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.

Five-course dinner party... nothing less.

strawberries and champagne

"Ruby-red, plump strawberries topped with reduced balsamic and freshly ground black pepper, served with Champagne"
(Photo : Jackie Cameron)

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

A five-course dinner party sounds extremely lavish. My guests, however, expect nothing less! With little available social time on my hands I wow my friends with fresh flavours and quick, clever substitutes. Food that is stress free allows me to enjoy my dinner party.

I begin with pen, paper and an idea. Then I head for the local grocer. The result is a menu expressing the finest produce obtainable.

My choice of arrival nibble is irresistible ruby-red, plump strawberries. Topped with reduced balsamic and freshly ground black pepper and served with Champagne, it is an out-of-the-ordinary extravaganza of sweet and savoury combinations which mingle with the lightness of bubbles. Simply delicious!

The aromas from the melon shelf alert and entice me. I allow the fruit’s natural flavour to develop in my mind and the result is a chilled melon and coconut soup. A perfect summer starter, complemented with lightly toasted pine kernels, finely sliced sushi ginger and fresh mint. This new-age soup has a depth without the kick of richness.

In order to make a fabulous dish, the ingredients you are working with need to excite you. The main course is a perfect example of my favourites: beef fillet, fresh asparagus, roasted Mediterranean stuffed butternut with Pringles crisps. The texture of the crisps adds a fun element to this dish. This is a homely main course with a touch of style.

It is summer fruits that make me wish we had only one season! Dessert therefore is made up of roasted nectarines served with cinnamon-crème fraiche, honey, pine nuts and “Lindt” mint chocolate. The difference in textures, temperature and flavours makes this mouth watering and memorable.

My palate doesn’t allow me to end on a sweet note. This to the horror of any French wine connoisseur; so to end with a cheese selection, pickles, preserves and biscuits is perfect – for me!.

An evening set to succeed.

Take these recipes and try them.

FRESH STRAWBERRIES WITH REDUCED BALSAMIC VINEGAR
CHILLED SPANSPEK AND COCONUT SOUP
BEEF FILLET, FRESH ASPARAGUS, ROASTED STUFFED BUTTERNUT WITH PRINGLE CRISPS
ROASTED NECTARINES, CINNAMON-CREME FRAICHE, HONEY, PINE NUTS AND "LINDT"

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