I’m back! Yes, it has been a long, long time. Since I last wrote, I basically packed up my whole house in Barcelona, spent 12 marvelous days in Cape Town, South Africa and it’s surroundings, then flew back to Spain, but to my new city, Madrid, and set up house here. It has been sad, exhilarating, and frustrating at its best and worst!
Since moving in to our new house, which is gorgeous, I haven’t been able to post because we had to wait for our internet to be set up. But finally, they came yesterday and I am up to date with the world again! Our new house is amazing, and my favorite part is obviously the kitchen. We have a pantry……and a large double door fridge (which here in Spain they call a ‘American Fridge’), and we’re able to fit a table to seat six in the kitchen. So excited to begin to create so many goodies in this amount of space. This is true luxury for me! The only catch is that the oven doesn’t work. But they are coming to install a new one tomorrow! Wooo hooo! Gone are the days of over/under cooking from my previous and ancient oven!
Anyhow, our vacation to South Africa was amazing. My best friend Miki is from South Africa, but her family is German/Japanese. The reason of our visit was to attend her wedding. And what a beautiful and fun wedding it was. We reunited with old high school friends and new ones I have made along the way thanks to her. Oh, and to totally make you even more jealous, her family owns vineyards in Stellenbosch. Yes, we were more or less drunk everyday.
Now, apart from the wedding, my family and I went on Safari, and also did a few tours in Cape Town.
We made it all the way down to the Cape of Good Hope, which was breathtaking, and also did a Township tour, which was heartbreaking.
Food wise, South Africa is a very diverse country. There are so many cultural influences, from Malaysian to Indian to German to Dutch….the list goes on. Here are a few things I learned about eating in South Africa:
1. They eat a lot of meat. Beef, lamb, pork, Springbok, Ostrich, you name it. It is on every menu. My new favorite is Springbok, but I don’t think my butcher has any.
2. They put bananas on pizzas. Huh?
3. They put butternut squash on EVERYTHING. Each and every menu had something with butternut. Salad, pizza, pasta, dessert. You get the idea.
4. They’re obsessed with avocados, or as they call them, avo.
5. They make Buffalo mozzarella from Cape Buffalo. Still damn good!
6. They make kick ass wine. (But I knew that already)
That said, one of my first meals in the house was a dish inspired from the flavors of South Africa, and Miki’s wedding menu. I was so impressed with the different spices, their use of sweet and savoury, that I had to make something like this to alleviate my depression upon returning, and to try to eke out every last moment we had. Served with a well chilled glass of Pepin Conde Sauvignon Blanc that we brought back, of course!
So here’s what you’re going to need:
For the pork-
4 slices of Pork Loin, 1 inch thick
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Salt, to taste
Olive oil for the pan
For the chutney-
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp chili pepper
2 apples, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulphered molasses
1 tsp salt, more or less
Water to cover the ingredients
For the rice-
1 cup long white rice
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
In a small stock pot, add the olive oil and butter over medium low heat. Add the onions, ginger, chili and sauté for about 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients, with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium low, and let simmer for about an hour. If it is getting too dry, add some more water. Cook until it is thickened, keep warm.
In the mean time, make the rice. Wash your rice, and in a bowl, mix the water with the turmeric and salt. Place in a deep sided pan, add the rice, and bring to a boil, covered. Let boil for 2 minutes, then lower the heat to medium low, and simmer until the water is evaporated. Keep warm.
In another bowl, mix all the spices for the pork. Coat the pork well on both sides with all your spices. In a frying pan, heat up the olive oil over high heat. Just before it starts to smoke, add the pork and cook, about 4 minutes on each side.
To plate, place a bit of the fresh spinach and top it with a pork slice. Then add some chutney and rice.
From my kitchen to yours,