Trout Chowder at Two Dam Sustainable Trout Farm

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I know this post is so late since we visited Two Dam Trout Farm in Montagu during the winter months. The visit there was everything I needed at that moment ; inspiring people, amazing produce, solitude and nature.
The accommodation, Kingfisher Cottage is on a working Trout Farm. Situated next to the main farmhouse where Marco and Vivian Harms lives. Still private enough, the cottage is small and cosy with a fireplace and all you will need.
The farm offers a few hiking trails and even though the Western Cape is in an extreme drought the landscape is still one of the most beautiful in the world.
Marco took us on a tour of the Rainbow Trout Farm. It was inspiring to hear what Marco and Vivian were achieving. They are extremely focussed on responsible farming and production and are 100% off the grid.
Before we arrived we ordered an array of products that were waiting for us at our cottage. From Gravlax to Whole Fresh Trouts ready to be grilled on an open fire. I highly recommend you plan your weekend and menu around these lovely Trout products. Order some Gravlax or cold smoked trout slivers and all you have to do is bring some bagels and cream cheese! Breakfast sorted!

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Ingredients

1 chopped onion
3 chopped baby leeks
2-3  chopped medium carrots
4 chopped rashers of pancetta or smokey bacon
1 clove garlic
4 medium potatoes cubed
2-3  chopped baby fennel
100g chopped in half baby asparagus
100g-150g flaked hot smoked trout from Two Dam Sustainable
3 heaped tbs crème fraîche or sour cream
500 ml boiling water
1 tbs chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper

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Recipe

On medium heat sweat the onions and leeks for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and pancetta and stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks. Add the carrots and fennel and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. Now add the flaked trout, potatoes and boiling water, salt and pepper and cook for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Once the potatoes are soft add the crème fraîche, dill and asparagus. Do not overcook the asparagus. Check your seasoning before serving and top with a few fresh dill leaves.

 

 

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Rustic Peach Blueberry Thyme Galette

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I love imperfection and I don’t think there has ever been an ugly galette in the history of galettes. The more rustic, the better. I am hosting a High Tea for my girl friends next week and I think this galette will be a winner.
Galettes can be savory too, 2 years ago I made a couple a savory galettes as part of a birthday picnic. They are just perfect eating at room temperature. The fillings are endless.

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Ingredients

Pastry:

1,5 cups all purpose flour
170g ice cold unsalted butter cubed
83 ml ice cold water
pinch of salt
Egg wash to brush on pasty before going into oven

Filling:

5-6 peaches, skin on and sliced
1/2 cup blue berries
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp corn flower
2 tbsp sugar (optional)

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Recipe

Pastry:
This pastry can be made in a food processor, but it is just so much better by hand. It looks more rustic and I think the pastry is flakier.
Its very important to not overwork this pastry and to keep your butter and water as cold as possible for this proses.
Take butter out of the freezer and cut it in 1 cm blocks as soon as it has softened a bit. Put  the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and add the cold cubed butter. Using your fingers rub the butter into the flour until it resembles grainy sand and leave some bigger pieces. Now add the ice cold water a bit at a time and press the dough until it forms a ball. Wrap in cling wrap and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until needed.

Filling:
Slice the peaches and combine all the filling ingredients into a mixing bowl and let the peaches marinate in the fridge for 30 min.

Assemble:
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. Take 2 sheets of baking paper and put your pastry in the middle. It makes it much easier to roll it out this way. Roll the pastry in a round shape to about 30cm wide. Take the top layer op baking paper off and transfer the pastry with the bottom piece of baking paper onto a baking sheet. Pile the fruit in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 5 cm boarder, fold the rim over the fruit. Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle it with sugar. Place the baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden.
Serve with a drizzle of honey and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or greek yogurt for the more health conscious.

Baby Butternut Salad with Pine Nuts and Pecorino

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This is such an easy healthy side dish. It goes well with grilled chicken kebabs. Give it a try at your next family gathering.

Ingredients:

350g baby butternut
1/4 cup home-made basil pesto
shavings of pecorino
handful of toasted pine nuts
thinly sliced lemons
salt pepper
olive oil

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Recipe:

Wash and cut baby butternuts in half, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the butternuts in a 220 degree Celsius oven for about 20-25 minutes until lightly charred. Toss the warm butternut in basil pesto and add some extra olive oil if needed. Arrange the baby butternut on a serving platter and scatter with thinly sliced lemon, pecorino shavings and some toasted pine nuts.

Serve with chicken kebabs for a summer lunch.

Brussel Sprouts with Chilli

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This is a super easy recipe with only 5 ingredients including the olive oil. I usually make this with Broccoli instead of Brussel Sprouts but thought that they are both a bitter, earthy vegetable and that it could work for both vegetables.

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Ingredients:

300g brussel sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red birds eye chilli
1 big garlic clove
3-4 anchovy fillets in oil

Recipe:

Wash and slice the Brussel sprouts in half, leave a few whole. Bring salted water to a boil and add the Brussel Sprouts and leave it to boil for about 4 minutes. Drain the Brussel Sprouts and immediately submerge it into ice water to stop the cooking process and to retain the green colour, we don’t want grey mushy Brussel Sprouts!
Add olive oil, chilli, garlic and anchovy fillets to a pan over medium to high heat. Once the anchovy fillets has been resolved add the drained Brussel Sprouts and sauté for a few minutes. Serve as a side dish.

 

Rustic Stout Steak Pie and Veggies

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This is old school winter food and you should make this for those you love. The pastry is a recipe from Jamie Oliver and please watch it on FoodTube to see how easy it is. I halved the recipe for 2 people and it was more than enough, we even had leftovers the next day. I used a Lady of the Night Vanilla Porter from my local brewery down the street, Woodstock Brewery , but feel free to use any stout. Make it with your favorite side dish. I served it with my easy Brusselsprout and a Sweet Potatoes side and will add the recipes to my blog too.

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Ingredients

Pie filling:

500g skirt steak diced in bitesize chunks
250g portebellini mushrooms sliced
1,5 chopped red onion
2 medium carrots diced
rosemary
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp heaped all purpose flour
250ml stout
125ml water
salt and black pepper

Shortcrust Pastry:

300g all purpose flour
pinch of salt
75 g butter cold out of the fridge
75g sharp cheddar
125ml ice cold water

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Recipe

Add a little oil to a pan and start sautéing the chopped onions and carrots. Add rosemary and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent. Then add the sliced mushroom and let this cook until most of the water in the mushrooms have evaporated. Then take the mushroom, onion, carrot mixture out of the pan and set it aside while you brown the skirt steak.
Add a little bit more oil to the pan if needed and add steak to the pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Let the steak brown on all sides.
Now, deglaze the pan with 1 cup of stout and let the liquid reduce a bit. Add flour and give it a quick stir to avoid any lumps. Add the tomato puree and stir.
Add the mushroom, carrots and onions back into the pan. Stir well. At this point you could add some water. Cover the pan with the lid and turn the heat on low, let simmer for at least an hour. Check every few minutes and give it a stir.

While the steak filling is simmering away you can make the shortcrust pastry.
Add the flour, salt, cheddar and butter to a mixing bowl and start to rub the butter and cheddar into the flour. Take care not to over work the mixture and as soon as everything is incorporated , add the ice cold water. Do not kneed it, rather press it until it forms a ball. Wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

When the filling is ready take it off the heat and let it cool down. Flour your surface and roll the pastry out to half a centimeter thickness, divide it in 2 so you can have a top and bottom part for your pie. Line the inside of your pie dish with half the pastry and scoop in the steak filling. Neaten the edges of the pastry and brush the edges with egg wash. Place the top half of the pastry ontop, neaten the edges. Use a fork to pinch the edges and make a cut in the middle of the pie for the steam to escape. Brush with egg wash and place into a 180 degree oven for 40-50 minutes.

Serve with sides and and don’t forget a glass of stout!!

Shakshuka with Potato Pesto Focaccia from Woodstock Bakery

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Shakshouka is a Middle Eastern dish served in a cast iron pan or tajine, accompanied by bread to mop up the sauce. I first had it in Turkey and they make it with a garlic sausage. You could easily adapt this recipe to your liking by adding chorizo or making it vegetarian and adding mushrooms instead. The options are endless. This doesn’t have to be served as a breakfast, it could easily be a quick budget friendly dinner too. This is a great way to feed a family or a group of friends coming over for Sunday brunch.

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Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic
1 red chill, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sugar
1 tin chopped tomato
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 cup water
thyme
1 bay leave
4 eggs
smoked pork cocktail sausages

 

Recipe

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and add the garlic and chilli, fry for about 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and finely sliced red pepper as well as the cumin and smoked paprika. Cook for a few minutes until onions and peppers are soft. Now add the tinned tomato, tomato paste and sugar and give it a good stir. Add the bay leave, thyme and water and turn the heat down to a low simmer with the lid on. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
While the sauce is on a simmer, cook the smoked pork sausages in another pan or you can grill them in the oven.

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Give the sauce a stir and turn the heat up to medium, break 4 eggs in the sauce and put the lid back on. Cook until the desired softness for the eggs. Lastly, scatter the cocktail sausages over the cooked eggs. This dish must be served with a lovely crusty bread to mop up all the sauce.
Enjoy!!

 

Slowcooker Pork Belly Ramen

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Broth Ingredients

1 onion halved
1 carrot roughly chopped
big thumb size ginger sliced
2 big garlic cloves
8 tbsp sake
8 tbsp soy sauce
1L beef stock
4 tbsp fish sauce
300g shitake mushrooms stems removed
pork belly about 1,3kg
water, about 2L

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Reduced dipping broth for sliced pork

soy sauce 6 tbsp
ginger thumb size sliced
garlic 1 clove sliced
water 6 tbsp
5 spice powder 1 tsp or 1 tbsp hoisin sauce

Topping Ingredients

ramen noodles 1 packet per person
soft boiled egg 1 per person
bok choy
spring onions
sprouts
thai basil or coriander
red chilli
black sesame seeds and sesame oil

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Recipe

I would recommend you make this recipe over the weekend. It is not difficult at all, but  it is time consuming. Make your broth friday night and do the final touches on saturday, that way it doesnt feel like such a monumental task.

Day 1

Add onion, carrot, ginger, garlic, shitake, soy sauce, fishsauce, sake and beef stock to the slow cooker and set it to cook for 6 hours. While this is heating up, take the skin off the pork belly, keep the skin aside and place the whole pork belly in the slow cooker. Fill the pot with boiling water right to the top. I crisp the skin in a nonstick pan with salt and a bit of 5 spice powder until crispy and you can crumble it over your ramen at the end. Unfortunately we ate the crackling before the ramen was done because it was just too irresistible.

After 6 hours take the pork belly out of the slow cooker with tongs and set aside too cool. Take out the shiitake mushrooms and set aside. Discard the ginger, garlic, onion and carrot by straining the broth. Put the pork, shiitake mushrooms and broth in separate containers in the fridge until the next day.

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Day 2

Slowly start to warm the broth.
In another pan add the ingredients for the dipping broth and bring it to a low simmer. Now slice your pork belly in 1cm slices and put it in this dipping broth, this way you warm it and give it an extra kick of flavor.
In another pan, boil the eggs, cut in half and set aside.
Also slice the mushrooms that was boiled in the broth the night before and set aside.
Wash and slice the bok choy, spring onion, chili and sprouts and set aside.
Now get your bowls ready, because ramen must be served piping hot. Pour a bit of boiling water in each bowl to keep it warm.
Boil the noodles and while the noodles boil make sure the pork in the dipping broth and the ramen broth is hot hot hot!!!

When the noodles are ready, empty the bowls of the boiling water, drain the noodles and spoon noodles into the bowls. Assemble the bok choy, sprouts, spring onion, shiitake mushrooms, boiled egg, chili, thai basil and sliced pork belly on top of the noddles.
Lastly spoon over the boiling broth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil.
Devour immediately!!!

 

 

Green Papaya Salad with Prawns and G&T

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Yes, I know its winter in Cape Town and we just had one of the biggest storms to hit the Mother City in years. You might be thinking; who in their right mind would want to eat crunchy, limey green papaya salad with Gin and Tonics, this while its 14 degrees outside and raining. This is not comfort winter food, not at all. But I can tell you it was darn delicious. Come summer time, I would eat this everyday. I just had to try this green papaya salad, as green papayas are not readily available in supermarkets here and it was only because of a tip from Sam Lindsels’ blog Drizzle and Dip that I was so lucky to get hold of a green papaya.

I must admit , I have never been a fan of Gin and Tonics but after tasting Wilderer Gin at Spice Route I am a changed woman. It seems like Cape Town has an array of amazing Gin distilleries and therefore we have our very own Gin and Tonic festival.  I see Hope on Hopkins is right here in my backyard and that will be the next distillery to visit.

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Ingredients

Dressing

1/4 cup of lime juice
1 tbsp of fishsauce
2 tsp of honey
1 red birds eye chilli
1 clove of garlic

Salad Ingredients

1/2 green Papaya
1 big carrot
2 spring onions
1/2 red pepper
hand full cherry tomato
100 grams peeled, cooked and deveined prawns
1/2 cup crushed salted peanuts
Basil micro greens or coriander

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Recipe

Make the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients to a blender and give it a good whizz, keep it aside.

Peel and deseed 1/2 a papaya and shred finely with a Julienne Peeler, do the same with the carrot. Combine the 2 in a mixing bowl. Cut tomatoes in halves or quarters and thinly slice spring onions, add this to the mixing bowl. Thinly slice 1/2 a red pepper  and add this to the mixing bowl too. The salted peanut can be crushed in a mortar and pestle before being added to the mixing bowl too. Pour the dressing over and give it a good mix before transferring it to a serving dish. Lastly scatter with prawns and micro basil greens.

Winter Beef Barley and Mushroom Soup

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My father makes a Bean and Beef Soup that I have eaten over a thousand times during my life. I have seen him make it, I have made it with him and I know every ingredient that goes into it, but I cannot replicate my fathers soup. I have come to the conclusion that a pot of soup is a uniquely individual dish. When a person serves you soup for dinner it should be appreciated, its made with love and their special touch.

Ingredients

500g stewing beef or cut of your choice
3 cloves of garlic
1 brown onion
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2-3 large potatoes skin on, chopped
500g portabellini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup dried barley
fresh rosemary or thyme
2 bay leaves
1 beef stock cube
salt and pepper
fresh parsley

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Recipe

I make this soup in my Breville slow cooker. It has a saute/sear option so I like to brown the beef  with a bit of salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil. But there is no need to do this if your slow cooker does not have this function. Then add the onions and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrots, celery, mushrooms and potatoes and give it a good stir. Then add the barley, bay leaves, rosemary or thyme or both. Dissolve the beef stock cube in a bit of water before adding it and top the pot with enough water, depending on your pot size, I would guess 1,5 litre.
Lid on and set cooking time for 4 hours on high.
Stir every hour or so and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

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Cooks note:

At the end I take out about 1/4 of the soup, make sure you get some of the meat too, but very importantly NO BONES. The reason because I blend it till a smooth consistency and add it back to the soup. This way you get the best of both worlds, a smooth-chunky soup.

Serve with crusty bread, chopped fresh parsley and drizzle with olive oil.

 

 

Korean Pancakes for Lunch (Pajeon)

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Sometimes a simple sandwich just wouldn’t do and thats when you need some of these Korean Pancakes. Loaded with fresh crunchy veggies and made with chickpea flour, makes these a pretty healthy lunch.
I added mungbeans, yellow pepper and courgettes to mine but the possibilities are endless and a good way of using those last lost veggies before they go to waist. Enjoy with  black Rooibos tea with a few slices of fresh ginger.

Ingredients

1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup water
1 egg
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 yellow pepper thinly sliced
hand full mungbeans
2 small or 1/2 a cup courgette grated
2 chopped spring onion

Dipping sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
a pinch of Korean chilli flakes (gochujang)
sesame seeds

Recipe

Grate the courgettes and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over it and let it soak up the salt, this will draw out the water in the gourgettes. After about 10 minutes squeeze the water out with your hands.
Add the flour, water, ginger garlic paste, sesame oil and egg to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the courgettes, thinly sliced yellow pepper, chopped spring onion and mungbeans and mix with a spoon.

Make your dipping sauce by mixing all the dipping sauce ingredients and serve in a small dipping bowl.

Heat a nonstick pan on medium, add a bit of oil and spoon the mixture into the pan. You can make small individual pancakes or one big one like I did, that I cut with a pizza cutter into slices. Turn and cook on both sides until golden and crispy.

Serve hot with the dipping sauce and you could sprinkle over some spring onion and extra sesame seeds.

Happy Friday lunch and great weekend!!!