Thursday, March 19, 2015

150319 Main Ingredient's MENU - Wellington Groenberg Talmfees, lunch at Jordan, Oesfees, Cellarbake, Cape Wine, Asparagus tart

Clifton sunset
In this week’s MENU:
* Oesfees at Solms Delta
* Nitida Cellarbake
* Cape Wine
* Asparagus 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.
At last, we thought, an easy week... and then the lurgy struck. We watched our friend Anne, here from Australia, come down with a nasty bout of coughing, a cold and fever, then Lynne’s goddaughter Nicolette from Holland got it and now Lynne has it. It seems to be avoiding the men in the family, but we suspect that it was brought here from the European winter, as we hear it is laying waste there. We hope you manage to avoid it. Get the flu jab soon, as this might be doing the rounds for a while; it does seem to linger on, and on, and on.
Groenberg Wynstok Talmfees     On Saturday, three of us drove to Wellington for the Groenberg Fees, held on Schalk Burger’s farm, Welbedacht. The main event was always going to be music and the crowds were expected in the late afternoon and evening. When we arrived at 12, the temperature was already at 38°C and we had a rush around the stalls for a quick taste, to see who was there and sample what was on offer. Then we were invited into the cool inner sanctum for a guided tasting of Groenberg wines and that is where we remained for much of the very pleasant afternoon. Read on
Rocking the taste buds at Jordan     Great food is the most important thing you want from a good restaurant. Throw in friendly and efficient staff, a warm welcome and views to charm and relax and you are getting close to perfection. Sunday saw us at one of our favourite restaurants, Jardine at Jordan, for a birthday lunch of one of our visitors. He requested Jardine, as it has also become one of their favourite places when visiting. We had a table right at the front of the deck with those superb views and the lunch did not disappoint. Read on
Two unmissable events this weekend; we will be at both. On Saturday, at Solms Delta in Franschhoek, the Oesfees, the most real harvest festival of them all, where vineyard workers get to mingle with the public, while celebrating the harvest with local traditional food and listening all day to great local music. 10 to 8 Elvis Blue is the headliner. See here for our story about last year’s event.
And on Sunday, on Nitida in Durbanville, Cellarbake: “Celebrate decadence with the Western Cape’s best artisanal bakers showcasing their signature bakes, paired perfectly with Nitida wines and MCCs”, 11am to 6pm. Something different, lots of cakes to sample. Last year’s story shows the sort of delicacies which will be on offer.
Cape Wine is the flagship business showcase of the South African wine industry. Presented every three years at the Cape Town International Convention Centre by Wines of South Africa (WOSA), it is the most successful international wine trade show in the southern hemisphere. It has been almost fully subscribed by exhibitors, six months ahead of the event, which will be held in the CTICC from the 15th to the 17th September. South African wine has seen a huge growth in quality since 1994 and this is our best opportunity to show our wine industry, its products and our beautiful wine country to the world. See details here
Finding South Africa's Best Steakhouse in 2015 – Voting Begins In April!     The Wolftrap Steakhouse Championship is hunting down South Africa's greatest steakhouse again to find our national champion for 2015! The first round is a public voting phase and it starts on the 1st April – this is when anyone can go to www.steakhunter.co.za and vote for their favourite – there are cases of the Wolftrap wine to be won just for voting. You can also vote by texting the name of your favourite steakhouse and where it is situated, with your name, to “32845”.
This week’s recipe is a good supper dish, or it works well as part of a buffet. It is one of Lynne’s standard store cupboard recipes. You can also make individual tartlets.
Asparagus Tart
Pastry: 250g flour (2 cups) - a good pinch of salt – 2 t baking soda – 250 g butter – 1 egg – 125 ml iced water
Put all the dry ingredients with the butter into a food processor and then blitz a few times until it has the texture of breadcrumbs. Add the egg and enough of the water to make a firm dough. You probably won’t need all the water. Wrap in cling film and put into the fridge for 20 minutes to rest. Grease a 23 cm pie dish. Roll out the pastry to fit, leaving some overlapping the edges to be trimmed when cooked. Turn the oven on to 190°C
Filling: 1 tin of asparagus tips (410g) – 60g butter – 125ml cream – 3 T flour – 1 beaten egg – 100g grated cheddar or gruyere cheese – salt and pepper
Drain the asparagus and set aside, but do reserve the liquid. Melt the butter and add the flour and mix well to make a roux. Add the asparagus juice, the cream and then the cheese to make a thick sauce. Season to taste. Stir in the beaten egg, and then fold in the asparagus. Put into the prepared, pastried pie dish and put into the hot oven. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn down the oven to 160°C and bake for another 20 minutes or until setting and the pastry is crisp. Trim off the edges and serve. Optional: You can garnish with toasted caraway seeds and anchovy fillets.
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
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.
George Jardine will be running a series of winter cooking courses and other activities at Jordan. Details here




19th March 2015
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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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