May 5th & 6th saw guests in Cape Town treated to two fun and flavour-filled events at Silwood School of Cookery, with the charismatic Karen Dudley demonstrating a delicious menu in Le Creuset.
Owner of celebrated eatery, The Kitchen, Karen is renowned for bringing sustenance to locals and visitors in the trendy little neighbourhood of Woodstock – her legendary salads and signature Love Sandwiches even landing her on the radar of former US First Lady Michelle Obama.
Karen shared her top tips and techniques for throwing a successful dinner party for loved ones, leaving guests feeling inspired and itching to cook. Le Creuset also spoiled each guest with an exclusive goody bag as a memento. Thank you to all who joined us!
View photos from the events below:
SUMAC ORANGE BUTTER PRAWNS
Devein the langoustines by cutting (with a sharp paring knife) or snipping (with tiny scissors) a line down the back or the prawn, head to tail, and removing the vein. Toss the prawns gently with your favourite fish seasoning.
Add 3 tsp vegetable oil to a hot wok and cook no more than 2-3 prawns at a time. Use kitchen tongs to turn the langoustines in the wok and fry them until they change colour from grey to rich prawn pink – about 1½ minutes on each side. Be careful to not overdo them or else they will become mushy! (If you are really worried, use one of the spare prawns to test and taste for yourself. It’s really quite alright that the cook gets a spare!).
As the prawns are done, immerse them immediately in the sumac orange butter “bath” making sure they are thoroughly baptised! Arrange the prawns in a pile on a small platter and garnish with a little extra sumac and some roughly chopped parsley and the orange zest.
VIETNAMESE BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIBS
Heat 3 Tbsp. of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed, deep frying pan and brown the seasoned beef on all sides. Using tongs, set the browned pieces aside. In the same pan, add another 3 Tbsp. oil, then the onions and celery, and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and fry for a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown. If the mirepoix feels a bit dry, add in 1 or 2 tsp water to help it along.
Place the beef in a casserole or heavy ovenproof dish, add the vegetables and all the remaining ingredients. Add enough water to just cover the short ribs, with 3cm of liquid above the meat. Place a circle (or oval) of baking paper on top, then an old plate, which will keep the beef submerged. Cover the dish with the lid of the casserole and bake for 3 hours.
Check for doneness by squeezing a piece of meat between your fingers or simply sample a piece to see if it needs a little longer. Leave the meat to rest in the sauce for at least 45 minutes or it will dry out. At this point, once your casserole has cooled completely, you could refrigerate it and let it relax overnight.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the sauce, place it in a dish and cover with cling film to prevent it from drying out. Pass the sauce through a fine sieve over a clean pan (removing the vegetables) and bring to the sauce to the boil, skimming the surface. Allow to reduce to a rich sauce consistency, then turn off the heat and add the meat. Serve the short ribs and their glossy sauce straight from the casserole on the table, garnished with toasted sesame seeds.
MOSKONFYT PANNA COTTA WITH BROKEN BAKLAVA
For the Broken Baklava:
Break the chocolate into a large heatproof bowl, add the hot milk and Moskonfyt mixture and whisk until well combined. Add the cream and yoghurt and whisk to form a smooth mixture.
Pour into 8 small moulds and leave to set in the fridge for about 3 hours. (Since this mixture is rich, it can be stretched to make 10 or 12 moulds).
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
To make the broken baklava, brush each sheet of pastry with melted butter and sprinkle generously with sugar, creating a triple layer of sugared pastry. Layer the sheets onto the prepared baking trays and bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cooled, break up the pastry and toss with the crushed walnuts.
To serve, scatter the crushed baklava over the top of each panna cotta and finish with a good drizzle of Moskonfyt. Serve with a bowl of fresh raspberries on the side (optional).