Friday, March 23, 2018

This Week’s MENU. Pinotage and Biltong Festival, Lanzerac Harvest Day, Muratie Harvest Festival, Prawn curry, Villiera Barrel Chenin

The freedom of flight – Kelp gulls off Strandfontein
One thing you never hear anyone say in the Western Cape: “Damn, it’s raining!” Right now, the spirits are lifted, a steady, soft, soaking rain is falling; the pipe from our gutters to the fish pond is sending a largish trickle to bring a little relieving fresh water to our embattled koi whose home has about half its proper content. This has been a Festival week. We have been to Harvest festivals at two historic wine estates and to a preview of a very popular, very South African Festival which will take place mid next month. We will miss it as we will be in the Iberian environment. So, click on the links below to see what it’s all about

It is Harvest time in the winelands, so we were up early to get the arranged transport to Lanzerac in Stellenbosch (for which we are very grateful) and warmly welcomed on arrival by General Manager Barend Barnard
This year's festival will be held on the weekend of the 14th and 15th of April at Perdeberg Wine Cellar in Voor Paardeberg, easy to get to: down the N1 and turn off at the R44, then left at Windmeul Cellar. Tickets are available in advance from or at R200 (and R230 on the gate depending on availability). You will get a wine glass to keep, and can taste 18 Pinotages that have been paired with 18 biltong flavours, which will be marked off the card as you taste them. The wine farms involved will also be bringing other wines and you can taste these as well at no charge. There will be live music, food trucks, craft beers, cheese platters and a play area for children. Sounds like a wonderful day. Dress code is purple and white. Saves having to wash out any Pinotage splashes!
An annual event we really look forward to, this Harvest is worth celebrating. We had a lot of fun, as did everyone else who attended. In a very difficult year for the wine industry because of the drought, most farms are producing slightly less because yields are down and there are smaller grapes, but they are getting very good quality. The wines are looking good. However we must have rain this winter; if we don’t, next year's harvest is doubtful.
This is the Villiera Traditional Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2017. Rich on the classic Chenin nose; on the palate it starts shyly, then suddenly blossoms out and grows in depth and fruit, showcasing just how versatile and enticing Chenin with a little wood can be.
Full of golden fruit, pineapple, peach, lemon, honey, some subtle spice and with just a little toasted vanilla wood, it shows lees and some minerality. Perfect for food and so quaffable. 4 months in oak barrels, 20% new French, the rest 2nd fill, given regular batonage to the lees and fermented with natural yeast. We predict that this wine is going to win more awards; it already has two. It will age beautifully. Get some soon. R129 on the farm. Platter gives it 4½ stars

3cm piece of ginger - 1 onion - 2 cloves of garlic - 150 g ripe tomatoes - 3 T vegetable or coconut oil - ½ t black mustard seeds - ¼ t fenugreek seeds - 12 fresh or dried curry leaves - 1 t chilli powder - 1 t ground coriander - ¼ t ground turmeric - 1 T tamarind pulp - 12 peeled king prawns - sea salt - 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk - 2 dried red chillies - 1 fresh green chilli if you want more heat
1 T = Tablespoon 1 t = teaspoon
Peel and finely chop the onions, crush the garlic. Grate the ginger and chop the tomatoes.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and, when it’s almost smoking, add the mustard seeds, the fenugreek, ginger and the curry leaves. Fry for a few seconds, then add the onion and the garlic and cook over a medium heat until golden.
Add the chilli powder, coriander and turmeric, and stir for a few seconds. Add the tomato and tamarind. Simmer until slightly reduced and you can start to see oil separating from the sauce.
Add a few tablespoons of water to get the sauce back to the consistency it was before, season with sea salt. Simmer until the sauce is quite dry. Then add the coconut milk and the prawns; bring back to boil and turn the heat down to low till the prawns are cooked. Taste and adjust the seasoning. This makes quite a chunky curry.  If you want it smooth, and we do, just put in your stick blender and blitz to the desired consistency BEFORE you add the prawns. They only take a minute or two to cook.
In another pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil, the chillies and remaining mustard seeds and curry leaves. Fry for 10 seconds or so, then tip into the curry. Serve with steamed rice, some atchars and a sweet chutney which will temper the tartness that the tamarind brings.
We enjoyed it with a 2016 Chenin blanc from De Wet cellar, a previous Wine of the Week

14th March 2018

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 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, 

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