Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Opening of Pick 'n Pay on Nicol and a Celebratory Dinner

Hi Friend,

I thought I'd just let you know how impressed I am with the newly opened Pick 'n Pay in Hurlingham – the biggest Pick 'n Pay in South Africa!

As you drive in, the store towers over you like a giant, gleaming glass square of architectural design.

The array of fresh flowers that greet you on arrival instantly brightens your mood - the variety of which will not be out of place at the most successful flower show!

The bakery is the first section of foodie heaven with its scrumptious cupcakes and other baked sweet treats that will make you salivate throughout your visit. The selection of freshly baked breads will have your stomach rumbling - olive and sun dried tomato ciabatta are two tasty examples.

I am lost for words when it comes to the fresh fish section! Crab claws, crayfish, langoustines, prawns, oysters, tuna steaks, several varieties of salmon... in fact, you should be able to find any fish your heart desires.

The meat section is another tempting array of many different kinds of boerewors and marinated kebabs as well as exotics such as rolled pork stuffed with mango and sage, aged to perfection rump steak, kobe beef, venison, ostrich, the list can go on and on.

The jewel of the store no doubt has to be the chilled cheese room with its rows of wax sealed cheese rounds - the tastings are a real treat and you could get lost in thought over what to pair with the many cheeses - South African and imported - from plum preserve to figs in syrup, olive oils infused with garlic or chilli - my mouth is watering at the possibilities.

The wine selection is imposing in its diversity and another walk in chilled room holds many sparkling wine choices.

The fresh produce section is once again astounding. Unusual fruits such as Asian pears are right next to a striking Asian section of every kind of chilli you can think of, podded peas and beans by the dozen and fresh herbs such as mint overflowing in little pots. The mushrooms are impressive in their variety and size and lucky finds such as celeriac are dotted throughout.

Other sections include home-ware and braaiing and it even boasts its own pharmacy and bottle store. The abundantly stocked shelves seem to go on forever, with a smiling, helpful person dedicated to each section.

It is certainly a pleasure to shop here – I am so enthusiastic about it that I am in two minds whether to share my good fortune with the whole of Joburg or keep the treasure to myself. I have decided on the former – happy shopping! :)

Lea xxx

Pictures were taken with my phone - not the best quality!

This post would not be complete without a recipe to celebrate Pick 'n Pay's opening.

Pork Roulade Stuffed with Asian Pear and Lavender:
(Serves 2 - 3)


2 - 3 Pork Loin Chops
1 Large Asian Pear, Finely Diced
1 Onion, Finely Diced
1 - 2 Tbs Dried Lavender*
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Left Over Asian Pear Stuffing
1tsp Corn Starch in a Few Teaspoons Water for Thickening
Dried Lavender to Taste
Soya Cream
Lemon Juice
Herbal Salt and Pepper
1 - 2 Tsp Good Quality Whiskey
A Sprinkle of Fructose to Counterbalance Flavours

Serve with crushed baby potatoes or basmati rice and peas

*The lavender is from my mom's garden


Remove bones and trim off excess fat on pork chops (keeping aside any excess pork)
Bash chops using a rolling pin/ mallet until thin
Season with salt and pepper
Fry onion until translucent
Add any finely diced excess pork
Add the finely diced Asian pear and cook on high for a few minutes
Add lavender to taste (this can be quite strong so start off with a small amount)
Season the stuffing
Stuff the pork chops with the Asian pear mixture and roll up - secure with a few tooth picks if desired
Fry on high for a few minutes, until golden brown
Transfer to an oven dish and roast in the oven until cooked through (about 10 - 15 minutes - Make sure they don't dry out)
Slice the rolled up chops into rounds - so that the stuffing is visible

Fry the left over stuffing
Deglaze the pan with a bit of whiskey and allow to cook out
Add some water to the pan and the corn starch to thicken the sauce - stir continuously so as not to form lumps
Season with herbal salt, pepper, paprika and lavender to taste
Add a sprinkle of fructose
Add a squeeze of lemon juice
Finish off with soya cream

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