Tuesday 17 August:
Well, the kitchen/bathroom saga continues – we have bathroom tiles – a toilet and shower, we have some kitchen cupboards (shells only) and slowly but surely it’s all taking shape. We are not at the point of getting excited yet – but hope springs eternal. Hubby has returned to Durban – we had a fabulous weekend of sunshine and awesome food. Life as a gypsy has its benefits – I found R10 on the road yesterday shortly after I set off on a food adventure. The Seapoint area was bathed in champagne sunlight and I didn’t even need to wear a cardigan. After packing – moving and unpacking for the fourth time – I got settled and was off!
This Seapoint area is buzzing with loads of fabulous little foodie shops and restaurants. My first find is a brand new spot – opened on Sunday! So this is hot off the press people. 154 Main Road boasts a brand new food emporium Delish – (021 – 4342181) Sexy décor and sexy food! Owner Achilles (no points for guessing he is Greek) is offering homemade signature dishes ranging from Biftekia to Kleftiko and a myriad in between. Freshly baked loaves of bread beg to be hugged – bagged and taken home, lathered with juicy dollops of Tarama, Skordalia (their fridges are laden) and the likes. From their kitchen – to yours, Delish offers platters and catering services.
Another gem of a find is the New Asian Spice Supermarket at 186 Main Road, Sea Point (021 – 4340598) – I could have gone buck wild in there – but for the fact that I still had a way to walk. Even so – I racked up a good two bags of bits and pieces. I wanted to put Mr Lu, the owner, in my bag and take him home too! He was a fount of information on each product and rattled off recipes as we discussed each ingredient. If you are looking for fresh Thai greens, Bok Choy, fresh Chinese radish, plump ivory coloured bean sprouts with nery a blemish on them, silken tofu, ginger, chilies, coriander (with the stems and roots) – I could go on and on and on. Needless to say – Tuesday evening Daniele and I enjoyed a starter of – Chicken Pot Stickers, Steamed Pork Dumplings and fresh Prawn Spring Rolls – which Daniele had asked me to show him the ropes over! This spotlessly clean supermarket is laden with all the ingredients that you would need for ANY Asian dish – Thai, Chinese, Korean etc. and Mr Lu knows his bean sprouts!
Tuesday 24 August –
Hooooray I am home in Durban and the kitchen and bathroom saga is a distant memory! Shortly after writing the above i dive bombed into a Kamikaze date with the flu which accounts for my silence. Oi – was I a sorry site for a few days – my hair had risen up and revolted against me, and I had a box of razor blades where my throat once existed! Sjoe – she was in a state!!!! I was gifted a beautiful bottle of Nitida wine – this one, the Cab Sav – was begging to be poured all over a leg of lamb and the rest drunk – so for entirely medicinal reasons – in my weakened and palid state I managed to cook this awesome – roasted deboned leg of lamb with carrots and pastina! – a winter warmer if ever there was one! Poor Daniele was working night and day on a ‘commercial shoot’ so he really needed some energy packed carbs to keep him going. His truck broke down at 3am on the highway! Buuuut – we all survived with a smile and great plate of food to boulster our collective humour!
Roast de-boned Leg of Lamb … a Greek style recipe
1 deboned leg of lamb – of course you can make this with the bone in (i prefer this but the time
share spot i cooked this in had tiny weeny little knives – nothing i could carve with)
1 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (or any good red Cab Sav)
2 tins of peeled tomatoes
8 carrots – peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
a bouquet garni of – rosemary, thyme and parsley
2 chicken stock cubes
1 packet of pastina* – the rosmarino shape
*Pastina – this is tiny small pasta shapes and it’s used as a starter pasta for infants. Their first plates of pastina are usually dressed with a little cream cheese, butter and a dash of tomato sauce.
Insert some rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper into the centre of the rolled lamb.
If you are using a bone in leg – make incisions with a sharp knife – chop the above up nice and
small and insert that into the incisions
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and brown your meat on all sides.
Take care not to go too dark here – because lamb gets a bitter taste if browned too much!
Remove the meat and set aside.
In the same frying pan – brown your onions, garlic and add your bouquet garni.
When your onions are nice and brown – enough wine to cover them and continue
to cook this until the alcohol has evapourated. You can tell when this has happened simply
by putting your face (watchout as steam is hot) – over the pan and having a good sniff!
If the alcohol has not fully evapourated you will get a “smack in the face” by the acrid aroma!
In a bowl and using your (clean) hand – squish each tomato through your fingers in order to smash them up and
release their juices. Now add your smashed, peeled tomatoes, 2 stock cubes and pepper to the frying pan
and bring to the boil.
Put your carrots and herbs together with your browned meat into your roasting dish.
Pour the tomato sauce all over
Pop the lid on – or cover tightly with tin foil and put into your oven at 180 d for 30 minutes minutes then
reduce down to 120d for about 1 1/2 hours – remember the golden rule with roasting meat!
Long and slow – produces the best results. So reduce your heat down as far as you can go
and let the meat cook slowly – especially lamb! This recipe has loads of sauce to stop the
meat from drying out – so long gently heat turns the connective tissue in the lamb all gooey and
sticky!!! I am drooling now!
When your meat is ready – remove the roast from the oven – and take the piece of roasted meat out
and keep covered so as not to dry out while you finish the dish off.
Place the roasting pan on top of the stove and bring the sauce to a boil – the sauce, is quite thin
after roasting but don’t worry – this is EXACTLY what we are after.
Add 3/4 of the packet of pastina to the pot and bring back to the boil.
Once it’s boiling reduce the heat down to about 4 – you can’t leave the pasta at this stage or it will
stick to the bottom of the pot – so pour yourself a glass of that awesome wine to keep
you company for the 10 minutes or so that it takes to finish off this dish.
All you need do now is carve up the meat – plop it in the centre of
this yummy pool of uuuuuuuuber tasty pastina and eat!!!!!
This is a complete meal in one dish!!!