Early in the month of October I attended hosted by Two Oceans Wines and WWF SASSI (Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) hosted a Cooking and Caring event. Writers, food, beverage and lifestyle bloggers attended the event.
For the benefit of those that do not know, WWF SASSI is an initiative to inform and educate people about the conservation of seafood species and their marine environment. It informs fishers, restaurants and consumers on the type of fishes sustainable to the environment. This informative event made me realise the importance of knowing the marine product you eat, because you might be eating the last product that the environment sustains. To make things easy for the consumer, Two Oceans Wines and SASSI have printed out wallet-sized information cards available at restaurants and retail stores. The booklet will help you identify the sustainable seafood species and the ones you should avoid buying or consuming. For more detailed information please check out the WWF SASSI website. Remember, knowledge is power!
The bloggers and writers were grouped into five teams for a cookoff challenge and each team was assigned a wine. We were presented with the following Two Oceans Wines: a Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Grigio, a Pinot Noir, a Shiraz Rosé and a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot. Our task was to prepare a fish dish and pair it with the assigned wine.
In my group we were four, myself, Justin Corrans (Two Oceans Wine Maker), Eamon Mcloughlin of Spill and Janine Basson (WWF Seafood Consumer Outreach Manager). We had to prepare a SASSI green fish dish and pair it with Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc. We decided on an Asian inspired dish and named it the “Exotic Asian Persuasion”.
Other teams prepared the following dishes:
The judges were impressed by the Wonton Seduction Dish and it won the challenge, you can get the recipe from Nina Timm’s blog. While we were busy cooking a video was filmed and pictures were taken. Check the YouTube link for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCeTehjWBwk
Exotic Asian Persuasion, paired with Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc
Serves: 1 to 2
half an onion, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2 courgettes cut into julienne strips
half a cup of mange touts
half a cup of broccoli
sjimeji or other exotic mushrooms
8 baby tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
thumb-sized portion of ginger
400 g fresh filleted dorado
salt and pepper to taste
banana leaf (optional)
fresh coriander and pine nuts for garnish
Now it’s time for a………Giveaway!
I’m giving away two bottles of Two Oceans Wine together with a thermo bag. Enter the give away by just answering the simple question: What is the name of the wine paired with the Exotic Asian Persuasion Dish?
This give away is only open to South African residents. Closing date is Monday 31th October 2011.
Who says pasta is only for Italians and fish is for Capetonians?
I recently visited my family in the Eastern Cape early this month. When I’m at home I am the designated cook as you can imagine. As the cook I went through the cupboards to see whats there and whats not. Ok first let me let you in on a little secret ….actually it’s not a secret I’ve mentioned it before…..my mom buys everything in bulk you’d swear she owns a spaza shop. Big bags of rice, flour, washing powder etc. In the cupboards, amongst other bulk materials I found say about 6 to 8 cans of pilchards in tomato sauce….I think my mom just loves them but she’s not aware of that. Perhaps living away from the sea and not getting fresh fish makes the canned version a viable alternative. As someone coming from Cape Town I was asked why I never bring fresh fish. Picture this, travelling almost a thousand kilometres with fresh fish. Apparently, my late uncle once took a 15 kilo fish to homelands travelling by train. So now I’m expected to follow that example. Eish! The things we do for family…….
I prepared a pasta and pilchard dish…
I have such fond memories of pasta. My first memory of pasta…..I remember my mom used to buy canned spaghetti and meatballs in tomato sauce. The spaghetti in those cans was loooong….my sisters and I used to enjoy sucking it then end up with tomato sauce all over our faces. We loved it!
So I’m dedicating this post to my family for their love of canned pilchards….
Simple Pasta & Pilchard Recipe
2 cups puccini pasta, cooked according to directions in the pack
1 can pilchards in tomato sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 green chillies, chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2-3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
Pinch of salt, to taste
Pinch of sugar, to taste
Leave out the chillies if you have a low tolerance for spicy food.
Lets take a look at one of Mzansi families and see how they spending Easter and the foods are they preparing. We recently had the pleasure of visiting the Olivier family at Stellenbosh and they showed us how they prepare their favourite Easter dishes and shared their stories behind the dishes……
A colleague and trusted friend and I were on a business trip around Easter time last year. Prior to that trip she had never been away from home for a long period i.e. a week, now the whole family was missing her keeping in contact through phone calls and text messages. One of the messages she received was that with a picture of her father carrying a six kilo fish in the middle of the kitchen and text reading “Pa het gevang”. She was so touched she was almost in tears. I was also touched and thought that was the sweetest thing ever. She then told me her dad is a passionate and dedicated fisherman….he catches the fish then he would make pickled or braied fish. I just had to feature them on this post….. Mr Olivier, a school teacher, started fishing at the tender age of 10. His father used to take him and his four brothers fishing. At that time going fishing was not about catching the fish besides the fact they weren’t catching any. They enjoyed being there watching their father catching all the fish. He saw his dad as a hero and also aspired to be a seasoned fisherman like him when he grew up. Mr Olivier’s father passed away 18 years ago but his sons still continue with the legacy he left behind. They still go fishing together. For the Olivier brothers fishing is a fun and fulfilling way of spending time and bonding with family and friends. The Olivier’s spend their Easter holidays together as a family and during this time they feast and indulge. One of their favourite dishes they prepare is a pickled fish dish served with hot cross buns. Mr Olivier gladly showed us step by step how he prepares his pickled fish dish. Before we get to the recipe I would like to thank the Olivier family for welcoming us into their home, sharing part of their lives, recipes and their food with us. I hope their story inspires you! Have a Blessed Easter! Mr Olivier’s Pickled Fish Recipe Ingredients 1 kg fish of choice (snoek / yellow tail / firm fish (Stock fish))
Part A 1 packet (80g) spice mecca pickle fish spice pinch of salt 1 tbsp garlic paste 3 tbsp lemon juice ±½ cup extra virgin olive oil Method
3. Fry the fish in shallow oil, until cooked through and set aside Part B 1 Packet Spice Mecca Pickle fish spice 2 cups (500ml) vinegar 1 cup (250ml) water ¾ – 1 cup sugar Salt to taste 3 – 4 medium sliced onions rings Method
4. Marinate for at least 4 – 6 hours before serving with fresh crusty bread or garlic rolls. Optional For a thicker sauce: Make a paste with 2 tbsp cornflour in ¼ cup water. Stir this into the sauce after adding the onions rings.