Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Easy cooking for the Durban July

Hartford's Health Bread / Jackie Cameron (p)

Hartford's Health Bread / Jackie Cameron (p)

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

Hartford House in Mooi River is on Summerhill Estate which is buzzing with activity as the “Vodacom Durban July”, at Greyville Racecourse, approaches (July 5).  This premier horse racing event showcases a few of the niceties of life – thoroughbred champions, striking fashions, as well as innovative ways of presenting stylish food and fine wine with a elegant-picnic slant.

I have included ideas to keep dinner effortless after a busy day of socialising.

First up is a selection of meats and a Midlands’ cheese board with pickles and preserves to tantalise taste buds.  The caramelised onions are one of my favourite side dishes.  Pickled vegetables are seen to be old fashioned but, when it comes to the marriage of meat and cheeses, I think they are essential compliments.  Tomato and onion relish can also be eaten on toast and with curries.  These three dishes can be bottled for future use. I have included Hartford’s health bread recipe which is a firm favourite with guests who visit this country house.

A meal isn’t the same without a sweet ending.  Always take seasonal fruit into account. At this time of the year there is nothing to beat a red wine poached pear with caramel sauce, marinated cinnamon and star anise orange segments, oven roasted pineapple slices with coconut sorbet and fresh grapefruit sprinkled with vanilla sugar.  So uncomplicated!  Now onto an easy panna cotta recipe.  Try it: It really works!  Always, keep in mind when making a panna cotta it must have, as we say in the kitchen, sexy hips – the perfect amount of gelatine.  This dessert can be served with fresh berries, an assortment of fruit or a tasty fresh sorbet.  It can also be varied to suit your palate by infusing any flavour of your choice into the cream.  Suggested ideas include coffee, mint, cocoa, strawberry and the list continues…

I hope this selection of food items will make your eventful weekend less stressful.  Enjoy the greatest racing and social event of the year - the July experience.

Take these recipes and try them.

SPICY TOMATO AND ONION RELISH
CARAMELISED ONION
HARTFORD'S HEALTH BREAD
PICKLED VEGETABLES
PANNA COTTA

Post your comments and food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
033 263 2713