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WHITE CHOCOLATE COCONUT CASHEW HOT SMOOTHIE

WHITE CHOCOLATE COCONUT CASHEW HOT SMOOTHIE

Warm up with this delicious winter warmer that will warm not only your tastebuds, but also your heart! What’s best is that this smoothie is actually good for you – oats, nuts, maca powder, banana, coconut and coconut milk. There’s also just a little bit of chocolate in there to add a touch of sweetness. 

INGREDIENTS:


(Makes 2 Smoothies)

2 large or 4 small chunks white Chocolate

2 + ½ cups fresh Coconut milk (the refrigerated kind such as Apro – as opposed to canned coconut milk)

6 tbsp Oats

1 ripe Banana (the riper the better)

2 tsp Maca powder (optional)

20 Cashew nuts

2 tbsp Toasted coconut (simple place unsweetened coconut flakes in a hot oven for 1 minute to brown – but be careful, they burn quickly)

DIRECTIONS:


Add the white chocolate to a jug, and pour in 2 cups of the coconut milk. Microwave until the mixture is hot and the chocolate has melted (you can do this in a pan if you prefer).

Place the oats, banana, maca powder, cashew nuts, 1 tbsp of the toasted coconut, and the 1/2 cup of cold coconut milk into your blender (don’t add any hot liquid to your smoothie maker or blender).


Blend on high for a minute until the oats and have been completely incorporated (add an extra splash of cold coconut milk or water if it’s looking too thick to blend properly).


Divide the blended oat mixture between two cups and stir in the hot milk/chocolate mix. Top with the remaining toasted coconut and serve.

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S.A’s TOP BARMAN

SOUTH AFRICA’S TOP BARTENDER

Capetonian Joshua Hendricks has been crowned best Barman in South African at the local leg of the Diageo World Class bartending competition recently held in the mother city. The 24-year-old is the youngest person to win the award of this Global Competition, which has supported, trained and inspired more than 400 000 bartenders, across 60 countries, for over 12 years

Hendricks and nine other top bartenders were put through gruelling challenges over three days at the competition in front of a judging panel of the who’s who in the industry. It included Johnnie Walker brand influencer Kay Ngonyama; award-winning restaurant chef, cookbook author, “MasterChef SA” judge and “Ultimate Braai Master” judge Pete Goffe-Wood; three-times World Class champion and co-founder of Diageo SA The Hand Up Mentorship Programme Brent Perremore; Diageo Reserve brand ambassador Dom de Lorenzo; and runner-up for two consecutive years in the World Class competition and current bartender trainer Haroon Haffejee. 

Hendricks said the first day started with a Mastery challenge, where they had to identify 50 cocktail ingredients by smell and taste alone. He said classic cocktails were served in test tubes and they had to identify these blind.

In the knock-out challenge, 50 spirits had to be identified correctly by the contestants until just one person remained.

“I came fifth in this challenge, so I didn’t do that great. In fact, I did not win any of the rounds, but I managed to be consistent about placing in the top three and this is why I had the highest mark at the end of the competition,” Hendricks said.

In the speed round, where contestants had to create 10 original cocktails in eight minutes, he said his best creation was a Singleton honey sour, with a red wine and pear reduction between the foam. Hendricks said it is a New York sours type of drink which is done quite often, but the way he did it was amazing. And Tuesday saw two challenges for the mixologists, a heritage challenge where they had to make a group serve using one of the Johnnie Walker expressions based on their culture.

“I am coloured, so I made a rooibos pinotage tea blend which represented the aunties that sit and skinner in the kitchen, and a vermouth with crackling,” he said.

In the evening during the food challenge, Hendricks chose a deconstructed paella and a saffron risotto croquette, and spiced prawn to pair with his Singleton and apple fennel juice cocktail. He said it had cumin-infused vermouth and honey citrus with star anise – aromatic, fresh and tart so that the acid could cut through the fat of the dish. 

Lastly, the remaining six contestants had to create their own pop-up bar within 24 hours, using a concept of their own choice. Hendricks’s concept was chrysalis – the metamorphosis of a butterfly, and the bar featured a garden atmosphere with autumn leaves and origami butterflies.

“Each of my cocktails represented a stage of the metamorphosis of a butterfly’s life cycle. The judges liked the concept and for me, this challenge was my favourite despite being stressful as I’d been planning it for such a long time that seeing it come to life so that people could experience it was really exciting,” he said.

Hendricks will be flying his way to Australia in September to represent South Africa in the global final of the Diageo World Class competition.

You go Joshua! We wish you the best of luck !

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Sushi Burger

TREND ALERT: SUSHI BURGERS

Part Sushi and part Burger, the Sushi Burger (we repeat, the Sushi Burger!) is totally amazing. This is one trend we love and certainly one to watch as it is gaining popularity globally. 

Sushi Burgers basically consist of burger “buns” made out of rice and can be filled with anything from tofu to salmon. But even though they’ve been around for some time, they’re now having a pretty major moment on Instagram which more or less means that they’ve made it as far as food fame goes. 

Give it a try at home or on your menu. It’s pretty easy to make and the possibilities are endless.

HOW TO MAKE IT: STEP BY STEP 

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Layered Eggplant Parmigiana Lasagne

Layered Eggplant Parmigiana Lasagne

Take what you love about lasagne and the savory goodness of breaded eggplant… and put them into one delicious explosion of cheesy, Italian flavor.

INGREDIENTS

Preparing Eggplant:

3 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

2 cups breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 jumbo eggs, beaten lightly

2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise 

1/2 cup Olive 

Assembly:

3 1/2 cups Marinara sauce 

1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella

1 1/2 cups grated provolone

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

DIRECTIONS

We recommend “sweating” your eggplant to remove as much moisture as possible. Simply place eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Allow eggplant to set for 30 minutes. Remove from colander and pat dry.

Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Place breadcrumb mixture, flour and eggs in three separate dishes. First, dredge eggplant in flour, making sure to shake off any excess. Dip in beaten eggs, like the flour, making sure to let any excess drip off. Finally, dredge in breadcrumb mixture to coat well. Allow breaded eggplant to rest before frying.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high heat. Once oil is ready, which can be determined by tossing in a breadcrumb to see if it sizzles, fry eggplant until golden. Be sure to turn for even cooking, about 3 minutes per side. Remove eggplant from hot oil and onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

To assemble the layered dish, preheat oven to 280 degrees. Combine grated mozzarella, provolone and Parmigiano in a mixing bowl. Spread about 1/2 cup of Marinara sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Layer, next, with breaded eggplant, allowing pieces to slightly overlap. Top with 1 cup of marinara, and then cover evenly with cheese mixture. Repeat this layering process two more times.

Cover assembled dish with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbling. Uncover, then bake to fully melt cheese for another 5 minutes.

Let stand for 15 minutes and serve.

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Best Vegetarian Lasagna

Best Vegetarian Lasagne

 This vegetarian lasagne recipe stars smoky-sweet roasted vegetables, creamy and melty cheeses and a tangy tomato sauce. Start the week off right and serve up this one as a tasty Meatless Monday meal.

INGREDIENTS

Roasted Vegetables:

1 large leek, white and light green parts, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped into ½” pieces

3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

1 fennel bulb, chopped into ½” pieces

2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds

Handful baby Bella mushrooms, stemmed and halved

1 zucchini, sliced into ¼”-thick half moons

1 pint cherry tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Ricotta Filling:

1 container Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley

2 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Lasagne

1 Pack whole wheat lasagne

4 cloves garlic

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups grated provolone cheeseChopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

To prepare roasted vegetables, toss the vegetables on the baking sheet with oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender, stirring halfway through cook time. Remove from heat. 

Meanwhile, cook jarred tomatoes, garlic, water and olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring the ingredients to a boil and then simmer until combined, about 25 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.

To prepare the filling, combine ricotta, ¾ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley in a mixing bowl. Mix in the eggs. Salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 1/3 of marinara sauce over the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange lasagne sheets over sauce, overlapping to fit. Dollop with ricotta mixture. Layer with roasted vegetables. Evenly sprinkle with 1/3 of the grated provolone. Spoon another 1/3 of marinara sauce over the cheese, using a spatula to cover. Repeat layering: lasagne noodles, dollops of ricotta mixture, roasted vegetables and grated cheese.

Top with remaining lasagne sheets, 1/3 of marinara sauce, 1/3 of grated provolone, remaining grated Parmigiano and parsley.

Cover dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is hot and bubbly.

Let lasagne stand for 10 minutes. Serving sprinkled with parsley.