Thursday, February 06, 2014

140206 Main Ingredient's MENU - Being Green, Breedekloof Dinner, Stellenbosch Wine Festival, Cape Talk’s Bandstand Boogaloo, Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup

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Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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In this week’s MENU:
* Being Green
* Breedekloof Dinner at Cullinan Hotel
* Stellenbosch Wine Festival
* Cape Talk’s Bandstand Boogaloo
* This week’s recipe:  Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup
Change in the way we present MENU Thank you to all who gave us feedback about the way we are presenting MENU. One pertinent comment was that it was not easy to go back to MENU after reading one of the blogs. We have inserted a "Return to MENU" link at the bottom of each of the related story blogs and it will take you back to the blog version of MENU
This week’s Product menu - Our product of the week is Protea Hill Farm's Balsamic Raspberry vinegar, which is an essential ingredient for this week’s soup. It comes from Stellenbosch, is completely organically grown and made and you can have a two year old for R90 or a balsamic which has been matured in a barrel for more than 10 years for R150 for 250ml. If you don’t want to use this, we can sell you a very good Italian red wine vinegar for R30 a bottle. There is also white wine vinegar in our range and several French vinegars and Spanish sherry vinegars. Check our online shop to see more details and prices.
This has been a week of very large events and some awful heat. We measured 43.5ºC when we left the Stellenbosch Wine Festival at about 3pm on Friday and our car thermometer read 45ºC as we parked under a tree outside our house in upper Sea Point on getting home. We always thought Stellenbosch would be hotter than Sea Point!
Being Green      We are busy putting up sun foil in our sea facing windows (Our house, built in 1924, is called Sunkissed) and it is making a lot of difference with internal house temperatures. We hope this also helps to keep the warmth in next winter as we heat our house only using our wood burning stove and we hate to think we are also contributing to global warming by heating some of Sea Point and surrounds.
Breedekloof Dinner at Cullinan Hotel     We have come to appreciate some of the wines of this area since our visit to Slanghoek in December Slanghoek is a ward of this wine district. We must confess that the wine we tasted at this function last year was not universally good so click here to see if we have changed our opinions of it and the food we were served
Stellenbosch Wine Festival     This was held over the last weekend and we do hope many of you ventured out there despite the heat. Luckily Saturday and Sunday were much cooler. We were invited to the media launch at 11 so click here to see what we experienced.
Cape Talk Radio’s Bandstand Boogaloo at Greenways Hotel      This wonderful outdoor music event was held last Saturday night and we had a great deal of fun. If you wish you had gone or want to attend another of their events in future, read here
This week’s recipe:  Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup
When the weather is hot, one does not want to eat a lot and a cold fresh soup often makes life bearable. They are usually very easy to make using in a blender or food processor and often don’t require any cooking
We have a lot of basil growing in our vertical garden and some nice tomatoes. This is nearly all you need to make a really lovely summer soup very quickly.
1/3 cup of basil – 250 ml good extra virgin olive oil - 2 kg of really ripe tomatoes – a large clove of garlic - 1 T of Protea Hill Farm raspberry vinegar (or red wine vinegar) – Salt & freshly ground black pepper - Optional one or two teaspoons of sugar
Blitz the fresh basil with the olive oil and leave in the fridge till you need it.
Cut a small cross in each of the tomatoes using a very sharp knife. Put them into a large bowl (you may have to do two batches according to how large your tomatoes are) and cover with boiling water. Leave for 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and plunge them into ice cold water. This will make them easy to peel. Peel them and roughly chop. Remove the core if it is large.
 If you want to leave the skins on, begin here. The soup will be a little more grainy.
Put the tomatoes into a blender or food processor and blitz with the peeled garlic clove until smooth. You can also do this in batches. Add salt and pepper and the Raspberry or red wine vinegar to the puree. Taste and adjust seasoning. If your tomatoes were not completely ripe, you might want to add a little sugar at this stage.
Serve chilled in large bowls and then drizzle a circle of green basil oil on the top of each bowl. Enjoy with crusty bread. If you want to spice this up, add a fresh chilli. If you want it creamy, add some ripe avocado.
Wines we enjoyed this week Most of the wines we have tasted this week have been at the various tastings we have attended. Undoubtedly, the best has been the 5 star Opstal Carl Everson Chenin, more about which in the Breedekloof story above. Our wine club had a tasting last night in which South African and comparable International wines were tasted in the appropriate Riedel glasses, but time constraints mean that we will give you details next week. Wines of note at the Stellenbosch Festival were the Ken Forrester Reserve Chenin, very close in quality to his famed FMC at a far more affordable price, Idiom's Merlot Pinotage Cabernet Petit Verdot blend (that's what they call it) and Journey's End Destination Chardonnay, a big wine with a good balance of wood and fruit, which will be a good accompaniment to a dish like pan-fried pork cutlets. At home, we have enjoyed Babylon's Peak Shiraz Carignan 2009, which we ordered from the farm after it won a double gold (best Rhône-style blend) at the 2011 Veritas show. Price then a remarkable R45 per bottle. It has a lovely blend of fruit and spice, with a bone-dry but savoury finish
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. 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. Events outside the Western Cape are listed here.
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. 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

6th February 2014
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 and standard 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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