If you want to watch me make this – click here.
The other day a delivery of the most beautiful Abate Fetel pears from Tru-Cape arrived at my desk and it inspired me to make this delicious and easy pear crumble. That day I handed these delicious pears to some of my colleagues … well they all shouted for more and said they were just so utterly natural, fresh and delicious. Pears are such heavenly treats and so fabulous to bake with – so I baked some and also did a little research on the humble Abate Fetel pear* …
Abate Fete: ah-BAH-tay fuh-TEL
These pears were fist cultivated by Italian monks a few hundred years ago.
Shape + Look
Unlike normal pear-shaped pears, this variety of pear is slim and long and often many people have described it as almost banana-shaped. This fruit has an attractive yellowish brown russet over its green exterior.
When to eat
This variety of pear is eaten when it is just barely soft; you don’t have to wait for the fleeting, elusive moment between green woodiness and pulpy mush.
A rich sweet taste with a very unusual note: could it be aromatic honey?
Source: thekitchn.com + specialtyfruitclubs.com
* Abate Fete pears are now available in Checkers Stores nationwide.
pear crumble - a true treat
- For the filling
- 400g Pears (cored and sliced thinly) - +- 3 Pears
- 50g Brown sugar
- 20g Butter cut in blocks
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 Star anise
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- Pinch of salt
- For the crumble
- 40g Oats
- 40g Flour
- 25g Castor sugar
- 40g Butter – cut into small blocks
- ¼ t Cinnamon powder
- Pinch of salt
- To serve
- Vanilla ice cream
- Preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Filling – Place all the ingredients into a pan, cook over medium heat for 5 minutes and then transfer cooked ingredients into a small ovenproof dish.
- Crumble - Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cut the butter into small cubes and add this to the dry ingredient mixture. Mix with your fingertips until it resembles an even crumbed texture.
- Cover the pears with the crumble mixture. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until the crumble turns golden and serve hot with some creamy vanilla ice cream.
Sometimes life just stumps you. Such was the case when these absolutely, incredibly, beautiful and delicate garlic scapes found their way into my kitchen and onto my plate. A friend of mine, Daleen gave me a bunch of these green little wonders and said that I needed to cook something with it. But there I was, utterly stumped. What was I going to do with these culinary flowers? They belonged in a pretty flower vase on the window sill surely? At first I thought the little buds on these slender green shoots were “onion flowers” and then with a wicked smile, Daleen informed me that they were actually garlic scapes or garlic flowers. I had never seen these little miracles before …Clearly, I need to get out more… Anyway, these flowers were just so fragile and perfect – long leafless stems with the little closed flowers on the top – and inside the flowers were the seeds of the garlic plant. It was another wonder of creation.
But how and what could I do with these edible creations? As always my weekly food journey starts with the world’s greatest encyclopedia, the internet. I read that the flower of the garlic plant is sometimes eaten and that it has a much milder flavour than the actual garlic bulbs. I read further that these seeds were mostly consumed while immature and still tender. This seemed to make some sense as the bottom part of the stem was rock hard. These stalks will be great in soups and stews.
I don’t know why but my mind took me to Asia when I saw them … a dish of greens and pork. That is what I eventually decided to do…. My secret for this recipe was to keep everything simple. The idea was to let the subtle garlic scapes infuse with lemon and then just let this flavour the greens and the pork. The delicate simplicity of the flavours makes this a genuinely blissful, if not whimsical combination. Garlic scapes are available in stores at the moments – so please try it – it’s both fun and delicious.
lemony pork fillets + garlic scapes
- For the pork
- 300g Pork fillet
- Juice of one lemon
- 1T Soya sauce
- Black pepper for seasoning
- Salt – if you need extra seasoning
- Oil for frying in pan
- For the garlic scapes
- 4-6 Garlic scapes (keep some whole and have some cut in halves) - use only a small piece of the stem and the flower
- 2T Butter
- Fresh juice from ½ lemon
- A bit of white wine - +- 50ml
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- For the Asian greens
- Asian greens for two people - I went to the Chinese market and got a variety of greens i.e. bok choy
- 1-2T Soya sauce
- Oil for frying
- Fresh juice from one lemon
- Lemon infused olive oil to drizzle over your dish when cooked
- For the pork: Add the oil to the pan and sear the fillets.
- Then add your seasoning - pepper + lemon juice + soja sauce - fry the pork fillets on medium high heat till done.
- Make sure your fillets are properly cooked through - but do not over cook. Add a bit of salt if you like.
- For the scapes: Add butter to a medium hot pan.
- Braise the garlic scapes till soft in butter and wine. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Add the lemon juice and some salt and pepper for seasoning.
- For the other greens: Heat a wok until it is very hot – add the oil and then the greens.
- Flash fry the greens for a few minutees and add the soya sauce + lemon juice + pepper.
- Taste for seasoning.
- To serve: Add the greens to the plate.
- Cut your pork and put that on top of the green.
- Drizzle the juices of the pan over the pork + drizzle some lemon infused olive oil over the whole dish.
- And then place some garlic scapes on top.
I love to taste things and to eat things that I have never tasted or eaten before so when I was asked to take part in the Crush Findus Wok Challenge with an exotic veggie stir fry packet that contains ingredients like lotus root + green garlic + water chestnuts, I jumped at the opportunity. It was like opening a veggie lucky packet of mysterious ingredients! The best discovery was the delicious and crunchy + mildly sweet lotus root … well I fell in love with this curious vegetable. It was this perfect, beautifully white root with big wholes that jumped onto my plate. It immediately brought a smile to my face. It is little wonder that the lotus flower is adored and admired by so many.
Within the Buddhist religion… of which I am an ardent follower… the lotus flower is well known to me and so revered by other believers. Buddha is often represented on a pink lotus and within the rich symbolism of the Buddhist philosophy the lotus represents purity of the body, speech and mind and symbolises faithfulness.
So you, little lotus root are more than just a thing of beauty. I have read that you are high in dietary fibre, are considered a good food source for energy and as you are high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein, you make a remarkably healthy food choice. I found out too that you can strengthen my spleen, promote the activities of my stomach and assist with tissue re-generation – thank you lovely one – and like me you also love soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger. No wonder I fell in love with you. You are my new food muse. I decided to make a warm beef and vegetable salad with my exotic vegetable pack. You must just try this – it’s fresh, crunchy, easy and delicious.
If you like my recipe, please go to Crush and vote for my exotic-asian-love-story with its beauty in a lotus root.
warm beef + vegetable salad = an exotic-asian-love-story with its beauty in a lotus root
- 300g Fillet steak
- 1T Oil for frying
- Salt for seasoning
- Pepper for seasoning
- Wasabi Mayonnaise
- 3T Japanese sushi mayonnaise
- ¼ - ½ t Wasabi paste
- 1½ t Ginger - grated
- 1t Garlic - grated
- 125ml Soya sauce
- 1½ T Fresh lemon juice
- ½ Chopped chilli (optional)
- 2T Water
- 500g Packet Findus Wok Chinese (1 Pack)
- 1T Oil for frying
- Firstly make your dressing – just mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Then make the wasabi mayonnaise by stirring the mayonnaise and wasabi past together.
- Season the steak and fry to your taste. I like medium rare for this salad. Let it rest. I like to fry the meat in a separate pan – I do not want the flavours of the meat to be infused into the veggies when cooking – it detracts from the stark freshness and crispiness of the veggies.
- While the beef is resting – add oil to your wok and stir fry the veggies as per the instruction on the pack. Don’t add any seasoning or flavouring at this stage. The flavouring is in the dressing that we are going to pour over the veggies – almost like a salad dressing of sorts.
- To serve: Slice the beef into thin slices and place these on a plate, dress each piece with a bit of the dressing. Now add the veggies on top. Sprinkle generously with the dressing. Now add a few dollops of the wasabi mayonnaise here and there over the dish.. If you want you can also sprinkle with a few sesame seeds.
This is my all-time favourite winter soup recipe. It lies very close to my heart for two reasons – I was introduced to this recipe by my wonderful chef friend, Louis Verwey (the recipe was very different then and I developed it as I went along into what it is today) and secondly this recipe took me through to the Top 50 of Masterchef SA and earned three overwhelming and resounding yes’s from judges Andrew, Bennie and Pete. My Masterchef journey was an incredible experience, it was an amazing roller coaster ride of emotions, nerves and sheer excitement but the best part was meeting all the fantastic people who all share a common passion – cooking! This adventure re-ignited in me the fire and a burning desire to learn and share in the fun, frivolity and sheer pleasure that comes with cooking and everything culinary. I am very proud to have made it into the Top 35 only to be booted out on the potato challenge. Needless to say I have not cooked or peeled a potato again – but that is a story for another day…enough about me…back to this exquisite soup …
malay infused seafood soup
Author: Anél Potigeter . lifeisazoobiscuit.com
- For the stock
- 1 celery stick, chopped (with the leaves)
- 1 onion, cut in half (I keep the skin on - I only peel the onion if I want to make a clear stock)
- 1 carrot, chopped (…again keep the skin on – didn’t we learn that all the nutritional value lies in the skin?)
- 5 black pepper corns
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 clove of garlic cut in half
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- 350g white fish – I use small whole hakes which I cut into chunks
- 800ml water
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 24 mussels in ½ shell
- 400 g kingklip (or any other firm white fish), cut into cubes of +- 2.5cm x 2.5cm
- 12 de-veined prawns with shells – I love to keep heads on – if you do take the heads off, don’t discard these….add them to your stock
- Other ingredients
- 30g butter
- 45 ml flour
- 10 ml masala (I mix my own from the following ground ingredients: 15 ml turmeric, 15ml cumin, 10 ml coriander, 10 ml fennel, 15 ml hot “curry powder” this you can get from your local spice shop or supermarket)
- 30 ml tomato paste
- 1 ½ chicken stock cube, crumbled
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
- Juice of ½ small lemon
- For the gremolata
- 30 ml chopped parsley
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- Zest of one lemon
- One big squeeze of lemon juice
- 30 ml olive oil
- Prepare your stock by adding the first 9 ingredients in a pot and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- Take the mussels and place them in a sieve and then put it in the stock to cook for 2 minutes. I do this to infuse the juices in the stock (and to defrost if still frozen). Take out and leave aside.
- Repeat the same process with the prawns – leave to simmer for about 3-4 minutes in the stock. Take out and set aside
- Take the stock and strain through a very fine sieve. Set aside. (You can discard the stock ingredients but it does make for a very nutritious and fishy treat for my two canine children!)
- Add the finely grated garlic to this stock.
- Now, melt the butter in a pot. Add the flour to make a roux. Stir for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and masala. Stir well.
- Add the warm stock - ladle by ladle - whisking briskly to make sure it does not form lumps. Once you have added the stock, bring it up to simmer - you will see that it has now thickened.
- Add the stock cube and the chopped tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir well.
- Now add the raw fish and let it simmer for +-3 minutes, then add the prawns and mussels.
- Add the lemon juice and stir lightly – be careful not to break the fish! Season for taste by adding salt and pepper, lemon juice.
- Simmer for a 5-10 minutes.
- Lastly, mix the last 4 ingredients together to make the gremolata and set aside
- To serve – in the bottom of a soup bowl put a dollop of the gremolata. Take the prawns out of the soup and place 2 prawns on each plate, add 3 or more pieces of fish. Strain the fish soup through a sieve and pour in the bowl around the fish and prawns. Add 3-4 mussels on top.
- Garnish with a few drops of gremolata on top. Serve immediately.