Weekly roundup: competitions, holiday inspiration and culinary delights

This new weekly feature offers a roundup of the content on our blog from the past week, in case you missed anything. Split into categories, it’s another way for you to easily find the posts of value to you.

13 – 19 June

Exclusive offers and competitions

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Could you win a trip with flights to Constance Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius?

Only 2 days to go to win the holiday of a lifetime!
The deadline for entry to our Win a 5 Star Holiday to Mauritius competition is looming – if you haven’t entered yet, do so before midnight GMT on Wednesday 22 June!

New competition: the item I can’t go on holiday without is…
This week we launched a new week long competition on our blog, twitter and Facebook page. Winners can choose from a magnum of champagne, a Serge Lutens fragrance or a bottle of wine.

Competition winners announced: Most Romantic Holiday Pictures
We announced the winner’s of last week’s Twitter competition to win a bottle of Deutz Champagne – all they had to do was enter their most romantic holiday snaps to us.

Culinary

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Blue Penny table decorations

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Blue Penny

Recipe: chicken and prawn fricassee, stewed Chinese bredes with boucane
Want to create some of our chef’s amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes online. Why not try this chicken and prawn fricassee out at your next dinner party?

Constance Star Martini
Talking of dinner parties, why not kick things off with this unique cocktail created by our very own head bartender, Guillaume Grafeuille?

Inspiration

Frog, Madagascar

Frog, Madagascar

Holiday inspiration: Madagascar – walks on the wild side
Planning the trip of a lifetime and need some inspiration? Our regular ‘holiday inspiration’ features will give you the information you need. Last week, we gave you the low down on the unique island of Madagascar, where the Constance Tsarabanjina Lodge is located.

Spa & Sports

Fish underwater in the Maldives

Snorkeling in the Maldives

Snorkeling paradise: The Maldives
Love snorkeling? Then you’ll love the Maldives. Check out our guide to what makes snorkeling in the Maldives a unique experience.

US Open Golf 2011 gets underway, 16–19 June
The US Open got underway last week and as Constance Hotels Experience has some championship golf courses of our very own, we thought we’d tell you the places you can find out all you need to know about the Open.

News and Events

Winners of 2011 Le Prince Maurice prize for literature

Winners of 2011 Le Prince Maurice prize for literature

Le Prince Maurice Prize for romantic literature
The winner of the 2011 Le Prince Maurice Prize was announced last week at a wonderful awards ceremony in Mauritius. Find out who won and see photos from the evening here.

BBC Good Food Show Summer 2011
A round up the BBC’s Good Food Show from Summer 2011 in the UK.

Recipe: chicken and prawn fricassee, stewed Chinese bredes with boucane

Red and green chillies

Red and green chillies

It’s Father’s Day in the UK on Sunday 19 June.

Here’s a special recipe for all the Dads out there from Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius. Enjoy your day.

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

Ingredients for the fricassée

  • 4 boned chicken legs
  • 8 large shelled prawns
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 5 sprigs parsley
  • 4 diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato coulis
  • 5 sprigs coriander
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper

For the stewed Chinese brèdes

  • 1 Chinese cabbage
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100g boucane (smoked pork belly)
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • salt and pepper

1. Make the fricassée: peel the onion and garlic. Chop them separately, chop the thyme, curry leaves, parsley and coriander. Cut each chicken leg in 4 pieces, add salt and pepper, then brown the chicken in 2 tbsp of hot oil in a frying pan. Set aside.

2. Season the prawns with salt and pepper. Sear them for 5 minutes in 2 tbsp of hot oil. Set aside.

3. In a saucepan, sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in oil for 2-3 minutes without colouring. Add the diced tomato and let stew for 10 minutes. Add the thyme, curry leaves, parsley, the chilli split in two lengthways and the tomato coulis. Stew for a further 10 minutes on low heat. Add the chicken and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat; then add the prawns. Simmer for 5 minutes and correct seasoning.

4. Prepare the Chinese brèdes: clean the Chinese cabbage and chop the leaves. Peel the onion and garlic, chop them separately. Chop the red chilli. Dice the smoked pork belly and cook it in boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain.

5. In a saucepan, brown the onion, garlic and pork belly in oil for 3 minutes without colouring. Add the brèdes and the chopped dried chilli, season with salt and pepper. Cover and stew for 10-12 minutes on low heat. Correct seasoning.

6. Serve this chicken and prawn fricassée with the stewed Chinese brèdes, plain white rice or bread.

Let us know how you get on, and send us your comments and pictures of your own chicken and prawn fricassée. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

You can also purchase the Prince Maurice recipe book that contains this recipe and 50 more from our online store.

Recipe: Pan-roasted sea bass with mild spices, salad of warm spinach, asparagus and berries

Pan-fried sea bass with mild spices, salad of warm spinach, asparagus and berries

Pan-fried sea bass with mild spices, salad of warm spinach, asparagus and berries

This week at Constance Hotels we’re showing you a fish recipe – pan roasted sea bass with mild spice, salad of warm spinach, asparagus and berries with an almond-green chilli vinaigrette.

Delicious and easy to make, it takes just 15 minutes to prepare.

Let us know what you think of the recipe or send us pictures of your own pan roasted sea bass. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Cardamon pods

Cardamon pods

Ingredients

4 sea bass fillets, 160g each
2 tbsp olive oil
4 star anise
4 small sticks cinnamon
4 cardamom pods
800g fresh spinach
400g asparagus
60g mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants)
1/4 bunch chervil
4 sprigs fresh mint
salt and pepper

For the almond-green chilli vinaigrette

5 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 fresh green chilli
1 red bell pepper
40g blanched almonds
salt and pepper

1. Tear off the central rib of each spinach leaf.
2. Clean the asparagus, cook them in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, then cool them in iced water and drain them.
3. Make the vinaigrette: remove the seeds from the green chilli then cut it into thin julienne strips. Blanch them in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, cool in iced water, drain and repeat twice.
4. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper, finely dice the flesh.
5. Toast the almonds for 10 minutes in a 180C oven. Chop them with a knife.
6. Mix the almonds, diced bell pepper, green chilli julienne, olive oil and lemon juice. Correct seasoning.
7. In a hot pan, sauté the sea bass fillets in the olive oil with the star anise, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Keep warm. Reserve the whole spices for decoration at the end.
8. Sauté the spinach in a hot pan with the olive oil for 1 minute. At the last moment, add the asparagus, berries, mint leaves and chervil. Correc seasoning and put them in the middle of each plate. Top with the fish, pour a little vinaigrette around. Decorate with the reserved whole spices.

You can also purchase the Prince Maurice recipe book that contains this recipe and fifty more from our online store.

Beach picnic at Anse Georgette, Seychelles

Our corporate chef Bruno Le Gac regularly shares some of the great culinary experiences on offer at our Constance hotels.

This week the spotlight is on the luxury beach picnic in the Seychelles.

Anse Georgette beach at Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

Anse Georgette beach at Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

The beach of Anse Georgette is located at Constance Lémuria Resort on Praslin in the Seychelles.

Regarded as one of the world’s top 10 beaches, Anse Georgette has been left untouched and in pristine condition.

No bar. No restaurant. No beach cabana. No loungers.

The beach is just a few minutes walk or quick golf cart ride from the main reception at Constance Lémuria, through mango and sea-coconut trees, and other tropical plants.

Fresh beach picnic at Anse Georgette, Seychelles

Fresh beach picnic at Anse Georgette, Constance Lemuria, Seychelles

If want to enjoy a full day on this glorious beach, try our beach picnic experience. Delivered straight to where you’re sitting, the picnic comes in a fabulous basket and includes delicious snacks such as:

  • open sandwich with home-smoked big game fish
  • Creole style chicken kebabs
  • grilled Seychellois vegetables tossed with coriander pesto and al-dente pasta
  • local seasonal fruits.

It’s an experience not to be missed.

Recipe: Salad of smoked duck and leeks with vanilla citrus dressing

This week’s recipe from the Constance kitchens is a light, refreshing smoked duck and leek salad with vanilla citrus dressing. Perfect for warm summer days and al fresco dining.

Vanilla pods

Salad of smoked duck and leeks with vanilla citrus dressing

Let us know how you get on and send us your comments and pictures of your own smoked duck salad. You can get in contact with us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Marinating time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 leeks
  • 1 smoked duck breast
  • 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small bunch of chives
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • curly endive and lettuce to serve

1. Clean the leeks, cut them into strips (like tagliatelle) and wash them well. Blanch them for 3-4 minutes in boiling salted water, then drain and refrigerate.
2. Finely slice the smoked duck breast.
3. Cut the vanilla pod in two, lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a knife. Set aside.
4. Peel the oranges and grapefruit, cutting into the flesh, then cut off the segments while keeping any juice that drops. You will need about 4 tbsps of juice for the dressing.
5. Mix honey, vanilla seeds, orange and grapefruit juice, and 3 tbsps olive oil. Add salt and pepper.
6. Cut chives into 2 cm lengths.
7. Put the leeks in a large dish, add dressing, chives, orange and grapefruit segments, salt and pepper. Let this salad marinate for 5 minutes.
8. Just before serving, wash and drain the curly endive and lettuce. Line each plate with a few salad leaves, top with some leek salad and a few slices of smoked duck breast. Pour a thin streak of olive oil over this and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

You can also purchase the Prince Maurice recipe book that contains this recipe and fifty more from our online store.

Learn to cook with the professionals at Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

There’s a special cookery class taking place at Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius on Thursday 30 September.

Colourful spices of Mauritius

Colourful spices of Mauritius

Seasoned and novice cooks alike can enjoy a day learning about Mauritian cuisine.

The event will be hosted by two of our chefs, Rajesh and Frederic Goisset, and wine tasting is led by our head sommelier at Belle Mare Plage.

Against the backdrop of the Deer Hunter restaurant, situated at the Legend golf clubhouse, our chefs will reveal some of our island secrets for creating subtle and lingering flavours.

Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Deer Hunter restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Guests will learn about roasting spices using traditional local Mauritian methods, and how to prepare them. One such method involves a rock, known as the roche carrie, which is used to crush and mix the spices.

This relaxed and informative day includes:

  • 2 hour cookery lesson, where guests will make chicken with garam masala
  • Presentation by the Z’épices Experience shop
  • Recipe sharing including traditional methods
  • Wine tasting with our head sommelier
  • Three course lunch dining with the chefs (includes wine, drinks and coffee)
  • Gifts to take home including an apron, recipe CD and diploma for the course

As this special day will be popular, you can avoid disappointment by booking your place in advance. Email us at: info@bellemareplagehotel.com or visit the Constance Belle Mare Plage website to find out more about our luxury hotel.