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.
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 )
24 Ly Quoc Su street +84 – 120 – 803 – 4444
Hoan Kiem District
1 kg chicken braai pack of drumsticks and thighs
2 Tsp garlic ginger paste
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)
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.
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 .
1 lemongrass stem
1 birds eye chilli
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp oil
500g pork fillet
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
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
Fresh mint and coriander
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
4 baby leeks / 1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
100g flaked smoked snoek
3 medium potatoes
6 medium eggs
samphire (optional, you could use asparagus)
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Mango atjar to serve
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
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.
3 star anise
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
Asian bean sprouts
Fresh red chili
Asian mushrooms panfried
Lime wedges and fish sauce to serve
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
Slice the peaches and combine all the filling ingredients into a mixing bowl and let the peaches marinate in the fridge for 30 min.
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.
This is such an easy healthy side dish. It goes well with grilled chicken kebabs. Give it a try at your next family gathering.
350g baby butternut
1/4 cup home-made basil pesto
shavings of pecorino
handful of toasted pine nuts
thinly sliced lemons
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.
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.
300g brussel sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red birds eye chilli
1 big garlic clove
3-4 anchovy fillets in oil
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.
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.
500g skirt steak diced in bitesize chunks
250g portebellini mushrooms sliced
1,5 chopped red onion
2 medium carrots diced
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp heaped all purpose flour
salt and black pepper
300g all purpose flour
pinch of salt
75 g butter cold out of the fridge
75g sharp cheddar
125ml ice cold water
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!!