One of my fondest food memories of those long never-ending summer days in the annual 6 week school holidays long before TV and Cell phones, are of gloriously hot days spent in the pool at a school mate’s house where regular lunches were thick slices of crusty white bread from the corner caff with the freshest tomato & onion salad and the most delicious home made Pickled Fish.
After lunch we’d be back in the pool waiting for the sun to soften and then finish the day with epic battles of driveway cricket, soccer in Plumstead park or Wimbledon style singles finals at our local tennis club till darkness forced us off the court.
School’s out, Summer’s here, morning traffic’s a breeze and thanks to a glut of visiting friends and family & those embarrassing work Christmas parties you will be eating out more than ever in the next few weeks, great for the spirit, not so great for the waistline. With this in mind I‘ve put together a sentimental mix of healthy-ish fish dishes for this week’s specials.
First up, the aforementioned Cape style PICKLED FISH, chunks of fried Dorado simmered with onions & bay leaves in a mild Cape Malay curry sauce. So cool, so Cape Town and so delicious! We’ll be serving ours on a fresh garden salad with toasted croutes.
My Mom also did a mean tinned pilchard frikadells, served with real mash (until she discovered Smash) and smothered with Tomato sauce, epic! Luckily my T–buds have grown a little and my very loose rendition of this dish will be fresh TUNA FISHCAKES with a little spinach for crunch, Thai spice for bite & a hint of Asian flavours…. lemongrass, ginger & coriander. These crispy little morsels have great flavour and served on a bed of crunchy veg noodles will be a perfect choice for a healthy lunch or dinner.
Another top holiday lunch memory, tinned sardines on buttery toast, all washed down with an ice cold glass of Kool-Aid, has inspired me to do the next dish of grilled SARDINES. Four plump Sardines grilled with a little chilli & garlic set on a nest of sautéed onions & peppers and served with a warm baby potato salad.
Lastly, no sentimentality, just a vehicle for my own home-made breadcrumbs which I’ll be grinding and smashing with peppercorns and salt flakes to create a crust for our SALT & PEPPER SQUID served on greens, topped with a garnish of crispy fried onions & served with a sweet chilli mayo.
...and for some blatant self-advertising…… Life’s a Beach, and if you’re looking for a uniquely original summer cozzie or bikini , my wife’s store TUTU on Belvedere Rd in Rondebosch has a great selection of one-off’s manufactured on site by our seamstresses Vivienne and Anne-Marie.The shop’s open daily from 10, need any more info call Emma on 021 – 671 1019 or Mandy on 082293 9338
Since the beginning of time man has been pushing raw meat, small birds & fish onto the end of vaguely whittled sticks and grilling over an open fire.
Chances are that “Homers BFF” the flamboyant Greek shepherd “Colin Clevelopoulos” built on this by using sticks from aromatic wild herb bushes threaded with chunks of baby lamb and grilled over soft glowing coals, and “Eureka” the Souvlaki was born.
Call them Espada, Skewers, Souvlaki, Kebabs, Kabobs, Koftes, Satays, Sosaties….. the names are endless, but all describe food cooked on a stick.
Our specials selection of stick food starts with a CAJUN CHICKEN KEBAB served with tortillas, Ranch greens, rice salad & crunchy veg pickle.
For “Sumfing praadly Souff Effrican” we’ll be doing a “braai blatjang” basted PORK & STONE FRUIT SOSATIE served with spicy sweet potato crisps & coleslaw.
For a cross between “Huevos Rancheros & Steak, egg & chips” our Chipotle BBQ grilled STEAK SKEWERS will be served with sofrito scrambled egg quesadilla wedges, salsa, beans & skinny fries.
This week’s star of the show has got to be our TUNA SOUVLAKI served salad style on Caesar greens with a salsa tumble, soft tacos and a creamy lemon chilli mayo dressing on the side.
I’m not sure if it’s just me getting older and starting to lose it, but it seems the art of simple oral communication has flown out the window. I find that on a daily basis, simple, coherent, spoken instructions or phone orders that are given to suppliers, staff and others in a brave yet apparently foolish attempt to create shop and life nirvana are continually being f=^#+*d up.
16 becomes 60, a kilo becomes a 10kg box, Yellowfin becomes Longfin, 7mm becomes 12mm, pie apples become pineapple rings, loin becomes belly, in an hour becomes tomorrow….and so it goes on.
It’s my firm belief that the wonderful world of instant communication is actually cluttering us up, not streamlining and in so doing making us time poor while killing the art of conversation.
Give me the days of “Downton Abbey” and “Mr Selfridge” anyday. But, hey..I’m just a grumpy old man having a vent. Excuse me for a second, I’ve just got a whatsapp!
For this week’s specials. I’ve gone with homey style comfort dishes sandwiched between a bit of streetwise and bling.
CHILLI CHICKY NUGGETS As demanded by our Beer-flies, we repeat from last week. A tenner of tender chicken nuggets with a cheesy centre, Mexican chilli dusted and served with the coolest little wooden forks in a snack basket with salsa mayo. These are best enjoyed over a chin-wag with a good mate and an ice cold Cactus Mexican craft beer.
MEXI –LAFEL TACOS Think crispy chickpea, black bean& veggie balls nestling on crunchy coleslaw in soft tacos toppedwith guaco, salsa and chilli mayo.
MEXI-MAC n’ CHEESE A real G.O.M favourite, a pimpedup Mac n’ Cheese. Penne paste with chorizo sausage, butternut, a hint oftomato and loads of cheese. Baked and served with fresh market salad.
SLOPPY JOE LASAGNE Still in G.O.M territory, Lasagnegets a Tex- Mex makeover with layers of corn tortillas filled withSloppy Joe beef and cheese n’ enchilada sauce.
TUNA STEAK & CHIPS Lastly, when Libby fromBlake’s fine foods phoned me while I was doing this week’s specials withan offer of off the boat yellowfin tuna, I just couldn’t say no. Halfan hour later I was slicing the reddest freshest loin into 300 plussteaks. Nothing fancy, just the classic salt, pepper, extra virgin andfresh lemon treatment followed by a flash on a smokey hot griddle andserved with fries, fresh salsa and chilli mayo.
“There’s got to be a morning after if we can hold on through the night” so sang Maureen McGovern in that movie classic “The Poseidon Adventure” and after a week of setting up a pop-up diner at my girls spring fair that put my time management, project planning and organisational skills at fully stretched rubber band (God I need a beer) breaking point all I can say is “I did and there was”.
To my avid reader, I apologize for not getting last week’s specials onto our web page but the good news is I’m back with a vengeance and raring to head in to the silly season with a myriad of techniques, tastes and flavours guaranteed to tantalize the old T-Buds.
With the festive season looming and the oratory assault of Boney M’s Christmas Carols just around the corner, I’m keeping it fun this week, dishes to enjoy with BFF’s over an ice cold beer or frozen margarita, or better still with the best of both, an iceberg. (now available in a ladies 330ml)
Feel like a tweenager with a snack basket of cheese filled CHICKEN NUGGETS served with our awesome hot wing dipping sauce.
Man up with a basket of golden crisp and spicy CAJUN CALAMARI served with our famous chipotle seafood sauce, just squeeze lemon and enjoy!
Get messy with Food Truck style delicious smokey BBQ pulled PORK TORTA’S served with coleslaw & skinny fries.
Go large with our BIG MATT BURGER. A double pattyBBQ burger stacked with greens, tomato, pickles, Fat Boy relish, jackcheese, sliced jalapeno’s & mayo, served in the hand or with skinnyfries & raunchy slaw…are you Matt enough?
Keep it classic with a Cal-Mex CHICKEN CAESAR salad of grilled chicken on greens with crispy bacon, croutons and creamy delicious Caesar dressing
With lunch season upon us pop in and check out our SUMMER LUNCH “TACO LOVE” SPECIAL on our home page and for this week’s specials prices just click on our daily blackboard specials.
With Halloween signalling the start of the Northern winter and on our side the Southern summer it figures that to try and recreate traditional Halloween dishes would be a bit of a no-brainer as one would not be taking advantage of what’s fresh, seasonal and plentiful.
So no scary theme here just light healthy tasty meals which will allow you a little sweet over indulgence on Thursday evening.
For starters, EL PEPPADRINOS. Tasty little golden crumbed risotto balls infused with piquant peppadews , herbs & feta & served with tomato relish & salsa mayo
Some Summer-izing with a CEVICHE TOSTADO. South American style, lemon, garlic, chilli & herb marinated Swordfish chunks with crunchy veg set on a greens on a crispy corn tostado
For the often overlooked vegetarians (and for my Halloween Party let it be said). Our veggie sliders (mini burgers). Think smokey black beans, chickpeas, tahini, caramelised onions, garlic, soya & beetroot all combined to create 3 delicious little Hoisin basted burgettes topped with guaco, salsa & feta.
Lastly, a little Mexican Taco action with a trio of soft or crispy tacos with refried beans, guaco, salsa, jack cheese tumble & a zorro of yoghurt, very tasty, very healthy, have two.
Hope you all have a great Halloween night on Thursday, chat next week.