By Louise Liebenberg
MODEL turned constantly-in-demand chef Sonia Cabano is a renowned South African food writer and stylist to boot; some will no doubt also remember her for her very enjoyable television series ‘Pampoen tot Perlemoen’ on SABC a few years ago.
Her new book is titled ‘Relish: Easy Sauces, Seasonings and Condiments to make at Home’ and I am already dipping royally into it for inspiration. The reason? This book is absolutely perfect for anyone (like me) who is keen to make more sauces and condiments from scratch this year. I’ve been making my own mayo, pestos, spice rubs and pasta sauces for ages, but up to now have been a little nervous to venture into the frightening terrain of pickling and preserving.
It’s good to remember though that the DIY approach is always a lot of fun and on top of it, you’ll end up with additive-free produce that is usually more delicious than shop stuff.
Home-made can also work out considerably cheaper much of the time (but, alas, not all of the time – just ask my friends Glenn and Sofi who decided to make some fabulous but unexpectedly costly coffee liqueur as Christmas gifts last year.
Cabano’s 280 recipes cover flavoured salts, sugars and rubs, spice blends and pastes, marinades, dips, stocks, sauces and dressings. Also included are my past nemeses – pickles, preserves and relishes – and suggestions on how to use and store the various preparations.
‘Relish’ is published by Struik Lifestyle and the recommended retail price is R220. It is also available in Afrikaans as ‘Pikant’. Scroll down below as we test one of the recipes from the book in our own kitchen – and The Global Table verdict!
Smoked salmon and cream sauce
Sonia says this sauce is enough for 300g dried egg pasta, like tagliolini, which will serve 4 people.
1/2 small onion, finely chopped; 1 tsp (5ml) crushed fresh garlic; 1 Tbsp (15ml) butter; 1 cup (250ml) cream; 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine; salt and pepper to taste; 1 ripe tomoato, peeled, depipped and finely diced; 100g smoked salmon, cut into fine strips; 2 Tbsp (30ml) finely chopped fresh basil
Cook the onion and garlic in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the cream and wine and allow to bubble away until reduced by half and slightly thickened. Season well with salt and pepper and remove the pot from the heat.
Stir in the diced tomato, smoked salmon strips and basil. Pour over hot pasta and toss to combine. Do not heat the sauce after the salmon has been added.
The Global Table verdict
I did not think the quantities given would be enough for four servings but guess what, they were! This sauce had lovely, delicate flavours and the flavour of the salmon came through beautifully. The tomato added even more freshness and texture to the dish. The tagliolini worked perfectly on the pasta front but because smoked salmon is quite pricey I would next time take the time and effort to make some home-made egg pasta (probably tagliatelle) to go with it – I’m quite sure Sonia would approve! I was really impressed with this recipe. Would I make it again? You betcha!