The sweetness of mid summer. News, Valentines, cycling and a recipe.

Journal & Recipes

In our kitchen we love the heat of summer and the ripe fruit it produces. Dishes we have been cooking include local plums, figs, pomegranates and pineapples from our neighbours. We’re pleased that this season a growing number of overseas visitors are enjoying the Karoo summer and have completed our popular Karoo Classics and newly introduced South African Classics cooking class. Featured in the South African course is an spicy pineapple chutney (recipe at the end of this post) inspired by our Indian heritage. It is a perfect match with bobotie.

Our February calendar includes a Valentines dinner choice served with a complimentary glass of bubbles, Saturday 13th February along with our usual Open Evening menu. The lucky drivers in the Porche Adventure Tour will be enjoying lunch with us this week. Saturday is a full day Karoo Tapas class ending with an al fresco dinner in the gardens. The popular Mastering Meat course is also scheduled. Something we enjoy and are busy with is waiter training which includes dining service, communication skills and a basic background into the running of a restaurant kitchen and a wine list. And keeping cool… our accommodation is air conditioned but we are now installing an evaporative cooling system into the cooking school/kitchen area.

During March is first Gourmet cycle tour of the year to take place in and around Prince Albert. The tour is a 6 night/7 day adventure exploring cycling routes such as the Kredouw Pass and Die Hel as well more leisurely trips to local farms and producers, with cooking classes/demonstrations and all meals included.

Hope to see you in the kitchen soon.

Here is the recipe for Spiced Pineapple Chutney

Ingredients

4-5 cups pineapple, diced

2 tablespoons raisins (Optional)

1/2 teaspoon pure mustard oil

1.5 teaspoons Panch Phoron (*Note Below)

2-3 dried red chili pepper

1/3 cup sugar (or adjust to taste)

3/4 cup water

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated

a pinch of salt

2.5 tablespoon lemon juice

*Panch Phoron = cumin, fennel, mustard, fenugreek and nigella seeds combined – each in equal measurement.

 For tempering after:

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds

6 peppercorns

3 cloves

½ stick cinnamon

1 teaspoon red chili powder

 Method

Heat a pan/pot and add the mustard oil. Let the oil get to smoking hot. Switch off  the heat and let it cool down.

Switch  on the heat and add the Panch Phoran and the red dry chili pepper in the oil, and fry them till they are turn a shade darker and start to get fragrant, for about a minute. Combine sugar and water. Lower the heat and pour the sugar water into the pan/pot and bring it to a boil. Add the lemon juice, salt and the ginger, diced pineapple and raisins (if you are using them) to the pan/pot and cook till the pineapples soften (they will still hold their shape) and the water gets syrupy and thick enough to coat the pineapples. This should take about 30 – 45 minutes.

Half way through cooking, lower the heat and partially cover the pan. The consistency should be like a preserve, but the diced pineapples still holding their shape. Any liquid left should be thick enough to coat a spoon.

 To prepare the spices for tempering:

In a skillet, dry roast all the spices above (for tempering) except the red chili powder, till they are fragrant and a shade darker in colour. It should not take more than 2 minutes. Cool and  add the red chili powder to the roasted spices. Grind them to a powder in a spice or coffee grinder.

 Add about 1 tablespoon of this ground spice to the cooled chutney and stir to combine. (If there are any leftover spice powder, store in a container in a cool place for later use).

 Store the cooled chutney in a clean air tight jar/bowl in the refrigerator. The flavour gets better over time.  Can keep for 3-4 weeks.

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