Friday, August 23, 2013

130822 Main Ingredient's MENU - Gentleman Spirits and the Spirit of the fruit, The Best of Jordan at Woolworths, Dornier Bodega Seafood Platter special, Chicken Cacciatore, Age and wine

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
An owl surveys the werf at Annandale
In this week’s MENU:                                
*    Gentleman Spirits and the Spirit of the fruit
*    The Best of Jordan at Woolworths
*    Dornier Bodega Seafood Platter special
*    Chicken Cacciatore
*    Age and wine
Follow this link to see our Main Ingredient blogs, because to tell our whole story here would take too much space. 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: We have been without the wonderful Protea Hill Farm raspberry balsamic vinegars for a couple of weeks, but we visited the farm yesterday and have new stock of the youthful tank-matured and the aged, barrel-matured version, which costs a little more but its depth and richness justify the investment. Listening to Jenny Morris on Cape Talk in the car this afternoon, driving to the Convention Centre, we were very pleased to hear one of our customers call in to say that an earlier caller to Cape Talk would be able to find chestnut purée on our shelf. Thank you, Michael. We also have whole chestnuts and various other variations on that theme. Another caller mentioned that he could only find synthetic almond “essence”. Look no further, we have Nielsen Massey’s superb, real almond extract and their whole range of other real extracts like vanilla, coffee, chocolate, lemon, orange (blossom and juice) and rose water. Our online shop shows our range of rare and exciting products which you are unlikely to find elsewhere in South Africa. See it here
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.
Gentleman Spirits and the Spirit of the fruit     Do you like Grappa, or Schnapps or Eau de Vie? Do you like a spirited aperitif before a meal or a digestif after dinner with your coffee? Then the passion of the people behind Gentleman Spirits will excite you as will their bright, clear and sophisticated products.
We studied distilling when we took the Cape Wine Academy diploma so, when we were invited to the launch of Gentleman Spirit distillery on Blaauwklippen, we were interested to see this very neat and clean installation and of course to taste the impressive results. Briefly, if you ferment ripe macerated fruit and then cook it, you can distil out the alcohol that fermentation produces, giving you a clear spirit which still shows the character of the original fruit or grain. It doesn’t have to be fruit, you can do nuts, herbs, spices and other substances that ferment. What do they taste like? Intense flavours of the fruit and other complex nuances, followed by a lovely warming kick of hot alcohol. You don’t drink much, just a small glass is enough.
Gentleman Spirit is an association of three talented men. Rolf Zeitvogel the Managing Director and cellar master of Blaauwklippen, Hubertus Vallendar, a renowned master distiller in his home country, Germany, where he has won the world championship in distilling in two of three categories at the World Spirits Awards 2011 and 2012. Urs Gmür from Switzerland is the strategist of the three gentlemen partners. Why are they doing this here? Because our sunshine and soil produces a wonderful selection of good ripe fruit and grapes from excellent terroir.
And they want to set the bar in distilling in South Africa higher than ever before. To quote Hubertus “We cannot lower our standards, because all the space below is already occupied”. This week, we were invited to see the sparkling clean and well organised distillery and to taste some of their spirits. This was followed by a lunch at the Blaauwklippen restaurant. Click here to see the experience.
The Best of Jordan at Woolworths     On Tuesday, we were invited to lunch at Jordan by Woolworths to celebrate their long association with Jordan wines. The Exclusive Selection of Jordan wines bottled for Woolworths is so accessible and such a pleasure to drink. CWM Alan Mullins started doing this special selection of wines for Woolworth 25 years ago and they now have 250 cycled products on their list.
It is no secret that George Jardine is one of our favourite chefs in the Cape and he produced a meal of quite extraordinarily delicious food, designed to match and highlight these beautiful wines. Not every chef gets this right, he is really skilled at it. He tells us he has been foraging for years and the plates were beautifully presented and packed full of flavour and interesting combinations and George’s signature sauces. Photographs of the people, the wines and the food here.
Dornier Bodega Seafood Platter for two on special in August     You have one more week to get yourself to Bodega on Dornier for their August Wednesday special: half price seafood platter. We could not resist the temptation when we learned of this and booked three weeks ago for the first possible Wednesday. It did not disappoint. Despite the really awful cold and wet weather, we had a lovely lunch, drank some good Dornier wine with the seafood, bought some of their current special, a box of Cocoa Hill red for R242 and then went on to see Hempies du Toit at Annandale, just a few kilometres down the road from Dornier, to taste his great wines and port. Click here to see the photographs of Dornier and here to see Hempies at his historic farm.
Giving Credit where credit is due     Totally uninspired on Monday night, all cooked out from the weekend but needing a quick and easy supper using what we have in the fridge or freezer, Lynn adapted this really quick Nigella recipe which she thinks you will like and enjoy. We added extra vegetables like carrot batons, celery, slices of courgette and patty pans to bulk it up with more goodness but they are not essential. Just assemble all the ingredients and off you go. This is a one pot dish cooked on the top of the stove. You could use fish if you don’t eat meat but just add it to the sauce at the last minute so you don’t overcook it.
Chicken Cacciatore
1 tablespoon olive oil - 1/2 cup pancetta cubes or bacon - 6 large spring onions, finely sliced – 1 clove of garlic - 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves - 500g chicken thigh fillets, each cut into 4 pieces - 1/2 teaspoon celery salt -1/2 cup white wine – 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes - 2 bay leaves - 1/2 teaspoon sugar – 1 x 400g can cannellini beans, optional
Put the oil into a pan with the pancetta, sliced spring onions, garlic and chopped rosemary and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the bite-sized chicken pieces, stirring well, and sprinkle in the celery salt. Pour in the wine and let it come to a bubble before adding the tomatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Put the lid on and let the pan simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is done. Drain and add a tin of cannellini beans and when they have warmed through too, you are ready to eat. Serve this with rice or tagliatelli if you need a starch. Serves 4.
Age and wine    We are sometimes asked why we have a cellar with a fairly large amount of wine. The justification comes when one wants something for a special meal and can select a well-aged, beautiful wine. We did this last Sunday when daughter Clare came to celebrate Lynne’s birthday. Lynne prepared a lamb casserole and asked for a merlot to go with it. We selected a 1998 Overgaauw merlot (sadly, we don’t have many bottles of similar age). What a treat! Age had not dimmed its favours. It was supple and elegant, with beautiful red cherry/plum fruit and a mineral backbone to keep it from being flabby. We enjoyed half the bottle on Sunday and finished it on Monday evening and it had not suffered from being open for 24 hours. In similar vein, Bruce Jack’s 2006 Weather Girl white blend tasted recently and Cape Point 2006 Isliedh were both delicious, with the youthful fruit and acidity tempered by complex flavours of maturity. Just as a beautiful woman can mature and become more interesting, so can a wine and many of our best wines become so much better when they are allowed to spend a few years resting peacefully in a quiet place. It might be in a cupboard under the stairs or any other quiet cool corner, but building a collection of wines which can be allowed to age gracefully will pay huge rewards.
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 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, then you pay and then we deliver or post. 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. Click here to see our OnLine Shop.
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. 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). 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

22nd August 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 online shop 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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