Thursday, September 20, 2012

13 September 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Cape Chenins, Top 10 Sauvignons, Societi’s Cookhouse at Josephine Mill, Groote Post & Hilda’s Kitchen, Okamai, Tomato chicken masala, Events, Restaurant specials

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 riot of Spring flowers at Groote Post, Darling
In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     Cape Chenins
*     Top 10 Sauvignons
*     Societi’s Cookhouse at Josephine Mill
*     Groote Post and Hilda’s Kitchen
*     Okamai at Glenwood
*     Tomato chicken masala
*     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
This week’s Product menu   We are frequently asked for olive oil at the market. Other market traders specialise in them and the supermarkets stock a very good range, so you won’t find them when you come to us. You will find a good range of nut oils on our list and our table: walnut, hazelnut, pistachio and argan oils, as well as different sizes of black and white truffle oils. 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 14th September from 09h00 to 16h00We look forward to seeing you there.
CAPE CHENIN UNVEILED     The Chenin Blanc Association of South Africa will hold a half day conference on Monday 24th September at The One&Only, V&A Waterfront. The Chenin Blanc Association has entered into collaboration with Stellenbosch University’s Institute of Wine Biotechnology to investigate the sensory, chemical and consumer preference profiling of South African Chenin Blanc wines, and feedback will be given at the conference. I have attached the detailed program for your perusal. A panel will also discuss the important aspects: Do Cape Chenins express regionality? - How does this manifest itself? - What are the regional styles? Registration time is from 08h30 to 09h00. The conference will be limited to 120 people, and registration closes on 17th September 2012. Registration fee CBA Members R500.00, non CBA Members R650.00. To secure your booking, kindly contact Ina Smith on or on 082 467 4331.
Erratum     Last week, we identified Liam Gallagher with the Chef’s Warehouse at Leopard’s Leap in Franschhoek. We did, of course, mean Liam Tomlin and we apologise for any embarrassment caused. We got it right in our blog, but made the error in the MENU body copy.
Top 10 Sauvignon awards     We have just returned from the Top 10 Sauvignon awards held at Cassia Restaurant on Nitida farm in Durbanville today. A huge function with many wine makers, lots and lots of wine media and some of the sponsors from FNB; it was a very enjoyable and fun function. We tasted through four flights of wines, the top 20, and they ran a small competition to see if we could pick the top 10 before they announced them. The person who came closest to the final verdict will win an IPad. We don’t think it will be us, although we did enjoy several of the wines very much. It was very interesting to see who had entered, who had not and who had managed to get to the top 20. Some notable farms who produce good Sauvignon Blanc were missing. The judges were Christian Eedes, Miguel Chan, Mark Norrish, Richard Kershaw and Erika Obermeyer.
Cassia Chef Proprietor Warren Swaffield prepared a different dish for each flight of wines and they matched the food extremely well. The four flights were divided into:
1.    Those tasting of tropical and yellow fruit. This was served with a tender rolled chicken fillet filled with olives and feta and served with an avocado salsa. Winners in this category were: Simonsig Sunbird 2012; Neethlingshof Single Vineyard 2012; Clos Malvern2011 and Du Toit’s Kloof 2012
2.    Flinty and Mineral. Served with Prosciutto parcel with goats cheese and fresh asparagus drizzled with fresh tomato dressing. One Winner in this category: Lomond Pincushion 2011
3.    Blackcurrant leaf, Elderberry and Oak influence served with grilled Norwegian salmon on a petit pois risotto. Winners in this category were: De Morgenzon DMZ 2012 and Diemersdal MM Louw 2011
4.     Spicy and Herbaceous served with Thai marinated fish cakes with a minted lime sorbet. Winners in this category were: Driehoek 2012; Virgin Earth Pepper Tree 2012 and Groote Post 2012. Pictures of the food, some of the wines and some of the people here.
New experiences     We have eaten at three new (to us) restaurants this week and each one was a completely different experience.
The Cookhouse     Caveau at Josephine Mill closed fairly recently and The Cookhouse, part of the Societi group, has opened in the space. Some new fittings, some recycled. Sometimes you really want to like a restaurant but, sadly, the experience doesn’t quite come up to one’s expectations. Such was the Cookhouse. Our Waiter Juan was a gem. A recently qualified cabinet maker, he works here to supplement his income. The restaurant will be lovely in summer, because the glass doors pull back and you can enjoy the view of the Liesbeek River and smell the brewery next door. Closed, it echoes quite a bit and is very noisy. The night we were there, the demographic was not generally young and trendy as we expected, but much more our age group - middle income people out for an evening at their local restaurant. There is a fireplace and the pizza oven keeps it warm which is great because, when the terrace door is open, there is a draught. The menu is short and concise, more geared to the younger crowd and not at all like Societi’s. It has an Italian slant, with antipasti, pizzas, pasta and hamburgers. We had two courses each, paid corkage on two bottles and paid R600 for four including service, so not massively expensive, but not all good either because one of the dishes had Lynne up in the night.  Click here to see the pictures of what we ate.
Groote Post and Hilda’s Kitchen Restaurant     On Friday, it was a perfect spring day, gloriously clear, sunny and warm, so we decided to go up the West coast to see the Spring flowers around Darling. We have been to Groote Post winery many times; it is one of our favourites but we had never eaten at the restaurant and decided it was time. What a charming historic building the manor house is. Now a national monument, it was the home of Hildagonda Duckitt (1840-1904) famous for her recipe book amongst other things. It is filled to the brim with antiques and bygones, all fitting beautifully with the period of the farmhouse. We were delighted to be offered a table on the sheltered walled terrace and had a really lovely lunch. Because Lynne was still feeling a little delicate, she ordered just two small starters while John had a main course. We had a bottle of their excellent unwooded Chardonnay. We can’t wait to go back for another visit in the summer. You do need to book here as it is very, very popular. Our lunch with wine and service cost R 310. The chef, Debbie McLaughlin, changes her menu of modern country cooking daily and seasonally, and the Groote Post wines are at cellar door prices. The service was quick, efficient and friendly.
The flowers were magnificent on the road to the farm and on the way back from Darling. Click here to see the lunch and some flowers
Japan comes to Glenwood     On Tuesday night, we were invited to the opening of Okamai Japanese restaurant on Glenwood wine farm, on the Robertsvlei Road in Franschhoek. We were delighted to be offered a return trip in a small bus and it made such a difference to a normally long journey and allowed John to drink some of the excellent wines and enjoy the evening without the thought of the long drive home.
Master Chef Kiyomasu Deon Sensei is a local, with a lot of humour and character who has spent 27 years in Japan, learning all the intricacies of Japanese cuisine from masters. He used to have a restaurant in Franschhoek but has now moved to the newly rebuilt restaurant at Glenwood. There is a fire, open on two sides in the restaurant, which has just a few inside tables but many more on the terrace for better weather. We had a very interesting lesson in how to eat the food and an explanation of all the dishes in the Bento box we were served, which we enjoyed very much. It was a charming evening spent with the owners Nicky and Alastair Wood, their Farm manager and winemaker DP , staff and lots of other media. Click here to see the photos of the restaurant and what we ate. We will be returning for some sushi and other dishes next time we are in the area to buy some of their wine.
This week, we give you an easy, but not very quick, recipe for a chicken curry. We used a hot Masala spice mix we bought when in Durban. Use your favourite one. Lynne does take the meat off the bones when the curry is ready to serve. This will take about one and a half hours to prepare and cook.
Tomato Chicken Masala
For the paste:
1 large onion, roughly chopped - 8 cloves of garlic – 5 cm peeled ginger, cut into four pieces – 1 or 2 whole green chillies, according to your taste – 100 ml water – 1 T canola oil
Blitz in a food processor to a thick paste
Whole spices: 3 cardamom pods– 4 cloves – 1 t cumin seeds – 1 t fennel seeds – 1 t white mustard seed – 1 t black peppercorns – 1/2 a t of mace – 4 allspice berries – 3 cm piece of stick cinnamon
1 T canola oil – 1 T hot masala powdered spice – 1 tin of chopped tomato or equivalent fresh – 200 ml chicken good stock - 10 chicken pieces, thighs and drumsticks – salt and pepper – optional 1/2 t sugar
Fry the whole spices in 1 T of oil till they start to pop, then add the masala powder. Put in the paste and stir fry for a minute or two. Add the tin of tomatoes and the stock. Let this simmer for at least an hour till it is well cooked and thickening. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, more chilli if you need it and perhaps a little sugar if the tomatoes are a bit sharp. Put in the chicken pieces and cook until the meat is just beginning to come away from the bone. If you want to use chicken breasts, cut them into bite sized pieces and add just 10 minutes from the end so as not to overcook them. Remove the chicken pieces, take the meat off the bones and return to the sauce. Serve with good fluffy basmati rice and sambals and chutneys.

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.

13th September 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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