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eG Foodblog: gsquared


gsquared
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There seems to be somewhat of a yearning for fresh basil about. I found a packet in the fridge - sells for around 50c US in the local supermarket.

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Started the duck breasts this morning:

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Shopping went well, except for the mussels. I had to settle for frozen.

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I have decided to cook the mussels in slightly diluted fish stock to compensate for the decrease in flavour due to them being frozen. Bought some liquid fish stock which I have used before and is pretty good.

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I found some ripe black figs at the greengrocer

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Something will have to be done with them - perhaps for dinner tonight.

On the with planned prep for today.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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I just cannot resist those figs. I think I will serve them with the duck rilette in stead of the pear & onion relish and creamed corn.

The mangoes I got turned out to be rather watery, so for the last course I will substitute strawberries.

Prep for the day is done - I am especially happy with the tapenade

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and the strawberry ice

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Dinner tonight will be ostrich fillet with hasselback spuds, spinach balls and a green pepper sauce.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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But we need recipes, ideally in the recipe section, especially for the delicious looking ice. Is it really that colour? How are you going to serve it? Tuile? Biscuits? Balsamic splash?

It is almost too simple for a recipe -

1. Hull and whizz in a blender.

2. Run through a juice extractor to get rid of the pips.

3. Consult McG's table for sweet fruit ice and add sugar as required.

4. Put in ice cream machine and freeze.

It always comes out pinker than expected, due, I think, to the amount of air retained in the mixture and to the extent of whitish parts of those berries that are not completely ripe.

I will serve it on a pool of whipped creme fraiche with a few twists of black pepper. On the creme fraiche, not the ice. I know that that leaves me without a texture contrast, but the ice is so intensely luscious and sensual that a textural element would be like a nipple ring on a perfectly formed breast.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Hasselbacks are in the oven - I like to pre-bake them at around 200C and then, around 15 minutes before serving, crisp them up in the convection oven at a high heat. Used the skewer trick to prevent cutting the slices through.

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The ostrich fillets look a bit woeful and hacked about, but will have to do. This stuff is getting more expensive by the day - I paid around US 7 per pound.

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I thought I had spinach in the fridge, but it has mysteriously gone walkabout. So, grilled asparagus will be substituted.

I will report back on dinner later.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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What does ostrich taste like? And please don't say chicken. :laugh:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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What does ostrich taste like? And please don't say chicken

Not even remotely like chicken. The meat is in texture far closer to a hoofed thing than a bird. It has a delicate, gamey taste. I generally deal with it in the same manner as I would beef fillet.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Is ostrich very easy to find there? ie, as common as beef or chicken in the US? It is still more of a specialty item here.

I am really enjoying your food blog with the wonderful pictures! You seem to be a fantastic chef!!!

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Btw: what breeds of dogs do you have? It's hard to

see in the picture.

Cross Maltese poodle and Peckinese.

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And no, I never cook for them, although they do pull a very good Biafran act during dinner and usually do get something from the table after we have eaten.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Is ostrich very easy to find there? ie, as common as beef or chicken in the US? It is still more of a specialty item here.

Not quite as common as beef, but I think it has now descended into the common pool of food and is not as much a speciality item any more.

You are kind. Thank you.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Dinner went well - the ostrich was plumply tender and juicy, the green peppercorn sauce worked well (got the splash of brandy just right this time!) and the spuds were satisfyingly golden and crisp. The asparagus was, well, asparagus.

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There is a clamour for dessert, with threats of marches and such, but I think coffee and maybe a wee dram will be it for the day.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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But we need recipes, ideally in the recipe section, especially for the delicious looking ice. Is it really that colour? How are you going to serve it? Tuile? Biscuits? Balsamic splash?

It is almost too simple for a recipe -

1. Hull and whizz in a blender.

2. Run through a juice extractor to get rid of the pips.

3. Consult McG's table for sweet fruit ice and add sugar as required.

4. Put in ice cream machine and freeze.

It always comes out pinker than expected, due, I think, to the amount of air retained in the mixture and to the extent of whitish parts of those berries that are not completely ripe.

I will serve it on a pool of whipped creme fraiche with a few twists of black pepper. On the creme fraiche, not the ice. I know that that leaves me without a texture contrast, but the ice is so intensely luscious and sensual that a textural element would be like a nipple ring on a perfectly formed breast.

:laugh: I love it!! I wonder if my boss would let me use that analogy for one of our group menus at work.

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WOW!

While I always try to plate nicely, my one main failing as a cook has always been my inability to use sauces well. You're stuff looks great.

I think my problem comes about because I tend to like everything separated -- I was a weird eater as a kid. To this day, I put a spoon under one edge of my breakfast plate so that the syrup from my french toast doesn't get on my sausage or eggs.

At the request of Mrs JPW, I'm trying to incorporate more and your pics have definately given me something to shoot for. Keep 'em coming!

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Ok, so I have a rubber arm. Capitulated on the dessert. A quick caramelized pineapple with cottage cheese into which lime zest was incorporated.

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Now someone else can go fetch the coffee and the dram (Lagavulin 16yrs)

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Mmm ... what a blog! G, I am salivating as I scroll through your wonderful pics. I am plate-challenged but am attempting to improve and you provide me with incentive! Ripe figs are incredibly rare in western Canada and I would so like to experiment with them. I hope one day to live in a warm country for an extended period of time so that I may cook with such *exotic* ingredients.

We have good friends that emigrated from South Africa. They, however, cook very simple, bland (bordering on boring) meals. At best, some old gourmet (from the fifties) and British-based staples. As they are not adventuresome in the least, cooking for them is a challenge. Oddly enough, the husband considers himself a <chef> with an extraordinary palate. I am pleased to see that my friends are not representative of all South Africans. Are many of your friends as gourmand as you? Do you find yourself hosting gatherings often? Do your family and friends realize how fortunate they are to experience your food? Do you dine alfresco often given your temperate weather?

Much thanks for this experience.

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Are many of your friends as gourmand as you? Do you find yourself hosting gatherings often?

I guess that we in South Africa are not much different from people anywhere else in the world. Some of us are fortunate enough to afford the pursuit of good food. Some are indifferent to it, and for those less fortunate food and eating is far more basic. Perhaps the essential function of food, that of nourishment, is more apparent when one lives in the third world.

Some of my friend share my passion for food, others do not. We welcome uninvited friends knocking at the door, although it sometimes calls for nimble thinking, food-wise.

Do you dine alfresco often given your temperate weather?

We have an indoor dining room, but make infrequent use of it, mostly in winter and then only in the evenings. For the rest, we always dine al fresco.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Gsquared, what splendid pictures. A visual feast almost equivalent to the culinary feasts you present. Recipes please, and keep the pictures coming. This blog will be a very hard act to follow (no, I'm not in the least interested :raz:). Thanks again.

THW

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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....sounds like you could have a lot of eGulleters jumping on planes!!

No problem, Jake! Now let me see - the outside guest room can sleep two, inside room another two......

Well, I'd better find a babysitter for our three dogs! :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Gorgeous dinner. I wish I could have tasted the ostrich. It looks and sounds delicious. I'm inspired to have more variety than just the usual beef/pork/chicken. Would you please elaborate on how you did your potatoes and peppercorn sauce? I'm sorry, I'm a slut for the details. This will indeed be a hard blog to follow! Glad I've done my turn already. :smile:

I hope you enjoy your lunch tomorrow. It sounds like you have the prep. well in hand. I'm especially interested to see what you do with the mussels. You seem like a very gracious host. I'm sure your guests will leave happy, or at the very least well fed!

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Would you please elaborate on how you did your potatoes and peppercorn sauce?

The spuds:

1. Peel, shape into an oblong and shave off a level base.

2. Run a skewer through just above the base.

3. Cut 1/4" slices down to the skewer.

4. Drizzle with melted salted butter.

5. Bake in a 180C oven until done through. They can be held at this point until 10 minutes before service.

6. Increase the oven temp to 230C, drizzle again with butter and bake until golden brown.

The only non-obvious thing here is that if you try to bake them the way you would normally do baked potatoes, the individual slices can get too dry, especially around the top where they fan out. Hence the lower temp to cook them and the higher temp to crisp up the outside.

The peppercorn sauce was a simple pan sauce. Deglazed the pan in which the ostrich was fried with cream, added the green peppercorns and reduced on a slow simmer for about 5 minutes. Increased the flame, added a splash of brandy and burnt off the alcohol. Adjusted the seasoning. Whisked in a good knob of butter.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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