From the Simple to the Sinful

Post 829 of 1734

You have been tasked to cook for the woman in your life. You are panicking. What should you make for her? Well, we have the answer for you! South African, Chef Alex Mostert, head chef at Clinton Street breaks down a few dishes to delight her taste buds

Black & White Milkshake – makes one serving

• Two generous scoops soft vanilla ice cream
• 1/3 cup whole milk
• Three tablespoons chocolate syrup
• Whipped cream
• Chocolate sprinkles

• Blend the ice cream, milk and chocolate syrup together in a blender for one to two minutes until no chunks remain.
• Serve in a sundae glass, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.

Kale & Quinoa Salad

Kale Salad

• 80g curly kale (washed and stems discarded)
• 20g thinly sliced red onion
• 40g cooked quinoa
• 20g dry roasted pumpkin seeds
• 25g lemon dressing
• 40g cherry tomatoes cut in half
• 1/2 ripe avocado cut into cubes
(Hass avocado is recommended)

Lemon Dressing
• 100g olive oil
• 25g lemon juice
• 10g Dijon mustard
• 5g salt
• 5g freshly ground white pepper


• Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl.
• Whisk the ingredients till just combined.
• Slowly drizzle olive oil into bowl while whisking to ensure the dressing is emulsified, store in airtight jar or container in the chiller.

• Place pumpkin seeds on a tray and roast in a pre-heated oven at 100° Celsius for ten minutes until well toasted.
• Add all the ingredients into a bowl, except the dressing, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
• Add the dressing and lightly toss the salad to coat the kale leaves.

Chocolate Chunk Scones – makes six large scones

• Two cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• One tablespoon baking powder
• One cup chocolate chunks
• One cup heavy cream
• Three teaspoons turbinado sugar

• Preheat the over to 175° Celsius.
• Combine the two cups flour and the next four dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, using the low-speed setting, or mix by hand.
• Stop the mixer and add the heavy cream to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until the dough has combined. This should take less than 10 seconds.
• Dust your counter with flour and dump out the scone mixture. Pat the dough into a circle, about ¾ to one inch thick. Cut the dough into six even triangles. Roughly form each triangle into a round shape. Place the round scones on a parchment-paper-lined sheet pan or use nonstick cooking spray.
• Top each scone with ½ teaspoon turbinado sugar. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and baked all the way through. Rotate the pan halfway through for even browning.

Crab Cakes Benedict – makes four servings

For the Hollandaise Sauce:

• Two sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
• Three large egg yolks
• Two teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Pinch of ground white pepper

• Over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Once it is melted, set the butter aside in a warm place.
• Fill a saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
• In a medium-sized stainless steel or glass bowl, whisk the yolks with the lemon juice and seasonings until combined. Whisk in two tablespoons room-temperature water.
• Place the bowl on top of the simmering water and continue to whisk the yolks while turning the bowl clockwise. Use a potholder or kitchen towel because the bowl will get warm! Keep the heat to a minimum so you don’t curdle the eggs.
• After one minute, the yolks will become foamy and loose. After two minutes, the foamy texture will begin to subside and the yolks with thicken slightly. Make sure to whisk around the sides of the bowl so that the yolks do not congeal. (If they appear to be thickening too quickly or clumping, remove the bowl from the pan and let them cool down.) After three minutes of continuous whisking, the eggs will be even thicker and creamy. (Take a break here if you need it. Remove the bowl from the heat, then resume.)
• At this stage, the yolks are close to being cooked. After four minutes, the egg mixture will thicken into ribbons and you will be able to see the bottom of the bowl. Whisk continuously. You will reach the final stage after five minutes, when the yolks will be a thick and golden yellow, similar to the texture of mayonnaise. Remove the bowl from the pan.
• Add the warm melted butter in a steady stream into the yolks, whisking the entire time. The sauce will begin to emulsify after about one minute. Keep the sauce on a warm water bath or on the back of the stove and covered with plastic wrap so that a skin does not form on the surface. This hollandaise will keep for three to four hours. If it becomes too thick, whisk in more room-temperature water.

For the eggs and crab cakes:

• Five large eggs
• ¾ cup fresh white breadcrumbs
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
• One tablespoon freshly squeeze lemon juice
• One tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
• One tablespoon chopped capers
• One tablespoon minced white onion
• One teaspoon Dijon mustard
• One teaspoon plus two tablespoons salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
• A pinch of cayenne pepper
• One pound lump crabmeat
• Four teaspoons canola oil
• Two tablespoons white vinegar
• 12 spears asparagus, steamed

• For the crab cakes:
• Preheat the over to 175° Celsius.
• In a large bowl, mix together one beaten egg, ½ cup breadcrumbs, the mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, capers, onion, mustard, one-teaspoon salt, and both peppers. Fold in the crabmeat and shape eight 3×1-inch-high cakes with your hands. Dredge the cakes in the remaining ¼ cup breadcrumbs.
• In a sauté pan, heat two teaspoons of the canola oil until shimmering over medium-high heat. Sauté four crab cakes in the pan, flipping after two minutes. The crab cakes will be golden brown and crisp. Allow them to cook two more minutes and place on a sheet pan. Repeat the process with the remaining crab cakes. Place the pan in the oven and bake for three to four minutes, until the crab cakes are cooked all the way through the center.

• For the eggs:
• While the crab cakes are baking, crack one egg at a time into a small bowl.
• Fill a six-quart saucepan three quarters full with water. Add the remaining two tablespoons salt and the vinegar to the water and bring it to a lively simmer over medium heat.
• Imagine that the saucepan is a clock and make sure the handle is at 9:00. Starting at 12:00, drop one egg carefully into the simmering water. Drop the next egg in at 1:00, then 2:00, and so on. This way you will know in which order to remove the eggs from the water. The eggs should be removed with a slotted spoon when they are still jiggly but the yolks are set, after about 1½ to 2 minutes.
• To assemble, place 2 warm crab cakes on a plate and top each cake with a well-drained poached egg and top with hollandaise. Serve with asparagus on the side.