Recipe: Turmeric-flavoured yellow lentil soup with free-range chicken breast

This warming lentil soup from the kitchens of Constance Le Prince Maurice is delicious and simple to prepare. Perfect for January when you feel like some straight-forward, one-pot cooking.

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Constance Le Prince Maurice

Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

For the soup:

  • 200g yellow split lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 fresh ginger root
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 leek
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g boneless, skinless free-range chicken breast
  • 1 level tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 dried red chilli
  • 2 pinches cumin seeds
  • 2 pinches fennel seeds
  • 1 small stick cinnamon
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 10cl crème fraîche
  • 40g butter
  • salt and pepper

The tomato chatini:

  • 4 fried croûtons
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 sprigs coriander
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + a little for serving
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Peel and chop the onion, ginger and garlic separately. Clean and finely dice the carrot and leek.
2. In a saucepan, fry the onion in olive oil for 1 minute without colouring. Add ginger, garlic, carrot and leek. Sweat for 3 minutes. Add the chicken breast, yellow lentils, turmeric, fennel and cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, dried chilli, thyme and parsley. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour.
4. Remove the chicken breast, slice it finely. Set aside.
5. Remove the cinnamon stick, blend the soup, rub it through a fine sieve, add crème fraîche and butter. Correct seasoning.
6. Prepare the chatini: cut the tomatoes into quarters, seed them and cut them into julienne strips. Chop the coriander leaves.
7. Mix the julienned tomato, chopped coriander, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spread this onto the croûtons.
8. Place a small mound of the sliced chicken in the middle of each soup plate. Pour the hot soup onto it and top the chicken with one chatini croûton. Finish with a think streak of olive oil and serve.

Alternative ingredients:

You can also replace the chicken stock with water or vegetable stock, and substitute red lentils for yellow lentils. In a typical creole meal, lentils are served alongside rice.

Golf and food at Swing restaurant, Constance Belle Mare Plage

 

Curry bread sandwich with tandoori chicken

The famous Swing curry bread sandwich with tandoori chicken

Golf enthusiasts on holiday at Constance Belle Mare Plage are in for a culinary treat when playing on the Links golf course.

The deck of the Swing restaurant overlooks the 18 hole championship course, and stays open until late. Ideal for a sundowner after a long day’s play on the course.

Chef Rajesh Payanandee has created a special range of salads and sandwiches with flair and imagination, all served in generous portions and simply presented.

The curry bread sandwich with tandoori-marinated chicken breast is already famous. Perfect with a very cold beer after a hard game of golf under the hot Mauritian.

All dishes are served with the delicious ‘Poivre d’or’ local condiments: spicy ketchup, lime and chilli relish, crushed Mauritian chilli and spiced-up grain mustard.

Recipe: Paella from Constance Halaveli Resort

If you’re looking for a tasty dish to refresh your tastebuds after the festive season, try this delicious paella from the kitchens of our Constance Halaveli Resort.

Jahaz restaurant

Jahaz restaurant

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • ½ litre fish stock
  • ½ litre chicken stock
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups short grain rice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Pinch saffron
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 12 fresh mussels in shell, cleaned
  • 12 fresh clams in the  shell, cleaned
  • 3 fresh calamari tubes, cut into rings
  • 12 large prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced
  • 4 tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup black olives, stones removed
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 6 lemons

1. Heat the 2 stocks together and keep warm
2. Heat the olive oil in a paella pan (or large non-stick saucepan) on low heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
3. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes until opaque. Add the bay leaves, saffron and wine. Continue to stir until the wine is reduced by half. Add the hot stock one ladle at a time, stirring occasionally. Allow the stock to reduce before adding more.
4. When the rice is ¾ cooked (about 8–10 minutes) add the mussels and clams. After 2 minutes add the other seafood and the chicken, and cook until the chicken and fish are cooked and tender.
5. Remove the heat and bay leaves. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Fold in the butter and olives.
6. To serve: sprinkle with the parsley and hard-boiled eggs cut into wedges. Squeeze a couple of lemons over the top and garnish with the remaining lemons cut in quarters.

Do you have a favourite dish from your Constance holiday?

Every Friday we publish one of our delicious recipes from the Constance kitchens. If you’ve got a favourite dish from your holiday with Constance, let us know and we’ll publish the recipe here. You can comment on the blog below or post a message on our Constance Facebook page.

Top 9 food trends for 2012

In the first of our Trends 2012 articles, our corporate chef Bruno Le Gac gives us an insight into what he believes will be the biggest food trends this year.

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno Le Gac

My big 3 predictions   

1. ‘New’ Chinese and Indian cuisine

Many young Chinese and Indian chefs will appear and experiment with the traditional ways of cooking and presenting their dishes.

New great chefs from Asia will start exporting their talents abroad and open restaurants across the globe under their name.

2. Tea food

 

Food associated with tea, food and tea pairing dinners should become more fashionable.

Guests are getting savvier about tea, and quality products and ranges have become more readily available. Tea sommeliers will become a reality very soon.

3. The Maitre D’

The concept of the Maitre D’ will come back, but with new codes and a modern approach. Service jobs will come back into the spotlight, and we’ll see new ways of doing things, more service competitions and even TV shows on service.

Celebrity Maitre D’s will become more famous, and will lead the way to attract younger people to learn. In other words what’s happened in the kitchen will now begin to happen in the dining room.

What the industry predicts will be big news in 2012

4. Homemade pasta and noodles

Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai…. 2012 will be the ‘year of noodles’

5. Insects

Insects are a great source of protein. They form part of the culinary tradition of many countries (Thailand, China, Mexico…). They could be a good alternative to meat and some say it would help release the pressure on our planet.

Some famous chefs such as celebrity Milan chef Carlo Cracco have already explored using insects on their menus.

Watch this space – for my part, I don’t think we’re quite ready for this yet.

6. Pure food

Food as natural as possible, with no artificial ingredients. We’ll see more ‘back to roots’ options prepared with very good quality products.

And general consumer trends, that continue to grow

Fresh produce

Fresh produce

7. Green, local and organic food

It’s been big for several years and I suspect the trend will continue to grow. Consumers are fed up with bad quality products and want to come back to the real thing. Home grown vegetable gardens will become even bigger, especially in cities.

8. Quality snacks, take away food, light bites

People have less time to eat, and want to enjoy easy food for lunch. Easy but still good and healthy. This is also true in hotels and resorts and I think we’ll see more and more casual outlets in hotels selling quality, light and tasty snacks.

9. Conviviality and human contact

Tired of watching bad news on TV? Family style dishes, portions to share, long tables and casual barbecues will become more popular.

People want contact and authenticity. Culinary classes, ‘do-it yourself’ sessions and more interaction on hotel buffets.

And now over to you…

Do you think insects will be gracing our plates in 2012?

Has organic food had its day?

We want to know what you think. You can post your comments on the blog below, to our Constance Facebook page or tweet @constancehotels.com

Regional and sustainable food at Constance – interview with Bruno Le Gac

We’re committed to working with local producers across the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar.

Bruno Le Gac in Madagascar
Bruno Le Gac in Madagascar

Find out how Constance Hotels supports regional food production and sustainable tourism in the second part of an interview with Bruno Le Gac on the website visitmauritius.com.au.

Recipe: 2012 CJ Cocktail

Celebrate the New Year with this cocktail from our barman C.J – Chrisjan Bartolata – at Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives.  

2012 C.J. Cocktail

2012 C.J. Cocktail

This delicious cocktail balances bitterness and spiciness – perfect for a party on New Year’s Eve.

Ingredients

  • 4cl Vodka
  • 2cl Crème de Cassis
  • 1cl Calvados
  • 1cl Lime Juice
  • Dash of Grapefruit bitter
  • 1 slice of Pineapple Fruit
  • 1 slice of ginger
  • 2 cl of Champagne Delamotte
  • Ice

What you need:

  • 1 shaker
  • 1 Martini Glass
  • 1 Strainer

1. Crush the pineapple fruit and the ginger together.
2. Add all the ingredients to the shaker with the crushed pineapple and ginger (except the champagne).
3. Add ice to the shaker.
4. Shake well and pour the cocktail through the strainer, into a martini glass. Top up with the champagne.
5. Garnish with stick of pineapple.

Do you have any great cocktail recipes you can share with us? You can post them to the blog below, or to our Constance Facebook page.

Happy New Year everyone!