Weekly round-up, 22-28 August 2011

Constance Le Prince Maurice water villas

Constance Le Prince Maurice water villas

This 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.

This week we’ve got a fantastic special offer at Constance Le Prince Maurice, highlights on Madagascar, beauty tips, our Friday recipe and more.

Offers

Long stay special offer at Le Prince Maurice

Stay at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius, for 7 nights and you get 15% off your stay.

Events

Edinburgh International Festival 2011

It’s not too late to enjoy the sights, sounds and culture of the 2011 Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe Festival. Find out about what’s on, as well as editor’s top picks from the Guardian.

Culinary

Recipe: Pizza dough – Constance style

Want to create some of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes online.

Spa and sport

Top tips to get your feet sandal-ready this summer

Sophie Demaret, Spa Manager at Constance Le Prince Maurice, has some great advice to get your feet looking sexy in this season’s hottest sandals.

Insider tips

Top 5 beach beauty bag essentials

Get expert tips on what to pack for head-to-toe fabulousness as you head to the beach.

Inspiration

Top 10 highlights of Madagascar

We’ve put together our must-see list of the island for a truly epic experience, with links to more useful information.

Water villas at Constance Le Prince Maurice

The water villas are perched along the edge of a natural fish reserve, offering tranquility and beautiful views across the lagoon. Find out more, and see photos on our Facebook page.

Recipe: Pizza dough, Constance-style

Get set for a relaxed weekend supper with this pizza dough recipe from Constance Ephelia executive pastry chef Shahine Mohammad.

Pizza

Pizza

Serves 4
Preparation time: dough should be made the day before you want to use it

Ingredients 

For the dough

  • 1 kg strong plain flour (a mix of 500g of type 55 + 500g type 45 flour)
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g liquid ‘levain’ (a mix of 50g plain flour and 50g water)
  • 20g salt
  • 10g fresh or dry yeast
  • 500g water (at 14˚C)

 1. Firstly, prepare the ‘levain’.
2. Then pour all the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl of your mixer, and knead at speed 2 with the hook for a few minutes until all ingredients are perfectly mixed. Alternately add the ‘levain’ and the olive oil, then the water. Keep kneading for a few minutes until the dough is thoroughly mixed. Important: the temperature of the flour should be 25°C and the ideal temperature of the room 25°C as well.
3.
Stop the machine, remove the dough from the bowl and finish kneading by hand for a further 5 or 10 minutes, on a wooden board sprinkled with flour.
4. Cut small portions of dough of 150g each, then roll them by hand to give them a nice round shape. The surface should be smooth.
5. Sprinkle more flour on top and under the balls of dough.
6. Cover with a humid towel and leave in the fridge until the next day.
7. When you are ready to bake the pizzas, take each ball of dough and form it by hand to the shape of the pizza. The edges should be thicker than the centre. The thickness of the dough depends on your own taste.
8. Garnish the dough with tomato, mozzarella and other toppings of your choice.
9. Bake in a very hot preheated oven for approx 7 minutes, at 250°C. 
10. Once the pizza is cooked, brush the edges with extra virgin olive oil.

Recipe: Chilled tomato and green papaya soup with cucumber-coriander salsa

Try our delicious chilled summer soup from the kitchens of Constance Le Prince Maurice. Similar to gazpacho, this soup includes tropical papaya and hot red chilli.

Mauritian chilled tomato and green papaya soup

Mauritian chilled tomato and green papaya soup

Serves 4 
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 30  minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 kg small, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 green papaya
  • 1 small fresh red chilli
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 cl tomato juice
  • salt and pepper

For the salsa

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 sprigs coriander
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 level tsp cumin seeds
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

To serve

  • olive oil
  • 4 coriander leaves

1. Peel and chop the garlic and onion. Dip the tomatoes into boiling water for a few seconds, then cool them immediately in iced water before peeling them. Halve the tomatoes and remove their seeds.
2. Peel and seed the green papaya. Seed the red bell pepper. Finely dice both.
3. Fry the chopped onion and the halved red chilli in a little olive oil without colouring. Add the chopped garlic, diced bell pepper and papaya, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato juice, season with salt and pepper. Cook at a slow boil for 20 minutes.
4. Cool this mixture in a deep freezer, then blend it and strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl. Correct seasoning and keep refrigerated.
5. Make the salsa: peel and finely dice the cucumber. Chop the coriander. Mix cucumber, coriander, olive oil, cumin seeds and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
6. Drop a little salsa in the middle of each soup bowl; pour the chilled soup around it. Add a thin streak of olive oil onto the soup and a coriander leaf on the salsa.

You can also purchase the Constance Prince Maurice recipe book from our online store.

Recipe: Seafood vindaye with white haricot beans

Perfect for a Saturday evening meal with friends, this spicy seafood vindaye is an authentic Creole dish from Mauritius.

Let us know how you get on making this vindaye. You can comment or send photos to us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

Seafood vindaye with white haricot beans

Seafood vindaye with white haricot beans

Serves 4
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 1 1/4 hours
Soaking time (for beans): 12 hours
Marinating time: 24 hours

Ingredients

For the vindaye:

  • 8 scallops without roes
  • 4 fillets white fish, approx 50g each
  • 6 shelled camaron tails (large prawns)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 4 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • salt and pepper

For the fricasséed white beans:

  • 200g white haricot beans
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 small ripe tomatoes
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • salt and pepper

1. One day in advance, prepare the seafood vindaye: peel and coarsely dice the onions. peel the garlic, halve each clove ad remove the germ. Slice the chillies in 2 lengthwise and remove the seeds.
2. Soak the beans 12 hours before cooking.
3. Season the squid, camarons and scallops with salt and pepper. Sear them separately in a frying pan with 2 tbsp oil for 5 minutes. Keep warm.
4. In a saucepan, sweat the onions, garlic, ginger and chillies for 5 minutes with the olive oil without colouring. Mix vinegar and turmeric, add them to the saucepan.
5. Take off the heat and add wholegrain mustard, mustard seeds and finally the seafood. Mix well, let cool. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
6. On the day you are serving the recipe, make the bean fricassée: drop the tomatoes for 30 seconds in boiling water, cool them in iced water, then peel them. Halve them and remove the seeds. Chop the tomatoes.
7. In a heavy cooking pot, sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in oil for 4-5 minutes without colouring. Add the tomatoes, stew for 5 minutes, then add the beans. Add water to barely cover, add thyme, parsley and the green chilli, split in two. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring frequently to prevent drying. Add a little water if necessary.
8. Correct seasoning.
9. Reheat the vindaye and serve it just warm, with the fricasséed beans and some plain white rice.

You can also purchase the Constance Prince Maurice recipe book from our online store.

 

 

Spice route – 5 spices from the island of Madagascar

The vast island of Madagascar has long captured the world’s imagination as a place of exoticism and natural beauty.

Peppercorns

Peppercorns

The fourth largest island in the world, its unspoilt landscape is home to some of the world’s rarest and most unusual animals and plants.

Madagascar is also renowned for its spices. Here are 5 of the best served at Constance Tsarabanjina, along with recipe and remedy ideas for each spice.

Vanilla

Probably the most famous spice from Madagascar is the wonderfully fragrant vanilla pod. Vanilla makes up some 20% of Madagascar’s exports. The bean has no smell when it’s first harvested – it has to be fermented and dried to develop its distinctive aroma.

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

Remedy for headaches: vanilla has an uplifting effect, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. Vanilla extract can help to get rid of headaches – mix one teaspoon of extract with 8oz of water.

Black pepper

A store cupboard basic, black pepper grows in plantations on the verdant East coast.

Voatsiperifery is a very rare wild pepper found only in Madagascar. It has a hot taste that goes well with meat, especially pork and lamb dishes.

Red and green chillies

Red and green chillies

Recipe with black pepper: try our Constance Spicy Chicken Legs

Remedy for coughs: grind black pepper to a powder and mix with honey. Add to boiling water and allow to cool before drinking.

Red chillies

The best hot red chilli peppers are bright and deep red in colour. Capsaicin is the chemical in the peppers that makes them spicy. In traditional Madagascan cooking, chillies are seldom put in a dish but instead are put on the table as an accompaniment, along with garlic, ginger, lemon, onions and carrots, all steeped in white vinegar for a few days.

Recipe with chillies: try our Chicken and prawn fricassée with stewed chinese bredes with boucane.

Remedy for back ache: The capsaicin in peppers has a powerful pain-relieving effect. Mash red chilli pepper and rub it onto the painful area. For a milder remedy, use an emollient cream mixed with ground chilli pepper.

Ginger

Ginger became a key ingredient in Madagascan cuisine after it was introduced to the island along the spice route from Asia. Its distinctive taste works well in curry pastes, stir fries and chicken dishes as well as sweet puddings.

Fresh root ginger

Fresh root ginger

Recipe with ginger: Dark chocolate tart with ginger milk foam

Remedy for motion sickness: peel a knob of ginger and make ginger tea with boiling water. Drink the tea about half an hour before travelling.

Cloves

Clove trees along the East coast of Madagascar turn a crimson shade when the tree flowers. For many centuries, cloves were very expensive in the West and so were saved for special occasions. Still today, they are a quintessential ingredient at Christmas time. Cloves should be used sparingly either whole for flavouring fish or meat, or ground for use in cakes and puddings.

Recipe with cloves: Orange lemon gingerbread

Remedy for toothache: Ground cloves can be rubbed onto the tooth to alleviate the pain of toothache. Be careful not to get it on your gums as the oil in the cloves can create a burning sensation.

Read more

 

Recipe: Curry flavoured peanut and cashew bread rolls

Dining at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Dining at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Home-baked bread is far tastier than anything you can buy in the supermarket. Try these Mauritian nutty bread rolls – they’re easy to make, and best eaten warm.

Serves 8
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g flour + 50g for dusting
  • 10g baker’s yeast
  • 75g mild curry powder
  • 10g salt
  • 50g peanuts
  • 50g cashews
  • 1/4 tsp powdered red chilli

1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, 30cl water and the curry powder.
2. Knead by hand for 15 minutes. Add salt, peanuts and cashews then knead for 5 more minutes.
3. Shape this dough into balls, about 50g each. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 220ºC. Place a bowl of water in the oven.
5. Lightly dust the rolls with sifted flour and red chilli powder. Using a sharp blade, make 3 slits on 3 sides of each roll. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

You can also purchase the Constance Prince Maurice recipe book from our online store.