Chefs tend to become creatures of habit once they find something good. Whether it’s a supplier who delivers on time, a salesman who tries to bring prices down for you or awesome ingredients that never disappoint, we always stick to what works and makes our lives the easiest without diminishing quality.
When I got an email in my inbox from Mediterranean Delicacies asking me if I’d be interested in creating a recipe using their ingredients I didn’t even hesitate in accepting the offer. Mediterranean Delicacies are one of those brands chefs turn to when in a pinch (or are too tired from crazy shifts to spend time making things from scratch in the kitchen). They make awesome little Mediterranean inspired dips, sauces and finger foods amongst other things. I have recipes for hummus, pesto and other dips on this blog but I’ll let you in on a little secret…when I’m too busy to make my pesto and dips I always turn to Mediterranean Delicacies products.
The brief wasn’t just to use their awesome products but also to try use them in a modern African way. I’m all about contemporary Afro cuisine and turning what we know as “homely” African food into something completely different. I try as much as I can to make sure the recipes can be replicated in your own kitchen, what’s the point of a recipe if the normal person can’t re-do it for themselves at home?
So I decided to fuse African flavours with Mediterranean cooking using various Mediterranean Delicacies ingredients. This is what I came up with…
I don’t have a name for the dish but what I do know is that it tasted awesome. Miniature toasted tramezzinis filled with chorizo, mozzarella cheese, boerewors, humus, home made onion marmalade, sun-dried tomatoes and sweet pepper dip.
Alongside it I made a North African inspired cous cous salad.
Why did I choose this dish? Firstly coz I had cricket on the the background and you know how we South Africans love meaty foods that can be held easily in the hand and secondly I loved the twist on Mediterranean and African cuisine. The boerewors is typically South African as is the onion marmalade. The cous cous is loaded with South African flavours too, Peppadews are a South African product discovered and trademarked in South Africa. As the theme was #AfroChic I imagined this being eaten alongside a nice cold cocktail on a SA summer afternoon.
How did I make it all?
For the Tramezzinis:
– 3 miniature tramezzinis
– thinly sliced mozzarella
– 3 spoons Mediterranean Delicacies humus
– thinly sliced good quality chorizo
– Mediterranean Delicacies sun-dried tomatoes
– braai wors, grilled on the braai and thinly sliced
I cut each bread open and spread the humus first then lay the cheese on top followed by the wors and chorizo and lastly the sun-dried tomatoes. The olive oil the sun-dried tomatoes come is full of awesome herbs, I drizzled a bit of this on top of the tramezzinis and pressed them flat and baked them in the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes until nicely toasted and golden.
Whilst the tramezzinis were in the oven I made the Cape Malay style onion marmalade.
I made the marmalade by cutting one white onion in half and slicing it into thin slices. I placed the sliced onion in a pan with about 2 spoons of brown sugar and 2 spoons olive oil along with half a teaspoon of curry powder, a pinch of masala powder and 2 cloves. I placed the lid of the pan on top and placed it on a medium heat to allow the onions to sweat.
After about 15 minutes I removed the lid and allowed the onions and sugar to simmer until the liquid had become reduced. I poured about 3 spoons of good quality balsamic vinegar on the onions and allowed the pot to simmer until the onions had become a dark colour and the sauce a thick syrup.
Once the tramezzinis are toasted, place a teaspoon of onion marmalade on each one as well as a teaspoon of Mediterranean Delicacies Sweet Pepper Dip. Serve alongside Mediterranean Delicacies Taramasalata
To make the couscous salad I used:
– Whole-wheat couscous
– Mediterranean Delicacies feta stuffed Peppadews, chopped
– Mediterranean Delicacies sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into strips
– Mediterranean Delicacies coriander pesto
– Mediterranean Delicacies capers
– Pumpkin seeds
1. Place 2 cups of cous cous in a plastic container that can be sealed. Whilst still dry mix some sea salt, crushed pepper and drizzle some olive oil on it. Mix with a fork.
2. Boil some water and pour 2 and a half cups boiling water on the couscous to cover it (don’t pour too much water other wise your cous cous will become stodgy).
3. Seal the container with its lid and allow the couscous to absorb all the water.
4. Whilst still warm, using a fork, gently break the cous cous apart until all the grains are free and loose. Allow the couscous to cool.
5. Once cooled, mix in 3 spoons of coriander pesto, 1 teaspoon of the capers, 3 chopped up stuffed Peppadews, 3 chopped up sun-dried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons Sunflower seeds. Drizzle with some of the olive oil from the sun-dried tomatoes container.
That’s it. Quick, easy, simple.