Grootbos Private Nature Reserve: From the Kitchen

Located in Western Cape, South Africa
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One of the great joys of travel is experiencing a destination with all of your senses; learning its rhythms, exploring sites both everyday and extraordinary, and sampling its flavors. Food is a touchstone for discovering a place and its culture, and at National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, cuisine plays a central—and scrumptious—role. We asked chefs from our lodges for recipes that capture the flavors of their destination. We hope you enjoy bringing these tastes of the world into your own kitchen.

Makes 8-10 servings

Shitake Carpaccio

  • 2 ½ cups fresh shitake

Layer shitake on top of each other and roll tightly in cling wrap. Freeze the roll and when ready to use slice very thin

Shitake paté

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 ½ cups fresh shitake
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 ½ ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Salt and pepper

Sauté onions and garlic with thyme. When the onions are nice and golden brown, add the shitake. When the shitakes are cooked through, add the wine and simmer until dissolved. Now add the cream and cream cheese and cook until the cream cheese is totally melted. Transfer to a blender and blitz until it’s a smooth consistency. Season and taste. Transfer to a piping bag.

Pickled shitake

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • I cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
  • Pinch of tumeric
  • Pinch of dried tarragon
  • 2 ½ cups fresh shitake

Put all ingredients except the shitake in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the shitake and simmer for another 2 minutes. Pour mix into sterilized jar and cover.

Braised shitake

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cup fresh shitake
  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Add oil and then the shitake to a very hot skillet.  Slightly brown the shitake; then deglaze the pan with vinegar. Remove from heat.

Arrange the four types of shitake on a plate and garnish with fresh herbs such as thyme, chives, or tarragon.

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