Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Malva Pudding from Sabi Sabi

The cuisine of South Africa is as rich in exotic flavors as Malva Pudding. The recipe for this South African version of bread pudding is rich and flavorful. The photograph is of the malva pudding made at Steenberg Resort & Winery in Constantia but the recipe comes from Chef Ryan Weakly at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge.

Malva Pudding

 2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 TBS apricot jam
2 cups flour
2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 TBS. butter
2 tsp. white vinegar
2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat well eggs and sugar in a mixer. Add the jam.
Sift flour, soda, baking powder and salt.
Melt the butter and milk. Alternately add liquids and flour to the egg mixture. Add the vinegar and beat well until combined.

Pour into a greased, oven proof baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven.


1 cup cream
scant 3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup brandy (optional)

Melt all together and pour over the pudding as it comes out of the oven.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What is limoncello and how to make it yourself

Limoncello, icy cold and served in a delicate glass, is Italy personified: sunny as the Amalfi Coast, sweet as tiramisu with the tartness of lemon and the perfect exclamation point to an alfresco meal.

The liqueur can be bought in a store but do as the Italians do and make your own. The "classic" recipe has as many variations as spaghetti sauce. This one from multiple sources including Food and Wine and Dream Wedding came to my attention via Italy Undiscovered: Food, Culture & Land of Le Marche.


10 medium to large lemons
1 liter grain alcohol 90°
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water

Wash the lemons well and remove yellow zest with a peeler. Do not include any of the bitter white part.

Mince peels and place in an air-tight jar. Add the alcohol, seal and date.

After 15 days, dissolve the sugar in a pot with the water, heating slowly. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.

When sugar syrup is cool, mix it with the infused alcohol which should change in color from clear yellow to a cloudy yellow.

 Twice filter the combined liquids through a cotton cloth into an air-tight jar. Transfer to a bottle, seal tightly and store in the freezer.

Alla salute.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pork and Mango, a Sandwich for Success

Peter Island Resort on Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands is on many people's list - along with Conde Nast Traveler - as one of the best places in the world to stay.

It's also a very good place to eat, thanks in part to Executive Chef Lisa Sellers.

Here's her recipe for pulled pork which she pairs with grilled mango for a memorable sandwich.

Peter Island Pulled Pork for Pork and Grilled Mango Sandwich

1 Pork butt
2 1/2 TBS paprika
2 TBS salt
2 TBS garlic powder
2 TBS black pepper
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS cayenne powder
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS Thyme
1 TBS basil

Combine all ingredients and rub onto the pork butt. Place it fat side up on a roasting rack in a pan and cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for 3-4 hours. Remove the foil and bake for another hour until pork is tender and pulls away easily with a fork.

Serve with grilled mango slices alone or as a sandwich.

By all means pair with bubbly the way they do on Peter Island.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Savor the flavors of South Carolina with Watermelon Margaritas

South Carolina has a recently revised culinary site,, that includes recipes like this one which we chose to take advantage of summer's produce and to sip to ward off the heat. The recipe comes from "Lee Bros, Simple Fresh Southern," by Matt and Ted Lee with photo by Bob Fink.

Watermelon Margaritas
Serves 8

4 lbs seedless watermelon
8 1-inch-long strips lime peel
Kosher salt
16 oz. (2 cups) fresh lime juice (from about 16 small limes)
16 oz. (2 cups) tequila blanco (silver tequila)
8 oz. (1 cup) Triple Sec, Cointreau or other orange liqueur

Cut away the rind, chop the seedless flesh into chunks and liquefy  - in small batches if necessary - in a food processor or blender. You should have about one quart of watermelon juice.

Note: If you let it sit, the watermelon juice separates into a thick red pulp and a clearer liquid. To insure the pulp gives the drink a tongue-satisfying body, whisk the juice thoroughly before pouring it into the shaker.

For each cocktail, salt the rim of an 8-ounce glass by first smearing it with a piece of lime peel then dipping into a saucer of kosher salt. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add 4 ounces of tequila and 1 oz. of orange liqueur. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass. Garnish with lime peel.

Variation: Watermelon Lime Cooler. For the non-drinkers, omit the alcohol, pour the watermelon juice over ice and add a splash of seltzer.