Sunday, October 07, 2012

4th October 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Nederburg Auction Friday, Lunch at Alphen, Avondale’s eco tour, Joostenberg light lunch, Christian Eedes’ Top 10 Chardonnays, Jean Daneel’s Le Grand Jardin wines, Moroccan roast chicken, 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
Click here to Subscribe to MENU or to contact us
Ducks in the Avondale vineyards, controlling the snails
In this week’s MENU:
*     Products
*     Our market activities
*     Nederburg Auction Friday
*     Lunch at Alphen
*     Avondale’s eco tour
*     Joostenberg light lunch
*     Christian Eedes’ Top 10 Chardonnays
*     Jean Daneel’s Le Grand Jardin wines
*     Moroccan roast chicken
*     Events and Restaurant specials
*     Wine courses & cooking classes
To take a look at our Main Ingredient blog, follow the link:
because to tell the whole story here would take too much space. You can also click on underlined and Bold words in the text to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information
This week’s Product menu   Spring is here, even if we still endure the occasional damp and cool snap. Salads are in season and we have delicious argan, walnut and hazelnut oils to dress them, along with some superb vinegars, balsamic raspberry from Stellenbosch, tarragon, white truffle, shallot and Provence herb from France, Italian white and red wine vinegars and a range of Spanish sherry vinegars. 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 5th October from 09h00 to 16h00 and at the same times on the following Friday, 12th October. We look forward to seeing you there.
Friday at Nederburg Auction     This is the first time we have attended the auction officially; Lynne lent a hand to Andi Foulkes the Dish Food & Social caterer several years ago. It was a grey and damp day on Friday and we arrived in time to have a bacon and scrambled egg croissant with coffee before the opening at 10. The auction was fairly slow moving and no one seemed to want to fight for the lots, although some of the older special wines like a 1964 Lanzerac Pinotage made R7200 for a case of 6 bottles and a 1962 Chateau Libertas achieved R5500 for a case of six, which were very good results.
There was a tasting of auction wines from 9 till 12 in one of the marquees and we tried to taste as many as we could between visits to the auction hall. The figures this year are down by and we saw most lots going for their reserve prices or just above them. It was obvious that the supermarket buyers were the principal bidders. There was a sit down lunch: biltong tart with a salad, followed by an enormous helping of glazed salmon; sadly, much went back to the kitchen. A cheese platter followed and then we were back to the auction. Friday is not Saturday’s smart fashionable affair, but there were many media and wine people attending, so we did have a very good and informative day. See our photographs here.
Lunch at The Alphen     We were invited to a birthday lunch at the Alphen on Sunday and were interested to see how the new operators are running it. Not much has changed, the decor has been taken to a more fun and slightly frivolous level and we had a creditable lunch. Starters are quite small, the main courses quite large. The wine list is expensive. Click here to see what we ate.
Avondale Eco Tour    The literature says, “Avondale’s ethos, Terra Est Vita meaning ‘Soil is Life’ encapsulates our view of Avondale Estate as a dynamic living system where soil, water and energy; plants, animals and people; even our buildings, are part of a complex web of relationships and networks, interconnected and interdependent.”
Avondale offer an interesting Eco tour together with a wine tasting on the back of a bakkie through the vineyards. On Tuesday morning, Caeli Pentz, who invited us to experience the tour, took us with glasses and some good white wines on the tour and explained the whole philosophy behind their organic and biodynamic methods in the vineyards and the making of their wines. Johnathan Grieve, who runs the farm for his family trust, spoke to us after the tour about the importance of keeping the soils in balance and explained how everything else follows if you get it right. He told us how they use wasps to control pests in the vineyards, how their water recycling works and the gentle production methods used for their excellent wines. And we got to meet the vineyard ducks. We tasted all of their wines and really enjoyed them, especially the beautiful Chenin Blanc, the heady Viognier and delicious Samsara shiraz. Both excellent reds need time, but are so well made it will be worth the wait. Click here to see the photographs.
Lunch at Joostenberg     On the way back from Avondale, we made our usual stop at Joostenberg to stock up on their wonderful pork products and to have a bite of lunch. Christophe Dehosse, the chef, stopped to have a word about the industry and the farm We had a great ham and cheese baguette for John and an enormous Croque Monsieur (melted cheese and ham sandwich) with chips for Lynne, both with salad - just what we wanted. This is such a lovely venue for lunch; there is lots of space and things to amuse small children. We discovered that they have a delicious sounding Sunday lunch special for R165. Click here for the photos.
Christian Eedes Top 10 Chardonnays (sponsored by Sanlam)     This event was held on Wednesday at French Toast in Bree Street. 60 wines were entered and we were very interested hearing that there is no fee to enter this competition which, as Christian comments ‘alleviates the “competition fatigue” that exists in many quarters’.  After the awards were handed out, we tasted all the winning wines. Really good tapas dishes were served and all of them went very well with the wines. We absolutely loved the Radford Dale 2011, Jordan 2011, Almenkerk 2011 and the Sumaridge 2010, these wines having the style of Chardonnay we enjoy. All the others were very good indeed, but one or two had rather too much wood for our palates. Two other wines earned 4.5 stars and fell just outside the top 10: De Wetshof Bateleur 2009 from Robertson and Koelfontein 2010 from Ceres and they should get recognition. Click here for the full report and here for our photographs.
Tasting Le Grand Jardin wines by Jean Daneel at La Mouette     Jean Daneel has been making wine for over 35 years, previously at Buitenverwachting and Morgenhof and now for himself in Napier. What Napier lacks is water, so farming on the alluvial soils with heavy South Easter winds can be quite a challenge. However, Jean and his son Jean-Pierre manage to produce wines of quality and distinction. Always known for his succulent Chenins, we tasted the Le Grand Jardin 2012 Chenin blanc – a textbook illustration of the grape. Full of honeysuckle, peach and apricot nuances, this lovely wine shows good minerality and the crisp fresh acids that go so well with food. Picked at optimal ripeness, this wine will last and improve for several years to come.
We then tasted his 2010 white blend of 50% each Semillon and Chenin Blanc, which had an interesting white pepper nose followed by limes, lemons, ripe pineapple and nuts. Very subtle oaking produces another great food wine with a rich creamy mouth feel with lots of texture.
Le Grand Jardin Red 2009 is a blend of two-thirds Shiraz and one third Merlot. No green and stalky flavours at all on this lovely wine, but violets, more white pepper and red fruits on the nose. It is rich with velvety soft tannins, full of fruit and feels like silk in the mouth.
 This event was held upstairs in La Mouette’s bar area and their talented chef Henry Vigar produced three excellent canapés to match each wine. Click here to see what we ate and drank.
Moroccan roast chicken     This week’s recipe, which Lynne made at a recent dinner party for 6, is rather complicated on one level and really easy on another. Yes, you need to debone two free range chickens. Perhaps you can get a butcher to do this for you, or you can learn the skill by following instructions on the internet. You need to take out all the bones except the wing pinions, which you cut off. You do this by using a very sharp boning knife. Open the chicken up by cutting down its back and then slowly and carefully cut the flesh off the bones, but keep the chicken whole. If you can’t manage this, buy two flattened chickens and leave the bones in. Ras al Hanout is a Moroccan blend of 11 different spices, which we sell.
2 deboned chickens – 5 T extra virgin olive oil – 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped –6 t Ras al Hanout – 3 preserved lemons, thinly sliced – 1 T fresh chopped thyme – 1 T fresh chopped rosemary – 1 T fresh chopped oregano – 4 fresh bay leaves – salt and freshly ground black peppercorns
Mix the Ras al Hanout with the oil, the garlic, seasoning and preserved lemon and rub all over the chickens, inside and out. Sprinkle over the herbs and lay the chicken on top of the bay leaves. Put on a large baking tray and put into a hot 180°C oven and roast for 40 to 45 minutes until the chicken is just done. Rest for 10 minutes, then carve diagonally into 3cm slices and serve. Use the juices in the pan as gravy. Carving is very easy and everyone can get some of both white and brown meat. Serve with crisp duck fat roast potatoes and a good selection of Mediterranean style salads. Click here for photos. A very good option is to finely slice fresh fennel root, then season it, cover in lemon juice and olive oil and allow to marinade for several hours, before topping with slivers of fresh parmesan cheese. Blanched green beans with slices of roasted red peppers and black olives and roasted baby aubergines with fresh mozzarella slices dressed with pomegranate molasses and oregano are a delicious accompaniment.
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
4th October 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.
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 click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.

No comments: