Ravioli 3 Ways – Veal and Spinach, Ostrich and Pancetta, Smoked Venison and Butternut

As we try to stick to a fairly low carb diet most of the time, I haven’t made fresh pasta for ages.  This was a great excuse to make ravioli for date night.

As every date night is a special occasion I decided to push the boat out and make 3 different types of ravioli with 3 different sauces.

Veal & Spinach Ravioli in a Walnut Sauce, Ostrich & Pancetta Ravioli in a Porcini Sauce and Venison & Butternut Ravioli in a Sage Butter Sauce.

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Portugese Date Night – Chorizo Stuffed Calamari and Beef Espetada

Sometimes the simplest food is the tastiest – Beef Espetada being a prime example.  A dish from the island of Madeira,  large chunks of beef are rubbed with garlic, salt and bay leaves.  It is then skewered and cooked over an open fire.

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Jamaican Date Night – Caribbean Prawns, Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas and Guinness Ice Cream

When you think of Jamaica you think of relaxed island vibes, rum cocktails and food flavoured with chilli, all spice and thyme.  This inspired me to try the quintessential Jamaican dishes of Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas  for this week’s Jamaican date night. Continue reading Jamaican Date Night – Caribbean Prawns, Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas and Guinness Ice Cream

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Thai Date Night – Khao Soi (curry noodles), Khao Kha Moo (pork shank) and Lemongrass Ginger Ice Cream

Of all the Thai food we ate in Chiang Mai (and we ate a lot), 2 of our favourite dishes were Khao Soi (a soup like dish consisting of egg noodles and meat in a curry coconut sauce) and Khao Kha Moo (braised pork leg on rice).  When Adrienne brought home fresh turmeric last week it was a sign to make Khao Soi, and in keeping with the Thai theme I decided to try and recreate the fabulous Khao Kha Moo from the famous “Lady with the cowboy hat” at the Chang Phueak Gate in Chiang Mai.

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Indian Date Night – Fish Tikka Skewers and Goan Prawn Curry

This is actually a date night from December but totally forgot about it with all the Silly Season chaos.

There’s so much more to Indian cuisine than the Butter Chicken, Vindaloo, Madras and Korma’s we see on local menus.

Goa – a coastal region in western India is well known for it’s seafood dishes.   Goan cuisine is heavily  influenced by its Hindu origins, Muslim rule and subsequent Portuguese colonialisation.

This prawn  curry starts of with a masala of spices, garlic, ginger and vinegar (the Portugese influence), before coconut milk is added to make a creamy curry full of flavour.

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Date night sosatie extravaganza

Sosatie (pl sosaties) is a traditional South African dish of meat (usually lamb or mutton) cooked on skewers. The term derives from sate (“skewered meat”) and saus (spicy sauce). It is of Cape Malay origin, used in Afrikaans, the primary language of the Cape Malays, and the word has gained greater circulation in South Africa. Marinated, cubed meat (usually lamb) is skewered and braaied (barbecued) shish-kebab style. Sosatie recipes vary, but commonly the ingredients can include cubes of lamb, beef, chicken, dried apricots, red onions and mixed peppers. Source: Wikipedia

I think most South Africans will agree that sosaties are an essential ingredient for any traditional South African braai. I decided to make four types of different sosaties using different marinades and different meats for date night.

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Belgian Date Night – Moules Frites

One of Belgium’s classic dishes is Moules Frites – mussels steamed in a white wine sauce with fries.  Adrienne makes a great mussel potjie in a garlic cream sauce, so the challenge was on to see whether I could make a mussel dish that would measures up.

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Chicken Mole Poblano

I have always wanted to make a proper Mexican mole sauce (a rich blend of chillies, spices, and chocolate).  Alas I could not source the  proper Mexican chillies you need for this dish in SA so never made it.

Then I came across a company called Mexican Imports SA in Plettenberg Bay that imports all kinds of goodies from Mexico.  As luck would have it I had friends going to Plett that weekend and they were kind enough to bring me back some Ancho and Guajillo chillies.

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