Wednesday, February 27, 2013

26 February 2013 Main Ingredient's MENU - Stir Crazy, Muratie harvest festival, Spanish bread salad

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
Eat In Guide’s Five time Outstanding Outlet Award Winner
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172

Southern double-collared sunbird hen enjoying an evening cocktail
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       On Line Shop
*       This week’s Product menu
*       Our market activities - Neighbourgoods, Long Beach
*       Stir Crazy Cooking School
*       Muratie Harvest Festival
*       Recipe: Spanish bread salad
*       Wine and Food Events
*       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. 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
Main Ingredient's On Line Shop is performing very well. Thank you to all those who have purchased goods through it and thanks to the Post Offic e, who have delive red everything safely. We are continuing to update the shop with new products and with photographs of products. When you place an order, please do not pay until we have confirmed availability and invoiced you. When you make an eft payment, make sure that it says who you are. Use the form on the website to email us your order and we will send you the final invoice once we’ve made sure stock is available. Click here to see the shop.
This week’s Product menu    Further down the page, we have written about sherry vinegar. We also have Italian balsamic and red and white wine vinegars, French Provence herb and shallot flavoured red wine vinegars and the wonderful 10 year old Raspberry Balsamic from Protea Hill Farm. In addition, we have a wide range of balsamic reductions, local and Italian.
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. On Friday, March 8th, we will be back at the market in Long Beach Mall, Sun Valley, Fish Hoek.
Are you a Stir crazy candidate?     This successful cookery school, owned and run by Chef Brett Nussey, was located in Hout Bay and has now moved to Observatory to share premises with Andy Foulkes DISH Food and Social catering company, on the corner of Anzio and Main roads. We were invited to the launch last Thursday and had a happy time talking to Brett and to other guests while we sampled some good canapés coming out of the Stir Crazy kitchen. If you are interested in any of these courses check out their web site.  Click here to see pictures of the launch.
Muratie’s Annual Harvest Festival     This annual open day took place last Saturday and was also part of their Summer series of music concerts. We managed to get there after the Biscuit Mill by a quarter past three and, sadly, just missed their special vertical tasting of Muratie wines. This annual open day at Muratie, a celebratory family event, features good food, fine wine, great company, live music and lots of fun stomping the newly harvested grapes.
Michelle Stewart and Dr Rijk Melck, the owner of Muratie, welcomed us with a glass of crisp, lively and bready Lady Alice MCC, which is their new release named after an owner of the farm at the turn of the last century who loved to party. They settled us at a good table under the trees and some of the wonderful wines that had been in the vertical tasting were produced for us to try. Sitting, sipping great wines in a lovely atmosphere of fun, we were very entertained by the very talented and amusing band The Rites who played loads of rock and roll, folk, blues, punk and other 70’s hits, which had the audience up on its feet dancing. We were allowed to choose from Muratie’s delicious new summer menu and soon had enormous juicy beef Gourmet hamburgers (R60) with lots of lovely tomato relish and chips. Click here to see the photos
We learned that the favourite wine of the tasting had been the 2008 Chardonnay, which we found to be bready and elegant with wispy wood notes, a full mouth and long, long layered flavours. We then tasted the 2009 which is full of vanillins, and soft wood with good fruit and an alcohol kick at the end. Our favourite was the 2005 Chardonnay, supremely elegant and still with good fruit and depth. Next came the George Paul Canitz Pinot Noir 2010, made in very expensive Burgundian oak; its nose is full of incense and a salty tang. It has good red berry fruit, nice minerality and the incense and salt also appear on the palate - definitely a wine to age well. Then, finally, the Ansela van de Caab 2009 red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It is the savoury Cabernet Franc which shows on the nose with expensive wood notes. You taste good dark red berries, soft chalky tannins and it is something to add to your cellar as it needs time to come to its best in a couple of years’ time.
Thank you Muratie for yet another special experience on the farm; it is a great family day out.  Everyone departed with a bottle of 3 year old Muratie port as a gift and we were also given some of their really good honey and nougat and a further two older wines to taste at our leisure.
Please note: the last concert of the season will be on Sunday 10th March. The band will be Matt Woosey & José Luis Pardo, highly-acclaimed international blues artists. Time:   14h30 Tickets: R80 per person
Tickets include a glass of Muratie wine on arrival. Children under 12 enter free. It is preferable to make your booking in advance and pay via EFT to ensure a table, but some tables will be kept aside for walk-ins on the day. Muratie can accommodate up to 120 people, and in the event of rain, Muratie will try and accommodate the people inside. Do not miss these shows. What a wonderful way to while away a lazy summer afternoon.
Dinner parties     As the summer lazily moves on, we are managing to entertain a little bit during the week. What has been irritating about this year is that we have not been able to do this as much as we want to and there have been so few evenings when we can eat out on our deck because of wind, rain or damp chill. Last night, we entertained some old and new friends and we did manage to sit out before and after dinner.
Lynne cooked a fairly simple supper of chicken pie and we started with Salmorejo – a fresh tomato soup made with raw tomatoes, garlic, bread, sherry vinegar and olive oil. The ingredients are all blitzed together and served cold with chopped egg to sprinkle on top. The secret of this dish is to hide four or five pieces of peeled naartjie (Satsuma/tangerine) in the bottom of the soup. We have to use tinned at this time of the year, as it is a winter fruit, but this works equally well. Another cold Spanish soup we love is Ajo Blanco – ground almonds, garlic, sherry vinegar and oil and, of course, Gazpacho also needs sherry vinegar.
Lots of dishes do need the addition of some acidity and we find that Spanish sherry vinegar is a wonderful solution, as it adds flavour and a slight kick to any dish that needs pulling together. We sell 3 year old and 8 year old Solera vinegars and a less pedigreed, more inexpensive one. Click here to see them in our on line shop.
It makes an excellent salad dressing, can be used to marinate fish before grilling, and today’s recipe might just save your bacon when you come home and find you don’t have much in the house for supper. It is the ideal way to yesterday’s crusty bread that is becoming too hard. If you don’t have large tomatoes, use baby ones. We keep chorizo in the freezer; it doesn’t take long to defrost it or other frozen sausages. You can throw in olives, capers, boiled eggs, even anchovies should you have them in the fridge.
Spanish Bread Salad
Thick slices of yesterday’s crusty bread – 2 garlic cloves – 1 red pepper, chopped into chunks - 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks – tin of chick peas, drained – 2 T Spanish sherry vinegar – 80 ml good extra virgin olive oil – 1 t smoked Spanish paprika - salt and pepper – a  handful of roughly chopped parsley- 1 chorizo or garlic sausage
Grill the bread on both sides then wipe a cut end of garlic over each slice. Cut up the bread into bite sized pieces and put into a bowl with the red pepper, tomatoes, chick peas and parsley. Make a dressing with the vinegar and oil and smoked paprika, seasoning to taste and pour over the salad. Cut the sausage into slices, fry till crisp and add to the dish and serve.
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 see what’s happening in our world of food and wine (and a few other cultural events), visit 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.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive 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 of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses 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.

26th February 2013
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 and our blogs 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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Muratie Harvest Festival

The beautiful Muratie Manor house in its cool and green garden setting
The charming and relaxed tasting room where good wine is served amongst historic spider webs (rumoured to be a national monument) - not much has been changed for a century
Lunch in the garden listening to the band
Umbrellas and trees provide the shade
A relaxed Dr Rijk Melck, the owner of Muratie, pours us a glass of Lady Alice, their new MCC
2010 vintage it is crisp and clean and lively
The band takes a rest while we eat a late lunch
It is a lovely place for families
Carmen Noyce, Rijk Melck and Michelle Stewart pour us some of the 2005 Isabella Chardonnay, opened for the vertical tasting earlier that day.
It was our favourite wine of the day
Next we tasted the 2009 – also delicious and young
The band were The Rites and are a bunch of old rockers having a great deal of fun and creating a great atmosphere
After the party...
Our juice Gourmet beef burgers and chips for R60, enjoyed with the Isabella Chardonnay 2009
One of Rijk's very friendly dogs
We all do the Time Warp again!
.. Its jump to the right... !
Their delicious fruity George Paul Canitz 2010 Pinot Noir
The leader of the band... he belts out another number
Those pink tights were hilarious
Rijk tells us about the wines and this year’s harvest
Our final wine was the award winning Ansela van de Caab 2009, a classic Bordeaux red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Definitely one to put down for a year or two.
Two girls having a great deal of fun
Another two... Lynne and Michelle roaring with laughter
And it was a lovely ending to the day as you could help yourself to a bottle of Muratie 3 year old port on the way out.

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stir Crazy Cooking School opens new premises

Lynne receives a welcoming drink of JC le Roux bubbly with an added cherry.  Dry, thank heavens!
The bar all set up, using props from the decor company which also shares the large space in the building
Guests begin to arrive
Pouring drinks behind the bar
Past and future cookery students?
A table setting in one corner
Preparation of the canapés at four stations in the busy kitchen.
Vietnamese vegetable rolls with a chilli dipping sauce
Tiny pancakes wrapped around Asian chicken
Sushi to delight
Greek lamb parcels...
... which were then baked and served with a tsatziki dip
Salmon to wrap on the sushi
Brett Nussey tells us about the new location for his Stir Crazy Cookery School and the planned courses
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2013