tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-26529099580019683352019-06-23T07:54:11.858+02:00Scrumptious South AfricaRecipes and inspiration from an independent African food blog by Jane-Anne HobbsJane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.comBlogger493125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-6810090524082257112018-12-03T07:40:00.000+02:002018-12-21T22:00:06.831+02:00My Mum's Classic Christmas Cake This is a dense, boozy, spicy Christmas cake that evokes many happy memories. My Mum <a href="http://jennyhobbs.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Jenny Hobbs</b></a> made this every year when we were kids, using a recipe inherited from her own&nbsp;mother, and I have used the same formula (with a few tweaks of my own) for the past 20 years.<br /><br />You'll find the recipe directly below and, underneath that, my detailed cook's notes. Whether you serve this cake naked, or add a cloak of home-made marzipan, or add marzipan <i>and</i>&nbsp;Royal icing is up to you - isn't it interesting how people have emphatic opinions about what should go on top of a Christmas cake? Is a luscious, almondy layer of marzipan enough? Or must every fruit cake be smothered with a swirly frosting of deliriously sweet, tooth-cracking Royal icing? You <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ScrumptiousSA" target="_blank"><b>tell me</b></a>!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6wOcbn_qvYg/XAI1bPwkadI/AAAAAAAAGxk/knhW1vWTCcsoxHR5WOilUgW7kOWGpvrEACEwYBhgL/s1600/Scrumptious%2BChristmas%2BCake%2B2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1274" height="" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6wOcbn_qvYg/XAI1bPwkadI/AAAAAAAAGxk/knhW1vWTCcsoxHR5WOilUgW7kOWGpvrEACEwYBhgL/s640/Scrumptious%2BChristmas%2BCake%2B2.jpg" width="420" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My Mum's Christmas Cake</td></tr></tbody></table><br />I've halved my Mum's original recipe, which is so enormous that it requires a gigantic mixing bowl and very strong arms. But still, this halved formula will make a cake that easily serves 10 people.<br /><br /><b>Classic Christmas Cake&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><b><i>For the fruit/nut mix:</i></b><br />½ cup (125 ml) dried apricots<br />½ cup (125 ml) pecan nuts<br />½ cup (125 ml) walnuts<br />½ cup (125 ml) glacé cherries<br />800 g mixed dried fruit (including candied peel)<br />½ cup (125 ml) flaked or slivered almonds<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) cornflour<br /><br /><b><i>For the cake:</i></b><br />500 g unsalted butter, very soft<br />250 g brown sugar<br />4 extra-large free-range eggs<br />500 g cake flour, sifted<br />60 g cornflour, sifted<br />½ tsp (2.5 ml) nutmeg<br />½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cloves<br />1 Tsbp (15 ml) good instant coffee<br />1½ tsp (7.5 ml) syrup or honey<br />the finely grated zest of a lemon<br />the juice of a lemon<br />1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract or or 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla essence<br />1 tsp (5 ml) almond extract<br />a pinch of salt<br /><br /><b>For feeding the cake:</b><br />brandy<br /><br /><b>For the marzipan:</b><br />1 cup (250 ml) whole blanched almonds<br />1 cup (250 ml)&nbsp;almond flour<br />1 cup (250 ml)&nbsp;icing sugar<br />1 egg white (from an extra-large egg)<br />a few drops of almond extract<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) smooth apricot&nbsp; jam<br /><br /><b>For Royal icing:&nbsp;</b><br />650 g icing sugar, sieved<br />3 egg whites<br />the juice of a lemon<br />1½ tsp (7.5 ml) glycerine [optional]<br /><b><br /></b><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Nl20agK3iVc/VIStI7V80YI/AAAAAAAAE3Y/3PMnXHMLCpY/s1600/20141130_114311.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="" src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Nl20agK3iVc/VIStI7V80YI/AAAAAAAAE3Y/3PMnXHMLCpY/s1600/20141130_114311.jpg" width="250" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Some of the ingredients for a double batch.</td></tr></tbody></table>Heat the oven to 150 ºC.<br /><br />Prepare a deep 24-cm springform tin. Place the tin's base on a doubled-up sheet of baking paper, draw around it with a pencil, and cut out the two circles. Put the base into the ring, snap it shut and press the paper circles onto the base, buttering each one generously.<br /><br />To line the ring, cut a long strip of baking paper double the height of the tin. Fold it in half lengthways and butter it on both sides. Press the strip, folded side up, around the inside of the ring.<br /><br />Now prepare the fruit and nuts. Roughly chop the apricots, pecans and walnuts, and cut the cherries in half. Put them into a big bowl along with the mixed dried fruit and almonds. Add 2 Tbsp cornflour and toss well, using your hands, so every piece is lightly coated. Set aside. <br /><br />To make the cake batter, cream the softened butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well between each addition.<br /><br />When the mixture is smooth and creamy,&nbsp;add the sifted flour and cornflour and mix well. Stir in all the remaining cake ingredients and then add the fruit and nut mixture. Stir well to combine (this is a very stiff batter - please see my tips in Cook's Notes, <i>below).&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XK5D7W8Bst0/XAI3XYVyBrI/AAAAAAAAGxs/qzTToexv4L4gJHayrCbRZJgTqbpXh1_uQCLcBGAs/s1600/Scrumptious%2BChristmas%2BCake%2BMixing.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1210" height="" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XK5D7W8Bst0/XAI3XYVyBrI/AAAAAAAAGxs/qzTToexv4L4gJHayrCbRZJgTqbpXh1_uQCLcBGAs/s320/Scrumptious%2BChristmas%2BCake%2BMixing.jpg" width="250" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Mix to a very stiff batter.</td></tr></tbody></table>Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and smooth the top. Place on the centre rack of the oven and bake for about two hours and 20 minutes. You will know the cake is done when it is deep brown on top, and feels firm all over when you press it with your fingertips. At this point, stick a wooden skewer into the cake. If the skewer comes out dry, with no wet batter sticking to it, your cake is ready.<br /><br />Check on your cake after about 90 minutes - if you notice that the top is browning quickly, and/or the raisins are burning, cover it loosely with a sheet of tin foil.<br /><br />Remove the cake from the oven, and immediately pour over 3 Tbsp of brandy - the cake will sizzle satisfyingly as you do so. Now cover the tin loosely with foil and let it stand for a day.<br /><br />To 'feed' your cake: leave it undisturbed in the tin, loosely covered. (It's important not to seal the top of the cake too tightly, or the alcohol will not evaporate.) Use a slim skewer to poke about 12 deep holes right to the base of the tin. &nbsp;Every two or three days (depending on how boozy you want your cake), trickle a little brandy over the top, and tilt the pan as you do this so the alcohol seeps evenly into the holes.<br /><br />To make the marzipan, blitz the whole almonds to a fairly fine powder in a food processor fitted with a metal blade (but don't overprocess them, or they will become oily). Add the almond flour, icing sugar, egg white, and a few drops of almond extract, to taste, and pulse until the mixture forms a smooth ball.&nbsp; If the marzipan isn't clinging together, add a few drops of water and pulse again.<br /><br />While the marzipan is still warm and flexible, roll it out into a thin sheet big enough to cover the whole cake (see Cook's Notes). It's best to do this between two sheets of baking paper.<br /><br />Warm the apricot jam and brush it all over the top and sides of the cake. Drape the marzipan over the cake, pressing down lightly and easing it down the sides. Trim the excess marzipan all the way round the base of the cake.<br /><br />For Royal icing, lightly whisk the egg whites until just frothy. Add the sifted icing sugar, a spoonful at a time, stirring well. When the mixture is thick, stir in the lemon juice and (optional) glycerine. (The glycerine prevents the icing from setting to rock hard). Using an electric beater, whisk the icing for ten minutes, or until it is glossy, white and standing in stiff peaks.&nbsp; <br /><br />Dollop the icing on top of the cake and use a spatula to spread it evenly across the top and sides. Using a swirling motion, create little spikes and peaks for a snow-scene effect. Set aside, uncovered, to dry for at least 12 hours, then transfer to a cake tin.<br /><br /><i>Makes 1 fruit cake, enough for 10.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Cook's Notes</b><br /><ul><li>This recipe is easily doubled, but mixing such a large quantity of batter takes powerful arms and a very big mixing bowl. Use a cake tin about 28 cm in diameter and at least 7 cm deep, and insulate the tin by wrapping a double layer of brown paper around the outside and securing it with wet string - this will prevent the outside of the cake burning before the inside is cooked. A bigger cake will take between 2½ and 3 hours.&nbsp;</li><li>Add the fruit and nut mixture to the batter in batches, using a wooden spoon and a stabbing motion. This is a very firm mixture, so take your time. If the batter seems impossibly thick, add a little milk.&nbsp;</li><li>You can make this cake up to six weeks in advance, but I always start three weeks ahead. Add the marzipan and Royal icing a few days before Christmas.</li><li>To figure out the size of the marzipan circle, place the end of a piece of string at the base of the cake, drape it across the top, and then take it down to the base on the opposite side - this is the diameter of your circle, but add 1 cm to be on the safe side.</li><li>You can use all almond flour for the marzipan if you're in a hurry.</li></ul><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4SkU7fUpEBM/XAI3xk2g-II/AAAAAAAAGx0/CPaSpIT2itYykWXQYLH2n6K4BkpJoWjAQCLcBGAs/s1600/Scrumptious%2BChristmas%2BCake%2B1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><img border="0" data-original-height="1600" data-original-width="1280" height="" src="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4SkU7fUpEBM/XAI3xk2g-II/AAAAAAAAGx0/CPaSpIT2itYykWXQYLH2n6K4BkpJoWjAQCLcBGAs/s640/Scrumptious%2BChristmas%2BCake%2B1.jpg" width="420" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Swirl the Royal icing to create little frosty peaks.</td></tr></tbody></table><div></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-55036262811241833372016-09-04T20:52:00.000+02:002017-01-30T19:39:21.033+02:00Low-Carb Roast Baby Cabbage Wedges with Bacon<div style="text-align: left;"></div><div style="text-align: left;">My sister, an excellent cook, suggested this method for roasting fresh young cabbages, and I was dubious at first because I'm not enthusiastic about cooked cabbage. How wrong I was - thank you Sophie! These tender, slightly charred wedges are quite simply delicious with their plain dressing of fruity olive oil and fresh lemon juice.</div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1804RAC9qKI/V8xqcCfphkI/AAAAAAAAFyY/njMu6rmMMqEFsZclVlZC6Apf-gjtBEGBwCLcB/s1600/Roast%2BBaby%2BCabbage%2BWedges%2Bwith%2BBacon%2BLow%2BCarb.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="" src="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1804RAC9qKI/V8xqcCfphkI/AAAAAAAAFyY/njMu6rmMMqEFsZclVlZC6Apf-gjtBEGBwCLcB/s640/Roast%2BBaby%2BCabbage%2BWedges%2Bwith%2BBacon%2BLow%2BCarb.jpg" width="360" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Low-Carb Roast Baby Cabbage Wedges with Bacon</td></tr></tbody></table>As a <b><a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2014/03/hello-diabetes-and-how-i-have-had-to.html">Type-2 diabetic</a>,</b> I'm always looking out for good ideas about preparing ultra-simple, nutritious, low-carb veggie dishes, and I'm so sold on this recipe that I've made it three times in the last fortnight.<br /><br />You can, if you fancy, add all sorts of extra flavours to the wedges - Sophie uses a delicious dusting of powdered fennel seeds. I reckon I might try caraway seeds or garlic next time I make this. But, for now, I think they're perfect with just a tingle of heat from the dried chilli flakes, plus plenty of black pepper.<br /><br />I've added crisped-up bacon bits for a touch of luxury, but you can of course leave these out. This is best with good quality cubes of bacon (I buy mine at my favourite, most excellent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.blackforestbutchery.co.za/location.htm"><b>German butchery</b></a>), but if you can't find these, you can use decent streaky bacon instead.<br /><br /><b>&nbsp;Low-Carb Roast Baby Cabbage Wedges with Bacon&nbsp;</b><br /><br />2 baby cabbages<br />the juice of 1 big lemon<br />5 Tbsp (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil<br />1 tsp (5 ml) dried red chilli flakes<br />salt and freshly ground black pepper<br />1 cup (250 ml) bacon cubes, or 10 rashers of bacon, chopped<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--H-xM5ac3rA/V3VaaZ8VfDI/AAAAAAAAFhg/ONEEMRWeDFEhAFRg-_AA2ftcdfm6m1zuACLcB/s1600/Roasted%2BBaby%2BCabbage%2BWedges%2Bwith%2BBacon_1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="" src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/--H-xM5ac3rA/V3VaaZ8VfDI/AAAAAAAAFhg/ONEEMRWeDFEhAFRg-_AA2ftcdfm6m1zuACLcB/s1600/Roasted%2BBaby%2BCabbage%2BWedges%2Bwith%2BBacon_1.jpg" width="250" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Arrange the wedges cut-side up on a tray.</td></tr></tbody></table>Heat the oven to 200 °C, fan on, or 210 °C if your oven has no fan. Cut each cabbage into four wedges and arrange, cut side up, on a baking sheet.<br /><br />Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with chilli flakes and season generously with salt and pepper.<br /><br />Roast for about 35 minutes, or until the edges of the wedges are slightly blackened, and they are tender on the insides.<br /><br />Ten minutes before the end of the roasting time, fry the bacon until just crisp, then drain and keep hot.<br /><br />Sprinkle the bacon cubes over the cabbage, add another spritz of lemon juice and serve immediately.<br /><br /><i>Serves 4 as a side dish; 2 as a main course</i><br /><i><br /></i><i><br /></i><i><br /></i><br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-14845832991611692292016-01-21T15:43:00.001+02:002016-01-26T13:05:14.514+02:00Chicken with Roasted Onions, Grapes & VerjuiceWhen I made a serious effort to learn to cook in my early twenties, it seemed terribly important to impress dinner-party guests with fiddly platings and pointless twirls and swirls. (Thank goodness the ubiquitous sauce/plate skidmark had not yet been invented, because who knows what horrors I would have perpetrated on the plate.) These days, in my fifties, I have a much more uncomplicated approach to entertaining, and when I'm expecting guests I pour all the effort into creating simple, delicious dishes that sing with clean flavours.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GVc53k3_wik/VqDcdDE0Y-I/AAAAAAAAFLM/zs5yo9b4Lfg/s1600/Chicken%2Bwith%2BRoasted%2BOnions%252C%2BGrapes%2Band%2BVerjuice.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GVc53k3_wik/VqDcdDE0Y-I/AAAAAAAAFLM/zs5yo9b4Lfg/s1600/Chicken%2Bwith%2BRoasted%2BOnions%252C%2BGrapes%2Band%2BVerjuice.JPG" width="550" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Chicken with Roasted Onions, Grapes &amp; Verjuice</td></tr></tbody></table><br />This is the sort of food people want to enjoy when they eat in your home. Of course there is a place for exquisite cutting-edge cuisine that looks like a flower garden exploded on a plate, but that place is not your family table. Honest food made with love and good ingredients will always knock the socks off your guests - and I promise you that most professional chefs melt into puddles of delight when presented with a homely classic such as <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2007/09/million-ways-to-roast-chicken-heres.html" target="_blank"><b>roast chicken</b></a>, a <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2010/08/roast-ratatouille-soup-with-basil.html"><b>rustic veggie soup</b></a> or a fall-apart <b><a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2014/06/beef-shin-tomato-olive-stew-with.html" target="_blank">beef stew</a>.</b><br /><br />This unusual but delicious combination of clean fruity flavours highlights the versatility of Verjuice, which lends a pleasant sweet acidity to this rustic dish. &nbsp;It takes a little time to fry the chicken pieces and onions before they go into the oven, but it’s well worth the effort, because the sticky golden residue that forms on the bottom of the pan adds gorgeous flavour to the final dish, and the chicken pieces look so beautifully golden and rustly. &nbsp; <br /><br />This is the penultimate in a series of <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2015/10/cold-cucumber-herb-yoghurt-soup-with.html"><b>new recipes</b></a> I've developed using <a href="http://www.verjuice.co.za/about-verjuice/"><b>Verjuice</b></a> (available at Woolies),<br /><div><br /></div><b>Chicken with Roasted Onions, Grapes &amp; Verjuice</b><br /><br />20 (about 750 g) small pickling onions<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) oil, for frying<br />12 free-range chicken pieces (breasts, thighs &amp; drumsticks)<br />2 bay leaves<br />6 sprigs fresh thyme<br />3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed<br />½ cup (125 ml) Verjuice<br />½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine<br />1 bunch red grapes, stripped from their stems<br />1 bunch green grapes, stripped from their stems<br />salt and milled black pepper<br /><br />Heat the oven to 180 ºC. &nbsp;Cover the onions with boiling water and set aside for 15 minutes (this loosens their skins).<br /><br />In the meantime, heat the oil in a large shallow pan and fry the chicken, in batches and skin-side down, over a medium-high heat, until the skins are crisp and a beautiful golden brown. &nbsp;(Don’t turn the pieces over or let them cook through.) &nbsp;Set aside on a plate.<br /><br />Cut each blanched onion in half lengthways, trim the tops and bottoms, and slip off the skins. &nbsp;Fry, cut side down, in the hot chicken fat left in the pan, for 3 minutes, or until nicely caramelised. Watch them like a hawk so they don’t burn. Carefully turn the onions over using tongs and fry for a further 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.<br /><br />Add the bay leaves, thyme sprigs and garlic to the pan and cook over a low heat for a minute, without allowing the garlic to brown.<br /><br />Deglaze the pan with the Verjuice and wine, stirring and scraping to loosen the golden sediment on the bottom of the pan. &nbsp;Tip any juices that have accumulated under the chicken into the pan. Simmer over a brisk heat for two minutes to burn off the alcohol. <br /><br />Arrange the chicken pieces and onions in a roasting tray, and tuck in the grapes. &nbsp;Pour the hot wine/Verjuice mixture around the chicken, and scatter over the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. &nbsp;Season to taste with salt and milled black pepper.<br /><br />Bake at 180 ºC for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the grapes are beginning to collapse.<br /><br />Serve immediately with a crisp green salad, plus crusty bread to mop up the juices. &nbsp; &nbsp; <br /><div><br /><i>Serves 4-6.</i><br /><i><br /></i><i><br /></i></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-23658570709077987832015-12-18T05:51:00.000+02:002016-01-21T15:25:14.519+02:00Pavlova with Poached Apples and Caramelised Verjuice SyrupApples and almonds have a great affinity with <a href="http://www.verjuice.co.za/about-verjuice/"><b>Verjuice</b></a>. Although apples are not a traditional topping for a <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2013/08/winter-pavlova-with-pears-mascarpone.html"><b>Pavlova</b></a>, they work beautifully in this recipe, with its extravagant, brittle nest of almond-scented meringue, its clouds of whipped cream, and a reduced Verjuice syrup that’s just on the point of turning to caramel. The Pavlova should be made 8-12 hours ahead of time, and you can also prepare the apple filling well in advance. <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZniQ-dQGmlg/VnGh5U8JOTI/AAAAAAAAFKM/VtcF58x2vvs/s1600/Pavlova%2Bwith%2BVerjuice%2BPoached%2BApples_.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZniQ-dQGmlg/VnGh5U8JOTI/AAAAAAAAFKM/VtcF58x2vvs/s1600/Pavlova%2Bwith%2BVerjuice%2BPoached%2BApples_.jpg" width="450" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Pavlova with Poached Apples and Caramelised Verjuice Syrup</td></tr></tbody></table><br />This is another in a <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2015/10/cold-cucumber-herb-yoghurt-soup-with.html"><b>series of new recipes</b></a> I've developed using Verjuice (available at <a href="http://www.woolworths.co.za/"><b>Woolies</b></a>), and I hope you'll give this recipe a bash, even if you're mortally afraid of making anything involving temperamental meringue. <br /><br />My attempts at making <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2013/08/winter-pavlova-with-pears-mascarpone.html"><b>billowing pavlovas</b></a> and snowy, crisp meringues were spectacularly flat, sticky failures for many years, but eventually <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2013/08/billowing-meringues-with-sunset-berry.html"><b>I nailed them</b></a>, and I haven't had a flop since. &nbsp;I hope my method works for you - and it it doesn't, please drop me a line <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ScrumptiousSA/?fref=ts"><b>on Facebook</b></a> so I can assist you.<br /><br /><b>Pavlova with Poached Apples and Caramelised Verjuice Syrup</b><br /><br /><i>For the Pavlova:</i><br /><br />5 extra-large free-range eggs<br />a pinch of Cream of Tartar<br />250 g caster sugar<br />2-3 drops of <a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/nielsen-massey.htm?id=4708&amp;name=Nielsen-Massey-Pure-Almond-Extract"><b>good almond extract</b></a><br /><br /><i>For the filling:</i><br /><br />5 large crisp apples, peeled, cored and quartered (I've used both Granny Smith and Golden Delicious, with good results)<br />1½ cups (375 ml) Verjuice<br />½ cup (125 ml) caster sugar<br />1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream<br />¼ cup (60 ml) flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan<br /><br />First make the Pavlova. Heat the oven to 160 ºC, fan off. Separate the eggs and place the whites in a spotlessly clean bowl together with a pinch of Cream of Tartar (you'll find this in the baking aisle of supermarkets). Keep the yolks for making <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2010/08/roast-ratatouille-soup-with-basil.html"><b>mayonnaise</b></a>.<br /><br />Using an electric beater or a food processor fitted with a balloon whisk, beat the egg whites for 2-3 minutes, or until they are standing up in firm - but not dry - peaks.<br /><br />Add a third of the caster sugar at a time to the whites, whisking well for a few minutes between each addition. When you've added all the sugar, drop in the almond extract, to taste, and continue beating for another 3-4 minutes, or until the meringue is very thick, firm and shiny (with no sign of grittiness when you rub a blob between your fingers). <br /><br />Your mixture should hold its firm billowing shape without drooping. If the meringue seems thin or floppy, your Pavlova will collapse in the oven, and you'll need to chuck out the mixture and start all over again. <br /><br />Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled baking/greaseproof paper (put little blobs of meringue on four points under the paper to stick it down). Draw a plate-sized circle on the paper, spread a third of the meringue mixture over it to form the base of the Pavlova, then place big, generous dollops of the remaining meringue around the edges to form a basket. A huge metal spoon is the right utensil for this.<br /><br />Place the baking sheet on the middle rack of your preheated oven, and immediately turn the heat down to 110 ºC (oven fan off). Bake for an hour and a quarter, then switch off the oven (don't open the door!) and let the meringue case dehydrate, undisturbed, for at least 8 hours, or until it is crisp and dry. &nbsp;If you'd like a Pavlova with a slightly squidgy centre, let the case dry out for 6 hours.<br /><br />To prepare the apple filling, put one cup of Verjuice and the caster sugar into a pan. &nbsp;Bring to a gentle bubble, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. &nbsp;Add the apple quarters and poach, covered, for 9-11 minutes, or until they are <i>just </i>soft. &nbsp;Set aside to cool completely.<br /><br />To assemble the dessert, remove the apples from their syrup with a slotted spoon and set aside. &nbsp;Add the remaining ½ cup of Verjuice to the syrup, turn up the heat and boil over a medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until the syrup has reduced by about two thirds, is turning to an amber colour, and is thick, glossy, and producing plenty of big lazy bubbles. Watch the mixture like a hawk – you want it to be just on the point of caramelising. <br /><br />Whip the cream until it's thick and billowy, pile it into the Pavlova and arrange the apple pieces on top. &nbsp;Drizzle the hot syrup over the top, scatter with toasted almonds and serve immediately.<br /><br /><i>Serves 6.&nbsp;</i><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-45148349434478469112015-12-16T18:02:00.001+02:002015-12-16T18:18:20.260+02:00Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Verjuice-Gooseberry CompoteA delicate, barely set vanilla cream topped with a glorious sunset-orange compote of Verjuice and Cape gooseberries. Verjuice enhances the tartness of gooseberries, and the contrast of cool and creamy with sharp and sweet is sublime. You can prepare this dessert well in advance and merrily assemble it at the last minute.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZjCQ6LRtBQU/VnGDCS7Cw5I/AAAAAAAAFJ8/MYBW-io3I1I/s1600/Vanilla%2BPanna%2BCotta%2Bwith%2Ba%2BVerjuice%2BGooseberry%2BCompote_corrected_final.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZjCQ6LRtBQU/VnGDCS7Cw5I/AAAAAAAAFJ8/MYBW-io3I1I/s1600/Vanilla%2BPanna%2BCotta%2Bwith%2Ba%2BVerjuice%2BGooseberry%2BCompote_corrected_final.jpg" width="475" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Verjuice-Gooseberry Compote</td></tr></tbody></table><br />This is another in a <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2015/10/cold-cucumber-herb-yoghurt-soup-with.html"><b>series of new recipes</b></a> I've developed using Verjuice (available at Woolies). If you don't have Verjuice, poach your gooseberries in a light sugar syrup (see Cook's Notes at the end of this page).<br /><br />Like this recipe? Try my&nbsp;<b><a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2011/03/fresh-plum-jelly-with-lemon-panna-cotta.html">Fresh Plum Jelly with a Lemon Panna Cotta Topping</a></b>.<br /><br /><hr /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0og0G-h-kf8/VnGA7MbOUiI/AAAAAAAAFJw/v_SoqzQqCu4/s1600/wine%2Brecco.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0og0G-h-kf8/VnGA7MbOUiI/AAAAAAAAFJw/v_SoqzQqCu4/s320/wine%2Brecco.jpg" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span><span style="font-size: x-small;">Wine recommendation by <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/"><b>Michael Olivier</b></a>. He says: "Asara Vine Dried Sauvignon Blanc 2014 - a stunner of a natural sweet wine."</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><span style="font-size: x-small;">It looks like:&nbsp;</span></b><span style="font-size: x-small;">Packed in a 375 ml Alsatian Flute. &nbsp;In the glass a golden straw - and please serve it in a decent sized glass..</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><b>It smells like:</b>&nbsp;Soft dried apricots and sliced lime poached in fynbos honey.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><b>It tastes like:&nbsp;</b>Rich and unctuous: desiccated pineapple rehydrated in fynbos honey. Guava, yellow Canary melon.</span><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><hr /><b><br /></b><b>Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Verjuice-Gooseberry Compote</b><br /><br /><i>For the panna cotta:</i><br /><br />300 ml cream<br />300 ml full-cream milk<br />5 Tbsp (75 ml) caster sugar<br />1 vanilla pod, or a few drops of <a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/nielsen-massey.htm?id=4704"><b>good vanilla extract</b></a><br />4 tsp (20 ml) tepid water<br />2 tsp (10 ml) gelatine powder<br /><br /><i>For the compote:</i><br /><br />200 g Cape gooseberries<br />½ cup (125 ml) Verjuice<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) caster sugar (or more, to taste: see recipe)<br /><br />Put the cream, milk and caster sugar into a saucepan. &nbsp;Split the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the seeds and add them to the pan (or add the vanilla extract, if you’re using that). &nbsp;Bring gradually to just below the boil, over a low heat, stirring now and then. <br /><br />When the sugar has dissolved, take the pan off the heat and gently press a sheet of clingfilm directly onto the surface of the mixture (this will prevent a ‘skin’ forming). &nbsp;Set the cream aside to infuse for 45 minutes, or until it has cooled to blood temperature. <br /><br />Put the water into a small teacup or ramekin, sprinkle over the gelatine and set aside to ‘sponge’ for 3 minutes. &nbsp;Now place the cup in a pan of simmering water (the water should come halfway up its sides) and leave it there for a 3 minutes, or until the gelatine has melted and the liquid is clear. &nbsp;Whisk this into the cream mixture, then strain the cream through a fine sieve into four wine glasses. &nbsp;Chill for at least 5 hours, or until the panna cotta has set, but is still very wobbly.<br /><br />To make the compote, put the gooseberries, Verjuice and caster sugar into a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, skimming off any white foam as it rises. &nbsp;If the gooseberries are very tart, you may need to add a little more sugar. &nbsp; Simmer for about 7 minutes, or until the fruit is just beginning to collapse. &nbsp;Remove from the heat, tip into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until very cold.<br /><br />When you’re ready to serve, remove half the whole gooseberries from the bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside. &nbsp;Use a potato masher or fork lightly to crush the remaining berries. &nbsp;Spoon a layer of the crushed fruit over the top of the panna cottas, and top with the whole berries you put aside<br /><div><br /></div><div><i>Serves 4.</i><br /><i><br /></i><b>Cook's Notes:&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b>If you don't have Verjuice, poach your gooseberries in a light sugar syrup. &nbsp;Here's how: put ½ cup (125 ml) water into a saucepan and add 4 Tbsp (60 ml) caster sugar - or more, to taste, depending on how sour the fruit is. &nbsp;Bring gently to the boil, stirring occasionally. When the sugar has dissolved, add the gooseberries and continue with the recipe (paragraph 4, above). <br /><br /></div><div><br /></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-31161467111478116062015-12-14T22:05:00.000+02:002015-12-16T17:09:09.984+02:00Prawn and Asparagus Salad with Verjuice Dressing & MayonnaiseAn easy, sea-breezy salad that takes just minutes to put together, and you cannot go wrong if you use the very best ingredients in this simple dish. I've specified cooked, peeled <a href="http://www.woolworths.co.za/store/prod/Food/Food/Deli/Smoked-Fish-Seafood/Peeled-Prawns-200g/_/A-6001009034533"><b>prawns</b></a> from Woolies here, which I admit are expensive, but they are very good, fresh and springy, and a fine ingredient to splash out on when the festive season comes rolling in. &nbsp;If you're on a low-carb or diabetic diet, omit the Verjuice (which is a little sugary) and use more lemon juice or white-wine vinegar.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Jo5nAzFVom0/Vm8BV-DMvFI/AAAAAAAAFJg/MEj7NipH_Vk/s1600/Prawns%2B%2526%2BAsparagus%2BSalad%2Bwith%2BVerjuice%2BDressing%2B%2526%2BMayo-001_Scrumptious%2BBlog.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Jo5nAzFVom0/Vm8BV-DMvFI/AAAAAAAAFJg/MEj7NipH_Vk/s1600/Prawns%2B%2526%2BAsparagus%2BSalad%2Bwith%2BVerjuice%2BDressing%2B%2526%2BMayo-001_Scrumptious%2BBlog.jpg" width="450" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Prawn &amp; Asparagus Salad with Verjuice Dressing &amp; Mayonnaise</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />This is another in a <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2015/10/cold-cucumber-herb-yoghurt-soup-with.html"><b>series of new recipes</b></a> I've developed using Verjuice, which is wonderful for making salad dressings with a slightly sweet, subtle zing. &nbsp;Its gentle acidity makes it the perfect companion for ingredients with a delicate taste, such as prawns.<br /><br />In this bright salad, a two-ingredient dressing and a clean-tasting homemade mayo make magic with prawns, asparagus, dark salad leaves and peppery baby radishes. If you can't find Verjuice, use more fresh lemon juice, plus a whisper of caster sugar to cut through the sharpness. &nbsp;Please see my Cook's Notes at the end of the recipe for what to do if your mayo curdles.<br /><br /><hr /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: center;"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KHLNAwZ5gYU/Vm7wbE8HSNI/AAAAAAAAFI8/KF7mqzNGZMI/s1600/Bellingham%2BWhole%2BBunch%2BRoussanne%2B2015.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-KHLNAwZ5gYU/Vm7wbE8HSNI/AAAAAAAAFI8/KF7mqzNGZMI/s400/Bellingham%2BWhole%2BBunch%2BRoussanne%2B2015.jpg" width="350" /></a></div><span style="font-size: x-small;">Wine recommendation by <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/"><b>Michael Olivier</b></a>. He says: "Bellingham Whole Bunch Roussanne 2015,&nbsp;</span><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;">recently awarded 5 stars in the 2016 Platter's South African Wine Guide."</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><span style="font-size: x-small;">It looks like:&nbsp;</span></b><span style="font-size: x-small;">Elegant bottle The Bernard Series labelling. In the glass pale golden straw with youthful lime flashes.</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><b>It smells like:</b>&nbsp;Gentle tropical fruits, desiccated pineapple, kiwi and scrunched fynbos herbs.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><b>It tastes like:&nbsp;</b>A full circle through easy entry with white flowers, ripe nectarines, Canary melon and gentle sweet spices. The fruit is generous, the acidity balancing and zesty in its youth. Long, full, richly flavoured, with a gently waning aftertaste.</span><br /><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><hr /><br /><b>Prawn and Asparagus Salad with Verjuice Dressing &amp; Mayo</b><br /><br />350 g asparagus tips<br />a packet of dark mixed salad leaves<br />200 g Woolworths ready-cooked peeled prawns<br />8 baby radishes, halved lengthways<br /><br /><i>For the dressing:</i><br /><br />100 ml Verjuice<br />100 ml extra-virgin olive oil<br /><br /><i>For the mayonnaise:</i><br /><i><br /></i>2 extra-large free-range egg yolks, at room temperature<br />flaky sea salt<br />1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard<br />200 ml sunflower oil<br />100 ml extra-virgin olive oil<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) Verjuice<br />1 Tbsp (45 ml) fresh lemon juice<br />1 tsp (5 ml) Tabasco, or more, to taste<br />milled black pepper<br /><br />To make the mayo, put the egg yolks, salt and mustard into a bowl. &nbsp;Tuck a damp cloth under one side of the bowl to tilt it. Using an electric beater, whisk the yolks until creamy.<br /><br />Mix the two oils in a small jug. Turn the beater to its highest speed. Now, as you whisk the egg yolks with one hand, dribble the oil onto the yolks, a few drops at a time, with the other. Continue patiently whisking and dribbling on the oil, a little at a time, and within a few minutes you will see the egg mixture begin to thicken. Keep adding the oil in a small steady trickle until you have a thick, pale yellow ointment. &nbsp;(See Cook’s Notes, below.)<br /><br />Stir in the Verjuice, lemon juice and Tabasco and season with salt and pepper. &nbsp;Place in the fridge to chill for a few hours.<br /><br />To make the dressing, combine the Verjuice and olive oil in a small jar or jug.<br /><br />Blanch the asparagus tips in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes, or until just tender-crisp. &nbsp;Drain then plunge into a bowl of iced water to set the colour. Leave for 3 minutes, then pat dry on a clean towel.<br /><br />Put the salad leaves on four plates and arrange the prawns, asparagus and radishes on top. &nbsp;Drizzle with the dressing &nbsp;(give it a good shake first) and serve with the mayo and plenty of warm crusty bread.<br /><br /><i>Serves 4.</i><br /><br /><b>Cook’s Notes:</b><br /><b><br /></b>If your mayo ‘splits’, or does not thicken, start again with a clean bowl. Place a whole egg yolk in the bowl, whisk till creamy, and <i>very</i> gradually dribble on the split mayo mixture, whisking all the time, as above. &nbsp;In most cases the mayo will re-emulsify.<br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-75479415903689137872015-12-02T08:36:00.001+02:002015-12-02T08:36:14.057+02:00Chicken Liver Paté with a Jellied Verjuice ToppingA fine, smooth chicken liver paté is a splendid starter for a celebration, and specially for a festive feast, for so many reasons. &nbsp;You can make a glorious paté several days in advance; it will cost you peanuts. And because this is such a rich and indulgent snack, a little goes a long way, particularly if you have plenty of snappy little gherkins, salty capers and Melba toast or crackers.<br /><br />This recipe is based on my&nbsp;<a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2014/11/low-carb-silken-chicken-liver-pate-with.html" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">Low-Carb Silken Chicken-Liver Pâté with Green Peppercorns</a>, but instead of sealing the dish with clarified butter, I've topped it with a wobbling layer of sweet, tart, lightly jellied&nbsp;<a href="http://www.verjuice.co.za/about-verjuice/" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">Verjuice</a><b>, </b>which contrasts beautifully with the rich metallic taste of the livers.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zcXyIl4JQgM/Vl6H0I5JgZI/AAAAAAAAFIg/vgmKXQuYNYE/s1600/Chicken%2BLiver%2BPate%2Bwith%2Ba%2BVerjuice%2BJelly_.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zcXyIl4JQgM/Vl6H0I5JgZI/AAAAAAAAFIg/vgmKXQuYNYE/s640/Chicken%2BLiver%2BPate%2Bwith%2Ba%2BVerjuice%2BJelly_.jpg" width="450" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Chicken Liver Paté with a Jellied Verjuice Topping</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><hr /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NZU0cYxblN4/Vl3zyyqoJvI/AAAAAAAAFH4/VrVDFFkTJWc/s1600/Monis%2BSherry%2BMichael%2BOlivier.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NZU0cYxblN4/Vl3zyyqoJvI/AAAAAAAAFH4/VrVDFFkTJWc/s640/Monis%2BSherry%2BMichael%2BOlivier.jpg" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;"><span style="font-size: 12.8px;">Wine recommendation by&nbsp;</span><b style="font-size: 12.8px;"><a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank">Michael Olivier</a></b><span style="font-size: 12.8px;">. &nbsp;He says: "Monis Medium Cream:&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 12.8px;">Traditional Flor Method"&nbsp;</span></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b><span style="font-size: x-small;">It looks like:&nbsp;</span></b><span style="font-size: x-small;">The Monis look is a classic one and very clearly states the type of wine – degrees from driest to sweetest on the label. In the glass the wine is gem bright pale gold amber.</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><b>&nbsp;It smells like:</b>&nbsp;Barley sugar sticks and pine needles.&nbsp;</span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><br /></span></div><div style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: x-small;"><b>&nbsp;It taste like:&nbsp;</b>Silky smooth. Honey. Christmas Cake spices. Touches of windfall citrus and plump raisins.</span></div><br /><hr /><b>Chicken Liver Paté with a Jellied Verjuice Topping</b><br /><br /><i>For the paté:</i><br /><br />500 g chicken livers, thawed<br />120 g salted butter<br />6 spring onions, white and pale green parts only, sliced<br />1 large sprig fresh thyme<br />1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) Verjuice<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) cream<br />a pinch of nutmeg, to taste<br />salt &amp; &nbsp;milled black pepper<br /><br /><i>For the jelly:&nbsp;</i><br /><br />½ cup (125 ml) Verjuice<br />3 ml (a heaped half-teaspoon) powdered gelatine<br /><br /><i>To serve:</i><br />crusty fresh bread or crackers<br />capers<br /><br />Trim and rinse the livers, and set aside in a colander.<br /><br />Melt all the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the spring onions and thyme, and cook them gently in their bath of butter for 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not browned.<br /><br />Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, with out allowing it to burn. Now turn the heat up, add the livers and fry briskly for 3-5 minutes, or until the livers are lightly browned on the outside, but still rosy in the middle.<br /><br />Tip the livers and their juices into a blender. &nbsp;Deglaze the pan with 2 Tbsp Verjuice, stirring and scraping to dislodge any bits. &nbsp;Bubble for 30 seconds, remove the thyme and pour the pan juices into the blender.<br /><br />Blitz to a fine, smooth paste, then add the cream, and whizz again until just combined. &nbsp;Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour into a paté dish (or individual pots), and smooth the top. Cover with clingfilm and chill for 3 hours.<br /><br />To make the jelly, pour the half cup of Verjuice into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatine on top and leave to ‘sponge’ for 3 minutes. Set the bowl in a pan of simmering water, halfway up to its waist, and leave until the mixture is clear. &nbsp;Allow to cool for 3 minutes, then pour the jelly over the paté in an even layer. Sprinkle with thyme leaves and black pepper, then refrigerate until the topping has set.<br />Serve with bread, crackers and capers.<br /><br /><i>Serves 6-8 as a snack.</i><br /><i><br /></i><i><br /></i>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-21849665301534455172015-11-14T18:49:00.002+02:002015-11-29T16:50:21.254+02:00Camembert Baked in Vine Leaves, with Verjuice-Poached GrapesNeed a gorgeous Christmas curtain-raiser? Try my jewel-bright starter, which combines hot oozing Camembert with sharp-sweet grapes lightly poached in <a href="http://www.verjuice.co.za/about-verjuice/"><b>Verjuice</b></a>. &nbsp;(If you don’t have fresh vine leaves, use blanched baby spinach leaves to wrap your cheese.)<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xsWThphRspA/VlnBCP3E5bI/AAAAAAAAFHA/bsh9C8fSBNM/s1600/Baked%2BCamembert%2Bwith%2BPoached%2BGrapes_cropped.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xsWThphRspA/VlnBCP3E5bI/AAAAAAAAFHA/bsh9C8fSBNM/s640/Baked%2BCamembert%2Bwith%2BPoached%2BGrapes_cropped.jpg" width="500" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><div style="font-size: 12.8px;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Camembert Baked in Vine Leaves with Verjuice-Poached Grapes</span></div><div style="font-size: 12.8px;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;">and oven-baked croutons. (Plate by&nbsp;<a href="http://www.davidwalters.co.za/david.html"><b>David Walters</b></a>.)</span></div></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><hr /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://i1.wp.com/michaelolivier.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Asara-Vineyard-Collection-Pinotage-Rose-2015.png?resize=539%2C153" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://i1.wp.com/michaelolivier.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Asara-Vineyard-Collection-Pinotage-Rose-2015.png?resize=539%2C153" height="122" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: center;"><br />Wine recommendation by <b><a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/archives/32992" target="_blank">Michael Olivier</a></b>. &nbsp;He says: "Asara Vineyard Collection Pinotage Rosé 2015."&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It looks like:</b> Packed in a Burgundy shaped flint bottle with a gold screwcap and elegant label. In the glass it is a beautiful dusky pink, inviting you to take a sip.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It smells like:</b> Watermelon sorbet, spun sugar and roadside brambles.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It taste like: </b> Fresh red and black berries, the fullness of honeydew melon, crisp, fresh and a lovely harmony right through to a long aftertaste.</div></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><br />This is the second in <a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2015/10/cold-cucumber-herb-yoghurt-soup-with.html"><b>a series of new recipes</b></a> I've developed using Verjuice, and I do hope you'll put this show-stopper on your Christmas table this year. Why? You can make it well ahead of time, it doesn't take long to fling together, and it's a simple starter that draws appreciative gasps from guests. <br /><br /><b>Camembert Roasted in Vine Leaves with Verjuice-Poached Grapes</b><br /><br /><i>For the grapes:</i><br /><i><br /></i>1 cup <a href="http://www.verjuice.co.za/about-verjuice/"><b>Verjuice</b></a><br />4 large vine leaves, or 6 baby spinach leaves, stalks removed<br />1 Tbsp (15 ml) honey<br />1 large sprig of fresh thyme<br />a big bunch of sweet red grapes<br /><br /><i>For the cheese:</i><br /><i><br /></i>1 x 250 g just-ripe Camembert<br />1 sprig of fresh thyme<br />milled black pepper<br /><br /><i>To serve:</i><br />oven-baked crouton tatters (see Cook's Notes; <i>below</i>), or Melba toast<br /><br />Heat the oven to 180 ºC.<br /><br />First prepare the vine leaves and grapes. Pour the Verjuice into a shallow pan and bring to a simmer. Spread a large sheet of clingfilm on the counter. &nbsp;Blanch the vine leaves by dipping each one in the simmering Verjuice for 10 seconds. Snip off the stalks and spread the leaves on the clingfilm to dry. If you're using baby spinach leaves, you'll need to blanch them a little longer - they should be soft and floppy.<br /><br />Add the honey and thyme sprig to the pan, then lay the bunch of grapes in the pan, on its side. Poach at a gentle simmer for about 7 minutes, turning the bunch often, or until the skin is splitting and fruit is just beginning to collapse. Remove the grapes and set aside to drain in a colander.<br /><br />Turn up the heat and boil the Verjuice until it has reduced by about half, and is thickened and glossy. Set this syrup aside.<br /><br />Cut an X shape across the top of the Camembert, about 5mm deep, and push a few sprigs of thyme into the slits, using the back of a knife. &nbsp;Wrap the cheese in the blanched vine leaves. &nbsp;Set the cheese on a sheet of baking paper, wrap up to a loose parcel, and secure with kitchen string or raffia.<br /><br />Place on a baking sheet and bake at 180 ºC for 7-12 minutes, or until the cheese feels very soft and oozy.<br /><br />Remove the baking paper, and place on a platter. &nbsp;Arrange the poached grapes around the cheese, drizzle them with the Verjuice syrup, and serve immediately with crisp golden croutons (<i>see below</i>) or Melba toast. <br /><br /><i>Serves 4 as a starter or snack.</i><br /><i><br /></i><b>Cook's Notes:</b><br /><b><br /></b>To make oven-baked crouton tatters, heat the oven to 190 °C, fan on. Tear a day-old baguette, or white rolls, into big rough scraps, and arrange them on a non-stick baking tray. &nbsp;Drizzle very lightly with olive oil, toss well to and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until they're golden brown and crunchy. &nbsp;Put the croutons on a wire rack and allow to cool - they will stay crisp for a few hours, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.<br /><i><br /></i>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-45045159223885393862015-10-14T20:40:00.000+02:002015-11-29T17:17:29.214+02:00Cold Cucumber, Herb & Yoghurt Soup with Verjuice Granita I hope you'll enjoy this cold yoghurty cucumber soup, topped with feathery flakes of frozen Verjuice. With its lovely contrast of herbal creaminess and sweet, crunchy acidity, this is a splendid starter for a blazing day. There are deep, clean, singing flavours here that make you want to drink it in buckets, as if it is <i>exactly </i>what your body craves. &nbsp;This low-carb recipe is suitable for diabetics.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GeaYzAa65gE/VlsWB0cx2EI/AAAAAAAAFHQ/TkFo8ZCwXeg/s1600/Cucumber%2B%2526%2BHerb%2BSoup%2Bwith%2BVerjuice%2BGranita_forblog-001.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="500" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GeaYzAa65gE/VlsWB0cx2EI/AAAAAAAAFHQ/TkFo8ZCwXeg/s640/Cucumber%2B%2526%2BHerb%2BSoup%2Bwith%2BVerjuice%2BGranita_forblog-001.jpg" width="500" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Cold Cucumber, Herb &amp; Yoghurt Soup with Verjuice Granita&nbsp;</span></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/archives/32657" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://i0.wp.com/michaelolivier.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Metis-2013.jpeg" height="" width="450" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: center;"><br />Wine recommendation by <b><a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/archives/32657" target="_blank">Michael Olivier</a></b>. &nbsp;He says: "Klein Constantia Metis Sauvignon Blanc 2014."&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It looks like:&nbsp;</b>Packed in the bottle embossed with the Constantia logo, the fusion of philosophies is reflected in the flower on the label that is a hybrid of the South African Protea and French Iris. In the glass a pale gold with green amber flashes.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It smells like:</b> Pure classical good Sauvignon aromas. White fleshed peaches and nectarines. Grapefruit oil.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It taste like: </b> Rich, vibrant palate. Generous fruit, blackcurrant leaves, almost savoury. Minerals present in the exciting lime squirt in the long aftertaste. This is a laster if well stored could go up to 8 years after vintage.</div></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><br />I've had fun this month developing&nbsp;<b><a href="http://taste.co.za/sponsored-versatile-verjuice/">a series of new recipes</a>&nbsp;</b>using Verjuice, and this is the first of nine. Are you familiar with <a href="http://www.verjuice.co.za/about-verjuice/"><b>Verjuice</b></a>? &nbsp;It's a delicate, slightly tart, somewhat sweet, unfermented juice made from unripe grapes, popular as an acidulating agent in Roman times and the Middle Ages. <br /><br />In recent times, this ingredient's been revived by <a href="https://www.maggiebeer.com.au/"><b>Maggie Beer</b></a>, one of Australia's best-loved cooks, food writers and restaurateurs. My aunt, the brilliant <b><a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2009/03/sa-food-fundis-gilly-walters-of.html">Gilly Walters</a> </b>of <b><a href="http://www.wedgewoodnougat.co.za/the-wedgewood-story/">Wedgewood Nougat</a> </b>fame, introduced me to this ingredient some years ago, and I always have a bottle of it in my kitchen. What I love about Verjuice is that it doesn't have any of the throat-raspiness of vinegar - it's a gentle ingredient that sings sweetly in the background.<br /><br />Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing some of my new Verjuice recipes with you, and I hope they encourage you to experiment with this intriguing ingredient over the festive season (you'll find it at Woolies).<br /><br />When I first wrote this recipe down, I recommended serving it immediately, but I found that its flavour developed and mellowed over the next day, so feel free to make it up to 24 hours in advance (but keep it in the fridge, tightly covered, in a non-metallic bowl).<br /><br />Make sure the serving bowls are very well chilled, or make pretty&nbsp;<b><a href="http://whatsforsupper-juno.blogspot.co.za/2012/08/white-gazpacho-with-tomato-granita.html">ice bowls</a>&nbsp;</b>in which&nbsp;to serve this beautiful starter.<br /><br /><b>Cold Cucumber, Herb &amp; Yoghurt Soup with Verjuice Granita&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>For the granita:</i><br /><i><br /></i>½ cup (125 ml) Verjuice<br /><br /><i>For the soup:</i><br /><i><br /></i>2 chilled English cucumbers (about 700 g)<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) Verjuice<br />1 cup (250 ml) Greek yoghurt<br />1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped<br />1/3 cup (80 ml) chopped curly parsley<br />1/3 cup (80 ml) chopped chives<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) chopped dill<br />1 tsp (5 ml) Tabasco sauce<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) cream<br />salt &amp; milled black pepper<br /><br />First make the granita. &nbsp;Pour the Verjuice into a small metal pan and freeze for 45-90 minutes, or until just frozen - the time it takes will depend on how efficient your freezer is. &nbsp;Use a fork to scratch and scrape at the surface to create light, feathery crystals. Return the dish to the freezer. <br /><br />Lightly peel the cucumbers, leaving a little green skin here and there. Roughly chop and place in a food processor with all the remaining ingredients, except the cream and seasoning. &nbsp;Whizz until very smooth. Now stir in the cream and season to taste with salt and plenty of black pepper.<br /><br />Serve immediately in chilled bowls, topping each serving with a heaped spoonful of Verjuice granita, plus a scattering of chives or dill fronds.<br /><br /><i>Serves 4. &nbsp;</i><br /><div><br /></div><span style="font-size: x-small;">(<i>Note/Disclaimer</i>: &nbsp;I was paid a professional fee to develop these recipes and supply photographs, but this fee did not include featuring them on my blog and elsewhere. This I do because I'm pleased with these dishes and want to share them with you.)</span><br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-55432808834251148582015-08-23T19:59:00.003+02:002015-10-09T19:55:31.245+02:00Easy Upside-Down Pear & Almond CakeA light, almond-scented cake that's best served warm with clouds of whipped cream, and preferably on a Sunday afternoon when the rain is pelting down and Monday's looming like an unwelcome house guest. This doesn't take much effort to make, and to make it even easier, I've used tinned pears. You can, of course, buy fresh pears, peel them and poach them, but why go to all this effort? I'm a huge fan of South African tinned fruit, which in my opinion is of outstanding quality.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_pS6tvjqTAo/VdoEvTgRmMI/AAAAAAAAFCE/7tCHkSizDpo/s1600/IMG_20150815_153458%2B%25282%2529.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_pS6tvjqTAo/VdoEvTgRmMI/AAAAAAAAFCE/7tCHkSizDpo/s640/IMG_20150815_153458%2B%25282%2529.jpg" width="425" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Shower your Pear Cake with toasted, flaked almonds &amp; icing sugar.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />The first time I tested this recipe I used a sponge-cake formula, but despite its high butter content it was curiously dry. The second time, I went with a lighter, fat-free batter, which puffed up beautifully and was still airy the next day, when the cake had cooled and was dispatched to school and work in various lunchboxes. Another tweak I made to the second version was using double the quantity of tinned pears.<br /><br />There are four watchpoints in this recipe: first, be sure to line your tin properly with baking paper, to prevent the cake burning and sticking at the edges. &nbsp;Second, take your time beating the eggs and sugar to <a href="https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070402173847AAFNKDE"><b>the ribbon stage</b></a> - the mixture should be very pale, thick and fluffy before you add the flour. It's fairly quick to do this if you have an electric whisk or similar appliance, but if you are making this by hand you will need to put in a lot of elbow grease.<br /><br />Third, don't be tempted to open the oven until about three-quarters of the way through the baking time. After that, you can take the occasional peek. &nbsp;If you notice that the cake is browning too quickly in certain areas, rotate the tin (I have to do this as my oven has notorious hot spots), and cover it with a loose dome of tin foil.<br /><br />Finally, don't over-scent your cake. <a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/nielsen-massey.htm?id=4708&amp;name=Nielsen-Massey-Pure-Almond-Extract"><b>Good almond extract</b></a> has a powerful flavour, and must be used sparingly. &nbsp;If you can't find proper extract, and you're using synthetic supermarket essence, I suggest you add a few drops at a time, tasting the mixture as you go.<br /><br /><b>Easy Upside-Down Pear and Almond Cake</b><br /><b><br /></b>2 x 820 g tins of pear halves<br />4 large free-range eggs<br />1½ cups (375 ml) caster sugar<br />1½ cups (375 ml) cake flour<br />2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder<br />a pinch of salt<br />3/4 cup (180 ml) milk<br />½ tsp (2.5 ml) <b><a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/nielsen-massey.htm?id=4708&amp;name=Nielsen-Massey-Pure-Almond-Extract">almond extract</a>&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><i>For the glaze &amp; topping:&nbsp;</i><br /><br />½ cup (125 ml) reserved pear juice (see recipe)<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) smooth apricot jam<br />a squeeze of fresh lemon juice<br />a handful of toasted almond flakes<br />whipped cream<br /><br />Heat the oven to 170° C, fan on, or 180° C if your oven has no fan.<br /><br />Open the tins of pears and drain the fruit for ten minutes in a colander set over a large bowl. &nbsp;Reserve the pear juice.<br /><br />Now prepare your tin. Generously butter the sides and bottom of a non-stick 23-cm springform cake tin. Cut a circle of baking paper to the same size as the base, press it down firmly, and spread a thin film of butter over it. Now cut a long strip of baking paper to roughly the same width as the height of the tin, and use it to line the sides of the tin. &nbsp;Butter the baking paper.<br /><br />Neatly arrange the drained pear halves on top of the paper-lined base of the cake tin, cut-side down and narrow ends pointing to the centre. If you like, you can tuck a whole blanched almond into the hollow of each pear. &nbsp;Slice any extra pears in half, lengthways, and arrange them over the top.<br /><br />Put the eggs and caster sugar into a big bowl and whisk at high speed with a hand-held rotary beater or similar appliance until the mixture has almost doubled in volume and is very pale, thick and fluffy. <br /><br />Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the egg mixture, and gently stir until everything is well combined. Now stir in the milk and almond essence to create a fairly slack batter.<br /><br />Pour the mixture all over the pears, and gently shake the pan so the batter penetrates to the bottom of the tin. One sharp tap on the counter will allow any bubbles to escape.<br /><br />Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the cake is well risen, firm to the touch, and a wooden skewer pushed into the cake comes out dry.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eHIh6BbgeYE/VdoFN8klEEI/AAAAAAAAFCM/crlmSSsiYac/s1600/Pear%2Band%2BAlmond%2BTart.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eHIh6BbgeYE/VdoFN8klEEI/AAAAAAAAFCM/crlmSSsiYac/s320/Pear%2Band%2BAlmond%2BTart.jpg" width="267" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Paint the warm glaze all over the top of the cake.</td></tr></tbody></table>While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. Put 125 ml (half a cup) of the reserved pear juice into a saucepan and cook over a high heat for about 5 minutes, or until it has reduced by half. Now stir in the apricot jam and bubble over a medium heat for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture is syrupy and producing big, lazy bubbles. Add a spritz of lemon juice and let the mixture cool to lukewarm.<br /><br />When the cake is ready, put the tin on your counter, wait for three minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen it. &nbsp;Release the spring.<br /><br />Put a plate on top of the tin, turn it over, then remove the base and carefully peel off the baking paper.<br /><br />Using a pastry brush, paint the warm glaze all over the top, letting it dribble down the sides of the cake.<br /><br />Scatter the toasted almonds over the top, sift over a little icing sugar and serve warm, with whipped cream.<br /><br /><i>Serves 8.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><i><br /></i>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-47379597903835807822015-08-15T18:39:00.000+02:002015-08-15T18:51:45.261+02:00#RealFood For Kids: Low-Carb 'Grannies in Blankets' <div style="text-align: left;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ge8jfzXDowc/Vc9NQohVJsI/AAAAAAAAFBA/-fgFrjOj0xA/s1600/Grannies%2Bin%2BBlankets.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ge8jfzXDowc/Vc9NQohVJsI/AAAAAAAAFBA/-fgFrjOj0xA/s320/Grannies%2Bin%2BBlankets.jpg" width="247" /></a></div>This is a new twist on a beloved South African dish:<i> <a href="http://tuis.co.za/mobile/resepte-mobile/oumas-onder-die-kombers/"><b>Ouma Onder Die Komberse</b></a></i>. Big, juicy meatballs are flavoured with nutmeg, onion and lemon zest, wrapped in soft cabbage ‘blankets’, then baked in a creamy lemon sauce.<br /><br />The paragraph above comes directly from just-published&nbsp;<b><i><a href="http://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/lifestyle/feeding-kids-natural-foods-is-the-way-to-go-1.1882154#.Vc9kVfmqpBf">Real Food: Healthy, Happy Children</a></i>,</b> by<b> <a href="http://lifestyle.iafrica.com/food/1002469.html">Kath Megaw</a></b> (<span id="goog_1589285405"></span><b><a href="http://www.quivertreepublications.com/home/">Quivertree</a></b><span id="goog_1589285406"></span>, 2015), and I'm honoured to have been asked to contribute some of my low-carb recipes to the book.<br /><br />South African paediatric dietician Kath Megaw is a leading fundi on low-carb and ketogenic diets for children. "Wait!" I hear you cry. "Low carb <i>for kids</i>?" Yes, that's right, but I can assure you that this is not some faddish, irresponsible book leaping onto the banting bandwagon. It's a painstakingly researched, well-informed, sensible guide that advocates a return to real, 'living' food using the wholesome unprocessed ingredients so familiar to our grandparents.<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If you're looking to banish sugar, stodge and boxed foods from your family's diet, you've found the only guide you'll ever need, whether you're pregnant, or feeding a baby, or a coping with <a href="http://proparty.info/2012/05/spicy-chicken-tomato-and-sweetcorn-soup.html"><b>teens who have hollow legs</b></a>. If you still need convincing, <a href="http://quivertree.bookslive.co.za/blog/2015/08/14/podcast-kath-megaw-talks-about-the-ketogenic-diet-and-her-book-real-food-healthy-happy-children/"><b>click here</b></a> to listen to a podcast of Kath talking about her book, and <a href="http://lifestyle.iafrica.com/food/1002469.html"><b>here</b></a> to read more about her low-carb philosophy. &nbsp;</div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P-QebIqIZU4/Vc9T4XKu-VI/AAAAAAAAFBM/pMcD__7AQbg/s1600/New-Picture%2B%25281%2529.png" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" height="320" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P-QebIqIZU4/Vc9T4XKu-VI/AAAAAAAAFBM/pMcD__7AQbg/s320/New-Picture%2B%25281%2529.png" width="247" /></a>When I first picked up my copy of this hefty 300-page book at last week's launch, I was astonished at how much detailed information is packed between the pages. It's bursting with tips, tricks and accurate nutritional info, with lovely photographs and illustrations adding whimsy along the way. Journalist and cookery writer <a href="http://www.quivertreepublications.com/authors/daisy-jones/"><b>Daisy Jones</b></a>, who wrote the text, has a chatty yet precise style, and she's brilliantly conveyed Kath's 20 years of clinical experience in this field. <br /><br />What's pleased me so much about contributing to this project &nbsp;is seeing my name on the same line as <a href="http://www.platetopage.com/2011/05/phillippa-cheifitz-my-history-in-food.html" style="font-weight: bold;">Phillippa Cheifitz</a>'s<b>. &nbsp;</b>Phillippa,&nbsp;who wrote many of the gorgeous recipes in the book, is one of the <i>grande dames </i>of&nbsp;South African cookery writing, and I have greatly admired her since I <a href="http://proparty.info/2009/06/whisky-and-orange-dark-chocolate_10.html"><b>cooked my way</b></a> through her inspiring&nbsp;<i>Cosmopolitan Cookbook</i>&nbsp;in my twenties. <br /><br />I hauled my tattered, cake-spattered copy of that book to the launch, and my day was complete when Phillippa graciously signed it for me, 29 years after I bought it.<br /><br />I'm so looking forward to trying the recipes on my own family - specially the mouth-watering treats from the party food section. &nbsp;(My beloveds feel so deprived of puds these days.)<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-i3ZqFN1oGOc/Vc9iwNd5cXI/AAAAAAAAFBc/NA9X-GTzmxA/s1600/nutty%2Bexploding%2Bapples.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-i3ZqFN1oGOc/Vc9iwNd5cXI/AAAAAAAAFBc/NA9X-GTzmxA/s640/nutty%2Bexploding%2Bapples.jpg" width="510" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Nutty Exploding Apples with Vanilla Custard: another of my recipes<br />from&nbsp;&nbsp;<i>Real Food: Healthy, Happy Children</i></td></tr></tbody></table><br /></div><div class="" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Now to the recipe. I've used a <a href="http://proparty.info/2014/08/low-carb-swedish-style-meatballs-in.html"><b>Swedish-style creamy sauce</b></a> to cloak these cabbage-wrapped meatballs, but you could also bake them in a <a href="http://proparty.info/2010/08/ricotta-and-parsley-filled-paccheri.html"><b>fresh tomato sauce</b></a>. &nbsp;Meatballs tend to be a little dense when they don't contain breadcrumbs, but I've found that a big dollop of <b><a href="http://proparty.info/2014/03/how-to-make-thick-creamy-greek-style.html">natural Greek yoghurt</a> </b>helps to tenderise them. This #LCHF recipe is suitable for diabetics.<br /><br /><b>Low-Carb 'Grannies in Blankets'&nbsp;</b><br /><br />12 outer leaves from a cabbage (or baby savoy leaves)<br />2 lemons<br />salt and milled pepper, to taste<br />1 large onion, peeled<br />900g beef mince<br />1 extra-large free-range egg, lightly beaten<br />2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated<br />3 tbsp thick Greek yoghurt<br />1½ tsp nutmeg<br />1 tbsp olive oil<br />2 tbsp white wine vinegar<br />1 cup cream<br />4 tbsp finely chopped parsley<br />butter, for greasing<br /><br />1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (fan off).<br />2. Trim away the thick lower ‘ribs’ of the cabbage leaves. Bring a large saucepan of water to a<br />rolling boil, then add a wedge of lemon and a pinch of salt. Plunge the leaves into the water,<br />partially cover with a lid and blanch for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the leaves are wilted.<br />3. Drain (reserving the poaching water), then run the leaves under cold water for 3 minutes and<br />set aside to drain further.<br />4. Grate the onion on the fine tooth of a grater to create a soft, juicy pulp. Tip this into a large<br />mixing bowl and add the mince, egg, garlic, yoghurt, nutmeg and the zest of 1 lemon, plus<br />seasoning. Combine the mixture well using your hands., then roll the mince into 12 balls, each<br />about the size of a golf ball.<br />5. Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown the meatballs on all sides, in batches,<br />over a medium-high heat – this should only take a few minutes per side as they should be nicely<br />caramelised, but still raw on the inside. Set the meatballs aside on a plate.<br />6. Turn up the heat and add the vinegar, plus half a cup of the cabbage poaching liquid. Let this<br />mixture bubble vigorously for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it has reduced by half.<br />7. Remove the pan from the heat, wait a minute, then stir in the cream. Return the pan to a<br />medium heat and let the sauce bubble for 1 minute, stirring now and then, until it has slightly<br />thickened. Now stir in the juice of half a lemon and the parsley and set aside.<br />8. Pat the cabbage leaves very dry on kitchen paper. Tuck a leaf around each meatball and arrange<br />in a buttered baking dish. Pour the sauce around and over the cabbage parcels and cover the dish<br />loosely with tin foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the ‘grannies’ are cooked right through.<br /><br /><br /><i>Serves 4-6 Per serving: energy: 514 kcal protein: 33g fat: 39g carbs: 7g ratio: 1.0 :1</i><br /><i><br /></i><i>Recipe courtesy of <a href="http://www.quivertreepublications.com/home/"><b>Quivertree Publications</b></a>.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><b>More of my meatball recipes:</b><br /><ul><li><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2014/05/no-carb-lemon-turmeric-meatballs-in.html">No-Carb Lemon Turmeric Meatballs in Lettuce Cups&nbsp;</a></b></li><li><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2014/08/low-carb-swedish-style-meatballs-in.html">Low-Carb Swedish-Style Meatballs in a Creamy Lemon Sauce</a></b></li><li><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2009/02/meatballs-in-spicy-tomato-and-yoghurt.html">Meatballs in a Spicy Tomato and Yoghurt Gravy</a></b></li><li><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/05/scrumptious-soccer-snacks-mini-pita.html">Mini Pita Breads with Spicy Meatballs and Hummous</a></b></li><li><a href="http://proparty.info/2007/07/quick-oven-baked-meatballs-with-tomato.html"><b>Quick Oven-Baked Meatballs with Tomato &amp; Spag</b></a></li></ul><br /></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-25515989567621581582014-12-14T19:10:00.000+02:002015-12-13T20:33:55.775+02:00Nougat and Ice Cream Cake with Hot Raspberry SauceHere is a lovely family recipe that takes all the hassle out of preparing a hot-weather festive dessert. You can make this easy ice cream cake a day or two - or four! - in advance, and I promise your friends and relatives will love it.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7e4kon1W8bo/VI2y_fB_LYI/AAAAAAAAE4Y/F70tR7LFttU/s1600/Nougat%2Band%2BIce%2BCream%2BCake%2Bwith%2BHot%2BRaspberry%2BSauce.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" height="" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7e4kon1W8bo/VI2y_fB_LYI/AAAAAAAAE4Y/F70tR7LFttU/s1600/Nougat%2Band%2BIce%2BCream%2BCake%2Bwith%2BHot%2BRaspberry%2BSauce.jpg" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Nougat and Ice Cream Cake with Hot Raspberry Sauce. Photograph by<br />Michael Le Grange, courtesy <a href="http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/scrumptious-food-for-family-and-friends/4653" target="_blank"><b>Random House Struik</b>&nbsp;</a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />This recipe first appeared in my <a href="http://proparty.info/2012/04/announcing-my-scrumptious-new-cook-book.html" target="_blank"><b>2012 cookbook</b></a>, and it was inspired by my aunt <a href="http://proparty.info/2009/03/sa-food-fundis-gilly-walters-of.html" target="_blank"><b>Gilly Walters</b></a>, the wizardess who started <b><a href="http://www.wedgewoodnougat.co.za/our-story/" target="_blank">Wedgewood Nougat&nbsp;</a></b>in her home kitchen many years ago.&nbsp;<b>&nbsp;</b><br /><br />Gilly is hands-down the&nbsp;best home cook I've ever met. Her exquisite food has inspired and delighted me for over 45 years, ever since I sat down at her table as a child, and scoffed myself sick on her feather-light scones.<br /><br />These days, Wedgewood&nbsp;is a thriving enterprise exporting its <b><a href="http://www.wedgewoodnougat.co.za/we-make/" target="_blank">nougat</a></b> and heavenly Angel's Biscuits&nbsp;all over the world. &nbsp;These are still made by hand in a hi-tech factory in the Natal Midlands, and the business - a model of social responsibility - is managed by my three cousins, brothers Jon, Steve and Paul Walters. <br /><br /><b>Cook's Notes:</b><br /><br /><ul><li>Please choose a proper dairy ice cream for this cake, not the frozen ‘desserts’ that pass for vanilla ice cream.&nbsp;</li><li>After you've taken it out of the freezer, let the cake stand at room temperature for 5–10 minutes, or until just soft enough to slice with a knife you've dipped in very hot water.&nbsp;</li><li>How much lemon juice and icing sugar you add to the raspberry sauce will depend on how tart or sweet they are to begin with; adjust as necessary.</li><li>If you're making the ice cream cake a few days ahead, wrap it tightly in clingfilm so it doesn't pick up any whiff of freezer.&nbsp;</li><li>As I mentioned in the original intro to the recipe (see below) you can add other goodies of your choice to the mixture. &nbsp;I can recommend finely chopped dark chocolate, and a few drops of <a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/nielsen-massey.htm?id=4708&amp;name=Nielsen-Massey-Pure-Almond-Extract"><b>good almond extract</b></a>.&nbsp;</li></ul><br /><hr /><b>Nougat and Ice Cream Cake with Hot Raspberry Sauce</b><br /><br /><i>'My aunt Gilly Walters, a superlative cook and the inventive brain behind one of South Africa’s best-loved nougats, showed me this method of adding whipped cream and chopped frozen nougat to good shop-bought vanilla ice cream. What I love about ice-cream cakes like this is that they look spectacular and are so versatile: you can add anything that takes your fancy to the mix – chopped dark chocolate, nuts, liqueur, and so on.'</i><br /><br /><b>For the biscuit crust:</b><br /><br />1 x 200 g packet shortbread biscuits<br />6 Tbsp (90 ml/90 g) very soft butter<br /><br /><b>For the filling and sauce:</b><br /><br />2 litres full-cream vanilla ice cream<br />1 x 110 g bar nutty nougat, frozen solid<br />10 Romany Creams, or similar chocolate biscuit<br />1 cup (250 ml, or 1 x 250 ml tub) fresh cream<br />3 cups (750 ml) frozen raspberries<br />about 3 Tbsp (45 ml) icing sugar (see my Cook's Notes above)<br />a little lemon juice<br /><br />Take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it soften slightly.<br /><br />In the meantime, &nbsp;make the crust. Whizz the shortbread biscuits to a fairly fine crumb in a food processor. Place in a bowl, add the soft butter and stir well to combine. Wet the base of a non-stick 24-cm springform cake pan and cover with clingfilm. Tuck the edges of the plastic under the base, pulling it quite tight as you fasten it in the ring. Press the biscuit mixture evenly onto the lined base and refrigerate it while you making the filling.<br /><br />Using a heavy knife, chop the frozen nougat bar into pea-size pieces and cut the chocolate biscuits into big chunks.<br /><br />Whip the cream to a soft peak in a large bowl and, working quickly so the mixture doesn’t melt, fold in the slightly softened ice cream, nougat, biscuits and <i>half </i>the frozen raspberries.<br /><br />Tip the mixture over the crumb crust and, using a spatula, swirl the top into generous waves and ripples. Cover and freeze.<br /><br />Put the remaining raspberries, the icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice (see my notes above) in a small pan, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a stick blender or food processor, whizz to a purée.<br /><br />Strain the sauce if you’d like it fine, or leave it slightly rough. Set aside to reheat later.<br /><br />Loosen the edges of the ice cream cake by briefly pressing a hot kitchen cloth against the sides.<br /><br />Slip a spatula or palette knife between the crumb base and the clingfilm and loosen it by using gentle levering movements, turning the pan as you go. Slide the cake onto a plate or cake stand, leaving the base and clingfilm behind.<br /><br />Cut the cake into slices using a knife dipped in boiling water. Reheat the raspberry sauce and serve separately, in a pretty jug. &nbsp;Or you can leave the cake whole, and pour the hot sauce all over the top, as shown in the picture above.<br /><br />Makes 1 x 24 cm 'cake'; serves 8-10.<br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-77223950910739467472014-11-25T21:00:00.000+02:002014-11-25T21:02:22.222+02:00Low-Carb Silken Chicken-Liver Pâté with Green Peppercorns If you're looking for a brilliant snack to serve friends and family over the festive season, try this velvety chicken liver&nbsp;pâté with green peppercorns. &nbsp;My formula is the culmination of many years of making retro party pâtés, and I hope this easy, inexpensive dish will knock the socks off your guests. (Scroll to the end of this page for links to more of my <a href="http://proparty.info/2010/08/potted-pork-belly-with-mace-and-pepper.html" target="_blank"><b>potted</b></a> pleasures).<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dtQwvucH3_o/VHTKATJdptI/AAAAAAAAE08/asoTwrDdTv8/s1600/Chicken%2BLiver%2BPate%2Bwith%2BGreen%2BPeppercorns_Scrumptious%2BJane-Anne%2B(2).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dtQwvucH3_o/VHTKATJdptI/AAAAAAAAE08/asoTwrDdTv8/s1600/Chicken%2BLiver%2BPate%2Bwith%2BGreen%2BPeppercorns_Scrumptious%2BJane-Anne%2B(2).jpg" height="" width="420" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My Low-Carb, Silken Chicken Liver Pâté with Green Peppercorns.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><hr /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Matq984S_QM/VHS2EktRBWI/AAAAAAAAE0s/yJujYiLOTiM/s1600/Leopard's%2BLeap%2BCulinaria%2BMuscat%2Bde%2BFrontignan%2BCollection.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Matq984S_QM/VHS2EktRBWI/AAAAAAAAE0s/yJujYiLOTiM/s1600/Leopard's%2BLeap%2BCulinaria%2BMuscat%2Bde%2BFrontignan%2BCollection.jpg" height="" width="460" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation from <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Michael Olivier</b></a>: He says: "<a href="http://www.leopardsleap.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Leopard's Leap</b></a> Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan Collection 2013, made from Muscat de Frontignan grapes from Robertson. A sweet wine goes very well with paté."<br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>It looks like:</b> Elegant packaging. The wine is pale salmon in colour.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>It smells like:</b> Rose petals and Turkish Delight.</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It tastes like:</b> Rich and sweet grapiness. Though not cloying in its sweetness. Percent balance of beautiful aromas, luscious sappy fruits, good counterbalancing acidity and a long gently waning aftertaste with an undertow of rose geranium. </div></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><br />I can't bear gritty, greyish chicken-liver pâtés: for me even to consider eating liver (shudder), the&nbsp;mixture must be very smooth and fine, with a complex flavour, a boozy undertone and a slight rosy blush on the inside. I've added Madagascan green peppercorns to this recipe because I love the way the way their peppery pop surprises your tongue and adds lovely contrast to the richness of the livers. <br /><br />There are two important watchpoints here: Don't overcook the livers - a gentle pinkness as you cut into the pâté is essential - and <i>do </i>strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any gristle and ensure a silken result. The clarified butter topping isn't essential to seal the top of the pâté, but it looks so pretty, with its scattering of both crunchy <a href="http://proparty.info/2011/02/valentines-day-steak-with-pink.html" target="_blank"><b>pink peppercorns</b></a> and brined green ones.<br /><br />This recipe is low in carbohydrates and suitable for diabetics. If you're on a #LCHF regime, I suggest you serve it with slim discs of cucumber or crisp celery sticks, or caperberries, as shown in the picture above. If you're not banting, serve this with slices of fresh baguette or Melba toast.<br /><br /><b>Low-Carb Silken Chicken-Liver Pâté with Green Peppercorns&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b>500 g chicken livers, thawed<br />150 g (150 ml) salted butter<br />a small onion or two shallots, peeled and very finely chopped<br />1 large sprig fresh thyme<br />1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) brandy, plus an extra teaspoon<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) cream<br />4 tsp (20 ml) brined green peppercorns<br />a grating of whole nutmeg<br />salt and milled black pepper, to taste<br /><br /><i>To top:</i><br /><br />50 g (50 ml) salted butter<br />a few green peppercorns<br />a few red peppercorns<br />a sprig of thyme<br /><br />Trim any gristle or unpleasant-looking bits off the chicken livers, rinse under cold water and drain for 10 minutes in a colander. &nbsp;Pat them dry on kitchen paper. If they are of unequal size, cut the biggest ones in half.<br /><br />Melt 100 g of the butter in a large frying pan, over a medium heat, and add the onion and thyme sprig. Cook gently for 4-5 minutes, until the onion bits are soft. Don't allow the onions to brown &nbsp;- they must seethe happily in their bath of golden butter, without catching. When the butter begins to turn a rich golden-brown at the edges of the pan, add the garlic and cook for a further minute.<br /><br />Now turn the heat right up and tip in all the chicken livers. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, turning them over now and then. The butter should bubble enthusiastically, and the livers must must take on a little colour, while remaining pink in the middles. To check, cut the biggest piece in half - it should be rosy, but not raw, on the inside. &nbsp;Remove the livers with a slotted spoon and put them in a blender.<br /><br />Add the brandy to the pan - stand back, in case it ignites - and bubble furiously for a minute or two, or until the alcohol has burned off and the liquid has reduced by about half. Remove the thyme sprig and pour the hot pan juices into the liquidizer.<br /><br />Put the cream, the remaining 50 g butter and 1 tsp brandy (to taste; you might want to add a little more) into the goblet, and blitz to a smooth pureé.<br /><br />Put a fine sieve over a bowl and tip the warm mixture into it. &nbsp;Strain it through the sieve by pressing down on the mixture with the back of a large spoon.<br /><br />Stir in the green peppercorns and a little freshly grated nutmeg, to taste. &nbsp;Season with salt and black pepper. Let the mixture cool to for a 5-10 minutes (this is to prevent the peppercorns sinking to the bottom), stir well, then pour into a clean pâté dish. Smooth the top to as level as you can get it.<br /><br />Scatter over a few more green peppercorns, and some pink peppercorns if you fancy those, and lightly press a sprig of thyme to the centre. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours.<br /><br />To prepare the clarified butter, melt 50 g butter in a pan or your microwave. &nbsp;Place a new or laundered cloth (a <a href="http://www.easipac.co.uk/images/jcloth.jpg" target="_blank"><b>dishcloth like this</b></a> is perfect) in a sieve, and pour the butter through the sieve over the pâté, to form an even layer.<br /><br />Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.<br /><br />Serve with crackers and pickles.<br /><br /><i>Serves 6 as a snack or starter.</i><br /><i><br /></i>Like this recipe? Try some of my other potted pleasures:<br /><br /><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2013/05/potted-pork-shoulder-with-green.html" target="_blank">Potted Pork Shoulder with Green Peppercorns</a></b><br /><br /><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2011/01/easy-duck-rillettes-real-quacker-of.html" target="_blank">Easy Duck Rillettes</a></b><br /><br /><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/08/potted-pork-belly-with-mace-and-pepper.html" target="_blank">Potted Pork Belly with Mace &amp; Pepper</a></b><br /><br /><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2011/06/old-fashioned-potted-salmon-or-trout.html" target="_blank">Old-Fashioned Potted Salmon or Trout</a></b><br /><br /><div><br /></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-42895443828097393212014-11-19T21:21:00.002+02:002014-11-20T20:48:49.598+02:00Christmas Gammon in a Wonderbag, with an Oros, Brandy & Ginger GlazeOne of the highlights of my year as a food writer is sharing a new Christmas gammon idea every November, because these recipes are always so warmly received. Much head-scratching went into this year's recipe, and I hope you'll like it. I've varnished this gammon with an Oros glaze because I wanted to use a South African ingredient I know will strike a chord with anyone who grew up drinking this iconic orange squash. (My recipe for <a href="http://proparty.info/2010/12/christmas-gammon-glazed-with-brandy-and.html" target="_blank"><b>Gammon Glazed with Brandy and Coke</b></a> remains one of the most popular on this blog.)<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CxbWG7UAB7s/VGzURsfiEKI/AAAAAAAAEzU/LOEdtGbTJ0k/s1600/Christmas%2BGammon%2BGlazed%2Bwith%2BOros%2C%2BGinger%2B%26%2BBrandy_Scrumptious%2BSouth_Africa_a.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CxbWG7UAB7s/VGzURsfiEKI/AAAAAAAAEzU/LOEdtGbTJ0k/s1600/Christmas%2BGammon%2BGlazed%2Bwith%2BOros%2C%2BGinger%2B%26%2BBrandy_Scrumptious%2BSouth_Africa_a.jpg" height="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Christmas Gammon Glazed with Oros, Ginger &amp; Brandy, with my favourite<br />topping of&nbsp;fresh pomegranate seeds&nbsp;&amp; pink peppercorns. &nbsp;For a plainer<br />version studded with cloves, please scroll down the page.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><a href="http://oros.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Oros</b></a> has a distinctive sherberty taste and a lurid orange colour, which is part of its appeal. (It's free of tartrazine, if you're worried about that). My family were sceptical when I announced this as my choice of glaze. "Seriously, Mom? Oros?" &nbsp;But the result was spectacular: citrussy and spicy, with glorious sunset colours.<br /><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rsq4AqbrpUY/VFdQbSCaqyI/AAAAAAAAEws/1bEIFS1NhYM/s1600/unnamed%2B(1).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rsq4AqbrpUY/VFdQbSCaqyI/AAAAAAAAEws/1bEIFS1NhYM/s1600/unnamed%2B(1).jpg" height="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><div style="font-size: 12.8000001907349px; text-align: left;">Wine recommendation from&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Michael Olivier</b></a>: He says: "Corder Cool Climate Elgin Syrah 2013.&nbsp;Matured in a combination of French and America oak barrels for 14 months. &nbsp;Lots of fruit and spice which will meet the gammon perfectly."</div><div style="font-size: 12.8000001907349px;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>It looks like: &nbsp;</b>Deep plum at the core, gem-bright purple garnet around the edges.<br /><b><br /></b><b>It smells like: </b>Ripe bloodplums, pepper and oak spice.<br /><b><br /></b><b>It tastes like:</b> Brambles and elderberries and spicy plums. &nbsp;Soft and easy to drink with gentle ripe tannins which make it a excellent food wine. &nbsp;Long and gently waning aftertaste.</div></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><br />I have used my trusty <a href="http://proparty.info/2014/07/an-exciting-discovery-how-to-cook.html" target="_blank"><b>Wonderbag</b></a> to come up with a recipe for tender, succulent gammon. I've had many <a href="http://proparty.info/2013/12/christmas-gammon-with-beetroot-wasabi.html" target="_blank"><b>successes and failures</b></a> cooking Christmas gammons, and after testing this recipe several times, I'll never cook a gammon another way. The meat is deliciously soft and juicy, because its flavours don't leach out into the boiling liquid. &nbsp;If you don't have a Wonderbag (and I urge you <a href="http://nb-wonderbag.com/Pages/CountrySelect" target="_blank"><b>to buy one</b></a>) you can simmer your gammon in stock, in the usual way. You'll find full instructions at the end of the recipe.<br /><br />I made two versions of this, with two slightly different glazes: one with white wine wine - which preserved the glorious orange Oros colour - and the next with brandy, which produced a richer burnish. The first I studded with cloves (my family <b><a href="http://proparty.info/2013/12/christmas-gammon-with-beetroot-wasabi.html" target="_blank">detested these</a>)</b> and the second with my favourite choice of gammon topping: fresh pomegranate seeds and a scattering of <a href="http://proparty.info/2013/12/christmas-gammon-with-beetroot-wasabi.html" target="_blank"><b>crunchy pink peppercorns</b></a>.<br /><br />If you don't fancy my Oros glaze, you'll find links to my other gammon recipes at the end of this page.<br /><div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5e-VZdegrb4/VGzWuWPOZFI/AAAAAAAAEzg/fY4cyWQF3tI/s1600/Oros-Glazed%2BGammon%2Bin%2BA%2BWonderbag.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5e-VZdegrb4/VGzWuWPOZFI/AAAAAAAAEzg/fY4cyWQF3tI/s1600/Oros-Glazed%2BGammon%2Bin%2BA%2BWonderbag.jpg" height="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">For this gammon, I used white wine, plus a studding of cloves. My<br />family didn't like the cloves, but I think they are very Christmassy.<br />Plate by <a href="http://www.davidwalters.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>David Walters</b></a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />&gt;&gt; To see my gammon glazes of Christmasses past, plus three other recipes using the leftovers of a gammon, please scroll to the very end of this page.<br /><br /><hr /><br /><b>Christmas Gammon in a Wonderbag, with an Oros, Brandy &amp; Ginger Glaze</b><br /><br />1 x boneless uncooked gammon, 1.8 kg to 2 kg, skin on<br />1 onion, peeled and thickly sliced<br />water, plus ginger ale or your favourite lager, to taste (see recipe)<br />2 bay leaves<br />1 star anise<br />half a stick cinnamon<br />1 grape-sized knob fresh ginger<br />1 small wedge of fresh lemon<br />4 whole cloves<br />5 allspice berries (optional)<br />1 tsp (5 ml) coarsely cracked black pepper<br /><br /><i><b>For the glaze:</b></i><br /><br />1 cup (250 ml) Oros, or a similar sweet orange squash<br />½ cup (125 ml) white wine, or&nbsp;¼ cup (60 ml) brandy<br />finely grated zest of a small lemon<br />4 tsp (20 ml) brown sugar<br />1½ tsp (7.5 ml) powdered ginger<br /><br />To cook the gammon: place the sliced onion in the bottom of a pot big enough to fit the gammon, with some room around it. Put the gammon on top of the onions. Do not remove the netting around the meat.<br /><br />(If you don't have a Wonderbag, please scroll down for my instructions about boiling a gammon.)<br /><br />Fill the pot to a depth of 2 cm with water. Now add enough ginger ale or lager to bring the level of liquid up to 4 cm.<br /><br />Add all the remaining spices and bring to the boil. Now turn the heat down to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for exactly 45 minutes.<br /><br /><i>Without opening the lid</i> (which will cause the temperature in the pot to drop), place the pot in the Wonderbag, quickly cover with the cushion, and draw up the strings. The residual heat in the meat and pot will finish the cooking process. Set aside on the counter for at least six hours, or overnight, <i>without </i>opening the bag.<br /><br />In the meantime, make the glaze. Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan, stir well and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to medium and bubble briskly for about 15 minutes, or until the glaze has reduced by two thirds. You might find that the mixture seethes up in the pan: to prevent it from boiling over, stir it now and then, and place a spoon across the top of the pot.<br /><br />Remove the gammon from the pot (reserve the gorgeous cooking liquid for soup, stock or gravy) and place it in a roasting dish. Use a pair of scissors to cut through and remove the netting. Now gently peel off the gammon's skin, making sure to leave a generous layer of fat behind. With a sharp knife, score the fat in a neat diamond pattern. &nbsp;If you like, you can press a clove into the intersection of the diamonds.<br /><br />At this point, you can put the gammon in the fridge for several hours - preferably overnight. &nbsp;I recommend overnight, because it allows the meat to cool right down before it's glazed. &nbsp;If you try glazing it while it is still hot, and not properly rested, the juices will leak from the meat and dilute the glaze.<br /><br />Turn the grill to its hottest setting, and wait 15 minutes for it to heat to blazing. &nbsp;Pour the glaze all over the gammon (don't worry if most of it runs off) and place the roasting dish about 20 cm below the grill. Watch it like a hawk, turning and tilting the pan often so the parts furthest from the heat brown evenly. &nbsp;Use a big spoon to trickle the glaze over the gammon every few minutes. &nbsp;It's really important to give the gammon your full attention while it's glazing - I put on a pair of oven gloves and perch myself on a chair in front of the oven.<br /><br />When your gammon is sizzling and the fat layer a lovely rich golden colour all over, remove the tray from the oven, place it on the countertop, and tuck a folded-up cloth underneath one end to set it at a tilt. Continue for the next 10-15 minutes scooping and dribbling the run-off glaze gathering in the pan's corners over the gammon. As the glaze cools, it will cling to the fat.<br /><br />Serve warm or cold, with pickles and potato salad, or as part of a Christmas feast.<br /><br /><i>Serves 6 as a main course with veggies and/or salad.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>To boil your gammon&nbsp;</b>(This method comes from <a href="http://proparty.info/2013/12/christmas-gammon-with-beetroot-wasabi.html" target="_blank"><b>last year's gammon recipe</b></a>):<br /><br />1 x boneless uncooked gammon, 1.8 kg to 2 kg, skin on<br />1 can (340 ml) ginger ale<br />1 can (340 ml) lager of your choice<br />2 bay leaves, dried or fresh<br />3 cloves<br />10 peppercorns<br />½ tsp (2.5 ml) coriander seeds<br />1 star anise<br />1 grape-sized knob fresh ginger<br />1 small wedge of fresh lemon<br />1 onion, cut in half, skin on<br />1 large carrot, cut in thirds<br />a few stalks of parsley<br />water, to cover<br /><br /><a href="http://www.scrumptious.co.za/Gammon%20Stock.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Boiling a gammon in stock" border="0" src="http://www.scrumptious.co.za/Gammon%20Stock.jpg" height="400" width="312" /></a>Put the gammon into a big deep pot and add all the remaining stock ingredients. The liquid in the pot should be at a level of about 2 cm above the top of the gammon.<br /><br />Bring the gammon to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer at a very low burble, covered with a tilted lid, until it is cooked through. Please use your common sense here. I find that the cooking times given on the packaging for bone-out raw gammon (usually 55 minutes per kilogram) are excessive.<br /><br />Every now and then top up the pot with more water, and skim off any mocha-coloured froth as it rises.<br /><br />When the gammon is cooked, remove it from the pot, cover with clingfilm and let it sit for two hours on the countertop. Alternatively - and I recommend this method, as it allows the meat to cool and contract, without drying out - let your gammon cool overnight in its stock. (I always freeze the stock in small plastic boxes for use in future soups and stews.)<br /><br />Now glaze as described above.<br /><br /><b><span style="color: #cc0000;">My other gammon glazes, plus five recipes using the leftovers of a gammon:</span></b><br /><b><span style="color: #cc0000;"><br /></span></b><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1rQuRsNX5gY/VFdPPnMmKII/AAAAAAAAEwg/pU11-l781dA/s1600/1-BeetrootGlazedGammon1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1rQuRsNX5gY/VFdPPnMmKII/AAAAAAAAEwg/pU11-l781dA/s1600/1-BeetrootGlazedGammon1.jpg" height="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://proparty.info/2013/12/christmas-gammon-with-beetroot-wasabi.html" target="_blank"><b>Christmas Gammon with a Beetroot &amp; Wasabi Glaze</b></a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xGd4S32FVAE/VFdMtQ-8K-I/AAAAAAAAEwU/PCiCiE_2EdY/s1600/Christmas%2BGammon%2Bwith%2BPomegranate_pinterest.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xGd4S32FVAE/VFdMtQ-8K-I/AAAAAAAAEwU/PCiCiE_2EdY/s1600/Christmas%2BGammon%2Bwith%2BPomegranate_pinterest.jpg" height="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://proparty.info/2012/11/christmas-gammon-with-pomegranate-and.html" target="_blank"><b>Christmas Gammon with a Pomegranate and Pink Peppercorn Glaze</b></a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td><a href="http://www.scrumptious.co.za/ChristmasGammonAsianGlaze.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Christmas Gammon with a Sticky Orange &amp; Ginger Glaze" border="0" src="http://www.scrumptious.co.za/ChristmasGammonAsianGlaze.jpg" height="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption"><a href="http://proparty.info/2011/12/christmas-gammon-with-sticky-orange-and.html" target="_blank"><b>Christmas Gammon with a Sticky Orange &amp; Ginger Glaze</b></a></td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td><a href="http://www.scrumptious.co.za/ChristmasGammonCoke.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img alt="Christmas Gammon Glazed with Brandy &amp; Coke" border="0" src="http://www.scrumptious.co.za/ChristmasGammonCoke.JPG" height="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption"><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/12/christmas-gammon-glazed-with-brandy-and.html" target="_blank"><b>Christmas Gammon Glazed with Brandy &amp; Coke</b></a></td></tr></tbody></table><br />And here's what to do with left-over gammon:<br /><div><ul><li><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2011/06/easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy-pea-and-gammon.html" target="_blank">Easy-Peasy Pea &amp; Gammon Soup</a></b></li><li><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/12/christmas-gammon-glazed-with-brandy-and.html" target="_blank"><b>Hearty Soup with Tomatoes, Lentils and Gammon</b></a>&nbsp;(scroll to the end of the page for the recipe)</li><li><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/12/christmas-gammon-glazed-with-brandy-and.html" target="_blank">Boiled Gammon with Root Vegetables and Parsley Béchamel Sauce</a>&nbsp;</b>(scroll to the end of the page for the recipe)</li><li><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2012/10/luxurious-broccoli-n-cheese-with-gammon.html" target="_blank">Luxurious Broccoli &amp; Cheese with Gammon and a Parmesan Crust</a></b></li><li><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2012/04/old-fashioned-ham-and-eggs-au-gratin.html" target="_blank">Old-Fashoned Ham and Eggs Au Gratin</a></b></li></ul></div><br /></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-10540623414523922652014-11-05T20:42:00.003+02:002014-11-07T19:53:58.537+02:00Low-Carb Wine-Braised Leeks with Cream, Thyme & Parmesan A dish of silken baby leeks cloaked in a wickedly creamy Parmesan sauce. The leeks take about half an hour to braise in their bath of wine, garlic and thyme, but once they're tender, the sauce takes just a few minutes of brisk bubbling to reduce and thicken. This dish is low in carbohydrates, and suitable for <a href="http://proparty.info/2014/03/hello-diabetes-and-how-i-have-had-to.html" target="_blank"><b>diabetics</b></a> and anyone on a <a href="http://proparty.info/2012/11/low-carb-cooking-30-scrumptious.html" target="_blank"><b>low-carb</b></a> #LCHF regime.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Mdi8XIrs9E/VFjFtQ76vuI/AAAAAAAAExE/0_xHejquJEE/s1600/Wine-Braised%2BLeeks%2Bwith%2BCream%2C%2BThyme%2Band%2BParmesan.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Mdi8XIrs9E/VFjFtQ76vuI/AAAAAAAAExE/0_xHejquJEE/s1600/Wine-Braised%2BLeeks%2Bwith%2BCream%2C%2BThyme%2Band%2BParmesan.jpg" height="" width="425" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Low-Carb Wine-Braised Leeks with Cream, Thyme &amp; Parmesan.<br />This beautiful plate by my uncle&nbsp;<b><a href="http://www.davidwalters.co.za/" target="_blank">David Walters</a>, </b>Master Potter of Franschhoek.</td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tG-kirdYFx8/VFjI_fUFTII/AAAAAAAAExg/5FMKAyopbyg/s1600/Granny%2BSmith.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-tG-kirdYFx8/VFjI_fUFTII/AAAAAAAAExg/5FMKAyopbyg/s1600/Granny%2BSmith.jpg" height="122" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation by <b><a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank">Michael Olivier</a></b>. &nbsp;He says: "Boland Cellar Granny Smith Nouvelle 2014. Nouvelle is a grape developed by Chris Orffer at the University of Stellenbosch by crossing Semillon and Ugni Blanc. First planted on the Geldenhuys family farm Klipvlei near Perdeberg, Nouvelle is grown in the Swartland, and it's a belter.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It looks like:</b> Lime-green tinge of youth. Packed in a green-tinged bottle, with Granny Smith dancing on the label.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It smells like:</b> Well - Granny Smith apples and fynbos herbs scrunched in your hand.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>&nbsp;It taste like: </b> Yes, you guessed, Granny Smiths again - and vibrantly so. A real thirst quencher: zesty, crisp and dry. A nice counterfoil to the leeks and cream.</div></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><br />I'm mad about baby leeks, and feature them often on this blog (recipe links below). &nbsp;One watchpoint: even the slimmest leeks can be stringy, so be sure to keep them bubbling in the wine until they're as tender as a kiss.<br /><br />If you don't cook with wine, you can use a cup of chicken stock in its place.<br /><br />Here are more of my baby leek recipes. The first one is low in carbs, and the second and third are too, provided you omit the breadcrumbs and croutons.<br /><br /><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2013/09/wine-braised-baby-leeks-in-crisp.html" target="_blank">Low-Carb Wine-Braised Baby Leeks in Prosciutto</a></b><br /><br /><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2011/07/braised-baby-leeks-with-halloumi.html" target="_blank">Braised Baby Leeks with Halloumi 'Popcorn' and Frizzled Prosciutto</a></b><br /><br /><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/09/salad-of-warm-baby-leeks-with-blue.html" target="_blank"><b>Salad of Warm Baby Leeks with Blue Cheese and Chilli Croutons</b></a><br /><br /><hr /><br /><b>Low-Carb Wine-Braised Leeks with Cream, Thyme &amp; Parmesan</b><br /><br />750 g baby leeks<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil<br />2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthways<br />1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine<br />a few sprigs of fresh thyme<br />1 cup (250 ml) cream<br />½ cup (125 ml) finely grated Parmesan, plus a little extra for topping<br />a squeeze of fresh lemon juice<br />salt and pepper, to taste<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lhb_kKxpre4/VFjIJ0FIqLI/AAAAAAAAExQ/9p_b_sQ2prA/s1600/Braised%2BBaby%2Bleeks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lhb_kKxpre4/VFjIJ0FIqLI/AAAAAAAAExQ/9p_b_sQ2prA/s1600/Braised%2BBaby%2Bleeks.jpg" height="" width="280" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Fry the leeks in the oil until they take on a little<br />colour here and there.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table>Trim the bases of the leeks and cut off the upper dark-green parts (freeze these for using in your next <a href="http://proparty.info/2011/08/chicken-soup-with-braaied-mielies-south.html" target="_blank"><b>chicken stock</b></a>). <br /><br />Heat the olive oil in a large shallow pan and fry the leeks over a medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes, or until they take on a little colour here and there (see picture, <i>left</i>). <br /><br />Add the garlic and fry for another minute, without letting it brown.<br /><br />Pour in the wine - it will bubble furiously - &nbsp;and add the thyme sprigs.<br /><br />Now turn the heat right down, cover with a tilted lid and simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until the leeks are very - and I mean <i>very -</i> tender.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WSozCDW4sO4/VFjIR5RXg4I/AAAAAAAAExY/pZ2cvn_QOv4/s1600/Braised%2BBaby%2BLeeks%2B3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WSozCDW4sO4/VFjIR5RXg4I/AAAAAAAAExY/pZ2cvn_QOv4/s1600/Braised%2BBaby%2BLeeks%2B3.jpg" height="" width="280" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">When almost all the liquid has evaporated, add<br />the cream.</td></tr></tbody></table>Take off the lid. The liquid in the pan should have reduced to just a few tablespoons. If it has not, continue cooking the leeks, uncovered, until there are just a few tablespoons of liquid left in the pan.<br /><br />Turn up the heat again, pour in the cream, and bubble briskly for a few minutes, or until the cream has reduced and thickened to the consistency of thin custard.<br /><br />Stir in the Parmesan, turn the heat right down, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for a further minute, or until the cheese has melted. <br /><br />Season to taste with salt and pepper. Go easy on the salt - the Parmesan is salty enough in its own right.<br /><br />Remove the pan from the heat. Now add a spritz of lemon juice - just enough to give the sauce a little acidic lift.<br /><br />Remove the garlic pieces and the thyme sprigs.<br /><br />Serve hot, with an extra grating of Parmesan.<br /><br /><i>Serves 4 as a side dish.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-12921501745651234112014-10-31T17:55:00.001+02:002014-11-05T19:25:05.888+02:00Luscious Low-Carb, Sugar-Free Vanilla Cheesecake with a Nut CrustI have made many cheesecakes in my life and this one is, I think, the very best. The baked part is luscious, dense and creamy, with an almond-flavoured nut crust, while a top layer of barely jellied vanilla-scented sour cream adds a delicious final flourish. You won't believe, when you taste this, that it contains not a speck of sugar. <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-epPCl7P-9l4/VFN4hgyKrvI/AAAAAAAAEv4/vIqpbBA0HQc/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BVanilla%2BCheesecake%2Bwith%2Ba%2BNut%2BCrust%2B2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-epPCl7P-9l4/VFN4hgyKrvI/AAAAAAAAEv4/vIqpbBA0HQc/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BVanilla%2BCheesecake%2Bwith%2Ba%2BNut%2BCrust%2B2.jpg" height="" width="450" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Luscious Low-Carb, Sugar-Free Vanilla Cheesecake with a Nut Crust. In this version I used<br />crème fraîche for the topping, which creates lovely swirls.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_waxslMcIqI/VFN6EsXMu_I/AAAAAAAAEwE/7IX_5smC8JY/s1600/unnamed.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_waxslMcIqI/VFN6EsXMu_I/AAAAAAAAEwE/7IX_5smC8JY/s1600/unnamed.jpg" height="" width="420" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: left;">Wine recommendation from <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Michael Olivier</b></a>: &nbsp;He says: "KWV Classic Collection Red Muscadel. We have the most underrated and under-priced sweet fortified wines in South Africa. This is pure Red Muscadel juice fortified with grape spirit and matured in large French oak barrels for a year. The most perfect wine for a rich and creamy cheesecake. You want something to cut through the cream and to make a statement. A wine that’s packed with flavour, and yet is not all about sweetness. The acidity offers contrast and the alcohol a little oomph. Do serve it chilled and in a wine glass, not a mean little liqueur glass. And pour it over ice if it takes your fancy."</div><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><b>It looks like</b>: Gem bright like a ruby tinged amber. Pretty ‘cathedral windows’ appear on the side of the glass when you swirl the wine.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>It smells like:</b> Berries and raisins and a whisper of oak. Begs you to go in and taste it.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: left;"><b>It tastes like:</b> Phwoar! Big waves of fabulous fruit, raisins, red and black berries, a wash of the alcohol and oak, a little acid twist and an aftertaste that slowly rides off into the sunset.</div></td></tr></tbody></table><hr /><br />For sweetening, this cheesecake relies on a little <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xylitol" target="_blank"><b>Xylitol</b></a>, plus <a href="http://www.canderel.co.za/our-range/original/sticks" target="_blank"><b>Canderel</b></a> sweetener in powder form, which I find the least offensive of sugar substitutes. (I tried, while testing this recipe, using powdered <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia" target="_blank"><b>stevia</b></a>, but I found its bitterness impossible to disguise). The choice of sweetener is yours; please see my Cook's Notes at the end of this page. This recipe is ideal for anyone on a low-carb #LCHF regime, and suitable for diabetics.<br /><br />Because this is an expensive cake, containing four tubs of cream cheese, I've provided detailed instructions so it turns out perfectly for you every time.<br /><br />The most important thing is to use top-quality vanilla for the filling, and excellent almond extract for the nut base. I use this lovely <a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/nielsen-massey.htm?id=4705&amp;name=Nielsen-Massey-Madagascar-Bourbon-Vanilla-Paste" target="_blank"><b>vanilla paste from Yuppiechef,</b></a> but if you can't find it, you can use good&nbsp;<b><a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/nielsen-massey.htm?id=4704&amp;name=Nielsen-Massey-Vanilla-Extract&amp;ref=search" target="_blank">vanilla extract</a>,</b> plus the scraped-out seeds of a vanilla pod.<br /><br />Also: don't over-cook the cheesecake, which will result in a somewhat dry and crumbly result. Baking the cheesecake nestled in crumpled foil, in a bain-marie, is crucial, as is judging when to take it out of the oven. Follow my instructions in the recipe closely, and you cannot go wrong.<br /><br />I use low-fat <a href="http://www.lancewood.co.za/#range" target="_blank"><b>Lancewood Cream Cheese</b></a> for my cheesecakes, but you can choose any similar product.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9BS9-fx3BYY/VFNrZv7Jy6I/AAAAAAAAEvc/wPbUWqQ6Vlw/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BVanilla%2BCheesecake%2Bwith%2Ba%2BNut%2BCrust%2B1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9BS9-fx3BYY/VFNrZv7Jy6I/AAAAAAAAEvc/wPbUWqQ6Vlw/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BVanilla%2BCheesecake%2Bwith%2Ba%2BNut%2BCrust%2B1.jpg" height="" width="450" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">In this version I used sour cream, which creates a perfectly smooth topping.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><hr /><br /><b>Luscious Low-Carb, Sugar-Free Vanilla Cheesecake with a Nut Crust</b><br /><br /><b><i>For the crust:&nbsp;</i></b><br /><br />¾ cup (180 ml) whole nuts of your choice - I use a mixture of almonds, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts<br />1 cup (250 ml) almond flour<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) melted butter<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) Xylitol, or more, to taste<br />a few drops of good-quality <a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/nielsen-massey.htm?id=4708&amp;name=Nielsen-Massey-Pure-Almond-Extract" target="_blank"><b>almond extract</b></a><br /><br /><i><b>For the filling:</b></i><br /><br />4 x 250 g tubs cream cheese, at room temperature (see Cook's Notes at the end)<br />1/3 cup (80 ml) Xylitol<br />2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract, or 1 Tbsp (15 ml) vanilla paste<br />1 Tbsp (15 ml) cornflour or flour<br />4 extra-large free-range eggs<br />3-5 paper 'sticks' Canderel sweetener, or a sweetener of your choice (see recipe)<br /><br /><i><b>For the topping:</b></i><br /><br />1 Tbsp (15 ml) water<br />1 tsp (5 ml) gelatine<br />1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or crème fraîche<br />1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract, or 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla paste<br />1 'stick' Canderel powder, or a sweetener of your choice (see recipe)<br /><br />First prepare your tin. Generously butter the sides and bottom of a non-stick 24-cm springform cake tin, or similar. Cut a long strip of baking paper to roughly the same width as the height of the tin, and use it to line the sides of the tin. &nbsp;Now butter the baking paper, or varnish it well with cooking spray.<br /><br />Heat the oven to 180 ºC.<br /><br />Put the nuts into a dry frying pan and toast them gently over a medium-low heat for a few minutes, tossing frequently and watching them closely. Chop into small bits, tip into a mixing bowl and add the almond flour, melted butter, Xylitol and almond extract.<br /><br />Stir well, then press evenly onto the base of the tin. &nbsp;My top tip for an even crust is to put a small drinking glass (such as a shot glass) on its side, rim pointing towards the edges of the tin, and roll it around in a circular fashion. <br /><div style="text-align: left;"></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oEne6LS2Tcg/VFN03FP0E5I/AAAAAAAAEvs/KbI4R_-dU0I/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BVanilla%2BCheesecake%2Bwith%2Ba%2BNut%2BCrust%2B3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-oEne6LS2Tcg/VFN03FP0E5I/AAAAAAAAEvs/KbI4R_-dU0I/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BVanilla%2BCheesecake%2Bwith%2Ba%2BNut%2BCrust%2B3.jpg" height="284" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Press the crust into a springform pan lined with baking paper.</td></tr></tbody></table>Bake the crust at 180 ºC for about 10 minutes, or until it's just beginning to turn golden at the edges. Watch it like a hawk, as it burns in an instant. Take the tin out of the oven and set aside to cool. Turn down the oven to 170 ºC.<br /><br />In the meantime, make the filling. Put the softened cream cheese - see Cook's Notes, below - in a large mixing bowl. (I make this in a jiffy using my faithful Kenwood mixer, but if you don't have a similar gadget you will need to whisk this by hand, or use a rotary beater).<br /><br />Add the Xylitol, vanilla and cornflour, and whisk till smooth and combined. Now add the eggs, one at a time, beating hard. &nbsp;The mixture might take a while to come together, but if you work patiently, it will soon form a beautiful smooth cream. Now sweeten the mixture to taste, with a sweetener of your choice. &nbsp;I find that four sticks of Canderel are enough.<br /><br />Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crust, aiming at the centre so it spreads evenly to the edges.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9ryBwk5JIKU/VFNl9ev5LlI/AAAAAAAAEvM/6kzjWhzhq_s/s1600/20121204_150821.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-9ryBwk5JIKU/VFNl9ev5LlI/AAAAAAAAEvM/6kzjWhzhq_s/s1600/20121204_150821.jpg" height="320" width="289" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Make a foil 'nest' for your cheesecake. This image<br />comes from my recipe for <a href="http://proparty.info/2012/07/cinnamon-stencilled-cheesecake.html" target="_blank"><b>Cinnamon-Stencilled<br />Cheesecake</b></a>, where I did&nbsp;&nbsp;not line the tin&nbsp;with <br />baking paper.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table>Place the tin on two large squares of tin foil, then bring up &amp; crumple the foil to create a 'nest' that will keep the water from seeping into the base.<br /><br />Fill a large roasting pan to about the half-way mark with hot water, and place in the oven. &nbsp;Slide your foil-wrapped baking tin into the water bath, and bake at 170 ºC for about an hour, or until the cheesecake is lightly freckled with brown, set at the edges, and has the slightest wobble in the middle.<br /><br />Turn off the heat, open the oven door a crack and leave the cake to cool completely in the oven.<br /><br />Refrigerate, in its tin, for 4 hours (or overnight), until very cold.<br /><br />To make the topping, put the water in a teacup or similar small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over it. Set aside for a minute or two to sponge.<br /><br />Place the cup in a pot of simmering water (the water should come half-way up the sides) and stir occasionally as the gelatine melts. When the liquid is clear, set the cup aside to cool slightly.<br /><br />Whisk the sour cream or&nbsp;crème fraîche in a bowl to loosen it, then whisk in the gelatine, vanilla paste (or extract) and sweetener. Pour the mixture over the top of the chilled cheesecake and smooth the top (see Cook's Notes if your cheesecake has shrunk away from the sides of the pan). &nbsp;Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.<br /><br />Release the cheesecake from the tin by briefly pressing a hot cloth against the outside rim &nbsp;(I do this by wetting a dishcloth, and microwaving it until very hot.)<br /><br />To serve, cut into thin slices using a big knife dipped for 45 seconds in a jug of boiling water.<br /><br /><i>Makes 1 cheesecake; serves 8-10.&nbsp;</i><br /><br /><b>Cook's Notes</b><br /><ul><li>It really doesn't matter which non-nutritive sweetener you use in any of the three layers of this cheesecake, because the sweetener will not affect their textures. &nbsp;</li><li>The cream cheese should be soft, or you will find it difficult to beat to a smooth mixture. Leave the tubs on your counter for at least 6 hours, so they can come up to room temperature. If you're in a hurry, take the lids and foils off the tubs, arrange them in a circle on your microwave's turntable, and blast on high for 45 seconds at a time, until the cheese has softened.</li><li>If you find your cheesecake has shrunk away from the edges of the pan, leaving a gap into which the topping will run, here is what to do: &nbsp;ease the cake out of its ring. Wrap a long strip of acetate (available from stationers) around the cake to form a close-fitting collar, and secure with sticky tape. Pour over the topping and refrigerate. The acetate will peel away easily once the topping has set.&nbsp;</li></ul><div><b><br /></b>MORE OF MY CHEESECAKES:</div><br /><a href="http://proparty.info/2012/07/cinnamon-stencilled-cheesecake.html" target="_blank"><b>Cinnamon-Stencilled Cheesecake</b></a><br /><b><br /></b><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/07/hazelnut-and-chocolate-cheesecake.html" target="_blank"><b>Hazelnut and Chocolate Cheesecake</b></a><br /><b><br /></b><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/12/buttermilk-cheesecake-and-strawberry.html" target="_blank">Buttermilk Cheesecake with a Strawberry Topping</a></b><br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-17630835113841889692014-10-11T18:34:00.000+02:002014-10-12T20:42:45.256+02:00Seared Beef or Venison ‘Carpaccio’ with a Thai-Style DressingCarpaccio is a brilliant choice of starter or snack if you're on a low-carb or diabetic regime. I'm always astonished when people tell me they don't fancy carpaccio, because to my mind the combination of rosy leaves of beef fillet, sharp salty Parmesan shavings, fruity olive oil and a spritz of lemon juice is the food of the gods. It may seem like heresy to tinker with this formula by using a zippy Asian dressing, but the result is sensational. Follow my measurements to the letter, though, because the punchy ingredients will overpower the delicate meat if they're not used with restraint.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-orS9KmZfpPo/VDlTMOlMW5I/AAAAAAAAEs4/QByzELy_Ons/s1600/Carpaccio%2Bwith%2Ba%2BThai%2BDressing_Scrumptious%2BBlog.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-orS9KmZfpPo/VDlTMOlMW5I/AAAAAAAAEs4/QByzELy_Ons/s1600/Carpaccio%2Bwith%2Ba%2BThai%2BDressing_Scrumptious%2BBlog.jpg" height="640" width="445" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Seared Gemsbok 'Carpaccio' with a Thai-Style Dressing.<br />Plate by <b><a href="http://www.davidwalters.co.za/" target="_blank">David Walters</a>, </b>Master Potter of Franschhoek</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sFOx3_y3kbE/VDq4FYfhfDI/AAAAAAAAEtY/E0P3f7bdumw/s1600/Tunnel%2BWhite%2B(1).jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sFOx3_y3kbE/VDq4FYfhfDI/AAAAAAAAEtY/E0P3f7bdumw/s1600/Tunnel%2BWhite%2B(1).jpeg" height="107" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation from <a href="http://www.michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Michael Oliver</b></a>. He says: "<a href="http://www.dutoitskloof.co.za/Wine.aspx?WINEID=35296&amp;CLIENTID=1088&amp;Archive=&amp;Title=OUR%20WINES" target="_blank"><b>Du Toitskloof Tunnel White</b></a>."<br />&nbsp;Go to the end of this page for more detail about this wine pairing.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />It’s impossible to produce paper-thin slices of carpaccio at home unless you have an industrial slicing machine, or you freeze the fillet first. I don’t have the former and won’t ruin the texture of the meat by doing the latter, so my solution is to flatten the leaves of fillet with a rolling pin.<br /><br />I usually make this with beef, but it's also excellent with good-quality venison fillets. In this picture, I used gemsbok from the <a href="http://www.eatout.co.za/venue/gardens-continental-butchery-and-deli/" target="_blank"><b>Gardens Continental Butchery</b></a> in Kloof Street, which was as tender as a baby's cheek. <br /><br />Strew the top of the dish with any tiny leaves or micro-herbs you can find - I used the tiniest flat-leaf parsley leaves, from the heart of a plant that cheekily seeded itself in a crack between two paving stones in my garden. <br /><br />The recipe contains a very small amount of sugar (essential to create the perfect hot-sour-sweet-salty balance that characterises Thai food) but if you're on a punishing no-carb regime, you can leave this out. Or add a whisper of your favourite sugar substitute.<br /><br />This recipe - which serves 6-8 as a starter - comes from my book <i><b><a href="http://proparty.info/p/my-new-cookbook.html" target="_blank">Scrumptious: Food for Family and Friends</a></b></i>, and is reproduced here courtesy of Random House Struik.<br /><br />If you like this recipe, try my low-carb <a href="http://proparty.info/2010/11/halloumi-and-beef-carpaccio-salad-with.html" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">Halloumi and Beef Carpaccio Salad with Crisp-Fried Capers</a>, and&nbsp;<b><a href="http://proparty.info/2013/05/seared-tuna-with-burnt-tomato-caper.html" target="_blank">Low-Carb Seared Tuna with a Burnt Tomato &amp; Caper Dressing</a></b><br /><br /><hr /><br /><b>Seared Beef or Venison ‘Carpaccio’ with &nbsp;a Thai-Style Dressing</b><br /><br />750 g fillet steak, or the equivalent weight of venison fillet<br />a little olive oil, for rubbing<br />4 tsp (20 ml) oil, for frying<br />small herb leaves, for garnish<br />white and black sesame seeds, for garnish<br /><br /><i>For the dressing:</i><br /><br />2 limes (see Cook's Notes, <i>below</i>)<br />1 tsp (5 ml) white sugar<br />3-cm piece of lemon grass, bruised, peeled and finely sliced<br />1 Tbsp (15 ml) finely grated fresh ginger<br />1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped<br />1 small green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) sunflower oil<br />1 tsp (5 ml) finely grated palm sugar (or ordinary sugar)<br />1 tsp (5 ml) soy sauce<br />1 tsp (5 ml) fish sauce<br />2 drops sesame oil<br /><br />Rub a little olive oil all over the fillet. Wrap the meat lengthways in a large sheet of clingfilm and twist the ends in opposite directions to create a tight Christmas-cracker shape. Tuck the ends underneath and chill for at least 2 hours, or until needed.<br /><br />Heat the oil in a large pan and, when it is blazing hot (but not yet smoking), quickly brown the meat on all sides. This should take no more than 2-3 minutes - less, if you have a slim venison fillet - and the meat should remain quite raw inside. Place in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes.<br /><br />Cut the fillet into slices 3-4 mm thick. Place the slices between two sheets of clingfilm and use a rolling pin to thin and gently stretch the meat to the desired thickness. Alternatively, you can use the back of the blade of a heavy knife to stretch and flatten the slices.<br /><br />To make the dressing, cut the limes in half and dip the cut end in the white sugar. Place them, sugar-side down, in a hot non-stick frying pan. Cook until the cut surface is nicely browned and caramelised. (If you're on a sugar-free regime, leave out this step and squeeze the lime juice directly into the dressing.)<br /><br />Cool the limes for a few minutes, then squeeze the warm juice into the jug attachment of a stick blender. Add all the remaining dressing ingredients and whizz at high speed until well combined. The dressing should be slightly coarse, with tiny 'bits'. &nbsp;If you don't have a blender, very finely slice the ingredients and pound everything together with a mortar and pestle before whisking in the liquid dressing ingredients.<br /><br />Spread a little dressing on the base of a platter or several smaller plates. Arrange the meat slices on top and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Strew over the herb leaves, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.<br /><br /><i>Serves 8 as a starter.</i><br /><br /><b>Cook’s Notes</b><br /><br />The fillet can be seared, sliced and refrigerated, and the dressing made, up to 3 hours in advance, but put them together just before you serve the dish or the dressing will ‘cook’ the fillet. If you can’t find fresh limes, use lemons instead.<br /><br /><b>Wine pairing by Michael Olivier</b><br /><b><br /></b><b>It looks like: </b>Very refreshing in a dew dropped bottle. Pale golden straw in colour with some lime green flashes around the rim of the glass.<br /><b>It smells like:</b> Grapey, fresh, yellow apples and a lime squirt.<br /><b>It tastes like</b>: Crisp off-dry fruity.<br /><br />This is a non-vintage wine.<br /><div><br /></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-88769744769367873452014-10-02T20:03:00.000+02:002014-10-02T20:24:05.602+02:00Deep-Dish Quiche with Blistered Tomatoes, Peas, Ham, Basil & MozzarellaI made this quiche to use up a left-over ball of shortcrust pastry and a cup of peas. Every Sunday morning, I clear out my fridge and its veggie drawer, which always resembles a compost heap, no matter how hard I try to keep it organised. &nbsp;(Try my recipe for <a href="http://proparty.info/2013/10/quick-nourishinggreen-soup-using-left.html" target="_blank"><b>Quick Nourishing Green Soup</b></a>, which is a smart way of using up leaves and herbs that have wilted in the cold but are still perfectly good for eating.)<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eWnb2k4rEKE/VCxY1ruCXxI/AAAAAAAAEsE/6fPikZdlXsw/s1600/Deep-Dish%2BPea%2C%2BHam%2Band%2BMozzarella%2BQuiche.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eWnb2k4rEKE/VCxY1ruCXxI/AAAAAAAAEsE/6fPikZdlXsw/s1600/Deep-Dish%2BPea%2C%2BHam%2Band%2BMozzarella%2BQuiche.JPG" height="640" width="460" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Deep-Dish Quiche with Blistered Tomatoes, Peas, Ham, Basil &amp; Mozzarella</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yi1JOglWb7g/VC1f_P3hqFI/AAAAAAAAEsc/ec7ZVgLAKf4/s1600/unnamed.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yi1JOglWb7g/VC1f_P3hqFI/AAAAAAAAEsc/ec7ZVgLAKf4/s1600/unnamed.png" height="" width="460" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation from <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Michael Oliver</b></a>. He says: "<a href="http://www.cabriere.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Haute Cabriere</b></a> Unwooded Pinot Noir 2014". <br />Go to the end of this page for more detail about this wine pairing.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />You can add anything you like to this quiche - how about some crisped bacon bits, pitted black olives, feta cubes or left-over shredded roast chicken?<br /><br />If you don't have a deep quiche pan, you can make it in a bigger shallow one, but please reduce the baking time by about 10 minutes.<br /><br />A quiche like this takes some time to make and bake, but I love the slow Sunday ritual of sloping into the kitchen in my pyjamas to make pastry and chop ingredients, while listening to rousing classical music. And then, of course, triumphantly presenting the puffed-up quiche to sleepy-heads who wake up late and hungry. <br /><br />I have given you quite detailed instructions, below, about how to make a rich, blind-baked quiche pastry. <b><a href="http://proparty.info/2010/12/nectarine-frangipane-tart-with-my-tips.html" target="_blank">Here are my top tips for making pastry.</a></b><br /><br /><hr /><br /><b>Deep-Dish Quiche with Blistered Tomatoes, Peas, Basil &amp; Mozzarella</b><br /><br /><i>For the pastry:&nbsp;</i><br />250 g cake flour<br />150 g cold butter, cut into small cubes<br />a pinch of salt<br />about 90 ml ice-cold water (see recipe, below)<br /><br /><i>For the filling:&nbsp;</i><br />1 punnet (250 g) ripe cherry tomatoes<br />1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil<br />8 large free-range eggs<br />¾ cup (180 ml) cream<br />salt and pepper, to taste<br />1 cup (250 ml) cooked peas<br />150 g mozzarella, grated<br />5 thin slices ham, fat trimmed, chopped [optional]<br />4 Tbsp (60 ml) finely chopped chives<br />10 big basil leaves, torn into little pieces<br />100 g Parmesan, finely grated<br /><br /><i>To serve:</i><br />fresh pea shoots or baby rocket leaves<br /><br />Heat the oven to 190 °C.<br /><br />First make the pastry. Put the flour, butter and salt in a bowl, and lightly rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the cold water, bit by bit, until the pastry holds together. Knead lightly with your fingertips and press into a ball. (You can do this quickly in a food processor fitted with a metal blade: use the pulse button to process the flour and butter to crumbs, then add the cold water in small splashes, through the tube of the jug, until the pastry <i>just&nbsp;</i>comes together and forms a ball. Don't over-process the dough).<br /><br />Flatten the pastry ball into a rough disc, wrap in clingfilm and put it in the fridge to rest for 15-20 minutes.<br /><br />While the pastry is resting, prepare the filling. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a fierce heat. &nbsp;When the oil is shimmering, add the tomatoes. &nbsp;Cook for 2-3 minutes, tossing frequently, until the tomatoes are <a href="http://proparty.info/2013/05/seared-tuna-with-burnt-tomato-caper.html" target="_blank"><b>blackened and blistered in places</b></a>, but still fairly raw on their insides. &nbsp;Set aside on a plate.<br /><br />Now get ready to roll out your pastry. Sprinkle a little water on a marble slab, or your counter-top or a large wooden board. Press a long piece of clingfilm to this wettened surface and place the pastry disc on top. Cover with another length of clingfilm. Roll out the pastry to a rough circle about 22 cm in diameter and around 2 mm thick. (Roll the pin away from you, but give the pastry/clingfilm 'sandwich' a quarter turn every two rolls). Lightly grease a deep 18-cm-diameter quiche dish. I use a fluted metal pan with a loose bottom, but a ceramic or glass flan dish will do.<br /><br />Peel off the top layer of clingfilm. Now flip the pastry over and drape it over the quiche dish, without removing the upper layer of clingfilm. Gently ease the pastry into the dish, getting well into the corners, and letting its edges drape over the rim. When the pastry is sitting comfortably in the dish, run a rolling pin firmly over the rim to remove any overhang. &nbsp;Peel off the top layer of clingfilm.<br /><br />Prick the base of the pastry all over with a fork, and lightly press down on it a circle of baking paper or tin foil cut to about the same size. &nbsp;Fill the paper with 2-3 cups of rice or dried beans, and bake blind at 190 °C for 10 minutes, or until the outer rim feels somewhat dry when you tap it with a finger.<br /><br />Carefully remove the paper with the rice or beans and return the case to the oven. Turn the heat down to&nbsp;180 °C and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the base of the pastry is a light golden colour and feels dry to the touch. <br /><br />Meanwhile, put the eggs and cream in a bowl and whisk by hand for 2 minutes, or until well combined and slightly frothy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside. <br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bV2K9UweXHU/VCxZIPcR9UI/AAAAAAAAEsM/0R8qVrmhEgE/s1600/Pea%2Band%2BMozzarella%2BQuiche_Prep.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bV2K9UweXHU/VCxZIPcR9UI/AAAAAAAAEsM/0R8qVrmhEgE/s1600/Pea%2Band%2BMozzarella%2BQuiche_Prep.JPG" height="320" width="289" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Pour the slightly frothy egg/cream mixture into the quiche dish.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table>Remove the pastry case from the oven and sprinkle over the peas, mozzarella, ham, chives and basil. &nbsp;Drain the blistered tomatoes in a sieve, discarding the juice, and arrange them on top.<br /><br />Pour the whisked egg/cream mixture into the pastry case, and top with grated Parmesan.<br /><br />Bake the quiche at 180 °C for about 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden, and <i>ever</i> so slightly wobbly in the middle. &nbsp;If you're using a deep quiche dish, this can take up to 40 minutes. &nbsp;And if the rim of the pastry darkens beyond golden-brown, cover it with strips of tin foil.<br /><br />Remove the quiche from the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes. &nbsp;Serve warm, topped with pea shoots or rocket.<br /><br /><br /><br /><i>Makes 1 x 18 cm quiche; serves 6, with a salad.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><br /><div><hr /><b><br /></b><b>Wine pairing by&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank">Michael Olivier</a>:&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b><b><a href="http://www.cabriere.co.za/" target="_blank">Haute Cabriere Unwooded Pinot Noir 2014</a></b><br /><br /><b>It looks like:</b> A garnet, a bright gem that you can see through.<br /><br /><b>It smells like:</b> Elegant red berries, pomegranate and cranberry.<br /><br /><b>It tastes like:</b> Sumptuous berries and cherries with a gentle undertow of mushrooms crushed underfoot on the forest floor.<br /><br /><br /></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-70689857092990521712014-08-31T20:25:00.001+02:002014-08-31T20:42:35.015+02:00Low-Carb Mediterranean 'Pasta' Salad, but with CalamariA bright mixture of tender calamari rings, olives, tomatoes, capers, feta, baby marrows and frizzled chorizo bits, in a punchy garlic &amp; lemon dressing. I've invented this recipe to quell my longings for <a href="http://proparty.info/2010/01/summer-linguine-with-poached-chicken.html" target="_blank"><b>my favourite pasta salad</b></a>, because after almost a year on a punishing low-carb regime, I still find myself battling cravings for carbohydrates.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5N77e12s82I/VAJA1R-HvrI/AAAAAAAAEn8/pa3mSezvPd4/s1600/Low-Carb%2BCalamari%2BSalad.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5N77e12s82I/VAJA1R-HvrI/AAAAAAAAEn8/pa3mSezvPd4/s1600/Low-Carb%2BCalamari%2BSalad.JPG" height="" width="410" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Low-Carb Mediterranean 'Pasta' Salad, but with calamari</td></tr></tbody></table><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RSjUJVJbKM0/VANnxtgQTKI/AAAAAAAAEo4/uPV5DFZKCSw/s1600/M%C3%B4reson%2BMercator%2BPremium%2BChardonnay%2B2014.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-RSjUJVJbKM0/VANnxtgQTKI/AAAAAAAAEo4/uPV5DFZKCSw/s1600/M%C3%B4reson%2BMercator%2BPremium%2BChardonnay%2B2014.png" height="148" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation from<b>&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank">Michael Oliver</a>.&nbsp;</b>He says:&nbsp;"<a href="http://www.moreson.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Môreson</b></a>&nbsp;Mercator Premium Chardonnay 2014"<br />Go to the end of the page for more detail about this wine pairing.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />I dream about <a href="http://proparty.info/2012/03/champ-with-chives-and-garlic.html" target="_blank"><b>buttery mashed potatoes</b>,</a>&nbsp;and would love to plunge my face into a bowl of fresh pasta ribbons cloaked in&nbsp;<a href="http://proparty.info/2013/09/spaghettini-with-double-creamy-onion.html" target="_blank"><b>a creamy sauce</b></a>. But,&nbsp;<a href="http://proparty.info/2014/03/hello-diabetes-and-how-i-have-had-to.html" target="_blank"><b>as a diabetic</b></a>, I can't eat any of these things without my blood sugar having hysterics, so I've had to find smart ways of going without them.<br /><br />Calamari, if it's of great quality, and cooked in a flash (see my recipe<i>&nbsp;</i>below), has a mouth-feel not unlike that of al dente pasta. I admit this is an expensive salad, because it's not worth making unless you can lay your hands on beautifully tender calamari tubes. <br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5ypP5LJalYM/VAJC18ixh4I/AAAAAAAAEoE/56viNzaB7qw/s1600/Low-Carb%2BCalamari%2BSalad%2B(2).JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5ypP5LJalYM/VAJC18ixh4I/AAAAAAAAEoE/56viNzaB7qw/s1600/Low-Carb%2BCalamari%2BSalad%2B(2).JPG" height="" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">An easy, nourishing salad, but frying the calamari to tender<br />perfection takes care and attention.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table>Please don't use calamari 'steaks' or strips, which are either unpleasantly spongy or toughen to leather in the pan, even if they've been 'tenderised' (that is, pierced multiple times by being rolled through, I imagine, some fearsome machine with many sharp blades).<br /><br />The best little calamari tubes and tentacles come from Patagonia, and you can buy these frozen (and occasionally fresh) from good fishmongers and supermarkets. &nbsp;If you can't find them, ask your fishmonger to order them for you - it really is well worth the wait.<br /><br />This marinated salad improves upon standing, and keeps well in the fridge for up to 24 hours. However, please add the crisp chorizo bits to the salad <i>just</i>&nbsp;before you serve it.<br /><br />Serve on a bed of crisp lettuce leaves or - if you're not on a low-carb regime - with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the juices.<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">If your calamari tubes are small and delicate, there's no need to slice them into rings. You can fry them whole, but please do so for 30-45 seconds longer than I've recommended below. I always laboriously slice them, though, because I like the pasta-like look of rings. The choice is yours.</div><br /><b>Low-Carb Mediterranean Calamari Salad&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b>1 kg small, tender Patagonian calamari tubes and tentacles, thawed overnight in the fridge if you've bought them frozen<br />3 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, for frying<br />1 x 200 g chorizo sausage, cut into a fine dice<br />2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated or crushed<br />5 Tbsp (75 ml) dry white wine<br />10 baby marrows, very finely sliced<br />1 punnet &nbsp;(about 350 g) ripe cherry tomatoes<br />4 Tbsp (60 ml) baby capers<br />16 black olives<br />16 green pimento-stuffed olives<br />a small bunch of chives, finely sliced<br />a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped<br />2 x feta cheese 'wheels' (about 140 g), crumbled<br />1 Tbsp (15 ml) dried chilli flakes<br />milled black pepper, to taste<br /><br /><i>For the dressing:&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i>1 fat clove garlic, peeled (or more, to taste)<br />a pinch of salt<br />finely grated zest of 1 small lemon<br />¼ cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice<br />½ cup (125 ml) olive oil<br />2 tsp (10 ml) Kikkoman soy sauce<br />2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard<br /><br />First make the dressing. Using a mortar and pestle, pound together the garlic clove, salt and lemon zest to make a paste. Stir in the lemon juice and, when the salt has dissolved, whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients to form a smooth emulsion. &nbsp;(Or, if you have a jug attachment for your stick blender, whizz everything together.) &nbsp;Set aside.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"></div><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lzJagEV3Nag/VALrDkBZZrI/AAAAAAAAEoo/Jk5V_VYQQgQ/s1600/Patagonian%2BCalamari%2BSalad%2B2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lzJagEV3Nag/VALrDkBZZrI/AAAAAAAAEoo/Jk5V_VYQQgQ/s1600/Patagonian%2BCalamari%2BSalad%2B2.jpg" height="400" width="300" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Trim the tubes and cut them into rings, or leave them<br />whole if they are tiny.</td></tr></tbody></table>Rinse the thawed calamari under a cold running tap for 1 minute, tip into a colander, shake well and drain for 5 minutes. Separate the tentacles from the tubes, and place on two different plates.<br /><br />Prepare the calamari tubes as follows: &nbsp;using a sharp knife, cut away about 2 mm of the ragged opening at the thicker end of each tube, at the same time dragging the knife blade to one side to pull out any membrane. &nbsp;Trim away the pointy end of each tube. Now neatly slice the tubes into 5-mm rings, and set aside.<br /><br />Dry the tentacles and rings by dabbing them firmly with plenty of kitchen paper.<br /><br />Heat 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of the olive oil over a high heat in a large shallow pan, until the oil is shimmering. Fry the tentacles first, in three batches, for about 90 seconds each, or until they are slightly stiffened and golden, but still tender. Remove from the pan and set aside in a large mixing bowl.<br /><br />Add the diced chorizo to the pan, and fry over a high heat until the pieces are toasty and just crisp. Don't overcook them! &nbsp;Remove from the pan, drain on a sheet of kitchen paper and set aside.<br /><br />Fry the calamari rings (or tubes; please see my note above) in three or four batches for 45-90 seconds, stirring often. It's crucial not to overcook the rings! &nbsp;If the pan seems a little dry, add more olive oil. Remove the rings from the pan and set aside in the same bowl as the tentacles.<br /><br />Turn down the heat a little. To the frying pan, add the garlic and fry gently for about 45 seconds, just to take the sting off, and without allowing the garlic to brown. &nbsp;Turn up the heat again and deglaze the pan with the white wine, stirring and scraping to dislodge any golden brown sticky bits. &nbsp; Bubble briskly for 1 minute, or until the liquid in the pan has reduced by half. <br /><br />Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for two minutes. Now whisk in all the dressing ingredients, tilting the pan to one side if necessary. &nbsp; Pour this mixture over over the calamari rings and tentacles.<br /><br />Add all the remaining salad ingredients and toss so everything is well coated.<br /><br />Tip the salad onto a platter and top with the crisped chorizo.<br /><br /><i>Serves 6 as a main course (alongside a big bowl of green salad), and 8 as a starter.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><br /><hr /><b>Wine pairing by&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank">Michael Olivier</a>:&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br />Môreson Mercator Premium Chardonnay 2014</b><br /><b><br /></b><b>It looks like: </b>Pale gold straw in the bottle. &nbsp;In the glass there are some lime green flashes around the edges.<br /><b><br /></b><b>It smells like:</b> Soft dried apricots, crème brulée, hazelnuts and vanilla<br /><b><br /></b><b>It tastes like: </b>Rich windfall citrus, lime squirt acidity. &nbsp;Undertow of oak and vanilla. &nbsp;Full broad palate and long aftertaste.<br /><br /><div></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-37945371499056261392014-08-23T23:05:00.001+02:002014-08-25T10:02:01.476+02:00Low-Carb Swedish-Style Meatballs in a Creamy Lemon Sauce<table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vlKowXhfj7Q/U_jr7mtQ8qI/AAAAAAAAEmw/c6vklpIKuOg/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BSwedish%2BStyle%2BMeatballs1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vlKowXhfj7Q/U_jr7mtQ8qI/AAAAAAAAEmw/c6vklpIKuOg/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BSwedish%2BStyle%2BMeatballs1.jpg" height="" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Low-Carb Swedish-Style Meatballs in a Creamy<br />Lemon Sauce, with <a href="http://proparty.info/2014/05/creamy-low-carb-chicken-breasts-fennel.html" target="_blank"><b>Cauliflower Mash</b></a>.</td></tr></tbody></table>These juicy meatballs are mouthwateringly good, and I hope you'll give my new recipe a try. &nbsp;I adore meatballs, and in this recipe I've eliminated all starch to make this recipe <b><a href="http://proparty.info/2014/03/hello-diabetes-and-how-i-have-had-to.html" target="_blank">suitable for diabetics</a> </b>and anyone else on a <a href="http://proparty.info/2012/11/low-carb-cooking-30-scrumptious.html" target="_blank"><b>low-carb</b></a>, #LCHF or Banting regime.<br /><br />The lemony cream sauce cloaking these meatballs is inspired by similar Scandinavian recipes, but I've added my own twists.<br /><br />This dish is easy to make, but it does require a large shallow pan, because the sauce - containing not a speck of flour - relies for its thickening on fast reduction. The bigger and shallower your pan, the sooner the sauce will thicken. If you don't have such a pan, use two big frying pans to make the dish, dividing the meatballs and sauce ingredients between them.<br /><br />Most meatball recipes contain bread crumbs or bread soaked in milk, which help to lighten the mixture and produce soft-textured balls.<br /><br />Because my recipe contains no carbs, the meatballs are pleasantly springy, but they will not turn into tough bullets if you carefully follow my cooking instructions. The yoghurt helps to create a tender mixture, so don't leave it out. <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rHjut2WHR-4/U_rr9DNxTjI/AAAAAAAAEnk/vGB8ExD1hLA/s1600/Boschendal-Shiraz-Mourvedre-2012-copy-1024x325.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rHjut2WHR-4/U_rr9DNxTjI/AAAAAAAAEnk/vGB8ExD1hLA/s1600/Boschendal-Shiraz-Mourvedre-2012-copy-1024x325.jpg" height="126" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation from<b>&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/archives/22083" target="_blank">Michael Oliver</a>.&nbsp;</b>He says:&nbsp;"Boschendal S&amp;M, Shiraz Mourvèdre 2012."<br />Go to the end of the page for more detail about this wine pairing.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />There is quite a lot of cream in the sauce, and I make no apologies for that, because fat is not a pressing issue when you're following a low-carb regime. However, if you'd like to lighten up the sauce, use half the quantity of cream, and carefully stir in half a cup of thick natural Greek yoghurt at the end. &nbsp;(Here are my tips for <a href="http://proparty.info/2013/06/when-you-spend-lot-of-time-cooking-and.html" target="_blank"><b>cooking with yoghurt</b>.</a>)<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aQFzXI0-3XI/U_jsLlDHhmI/AAAAAAAAEm4/4FysSj0yF8s/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BSwedish%2BStyle%2BMeatballs.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aQFzXI0-3XI/U_jsLlDHhmI/AAAAAAAAEm4/4FysSj0yF8s/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BSwedish%2BStyle%2BMeatballs.jpg" height="" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Not a speck of starch in this recipe</td></tr></tbody></table>This recipe also asks that you add and remove the meatballs from the pan several times, and I'm sorry to ask you to do this, but I've formulated the recipe in this way so that the sauce is lovely and thick, and the meatballs still tender.<br /><br />You may raise an eyebrow at the quantity of nutmeg, allspice and pepper in the meatball mixture, but please trust me on this. This amount of meat needs robust seasoning, and when it's finished cooking the spicing is subtle, though distinct.<br /><br />I recommend that you test the seasoning by frying a dab of the mixture before you roll it into balls - please see my instructions, below. &nbsp;Also please note that allspice (comprising powdered <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allspice" target="_blank"><b>pimento berries</b></a>) is not the same as mixed spice.<br /><br />If I were cooking for myself, I'd add some finely chopped capers, dill and anchovies to these meatballs. My kids and husband don't like these ingredients, however, so I've reluctantly left them out (although I did shower snipped dill over the top of the meatballs when I snapped these pictures).<br /><br />I almost always use a combination of beef and pork mince when making meatballs because pork adds extra juiciness, but you can make these with beef alone, or with minced chicken.<br /><br />Serve this with <a href="http://proparty.info/2014/05/creamy-low-carb-chicken-breasts-fennel.html" target="_blank"><b>cauliflower mash</b></a> or - if you're not on a low-carb regime - with creamy mashed potatoes or <a href="http://proparty.info/2012/03/champ-with-chives-and-garlic.html" target="_blank"><b>buttery champ</b></a>.<br /><br />This recipe serves 8-10, and makes about 45 meatballs, because at the moment I'm feeding many mouths. However, you can easily adapt it to serve 4-5 people by halving all the ingredients. I heartily suggest that you make the full amount of meatballs and freeze them, still raw, for future use. Or you can keep the cooked meatballs in a lidded plastic container in the fridge for up to 2 days.<br /><br /><b>Low-Carb Swedish-Style Meatballs in a Creamy Lemon Sauce</b><br /><br /><i>For the meatballs:&nbsp;</i><br /><br />1 kg lean beef mince [ground beef]<br />500 g pork mince<br />1 small onion, peeled<br />2 large free-range eggs, lightly whisked<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) natural yoghurt<br />2-3 tsp (10 - 15 ml) salt, to taste (<i>see recipe</i>, below)<br />2 tsp (10 ml) nutmeg<br />2 tsp (10 ml) allspice<br />1 tsp (5 ml) white pepper<br />1 tsp (5 ml) finely milled black pepper<br />the finely grated zest of a large lemon<br />4 Tbsp (60 ml) olive oil or sunflower oil, for frying<br /><br /><i>For the sauce:&nbsp;</i><br /><br />½ cup (125 ml) white wine<br />2 cups light beef or chicken stock (or water to which you've added a teaspoon or two of good-quality liquid or jellied stock, such as a <a href="http://www.nomu.co.za/products/fonds" target="_blank"><b>Nomu Fond</b></a> or <a href="http://www.whatsfordinner.co.za/product/detail/509348/knorr-chicken-stock-pot" target="_blank"><b>Knorr Stock Pot</b></a>)<br />the juice of a large lemon<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) Dijon mustard<br />1 cup (250 ml) sour cream or thick fresh cream<br /><br /><i>To serve:</i><br /><i><br /></i>finely chopped fresh dill, parsley, or chives<br /><br />Put the beef and pork mince into a large mixing bowl, or into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a plastic paddle or a dough hook. <br /><br />Grate the onion on the fine teeth of your cheese grater to create a smooth wet pulp.<br /><br />Add the onion pulp to the bowl along with all the remaining meatball ingredients. Using your hands, squish and squeeze the mixture until well combined. (If you're using an electric mixer, beat the ingredients together on a low speed until well mixed, but don't over-process the mixture, or it will become sticky and too homogenous.)<br /><br />Now test the seasoning. Heat a lick of oil in a frying pan. Pinch off some of the meat mixture, press it into a little patty and fry it for a minute or two minutes on each side. Taste the patty once it's cooled slightly. You might need to add more salt, or a whisper more of nutmeg, allspice and pepper, if you can't clearly taste these flavours. &nbsp;Place the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.<br /><br />Roll the meat mixture between the palms of your hands into small even-sized balls.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Eq5n7kLITFI/U_jsZ3DxU2I/AAAAAAAAEnA/WeTCgLbwL4U/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BSwedish%2BStyle%2BMeatballs_prep.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Eq5n7kLITFI/U_jsZ3DxU2I/AAAAAAAAEnA/WeTCgLbwL4U/s1600/Low%2BCarb%2BSwedish%2BStyle%2BMeatballs_prep.jpg" height="" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">I always fry meatballs in a circle, and then flip them over<br />in the order in which I placed them in the pan. Watch them<br />closely, as they brown quickly.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table>Heat the oil in a large, shallow non-stick pan over a medium-high heat and fry the meatballs, in batches of 10, for 1-2 minutes on one side, or until they've developed a deep-golden crust on their undersides. Now flip them over and fry them for a further minute or two. Don't over-crowd the pan, and watch them closely, as they blacken in an instant. <br /><br />When them meatballs look toasty on both sides (but are still half-raw inside) remove and set aside. Tilt the pan over a bowl and spoon away any excess fat.<br /><br />Put the pan back on a high heat, and tip in the wine, stirring and scraping to dislodge any sticky brown bits. Now pour in the stock and cook at a brisk bubble for 4 minutes, or until the stock has reduced by about a third. Add the lemon juice and mustard, whisk well to combine, and bubble for a further 2 minutes.<br /><br />Return the meatballs to the pan. Arrange them in a single layer so the liquid comes about half-way up their middles. Cover the pan with a lid. Simmer at a gentle bubble for about 4 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked right through, but still soft and tender.<br /><br />Once again, remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside while you add the finishing touches to the sauce.<br /><br />Pour the sour cream into the liquid left in the pan and whisk well to combine. &nbsp;Reduce over a fairly high heat until the sauce is thickened and glossy, and a beautiful cafe-au-lait colour. &nbsp; Return the meatballs, plus any juices that have accumulated underneath them, to the pan. &nbsp;Heat through for one minute, season to taste with salt and black pepper. <br /><br />Scatter over the fresh dill, parsley or chives and serve immediately with steamed veggies and&nbsp;<a href="http://proparty.info/2014/05/creamy-low-carb-chicken-breasts-fennel.html" target="_blank"><b>cauliflower mash</b></a>. Or proper mashed potatoes, or <a href="http://proparty.info/2012/03/champ-with-chives-and-garlic.html" target="_blank"><b>garlicky champ</b></a>, if you're not low-carbing.<br /><br /><i>Makes about 45 meatballs, and serves 8.&nbsp;</i><br /><hr /><br /><b>Wine pairing by <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/archives/22083" target="_blank">Michael Olivier</a>:&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b><b>Boschendal S&amp;M, Shiraz Mourvèdre 2012</b><br /><b><br /></b><b>It looks like:</b> Deep dark ruby plum at the core which pales to purple garnet at the rim.<br /><br /><b>It smells like:</b> Toasty oak with waves of back cherry and a grind if white peppercorns.<br /><br /><b>It tastes like:</b> Easy soft entry of sappy spiced plums and brambles on a broad palate with soft tannins. Really good mouthful with an undertow of dark chocolate, oak and its concomitant spices. Quality shows in the long full and gently waning aftertaste.<br /><br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-22350090833877013872014-07-11T22:03:00.000+02:002014-07-13T17:40:01.556+02:00A discovery: how to cook beef topside & fillet in a wonderful WonderbagIt's taken several months of experimentation to write this blogpost, because I wanted to test the method over and again so it works perfectly for you every time. In a nutshell: you can use the&nbsp;<a href="http://nb-wonderbag.com/" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">Wonderbag</a>,&nbsp;a brilliant energy-saving South African innovation,&nbsp;to produce tender beef topside (and fillet) that's uniformly pink within, dark and caramelised on the outside, and filled with flavoursome juiciness. <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dVZuAvwYX7k/U7hZqwzJdXI/AAAAAAAAEjE/cCu2cbgst_o/s1600/Wonderbag+Topside+1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dVZuAvwYX7k/U7hZqwzJdXI/AAAAAAAAEjE/cCu2cbgst_o/s1600/Wonderbag+Topside+1.jpg" height="" width="440" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;How to cook perfect rare &amp; juicy beef topside in a Wonderbag. The 18th-century<br />silver mustard pot in this pic was a gift from my husband on our 25th anniversary.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-auAWdp3nzaM/U77fESNVFaI/AAAAAAAAEkc/8zHkn3WTRP4/s1600/Zonnebloem+Cabernet+Sauvignon+2012.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-auAWdp3nzaM/U77fESNVFaI/AAAAAAAAEkc/8zHkn3WTRP4/s1600/Zonnebloem+Cabernet+Sauvignon+2012.jpeg" height="" width="440" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation from<b>&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/">Michael Oliver</a>.&nbsp;</b>He says:&nbsp;"Zonnebloem Cabernet 2012."<br />Go to the end of the page for more detail about this wine pairing.<br /><br /></td></tr></tbody></table>There are several photographs in this blogpost showing my various recipe trials. I hope this post will encourage you to buy or donate a Wonderbag (which you can do <b><a href="http://www.wonderbag.co.za/Pages/Products" target="_blank">here</a></b>, or at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.yuppiechef.com/wonderbag.htm" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">YuppieChef</a>. If you're not in South Africa,&nbsp;<a href="http://nb-wonderbag.com/Pages/CountrySelect" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">click here</a>).&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2UCHltwJyk0/U8KiArlQ_sI/AAAAAAAAElE/Yy9qOzNSwP4/s1600/Wonderbag+in+Action.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-2UCHltwJyk0/U8KiArlQ_sI/AAAAAAAAElE/Yy9qOzNSwP4/s1600/Wonderbag+in+Action.jpg" height="" width="295" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My hard-working Wonderbag.</td></tr></tbody></table>If you're a chef in a busy restaurant kitchen, I'd like to suggest that you supplant some of your sous-vide baths with a few of these versatile gadgets.<br /><br />Let me go back a little. I've <a href="http://proparty.info/2009/08/slow-cooking-with-wonderful-wonderbag.html" target="_blank"><b>owned a Wonderbag</b></a> since 2009. &nbsp;It's a bit raggy and saggy and stained after so many years at the coalface, but I still use it several times a week for making slow-cooked family dishes and <b><a href="http://proparty.info/2014/03/how-to-make-thick-creamy-greek-style.html">my foolproof Greek yoghurt</a>.&nbsp;</b><br /><br />It's also brilliant for holding delicate sauces - such as hollandaise and <a href="http://proparty.info/2009/09/fillet-steak-with-herby-lemon-crust-and.html"><b>béarnaise</b></a> - at a constant gentle temperature for many hours.<br /><br />I take it along to the supermarket when I'm buying ice cream on hot days, and to the local pizza place when I'm collecting take-outs.<br /><br />My interest in the Wonderbag was rekindled &nbsp;a few months ago when I met the ebullient Italian chef Luigi Carola, Global Lead Innovation Chef for Unilever, and best known in South Africa as a star of Knorr's cooking adverts*.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iQP_A_qYlKk/U8KnNHx6_JI/AAAAAAAAElU/ZtIG3rGOexQ/s1600/Topside+in+a+Wonderful+Wonderbag.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iQP_A_qYlKk/U8KnNHx6_JI/AAAAAAAAElU/ZtIG3rGOexQ/s1600/Topside+in+a+Wonderful+Wonderbag.jpg" height="275" width="450" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Edge-to-edge pinkness, a lovely caramelised crust, and very tender meat</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><div style="text-align: left;"></div>I don't know how Luigi and I got on to the subject of the Wonderbag, but once we did, over a few glasses of wine, there was much high-fiving. &nbsp;He told me he'd been experimenting with cooking a variety of dishes in his Wonderbag, and that he was so enthused by this cooking method that he'd written a cookbook on the subject.<br /><br />What interested me most was his claim that the best fillet steak he'd ever eaten came out of a Wonderbag. Also, said Luigi, many other slow-cooked dishes can be incubated with great success using this method. He told me about Italian relatives who create gorgeous stews, pack them in a Wonderbag, then drive for many hours across Europe to deliver piping-hot meals to homesick children in other countries.<br /><br />Here's how a Wonderbag works: it has extraordinary insulating properties that prevent heat from escaping from a very hot pot. If you closely follow the steps I've detailed below, the bag will 'hold' your food at a notch below boiling point for several hours.<br /><br />After that, the temperature inside the bag (and pot) will drop in grudging increments over many long hours. I can't give you exact temperatures using my cheffy temperature probe, because a big no-no of cooking in a Wonderbag is opening it up, but my experience is that when I open my bag after 3 hours, the lid and handles of the pot are still too hot to touch with bare hands. <br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zZtclofnv3o/U7hcxJABr_I/AAAAAAAAEjQ/3AdKAllH5oY/s1600/20130728_142849.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zZtclofnv3o/U7hcxJABr_I/AAAAAAAAEjQ/3AdKAllH5oY/s1600/20130728_142849.jpg" height="" width="295" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">I've cut off the top of this piece of beef topside to show you what<br />you can expect when you when you cook it in a Wonderbag.</td></tr></tbody></table>This slow, even cooking is what makes this technique so effective.<br /><br />So I set about experimenting with beef roasts.<br /><br />I adore topside, because my mum has always had a knack of roasting this temperamental cut to rosy-pink perfection. &nbsp;Perfect fillet steak was my next challenge.<br /><br />The biggest benefit of cooking beef this way is that you cannot over-cook it. &nbsp;I can't emphasise enough this huge advantage of using a Wonderbag - you can leave&nbsp;topside or fillet&nbsp;in the bag for two or three hours,&nbsp;or longer, and when you open it up it will be beautifully warm, brown on the outside, and an edge-to-edge blushing pink on the inside. <br /><br />It will also be well rested, tender and juicy.<br /><br />There are two more reasons I love this technique. &nbsp;One, it's so convenient: pop your roast in the Wonderbag and go forth to enjoy your Sunday morning. &nbsp;Two, it's a huge energy saver. Sure, you'll use up a bit of power as you do the initial browning of the meat, but after that you can tuck the meat in its bag and let its residual heat do the rest of the work. <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fzfIyQiuX6U/U7hdopxQZqI/AAAAAAAAEjY/41m6V4x-ve8/s1600/Wonderbag+fillet.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-fzfIyQiuX6U/U7hdopxQZqI/AAAAAAAAEjY/41m6V4x-ve8/s1600/Wonderbag+fillet.jpg" height="" width="450" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">A whole fillet steak beautifully tender and rosy after two hours in my Wonderbag.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><b>How to cook topside &amp; fillet in a Wonderbag - two recipes</b><br /><b><br /></b><b>1. Topside in a Wonderbag</b><br /><b><br /></b>1 x 1.8 kg mature good-quality topside, at room temperature<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil<br />milled black pepper<br />a pinch of flaky sea salt<br />a small sprig of fresh rosemary<br />1 cup (250 ml) red or white wine<br />1 cup (250 ml) water or stock<br />3 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly squashed<br />milled black pepper<br />a pinch of flaky sea salt<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yu2hnyiQpGE/U8B73lOvNSI/AAAAAAAAEko/quPmb9YZARQ/s1600/A+beautiful+piece+of+topside.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yu2hnyiQpGE/U8B73lOvNSI/AAAAAAAAEko/quPmb9YZARQ/s1600/A+beautiful+piece+of+topside.JPG" height="" width="340" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Select a piece of well-matured beef topside.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;">Trim any big blobs of fat from your topside. Heat 30 ml oil in a large pot that has a tight-fitting lid, and which will fit neatly into your Wonderbag. Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper and season to taste with salt and pepper. When the oil is very hot - <i>almost</i> on the point of smoking - add the topside and brown it well on all sides, starting with the fattiest side. &nbsp;This should take about 8 minutes in total. &nbsp;Turn the topside over with a pair of tongs once each side is beautifully browned and caramelised.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: left;"><br /></div><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_jdPXkT6f64/U7heT6uHH0I/AAAAAAAAEjg/McZHdsIxRk4/s1600/20130818_155737.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_jdPXkT6f64/U7heT6uHH0I/AAAAAAAAEjg/McZHdsIxRk4/s1600/20130818_155737.jpg" height="400" width="340" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Brown your topside well before you add the liquid. In this experiment<br />I added finely chopped onions, garlic and crisp bacon bits. Other times,<br />I've added sliced mushrooms and a pinch of chilli flakes.</td></tr></tbody></table></div><br />Halfway through the browning process, add the rosemary sprig.<br /><br />Now remove the meat from the pot and set aside on a plate. Drain any excess fat from the pan, then put it back on the heat and deglaze with a cup of wine, scraping and stirring to dislodge any golden residue. Bubble over a furiously high heat for 2 minutes, then add the squashed garlic cloves and water (or stock).<br /><br />Return the topside to pan, fatty side up, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. &nbsp;The liquid in the pot should come to about 2 centimetres up the sides of the meat.<br /><br />Turn down the heat to medium and cook at a fairly brisk bubble for 12 minutes. &nbsp;If you have a topside smaller than the 1.8kg I've specified in the ingredient list, cook it for 8-10 minutes (you'll have to use your instinct here). Don't take the lid off the pot to check the meat, or the temperature inside will drop.<br /><br />After 12 minutes, the lid of the pot will be too hot for you to touch with your bare fingers, and you will see little puffs of steam escaping around the rim.<br /><br /><i>Without</i>&nbsp;<i>opening the pot</i>, place it in the Wonderbag, cover quickly with the cushion, then tightly draw up the strings. &nbsp;Set aside, undisturbed, for at least 3 hours, or until you're ready to serve it. <br /><br />If, when you open the bag, you find the beef is too rare - and I've only had this happen once, when I couldn't contain my excitement - you can reheat the pot over a brisk heat until you once again see billows of steam (see above) then place it back in the Wonderbag for another 30 - 60 minutes. <br /><br />Take the meat out of its pot and set it on a board to cool for a few minutes. Carve into slices and serve immediately. &nbsp;Or let it cool, then refrigerate and carve it the next day.<br /><br />If you'd like to make a gravy, strain the pan juices through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, pressing down with the back of a spoon to extract the the garlic &amp; rosemary flavours. &nbsp;Boil briskly to reduce to a rich glaze, or thicken with a little flour slaked in water.<br /><br /><b>2. Fillet Steak in a Wonderbag</b><br /><b><br /></b>1 large whole fillet steak (about 1.5 kg)<br />a large sprig fresh thyme<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil<br />3/4 cup (180 ml) red or white wine<br />3/4 cup (180 ml) water or stock<br />2 cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly squashed<br />milled black pepper<br />a pinch of flaky sea salt<br /><br />Two hours before cooking, take the fillet out of the fridge so it can come up to room temperature. Using a sharp knife, trim away any visible fat, then <a href="http://proparty.info/2007/08/how-to-cook-or-braai-fillet.html" target="_blank"><b>cut away the 'silver skin' (membrane)</b></a> on the outside of the meat.<br /><br />Double the thin end over and tie it to the main fillet with kitchen string. Don't worry if one end is much thicker than the other (the thick end will cater for those who like their fillet rare, and the thin, doubled-over end will do for those who like brown beef).<br /><br />Brown the meat all over as described above - this must take no longer than 5 minutes, in a blistering hot pan. If there is no smoke in your kitchen, your pan is not hot enough!<br /><br />Halfway through the browning process, add the thyme sprig. &nbsp;Set the fillet aside on a plate and deglaze the pan with the wine, as detailed above. <br /><br />Now follow the same steps: cook the wine over a high heat for 2 minutes, then add the squashed garlic cloves and water (or stock). Return the fillet to pan and cover with a tight-fitting lid. &nbsp;The liquid in the pot should come to about 1½ centimetres up the sides of the fillet.<br /><br />Turn down the heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes. Don't take the lid off the pot to check the meat, or the temperature inside will drop.<br /><br />After 6 minutes, the lid of the pot will be too hot for you to touch with your bare fingers, and you will see little puffs of steam escaping around the rim.<br /><br /><i>Without</i>&nbsp;<i>opening the pot</i>, place it in the Wonderbag, cover quickly with the cushion, then tightly draw up the strings. &nbsp;Set aside, undisturbed, for&nbsp;at least&nbsp;2 hours, or longer (see my notes above).<br /><br />Let the fillet cool on a plate, then slice and serve.<br /><br /><b>Wine pairing&nbsp;by <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/">Michael Olivier</a>:&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b><b>Zonnebloem Cabernet 2012</b><br /><b><br /></b><b>It looks like: </b>A brilliant gem-like deep ruby with an enchanting purple garnet at the edges. &nbsp;This will change to a more brick red as the wine matures.<br /><br /><b>It smells like: </b>Blackcurrants, hedgerow berries, spice and cedar from the oak and a whiff of dark chocolate.<br /><b></b><br /><b>It tastes like: </b>Classical Cabernet red and black berries and cassis. &nbsp;Soft tannins. Fabulous long aftertaste. A truly underrated wine.<br /><br /><br />* Note: &nbsp;I have a professional association with Knorr South Africa.<br /><br /><div style="text-align: left;"><br /></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-80294895709327335992014-07-08T22:44:00.001+02:002014-07-08T23:25:32.200+02:00Spring Onion & Celery Soup with Smoked Trout With its beautiful pale colour and subtle flavours, this soup is good on its own, but delightful topped with flakes of lightly smoked <a href="http://three-streams.co.za/"><b>Franschhoek trout</b></a>. Added cold, the trout half-poaches in the soup’s residual heat, contributing an intriguing smoky note. Straining this soup is laborious but well worth the effort to achieve a fine, smooth result.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-h-y1uM-sszA/U7rcgQvwrJI/AAAAAAAAEj0/jnHwQfd9ByU/s1600/celery+soup+with+smoked+trout.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-h-y1uM-sszA/U7rcgQvwrJI/AAAAAAAAEj0/jnHwQfd9ByU/s1600/celery+soup+with+smoked+trout.jpg" height="" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">My Spring Onion &amp; Celery Soup with Smoked Trout. I snapped this while my book's photographer<br /><b><a href="http://flatartstudios.com/michael.html">Michael Le Grange</a> </b>was setting up the shot. Recipe courtesy of &nbsp;<b><a href="http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/scrumptious-food-for-family-and-friends/4653">Random House Struik.</a></b><br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WtGmsp-c_z8/U7xW9XNFb-I/AAAAAAAAEkI/XaPTKdhfWL4/s1600/Douglas+Green+Medium+Cream+No+2+(1).jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WtGmsp-c_z8/U7xW9XNFb-I/AAAAAAAAEkI/XaPTKdhfWL4/s1600/Douglas+Green+Medium+Cream+No+2+(1).jpeg" height="130" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation from<b>&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/">Michael Oliver</a>.&nbsp;</b>He says:&nbsp;"I really think you need a medium cream sherry<br />&nbsp;with this soup. Douglas Green Medium Cream Traditional Flor No 2 - perfect for chilly weather."<br />Go to the end of the page for more detail about this pairing.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /></td></tr></tbody></table><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div></br>This is one of my favourite soup recipes, and it comes from my 2012 book <b><i><a href="http://www.randomstruik.co.za/books/scrumptious-food-for-family-and-friends/4653">Scrumptious Food For Family and Friends</a></i>.&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><b>Spring Onion &amp; Celery Soup with Smoked Trout&nbsp;</b><br /><br />30 slim spring onions (about 3 bunches)<br />6 x 20-cm stalks young celery, taken from the heart of the bunch<br />4 Tbsp (60 ml/60 g) butter<br />1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped<br />1.75 litres vegetable or chicken stock<br />1 cup (250 ml) milk<br />3 medium potatoes, peeled and finely sliced<br />2 tsp (10 ml) cornflour<br />200 ml fresh cream, plus a little extra<br />salt<br />a pinch of white pepper, to taste<br />10 slices lightly smoked Franschhoek trout, or smoked salmon<br />olive oil<br />small sprigs of fresh dill<br /><br />Trim the roots and dark green tops of the spring onions (you’ll use only the white and pale green parts) and slice. Trim and slice the celery stalks.<br /><br />Chop the pale green leaves and set them to one side. Melt the butter in a soup pot, add the spring onions, sliced celery stalks and garlic and cover them with a circle of baking paper, or the wrapper from a block of butter. Cook over a low heat for 12–15 minutes, or until very soft. Remove the paper, add the stock, milk, potatoes and reserved celery leaves and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, skimming off any foam as it rises.<br /><br />Blend the soup to a smooth purée and strain it through a fine sieve into the rinsed-out pot. Mix the cornflour and 2 Tbsp (30 ml) of the cream to a smooth paste and add this to the soup, stirring constantly as it comes to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes, then stir in the remaining cream. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.<br /><br />Cut the smoked trout into pieces no bigger than the bowl of a soup spoon. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, swirl with a little olive oil and a drizzle of cream, and top each one with tiny sprigs of dill and a few pieces of trout. Serve immediately.<br /><br /><i>Serves 8.</i><br /><br /><b>Cook’s Notes:</b> Make this up to 24 hours ahead, then heat and add the salmon and dill at the last moment. This is a thinnish soup, but it should not be watery. Add a little more cornflour paste if the consistency seems too thin.<br /><br /><b>Wine pairing&nbsp;by&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/">Michael Olivier</a>:&nbsp;</b><br /><div><b><br /></b></div><div>Douglas Green Medium Cream Traditional Flor No 2. Flor is the yeast under which the wine lives in the criadera [nursery] before going into the Solera for maturation.<br /><br /><b>It looks like:</b> Elegant packaging, even rich gold straw colour.<br /><br /><b>It smells like:</b> Layers of nuts, spice and baked biscuits.<br /><br /><b>It tastes like: </b>Discreetly medium sweet. &nbsp;Nutty with brown spices. &nbsp;Rich raisiny grapes. &nbsp;Full mouthfeel, long aftertaste. &nbsp;Do serve it slightly chilled in a normal wine glass; &nbsp;you will enjoy it so much more that way.<br /><br /><br /></div>Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-23440822382826284732014-07-03T20:01:00.000+02:002014-07-04T18:38:11.092+02:00Low-Carb Chicken Breasts in a Butter, Basil & Tomato Cream SauceThis delicate dish, with its tiny sequins of butter, is quick to make, but it does involve some faffery in the tomato-peeling department. It's worth the effort, though - the dabs of fresh tomato and basil shreds add freshness to the sauce, which is scandalously creamy and buttery, containing as it does those two luscious ingredients <i>so </i>allowed on a low-carb #LCHF or #Banting diet. &nbsp;This is a dish of utmost simplicity, and I hope you enjoy it.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pyDy837iL1U/U7WLcaf0LtI/AAAAAAAAEiI/BLuZSxiFGbQ/s1600/Low+Carb+Chicken+Breasts+with+a+Butter+Basil+Cream+Sauce_1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pyDy837iL1U/U7WLcaf0LtI/AAAAAAAAEiI/BLuZSxiFGbQ/s1600/Low+Carb+Chicken+Breasts+with+a+Butter+Basil+Cream+Sauce_1.jpg" height="" width="375" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Low-Carb Chicken Breasts in a Butter, Basil &amp; Tomato Cream Sauce</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-I9eqjt7LTOQ/U7WYNCbPAJI/AAAAAAAAEik/Bk46-y9eXGo/s1600/M%C3%B4reson+Dr+Reason+Why+2013.png" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-I9eqjt7LTOQ/U7WYNCbPAJI/AAAAAAAAEik/Bk46-y9eXGo/s1600/M%C3%B4reson+Dr+Reason+Why+2013.png" height="96" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Wine recommendation from<b>&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/">Michael Oliver</a></b>: Môreson Dr Reason Why Unwooded<br />Chardonnay 2013 - Franschhoek. Go to the end of the page for more detail about this pairing.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />The first time I made this, I found the sauce lacked depth, as is the case with any dish made in a hurry. The next time I tried it, I added a little concentrated chicken stock, which made all the difference. &nbsp;It's frowned upon in foodster circles to use shop stock, but I have no patience with this attitude. &nbsp;I don't have time, when I'm making my family's evening meal, to fiddle around making stock, or thawing and reducing the many tubs of home-made stock ossifying in my freezer. &nbsp;Two important points: one, use a good quality concentrated stock; two, these can be quite salty, so don't season the sauce until you've tasted it.<br /><br />Please follow my instructions to the letter in this recipe so your chicken breasts are beautifully tender, without a hint of rubberiness.<br /><br />As this sauce is subtle, I suggest you serve it with meek-tasting veggies, such as courgettes or baby green beans. &nbsp;Don't pair it with the ubiquitous caulirice or <a href="http://proparty.info/2014/05/creamy-low-carb-chicken-breasts-fennel.html"><b>cauliflower mash</b></a>, which will overpower the understated tomato and basil flavours. If you're not on a <b><a href="http://proparty.info/2012/11/low-carb-cooking-30-scrumptious.html">low-carb regime</a></b>, I'd recommend serving this with creamy mashed potatoes.<br /><br />If you'd like to add a little smokiness to this dish, crisp up some finely chopped bacon in a hot pan before you fry the chicken breasts. &nbsp;Set aside, then stir the bits in when you add the cream.<br /><br />The pulp and seeds of tomato are <a href="http://proparty.info/2008/10/umami-tomato-soup-passion-in-bowl.html"><b>packed with umami</b></a>, so don't throw these away when you prepare the tomatoes - again, see my instructions below. <br /><br />This sauce contains no starchy agents, relying for thickening on fast reduction. &nbsp;So it's suitable for <b><a href="http://proparty.info/2014/03/hello-diabetes-and-how-i-have-had-to.html">diabetics</a></b>, low-carbers and everyone else reducing carbohydrates in their diets.<br /><br /><br /><b>Low-Carb Chicken Breasts in a Butter, Basil &amp; Tomato Cream Sauce</b><br /><br />8 free-range, deboned, skinless chicken breasts<br />salt and milled black pepper<br />5 large red juicy tomatoes<br />boiling water, for skinning the tomatoes<br />3 Tbsp (45 ml) salted butter<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil<br />1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely crushed or grated<br />1½ tsp (7.5 ml) good quality concentrated chicken stock, such as a Nomu Fond or Knorr Chicken Stock Pot<br />1 cup (250 ml) cream<br />10 big fresh basil leaves<br />a squeeze of fresh lemon juice<br /><br />Trim any globules of fat from the chicken breasts, place on a board and season lightly with salt and pepper.<br /><br />Put the tomatoes into a big bowl and cover them with boiling water. Set aside for 3-4 minutes, or until you see their skins begin to wrinkle and split. <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LrbI700ch3g/U7WUk7j06fI/AAAAAAAAEiU/32x56JcSlC8/s1600/Low+Carb+Chicken+Breasts+with+a+Butter+Basil+Cream+Sauce_Prep1.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LrbI700ch3g/U7WUk7j06fI/AAAAAAAAEiU/32x56JcSlC8/s1600/Low+Carb+Chicken+Breasts+with+a+Butter+Basil+Cream+Sauce_Prep1.JPG" height="" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Very gently cook the chicken breasts on one side only in their buttery<br />&nbsp;bath.&nbsp;I have turned over two breasts in this picture to show you&nbsp;how<br />&nbsp;they should look when they're ready to be taken out of the pan.</td></tr></tbody></table>In the meantime, heat the butter and olive oil over a high heat in a large shallow pan big enough to fit all the chicken breasts in a single layer. <br /><br />When the butter stops foaming, add the breasts, smooth side down, turn down the heat to medium-low and gently fry them in their buttery bath for 3-4 minutes, or until their undersides are a light golden colour, but the breasts are still completely raw on top. &nbsp;Don't allow them to brown or burn - if the butter is anywhere near darkening, turn the heat right down. &nbsp;When they look as if they've cooked halfway through, remove from the pan and pile them onto a plate. Set aside.<br /><br />Pull the wrinkly skin off the tomatoes and discard. Carve out the dots on the stalk ends and slice each one in half. &nbsp;Place a bowl on your countertop and, holding each tomato half above the bowl, remove the seeds and pulp, letting these drop into the bowl. It's easiest to do this with your fingers.<br /><br />Slice the outer parts of the tomatoes into a fine dice, and place these little pieces in a sieve set over the bowl containing the tomato pulp. Drain for a few minutes, then set aside in a bowl (you'll add these bits to the sauce at the end).<br /><br />Gently reheat the oil/butter mixture in the pan and add the crushed garlic. Cook over a low heat for 30-60 seconds, without letting the garlic brown. &nbsp;Now hold your sieve over the pot, and into it tip the contents of the bowl containing the tomato pulp and juices. &nbsp;Press down hard with the back of a soup ladle - or your fist - to extract every bit of juice. &nbsp;Discard the remaining pulp.<br /><br />Add the concentrated chicken stock and bring the butter/tomato juice mixture to a brisk simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a minute. &nbsp;Now stir in the cream, a splash at a time. &nbsp;It's important to do this slowly - and off the heat - to prevent your sauce from curdling.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6zWJbyx69U8/U7WV0OZrnaI/AAAAAAAAEic/--ALS7B44GU/s1600/Low+Carb+Chicken+Breasts+with+a+Butter+Basil+Cream+Sauce_Prep2.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6zWJbyx69U8/U7WV0OZrnaI/AAAAAAAAEic/--ALS7B44GU/s1600/Low+Carb+Chicken+Breasts+with+a+Butter+Basil+Cream+Sauce_Prep2.JPG" height="" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Simmer the browned chicken breasts in the creamy<br />sauce <i>very</i>&nbsp;gently, until just cooked through.</td></tr></tbody></table>Return the pan to the heat and bubble over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. The sauce will soon thicken slightly, with the bubbles in the centre getting bigger and lazier. Return the chicken pieces to the pan, uncooked side down, along with the golden juices that have collected beneath them.<br /><br />Simmer, uncovered, for about 4 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are <i>just </i>cooked through, but still very tender and succulent. <br /><br />While the chicken is cooking, cut the basil leaves into fine shreds. &nbsp;It's easiest to do this by stacking four or five leaves together, rolling them up into a tight 'cigar', then slicing them very finely crossways.<br /><br />When the chicken is done, stir in the reserved diced tomato flesh and the shredded basil.<br /><br />Add a spritz of lemon juice - just enough to give the sauce a slight pleasant acidity - and stir. Serve immediately with steamed veggies.<br /><br /><i>Serves 8, as a main course along with vegetables.&nbsp;</i><br /><i><br /></i><b>Wine pairing&nbsp;by <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/">Michael Olivier</a>:&nbsp;</b><br /><b><br /></b><b><a href="http://www.moreson.co.za/pages/wine-overview-moreson-dr-reason-why">Môreson Dr Reason Why</a><u>&nbsp;</u>Unwooded Chardonnay 2013 - Franschhoek</b><br /><b><br /></b><b>It looks like: </b>Beautiful gem-like citrine in colour in the glass.<br /><br /><b>It smells like: </b>Tropical fruit, windfall citrus.<br /><br /><b>It tastes like: </b>Crisp and fresh like a Granny Smith Apple. &nbsp;Creamy desiccated pineapple, fresh sliced pear and the texture of ripe winter melon. &nbsp;A wash of lime on the long aftertaste.<br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-43448562024483339502014-06-21T22:51:00.001+02:002014-06-22T20:24:14.786+02:00I'm teaming up with wine guru Michael Olivier for excellent recipe + wine pairingsI'm excited to tell you that my friend&nbsp;<a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Michael Olivier</b></a>&nbsp;will be collaborating with me on this blog from now on. Michael has agreed to provide expert wine recommendations for all my future recipes, and I'm ridiculously pleased to team up with him. <br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2EFkK0mXcZw/U6XV7osnOdI/AAAAAAAAEgM/-pArORtl-1Q/s1600/Michael+Olivier.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2EFkK0mXcZw/U6XV7osnOdI/AAAAAAAAEgM/-pArORtl-1Q/s1600/Michael+Olivier.jpg" height="224" width="420" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Revered Cape food &amp; wine fundi <a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/" target="_blank"><b>Michael Olivier</b></a>. Follow him on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/manmetdiepan" target="_blank"><b>@manmetdiepan</b></a></td></tr></tbody></table>Anyone who knows Michael will agree that his huge kind heart is just one among his many endearing qualities. I first met him some four years ago, when he congratulated me on a speech I gave about seminal food writers at the <b><a href="http://foodbloggerindaba.com/" target="_blank">2012 South African Food Blogger's Conference</a></b>. I was an unknown food blogger, and he was one of the Cape's best-loved elders in the food and wine community. I appreciated this because at the time - and not much has changed since then, I'm afraid - food bloggers were regarded by many in the mainstream food media as talentless upstarts.<br /><br />We formed an instant connection and were soon firm friends. Over the ensuing years, Michael became a treasured mentor. He encouraged and supported me with boundless enthusiasm, as he's done for so many newcomers to the Cape food world - budding chefs, young wine-makers, beginner food bloggers, and so on. &nbsp;Michael's rare generosity in sharing his expertise, with no expectation of anything in return, reminds me of that quote 'A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle'. &nbsp; He's also very funny, very clever, practical, implacable and stuffed with knowledge, which sums up what I want in a friend.<br /><br />Last year Michael won the&nbsp;<b><a href="http://www.eatout.co.za/article/michael-olivier-wins-lannice-snyman-lifetime-achievement-award-association-paarl-media/" target="_blank">Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award</a>&nbsp;</b>from <a href="http://www.eatout.co.za/award/2013-eatout-awards/" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">Eat Out</a>, affirming his position as le grand fromage (The Big Cheese) of South African food &amp; wine.<br /><br />I know very little about wine - apart from being an expert in drinking it - and have not much interest in this area, so I hope Michael's inspired recommendations will teach me (and you) about a whole new world of flavour.<br /><br />I must mention (with an exasperated sigh) that no money, favours or freebies are exchanging hands in this collaboration - it's only about a love of wine, food, and each other.<br /><br />The first two recipes updated with Michael's wine pairings:<br /><br /><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2014/06/low-carb-double-cauliflower-cheese.html" target="_blank">My Low-Carb Double-Cauliflower Cheese</a></b><br /><br /><b><a href="http://proparty.info/2014/06/beef-shin-tomato-olive-stew-with.html" target="_blank">Beef Shin, Tomato &amp; Olive Stew</a></b><br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2652909958001968335.post-30623259345938321192014-06-15T20:33:00.000+02:002014-11-28T16:38:52.204+02:00Low-Carb Double Cauliflower CheeseI love cheesy cauliflower cloaked in bubbling white sauce, but not a morsel has passed my lips since I started my low-carb regime last year. Then it occurred to me &nbsp;- why not make a 'white sauce' from puréed cauliflower? I did, and that's why I've called this new recipe <i>Double </i>Cauliflower Cheese. &nbsp;It's also doubly cheesy, with a topping of both Cheddar and Parmesan. &nbsp;I've added some sympathetic flavours - mustard, lemon, nutmeg and <a href="http://proparty.info/2010/09/smoked-venison-with-cream-cheese.html" target="_blank"><b>white pepper</b></a> - to the sauce to tone down the caulifloweriness, and I'm pleased with the result. This is gluten-free,&nbsp;<a href="http://proparty.info/2014/03/hello-diabetes-and-how-i-have-had-to.html" target="_blank"><b>diabetic-friendly</b>,</a>&nbsp;and well suited to anyone on a Low-Carb High Fat (#LCHF) regime.<br /><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2AV-XXfBA4Y/U53V_F26irI/AAAAAAAAEfU/wjTr4K279ZQ/s1600/Low+Carb+Cauliflower+Cheese.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2AV-XXfBA4Y/U53V_F26irI/AAAAAAAAEfU/wjTr4K279ZQ/s1600/Low+Carb+Cauliflower+Cheese.jpg" height="" width="380" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Low-Carb Double-Cauliflower Cheese.</td></tr></tbody></table><br /><table align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GVcmfV1DSC8/U6XhjJM8qAI/AAAAAAAAEgc/QvhAhrBOfuw/s1600/Cauliflower+Cheese+Wine+Recommendation_Michael+Oliver.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GVcmfV1DSC8/U6XhjJM8qAI/AAAAAAAAEgc/QvhAhrBOfuw/s1600/Cauliflower+Cheese+Wine+Recommendation_Michael+Oliver.jpg" height="181" width="400" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/archives/19825" target="_blank"><b>Wine recommendation from Michael Oliver</b></a>:&nbsp;Boland Cellar Five Climates <br />Chenin Blanc 2014. Go to the end of the page for more detail about this pairing.</td></tr></tbody></table><br />This isn't difficult to make, but to achieve a silken&nbsp;purée you will need a fairly powerful food processor fitted with a metal blade. If you don't have one, you can use a liquidiser or stick blender and a lot of patience. Don't add the cream to the sauce too early if you're going to be whizzing it for a long time, as it may thicken or even turn to buttery granules. If you find your sauce is a little grainy despite your patient blitzing, push it through a sieve before you pour it over the cauliflower florets.<br /><br />This is good with a squirt of tomato sauce, my family reckons, but I like it flecked with Tabasco. If you want to add real luxury to the dish, throw in some crisped bacon bits when you assemble the dish, or use cubed, fried gammon, as I've done in this recipe:&nbsp;<a href="http://proparty.info/2012/10/luxurious-broccoli-n-cheese-with-gammon.html" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">Luxurious Broccoli 'n Cheese with Gammon, and a Parmesan Crust</a>.<br /><br />And if you're not on a low-carb regime, try my <a href="http://proparty.info/2011/02/luxurious-cauliflower-cheese-with-bacon.html" style="font-weight: bold;" target="_blank">Luxurious Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon and Leeks</a>,<b>&nbsp;</b>which has an indulgent topping of buttered breadcrumbs.<br /><br />This recipe will make slightly more sauce than you need, but you can cover the remainder and save it for dolloping over steamed veggies later in the week. &nbsp;For extra flavour, and if you have time, infuse the hot milk ahead of time with a bay leaf, a slice of onion and a clove.<br /><br /><b>Low-Carb Double-Cauliflower Cheese</b><br /><br />2 large heads cauliflower, or 4 small ones<br />5 Tbsp (75 ml) water<br />salt<br />½ cup (125 ml) hot milk, plus extra for thinning<br />4 Tbsp (60 ml) cream<br />2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter<br />2½ cups (about 150 g) grated Cheddar<br />2 tsp (10 ml) Dijon mustard<br />a pinch or more of freshly grated nutmeg, to taste<br />a pinch of white pepper, to taste<br />a squeeze of lemon juice<br /><br /><i>For the topping:&nbsp;</i><br />1 cup (250 ml, fairly loosely packed) grated Cheddar<br />5 Tbsp (75 ml) grated Parmesan or Grana Padano<br />sweet paprika or cayenne pepper, for dusting<br /><br />Heat the oven to 180 ºC, fan on.<br /><br />First make the sauce. Remove the green leaves from one of the cauliflowers (or two, if you're using small caulis). &nbsp;Trim off the stalk and cut the cauliflower lengthways into quarters. Now use a sharp knife to cut away the core, and break up the florets. <br /><br />Heat a large pot over a medium-high flame, add the water, the cauli florets and a pinch of salt. Cover and let them &nbsp;steam for about 15 minutes, or until the stalks are very tender. &nbsp;Check the pan now and again, adding more water if the pan starts to dry out. &nbsp;If you'd like a nutty taste, let the water dry up so the florets take on a little golden colour, but watch them carefully so they don't scorch.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LJ5fskYsYhg/U53ex2pkQrI/AAAAAAAAEfk/0BswtOZiq-g/s1600/Low+Carb+Cauliflower+Cheese_2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LJ5fskYsYhg/U53ex2pkQrI/AAAAAAAAEfk/0BswtOZiq-g/s1600/Low+Carb+Cauliflower+Cheese_2.jpg" height="320" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Whizz the cauliflower with the butter, cream<br />and milk to a fine purée.&nbsp;</td></tr></tbody></table>Drain the cauliflower in a colander for 2 minutes then tip it, piping hot, into a food processor (or return it to the pan if you're using a stick blender). &nbsp;Add the milk, cream and butter and whizz to a fine, soft purée.<br /><br />Now, while the mixture is still hot, add the grated Cheddar and process until the cheese has melted into the sauce. <br /><br />Add the mustard, nutmeg and white pepper and mix well. Now thin the sauce with more hot milk so it's about the consistency of a thickish white sauce. <br /><br />Season to taste with salt. Add a spritz or two of lemon juice - just enough to give the sauce a little sparkle. &nbsp;Set aside.<br /><br />Cut up and steam the remaining cauliflower, as described above, but cook it until it is <i>just</i>&nbsp;tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. (I do this in the microwave, in a big bowl tightly covered with clingfilm - it takes about 7 minutes, on high.) &nbsp;Drain well in a colander for three minutes, then tip the florets into a large buttered oven-proof dish.<br /><br /><table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="tr-caption-container" style="float: left; margin-right: 1em; text-align: left;"><tbody><tr><td style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-13B-TpheowM/U53g4ipcDWI/AAAAAAAAEfw/n9Xd91apmBE/s1600/Low+Carb+Cauliflower+Cheese_1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"><img border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-13B-TpheowM/U53g4ipcDWI/AAAAAAAAEfw/n9Xd91apmBE/s1600/Low+Carb+Cauliflower+Cheese_1.jpg" height="320" width="320" /></a></td></tr><tr><td class="tr-caption" style="text-align: center;">Top the cauliflower cheese with grated Cheddar, Parmesan<br />and a dusting of sweet paprika or cayenne pepper.</td></tr></tbody></table>Pour over the reserved sauce - just enough generously to coat the florets - and sprinkle with the Cheddar, Parmesan and a dusting of sweet paprika (or cayenne pepper if you fancy that).<br /><br />Bake in a hot oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden. &nbsp;Serve immediately with a crisp green salad.<br /><br /><i>Serves 4 hungry people, or 6 as a side dish.</i><br /><i><br /></i><i><br /></i><i><br /></i><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><b><a href="http://michaelolivier.co.za/archives/19825" target="_blank">Wine pairing</a> by Michael Olivier:&nbsp;</b><br /><br /><b>It looks like</b>: Pale gold straw in the glass. Gem bright.<br /><br /><b>It smells like</b>: Classic Chenin. Tropical fruits like guava. Honey. White flowers.<br /><br /><b>It tastes like</b>: Excellent mouthful of wine with great breadth and depth of flavour. The guava is in full presence, as are slice ripe pear and red apple. While dry, there is a whisper of honey. Long aftertaste, clean, crisp and fresh.<br /><br /><br />Jane-Annehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05286066902484367496noreply@blogger.com4