With the change of each season we undergo a mind-shift to try new things and experiment with different dishes. Now that it’s warming up, we’re more inclined to treat our taste buds to light, summery meals and drinks that quench our thirst, shelving the soups and hot foods for next winter. Our next annual HL Food issue is due out in February 2012 and our food editor, Raphaella Frame, is already hard at work conceptualising and shooting new tantalising food spreads. Here, you’ll find five of my favourite recipes that we’ve published online since we launched our website, each offering a distinct culinary experience. The spring greens hot pot is the perfect spring dish, while the baked eggplant makes a delicious entrée served with minted yoghurt. For something fruity and sweet, I’ve chosen the poached apricots that you simply have to roll in crushed pistachios for an unexpected taste sensation. And seeing that we’re currently bidding the colder weather farewell, I’ve also selected two recipes that welcome summer with open arms – namely, the scallops with ginger for a bite-size snack, and the raspberry shortcake bars that are perfect for a sunny outdoors picnic. We hope they inspire you to get into the kitchen… Naomi Larkin Editor – House and Leisure
1. Spring Greens Hotpot
Styling Genneth Lyn Recipes and styling Daniel Jardim, Jules Mercer Photographs Warren Heath, Russell Smith Photographer’s assistant Michelle Parkin Location Maurice Paliaga’s loft in Woodstock (firstname.lastname@example.org) 4 shiitake mushrooms 750ml water 1 organic stock cube 1 clove garlic, crushed 1T ginger, chopped 1T soy sauce 200g udon noodles salt and pepper 4–5 spring greens 4 slices Tofu 1T coriander, chopped 1 green chilli, sliced Serves 1 as a main course Soak mushrooms in hot water for at least an hour. Place water, mushrooms, stock cube, garlic and ginger in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently until the stock has dissolved. Add soy sauce and noodles. When heated through, adjust the seasoning and pour into serving bowls. Dip the greens into the soup and arrange on top, then arrange the tofu and garnish with coriander and chilli.
2. Baked Eggplants with Curried-Prawn Pilaf
Styling Laureen Rossouw Recipes and styling Phillippa Cheifitz, Jules Mercer Photographs Martin Hahn, Russell Smith Photographer’s assistant Michelle Parkin Paul Cluver Gewürztraminer 2009 – LR 3 large eggplants olive oil salt and pepper 12–18 large peeled prawns olive oil butter 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, chopped 2–3t curry powder 250ml basmati rice 500ml vegetable stock salt and pepper garam masala for the minted yoghurt about 250ml thick Greek yoghurt about 25g shredded mint leaves salt and pepper to taste Serves 6 as a starter, 3 as a main course Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Arrange in a baking pan, rub with olive oil and season lightly. Bake at 190°C for half an hour or until tender. Allow to cool, then scoop out the soft flesh. Chop the flesh and set it aside to add to the pilaf. Reserve the eggplant shells. To make the pilaf, briefly stir-fry the prawns in a little hot oil and a knob of butter until barely cooked. Remove and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan. Stir in the onion and cook gently until softened. Stir in the garlic, curry powder and rice for a minute or so. Stir in the reserved eggplant. Pour in the stock, bring to a bubble, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to steam for five minutes before uncovering. To assemble, pile the eggplant shells with the pilaf. Stud with the reserved prawns. Sprinkle with garam masala and drizzle with oil. Return to the oven at 190°C for about 10 minutes, or until the prawns are just cooked and the filled eggplants heated through. Stir together the yoghurt ingredients and serve either spooned over the eggplants, or on the side. The yoghurt, creamy and soothing, is an essential part of the dish, so don’t be tempted to leave it out.
3. Poached Apricots with Pistachio Cream
Compiled by Neil Roake Styling Sven Alberding, Genneth Lyn, Luanne Toms Photographs Tony Christie, Warren Heath, Mark Williams. Nederburg Special Late Harvest 2009 – MBD 180g dried apricots (about 50) zest of 2 limes juice of 1 lime ¼ cup sugar 2t orange-flower water 2 cinnamon sticks 250ml crème fraîche 100g pistachios, crushed Serves 8–10 Soak the dried apricots in warm water overnight or for at least three hours. Put the lime zest, lime juice, sugar, orange-flower water and cinnamon sticks in a pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the drained apricots and simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove the apricots with a slotted spoon and drain. Simmer the syrup for a further five minutes over a high heat until it thickens. Cut the apricots in half, lengthways, and put one teaspoon of crème fraîche inside each one. Roll the apricots in the crushed pistachios.Serve drizzled with the syrup. Please note: The apricots puff up nicely after being soaked and take on the lovely flavour of the lime and orange-flower water.
4. Scallops with Ginger
Compiled by Neil Roake Decor styling Genneth Lyn Styling assistant Bielle Ross Food styling Claire Clark Photographs Tony Christie, Kristina Stojilkovic Photographer’s assistant Jacqui van Zyl Shot on location at Bean Bag Bohemia (031-309-6019), Digital Brothers Boekenhoutskloof Semillon 2006 – TG 24 scallops in the shell 24t soy sauce 4cm knob fresh ginger, peeled and julienned Serves 8 Place the scallops on a baking tray and dribble a teaspoon of soy sauce over each one. Grill for three minutes. Rearrange the scallops to ensure that they are all being evenly grilled. Return to the grill for another two minutes. Serve topped with three or four pieces of ginger.
5. Raspberry Shortcake Bars
Food concept, styling and recipes Raphaella Frame Decor styling Genneth Lyn Photographs Russell Smith, Graeme Borchers Location The Cellars-Hohenort 500ml plain flour 4T caster sugar 3T cornflour 250g butter pinch of salt 1/2t vanilla extract 100g raspberries Makes 24 bars Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly grease a 25x20cm baking tin. Place all the ingredients, except the raspberries, in a food processor and blend until the mixture forms a soft ball. Press the dough evenly into the baking tray and prick with a fork. Make indentations in the dough using the handle of a wooden spoon, and gently press raspberries into each groove. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the shortbread begins to brown. Remove from the oven. Using a sharp knife, slice the shortbread into bars while still hot. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then place each bar on a wire cooling rack. These recipes are from the February 2011 House and Leisure Food issue.