Cape Town Food

Combines beauty of Cape Town with delicious, contemporary recipes
Cheifitz, Phillippa
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Cape Town Food

Author: Phillippa Cheifitz
Struik Publishers
Cape Town, 2002
ISBN: 1868727165
Soft cover, 21x25 cm, 144 pages, throughout colour photos

Publisher’s note:

This beautiful book combines the beauty of Cape Town and its surrounds with delicious, contemporary recipes. Well-known food writer, Phillippa Cheifitz, has devised chapters based on ingredients that are synonymous with Cape Town. For example, a chapter on fish features lovely Kalk Bay and its fascinating harbour, The Cape to Cuba restaurant, the fishermen on St James boardwalk and an array of related fish recipes; a chapter on spices features the Bo-Kaap, its houses, people and mosques, the Atlas Trading Company where exotic spices can be bought, together with a selection of spicy meat and chicken dishes. Other chapters include Wines and grapes, Fresh produce, Cheese, Pasta and Olive oil.

Winner of Best Local Cookery Book (English) at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, 2002.

Phillippa Cheifitz is a highly respected cookery author and the food editor of House and Leisure and Femina magazines. She won an internationally prestigious Gourmand Cookbook Award in 2004 for Cape Town Food (also published by Struik Publishers), the Galliova award for 2000, regarded as the 'Oscar' of the South African food world, as well as the Galliova 2001 and the Sannie Smit Honorary Award for excellence in food writing. Phillippa travels extensively, is married and lives in Camps Bay in Cape Town. She is the author of The Monday to Sunday Cookbook and Cape Town Food, both published by Struik.

Media Reviews:

Saturday Weekend Argus (Myrna Robins)
"The recipes are all there, photographs are mouth watering, and the compilation will become a well-used treasury of gastronomic delights."

Food & Home Entertaining (Kim Hoepfl)
"Phillipa's talent lies in her stylish, easy approach to food preparation and her maximisation of surpeb local ingredients, deployed with spectacular innovation."

East Cape Weekend P. L. (Sally Kernohan)
"Cape Town Food is a food writer's view of this vibrant city, its people and glorious landmarks. But it's as relevant to serious cooks anywhere in South Africa and it makes a wonderful visual souvenir. Enjoy."

Business Day Supplement (Muff Baxter)
"OH DEAR! Will someone please let me live in Cape Town? This delightful book creates a yearning for the smell and sound that is only Cape Town. However, even we in exile can be truly South African with concoctions like shanks in pinotage."

Art of Wine- Books (Juliet Cullinan)
"This book will tug at the heartstring of South Africans, particulary those living abroad, because it depicts the Cape in its fairest light. It is a visual souvenir of the Mother City with spectacular photographs by Jac de Villiers. This is the Cape on those spectacular days when the sun is shining, and the book captures the multicultural atmosphere of the city through people, landmarks and, especially, a variety of food."


There are many beautiful places in the world, but having travelled east and west and lived north, I believe that there is no other city as exquisite as Cape Town. It has mountains that touch the sea and a sun that sets over the ocean. A true Capetonion, who leaves the city for a time, yearns to return, to see Table Mountain. To climb it once again. To walk along the ocean.

The climate, typical of islands and peninsulas, is changeable and sometimes windy - often very windy. The Southeaster, the strong summer wind, is also more endearingly known as the Cape Doctor for it blows the air clean. But most days are perfect, sunny and warm, not humid. It's a feel-good climate. Cape Town is greenest in winter when the rain falls, which it doesn't all the time, and sometimes it's hard to tell winter from summer.

Our food too, the way we cook today, is casual, using excellent local ingredients. It's gutsy, earthy food, full of flavour. Settlers, each in turn, have made their mark. The Portuguese thought of staying, but sadly the wind that day turned them away. Today Portuguese, mainly from Angola and Mozambique, make up one of the larger communities outside Portugal. The more stoic Dutch, master gardeners at home, arrived in 1652, determined to provide fresh produce to the ships that stopped on the way to and from the lucrotive spice islands of the East. From Indonesia they also brought slaves, many of them educated political prisoners. The women made good cooks, the men expert fishermen.

The French Huguenots came to escape persecution at home. The British wrenched the colony from the Dutch at the end of the 18th century. In the 1950s, the Italians introduced cappuccino and lasagne in casual coffee bars to a society that was more familiar with the formality of hotel grill rooms and department store tea rooms. Today, an invasion of restaurateurs, from Brussels to Bangkok, have expanded our range of eating experiences to encompass the globe.

We have a long history of hospitality in the Cape. Lady Anne Barnard, wife of the Colonial Secretary during the first British Occupation, wrote of the elegant entertaining in the splendid reception halls of the Castle, Groot Constantia and Vergelegen. And now that Cape Town, blissfully, is an open, democratic city, we welcome the many visitors that come to marvel at one of the world's wonders.


Pasta with seafood and mushroom sauce

For the sauce, bring the stock, wine and sprigs of herbs to a bubble. Add the prawns and simmer for a minute at most, Remove with a large slotted spoon, add the calamari and simmer for barely a minute, until opaque.

Remember it's overcooking that toughens calamari, Remove with a large slotted spoon. Add the mussels (discarding any that aren't tightly closed) and simmer for a few minutes until they open. Remove with a slotted spoon. Discard those that haven't opened. Fish out the herbs and discard. Add the mushrooms, cream, garlic and dill and simmer briskly until reduced and slightly thickened. Return the seafood to the sauce and heat through, Season to taste, Toss with hot pasta and sprinkle with dill, for 4-6

500 g spaghettini or linguine, cooked and drained

For the sauce:

1/2 cups fish stock
1 cup dry white wine
a few sprigs of parsley, dill and celery
250 g peeled prawns, defrosted, rinsed and dried
250 g baby calamari tubes, thinly sliced
500 g cleaned, tightly closed mussels
250 g mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cream
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp chopped dill
milled Atlantic sea salt and black pepper
chopped dill for sprinkling

Oostrich steaks with chicken livers, shallots and port wine

Pat the meat dry, then moisten with oil. Pour boiling water over the shallots and, when cool enough to handle, drain and peel. Pour boiling water over the raisins and leave to soak, but leave them out if using mushrooms. Sear the oiled steaks in a hot, non-stick pan to brown on both sides. Remove and season. Add a little oil, as well as the well-dried chicken livers (or sliced portabellini mushrooms) and brown briskly. Remove and season lightly. Add a little more oil and the shallots. Brown all over.

Add the stock, Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the shallots are very tender, adding more stock if necessary, Add the drained raisins (if using) and port, and simmer until suitably reduced. Return the steaks and chicken livers (or mushrooms) to the pan and heat through, Serve garnished with chives. for 4

4 portions ostrich fillet or steaks
olive oil
200 g shallots
1/4 cup seedless raisins
salt and milled black pepper
250 g chicken livers (or portabellini mushrooms, if you prefer)
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup port wine
whole chives for garnishing

For serving:

Butternut mash and steamed greens


catch of the day
the market place
olives and oil
say cheese
spice is nice
between the vines
the great outdoors
take note

Please check the rich index:

Anchovy cream sauce, Italian 139
Asparagus frittata, fresh green 43
Avocado, herbed and ricotta
spread 32
Bobotie, lamb with basmati rice and
chilli jam 94
Breads, herbed 140
Brittle, three-seed 127
Cabbage and cheese casserole,
baked 37
Cape grape 116
chocolate ginger 99
citrus poppyseed loaf with berries
and creme ftaTche 134
Carrots with naartjie and
coriander 44
Champagne jellies, pink 121
Cheese crisps 64
Cheese dishes, 60-77
crisps 64
goat cheese and salad pizzas 72
goat cheese souffles, twice-
baked 67
green vegetables pancakes with
feta cheese sauce 69
pancetta, spinach and pasta
timbales 71
parmesan potato pie 75
salad, warmed 64
spinach cheesecake, hot 70
tarts with rocket 66
Cheese salad, warm 64
Cheese tarts with rocket 66
cappuccino 76
hot spinach 70
curry 88
flat roast, with lemons and
rosemary 57
roast with shallots and rosemary 131
roast with winter vegetables 34
tagine with chickpeas and
dates 91
thighs, braised with red wine,
sun-dried tomatoes and
balsamic vinegar 105
with waterblommetjies and egg
and lemon sauce on baked
risotto 39
Chocolate ginger cake 99
Citrus poppyseed loaf with berries
and creme fraTche 134
Cookies, fruit and nut 127
Crayfish, with lemon cream
risotto 24
Crostini 32
Curry sauce. Thai green 139
chicken 88
fish 86
citrus 44
garlic-herb 19
lemon vinaigrette 20
Duck, roast with sultana grapes and
hanepoot sauce 106
Egg and lemon sauce 39
Feta cheese sauce 69
Fish and seafood 8-27
barbecued butterflied fish 136
calamari, roasted 58
calamari salad, herbed 13
crayfish, with lemon cream
risotto 24
curry, fish 86
fish and chips, new-style 21
fish and vegetable parcels 23
fish soup. Cape with lemon mayo
and garlic crostini 14
fish, baked and fennel with lemon
vinaigrette 20
fish, braised with red wine and
mushrooms 104
fish escalopes, pan-grilled and
pancetta on greens 59
fish, grilled marinated 16
fish, roast centre-cut with
vegetables 17
fish, roast with garlic-herb dressing 19
fishcakes 20
mussels 21
pasta, seafood and mushroom
sauce 25
pickled fish. Cape 86
prawns, roasted with chilli oil and
coriander 26
salmon trout salad, seared 12
tuna pate, fresh 128
tuna, grilled with haricot bean
salad and gremolata 54
Frittata, fresh green asparagus 43
Garlic-herb butter 139
Garlic-herb dressing 19
Garlic-orange mayonnaise 104
Grape cake. Cape 116
Grape tart 118
Gremolata 54
Guinea fowl and red cabbage
casserole 108
Hanepoot sauce 106
Jellies, pink champagne 121
barbecued spiced marinated 138
bobotie with basmati rice and chilli
jam 94
shanks, braised with pinotage 115
spiced roast with eggplant and
pilaf 93
Lemon mayonnaise 14
Lemon vinaigrette 20
Lentil dip, spiced 82
Mangoes, grilled 135
garlic-orange 104
lemon 14
Melon and mint, skewered with
lemon-ginger syrup 133
Minestrone, green 52
Mushroom sauce, with seafood 25
Nectarines in rose wine syrup 120
Nuts, honeyed roast 126
Olive oil mash 57
Olive, black spread 50
Olives and olive oil 46-59
Olives, marinated and anchovies 58
Onion sauce 33
Ostrich carpaccio, seared
peppered 59
Ostrich steaks with chicken livers,
shallots and port wine 112
Pancakes, spiced date and
coconut 98
onion sauce and stir-fried greens 33
pappardelle with venison and
mushrooms 113
seafood and mushroom sauce 25
timbales, with pancetta and
spinach 71
with pesto and roasted steak and
mushrooms 55
Pesto 55
coriander 83
Pickle, roasted vegetable 51
Pickled fish. Cape 86
Pizzas, goat cheese and salad 72
Plums, baked whole in sweet wine 121
Polenta, baked pumpkin 111
olive oil mash 57
pie, parmesan 75
smashed baked 36
Prawns, roasted with chilli oil and
coriander 26
Pumpkin and parmesan tart, roast 130
Quails, roast with baked pumpkin
polenta 111
pilot 93
spiced fish with dukkah 87
baked 39
lemon cream with crayfish 24
calamari, herbed 13
cheese, warm 64
haricot bean 54
Italian 50
salmon trout, seared 12
watermelon and feta 133
winter vegetable 34
Samoosas, goat cheese and
coriander pesto 83
egg and lemon 39
feta cheese 69
garlic-herb butter 139
garlic-orange mayonnaise 104
Italian anchovy cream sauce 139
lemon mayonnaise 14
mushroom, with seafood 25
onion 33
pesto 55
coriander 83
Thai green curry sauce 139
yoghurt 83
Souffles, goat cheese, twice-
baked 67
Cape fish, with lemon mayo and
garlic crostini 14
chilled red 40
minestrone, green 52
pumpkin, spiced and tomato 84
winter vegetable 34
Spreads and dips
black olive spread 50
herbed avocado and ricotta
spread 32
lentil dip, spiced 82
tuna pate, fresh 128
Steak, roasted and mushrooms with
pesto and pasta 55
Sweet potatoes, sheet 36
Sweet treats
cake. Cape grape 116
chocolate ginger 99
cheesecake, cappuccino 76
loaf, citrus poppyseed with berries
and creme fraTche 134
cookies, fruit and nut 127
jellies, pink champagne 121
nectarines in rose wine
syrup 120
pancakes, spiced date and
coconut 98
plums, baked whole in sweet
wine 121
tart, grape 118
Tagine, chicken with chickpeas and
dates 91
grape 118
roast pumpkin and parmesan 130
cheese with rocket 66
Tuna, grilled with haricot bean salad
and gremolata 54
Veal, braised shin with steamed
vegetables and couscous 96
Vegetable dishes
barbecued vegetables with three
sauces 139
beetroot, roasted with citrus
dressing 44
cabbage and cheese casserole,
baked 37
carrots with naartjie and
coriander 44
green asparagus frittata, fresh 43
green vegetable pancakes with
feta cheese sauce 69
parmesan potato pie 75
pasta with onion sauce and stir-
fried greens 33
potatoes, smashed baked 36
pumpkin, spiced and tomato
soup 84
soup, chilled red 40
spinach cheesecake, hot 70
sweet potatoes, sheet 36
winter vegetables, roasted 34
Vegetable pickle, roasted 51
Venison and mushrooms with
pappardelle 113
Waterblommetjies 38
with chicken and egg and lemon
sauce on baked risotto 39
Watermelon and feta salad 133
Winter vegetables, roasted 34
Yoghurt sauce 83