Tel +27 (021) 880 1444 | Fax +27 (021) 880 0291 | P.O. Box 12602, Die Boord, Stellenbosch, 7613
I was asked to put together something seasonal from the farm for the festive season. Ideas around comfort food entered my mind – light, nutritious and convenient. I thought of chicken broth – a nurturing soup with light dumplings – not the heavy stodgy German canoodle – followed by the convenience of an easily digestible trout, and dairy-free eggnog coconut milk ice cream for dessert . . . well I will just say that we are not going to end on a light note!
We make our broth with glutinous chicken feet (full of gelatin) and the natural gelatin is great for digestion and has many health benefits. Sally Fallon is the inspiration for that with her book dedicated to broths. We pasture rear our chickens (but more about that next month). Our dumplings do not have heavy meat fillings, but I liked the idea of the Asian-style dumplings. We use finely chopped blanched artichokes grown here in our organic garden – they are in season now, and mop up the flavour with a little bit of parmesan cheese. The flour used is a stone-ground wheat flour.
TROUT FROM THE FARMWe introduced this dish shortly after opening. We wanted to really reflect the feeling of generosity in what we are serving at The Werf restaurant and the trout came up as an idea. We tried different salt crusts and the one that we did for this issue is the one that stuck. It uses egg whites – we always have a lot left over after we make ice cream and various desserts. This added a new dimension with citrus-flavoured sea salt with grated lemon and orange zest. It’s a great dish. For this photo shoot we did a whole trout on the bone. For the restaurant we fillet the trout. Once it’s baked, it’s really easy eating. Just peel off the flesh and it’s divine – the closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat. It’s a great dish to do outdoors because it’s messy. If you crack it open on the lawn, you can let all the egg white and salt fall onto the lawn and from there it is really easy to lift off the skin.
It was the first time I had tried the carrots in carrot juice and butter and it works really well glazed. Sally Fallon always says that you need to add butter to your carrots to release the beta-carotene – butterfat stimulates the secretion of bile needed to convert carotenes from vegetables into vitamin A and, at the same time, supplies very easily absorbed true vitamin A. Introduce your carrots to a big blob of butter and carrot juice, then cook them in the liquid until it has reduced completely.
Ricotta (with lemon zest) is a really easy convenient dish to make at home. It’s not some mysterious commodity that’s bought off the shelf in some supermarket store. I would really like to feature homemade yoghurts and other products that people seem to have forgotten that we used to make ourselves – we are able to make them ourselves! I managed to get some whole Jersey milk from a neighbouring farm, but you can use normal cows’ milk. I would maybe use Ayrshire milk as it has a higher fat content. This milk has more solids and you need that to get a better result. It’s an easy recipe. Suddenly before your eyes you have curds forming and you drain them and it’s delicious. I thought it would make a nice accompaniment to the trout that is quite lean.
The baked dessert is an egg-rich dessert, using pasture-reared eggs we farm here at Boschendal. ‘Free-range eggs’ is a term that is abused. Instead of doing the traditional heavy English pudding, I decided to do a lighter style dessert from Italy. So I made homemade panettone, based on the way we make our crème brûlée, with a richness to it (a similar custard base). I wanted to finish it off with baked Alaska effect. I love that festive feel – torched Italian meringue wrapped around the dessert.
This all started off very light but then ended off a bit heavy! Enjoy.
Globe artichoke Macadamia dumplings with chicken broth
Chicken brothINGREDIENTS1 kg chicken bones/carcasses1 kg chicken feet200 g carrots large, chopped200 g onions large, chopped200 g celery, chopped200 g leeks, chopped10 g garlic, skinned4 g peppercornsHandful thymeHandful rosemary
METHOD1. Roast chicken bones at 160°C in the oven for 30 minutes. 2. Add all the ingredients in a large pot.3. Cover the ingredients with water.4. Place the stock on a medium heat till the contents are just short of a boil.5. Reduce heat so that a gentle simmer is achieved. 6. Simmer for 12 hours. 7. Remove from the heat. 8. Strain through a fine sieve.9. Strain again through muslin or cheesecloth.10. Allow to cool and refrigerate for later use.
DumplingsGlobe artichoke and Macadamia filling
INGREDIENTS200 g globe blanched artichoke hearts30 g finely chopped onions5 g garlic, crushed20 g butter 30 g toasted Macadamia nuts, crushed 2 sprigs thyme and rosemary, finely chopped50 ml reduced chicken broth, chilled
METHOD1. Finely chop 100 g of the artichoke hearts.2. Sweat the onions, chopped artichoke hearts, crushed garlic in the butter for five minutes.3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.4. Add the crushed nuts, the chopped herbs and the chicken broth jelly.5. Stir to incorporate the mixture well.6. Add seasoning to taste.
DoughINGREDIENTS240 g bread flour120 g cake flour200 ml boiling water15 ml olive oil 2 g salt
METHOD1. Mix the dry ingredients in the mixer, drizzle the boiling water in slowly, then drizzle in the oil and season until it forms a rough dough.2. Knead the dough until combined.3. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.4. Roll the dough out and cut out thin circles 8 cm diameter. 5. Pack filling onto the centre and bring up the sides of the circles together and twist dough together with your fingers, use water to seal.6. Steam in a steam basket for 10 minutes.7. Heat up again with reduced chicken stock and butter to serve.8. Slice the remaining artichokes and sauté in a touch of butter.9. Season to taste and arrange in bowls with the dumplings and add the hot broth.
Salt baked trout with garden carrots and lemon-scented homemade ricotta
INGREDIENTS1.2 kg fresh whole salmon trout 500 g coarse salt (kosher)2 lemon skins2 orange skins3 g fennel seeds2 star anise2 sprigs lemon thyme3 egg whites
METHOD1. Remove skin of the lemon and oranges using a zester.2. Blend with the herbs and aromatics.3. Add the aromatics and herb blend to the salt.
The crust1. Whip the egg whites until soft peak stage and fold in the salt mix.2. Line a baking tray with silicone paper and make a bed of the crust mix on the paper, bigger than the fish. 3. Place the whole trout on the crust mix. Then cover the fish with the crust mix, to create a dome over the fish.4. Bake the fish for 16 minutes (depends on size) at 170 °C. Should form a light golden crust.5. To serve: break the salt crust to expose the trout beneath.
Glazed carrotsINGREDIENTS4 large organic carrots1 orange (juice of)2 star anise2 peppercorns1 sprig of thyme20 rainbow carrots
Method1. Peel and juice the large carrots.2. Reduce the juice and orange juice with the aromatics in a saucepan till a coating consistency is achieved. 3. Remove the aromatics.4. Clean and trim the rainbow carrots.5. Blanch the carrots in boiling water until al dente.6. Refresh the carrots in ice water.7. Set aside for use later.
To serve: Using a large open pan add the carrot juice reduction and carrots. Over a medium heat glaze and heat the carrots through.Serve warm.
Homemade ricotta INGREDIENTS3 000 ml whole or top quality fresh milk 10 ml natural sea salt 45 ml natural apple cider vinegar
METHOD 1. Heat milk to just short of boiling point (93 °C).2. Remove from heat.3. Agitate milk with a clean spoon; add the vinegar. 4. Stir through briefly. 5. Do not overstir as the curds will break up and yield of cheese will be lost.6. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.7. Gently spoon out curds and whey through a cheesecloth-lined sieve.8. Drain for 30 minutes.9. Grate zest of lemon and orange to taste.
Panettone bread and butter pudding
INGREDIENTS1 kg cake flour300 g eggs (6 eggs)20 g salt150 g sugar50 g fresh yeast280 g cold milk300 g butter100 g red currants100 g sultanas100 g chopped dried apricots125 ml dark rum
METHOD1. Allow fruit to soak in rum overnight.2. Add all the ingredients, except for the dried fruits, into a mixer using the dough hook.3. Mix until a smooth paste has formed.4. Mix for a further 5 minutes on a low speed; add the dried fruits.5. Scrape mixture into a floured bowl.6. Cover and rest for 24 hrs in the fridge.7. Weigh out dough and place in greased tins.8. Proof in warm place until double in size.9. Egg-wash the surface.10. Bake at 180 °C for 30 minutes.11. Cool and remove.
Custard for panettone puddingINGREDIENTS1.5 litres cream500 ml milk500 g sugar4 egg yolks125 ml dark rum2 cinnamon sticks
METHOD1. Whisk egg and sugar together.2. Bring the cream, milk and rum to the boil.3. Temper liquid into egg mixture while whisking.4. Strain. The pudding1. Preheat the oven to 140 oC and grease a 1000 ml pudding bowl with a little butter.2. Cut the panettone into even slices. Butter the slices lightly with the rest of the butter. Cut the slices in half and arrange them in the bowl, buttered side up. 3. Pour custard over arranged bread and let it soak for about an hour. Repeat until the bread has absorbed most of the custard.4. Put the bowl in a roasting tin and pour hot water around it until covered half way up the pudding bowl.5. Bake for 35 minutes until the pudding is just set.6. Allow to cool completely. Refrigerate till deep chilled. Turn out the pudding onto a serving dish.
INGREDIENTS100 g egg white (4 egg whites)100 ml water200 g granulated white sugar METHOD1. Add sugar and water to a solid-based saucepan.2. Heat sugar and water, stirring to dissolve.3. Bring to the boil and take sugar to a temperature of 116 oC (soft ball stage).4. While boiling the sugar, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks.5. Slowly add the syrup while continually whisking.6. Continue to whisk while allowing mixture to cool.7. Ice the pudding with Italian meringue elaborately.8. Lightly toast with a blow touch to get a lovely golden brown finish.
Coconut eggnog ice cream
INGREDIENTS950 ml coconut milk (homemade/canned)3 cinnamon sticks1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed1 tsp grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish5 egg yolks130 g granulated sugar175 ml dark rum or bourbon
METHOD1. In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and nutmeg. 2. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes and strain to remove spices. 3. In a large bowl or stand mixer whisk egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted. 4. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until the mixture is combined and smooth. 5. Add bourbon or rum. 6. Churn in the ice-cream machine until scoopable. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until needed.
Click here to browse or order previous issues