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Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller consists of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with herbs such as parsley, a rich butter sauce and bread crumbs.  It is then baked in the oven.  Oysters Rockefeller was created at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s. Antoine’s was founded in 1840 by Antoine Alciatore, who moved to New Orleans after two frustrating years in New York trying to open a restaurant of his own. The dish was created in 1899 by Jules Alciatore, son of the restaurant’s founder.  The dish was named oysters Rockefeller after John D. Rockefeller, the richest American at the time, for the intense richness of the sauce. Though the original recipe is a secret, the sauce is known to be a purée of a number of green vegetables.

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Pasta With Creamy Smoked Salmon Vodka Sauce & Caviar

A very quick to prepare but luxurious dish with several serving options.  See my post From Russia With Love … for more info on caviar.

Pasta
2 liters water
15 ml oil
2,5 ml salt
375 g pasta (3/4 of a 500 g pack of any favourite pasta)

Sauce
30 g butter
125 ml finely chopped onion or white parts of spring onion
2,5 ml chopped or crushed garlic (optional)
50 ml vodka (or a little more if preferred)
500 ml cream (reserve 50 ml to mix with egg yolks)
±125 g thinly sliced smoked salmon cut into thin strips
2,5 ml salt
good grinding black pepper
3 egg yolks

Garnish
15 ml capers, rinsed and/or
15 ml dill finely snipped, diagonally and/or
± 50 ml caviar

  1. Bring the water and salt to the boil and add the pasta. Boil 8 – 10 minutes or until just cooked and drain.
  2. Place the butter and chopped onion or white parts of spring onion in a saucepan en sauté 3 minutes or until golden.
  3. Add the garlic if used and stir through the onion.
  4. Add the vodka and cook about 1 minute or until evaporated.
  5. Reserve 50 ml of the cream to mix with the egg yolks and add the remaining cream to the saucepan.
  6. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring often slightly reduced.
  7. Stir in the smoked salmon, salt, pepper and drained pasta and stir into the cream sauce.
  8. Mix the egg yolks with the reserved cream, stir into the hot sauce and cook about 1 minute, stirring gently until heated through.
  9. Adjust seasoning and turn into a heated serving dish.
  10. Scatter with snipped capers, snipped dill or caviar if used and serve immediately.

4 to 6 servings.

Variations

  • Replace the salmon with thinly sliced best quality smoked ham or trout.
  • Add 125 – 250 ml frozen peas to the sauce
  • Add 15 – 30 ml capers, drained, rinsed and chopped to the sauce (omit for garnish)

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

Pasta With Creamy Smoked Salmon Vodka Sauce
Pasta With Creamy Smoked Salmon Vodka Sauce

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Avocado Ritz

Avocado ritz is delicious and an easy starter to make since avocados are plentiful throughout the summer.  Although it is not the most economical starter with the price of avo’s being what it is, it is a South African favourite. The seafood salad can also be spooned onto a bed of lettuce.

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Home-made Sushi

A basic version of the ever popular Japanese delight. For best results, sushi should be assembled shortly before serving. Refrigerate after making and use within a few hours if raw fish is used or a day if cooked crab sticks or smoked salmon or trout was used.  For those who do not enjoy Nori (seaweed paper), turn the ingredients into a delicious Sushi Salad.

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Sole Meuniere

Sole meunière is a classic French dish consisting of sole, usually filleted, that is dredged in milk and flour, fried in butter and served with the resulting brown butter sauce and lemon. Sole has a light but moist texture when cooked and has a mild flavour. The French word “meunière” means “miller’s wife” and refers to the way the fish is dredged in flour before cooking, i.e. in the manner of a miller’s wife.

This was Julia Child’s first lunch when she arrived in France, and it changed her world.  As she recounted in her memoir My Life in France, it was “perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley… I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth… The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter… It was a morsel of perfection… It was the most exciting meal of my life.”   The meal proved to be life-changing, sparking her culinary curiosity and a desire to learn French cooking. Read my post American Food Icon: Julie Child for more info on Julia Child.

± 400 g skinless sole fillets
125 ml milk
80 ml cake flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
15 ml olive oil
15 g butter
15 ml parsley, finely chopped

Lemon Butter Sauce
50 g butter
15 ml lemon juice

Garnish
lemon wedges

  1. Rinse the fish fillets and pat dry.
  2. Put the milk into a shallow dish about the same size as a fish fillet.
  3. Put the flour in another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the butter.
  5. Dip a fish fillet into the milk, then into the flour, turning to coat well, the shake off the excess.
  6. Put the coated fillets into the pan in a single layer.
  7. Fry the fish gently for 3 to 4 minutes until lightly browned, turning once.
  8. Transfer the fish to a warmed serving platter.
  9. Wipe the frying pan clean with absorbent kitchen towel and return the pan to the heat.
  10. Add the butter and stir until the butter is melted. Add the lemon juice, remove the pan from the heat, and pour the lemon butter sauce over the hot fish fillets.
  11. Sprinkle with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.

Serves 2.

sole-meuniere

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Classic Caesar Salad

Since its creation in the 1920’s by restauranteur Caesar Cardini in Mexico, this special salad with its distinct flavour and texture has become world renowned.  Be sure to check out my recipe for Eggless Caesar Dressing and a few uses for it other than Caesar Salad!

Croutons
50 ml olive oil
4 slices white bread, crusts removed and cubed
garlic and herb seasoning

Caesar Dressing
30 ml lemon juice
5 ml crushed garlic
1 large egg yolk
5 ml anchovy paste
15 prepared smooth or granular mustard
5 ml Worcestershire sauce
2.5 ml salt
2.5 ml freshly ground black pepper
10 ml vinegar
100 ml olive oil

Salad
1 large head of lettuce, e.g. cos romaine or a mixed variety
125 ml Parmesan cheese, finely grated

  1. To make the croutons, toss together the oil, cubed bread and garlic and herb seasoning and spread it out in a single layer on a baking tray lined with a Wizbake baking sheet.
  2. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for about 5 to 8 minutes or until golden and crisp.  Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
  3. Place all the ingredients for the dressing except the vinegar and oil in the salad bowl for serving and mash well with the back of a spoon to form a smooth paste.
  4. Add the vinegar and oil and blend well.
  5. Tear the lettuce into small pieces, remove any hard ribs and add to the salad bowl.
  6. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve – not longer than 30 minutes.
  7. Toss the salad and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and croutons just before serving.

6 to 8 servings.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster from the Art of Cooking recipe book p. 463.

ClassicCaesar salad-p463

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Veal With Tuna Sauce (Vitello Tonnato)

Vitello tonnato is a Piedmontese dish of cold, sliced veal covered with a creamy, mayonnaise-like sauce that has been flavored with tuna. It is served chilled or at room temperature as the main course of an Italian meal or as antipasto.  This dish has unlikely ingredients, but the end result is quite delicious!  Be sure to read the post The Veal Deal for more info and recipes on veal.

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Cajun-style Blackened Fish

Invented by the Cajun cooks of the Southern regions of America, fish prepared in this manner is low in kilojoules while it has a tempting dark crust and a tremendous flavour derived from the masterful combination of peppers, spices and herbs. The spice mix may be mixed in large quantities and used for fish, chicken other meat or vegetables such as potatoes or mixed grilled vegetables.

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Paella

Paella takes its name from the typical wide, shallow saucepan used for this ever-popular Spanish rice dish with magnificent contrasting flavours, colours and textures. To simplify and save time, cook the ingredients simultaneously in two smaller saucepans and the large shallow paella-style pan.  Read more about National Spanish Paella Day here.

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Best Ever Batter-fried Fish

This popular British dish is loved all over the world, but to get restaurant quality results at home is not easy.   See the Tips below to help you make the perfect batter-fried fish.

Be sure to try the recipes for Prawn Tempura (Batter-fried Prawns) and Batter-fried Calamari Rings for different types of batter.

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