Book Review: Eat Food by Amanda Lewis of Saucisse Deli

06/March/2017
Crush

Amanda Lewis is the chef and owner of Saucisse Boutique Deli at The Old Biscuit Mill; it’s been in operation for six years and is one of the most eco-consciously run kitchens in Cape Town. The restaurant recycles everything, all packaging is biodegradable, there is no food wastage (all food that won’t be consumed is donated to the Haven Night Shelter), all of the restaurant produce and products stocked in the deli are from local producers (mostly small-batch). Amanda is a trained and qualified chef; she graduated from Hurst Campus and will return there shortly to run her own course on sustainability and eco-friendly practices in the kitchen. She has also just published her first recipe and lifestyle book, ‘eat food’.

What made you decide to make the jump from deli owner and chef to author? 

Since a young age, I have always dreamed of writing my own recipe book. Even my school friends used to request recipes so they could survive at university. All I had been waiting for, since opening the deli, was the right angle, and after we incorporated all the green initiatives into the daily running of my restaurant (and in my personal capacity at home too), I knew that a sustainable recipe and lifestyle book would be the perfect platform for me to start.

Can you tell us a little about the book and the recipes you’ve developed?

I like to call it a transitional book. It is a helpful guide on how to begin your sustainable journey through your home and the kitchen. There is everything in there from vegan to low-carb recipes and some very meaty and indulgent recipes, too. My easy-to-follow tips and suggestions are energy and eco-friendly, and the ingredients are all simple and easy to find. I am not trying to redesign the wheel; I am trying to remind people how to cook well and tread lightly, using simple methods and ingredients that are readily available.

What was the process like of cooking, styling, shooting and putting the book together?

Many of the recipes I had created over the past few years, but to get them down on paper and photographed was such a privilege. My wonderful photographer, Dani Davenport, and I spent a few days shooting in the deli and at my house, making the process fun and quick. I did all the styling and cooking on the days of shooting, so it was a very hands-on job. A real labour of love. Claire Keet, from Boris Henry, has done the design and final edit of the book – also another hands-on experience that I really enjoyed.

What do you hope resonates most with people who read and cook from your book?

That being sustainable is not an expensive lifestyle choice, and most importantly, that it’s not a fad,  in fact, it’s the only way forward. If we continue with our wasteful ways then we are in for a very bleak future. Also, use your voice, and create a ripple effect amongst friends, family and work colleagues; teach them a few tips and hopefully the message will spread.

Do you have a favourite recipe in the book that is an easy, go-to meal?

My favourite at the moment is my Beetroot and Halloumi burger. It’s also on the front cover. It’s so simple and quick to make and you can mix up the ingredients as you like.

Quick-fire:

Drink at the end of the day… Skollie cider
Favourite ingredient at the moment… oak-smoked honey
Best gift you were ever given… a set of knives on my 16th birthday from my friends
Habit you find annoying in others… people who still use plastic bags!
Sirloin Espetada with Chimichurri Sauce & Parmesan Leeks


We’re lucky enough to have 2 recipes from Amanda’s book for you to try, plus the chance to win a copy below!


Sirloin Espetada with Chimichurri Sauce & Parmesan Leeks

I travelled to Argentina during my high schools days, and that is where I fell in love with Chimichurri sauce. Argentinians also love a good old braai but they call it an Asado. Given South Africa’s heritage around Pinotage I have paired this dish with the Lanzerac Pioneer Pinotage. Which was the world’s first bottled Pinotage. The fat from the sirloin brings out the spicy floral flavours from the grape.

Serves 2

Ingredients
400g Sirloin steak (Make sure it has a good amount of fat)
Olive oil
1 Tbsp. dried chilli flakes
Salt and pepper
1 x skewer

Leeks
350g Baby leeks
50g parmesan grated
1 x lemon
1 x clove garlic grated
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Chimichurri sauce
1 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ fresh red chilli chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup spirit vinegar

Method

Cut your steak into 5 or 6 equal pieces and rub your meat with the olive oil, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Place the Sirloin pieces onto your skewer and leave to the side till all prep is done.

For your sauce add all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 1 min till all is combined well.

Heat your grill till its starts to smoke, while its heating up you can marinade your leeks in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the leeks on each side for 2 to 3 min, then remove and squeeze the fresh lemon juice over them. Add your grated parmesan just before serving.

You can either use the braai or the grill pan to cook your espetada. Cook your meat on each side for 2 minutes to maintain an even temperature. I like to serve my espetada medium rare. Leave your meat to rest before serving.

Finish your dish by adding the fresh chimichurri sauce over the espetada on your bed of Parmesan leeks.

espatada eat food
Rice pudding eat food

Rice Pudding with Salted Caramel and Toasted Peanuts

This will probably be the most inexpensive but delicious dessert you will ever make. Rice is so versatile and people often forget it works well as a dessert too. The sauce for this recipe is also very addictive, leftovers can be kept in a jar for up to 1 month out of the fridge so feel free to use it on ice cream, waffles or on a spoon!

Ingredients
2 ½ cups rice already cooked
3 large free range eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 Tbsp butter
2 cups milk
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon

Sauce
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp salt
1 cup toasted peanuts

Method

Melt the butter with the milk, sugar, vanilla and spices together in a medium sized pot over heat till the milk reaches scalding point.

Add the rice and stir gently for 2 minutes over the heat. In a separate bowl whisk your eggs for 1 minute till light in texture, add 100ml of the warm milk mixture into the eggs and stir till well blended, then add into the rice and milk mixture.

Boil your rice mix on the heat source for 10 minutes then cover with a lid and place into your Wonderbag or Sleeping bag or if you’re at home, in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes till baked.

While your pudding is steaming you can carry on with the sauce as it needs your full attention.

In a large pot mix the water and the sugar and allow to boil till the sugar water starts to turn golden brown.

Once golden add your cream slowly and whisk continuously as it will turn into a rapid boil as the cream hits the hot sugar. Finish by adding the salt and the vanilla to the sauce. Allow to cool before adding to any container.

Serve your pudding in bowls, drizzle with the Caramel sauce and top with your roasted peanuts. 

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