Braai’ed Pork fillet with apple/basil sauce with pesto vermicelli

I really was not impressed by Eskom’s ‘tendencies’ last night. Power outage in the middle of dinner time, with no warning whatsoever! And for the whole of 3 hrs. How are we meant to prepare dinner, prepare for the next day in the dark with no power? Anyway, mourning wasn’t going to help prepare dinner, we had to come up with plan B. Or rather plan C as we had run out of coal, and the only option without electricity is braa’ing( barbecuing) or cooking on the braai. And my husband wasn’t impressed with my plan B: going to the bush and picking up some wood, granted it was getting dark.

So plan C, driving around with hopes of finding an open restaurant to have dinner at. There isn’t a whole lot of them in the first place. But this mission was unsuccessful as well, the whole town was completely dark. Well, with the exception of the navy base. So we had to put plan D in motion: continue driving but now looking for any open place; shop, convenience store; any place that might have coal. Obviously it’s getting late now and I’m secretly saying, ‘if we had just gone to the bush and looked for wood, we’d be home braai’ng by now’. imageSo dinner tonight: braai’ed spicy pork fillet with apple and basil sauce, turnips and cheese purée served with parsley pesto dressed vermicelli noodles, pickled red onions and watercress. I’m hoping by the time the pork finishes cooking on the braai, the electricity will be back and I can finish the rest of my dinner on the stove. What do you need?

  • Pork fillet

  • apple juice

  • vermicelli noodles

  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced

  • cheddar cheese

  • picked red onions

  • made a week ago.

  • watercress

  • parsley pesto- already made a couple of weeks ago.

  • Spices- sweet basil, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper

What to do?

I’m dry rubbing the pork fillet with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. And place on the fire, not over a direct flame, and cover. We are aiming for a medium prepared pork fillet. You cannot serve pork medium rare, too many bacteria still alive! Cook for 5 minutes, each side. Then off the braai and wrap in foil to rest.image imageimageFortunately for me, the power comes back as I take the pork off the braai. Now I have to make up for the time lost. Peel the turnip and dice into small pieces. Throw into a small pot with water and salt, to cook. When soft, drain the water. Put the pot back on to the stove, add the turnips back with 15g of cheddar cheese, 2 ml of cream and 25 ml of milk. Let the cheese melt into the mixture, season with pepper( don’t add salt as cheddar is salty already) and blitz into a purée. If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk. Then set aside.

image imageimage image

Start with the apple/ basil sauce. In a pan, add 50 ml of apple juice, 25 ml of white wine, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3 bay leaves, 4 curry leaves and 1 tsp of dried sweet basil. Let this cook and reduce to half. Then season with salt and thicken with 1/2 tsp of corn flour. Set aside.

imageThe vermicelli: in a pot, add 60g of vermicelli, water and a pinch of salt. Cooking should take 2 minutes. When done, drain the excess water and mix well with the already prepared pesto( made from parsley, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, olive oil then blitzed) imageimage

The onions have been pickling for the last week. Rings of red onions drenched in the mixture of: 50 ml red wine vinegar, 1 tbs of brown sugar, pickling spices( cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds). You can keep this in the fridge for up to a month. Dinner is finally done, challenges and all. Dish up, pouring the sauce on top of the pork, place great care into plating. And Bon Appetit!

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Author: preciousgarnett

I'm a multi-faceted young woman. I'm a proud mom to a now 5 year old 😜. I'm a daughter, I'm a sister and a friend to a few people. I'm a medical doctor by profession, passionate about infectious disease, primary health care and public health. I live food, from thinking about it, cooking it to eating it. Health and Nutrition fanatic. I live by a few chants...: 1. Before I do anything whether related to food or not, I ask myself ' Is it worth the calories?' Whether literally or figuratively( i.e. Is the decision worth the stress, effort, investment) 2. What you put in must come out! If you don't let it out, it settles on your tummy and hips. 3. 'Everything happens for a reason'. I try reflect on situations I find myself in, whether by choice or not. And look for Lessons I'm meant to learn from them, in order to grow.

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