Thursday, July 19, 2012

12 July 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Things to do, Chops & peppercorn mustard, boerekool, sweet potato soup, tuna biltong, products, Events, Restaurant specials, Wine courses , cooking classes, etc


Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines
Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 656 4169
A chilly evening in the Alfred Dock, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     Things to do…
*     Chops and green peppercorn mustard
*     Boerekool or curly kale
*     Sweet potato soup
*     Tuna biltong
*     Masters of the Trade Routes Culinary Challenge: Den Anker
*     Events and Restaurant specials
*     Wine courses & cooking classes
To tell the whole story here would take too much space, so click on underlined and Bold words in the text to open links to pictures, blogs, websites or more information 
New Products We have just received a new range of French sauces in jars: bĂ©arnaise, burgundy, tartare and mayonnaise, all very attractively priced. These join our new range of French mustards (green peppercorn, tarragon, basil, wholegrain, Dijon & mild brown). We have also received fresh stock of the Mayor hazelnut and walnut oils in 500ml cans and 125ml bottles of Moroccan Argan oil. Many of you have been using it for cosmetic purposes (we believe it is very good for skin and hair), but we like it for its amazing, complex, nutty-fruity flavour. To see what else we have available for you, you can access our product list and see pictures in our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until our online shop is ready, drop us an email and we will help you. We are very happy to see that traffic on our website is increasing and more orders are coming from it.
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 Come and visit us at the Old Biscuit Mill’s wonderfully exciting, atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking. It’s quite easy if you know how. Click here for a map which shows where we park. We will be back at Long Beach Mall tomorrow, Friday 6th July from 09h00 to 16h00We look forward to seeing you there.
Things to do...   This is that dreary time of the year when you have to wrap up very warmly if you are the adventurous type who wants to go the beach. The storms, of course, can make it pretty exciting and we’ve had enough of those in the last couple of weeks. But, for those of us who prefer comfort, it is also a time at which you can indulge in some wonderful indoor activity. We have some great additions to our Events Calendar, like Caroline’s Red Wine Review and the Bastille Festival in Franschhoek this weekend. We will be at the latter on Sunday and are staying on for a couple of days to investigate more wine farms and restaurants in the area. We hope we will see lots of you at the Festival but don’t forget to buy your tickets before you go. This two day festival is extremely popular. Don’t forget your berets and to wear red white and blue or you will feel a little out it. There is a great atmosphere in the village during the festival; lots of partying on Saturday at night as well. Get your tickets from Computicket for Caroline’s Red Wine Review; it will be at the Western Grand Hotel, CTICC on Wednesday the 25th, from 5 to 9 pm.
Several of Cape Town’s best hotels have excellent programmes of wine pairing dinners: The Taj, The Vineyard, the Mount Nelson and the One&Only, all of which have dates through the year. They’re listed in date order through to December. There are plenty of other events, tastings and dinners to dazzle your senses, some of them in other cities including Johannesburg and Durban. Check them out here.
Chops and Green Peppercorn mustard
The new range of French mustards, mentioned above, has really been flying since we started selling them. They are different from the normal soft French mustards, because they do have a tiny bite of heat - the mustard seeds are stone ground, apparently Fallot is the last mustard maker in France to do this. They come from Beaune in Burgundy and Lynne has wanted to try them out with food. Both of us have had colds over the last week, so cooking has been minimal but, sometimes, minimal cooking with great ingredients gives you good results. She coated two generous pork loin chops on one side with the green peppercorn mustard, seasoned them, fried some onions till brown and getting crisp, then put the chops in a hot pan and browned them on both sides. The mustard not only flavours but thickens the sauce a little. She deglazed the pan with some verjuice, added the onions and some good chicken stock and put a lid on the pan to allow the chops to cook through for a few minutes. This was served with wonderful new potatoes and some curly kale found at the organic vegetable stand at the Biscuit Mill.
The next mustard we are going to try is the Tarragon with some Red Barn free range chicken which has been delivered to us today. More next week...
Boerekool or curly Kale
This rather rare and difficult-to-cook vegetable has rather stymied us. Usually, when you buy it, the leaves are hard and crisp almost like glass and you have to cook for a very long time to get anything edible. And obviously with a green vegetable, long cooking must destroy lots of the vitamins it contains. The Kale we bought this week was completely different, lovely soft leaves and very fresh but it was still like glass when cooked, as well as being stringy and fibrous after poaching in butter for a few minutes like cabbage. Does anyone have any tips for cooking this vegetable?
Sweet potato soup
John does not like sweet potatoes. But they are extremely good for us. So Lynne decided to try a soup recipe out on him to see if he really disliked it. Strangely this does not taste like sweet potato. John identified the soup as a slightly sweet red pepper and tomato soup and there was not a tomato in sight. It is very creamy and delicious and much improved by the addition of smoked chicken.
1 celery stalk, finely chopped – 1 onion, finely chopped – half a red pepper, finely chopped – 1 carrot, finely chopped – 1 T canola oil – 1 small potato, 200g, peeled and chopped – 1 large orange sweet potato, peeled and chopped (500 to 650g) – 1 to 1.5 litre of good vegetable or chicken stock - 2 small smoked chicken breasts, cut into 2 cm pieces – 4 or 5 drops of tobacco – salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fry the celery, onion, pepper and carrot in the oil till soft and just beginning to take on colour. Add the two potatoes and cover with stock. Simmer till the potatoes are soft then blitz the soup till smooth. Put in the two chicken breasts and cook for another 20 minutes then season and serve.
If you want to keep this vegetarian, leave out the chicken and use a textured vegetable like broccoli florets or baby corn.
If you want to keep this low carbohydrate, leave out the potato. It is there for thickness, so the soup will be slightly more watery.
This is very good with some crisp garlic bread.
Tuna Biltong     Some of you might remember that we had some superb mojama (thinly sliced dried tuna) in the shop a few years ago, but the person making it decided to go and do something more lucrative and Cape Town has been without it for a while. Stephan of Delicious Fish, who works next to us at Long Beach Mall selling his excellent smoked snoek, angel fish, and smoked snoek patĂ©, is now making really good tuna biltong and selling it at the Biscuit Mill. He uses only locally sourced tuna and puts it through a secret process with his own blend of spices to make this fat free healthy snack. He is very generous with samples, so do come and taste his wares the next time you visit the Biscuit Mill or Long Beach Mall. We are still trying to convince him that there will be a market for this at Long Beach Mall.
Masters of the Trade Routes Culinary Challenge     The Waterfront is running its special winter promotion at the moment and we decided to go and sample one restaurant’s offering. We have to say, looking at the web pages, not all of the restaurants have much to offer with their specials - some just offering one dish and others are quite expensive, but one or two really excited us - especially Den Anker, which offers Seared Canadian Scallop on a White Asparagus Risotto and a lightly curried Beurre Blanc Pear poached with Cinnamon and All Spice with a Cherry Beer Sabayon, served with a glass of Jordan Bradgate Sauvignon Blanc / Chardonnay, all for R120. Click here to see what we ate. We absolutely loved it and, if you want a great experience, do go and try this one. Check out the V&A Waterfront Masters of the Trade Routes web site to see if there are others you might enjoy. We found that we were free by 8.30, so this could be a an excellent choice for supper before a movie. 
There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To help you choose an event to visit, click on our Events Calendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number of exciting events to entertain you right through the year. Click here to access the CalendarYou will need to be connected to the internet.
Learn about wine and cooking We have had a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wineCathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details here.
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here. Pete Ayub, who makes our very popular Prego sauce, runs evening cooking classes at Sense of Taste, his catering company in Maitland. We can recommend them very highly, having enjoyed his seafood course. Check his programme here.
Restaurant Special offers. Some more restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offersClick 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. 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.

12th July 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 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.
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