Wednesday, April 10, 2013

10th April 2013 Main Ingredient's MENU - SAWIS presentation at Leeuwenhof, TvM wine trade tasting, Taste of Cape Town competition, Cashew nut chicken recipe

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
Queen Mary 2 passes the V&A Waterfront en route to the Duncan Dock in Cape Town harbour
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       South African Grand Wines Collection presented to Premier Helen Zille
*       Tracy van Maaren Trade wine tasting
*       QM2
*       Taste of Cape Town competition
*       Cashew nut chicken recipe
*       On Line Shop
*       This week’s Product menu
*       Our market activities - Neighbourgoods, Long Beach
*       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. 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. 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  Unless you have lots of time to make your own, you probably use stock cubes.  We have Italian Chicken, Beef and Vegetable cubes. Portuguese fish stock in cubes. Australian vegetarian cubes without MSG in beef, chicken and vegetable flavours and a jar of vegetarian stock powder made with olive oil.
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 the market in Long Beach Mall, Sun Valley, Fish Hoek tomorrow, Friday April 11th and next Friday, April 18th.
Presentation of the ‘South African Grand Wines Collection’ to Premier Helen Zille.      Leeuwenhof is one of the oldest houses in Cape Town and is set in a beautiful estate at the foot of Table Mountain. It is the official residence of the Premier of the Western Cape. The South African Wine Index invited us to a reception there, along with members of the wine industry and wine media, to witness Premier Helen Zille accepting the ‘South African Grand Wines Collection’. This collection currently represents 125 natural wines which show up the variety which comes from the SA landscape, their complexity and structure. Wines which achieve top scores in competitions here and abroad are indexed, evaluated to select the best and then listed as iconic South African wines. Premier Zille indicated that she would love to have some guidance from the industry as to the wines to serve at official banquets and other state functions. She was presented with two iconic brandies, 20 year olds from Van Rijn and the KWV, and two wines by Hempies du Toit: a magnum of Alto Rouge, which delighted her as she said this was the wine served at her wedding, and a very special bottle of Annandale. Hempies, who also achieved fame as a rugby Springbok, succeeded his father as winemaker at Alto before he bought his own farm, Annandale. She also received two bottles of Vin de Constance, the iconic dessert wine from Klein Constantia which was resurrected by the late Ross Gower to match the style of the famous Constantia wines of the 18th and 19th centuries.
We then moved through to the dining room, where we were served two courses of three canapés each, made by talented Chef Marc Wassung and some very good wines including Oak Valley, Bouchard Finlayson, Creation, Eagle’s Nest, Saronsberg and Cape Point,
Premier Zille spoke about the new Liquor Bill which has just come into effect in the province, imposing more restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages, saying that alcohol abuse poses an enormous problem. It is the cause of large numbers of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome children, crime, extreme violence and murder. She told us of how, for a short period in Nyanga, they had managed to close all the liquor outlets and for that period all the crime and violence decreased enormously. She asked for the industry’s help in combating these problems, while recognising that the industry does bring enormous wealth and tourism to the Province. Click here to see the photographs.
Tracy van Maaren Trade wine tasting     This was held yesterday afternoon at Auslese, Harald Bresselschmidt’s function venue in Hope Street. This is one of the trade tastings we really look forward to each year, because Tracy represents a small but very good list of wine farms and Harald is a master at matching the food to those wines. We started with a lovely, crisp NV Pol Roger Champagne (said to be Winston Churchill’s favourite), matched with a phyllo crisp topped with fennel puree and 2 magnificent tiger prawns. This had a flavour of lemon curd which went very well with the bubbles. There was a very ripe and fruity 2011 Chablis from William Fevre and a 2008 Rioja Reserva from Bodega Muga, which was matched with a bittersweet chocolate filled with blueberry and praline – magical. Next were John Loubser’s three Silverthorn Cap Classique bubblies. The Green Man is stunning and the canapé of Vitello topped with a fried white anchovy on Potato-artichoke puree was a very, very good match to it. The recently released Jewel Box was a very good match for the Paupiette of free range chicken and Prawn with leek mousseline. Matching their Genie Rosé with rose Turkish delight was also a lovely idea.
Vriesenhof have a deep and many layered 2012 Chardonnay and a really impressive 2009 Pinot Noir. One of the memorable canapés on their table was a wagyu beef topside and aubergine involtini with spinach, pomegranate and pumpkin seed salad. So unusual but in a way, so familiar.
The Pan fried duck liver, still just pink, with orange zest aroma and a grapefruit gelée completely echoed the taste of their 2009 Chardonnay. So well matched by the chef. We reached Lynne’s wines of the evening at Raats. On tasting the Original Chenin Blanc 2012, John heard those favourite words “Birthday Wine”. One word was written on the tasting sheet ‘Perfection’. She found it crisp and tight, full of minerality with long lime and lemon flavours and then the richness develops on the palate. We now have a case on order. Also of note is their interesting Blanc white blend.
On Cathy Marshall’s table we had our first tasting of Black pudding. The jury is still out on that, but we absolutely loved both her wines: the Amatra 2012 Chenin is rich, full and icy hot on the palate. This was paired with beautiful salmon trout that had been cured with beetroot and served with a tarragon mustard crème fraiche. Her 2011 Nine Barrels Reserve Pinot Noir is elegant and savoury and full of red berry fruit. Click here to see the photographs.
Queen Mary 2     We were a little late for the tasting because, as we crested the brow of High Level Road going into town, we heard on Cape Talk radio that the liner Queen Mary 2 was just passing Camps Bay. So we stopped and waited with camera at the ready. She really was a magnificent sight sailing past Robben Island, Blaauwberg and the Waterfront. She seemed to float above the new Stadium, then past some welcoming boats before meeting her tugs and entering Duncan Dock. The largest luxury Ocean Liner in the world, and Cunard’s Flagship, she is on her way from Australia to Britain. How we would love to be sailing on her. She will be back in Cape Town in 2014, so start making your plans now. Note for photographers: the picture was taken with a 300mm lens on John’s Nikon DSLR (which is equivalent to a 450mm lens on a 35mm camera), so the perspective is compressed. This is why Table Bay looks so narrow and Tygerberg hill and the oil refinery look so near.
Taste of Cape Town     Thank you to all the MENU readers who sent in entries to our Taste of Cape Town competition. We have never had so many entries to a competition and were able to obtain an extra ten pairs of tickets from the organisers. After the first ten names had been drawn, we drew another set of ten names from the submissions of correct answers received before the first deadline. We did receive a few late entries, but could not consider them. Deadlines are deadlines. All the winners will have been notified by now and should have retrieved their tickets from the website. We will be at the opening tomorrow and look forward to seeing many of you there.
This week’s recipe     Lynne has been cooking a lot of Asian recipes in the last couple of weeks. We have had a Chicken Tikka Masala and another Vietnamese beef. On Saturday, inspired by Masterchef Australia, she went out and bought a (not-so) fresh coconut, fresh turmeric (both at the Biscuit Mill) and uncooked prawns and made Rick Stein’s Malaysian Laksa. This still needs work, as the coconut was a washout and we think tinned coconut cream would probably work better here. The turmeric was also very unripe, so it didn’t give that wonderful golden orange colour or flavour Mr Stein achieved. And the prawns were awful and mushy. Hmmmmm. And it was a LOT of work.
One recommendation: we find it is better to eat spicy Asian recipes when they are warm rather than hot. When they are piping hot, you seem to lose a lot of flavour. Our recipe this week is from China. Probably more Western in influence, it is something you may have eaten in a Chinese restaurant or ordered as a take-away. Chinese food is really simple if you have the right ingredients and are prepared to do some prep beforehand. These ingredients are all easy to find. We find that the corn flour seems to help tenderise the chicken and it will help to thicken the sauce at the end.
Cashew Nut Chicken
80g raw cashew nuts - 2 skinned chicken breasts, cut into 1 cm slices – 1 T corn flour – 1 small egg, beaten – 2 T peanut oil for frying – 3cm piece of fresh ginger, grated – 2 fat cloves of garlic, chopped - 1 small white onion, chopped into 4cm pieces – 6 green beans, chopped into 3 cm lengths – 4 baby corns, sliced – 1 small red pepper, cut into 3 cm cubes – 2 spring onions, chopped into 2 cm lengths – 1 T sweet chilli sauce – 2 T light soy sauce -1/2 cup good chicken stock – 1 cup bean sprouts
Dry fry the cashew nuts till nicely toasted, then set aside. Mix the chicken, cornflour and egg and set aside while you do your preparation on the vegetables. When ready, heat your wok till smoking, then add the oil and quickly fry your chicken on all sides. Remove and set aside. Stir fry the onion quickly until the edges brown but it stays quite firm. Add the ginger and garlic to the pan and throw in all the other vegetables except the bean sprouts and quickly stir fry for two minutes. Put in the sauces and the stock and cook for another two minutes. Add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes until it is just done. Throw in the bean sprouts and cashew nuts, stir, taste and add more soy if necessary, then serve immediately with fluffy boiled jasmine rice.
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. Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia. Brett Nussey’s Stir Crazy courses are now being run from Dish Food and Social’s premises in Main Road Observatory (opposite Groote Schuur hospital).

10th April 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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