Wednesday, January 18, 2012
120112 Main Ingredient's MENU - Jordan restaurant, pesto, Masterchef, picnics, events etc
Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
Jardine restaurant at Jordan
January – eating sensibly
Our market activities, events and restaurants
One of the advantages of having overseas visitors here is that we get to take some of them on a wine tour and introduce them to some of our favourite restaurants and wines. Anne Brand, who studied and graduated with us on the Cape Wine Academy Diploma course, is an excellent person to take to wine farms. She is now resident in Australia and was keen to sample some of our recent best. We started the morning at Grangehurst tasting through their excellent range, buying some of their divine summery rosé, and wishing we could afford more of the other wines, especially the Nikela, after a heavy spending Christmas. We spent far too long chatting and had to rush off to Jordan for our lunch at Jardine.
Sadly, there was no time left to taste the Jordan wines before lunch but John guided Anne to a choice of a glass of the Outlier 2009 Sauvignon Blanc with her starter of “Gazpacho salad” with fried stuffed calamari, iced cucumber, croutons and pesto. The food was absolutely superb and we had a lovely airy inside table, by three open windows where the breeze kept us cool on this 35 degree day. This turned into a really long and relaxed lunch catching up and sitting viewing one of the best view in the Western Cape. John, who also had a glass of the Outlier, started with lime cured yellowtail, late summer pea shoots, green bean and tapenade and Lynne had the absolutely tender seared calves liver salad with roasted turnip, crispy sage and a marvelously matched prune preserve. The liver had a lovely smoky flavour. She is still sticking to her resolution of no alcohol in January so she had a Jordan red (shiraz) grape juice with her meal and good tap water. All the food is so beautifully and simply presented (see the photos) and is even more delicious to eat. Anne and John could not resist the double herbed impala with pomme puree, smoked garlic, braised savoy and meaty porcini, accompanied by a glass each of the Prospector Shiraz, while Lynne was tempted by the salt crust baked fennel, lightly grilled avocado, olive oil, lemon and parmesan with salad leaves and a delicious tapenade - fantastic but rather smothered in oil. All were delicious.
None of us could manage dessert, despite the descriptions being extraordinarily tempting but we were persuaded to have a tour of the lovely, cool cheese room where we succumbed to a plate of six very interesting local cheeses, some known to us, some completely new, to share and that came with two glasses of Boplaas Tawny Port. We left the restaurant as the tasting room was closing – this really was a long relaxing lunch - so we went down the valley, turned left and had a tasting at Neethlingshof which was still open. Our tasting guide Kim Atwood was extremely good at her job, informative and knowledgeable but, sadly, we did not find any of the wines really exciting enough to buy. They do charge for their tastings, a practice we cannot understand because this is straight marketing. When John takes clients on tours, he avoids farms which charge for tastings. If he had to pay R30 per head for a party of six at each of four farms, he would lose R720 of his daily fee, not a happy prospect. Some farms charge more.
January, glorious January In this month of reappraisal, we are certainly reappraising what we are eating! December is such a month of excess and then there are all the wicked food presents we get, which we are severely rationing. We are trying to fit in more vegetables and much less fat, sugar and starch. It is not difficult in a time when the greengrocer’s shelves are overflowing with wonderful summer produce and the fruit at the moment is a cornucopia of delight. Our breakfast fruit salad consists of banana, mango, green and orange sweet melons, litchis, strawberries, beautiful plums, cherries and pawpaw. It tastes like eating sunshine.
We have so much basil that Lynne was able to whip up a pesto in minutes and wondered why we don’t do this more often. Pesto is very simple indeed to make and can be done in a blender in just a few moments, while the pasta is cooking. You don’t have to use basil – rocket, parsley, coriander all work well and you can vary the nuts – walnuts, almonds, pecans etc. Add a fresh chilli if you want it hot, especially good with coriander. Don’t make it too far in advance as the colour can go very dark. You can try a squeeze of lemon, but that is not traditional. It also makes a really good cold pasta salad when used with rice shaped pasta. You need to make it in the proportions 3:1:1 herb, cheese, nuts.
3 large handfuls of basil leaves – 25g grated parmesan or grana padano cheese – 25g pine nuts – 1 crushed clove of garlic – 2 T olive oil – salt and pepper
Put all the ingredients into your blender and blitz until you have a nice thick oily paste still with some texture, adding more oil if it looks a little dry, then adjust the seasoning and spoon onto hot pasta or onto a selection of lightly blanched vegetables.
SA Masterchef will hit our screens in March. One of the judges is someone we know very well: Pete Goffe-Wood, who runs the Kitchen Cowboys course which John enjoyed so much a few years ago. Many of you will have enjoyed his steak rolls and pork pies at the Biscuit Mill on Saturdays. Usually, we get to know a face on the screen and then get a thrill when we see (and maybe) meet them in the flesh. This turns the tables and we get to enjoy seeing someone on-screen whom we know in person.
Products We haven’t had time, in a busy week, to collect our order of Prego sauce. We will have it by the middle of next week.
Most other products are available, except goose fat, which we won’t see before the end of the month, but we have plenty of duck fat, which is an excellent alternative. If you are looking for anything, have a look at our product list and tell us what you want. We will soon have an online shop as well, accessed through our website, where you can order and pay us through Payfast.
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. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.
Our market activities We will be at Long Beach Mall tomorrow, Friday 13th January (lucky day!). We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00 and every Saturday. We will be back at Cavendish next Friday.
There is a huge variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. To help you choose an event to visit, click on our list of Interesting Food and Wine Events. All the events are listed in date order and we already have exciting events to entertain you through into the new year. . You will need to be connected to the internet.
Some restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our. 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. that so many have sent, to give you the essentials. Click on the name to access the relevant website. All communication should be with the individual restaurants.
Summer time is picnic time and several wine farms offer picnic facilities. We have put together a list of wine farms who can provide you with a picnic, We haven’t put in much detail, just where it is, phone number, email address and a link to the website. The latter is where you will find all the important information. Go and check it out.
12th January 2012
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 ist for details and prices.
PS If a word or name is in , click on it for more information
Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian or Dutch flavoured Afrikaans.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters are ©John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
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Posted by John Ford at 11:46 pm