Creamy Cauliflower Puree

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

There’s all this fuss about cauliflower these days, its proving to be a great substitute for rice, pizza bases and mash potato.  Aaaah… Mash Potato, how I love thee … unfortunately though, you do nothing for my waistline!  So I thought, let me see how the cauliflower puree phenomenon will stand up against my beloved mash potato.   The result? A creamy, rich, indulgent and delicious ‘mash’ / puree.   Is it mash potato? Well, no but its a very good substitute for those trying to avoid carbs at dinner time.   So quick and easy to prepare and I caught a few fingers licking the plate … mine included  😉  

I served mine with Pork Chops which I fried with olive oil, garlic and sage leaves.   I fried a few of the sage leaves first in the hot olive oil for 3 or 4 seconds before draining on carlton towel and sprinkling generously with salt.   I then set these aside for garnishing.   The oil was then nicely flavoured with the sage, so I added the pork chops, which I had already marinaded in a little olive oil, with a clove of garlic which I crushed into a smooth paste, salt & black pepper.   As far as week night dinners go, it was a goodie! 

Pork Chop cropped for blog picture

Yield: 3 – 4 servings

Ingredients: 

1 head cauliflower – tough stalks removed 

1 cup chicken stock / Water 

3 Tbsp fresh cream

1 Tbsp butter

Salt & Pepper for seasoning 

Method: 

Roughly chop the cauliflower and put in a pot together with the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer gently until cauliflower is completely tender.  Strain in a colander, retaining a few spoons of the cooking liquid.  Put cauliflower in food processor and blend until smooth, adding about 20ml of the cooking liquid as you go.  Once processed to a smooth consistency, add the cream and butter and process again until combined. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy ! 

Cooks Note: I use the Woolworths organic ready made chicken stock for this recipe.  The stock freezes well, so I freeze whats left over after I’ve measured.  If you find the puree too thick, add a little extra cooking liquid or even better, extra cream 🙂

Header pic for pork chop resized

Healthy Chicken Frikkadels for the Little Ones

Healthy Chicken Frikkadels for the Little Ones

Photography by Darren Bester

Chicken Frikkadel’s with Apple & Parmesan – so healthy your toddler can eat them too ! 

Hudson is definitely his Mother’s child because my boy loves his food ! He may look just like his Dadda but he has his Mamma’s appetite 🙂  He just loves these tasty little frikkadels and its one of my favourites too because its so versatile (and tasty … I don’t have any trouble eating his leftovers *blush*).  

Make a big batch and you can use them for lunches, dinners and even on their own as a little protein snack.   They work really well for meals outside of the home, because they can be enjoyed cold too!

These frikkadel’s freeze well & can be defrosted in the microwave in 1 and a half minutes – Which is a real life safer when you have a hungry little one waiting for a meal.  If you packing it in for a meal on the run, then its great that it’s frozen because it helps keep the lunchbox cool and due to its small size, it defrosts quickly, ensuring its perfectly chilled by meal time.

Yield: 38 Frikkadel’s of 30grms each 

Ingredients:

coconut oil / olive oil for frying 

600grms boneless and skinless chicken thighs – blended in a food processor until smooth

3 onions

fresh breadcrumbs from 4 slices of bread 

3 cloves garlic

handful fresh thyme, finely chopped

handful fresh parsley, finely chopped 

2 granny smith apples, peeled & grated

60grms parmesan cheese, finely grated

3 eggs, beaten 

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Method: 

Pour the coconut oil / olive oil into the pan and warm, add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft – set aside.   In a mixing bowl, add the minced / pureed chicken, breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, eggs, apple, parmesan and add the onion mixture. Stir well to combine.  

Preheat the oven to 180ºc

Heat a little coconut oil / olive oil in pan/s and fry gently in batches to brown on both sides.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the fried frikkadels onto the tray and pop into the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove and place on a cooling rack until cool.  

At this point, you could refrigerate a few frikkadels for your next meal.  With the remaining frikkadels, you can portion and freeze for up to 3 months.  I freeze x 2 frikkadels per portion by wrapping in clingfilm and then putting all the wrapped portions in a freezer bag, sealed and labelled with the date.  As and when needed, I remove a portion and microwave on high for 1.5 minutes. 

Serving Suggestion: Serve with mash potato and vegetables / Serve with baby cherry tomatoes, cheese blocks and cucumber for a finger lunch or dinner. 

Guess who’s back, back again…

Guess who’s back, back again…

Its been just over a year since I last posted on my Martha Who? blog and I’m not going to lie, it was touch and go there, that I would ever be back!  In the weeks leading up to Hudson’s impending arrival, I was told “Nothing can prepare you for having a baby” and “You won’t have time to do anything else” but I just brushed it off, thinking to myself “How hard can it be?”  Little did I know, that when,  perfect, precious little Hudson was placed in my arms for the first time, it was the very moment that everything else in my world ceased to exist!  I stayed in that little bubble for months and months, I was interested in very little other than my precious new little family.  I secretly begun to worry that my deep passion for the culinary world had vanished.  

During this time, I remained loyal to my favourite Foodie Magazines (TASTE & Food and Home),  I couldn’t walk past it in the store without putting it in my trolley.   They started to stack up on my beside table, unread and eventually were packed away to make room for what I deemed to be a more pertinent read at the time … “Breastfeeding for Dummies” , “5 signs that your baby is over stimulated”, “Sleep Training Your Baby” and so forth.   I had gone from trying to perfect challenging recipes to making Carrot puree, Butternut Puree, Pear Puree… Repeat!

As the months progressed and I became more confident in my Mommy skills, my bubble started to expand and let some of my ‘old world’ back in, I started exercising and fitting back into my old clothes, this went a long way in helping me find my identity again.  Before I knew it, 5 months of blissful maternity leave was over and I was back at work.  Now to find a new balance of juggling work, baby and home life … again this took a few months to perfect.  In between that, we bought a new house and moved from city living to the quiet burbs, then started the commute to work and the realisation that I was spending even more time away from my son each day, to do something I was no longer passionate about.  The fire for the culinary world was being reignited within my belly (pun intended) and I found myself still wanting to make my career in the culinary world!  Hallelujah, I was wide awake again !

A few months later, a romantic weekend away in Franschoek with Andrew and a lovely dinner out, led to the conversation of what my aspirations were for Martha Who?  There on that night, after talking it through with my husband, best friend and confidante, I decided to resign from my job and finally make a career out of doing what I love! 

So here I am 🙂  

I’m back and I’m so excited to show you my new website that I’ve been working on…  I’ve got lots of new recipes, tips and blog posts to share with you along our way.  I hope you’ve had a good year, I hope you cooked lots of new and exciting dishes and shared them with those you love, I hope you ate plenty of indulgent delicious treats and not only on special occasions! 

I look forward to being back in your kitchen! Come visit me at www.marthawho.co.za

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The Day I Met Gordon Ramsay

The Day I Met Gordon Ramsay

Photography by Darren Bester

 

 

(And by met, I mean stalked)

Another major perk to working at the Good Food and Wine Show in 2013 was that Mr. Gordon Ramsay was the head line chef, meaning the odds of meeting him, ‘were forever in my favour’.  Especially, if like me, you made it your absolute obsession to ensure a ‘chance’ encounter with the man …

First shift – arrive and learn that I am NOT in Gordon Ramsay’s prep kitchen!  Massive blow to my fantasy of Gordon discovering my talents while tasting the veal jus I had just prepared and asking me to head up his flagship restaurant …

But alas, it was not meant to be, as I had been assigned to the ‘Real Food Theatre’ Kitchen (which if you read my blog entry Chefs in Action you will know I actually really enjoyed).

Not one to give up so quickly,  I head to Gordon’s kitchen to go and survey the scene …under the pretence of going to say “Good Morning” to my Chef Lecturer, who is running Gordon’s kitchen for the GFWS.   Managed to get an introduction to Gordon’s actual Sous Chef, a charming  chap but still no sign of Gordon.  I enquire innocently as to his ETA and learn that his first show is scheduled for 3 hours time and he will probably arrive and be in the Green room shortly before that.   ‘The Green room’ I say innocently, where exactly is this green room?  It’s pointed out to me and hope now returns.   All I have to do is be outside the green room prior to Gordon’s show and I will at least see the man up close and personal!  I rush back to my kitchen with a spring in my step to tell the chosen few the plan!

20 minutes before curtain and the chosen few and I are casually hanging outside Gordon’s prep kitchen, avoiding eye contact with our Chef Lecturer, while he and the students are frantically preparing items for the demonstration due to start.    We edge closer to the green room where we can see Eric Lanlard, the French Patisserie and Celebrity Chef, enjoying some refreshments, being served by a fellow student (how did she land that gig?!?).  It is quite obvious that we are stalking the green room now as there is nothing between us and the room, Eric Lanlard gives us a nervous smile and we were just starting to feel really awkward and considering going back to our posts when, the side door should open and in should waltz Mr. Gordon Ramsay in the flesh.  Taller than I thought, in fact he is about as tall as me, and I am pretty tall at 1.88m.  He is in good shape, wearing a t-shirt and jeans and  he is a hype of energy.  He had no choice but to stop and greet us as we were quite literally blocking his way … he shook our hands (!!!), asked how we were doing, said his token Afrikaans word … something about boerewors, had a laugh with one of the full time male students, before joining Eric in the Green Room.   Big grins on our faces, we skipped back to our kitchen – Mission Completed Houston!

Good Food and Wine Show

Eric Lanard

Eric Lanard

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay

And the cherry on the top?  As a Thank you to all the students who volunteered their services at the Good Food & Wine Show, Gordon agreed to signing our recipe books – so I got to meet the man again, whilst he signed one of my favourite Gordon Ramsay recipe Books “Chef” (I have not yet attempted any of the recipes as they are all 3 star recipes and each recipe is about 10 pages long, but I love looking at the pictures and will get around to testing them out soon, especially now that I have a chefs qualification and all … 🙂

During the 3 day show, there had been a lot of buzz about Gordon taking a photograph with all the students on the last day, and I, of course suffering, with the most severe case of foodie fomo wanted to be front and centre for this photo op!  But as the days wore on and my feet grew more and more tired, and the calls from Hubby got louder and louder (he was packing up the entire downstairs section of our house alone, due to the renovations set to commence momentarily), I just didn’t have the power and forewent this opportunity to have a moment in time captured with Gordon.  I’ve been tempted to photo-shop myself in, anyone any good with that program?

Gordon with some of the students at the Good Food & Wine Show, 2013

Gordon with some of the students at the Good Food & Wine Show, 2013

It’s all good … Gordon and I will always have the Green Room !

Martha Who Culinary Studio - Cape Town Foodie_0012