Friday, February 28, 2014

South African style curried chicken wraps

I am so excited to be able to cook with Bulgarian yogurt again, being lactose intolerant its one of the things I missed most , now since the Woolworth's lactose free Bulgarian I can add smoothies, tzatziki, yogurt marinades and dips back into my diet. This is also right on time for all my triathlon training,  as I have learnt, dairy is a great post workout food for used for recovery. Dairy contains carbohydrates which aid the muscle glycogen recovery and repair the muscles with much needed amino acids especially necessary for people like me doing multi sports training and need quick recovery to do the next sport the following day or even the same day. 

My very South African wraps are made using our local Mrs Balls chutney, Malay curry spices and of course the yogurt pictured above. It is a healthier, lighter alternative to the traditional Salome which you get on the streets of Cape Town, a roti with a curry filling loaded with butter and oil.
Quick and easy to make they are low fat and dairy free but contain wheat, either buy wheat free wraps made of corn or just wrap the filling in lettuce leaves for a paleo friendly version / wheat free.

South African style curried chicken wraps
Serves 1

1 chicken breast, flattened
30ml cape flour
2ml local curry powder
1 ml paprika
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of garam masala
salt and pepper
Squeeze of lemon
olive oil blend

1/4 cucumber, grated but throw the pip part away
2tbsp Bulgarian yogurt, can be lactose free
1/4 garlic clove, grated
pinch of chopped parsley
salt and pepper
squeeze of lemon

Chutney vegetables:
1 carrot, peeled and julienne
1 baby marrow, julienne
1tbsp Mrs Balls chutney
fresh chopped coriander
pinch of salt

1 wrap, I used Woolworth's multi seed
20g bunch of rocket leaves

Chicken:Heat the oil in a pan, mix the spices into the flour and seasoning.
Coat the chicken in the seasoned flour and fry in a little oil until golden and crisp on both sides.

Tzatziki: just mix all ingredients and season to taste.

Chutney vegetables: just mix.

Heat a dry pan and lightly warm the wrap on both sides, fill with prepared fillings, rocket, sliced chicken, chutney vegetables and tzatziki. Roll up tightly and toast the outside again.
Serve with more sauce and if you feel like some tomato salsa or even avocado.

Recipe and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Traditional Vietnamese Coffee

This heatwave we are experiencing in Cape Town has reminded me of my travels in Vietnam where it is like this almost permanently, my favorite holiday of all time I recall arriving in Saigon at 6am, we couldn't check into our rooms yet so we hit the city streets. I am totally a morning coffee girl especially at work where problems arise before my cuppa.

My travel partners and I try eat and drink locally where possible, forgoing the chains like Starbucks, we sat at a tiny coffee shop and I ordered their speciality of course. This was the best coffee I had ever had, loaded with ice and slightly sweetened I gulped it down, some had coffee jelly balls (caviar) floating inside which was even more of a treat.

Here is my version to refresh on this hot day, putting my Caffeluxe machine to good use along with my favorite kitchen gadget, my Kenwood machine.

This recipe has dairy, sugar and caffeine, drink after a workout.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee
Makes 1 glass

Double shot of espresso, I used Caffeluxe
2tbsp condensed milk
Full tray of ice

Place all the ingredients into a liquidizer and blend until the ice crystals are fine.

May replace the condensed milk with almond milk and a bit of honey or stevia if you are lactose intolerant. This will also work as a Rooibos drink if you replace the coffee with a strong Rooibos shot.

Recipe and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

15 on Orange Hotel Conference Centre Relaunch

Everyday I walk through the doors of this beautiful place I feel proud to be working at 15 on Orange Hotel especially for its modern beauty and spunk, very different to other hotels in Cape Town, even after being there for over four years now, this relaunch wowed even me once the nerves of feeding 500 people had settled.

On arrival the guests were offered Graham Beck sparkling wine with house made Creme de Cassis caviar with a long extravagantly decorated table filled to the brim with beautifully crafted canapes, even if I do say so myself.

The 500 media and local celebrities were entertained by gogo dancers, stilt walkers, acrobats and a few musicians, the sexy dancers in the pod rooms catching everybody's eye.

Some of the canapes on offer were gazpacho shots with tomato bruschetta, beetroot and goats cheese tian, gravadlax with pickled beet, quail and chicken scotch eggs and sesame beef tataki.

There were endless oysters, tuna tartare in sesame cones, gorgonzola brulee topped with green fig, cauliflower custards, duck tartlets and colourful crudite with hummus.

The guests were then ushered to our Murano bar, the purple bar covered in chandeliers and murano cryslal links from Venice for an assortment of sushi and sashimi with our famous watermelon crush cocktail as well as onto our Judges lounge deck for an Urban Braai of wild mushroom parcels, prawns and beef sliders to the sounds of the Marimba band.

Finally everybody went downstairs to the conference centre for a dessert and candy bar as well as a cheese bar with all the trimmings, parmesan wheel, lavash, cheese straws and preserves.

The grand finale was a rock out to Just Jinjer, favorite band, best food and most beautiful place made for a great evening and an amazing relaunch.

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Butternut curry and the benefits of turmeric

The more I read about turmeric lately the more amazed I am at its load of uses and benefits I really wanted to post about it. Luckily being born in South Africa our food is influenced by Durban curries and Cape Malay all using different blends of curry spices all with one of the main ingredients being turmeric.

The main active component in turmeric is curcumin which can help prevent Alzheimer's proven with India's low rate of illness and is a strong cancer fighter. It is an age old remedy for inflammation or sore muscles and joints as well as easing pain just as well as an Ibuprofen, it will also keep your bones strong warding off osteoporosis. Cardamon reduces blood pressure a spice also found in curry mixes. Coriander amazingly prevents food borne bacteria which will prevent food poisoning. I always prefer eating the right food over buying vitamins but turmeric does also come in pill form but may easily be added to your smoothies and hidden in other foods even when not making curry. 

This recipe is dairy, wheat and meat free so enjoy it anytime but especially tomorrow for meat free Monday.

Butternut Curry and all the trimmings
Serves 2
1 cup brown rice
1 medium butternut, peeled, seeded and cubed
20ml sunflower oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small piece of ginger, peeled, chopped or grated
1 chilli, chopped
100g fine green beans, top and tail and cut in half
1 large baby marrow, chunky cubes
8ml curry powder (the turmeric is already in this mix)
4ml cumin
4ml coriander spice
4ml garam masala
1ml cinnamon
20ml peanut butter
20ml chutney
20ml lemon juice
1 tin 150ml coconut milk
few sprigs fresh coriander, chopped
salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to the boil (1lt) add the rice and 1 tsp salt, allow to simmer for 30-35 minutes then strain.
I steamed my butternut in a bamboo steamer above the rice while it boiled and was ready in 20 minutes.
In another pan heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger.
Mix the spices together and add to the frying pan. Add 300ml water and the peanut butter, bring to the boil. Add chutney and lemon juice.
Add the vegetables and coconut milk, cook for 20 minutes on low, stir occasionally.
Season, add fresh coriander and thicken if necessary with some cornflour.
Serve with the brown rice and tomato salsa, chutney, sliced bananas, naan bread, poppadoms and yoghurt, what a feast.

Tomato salsa
serves 2
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 onion, diced
10ml white vinegar
5ml olive oil
chopped fresh herbs, coriander or parsley
salt and pepper

Mix together and season

Recipe and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Friday, February 7, 2014

Coconut Poached Norwegian Salmon, tenderstem broccolini and fine beans

There are some perks to being a chef, we get to occasionally buy some stock from our suppliers and over the festive season I bought a side of Norwegian Salmon which I skin, debone and cut into portions, place each portion in a bag and freeze, it defrosts so quickly like this and keeps its amazing colour and texture.

Broccolini on the other hand I always thought was a young version of a head of broccoli however its a hybrid created in Japan but still contains loads of vitamins mainly folic acid, vitamin C and potassium.

We all know Norwegian Salmon has high levels of Omega 3 which is good for skin, your memory and alertness, my favorite fish by far. This dish is wheat, dairy and gluten free, it also may be eaten by Paleo's following the caveman diet.

Coconut Poached Norwegian Salmon, tender stem broccolini and fine beans
serves 2

2 by 150g portions Norwegian Salmon (skin off, bones out)
1/2 onion, sliced
1 glove garlic, sliced
thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
1/2 pnt mushrooms, sliced
6ml  - 10ml red Thai curry paste, depending on your heat tolerance
1/2 tin coconut milk
100ml water
20ml soy sauce
5ml sesame oil
5ml fish sauce
squeeze of lemon juice
5ml chia seeds (optional to thicken slightly)
1/2 pnt tenderstem broccolini, washed and the end cut off
1/2 pkt fine green beans, top and tail
few sprigs of basil or coriander
40g rocket leaves or baby spinach

Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and mushrooms until light golden in a saucepan that has a lid which fits tightly. Add the curry paste, water and coconut milk.
Bring to a light simmer.

Add the soy, sesame oil, fish sauce, lemon juice, chia seeds and adjust the seasoning of the sauce.

Place the fish portions in the middle and the prepared vegetables around the fish, pace the lid on and allow to poach for 5-8 minutes depending how you like your fish, its also good to remove it from the heat in 4 minutes and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Add the torn basil or chopped coriander.

In the bottom of your serving dish place the rocket or spinach leaves and top it with the vegetables, fish, lots of sauce and more fresh herbs.
Add a squeeze of lime optional.

*The vegetables may be changed to your liking, bok choy, baby corn, mange tout and baby marrow will all work well and any fish will work as well as chicken.

Recipe and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Royale Eatery

I have been going to Royale for so long that it never occurred to me to blog about it until I took a sabbatical from the eatery, went the other day again and it reignited my memory that it is actually one of my favorite burger joints in Cape Town.

Their website states they have over 50 burgers and counting, I have had about 10 of the 50 and all were great. My favorites are the Sweet Petunia, a basted beef patty with mushroom, rocket and mustard mayo and the El Burro, a beef patty blended with chorizo, coriander, and chillies, topped with mozzarella, smoked jalapenos, avocado and roast tomato salsa (pictured above).

They make everything fresh on site with different options of vegetarian, beef and chicken as well as basting or home made tomato relish and my favorite addition of wheat free, plain or wholewheat rolls. The sides are fries, sweet potato fries, salad or a mix of all and comes with tomato sauce, whipped sour cream and chilli sauce.

I don't need to say anymore, great vibe, great place, Royale Eatery.

Royale Eatery
237 Long Street Cape Town
021 422- 4536

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells