Monday, December 24, 2012

Seared Scallops and Tomato Mousse on Ratatouille Salad

It sounds delicious, but wait, it is actually just half of the recipe. Yes there is more! The tomato mousse and ratatouille salad are served with olive oil fried scallops and a capsicum vinaigrette. A lovely and light starter that is so easy to prepare.

I have done white tomato mousse before, so this time we are doing a red tomato mousse. It is the same way, cooking the tomatoes, then blending and straining, cool down, add gelatine and whipped cream.....finish...sounds easy enough? No worry, it is easy you will see when you follow the recipe.

Then there is the ratatouille salad, cut the vegetables in small cubes....not just anyhow, no, try to have them exact, 5 mm by 5 mm. I know it is a pain, but that is me, it has to be right. Then cook it like a normal ratatouille, cool down and just add a touch of balsamic vinegar.....yes an old one it will be nicer

Then you quickly prepare the capsicum vinaigrette, something you can even do a couple of days ahead of time, it keeps well in the fridge and can be used for all sorts of salads. Just roast the capsicum in the oven, peel, de pip, blend and add the other ingredients of the vinaigrette, voila and that was really easy

Then you plate everything and just before serving and adding the vinaigrette, flash fry the scallops. They have to be fried hot and very quick, you don't want to overcook them. I cut them in half, so it goes very fat with the cooking.

Isn't it amazing how easy this dish is to prepare? Mmmmmmm yes, I have to admit, it is not all that easy, it is a bit time consuming and one needs to have a bit experience in cooking the scallops, but let me tell you one thing.....don't be afraid to try something new, just follow the recipe step by step and you will see that you can make a starter at home you usually would only get in a fine dining establishment! Try, just try it out

10 Each Tomatoes
2 Each Basil
1 Each Thyme
50 Ml Champagne
2 Each Egg white
Salt, Pepper
3.5 Each Gelatine leaves
1 Lemon juice
10 Gin
10 Ml Champagne vinegar
Ml Salt, sugar
120 Ml Whipped cream

100 G Zucchini
100 G Eggplant
100 G Onions
100 G Tomatoes
25 G Tomato paste
25 Ml Olive oil Salt, pepper

600 G Scallops
50 Ml Olive oil Salt, pepper

150 G Red peppers
70 Ml Olive oil
30 Ml Cider vinegar
salt, pepper

Chop tomatoes, put in a pot with basil, thyme champagne and egg white
Blend everything, then bring slowly to boil, season
Strain through a Chinoise
Take 300 ml of the puree
Melt the soaked gelatine in it, add lemon juice gin and champagne vinegar
Cool down and fold in whipped cream
Cool in the fridge

Cut the vegetables in 5 mm cubes
Heat olive oil and fry vegetables
Add tomato paste
Simmer till still al dente
Season to taste
Cool completely

Season the scallops and fry quickly in olive oil
Roast the peppers in the oven, cool and peel
Take just the meat of the peppers and blend
Add olive oil and vinegar, season to taste

For the plating put the cold ratatouille in a round ring
Make a quenelle of the mousse and place it on top
Put 2 scallops around it and drizzle with vinaigrette

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Poached Sole and Salmon Roulade

This is another dish from our new weekly menu, something I haven't done since my training....yes that is a while back. A Sole and Salmon Roulade.

I am not sure why, but sole, Salmon, Spinach. Potatoes and White Wine Sauce just go well together, the flavors bond and the dish is exceptional. It always worked and I never had a bad comment about it. The flavors are subtle but still strong, the go together not against each other. The dish is light, but not really light in Calories as there is a bit of cream and butter in the sauce. The cooking method is healthy so overall it is a timeless dish, one that has worked well in the past...... many years!

Of course there needs to be a bit work to make this dish nice. The salmon has to be blended, strained, mixed up with cream, then the sole is laid out, the salmon goes on top of it, it gets rolled and then wrapped in plastic. I like to make one roll per person and then cut it just before serving

What is really important is that the Salmon and Cream are ice cold when blended together. The speed of the blender tends to heat up the fish mix and the danger comes that the cream splits....not what you want. Make sure you blend the salmon a bit, then add the salt as it will help emulating the fish and the cream. You need to work quite fast as well as it will help keeping the mix cold

So now, lets go to work and make this lovely dish, here is the recipe


900 g Sole fillet
400 g Salmon fillet
250 ml Cream
10 g Salt
5 g Pepper
30 ml Noilly Prat

300 ml Fish Stock
100 ml White wine
250 ml Cream
10 g Corn starch

1 Kg Fresh Spinach
50 g Garlic
70 g Shallots
50 ml Olive oil
10 g Salt, Pepper

1.20 Kg Potatoes
50 g Butter
20 g Parsley

250 g Tomatoes
10 ml Olive oil
10 g Basil
Blend salmon finely in a blender, make sure it stays cold all the time
Mix in seasoning and cream, season to taste
Clean sole fillet and lay them next to each other on a plastic wrap
Spread the salmon mix carefully on the sole fillets
Roll everything like a roulade
Close the ends tight and prick the plastic carefully with a knife. This will help to infuse the roulades with the flavor of the stock

Combine ingredients except cream and starch for the fish stock
Poach the roulades in the stock for about 10 minutes, take out and let rest
Then boil up fish stock, add cream
Mix corn starch with a little white wine and thicken the sauce
Turn the potatoes and boil till soft
Just before serving heat them up, saute in a bit butter and chopped parsley
Saute the cleaned spinach, season to taste
Semi dry the tomato with olive oil and seasoning

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Springbok with Spinach Spatzle

Today I make a traditional game dish from Europe but with a different game, one from South Africa. Springbok is a small antelope with incredibly tender meat, especially the loin and fillet. But even the legs don't require to long cooking times.
The recipe below looks like this huge amount of work, but to be honest, it is not. Of course there are short cuts you can take, often one can buy the braised red cabbage already, one can use something else than spatzle....of course it is not the same anymore, but it is possible
Then on the other side, nothing in this recipe really takes long. The cabbage is cut quickly, and the marination doesn't take time, OK, then you leave it over night in the fridge, but you are not really cooking during that time. The apples are really quickly made and the butternut is the same. Just make sure that you don't add any water when you cook the butternut, it has to be low heat and covered. There is enough liquid int he vegetable to make a perfect puree
This is a dish we serve on our second weekly menu, OK, the first one took nearly 3 week, but we wanted to sell out first all the New Zealand beef before we made a new one.
The whole menu is lovely, here it is

Tomato mousse on ratatouille salad
Olive oil seared scallops and capsicum vinaigrette
Tender Springbok loin with Spinach Spatzle and red cabbage
Caramelized butternut puree
Sole and Salmon roulade
Spinach, Chateaux potatoes and chardonnay cream
Caramel Foam with Saffron poached Mango

2.00 Kg Springbok loin

500 G Flour
40 G Butter
4 Each Eggs
200 Ml Milk
5 G Salt
2 G Nutmeg

0.50 Kg Red cabbage
0.10 L Red wine
0.10 L Orange juice
0.05 Kg Oranges
0.05 L Red wine vinegar
0.05 Kg Sugar
0.05 Kg Honey
0.20 Kg Apples
0.20 Kg Onions
0.01 Kg Bayleaves
0.00 Kg Gloves
0.01 Kg Peppercorns
0.05 Kg Potatoes

0.50 Kg Butternut
0.03 Sugar
0.00 Salt
0.5 Kg Apples
0.1 Kg White wine
0.1 Kg Water
0.05 Kg Sugar

Cut the loin in 200 g pieces, season and fry in oil

Sieve the flour
Mix all the other ingredients except the butter
Mix the liquid quickly with the flour
Beat the dough with your hand until the dough has blisters
The dough must be smooth and slightly runny
One can add Rocket, Spinach, Wild Mushroom flour or Tomato Paste to flavor the SpƤtzle

Slice the red cabbage very fine, preferably on a slicer
Cut the onions and apples in fine slivers
Mix all ingredients well, except the potatoes
Marinate over night
Simmer slowly in the oven till the cabbage is tender
Peel and grate the potatoes
Use them at the end to thicken the red cabbage

Peel the butternut, saute with sugar in a bit butter add salt simmer covered till soft
Puree and season to taste

Peel the apples and cut in wedges
Poach in white wine, water and sugar till al dente
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