Tuesday, March 07, 2017

This week's MENU. Breakfast at Bonjour, Survivor new vintage launch at Spek & Bone, Vin de Francois 9th annual wine auction, Rogan Josh recipe, Wine of the Week - Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2004

A blue dragonfly on a dead leaf in our koi pond
Breakfast at Bonjour Sea Point veterans will remember New York Bagels, who were in Regent Road for many years until they disappeared a couple of years ago. Their bagels, croissants, salads etc were legendary and we often bought lunch there when we had our shop down the road. We hear that they are still running a small outlet in Harrington Street in the city centre
Some of the ex-Sea Point staff have opened a small café in the Total Garage shop in Sea Point and word is getting round about how good it is. They sell bagels and good bread and croissants and they also do breakfast and lunch. We decided to go and see what it is like
Survivor launches the new vintage at Spek & Bone, Stellenbosch Survivor is one of the brands of the Overhex winery near Worcester and we were invited to taste the new vintage of their wines at Bertus Basson's new wine bar and small plate restaurant, Spek & Bone (it's pronounced boorna - the Afrikaans name of his dog; means “beans”) Spek is his pet pig (translates as “bacon”). It is exciting when good wine is paired with a top chef's food, so we were delighted to accept, especially when they sent a minibus to take us there and back. It has now become de rigeur for transport to be provided when we attend events where we will need to taste the wines, thank heavens
The restaurant is right next to the iconic Oom Samie se Winkel (Uncle Sammy’s shop) in the historic town of Stellenbosch
Vin de Francois 9th annual wine auction  Francois Naude, a master Pinotage 
maker, who was the first winemaker at L'Avenir and has consulted with some of the best farms in the Cape, produces his ultimate Pinotage every year with the help of several of the respected Pinotage farms and winemakers. He selects from their best barrels and sells his blend on auction at the launch to trade, collectors and aficionados'. We were invited to attend on Saturday and write about it
It was a magical mystery tour. We were collected from home at 11.30 by sponsors Jaguar /Land Rover looked after most of the transport. Our first venue was La Paris function venue opposite the Victor Verster prison in Franschhoek. And then we moved at 3.30 to the second venue where the auction and dinner were held. It turned into rather a long day as we were delivered home at 11 pm. .
Recipe of the week     Lynne has, over the years, adapted this recipe to our own taste, it comes from The Curry Club Indian Restaurant book and is unusual for home cookery in that it is made in two parts as it would be in a restaurant, which are then combined. We use a slow cooker for our curries; it does improve the flavours so much. You do need to start this curry well in advance, as it needs to marinate. You can adjust the heat if you like it hotter, this is quite mild. We often use lamb shanks, as we love the richness cooking on the bone brings; you will need about a kilo on the bone. Remove them and any fat before serving
700 g lean lamb, cubed - 115 ml plain yoghurt - 1 large onion roughly chopped - 5 cm fresh ginger, grated - 2 large cloves garlic   - 1 tin chopped tomatoes or 400 ml tomato passata - 8 t coconut oil - 1 T fresh coriander     
Spices 1: 2 green cardamom - 3 cloves - 5cm piece of cinnamon or cassia bark - 1/2 t turmeric - 1/2 t chilli powder or flakes (add more to taste if you like it hotter, Lynne adds a fresh chilli) 1 t ground coriander - 1 t ground cumin   
Spices 2: 1 dessert spoon garam masala - 2 t paprika – salt
Mix the lamb with the yoghurt, Spices 1 and a teaspoon of salt. Mix well and leave to marinate for 6 hours or overnight. Put the onion, ginger, garlic and tomato into a blender and purée. Put the oil into a pan and add the onion purée. Put the lamb into another pan without any oil. Cook both for about 20 to 30 minutes. Be careful of the tomato mix, it can bubble like lava. Add salt to taste and stir the meat occasionally to prevent it sticking. Combine the two mixtures and cook until tender. (we do this in our slow cooker on low for a few hours or you can put it into a casserole in the oven at 180C for an hour or till tender). Add more tomato passata or water if the sauce looks a little dry. When ready, add Spices 2 and the fresh chopped coriander . Mix well and a cook for a further 15 minutes. Adjust taste. Serve with basmati rice and sambals and chutneys.
MENU's Wine of the Week - Flagstone Writer's Block Pinotage 2004 in a magnum   
We were reminded at a tasting of Flagstone wines near the
end of last year that we had a magnum of this wine lurking at the bottom of a rack in our cellar. The only thing left to do was to choose the appropriate occasion at which to do it justice
Lynne made a Rogan josh curry for a dinner party so, as Pinotage is a brilliant wine to accompany spicy food, this seemed the perfect choice
It was. Ripe red berry fruit and still fresh acidity, initially touched with a little vanilla from the American oak, which then comes through quite strongly on the finish. It was a great partner for the spicy, but not very hot, Indian dish. Another good example of how Pinotage can reward when it is kept for a few years. The cork was just holding together in the bottle and came out in three pieces, despite very careful handling
Platter gives the current 2014 vintage 4½ stars

7th March 2017
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Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
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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. This electronic journal has been sent to you because you have personally subscribed to it or because someone you know has asked us to send it to you or forwarded it to you themselves. Addresses given to us will not be divulged to any person or organisation. We collect them only for our own promotional purposes. If you wish to be added to our mailing list, please click here to send us a message and if you wish to be removed from our mailing list, please click here to send us a message.
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