Zucchini Ricotta Spread

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I stumbled upon this recipe for Zucchini Butter on The Kitchn Blog and was so excited to use up the almost limp zucchinis in my fridge. I tweaked the recipe just a tad by adding ricotta that had to be used too and it turned out to be a spectacular idea. We ended up spreading it on beautifully toasted rye from Woodstock Bakery  and added poached eggs.
I recommend you impress your better half this weekend with Sunday brunch.

Ingredients

3 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic finely chopped
fresh sage about 10-15 leaves
350g zucchini grated
150g ricotta
salt and pepper

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Recipe 

Grate the zucchini on the big side of a box grater, sprinkle with salt and leave for 5 minutes before squeezing out all the moisture. You an do this by putting the grated zucchini in a clean dishtowel and squeezing out all the moisture.
Warm a pan with butter, olive oil, garlic and sage on a low to medium heat, once the garlic is fragrant add the grated zucchinis. Stir. Make sure not to brown the zucchini, keep the heat on low and cover the pan. Lightly simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Let the zucchini mixture cool down before mixing it with the ricotta. Add a little more olive oil if you feel it is needed.

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Burnt Clementine Duck Salad

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According to the calendar Spring is here but Cape Town has been having a late winter, with freezing temperatures, rain and in some parts snow in the last week. As Capetonians we are not complaining about these last precious drops filling our dams before we go back to water restrictions in the summer months.
This recipe and location in my beloved Newlands Forest has inspired me so much and  I am looking forward to summer and alot more food shoots in nature!

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Ingredients:

Marinade
2 duck breast
1tsp 5 spice
1tsp sesame oil

Dressing
juice of one clementine
1 garlic clove and thumb size ginger finely grated
1tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp water
1tsp honey
5 tbsp raspberry vinaigrette
7 tbsp olive oil
salt

Salad
asian cabbage or iceberg lettuce finely shredded
kale finely shredded
sugar snap peas halved lengthwise
spring onions chopped
fresh mint
fresh coriander
sesame seeds to garnish

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Recipe

Firstly half 2 clementines and put it cutside down in a non stick pan, let it sear in a hot pan until it caramelises and set aside.
Marinade the duck breast in sesame oil and 5 spice for at least an hour and let it come to room temperature at least 30 minutes before cooking. Turn the oven on 200 degrees celcius.
Put the duck in nonstick pan, skin side down and then transfer the cold pan onto a medium flame. Let the duck fat slowly render out for about 5 minutes and then turn it. Turn the heat up a bit and let this side seal for about 3 minutes. Turn the duck once more with the skin side down and transfer the pan to the oven for 7 minutes, make sure you have a pan with a metal handle. NOT PLASTIC!!
After 7 minutes take out the pan from the oven and let the breast rest on a plate. Now use the still hot pan (pls remember the handle is still hot, yes I often burn fingers), add the juice of the clementine first to deglaze the pan and then all the rest of the ingredients,   if your pan has cooled down too much just give it a little heat so all the ingredients infuse. Set the dressing aside to cool.
Make your slaw/salad by combining the shredded cabbage, kale, sugar snaps, spring onion and fresh herbs. Divide it between 4 plates, centre half  a clementine on each salad, slice the duck and place it on the salads, sprinkle with sesame seeds and lastly drizzle with the pan juice dressing.

Serves 4

 

Cold Smoked Gravlax Rosti with Horseradish Yoghurt

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A few months ago I did a post on Two Dam Sustainable Trout Farm in Montagu and our stay in the Kingfisher Cottage. Read about it here. This place is one of my all time favourite finds and a great winter weekend hideout. Nothing beats indoor fireplaces, snacking on Gravlax and other Trout product and sipping on wine from the region.

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Ingredients

500g potatoes
1 medium onion
2 medium eggs
4 tbsp all purpose flour
100g-150g cold smoked gravlax
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying latkes

Horseradish yogurt dressing

100ml yoghurt
2 tbsp horseradish
juice of half a lemon

To serve: Fresh dill, lemon wedges, green olives or capers

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Recipe

Mix yogurt, horseradish and lemon in a bowl and set aside until serving.

Coarsely grate the potatoes and onion with a box grater, sprinkle with salt and let stand for 5 minutes, where after you squeeze out all the excess liquid with your clean hands.
Add egg and flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Fry in a medium to hot pan in batches, keeping the rest warm. Assemble immediately in layers of latkes and gravlax and drizzle with horseradish dressing. Sprinkle with green olives and fresh dill.

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Waterblommetjie Samosas with Indian Green Chutney

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Waterblommetjies are endemic to the Western Cape and translated from Afrikaans means “small water flower”. These flowers grow completely wild in ponds and farm dams during the winter and early spring.
Growing up, my Ouma and parents used to use these flowers to make Waterblommetjie Bredie (Stew), that is made with lamb or mutton. I have to confess that I have never been a fan of this way of preparing waterblommetjies. After googling a bit I found a heap of interesting recipes, from waterblommmetjie tempura to steamed and served with aoli.
This gave me the inspiration to use this versatile vegetable in a samosa mixture.

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Ingredients

600g potatoes
400g waterblommetjies
1 finely chopped onion
Fresh ginger and garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 tsp samosa spice
salt and pepper
100g feta
1 packet of frozen samosa pastry (this recipe makes about 30 samosas)

Recipe

Peal and cube potatoes and boil until soft and set aside. After the waterblommetjies has been properly washes and trimmed, transfer it to a steamer and steam until soft, about 8 min. Let the waterblommetjies cool down for a few minutes before you roughly chop it.
Sauté the finely chopped onion in a pan over medium heat until translucent. Add ginger and garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the chopped waterblommetjies and sauté for  anther 3-5 minutes. Add lemon juice and samosa spice and drained soft boiled potatoes. Stir everything together while mashing the potatoes into the mixture. Lastly crumble feta into the mixture.
Set mixture aside to cool down before folding.
I am definitely no professional when it comes to folding samosas and will give you this YouTube Link that you can use as guideline. My first few samosas were complete disasters but just keep at it.
After I was done folding all the samosas I spread them out on a tray and popped them into the freezer, once frozen you can then put them into individual freezer bags to use when you want.

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Green Chutney Ingredients 

30g fresh mint
30g fresh coriander
1 serenade green chilli
3 tbs desiccated coconut
1 garlic clove
1 thumb size ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp sugar
juice of 2 limes
3 tbs water

Blend all these ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

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There is an abundance of peppers around and after a bit of research I decided this on these Mexican stuffed pepper recipe.This is a wholesome way to feed a hungry croud. This recipe could be made in advance to the point just before cooking and put in the oven as guest arrive. It would be perfect for a croud of teenagers. I even heard that people freeze these in individual portions. If you have these Mexican Stuffed Peppers all to yourself or share them, just make them!!!

Ingredients

1,5 cups cooked brown rice
500g lean beef mince
1 large onion chopped
1 large carrot finely diced
2 cloves garlic
1tsp fine cumin
4 whole cloves
1tsp dried origano
400g tin chopped tomato
400g tin black beans drained
2 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1,5 kg mixed bell peppers
1 cup grated cheddar or haloumi

To serve: guacamole, fresh coriander, chopped chilli, limes, chopped spring onion and tons of corn chips!!

 

Recipe

Cook rice per packet instruction and set aside.
Saute chopped onions, finely chopped carrots and  garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add cumin, cloves and oregano and saute for another minute before you add the beef mince. Saute beef until browned. Add chopped tomatoes, lower heat and let it simmer with lid on for at least 30 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper After 30 minutes remove the lid and let some of the liquid cook down, you don’t want the mixture to be too saucy. Take the beef off the heat and let it cool down while you prepare the bell peppers.
You could cut it in the middle length way or you could cut the tops off and have a little lid to place back on the pepper after you have filled it.
After you have cut the peppers put them in a deep roasting dish.
Add the cooked rice and drained black beans with the beef mince and add the 2 eggs and half the cheese, mix well.
Spoon the mixture into each pepper, sprinkle remaining cheese on top and put the lid of the pepper on top.
Cover the roasting tray with tinfoil and bake at 200 degrees celsius for at least 45 minutes.
Serve with lots of fresh coriander, chilli, chopped spring onions, lime wedges and guacamole. Also serve it with corn chips.

Pizza 4P’s Hanoi

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When making my “To Do” list for Vietnam, Pizza 4P’s were on top of my list. Arriving in Ho Chi Min City we gorged ourselves with anything and everything Vietnamese from Bahn Mi’s, Pho Ga, Bun Cha and Dim Sum to name a few. Unfortunately we missed Pizza 4P’s in Ho chi Min City but were so delighted to realise that Hanoi has is its very own Pizza 4P’s too.


What attracted me to them was the fact that they have their very own artisan cheeses made in Da Lat. Freshly made Mozzarella and Burrata gets transported every couple of days by train. Other ingredients like Parma Ham gets imported all the way from Italy.
Their menu ranges from authentic Italian to Asian-Italian. I have to admit their pizzas were so amazing we went there twice. On our first visit we felt adventurous and tried their Half & Half Pizzas, which is a different pizza on each side. If I can remember correctly I had Duck & Apple Blue Cheese on one side and the other Teriyaki Chicken. Absolutely out of this world!!!!!!!
On our second visit I opted for a more traditional Italian pizza; Parma Ham, Rocket, Tomato and the beloved Burrata that I heard so much about.

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The waiter helped us cut the burrata in a perfect star shape, ensuring that every pizza slice is covered in this creamy cheese.
The staff at 4P’s Pizza is exceptionally well trained, well spoken, helpful and friendly.
Young pizza chefs work with absolute precision and we especially booked a seat at the kitchen counter to see them perfect their craft.

This Pizza haven is an absolute MUST when visiting Vietnam, I recommend booking as they can get extremely busy.

Also check out our little video on Instagram ( @marizkadutoit )

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24 Ly Quoc Su street                   +84 – 120 – 803 – 4444
Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi

Korean Sticky Chicken

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Ingredients:

1 kg  chicken braai pack of drumsticks and thighs
2 Tsp garlic ginger paste

Sticky Sauce:

2 Tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs finely grated ginger and garlic
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs dark soy sauce
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 Tbs Korean Chilli paste (gochujang)
100ml water

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Recipe:

Rub the chicken pieces in the garlic-ginger paste, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill chicken in the oven at 180C until golden on both sides. While the chicken is on the oven, add all the sticky sauce ingredients into a sauce pan and let it reduce over medium heat.
Once the chicken is done, brush all the sticky sauce on both sides of the chicken. Return  the chicken to the oven and grill for another 15 minutes on both sides. During this time you must keep an eye on the chicken so it doesn’t burn!!!

Sprinkle with sesame seeds, serve with sticky rice or Jasmin rice, some steamed broccoli and asian slaw or kimchi.

 

 

Vietnamese Grilled Pork With Sticky Rice

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Its been a month since our return from our Vietnamese adventure. We scampered through a sweltering hot, chaotic Ho Chi Min City and we experienced some incredible Pho Ga. We also found this little street food night spot where they served a different dish every night after 22:00. Here we had grilled pork with broken rice .

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Ingredients 

Marinade:

1 shallot
1 lemongrass stem
1 birds eye chilli
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp oil
500g pork fillet

Dippings sauce:

6 tbsp lime juice
6 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp water or coconut water
sambal oelek to server and use to taste or chopped red chilli and garlic

Pickled vegetables:

1 cup apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2-3 large carrot julienned or grated
1/2 english cucumber sliced

Accompaniments:

Sticky rice
Fresh mint and coriander

 

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Recipe:

Marinade
Start by slicing the pork loin in 1cm disks and set aside while you make the marinade. Add the shallot, lemongrass, chili, garlic, honey, fish sauce and oil to a blender and blitz to a paste. Mix this paste into the sliced pork and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours to overnight.

Pickle
Combine water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and make sure all the salt and sugar has desolved.
Slice cucumbers and julienne or grate carrots and place it in 2 separate glass containers. Pour the liquid over the vegetables. Let these pickled vegetables sit in the liquid for at least 2 hours or over night.

Dipping sauce

Combine fish sauce, lime juice and water or coconut water in a glass container and store in the fridge for up to a week. You truly only need a few teaspoons per meal. I like to add a teaspoon of samba oelek to my dipping sauce at the table. You could also add sliced red chili and chopped garlic if preferred.

Pork fillet

These little medallions takes no time to cook at all, so make sure your table is set, your rice is sticky and hot and all your pickles and fresh herbs are on the table.
It is best to grill these pork medallions on the braai (bbq), it literally takes about 2-3 minutes per side and the smokeyness of the braai is what makes it great. I have also made these pork medallions on a griddle pan and works just as well.

 

 

 

Snoek Frittata With Mango Atjar

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Snoek is favored by local South Africans and is definitely a big part of our food culture. In Cape Town and Western Cape, this deepwater fish is the main ingredient in many dishes ranging from paté to snoekbredie (stew). Snoek can be braaied (bbq) with butter and apricot jam too.
I had a piece of smoked snoek sitting in my fridge and usually I make fish cakes with it, but decided to take it up a notch with this frittata. I love frittatas because they are so versatile in terms of their ingredients. It is also an any time of the day type of meal, hot or room temperature and keeps well in the fridge.
And I must say; I was so enthusiastic to use samphire in this recipe. Samphire also known as sea beans grows wild along the West Coast. Edible wild plants and foraging is an absolute food trend at the moment.

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Ingredients:

4 baby leeks / 1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
100g flaked smoked snoek
3 medium potatoes
100g ricotta
6 medium eggs
50ml milk
samphire (optional, you could use asparagus)
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Mango atjar to serve

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Recipe:

Smoked snoek has a lot of bones, so take your time to flake the fish and set aside. Sweat the leeks in a bit of butter over medium heat until soft and set aside. Peal and slice the potatoes in thin slices, boil until slightly soft, drain and steam dry.
Put the oven on grill.
Add a knob of butter in a medium size non-stick pan (handles of the pan needs to be oven proof) and add the potatoes, sauté for 2-3 minutes. Crack 6 eggs in a mixing bowl and mix it with the soft cooked leeks, samphire and flaked snoek, add milk, dill, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and scatter chunks of ricotta on top. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat and then transfer it to the oven to grill from the top until the frittata has set.
Serve with Mango Atjar

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

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I am counting the days to our departure to Vietnam. Every day I can just taste and smell all the amazing street food just a little bit clearer. I have been making endless lists of foods and restaurants to try. I am hoping to pick up a few cooking secrets at Luke Nguyen’s cooking class called Grain. I will be sure to post something about that experience.

Today I am making this Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup and wondering how the real thing would compare.

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Ingredients

Stock:

3 star anise
5 cloves
2 black cardamon
1 cinnamon stick
5-7cm fresh ginger cut lengthways
1 yellow onion cut in half
1 tsp sugar or rock sugar
1 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp Vietnamese fishsauce
1 whole chicken
Enough water to cover the chicken, at least 2-3 liters

Fresh Ingredients:

Rice noodles
Fresh mint
Fresh coriander
Spring onion
Asian bean sprouts
Fresh red chili
Asian mushrooms panfried
Lime wedges and fish sauce to serve

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Recipe

Start by toasting the dried herbs in a pan for a minute or 2 to unleash their aromas and set aside. Cut onion and ginger in half, lengthways and blacken under the grill, this takes about 10-15 minutes. Take off the first black burnt layer of the onion and the charred skin of the ginger.
Bring 2-3 liters of water to the boil in a big pot and add the whole chicken in the boiling water. Add the whole onion and ginger and the roasted spices to the pot. You could put the dried spices in a tea ball or just fish them out one by one at the end.
Turn the boiling stock down to a simmer and keep on taking off any foam that floats to the top, with a spoon. Simmer the chicken for an hour.
After an hour take the chicken out of the pot and let it cool down. Also take out the spices and the garlic and onion.
The chicken broth needs to simmer for another 30 minutes and this is also the time to add the salt, sugar and fishsfauce. While the broth is simmering its time to boil the  rice noddles according to cooking instructions. Also get all the fresh herbs washed and ready. Panfry the asian mushrooms in a bit of olive oil. Debone the chicken and keep it aside.
Assembling Pho is very easy, add noodles to the bottom of the bowl and top with chicken, fresh herbs and chili, then ladle spoons of broth to the top of the bowl. Lastly squeeze a lime wedge and a drop or 2 of fishsfauce on top.
Enjoy!!!!