This is a week or so’s worth of my Christmas and New Year revelry ..
Monday 19th 8.30pm
Indescribably happy! Both boys and their beauties here! Can’t chat, blog or really talk much on account of the really silly grin that has divided my face into two parts! We are partying – laughing drinking – singing along to TrickyRicky playing oldies on his guitar – playing games and laughing …… and laughing! We are spending our day swimming, remembering, braaing, laughing uncontrollably and celebrating life and being together.
Been cooking up a storm – can’t take pics with a kitchen full of boys, eating my ingredients and hiding my spoons ……!!! Love them to bits … I will try and blog again soon but if I don’t get around to it because I have no spoons or ingredients or because we are going away to the Wild Coast Sun soon,
I wish you all the very best of Christmases
May your dinner tables be encircled with your favourite faces
May it be blessed with food that oozes love and care
May your dining room be filled with laughter
and may each and every day of next year be filled with
the never-ending joy that is family
Which reminds me…
Today would be a great opportunity to share the story of how I started blogging. My real job is doing the books for our Engineering & Project Management Company in Durban; anyone that does bookkeeping knows that there are those days in the month when one is not exactly rushed off ones feet.
I was surfing the net checking out the latest fashion (that would be handbags in my world) and food when I came upon Food24’s invitation to submit a review of your favourite sushi restaurant. At that time I had my eye on Rick Stein’s cookbook, Mediterranean Escapes, so the possibility of a prize of a Kalahari.net gift voucher was more than I could resist.
A visit to see my son Daniele in Cape Town is never complete without lunch or dinner at Wakame in Mouille Point. The setting is outstanding and nearly as spectacular as their food. Durban is wanting in the authentic sushi department so the frequency of my visits means that I can pretty much recite their entire sushi menu verbatim. Apart from the sushi – I just love their Crispy Fried Calamari with Hoisin & Lime so much that I have developed my own rendition of their dish. I served the mouth watering , chilli, sweet and hoisin fried calamari on a bed of noodles and chilli ginger bok choy, fresh fava beans, spring onions and peas …
Alas, I have had severe camera woes! I had to take these pics with my little wee point and shoot so the quality is not quite up to scratch! Good news is, I have a brand new lens for my “Big Boy” aka Nikon.
Crispy Fried Calamari with a Hoisin & Lime Sauce
Calamari – small Patagonian calamari is best I used about 450g – just use as much as you need to feed your family and guests
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup flour
Easy peasy – pat the calamari dry with a tea towel.
Dust first in flour – then coat in beaten egg yolk and lastly into the bread crumbs.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes before frying in plenty of hot oil.
The oil must sizzle when you put a piece of calamari into it.
Don’t overcrowd the pan – it’s best to fry the calamari in batches – each batch will take no more than 3 minutes …
When the crumbs are nice and crisp remove from the oil and set aside on some absorbent paper to drain off any excess oil.
Stir fry your veggies and noodles – I stir fried bok choy, fresh beans, peas and spring onions in peanut oil, 4 cloves of chopped garlic, 3 chopped chillies and 2,5cm knob of finely chopped ginger, then added a splash of xiao xhing rice wine (or sherry), 3Tbs of soy sauce and 2Tbs brown sugar, cover your wok with a large lid and let the veggies steam for about 4 minutes.
Soak your noodle of choice until tender then stir fry them in a little peanut oil with garlic, chilli and ginger. Add a splash again of the Xiao Xing Wine (or Sherry) .
Chilli Lime Hoisin Sauce
1/3 cup of lime juice
2/3 cup of sweet chilli sauce
2 heaped tsp of Hoisin Sauce
Whisk together in a bowl.
Add about 4Tbs of the Hoisin, Lime and Chilli sauce to the wok and bring to the boil – now add back all of your Calamari and fry in this sauce for 30 seconds – NO MORE
If you fry the calamari for too long they will go as tough as a bowl of rubber! 30 Seconds in the pan is enough time to cover them with the tangy sauce.
On a large platter place your noodles, top with the stir fried greens
Add the calamari on the top – drizzle a few table spoons of the Chilli & Lime Hoisin Sauce over the calamari.
Ps: I won the Kalahari gift voucher and shortly after starting blogging.
Well I have finally finished typing this blog post. I hope to get it up today! I hope
Thank You for reading my blog, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me
and thank you for sharing your recipes with me. I have enjoyed this year immensely
and will be back, as fresh as a sashimi salad in the new year ….
Monday 2 January 2012
Well as you can see I still haven’t had any free time to blog. We spent the last week at the Wild Coast Sun with the whole Tripepi, Domiro and Pizzutti families and had a ridiculous amount of fun. I got absolutely blotto on New Year’s Eve, well we all did but I was saved by an enormous helping of Pasta al Forno, which is the staple for large family gatherings. It’s impossible to make pasta for 60 people successfully without a fully equipped restaurant or hotel kitchen. It’s an easy alternative to lasagne and can be made and frozen weeks in advance if needs be. Click here for my Pasta al Forno recipe.
I wish you all the very very best for 2012 – may this year roll out like a red carpet at your feet.
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