Sunday, October 09, 2011

110929 Main Ingredient's MENU - Zevenwacht, Morvino wines, Fennel, product news, affordable places to eat

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
Click on anything underlined and Green to open a link to pictures or more information
A weaver building his nest at Durbanville Hills
The perfect way to spend a Sunday     Saturday was a horrible day, grey and chilly with a very nasty icy wind chill factor, so we were not hopeful about the prospects for the Season of Sauvignon in Durbanville on Sunday. But we were so wrong and the most beautiful day dawned – windless, sunny and clear and just the right temperature. We had decided to go to two farms from which we have had superb wine and which have not been open recently. However, we called first into Durbanville Hills winery to collect our glasses and were delighted to see that they had bottles for tasting from every one of the farms involved. So we stayed, chatted to cellarmaster Martin Moore, his colleagues and some other guests, sampled the Sauvignons from the farms we knew we wouldn’t manage to see. We then took our full glass of Durbanville Hills’ excellent Biesjes Craal Sauvignon Blanc and sat under the trees full of weaver birds, who were flirting like mad with each other and building their nests. We succumbed to their lunch box for two, which contained food to match the Sauvignons blanc: a pasta and basil salad, an Asian inspired prawn, coriander and rocket salad, two small asparagus quiches, a creamy fish paté, slices of ciabatta, and some fruit salad. It was hard to move ourselves from the comfort, the sun and the shade and the wine. We left with a box of 12 of the Biesjes Craal 2009,  which was offered at a very special price and we liked it very much.

Onwards to the farm at the very end of the Durbanville area, Phizantekraal. So many of our best wine farms buy these excellent grapes and blend their wines with them, and we were keen to see the farm and the location. The directions were sparse, there were detours everywhere and like many other seekers, our GPS sent us to a Close in a nearby housing estate. After driving around for ages, we managed to find a local who directed us almost all the way back to the town, where we had to head off in another direction. We do wonder how many other people simply gave up and went somewhere else; you did need to have determination. There was a large marquee with very loud live music, a couple of minimal food stands, things for children to do and quite a busy bar going. On a small side table, we found the wines they had for tasting. We did like their Sauvignon and could recognize the fact that we have tasted this wine before, in many guises. The surprise, however, was tasting their soft and full fruited cabernet sauvignons. They had three out on the table, (sadly the 2009 is not yet labelled) and we found them to be delicious. We bought two each of the 2004, 2006 and 2008 for our cellar. We will drink one of each in the next year and keep the others for later imbibing to see how well they keep, which we suspect will be very well.

Then back to Bloemendal which has been closed for building renovations for a long time, since it was sold. We have been buying and drinking lots of their Suider Terras Sauvignon Blanc from one of the discount warehouses because this was the only outlet we could find. The festival on the farm was not a great experience. First, you had to negotiate the children’s play area which had at least five bouncing castles, then move into another marquee with a very loud country style band. Behind this was a large food area and, at first, we couldn’t see the wine. Then we spotted a Coke fridge which had a few bottles on a table in front of it, no customers, just one staff member. We were told, somewhat curtly, that there were only 2 wines we could taste for free and after that they charged for each tasting and she then demanded our glasses so she could attach a cable tie for each wine we tasted (so we didn’t cheat in the huge tasting crowd… the 2 of us!). We replied that we only wanted to taste the Sauvignon blanc; we did that and then left hurriedly for the more friendly atmosphere at a very busy Nitida. Perhaps the Bloemendal experience is what the locals demand, but we won’t be back for a while - until the farm concentrates on the wine rather than the entertainment. We did ask who the winemaker was and got ‘don’t know’ and then later ‘Mike’ and when we asked her who Mike was, we got another ‘don’t know’. Perhaps it had been a long weekend for her. At Nitida on the way home, they were holding the awards ceremony for a bike competition and the place was pumping. Lots of wine was being drunk and they very kindly gave us a bottle of their excellent new bubbly, the Matriarch (not yet listed on their website), to taste. We took it off to a spot near their lake which looked sheltered, but a very chilly wind felt as though it would freeze the marrow in our bones, so it was off home to supper and the sunset.
How to do a good trade tasting     John Collins represents a small but perfectly formed list of wine farms and we tasted them all at yesterday evening’s’s perfect trade tasting, held at Den Anker in the V&A Waterfront. We started with the excellent range from Jordan and have to mention some of our favourites, their complex Riesling, delicious Chenin and Sauvignon, their three outstanding chardonnays, unwooded and very carefully wooded and their excellent top level red Cobblers Hill. But all the wines, without exception are great and all are good food wines. Then on to Springfield, where it is another great year for Sauvignons. Lynne loved their Methode Ancienne 2009 chardonnay and the Thunderchild 2008, a wine made to support the local orphanage Die Herberg, which is now drinking extremely well. This blend of Cab Franc, Merlot and Cab Sauvignon is a bargain and 100% of the profits are donated to the orphanage. It was a delight to be able to taste three different Pinot Noirs on Newton Johnson’s table, especially our favourite the Domaine which is often sold out so quickly. The Domaine Chardonnay 2010 also delighted, as is the Resonance 2010, their white blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Onward to taste Diemersfontein’s two pinotages: the popular coffee mocha 2011 is not a style we appreciate but it sells very well. The elegant Carpe Diem is more the style we do appreciate. Thelema’s Sutherland Vineyards from Elgin has a new Viognier Rousanne 2009 blend which we liked, amongst many other good wines. We then tasted and liked the soft spicy Kleinood Tamboerskoof 2007 Shiraz and their fruity Viognier 2011. And finally (and we are very biased because of our proximity to Peter’s table at the Biscuit Mill) the extremely quaffable Peter Bayly Cape Vintage Port and the absolutely delicious Dry White Port. Regrettably, we could not risk tasting any of the Ambleville imports of Cognac, Armagnac and Calvados because drinking spirits after wine makes Lynne very inebriated and John had to drive. Lynne did taste them last year and there is quite a gap in her memory of what happened to cooking dinner later that evening. They are all excellent and it is nice to know someone is bringing in such good quality imports.
We have to mention the really great canapés that were served at the tasting. Bravo the Den Anker chef. Spoonfuls of gooey risotto with truffle oil, huge deep fried noodle wrapped prawns; creamy duck mousse on toast and soft belly of pork squares topped with beetroot amongst others. All matched perfectly with the wines, there were plenty of them and they were delicious. As the weather was so good, they had lots of customers eating outside on tables by the dock so they had the best of both worlds.
Cooking at home   We managed to get a superb piece of Porterhouse beef from the Long Beach Pick n Pay on Friday – it was hard to prevent the butcher from cutting it into steaks, Lynne succeeded in getting a good 1.5 kilo piece with good yellow fat on top. She roasted it on Saturday night, after we came back from the market at the Biscuit Mill and it was such a treat. We were very tired after a long busy week, not good enough company for friends and doing a roast with potatoes and Yorkshires and lots of steamed vegetables is actually not complicated cooking. It was as soft as butter with loads of flavor and the new Yorkshire recipe was a near success – they puffed up beautifully, but probably needed a little more time in the oven to crisp up a bit more. Check out the recipe below. You don’t have to have duck fat, you can use oil, but it did make a huge taste difference. It seems to be roast time in October, the weather is still not too warm and we haven’t moved on to salads. We are probably going to do a chicken next! Lynne made nachos with strips of the beef in a chilli sauce, guacamole and a lettuce, tomato and pepperdrop salsa for supper on Monday. And there is still a large piece in the freezer for another time.
Make this the night before or in the morning at the latest, so the glutens get time to expand.
Yorkshire pudding
3 Jumbo eggs – 125g Double 00 flour – 300 ml full cream milk – salt and pepper – 10ml of water - duck fat – 1 deep muffin pan with 8 or 12 holes
Mix the eggs with the flour and slowly stir in the milk, until you have a pouring cream consistency that coats the back of a spoon. Season and put in the fridge for at least 8 hours. Just before using, stir in the cold water.
Turn your oven to 220°C. Put a spoonful of duck fat in the bottom of each muffin hole and heat till the fat is smoking. Carefully pour in the Yorkshire batter till the tins are half full. Put back in the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until they have puffed up nicely and are browning and loose in the pan, but still a little soft in the centre. Serve immediately with good gravy.
Our products. We haven’t had our delivery of Carnaroli rice; we hope to have more by the middle of next week. We do have the Violone Nano, which is also excellent 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.
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 Long Beach Mall in Sun Valley tomorrow, Friday 7th from 09h00 to 16h00. We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting and atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. The Neighbourgoods market is being rearranged. It didn’t happen last week because cleaning up after the previous night’s beer festival took too long. We were promised a diagram showing our new position, but it has not been forthcoming in time for this edition of MENU. We have been told that the tables will be arranged at right angles to the way we are all used to, in order to improve the flow of visitors through the market. Expect Lynne to be wearing a strange gold plastic crown in order to help you find us.
Perhaps regrettably, 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. We will, in future, be at The Place at Cavendish (Woolworths underground entrance to Cavendish Square), from 10h00 to 17h00 on Fridays when we are not at Long Beach, and we will have our great selection of delicious treats and ingredients there for you. Expect to see us at Cavendish on Friday 14th.
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, we have taken our list of Interesting Food and Wine Events online. Click here to access it. You will need to be connected to the internet.
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.
6th 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.
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
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. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes and keep our mailing list strictly confidential. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please send us a message, inserting "subscribe" in the subject line. If you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please send us a message, inserting "remove" in the subject line

No comments: