Archive for December, 2009

Oink! A long journey to a pile of Italian sausage

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Hopefully our porker didn't look like this before it gave its all...

It wasn’t my idea; it was dear friend and fellow foodie Ann Coetzee’s. She’s the one who decided we should buy a half a pig from Sweetwell Pig (or is that Pork?) Farm and turn it into a few decametres of Italian sausage. Not a bad idea, mind, but one that resulted in some surprises along the way.

For instance, the runners (that’s the pork derems (small intestine) that is used to make the sausage) cost R195! And that’s for a quantity to make about 30kg of sausage, says Benny the butcher at Sweetwell.

“But can’t we just take enough for this half pig?” I ask, perplexed. (We’re looking at about 10kg of meat once I’ve boned the half pig, according to Benny), to which he replies (incomprehensibly): “No. You want to see the pile that these (pointing at the bag of salted derems) come from!” he exclaims as if by way of explanation. “What’s the weight of the bag of runners?” I ask, fully expecting it to be about a kilogram or some such expecting the price to be R195 per kilogram. Again incomprehensibly, the bag of runners weighs 2.860kg, promptly trashing my theory of a price per kilogram.

I still don’t understand how we ended up with this huge pile of small intestine, at R195, when the half pig only cost R481.51 (14.6kg at R32.98 per kg). As the little ‘droid in Star Wars (or was that Star Wors??) Episode II said: “That doesn’t compute.” Read more…


Werner’s porn risotto

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment
Preparation Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 90 minutes Yield: 4

Werner's decadent sumptuous pornographic risotto

Werner Els – daughter Alex’s best friend – makes a mean risotto, and rumour has it, that it is mightily well thought of by many of the female persuasion, in the little valley where Werner plies his trade.

Restaurateur, sometime cellar manager, and generally right hand to Mark Dendy Young of that ‘little farm’ on the Franschhoek Pass, Werner has had ample opportunity to hone his skill over the years, and when he offered to visit the Man in the Kitchen last week and make his legendary porn (Oops, sorry! prawn) risotto, I sped off to my favourite fishmonger, Claudio Paioni at Seafood on Sail in Gant’s Centre, Strand to lay in a stock of prawns. Fortunately, they were on “sail” at the time. Read more…

Categories: Food, Provenance, Wine

Backsberg Picnic Concerts

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Looking to spend a Sunday afternoon enjoying a lovely picnic, stretched out in breathtaking gardens while listening to the the very best of the SA music scene?

The kykNet Backsberg Picnic Concert series is just that. We’ll be featuring a different musician every Sunday from the 29th November – 31 January. The line up includes a variety of famed South African artists, with something to satisfy everyone.

Picnics and wine will be on sale at the estate, but feel free to bring your own picnic along. Admission starts at 15:00 and the set will start at 17:00.

Tickets are R85 pre-booked (available through Computicket) or R100.00 at the gate. Children under 12 get in for free.

Go take a look here further details, and to download directions to the estate.

See you on the lawn at Backsberg!

Categories: Entertainment, Food, Wine

Chikin Biznis: Chinese chicken salad

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment
Preparation Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Yield: 4

Light 'n healthy Chinese chicken salad, quick and easy to prepare

And so we come to end of four into one makes three, with the final meal made from the two plump chicken breasts from the free range chicken you jointed three weeks ago.

I chose to do a Chinese chicken salad, but of course you could just as easily do a stir fry of some sort.

The point is that two such plump breasts constitute about 300 to 350g of protein, more than enough for a family of four, if augmented by vegetables and a suitable starch.

This chicken salad started life in one of my recipe books, then took a variety of twists and turns a before emerging as something barely recognisable in the original. Not because I was being contrary, but because I added new ingredients, and substituted others which I couldn’t get my hands on. Read more…

Chikin Biznis: Chicken Curry (or casserole)

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 60 minutes Yield: 4
The curry paste ingredients you'll need: Onion, garlic, ginger and a good masala

For the curry you'll need onion, ginger, garlic and a good masala

So now that you’ve jointed your chicken and made your stock (300ml of which I hope you froze!), you’re ready to make the next meal in the Chikin Biznis series of four into one makes three.

I’ve billed it as a casserole or curry, and of course, you’re at liberty to do either.

You’ll have individually frozen the wings, legs and thighs, which constitute two medium (leg and wing) and two smaller (thigh) portions of chicken. For the typical family of two adults and two children, such chicken protein portions are more than adequate.

You probably want to add vegetables, and serve it with a salad and rice, to round out the meal nicely. Read more…

A long Journey to Perfection

December 1, 2009 4 comments

First published in Bolander Lifestyle & Property, December 3, 2008

Republished in African Safaris, May 2009

You don’t interview Eben Sadie; you listen to him talk about making wine, and if you’re lucky, you get to ask him some questions, and if you’re even luckier, he may well answer some of them – or perhaps not.

Eben appears arrogant, but if this is so, it is the arrogance of absolute certainty, rather than hubris. He is driven, and it is his quest for the ultimate truth that drives him, that defines his absolute certainty, and that confers upon him that apparent arrogance which, rather than affronting, is strangely compelling, drawing you in, challenging you to engage with the man. Such strong personal conviction could equally, and commendably, be described as courage of convictions.

Read more…

Categories: Travel, Wine