Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This Week's MENU. Breakfast at Cape Point Vineyards, Lunch at Faber, Pinotage and Biltong Festival, L'Avenir Glen Rose Pinotage 2015, Hollandaise Sauce

A Camps Bay autumn sunset
They tell us that we can expect rain tonight and tomorrow. The clouds are building, so we live in hope. There is enough water in our reservoirs to last about 2½ months. The upside of this “Indian Summer” is that we had wonderful warm sunny weather for our activities last weekend. We have the prospect of a wonderful lunch tomorrow and regional wine festivals this week and weekend, Taste of Darling and Elgin Cool Wine & Country Festival. If it rains on those parades we’ll be very happy and so, we are sure, will be the organisers. Click on the links to see the stories of the past week; we think that you’ll enjoy them

We felt like a drive in our new car to explore breakfast somewhere different and Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek got the vote. We also intended to explore the area afterwards. We did book and were reassured by them that the breakfasts, normally served outside, would be served inside should the weather change. We hadn’t been back there since we worked at their market in 2013. Read on.....
Sometimes you just have the most perfect day and last Saturday was it. We had booked for lunch for four of us during Restaurant Week at Faber. We had eaten and really enjoyed Chef Eric Bulpitt's food when he was at Newton Johnson and this is his new restaurant. So, when Lynne spotted Faber on the Restaurant Week list, she booked. We haven't been back to Avondale for several years - we try to get around as much as possible, but there is a long list of places we want to visit. And of course we do get invited to many.....
Smoking at The Test     This is not going to be a food review. There will be no links or photographs. The Test is a burger and sports bar in Sea Point, lots of TVs with sport on them, a long bar and some tables. We were invited there by friends to meet their parents and had a lovely evening with them. The hamburgers we had were good. Our waiter was pleasant. We all brought along some great wines, happy to pay the corkage. One huge problem for us: the front of the restaurant can be opened to the street, so the effluent from smokers at the tables on the pavement blows straight in to those eating inside. They allow smoking and despite asking them three times to ask patrons to stop, as it was spoiling our meal and smoking in a public place is illegal, they ignored us and actively encouraged it. So we won't be visiting again. Lynne had to use her puffer as the smoke really gets to her asthmatic lungs. And who wants constant cigarette smoke with their food? They should remember that ignorance (in both senses of the word) is no defence in law. We haven't reported them, but undoubtedly someone will
This annual festival was held on the grass at L' Avenir last weekend. It is a chance to taste some Cape Pinotages and lots of biltong. The days are still quite hot, so the wine farms were also encouraged to bring a chilled white or rosé wine so that there would be something for every taste. It was good value at R200 a ticket.....
This sophisticated rosé, which we tasted at the Pinotage and Biltong festival, really impressed us. From the first mouthful, you get perfumed raspberries and mulberries. It is seductively silky on the palate, the soft juiciness has a background of structural chalky tannin to support it and the wine develops in layers on the tongue. It took us right to the South of France imagining what it might be like with a Salade Niçoise or a rich fish soup. A food wine of note. 2015 is sold out, the new vintage is on the way soon. We also have to mention the special bottle which has the punt moulded to look like a protea
This is a classic. So many of us are enjoying it on Eggs Benedict at the moment that we thought that putting the recipe here might help. It is also delicious on asparagus, broccoli, fish etc.
3 egg yolks - 1/2 lemon, juiced - 1 teaspoon cold water - 1/2 teaspoon white pepper - 125 g salted butter -  salt to taste
In a small glass bowl (use one that will fit over a saucepan of hot water), using an electric whisk, mix together the egg yolks, lemon juice, cold water, and pepper till they are a frothy and light mousse, doubled in volume. Have ready a saucepan of barely simmering water. Place the bowl over the saucepan. You can use a double boiler. The bottom of the bowl must not touch the water. Melt the butter and put it into a jug. Gradually whisk a thin stream of the melted the butter into the yolk mixture. Continue whisking over low heat for 8 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Do not let the mixture get too hot or the eggs will scramble. Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary. Use immediately or cover with a cloth and keep in a warm place until you need it. Not longer than a couple of hours though or the sauce will spoil
Should the sauce split (the egg and butter begin to separate) add another teaspoon of ice cold water and whisk like crazy. It should come back but might be a bit thinner. Optional flavours to add are (instead of the lemon juice) white wine vinegar or a herb vinegar like tarragon (will make this a Béarnaise sauce); cayenne pepper, Dijon mustard, 1/4 t sugar and even Worcester sauce or Tabasco. However the classic is made without all these and we think is the best
Blender Hollandaise

You can also make a version of this in a blender. It is very easy. Combine all the ingredients except the butter in your blender. Blend for 5 seconds till well mixed. Melt the butter (quick in the microwave) and put it into a jug. Set your blender to a high speed and add the hot melted butter in a long thin stream, it should thicken almost immediately
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