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A cut above a dancing coal

‘You know that it would be untrue

You know that I would be a liar

If I was to say to you

Girl, we couldn’t get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire’

The Doors

 

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There is something about a fire, and the atmosphere it gives to a party…with braai day around the corner and the Springboks ready for the field…it is time to get the fire started.

One can talk for hours about how to build the perfect fire, how to choose the perfect wood, what the perfect temperature is to ‘’braai’’, on and and and…

For me it comes down to choosing a fun crowd, good food and don’t forget the ice!  It takes about 2 hours for a tray of ice to freeze – SO BE PREPARED!!

The days of putting out an oily packet of chips in a plastic container are gone.  It’s time to try something new and wow your guests.  Bruschetta with fried tomatoes, basil and feta or anchovies, olives and origanum.  Make your own dips or make a nice flavoured salt for roasted cashew or almond nuts. Even the old famous ‘’braai broodjie’’ can be made into a gourmet explosion.  Use a whole ciabatta loaf and top with onion marmalade, tomato and mature cheddar cheese.

Always remember:  don’t interfere with captain ‘’braaier’’.  He (sometimes she) knows that you are hungry and that you don’t want a well cooked steak.  Keep calm and have another cold beverage.

Like legendary Koos Kombuis says:  ‘’die hele lewe is ‘n bring en braai’’

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Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.

Passionfruit Lemonade

This is refreshing when served iced cold and can be a great ‘’ice breaker’’ to start a braai.  I don’t like carbonated drinks – so I prefer lemonade made with still water.  You can add mint or fresh raspberries if you want to be fancy, or gin in the summer if you want to add an extra kick.  Sugar is a very sensitive topic of discussion these days – listen to your palate and adjust your sugar crave accordingly.

Ingredients:

1 cup                    White sugar

1 cup                    Water

1 cup                    Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

4 cups                  Water to dilute

40g                       Passionfruit

 

Method:

Bring white sugar and water to the boil until all sugar is dissolved and add lemon juice, water to dilute and passionfruit.  Cool down and serve ice cold.

 

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 “ Gee daai bek jam’’

 

Chicken wings with Yuzu and Apricot glaze

Yuzu is a citrus fruit from east Asia.  It is sour and salty in one!  You can get it from any Chinese groceries shop.  I don’t like to marinade the chicken wings in the sauce – but rather brush it over while it is cooking on the fire.  This ensures a great colour and no bitter burnt taste.

Ingredients:

100ml                   Yuzu

4 tbsp                   Apricot Jam

1 tbsp                   Lemon juice

1 tbsp                   Soya sauce

1 tsp                     White sugar

 

Method:

Heat all the ingredients together in a pot until apricot jam is melted. If the glaze is too thick – add a little more lemon juice or yuzu.  ‘’Braai’’ the chicken wings and brush with Yuzu and Apricot glaze.  Season with salt and pepper – not too much as the yuzu is already salty.

 

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Koekelekooo

 

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Chimichurri

Chimichurri  is lovely to serve with fish, chicken and lamb.  If it was up to my husband, Nikki, he will eat this every day – on anything from sliced bread to baked potato…even in his porridge.

Ingredients:

1 bunch               Parsley with stalks

2 cloves               Garlic

½ teaspoon        Salt

1 teaspoon           Black pepper

½ cup                  Red wine vinegar

1 tbsp                   Wholegrain mustards

¾ cup                  Good quality Olive oil

½                         Red chili

 

Method:

Blitz all the ingredients together  – easy as 1,2,3,…

 

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’Swartpot’’ Balsamic onions

IF there is any leftovers…slice it up and serve it with mature cheddar cheese on a toasted sandwich.

Ingredients:

45ml                     Oil

500g                     Baby onions – cut the top off and peel, but leave one layer of skin on.  This will prevent the whole story of falling apart

5                            Thyme stalks

Sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp                   White sugar

20ml                     Balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp                   Butter

 

Method:

Heat oil in ‘’swartpot’’ and add onions – flat side down.  Brown the onion for about 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to very very low and put the lid on the pot.  After 30 minutes the onion should be half-cooked.  Add the thyme, salt, pepper, white sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 30-40 minutes over very low heat, with the lid on.  When the onion is soft – add the butter and serve.

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Use sunglasses when peeling a onion or put onions in freezer 15 minutes before you use it to prevent those tears from running down your cheeks.  If this does not do the trick – breathe through your mouth and stick your tongue out!!

Nectarine, Fennel & Goats cheese salad

Ingredients:

1 packet               Micro leaves/ Rocket

1 log                     Goats cheese, broken into big chunks

Fennel bulb, thinly sliced

Nectarines, sliced into thin wedges

 

Method:

Layer your salad – starting with the micro leaves or rocket.  Top with goats cheese chunks, fennel and nectarines.  Repeat layers 3 times.  This salad does not need a very potent dressing – drizzle with olive oil.  I have some of the passionfruit left over from making the lemonade and I mixed that with a bit of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of black onion seeds.  Plain, simple and delicious.

 

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Sweet potato with sesame & ginger salt

Ingredients:

8                            Whole sweet potatoes, wrapped in tinfoil

2 tbsp                   Salt

2 tbsp                   White and black sesame seeds

1 tbsp                   Finely chopped fresh ginger

1 sprig                  Rosemary, chopped fine

1 tbsp                   Black pepper

2 tbsp                   Butter

 

Method:

Place the tinfoil wrapped sweet potato into the fire and leave to cook – this will take about 40 minutes. When you are ready to eat:  Open the tinfoil, make a cut in the sweet potato and put a dollop of butter on top and sprinkle with sesame & ginger salt.

 

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Good quality sea salt contains many essential minerals for the body. The best type of sea salt should be slightly wet… from it’s original source.   Did you know you can use tinfoil to polish your silver? Line a pan with tinfoil, fill it with cold water and add two teaspoons of salt.  Drop your silverware into solution and let it sit for 3 minutes.  Rinse off and dry.

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Doughnut Marshmallow S’mores

This is heaven!!

Ingredients:

10                          Ready made frosted doughnuts ( I got mine from woolies) – cut in half

1                            Wholenut chocolate slab

20g                       Almonds and pistachio’s, chopped fine

20g                       Dried figs, chopped fine

5                            Marshmallow’s – braaied over the coles

 

Method:

Mix almonds, pistachio and dried figs together. Melt wholenut slab and dip half of doughnut into chocolate and roll into nut mix.  Set aside.  Braai the marshmallows and stick it inbetween chocolate coated and frosted doughnut.  You will want s……more

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‘We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning. We didn’t start the fire. No we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it’ – Billy Joel

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Food, Places, Recipes

Let there be wine

“24 August 2011”

On this date, winemaker Eric Saayman won the General Smuts trophy, South Africa’s most respected award for a young wine.  It was also the first and only time a Viognier…slightly wooded…won this coveted trophy since 1952 when A.P. Conradie lifted this prestigious beauty for the first time.

The Riebeek Cellars talisman is all rock & roll, with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimmy Hendrix and CCR on his list of favourite bands.  Looking at him, you will observe calmness when he is in focus while doing what he cares for.  Eric is a straight shooter, a family man, a friend; and one of the most passionate winemakers in South Africa.

Walking into Eric’s home in Riebeek Kasteel, we heard Bob Seger from the kitchen, the sound was inviting…

“And I stood arrow straight

Unencumbered by the weight

Of all these hustlers and their schemes

I stood proud, I stood tall

High above it all

I still believed in my dreams”

This particular song, ‘Like a rock’, was something Lens & Ladle could identify in the winemaker of Riebeek Cellars, and was looking forward making lunch with him, @ home with his beautiful wife, Alta.

Pop! goes the cork… Pieter Cruythoff Brut, you beauty!

Let’s roll Eric!!

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Eric

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“You are doomed to make choices.  This is life’s greatest paradox.”

Wayne Dyer

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The Filling

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A Ladle a day… keeps the hunger away…

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Kasteelberg Shiraz is a lively rich wine, full bodied with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a palate of ripe fruit and interesting spice.

Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavours of Christmas pudding… lekker!!

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Olivea

…our Lens & Ladle food guru

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Cinnabuns makes my toes curl…,but when I saw this recipe in the ‘Taste Magazine’ I started to drool with excitement!!

Cinnamon and Cranberry ‘Pull – apart’ loaf ingredients:

2 cups                   Milk

2.5 teaspoons       Instant yeast

100g                      Sugar

½ cup                   Canola oil

540g                      Cake flour

½ teaspoon          Baking powder

½ teaspoon          Ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons           Salt

120g                       Melted butter

100g                      Dried cranberries

300g                      Sugar for spiced sugar mix

5 tablespoons        Cinnamon

 

Cinnamon and Cranberry ‘Pull – apart’ loaf method:

Mix milk and instant yeast in a small bowl.  Place the sugar, oil, flour, baking powder, ground nutmeg and salt in large mixing bowl and add the milk yeast mixture.  Mix to form smooth dough (like you would make bread).  Set aside to rise for 1 hour to double in size.  Knock down the dough and roll out to make 50x25cm rectangle.  Cut out 5 x 25cm long rectangles.  Brush each rectangle with melted butter and scatter with cranberries.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together and dust each layer with the spicy sugar mix. Place all the layers on top of each other and cut into 6 equal parts.  Place them into a greased loaf tin, cut side up.  Set aside to rise for another hour.  Bake for 30 – 35 min at 180°C.  Allow to cool slightly before removing from loaf tin.

To serve:  mix 130g icing sugar with 1 shot freshly brewed espresso.  Drizzle over the cinnamon and cranberry loaf

OOOO my goodness!!  You will want to repeat this culinary explosion every day!

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Eric’s toolbox

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Eric made this beautiful Grenache Rose’ from the vineyard of, and for Morne du Plessis, former Springbok captain and Riebeek Kasteel habitant.

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Just checking!

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Clara & Schalk

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Bacon and Walnut stuffed deboned chicken

Ingredients

20ml                     Oil

2                            Onions, finely chopped

1                            Packet streaky bacon, chopped into small blocks

2                            Garlic cloves, finely chopped

250g                     Brown mushrooms, sliced

150g                     Walnuts

4                            Slices of white bread, toasted and cut into blocks

1                            Egg

1                            Large deboned chicken

 

Method:

Fry onions with oil until soft and starting to caramelize.  Add bacon, garlic and mushrooms and fry until cooked.  Add walnuts, bread blocks and egg.

Now to get your hands dirty….

Stuff the chicken and roll up and tie with string.  Leave to rest and set for 1 hour.

Cook in Weber for 40 mins – 60 mins.  I like a squeeze of lemon right at the end.

 

Based on a Ina Paarman recipe

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Alta

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“Woke up this morning I was all alone
Saw your picture by the telephone
I was missing you oh so bad
Wish I had you here to hold
All I’ve got is this touch-tone phone
So I guess I’ll give you a call
Operator help me please”

BB King – ‘Telephone Song’

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The big tin left of the wine bottle candle stick is Carbonell olive oil and was founded in Spain in 1866. Its quality & tradition have made it the Nº1 Olive Oil Brand in Spain.

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Riebeek Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2015 tank sample in a humble plastic container, crisp on the palate…

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The art of wine paired with food, a chicken flesh moment…

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Roast Vegetables

The cool thing about vegetables is that you can’t really mess it up!!  The secret is to keep the sizes of the cut vegetables similar.  This will ensure an even cooking time and roasting colour.  Add fresh herbs for extra flavour or drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients:

50ml                       Olive oil

2                             Onions (red or white), cut into slices

10ml                       Ground coriander

10ml                       Ground cumin

10ml                       Paprika

2                             Garlic cloves, chopped fine

1                              Butternut, cut into blocks

1                              Yellow pepper, cut into strips

1                              Red pepper, cut into strips

2                             Babymarrows, cut into chunks

8                             Brussel Sprouts

10ml                      Salt and black pepper

 

Method for roast vegetables:

In a frying pan, add olive oil and onions and fry for 5 minutes until the onions starts to caramelize.  Add coriander, cumin, paprika and garlic and fry for a few minutes.  Add the onion mix with the rest of the ingredients into a roasting pan and roast for 25-30min at 180°C until cooked.  Garnish with char grilled rosa tomatoes on the vine.

Recipe by Eric Saayman

 

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Autumn salad with citrus and poppy seed dressing

This is a whopping’ beaut’ of a salad.  Fresh, funky and full of flavour and texture. You will knock the socks off your guests.

Autumn salad ingredients:

200g                     Parboiled baby beetroot and cut into blocks

200g                     Parboiled baby carrots, peeled with stem on

2                            Salad springonions, thinly sliced

1                            Handfull coriander

1                            Handfull micro leaves

100g                     Feta cheese, cut into blocks

 

Autumn salad method:

Layer micro leaves and coriander in between baby beetroot and baby carrots.  Top with feta cheese blocks and drizzle with citrus and poppy seed dressing

Citrus and poppy seed dressing ingredients:

250ml                   Orange juice / Mango & Orange juice

2tbsp                    Sugar

1tbsp                    Salt

1tbsp                    Mustard powder

2tbsp                    Poppy seeds

Citrus and poppy seed dressing method:

Add juice, sugar, salt and mustard powder to a pot and bring to the boil.  Simmer until you have a ‘thick dressing’  consistency.  Cool down and add poppy seeds. YUM

 

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Sweet, white & red, and at the back, Ben… please to meet you!

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Alta & Eric

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Nikki sitting on the right, or shall we say ‘Johnny come lately’, he has played a more prominent role as a babysitter on the day.

The Saayman’s is special people and playing a big role in the community of Riebeek Kasteel.  If you are passing by, pop in @ Riebeek Cellars and have a taste.  You won’t be sorry, and probably gain a whole new respect for the dynamic role this cellar plays in promoting wine.

To be or not to be…..surely to be!

Hup hup! Riebeek Cellars!

www.riebeekcellars.com

 

 

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