More Useful Stuff
Dan and Clemmy Fortshofer of Tutto share two recipes
It’s All In the Name…
Tutto is the Italian word for everything and for us, good food is everything. Daniel’s mother is Italian, which is where the idea came from. We wanted the name to speak to the Mediterranean influence in our style of cooking.
The #1 Rule of a Small Kitchen Is…
That’s easy – keep your work station clean! Bin empty packaging immediately, wash up as you go and keep your surfaces free of anything you aren’t using. Another big thing for us is to get all the ingredients ready before we start cooking so that we’re not cluttering the counter-top with chopping boards and kitchen tools. The cheffy term for this is mise en place – basically, just be properly organised.
The Trick to Afro-Med Cuisine Is…
Everything we know and love about food comes from France. We’re crazy about classic French flavours and techniques – not just the rich, heavy stuff people think of as French food, but the real, everyday food as well. French cuisine is arguably the best grounding you can have as a cook, certainly in terms of Mediterranean food.
Morroccan cuisine has also been a massive influence on our palettes, and it has infused the way we like to cook. This has tied in very nicely with the Spanish side of our menu – our paella and our pinchos. Added to that, Dan’s sister-inlaw is Israeli, and that has been very important in our appreciation of Middle Eastern food.
These flavours all work really well together because they are born of very similar base ingredients – olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, lemon, fresh herbs and subtle spices.
Kicking Up Your Recipes Is Easy With…
Lemon zest, garlic and herbs with bright flavours such as parsley or basil. It’s not always about using unusual ingredients, it’s about combining and layering flavours that work together. And never underestimate the power of salt. We love preserved lemons and za’atar, a sour and herby Middle Eastern seasoning made with dried oreganum, thyme, sesame seeds and sumac.
Recipe #1: SMOKY SEAFOOD AND CHICKEN PAELLA WITH CHORIZO (SERVES 6)
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
300g deboned chicken thigh, skinned and cut into even, bite-size pieces
150g cooking chorizo, finely sliced
12 king prawns, cleaned and left whole
250g squid, cleaned, rinsed and sliced into 1cm thick rings
150g grilled, skinned red peppers sliced into 1cm strips
200g diced and peeled tomatoes
2 heaped tsp tomato paste
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
600g bomba rice
1.2l good quality seafood or vegetable stock
A handful of fresh thyme sprigs
1½ tsp smoked paprika
¾ tsp saffron threads
150ml good quality olive oil
Salt, to taste
A good handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Lemon wedges to serve
1/ Preheat your oven to 150°. Begin by making the sofrito – the aromatic base of the paella. Place your paella pan (or large heavy-bottomed oven proof skillet) on a gas stove or burner at a medium-to low heat.
Add 5 Tbsp of olive oil and gently fry the onion until it becomes soft and translucent but not brown. Turn the heat down low, add the thyme and garlic and continue to cook for one more minute, then add the tomato paste and a pinch of salt and continue to cook for a further two minutes. Now add the tomatoes, turn the heat back up to medium and allow to cook down for approximately five more minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a thick, rich sofrito.
Pour the mixture into a dish, being sure to scrape as much out of the pan as possible, and set aside.
2/ In the meantime, bring your stock to the boil in a saucepan, add your saffron threads and remove the pan from the heat immediately. This will allow the colour and flavour of the saffron to infuse the hot liquid.
3/ Pour 3 Tbsp of olive oil into the now empty paella pan and toast the rice with the smoked paprika and a pinch of salt over a medium heat until the rice is well coated, continuously moving it around quickly so it doesn’t burn.
4/ Now add your sofrito, briefly mixing it through the rice before adding the stock. Bring the liquid to the boil and evenly distribute the rice. Try not to stir the rice after this point as it can get a bit sticky and
5/ Once the stock is boiling, quickly scatter the calamari, chicken pieces and chorizo over the rice and turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer for about five minutes, turning the chicken halfway through. (You may need to rotate the pan now and again to ensure even cooking, depending on the heat distribution of your stove plate.)
Check throughout that the rice is not catching anywhere – if it is, quickly scrape that area with a wooden spoon or stainless steel lifter to free the rice from the bottom, but don’t stir it. Scatter the prawns and peppers over the top, and place the pan in the oven for about 15 minutes, checking on it once or twice during this time and adding a little more liquid if it appears too dry.
6/ Remove the pan from the oven and season to taste. The rice should be cooked but firm and should have formed a light crust at the bottom of the pan.
Drizzle over the last 2 Tbsp of olive oil and allow the paella to rest for about five minutes.
7/ Serve with a lemon wedge, a generous scattering of parsley and a glass of good wine.
If you cannot find paella rice you can use an ordinary medium grain rice as an alternative.
Recipe #2: CHERMOULA WITH PRESERVED LEMON
What you’ll need
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Skin of 1 preserved lemon, finely
Chopped, plus the juice from the pulp
1 large bunch fresh coriander, chopped
1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley,
1 tsp ground saffron
½ tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp hot paprika
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
There are countless varieties of chermoula for many different dishes, but this one is particularly nice when used as a marinade for fish or chicken that’s going to be grilled, cooked on the braai or even baked in the oven.
Combine all the ingredients and use to marinate fish or chicken for at least two hours, or overnight.
It really is that easy. The more you make, the further it’ll go to making your meat more interesting.