Recipe: Green papaya achard

Liven up curries and rougails with this deliciously exotic papaya pickle.

Green papaya

Green papaya

Serves 4
Preparation time:
20 minutes
Resting time: 24 hours
Raising time: 2 hours
Draining time: 30 minutes

  • 300 g green papaya
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • salt and pepper

1. Peel and grate the green papaya. Add the coarse salt, mix well and let rest for 30 minutes to drain out the moisture.
2. Peel and chop the onion and garlic separately. Slit the green chilli lengthwise.
3. Fry the onion, garlic and green chilli for 1 minute in a saucepan, in 1 tbsp olive oil without cooking.
4. Dissolve the turmeric in vinegar and add it to the saucepan. Add mustard and remaining olive oil. Mix well and take off the heat.
5. Rinse the papaya in cold running water and squeeze it carefully between your hands to remove all moisture. Add it to the sauce, mix well, correct seasoning.
6. Let cool, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Serve with curries, daubes or rougails.

Trends 2012: wedding cakes

Guest blog by Fay Millar, creative director of UK based Pink Rose Cakes.

Chocolate wedding cake

Chocolate wedding cake

There was a time when ordering a wedding cake meant opting for three white tiers of traditional fruit cake with a bit of piping and maybe the odd sugar flower.

But the world of wedding patisserie has undergone a huge transformation in the last decade and now pretty much anything can be made in cake.

This change is partly due to the popularity of cake programmes such as Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes as well as many innovative bakers thinking outside the box. But it’s also down to couples wanting to be different and willing to cast aside tradition.

What’s new for 2012?

Cakes are being glammed up with decorative lacework, sugar pearls, edible cameos and frou frou ruffles which gives them a modern twist while some brides use elements from their dress, shoes and jewellery to inform their cake design.

Vintage

Vintage styles are hugely popular at the moment, mirroring the wider trend for retro or vintage-themed weddings.

Flowers

Sugar flowers are enjoying something of a renaissance having dropped in popularity in recent years. Cakes with delicate roses, hydrangeas, sweet peas and full peonies, which echo the vintage styling, are on the rise. And intricate piping is enjoying a return but with classic simpler lines to make it more modern.

Stunning two tier wedding cake

Stunning two tier wedding cake

Themed weddings

Rustic, glam and monochrome themed weddings are popular and cake designers draw inspiration from that. Cakes decorated with large bows, feathers and glittery broaches are being used in designs, giving brides that elusive wow factor.

The Royal Wedding

Lastly, no mention of wedding trends would be complete without a nod to the Royal Wedding last year. The beautiful cake created for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has led to a huge rise in people requesting scaled down versions of tiered ivory cakes with delicate piping and small sugar flowers.

It was a timeless, elegant cake in a style that will remain popular for many years to come.

Find out more about Pink Rose Cakes

Keep up-to-date with Fay’s latest creations on the Pink Rose Cakes Facebook page and Twitter.

Rougail of sea bass with cèpe mushrooms and black lentils

This warming and nutritious fish rougail, served with rice and lentils, is perfect for a weekend meal when you can take your time preparing, and then enjoying. your food.

Beach dining at Constance Moofushi Resort

Relaxed beach dining

Serves 4
Preparation time:
1 hour
Cooking time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Soaking time for lentils: 30 minutes

For the rougail

  • 4 seabass steaks
  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 400g small tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp thick tomato coulis
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs parslety
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 5 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped
  • 300g fresh cèpe mushrooms
  • salt and pepper

For the fricassed black lentils

  • 100g black lentils
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 3 tomatoes
  • salt and pepper

1. Soak the lentils for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare the rougail by cutting each fish steak into 4 pieces. Peel onion and garlic, chop them separately, as well as fresh coriander and curry leaves. Finely dice the tomatoes.
3. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides, then fry them in oil for 2 or 3 minutes on each side until golden. Set aside.
4. In the same pan, sauté onions, garlic and ginger for 3 minutes without colouring. Add tomatoes, let stew and reduce for 15 minutes on low heat. Add thyme, parsley, curry leaves, chilli and tomato coulis. Cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
5. Slice the cèpes, add salt and pepper, then pan-sear them on high heat for a few moments. Add fish and cèpes to the sauce and let it stew for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water. Correct seasoning, then sprinkle with chopped coriander.
6. Prepare the black lentil fricassée: peel the onion and garlic, chop them separately. Finely dice tomatoes.
7. Fry onion in a little oil in a saucepan, then add chopped garlic and ginger. Stew for 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, let them stew and reduce for 10 minutes.
8. Add black lentils, thyme and curry leaves, 50cl water, salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, then correct seasoning.
9. Serve the rougail hot, with plain boiled white rice and the lentils on the side.

 

In the kitchen, I can’t live without…

 

Microplane

Versatile microplane

In our new series, we take a look behind the scenes of the high-functioning kitchens at our Constance resorts to find out what kitchen equipment our chefs use time and time again.

Here, Chef Dominique Grel, Executive Chef of Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius reveals a Microplane is his must-have gadget in the kitchen.

Tired of your old Parmesan cheese grater that doesn’t grate? Or fed up with your lemon zester that mashes the zest instead of grating it?

Buy a Microplane. They’re sharp. They’re versatile. And they look cool.

At La Spiaggia restaurant, I like to serve a beautiful and healthy salad with seasonal vegetables, elegantly sliced in thin shavings using the microplane.

Season with Dandaragan (a great olive oil from Australia which comes in 3 characters: fruity, delicate of robust), kalamata olives and chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano.

 

Simple to prepare and delicious to eat.

What’s your favourite piece of kitchen equipment?

Do you have a favourite piece of kitchen equipment you use time and again? We’d love to hear from you. You can post a comment on our blog below, or to Constance Facebook or Twitter @constancehotels.

Romance your valentine at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Romantic dining at Constance Le Prince Maurice

Romantic dining on the beach

Wrap yourselves up in romance and indulge in a day of grown-up loveliness.

There are treats aplenty in store for couples at Constance Le Prince Maurice on Valentine’s Day.

Here are some of the special promotions we’re offering:

  • Princely Champagne breakfast
    Enjoy a delicious breakfast on the terrace of your suite with fruits, pastry, salmon, juice, cereals.
  • Massage: In the mood for love
    Relax with an afternoon massage on the beach, champagne and macaroons included.
  • Special Valentine’s menu
    Includes a bottle of champagne
  • BBQ with lobster
  • Valentine’s dinner at L’Archipel Restaurant
    Delightful evening menu includes fresh oysters from our lagoon, served hot with ginger sabayon, Chilled pumpkin and foie gras soup in ice with rose petals, Roasted heart-shaped stuffed chicken, Intense red apple with forbidden fruits, galangal flavour and Malagasy vanilla.

 

The Valentine’s dinner at L’Archipel is included in our half board package. The other Valentine’s promotions listed here include a supplement payable. For more information, speak to our Guest Relation’s Officer at Le Prince Maurice during your visit.

Find out more about Constance Le Prince Maurice

And if you want to know more about the resort, don’t miss Spotlight: Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

 

 

 

 

 

Anuradha pottery at Constance Moofushi Resort

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, reveals the story behind the latest range of bowls and plates used at Constance Moofushi Resort, Maldives.

Anuradha pottery tagines

Beautiful tagines

For Moofushi Resort, I wanted to create a specific line of pottery bowls and platters. I didn’t want anything too commercial and was looking instead for some real craftsmanship, with something of an ethnic look to it that would fit the Crusoe chic concept of the resort.

I found what I was looking for with Anuradha pottery, a small family factory in the suburbs of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Managed by the very dynamic Mr Nalaka, the company specialises in producing small ranges of tableware, and was not used to manufacturing goods for luxury hotels.

Firstly, the service we received was very professional and the welcome warm was authentic. I was amazed by the calm and concentration of the people working there, and it was clear that they were all very proud of what they were doing.

Nothing was a problem for Mr Nalaka and his team. One of the most incredible things to see was that the samples were being made up for us right there on the spot using fresh clay.

Making bowls at Anuradha Pottery

Making bowls for Constance Moofushi

After a few hours of work, we had designed the different pieces that we would be using for our buffet. We chose the shapes and the sizes, then the colours and the internal and external glazing.

It was a lot of fun, and really rewarding to have come up with a complete range which is original, functional and beautiful.

Find out more about Constance Moofushi