The Cook with Biltong Club: Asian-style biltong salad

So today I’m happy to be creating another delicious dish using one of my favourite ingredients: biltong. The Chichester Biltong Company have come out with a new biltong flavour – teriyaki – which I thought would go perfectly in a crisp salad with flavours of the East. And it did. This recipe is quick to prepare and tastes absolutely amazing…your guests will be licking the bowl clean – we did!

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My Asian biltong salad creation

Serves 2

Half a small iceberg lettuce, finely chopped

Half a small cucumber, sliced into batons

4 spring onions, shredded

1 large handful of fresh Thai basil

1 large handful of fresh mint

100g rice noodles, cooked and cooled

35g teriyaki biltong

1 large handful of peanuts

For the dressing

4cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

Juice of two limes

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tsps fish sauce

1 tsp brown sugar

2 small dried chillis, crumbled

Lay all the chopped ingredients out on a platter, starting with a layer of lettuce and finishing with the noodles.

A platter of beautifully fresh greenness

A platter of beautifully fresh greenness

Delicate noodles form the next layer

Delicate noodles form the next layer

Then lay the sliced biltong on top and scatter the peanuts over.

Make the dressing and pour over. Toss the salad and serve.

The tossed salad and its zesty dressing

The tossed salad and its zesty dressing

To order from a wide range of deliciously flavoured biltong including habanero, garlic, barbecue, periperi and of course classic steak, visit Chichester Biltong Company.

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Recipe: Tasty beef chilli

Today I decided to come up with a different version of chilli. I’m not a big fan of kidney beans, so I’ve used butter beans instead which I think is a huge improvement. I also added fresh sweetcorn for some sweetness.

Experiment with the quantity of chillis until you get exactly the heat you desire.

It’s a great prepare-ahead dish that you can get ready and heat up later, plus it freezes very well.

I served it on a bed of rice, it would also work well with mash or a jacket potato.

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Spicy and sweet beef chilli

 

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

2 dried chillis, chopped

500g beef mince

300ml passata

100ml water

2 sweetcorn on the cob, kernels sliced off

1 large tin butter beans, drained

Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the onion until softened.

Stir in the cumin, oregano and chillis and mix well.

Add the mince and cook until browned.

Add the passata and water and stir well.

Add the sweetcorn and butter beans and mix together. Simmer on low for about 20 mins until the chilli has slightly thickened. It’s now ready to serve, but you can turn it off and reheat later if desired.

 

The Cook with Biltong Club: scrambled eggs with biltong, tomatoes and spices

It’s time to get cooking with biltong again. This month I’ve gone for something completely different. I got the inspiration from Spanish and Mexican dishes I’ve eaten which combine eggs and tomatoes really well. My thinking was why not add biltong? It really works and it’s good to serve up something new for people to try.

This dish is unbelievably simple and tastes amazing. It’s fantastic for breakfast or brunch, is filling and satisfying and the addition of chilli and a touch of cumin give it a fabulous spicy touch. If you’re going to use whole pieces of biltong like I’ve done here, make sure it is really finely sliced. You could also chop your biltong up into small dice (about the size of the tomato pieces) and stir it through.

If you are a chilli lover, add more to your taste, nothing like a chilli burst to get your tastebuds going first thing in the morning!

Amazing scrambled eggs with biltong, onion, tomatoes, cumin and chilli

Amazing scrambled eggs with biltong, onion, tomatoes, cumin and chilli

Serves 2

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 small handfuls of thinly sliced biltong

2 small tomatoes, finely chopped

4 eggs, beaten

1 small, dried chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin

Oil for frying

Saute the onion and chilli in the oil for about 5 mins until softened. Add the biltong and fry for another minute. Then add the cumin and chopped tomato, stir through to mix thoroughly and cook for another 2 min. Then remove the mixture from the pan and set it aside.

In the same pan, scramble the eggs, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. When they are almost done, remove from heat and fold in the mixture. Let eggs sit in the hot pan for an additional minute to finish cooking. Serve immediately.

The tomato, onion and spice mixture

The biltong, tomato, onion and spice mixture

Join our club

Every month I’m going to post a new recipe using biltong, so watch this space.

And if you want to order some yourself, I highly recommend the Chichester Biltong Company where you can choose the wetness and fattiness of your biltong too (it’s very personal, you know).

Go to www.biltongcompany.co.uk and enter the code EATINGCOVENT when you order.

Please also like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CookWithBiltong

I’d love to hear any of your biltong ideas or stories, so do get in touch and watch out for the next amazing biltong recipe coming your way.

Getting my Thai food fix at Wang Thai

Anyone who reads this blog will know that I really love Thailand and Thai food. So it’s always important to find a good Thai restaurant in whatever city you are visiting. Wang Thai in Cape Town is one of those. There are three restaurants in the Cape Town area and inevitably in my time here I end up visiting all three. Today we were in Constantia.

The menu is comprehensive and authentic which makes choosing difficult. The fact that I know we will be returning helps a little, though. No panic to try everything at once. Wang Thai’s pledge is to cook using the freshest ingredients sourced locally.

For starters we shared the Goong Choub Paeng – juicy prawns coated in a light tempura batter and served with tempura vegetables and dipping sauce and the Medley of dim sum – steamed dumplings filled with an assortment of prawns, shitake mushrooms and crabsticks.

Tasty dim sum is one of our favourite starters

Tasty dim sum is one of our favourite starters

Prawn and vegetable tempura served piping hot

Prawn and vegetable tempura served piping hot

Mains took a while to ponder over. One of the nice things about Wang Thai is that if a dish has chillis in it you can choose to have it mild, medium or hot. Sticking to their pledge to serve authentic food, hot is very hot as it is in Thailand – I find medium perfect.

Following on from a fishy start we ordered the Phad Medmamuang – prawns and cashew nuts wok-fried with peppers and infused with roasted chilli paste.

cashew prawns

Fresh prawns served with a rich, velvety sauce

My choice was a dish I ate more than once last  year. Pla Taud is fish flash fried with green beans, onions and peppers and I chose to have it with the spicy garlic and chilli sauce. Fish of the day was Kingklip, one of my absolute favourites. It’s such a beautifully done dish, the fish comes piping hot and lightly fried with a sauce that’s slightly sticky with great Thai flavours and a nice chilli bite.

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Fresh kingklip gives this dish a South African feel

The egg fried rice is fluffy and perfectly formed

The egg fried rice is fluffy and perfectly formed

I’m happy to have got my Thai fix in already…there’ll certainly be more visits to Wang Thai to come.

Wang Thai is at High Constantia House in Constantia.

Take me to the beach

For beach babies like me, Phuket is quite simply heaven. Our area, Kata Beach, had a bay with a beach of nearly two kilometres. It wasn’t particularly crowded, the Andaman Sea was perfectly warm, blue and clear and, even better, there were little restaurants dotted along at regular intervals.

How’s this for a beach? Not exactly crowded…

Ours was called The Cartoon Shop. Everyone who worked there was friendly, cheerful and welcoming and they served everything you could need to keep you happy on the  beach. On first arriving in the morning it was one of their legendary shakes (see previous post) to settle us in.

The Cartoon Shop: great food and most beverages known to man

Our day at the beach was inevitably punctuated by a stream of people selling everything from corn on the cob to clothes, sunglasses, belts, purses, bags, you name it. Oh, and these little brushes, perfect for brushing the sand off your bed and your feet. I laughed when I first saw someone using one, but soon was the proud owner of the colourful item myself.

Watermelon shakes and my new purchase, time to brush off the sand

Time for lunch and The Cartoon Shop had a good menu offering a range of salads, noodles, rices and soups. Our favourite was the salad with glass noodles and seafood (prawns and calamari). After our first snack in Phuket we remembered not to order anything with the word spicy in front of it (blow-your-lips-off chilli), so were specifying that we would like our salad to be “a little chilli”. This turned out to be pretty hot, but we soon got used to it and ordered this salad several times. Freshly made with juicy prawns, amazingly tender calamari and a properly zesty dressing. Yummy.

Prawn, calamari and glass noodle salad – just ‘a little spicy’

Another favourite was the prawn rice. Oh, and these dishes cost around 120 baht  each, which is about £2.50. Delicious and the most unbelievable value.

Tasty prawn fried rice with chilli fish sauce on the side

Also scattered along the beach were massage huts (for want of a better description). Beds in the shade overlooking the sea where you could have a massage, pedicure or manicure, or have your hair braided. I couldn’t resist a pedicure which cost me the princely sum of 200 baht (just over £4). And it was a good one.

The beautifully tempting Andaman Sea, blue, clear and warm

The beach in Phuket is truly wonderful. I literally spent hours in the sea, but there was still plenty of time for eating and drinking, and of course, shopping…all without leaving your sunbed. How I miss it!