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Recipes: West Coast Cooking with Georgia East

Inspired by a landscape both desolate and dynamic, cookbook author Georgia East creates a unique and truly South African menu

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By Piet Smedy | February 7, 2022 | Recipes

Cape Lemon Marmalade

Makes 3-4 375ml jars

What you’ll need:

●2kg lemons, rinsed

●2 litres of water

●2kg white sugar

Place the rinsed lemons into a large heavy bottomed pot and cover with the water. Close the lid and set the lemons over high heat to cook for 20 minutes or until soft.

Use tongs to remove the lemons, reserving the water in the pot.

Leave the lemons to cool before slicing away their stalk section and scooping out the pith and seeds. Reserving the pith and seeds, thinly slice the lemon peel and add back into the cooking water. Spoon about half of the reserved pith and seeds into a square of muslin and tie tightly with string. This will cook in with the lemon to add in pectin to naturally set the marmalade.

Set the pot with the cooking liquid and peel over high heat and pour in the sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and add in the muslin bag. Leave the mixture to gently boil over low heat for 30-40 minutes.

To check the setting level of the marmalade, spoon a drop of the liquid on to a chilled plate. Push the drop with your finger and if it crinkles, the marmalade is ready. If not, continue to boil. Once set, discard the muslin bag and leave the marmalade to cool slightly, then spoon into sterilised glass jars.

Snoek with Paprika-Garlic Butter. Photograph_ Georgia East

Snoek with Paprika-Garlic Butter

4 Servings

Whether eaten fried in batter, salted and dried or smoked, snoek is enjoyed all along the West Coast, and makes up most of the local diet. High in Omega 3 fatty acids, snoek is a deliciously meaty fish, its long knitting needle bones easily unearthed for safe eating. For this recipe, I have eschewed the traditional apricot jam glaze for butter flavoured with garlic and smoky red Spanish paprika. Use a few sprigs of fresh rosemary as a basting brush.

What you’ll need:

●1.5kg whole snoek, filleted

●250g butter

●10ml Spanish smoked paprika

●4 cloves of garlic, crushed

●3–4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Combine the butter, paprika and garlic in a small saucepan and heat over the coals, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.

Pat the snoek dry using a kitchen towel. Brush the skin of the snoek with a little melted butter or olive oil to prevent it sticking and butterfly the fish open, like a book.

Place the fish skin-side down on to a hinged grid lined with aluminium foil. Brush the flesh-side of the snoek with the paprika-garlic butter and place over medium-hot coals.

Grill the flesh side first for about 3 minutes, before cooking the snoek skin-side down for a further 10–15 minutes, basting the fish with the flavoured butter throughout the process. When ready, the flesh should flake easily under a fork but still be juicy. Serve the snoek with a green salad and garlic bread.

Smoky Mussels with Ashe Bread. Photograph_ Georgia East

Smoky Mussels with Ash Bread

4 Servings

Little can beat cooking outdoors and the flavour that smoke and flame can provide. Ash bread has been made popular by chef Kobus van der Merwe of Wolfgat restaurant in Paternoster. Similar to roosterkoek, the bread is baked in the hot ash that lines the fire.

What you’ll need:

●2–3kg fresh Mediterranean mussels, cleaned

●250ml dry white wine

●4–6 leeks, rinsed and finely sliced

●3 large cloves of garlic, crushed or three sprigs of wild garlic, finely chopped

●30ml butter, for frying

●1 lemon

●2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

●salt and pepper

Place flat-bottomed potjie over the coals and heat up the butter. Add in the leeks and sauté until soft. Add in the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in the mussels, cover and leave to steam for about 6-8 minutes, or until all the mussels have opened. Stir the opened mussels through the wine, garlic and leeks.

Follow the Basic Bread Dough recipe as found in my book (West Coast Wander, Penguin Random House) on page 44 but add in the rosemary when combining flour with yeast.

Once risen, knock down and divide dough into small rounds, about the size of a saucer.

Place the dough into the hot ash on the outer rim of the fire and cover with coals. Bake the bread for 15–20 minutes and serve with the mussels and lemon wedges.

On the West Coast with cookbook author Georgia East. Photograph_ Dawid Botha