Fish tacos with grilled nectarine salsa

Fish and grilled nectarine tacos

I'm baaaaaaack!

Hi, guys! I am so sorry I have been so quiet around here. Things have been really crazy my side and I have been shooting up a storm. Unfortunately, that has meant that I haven't been able to hang around here with you guys and share all things delicious with you. I thought now would be a good time to make it up to you by celebrating Taco Tuesday. This is a gorgeous recipe that I am obsessed with. It is a wack of sweet, salty and of course my favourite texture, crunch.

Hopefully, you will celebrate Taco Tuesday in style with some tequila and after two or three (because who has one?), you wouldn't have noticed that I have been M.I.A.

I promise to be better and share more recipes with you guys as soon as my schedule slows down.


Makes 10 Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 3 nectarines
  • 500g white Fish
  • coconut oil
  • 1 box taco shells
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 green pepper
  • ½ red onion
  • ½ cup coriander, roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • lemon
  • ½ red chili, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper 
  • 2 fresh lime to serve 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180⁰C

Set a Grill pan on medium to high heat.

Cut nectarines into twelve segments and toss in a teaspoon of coconut oil. Grill them on each side until beautiful and tasty griddle lines appear. Set aside to cool.

Trick: the nectarines are easier and less fussy to turn if grill pan is very hot and the charred lines are well formed. This goes for anything made in a grill pan!

For the salsa:

Chop up avocados, red onion, green pepper and a few slices of the nectarine into the same size cubes and mix together.

Add coriander, a splash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste.

Cut fish into one inch thick fingers, toss in a little coconut oil, season and fry until golden on each side. About two to three minutes on each side.

Pop the taco shells on an oven tray and into the oven for eight to ten minutes. This will make them nice and crunchy!

Building the Taco:

Layer slices of grilled nectarines, the fish, salsa and lastly top with a sprig of coriander and a good squeeze of lime

-Melissa .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beer steamed mussel pot

Beer steamed mussels pot

Living in a world of social media really has its ups and downs. It is so hard to not compare myself to others (a huge mistake) and it is all too easy to fall into a space of dissatisfaction with my own life after viewing someone else's best day on Instagram. However, I constantly remind myself it is just that. Someone's best day. They are working hard to create top class content (as do I) that although beautiful, is not a true reflection of the reality we live in.

I find it inspiring to see people travelling the world in a (seemingly) real life re-enactment of Gulliver’s travels filled with adventure and wanderlust. 
I find myself going down these rabbit holes and ending up pouring over these beautiful locations for hours on my phone. 

Possibly not an ideal habit for a busy woman. Or her partner.

Recently, my obsession has been centred over island vacations. I mean, who’s imagination isn’t captivated by the thought of unspoiled paradise? 
Picture it; Soft beach sand between your toes, a warm sun kissing your shoulders with a fabulous cocktail in hand.

Sigh. 

In an effort to cure my island blues, I decided to come up with an easy-to-make, simply delicious seafood recipe. 
The mussels are a taste of the ocean and the beer offers a signature hop bitterness to contrast the honey in the recipe. The chilli adds a well placed kick and voila - you have yourself a mini vacation in your mouth! 

So if you find yourself dreaming of a magnificent blue ocean somewhere, sitting on a beach sipping on a coconut - I hope this will help you in adding some texture to those imaginings.


Serves: 4

Ingredients: 

  • ½ brown onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ red pepper sliced
  • 2 red chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 500g of the best quality mussels you can find
  • a handful of coriander
  • 330ml beer
  • 1 small baguette
  • herb butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Defrost the mussels and put them in the fridge until you are ready to work with them.

Slice the baguette and butter both sides. 

Take a medium frying pan over a medium to high heat, add a tablespoon of coconut oil and the onions. 

Fry the onions until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, red pepper and chili and fry for a further 5 minutes. 

Add 1 teaspoon of honey and fry for a further minute. 

Add your mussels to a cast iron pot, if you don’t have one any oven-proof dish with a lid will do.

Add the onion and red pepper mix on top of your mussels

Once everything has been added to the pot top with 330 ml of beer and seal the pot.

Pop the mussels into the oven for 20 minutes to steam, or until the shells begin to pop open.

For the last five minutes add the baguette to the oven until toasted. 

Serve hot and enjoy with even more beer! 

-Melissa

 

The Mojo Market - Sea Point

The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point
The Mojo Market - Sea Point

There is a new foodie hotspot in town and it's called The Mojo Market. A dazzling little space filled with food and design vendors serving up all things delicious. (Yes – even the leather handbags) 

With a large variety of cuisine, this is the new place for inducing food comas! 
You can find traditional South African cuisine such as bunny chows, bobotie and potjie along with international treats such as Mexican, Cuban and Hawaiian (my personal favourite - Hokey Poke - A fresh bowl food concept that I am in love with.)

If you are anything like me and find cheese something of a spiritual experience; be sure to visit raclette store. 
For those that don’t know; raclette is a Swiss cheese that is melted and served with baby potatoes along with pickles and pickled onions. 
This could very well be their greatest claim to fame (along with wartime neutrality and the Large Hadron Collider in Cern)

If you have visited Switzerland, Germany or Austria the smell will fill you with European nostalgia in a nano second! 

Whether you are looking for sushi, burgers, nourish bowls, tacos or pizza you will find it at the market. There is even an artisanal tea stand selling exquisite teas. 

It also houses stands of local designer wear that showcase some pretty amazing homegrown talent. 
You’ll find handcrafted leather bags, beautifully handmade clothing, jewellery, accessories - All with a truly local flare.

In hindsight, I must say it would have been a great discovery before my journey out to the desert for AfrikaBurn. The craftsmanship of some of the items I stumbled on at Mojo would have found a perfect juxtaposition in Tankwa. I love supporting local and with such great designs, it’s really a bit of a no-brainer. 

If you find yourself there in the evening why not visit the fresh oyster and champagne bar? A glass of crisp bubbles paired with sunset views of the Sea Point promenade is a pretty great end to the day. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the sunset with a perfect glass of bubbly and raclette.
The seating area has more of a cafeteria/food-hall feel to it, great for relaxed, laid back missions but perhaps not the right fit for a couple looking for a bit more ambience and privacy.

My sweet tooth kicked in like the demon it is while I was perusing the goods and I had to hunt for something to satisfy the craving immediately. 

I tried Baskin Robbins (because of the sugar content) and of course the novelty of trying the only American brand in the market. Its inclusion does seem a bit off amongst the craftier food stalls but judging from the queues – it’s clear that my perception is lost on the regular market goer and family units where the kids are screaming for the brightest fare on offer. Their neon pink signage certainly does the trick.

After my cotton candy ice cream, I popped in to try the brownies at the local sweet store - which was a wise choice in my opinion. (The wise choice here being a second dessert...obviously) 

I love the fact that there is also a small local butcher, bakery and vegetable store. All organic and fresh. 
It's a great spot to pop into if you are needing to fill up the pantry with odds and ends. The selection is small and considered, so don’t expect sprawling aisles. You have a local woollies or checkers for that.

The market is attached to the Mojo Hotel. Offering private rooms and dorms. This space has a quirky interior that falls in line with the design element of the whole experience. I must say that if I was passing by Cape Town I would stay at the hotel just to experience the market and the food. In fact, they have created a little oasis that means one might never leave! 

The market is walking distance from my house which means the temptation to hardly cook and pretty much move in is strong. 

-Melissa 

 

AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal

AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
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AfrikaBurn - Play
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AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
The Blonde Abroad
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
high T
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
The Blonde Abroad
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
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AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal
AfrikaBurn - Play - A photo journal

I don't want to tell you how to survive Burn. You can read that on their site. It's called radical self-reliance (a practice that should be carried out in your everyday life). I want to instead, share with you ten points. I believe these points will help you thrive once all the prep is done and you have arrived in Tankwa Town, a magical place that will inspire you and leave you changed. 

1. Let go of comparing. 

2. Let go of competing. 

3. Let go of judgments.

4. Let go of anger. 

5. Let go of regrets. 

6. Let go of worrying.

7. Let go of blame. 

8. Let go of guilt.

9. Let go of fear. 

10. Have a good belly laugh at least once a day, especially about your inability to let go of any or all of the above. 

Remember this; be kind, don't litter, support each other and look after our planet - we only have one. 

-Melissa 

p.s Life is short. If you can go, GO!

Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake

Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake
Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake
Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake
Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake
Lemon and thyme poppy seed cake

I have been promising to get this cake up on the blog for ages. For those of you who have waited patiently, thank you! I made it for my mother-in-law's birthday and it was a hit! I couldn't share how good it looked when cut into, as I still needed to give it to her. But I guess that will be part of the surprise and the trust that you have with The Truffle Journal. The moment that you cut into the cake will be such a treat. The lemon flavour is perfect and compliments the thyme wonderfully. I made a vanilla buttercream which was delectable and trust me, will leave you wanting more. Just don't make the same mistake I did, which was to have dinner before.

Life is short, have dessert first and in this case, lemon and thyme poppy seed cake! 


Ingredients: 

For the cake:
Cake:
420 grams cake flour
400 grams caster sugar
4 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds (soaked in a little warm milk for 15 minutes)
230 grams unsalted butter, room temperature, coarsely chopped
grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
5 egg whites

For the thyme syrup:
50 grams granulated sugar (from the cake sugar)
1/2 cup water
small fist-full of thyme leaves - about 10 sprigs
Juice of 1/2 a lemon 

For the frosting: 
2 vanilla beans, scored and seeds removed
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
250g cream cheese
200 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla paste


Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.
Grease three 20cm round cake pans. 
Line the bottom of each with a round of wax paper and butter the paper. (The batter is sticky so don't miss this step!) 

Combine the flour, 1 ¾ cups (350g) of the sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds (milk strained) in the large bowl of an electric mixer. 
Beat on low speed to blend the ingredients and break up any lumps, about 30 seconds. 
Add the butter, lemon zest and 1 cup of the buttermilk to the flour mixture. Beat on low until completely mixed. 
Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes to lighten and aerate the batter.
In a medium bowl, combine the egg whites with the remaining ¼ cup buttermilk; whisk well. Add this mixture to the batter in 2-3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating only enough to incorporate. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
While the cakes are cooling, make the lemon syrup: in a small saucepan, combine the remaining ¼ cup (50g) of sugar, the lemon juice, thyme and the water. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. 
Turn out the cake layers onto wire racks and generously brush them hot lemon syrup over the warm cakes to moisten evenly. Let cool completely.

For the frosting: 

Using an electric mixer beat the butter and cream cheese together until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar one cup at a time beating well after each addition. Make sure to scrap the sides down. Add the vanilla and mix well. 

To assemble the cake:

I add a dollop of frosting onto the base before I add my first layer. This ensures it doesn't go slipping and sliding. 
Add a fifth of the icing on the first layer and spread evenly. Add the next layer and repeat. Use the remaining icing to ice the cake. You can do a nude look or fully cover the cake. Garnish with some thyme or flowers! 

-Melissa