Pick n Pay freshlyblogged challenge #3
This delicious recipe was inspired by a very interesting ingredient list (see list below) I received from Pick n Pay for their #freshlyblogged competition.
The other day I visited San Julian restaurant in the heart of Cape Town. There the chef showed us how to make real tortillas using fresh white corn. Hello!! …they make them fresh every single day in the restaurant (*bow down). My mouth literally hung open when they showed us – it is so simple, so fantastically authentic and made by real Mexicans! Checking out this week’s ingredients my first thought when seeing the maize meal was to use this along with corn kernels as the base of a Mexican style burger. I added paprika, lime zest and dried chillies to the ostrich meat – it turned out to taste like spicy chorizo sausage! I was quite surprised but very happy I must add. I used the wine and hot chutney to make a basting for the burgers and to round of the dish I made a simple, lime infused guacamole. I loved all the Mexican flavours – they are so simple, so uncomplicated but burst in your mouth like in a plethora of vibrant taste sensations.
Ingredients for challenge #3
500g maize meal
500g ostrich sausage
1 punnet of waterblommetjies /green beans
PnP Chutney of your choice
250g PnP mixed dried fruit
Rules for challenge #3
You may omit one ingredient (except the Drostdy-Hof Pinotage) from the above list.
You may add three spices.
You may add three fresh ingredients.
Some part of the dish must be cooked over the coals(pictorial proof of said cooking method is required).
You can use any and all ingredients from the approved Freshly Blogged Pantry List. Olive oil, Vegetable oil, Salt, Pepper, Flours (cake, wholewheat, bread and self raising), Baking powder, Bicarbonate of soda, Yeast, Butter, Milk, Eggs, Sugar (granulated, castor, icing, brown and treacle),Stock (powder or liquid – beef, chicken, fish, vegetable)
hot mexican burger
- Corn “bun”
- 2⅔ cups (660ml) water
- 2 mielies (corn on the cob), the corn needs to be sliced from the cob
- ½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
- ¾ cup (180ml) maize meal
- 1 ½ tbsp (22.5ml) butter
- ½ cup (125ml) Drostdy-Hof Pinotage
- ½ cup (125ml) PnP Hot Chutney
- Burger patty
- 400 g Ostrich sausage, remove the sausage meat from its casing
- 2 tsp (10ml) paprika
- 1 tsp (5ml) chilli flakes
- zest of 2 limes
- 50g green beans
- 2 ripe avocados, crushed
- juice of ½ lime
- 1tsp (5ml) chilli flakes
- ½ tsp (3ml) salt
- Corn bun - Bring the water, corn and salt to the boil. Add the maize meal and mix well. Turn the heat down and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes. Add the butter and mix through. Taste for seasoning.
- Lightly oil a 20 cm x 20 cm dish with some olive oil. Scrape the porridge into the dish and flatten with spoon. Set aside to firm-up (about 45 min will do).
- Cut 4 circles out of the porridge to use as your bun. Set aside.
- When the corn patties are ready to use, heat them on the fire.
- Basting - Pour the wine and chutney into a small pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Guacamole - Cook the green beans for 10 min and slice thinly.
- Mix with avocado, lime, chilli and salt. Taste for seasoning.
- Ostrich burger patty - Mix the sausage meat, paprika, chilli and zest together. Making sure you mix this well. Shape to form 4 x 100g patties.
- Place the meat patties on the fire and braai for +-10 minutes (see tips for braaiing below). Baste with basting sauce every time you turn around.
- To assemble - Place the corn bun onto a plate or serving dish, add the patty and then add a dollop or two of guacamole. Sprinkle with chilli flakes and a few green beans.
- Tips for braaiing burgers over the coals - You need hot coals.
- The grid must be positioned about 10cm above the coals.
- Lightly oil your burger patties on both sides before you put them in the grid.
- Use a grid that you can turn around for the patties. It makes life much easier.
- Braai for a total of 4-5 mins on each side.
A few weeks ago I was invited to meet Jose and Lisa Gomez owners of Perfect Paella … and all I can say of that night is that the Spanish truly love their Paella, they really know how to throw the best parties and boy can they dance! Just so you know Perfect Paella is selling the most amazing paella pans (and very affordable too) and even give cooking classes if you want to really learn from the Masters.
But for me the paella is one of those dishes that I think has become victim to its own success and modern day popularity – hence the reason why it has so many different interpretations or variation. Now my question today is – to chorizo or not to chorizo? A purist friend of mine said to me he heard that you traditionally don’t use chorizo in paella! This caught me completely off-guard – for one, I have always cooked my own paellas with chorizo and I honestly thought that it is the way to do it! I had to immediately ask one of my best friends Louis who lives near Valentia: would I be defiling an ancient and respected recipe by including chorizo in the paella or not?
Within 5 minutes of my email, Louis responded as follows: “Nella… NO chorizo if you want traditional paella…my mother-in-law would turn in her grave. The paella with chorizo is more for tourists in Spain and in the South of Spain (Andalucia) . If you throw anything in then it’s just a rice ensemble and not a paella.”
So there you have it folks – in Spain they don’t use chorizo in a real Paella … But now … I am not a purist or a traditionalist so I love chorizo and love adding it to paella. So my paella is probably a rice concoction of sort in Spanish terms but for me it’s a damn good paella. I also steered well away from the tradition by substituting the wine with some South African “Nagmaalwyn”. My paella is also on the blonder side (not yellow) – another note to self – I need to stock up on some fresh saffron. It was one of the most soulful paellas I have yet to taste – try it and let me know …
chicken + chorizo paella
- 800g Chicken pieces – I take each piece and cleave it into two pieces
- 2 Chorizo sausages – sliced (+-250g)
- 2T Olive oil
- 2 Garlic cloves - grated
- 1t Black pepper
- 1t Salt
- 50ml Olive Oil
- 50 ml Nagmaalwyn (Sherry)
- Other Ingredients
- 2T Olive oil
- 3 Garlic cloves – sliced thinly
- 1 Red pepper – cut into blocks
- 1 Handful of fresh origanum (or replace with ½t dried origanum)
- 5 Sprigs of fresh thyme (I use the whole sprigs)
- 1t Smoked paprika (I did not have smoked paprika so I used normal paprika and added 6 drops of liquid smoke to my stock)
- 1 Big pinch of saffron - soaked in a little bit of water
- 50ml Nagmaalwyn
- 500g Paella rice
- 1.75L Chicken stock
- Marinade - Mix all the marinade ingredients together and marinade the chicken for about ½ hour.
- Fry the chicken with the chorizo on medium to high heat until nice and brown.
- Take out of the pan and add all the rest of the ingredients except the Nagmaalwyn, rice and stock.
- Fry for about 5 minutes and then add the Nagmaalwyn to deglaze the pan. Scrape all the beautiful fried pieces from the bottom of the pan.
- Then pack the pieces of chicken in the pan – so they are spread evenly and add the sliced chorizo.
- Now add ½ of the stock to the pan and then the rice. Make sure all the rice is submerged in the stock.
- At this stage you don’t fiddle with the paella – don’t touch it with a spoon, ladle or anything. Cook over medium heat. When the paella looks dry add the rest of the stock and cook till done – about 40 minutes.
- Pour yourself a glass of good wine, rope in a few hungry friends and enjoy the flavours and the moment.
Derick Henstra is the Chairman of the company that I am very fortunate to work for. He is an amazing individual, architect, artist, food lover and wine connoisseur. A while ago he told me about a cauliflower soup with brie, smoked paprika and crostini (“little toasts” in Italian) that he ate in Durban. I immediately decided that I would have to make and taste this – I made it a bit different…choosing to roast the cauliflower … well, I cannot tell you how amazing it tasted. The smoked paprika certainly compliments the roasted cauliflower and the melting brie inside gives it just that extra edge. There is not one flavour that overpowers the other and all seems to come together in perfect harmony … it is a simple + beautiful bowl of joy! This one is for you dh … carpe diem.
Note: Smoked paprika is a wonderful ingredient but please use it sparingly + with respect. You can easily overpower the dish with its strong flavour. I bought the smoked paprika at Newport Deli in Cape Town.
roasted cauliflower soup with brie + smoked paprika + little toasts
- 2 Cauliflower heads – cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 Big onion – cut into quarters
- 2T Olive oil
- 2 Cup water
- 1 Chicken or Vegetable stock cube
- 2 Cups full-cream milk (if you want it richer you can replace one cup of milk with cream or you can use fat free milk as a more healthier option)
- 20g Butter (or more 🙂 )
- 1 Large pinch of salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 125g Brie cheese – cut into 6 pieces
- Smoked Paprika to sprinkle over the soup.
- Preparing the "little toasts"
- Cut a French loaf into thin slices and toast in toaster.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Put cauliflower and onion in bowl – pour the olive oil over it and swirl the contents around in the bowl until all the vegetable pieces are lightly covered in oil. Place on baking tray and bake in the oven for +- 25 - 30 minutes until roasted and browned.
- Take a pot, add the water and the stock cube.
- Add the cauliflower and onion and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add the milk and liquidize. It will have a nice thick consistency. If you find the consistency too thick just add a bit of extra milk.
- Add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Please taste and use more salt if needed.
- Pour piping hot soup into bowls. Put a wedge of brie in each, then add the "little toasts" on top and sprinkle lightly with smoked paprika!
- Tuck-in and enjoy!