It is official. My husband and I, have been together for a total of 1400 days. I know it seems like a lot but it doesn’t feel like it. Excuse the cliche but it really feel like I’ve known him my whole life. How can we know for sure how many days we’ve been together? You may ask. Answer: simple. My husband works with numbers everyday and specifically works with spreadsheets, so he has on the right hand corner of his spreadsheets the number of days we’ve been together. He’s had this since we met, and he calls it his ‘Precious’ days. Sweet man I have, I know :).
To celebrate tonight, I have prepared a 3 course candle light dinner for 2 at home! Hopefully our son does not gate crash.
I’m starting with 2 starters: Salmon vs Ostrich. I love salmon, he likes red meat and today everybody wins 🙂
– Beetroot carpaccio with salmon trout ceviche and a strawberry champagne sauce- we are celebrating after all.
What do we need?
– salmon ribbons. – an orange. – a lemon
– baby beetroot. – cucumber
– strawberries. – sparkling wine
– cranberry juice, 50 ml stock, paprika, salt & pepper
What to do?
– Start with the sauce: into a pan, add olive oil and strawberries, when they start to burn add stock, 1/2 tsp of paprika, 1/4 cup of sparkling wine. Let it reduce to about half, then season and add another 25 ml of the wine, then take off stove. I don’t want to cook this wine out this time as I want that refreshing taste of the sparkling wine. Sieve before serving.
– The salmon ceviche: Ceviche is a South American style of cooking the protein in citrus liquid. For salmon, this should take about 5 min. Squeeze a whole lemon and orange onto a dish, add salt and pepper, then the raw salmon. Submerging completely in the citrus liquid. At 5 min, remove from liquid onto a dry board/ plate.
– Beetroot: slice raw baby beetroot into thin discs, season lightly with salt and place on the plate.
– Serving: On to beetroot slices, pile diced salmon. You can use cucumber for taste and colour variety on your plate. Sprinkle the strawberry champagne sauce and salad leaves.
– Spicy ostrich carpaccio with watercress and cranberry sauce. This is for my husband, he’s not the biggest fan of fish and especially salmon. So a treat for him tonight. Hope he likes.
What do you need?
– Ostrich fillet. – paprika, mixed pepper, salt, 1 tbs rice wine vinegar.
– cranberry juice, cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, cayenne pepper, black pepper, chicken stock- 50ml
What to do?
– Marinade ostrich- with 1 tsp of paprika, mixed pepper, 1/2 tsp of salt then rice wine vinegar- for about 4 hrs. Then using a sharp carving knife, thinly slice the ostrich horizontally.
– Cranberry sauce: Onto a pot, add 1 cup cranberry juice, a cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt. Let it reduce to about half. Then add stock and season with pepper and salt, continue to reduce for 5 more min. Sieve before serving.
Serve with watercress and diced beetroot for some texture.
Mains tonight: It is Surf and Turf! 🙂 . Sweet and salty, spice crusted and grilled Kassler steak with pan- seared scallops on a bed of baby spinach and a marinade sauce. Yum!
What do you need? Serves 3
– 3 Kassler steaks. – Rice wine vinegar – spices- paprika, cinnamon, mixed pepper. Sugar
-Scallops. – baby spinach
What to do?
-Kassler steaks- Kassler is a cured in salt and smoked pork. So don’t add any extra salt. Onto a bowl add rice wine vinegar- 2 tbs, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tbs cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed pepper, 1 tbs of sugar. Combine and put in the kassler steaks and rub well. Leave for at least 3 hrs. Then remove from liquid and dry, sprinkle more paprika and pepper. Then grill until it has beautiful marks, then turn off grill but leaving the steaks in for 5 more min. This finishes the cooking. These are medium rare to medium.
– Sauce: take the liquid from the Kassler marinade and pour onto a pan, let it reduce and add stock and cream to tone down the vinegar and spice. Season to taste, sieve before serving. If vinegar still sharp, add cranberry juice to tone it down some more.
– Scallops- detach from shell, clean well and remove any sinew. Season with pepper and cayenne when clean. Pan- sear in a hot pan with olive oil until brown. Then remove from pan. This should take less than 2 min, unless you have the big fresh ones. In South Africa, we only get frozen scallops unfortunately.
– Baby spinach- lightly sauté in a pan with salt and pepper for 2 min, then remove from stove. The point, is to just bruise the spinach to release it’s favours.
Assemble and serve; Kassler on top of spinach and keep scallop shell for a pretty presentation.
Dessert: Lindt dark chocolate and coffee fondant. Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I suck at making desserts and especially the ones that involve making the pastry. My biggest problem is following instructions, never been a fan of following recipes, and desserts require you to do just that! So I hope this turns out well, I have the recipe ready 🙂
Recipe adapted from: http://www.picknpay.co.za/recipe-search-results/chocolate-fondant
– My twist was reducing the quantity of cocoa powder from 75 g to 40 g and increasing coffee from 2 tsp in 3 tsp of boiling water to 3 tsp in 4 tsp of water.
– Using Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate.
– Cake sprinkled with icing sugar before serving.
– Served with cream- 1/2 cup, whisked with 1 tbs if icing sugar and orange zest.
– garnish with a strawberry and mint.
And it turned out beautifully! The inside is so soft and goey. This is one of my few successful desserts ever! I’m very pleased 🙂
This definitely ended the night on a celebratory sweet note. It’s been a good evening and the food went down well. My dessert has left my husband speechless!