I think for me Easter has always been different to the somewhat traditional religious Easter festivities, you know the Friday fasting, the curried fish, chocolate eggs and Easter Sunday feast….
You see, my father was the station master at Wepener in the Free State for many years and once a year the South African Railways would give its employees and their families a free rail ticket. So every year, my mom, dad, three brothers and me would take the train down to Durbs for our Easter school holidays. It was such an adventure for us because Durban was fun … there was sun + beaches + sand. It was singing on the stages trying our best to win prizes, fighting with my brothers, building sandcastles in the sand with dad, swimming in the ocean with mom and losing ourselves in the summers of our youth.
For the short few days we spent there we lived on ice cream and sandwiches during the day, but at night when we were all sunburnt and after a long soak in a soothing bath, my mom used to make us fresh fish and salad for supper. The fresh salmon salad I made today is a dedication to the happy memories of those Easters past and to my folks for affording us this once a year seaside adventure.
Apart from the salmon and the avocado, I got all the ingredients for the salad out of my garden. Instead of placing the salmon on top of the salad as it is usually served I decided it would be more fun to put the salad on top of the salmon – and I must say I think it looks amazing! It would be unfair for me to dictate the quantities of salad ingredients you should use as this is best left to your own discretion and mood.
I also like my salmon somewhat rare, so I prepared it that way. But the thing that really adds to the overall pop-up-flavour is the rather delicious lime and soya Asian dressing. So here’s to family, Easter, lasting memories and fresh food. Blessed Easter everyone!
sand + sunburn + salmon salad = happy family easter memories
- 2 x 200g Fresh salmon steaks
- For salad
- Avocado – sliced into small blocks
- Baby tomatoes – halved and then in three
- Cucumber ribbons – I take my potato peeler and run it over the cucumber
- Spring onions – finely sliced
- Radishes – sliced into thin slices
- Fresh coriander
- Salad dressing
- 50 ml Soya sauce
- Juice of one to two small limes
- 1t Sesame oil (optional)
- 2t Grated ginger
- 1t Fish sauce
- 1T Fresh coriander – chopped
- ½t Chillie flakes
- Fry your salmon for three minutes with the skin side down in a non-stick pan till skin crispy - say about 5 minutes - don’t turn it around and don’t season at this stage and let it stand to rest. The intention is to serve it luke warm not piping hot.
- Chop up all your salad ingredients and make your dressing by mixing everything together.
- Now just place this beautiful cut of fish on a plate. Place the salad on top and put the dressing on the side.
- I don’t add any salt at this stage and leave it to the guests to decide how much salt they need because the dressing is quite salty.
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.