Friday, February 13, 2015

150212 Main Ingredient's MENU - Volare at Peddlars, Franschhoek Summer Wines, Bertus at Spice Route, Jordan chenin, Plum & cinnamon tart

Evening on Milnerton lagoon
In this week’s MENU:
* This week’s products: SE Asian summer ingredients
* This week’s recipe: Summer Plum and Cinnamon Tart
* Learn about wine and cooking
We write about our experiences in MENU, not only to entertain you, but to encourage you to visit the places and events that we do. We know you will enjoy them and we try to make each write up as graphic as we can, so you get a good picture of what is on offer at each place, restaurant, wine farm, festival we visit.
To get the whole of our story, please click onREAD ON.....” at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to the related blog, with pictures and more words. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to the blog version of MENU.
This week’s Product menu      South east Asian recipes are perfect for our summer, light and zingy Some of the ingredients are hot, other quite pungent, like shrimp paste, ketjap manis and fish sauce. Find them here
This week we have had a chance to review two new restaurants, attend a summer wine festival and taste a newly released Chenin Blanc
Volare, Oh Oh Oh      Peddlars on the Bend has been a well visited pub in Constantia for years. It has now been acquired by Chef Brad Ball (who is also the CEO) and partners Steve and Rob Fleck and has been renamed Peddlars & Co. Their new upmarket Italian themed restaurant Volare has recently opened and we were invited to visit and dine last Friday evening. Soon there will be four venues on the property: Volare, The Local - a bar serving craft beers and platters, The Oak Terrace offering Al Fresco dining and Graciales offering small delicious plates for sharing Read on
Franschhoek Summer Wines       This summer festival allows the Franschhoek wine farms to show their best white wines for summer drinking and it is a lovely relaxed event held at Leopards Leap on the lawn. Food is available in the restaurant, there was live music and, on a perfect Saturday, lots of people were having a lot of fun in the sun. Read On
Bertus Basson at Spice Route     The Mining Indaba has been filling Cape Town this last week and it was hard to get a reservation at our favourite restaurants as they were heavily booked, so this gave us a chance to go to this new restaurant, which has only been open for a few days. Bertus Basson is one of our top chefs, a man with a wild child reputation for fun and interesting gourmet food, so we were keen to see what he is doing there. It has a South African traditional food theme running through the menu, but with lots of twists and surprises, as we would expect from Bertus, who deconstructs and enhances and uses the best fresh ingredients. At last there is a place to introduce your guests to traditional South African dishes with good wine. And of course there are a lot of other things to do on Spice Route. Read On
After Lunch we visited Red Hot Glass, de Villiers Chocolate and Cape Brewing Company on Spice Route. See them here
Black Pearl      As we were in the Agter Paarl area for lunch we decided to visit this farm on the A44. We used to sell their wines when we had our wine shop but had never been to the farm to see the Nash family. Read on
Jordan Harvest lunch and the release of their 2014 Chenin Blanc      Phylloxera is a tiny destructive louse, native to America, which preys on and destroys the roots of grape vines. It was accidentally introduced to France in the 1860’s, spread rapidly and devastated the vines there and in the rest of Europe and they all had to be replanted. It also made its way to South Africa on vine root stocks and caused major devastation. It is the reason that all vines in most of the world have to be planted on American root stocks which are immune to it. It was discovered in Mowbray in the Cape in 1886 by a French scientist, Dr Louis Albert Peringuey. He was an Insect taxonomist who became Inspector-general of vineyards in the Cape. Jordan wines have honoured him by naming their newly released 2014 Chenin Blanc after him and we were invited to their Harvest lunch to taste it. Read on.
This week’s recipe is a Summer Plum and Cinnamon Tart. Do not use prune plums, but nice juicy plums which are in season at the moment.
A roll of Flaky pastry – 10 sweet plums – 60 g sugar - ½ t of ground cinnamon - T 2 water – 1 T butter – 2 T corn flour – a pinch of salt – vanilla extract or almond extract - juice of half a lemon
Turn your oven to 190°C. Grease a 22 cm deep pie dish and roll out two circles of pastry. Line the dish with the bottom layer of pastry and put into the fridge to rest, together with the rest of the pastry.
Halve the plums, remove the pips and put the plums into a pan with the cinnamon, sugar, butter and water. Cook until the plums are beginning to soften. Taste and adjust the sweetness or add the lemon juice if the plums are very sweet. Add half a teaspoon of either the vanilla extract or the almond extract according to your taste and the pinch of salt. Remove a couple of tablespoons of the juice and stir in the corn flour then stir it back into the plums. This will prevent the juice from being too liquid when the pie is cooked. You can also use tapioca flour. Set aside to cool.
Fill the pie dish with the plum mixture, cover with the other circle of pastry. Crimp and seal the edges with well beaten egg, decorate the top with pastry trimmings and glaze with the beaten egg and some sugar. Place on a metal tray to avoid spills. Bake for 50 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and golden. Allow to cool for a while before you slice. Serve with whipped cream.
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. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here
The Hurst Campus, an accredited school for people who want to become professional chefs, has a variety of courses. See the details here
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here.
In addition to the new Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a four module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here
Nad├Ęge Lepoittevin-Dasse has French cooking classes in Noordhoek 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.

12th February 2015
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