Oreo & Nutella Chocolate Pot for Two

Oreo & Nutella Chocolate Pot for Two

Photography by Darren Bester

Say ‘I love you’ with this decadent chocolate dessert made for two !

Featured on  The Pretty Blog for Valentines Day back in 2016, this chocolate pot of yumminess seems to have made a lasting impression.

Go on, give it a go … after all,  ‘sharing is caring’

xxx 

Yield: 2 large chocolate pots or 1 x 30cm quiche pan

Ingredients:

2 Packets of Oreo Biscuits – blitzed in a food processor to form a crumb like consistency 

5 tbsp Salted Butter, melted 

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

500g Cream Cheese

1/2 Cup Double Thick Cream

1/2 Cup Caster Sugar

x 1 350g jar of Nutella 

2 tbsp Cocoa 

1 Cup Fresh Raspberries

For the Topping: 3 Ferrero Rocher Chocolates crushed & extra fresh Raspberries 

Method: 

Combine the Oreo crumbs with the melted butter and pour into bottom of your jar, pressing up the sides, I like to be quite generous with the biscuit base vs. filling ratio.  Press with the back of a spoon to smooth down the mixture before refrigerating while you prepare the filling.  In a mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder and Nutella until smooth.  Add the cream and beat until just combined.  Add the raspberries and stir by hand before gently pouring the mixture onto the Oreo base.  Refrigerate for approximately 4 hours or overnight.  Just before serving, top with the crushed Ferrero Rocher and fresh raspberries.  Serve with 2 spoons.  


 

Beetroot Cured Salmon

Beetroot Cured Salmon

 Martha Who Cured Salmon Blog Stomp

Photography by Darren Bester

Beetroot Cured Salmon  

Yield: 10 as a main dish accompanied by sides 

Ingredients: 

1.5kg side of Norwegian Salmon, boned & skin removed 

4 Beetroots, grated

400g Caster Sugar 

315g Coarse Sea Salt

2 Handfuls of fresh Dill, chopped 

Zest of 3 Oranges

75g capers, chopped 

Method: 

Combine the beetroot, sugar, salt, dill, orange zest and capers in a bowl and stir to combine well.  Line a baking dish or other dish suitable of holding your salmon comfortably, with cling wrap (but don’t tear off the cling wrap).  Spread half of the beetroot mixture across the cling wrap, in the shape of the salmon, place the salmon on top of the mixture & cover with the remaining mixture, pressing it up against the sides to ensure all of the salmon is covered.  Wrap tightly in the cling wrap a few times over to ensure its snug.  Place a heavy pan or board on top of the salmon and place in the fridge for between 8 – 12 hours.  Remove the cling wrap, rinse under cold running water, pat dry with carlton towel and either serve or refrigerate until required.   

Cooks Notes: Don’t worry if your mixture becomes runny – just wrap up in the clingfilm as snug as possible.  Be aware that over curing will result in a hard leathery exterior on your fish and it may become too salty so do not exceed the recommended curing hours. 

Martha Who Cured Salmon end of blog image without logo

Here’s the link to our Lunch Celebration Table, as featured on The Pretty Blog

 

Pea, Bacon & Mint Soup

Pea, Bacon & Mint Soup

Photography by Darren Bester 

You say Pea soup and I’m immediately transported back in time… I’m in my family kitchen, I’m a child, my Mom is standing over one of her trusty AMC pots (pots which are now in my kitchen some 30 years on – Talk about quality!), the radio is on and the aroma of pea soup is filling the air ! Yummy, my favourite of all her soup recipes. 

My Mom’s version, is actually Split Pea Soup, made with dry split peas & no-one will ever be able to make it quite like Mom, well not in my eyes anyway 🙂 So when the craving for Mom’s Pea soup hit the other day, I wasn’t about to attempt to recreate her winning recipe, because for me, half the comfort is knowing that my Mom made it for me, but with mom not around to see to this craving, I decided to experiment with a different kind of pea soup.  Feeling inspired by the recent sunny weather we had during our Cape Town winter, I felt like a lighter, fresher pea soup and so opted to use whole peas instead of split peas, I added some bacon because well, its bacon and any opportunity to add bacon to a recipe, I do 🙂 and then a sprinkle of mint to heighten the lightness and freshness of the soup.   

The result? Quick, easy and tasty!  Suitable for a deliciously healthy light lunch or dinner starter.  The beautiful green is so vibrant that it brings colour to any dining table, while conjuring up feelings of excitement and anticipation that Spring is finally, once again, knocking at our door …

Pea, Bacon and Mint Soup

Yield: 4 

500ml Fresh or Frozen Peas

250g Streaky Bacon, diced

1 Large Potato, chopped

1 Litre Chicken or Veggie Stock (I use the organic liquid stock from Woolies)

Handful of Mint, finely chopped

Method: 

Fry the bacon for 5 or so minutes until crisp (keep some aside for garnish), add the potato and stock and cook until the potato is soft, approximately 20 minutes. Add the peas and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat, season with salt & pepper and stir in the mint.  Use a food processor or hand blender to puree.  Pour into serving dishes and garnish with a drizzle of fresh cream and a sprinkle of crispy bacon.  

Cooks Note:  If you don’t have cream at hand, drizzle with a dash of olive oil instead.  The soup can thicken on refrigeration , if this happens just add a little stock or boiling water when reheating to achieve the preferred consistency. 

This recipe was featured on The Pretty Blog: Martha Who’s Pea, Bacon & Mint Soup

Darren Bester Photography - Martha Who_0002

Mushroom & Cauliflower Yin Yang Soup

Mushroom & Cauliflower Yin Yang Soup

Photography by Darren Bester

 

Anyone who ever had the Mushroom & Cauliflower soup at Sinn’s Restaurant in Wembley Square, Cape Town will know what I was trying to achieve here !   That soup was one of those meals … You know the ones, where you think about it for days, weeks or in this case, years afterwards.   So I had no choice, but to try and recreate it …  Is it as good as the original? In my eyes … sadly No, but its a close second and did bring me some comfort 🙂 

Yield: 6

For the Mushroom Soup:

1 Onion, chopped

4 Sprigs of Thyme, chopped finely

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed to a paste

400 grms Mixed mushroom selection, chopped 

50grms Dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes 

50 grms Butter

250ml Vegetable Stock

250ml Cream

Salt & Black Pepper for seasoning

Method: 

Sweat the onion in a little olive oil for 2 minutes before adding the garlic, thyme and butter.  Cook until the butter has melted and the garlic is no longer raw (approximately 2 – 3 minutes). Add the fresh mushrooms & dried mushrooms along with the water the mushrooms were soaking in and the vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Transfer to food processor and blend, while slowly adding the cream. Season with salt & pepper, taste and adjust seasoning until you are happy.

 

For the Cauliflower Soup 

Ingredients:

A few glugs of olive oil 

2 Onions, chopped

2 Garlic Cloves, crushed to a paste

125mls Dry White Wine 

1 Large head cauliflower, stalks removed & chopped

1 Litre Chicken Stock 

Salt & White Pepper for seasoning 

Method: 

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the onions and sweat gently until the onions are translucent and soft.  Add the garlic and wine and cook until most of the wine has evaporated.  Stir in the cauliflower and chicken stock and raise heat to bring to the boil.  Once boiling, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 or so minutes until the cauliflower is soft.  Transfer to food processor and blend until very smooth, should take a few minutes.  You might have to do the soup in batches if your processor is not big enough.  Transfer back to the pot and stir in salt & pepper, taste and adjust seasoning until you are happy ! 

Plating Up :

Now for the Yin and the Yang … Its actually easier than it looks … get two cups / mugs of equal size and fill one with Mushroom Soup and the other with Cauliflower Soup, pour them into a  soup bowl, from either side simultaneously, then simply place your hands on either side of the bowl and give the bowl a quick swirl and Voila! 

Garnish ideas:  I kept a few of the more exotic looking mushrooms aside and sautéed in some butter.  I cut a few cauliflower florets very thinly and did the same thing.  Also chopped up some chives really finely with some parsley and mixed with olive oil and then drizzled this over the soup. 

DarrenBesterPhotography-MarthaWho_0014

Raw Candy – Striped Beet, Baby Marrow, Feta & Pomegranate Salad

Raw Candy – Striped Beet, Baby Marrow, Feta & Pomegranate Salad

With Summer rapidly approaching and the fear of ‘bearing all’ around the swimming pool re-emerging after hibernating all winter long, I decided it was time to start cutting out the carbs to slim down that stubborn waist line.  I was inspired when I saw the beautiful candy-striped beetroots in the veg section at my trusty Mothership and this salad just evolved from there.   I must say, I’m quite pleased with the end result … not only is it super healthy but its eye catchingly vibrant in colour, tasty and not so predicatlbe. 

Ingredients:

3 Candy-Striped Beetroots (washed & scrubbed, top & tailed)

1 Pack Baby Marrow (washed, top & tailed)

1 Pack Snap Peas (washed & halved)

2 or 3 Radishes (washed, top and tailed)

1 Generous Handful of Pomegranates 

1 Generous Handful of Sunflower Seeds 

1 or 2 Rounds of Feta Cheese (Goats Cheese or Buffalo Mozzarella Balls would also work well)

1 Pack Mung Bean Sprouts

1 Packet Rocket 

Juice of 1 or 2 lemons 

For the Lemon Zest Dressing: 

30mls Olive Oil 

15mls Balsamic Vinegar

Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

10mls fresh lemon juice 

Pinch Brown Sugar

2 Cloves Garlic, crushed and finely chopped 

Sprinkle of salt & black pepper 

Method: 

Using a mandolin, carefully slice the candy beetroots into thin rounds and submerge in a bowl of lemon juice for 10 minutes.  In the mean time, slice each baby marrow in halve lengthways and run down the mandolin creating thing strips, set aside.  Now run the radishes along the mandolin, creating beautiful thin little rounds, place in a bowl of cold water until required.  

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together.  Place rocket leaves on platter, coat with some of the dressing & toss.  Remove beets from their lemon bath and scatter over the rocket, togther with the baby marrow slices,snap peas and radishes.  Sprinkle over the pomegranates, feta & sunflower seeds. Give another good toss & garnish with Mung Beans.   Either Pour over the remainder of the dressing just before serving or serve separately, along side the salad. 

Prawns for Any Occasion!

Prawns for Any Occasion!

Photography by Darren Bester

 

Maybe it’s because Easter is around the corner and I always associate Easter with seafood (after chocolate of course), or perhaps it’s the desire to indulge in one last al fresco lunch under the sun, before winter arrives in the Southern Hemisphere, or maybe it’s that case of ‘you want what you can’t have’, due to the baby boy currently growing in my belly and shellfish therefore being taboo… but for whatever reason, the desire to cook prawns, was one I finally gave into this past Sunday !

I made something quick and easy …toasted baguette with garlic & chili prawns and a fresh guacamole salsa for hubby and some friends (I ate mine minus the prawns). So quick and easy, yet so tasty and moreish. Something you could serve at a party as a canapé, as a starter or perhaps, like we did, as a lovely al fresco snack… Minimum effort for maximum results – just look how beautifully these pretty pink babies plate up … a quick and easy way to impress your guests. Prawn callage

Recipe Yield: Makes 10

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

30 prawns (deveined & peeled) (you could get away with 20 – 2 per slice of baguette)

2 clove garlic

2 fresh red chilli’s

For the salsa:

1 red onion finely diced

2 salad tomatoes finely diced

4 tablespoons coriander chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Avocados

10 Baguette slices – slightly toasted

Method: For the salsa – combine the chopped tomato, red onion, coriander, lime juice and seasoning and set aside.  Mash your avocado and add seasoning and a squirt of lime juice.   Toast your baguette slices either in a pan, coating lightly with some oil or in the oven for 5 minutes.   In a pan, heat olive oil, fry your prawns for a minute before adding the garlic and the chili, fry for another 3 minutes or until your prawns are pink and cooked through. Dollop a good amount of avocado onto each baguette slice, followed by a dollop of salsa and top with the prawns and there you have it… a fancy little treat in no time! Prawns2

Darren Bester of Darren Bester Photography and Ashton Van Graan of The Sweetest Things and I, had fun styling this & Darren took all the mouth watering photographs! The first of many joint food styled shoots to come …