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.

Filtering by Tag: Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative

Not all 'Seafood' is Equal

"The KZN Midlands is renowned for trout fishing..."

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

Local is lekker - and remember eating fish with a clear conscience is responsible behaviour and makes for a relaxed, indigestion-free meal! Always think green listed. It's the recommended fish from the Sassi (Southern Africa's Sustainable Seafood Initiative) list and is fish sourced from the healthiest and most well-managed populations. Find out more on www.wwf.org.za/sassi. I challenge you to make a difference.

The KZN Midlands is renowned for trout fishing but there are noticeably few interesting, home-cooked combinations on dining room tables. Today we'll look at some simple ideas and tantalising combinations that are quick and easy to whip up at home. Try them - you will be pleasantly surprised.

Let us start off with the most common way of cooking a whole trout. Braaing or oven roasting trout - the cavity filled with fresh herbs and flavouring - makes a relaxed meal for a lazy day at the pool or the dam.

Ideas don't have to be off the wall to be impressive. The slightest ingredient changes can make all the difference. Think creamy-trout cottage pie for a variation of the traditional minced-meat cottage pie. This promises to be an interesting alternative to your normal weekly meals.  Serve with a freshly-picked leafy, green salad drizzled with butter-lemon dressing; crunchy, sage leaves and a warm, crisp seed selection. This is healthy - and delicious.

Trout spring rolls are a tasty variation to a theme. I'm a spring-roll fanatic yet so often I feel short changed because the centres are almost empty of ingredients. When making trout spring rolls ensure you are generous with the filling. I always serve them with home-made sweet chilli sauce.

Trout rice salad is a refreshing and scrumptious light-lunch option. The slight spiciness with a touch of sweetness from the raisins complements the trout so well. Remember to include a side serving of lemon wedges.

I struggle to find a good home-made fish cake. The key word is 'home-made'; I will never ever eat those terrible processed fish cakes - so I have to make my own. Serve as a starter with thick garlic mayonnaise or, more traditionally, with silky-smooth potato crème and mushy peas.

When I started at Hartford House trout quiche - with rich, flaky fennel-butter pastry - featured as a side dish to a fish main course. How food has changed over the years! Although culinary trends may have evolved nothing beats a quiche made with love and care. This dish screams savoury richness.

Stir fries take me back to my junior school days. I had a friend, Bryan, and his parents organised a make-your-own-stir-fry birthday party! I was in my element! It was a very novel idea considering there were no cooking shows or Master Chef competitions in those days. Bowls of vegetables, meat, fish, seeds, oil and soya surrounded us and we were all encouraged compile then cook our own stir fries. So clever because children, generally, have different preferences. We all had a blast! And now when I think stir fry, I step back in time to a very happy place. This trout stir-fry recipe, using combinations you can find in your pantry, is tasty, quick and easy.

I wish you happy cooking with one of our local and best fish - the trusty trout.

I am putting the final touches to 'Jackie Cameron Cooks At Home'. Keep a look out for this user-friendly recipe book. It will be on the shelves in April 2013.

Best trout in the Midlands - Wayfarer Trout
Contact Sue on 082 415 3780.
Susan Hofman - wayfarer.dargle@gmail.com

GO TO : youtube.com/watch?v=dqyBGtP6rDs FOR A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF ME COOKING TROUT!

Please take these recipes and try them!

rainbow trout


Mussel Potjie Pot / Jackie Cameron (p)

Mussel Potjie Pot / Jackie Cameron (p)

"The South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative"

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

As the years go by I become more and more conscious about our world and what is - and isn't - going to be available to us within a few years. How sad to think of never being able to eat another piece of perfectly-seared and cooked kingklip.

Unsustainable fishing worldwide has driven some fish populations to their lowest levels. This is no different in South Africa where many well-known line-fish species have been severely depleted. The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (Sassi) aims to inform the public so each one of us can help, and determine, the health and productivity of our oceans in the future. An understanding helps us make a conscious decision about the seafood we select. With more and more people eating fish/seafood because it is considered a healthy alternative to meat, we need to start making wise choices.

With Sassi's help we can all be 'aware' lovers of seafood. Visit www.wwfsassi.co.za for details, or text the name of the fish you're planning to eat to FishMS at 079 499 8795. You will immediately receive a message stating whether you can tuck in, think twice or avoid completely. Try it - it works and it is amazing how good the fish tastes when you know you're working toward a sustainable environment!

To explain in more detail Sassi has an easy-to-follow listing as follows:

  • Green - most sustainable choice - South African sardines, calamari, dorado, mussels, oysters, West Coast rock lobster.
  • Orange - reason for concern - kingklip, prawns, tuna (local long line) and yellow tail.
  • Red - illegal to buy/sell - cob, tuna (imported long line) and black mussel cracker.

Always ask a supplier / restaurant where the seafood comes from, how it was caught and what species it is.

It concerns me when fisheries aren't selective and incidental mortality occurs. This happens when non-targeted species such as sharks, dolphins and seals are 'trapped' in the catch - and when albatrosses are caught on long lines.

Look out for the MSC eco-label which is on certain fish products in our grocery stores. This is a sustainable fishery operation that is completely traceable, and if eating at home I recommend only eating these items.

Read the above, try the recipes below, go onto the website, find out more and make your decisions.

We can all make a difference.

Tuna Fish


Send comments and food-related questions to jackie@hartford.co.za. I always look forward to hearing from you. For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on FACEBOOK. Find me on Twitter - jackie_cameron.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
+27 33 263 2713

Assisted by Elaine Boshoff for recipe development and photography.