There are two gourmet Eat.Art spice blends that interest me, partly because they intrigue me by their list of enticingly fragrant and exotic ingredients and partly because I have no idea what to do with them..!
My brother in law happens to be a chef which can come in handy if I can ever tear him away from food, or anything to do with food. Being a sucker for a challenge – I decided to task him with a test and presented him with my two exotic Eat.Art spice blends.
The challenge was to create a delish dish with each spice mix and provide some insight into the concoction of each.
INTRODUCING CHEF MAT~
Mathew Hoepner is the owner of and head chef for The Flying Pan. He has travelled and worked abroad, especially in South East Asia and he has a passion for worldly flavours and the fusion thereof. “I love the way that with a little understanding of texture and flavour you can create the most heavenly food without being a scientist!”
The First Test: Eat.Arts’ Brazilian Gaucho Exotic Spice Mix
(the second test to follow next month)
Mats’ Creation: Brazilian Gaucho Prawn and Mango Wrap
- 150g/20-30 Vanemmai prawns, de-shelled and de-veined
- 30ml coconut cream
- 20g fresh watercress
- 6 slices of fresh mango (stay away from the fibrous bits they tend to be chewy)
- Juice and rind of a lime
- 1tbspn real mayonnaise
- handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 25ml blended olive oil
- 2 tspn Brazilian Gaucho
- Mexican flour tortillas to wrap
- Mix half the olive oil, Gaucho mix, lime juice and rind with the prawns, place in the fridge and marinate for 30 minutes
- Heat a non-stick pan on high – ideally the pan needs to be smoking before you begin
- While your pan is heating, whisk together the remaining Gaucho, lime juice, coriander and mayonnaise
- Once your pan is smoking pour in the leftover olive oil and add your prawns, stir them briskly as they cook quickly.
- When all the prawns are pink add the coconut cream and simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat
- Warm your tortilla/s and lay on a flat surface
- Assemble by smearing the tortilla with mayonnaise, then delicately add the prawns, fresh mango and lastly the watercress. Roll up and tuck in the sides, then cut diagonally down the centre and plate
- Best enjoyed on a warm winters day in mild sunshine, with a crisp and fruity white wine such as a Semillon or un-wooded Chardonnay.
MAT’S IMPRESSION OF THE SPICE MIX~
“Eat.Arts’ Brazilian Gaucho mix is very similar to a Cajun style rub, although it has slightly more sugar and is not as spicy as it’s Louisiana cousin. It would be excellent as a meat rub for a white meat or for marbled cuts of red meat.
I liked it and it worked very well with the prawns and mango in particular, which lifted the depth of flavour offered by the spice through the sweetness of the fruit. I noticed the hickory essence on the label, and decided that it would need some serious heat to release the smokiness and by cooking the prawns in a very hot pan the sugar caramelised quickly. Lastly, the coconut cream is a must as it numbs some of the burn and rounds off the overall flavour of the dish especially enhancing that of the prawns.”
Visit www.theflyingpan.co.za for more info and culinary inspiration…
Only slightly exhausted mother-of-two delicious girls, lover of food (fine and fast), purveyor of all things pretty and Jill of all things ‘creative’…Nancy has a background in the visual and performing arts. Having worked with the eat-art team before, she is thrilled, and slightly bewildered to have been asked to (take time out from juggling and) add some spice to the eat.art blog. Don’t get us wrong….it’s not that it needs it….it just wants more…and she is happy to oblige.