Friday, November 16, 2012

15th November This week's MENU - Lunch under the trees at Pomegranate, Junior Masterchef Australia, Peach and Amaretto crumble, Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award

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
Antique outbuilding and a view to the dam at Vergenoegd
In this week’s MENU:
       This week’s Product menu - Christmas treats, chestnuts, truffles   
       Our market activities - Neighbourgoods, Long Beach, Cape Point Vineyards
       Lunch under the trees at Pomegranate
       Junior Masterchef Australia
       Peach and Amaretto crumble
       Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Awards
       Events and Restaurant specials
       Wine courses & cooking classes
To take a look at our Main Ingredient blogs, please follow the link:, because to tell our whole story here would take too much space. It also lets you catch up with our earlier blogs. We are constantly surprised at how many of the older blogs are still being read. Google Analytics tells us how many people are reading them and where they are. There is something special about seeing that our ramblings are being read in China or South Korea. Readers in Europe, The UK and North America are a good percentage, but the surprise always comes from the countries outside our normal reach. Click on underlined and Bold words in the text of this edition to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information. Follow us on Twitter: @mainingmenu
This week’s Product menu    Fresh truffles are now available to special order. We need to know your requirement as soon as possible after you receive this, so that we can quote you and receive your payment in time to send your order to the supplier. Orders must be in multiples of 100 grams. The truffles will be airfreighted. Be warned, the price is high, but we can source white truffles from Alba and black truffles from Perigord and Burgundy. Burgundy is the least expensive. Send us a message if you wish to order.
Christmas cometh whatever we may do..     Lynne has been baking this week – her individual Christmas cakes and some Christmas puddings. The baking is the easy part of it, as she has some wonderful tried and true recipes to work with but the bit she really doesn’t enjoy is the decoration of the cakes. No “Master Baker” contestant in this house. She finds it very, very fiddly and thinks people who can produce perfectly decorated cakes are either pure heroic saints or slightly obsessive compulsive personalities – just what a pastry chef needs to be. And she is not. Send her a message if you’d like to place an order.
Chestnuts and other delights     Luxury things for Christmas are at last appearing from our wholesalers who, we must say, we think have left it rather late this year to bring things in. We are delighted to announce that we now have some Marrons Glacé and tinned chestnuts in syrup for sale as well as many other chestnut products, sweet, savoury, and whole. More Argan and pistachio oils, more truffles and truffle oil and some new truffle paste and truffle butter. And some MSG free stock cubes.
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 at a new night market next Thursday from 4.30 to 8.30 at Cape Point Vineyards. They are hoping this will fill in the gap left by the Noordhoek Farm village market which is no longer functioning.  There will be some very exciting stands there and you can have a picnic on the grass and drink the wonderful wines of Cape Point before and after you have done your shopping and watch the sun set in the West over the sea.
We will be back at Long Beach Mall on Friday 23rd and 30th November from 09h00 to 16h00. We look forward to seeing you there. Please note that, in December, we will only be at Long Beach Mall on Friday the 7th, so that will be the only December day for Christmas shopping at the Long Beach market if you live in the “deep South”.
Tuna, Biscuit Mill food and presents     Julie at Ocean Jewels has had some really good sushi quality tuna recently and we have bought rather a lot. One batch was served raw as sashimi, the next was seared quickly and went into a classic Salad Niçoise which we had for supper on our deck for the first time this summer.
One of the great things about working at the Biscuit Mill's Neighbourgoods market on Saturdays is that we do have access to some of the most delicious and food and fresh ingredients. Into the Niçoise also went some superb black olives with garlic from Chrisna, some really great red and juicy tomatoes and fresh basil from the greengrocer at the door.
We start our morning with a good cup of coffee and take the edge off the morning by sharing either one of the most decadent almond croissants from Knead bakery or a few assorted lebküchen from Gisela at Cakes and Desserts. One of our favourite lunch dishes is from the Chinese stand where for R45 you get a Char sui bun, three potsticker dumplings, a crystal pyramid and some pickled vegetables, gravy and chilli sauce (all vegetarian). Stephen and his family at Charcuterie sell a variety of smoked meats and dried sausages and offer rolls o'erbrimming with salads and meats. The girls from Karen Dudley's The Kitchen are famous for their overfilled rolls, stuffed with salads, meats and a wide choice of fillings. Lynne also loves Luke Dale Robert’s Rosti with Smoked Salmon, a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce (the alternative to waiting several days for a booking at the Test Kitchen!) while we both are very keen on Sababa’s excellent falafel in a very full pita. And Julie is now doing a very good seafood with rice salad, and an excellent generously filled seared tuna or salmon roll. Do come and shop for your Christmas presents, there are lots of things on offer and eat and take home some marvellous food.
LUNCH UNDER THE TREES      Sunday was a glorious day, despite a misty start, and we joined a party of 18 members of our Wine Club for lunch at Vergenoegd (it means satisfaction has been achieved) wine farm near Stellenbosch, for a tasting and lunch at their restaurant, Pomegranate. We all sat at a long table under the liquid amber trees and despite some harassment from the amusing and fiercely protective pet geese, had a super time.
We started with a slightly rowdy tasting of all their current wines in their voorkamer, squeezed about the large dining table. Their winemaker, Marlize Jacobs, was very patient indeed with this happy crowd. We all loved the Runner Duck range: Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – sadly now sold out - the lovely crisp and dry but fruity Rosé made from Malbec, Merlot and Cab Franc and the good red blend made from Touriga Nacional, Malbec and Cabernet Franc, all selling at a reasonable R50 a bottle from the farm. We chose to drink the Rosé and the red blend for lunch. Their Classic range of red wines is all made by John Faure their cellar master and we absolutely loved the Vergenoegd Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, soft silky and full of red berries, while the Vergenoegd Shiraz 2003 (R105) is a spicy stunner. The elegant 2003 Estate blend still deserves some time in the bottle.
Then it was time to tuck into lunch. Mike Israele, the talented chef patron of Pomegranate restaurant had come up with a super menu for us, with three choices for each course at a very reasonable R245 per person. Our wine club paid the tasting room fees and for the wines we had with lunch. Click here to see pictures of the food and the day. Lynne treated herself to the mushroom starter while John had the eland carpaccio. We both enjoyed the excellent duck confit. John didn’t get pictures of all the desserts, but there was a lovely crème brulée made with duck eggs. We both had to have the chocolate fondants. And you can buy duck eggs at the tasting centre. The duck on the menu is not one of the vineyard ducks - they don't have enough meat on them!
After lunch we were treated to the Duck Parade, a “not to be missed” event at Vergenoegd. The farm has a flock of over 1000 Indian runner ducks, who roam through the vineyards eating snails and other undesirables. A much better solution to pest control than using pesticides.  And a few of us even managed to play a round or two of boules on their court afterwards before the drive home for late Sunday afternoon nap.
Junior Masterchef Australia     Lynne has been slow watching this series,  because we do not have a lot of time to watch TV – thank heavens for PVR - but has to comment about how totally amazed she was at the skills these children displayed. For a 12 year old and the 13 year old to produce the dishes they did in the final was nothing short of amazing. There have been adult Masterchef competitions where the contestants did not possess these skills and artistry and competence. Or self assuredness and simple grace. We sincerely hope that the new intake for Masterchef SA currently being auditioned are being chosen not for the area they live in, their publicity value and quirkiness, or their demographic backgrounds, but purely because of their talent in the kitchen. How embarrassing was it when they were asked to cook a dish on the braai (barbeque) in the last challenge and many of them failed to make a competent dish from something which is our national ’sport’. Let's hope our children are being taught to cook as well by their parents.
Peach and Amaretto crumble     This is a glorious time of the year for soft fruits. There are lots of peaches and nectarines currently appearing on the market and we could not resist some beautiful white skinned peaches last week. However, they do all seem to ripen at the same time, so Lynne made us the following dessert to use up the last of the punnet.
8 ripe white peaches – 50 ml Amaretto liqueur – a packet Amaretto biscuits – 50g flaked almonds - 50g butter – a few drops of real almond extract
Drop the peaches into a bowl of boiling water and immerse for at least 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and put into iced water immediately. When they have cooled you will find that the skin peels off easily. Rub the inside of a soufflé or other oven proof dish with a little of the butter and slice the peaches into large chucks and add to the dish, discarding the pips. Pour over the amaretto liqueur. If the peaches are a little tart add a spoonful or two of vanilla sugar or plain caster sugar to them. Melt the butter and crush the amaretto biscuits roughly. Pour over the butter and the almonds and the extract, stir till all is coated and put on the top of the peaches. Bake in a 180°C oven for half an hour and serve with whipped cream or good vanilla custard. You could use a crumble topping if you don’t have access to the Amaretto biscuits. We do sell them at R40 a packet and they are from Italy.
BOLLINGER EXCEPTIONAL WINE SERVICE AWARD 2012 goes to....     We were delighted to see that  Wayve Kolevsohn is the winner of The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award. Wayve, 27, was born and bred in Hout Bay, Cape Town. Shortly before gaining her National Diploma in Hospitality Management from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) she travelled to the UK to continue her practical studies. She gained valuable experience working in top Michelin-star restaurants, including the famous Chez Bruce.
On her return to South Africa, Wayve completed her post-graduate degree in Management at CPUT. In June 2009 she joined Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, as Restaurant Manager and Sommelier at The Tasting Room, the world-renowned fine dining restaurant. Earlier this year Wayve joined The Roundhouse Restaurant in Camps Bay as Sommelier. And more recently she completed the International Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Advanced Level, and, after three years of study, was inducted as a Cape Sommelier by the Cape Wine Academy. This month Wayve will be joining The Test Kitchen as Sommelier. So she has, as they say, earned her chops.
This was announced on Friday 9th November at Riebeek Kasteel, as part of the Swartland Revolution, a celebration of fine South African wines and cuisine. She received the Riedel Glass Trophy and a trip to France with a visit to the House of Bollinger Champagne. Kayetan Meissner of the Saxon Boutique Hotel takes Runner-up Award. The other two finalists were Greg Mutambe (12 Apostles Hotel and Spa) and Jeff Lopes, also of the Saxon Boutique Hotel in Johannesburg.
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 Calendar. You will need to be connected to the internet. We have a new calendar for 2013. Check it here.
Learn about wine and cooking We have had a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy 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. Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has cooking classes in Fish Hoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details 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 offers. 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. 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.

15th November 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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