September 2, 2014 in dinner, grains, lunch, pasta, vegetarian

 Beetroot Pasta, the colour of ‘M’ in CMYK

I LOVE the colour of this pasta. The deep magenta hue is mesmerising and in a way unbelievable that it’s edible. It’s the colour that represents the “M” in CMYK and in that sense seems completely inedible or only something that would be edible in the future – when we’re all living in a computer-generated world where food has to be one of the colours represented in CMYK (otherwise it would not be recognised).

At the same time, I cannot help but think of Alfred Hitchcock when I eat this pasta. I remember reading a fabulous story about him and his “blue” parties – a colour that is also represented in CMYK in the form of the “C” for Cyan. At these parties he would only serve blue food, from the Martinis to the mash potatoes, and I have ever since wanted to do the same – it’s crazy, yet brilliant! However, it ‘s also believed that his guest got sick afterwords – many believing that the idea of eating blue food has a physiological effect that is hard to stomach ( excuse the pun, hehehehehe…). So perhaps I should rather throw a Magenta party and serve everything inspired by beetroots from the Martinis to the pasta.

I also love this pasta because it is so vibrant and, when served on a matte black plate, looks super modern – making a wonderful statement at the table. Remember to avoid overcooking it, the more you cook it the quicker it loses its colour and goes stogy. If you cook it immediately from fresh, it can take less than 2 minutes to cook. For best results, leave it to dry overnight and then it will retain more of its colour and take about 3–5 minutes to cook. I like to serve it with a blue cheese sauce sprinkled with, roasted, chopped walnuts and crispy bacon or pancetta.

For the recipe visit: foodMonger

Strawberry Apple Almond Crumble

November 21, 2013 in ice cream, pudding

Strawberry Apple Almond Crumble

 This crumble is simply and utterly divine. The tartness from the strawberries and apples marries beautifully with the rich, buttery, almond topping. The apples add texture to the filling, while the strawberries add a much needed juicy decadence. The hint of lemon cuts through the sweetness and the topping does what it should do: adds a crunchy-buttery-rich-biscuity finish.

As I have mentioned in past posts, I love cooked apples even more than raw ones (they are quite bland when raw), and obviously I like apple crumble. However, I wanted to do something a little more decadent and I suppose Christmas-sy (hence the red and green) – even if it was simply subliminal. Having seen the wonderful price of strawberries (a punnet at PNP was R15), I had no choice but to buy them and add them to a crumble – I think it was then when the subliminal Xmas message popped into my head. Also, loving the flavour of almonds, and knowing it works perfectly with apples and strawberries, I knew it would be just the thing to make this crumble even better.

For the recipe visit: food-monger.com

Pomegranate Swirl Ice-Cream and the Magnum Event

November 18, 2013 in ice cream, pudding

Pomegranate Swirl Ice-Cream

and the Magnum Event

 

Two week’s ago I attended the Magnum Pink Pomegranate and Black Espresso Launch held at the oh-so suave Shimmy Beach Club. It was a fabulous event with cocktails everywhere you looked and delicious finger foods that swirled around as waiters made their way through the crowds. Also on the menu, obvious, but not disappointing, was the new Pink Pomegranate and Black Espresso Magnums. Before I get into the new Magnum flavours, I think it imperative I talk a bit about the event and the very exciting Magnum auction.

The event kicked off with, Top Billing hunk, Janez Vermeiren introducing the new flavours, and an extremely exciting Magnum competition. What is the competition? It’s a Magnum Twitter Auction. It’s the very first for South Africa where tweets equal currency.

At the event we were given a sneak preview on how the auction will work by having two prizes up for bids. Each prize was inspired by the new Magnum flavours. Representing the Pink Pomegranate was a gift set of pink Ted Baker clutches, Guess sunglasses and other desirable objects. Representing the Black Espresso, was a similar gift set only in black. However, to win a gift set was up to you to tweet for it. The more you tweeted the more chance you stood to win.

For more and to see the recipe visit: food-monger.com

Whole-Roasted Cauliflower

October 30, 2013 in lunch, vegetarian

The Humble Cauliflower

 

This is a great way, not only to prepare cauliflower, but also to elevate it into something more than just a vegetable component to a dish. Placing a whole-roasted cauliflower onto your table will certainly get everyone talking. This usually insipid white vegetable is transformed into a golden-charged globe begging to be eaten (certainly a deviation from the usual response to cauliflower).

Aside from looking dramatically amazing, the taste is also one to rave about. Before roasting, the whole cauliflower is poached in a stock of white wine, vinegar, herbs and water. This process slightly pickles the cauliflower and infuses it with flavour; while roasting makes it crisp and the charged edges has a much needed slight bitterness that adds another tone to the dish.

Albeit obvious, I served my cauliflower with a cheese sauce. As we know, cauliflower and cheese are a match made in heaven, and the pickled flavour is also one that works perfectly with cheese – resisting the combination would’ve been futile. However, the cauliflower is delicious on its own too – with or without cheese sauce.

For the recipe visit: FoodMonger

Chocolate Fondant NOMU Style

October 24, 2013 in pudding, Uncategorized

Chocolate Fondant NOMU Style

 

Last week Wednesday I was invited by NOMU to attend an “afternoon of irresistible treats”, as per the invitation so tantalizingly phrased it. And what an afternoon of decadence and spoiling it was. Thank the Pope I never ate lunch, as per the invite suggested with a somewhat sneaky-effective-luring “p.s” (typed at the bottom of the page). Having skipped lunch and walked from Cavendish Mall (yes, you read right), ALL THE WAY to Winchester Avenue, Bishops Court, to Ottimo Ciba, where the event took place, I was more than comfortably hungry – to be frank I was bloody starving.

 

On entrance, worryingly sweaty and with disheveled hair, (the walk was frightfully hilly and LONG), I was warmly greeted by Paul (husband to NOMU creator, Tracy), who handed me a name badge and ushered me to the room where the “irresistible treats” where to be found and the mystery behind the invite was revealed.

In the room, a large table stood filled with beautiful cakes and finger foods galore! It looked like High Tea at The Mount Nelson, a spread that one dresses up for (I regret having worn jeans as they did not match the setting – if only I had worn a dress!). At the end of the table, on shelves stood Baking Kits, and the surprise was revealed: NOMU has brought out a range of Baking Kits.

The food on the table, was all created out of NOMU’s new Baking Kits and was a way to advertise, not only what the kits taste like, but also their versatility (and what a great way to do it).

On exit we all got two Baking Kits, I was lucky enough to get The Chocolate Fondant Kit and The Vanilla Biscuit Kit. Having been someone who loves chocolate fondant, I was pretty curious to try a fondant baking kit and see how it matched up to the real thing. At the back of the box, (as usual) is a list of ingredients one was to add, such as eggs, milk and butter and (less usual) suggestions on how to ‘snaz ‘ up your fondant such as adding orange zest. I decided to give mine an even bigger dazzle and added Amoretto and extra chocolate which I added halfway when filling my moulds. On that note, I was pretty impressed that the kit contained disposable fondant moulds.

Aside from the nifty moulds, the fondant was rather delicious, in fact I ate ALL 4! (over 2 days). As a baking kit goes, I was impressed with the quality and ease of the kit. I think the kits are perfect for people who want to impress without the mess ( I couldn’t help rhyming). The versatility of the kits is what makes them unique and exciting. To view all the kits and recipe ideas visit NOMU’s site. Also the kits are available to purchase via their site.

Pickled Root Vegetable and Crumbed Goats Cheese Salad

August 11, 2013 in dinner, lunch, vegetarian

Pickled Beet and Baby Rainbow Carrot Salad

with Goats Cheese

I just love the look of baby rainbow carrots, however I don’t find them very sweet – in fact I think they’re a bit on the bitter side. I usually don’t like to use them, for (1). normal carrots are much nicer and (2). I am not a huge fan of cooked carrots. But, I had to find a way to use them, after all they are so cute and pretty! I decided to make them into pickles. I love pickles, and I really like pickled carrots and it just so happened that that If I bought the carrots I got R10 off if I bought beets as well – so obviously with a deal like that, who could refuse? Sarcasm aside, I did think that beets were a good idea to buy – they’re pretty cool pickled too and they’re rather healthy too.

Crumbing and frying goats cheese is simply scrumptious – I don’t think I should ever eat it any other way. Once fried, they become little cheese croquettes that are warm in the inside and crunchy on the outside – what more can you want? Well, pickles (obviously).

I chose to use the pepper-coated one (since it was in the fridge), it was very delicious and I think any flavour goats cheese would go down a treat. These goats cheese croquettes would also work well in a salad of Parma Ham and roasted cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. They would also work great served as a tapas – they are so marvelous they can handle their own.

To view the recipe visit: FoodMonger

Roast Tomato Goats Cheese Tart

August 8, 2013 in dinner, lunch, vegetarian

Tomato Tart

This is a great dish if you love tomatoes and Provencal flavours. The combination of the sweet and tart tomatoes with the goats cheese, Dijon mustard and thyme is simply heavenly and certainly conjures up images of Southern France. Aside from tasting delicious, the tart is also rather pretty and reasonably cheap. Also, tomatoes are very good for ones skin, apparently they help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, which in turn helps skin from aging – so eat up ‘em tomatoes.
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Apple Cinnamon Wreath

June 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

Cinnamon and Sugar Plaited Wreath

 

 

I simply love cinnamon and sugar and when I stumbled across this recipe I had to make it. Not only is it so pretty, but it tastes great – but I suppose anything that has butter, sugar and cinnamon as a main ingredient is destined to be delicious.

 

 

The original recipe doesn’t have apple in it, but I thought apple would make it even better – after all cinnamon and apples are perfect together. I used a Granny Smith apple grated, which gave the ‘wreath’ a nice tartness that contrasted well with the sweet and rich flavours from the sugar and butter.

 

To view the recipe please visit: food-monger.com

Citrus Brioche Buns

June 24, 2013 in vegetarian

Citrus Poppy Seed Brioche Buns

I love brioche, especially toasted and enjoyed with a cup of good coffee. Making brioche buns, instead of a loaf, is great because you can freeze the buns you don’t eat. I love to eat these buns, toasted under the grill and drizzled with real maple syrup. They are also delicious served with homemade cherry jam (hence the cherries in the pics) – recipe to follow in my next post ;-)

 If you have an electric cake mixer, these buns are really easy to make, however they are a little time-consuming. I have never made brioche without using a cake mixer attached with a dough hook, and I can only assume it would be quite difficult to achieve the same result by hand. When making these buns, you must add the butter slowly, one cube at a time, and make sure that each cube is incorporated before you add the next. This is a bit of an annoyance, but if you want to make brioche this is the technique – after all it is a butter and egg enriched bread and it’s all that butter that makes this bread so delicious. And like most breads, it has to prove twice (again a bit of a poke) – so clear 2 hours of your life to make these little buns of heaven.

for the recipe please visit food-monger.com 

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Winter Delights and a Touch of Blue

May 19, 2013 in dinner, lunch, soup

Hearty Beef and Pearl Barley Stew with Spinach and Baby onions

 

 

What I love about this dish is that it’s both stew and soup combined. I think Rachel Ray coined this ‘culinary phenomenon ‘as a “Stoup”. I love stew and I love soup so the idea of them being combined is fantastic (to say the least). The stew side is the beef chunks and baby onions while the soup side of it is the barely and I suppose the spinach too. The barley bulks the stew up and, obviously, is the starch element to the dish – so there is no need to make rice or mash potatoes or any other side of starch, everything you’ll need is in the Stoup. Although I do suggest you have it with some crusty bread, after all it is kinda a soup.

 

 

This is a great dish to make for winter, it’s warm, filling, healthy and above all requires only one pot, yip it’s a ‘one pot wonder’.

 

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