By Chef Eoin Shiell

An innovative take on the classic Cobb Salad that uses all three variants of Nola mayonnaise to create a light, elegant and delicious starter.

Tomato Gel
4 large tomatoes
1 medium sized cucumber
1 cup Nola Reduced Oil Salad Dressing
½ cup vodka
Pinch salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon gelatine powder

  • Place all the ingredients except the gelatine powder into a food processor and blend until it forms a puré Pour the purée into a sieve lined with a cloth or filter, and place in the fridge for 4 hours to drip through to form consommé.
  • Place the gelatine into a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon of the tomato consommé. Allow the gelatine to absorb the moisture.
  • Place the bowl of gelatine into a large bowl of hot water, stirring constantly until the gelatine dissolves into a smooth clear liquid. Whisk the gelatine into the tomato consommé and pour into a tray lined with plastic wrap. Set in the fridge overnight.
  • When ready to use, peel the jelly away from the plastic and blend until smooth. Place it into a disposable piping bag or squeeze bottle.

Olive Crumb
100g Kalamata olives stoned
1 cup olive oil
1 ½ cups tapioca flour

  • Place the stoned olives and oil in a food processor. Blend until it forms a fairly loose paste.
  • Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a mixing bowl and add the tapioca flour. Whisk very well until it starts to form a crumb-like texture – if it is still too wet add more tapioca flour.
  • Cover and store at room temperature or in the freezer

Carrot or Beetroot Powder
2 medium sized carrots or beetroot

  • Preheat your oven to 80°C and prepare a tray with non-stick spray. Boil the vegetables in salted water until soft, then cool in water. Slice finely with a mandolin or vegetable peeler.
  • Place slices onto the greased tray and leave in the oven for 24 hours, until very dry/crisp.
  • Once fully dehydrated place into a coffee grinder or food processor and blend until it forms a powder. Pass through a sieve, then cover well and store at room temperature until use.

Cheese Crisp
1 cup grated white cheddar
¼ cup Nola Ultra Creamy

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C. Mix your grated cheese and Nola Ultra Creamy well before spreading evenly onto a well-greased oven tray. Place into the oven and let it bake until the cheese has melted and started to take on a brown colour.
  • Remove from the oven and peel away from the tray. Set aside and allow crisp to cool.
  • Once cooled break into shards and store in a well-covered container at room temperature.

Feta Mousse
½ cup Nola Original
40 g soft feta
½ cup cream

  • Place the feta and Nola Original into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold the cream into the feta and mayo mixture. Place into a squeeze bottle. Store in the fridge until ready for use.

Roast Chicken Breast
½ cup Nola Reduced Oil Salad Dressing
2 chicken breasts skin on
½ lemon
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove the skin from the chicken and place onto a separate greased tray, season and roast until golden brown and crisp.
  • Lay the breasts onto an oven tray and squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken. Then, place all other ingredients onto the chicken, mixing and massaging into the meat.
  • Place into the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked, then remove from oven and allow to rest before breaking into large chunks and folding into roasting juices.

Cured Egg Yolks
4 large egg yolks, whole
300 ml flavoured oil or herb oil
¼ cup vodka
½ teaspoon salt

  • Place the vodka, salt and oil into a small to medium sized bowl and whisk well.
  • Place the egg yolks carefully into the curing liquid, making sure that they are fully submerged in the liquid. Cover and store in the fridge overnight.

Assembly

  • On your plate, dust your powder into a circle using a ring cutter. Dot your plate with the feta mousse around your powder, then place a mayo crisp in each dot of mousse. Pack your shredded chicken around the powder.
  • Lay torn pieces of washed lettuce leaves onto the chicken breast. Dot the plate with the tomato gel and spoon your olive crumb over and around the chicken.
  • Finally, carefully remove the cured egg yolk from the curing liquid using a teaspoon and gently place down onto the dust. Serve immediately.

About Eoin Shiell

The 33-year-old Chef Eoin Shiell is a chef lecturer at Capsicum Culinary Studio Pretoria. “My interest in food was piqued when I was a kid watching my father and Bobba in the kitchen. When I was about 14 years old, I started working in restaurant kitchens for free every Friday and Saturday evening as well as my school holidays until I finished Matric.” After he finished his studies, he worked at a number of different establishments including the Lombardy Boutique Hotel & Conference Venue, where he rose up the ranks to Executive Head Chef at 26, before moving into the retail side of cheffing at Food Lovers Market and then opened his own private catering and consultancy company. “I joined Capsicum in 2017 as a Lecturer, and even though I am no longer behind the stove or running a pass, I am really finding lecturing to be very fulfilling and rewarding,” he says.

Q&A Quickfire with Chef Eoin Shiell

Career highlights? Catering for the bands and stage crew for Mumford & Sons South African Tour in 2016; catering for 500 celebrities, politicians and philanthropists in 2007 at the Table of Peace & Unity at the Union Buildings; and winning the Create Summer Flavour with Nola competition!

Who would you credit as a mentor? Wayne Walkinshaw was the first chef who gave me a chance and took me under his wing. He moulded and guided me, got me to see food and cooking in a different light. I grew up very quickly in that kitchen. He really pushed me, but for the better as it made me want to prove myself even more so by not letting him down.

What was the most important lesson you’ve learnt as a chef? As a chef, things have never come as easily to me as it did to others, so I realised I had to outwork the other chefs in the kitchen. I practiced dishes continually, worked extra shifts and in different sections so I could refine my technique. I feel hard work trumps talent any day of the week.

What would your last meal on earth be? A simple home-cooked meal – my wife, father and Bobba always put so much love into their cooking.

Any foods you absolutely hate? Tofu, Kimchi and liquorice.

Biggest kitchen disaster you’ve ever had? I have not had many, but we were catering a wedding for about 200 people at the hotel. The starter was beef carpaccio and we would plate 10 at a time, then start plating for the next table of 10 and so on. About half way through service the waiters started coming back with the plates saying the guests didn’t know that carpaccio is served raw and they wanted their meat well done. We thought the waiters were joking! So, after a few choice words out of frustration from all the chefs we obliged and cooked the carpaccio for every single table. It took forever. The bride and groom couldn’t understand why we would dream of serving them raw meat and why it took so long to send out…

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