Monday, April 9, 2012

Gourmet Mushroom Beef Burger & Blue Cheese Sauce

Signature Dish by iSa
Type: American Dish / French Sauce = Gourmet Burger
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4
  • 300gr Lean Prime Quality Beef Mince
  • 250gr Brown/Button/Portobello Mushrooms
  • 1-2 Brown Onions (depending on size)
  • Black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 Tbsp wheat flour
  • 250ml Cream
  • 100gr Blue Cheese (Danish or Gorgonzola are fine)
  • 3 tbsp red wine
  • 4 Burger Rolls
  • Rocket
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Dijon or English Mustard and French Style Mayonnaise (optional)
Pre-heat a small/normal oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. We start by making the patties and for that, you take half of the mushrooms and the onion and chop them very finely and them throw them in a bowl with the beef mince, egg, flour and season with salt and pepper. Mix it all very well until the mix looks homogeneous. Then, split the mix in 4 and hand-mould each part into a round patty. Slice the rest of the mushrooms and onions and have them ready. 
Heat up the frying pan and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle some rosemary leaves into the oil and place the patties, leaving space for the rest of the mushrooms and onions to be cooked by their side. Meanwhile, heat the Burger rolls in the oven for about 5-7 minutes. Flip the patties and mushrooms and sprinkle with black pepper. Toss the onion to brown and caramelise.
Take the rolls out of the oven and spread some mayonnaise and Mustard on each half. Then put the Rocket leaves on top of the bottom half of the buns and place the patties on top. Keep the pan on the heat, pour in the wine and allow most of it to evaporate before incorporating the roughly chopped blue cheese, let it melt slightly and then pour in the cream. The cooking of the sauce should take you altogether about 3 minutes. Pour the creamy sauce over the burgers and top with some of the pan-fried mushrooms. Serve with the upper part of the bun on the side topped by the caramelised onions.
Should be delicious, so  E N J O Y !

Love, iSa

Monday, March 26, 2012

Roots Restaurant - Craddle of Humankind and Modern Cuisine

During this last year I've had the delightful opportunity of visiting Roots Restaurant in the Forum Homini Hotel, Located in the Cradle of Humankind 3 times. I've been wanting to narrate every single experience there, but every time we take so many pictures and I feel I have so much to say, that I end up delaying the task of writing about it. Thus, I have decided to rather let my pictures, well the pretty ones are my husband's pics, to tell the story.
The first time we got to know this Cradle of Modern Cuisine was about the time it was awarded the 8th place in the Top 10 Restaurants in South Africa by EatOut Magazine, when we visited the restaurant for a friend's wedding. Back then we were blown away, not only because I'm always thrilled by the opportunity of trying many dishes at one go but also because with a set menu I don't keep wondering if I should ordered something else - it is set Menu. It was served with a perfectly paired South African wine which was likewise amazingly good. We were bound to come back...

...Happily enough we did come back and in fabulous company, as our newly found foodie soul mates came together for a Gourmet Sunday Lunch at Roots. The Menu varies every week and the pairing changes to match if dish. This time around we found all of the dishes were very tasty as well as playful, trying different techniques and combinations to entice the palate - and my imagination. I can't say that every combination was perfect or something couldn't have been better, but mainly I found their efforts to present us with a beautifully and thoroughly crafted meal rather dazzling.

Hence, when the time came to celebrate our 4-year anniversary, we chose to visit Roots once again, but this time we were staying over and the experience included a 7-course dinner and a 5-course breakfast. Although, I have to say it is a bit too much food for me, I certainly did want to try it all. It was good to get to experience the concept as a whole and I think it does make a difference in your appreciation of both the restaurant and its setting. The rooms where very spacious, comfortable and indulgent while the design of the hotel very eco-friendly, blending seamlessly with the African Savannah.
The service was outstandingly attentive, timely and professional, which matched by a culinary adventure that inserts modernist cuisine touches and is courageous in its combinations, makes for an extraordinary experience that we thoroughly enjoyed and we're bound to return for more!

Love, iSa

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Colombia's Food Fare - What to Eat and not to miss!

I know, I know... It's been such a looong time since my last post! But trust me, I bring some great culinary adventures and a great New Year full of more exciting recipes to share with you... and so I hope you will forgive my absence. Apart from the December Holidays, which I will talk about in my next post, I was in my home country, Colombia, for about 5 weeks. My trip was work related, but nevertheless, it allowed me to dig into the food stuffs that while being away you may at times remember with a bit of nostalgia. This post then, will be dedicated to what to eat whilst in Colombia and the stuff you can't leave the country without trying. You can print this and use it as a checklist...