Monday, December 19, 2011

The Leopard

One of the latest editions to the Parkhurst 4th Avenue strip, The Leopard, occupies a bright airy corner shop opposite other new-comer Vovo Telo. Miss-matched tables, chairs and lamp shades almost make it feel like you’re sitting in someone’s home kitchen.

After 5 years out of the restaurant scene, Andrea Burgener’s newest venture has people talking. The menu is delightfully non-obvious and the offerings change regularly, so return visits are inevitable. They cook with local ingredients, fee range chickens, grass fed beef and fish from the SASSI green list – all around good ingredients are the order of the day.

The dishes are average Joburg restaurant prices, but the fact that it’s still BYO alcohol really makes for an affordable boozy lunch! The service is friendly although a little slow – but this is the kind of place to kick back and relax for a couple of hours to soak up the Jozi summer and relaxed atmosphere.

Open for breakfast and lunch every day, but only open for dinner on Wednesday and Friday. NOTE They don’t take credit cards – but there is an ATM right next door.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Festive Summer Recipes

Long gone are the days of slaving over a hot oven to produce the quintessential Roast Turkey. South Africans are embracing the summer festive season in by making chilled light dishes that can easily be prepared in advance.

Here are 3 easy recipes for lazy days spent around the pool with family and loved ones.

Rooibos Punch
(Makes 4L)

1 L Rooibos Tea
1 L Ginger Ale
1 L Orange Juice
500 ml Soda Water
500 ml Lemon Vodka or Pimms or Cane
Mint for garnish.
Lemons for garnish.

How to make it
Prepare Rooibos Tea and allow to cool.
Combine all the ingredients in a large punch bowl.
Add crushed ice.
Garnish with Mint & Lemon slices.

Blue Cheese, Ricotta and Baby Marrow Terrine
Serves 6-8


Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2T Lemon juice
½t Salt
Black pepper
3T Extra virgin olive oil
3 – 6 Baby marrows (depending on their size)
200g Creamy blue cheese
250g Ricotta cheese

How to make it

Slice the baby marrows lengthwise as thinly as possible (a peeler works well for this). Lay flat in a tray.
Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, salt and good grinding of black pepper to create a marinade.
Pour over the sliced baby marrows and marinate for at least 1 hour, turning the slices occasionally so they all get a good dose of marinade.
Line a loaf tin with cling wrap, with a generous overhang. (It helps if you drizzle the plastic with a bit of olive oil for handling)
Line the cling wrap with marinated baby marrow strips, overlapping a bit and with an overhang to fold over.
Combine blue cheese and ricotta.
Spoon into baby marrow lined tin, fold over the baby marrows, then the cling wrap and press down firmly.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before unmoulding.

Serve with seeded bread or biscuits as part of lunch, or cheese course.

 Duck Liver Terrine
 Serves 6-8


 500g Duck Livers, cleaned and trimmed
 500g Pork Belly, chopped or minced
 250g Chicken Mince
 25g Bread Crumbs
 125ml Chicken Stock
 250g Streaky Bacon
 2T Fresh Thyme
 1T Fresh Oregano
 1T Dried Coriander
 1t Dried Nutmeg
 80ml Brandy
 2T Butter
 1 Small Sweet Onion, finely chopped
 2T Garlic, crushed
 2T Olive Oil
 4 – 6 Bay Leaves
 2 tsp each Coarse Salt & Cracked Black Pepper

 How to make it

 Heat a heavy based pan and melt 1 Tbls Butter until it starts to bubble. Add Duck 
 livers and fry on each side for no more than a minute, until just browned. Remove from 
 pan and chop into chunky pieces.
 In the same pan melt another Tbls Butter and add ¾ of the onion, fry on a low heat 
 for about 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbls Garlic and fry for another minute. Set aside.
 Pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
 Place the bay leaves at the bottom of an oiled terrine tin, layer bacon diagonally 
 across to form the outside of the terrine.
 Mix all the remaining ingredients (including the cooked duck livers and onion) well.
 Press the mixture firmly into the terrine mold. Once all the mix has been used, cover 
 with a lid (or foil) and bake for about 80 minutes – until firm to the touch and slightly 
 Place weights on top of the terrine to compress the ingredients slightly.
 Refrigerate and serve chilled with spiced cherries.

*The terrine recipes are from a book on Terrines by Fiona Smith, the punch is our own.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Growing our own Oyster Mushrooms

The fiancé recently turned 30 and was given a ‘Grow your own Oyster Mushrooms’ kit by our good friends Elke and Erol. I’ve always had a slight obsession with mushrooms, so I was thrilled when he unwrapped this particular gift.

The mushroom spawn comes neatly packaged in a box with clear instructions – open, cover, water and wait. After about two weeks the plastic covering the window over the front of the box started bulging and we knew the mushies were soon to appear – and they literally ‘popped up like mushrooms’ overnight! Within a couple of days we had a flourishing ‘branch’ of beautiful Oyster Mushrooms.

Wiets neatly cut them off their roots and simply fried them up in butter and garlic – delish! There really is something rewarding about growing and cooking something yourself, especially if it tastes that good J

For more info on the Mushroom Growing Kits visit; PS. This makes a great gift for anyone that likes to cook.

Our oyster Mushroom harvest

The neat box the kit is packaged in