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It is now a bygone age but the late 1800’s was an interesting period in history. Coca-Cola was first put into bottles and thankfully a useful little drug-maker introduced Aspirin to the modern world with all its headaches – and is still proving useful to me today for those odd occasions of excess :-).
… Then of course there was the Waldorf-Astoria salad. It is recorded that Oscar Tshirky or “Oscar of the Waldorf” was the maître d’hôtel of this famous New York City landmark from the opening of the hotel until he retired in 1943. Although he was not a chef, it seems he was largely attributed with suggesting or inspiring food ideas, and tradition says he invented the Waldorf Salad for the hotel opening.
The Waldorf salad lives on in its elegance and simplicity. It is traditionally made with fresh apples, celery on a bed of lettuce and then dressed in mayonnaise – the walnuts, it is believed were only added later. Over the years it now has several guises with variations being served with grapes, turkey and dried fruit.
So when my mom gave me this beautiful box of fresh sweet prunes I decided to add these to my version of this salad classic. I chose to caramalize the walnuts and added some fennel seeds to my mayonnaise. The caramelized walnuts add a crunchy texture to the salad and I also added some Appletizer and vinegar to the mayonnaise to thin it and to add a bit of sparkle to the dressing – perfect for Mother’s day.
waldorf salad with a sparkling twist = food elegance from a bygone era for mother's day
- Celery – pick the leaves and use them – chop the rest of the celery finely
- Apple - julienned
- Prunes - pitted and cut in halves or grapes
- For Caramelized Walnuts
- ½ Cup sugar
- 100g Walnuts
- Melt the sugar until it caramelizes - a light honey colour. Put the walnuts on the tray and pour the caramel over the walnuts. Let it cool down and then break into pieces.
- Salad Dressing
- 4T Mayonnaise
- ½t Roasted fennel seeds
- 2T Appletizer
- 2t White wine vinegar
- Pinch of red pepper
- Mix all ingredients together
- Mix all the salad ingredients together in a suitable stylish serving dish.
- Add the caramelized walnuts on top.
- Sprinkle with the dressing and season to taste.
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Flambéed Sweet Apple Omelette – Every now and then you experiment with something new, sometimes the outcome is just ok and other times it just blows you away. This is what happened to me when I tasted my own rendition of a sweet omelette – whoop whoop – it blew me away and it is so easy to make! But first let me tell you the story how I ended up with fruit and an omelette of all things…
I draw my inspirations from many different people … one person who really inspires me is Lidewij Edelkoort. What a fascinating woman – she is well-renowned as an international trend forecaster in any form of design. The other day I read on her website that yellow is a currently one of the primary fashion colours of the season – and as she says… “ the power of yellow with its strength and radiance, is able to change all volume and all surfaces, giving glow to all matter”. She shared some intriguing, and quite amazing references when it comes to eggs… she took us to France with “eggs + soldiers”…and then to Spain for an omelette. It just got me thinking. Before I knew it, I was traversing the world, the internet and my hoards of cookery books for something, yellow, eggy and interesting…. I eventually found something quite enticing and a recipe that woke up my taste buds….it was an egg + pear omelette … a dessert of all things.
I decided to use apples instead of pears and then used our local brandy to flambé the dessert. It did not stop there though… being my cheeky self, I added some cream, a pinch of nutmeg, a dose of cinnamon, a star anise and a heap of expectation….taste for yourself … it is delicious!
flambéed sweet apple omelette
- 2T Butter
- 4 Granny Smith apples – cored, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 2T Sugar
- 4 Large eggs
- 2T Cream
- 1 Big pinch nutmeg
- 1 Pinch salt
- 3T Brandy
- On medium heat in a big non-stick pan - melt the butter and add the star anise, cinnamon, apples and 1T of sugar.
- Cook with the lid on for 10 min and then cook without the lid for a further 10 min.
- Stir from time to time but be careful not to break the apples.
- In the mean while beat the eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt together.
- Then pour the eggs over the apples.
- Cook till the eggs are set. Lift it on the sides to make sure it stays loose and your egg mixture does not stick to the pan.
- Invert the omelette onto a large serving dish, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the omelette and pour the 3 tablespoons of brandy over the dish. Ignite the brandy and then shake the platter till the alcohol burns of and extinguishes itself. Serve immediately.
- Tuck in and enjoy!