Friday, February 01, 2013

31 January 2013, Main Ingredient's MENU - Breedekloof Wine District dinner, Indochine Restaurant at Delaire Graff, What we eat at home, Recipe. Asian inspired glaze for salmon, Does Facebook Lie, Neighbourhood dining

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
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       On Line Shop
*       This week’s Product menu
*       Our market activities - Neighbourgoods, Long Beach
*       Breedekloof Wine District dinner
*       Indochine Restaurant at Delaire Graff
*       What we eat at home
*       Recipe: Asian inspired glaze for salmon
*       Does Facebook Lie?
*       Neighbourhood dining
*       Wine and Food Events with Valentine’s activities
*       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. We are continuing to update it with new products and with photographs of products. 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. We’ve had do a bit of detective work to identify anonymous payments. Use the form on the website to email us your order and we will send you the final invoice. Click here to see the shop.
This week’s Product menu The wonderful Nielsen Massey extracts are always popular and many of you agree that there is nothing better. Their vanilla extract and paste are superb and we are great fans of the orange and the almond, as well as the coffee, chocolate, lemon and mint extracts. The chocolate is perfect if you want to make a chocolate panna cotta. If you use solid chocolate, you will end up with a mousse. This will give you the right texture. Now, we have added the rose water and orange blossom water concentrates to our range. The orange blossom water is sold out, until next week, but we do have a less concentrated version in stock.
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, February 8th, you will find us in the market at Long Beach Mall once again
Breedekloof Wine District dinner  This is a wine area that we often drive through but don’t stop at because, quite frankly, we have not been very impressed with the wines in the past. The valley includes 24 wineries in the Rawsonville, Slanghoek, Goudini and Breede River areas. It has superb soils, both alluvial and mountain-side, access to plenty of water and produces a great deal of wine each year. So we were intrigued to be invited to a Gala wine pairing dinner at the Cullinan Hotel to sample some of them. It was a huge gathering of media, trade, hospitality and tourism and customers, held in the hotel’s banqueting hall. It was catered by a personal chef, Neill Anthony. We have to say that we did find that some farm’s wines have improved very well, but the area may still have a way to go before they reach their full potential. We look forward to tasting their progress.
We were welcomed with a glass of off-dry bubbly made from Sauvignon Blanc by Opstal and then dinner began. Cape Wine Master (CWM) Duimpie Bayly was the Master of Ceremonies and gave us some background to the area and the farms before we ate. Each of the other panellists then introduced the group of four wines that were matched to one of the four courses. The panel was made up of several well-known wine people, like Elsie Pels CWM, Ina Smith of the Chenin Blanc Growers Association, Dr Winnie Bowman CWM, journalist Maryna Strachan, and of course Duimpie. They had tasted over 50 wines before making their selection to go with the four courses
Our first course was a salmon trout tartare on a crisp, flaky pastry disk with fennel and dill and an olive oil mousseline. The wine which we found matched this course best was the very interesting and very enjoyable De Hageveld 2011 from Deetlefs Estate - a blend of 75% Semillon, 17% Chardonnay, 8% Sauvignon Blanc. It stood up well to the saltiness of the dish. R90 from the farm.
Our second course was a play on Pap en Vleis and was more of an amuse in size than a main course. It consisted of a small square of smooth parmesan polenta, thin slices of dried salted pork belly and some tomato and onion relish. Groot Eiland’s Shiraz/Pinotage 2011 coped well with this dish. R50 on the farm.
A duo of springbok with roast potatoes, tender green beans, flaked almonds and, strangely, red chilli slices on a purée and a jus was the main course. A small loin fillet, rather dry (but then they were feeding 150 people), was accompanied by a haché of slow cooked springbok formed into a round cake. We loved the Bergsig Estate’s 2010 Icarus; robust, but smooth and elegant, which complimented the loin and its fruit stood up well to the over-seasoned haché. Icarus is a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Touriga National and sells for R121 on the farm.
Dessert was described as Broken Milk Tart with passion fruit, but what arrived was a coupe dish with a sweet custard, a passion fruit mousse and fresh passion fruit pulp. It was supported by the excellent Badsberg Badlese 2009, a natural sweet from Chenin Blanc. This lovely dessert wine won Platter's Wine of the Year in 2012, earning 5 stars as well as double golds at Michelangelo and Veritas - just the sort of thing we expect to see from the Breedekloof. Photographs of the event, with some of the people, the food and the wines can be seen here.
Indochine Restaurant on Delaire Graff     With alarming forest fires burning behind the mountains in Franschhoek, we ventured to the top of the Helshoogte pass on Monday for lunch at Indochine,  the second restaurant of the Delaire Graff estate. We were invited by the Estate’s marketing and PR manager Tanja MacKay-Davidson. Executive Chef Christiaan Campbell oversees the restaurant, where modern Asian flavours and textures are presented with Head Chef Virgil Kahn’s contemporary flair. The emphasis here is on healthy living, with fresh seasonal produce sourced locally from organic farms and Delaire Graff Estate’s on-site greenhouse.
The restaurant has a real Asian feel, not only the decor, but the whole building looks as though it has been transported from the Thai/Malay peninsula, being open on almost all sides, cooled by the breezes and with magnificent views of the valleys and mountains of the area. John’s photos are all tinged with an amazing bronze light due to the huge fires which, thankfully, did not come anywhere near the farm or the pass. It did look rather like Armageddon at times though.
Tanja talked us through the seductive menu – we love to eat and cook Asian food - while we enjoyed the chef’s complimentary offering of tempura vegetables with two dipping sauces. Lynne had always wanted to try Chicken Lataing with a Penang egg net and it was delicious. It looks rather like a sushi roll. The egg net of crisp deep-fried egg encases the spicy chicken and fresh herbs with counterpoints of small squares of citrus jelly, lemon slices and sprinkled with crisp cashew nut brittle.  Lynne drank a glass of their very deep and complex, layered barrel-fermented 2011 Chenin Blanc with this dish, a very good match.
John chose the crispy Ponzu duck, also with cashew nut brittle and citrus jelly. He enjoyed a glass of the frivolous and pretty Cabernet Franc rosé, full of strawberries and candyfloss, perfect for a summer lunch and another great match.
Main courses gave us pause and we took a lot of time to decide, as the menu has some very tempting choices. It was a little hot for Asian soups, so we both ordered curry. Lynne had the Red Thai duck breast with fresh litchis, coconut and ginger. They did warn us that the curries could be very spicy and that they could cool them down, if we wanted, by the addition of coconut milk, but we both like a bit of heat and didn’t find either very hot. The sauce comes with the dish and you pour it over the food. John made a very good choice of one of his favourite dishes, a delightfully tender beef Rogan Josh. All these dishes are beautifully presented and the portions are not large. The sommelier, Kathryn, recommended the Delaire 2010 Shiraz and we both had a glass. As this smooth fruity wine is full of spice and complexity, it does go extremely well with hot food.
Tanja ordered three side dishes for us to try: unctuous stir fried aubergine, crisp vegetarian spring rolls and steamed dumplings topped with mushrooms, all delicious.
John can always manage dessert, so he ordered and enjoyed the Banana and white chocolate spring rolls served with banana caviar, a chocolate praline ice cream and nut fudge, a tour de force! Lynne enjoyed a pot of Asian herb and flower tea before we departed. John finished his meal with an excellent double espresso. We will be back to try some of the other selections off this interesting menu. Thank you, Tanja, for a lovely lunch and even better company. Click here to see the photographs.
What we eat at home     A reader queried why we tell you what we eat at home during the week. It is very simple. Other readers often ask us for ideas of what to eat as the seasons go by and how to use the ingredients we sell. When Lynne cooks at home, she often creates recipes using local and seasonal food and, where she can, she includes the exotic ingredients we sell - to show you how to use them in your cooking.
On Sunday night Lynne cooked pork shoulder chops, marinated in Edmond Fallot’s green peppercorn mustard and then cooked in a little Verjuice when the chops had been browned on both sides. We had this with fresh sweet corn and mixed steamed seasonal vegetables.
On Monday we had very thin spaghetti (Capellini) with garlic, good olive oil, lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese and a tomato and guacamole salad.
Last night, John’s brother William, who lives in Johannesburg, came to supper and we bought some very good fresh salmon from Woolworths, which happens to be on special. As all three of us are always watching our weight when eating at home, Lynne decided to do a very simple meal of seared salmon, boiled new potatoes with mint, baby peas and a tomato and fennel salad, using some interesting heritage tomatoes, also bought at Woolworths. We served it with a 2010 Arendsig Sauvignon blanc from Robertson, very elegant at 12.5% and with well-balanced acidity. You can mix up a very quick dill sauce by adding chopped fresh dill to half and half mascarpone and a good mayonnaise like Hellman’s. A note to our readers in other countries, our Woolworths is more like Marks & Spencer and is not related to the defunct Woolworth of the USA and the UK. A treat, which we enjoyed before the main course with our tortilla guacamole starter, was a 1994 KWV cabernet sauvignon. It had held its fruit very well, was beautifully soft and coped well with the chilli in the guacamole. Interestingly, it was only 12% alcohol.
This week’s, therefore, recipe is very simple, it is a marinade, glaze and sauce for the salmon and all of the ingredients come from easily obtained bottled sauces which we keep in our pantry. Ponzu is a soya sauce with citrus added. The chilli and garlic sauce should not be too sweet because you are using honey.
Asian inspired glaze for salmon
2 T Ponzu sauce – 2 T chilli and garlic sauce – 1/2 T honey.
Mix, cover four salmon pieces with the sauce and put into the fridge for as long as possible. Then heat up a ridged pan and, skin side down first to get the skin crisp, quickly sear the salmon. You can use the rest of the sauce as a glaze on top of the salmon when you serve it.
Does Facebook Lie?     Or... Who is manipulating you on Facebook? Yesterday Lynne received an “invitation” to a very, very expensive dinner and wine tasting and noticed, much to her surprise and disbelief, that it said that John had already ticked the box to say he was going to it. So she agreed and ticked the box, thinking perhaps we had genuinely been invited to something which we simply do not have the income to attend...  
Then, a couple of hours later, there was another invitation to a function in Elgin and, again, she was surprised that it informed her that John had said he would be going. We were, of course, working on that day and couldn’t go, even if we wanted to. This needed fuller investigation, so she walked through to the kitchen and asked him. “NO!” said a surprised John, “I have not responded to either invitation, but I saw that you had”. And indeed, on his computer, there was Lynne’s positive response to the Elgin invitation, which she had not made.
So we want to know, just what is going on?  Can someone else tick the box for you so that it looks as though you have joined the invited guests? Very spurious indeed. Do they think that by adding people who have followers or large mailing lists that their friends will then be encouraged to go to these events? We feel used. And angry. And we will probably report this to Facebook.
By the way, we do not think you should INVITE on Facebook if you are intending to charge for an event. Inform us yes, send us all the information you want, including the price, and we may well pay to come, but an ‘invitation’ implies that it is an event you want us to attend as a media. Cynical, when you then follow it up with the payment details on Computicket or other booking systems.
Neighbourhood dining     A week or two back, we wrote about some of the restaurants we enjoy in the Sea Point / Green Point area. Some of you responded with the places you enjoy in your “neck of the woods”. So it occurred to us that it might be a good idea to start a blog about everyone’s local favourites. They’ll be personal choices, for your own reasons, and not everyone will agree. We’ll put your name on your choice and the date on which you told us about it, unless you feel that you might be pilloried by anyone who disagrees. Taste is always personal and subjective and we don’t believe that you should be ashamed of liking something. We no longer have time to keep updating restaurant specials, so this may be a good way of communicating a “people’s choice”. If it flies....
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. We have published a new blog with a list of Valentine’s activities all over South Africa (with a gap for the Eastern Cape, where nobody is saying anything... yet). Inspect it here and look for a place to treat your love.
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.

31st January 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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