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About the Cape Quarter Food Spar and Tops

Introducing The Foodie…

By The Foodie on 12 November 2010 | Leave a Comment

ONE QUICK SHOP, MANY GREAT MEALS.

David Cope – The Foodie
www.thefoodie.co.za

Cape Quarter Food SPAR has a huge selection of gourmet foods under one roof. It’s more like a large deli than a supermarket, really. They have all the usual grocery items as well as various local and imported delicacies that you won’t find everywhere. While this is all pretty awesome, it can be a little daunting when you’re walking down the aisles deciding what to make for dinner. To help you make the most of your trip to SPAR, this series will showcase a few useful ingredients that you use in several dishes.

This is important, since you want to avoid the leftovers. Every fridge has them. The half pack of moulding carrots. The unrecognizable herbs now limp and brown. Those mushrooms from almost a month ago. Cooking for one or two means you rarely use an entire pack of something, and with our busy lives and changing weekly schedules, food often goes to waste. But this doesn’t have to always be the case. With a little foresight before your next dash to SPAR, you can pick up ingredients that work for more than just tonight’s dinner. The idea is that the next few times you open your fridge you’ll have enough items to easily put together a decent meal. Less time running to the shops, more time for yourself and less expired ingredients lurking in the back of your fridge. A pretty good win all round, really.

This month we’ve chosen two ingredients as the basis for three meals, though they could last you even more. Prawns are something that people often shy away from cooking at home, yet they’re actually very simple to cook with. You can buy whole prawns or the tails, the former useful for making stocks and the latter saving you preparation time. Frozen prawns aren’t a problem, just remove from packaging and defrost in a bowl of water for 15 minutes.

Chourizo is the spicy sausage that can add a delicious spicy edge to dishes. It gets a lot of flavour as well as its red colour from dried smoked red peppers. Remember to remove the outer casing on the chourizo sausage before slicing, and when using with chili in a dish, taste the chourizo to see how spicy it is before adding further chili. Aside from being great to cook with, sliced chourizo is also a great snack on its own.

Tops at SPAR Wine Pairing: False Bay Chenin Blanc 2009

Chenin Blanc is made in various styles but is well known for being a versatile wine. South Africa grows more Chenin than any other grape, so there’s many options available. Tops at SPAR sells the full range of False Bay wines. The Chenin Blanc works well with these recipes, since it has fresh acidity and a slight hint of sweet fruit flavour on the finish. It makes a great wine to toast the end the day with on its own, but the freshness pairs beautifully with the linguini dish and the rounder fruit flavours offset the spice of the curry dish superbly. Very unlikely you’ll have any of this left over once opened, so maybe you’ll want two bottles – luckily it also happens to be a bargain!

Malaysian Prawn Curry

This is a very easy curry to make, and soul-satisfying dish for winter. Mop up the broth with the ciabatta as an alternative to rice and prepare to get your hands a little messy. SPAR sells a variety of spices and curry powders so you can vary the spice mix, but an equal measure of masala and tamarind work well for this.

Ingredients  (serves 2 – 3)
10 prawn tails
½ onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp spice mix (masala & tamarind)
2-3 red chilies, finely chopped
100ml coconut cream
500ml fish or chicken stock
1 handful green beans, ends chopped off
juice of 2 limes
1 handful fresh coriander
peanut oil

Preparation
Fry the onion in peanut oil over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook another 2 minutes, then add the spice mix and cook another minute, stirring well. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes, stirring into spiced onion mix. Add the stock, coconut milk and beans and bring to boil. Remove from heat after boiled for 1-2 minutes, then add lime juice and top with fresh coriander. Serve with chunks of ciabatta and some Chenin Blanc. Or an ice cold beer.

Egg & Chourizo Salad

A step above the ordinary salad, this actually makes a delicious brunch or lunch, should you find yourself wondering what to make on the weekend.

Ingredients (serves 1)
1 handful green beans, ends chopped off
2 slices ciabatta
10 slices chourizo
1 handful rocket & watercress leaves
10-12 parmesan shavings
1 egg
olive oil
white wine vinegar
salt & freshly ground pepper

Preparation
Blanche the green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes, then remove and place in cold water to stop cooking. Chop the ciabatta slices into chunky pieces. Splash a bit of olive oil into a bowl and lightly coat the pieces. Place on tray in oven at 180′C until pieces brown, about 10-15 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally to evenly brown them. Mix the beans, salad greens, parmesan shavings, chourizo in a bowl and dress with a touch of olive oil and vinegar. Add 500ml of water to a frying pan and bring to gentle boil. Add 50ml of vinegar. Whisk the water so it makes a whirlpool then gently crack the egg into the centre of whirlpool, so it stays together. Let cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until yolk is done to your liking, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of salad. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.

Prawn & Chourizo Linguini

Super-simple, this is what the Italians call fast food. Essentially you’re boiling pasta, frying a few ingredients in a pan, then adding the pasta to the pan and serving. A great dish that takes just minutes.

Ingredients (serves 2 – 3)
6 – 8 prawns, either whole or tails
12 slices chourizo
150g linguini
½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 red chili, finely chopped
100ml white wine
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper

Preparation
Cook the linguini in salted boiling water until al dente. Once cooked, drain, but reserve half a cup of the pasta water. Saute the onion in olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes, then add the chili and garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the chourizo and prawns and the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pasta water, tomato paste and the parsley and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add the pasta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil.

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