Great Café food on your table


This issue I am feeling healthy and since opening the “The Deli Kitchen Café”, I have been feeling a little nostalgic. Reminiscing of the days of working in a cool café in Christchurch, which seems a long time ago, I started remembering some of the great dishes that we use to make and which are still popular now. Some of the recipes we use at the Deli Kitchen Café are from there. We have been delivering yummy salads for a few months, and are working with the seasons.

Our first salad has become very popular -not sure if I should give the recipe out though!

kumala-potato-saladRoasted kumala, quinoa and citrus salad

6 whole kumala, peeled, diced

1 cup quinoa

3 red capsicums

½ bunch spring onion

¼ cup olive oil

¼ lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Rub the diced kumala with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 170c until golden brown, turning every 5 mins. It will take about 20 mins.

Boil the quinoa as if you were boiling pasta, in salted water. Once cooked perhaps 4-7 mins, strain and let cool.

Char the red capsicum by putting the whole capsicum on a live gas fire and blacken the skin. Peel and slice thinly.

The dressing is easy; olive oil, salt and pepper, spring onion and lemon juice.

Once everything is ready, mix all ingredients together and serve. Simple but delicious.

tropical-foodPumpkin, broccoli, feta, nangae salad

This is one of my favorites.

400g pumpkin, peeled, diced, boiled to just cooked

1 head broccoli, cut into pieces.

100g feta

100g nangae

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Add a dash of olive oil to a fry pan, and fry the nangae and broccoli until charred.

In a mixing bowl, crumble the feta and add the cooked pumpkin, broccoli, nanage, salt and pepper.

And that’s it, an easy but tasty salad. A fellow kiwi taught me this salad, and once again, all ingredients are from the local market; you can even replace the olive oil with local coconut oil.

beef-tacosPulled Braised beef cheek tacos

Vanuatu beef is considered some of the best beef in the world. We all know about fillet, sirloins and ribeyes. But what about those forgotten pieces, the offal?

Cheek, tail, liver, brisket. There are so many of these cuts of beef that are tasty and also cheaper. All they need is a good marinade and a few hours to cook.

Beef cheeks are an underestimated cut of beef. It is only in the last ten years that chefs have recognized it as a premium cut and what they turn this tasty, tough cut of beef into is amazing. This may seem a lot of work, but believe me it is a wonderful cut of beef and so delicious. You can use it for other recipes too; stews, pastas, pies, or just on its own with a wonderful jus.

It is really easy.Ask your butcher if they have beef cheeks. Try and get four if possible. Remember there is a lot of meat on the beef cheek.

4 beef cheeks

Olive oil

4 carrots, chopped

2 onions, chopped

20g coriander seeds

1 cinnamon quill

½ bottle red wine

1 cup water

1 stick celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed lightly

pulled-beef-cheekIn a fry pan, seal the beef cheeks. Which means brown all the edges. This helps keep all those beautiful juices from the beef inside. Brown the onions with the beef. Then if you have a slow cooker, use this. If not, use a large pot with a lid.

Once the beef cheeks are brown, put all ingredients into the pot or slow cooker. In the slow cooker leave this over night to simmer away, about seven hours. In the pot, bring to the boil, then turn on low for about 5 hours. With the pot, keep making sure that it still has liquid; you can top it up with water, stock or more red wine.

Once cooked, the beef cheek will pull easily and will taste succulent.With the stock that is left, reduce until only half the liquid is left.Pull the meat away to small pieces.

To make the tacos:

Cut the tortilla wraps with a cutter to about 8cm width.

Slice spring onion, jalapeno and diced tomato. Add alittle of the reduced liquid to the pulled beef cheeks, to moisten the meat.

Build the tacos with the beef, tomato, jalapeno and spring onion and it is ready to serve!

pralineAnd for Something Sweet – Praline!

Praline is so very easy to make, delicious, and makes you look like a pro! There is so much you can do with it. Once made, you can eat as is or crush it in a food processor and dust your desert, or even better, mix it with vanilla ice cream for your own flavored ice cream. You can use any nut that is available to you or that you like. Of course, I am a big fan of the nangae nut which is local to Vanuatu.

All you need is 1½ cups of nuts (raw or toasted, it’s up to you) and 1½ cups of white sugar.

In a saucepan, melt the sugar on medium heat. You want the sugar to turn to a caramel colour. Once this happens, add in the nuts and stir quickly. Nuts can be whole or crushed depending on your liking and uses for the praline. Pour the caramel onto a tray with greaseproof paper, spreading it out as you pour it. Please be careful as hot sugar is very, very hot and exceeds the 100 degree mark. Once it is laid out on the tray, let it set for about 15 mins. To get that caramel off the spoon and saucepan, boil the spoon and saucepan with water and it will simply wash off. Once the praline is set, crack it into pieces or crush it in a food processor or by hand with a hammer and tea towel.   You can vary this recipe using brown sugar and vanilla, which will give you more of a biscuit type consistency.

Kandy’s Kitchen range of deli products is available at Libation, on Nambatu and at Organic Paradise in the Vanuatu Handicraft Markets.

For catering and other info, contact Kandy on [email protected], Ph +678 7735602,