beetroot Spaghetti and chicken Meatballs

Always looking for ways to create quick and delicious carb-conscious weeknight meals, I was pleasantly surprised to see beetroot spaghetti at Woolies yesterday. I grabbed a packet and while running around the store in my usual haphazard fashion tried to decide what to make with it. It was late and the chicken section was very empty, but I spotted chicken meatballs and hatched a cunning plan.

I decided that if the spaghetti is red, I need to put a white version of a red topping on it and garnish it with greens; Italian flag, unexpected colours and all that.

It’s terribly easy to make and was quite delicious.

Take the chicken balls and brown them in olive oil in a large pan for which you have a lid. (I use a non-stick 28cm Le Creuset pan.)

While this is happening chop a shallot or two and some garlic and add this to the pan, sauté them until transparent. Put the lid on on turn the heat to medium low.

Meanwhile, grate some parmesan (or Woolies Hard Italian Cheese) in a bowl and grate a bit of nutmeg into it.

When the balls are cooked (10-15 minutes), turn the heat down very low and add the parmesan and nutmeg and some double thick cream and season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stir or shake and replace the lid.

Microwave the beetroot spaghetti according to the instructions. Check the seasoning of the sauce.

Put the beetroot in a pasta bowl, place some meatballs and the sauce on top and finish with roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley and some pea shoots.

Voila! You’re welcome.

I served it with a Lomond Impromptu Merlot Rosé.



Annual Starfish Greathearts Foundation Charity Dinner

Rather late than never, I’ve decided to post some pics of the dishes from this year’s Starfish charity dinner that Tiron Eloff and I created.

Every year we donate our services and a multi-course dinner gets auctioned at a gala event.

This year we planned a rather special menu with our wonderful hosts loosely based on a “classics-with-a-twist” theme.

After the guests had some oysters and champagne in the foyer, we started the dinner off with a Beet Tartare

Beet Tartare

and followed up with a Heston classic Chicken Consommé poured at the table of a jasmine flower.

Chicken Consomme

The salad course was a Duck and Smoked Cherry salad with Mano purèe.

Duck and Smoked Cherry Salad with Mango Puree

A quick palate cleanser of Champagne Sorbet preceded the main events.

Champagne Sorbet

These were a fillet of Sea Bass on Jet-black purèe (made with lentils and squid ink) with seared endive.

Sea Bass with Jet-black Puree

This was followed by the most decadent Beef Wellington ever, made with prosciutto and foie gras (Get the recipe here) and plated with some inspiration from Dexter .

Beef Wellington

The composed cheese plate consisted of whipped ricotta, aged Gouda, Saint André, gorgonzola, grilled nectarines, fresh figs, baguette crisps and candied walnuts.

Composed Cheese Plate

The lovely, sweet end to the night consisted of a silky-smooth Crème Brûlée (cooked sous-vide at 80C for an hour).

Creme Brulee

It was a marvellous evening and we can’t wait to do it all over again.