Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tasty bits of pig from frankie fenner

Every girl likes a tantalizing offer every once in awhile, especially when it's from a butcher, this one pinged into my inbox, reading -  ' In your bundle of pig goodness you've got- smoked hock terrine, confit ears and cured cheeks- all for R100'.

It was from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, remember foodie blogger jamiewho? Well, it's his baby, he sources ethically reared, happy meat, works with like- minded butchers and puts enticing weekly packages together.

I'm still sad I missed the boerewors- good boerewors is impossible to find. But back to my piggy bits- I've never eaten cheeks or ears or have any idea what to do with them, but that's what google is for and it didn't disappoint, well only slightly, as it seems the cheeks are going into my freezer whilst the broad beans grow- the first recipe I found was for 'pig cheeks, chorizo sausage and broad beans' and I can think of nothing better.

The ears... apparently delicious sliced crumbed and fried, I'll have a little taste tomorrow and hopefully some inspiration- any suggestions? I'm all ears?.......sorry couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Rescued flowers

It's gusting and the rain is pelting down, I donned my wellies, clutched my hot water bottle tightly and ran to rescue the few brave flowers that were in the garden.

I think I was too late for the narcissus, wilted and drooping sadly, but the roses still looked sprightly.

So I'm joining our friend Jane's flowers in the house party with my scented offerings, including my new favourite, the tuberose, (thank you to my clever sister who patiently identifies random pictures of plants and flowers that I'm constantly sending via cell phone) - their scent fills the lounge and makes me happy.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Greenbelts await

All good intentions, quiet, wintry days with not much to do but stomp the greenbelts.

Instead it's all sniffles and snuffles, hot water bottle on lap, in front of the computer.

The flu in the house is overstaying his welcome- I know we're a nice bunch, but he's a tad clingy and it's time to go- those greenbelts are beckoning.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Pa se kos

As you can see, we're pretty much cooking and eating our way through winter this side. I like to pretend it's absolutely necessary to keep warm under these conditions, but looking out the window, its sunny, with an expected high of 17 degrees C...but very CHILLY .... don't laugh my northern climate friends.

I tried something new for fathers day, still working my way through Luke Dale Robert's pressure cooker recipes (not forgetting that much needed  support group for childhood pressure cooker memories!), I chose the Chinese beef short ribs, after all short ribs scream 'manfood'.

This time I followed the recipe exactly, strong flavours initially but I thought they blended deliciously, the recipe here, but next time I think the guys would prefer a more traditional oven braised version.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Perfect dinner party starter

Serendipity was hard at work- the lovely Jasper of fabulous indie band Northhighlands posted a link on facebook to Brooklyn gastro pub- DonnaBklyn , his friend had done the interiors.
I duly took a peek and found, courtesy of their chef, what had to be the perfect dinner party starter- Avocado a la plancha- Mexican shredded oxtail relish dolloped in half an avocado....can you taste it? ....sublime perfection- added bonus, the surprise of this decadent little dish as a starter.

Months later, a Thursday night was settled on -we gathered the seldom seen friends who flee to their holiday places come weekends. I realised my recipe needed Mexican chillies, not in this tip of Africa, then the night before, as I reached for the prunes, there it was in my cupboard still with its ribbon on, .....a gift from Marie over at 66 square feet, from her luncheon in January- thank you Marie!

I followed it with red pepper and tomato soup, then 4 hour slow cooked pork shoulder- I was so excited about my packet of 'los chileros de nuevo mexico', that I tossed it with the pork as well, along with cherry tomatoes, chopped red onions, cumin and lime juice.

All was not perfection- I found the pineapple and red pepper salsa that I should have served with the pork on the outside table the following morning...these things happen. I also dropped the ball with the mashed potatoes...let's call the lumps rustic, shall we?

The starter is a bit of work (here's recipe)- but trust me....throw in some great wine, good friends and you'll wonder why you don't do it every Thursday.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Oxtail in a hurry

Purists - avert your eyes, the rest of us, once again.... 'all hail the king of the test kitchen' - Luke Dale Roberts, thanks to him, the pressure cooker is coming out of the closet.

Yes, you read right-it says so in the latest Taste magazine, that not only does he endorse a particularly nifty AEG cooker, but admits that those delectable stocks, braises and even a risotto- from award winning restaurant La Colombe, were made in a pressure cooker.

Not one to need further coaxing to knock a few hours off a meal, I went one step further to sacrilege and used my favourite chef's recipe- Peter Gordon's from The Sugar Club.

Goes without saying, I improvised as usual, tossed a few things- I should also mention Peter Gordon's originally from down under and used kangaroo tail... I think a good tail is a good tail?

Recipe- Toss sliced oxtail in seasoned flour and brown nicely. Remove from oil, add veggies, roughly a cup of each, diced carrots, butternut squash, red onion, 3 cloves garlic-gently brown, add some stock (used chicken) stir to get scrapings off the bottom of pot, return the browned tail, add a tin of puree tomatoes, 1/2 cup sage leaves, 100 g unpitted green olives, 1/3 cup fish sauce, 1/2 cup soy sauce and top with wine- pressure away!

Garnish the oxtail with fresh thyme and oregano and some robust red wine for your hand.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Melanie Cleary- New Years Day

Last Wednesday night Melanie Cleary's exhibition- New Years Day opened at Heidi's Erdmann Contemporary

I love her material choices, last exhibition we saw-  The Hero Within, was a look at the subculture of bodybuilding in the Western Cape, this time she's observing the ritual of the thousands that descend upon Durban's beaches over New Day.

The portraits of the little girls posing proudly my favourites, as always, a stunning turnout at Heidi's gallery - this time we were lucky enough to warm our souls with deliciously smooth  Macallan single malt whisky- winter has its perks after all.

cloudy drive by- drive home

Monday, 4 June 2012

Bistro sixteen82

The generous and sexy estate agent spoilt me with a birthday gift voucher for Steenberg's Bistro sixteen82.
I know, it's been awhile since my birthday- it's a lunchtime and early evening tapas bar (till 8 pm) and I was holding out for a long languid lunch with the art teacher, but with ever changing school runs and the art teacher's sleeping pattern- I had to let it go.

We settled on midweek early evening and what a treat!  I expected good, well, what can I say- they kicked 'goods' butt.

They have one of those rare menus, everything was an enticing option- nothing was boring....that said, we just kept going - we must have ordered 6 different tapas.

The beef tataki, recommended by our perfect waitress, is their signature dish, and a stunning taste sensation, it brought back memories of our test kitchen dinner. We also consumed the west coast mussels, the grilled sardines, the crispy calamari and the chalmar trinchado- all seriously delicious, generous portions and great value for money.

Next time, we'll be back in the daylight to sit on the terrace with views of the vineyards- but as you can see, their winter view is pretty special too.

view up the road when we arrived

view when we left

Friday, 1 June 2012

Niklas Zimmer- Into the Night

Niklas Zimmer's exhibition- Into the Night opened at Salon91 on Wednesday evening, comprising a collection of striking, long exposure, film based photographs taken in Cape Town at night.

A huge turnout on a chilly winter night, he has a lot of fans- I loved his 'Tretchikoff' series spotted in the same gallery last year.

Expecting the turnout, they opened the back courtyard- perfect for a smoke and a chat- the silhouetted Mount Nelson palm tree and mountain provided a fluid transition between in and out.

You've got until the 23 June- don't miss it!

Drive by- drive home

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