Delicious fish dish for summer nights

Ethically sourced fish
Ethically sourced fish
Image: Supplied

Is there a better feeling for a foodie than when you find the perfect wine and food pairing? Warmer weather calls for some light drinks and food perfect for picnics and evening dinner parties.

So if you're flirting with the idea of hosting some guests, keep reading. This week I review some merlot and you can try out a recipe from chef Kerry Kilpin of the newly established Tryn restaurant at Steenberg in the Constantia Wine Valley.

The restaurant is named after the wine estate's 17th-century founder, Catharina Ras. Try this ethically sourced fish recipe.

Grilled sustainable fish with harissa, roast butternut & coriander yoghurt Serves 4

4 x 200g sustainable fish (I like to use Cape bream) seasoned with salt and pepper

1 x lemon

1 x large butternut cubed

10g cumin seeds

10g sugar

Salt and pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a roasting tray toss butternut, cumin seeds, salt, pepper, sugar and olive oil. Roast until cooked and golden in colour.

Harissa Vinaigrette

50g harissa

10ml water

1tsp honey

Chopped chilli to taste

1 lemon

200ml sunflower oil

Salt

Whisk the harissa, water, chilli, honey and squeeze of lemon juice. Gradually add the oil while whisking. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Coriander Yoghurt

100ml yoghurt

10g coriander chopped

Salt

Mix together and season

Grill the fish with a little oil in a hot pan for about 2 minutes on each side.

Ensure to get a nice good golden colour and crispy skin. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serve the grilled fish on top of the roasted butternut. Drizzle with harissa vinaigrette and coriander yoghurt. 

Perfect pairing 

Oysters with citrus ice served with white merlot.
Oysters with citrus ice served with white merlot.
Image: Londiwe Dlomo

Last week at the award-winning Saint restaurant in Sandton, Johannesburg, for wine estate Vergenoegd Löw's limited red and white merlot collector's edition launch, I found the perfect pair.

Starters were a choice between oysters with citrus ice or arancini (deep-fried nuggets of risotto) with saffron aioli. The mains were a choice of beef fillet, butternut and goat cheese risotto, and grilled salmon, with the desserts being chocolate mousse, orange and Campari cake or gelato and biscotti.

The verdict is in - the white merlot, is a winner; it went well with the citrus-based dishes. The oysters with the citrus ice left a refreshing, crisp taste in the mouth. It was also a lovely accompaniment to the orange and Campari cake highlighting the citrus note there. It is the perfect drink for lazy summer picnics, a light, crisp compliment to the food.

Adam, the red merlot, is the perfect partner as it is not as intense as normal merlot which is good with winter dishes. This one is a lighter, and is the perfect drink to keep sipping on all night. If you strip the bottles down they can be used as vases with a pretty cool serpent design. 

Chocolate cake just got a little more decadent

Image: Supplied

Dessert with wine is a must

Roodeberg wine just celebrated its 70th anniversary, and the brand got four foodies to develop mouthwatering recipes using its wine as an accompaniment. TV chef Anél Potgieter chose to make a "decadent chocolate cake".

Decadent chocolate cake by Anél Potgieter of Life is a Zoo Biscuit

Cakes: (Makes 3 x 20cm round cakes)

6 large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups (600g) castor sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

1 ¾ cup (400 ml) canola oil

2 espresso shots (60ml) (optional)

2 cups buttermilk

3 cups (400g) cake flour

2 cups (200g) cocoa powder

3 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp fine salt

Icing:

3 cups (750g) salted butter, at room temperature

10 cups (1250g) icing sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

1 cup (100g) cocoa powder

1 espresso shot (30ml) (optional)

1 tin (360g) caramel treat

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease 3 x 20cm round cake tins with baking spray or butter and line the bottom of the cake tins with baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, whip the sugar, eggs and vanilla essence until light and thick. With the mixer still on, slowly add the oil and mix until incorporated. Mix in the espresso shots followed by the buttermilk.

Sift in the cake flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and the fine salt. Mix until well combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the three cake tins.

Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing from the cake tins.

For the icing:

In a large mixing bowl and with an electric mixer, whip the butter, icing sugar and vanilla essence for 10-15 minutes. Once light and airy, remove 1/3 of the icing and place in a large piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Add the cocoa powder and espresso to the remaining icing and whip for 5 minutes until well incorporated.

To assemble:

Place a layer of chocolate cake on cake stand. Pipe the vanilla icing on the first layer of cake. Top with the second layer of cake. Place a bit of chocolate icing in a piping bag, and pipe thin layer of chocolate icing on the outer edge of the cake.

Spoon the caramel in the centre and top with the third layer of cake. Roughly cover the entire cake with the chocolate icing. Place the cake in the fridge for about 2 hours to set.

Slice and enjoy!

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