Gifts from the Winelands


La Petite Ferme restaurant in Franschhoek is a landmark, offering sweeping views of the valley below and an outstanding and varied menu.  If you have not yet visited, do feel you have missed out!  A great gift idea is the La Petite Ferme Country Cuisine cookbook – the second book released by the property.  The book costs R230.00 and is available directly from the restaurant or Exclusive Books.

Here are a few of their sample menu’s to help with your festive season entertaining…

Malay Pickled Fish (serves 6-8)

800g-1kg large fish fillets (I use hake), cut into portions
15 ml (1 Tbsp) salt
15 ml (1 Tbsp) dried mixed herbs
100 g butter
3 onions, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
125 ml (1/2 cup) raisins

Sauce125 ml (1/2 cup) oil
125 ml (1/2 cup) chutney
25 ml (5 tsp) mild curry powder
10 ml (2 tsp) salt
250 ml (1 cup) white vinegar
250 ml (1 cup) brown vinegar
500 ml (2 cups) water
15 ml (1 Tbsp) whole black peppercorns
about 15 ml (1 Tbsp) cornflour

Use any large fish fillets such as hake and cut into portions. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and a few herbs and dot with butter. Cover with foil and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes. Take care not to overcook the fish. Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients together, except the cornflour. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 4-5 minutes. Blend the cornflour with a little water and stir into the sauce until thickened. In a Pyrex baking dish, alternate layers of fish, onion, red and green pepper and raisins. Pour over the sauce, ensuring all the fish is covered, cover with the lid or clingwrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours before using. The flavour improves with time and the dish can be made a week in advance. Serve with a fresh salad on a hot summer’s day.

Wine suggestion: Muscat d’Alexandrie

Panfried Duck & Plum Sauce (serves 6)

6 duck breastspanfried_duck.jpg
oil to cover pan bottom for shallow frying
salt for each breast
180 ml (3/4 cup) water
salt and pepper
30 ml (2 Tbsp) plum jam or 6 fresh plums
20 ml (4 tsp) soya sauce

Cut several slits across each breast through the skin and fat as this will help to release the fat and crisp the skin. Heat the oil in the pan and when nice and hot place the duck breasts, skin side down. Cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes. Remove breasts, season with salt and keep warm. To make the plum sauce, add the water to the pan juices and bring to the boil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the plum jam and soya sauce and allow to reduce until syrupy. If using fresh plums, halve them and remove the pip. Slice, then place in a small saucepan with 60 ml (4 Tbsp) sugar and 200 ml (4/5 cup)water and simmer gently until soft. Cool, then pass through a sieve and use instead of the jam. Slice the breasts and arrange on warm plates. Spoon over the sauce. The combination of sweet and sour is delicious.

Wine suggestion: Merlotxmas-line.gif

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