Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pilchard Dhaltjies, pickled green beans and herby feta dip

Another freshly blogged post, please vote for my recipe here #freshlyblogged 

I have always loved the Lucky Star tin, catching my eye every time I walk down the canned goods isle however I normally grab sardines or tuna which is why I am enjoying the Freshly Blogged Competition, it’s making me more adventurous in my shopping where before I would grab all my usuals, I now search for different products inspiring me to try different meals at home but still cost effective.

Pilchard Dhaltjies or Chilli Bites
1x 400g Tin Lucky Star Pilchards in Tomato sauce
1 cabbage leaf, finely chiffonade
100ml P n’ P brown rice
½ lemon, juiced
few sprigs parsley
2 eggs
150ml cake flour
1- 2 ml chilli powder
2ml paprika
2 ml turmeric
2 ml cumin powder
Salt and pepper
500ml sunflower oil for deep frying

Bring a pot of water to the boil with a spoon of salt and boil the brown for 30 minutes then drain.
Remove the spine bone from the pilchards and then place in a bowl, add other ingredients and mix until smooth.
Bring the oil up to temperature in a deep pan.
Using two spoons quenelle the mixture into the hot oil frying on all sides.
Squeeze some lemon over and serve with pickled green beans and feta dip.

Pickled green beans  
100g green beans cut just the bottom off and rinse
Juice 5 lemons and strain (250ml)
50ml sugar
10ml salt
5ml mustard seeds

Place a consol pickle jar into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes to sterilize.
Place the lemon juice in a pot with the sugar, salt, mustard seeds and 50ml water, add the green beans and bring to the boil.
Adjust seasoning; it must be sweet sour, tangy. Pour into the consol jar and allow to pickle in the refrigerator for 1-2 days

Herby feta dip

250g P ‘n P feta
50ml milk
few sprigs parsley
Squeeze of lemon
Ground Black pepper

Roughly chop the parsley, place in a bowl with other ingredients and using a hand blender, pulse until smooth, season to taste.

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ostrich kofta and green bean curry with Mielie Meal roti’s

Another post for the Freshly Blogged competition, you can vote for this dish here. #freshlyblogged

I was inspired for this recipe by the large amount of food intolerances lately, myself being lactose intolerant, this recipe is lactose free as well as following the Paleolithic principles of dieting, very popular lately as it’s a way of eating as cavemen did, little starch, lots of meat and vegetables makes the meal easy to digest. If you replace the flour in the roti with rice flour or potato flour it will be gluten and wheat free too and will be just as delicious as these were.

Ostrich kofta and green bean curry
500g Ostrich Sausage
20ml sunflower oil
½ onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
4ml garam masala
4ml cumin
4ml curry powder
80ml Drostdy- Hof Pinotage
80ml P’n P hot chutney
6 large plum tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
200g green beans, top and tail and cut in half
salt and pepper

Heat a pot with the oil, fry the onions and garlic until soft, add the spices and fry for 1 minute.
Add the red wine and deglaze the pot, add the tomatoes and chutney.
Simmer until thickened on low for about 30 – 45minutes until thickened then blend roughly with a hand blender.
Meanwhile squeeze the meat from the sausage casing and roll into small meatballs.
Seal off in a non- stick pan giving them colour but not cooking through.
When the curry sauce has thickened and been blended, add the meatballs and green beans and cook for another 15-20 minutes, adjust seasoning.
Serve with Mielie Meal roti’s, salsas and condiments or basmati rice.

Garlic Mielie Meal Roti’s
2 cups boiling water
1 cup Mielie Meal
½ clove garlic grated
4ml salt
50ml Extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cup flour / or rice flour for wheat intolerant

Bring the water to the boil with salt, garlic and 15ml olive oil.
Add the mielie meal slowly, stirring constantly, allow cooking for 20-30 minutes.
Place in a bowl and allow to cool. Add 1 cup of flour slowly mixing with a spoon.
Remove from the bowl and knead, add more flour if necessary.
Cut into 10 balls and roll out into 0.5cm thick circles.
I used my Cobb braai to cook the roti’s on the griddle attachment but you may use any braai, a pizza stone or even a non-stick pan.
Brush with extra virgin olive oil and braai on both sides until charred in places for a Smokey taste.
Delicious with the Ostrich curries but will work as wraps with any filling and work well frozen too.

Recipe and picture copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Butcher Man

I was happy when running past one day as this place was being decorated, waiting to see if it was going to be a butchery or restaurant, well it's a bit of everything right on my doorstep in Green point. The Butcher Man has recently opened it's doors on Somerset Road.

An eye catching exterior, I took a walk there the other day to see what they have to offer where I met the Husband and Wife team that own it.

Beautifully laid out, go to The Butcher Man for all you meaty needs and watch them preparing the cuts in front of your eyes.

As you walk in they have branded merchandise on sale like aprons and shirts as well as a cafe area where there are a few items on a menu or you can buy any cut of meat there and they will cook it for you, perfectly as well as a large variety of biltong to nibble on while you wait.

They stock all cuts and kinds of meat, great for our Braai country, there is pork, beef, Karoo Lamb, chicken, sausages, mince... to name a few of the standard choices. They will source anything you need that they don't have and prepare it any way you like.

There are a large variety of vinegars, oils and relishes, spices and a table filled with great gift idea's for the avid cook's or chefs all beautifully packaged.

I was also happy to see the more unusual items available here like quail, rabbit, ducks and even crocodile, I wish they were open when I was studying and my school sent us off on a search for these items. So for my next braai I am definitely visiting The Butcher Man.

105 Main Road Green Point
021 - 4341111

Pictures and Article Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pulled Beef and Suet Pastry Empanadas

Freshly Blogged Competition 2: Meaty Moments
Vote here : Freshly Blogged

Being a chef everybody always asks me what my favorite dish is to make or my favorite section in the kitchen, well it’s definitely making canap├ęs as it’s the closest to my favorite way of eating, sharing small plates of food bringing everybody together and of course getting to taste a wide variety of foods, at least this way I don’t need to beg people to try a bite of whatever they ordered.

Pulled Beef and Suet Pastry Empanadas
Makes 20
Suet Pastry
300g self raising flour
pinch of salt
100g beef suet
70g butter
Ice water

Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl, shred the suet and chop up the butter.
Rub the flour with the fats between your hands until well mixed. Add ice water one teaspoon at a time until the pastry comes together, don’t knead as it will make the pastry tough. Cover and rest in the fridge until needed.

Pulled beef shin
500g beef shin
15ml sunflower oil
1 pnt PnP soup mix or (1 potato, 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk)
1 Knorr beef stock pot
10ml white wine vinegar
2 tomatoes
1 avocado
few sprigs coriander
Salt and pepper
30ml olive oil
1 egg

Season the beef shin, brown on both sides in a pot in a little oil, add roughly chopped carrot and celery stalk and brown. Cover with water, add 1 Knorr beef stock pot and bring to the simmer.
Peel the potato, cut in half and allow to cook in the liquid but remove when cooked through and use in the empanada mix.
Simmer the beef until very tender, skimming the water often.
Meanwhile make a tomato and coriander salsa by cutting the tomato into cubes and dress with 10ml white wine vinegar and 15ml olive oil, season and toss with freshly chopped coriander.
Make a rough guacamole by chopping the avocado and adding 6ml white wine vinegar and 10ml olive oil, season to taste.
When the shin is tender, remove from the liquid and shred into a bowl, cube the cooked potato and add to the beef, season and add chopped coriander.
Roll out the suet pastry until 0.5mm thick, cut 5cm rounds with a cutter, place 5ml beef mixture in the centre, egg wash the edges and fold in half closing it along the top, crimp with your fingers gently and place on a greased tray.
Bake in the oven on 180˚ for 15 – 18 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with tomato salsa (pico de gallo) and guacamole.

This may also be made with leftover stew or curry, revamped the family will never know.

Recipe and Picture Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Food of Vietnam 3: Street Food

Not many people are brave enough to eat the street food when they are traveling but my friends and I are always keen on eating what the locals eat so we just go to the busiest stalls and join in, so far this method has worked well.

One of our favorite things was this noodle dish called Cao Lau, prepared by a husband and wife team in a tiny cubicle with 2 burners and a chest freezer, they feed about 20 or 30 people in a sitting and everything is perfect, we went there twice especially for the noodles in a meaty broth, topped with pork, lettuce and crispy fried wanton squares, I am going to try recreate this at home.

The husband suggested this whole baked fish topped with peanuts and chilli, perfectly cooked and balanced, we ended off with the best dessert of the trip, a banana and chunky coconut pancake, I loved the gooey texture with the huge chunks of fresh coconut.

This I drank or ate everywhere I could, it sounds a bit wierd being a bean drink, beans topped with sugar syrup, ice, coconut and some other varying ingredients like sago, sweet potato, jelly cubes and fruit. Very refreshing.

Their main starch is rice and they use rice and rice flour to create many different dumplings, desserts and textures, these taste a bit like rice pudding which has been baked, savoury and sweet.

Not really a street food as such but you will find their desserts are not very sweet, this above left is a moon cake, made of bean paste with an egg yolk in the centre has an addictive flavour and texture but this mango and sticky rice won my heart, so simple with a slightly salty flavour, sticky coconut rice along side sliced mango, topped with coconut milk and crispy rice found more in Thailand.

You will find the best crispy duck on the streets and I finally got to taste a real Bahn Mi sandwich which looks surprisingly plain but the spicy, crispness as with all the food I ate left me wanting more.

Article and Pictures Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Food of Vietnam Part 2: Lunch and Dinner

So in the previous post you saw the large amounts of food we ate at breakfast time because it was so good but alas after walking around, catching trains and admiring the sites and Palace's we are hungry again, sometimes eating street food and other times taking trip advisor's advice on restaurant choices.
Here is some of the restaurant food we had.
This is the Early Bird Cafe in Hoian.

Pork springrolls, stir fried vegetables, beef and bean stir fry and something we had with every meal was morning glory a sea spinach similar to asparagus and spinach.

We then visited Halong Bay which means Descending Dragon bay which was absolutely the most beautiful part of our trip with possibly the best food served from a tiny kitchen on the boat, I suggest everybody goes to Halong Bay on Oriental Sails.


Juicy stuffed crab and my favorite Green Papaya salad with Asian dressing.

Stir fried Squid which they taught us how to catch, Tomato tofu, perfectly cut tomato and cucumber salad.

Springrolls and shrimp beautifully presented with the captain showing us how it's done.

Stir fried Pork and apple slices for dessert.

We then went on Trip Advisor's suggestion to Y Tao Garden, this menu for 8 items came to about R60 per person and once again I was amazed at the work and tastes. A vegetarian soup and a crispy shrimp filled pancake.

Pork springrolls, an amazing fish and peanut mixture with prawn crackers, lotus seed rice with crispy duck and condiments.

We ended off with this flower creation which is actually sweet bean paste dipped in a type of jelly with a crazy texture and a flavour similar to marzipan  but much better.

Our last stop in Vietnam was Ho Chi Min City or Saigon, arriving in the early hours of the morning, not able to check into our hotel we went off to a franchise called Pho 24 and all tucked into this Pho their traditional soup, I had a fully loaded one with beef flank, meatballs and brisket, noodles and condiments, so good after travelling by train over night.
Keep following for part 3, street food.

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Food of Vietnam Part 1: Breakfast

Vietnam has always been high on my list of want to go to destinations so when my friends started planning a trip I did not even think twice about joining them. My dream to go there started after watching Anthony Bourdain and The Top Gear team filming shows there, the beauty, hustle and bustle of the place was always in my mind.

Asian food has always been my favorite, fresh crisp and always tasty but I had only ever had a South African version of their foods, I was amazed at the food I at on my travels possibly some of the very best meals I have ever had in my life so to try capture the memory and tastes still lingering, here are some of the delicious things I was lucky enough to try on my holiday in Vietnam, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Starting with breakfast, their main dishes were Congee which is a rice porridge, I never really ate this as  it made me too full and I then had no space for all the other items available, their most popular being Pho their National soup, rice noodles in a light broth served with condiments on the side which you add to your liking, chilli, lime, soya sauce, bean sprouts, thai basil and spring onion, light and fresh I could eat this every morning myself.

My absolute favorite was the huge variety of dim sum, with a huge smile on my face I always headed straight for the dim sum station dipped in their chilli tomato sauce and soy sauce.

Steam buns filled with BBQ pork, the softest I have ever had, a huge variety of sushi and shrimp dishes, I will miss this the most.

Always a large variety of fruits on offer, dragon fruit, passion fruit, pineapple, watermelon and a few different ones, durian and jack fruit, I always ended my breakfast at the fruit station.

Hot dishes consisted of a noodle stir fry, sticky rice, pork dishes, omelette station, rosti's, fish dishes and vegetarian items similar to chickpea fritters but made with other beans.

Their quality of pastries is also vary high, very light and flakey filled with a not too sweet red bean paste which I hope to find here in Cape Town or nuts as well as freshly squeezed juices, the most thirst quenching watermelon, carrot and pineapple juice.

A great start to each morning, I can't believe after all this I still I still went on to eat lunch, dinner, street food and sometimes dessert... but I did! part 2 to follow, Lunch and Dinner.

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells