Last stretch of my detox programme, 2 days left, super stoked. But I’m still glad I’ve gone through this experience. I hope you also get motivated to detox. Detoxing is not necessarily limited to alcohol, people detox from different things. Detoxifying is abstaining from something you do regularly with hopes of recharging your batteries. It’s obviously abstaining from something that’s not necessarily best for you, or which is viewed by you or others as possibly toxic. I do feel detoxified even though it’s only been 2 weeks. It hasn’t been the smoothest of journeys by any means! Drinking alcohol has always formed a very big part of social interactions and there’s only so much juice or cool drinks you can consume without running to the bathroom every seconds.
Anyway moving on to dinner. Tonight is inspired by the beautiful game, football! We, Africans, love our football. It even goes as far as football being recognized as the only formal sport in a lot of African countries. I actually, throughout my school years and university, played a lot of football as well, and believe it or not, I was pretty good at it. I played as a striker/ mid-fielder, and represented my university on many occasions.
Come to think of it now, why were there only few African players in our team? We had a lot of Americans and Europeans but a limited number of Africans. And of the Africans, only a few of us were from South Africa. I wonder if this has something to do with the proportion of South African, even African students enrolled at the University because it surely can’t be from the lack of love for the sport.
This month the biggest football showcase in Africa is on, the African Cup of Nations! And South Africa qualified, yay:) ! But we’re up against very tough teams in our group; Algeria the competition favourites, Ghana who went very far in the previous World Cup and has won a few Cup of nations; and Senegal who are also steep competition. They are calling this ‘the group of death’.
Tonight Bafana Bafana ( South African men’s football team) is playing against Senegal, and after a disappointing start 3 days ago against Algeria, we need maximum points tonight. But I guess we’ll have to wait, pray and see.
Enough ramblings, I need to crack on with dinner before the game starts. When I think of a football match, I think friends, big screens, pub, beer and steak, egg and chips! And that’s exactly what I’m making tonight. But with a bit of my personal touch, of course.
The menu: Rib-eye steak dry rubbed with Spanish spices and grilled to succulent medium rare, potato and beetroot chips served with a choice of fried or poached egg and pepper sauce or Hollandaise. I think you can gather that my husband will be having the fried egg, sunny-side up with the whole peppercorn sauce and I’ll be indulging on the poached egg with Hollandaise, sophisticated palate:) .
What do you need? Serves 3
- Rib eye steaks- 500g
3 big potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 beetroot, peeled
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup of white wine
-20g of margarine instead of butter
- half an onion
spices- whole peppercorns, Spanish spices, chili flakes, ground pepper
100ml of cream
50 ml of milk
What to do?
Start with the potatoes. Peel and slice them into chips. Wash and dry them, then place in a greased and covered with baking paper oven tray. Season them generously with salt & pepper, drizzle 2 tbs of olive oil and place in the oven at 230 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes. I like my chips a bit soft, that’s why the olive oil drizzle. If you like yours crispy then don’t add any oil.
- Peel the beetroot and slice into chips as well, and add onto the oven tray with the potatoes with 10 minutes to go.
- Then the sauces:
Whole black peppercorns sauce: In a small pot at high heat, dry roast 2 tbs of whole peppercorns for 3 minutes. Then add cream and lower the heat for it to simmer for 10 minutes, when it has reduced to half, add milk and let it continue. After this time, season with salt and lightly blitz the sauce in a food processor( breaking some of the whole peppercorn but leaving some whole). This helps more of that pepper flavour come through in the sauce. But if you prefer a less potent pepper flavour, than skip this step.
The Hollandaise sauce:
- Start by melting butter in a bowl over boiling water. When melted remove the foam on top and leave to rest.
In a small pot, add in 1/2 cup of white wine, 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 tbs of whole black peppercorns, 1 tsp of chili flakes and half of a roughly chopped onion. Let this cook and reduce to half. Then off the stove, strain the liquid and save it for later.
Then separate 3 eggs, we only need yolks. Whisk your eggs until they’re are thick and ribbon like consistency. Then put over the boiling water on the stove for 30 seconds- off the heat and whisk for 60 seconds- then back again over the boiling water for 30 seconds – off and whisk for 60 seconds and on again for 30 seconds- off again, whisking. This you do 3 times. If at any point the eggs scramble, you have to start again with new eggs from scratch. The point is to get the egg cooked while maintaining the creamy sauce consistency.
Off the stove. Whisk into the eggs, the now slightly cooled melted margarine and watch the sauce thicken a bit more, then whisk in the cooled vinegar/ wine liquid slowly until the consistency you want your Hollandaise in. For a runny Hollandaise whisk in all of it but for thick or slightly thick use less and you have to eyeball this as you whisk.
Hollandaise sauce: done. I’ve made this sauce before but slightly different, you can also check out a prior post: https://mypreciouskitchen.com/2014/10/07/samp-and-beans-with-baked-fresh-tuna/
Now its time to cook the steaks, with the chips about to finish cooking in the oven. You can either use a grill if you have or a pan. The grill gives the steak those beautiful marks we love to see. But taste shouIdn’t really be affected much by the choice of apparatus.
In a hot grill brushed with olive oil, place the steak. Grilling it 3 minutes each side. I’m making it 3 minutes as I’m going for medium rare and my steaks are a bit thick as well. For thinner steak cuts, use less time. When the steak is perfectly brown with those marks, take off the grill and wrap them in foil to rest. You don’t want your meat to bleed as it’ll dry out. Our steaks were cooked to just under medium rare, as while resting the cooking still continues inside the steak.
While the steak is resting, do the last components of your dish: the eggs. The fried egg on the frying side of my grill as mine has this function, but otherwise you can again use a pan. The desired product is a soft sunny side up fried egg. Use a dough cutting ring for that perfectly round shape, seasoning the top side of your egg as you crack it into the ring. Cover the top of the ring, with a small plate so the egg can cook through without burning the bottom while the top is not cooked. This should take 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Now take the potato and beetroot chips out of the oven onto kitchen towel for any excess olive oil to drain.
Meanwhile, in a pot on low heat( 5 on normal electric stoves), pour in boiling water to cover half the pot, then add 2 tbs of vinegar, 1 tsp of salt. And crack in your egg, please be gentle here. You want the egg to be as intact as possible. Let this cook for 4 minutes for a slightly runny poached egg. Then remove egg, gently, and let the excess water drain out on a plate. The vinegar helps the egg stay compact. Not a perfectly poached egg but I’m working on my craft.
And we’re are done, and the game is about to start. Perfect timing.
Now plate your food, remember to make it pretty and sit in front of the TV and watch South Africa kick ass. Until they didn’t of course but a draw is still better than a loss. Now they have to win against Ghana while Algeria must lose again Senegal, then we can move forward to the next level in the competition. Holding thumbs!