19 September 2017Last updated

Food | Recipes

Cook to impress

For Valentine’s Day, we heart this irresistible three-course menu for an at-home celebration

Camera Press
10 Feb 2017 | 12:00 am
  • Baked seafood rice

    Source:Camera Press

Baked seafood rice

Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 1 hour 10 mins
Serves 2

4 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 beef sausage, sliced
120g peas, fresh or frozen
200g jasmine rice
80ml non-alcoholic white wine
8 prawns, de-shelled
8 mussels
Saffron, a pinch
500ml chicken stock
Fresh coriander, a handful

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Heat olive oil until warm and sauté onion and garlic until golden brown. Add sausage 
and peas and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add rice and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the non-alcoholic white wine and boil until reduced.

Spoon the mixture into an oven-proof dish and place the seafood on top. Mix saffron and stock and pour two-thirds of it over the rice. Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Add the remaining stock. Bake for another 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and all the liquid is absorbed. Discard any unopened mussels. Season with salt and 
black pepper. Serve with the chopped coriander.

Duck rillettes


Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 1 hour 45 mins
Refrigeration time 2-3 hours
Makes 6 cups

4 tsp olive oil
1 duck, divided into portions
10 thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves
2 fresh bay leaves
500ml chicken stock
500ml water
4 tbsp smooth duck fat
2 tbsp butter
15ml apple juice
For the top layer:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp smooth duck fat

Heat olive oil in a large pot until very hot. Sear the duck pieces until golden brown.

Remove the pot from the heat and pour out the extra fat. Add thyme, garlic, bay leaves, stock and water to the duck. Lower the heat and simmer for about 90 minutes, or until the meat starts to fall from the bone. Remove the duck pieces from the pot. Pour out the liquid and reserve it for use in another dish (it is a delicious base for a sauce or gravy, or you can even use it in a stew). Remove the meat from the bones. Use a food processor and process the meat to a coarse pâté, alternating with duck fat and butter during the process. Add apple juice and season with some salt and black pepper.

Divide the mixture into 6 cups. Melt the ingredients for the top layer together and pour over each cup. Leave in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set and serve with crusty bread.

Homemade gnocchi and fried beans


Prep time 30 mins
Cooking time 15 mins
Serves 2

2 potatoes, boiled until soft, peeled
1 egg
210g flour, plus extra for rolling
3 tbsp butter
10 sage leaves
70g edamame beans, blanched in boiling water, podded
70g green beans, blanched in boiling water
70g sugarsnap peas, blanched in boiling water

Push the potatoes through a sieve until you have a fine purée. Add egg and flour and mix lightly into a dough. Add more flour if necessary, until it is no longer sticky. Season with salt and black pepper. Leave for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 parts and sprinkle the work surface with flour. Use your fingertips and roll the dough into long cylinders, about 2cm thick. Cut the rolled dough into 2cm long gnocchi and set aside while rolling out the remaining dough. Boil water in a large pot and add the gnocchi. As soon as the gnocchi start to float, they are ready. Drain and set aside.

Melt butter in a large pan. Add sage, then the beans and peas. Fry for 5 minutes and add the gnocchi. Fry for 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Hint: If you don’t have time to make gnocchi from scratch, buy from your local deli.

Warm capri salad


Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 35 mins
Serves 2

100ml balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 star anise
2 tomatoes (see hint below)
4 strips turkey bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
150g buffalo mozzarella cheese, torn into chunks
Basil, a handful, shredded

Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Simmer vinegar, sugar and star anise in a saucepan until the liquid is reduced to half, about 15 minutes. Slice off the tomatoes at the bottom so that they can stand upright. Cover each tomato in two strips of turkey bacon. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle olive oil over. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until the turkey bacon is golden, about 20 minutes. Serve on a bed of cheese and basil. Pour the sauce over.

Hint: Roast tomatoes for longer or shorter time depending on size. They’re ready as soon as the skin bursts open.

Hazelnut madeleines in a spoon


Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 10 mins
Makes 16

60g cake flour
65g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Salt, a pinch
1 egg
60g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla essence
50g hazelnuts, roasted, shelled and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. Mix egg, butter and vanilla essence together. Add 
to the dry ingredients and mix well into a smooth batter. Fold the hazelnuts into the batter.

Use a baking tray with an edge 5cm high and place 16 tablespoons on the tray. Spray well with non-stick food spray.

Rest the handles on the edge of the baking tray to ensure that the hollows are placed straight. Place two teaspoons full of batter in each spoon hollow and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.

Hint: You can flavour the madeleines as you wish – rose water, orange blossom water or almond essence are good options.

Cinnamon doughnuts with chocolate sauce


Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 20 mins
Makes 12-14 doughnuts

125ml fresh cream
100g dark chocolate, chopped
100g sugar
280g cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp nutmeg
Salt, a pinch
1 egg
1 tbsp butter, melted
125ml milk
Oil, for deep frying
Cinnamon sugar (100g white sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon powder)

Heat cream until boiling and pour over the chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts. Set aside.

Sift the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. Mix egg, butter and milk together. Pour two-thirds of it into the bowl with the dry mix and stir well. Add the remaining mixture gradually until you have a firm dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. Roll the batter out, 2cm thick. Use a round cookie cutter of 3cm and press discs out. Heat oil until medium warm and add few of the dough discs. Fry for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and roll immediately in the cinnamon sugar. Serve warm with the chocolate sauce.

Hint: The oil must not be too hot, or else the doughnuts will brown before being cooked in the centre.

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