Mrs Hall's chutney from Durban Curry
Mrs Hall's chutney from Durban Curry
A Year at Silwood - cover
A Year at Silwood - cover

Cape Town -

The annual crop of local cookbooks surpasses all previous years when it comes to top quality: the new titles offer far more than just a bunch of recipes: there is either a theme described or a background story that add substantially to the enjoyment of the book.

It was difficult selecting just three publications to feature here, but two are by Cape-based writers and one hails from KZN. They present a quartet that many would love to have on their kitchen bookshelf.

 

BREAKFAST TERRINE FROM A YEAR AT SILWOOD

A Year at Silwood, published by Quivertree, is exactly the cookbook one expects from this venerable school: a classic hardback that is a worthy tribute to a half-century of culinary excellence. Along with gastronomic basics, modern trends are not ignored.

Alicia Wilkinson and daughter Carianne head this leading institution from which successful students are snapped up by restaurants, hotels, game lodges and royal kitchens around the world.

Easy, cool, summery and delicious: this silky terrine makes a fine foil to the crunch of granola and tartness of seasonal berries. It makes an ideal start to any holiday brunch or breakfast and requires minimal electricity.

4 leaves gelatine or 12g powdered gelatine

500ml cream

Half vanilla pod, split

80g sugar

500ml Greek yoghurt

Garnish:

Granola

Fresh berries

Mint leaves

Make the terrine: Sponge the gelatine leaves in cold water or, if using powdered gelatine, use 35ml of water. Scald the cream with the vanilla pod and sugar. Remove from heat, add the gelatine and stir until both sugar and gelatien have dissolved. Cool to room temperature, then strain. Discard the vanilla pod. Lightly whisk the yoghurt, gradually adding the cool cream mixture.

Oil a 1 litre loaf pan, line with clingfilm, pour in the mixture, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. To serve, turn out on to a platter and garnish with granola, fresh berries and mint leaves. Serves 8 – 10.

 

EASY TROUT PASTA FROM STAR FISH

Worthy winner of the first cookery book awards from the Sunday Times, this book, published by Quivertree, is the tasty answer to our needs, now that we should focus on sustainable seafood found on SASSI’s green list.

Journalist Daisy Jones writes in a quirky and humorous style, relating meetings with farmers and fishermen, conservationists and scientists all striving to protect our marine resources. The pasta can be served warm or at room temperature.

One-third pack pasta of your choice

Olive oil

Half an onion, finely chopped

Half cup frozen peas

4 slices smoked trout, cut into slim strips

Half cup cream

2 eggs, beaten

Small handful grated Parmesan cheese

Juice of half a lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopped chives, dill or fennel to garnish

Add the pasta and one tsp olive oil to a pot of boiling salted water and cook at a rolling boil.

Meanwhile fry the onion in heated olive oil until soft and transparent but not browned. Add the peas to the pan, and heat through. Turn off heat. In a bowl mix the trout, cream, eggs, cheese lemon juice and season to taste.

Drain the pasta and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the onion and peas from the pan along with the trout mixture, stir well and garnish with chopped herbs. Serves 4.

 

MRS HALL’S CHUTNEY FROM DURBAN CURRY

Described as a food story book, this appetising title, sub-titled So Much of Flavour, explores the distinctive curries developed by descendants of Indian immigrants to Natal. A multitude of curries and culinary traditions is embraced in this celebration of a national dish, compiled by Erica Platter, Clinton Friedman with contributions from Devi Sankaree Govender and a host of others. It is published by Paw Paw.

This easy chutney is described as “Better than bought! “ and the recipe has been passed down generations of the Hall family from the KZN Midlands.

 

24 tomatoes (half may be green)

2 big onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves

12 green chillies

600ml vinegar

2 ½ cups white sugar

± 6 cm piece root ginger (or more to taste)

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 ½ T salt

Blanch tomatoes, skin and chop. Cook until liquid has evaporated. Remove and strain. Blitz in processor with the onions, garlic and chillies. Pour into pot with other ingredients. Cook a few hrs, until mixture thickens. Pour into clean bottles, screw lids tight only when cool.

Cape Argus