Thursday, September 06, 2012

23 August 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Function food – DGB trade tasting, CWG Auction tasting, Manuka at Southey’s, Taj Expressions of Franschhoek next week, Fish pie 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

Waterblomme – a traditional South African ingredient in dishes like Waterblommetjie bredie

In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     Function food – DGB trade tasting
*     CWG Auction tasting
*     Manuka at Southey’s
*     Taj Expressions of Franschhoek next week
*     Fish pie
*     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 have a good range of tasters when you come to see us at the markets. The wonderful Prego sauce from Sense of Taste, Edmond Fallot’s strong Burgundian mustards, French sauces including Bearnaise and Bourguinon and the excellent Protea Hill Farm vinegars. The Nielsen Massey extracts are too strong to taste, but they smell wonderful and we have samples of those too. Come and taste them at the Biscuit Mill on Saturday..
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 on Friday 31st August from 09h00 to 16h00We look forward to seeing you there.
FUNCTION FOOD     We are invited to lots of functions and at many they provide food. It varies in quality and in quantity and some of it is matched specifically to the wine, some ‘sort of’ goes with wine, and some of it fights with wine – you might be surprised at how often we are served very hot chilli canapés which completely blow your mind and all your taste buds. We love to stop for a bite or two between bouts of tasting as it helps to absorb any wine John is inadvertently swallowing and lines the stomach against acid for Lynne who, because she doesn’t drive, does swallow. Occasionally we have to play “Chase the waiter/ess” with the rapidly diminishing platter of scarce bites. On Tuesday night at the Portswood Hotel, DGB tried a completely new tactic and it was so appreciated. They had a food station and the chef just kept on loading it up with very edible and freshly prepared food and you could help yourself. Click here to see the pictures. There were perfectly cooked lamb chops which you ate South African braai style with your fingers,(there were enough serviettes), really fresh ceviche of squid with salad served in tall glasses, amazing mussels, croissants crammed with smoked salmon and cream cheese, generous roast beef rolls, and some goujons of fish. Small plates were provided and you could nosh away when you felt you needed a pause. Well done DGB. Unpretentious, but great eating.
DGB has a very good portfolio of wines, which includes Bellingham, Boschendal, Brampton (formerly the Rustenberg second label), Graham Beck, Lourensford and Vergelegen, as well as a wide range of entry level wines. We started with the bubblies, which are well represented in the portfolio. Graham Beck is well known to nearly everyone, but this was our first taste of the Brut Zero, bone dry with less than 2gm of sugar, and with a delicious bready, yeasty character, reminding one of oven fresh ciabatta. Boschendal has a very good new MCC in the pipeline, Jean le Long Founder’s Reserve Cuvée Prestige 2007, which will be released in the last quarter of this year. We were also very impressed with the Steenberg 1682 Pinot Noir rosé MCC, which has a rich elegance.
At this tasting, we met Tinus Kruger the winemaker of the Brampton range of wines. DGB bought this brand from Rustenberg several years ago and we are very impressed indeed with what Tinus is doing. Each one of the wines under the label is a classic expression of what it says on the label, with no faults and we like them all. The Sauvignon blanc is full of elderflower and cat’s pee notes and is crisp, dry and true to the grape. The unwooded chardonnay’s grapes come from Bonnievale and is easy drinking and full of fruit. The peppery and spicy shiraz is full of juicy licorice fruit. The classic cabernet is full of violets and cassis and is very easy to quaff. The dry rosé, especially, is delicious and the price point is one everybody can afford.
Two other very good value wines were Bellingham’s Berry Bush a dry rosé which was bottled just 12 weeks ago and the Pear tree, a spicy blend of chenin and viognier, a definite food wine. These will retail around the R26 to R30 mark, very good value.
Everyone was impressed with Andre van Rensburg’s Vergelegen DNA 2006, a good Bordeaux blend. It was the wine drunk this week at Lord’s during the test match.
Bellingham’s top Bernard Series has a really impressive oaked Sauvignon Blanc 2007 from very old vines. This smoky Blanc Fumé is full of asparagus notes with a full mouth feel and is absolutely stunning. Sadly it looks as though it will not be made much longer, as this style of wine is not a big seller and the crop produced by the 20+ year old vines is too small to be economically viable. If you can find some do try it, we think it might change your perspective on what can be done with old vines and good Sauvignon that is wooded. All the wines in this range really impressed us.
CWG Auction tasting. Later today, we will be at one of the year’s highlights: The Cape Winemaker’s Guild Auction pre-tasting. The guided tasting in the afternoon is not open to the public, but the tasting this evening will be. It will be at the CTICC, Convention Centre. Jo’burgers can experience the tasting on Thursday 30th. Details of both are in our Events Calendar.
Manuka     If you buy wine in a supermarket you are generally on your own; if you go to a specialised wine shop, they have the expertise to help you find something you like or are looking for, wines that go with what you are serving or wines that will add value to your collection. We have been promising to visit our friends and colleagues Alison and Steven Digby at their excellent wine shop Manuka at Southey’s in Somerset West for ages but, usually, we are driving though to get somewhere in a hurry or keen to get home after a trip. Yesterday, we went to Strand to see a car and afterwards needed some lunch, so it was the perfect opportunity to call in, chat, see the shop and have a bite to eat in their informal restaurant. The big child-friendly garden, filled with ducks and guinea fowl, looks a lovely place for an al fresco lunch on a sunny day but, instead, we sat inside in the restaurant in front of the warm wood burning stove and watched Bruwer Raats and his boys with a school friend eat delicious looking pizzas. We both ordered a slightly smaller version, grilled pitas filled with mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, bacon and avocado which hit the spot. The wine shop brought back fond memories of our shop and is very well stocked indeed with a huge variation of good wines and bubblies. Click here to see the photos.
Klink Awards – a new initiative to award excellence in service to tourism by the wine industry, will be receiving widespread publicity soon. We were fortunate enough to be invited to join the judging panel. Look out for more about this in the next few weeks. You can read more about it here.
Greg’s dog     Our cousin Denver’s son Greg and his family are relocating to the UK. They have a lovely 6 year old pedigreed brown Doberman, who has to be left behind because they will not have large enough accommodation for him. If you have a home for this beautiful companion, please let us know and we will pass your details on to Greg and Liesel.
Taj Expressions of…. continues the journey through the world’s most beautiful winelands on Thursday 30th with a free tasting of Franschhoek wines from 5pm. We recommend completing the evening by booking for dinner. Four courses will be prepared by Guest Chef Michelle Theron from Pierneef à La Motte. Her dishes will be paired with regional wines which express the inherent character of the variety and their place of origin. The menu will then be incorporated into the MINT Restaurant Table d’hôte menu for the entire next month with selected paired regional wines as an option. Two of the Taj chefs will have spent time with the chef to ensure that his or her dishes are replicated correctly! R350 per person, including wine, mineral water and secure parking at Mandela Rhodes Place is extremely good value. We look forward to seeing you there. Email or telephone 021 819 2000 to make your reservation. There is also a chance to win one of many prizes, including an evening’s stay for 2 persons in a luxury room at Taj Cape Town, whenever you dine from this menu. Guest wines will feature on various Taj restaurant lists as well as in the new Wine Kiosk (off-consumption 7 days a week!) which is located in the hotel lobby. Wines ordered on the launch night will be available at cellar door prices. There will be a free wine tasting before the dinner, from 5pm and a weekly wine tasting at the hotel each Wednesday evening in the Lobby and every Thursday lunchtime outside on the mall whilst the Earth Fare Market is taking place. Taj Cape Town +27 21 819 2014, Fax: +27 21 819 2001. For more info, please click here.
Fish pie     Julie Carter of Ocean Jewels at the Biscuit Mill has such good fish that she inspired Lynne to make a luxurious fish pie for a dinner party we had last week.  Her smoked haddock is delicious and not coloured.
Fish pies can be a simple supper dish and consist of just one fish, chopped hard-boiled egg, a good thick sauce and can be topped either with good mashed potatoes or a flaky pastry topping. But as it was Lynne’s birthday that week she decided to go to town.  We have found some very good red skinned potatoes in the market and these do make superb mash, yellow and creamy.  You can vary your fish, but do make sure that they have different textures and flavours. Here is what you need
5 large potatoes – cream – butter - 200ml dry white wine – 200 ml good fish stock – a bay leaf – three sprigs of thyme – 2 sprigs of dill – 100g smoked haddock – 100g salmon – 100g kingklip or monk fish – 100g angelfish – 150g large headless prawns in their shells - 2 hard-boiled eggs, roughly chopped – 2 T plain flour – 2 T butter - 400ml milk – 2 T fresh chopped parsley – 2 T grated cheese – freshly ground black pepper and salt
First boil the potatoes in salted water then mash well and flavour with butter, cream and season. Add the wine to the stock and add the dill, bay leaf and thyme.  Bring to a soft simmer.  Put the haddock skin side up and poach gently till just cooked. Remove and flake into large pieces. Cut the rest of the fish into cubes and poach gently in the wine and stock. Put the prawns into the stock and simmer until just cooked. Cool them and remove the skins. Devein if necessary. Do not overcook anything, as it will continue to cook in the pie.  Make a roux with butter and the flour, than strain the poaching liquid and add the same quantity of milk to it. Use this to make a fairly thick sauce.  If you need more liquid, add extra milk.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Now mix all the fish, prawns, egg and parsley into the sauce and put into a deep pie dish.  You can add a little more dill if you like. Top with the mashed potato, grate over the cheese.  Put in the fridge for serving later. This needs about 25 to 30 minutes in a 180°C oven just before you serve it. Serves 6
What did we accompany the fish pie with? We like to start a dinner that might be quite solid and sustaining with something fresh so Lynne made Vietnamese rice paper rolls.  Lots of fresh basil, rocket, watercress, baby spinach, mint and coriander mixed with finely sliced mange tout and green beans, baby corn, chillies or pepperdews according to your taste, grated carrots, and bean sprouts.  Flavour this mix with fish sauce and Japanese sweet rice wine vinegar.  Roll up in just softened rice pancakes and serve with dipping sauces of your choice. We used one of ponzu and another of mixed plum sauce and hoisin sauce. Quando Chenin Viognier 2009 was a perfect match for both dishes.
Our dessert was a fresh citrus jelly made with tangelos, oranges, lime and lemon containing litchis and sliced strawberries.

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.

22nd August 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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