For starters, kingklip fish in a sweet and sour tasting marinade sauce was served. What really made this dish delicious was the tanginess of the Sweet Piquanté Pepper brine it was served in.
This mouthwatering starter was presented as part of renowned chef Benny Masekwameng's Peppadew-infused three-course meal at Bella restaurant in Sandhurst, Johannesburg. Peppadew partnered with Masekwameng to create a selection of scrumptious recipes using the berry coloured pepper.
Guests were treated to slices of freshly baked bread accompanied by three dips. The first consisted of Peppadew sweet relish, the second of cilantro seasoning in olive oil and the third of finely cut peppers. The dips make unique party platters and can complement a variety of gourmet snacks.
Before the main course was served, Masekwameng explained that the beef fillet dish set to be served with gooseberry compote and baby rocket leaves was not his first option.
"We had the option of using game meat because it cooks well, retains flavour and doesn't take long to prepare. However, we couldn't find the best. Beef fillet is a good substitute but one needs to do a lot with it, as it needs support in the form of extensive flavouring."
On his choice of braised spinach sprinkled with ground cashew nuts and sweet piquante pepper, Masekwameng said it was a dish he had copied from his mother.
"My mom decided to take a nine-month cooking course at a conference centre. She then started her own business and this was where I learnt the basic skills of cooking. Anyone who grew up in the Eighties in the township would know that vegetables were eaten over the weekend and considered a luxury. My mother was more experimental and would cook dishes using pasta and fish on week days too. She would prepare this recipe with morogo, although now one can easily use spinach. You can also add nuts and chillies for a different taste," said Masekwameng of the dish.
In addition, a chakalaka with a difference accompanied the meal. For dessert, dark chocolate and almond with slivers of pepper was served.
"The ice-cream mixed with toasted almonds makes it crunchy. The flavour is enhanced by the peppers which bring heat. This dessert shows the versatility of peppers which an be incorporated into every dish."
To prepare the main course see instructions below:
Sweet piquanté pepper crusted ostrich loin with sweet piquanté pepper & gooseberry compote served with baby rocket leaves
Note: The ostrich can be substituted with beef as seen above.
Ostrich has little or no fat, and can easily dry out. It is best served rare to medium rare with a sweet piquanté pepper and gooseberry compote that partners well with the beefy flavour of the ostrich.
1kg ostrich loin (deboned & cleaned)
Peppadew Sweet Piquanté peppers and Cilantro seasoning
50ml olive oil
1 punnet gooseberries (cut in half)
200g Whole Peppadew Sweet Piquanté Peppers (cut into quarters)
1 red onion (finely chopped)
200ml Peppadew® Sweet Piquanté Pepper brine
1 stick cinnamon
2 pieces star anise
Rub the ostrich loin with the oil and crust it with the Peppadew Sweet Piquanté peppers and Cilantro seasoning.
Sear the loin on a braai or open flame griddle on all sides to give it that charred effect for 7-10 minutes (careful not to blacken it). Remove from the braai and place in the oven for 7-10 minutes at 160 degrees for medium rare. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
In a deep saucepan, heat the oil and sweat the onions for 2 minutes.
Add the gooseberry, Peppadew Sweet Piquanté Peppers, Peppadew Sweet Piquanté Pepper brine, sugar, cinnamon and star anise. Mix well and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until reduced by half (10-15 minutes.) Remove the cinnamon and star anise
Slice the ostrich loin, place on top of baby rocket shoots on a serving platter and drizzle the compote on top of the meat.
Serve with roasted sweet potato / pap.