Friday, January 15, 2010

The magical play of light on water and fish
We have some fantastic new products in stock, most of them from France - and we have tasters of nearly all of them. The most extraordinary is Pistachio oil - intensely nutty and full flavoured it can be poured over fresh grilled salmon, asparagus, goats cheese, on sticky pastries with honey and used in salad dressings. The following recipe is very Mediterranean in character, but simple to prepare and the ingredients are currently available. We have pomegranate molasses.

Chicken in Pomegranate with Pistachio Cous Cous
1 T oil - 4 to 6 chicken pieces - salt and pepper - 1 finely chopped onion - 2 cloves garlic - 2 T Pomegranate molasses - 250 ml chicken stock - 2 T chopped flat parsley - 2 T chopped coriander - 1 t cumin

Rub salt and pepper into the chicken pieces, then put the oil into a sauté pan and on a high heat, brown the chicken on all sides, Remove from the pan and set aside. Fry the onion till soft and translucent then add the garlic and sauté for two more minutes. Add all the other ingredients and simmer on a low heat for 45 minutes.

Cous Cous
500g cous cous - 2 T pistachio oil - 2 T chopped pistachio nuts - 2T fresh pomegranate kernels (or dried cranberries) - salt and pepper

Season the dried cous cous, add the oil and stir. Then cook according to the instructions on the packet. Fork in the pistachio nuts and pomegranate and serve immediately with the chicken.

Tastings and other events Join WINE magazine for an informative seated tasting of the Sauvignon Blanc Top 10 wines. The tastings will be presented by leading winemaker Charles Hopkins of De Grendel. The Cape Town tasting will be on 21st January starting 18h30 at the Mount Nelson Hotel, and the Johannesburg tasting on 28th January starting 18h30 at the Crowne Plaza The Rosebank. Tickets cost R150 per person. To book, E-mail call 0860 100 205, fax 0866 704 101, or to book online, CLICK HERE. For more information, please contact Jane Eedes on 021 530 3308.

The Robertson Wine Valley will host its second Hands on Harvest Festival from 26th to 28th February, giving you a chance to experience the magic of harvest for a day - without having to quit your day job! Groups are small and intimate, so you are sure to have a hands-on experience you’ll never forget. Many of the activities are 'kiddie-friendly' and on Sunday, the Harvest Market promises to be a true family affair. Other activities include grape picking, grape stomping, vineyard tractor trips, grape vs wine tasting, and loads more.

The Kromboom Rotary Club is helping to organise the annual Rabbie Burns celebration, which takes place at Kelvin Grove on February 6th. In addition to being a fun evening, it also helps raise money for the Nonceba Trust, which takes care of abused women and children.

A date for the future you should try not to miss is the Taste of Cape Town 2010 between 24th and 28th March at the Granger Bay Extension – V&A Waterfront

TIME FOR ROSÉS    With the hot weather here at full blast, we often find ourselves reaching for a cold bottle of light rosé wine and we think its time for our annual Rosé tasting. We will be holding this on Thursday 21st of January and there will be food to accompany the wines we have selected. The cost of this tasting will be R100 per person and must be booked and paid for in advance as numbers will be limited to 20. Each person who buys a case of wine (6) - sorry no mixed boxes - will be reimburse R50 on that first case. Wines so far booked for the Tasting are Morgenhof Fantail, Buitenverwachting Blanc de Noir, Landskroon Bushcamp, Zandvliet My Best Friend; Newton Johnson Felicité and some new ones to be announced.

Winchester Mansions Sunday Jazz Brunch We were delighted to be invited to this by friends who had given it to Lynne as a birthday present - belated because we are all so busy! What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday. We don’t usually go out for Brunch because, on our only day off in the week, we usually stay home and relax with a good breakfast (croissants, scrambled eggs with truffle salt, fresh orange juice and good coffee) and the Sunday papers. This time, we started later - at 11 and could have lunch as well - it goes on to 2pm. What a spread they serve. We agree with Anthony Bourdain that buffets can be the worst way to sample hotel food, as they are often a repository of left-overs. Absolutely NOT at the Winchester. You can start breakfast in the conventional way with cereals, yogurt and a huge selection of fresh fruit. Follow this with croissants, preserves, pastries and good coffee or tea. Move on to a full cooked breakfast with a chef to make you eggs any way you want plus all the additions and then move on to sushi, mussels, carpaccios and a wonderful selection of salads. Then comes the hot table: this week they had perfectly cooked sirloin of beef, roast pork with apple and many other hot dishes - Lynne didn’t have any but saw cauliflower cheese and roasted vegetables and roast potatoes! Not satisfied enough? On the balcony a chef was braaiing lamb chops, chicken stuffed with pear and brie and kebabs! And when you think you have seen it all, there is an amazing table groaning with puddings, cheesecakes, brownies, scones and beautiful patisserie. And all this for only R195 pp including a glass of sparking wine and a Sunday Times. Obviously you have to book. 021 434 You sit in the courtyard under umbrellas listening to superb jazz - we had Maurice Gavronsky's group - or the tinkling water fountain. Only down side, people were smoking.

EAT FOR UNDER R100 Where can you have a meal with a glass of wine or beer and include service for under R100 a person? We await your suggestions and will put a list on to Menu. We have discovered two so far. The Bar at the Winchester Mansions has a really nice simple and reasonable menu: Example: Chicken ginger wrap for R57 plus a 250 ml carafe of Morgenhof Fantail White or Rosé for R30 with 10% service charge. La Bohème (021 434 8797) is still doing their 2 course special for R90 and three courses for R110, but you can have a spicy beef tagine for R70 with a glass of Simonsig Chenin for R20 or a Vegetarian special for R65 also with a glass of wine for R20 and still have 10% for service. Please tell us about any similar deals you have enjoyed.

Product News We mentioned Pistachio oil above, but we also have French champagne and Tarragon vinegars, dried green and pink peppercorns and a new range of delicious French mustards. You’ll find them highlighted in red in our product list.

Restaurants and picnics    We remind you to let us have your feedback about the restaurants in our list of specials. We don’t have the time, or the money, to visit them all frequently, and they don’t all keep us up to date with their offers, or respond to our requests for information. Buitenverwachting, Allée Bleue and Rickety Bridge and we look forward to trying the new picnic at Warwick.

Click on the highlighted hyperlinks to book for these events or to learn more about them.

Weekend market: Susan and Jane will be on our pavement as usual this Saturday with their delicious country goodies. Come and buy fresh farm eggs, fruit and vegetables, preserves and home baked breads, cakes and pastries from them and then come and visit us! We will be tasting wines, so do come in and have a chat and a taste and buy something great to cook with this weekend and a good wine to go with it. Wine and food are inseparable partners.

Your invitation to Main Ingredient’s Free Saturday morning Wine Tastings

every Saturday from about 10am in the shop

16th January – Morgenhof Fantail White, Red and Rosé, Chardonnay and Brut

13th January 2010

Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re not in Cape Town, we can send it to you!

PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information

Visit us at Shop 5, Nedbank Centre, 15 Kloof Rd, Sea Point 8005, Cape Town, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 439 5169

We are, we believe, the only shop in Cape Town which offers a specialised service, combining gourmet foods with well-chosen wines on one floor

Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to wine producers who are not usually open to the public. 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.

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