Friday, July 12, 2013

130711 Main Ingredient's MENU - Lanzerac Womens' Day preview, Wine Spectator on SA

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

The Lanzerac manor house under a winter sky
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       Sampling luxury at Lanzerac
*       Pot roast chicken
*       Wine Spectator in praise of South African wine
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 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: The exchange rate is biting. We have already had some massive price increases, especially on French poultry products (we were warned a while ago) and we are seeing rises on some of the more ordinary products as well. The adage “buy while stocks last” was never more true. We are also seeing the more slow-moving products being discontinued, and we have started to remove some of these items, like aged balsamics, from our online shop. We saw the increases on the shelves in France and the dip in the value of our own currency amplifies the effect. One of the wine dealers who imports wines from Europe has discontinued all imported labels for the present.
Buying from us on Line 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 which you are unlikely to find elsewhere in South Africa. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our on line shop. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa. 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.
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.
Ramadan is upon us. We wish all our Muslim readers well over the month of fasting. We hope you will enjoy peace and good health. 
Sampling a little luxury at Lanzerac?      You can too. Staying at a five star hotel is something we all love to do but, with the recession, we find sometimes that the budget just doesn’t stretch that far. So we look for great bargains and, often in winter, we find superb offers that are too good to miss. Being in the media also helps us as we are very fortunate to get invited to some of them, often because of the Klink awards. We will be doing a few others over the next few weeks.
Last Friday, we and several other members of the media sampled an event that will start on Women’s Day, Friday August 9th at Lanzerac Hotel and Spa. Hosted by Jenny Morris, the very popular Giggling Gourmet, they have organised an absolutely fun and luxury filled event. You will enjoy a three course gourmet dinner paired with Lanzerac wines, 5 star luxury accommodation, a hearty hotel breakfast and a cook off between Jenny and talented chef Stephen Fraser on Saturday morning, which you will be able to enjoy as a light lunch with the Estate’s newly released Mrs English Chardonnay, before setting off home with a complimentary goodie bag. And all this for the amazing price of R1 250 per person. Places are limited, so get your booking in NOW. For reservations and queries contact 021 887 1132 or To see what we did, what we ate and drank, where we stayed and how much we enjoyed it (and we most certainly did), click here. While you are there, you could also take advantage of their Spa, prices are on their web site and this must be booked. Please note, this is not part of the offer.
This week’s recipe is for a pot roasted chicken. Lynne uses a romertopf, a clay pot with a lid the same size as the base, which you soak in water for half an hour before putting in the chicken, spices, herbs on a base of vegetables and roasting for about an hour. The chicken comes out beautifully moist. You can remove the lid and crisp up the chicken at the end, but the best thing about this is that all the wonderful chicken juices help to cook and flavour the vegetables beneath it and produce a rich gravy. You don’t need a romertopf, you can use a heavy casserole with a tight lid, like Le Creuset, and you can choose your own mix of vegetables and accompanying flavours. You do not have to add any oil or fat to the vegetables, as the chicken has enough to moisten the dish. You can season the chicken with just salt and freshly ground black pepper or any combination of spices you like. Paprika, celery salt and za’atar are a great mix, so is ras al hanout, which will give the dish a Moroccan flavour, or you can use a favourite rub. Despite the fact that you are putting a whole bulb of garlic into the dish, it will be roasted and mild. You can peel it or leave it in its skin.
Pot Roast Chicken on a bed of Winter Vegetables
1 free range organic chicken – 1 bulb of garlic, split into cloves – 1 lemon cut in half – a bouquet garni (tie together with string, sprigs of thyme, rosemary and oregano wrapped in two bay leaves. Leave a long end to make it easier to fish out after cooking) – 1 sprig of rosemary and 2 of thyme – 1 T of olive oil – seasoning to taste
Roughly chopped and peeled onions, carrots, celery, fennel, turnips, butternut, parsnips, leeks courgettes, or what you like best or have in the house.
Place the vegetables in the base of the pot with the bouquet garni. Season lightly. Put in most of the garlic with the vegetables but keep about 6 aside to put inside the chicken. Rub the chicken all over with the oil, then season it well inside and out with your chosen seasonings. Put one half of the lemon inside the chicken with the garlic, a sprig of rosemary and thyme. Rest the chicken on the vegetables. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the chicken and add two tablespoons of water to the vegetables. Set the oven to 180°C and roast closed for half an hour. Baste the chicken and add a little water if there is no liquid in the bottom of the pan. Close the pot and roast for another half an hour or until the chicken is cooked and starting to fall apart. Drain off the juices and use as gravy. Portion the chicken and serve with the vegetables. We like separately roasted potatoes with this but you can add your potatoes to the other vegetables.
Wine Spectator’s July Cover story is all about South African wines. We quote: “South Africa's challenge is to meet the future without abandoning the best of the past. It's a balancing act, and a difficult one. The nation is making better wines than ever thanks to new plantings and the best of old-vine vineyards... This profoundly beautiful wine region is finding a new path to quality in the post-apartheid era. How a new generation is reshaping South Africa’s destiny, fuelled by a flood of energy, technology and investment”. South Africa: An Emerging Giant. Their senior editor, James Molesworth, spent two weeks visiting wine producers in the Cape. He wrote a series of blogs about his trip, which make interesting reading. In the article they list 535 wines and give them scores between 95 and 79. We are proponents of the system of scoring out of 20, because scores out of 100 imply a precision which can never be entirely accurate, given the personal and subjective nature of the process of tasting and scoring wine. So we read them as scores between 19 and 16. We have published the list in a blog, and added the ratings the wines received in Platter (they don’t always agree) and approximate South African prices. See it here.
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. It needs updating and we’ll do that tomorrow. 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. We plan to visit their French establishment after Vinexpo. 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. Nad├Ęge 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). Lynn Angel runs the Kitchen Angel cooking school and does private dinners at her home. She holds hands-on cooking classes for small groups on Monday and Wednesday evenings. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here

11th July 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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