August 3, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 2:51 pm

Here’s a question for the food bloggers reading this. Have you ever made a dish that you were so pleased and excited about, you wanted to blog it right away so that other people could also try it, only to find that, when you uploaded the photos, every single one looked like utter crap? What do you do in that situation?

That is what happened just over two weeks ago, when I first cooked ostrich in a yakitori -style marinade. I was really shocked by how good it was, especially since it is such a simple thing to do! The flavours were absolutely perfect. The sweetness of honey and stem ginger in the marinade brought out the gamey flavours of the bird and the umami of the soy complemented its beefy side. Without a doubt, it was the best ostrich I’ve ever had- and I’ve had a LOT of ostrich.

Like I say, the pictures of the delicious meal were terrible. So terrible that I decided not to blog it. Instead I would wait until I could next afford more ostrich fillet and make the meal again, being careful with the presentation. 

That is precisely what I did on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, it seems that ostrich yakitori is just not a photogenic meal and, yet again, most of the photos were bloody terrible. This time, however, I will blog it anyway since one photo was almost passable

Just remember, it tastes much, much better than it looks. 

ostrich yakitori with tempura veg and noodles

The things you can see on the far left are tempura vegetables. I had a little wasabi cream to dip them in, just to provide an exciting contrast to the sweetness of the meat. The ostrich is sitting on some fairly standard stir-fried noodles, to which I added the leftover egg yolks from the tempura batter, some leftover vegetables and a little sesame oil.

‘Yakitori’ Marinade for Ostrich

These marinade quantities are very rough as I was constantly tasting and adjusting as I made it. Here’s my best guess at what we used for approximately 450g of ostrich fillet.

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 small chunk stem ginger, crushed
  • 3/4 tablespoon sherry (as a substitute for sake)

Cut your ostrich fillet into large chunks. Combine the marinade ingredients and toss the ostrich chunks in the marinade to coat them. Leave to marinate for at least two hours, tossing the chicnks of meat in the marinade every half hour.

Next, skewer the chunks of ostrich.  I think these  skewers would be ideal done on a barbeque, but all I have is a crummy electric grill. So I griddled the skewers on the highest setting instead, cooking them for about 45 seconds, then turning them by 90 degrees until all the exposed meat had been cooked. This meant we got the nice blackened flavour on the outside of the skewer, but the inside was still lovely and rare.

Tip the excess marinade into a small saucepan. Bring it to boiling point, and let it thicken. Serve the ostrich skewer with noodles, rice or whatever you like, with the thickened marinade drizzled over it.

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9 Comments »

  1. I can’t wait to try out some fruity marinades with my Ostrich! Isn’t it frustrating when something is sooo delicious and the picture doesn’t come out right. Notice I don’t have a pic of my ostrich steaks? Yep. I’m glad you put it up though. It still looks yummy! Food bloggers unite to promote eating of ostrich!

    P.S Sorry again about the name change ;-)

    Comment by Helen — August 3, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

  2. Are non-food bloggers allowed to promote the eating of Ostrich as well?

    Comment by Andy — August 5, 2007 @ 9:49 am

  3. I sympathise with you on the photo front. I look at some other food bloggers and it makes me weep. I’m just not very good at photographing food! Yours looks fine though!
    If the foot-and-mouth disaster really takes hold, we could all be eating ostrich (though not aligator, please!)

    Comment by Richard — August 6, 2007 @ 11:32 am

  4. Don’t we all know the feeling of having just made a wonderful meal and having eaten it to find that all the photos were crap because you had the camera on the wrong setting. That’s a pretty gigantic plate of food you’ve got there, Ros, I hope you didn’t let Goon go hungry

    Comment by Trig — August 6, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

  5. I guess one way we avoid bad photos is to take loads of them…this means that most evenings we eat cold food though! I think you have to post the photos anyway…we’re not professional food photographers, we’re just people that like to eat and to cook.

    I also think bad photos add an air of honesty, as do those dishes that are complete disasters. I post them all, even when we don’t eat dinner and just drink wine and eat crisps!

    Comment by Ginger — August 6, 2007 @ 7:28 pm

  6. Don’t worry Trig, there was an equally sized plate for Goon to eat as well.

    Comment by Andy — August 6, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

  7. Guys - I sent you a Providores dinner invite at Ros’s email address on Sunday but it’s been bounced by the mail server. Can one of you email me, please, so I can use the address for a return message.

    Comment by Trig — August 7, 2007 @ 10:08 am

  8. Helen, I hope you have fun experimenting with ostrich- I certainly did!

    Goon, we’ll get you cooking ostrich next week then, shall we? ;)

    Richard, I don’t think it’s a lack of photographical talent on our part as such. Some people just have awesome cameras. I remember when I got my current camera. The difference was amazing. Look at some of the posts from this time last year and you’ll see what I mean. Also, lighting makes such a difference. I wish I ate at normal times, just so I could have natural light!

    Trig, it’s called PERSPECTIVE. :p ;) Seriously, that’s just 200g of meat on a skewer and a handful of noodles.

    Ginger, your photos are always superb. It’s an interesting thing you’re doing, having a COMPlETE diary. I want to havea seperate page on my blog where I do that too but we’re struggling with the technicalities of having two chronological pages running simultaneously. For whatever reason, this part of the blog evolved from being a diar into something different.

    Comment by ros — August 10, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  9. What a great idea! I think you should sell the concept to a South African restaurant as fusion food ;-) Looks like it would work well on the BBQ too. As for crap food photos… some food is tasty but it just ain’t pretty!! And there is very little way around that. Brown food remains brown and will pretty much always look odd on photos (unless it’s chocolate!!). I made a risotto the other night that knocked my socks off, but do you think I coudl get a good picture f it?? Bah.

    Comment by Jeanne — August 29, 2007 @ 11:55 am

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