One thing that is uncontested, is that Prof Stan can cook. He has his own unique style, ensures a very neat cooking environment, and practice a specific methodology that takes a recipe from paper to plate.
Prof Stan still nurture his first cookbook: Man Alone Cookbook. He received this book from a friend in 1995 who thought it is time that he learns to cook something more interesting than fish fingers and rice. Later he upgraded to what he still regards as one of his favourites, 30 Minute Italian. “I can prepare almost any of its recipes in in 90 minutes and it is from these pages that I made the saffron bows that convinced my then possible girlfriend, Helena, that I had hidden potential. Deeply hidden."
Introducing his co-chef for Prof Stan's Big Cookoff, Mari-Louis Guy, prof Stan asked her to help him with a dilemma:
“I work pretty long hours, we have two teenage daughters aged 13 and 15 and my wife has a practice as a psychiatrist in town. I love cooking healthy food for the family, but my time is limited and, to be honest, I'm a pretty slow cook. Can you help me?"
Of course she could, and throughout the session Mari-Louis cooked up a storm in her studio-kitchen in Vredehoek, Cape Town. At the end of the event, she revealed two start dishes, which she calls: Dinner done. Here is her recipes for La Perla Style Tagliatta and Primi Piatti style Pasta Recco.
By Mari-Louis Guy
My urge is to find and replicate recipes for signature dishes from famous and my favourite restaurants, helped me to discover great recipes. Ever since the COVID-lockdown, this fascination has grown into an obsession.
La Perla Style Tagliatta and Primi Piatti style Pasta Recco
La Perla in Sea Point has forever had a magical hold on me. In the 70`s this was `the place` for which my parents would regularly drive four hours to Cape Town, all dressed up and excited. It has remained near the top of my list from my first visit forty years ago. This recipe was whispered to me by my favorite server before he retired after nearly three decades of service there. I think mine is pretty close to the original.
600 g beef fillet
1 packet sundried tomatoes in oil
a glug of olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs of rosemary
a knob of butter
a glug of vegetable oil
salt and pepper
a handful of cocktail tomatoes, quartered
fresh rocket leaves
zest and juice of 1 lemon
Parmesan cheese shavings
Remove the beef from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
To make the marinade: Snip open the sundried tomatoes. Pour out the oil and juices into a bowl. Add a glug of olive oil.
Slice the tomatoes into slivers, add to the marinade.
Peel and slice the garlic into thin slivers, keep a 1/4 aside for serving, add the rest to the marinade.
Add the soy and Worcestershire sauce and the rosemary pines. Mix to combine.
Cut the fillet into 3-4 equal sized medallions.
Place the steak into the marinade, cover, then turn the meat every few minutes.
While it is better to marinade the meat overnight, 20-30 minutes will do if you are rushed.
Add the butter and oil to a hot pan, sear on all sides for about 2 minutes.
Cook the beef in a hot pan, about 3 - 5 minutes per side, sear on all sides. Remove from the heat, season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Allow the meat to rest before cutting it into thin slices. The longer the meat rests and cools down, the thinner the slices you will manage.
Into the same pan, add all the marinade. Cook on medium high heat, stirring often, until cooked through and thickening slightly.
Pour the gravy onto a serving dish. Arrange the meat onto the gravy. Sprinkle with the additional garlic and fresh tomatoes, if using. Top with rocket leaves, drizzle with the lemon juice and zest. Top with thin parmesan shavings.
When making this dish for larger groups, add about 150g of fillet and 3 sundried tomatoes per person, then scale up the rest of the ingredients proportionally.
Cook the meat ahead of time, allow to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and roll tightly into perfect shape. Refrigerate until cold and firm, allowing you to cut into very thin slices.
See video here
Primi Piatti style Pasta Recco
Primi is the perfect all-rounder, effortlessly catering to all your needs and moods.
It offers a quick and delightful escape from noisy shoppers. It is the perfect meeting point for a long leisurely sit down with friends. Most importantly it strikes a balance with a menu that satisfies every age and taste and where kids are welcomed and entertained. This is my take on what has been reported as their most ordered dish.
500 g penne pasta
1 tsp curry powder
a pinch of oregano
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
a glug of olive oil
a pinch of sugar
a pinch of salt
a pinch of chili flakes
1 tsp tomato paste
1 small jar marinara sauce (400g)
½ cup fresh cream
grated parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta as per the packaging instructions. Strain and set aside but reserve a cup of the pasta water.
Using the same pot, gently fry the curry powder, oregano and garlic with the olive oil until fragrant.
Add the sugar, salt and chili flakes.
Add the tomato paste, stir and cook for a minute before adding the marinara sauce.
Add the marinara sauce. Stir to combine, then cook until aromatic.
Add the fresh cream.
Stir in the pasta and cook through.
Serve with freshly chopped coriander and finely grated parmesan cheese.
See video here