SA’s top chefs inspire with Stone Fruit for the festive cheer
With New Year’s Day Lunch looming and if you’re stuck for some new ideas, why not incorporate some locally grown stone fruit into your holiday eating plans as created by celebrity chefs. Here is a fabulously divine, yet easy, three course menu and recipes from three of South Africa’s top chefs: Jenny Morris, Justin Bonello and Reuben Riffel.
A light and airy seafood starter, a crispy and delectable pork dish as a main and a peachy sweet treat to round it off perfectly.
This menu would be suitable for lunch or dinner and is bound to impress and delight your loved ones.
Jenny Morris’ Prawn and Nectarine filled Vietnamese Spring Rolls
8 dried rice paper rounds
2 firm ripe nectarines diced
1tsp lime zest
3 tsp chopped mint
1tbls chopped fresh coriander
5 chopped basil leaves
1 chilli finely chopped
1 whole spring onion with tops chopped
1/2 English cucumber deseeded and cut into thin
Finely Shredded red cabbage
16 steamed tiger prawns halved lengthways
1 tsp grated ginger
1 clove garlic finely chopped
½ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup boiling water
½ cup castor sugar
1 Tbs fish sauce
2 small chillies, chopped
1 Tbs chopped fresh coriander
1 tsp sesame oil
1Tbs finely diced fresh cucumber
Mix together the nectarines, lime zest, mint, coriander, basil, chilli and spring onion.
To make the spring rolls, place one rice paper at a time in a bowl of warm water to soften it slightly.
Remove to a flat surface and place a little of the nectarine mixture onto the centre of the rice paper,
top with a little shredded lettuce, then red cabbage and lay two prawn halves onto that.
Now fold in the sides of the rice paper and gently roll up nice and tight. Do the same with the
remaining rounds of rice paper. Pack onto tray with enough space between them so they don’t stick
together, and cover with a damp clean cloth. When you are ready to serve, slice the rolls in half
diagonally, place on a plate and serve with dipping sauce.
Make the dipping sauce first. Place the ginger, garlic, vinegar and water in a saucepan over
medium heat and add the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Bring to the boil and let it bubble away for a few
minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the fish sauce and chillies. Stir in the chopped coriander,
sesame oil and diced cucumber too, when cool and set aside.
I sometimes make these with shredded duck breast, rare thinly sliced beef fillet, shredded
chicken breasts, or even leave out the meat and go vegetarian. If you can lay your hands on some
Vietnamese mint please add a leaf to your roll.
Tip: You can make these up to 2 hours ahead just cover them with a clean damp cloth to prevent them from drying out!
© Jenny Morris 2015 All rights reserved
Justin Bonello’s Pork Belly & Plums
For the Belly
1.5 kg Free‐Range Pork Belly, skin scored
A decent glug of Olive Oil
A large pinch of Maldon Salt
Cracked Black Pepper to taste
For the Marinade
Big chunk of Ginger, grated
5 Garlic Cloves, crushed and chopped
5 tablespoons of Soya Sauce
3 tablespoons of Dry Sherry
2 tablespoons of Rice Wine Vinegar
Big squeeze of Honey
Juice of half an Orange
Start by mixing all the marinade ingredients
together, cover the belly liberally and marinate in
the fridge overnight, turning it a couple of times before you go to bed.
The next day, take the belly out of the fridge, allow to return to room temperature and preheat
your oven to 220°C. Next it’s time to get the belly into the oven. Shake the excess marinade off the belly, dry the skin side with paper towel and rub the top and underside
with olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat a large roasting pan in the oven and once hot, place the
pork skin side down and roast for about 15 minutes until the fat has caramelised (but be
careful not to burn it!) Next, flip the belly around, reduce the oven heat to 160°C. Sprinkle the top of
the belly with extra salt and slowly roast until you have beautiful crispy crackling.
For the Plum Sauce
Decent glug of Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed and chopped
1 Red Chilli, seeded and finely chopped
a big chunk of ginger, finely chopped
a pinch of Ground Coriander
1 Star Anise
100g Caster Sugar
2 handfuls of ripe Plums, quartered and pitted
Big splash of Soya Sauce
2 teaspoons of Fish Sauce
Small handul of coriander finely chopped
Check that the belly is crisping up in the oven, then about 20 minutes before you think it’s going
to be ready, start making the plum sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a high heat, then add
the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger, ground coriander and star anise. Once everything is sizzling away,
add the sugar and stir until the onions have caramelised. Next, add the plum quarters, reduce
the heat and simmer until the plums are soft –about 15 minutes. Take the onions and plum
mixture off the heat then add the soya sauce, fish sauce and chopped coriander. Pour into bowl and
allow to cool.
Serve the pork belly drizzled with the sauce and scattered with fresh coriander.
Reuben Riffel’s Peachy Pancakes with Ice Cream and Salted Caramel Sauce
4 South African peaches or nectarines, pitted and sliced
30g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
2 medium eggs
1tbsp vegetable oil
Salted caramel sauce:
80g light or dark muscovado sugar
80g golden syrup
Generous pinch sea salt flakes
Vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Put the sliced South African peaches or nectarines into a saucepan with the sugar, vanilla extract and 150ml water. Heat and simmer gently for 5‐6 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs and milk and beat with a wire whisk to make a smooth batter.
- Heat a small pancake pan or heavy‐based frying pan and add a few drops of oil. Pour in a thin stream of batter, tilting the pan so that it flows evenly across the surface. Cook over a medium heat until set, then flip over to cook the other side. Cook 8 small pancakes altogether, adding a few drops of vegetable oil each time. Keep them in a warm place as you cook them.
- To make the salted caramel sauce, put the butter, muscovado sugar and syrup into a saucepan and heat gently until melted, then simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the sea salt. Taste and check, adding a little more salt if needed. Serve the pancakes, topped with the peaches, scoops of ice cream and the salted caramel sauce.
For more amazing recipes made with our gorgeous stone fruits you can visit the Beautiful County, Beautiful Fruit website and be inspired.
Be sure to head over to our South African Stone Fruit Facebook page too.