dinner

Seared Ostrich Fillet with Citrus

Seared Ostrich Fillet with Citrus

*Serves 2

Ostrich is a meat that can be commonly found in most South African supermarkets. It has a rich, gamey taste to it and you can pair it with sweeter accents such as fresh fruits or a berry sauce for some great combinations.


Ingredients:

  • 230g ostrich fillet
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • salt and pepper 
  • coconut oil
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 1 generous handful rocket
  • 80g raw almonds, toasted
  • olive oil

Instructions:

Add the ostrich, along with the orange zest, juice, garlic, and tamari, to a bowl. Toss together and cover the bowl. Pop it into the fridge for an hour or overnight if you have time.

Remove the marinated ostrich from the fridge. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a medium pan over a high heat. Add the ostrich fillet and sear on each side for two minutes. Once ready, remove from the heat and let rest for a further five minutes. You can cover it with a piece of foil so it doesn’t get too cold. Once rested, slice the ostrich and season to taste.

Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, remove the membranes of the orange segments.  In a medium bowl, layer the rocket and fresh oranges along with the sliced ostrich fillet. Top with the toasted almonds and drizzle with olive oil to serve.


Health Fact:

Ostrich is a lean meat and a great alternative to beef. It is also readily available in South African supermarkets.

How to grill the perfect steak and a giveaway with Risoli!

How to grill the perfect steak and a giveaway!
How to grill the perfect steak and a giveaway!
How to grill the perfect steak and a giveaway!
How to grill the perfect steak and a giveaway!

I often get asked, “how do you make the perfect steak?” 

As a proudly South African girl, my first answer is on the grill with an open flame. There is something primal about it that ignites my inner pyromaniac, plus it’s really wonderful cooking on an open flame out in the elements. However, this isn’t always achievable. Add in a howling south easter and that little open flame meant to char a chop can turn into a roaring mountain blaze faster than you can put down the braai tongs. In fact more often than not, in simpler terms, it’s just too much hassle to set up a fire and wait for it to be the correct temperature to grill a single steak. So then what?

Enter Risoli and their marvelous grill pan! Imported from Italy and an absolute essential in the kitchen.  
The best part of the design is that it is non-stick. I love this because a cast iron grill can be such a pain to clean and with the Risoli it is quick and easy! You can focus your energy on cooking rather than cleaning which is right up my alley. 
Nobody likes to wash dishes.  

A grill pan is an essential in the kitchen because it actually goes so much further than just grilling a steak. Essentially you are cooking without added fat making it a healthier cooking method. 
You can grill vegetables as well as meat and my personal favorite, corn. 
I have a habit of trying to incorporate that little yellow ‘mielie’ into as many dishes as I can.
The possibilities are endless, think grilled corn salsa, marinated grilled vegetable salads and of course, chorizo tapas and perfect meat options!  

So, without further adieu - let’s get down to basics. Here are a few tips that I believe will make your life easier in the kitchen: 

Lesson Number 1.
The biggest mistake people make is to put oil into a grill pan. 
This is a big no-no because all you are going to do is smoke out your house. Unless your house is already on fire from that earlier braai attempt in the South Easter – nobody enjoys choking on the thick smoke billowing from an oiled grill pan.
The pan is designed to work with little to no oil. When grilling your steak all you need to do is lightly brush the meat. Lightly. That’s it. If you add more oil it will just cause a mess. 
So lesson no 1, oil the meat - not the pan.

Lesson Number 2.
The second biggest tip is to cook one side and then another. Don’t toss and turn your piece of meat. What I mean is; lightly oil your meat, bring your pan to a high heat and then lay your meat down. The main thing you are looking for is a sizzle! It is all about the sizzle. Once the meat is in the pan, leave it face down for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes turn your meat over and grill for another 3 minutes. You will see the grill marks showing up nicely. Cooking time can vary based on the thickness of your steak as well as how you would like your steak done. I personally only like medium rare to medium. So my cook time on a based on a 2cm thick steak, 3 minutes a side.
Aside from the taste benefit of minimizing the manhandling of your meat – it leaves your steak with a perfect aesthetic; marks on meat that looks more like a grill pan and less like you prepared your meat on chicken coop wire.
I’m a stickler for the details.

Season your meat after grilling with a basic salt and pepper herb mix. 
If your meat is marinated then you won’t need to oil your meat. Just let excess marinade drip off before grilling the meat. 

Lesson Number 3.
Let sleeping meat lie…
Allow for rest time on your meat. You want to be able to rest your meat for 5-10 minutes. 
Remove it from the pan (heat) and put it on a chopping board. 
Cover it with foil to allow the steak to keep warm. 
Resting the meat means it won’t end up in a bloody pool on the plate! (Unless you like that sort of thing...no judgment…okay, maybe a little Hannibal) 

Once rested, slice and serve with a simple chimichurri sauce or cracked salt. See recipe below ... 


Ingredients: 

  • 2 Rump steaks approx 200 grams, cooked according to above method. 
  • A bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander 
  • 1 - 2 garlic cloves 
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 red chilli (depending on how hot you like it)
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 

Instructions: 

Grill the steak and set aside to rest. 

Blend all chimichurri ingredients together and serve on top of sliced steak. 


GIVEAWAY TIME! 

Now for the exciting giveaway! Comment below on what your favourite grilled dish is and you can stand a chance to win this amazing pan! Competition for South Africa only, entries close on the 17th of November. If you share the post on social media from The Truffle Journals facebook page and follow the page, then you score some extra points! Good Luck! 

*This blog post was sponsored by Risoli, all opinions are my own. 

Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc

Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc
Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc
Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc
Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc
Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc
Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc
Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc
Prawn pasta to celebrate Sauvignon blanc

Durbanville wine valley is celebrating a month of sauvignon blanc in October and I couldn’t be more excited! These easy drinking crisp white wines are often found at my table. Durbanville is a mere twenty minutes from Cape Town CBD and deserves a visit as much as its sister wine countryside’s Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The Durbanville region is filled with scenic routes, amazing award winning wine farms and superb restaurants. 

So with October celebrating the richness of Sauvignon blanc and estates such as Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, D’Aria, Diemersdal, De Grendel, Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Meerendal, Nitida, Groot Phizantekraal and Signal Gun each celebrating the start of white wine season in their own individual style, I had to create a dish that I believe celebrates these estates and their sauvignon blancs! The dish is rich and creamy and the acidity of the wine cuts through it perfectly. I have also chosen to pair the wines with seafood as it compliments the flavour well! This prawn pasta is beyond delicious and a great meal to feed a bigger crowd! 

If you want to explore the region you can pop into any of the estates and experience a tasting! The month of festivities draw to a close at the end of October with a festival weekend on the 29th and 30th October. All twelve wine estates will be present and it will be a hive of activities for all family members. 

Now let’s get down to business with my prawn pasta while you prepare to savour (hopefully) all 12 celebrated sauvignon blancs!


Serves 4, cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 300 grams rosa tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 400ml tomato pureé (I use the one in the glass jar)
  • 1 packet linguine
  • Salt
  • 250 grams of cleaned and de shelled prawns, patted dry with paper towel.
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 200 grams mascarpone cheese
  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Parmesan cheese for serving


Instructions:

In a large frying pan over a medium heat add the coconut oil, rosa tomatoes and garlic. Fry until soft. Add the oregano and tomato pureé. Let simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat. If you would like you can feed it with a little water if it starts to dry out.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Salt the water generously. Add the linguine to the water and boil for 7-8 minutes. Do not over cook the pasta, as it will cook further in the sauce.

Once ready, remove and strain. Add the pasta to the frying pan with the tomato sauce.

In a separate smaller frying pan bring over a high heat add the knob of butter and garlic. Add the prawns and fry for 3 minutes. Don’t over cook the prawns as they will cook further in the pasta.

Fold the mascarpone into the pasta, add the prawns and spinach and fold until combined.

Zest the pasta and add the lemon juice before serving. Serve fresh and hot with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese! 

-Melissa

*This blog post was sponsored by Durbanville wine valley. All opinions are my own. 

Waterblommetjie bredie

Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede
Waterblommetjie brede

Capetonians can experience four seasons in one day. In fact, if Cape Town is in the mood, possibly five. 
There is a local saying that goes “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” 

The up side of a moody city is that, although it is spring, you can easily end up with a cloudy cool day that demands a hearty meal that oozes comfort. (and offers the perfect excuse to laze on the couch, guilt-free). The down side; well… hapless, underprepared tourists caught in a quick-as-a-flash temperature plummet.

This recipe is exactly what the (cape) doctor ordered on days like this. It is a traditional South African dish made from flowers that grow around this time of the year in the lakes and dams. The flower is called the waterblommetjie (Afrikaans) with the direct translation meaning ‘little water flower’. It grows similar to a water lily and can be found at any good local farmers market. 

This dish combines a rich lamb stew and vegetables with the crowning ‘waterblommetjie’ as a fragrant element that ties all the flavors together beautifully. 

I am in love with it not only because it is insanely good, but is a great comfort food, and of course, who doesn’t love eating flowers? I mean you might as well be a unicorn! 

This dish is consciously seasonal and well worth the effort.

I must admit it was my first attempt at playing with a traditional South African recipe and I was blown away with the results.

In Afrikaans there is a perfect phrase to end off a perfect meal…magies vol en oogies toe.
Tummy is full and eyes are closing...

I couldn’t have said it better if I tried.


Serves 6, cook time: 1 ½ hours
 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg lamb(knuckle or neck)
  • Cake flour to dust meat.
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cups lamb stock
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 1.5 kg waterblommetjies
  • 500 grams baby potatoes
  • 1 ½ tins of apricots (save the rest for dessert!)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested 


Instructions:

Dust meat with flour. Add a glug of olive oil to your casserole dish and bring to a high heat.

Brown the meat in batches until golden brown. Do not add it all at the same time as you wont get that perfect golden colour!

Add the onions and fry until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a further five minutes.

Add the coriander, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and fry for a further two minutes.

Add the lamb stock and make sure you deglaze the bottom of the pot to get all the flavour.  Add the soya sauce.

Close the lid and reduce the heat to a medium heat and let cook for 40 minutes.

Mix in half of the waterblommetjies and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Add the potatoes, apricots and the remaining waterblommetjies and cook for a further 30 minutes on a low-medium heat.

Add the lemon zest five minutes before serving.

Enjoy! 

Roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup

Roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup
Roasted cauliflower and chickpea soup

I am going through a major chickpea phase at the moment. MAJOR.

Lately, I have spent a great deal of time playing with this delightful little legume also known as the garbanzo bean. 

Admittedly, I have never given it its due credit.  Chickpea's are packed with protein and are high in fiber. 

You can add them to all sorts of meals or simply have on their own as a snack. 

Over the past few weeks, I have roasted them, blended them, fried them, and well, eaten them fresh. What a treat!

The kitchen has been covered with hummus curries and all things chickpea so much so that I even started considering chickpeas as the holy grail of legumes. Thankfully, I'm an equal opportunist when it comes to pulses and legumes so there is a lot of love to go around.

I recently partnered up with Woolworths to share this incredible (and hearty) soup that was born out of the chaos of my kitchen. 

This soup is unashamedly the love child of a roasted cauliflower and (roasted) chickpea and it is nothing short of perfection.

At the risk of sounding like a tag line for a coffee creamer commercial from the 80's, It boasts roasted chickpeas both inside and on top of it. 

Say goodbye to the stock standard croutons of yesteryear and welcome the roasted chickpea of tomorrow! 

Not only does the chickpea have better health benefits; they are able to replace less than ideal snacks and accompanyments with just as much flavour.

You can eat them solo with some grated Parmesan on! (I recommend a 3 year aged Parmesan), spice up the mundane nut bowl in your life or you can include them in salads and soups! 

I feel like this blog post should come with a warning sign.

WARNING: Chickpeas are slightly addictive.


Serves 6, cook time: 1h 30m

Ingredients:

  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 2 cauliflower heads
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ an onion, chopped
  • 3 potatoes peeled and chopped.
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 liter vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup of Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius 

Rinse and dry your chickpeas. Keep the tins separate as you are going to roast them separately. 

Separate your cauliflower heads into florets. 

Put your cauliflower and 1 tin of chickpeas onto a roasting tray. Drizzle with Olive oil and toss. Make sure you don’t over do the oil. 

Sprinkle your cumin and paprika over and roast for 30 minutes. Tossing the tray at the 15 minutes mark. 

In a large pot over a medium heat add a tablespoon of olive oil, the garlic and onion and fry until soft. Add your potatoes and fry for a further 5-10 minutes stirring often. 

Once your cauliflower and chickpeas are roasted add them to your pot. 

Add your last tin of chickpeas to the roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, tossing them every 10 minutes or so. 

Add the vegetable stock to the pot and top up with boiling water.

Let simmer for 30 minutes. Blend the soup using an immersion blender.

Add your Parmesan and stir. 

Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the chickpeas from the oven. You can grate Parmesan over them and have them as a snack and serve the rest of them as a crunch to your soup. 

Serve soup hot topped with chickpeas, Parmesan and black pepper. 

-Melissa

*This blog post is sponsored by Woolworths all opinions are my own