THREE WAYS WITH eggs

Executive chef Brad Ball of Steenberg Vineyards’ Bistro Sixteen82 in Cape Town gets creative with eggs

Compiled by Raphaella Frame-Tolmie Photographs Sean Calitz Recipes and food product on Brad Ball

BEEF TARTARE WITH BEET PUREE, CRISPY QUAIL EGG AND DROPS OF TRUFFLE OIL

For the beef tartare: ■ 400g local beef fillet, chopped very finely by hand ■ 10g gherkins, finely chopped ■ 10g capers, finely chopped ■ 10g red onion, finely chopped ■ 2T tomato sauce ■ 1t Dijon mustard ■ 5 drops of Tabasco ■ 1T olive oil

■ 1t Worcestershire sauce ■ 1 egg yolk ■ salt and pepper, to season

Mix all the ingredients until well combined, then set it aside but do not allow it to stand for more than five minutes.

For the beetroot puree: ■ 300g beetroot, boiled until soft and peeled ■ 50ml beetroot water ■ salt Chop the beetroot into small even chunks, place them in a blender and puree until smooth. Add a small amount of water if necessary to help create a very smooth puree. Season with salt to taste.

For the crispy quail eggs: ■ 4 quail eggs, boiled for two minutes, refreshed and gently peeled ■ plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper ■ 1 egg, whisked ■ panko bread crumbs ■ vegetable oil, for frying

Place each quail egg into the flour, then the whisked egg, then the panko. Deep fry for 30 seconds until golden brown.

To serve: ■ ciabatta Melba toast ■ truffle oil ■ sea-salt flakes

Divide the beef tartare into equal portions. Spoon the beetroot puree onto four plates and, using a spoon, spread it across each plate. Spoon the tartare onto the plates and arrange the remaining components on each one. Finish with a few drops of truffle oil and season with salt. SERVES 4

EGG CUSTARD TART WITH RASPBERRY SORBET AND BASIL JELLIES

For the custard tart: ■ 225g flour ■ pinch of salt ■ zest of 1 lemon ■ 150g butter ■ 150g castor sugar ■ 10 egg yolks ■ 1 egg ■ 500ml cream ■ 2t ground nutmeg

Combine the flour, salt, lemon zest and butter in a bowl and rub the mixture with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in 75g of the castor sugar. Beat one egg yolk with the whole egg and slowly add this to the mixture. Gently knead the mixture until the pastry comes together and is fairly smooth. Wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line an 18cm tart tin with greaseproof paper and place it on a baking sheet. Roll the pastry out until 2mm thick. Line the tart tin with the pastry, pressing it gently into all the corners. Place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking beads, rice or beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and beads and leave it to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 130°C.

To make the custard filling, bring the cream to a boil in a saucepan, then immediately remove it from the heat. Whisk nine egg yolks and the remaining 75g castor sugar, then slowly add the hot cream and mix well. Pass the custard through a fine sieve into a jug. Place the pastry case in the oven and pour the custard filling into the case. Sprinkle the nutmeg evenly over the top and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the custard appears to be set but isn’t firm. Remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.

For the raspberry sorbet: ■ 2 cups water ■ 1 1/2 cups sugar

■ 4 cups fresh raspberries ■ 2T fresh lemon juice

Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook, without stirring, for five minutes. Pour the syrup into a container and place it in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes. Place the raspberries and the chilled syrup in a blender and blend until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine sieve and discard the seeds. Stir in the lemon juice and pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Alternatively, pour the raspberry puree into a container and place in the deep freeze, whisking vigorously every 15 minutes, until smooth but firm.

For the basil jellies: ■ 50g sugar ■ 250ml water ■ 1 bunch basil leaves, torn ■ 3 gelatine leaves ■ 1 squeeze lemon juice ■ salt ■ edible flowers, to garnish

Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan to make a light syrup. Remove from the heat, let it cool slightly and add the basil leaves. Using a hand stick blender, blend the mixture. Leave it to infuse for two to three hours.

Soak the gelatine in cold water until soft, then remove and squeeze out any excess liquid. Return the syrup to the stove, heating it through, then remove it from the heat and stir in the gelatine leaves, stirring until dissolved. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Pour it into moulds and refrigerate until set.

Serve slices of the egg custard tart with scoops of raspberry sorbet on crushed biscuits (optional), and small cubes of the basil jelly. Garnish with edible flowers. SERVES 6

POACHED HEN’S EGG, ASPARAGUS, SMOKED RAINBOW TROUT AND WHOLEGRAIN MUSTARD DRESSING WITH PEA SHOOTS

■ 25g wholegrain mustard ■ 50ml olive oil ■ 1 1/2T honey

■ 40ml white wine vinegar ■ salt ■ 4 hen’s eggs (at room temperature) ■ 16 asparagus spears, trimmed of the wood base and peeled ■ 4 slices local smoked trout ■ black pepper ■ 1T chives, finely chopped ■ peas, blanched and chilled ■ pea shoots

To make the mustard dressing, mix the mustard, olive oil, honey and two teaspoons of the vinegar until well combined, and set aside.

Bring two large saucepans of water to the boil. Add the remaining two tablespoons of vinegar to one of the saucepans and season the other liberally with salt (for the asparagus). Crack the eggs into four cups or saucers. Using a whisk, stir the vinegar water quickly enough to create a whirlpool, then gently place each egg into the centre. Bring the water to a gentle simmer and poach the eggs for about three minutes for soft centres, or longer if you prefer your egg yolks firmer. Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggs from the water and keep them warm until ready to serve.

While the eggs are poaching, boil the asparagus in the salted water for about one minute, or until al dente. Drain the asparagus and season with salt.

Divide and arrange the asparagus spears on four plates, top with slices of rainbow trout and a poached egg per portion. Drizzle the wholegrain mustard dressing over the dish, season with salt and black pepper, and garnish with chives, peas and pea shoots. SERVES 4

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