Tonight`s Guest- the Grapefruit
There may be people who can eat grapefruit in the morning on an empty stomach. I am not one of them, even the thought of it makes me flinch.
The Grapefruit polarizes, and that`s the very thing I am intrigued by. How can this rebellious fruit be used?
You can eat mandarins just walking by, oranges can be easily peeled and gobbled up in slices. There is no need to mention the epic orange for breakfast.
The grapefruit, on the other hand, somehow resists being enjoyed. However, it is worth getting at that rascal in order to get the best of its qualities.
Actually I was planning on preparing scallops with lime dressing after studying recipes for 3 days. But the word “actually” says it all. The word actually should make an alarm go off in my head every time I use it. It messes up everything you had been planning. It negates what you have just said and it proves that very often we end up doing something totally different than what we had “actually” planned.
However, this is “actually” not a workshop for self-discovery. Rather we are here to do some experimental cooking. So our initial plan of fixing scallops with lime dressing turned into the night of the grapefruit with a middle eastern touch and the result was a bummer.
There were no scallops available at my local fish store (I will tell you about that one soon, a place of pilgrimage!), instead they had fresh scampi in store that I couldn`t say no to despite the price.
The scampi on a bed of grapefruit-lychee-salad were delicious already, put pulling them through the sauce before they enter your mouth will make the grapefruit rock that evening!
The second course was supposed to be the actual experiment that night. While you might encounter lychees, scampi and grapefruit at a Thai restaurant, you can`t pin a label on my meatballs with an Asian twist and ingredients like ginger, capers, horseradish and, of course, grapefruit. The combination of coconut milk and the spices turn this sauce into a sensual revelation I have never known.
We served it with polenta bread with olives. There were not even any crumbs left of this symphony with grapefruit.
Recipes (feeds 4)
Scampi on grapefruit-lychee-salad
12-14 scampi, raw and unpeeled
1 clove of garlic
1 bunch of cilantro or flat leafed parsely
some chives for garnish
1 small chili
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of brown sugar
Peel one grapefruit making sure to remove any white bits and slice in rounds.
Juice the remaining grapefruit. Finely chop the garlic. Fry the scampi in a pan with the oil, about 1-2 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan and keep warm.
Add grapefruit juice to the pan and let it boil down a little, then add butter and a pinch of brown sugar.
Serve scampi on a plate with the sliced grapefruit. Peel the lychees and add. Add the sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro and chives.
This works well with corn or wheat tortillas, baguette is fine too.
Now we will go experimental, as the following recipe can`t be pigeonholed and will not fit in any category. It was created in a culinary bout. I call it kamikaze cooking.
Meatballs with an Oriental twist
Preheat oven to 180°C
600g mixed minced meat
1 red onion
1 bunch of spring onions
30g of ginger
some toasted, sliced almonds for garnish
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp nigella sativa (black cumin seeds)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
100g coconut milk
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp freshly ground horseradish
1 small, green chili
a pinch of brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
about 2 tbsp olive oil
To make the sauce, peel and chop the ginger, juice the grapefruits, chop the spring onions and the chili and mix with the sugar and the fish sauce. Set aside.
Mix the minced meat with the chopped onion, capers, egg, chili, breadcrumbs, cumin, salt and pepper and form into golf ball sized balls. Fry them off in a pan with some olive oil, transfer them to a casserole and cook them in the oven for about 10 to 15 min at 180°C.
Now add your prepared ingredients for the sauce to the pan and bring to a boil.
Add the coconut milk and the black cumin seeds, salt and pepper and let it boil down a bit.
Serve on a plate with the sauce and garnish with cress.
Polenta naan bread or polenta tortillas
100g cornmeal (polenta)
1 cube of fresh yeast (42g)
100g pitted black olives
100ml olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
Mix flour and cornmeal in a bowl and crumble in the yeast. Add the sugar and mix with 330ml of warm water. Knead until the dough comes off the bowl easily.
Brush dough with olive oil to keep moist. Let it rest for 20 min in a warm place.
Chop the olives and add to the dough along with some salt and pepper. Knead the dough again.
Separate into 10 portions and form into flat, oval breads. Preheat oven to 250°C
Let the bread sit for another 10 minutes and then pop in the in the oven for about 20 minutes.