Claire Allen’s LG NeoChef Dinner
SA MasterChef Season 3 finalist Claire Allen recently discovered the LG NeoChef – a microwave / bake / grill magic piece – and invited a bunch of us foodies around for a weekend lunch to try it out. Not for the cooking, obviously, but to test out the food made in it. The menu was so delicious, so we just had to share it with you! The menu was paired with the wondrous Delheim wines, with pairing recommendations for each below.
Starters: Onion Marmalade & Goats Cheese Tart
We started off with an Onion Marmalade & Goats Cheese Tart, paired with the Delheim Rose .
- Ready-made puff pastry
- Jar of onion marmalade
- 200g chevin goats cheese
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- Seasoning – salt and pepper
- Rocket or watercress
- Cut your pastry into evenly sized squares.
- Spoon a large tablespoon of marmalade into the centre of each pastry and spread out evenly, leaving the edges of the pastry uncovered. Crumble over the goat’s cheese and top with a sprig of thyme.
- Brush sides of pastry and place on the crisp plate.
- Serve with seasoning and fresh rocket.
Note: The goat’s cheese can be replaced with feta or blue cheese.
- Place pastry on the crisp plate. Select roast and bake on your LG Neochef. Then click Option 1 and select 10 minutes. You can also grill to create an extra crispy topping for 1 minute.
Mains: Stuffed Deboned Roast Chicken
From there we moved on to a Stuffed Deboned Roast Chicken, served with crispy potatoes and a green bean salad, and paired with the Delheim Chenin Blanc.
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- 1 ½ cups couscous
- Pack of bacon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- Two cups finely chopped kale
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Large onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup of butter
- 2 lemons
- 2 deboned chickens
- Cook the couscous with 1 cup chicken stock and set aside.
- Heat butter and oil in a large pan. Fry bacon till crispy and remove from pan and set aside.
- Add onion and cook, stirring often until the onion is very soft and starting to brown.
- Add garlic, sage and cook until fragrant, 30 to 90 seconds. Then add celery and the remaining ½ cup stock, and cook, stirring often until the celery is crisp-tender and the liquid is mostly evaporated; 4 to 6 minutes.
- Stir couscous mixture into the celery mixture, add walnuts, cranberries, and bacon together in a large bowl.
- Taste and add seasoning; allow to cool and add an egg.
- Stuff chicken with the stuffing, roll it, shape and place in a baking tray or crisp tray.
- Mix butter, thyme, and lemon juice and cover the chickens and season with salt and pepper.
- Place chicken in a baking dish, place in a your LG NeoChef, select Roast and Bake, number 5, input weight, and push start to cook.
Dessert: Chocolate Fondant
Mains were followed by the most gorgeous Chocolate Fondant, paired with the Delheim Pinotage. The recipe serves four.
- Baking spray, to spray ramekins
- 200g quality dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks
- 200g butter, chopped into small chunks
- Castor sugar, 200g
- 4 egg whites and 6 egg yolks
- 200g plain flour
- Place a bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, then slowly melt the chocolate and butter together. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water. Remove bowl from the heat and stir until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail; use an electric whisk if possible. Sift the flour into the eggs, then beat together.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition, until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined with a loose cake batter.
- Tip the fondant batter into a jug, then evenly divide between the ramekins. The fondants can now be frozen for up to a month and cooked from frozen. Or if you are making it for that night, its ready to bake straight away!
- Place the fondants on a baking tray, then cook until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their ramekins. Remove from the oven, then leave to sit for 1 min before turning out.
- Loosen the fondants by moving the tops very gently so they come away from the sides, easing them out of the ramekins and serving on a small plate with fresh berries and frozen yoghurt.
- Place on crisp tray, select bake on your NeoChef, set temperature, weight and push start. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
And there you have it, a gorgeous three-course menu designed by Claire Allen together with LG NeoChef. Enjoy!
Photos by Dean Horwitz.