Monday, December 09, 2013

WYNANDT AND THE DELICIOUS MONSTER (MONSTERIA DELICIOSA)



I couldn't wait to get stuck into Wynandts wonderful creation                                                                                     UHG
Wynandt Van Rooyen is a young up-and-coming chef, who one day could become a rock star in the culinary world. When it comes to food, he is passionate, daring, knows the basics very well and he cares for our planet. He is all this and what’s more, he is an intrepid hunter of the elusive Delicious Monster.

Too green for chomping              UHG
Finally a ripe one UHG
The giant punctured leaves of the tropical plant, Monsteria Deliciosa, are characteristic of suburban Cape Town. They seem to ‘jungelate’ every other domestic garden. The Monsters that lurk on the verges between the high garden walls and public roads are the ones that Wynandt, our fearless monster hunter, is after. If they are so common, you might wonder, why are they so elusive? Well, to find a ripe fruit can prove to be a little tricky. You have a better chance of smelling a ripe one before you see it. They are the same size and shape as a ‘mealie’ (South African ‘corn on the cob’) and they have kernels like a ‘mealie’, but their flesh is sticky, juicy and oh so sweet. The ‘delicious’ part is that they taste like a mixture of banana and pineapple; the ‘monster’ part is that the fruit can have these little black husks that stick into your tongue and the inside of your mouth and leave you feeling a bit like you have eaten an angry cheese grater… so approach with caution!

 A HUGE and proud 'Monsteria deliciosa' leaf                                                                                                                      UHG
For this reason Wynadt’s yummy creation uses only the juice, combined with white rum. TropicallyPineapplyBananaryRummy, what more could you want on your crêpe?

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE CRÊPES (Serves 6)
2/3 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
A pinch of salt

Batter time                                                                          UHG
WHAT DO TO
Using a whisk or fork, combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. You want the smooth batter to be the consistency of pouring cream, so add a little more milk if you need. It’s good to let the batter chill in fridge for a while (overnight is best). It does thicken up while in the fridge, so you may have to add even more milk. Wipe some oiled kitchen paper over your frying pan. Place the pan over medium heat and ladle in just enough batter to cover the base of the pan, pour off any excess batter back into the bowl. When you are able to lift the crêpe without tearing it, flip it and lightly cook the other side. Place on a plate and repeat, to make a pile. (The first crêpe usually comes out a bit scruffy and should be chomped immediately by the cook with whatever sweet goodies are at hand.) Your little heap of crêpes can be covered, kept in the fridge and heated surreptitiously in a microwave oven (did I say microwave?!) when required to impress anticipating guests. Just remember to cough when it pings.

Kernels ready for squishing      UHG
Moster juice; delicious!              UHG
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE SAUCE
The juice of 1 delicious monster fruit
1 tablespoon of white sugar
A splash of water
A glug of white rum
 A generous knob of butter

WHAT TO DO
Squish and squeeze the juice of the succulent kernels of the delicious monster through muslin cloth into a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar into a small frying pan over a medium heat, splashing just enough water to wet the sugar. When the sugar starts to caramelize, glug in the rum and flambé. Pour in the monster juice and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the butter and stir until it’s incorporated. The shiny caramely sauce is now ready to be drizzled over the crêpes, which you have placed like little ‘wet rags’ (a Nigella-ism) on a platter.

Fireworks are always entertaining                                                           UHG
Reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon                                    UHG
Wynandt, the fearless MONSTER hunter with his bounty                   UHG
That is seriously YUM                                                                                                                                                       UHG




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