Durban - There’s little to beat a meal you’ve made yourself and served in a romantic, private setting.
Shaun Munro, executive chef at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel, says it’s worth keeping it simple and classy.
He also recommends keeping it local – after all, Durban has a great deal of fresh produce to offer. If it’s seafood you crave, opt for a simple crayfish salad, and if you’re a meat eater, you can’t go wrong with steak. Here are the recipes Munro provided:
Summery Crayfish Salad
4 fresh crayfish, about 500g each
1 butter lettuce
½ iceberg lettuce
½ frilly red lettuce
50g wild rocket
Assorted fresh herbs: basil, dill, coriander, mint, flat leaf parsley
2 oranges, segmented
1 lemon, segmented
2 avocados, peeled and cut into small pieces and tossed in lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Assorted herb flowers – optional
2 egg yolks
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
100ml fresh cream
2 Tbs good quality ketchup
Sugar to taste
1 tsp lemon pepper
Prepare the dressing by whisking the egg yolks with the mustard until thick and creamy, then gradually add the oil until thick (consistency of mayonnaise). Stir in the lemon juice and zest followed by the cream and ketchup, check seasoning and refrigerate until needed.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil, place crayfish in, cover with lid and bring back to the boil. Remove lid and allow crayfish to cook for 6 minutes (cooking time only starts when water is boiling).
When cooked, remove crayfish and cool to room temperature. Once cool remove meat from the tail and cut into pieces. Keep the head of the crayfish for garnish.
Prepare the salads by washing and drying all the greens and herbs and arrange attractively on the serving plates, then add all the fruit.
Now sprinkle each salad with the crayfish pieces, capers and herb flowers.
Garnish with the crayfish heads and serve with the dressing on the side.
600g beef fillet, trimmed and sinew removed
2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs brandy
100ml good quality gravy
100ml red wine
Salt and ground black pepper
½ small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs dried/fresh tarragon
3 white peppercorns, crushed
75ml white wine vinegar
75ml dry white wine
4 large egg yolks
Pre-heat oven to 200ºC, rub meat with garlic, mustard and olive oil and season well.
Pre-heat a cast iron skillet until very hot and by rolling it around seal the meat on all sides.
Place the pan in the oven (if your pan handle is not cast iron then transfer meat to roast pan) for 10 to 15 minutes depending on how you like your meat. Remove from oven and allow to rest, keeping warm.
To prepare the gravy, reduce the red wine by half, add the gravy and any pan juices before serving.
To prepare the Béarnaise sauce, melt the butter and set aside while keeping it warm. Simmer the onions, tarragon and peppercorns in the vinegar and wine until reduced to about a ¼ cup. Whisk the egg yolks in a double boiler until thick and creamy ensuring it does not get too hot and that the water in the pot is not touching the whisking bowl.
Slowly whisk in the melted butter followed by the strained vinegar reduction and season, set aside and keep warm.
When ready to serve, remove fillet from warmer, pour in the brandy and ignite, shake pan allowing fillet to flambé. Remove from pan on to carving board and carve. Serve with gravy, Béarnaise sauce, roast potatoes and vegetables of your choice. - The Mercury