Thursday, February 26, 2015

150226 Main Ingredient's MENU - Kalk Bay fish & chips, Franschhoek Cellar, Beer batter

Take Off and Landing...
In this week’s MENU:
* The 2015 AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction
* 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.
A day by the Sea with Fish and Chips     The Cape has so many wonderful places to visit we find we do unwittingly neglect some of them and rather take them for granted.  We have not been to visit the seaside ports on the other side of the peninsula for at least three years and thought it was time.  So on a lovely Saturday last week we took along some friends and had a marvellous day out in Kalk Bay and Simonstown.  Read on
The Franschhoek Cellar New Venue Launch      The Franschhoek Cellar is a familiar landmark as you enter Franschhoek but how many of us have actually visited it?   DGB (Douglas Green Bellingham) produce, wholesale and distribute wines and spirits including familiar names like Boschendal, Bellingham, & Douglas Green, acquired this winery several years ago and MD Tim Hutchinson was keen for them to redevelop this iconic building as a tasting, function and sales venue to compliment the winery.
They have much improved the outside facilities as well.  On Monday night we drove through to Franschhoek for the launch of The Venue. Read On
The 2015 AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, which took place on Saturday 14th February, ascended to new heights when an astounding R10.565 million was raised for education in the Cape Winelands, achieving a significant 50% increase on the R7.045 million raised at the inaugural 2014 Auction. The entire proceeds of the 2015 Auction, without offset or deduction, will go to the Auction beneficiaries, charities actively involved with education, from infancy to adulthood, across the Western Cape. For more information, see
This week’s recipe: Beer Batter for Fish
This makes very crisp and crunchy batter with a flavour when making deep-fried fish or battered seafood or vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper but you can add other spices and herbs according to your taste, even paprika – smoked or sweet, chilli, garlic powder, etc.
If you don’t want to use beer you can use soda water instead.  Make sure they are ice cold.
Canola oil for frying - 285 ml Bottle of cold beer - 225g cups self raising flour, plus more for dusting - seasoning to taste
Season whatever you are going to batter first, and then set aside. This helps to remove moisture.
Heat your oil to 190°C this is one of the secrets of this dish.   Whisk the beer, flour, and seasoning together until it resembles thick double cream and use immediately.  Dust the food with a little flour to stop the batter sliding off, then dip into the batter a piece at a time and slide carefully into the hot oil. You need to fry just a few things at a time.  Fry for approximately 4 minutes until the batter is beautifully crisp and golden. Serve immediately. Always improved by a good slice of lemon to squeeze over the dish and, if fish, with some tartare sauce.  This batter is enough for four servings of fish.
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.

26th February 2015
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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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