Friday, May 29, 2009
The Good Food and Wine Show
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Gammon and corn muffins with silky scrambled egg
Who doesn't love a muffin? Seriously. The problem is, when you order a muffin at a restaurant/cafe they are loaded with sugar and/fat and usually tip the calorie scales somewhere between 800 and 900. To put things in perspective, a Big Mac is about 550 calories. My versions here are about 150 calories per muffin. They are high in protein, fibre and Vitamin B so you will be doing yourself a big favour having them for breakfast. I made a couple this morning but if you don't have the time try them out over the weekend - perfect for a Sunday brunch vibe.
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 eggs
- 250 ml of fat-free milk
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Half a cup of corn (From a can is fine, rinsed well.)
- A handful of parsley, finely chopped
- About 75g of gammon, cooked and finely chopped. (Use lean ham if you want)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Restaurant specials to keep you warm this winter
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
How do you judge a restaurant?
Monday, May 25, 2009
Brewers & Union - Beer and meat. That'll do.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Asian-style tuna steaks with steamed green vegetable salad
I got really lucky a few months ago when some dude called Jerome came knocking on my door at the office. He's an authentic fisherman with the accent to prove it, and he sells me fresh fish from the back of his bakkie. I bought some tuna steaks the other day and made some last night. The cool thing about tuna steaks is the short cooking time and the wide variety of flavours you can season them with. Last night I went Asian. I would recommend making a turn past a proper Asian store and loading up on some ingredients. They keep for ages and you will use them often. I am giving very rough guidelines for amounts in this recipe, as it is all about personal preference. As with most Asian cooking, it is a balance of sweet, salty, hot and sour. Just keep tasting and you'll be fine.
Okay, stuff you'll need to feed 2 people:
- 2 x 200g tuna steaks
- About 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, grated
- About 2 teaspoons of chilli, finely chopped
- About 2 teaspons of fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup of light soy sauce
- A few drops of sesame oil
- A few drops of fish sauce
- About 1 tablespoon of honey
- Juice of 1 lime (use lemon if you can't find limes)
- A few drops of kecap manis (this is like a thick soy sauce. Get it at any Asian store). Leave it out if you can't find it.
- Mixed green vegetables. (I actually like brussel sprouts so I used them but most people don't. Just use what you like. Things like spinach, asparagus, brocolli etc)
- A handfull of sesame seeds
- A handful of coriander, roughly chopped
Okay, what to do:
1. Make your marinade. Place soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, kecap manis, coriander, ginger, chilli, garlic, fish sauce, and half the lemon juice in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, let it simmer for about 10 minutes and allow to cool.
2. Pour marinade over tuna steaks and let them sit for 20 minutes. Turn them over and wait 20 minutes more.
3. Cook your vegetables in a steamer. Remember things like spinach will need hardly any cooking time so put the hard vegetables in first and add the rest accordingly. The total time will be about 20 minutes. You want your vegetables to still have a bite. Nothing is worse than soft, limp, overcooked vegetables without any colour or flavour.
4. Cook the tuna steaks for 1-2 minutes per side. DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM! They should be pink in the middle.
5. To serve, get a large platter, toss the sesame seeds through the vegetables and place on one side of the platter. Slice the tuna crossways and place alongside the vegetables. Drizzle a bit of the marinade over the tuna and use the remaining lemon juice to pour over the entire dish.
This is pefect for a dinner party dish. You would place the final dish in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves with chopsticks and a side plate.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Chicken and sweet potato curry served on lentils
- 500g skinless chicken thighs (The flavour is way better than breast, but use them if you have to)
- 3 Tablespoons of red curry paste (This is one thing that I don't mind buying pre-made. You can make your own but to be honest it is a bit of a hack)
- 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- About 250 ml of skim milk
- A cup of water
- A handful or two of frozen peas
- A handful of baby spinach leaves
- Some chopped mushrooms
- Some fresh ginger
- Coriander to garnish
- Half an onion, peeled and finely chopped
- A tin of lentils, drained and washed
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Table thirteen - very, very cool
From the vintage-styled lounge chairs to the stunning crystal chandeliers I loved this place from the second I walked in. The restaurant is small but luxurious and shares its space with a beautiful decor shop next door. The food is a mixture of gourmet sandwiches, creative salads and special items made that morning. This is just the savoury stuff - there is an entire table covered with cupcakes, muffins, cakes, meringues and more.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
StreetSmart - Do your bit
Monday, May 18, 2009
Myoga - Six course special
Friday, May 15, 2009
Nobu - love it or hate it
I had read and heard some shocking reviews for this place which meant that I went there with low expectations. Which I'm really pleased about, as I found everything to be absolutely incredible. I don't even know where to start with the food but first let's explain a little about who the dude is...
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Caprice dinner club - are they joking?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Healthy cooking techniques
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Old-school burgers with all the trimmings
I woke up on Saturday with a fairly epic hangover and the terrible feeling that I had arranged a braai the night before. I believe the words "best fu*king burgers you will ever eat" were being thrown around as what I was planning on serving up. Now, not one to disappoint, I made a trip to my butcher for some lamb mince. I had planned to make lamb burgers with a blue-cheese sauce. My man informed me that he was out of lamb but sold me some awesome, lean beef mine. I thought that was a fair compromise and I set off. While not as impressive, or unusual, these burgers are simple to make and will beat the hell out of any pre-made patties in a supermarket. While summer winds down here, maybe the readers in London can celebrate as the temperature soars to the mid teens with an afternoon spent outside. You can't beat it with a stick. In SA, you might get lucky with a few more sunny days. Next time one presents itself, give these a whirl.
- 1 kg of the best quality beef mince you can find
- One large onion, finely chopped
- A handful of parsley, finely chopped
- A few squirts of organic tomato sauce
- A couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- A dash of tabasco sauce
- A few gherkins, sliced diagonally
- One large onion, sliced and fried
- About 4 tomatoes, sliced
- Lettuce, shredded
- High-quality, medium strength cheddar cheese, sliced
- Soft bread rolls
Monday, May 11, 2009
oxtail stew with creamy mustard mash
In terms of comfort food you have to go a long way to beat oxtail. It is an awesome cut of meat when cooked properly and this recipe is unbelievably easy. The thing about oxtail is you want to make sure you get the best quality you can. Get it from a butcher who knows what he is doing and cook it for as long as possible. If you follow this recipe the meat will fall off the bone and taste sensational.
- A large oxtail, cut into joints
- Flour for dusting
- Mustard powder
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- A few carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 leeks, roughly chopped
- Some celery, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- A handful of cherry tomatoes
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- A punnet of mushrooms (I went with shitake. Any will do but try not to use button mushrooms. They are so boring)
- 4 bay leaves
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 750 ml of red wine (Use a good wine, something you would love to drink.)
- 8 potatoes, halved and skinned
- Two handfuls of baby spinach
- Parsley, chopped. For garnish
- Two heaped tablespoons of wholegrain mustard
Friday, May 8, 2009
The fruit and veg rainbow
Look out for tomatoes, strawberries, pomegranates, apples, red peppers, raspberries, watermelon etc. These will have a high count of vitamin C, as well as lycopene which can lower the risk of cancer.
Things like carrots, corn, apricots, nectarines, oranges and bananas are all high in beta-carotene which promotes healthy eyesight. They are also high in calcium and magnesium and promote the formation of collagen.
I couldn't think of anything healthy that was green....Wait, how about brocolli, spinach, any herb, kiwi fruit, grapes, apples, runner beans, asparagus, avocado, peas, mangetout. Give those a try. They will all help boost your immune system and lower the risk of several diseases including cancer.
What's that? I'm writing in black. Yeah, I know. It didn't work in white and I wasn't keen on re-doing this whole post. White fruits and vegetables are amazing sources of sulphur compounds which help balance hormone levels. (laydeeees.) Jokes. Sort of. Check out onions, pears, mushrooms, cauliflower and potatoes.
What you want here is things like aubergine, cabbage, grapes, blueberries, plums and blakberries. Rich in antioxidants and and specific minerals that help the body with recovery.
So next time you buy make sure your trolley looks like a rainbow threw up in it. You will apprecite the benefits of a wide variety plus you won't get bored easily.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Sweet potato frittata with tomato and basil salsa
- One large, cooked sweet potato (skin off), cut into cubes
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 4 eggs
- A handful of chives, finely snipped with a pair of kitchen scissors
- A handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- A handful of basil, ripped
- Juice of half a lemon
- A tablespoon of sesame oil
- One chopped chilli (use a splash of tabasco sauce if it is easier)
- A tablespoon of fat-free milk
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Don't try this at home
Col'Cacchio celebrity chefs series
Monday, May 4, 2009
Meals at top 50 restaurants auctioned on eBay
Friday, May 1, 2009
Fu.shi - average vibe
I got the infamous sushi-craving yesterday so we headed to Fu.shi for my fix. For those of you who know Plett it is in the new centre next to the dolphin statue at the end of the main drag. The centre itself is pretty awesome and looks glaringly out of place for a holiday town. It would fit in with the most fashionable parts of Cape Town with great finishes, expensive fittings and modern architecture. Sadly, the food did not match up.