Hein van Tonder is a very talented cook and photographer. He and a photographer partner recently took the pictures for a new cookbook in France.
Preparation Time 1 hour Cooking time 30 minutes Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
4 sweet peppers
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 Tbs olive oil
a knob of butter
750g mushrooms of your choice, roughly chopped
1 Tbs brandy
salt and cracked black pepper
200g baby spinach
2 disks feta cheese
8 sheets phyllo pastry – keep them under a damp tea towel to prevent drying out
melted butter for brushing the pastry
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
Place the peppers on a baking sheet in the top third of the oven and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until soft and the skin is blackened in patches.
Remove from the oven and place in a seal-able plastic bag and let the peppers sweat in their own steam for 10 minutes (makes it easier to remove the skin).
Remove the skin and pips and cut each pepper into 3 strips and set aside.
Reduce the oven temp to 180 degrees C.
Melt the butter in the oil in a large saucepan.
Add the onion and garlic and fry over a medium heat until soft.
Add the mushrooms and brandy and fry until all the liquid has evaporated.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and plunge the spinach into the boiling water. Remove from the boiling water immediately and refresh the spinach under ice cold water. Drain and squeeze all the remaining water from the spinach so that it is as dry as possible.
Take one sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Repeat until you have 4 sheets on top of each other.
Place half the spinach on the edge of the sheet closest to you – leaving 2 cm on each side uncovered.
Top with half of the peppers.
Top the peppers with half of the mushrooms – try not to include any liquid from the pan.
Crumble one feta disk on top of the mushrooms.
Roll the pastry like you would a Swiss roll, tucking in the edges as you roll so none of the filling escapes.
Place on a baking tray with the seam below.
Repeat the process with the other 4 sheets of pastry and other halves of the filling.
Brush the rolls with some more melted butter and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and serve.
Hein van Tonder of heinstirred.com photo by Francois Pistorius
For as long as memory serves, I have references and recollections that involve food.
This passion has brought me to create and develop Heinstirred. As a South African food writer and photographer based in Cape Town I’m at my happiest in the kitchen, behind the camera or better still, both.
My work has been featured on food24.com, food52.com, Huffington Post Taste, Buzzfeed, The Kitchen, brit.co and feedfeed.info. I have also contributed to the Sunday Times Food Weekly and contributed to the first issue of Market Day.
Ever evolving as a food lover, my favourite past time is travelling to eat with itineraries built around flavours, meals and restaurants. My latest eating trip was to Beirut, allowing me to discover a cuisine that easily rivals my love for all things Italian.
A new interest is the photography of events that have a distinct food focus, this in collaboration with well known photographer Francois Pistorius. We aim to tell another side of the story by capturing a behind the scenes and candid look at the preparation, presentation and enjoyment of food.
This blog is as much a personal food and photography journey as it is a current reflection of my portfolio of work. Get in touch with me regarding recipe development, brand content, food photography, styling, lifestyle photography and writing.
I work with a Nikon D750 to best capture the images and flavours. All photographs and recipes are available for purchase.