This month we’re celebrating our mums … join us for a delicious, indulgent breakfast or lunch.
Cooking-obsessed Isla Rechner has just returned to South Africa after spending almost a decade as the group pastry chef for celebrity chef Bill Granger in the UK. Since settling back in her old Kloof hood, she’s been plating up dish after mouth-watering dish for her mum and dad (her favourite two food guinea pigs), while tailor-making food and training services for restaurants, as well as catering privately for women’s lunches and bespoke dinners.
‘Sure summer has its never-ending merits, but there’s something cosy and nostalgic about the advent of autumn. Durban seasons aren’t as harsh as other parts of the country so sunshine food is always on the cards, but perhaps a little more indulgent than fresh crisp salads and braaied proteins that we yearn for in the summer,’ says Isla.
Since May also brings the day to celebrate mothers, this Eggs Benedict with trout and avo is an indulgence perfect for a really special breakfast; if she’s a late riser, then try the crispy skinned salmon dish for lunch. For those who love getting stuck in the kitchen, there’s a recipe for dinner and dessert too!’
Details: 071 478 7332, e-mail: [email protected] or IG: @islalouise_food_
Eggs Benedict with Smoked Trout and Avocado
4 English muffins, halved and toasted; 8 eggs; 30ml white wine vinegar; 2 ripe avocadoes, finely sliced; 100g oak smoked trout ribbons
2 eggs yolks; juice of ½ lemon; pinch of cayenne pepper; 120g butter, melted
Have your muffins toasted, avocado sliced and trout ribbons at the ready. Bring a deep saucepan of water to the boil with the white wine vinegar (not a rolling boil). Divide eggs into separate ramekins.
Have a bowl of water with lots of ice ready. Once the water reaches a boil, swirl the water quickly with a whisk. Drop an egg in the centre, cook for 3 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon and place in iced water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Place a pot of fresh water on the heat
Now onto the hollandaise, in a jug put your egg yolks, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Using a stick blender, blend for a minute. Melt butter. Slowly stream the melted butter into the egg yolk mix, having the blender on constantly. Set aside. Place the poached eggs in the clean simmering water for a minute. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Plate the toasted muffins, place avocado slices and trout on each. Place a poached egg on each muffin, spoon over hollandaise and decorate with micro herbs.
Crispy Skinned Salmon, Baby Marrow Spaghetti, Roasted Baby Potatoes and Grapefruit Beurre Blanc
4 salmon fillets; 200g baby marrow spaghetti; 500g baby potatoes, halved; oil; 2 cloves garlic; crimson leaf micro greens to garnish
Grapefruit beurre blanc
juice of 1 lemon; ¼ cup dry white wine; 1 small onion, finely chopped; 15ml cream; 230g cold butter, cut into cubes
Preheat oven to 200°C. Toss baby potatoes with oil, garlic and salt. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until crisp and golden. Place a medium sized pot of water that has been slightly salted on the heat. Cook baby marrow spaghetti for 5 minutes, strain. Place back in pot, season and cover to keep warm. Pop a heavy based frying pan on a medium to high heat, ensuring it is well oiled. Place salmon skin down, sear for a few minutes or until you have a nice crisp skin. Get a roasting dish out and place salmon skin side up, roast for seven minutes. While the potatoes and salmon are cooking you can focus on your beurre blanc. Simmer grapefruit juice, white wine and onion until reduced by half, roughly five minutes. Add cream and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly, now the fun begins. Slowly start adding a block of butter, stirring and only adding another block of butter when the previous block has melted. Once all the butter has been incorporated take off the heat and set aside.
Remove salmon and potatoes from the oven. Spoon some beurre blanc at the base of each bowl; divide the baby marrow spaghetti and potatoes between the bowls, top with a salmon fillet and garnish with crimson leaf micro greens.
Vegan Black Bean Salad
1 cup dry black beans; 3 cups water; 1 small onion; 2 garlic cloves; 2 bay leaves; 3 cups water; roasted butternut; 250g butternut cut into 1cm cubes; 30ml oil; ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed; ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and crushed; 1 teaspoon chilli flakes;
Pickled red cabbage
1 small red cabbage; juice of 2 limes
½ cup fresh coriander; ¼ cup oil
Coconut cream; juice of 1 lime; 2 spring onions; sliced; and micro herbs
Soak the black beans overnight, you may be tempted to use tinned but it’s definitely worth doing the process yourself. Next day, strain the black beans and rinse. In a medium sized pot, place beans, garlic cloves, onion, bay leaves and three cups of water. On a low to medium heat, simmer beans for 90 minutes covered. Remove lid and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Season to taste. Whilst the beans are simmering, get onto your red cabbage. In an airtight container, place red cabbage and lime juice, mixing until combined. Leave to pickle in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Toss butternut, spices and oil together. Place in a roasting tin and cook for 30 minutes. Now onto the coriander oil, pop all ingredients into a blender and blitzed until smooth.
Remove the butternut from the oven. Toss black beans, pickled red cabbage and butternut together. Divide between four bowls, garnish with coconut cream, coriander oil, lime juice, spring onion and micro herbs.
6 egg whites; 170g white sugar; 170g brown sugar;
Vanilla yoghurt cream
180g cream; 60g Greek yoghurt; 30g castor sugar; 5g vanilla paste
Honey roasted figs
150g baby figs; 15g honey
100g fresh raspberries; edible flowers
Preheat oven to 110°C fan-assisted. In the bowl of a stand mixer, place egg whites. Start whisking at medium speed. When the egg whites are frothed up, slowly and consistently start adding your sugar (this can also be done with a handheld mixer, just will require a bit more muscle).Whisk until thick and glossy, about five minutes. Line a baking tray with baking paper and shape Pavlova mix into a 25cm circle (tracing a dinner plate round would help for a perfect circle). Bake for 2 hours and 15 minutes, ensuring that you don’t open the oven during the baking time. Switch the oven off and leave to cool for an hour before removing.
Now onto the honey-roasted figs, preheat oven to 200°C. Half the figs and drizzle with honey. Roast for 5 minutes, leave to cool slightly before using.
Whisk together all vanilla yoghurt cream ingredients until thick. Spread the cream onto the Pavlova, decorating with figs, fresh raspberries and edible flowers.