Friday, November 09, 2012

8th November 2012 Main Ingredient's MENU - Klink Awards, Caroline’s White Wine Review, South China Dim Sum Bar, EASY Recipe - Pork with Pesto, John Harrison

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
African spoonbills looking for lunch
In this week’s MENU:
*       This week’s Product menu    
*       Our market activities
*       Klink Awards
*       Caroline’s White Wine Review
*       South China Dim Sum Bar
*       EASY Recipe - Pork with Pesto
*       John Harrison
*       Events and Restaurant specials
*       Wine courses & cooking classes
To take a look at our Main Ingredient blogs, follow the link: because to tell our whole story here would take too much space and you can also read 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 received by our supplier by tomorrow, Friday 9th November, for this delivery. Orders received after tomorrow will be for the following week. Orders must be in multiples of 100 grams. The truffles will be airfreighted. Be warned, the price is high, but we can source fresh white truffles from Alba and fresh black truffles from Umbria and Burgundy. Black truffles from Burgundy are the least expensive by some margin. Send us a message here if you wish to order truffles.
Chestnuts are also enjoying a sudden spurt in popularity, probably in anticipation of Christmas celebrations. We have more in stock in cans and jars, as well as chestnut purées. We expect to have marrons glacées soon.
Lynne is taking orders for her wonderful Christmas cakes and puddings, which have been very popular in previous years. Send her a message here if you’d like to place an order for her cakes and/or puddings.
We have a small quantity of pickled walnuts, made by Yvonne Bayly, whose husband Peter makes the delicious Bayly’s Port. They are almost impossible to find and will make a wonderful Christmas gift for a connoisseur. Order them here. Have a look for these and other things you need in our Product list.
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 9th November and again on Friday 23rd from 09h00 to 16h00. We look forward to seeing you there.
If you are thinking of giving your friends or family any of the things we or other market traders sell for Christmas, please do your shopping now or in the next few weeks. The Management of the Long Beach Mall has, it appears, decided that we are a threat to the other businesses in the mall so, in December, we will be at Long Beach Mall on Friday the 7th only. That will be the only convenient December day for Christmas shopping at the Long Beach market if you live in the “deep South”.
Klink Awards     This glittering award ceremony happened last Thursday and was held at a great private venue in the Bo Kaap, high over De Waterkant and the Cape Quarter. Click here to see who won the awards for the different categories.
Monika Elias, who organises and runs these awards, invited us to join her on the panel earlier in the year because of our experience in the wine world, food, restaurants, hospitality and wine tourism. Fellow panellists were Monika, Anel Grobler, Kathy Marston, and Graham Howe. The object of these awards is to give attention and kudos to tourism experiences that wine farms and wine districts offer their visitors, apart from the wine, and the panel had to come up with five nominations for each of the 14 categories. Some categories were: Best experience on a wine farm, most Green wine farm, best wine route event, best restaurant on a wine farm (3 categories), best deli on a wine farm, most child friendly wine farm and more. The farms were then encouraged to engage with their customers and publicise the awards. They were put onto the social media sites like Facebook, Twitter so that you, the consumers, could vote for your favourites. The wine farms who involved their visitors and customers really made this a great fun and inclusive competition.
If you know of anything interesting on a wine farm or wine area that fits into these categories, please do tell us about them so that we can come and investigate.
We have to mention the really excellent catering which was done by Zain Muller of Catering on Call, a new company to us and one we would recommend. Everyone was so impressed by the great selection of interesting, innovative and delicious canapés served throughout the evening. All the wines consumed were donated by nominated wine farms.
Caroline’s White Wine Review was held at the Table Bay Hotel this year and was a stunningly good tasting. Apparently, according to one of our bio-dynamic winemakers, Wednesday October 31st was a ‘fruit’ day and yes, the wines did seem to have an intensity of fruit that evening that was really attractive. It is a good venue even if the tables did fill every single inch and we were able to move about quite freely. And the selection of wines was very much to our own taste. This tasting is held only once a year and, sensibly, Caroline waits until the releases of the year have had time to mature a little and get over their bottle shock; most were drinking extremely well. There were also a few with a little age and these wines are often the best of the evening.
Lynne’s most unusual wine of the evening was David Trafford’s Malagas 2011 Sijnn white, a blend of Chenin and Viognier. David is, in our estimation, one of the best Chenin blanc winemakers and to add some Viognier certainly enhanced a beautiful wine. The taste was reminded us of an older champagne, one of our favourite drinks, full and fruity, dry beneath and intense; a great food wine. Other Chenins that impressed were the Remhoogte Honeybush 2011; Botanica from the Clanwilliam mountains is a full-on expression of the grape with lovely silky mouthfeel and long, long fruit flavours. Cederberg’s unusual 2010 has green notes of sauce vierge, so wonderful for summer outdoor eating with Mediterranean food. David Nieuwoudt also made the Du Toit’s Family Driehoek Sauvignon Blanc 2012 a classic “cats pee on a gooseberry bush” rendition, which we loved. Black Oystercatcher 2011 unwooded Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and sexy and their Blanc Fumé is full of incense from the wood contact. Several Chardonnays wowed us like the elegant Paul Cluver 2011; the 2011 Uva Mira with lime layered with vanilla; and De Wetshof’s 2011 The Site is sensational, filled with limes and limestone minerality. And then, for an unusual touch, there was De Grendel’s Pinot Gris 2012, definitely one to go with summer lunches. Finally Lynne’s ‘Birthday Wine’ this year, Cape Point Isliedh 2011 is literally dancing on the tongue. Herbal on the nose, salty, crisp and fruity on the palate, with a lovely rich mouthfeel from the Semillon – we are so glad we have six bottles to enjoy and a few from earlier vintages – it ages very well. As usual, a very social evening, but we always enjoy being able to discuss the wines with winemakers face to face. Click here for pictures.
South China Dim Sum Bar     Many friends have been talking about this tiny hole in the wall at the top of Long Street, opposite St Martini Church. We tried to book but were told that, as the kitchen closes at 10, coming after the White Wine Review might be too late. So we turned up anyway and found a ‘seat’ (they are old upturned wooden milk crates) fairly quickly. The place is buzzing and it turns out that many people go in fours and order the whole menu so they can try everything. It is not a large menu and there is usually a special of the day. They only had one waitress on the evening, and we have NEVER seen anyone work so hard, she had food on everyone’s tables really quickly. There is no crockery or cutlery, recyclable paper plates and bowls, wooden chopsticks. Basic indeed, but a whole lot of fun. There are three dumplings in each basket so perhaps order two of each if you are sharing, as halving a dumpling is not easy. We ordered Beef Potstickers with black vinegar, siu mai pork and shiitake mushroom dumplings and har gow prawn dumplings with Sichuan dipping sauce. We shared a Shar siu bao (bun filled with barbeque pork). The special of the day was a spicy chicken noodle soup and we also shared a good bowl of braised Chinese beef with rice. We do so hope they can expand their range of dim sum but understand that, if they want to keep the service quick, it might not be possible. We had six things off the menu, two beers and the bill was a very reasonable R270 including well deserved service. If you want to see what it’s like click here.
EASY Recipe - Pork with Pesto     This recipe really couldn’t be simpler and is a very quick option should you have the ingredients ready. Pesto Princess has the stand next to us at the Biscuit Mill and we absolutely love their range of pestos and spicy sauces. Thursday is the day we put Menu together and supper is usually the last thing on our minds. Lynne raided the freezer this morning and found both ingredients.  We will have this with baked potatoes and a fresh Savoy cabbage and carrot salad, dressed with pomegranate molasses, lime juice, sumac and za'atar. We used both the olive and the Greek pesto to see what each tasted like. Both were excellent, but we think all the variations might work, including their spicier sauces and dips. Yes, you could use skinless chicken breasts and thighs, and lamb as well. The pesto really does impart good flavours to the meat, in fact so well that it tasted as if it was lamb. Grilling keeps the meat tender.
4 large leg chops – 1 jar of pesto
Rub the chops on both sides with the pesto as far ahead as you can, so the flavours can penetrate the meat. Put under the grill, drizzling with a little olive oil to prevent burning and grill till cooked on both sides.
John Harrison   The food and wine environment in Cape Town has lost too many good people this year. The latest, John Harrison, died a few days ago. This John has known him since he used to play bridge with John’s mother Yve in the early 90s. John had many interests and successes. After successfully managing the upgrade of the Table Mountain cableway, he and his partner Karin Visser opened the French Toast wine and tapas bar in Bree Street two years ago. It is now one of the most popular venues in Cape Town for launching wines and for award ceremonies and is a great place to go for a light tapas meal or an after work tipple. His enthusiasm and joie de vivre were infectious and he will be sorely missed. Our sympathies go to Karin and the French Toast team and we wish them continued success.
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 at
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.

8th 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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