Thursday, June 23, 2011

110616 Main Ingredient's MENU - Iona wines, Prego Lamb with Samp and Beans, links to our product list, restaurant specials & events

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
 Sea Point beachfront in the calm before the storm
Tuesday was a beautiful, sunny day. John had to fetch his new specs from the optician and we had a bit of a wait while the lenses were fitted, so we took a walk on the beach. It could almost have been an early summer day, but the size of the swell, the crashing waves and a haze coming in from the sea hinted at the wintry weather which was on its way.
Iona     That evening, as one of our sensational storms came in, we ventured to Rob & Jacqui Henderson’s home in Bishopscourt for a tasting of Iona’s excellent wines. Welcomed by huge platters of the best quality smoked salmon on brown bread canapés, we tasted their entry level Sauvignon blanc, Sophie Te’blanche, named for a famous woman who never existed - they have amusingly adapted a wonderful mispronunciation of the word Sauvignon Blanc by one of their vineyard workers! Clean and crisp with nicely layered, delicious fruit flavours and tropical notes, this wine is made from the sauvignon grapes which are considered not to be good enough for the flagship wine. Rozy Gunn then gave us a bit of background on the farm and their philosophy of growing wine in Elgin.
Andrew then took over and gave us a guided tasting of three of their wines: The flagship Iona Sauvignon blanc 2010 has fig leaves on the nose crisp acidity, minerality, with granadilla, kiwi fruit and a hint of grapefruit flavours. The Chardonnay 2009 (only 500 cases were made) has minerality on the nose, with oatmeal, lime hints and greengage, with hints of grapefruit in its long finish. 20% of the fruit was fermented in new oak, 40% in steel tanks and the balance in old barrels. It spent 9 months in 500 litre barrels. Lynne said it reminded her of a Corton Charlemagne. The Gunnar 2006 red blend, named for a 9th century Viking who invaded the island of Iona, is an accessible blend of cabernet sauvignon, with merlot and petit verdot. It has clean red fruit flavour with cigar box, is lightly herbal and has a light licorice flavour on the finish. A blend of the grapes used in the Gunnar with shiraz is in the future plans.
After the tasting, we were served Rozy Gunn’s marvellous venison and mushroom pie with a good salad.  Full of lovely deep flavours, this pie was topped with a thick blanket of crisp pastry and it was the perfect partner to the deep rich black cherry and pepper flavour of the Syrah 2007. Rozy, cleverly, cooked the meat in large Le Creuset casseroles and made the pastry blankets separately to fit; definitely something to copy if you are feeding a huge crowd, as she was. Then we were treated to macadamia brownies and continued onward home to bed to listen to the stormy sea and the lashing rain.
A SPOILER IN THE INDUSTRY     On our recent visit to Robertson we noticed a new farm on the map called Eyona and we think this is a rather cheeky misspelling of Iona.  There is precedent in the wine trade where people have tried to fly on the coat tails of successful brands and we don’t think it is on. If you are in a restaurant and it is offered by the sommelier or waiter, you just might think it is Iona and find yourself being presented with something you didn’t want. We like originality and think someone in Robertson should do some rethinking…. and rebranding.  Be brave, go and get your own reputation.
SA Fusion food     We are a very multicultural country and here we have combined some African staples like Samp and Beans and Butternut with lamb shanks cooked in Portuguese Prego (chilli and garlic) sauce.  We think it makes for a very filling winter meal, which is perfect on a night such as this, where the North Wester is bringing in another huge storm with thunder and buckets and buckets of rain. You will need to make the Umngqusho first, probably a day before, and then use it as a base for this dish.  You could make a huge quantity and freeze some for future use.  This is also a great use for some left-over cooked lamb.

Prego Lamb with Samp and Beans

800g of lamb shanks or cooked lamb, cut into pieces – ½ a bottle of Sense of Taste Prego sauce
Cover the lamb in the sauce, put into a covered casserole and cook slowly in the oven at 170°C until the lamb is soft.  You will not need any other flavourings.
1 small butternut, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes – 1 T olive oil – a good scraping of nutmeg – salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Mix together and cook in a covered Pyrex dish in the microwave for about 8 minutes or until just soft.
Mix together with the Samp and Bean mixture and serve with the spicy lamb on top, and a mixed leaf green salad of rocket, watercress and baby spinach. The Prego sauce is one of our most popular products.
Here is our recipe for Samp and Beans. Traditionally, you could use 1 or 2 spoonfuls of curry powder to flavour  it  as well.
Some History (Published on Suite101 on 26/01/11): Samp and Beans is a traditional dish of the Nguni people of South Africa. Referred to as isistambu by the Zulu people and umngqusho by the Xhosa people – the biggest Nguni groups – the dish is made from slowly cooked sugar beans and samp (crushed corn kernels). It is believed that the word ‘samp’ comes from the Native American word “‘naussamp’ which the English called “samp,’” according to Alice Morse Earle in Customs and Fashions in Old New England (p.81). Seeing that South Africa was also once a British colony, it is likely that the word travelled to the country’s shores in due time.


250g samp – 125g sugar beans – 1 T canola oil – 1 onion finely chopped– 1 clove of garlic – 1 or 2 chillies, chopped - 200 ml meat or vegetable stock -1 large tomato, chopped  - 2 potatoes , peeled and chopped into 3 cm cubes - salt – pepper
Rinse the samp & beans in a colander under running water. Soak them overnight or for at least 12 hours in twice their volume of water.  Rinse again before cooking and do not cook in the soaking liquid, it will give you stomach problems. Cook them for 2 hours until they start to get soft. Use a pressure cooker and it takes only about 30 to 40 minutes. Sauté the onion in a little oil till soft, add the garlic and the chilli and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the tomato, the stock and the potatoes.  Simmer until the potato is soft. Combine the two mixtures, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until they are all soft.
Woolworths     Has so many special offers on at the moment that they are becoming our food heroes.  They recently had a huge Lasagne that would feed four for about R55.  Lynne reckons she could not cook one for this price so we have bought a couple and put them in the freezer for those busy market nights.  If you remove the top and cut them into two or four you can push cling film into the spaces before you freeze and that makes getting them out of their containers easy, so that you don’t have to defrost the whole thing.
Tonight we are going to try their Stew and Dumpling mix. All you do is add the meat, they have even made the dumplings for you. And all this costs is R20. We are adding beef and some Toulouse sausages for extra taste and we have bumped up the celery and added two leeks to the mix, just to get more vegetables into the stew. Lynne might be tempted to add some wine to their recipe as well but it’s so nice, when you are really busy, to have things ready prepared for one.
Masterchef Australia     Yes of course we are hooked on this. If it does nothing more than encourage more of you to be adventurous with your cooking at home, it will have succeeded and given the many customers who come to us looking for some of the more difficult ingredients they see the contestants using, lots of you are inspired. Tamarind, sumac, rose water, orange blossom water, truffle oil, dashi, all are selling well.
We do think some of the challenges have been a little unfair – giving people who have never eaten an oyster, 48 fresh ones to shuck for a recipe and as for the challenge using brains: well, we were surprised to see so many actually get something on the plate. Some of them seem to have been set up to fail but we have our favourites and they are surviving so far. And if you are wondering, yes, it was Lynne who was Irate of Sea Point who wrote to Bianca Coleman, our favourite TV critic, about The Good Food and Wine Show adverts potentially revealing who the winner was, long before the programme ended.
PRODUCT NEWS AND NEW STOCK     Truffles and truffle products (like truffle salt and oils) are some of the most popular items at present. We can get you fresh truffles to order. Ask and we’ll give you a quote. We will need about a week’s notice to arrange for the stock to be delivered.  Check our updated product list HERE. You will, of course, need to be online.
Our market activities      This week, you will find us at The Place at Cavendish (Woolworths underground entrance to Cavendish Square) on Friday 17th June, from 10h00 to 17h00, where we will have our great selection of delicious treats and ingredients for you. We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s Neighbourgoods Market, as always, on Saturday between 9am and 2pm. Next Wednesday, we will be back at the Dean St Arcade in Newlands from 09h30 to 14h30.
Good food and wine continues to grow as a focal point for many people in the Western Cape and, to an extent, in other parts of the country. As a result, our list of Interesting Food and Wine Events has grown so much that it was making MENU too long for some of our readers. So we’ve taken it online. Click here to access it. You will need to be connected to the internet.
Our  list of Winter restaurant special offers continues to grow. Click here to access it. These 2011 Winter 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. 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.

16th June 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.
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information
Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
New postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours 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.
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