Sushi and so I decided it's time to put them under the critical eye of the #sushiclub 

Place: Active Sushi, 63 Strand street, Cape Town
Date: 16 November 2010
Time: from 7:30
please RSVP by leaving a comment on this post by the 14th so I can book in advance

Monday, October 11, 2010

Veggie soup with homemade gnocchi - Meat free monday recipe

My mom has recently decided that meat free mondays is not a bad idea. So I was happy to discover when we went shopping that what she had in mind was a heart vegetable soup which we packed full with everything from peas, to spinach, baby corn and more (no potatoes).

Something didn't sit right with me and I was sure it was missing something but I just couldn't place my finger on it. Then, while browsing through Meeta's "What's for Lunch Honey" archives I came across this recipe. I immidiately called my mom and asked her to buy some gnocchi to add in. She agreed but first had to rush home so the domestic worker could go home and then she would go shopping. I got home shortly after her and while discussing things I decided that it would be quicker and tastier to make our own gnocchi.

This was the perfect opportunity to go to my list of "recipes I have to try" and one of them was JamieWhoSA's gnocchi recipe. I didn't have sweet potatoes but loads of lovely woolworths organic potatoes.

The soup was my mom's creation but its a basic vegetable soup, flavoured with louvage and parsley, below though is my slight variation on JamieWho's recipe. I was so lucky to have some really awesome ingredients on hand.

What you need:
6 small organic potatoes
1 jumbo free range egg
2 cups stone ground white bread flour
pinch of nutmeg
salt to taste (the stone ground flour has no salt in it)

What to do:
Peel the potatoes and boil in some salted water until soft. Mash well. In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients until you get a warm soft dough.Cover with a tea towel and leave for 5 minutes. Roll the dough out into a sausage shape (I did it in batches), then with a sharp knif cut pices from the sausage. I then rolled them into blobs (very technical I know) and pressed them gently with a fork. In the meantime boil up some salted water and put the gnocchi in. When they are ready they float to the top.

To add a little edge to mine I grated parmesan on them as they came out of the water instead of adding it directly to the soup.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ready Steady Cook, The winners!

On Friday I tallied the votes and found my winner, I told the twittervese so. What I didn't tell anyone else was who my winners were....muahaha

This has been a great experience and I couldn't have done it without the enthusiasm and participation of the bloggers involved. For those who didn't win please know that you did a great job and it was a tough job for the judges :)

Let me just state that I kept myself out of this one completely, I had no say in the final decision, even when there was a tie to break I quickly recruited a few extra judges :)

So without further time wasting here they are:
In a resounding first place is Lisa from Captured and Nibbled 
Coming in second was Marisa from The Creative Pot
Third place goes to Tara from C'est la Vie
and the fourth place goes to Jessica from Tiny oven Adventures

The winner of the best photographed dish is Lisa from Captured and Nibbled 

Thank you soooo much for all those who participated I had fun hosting :) If anyone would like to host the next one please let me know :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

October Sushi Club

This picture belongs to JamieWhoSA go show him some love

I am always happy when I get to eat sushi, I especially love eating sushi with friends. Nothing like good food and good company. Minato's was a place I tried a long time ago and was ready to go back, until some on told me Papa Son, the owner who is famous for his Douglas Green adverts, had sold the place. Can you imagine how happy I was to discover that he had bought it back? So now is your chance to share in the delight and the very unique experience that is Minato's

Please leave a comment to book your space

Place: Minato's, 4 Buiten Street
Date: 13 October 2010
Time: 19:30 onwards
Please RSVP by the 10th so I know how many to book for. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Braai (BBQ) time!

Heritage day in South Africa is one of the more lighthearted of our public holidays. It's a day when we celebrate our diversities and how they come together to create a truly unique flavour in South Africa. This past weekend I decided, after a difficult fast that I was braaing (b-rye-ing) and I didn't care that it was raining, I went ahead and prep'd my food and by the time I was ready, the sun came out for just long enough to light up my world as I turned the food on the fire.

Cooksister is hosting an event over on her blog for braai recipes and since the recipe on her anouncement post was sosaties (skewered meat) I have not been able to get the idea out of my head. I decided to do them anyway and just add my own flair. I love lamb, especially when you add the middle eastern spices, I am hooked. I also love rubbery hot cheese and exploring new flavours and so I was left with no other options but to indulge a whole bunch of my loves and pop them all on one plate...but 2 skewers.

Add to that some Israeli favourites, some new ideas and a hungry family, I had a winning combination.

Lamb and Moroccan sausage skewers

What you need:
cubed lamb
red,green,yellow peppers
spicy Moroccan sausages (we made ours but any spicy sausage will do)
crushed dried garlic

What to do:
Marinate the lamb in the spices. Pop everything onto the skewers how ever you wish. Pop on a hot fire and turn every now and again

Braai cheese and veg skewers

What you need:
red,green,yellow peppers
baby marrow
Lancewood braai cheese
NoMU vegetable Fonds (or any other vegetable stock)

What to do:
Cut the mushrooms in half, cut the baby marrow into pieces about 4cm long. Soak in hot vegetable stock (this makes the veg soft enough that they don't split when skewered). Skewer the veg and cheese as you wish. Braai and serve

These are just the ones I did but the beauty of these is that you can do them according to your taste :) We served ours with some pitas, nafis, freshly baked corn bread (the husband calls it cake bread) and mashawsha