Recipes: Blast From The Past

Recipe Avo Ritz.jpg

To celebrate the launch of The Gourmet Cookbook, we’ve selected easy recipes with a retro twist to kick-start your festive season.


Serves 10

For the salad 
6 medium chioggia beetroots 
6 golden beetroots
250g broad beans, podded 
1⁄2 red onion, finely sliced 
150g watercress
200g baby spinach 

For the lemon vinaigrette 
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice 
1t Dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1t honey 

1. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all the ingredients until emulsified. Set aside. 

2. Using a mandolin peeler on its finest setting, shave the beetroots very thinly. In a large mixing bowl, toss beets in the vinaigrette to ‘cure’. Set aside. 

3. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the broad beans. Blanch for 2 minutes, strain and refresh in iced water. Pop the ‘beans’ out of the membrane and set aside. In a large salad bowl toss all ingredients together and serve.

Shaved Beet Salad With Broad Beans and Watercress


Serves 8

For basic mayonnaise
1 egg
2T lemon juice
1t garlic, grated or finely chopped
1t Dijon mustard
1 cup sunflower oil 
sea salt, to taste 

For crayfish
5 live crayfish
400g shrimps, cooked, peeled and deveined
1⁄2 cup basic mayonnaise 
1⁄4 cup tomato sauce
juice of 2 limes 
100g spring onion 
3 ripe avocados, chopped (optional) 
fresh limes, to serve 
Maldon salt, to serve 
gold flecks (optional) 

For the mayonnaise 
1. Place all the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor. Blend until combined then, with the motor running, slowly add the oil, one drop at a time, until the mayonnaise starts to thicken. Season and set aside. 

For the crayfish 
1. The most humane way to cook crayfish is to first place them in the freezer, which slowly puts them to sleep. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil (sea water is best, but of course this is not always practical) and add the crayfish. Cook until crimson, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and place in iced water to stop the cooking process. When cool enough to handle, cut each crayfish in half, remove the vein and carefully remove the flesh and chop into chunks. Set aside to cool. 

2. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked shrimps, crayfish, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, spring onion, avocado (if using) and lime juice. 
To serve: Fill each crayfish half with the crayfish mix. Mix together the Maldon salt and gold flecks and place in salt dishes on the table. Serve with fresh limes. 

Crayfish Ritz


Serves 4 to 6

For the rib 
1 standing rib roast (prime rib), (1.3 to 5.4kg) 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

For the roast cauliflower 
1 head cauliflower
3 to 4T butter
3⁄4 cup breadcrumbs (preferably sourdough)
2t chopped parsley or thyme 
3T roughly chopped toasted nuts of your choice (walnuts or almonds) 
sea salt and pepper 

For the rib
1. Preheat oven to 70°C. Season roast generously with salt and pepper. Place roast on a rack set in a large roasting pan, or on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and cook until centre of roast registers 49 to 52°C on an instant-read thermometer for rare, 54°C for medium-rare, or 57°C for medium to medium-well. In a very low oven such as this, it will take around 5.5 to 6.5 hours. 

2. Remove roast from oven and tent loosely with foil. Rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1.5 hours. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 260°C. (Start the roast cauliflower at this stage; recipe follows). 

3. Ten minutes before serving, remove foil, place roast back in hot oven, and cook until well browned and crisp on the exterior, 6 to 10 minutes. 

For the roast cauliflower
1. In a large pot, steam the whole head of cauliflower in about 2.5cm of water, or to the top of the stalk just below the florets, covered, 8 to 10 minutes. 

2. Drizzle over a generous amount of olive oil and season. Place in a very hot oven, about 260°C, for 45 minutes until the edges of the florets begin to blacken and char. While the cauliflower is cooking, heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan and fry the breadcrumbs until golden. Add the parsley and nuts, frying or another minute. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

3. Serve cauliflower sprinkled with warmed nut crumble.

Prime Rib Roast


Makes 2

1 tot pink gin
1 cup fresh grapefruit juice 
1 free-range egg white 
juice of 1 lime
2T sugar syrup
1⁄4 cup ice
1⁄2 cup soda water
fresh lemon or grapefruit peel, to serve 

1. To make the sugar syrup, bring 3 cups water and 3 cups sugar to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and chill. 

2. Using a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients except for the soda water. Shake vigorously for about a minute. Pour through a strainer into 2 coupe glasses. 

3. Top with soda and a twirl of lemon peel.  

Gin Fizz

Photography Micky Hoyle, Russell Smith

The gourmet cookbook (africa press, R420) by Bernadette le Roux is available at selected Woolworths and leading bookshops