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 Category: Italian Recipes

Caprese Salad Recipe

Caprese Salad Photo : Jackie Cameron

Caprese Salad
Photo : Jackie Cameron

On a recent visit to Switzerland, I unexpectedly crossed the border one day for lunch in Italy. Choosing a traditional Caprese salad with Foccacia bread and Gnocchi Gorgonzola seemed the right thing to do. And it was. What a meal!

Caprese Salad

(Most popular summer Italian speciality featuring three primary ingredients : tomato, basil and mozzarella. Colours that reflect the national flag. Water buffalo mozzarella is always preferred.)

New Age Caprese Salad; Rosemary, Maldon Salt roasted Cherry Tomato Puff Pastry sitting on Fresh Basil Leaves and hand broken Buffalo Mozzarella drizzled with Olive Oil and Vinegar

Yields : 1

Ingredients :

Puff Pastry

4 strips of Mozzarella

5-10 ml Basil pesto

1 Sundried Tomato-soaked in boiling water and sliced

5 ml salted Butter

½ punnet Cherry Tomatoes-cut in half

Balsamic Vinegar

3 ml Maldon Salt

1 sprig Rosemary

½ ball Buffalo Mozzarella, if available

Fresh Basil Leaves

Olive Oil and Vinegar

Method :

1) Base. Roll out Puff Pastry and line a 8cm round tartlet base. Dock (Prick) the base all over. Put into the fridge for at least one hour for the pastry to relax. On top of the puff pastry base put a layer of greaseproof paper and fill with either baking beans, dried beans or rice and Bake Blind. (Chef's note: This is the term given to the method of cooking an empty pastry case.) Bake at 200̊C until the puff is cooked about 15 minutes

2) Cool the base and top with a thin layer of mozzarella. Place basil pesto on top of this layer together with sundried tomato slices

3) Heat a pan extremely well, add butter and tomatoes. Be careful not to overload the pan. Ensure searing. Splash the pan with balsamic

4) Place these hot tomatoes on top of the sundried tomatoes. Add a sprinkle of Maldon salt and chopped Rosemary. Finish with the buffalo mozzarella

5) Put this onto a tray and into a hot oven, 220˚C, allow heating until the buffalo mozzarella is just starting to melt

6) Serve on a bed of fresh basil leaves. Garnish with a good grind of black pepper and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Gnocchi Gorgonzola Recipe

Gnocchi Gorgonzola Photo : Jackie Cameron

Gnocchi Gorgonzola
Photo : Jackie Cameron

On a recent visit to Switzerland, I unexpectedly crossed the border one day for lunch in Italy. Choosing a traditional Caprese salad with Foccacia bread and Gnocchi Gorgonzola seemed the right thing to do. And it was. What a meal!

Gnocchi
(A potato dumpling of Italian origin)

Yields : 25 small dumplings

Ingredients :

700g Potatoes

120g Cake Flour

Salt and Pepper

Sauce - 75 g Gorgonzola

250 ml Fresh Cream

Fresh Lemon

Method :

1) Put the potatoes, skins on, into a large pot covered with cold water. Cook until soft. Push these potatoes through a sieve leaving the skins behind

2) Use your fingertips and lightly work the flour into the potato with salt and pepper. Bring this together and roll out cylinders or tubes. Cut small dumplings

3) Drop the gnocchi into a large pot of salted boiling water. When they rise to the top, remove and set aside

4) Sauce – melt the gorgonzola in the cream and set aside

5) On service pan sear the gnocchi in butter. Serve with gorgonzola cream sauce and a fresh lemon segment.

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Carla Ferrari's Focaccia Recipe

Focaccia Bread Photo : Jackie Cameron

Focaccia Bread
Photo : Jackie Cameron

On a recent visit to Switzerland, I unexpectedly crossed the border one day for lunch in Italy. Choosing a traditional caprese salad with Foccacia bread and Gnocchi Gorgonzola seemed the right thing to do. And it was. What a meal!

Carla Ferrari's Focaccia
(Flat oven baked Italian bread topped with herbs or whatever you desire)

Yields : 1 focaccia sized 23cm x 32cm

Ingredients :

15 g Instant, Dry Yeast

250 ml Luke warm Water

500 g White Flour

5 ml Fine Salt

125 ml Olive Oil

Extra Olive Oil

Maldon Salt

Rosemary

Method :

1) Allow the yeast to stand in the water for a few minutes

2) Place the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and cut in the yeast mixture. Once this is all added in, add the olive oil

3) Knead on a counter top until you can see activity under the outer layer… little bubbles. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth and allow rising until double in size

4) Use your fingertips and push this bread dough out to cover the base of the oiled pan. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, Maldon salt and chopped rosemary - continue using your finger tips

5) Set aside and rise again slightly, bake at 220˚C until golden in colour and serve

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Crispy Hot Pizza topped with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, freshly picked Rocket and a drizzle of Olive Oil Recipe

Smoked Salmon Pizza Photo : Jackie Cameron

Smoked Salmon Pizza
Photo : Jackie Cameron

I hope you enjoy some of my latest ideas starting with a crispy, hot pizza topped with room-temperature smoked salmon, creamy cream cheese, freshly-picked, slightly-peppery rocket and a drizzle of lemon olive oil. A perfect light lunch option filled with exciting textures.

Crispy Hot Pizza topped with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, freshly picked Rocket and a drizzle of Olive Oil

Yields : 6 medium-sided oval shaped pizzas

Ingredients :

10 g Instant yeast

5 ml White Sugar

¾ cup lukewarm Water

1 ¾-cup Cake Flour

½ t fine Salt

20 ml Virgin Olive Oil

Method :

1) Add the yeast, sugar to the water amount and allow standing for 10 minutes

2) Make a well in the centre of the flour, salt and slowly cut in the liquid amount; finishing with the olive oil

3) Knead this dough for three minutes on a lightly floured surface

4) Place into an oiled bowl, covered with a damp cloth, and allow rising until double in size

4) Once risen divide into 6 portions of about 100g per piece and roll out thinly into a desired shape

5) Dock, prick with a fork, the pizza base and place into a hot oven, 220˚C, until cooked

6) Serve hot topped with ribbons of smoked salmon, dollops of cream cheese, rocket and a drizzle of olive oil

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Vitello Tonnato Recipe

Vitello Tonnato Photo : Jackie Cameron

Vitello Tonnato
Photo : Jackie Cameron

My interpretation of "Vitello Tonnato" (Roasted veal (vitello) thinly sliced with a sauce of pureed tuna (tonno), anchovy, capers, lemon and olive oil). I viewed this as a new-age, tuna mayonnaise and couldn't wait to get home to try out my version.

Vitello Tonnato

Yields : 2 - 4 portions

Ingredients :

1 Egg Yolk

2 ml Dijon Mustard

2 ml Hot Water

40 ml Virgin Olive Oil

120 ml Sunflower Oil

Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

¼ Medium Onion – sauté

5 individual Capers

Anchovies

Worcestershire Sauce

125 g thinly sliced smoked Chicken (I supplemented Veal with Chicken, as Chicken is more readily available)

1 tin Tuna – in brine

Method:

1) Whisk the egg yolks well with the Dijon and water. Add both of the oils into this egg yolk mixture extremely slowly as you are wanting to make a permanent emulsion. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper

2) Add cooled onions, chopped capers, Worcestershire sauce and anchovies for taste. Finished with the drained tin of tuna

3) Place alternate layers of chicken and tuna sauce. Garnish with cherry Tomatoes, capers and onion rings if desired

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Beetroot Risotto Recipe

Beetroot Risotto Photo  : Jackie Cameron

Beetroot Risotto
Photo : Jackie Cameron

Beetroot Risotto Recipe

You have heard of risotto but have you ever cooked a moist, creamy, textured portion? A quaint  description of this short grain rice in the Larousse  Gastronomique says:“Each grain should  retain its separate identity with a little bite.” This is a food many  are anxious about cooking but once perfected it can be used as a main  component, a starch helping, a filling for squid tubes and also a  dessert – the options are endless. Up next is a vegetarian delight. My  home-grown beetroot risotto with toasted walnuts, beetroot sprouts, wild  figs and creamy Gorgonzola. Tempting flavours! Even carnivorous South  African males agree...

Yields : 4-6 Large Portions

Ingredients : 4

Basic Risotto

20 g Butter

75 ml Olive Oil

1 Onion – chopped

2 large Garlic Cloves – chopped

500 g Risotto Rice

250ml White Wine (chef’s note: I used a rosé wine as that is what was in my fridge)

225 g cooked Beetroot

1 l Water or 1 l Vegetable Stock

Optional Extras :

20 g Beetroot Sprouts (Supplier: Parklane SuperSpar)

Gorgonzola for flavour

Fresh Fig (Supplier: Woolworths- Pietermaritzburg)

40 g Walnuts

Method :

1) Liquidize 125 g of the beetroot with 1 litre water or 1 litre good quality vegetable stock. Put into a pot and allow to come to the boil.

1) Get a heavy based pot hot. Add butter and olive oil. Then add onion and garlic and sauté well.

2) Add rice and stir to allow each grain to be coating with the oil.

3) Add the wine and stir

4) Once the wine has been completely absorbed start adding the hot beetroot liquid. Add one ladle at a time stirring continuously so the grains are evenly cooked. (Chef’s note: the liquid amount is only a guide line)

5) At this stage you could always cook it fully or ¾ of the way and then complete cooking on service by reheating and adding the last of the hot liquid. Either way is fine but must result in a slightly textured, creamy risotto. Not stodgy or dense.

6) Serve with the leftover (brunoise: finely chop) beetroot, beetroot sprouts, crumbled Gorgonzola and a fresh fig sliced in half.

Please post your comments and any food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

jackie cameron

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713