September 30, 2011 in Uncategorized
Part 3 of My Gobble Gobble
Our next stop was wine tasting in Stellenbosch. After relieving The Olive Shed at Tokara of Litres of outstanding Leccino olive oil, balsamic vinegar and jars of exciting and delicious goodies from Oded’s Kitchen on sale at Deli Cat Essen, we hot-footed it up to the wine tasting. I am a wine slut for sure. Why is it that I seem to enjoy them all? I discovered that my palate has wandered shamelessly away from Sauvignon Blancs to lightly wooded Chardonnays. Apart from their heavenly wines I strongly recommend a visit to this estate to view their rather impressive collection of art by up and coming South African talent. Wine Made Art – an enchanting collection of art using wine as the medium of expression should not be missed.
I fell in love with a case of L’Ormarins Port which has just arrived in Durban today!! I plan to poach some spiced dessert peaches in a bath of this glorious garnet nectar as soon as they come into season. Lunch in Franschoek at La Petite Ferme was truly outstanding. The view of the valley from their restaurant, paired with the wonderful food and wine was unforgettable. My fillet of Venison, the plate du jour (R139) if I remember correctly, came encrusted with potato and carrots and the most deep and rich jus that made me smile – a lot! The plated Venison resembled Woody Woodpecker’s Quiff! It’s a good chef that knows exactly when to serve a piece of Venison. I am all for hanging and ageing game meat etc. but I do believe that this practice can be taken too far – to the point of the meat being too ‘high’. Rosa pronounced her slow roasted lamb in a Greek potato stew, feta-mint yoghurt and a black pepper tuille to be the best that she had ever tasted and all that remained of Renato’s baby chicken was a rather sad but perfectly clean pile of little baby Poussin bones. After finishing our vino outside on the front lawn so as to take in the view of all views we hit the road again in search of chocolate and found ourselves teetering dangerously close to a sugar induced coma bought on by orgasmic champagne truffles and more espresso’s at Café Le Chocolatier.
We all dashed back to The Peninsular as I had a dinner date with the gorgeous Ishay of the appropriately named blog, The Food and The Fabulous. We met at a stunning Restaurant housed in a beautiful house in Regent Road, Sea Point called La Mouette. This restaurant had been recommended to me twice the week before so I jumped at the opportunity to give it a go. Ishay and I decided that a selection from their fabulous Starter Menu (on average R55) would be best as we were already chatting like two little sugar fuelled starlings and I had been gobbling all day in Franschoek. The Truffle and cheese croquettes with a smoked tomato aioli caught my eye immediately and they were as rich, creamy and luxurious as their name predicted, the pan-fried calamari in a tomato fondue on a bed of rocket and persillade was deliciously peppery and tangy and the duck liver parfait on toasted brioche with a pear and cumin chutney was my favourite. The parfait was incredibly smooth and silky and I could have happily woofed down bucket loads of it.
My mum used to make macaroons when we were children – they were more like amaretti than the pretty pink and pistachio green macaroons of today; and I really didn’t like their strong and bitter almond flavour as a child. I watched the contestants in Masterchef battle their buns off trying to make those raspberry and olive macaroons and have been quietly eyeing out various recipes ever since. When we saw chocolate macaroons (R45) served with a salted almond ice cream on the dessert menu – OH MY MADUMBIS PUT THAT ON YOUR FOOD BUCKET LIST IMMEDIATELY … choirs of angels start singing the moment it hits your tongue!
The moment I met this sparkling little lady I was immediately struck by her inspiring and invigorating social conscience and I listened with big flapping elephant ears as she told me all about The World Food Programme’s initiative called, We Feed Back. I am not going to repeat what Ishay had to say – simply click here to go to her blog for an in-depth and ‘all-you-need-to-know’ explanation of the wonderful work that you can help with. I worked for Childline in Durban for 10 years and I can assure you that ANY AMOUNT of money, no matter how small, DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE. So pop over to her fabulous blog and have a look at some of her ideas on how to generate some funds for them. A simple meal/ breakfast/ tea/ braai/ picnic with friends and family can generate enough money to feed many little hungry tummies.
“It only costs R1, 75 to feed one hungry little tum”
Ok famiglia Tripepi – time to mobilise and raise some money for this incredibly worthy project. I really want to say thank you to you darling Ishay, for introducing me to the Restaurant La Mouette, for the sumptuous meal and mostly for your fabulous company and beautiful spirit. Grazie Infinite Cara!
The day that I left Cape Town, my brother in law was craving a bunny chow or roti good old Durban curry style! Despite the bumper to bumper traffic from hell I managed to convince him that a trip to town was in order. I introduced them to another of my fave food haunts, The Eastern Food Bazaar at 96 Long Market Street. Situated in what was apparently the old Fruit Growers Market one is whisked away on a magic carpet to the aromatic food of the Far East and Asia. It’s such a social setting – one side of the arcade has about 10 different cooking stations – each one serving food from different regions and the other side of the arcade has chairs and table at which you may eat your food.
The food is cheap, cheerful and affordable enough for students to buy food from. Daniele and his mates spent much of their cash on food there whilst studying at Varsity. You MUST try a Dosa – a humungous wafer thin round crispy ‘bread’ or pancake made from lentil flour that can be served many different ways. I tend to head for the Masala Dosa which comes with various dips and I stoically await my punishment the next morning.
Before I knew it I was sitting at the airport waiting for my flight back to Durban counting and marvelling at my many blessings. Thank You again to everyone who so freely shared their precious time and knowledge with me I cannot tell you just how much I enjoy each and every moment with each one of you. I’ll be back!
Yesterday was VAT day and all hell breaks loose in my life on these days. I didn’t even have time to go to the shops as I was busy until 6pm at work. After a dig around my cupboards and in my freezer a forgiving bowl of risotto was my panacea for a gruelling day. Warm, oozing and like a pretty pale green and pink blanket around my frazzled nerves, risotto can as simple as rice and cheese and still do the trick for me.
Asparagus & Prawn Risotto
1 bunch of asparagus – cleaned and cut into 1inch chunks
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 stick of celery cleaned and chopped
1 onion chopped
1,5L Jug of chicken or vegetable stock
1Tbs of finely chopped garlic
2 cups of Caneroli rice
1 bunch of parsley finely chopped
1tsp black pepper
Parmesan Cheese about ½ a cup of freshly grated
1 glass of dry white wine (or stock if you don’t like to cook with wine) I used
Springfield’s heavenly Wild Yeat Chardonnay
1 large knob of butter (100g)
This dish would be greatly improved by using whole prawns. I would peel them and clean them and make a stock from the heads and shells. I didn’t have any whole prawns in my freezer so had to make do with these ready cooked prawns which definately don’t offer up as much flavour as whole fresh prawns.
In a heavy based pot melt the butter and add a dash of olive oil, add the garlic and onion and lightly brown.
Add the chopped carrot, celery and the 2 cups of rice.
Now add the wine or stock and cook it out the alcohol completely – this will ensure that your risotto is not bitter.
It’s a really good idea to make your stock in a jug as it makes adding it to the risotto much easier than using a ladle.
Add enough stock to just cover the surface of the rice and gently stir until it’s all been absorbed.
The thing with risotto is that it’s not a dish that you can leave alone at all.
So I suggest that you pour yourself and nice glass of vino and have a moment alone with your
vino and your pot.
By the time you have finished cooking you will be smiling again –
all the stress from your day will be gone!
As soon as the rice has absorbed the stock add some more together with the asparagus
which need to be cooked, and again add just enough stock to cover the rice.
If you use Carneroli rice which most deli’s stock, it will give you a perfect creamy risotto. I know that most cook books tell you to add one ladle of stock at a time, well Bongo!
You can add more and still have the same end result as long as you are using the correct rice.
Keep adding the stock until the rice is just tender – don’t overcook it and by this I mean don’t turn it into a pot of wallpaper glue! Personally, these I don’t like to eat crunchy, raw rice – who does? But the rice must not be all gooey and mushy like a bowl of overcooked oats.
l’Edicola in Durban or Giovanni’s or Goloso in Cape Town.
Johannesburg ?? any deli’s out there … drop me a line please!
Lastly – add the prawns whether they are fresh or like these pre-cooked prawns.
Season with pepper and add the chopped parsley and a knob of butter for a nice shine. A risotto should ideally still move when you serve it.
Top with freshly grated parmesan and serve.
PS: Max arrived at home this morning …. Guess what he had for breakfast?
The little *#**# picked out the asparagus though!
But Bubblz, a more civilized member of la famiglia Tripepi
loved the asparagus!
Have the very best of weekends
GO BOKKKKKEEEEEEE !!!!!