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  • Simonsberg Creamy Blue risotto with honeycomb

    Developed by Chef Nic van Wyk. Serves 4

    Ingredients
    1 cup Arborio rice
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    Knob of butter
    1 garlic clove, finely grated
    1, 5 L of hot stock (chicken or vegetable)
    100 ml cream
    125g Simonsberg Creamy Blue, crumbled
    Honeycomb*, crushed in small pieces
     
    * Honeycomb
    1½ cups white sugar
    90 ml golden syrup
    30 g butter
    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

    Method

    Fry the onion in a pot with the knob of butter for 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Add the rice and cook for 2 more minutes, making sure to coat all the rice in butter. Add the garlic. Now add enough stock to cover all the rice. Stir once, put a lid on the pot and turn down the heat. Wait until all the stock has been absorbed and then repeat the process.

    Add the crumbled Simonsberg Creamy Blue and cream. Stir through and put the lid back on and leave for 5 minutes. If the risotto is very stiff at this point add a little more stock.

    Serve in bowls with pieces of honeycomb scattered on top.

    * Honeycomb

    Place the sugar and the syrup in a heavy-based saucepan. Stir to combine, then slowly bring to the boil. Add the butter and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, and boil for 3 - 4 minutes. When the mixture begins to turn brown, remove from the heat. Sieve in the bicarbonate of soda, then stir until the mixture froths.

    Pour the frothing mixture into a greased 22cm square pan. Leave to set until cold and hard. When set, crack into pieces by tapping with a wooden spoon. Store the honeycomb immediately in an airtight container.

  • Simonsberg Simonzola panna cotta with wine poached pears

    Serves 6

    Ingredients
    For the pears
    1 bottle red wine
    250 g sugar
    1 star anise
    6 firm ripe pears, cored and peeled
    125 ml water (if needed) to top up
     
    For the panna cotta
    75 ml cream + 150 ml cream
    125 g Simonsberg Simonzola
    25 g sugar
    1 ½ gelatin leaves soaked in cold water
    225 mℓ plain yoghurt

    Method

    Pour the wine in a saucepan and cook for 15 minutes, add sugar and star anise. Add the pears and place a plate on top of the pears to make sure they are all under the liquid. Poach gently for 30 minutes or until the pears are soft but not mushy. Check regularly during cooking until pears are ready. When the pears are ready remove from the pot and leave to cool. Reserve and cool the cooking liquid. Cut pears in cubes and return to the cold poaching liquid – keep in a covered container in the fridge until needed.

    Bring 75 ml cream to the boil and add the Simonsberg Simonzola and sugar. Stir until melted. Mix the gelatin leaves with the warm cream mix, cool and add yoghurt. Whisk 150 ml cream until stiff and fold into the cream, Simonsberg Simonzola and yoghurt mixture. Divide the pear cubes between 6 small glass jars*. Cover with the Simonsberg Simonzola panna cotta mixture and leave in the fridge for 2–3 hours.
    Serve in the glass jars.

    *Tip: use recycled glass jam jars for this very pretty serving idea. If you don’t have glass jars, simply serve in glass tumblers or dessert bowls.

  • Roasted aubergines with olives, pear and Simonsberg Simonzola

    Developed by Jacques Erasmus. Serves 6

    Ingredients
    6 medium sized aubergines
    Olive oil
    Few sprigs of thyme
    Balsamic vinegar to taste
    ½ cup black olives, pitted
    1 cup cream
    1 t Worcestershire sauce
    Small sprig of rosemary
    Black pepper to taste
    1 t brandy (optional)
    2 ripe pears
    125 g Simonsberg Simonzola
    Rocket leaves and pomegranate rubies to serve

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Half the aubergines and score the flesh with a sharp knife. Dress generously with olive oil and place in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with the thyme and roast for 12-15 minutes until the aubergines are cooked through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle generously with balsamic vinegar. Combine the olives, cream, Worcestershire sauce and rosemary in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 4-5 minutes and add the brandy. Spoon the sauce over the aubergines and top with sliced pear, Simonsberg Simonzola, rocket leaves and pomegranate rubies. Serve with crusty bread.

  • Brown onion soup with Simonsberg Creamy Blue and thyme toasts

    Developed by Jacques Erasmus. Serves 6

    Ingredients
    3 T butter
    5 brown onions, sliced
    1 T cake flour
    7 cups of good quality beef stock
    2 cloves of garlic, crushed
    2-3 sprigs of thyme
    salt, pinch of sugar and black pepper to taste
    6 slices of toast
    Sweet wine for drizzling
    125 g Simonsberg Creamy Blue
    Sprigs of fresh thyme

    Method

    Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the sliced onions. Brown at medium heat for 20-30 minutes and add the flour. Stir to mix in the flour while browning a few more minutes. Add the beef stock, garlic, thyme and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Season to taste with the salt, pepper and pinch of sugar. Preheat the grill of the oven. Drizzle the toast generously with sweet wine and top with the Simonsberg Creamy Blue and thyme. Place under the grill until the cheese has melted and starting to caramelize on the top. Serve the soup with the toast on the side.