This Mother’s Day UCOOK has teamed up with world-renowned chef, Liam Tomlin. I had recently been to Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia and was blown away by the food, so saying we were star struck is an understatement. He’s known for his extraordinary tasting menus and is the genius behind some of Cape Towns most famous restaurants – Chefs Warehouse and Thali. He masterfully brings together strong flavours and fresh, seasonal ingredients and manages to make you feel right at home while still giving you that 5-star dining experience.
Mother’s Day is a special day for us all. It’s a celebration of the most important woman in our lives and a time to be grateful for all they have done for us. I’ve grown up surrounded by extraordinary woman, having both my grans around while growing up is something not everyone gets to experience and not only were they like my mom but taught me how to show kindness and how to have the kind of relationship with my mom that can be cherished forever. My mom loves being in the kitchen and she finds it difficult to let anyone else take the reins, but one day out of the year I’m able to spoil her – and what better to do this than with a meal prepared by Liam Tomlin.
UCOOK sent us a Liam Tomlin Mothers Day box that consisted of a three-course meal (you’re able to select your dishes) and a bottle of wine to go with each course. We were beyond excited and couldn’t wait to get started. Reading through the recipes we discovered that each course does take a while to prepare and there are some notes that let you know what can be made ahead of time so that you can spend as much time with your mom as possible on the day. What I noticed off the bat was that the card format was different to other boxes, bigger photographs and recipe cards you definitely want to keep long after Mother’s Day has come and gone.
The Starter: Miso Salmon Fishcakes with Pickled Cucumber
This was the dish I was most excited by. What started off a little confusing – there are many ingredients – soon turned out to be a really lovely learning experience. In the past, when making fishcakes, I’ve always added all the fish and herbs to a food processor and formed the cakes from that. However, here Liam Tomlin tells you to add 3/4 of the salmon to a blender or food processor along with a little of the miso and finely chopped the rest. You wouldn’t say, but adding bigger pieces of salmon adds an entirely different texture profile. The recipe suggested making 4 salmon cakes, but these were a little large for what we would call a starter and definitely think making smaller and flatter cakes would be preferable.
The flavours of this dish were outstanding: the miso paste adds depth to the salmon while still letting the delicate fish shine through. The true beauty of the dish comes when you create the miso glaze by combining sugar syrup with your remaining miso paste and soy sauce. Towards the end of frying your fishcakes, you brush on the miso glaze and what might be alarming when the fishcakes turn slightly dark is actually a little magic happening. The caramelising of the glaze and miso is simply genius and adds a lovely outer “crust” that sets the tone for the light and delicious flavours still to come.
Paired with pickled cucumbers, this starter sets the perfect tone for an exciting main course.
The Main: Roast Chicken with Golden Potatoes and a Simple Herb Salad
While seemingly simple, the roast chicken was the dish we were most intimidated by, as we were fixated on getting it Liam Tomlin-approved tender. We started by making the potatoes the night before, and then frying them on the day (they crisped up beautifully while remaining perfectly fluffy on the inside). Then when it came to seasoning the chicken, we placed lemon and garlic both around and inside the chicken so that they infused throughout and not just into the skin. This was a game changer.
To finish, we decided to use olive oil on the skin instead of butter, and the crisp was incredible and perfectly brown – a very smug moment when serving. We were completely blown away by how melt-in-your-mouth the chicken was, and this just added to our self-satisfaction.
Dessert: Lemon Posset with Berry Coulis & Pomegranates
Of course, this was my favourite dish to actually eat. You know we have an amazing love for lemons, so when we read through the recipes and realised that the lemon posset was mainly lemon flavours we were completely sold. This creamy dessert has such subtle flavours that manage to come together beautifully with each spoonful. The incredible creamy texture combined with a slight crunch and tartness from the pomegranate arils is just heavenly and sends you straight to texture heaven.
Please make sure to read through this recipe card especially, as most of these steps can definitely be done the night before serving and then simply put together on the day. Because we love lemon so much we decided to veer a little from Liam’s recipe and not strain the lemon mixture, however, we do suggest you do if you’re not totally sold on the idea. Leaving the zest in the mixture gave us both flavours of the lemon; the sourness from the juice and the slight bitterness from the zest and while we might have enjoyed this, it’s totally up to you. The lemon flavours cut through the sweetness wonderfully and had everyone asking for seconds.
Liam Tomlin’s Mother’s Day box is definitely something to spoil your mom with. UCOOK have also collaborated with Warick Wine as the official sponsors for Mother’s Day, and in addition to receiving an incredible meal, you get to enjoy each course with a bottle of Warwick wines that compliments the flavours of all the dishes. If you haven’t managed to find the perfect way to spoil the most important woman in your life yet, we highly recommend ordering this now. And don’t forget, there are other dishes on offer, from mushroom risotto, raclette, roast lamb and sweetcorn & basil soup.
PS: If you’re feeling lucky we’re also running a competition on Instagram where you could win the box instead, so make sure to have a look. Winners will be announced on the 23rd April, and boxes delivered 11 May, just in time for Mothers Day.