Caponata de Melanzane salad – layers of fried aubergine sauced with tomato, capers, olives and pine nuts, soft and rich.
Artichokes in four juices, a very unusual way to cook artichoke hearts in a rich and very tangy sauce made from orange, lemon, clementine juices and white vinegar with capers and anchovies added.
The swordfish had sweet raisins and onions, capers and olives in the parcel which made it taste like a meat rather than a fish, but it was very pleasant. It was surrounded by a trail of puree of courgette.
Timbala di Principe (the Princes Pasta) was filled with macaroni, small pieces of chicken, chicken livers, mushrooms, ham and quail eggs. It was interesting, if a little dry, and cried out for a sauce of some sort.
Cassatine di Ricotta with almond marzipan
Gelo di Anguria, a rather solid jelly made from watermelon with jasmine on a base of what tasted like coffee grounds.
Click on anythingunderlined and Greento open a link to pictures or more information
Laborie manor house and vineyards, with the Afrikaanse Taalmonument on the hill above it
Granger Bay Hotel SchoolWe were invited to the relaunch of the student run restaurant at the Granger Bay Hotel School last Thursday. Told to be there at 5.30, there were lots of speeches in the newly decorated restaurant, an ceremony in which awards were presented to high achieving alumni in the hotel industry. Very good canapés were finally served at 8.15 pm – quite a long wait for anything to nibble other than peanuts with our wine, but worth the wait.
Happy New Year! Rosh HashanaWe are so privileged to be invited every year to our former neighbour’s Breaking the Fast celebration. As we have said before she is a formidable cook and her board is always groaning with excellent fish dishes, salads and many of the season’s best traditional dishes like gefilte fish, kichel, pirogen, herring, cinnamon buns and then another wonderful spread of fabulous desserts follows. It is lovely for us as non-Jews to be able to sample another culture’s best examples of traditional celebratory food. Thank you, Sharon.
Spoilt Rotten by LaborieMonths ago, we received an invitation to visit Laborie and try their restaurant. We could not find a mutually agreeable date because the restaurant then went through a change of management and was under reconstruction, so our visit was postponed until last weekend. We were also invited to stay the night in one of their very beautiful suites and have breakfast the following morning with Cobus van Graan, the estate’s manager, and then enjoy a tasting of all their wines. What we hadn’t realised, was that the restaurant is still not open – it will be in November with its new, very renowned and experienced chef taking charge (watch this space for the announcement). We chose Sunday as our night to visit and were welcomed by Janine Eybers, their hospitality and PR manager, who showed us to our beautiful suite, named after Jean Taillefert. We sat at sunset under the oak trees on the Werf watching the squirrels and the owl in the hollow tree, drinking a glass or two of their chilled Sauvignon Blanc and chatting about this wonderful farm, granted to the French Huguenot Isaac Taillefert in 1691. There is so much history here it is palpable. See John’s photographs here. As the restaurant is not yet open, Janine organised a local caterer to supply a simple dinner for us, which was set up in the Manor House. First we had a tour of this marvellous house, where one imagines you can hear echoes of the families who inhabited it through the centuries, the tinkle of the spinet, the dances and the life they must have lived in leafy Paarl. Our table for two was set up in the drawing room and we had a lovely bottle of their very impressive Blanc de Blanc bubbly with our Coronation chicken and a good salad. We then withdrew to our suite and had coffee, sweetmeats, a tiny glass of Pineau de Laborie for Lynne and a good Laborie Alambic brandy for John. Breakfast the next morning was served at the head of their magnificent Lang Tafel, which can seat up to 30 people; the perfect place for small dinners and wedding breakfasts and it is available for functions. Their super friendly staff served us a lovely breakfast of fruit, muesli, yoghurt, juice and for Lynne and Cobus scrambled egg, bacon and tomato. Good coffee and toast accompanied our long chat about the farm, its history, the wines, the vines and the future. We then let Cobus get on with his busy working day and went to the tasting room to taste through all the wines. We have to admit that for us Laborie had become another familiar wine name that we did not often taste . their products. We were very pleasantly surprised at how good some of their wines are and how reasonably priced most of these and their bubblies are – we bought some of the crisp, dry and elegant 2007 Blanc de Blanc and some of the 2008 Brut. This is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir has a lovely pinot flavour. Both have a good dose of maturity – Christmas and John’s birthday are rushing towards us, so we do need to have lots of bubbly on hand. We also could not resist a case of the crisp Laborie 2011 Chardonnay (citrus with good minerality) and three bottles of the very special Jean Taillefert award-winning 2009 Shiraz. The latter will go into our cellar for special occasions in the future. The Chardonnay is bound to disappear quite quickly. When the restaurant is open again, you too can enjoy an experience like this.
Longridge WineryWe met their sales manager at a recent trade tasting and she invited us to visit and sample Johan’s,the restaurant at Longridge. Situated in the Helderberg on the Eikendal road, just off the R44, Longridge is the winery with the Blue roof and has wonderful views over the valley towards Table Mountain. The restaurant is run by Chris Olivier, whom we know from other locations, and he and the chef, Marissa Chandansing, have a passion for using the best possible local produce available and treating their ingredients with the utmost respect. Their gardens are planted to bursting with vegetables, fruit and herbs, all grown organically, planted higgledy-piggledy amongst each other and are a treat to see. More plantings are on the cards. The menu is small, but every course looked like something we would relish and choices were difficult. Lynne started with a seasonal garden herb salad with tempura of vegetables, tiny verjuice jelly cubes and quail eggs. Very fresh and lightly dressed in more of the Longridge verjuice, it was a deliciously light start to a meal. John had delicate smoked trout with crème fraiche, broad beans and mint. For mains Lynne chose the rich but not fatty belly of pork, served with beetroot and broccoli with butternut chutney and John had the very tender seared venison (kudu) fillet with potato cakes, red cabbage, apple, celeriac and sherry. We absolutely could not resist desserts and Lynne so enjoyed her small chocolate fondue and all its wonderful accompaniments that she is going to do one at home quite soon. John’s Sablé, strawberries, black pepper and lemon sorbet was sensational. We were served tasting portions of the wines with our food and were able to taste all the whites and all the reds. We particularly liked their very different Sauvignon Blanc. Its flavour was intriguingly familiar to Lynne, but it took quite a while to recognize it as fresh white nectarine. Please note that this hidden secret (but not any longer!) of a restaurant is open on Monday Tuesday, closed Wednesday and Thursday and then open again on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday for lunch only. As it is right behind one of our favourite wineries, Grangehurst (which we visited after lunch), we will be going there again.
This week’s recipeInspired by the simple but great treatment of good ingredients at Johan’s, Lynne decided to do something simple with pork chops this week. You can use chicken as a substitute
4 pork steaks or chops – juice of one large lemon – 2 crushed cloves of garlic – 1 T olive oil – good grinding of black peppercorns – salt
In an ovenproof dish, cover the pork with the lemon juice, garlic, oil and pepper. Put in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours. Salt the pork and put into a hot oven to roast for 10 plus minutes or until the pork is cooked through. Drain off the juices and make a good jus with them. We use a little more water, some cornflower and a little good stock. Cover with foil and rest for at least 10 minutes. Serve with crisp duck fat roast potatoes and good steamed courgettes and broccoli.
Sunday, 16th October will be World Food Day and the Woolworths Trust is once again hosting a Virtual Living Wall. The invite you to plant a virtual seedling on their Living Wall. Go to www.woolworthslivingwall.co.za to plant your virtual seedling. For every virtual seedling planted, the Woolworths Trust will donate an actual plant to a South African school with an EduPlant permaculture food garden. Just choose your plant and add your name. It’s fun, it’s free, and it makes a difference in the real world.
Our products. We have an exciting new product range. Many of you know and love the Protea Hill Farm balsamic fruit and herb vinegars. We have been delivered a range of four delicious balsamic reductions made from the fruit vinegars: raspberry, granadilla, orange and lemon. Come and taste them at one of our market stalls. You won’t find them anywhere else.
We still haven’t had our delivery of Carnaroli rice. We do have the Violone Nano, which is also excellent for risotto and the more familiar Arborio. The Spanish Bomba paella rice continues to sell well. Goose fat is out of stock at our supplier, as is hazelnut oil. We do have ample supply of duck fat and the delicious French patés, duck confits, cassoulet and other delicacies.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods. So, please have a look at our Product List and see what you need. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.
Changes in our market activities
You will find us at The Place at Cavendish tomorrow, Friday 14th from 10h30 to 17h00. In future, we will be alternating between Cavendish and Long Beach, with Long Beach being on the first and last Fridays and Cavendish on the Fridays in between. We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, thisSaturday between 09h00 and 14h00. The Neighbourgoods market has been rearranged. The tables have been arranged at right angles to the way we are all used to, with all the aisles running straight down from the entrance, in order to improve the flow of visitors through the market. Lynne will be wearing a gold plastic crown in order to help you find us.
As we told you last week, we will not be back at the Dean St Arcade in Newlands on Wednesdays. We will miss friends we have made there, but our turnover there has not been enough to justify our presence, when we can be gainfully employed elsewhere.
Many of the specials in our list of restaurant special offers are continuing through summer and we have been told that there will be some new summer menus soon. Click here to access it. These Specials have been sent to us by the restaurants or their PR agencies. We have not personally tried all of them and their listing here should not always be taken as a recommendation from ourselves. If they don’t update us, we can’t be responsible for any inaccuracies in the list. When we have tried it, we’ve put in our observations. We have cut out the flowery adjectives etc. we’ve been sent, to give you the essentials. Click on the name to access the relevant website. All communication should be with the individual restaurants.
13th October 2011
Remember- if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our product list for details and prices.
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