Friday, June 01, 2018

This Week’s MENU. Lunch at Broadway; Sommeliers Awards; MENU's Iberian Exploits – Amorim Cork, Lisbon; Chicken & almond soup; De Grendel Elim Shiraz

Lion's Head sunset glow

Blessed rain! The Cape has been drenched in the past few days; we had 40mm last night. The drought is far from over but we delight in the sound of heavy rain on the roof. The Douro Valley in Portugal, which we visited in April, has just had a terrific storm. 80mm in an hour, and the main street in Pinhao was under water. Too much of a good thing and some Port vineyards have lost 80% of their crop. A tragedy. While we haven't had such extreme weather, there are several reports of flooding in Cape Town and we have much sympathy for the people who have been affected by it
A big “thank you” to all of you who responded to our request to affirm your subscription and allow us to conform to the new EU rules. It seems that the link on our website didn’t work for phones and Macs. We must try to fix that, but many of you sent us individual emails which we really appreciate. Your taking the trouble to do that also made us feel really special. Our email is only sent to people who have subscribed personally, so the request was a bit of a formality, but we are happy to have complied with the ruling and even happier with the response.
We enjoy sharing our experiences with you and are so pleased when you tell us that we’ve given you some pleasure
Lunch at Broadway Confectionery and Deli    
Recently, at an industry-related party, we met a chef whom we have known for a long time: Wynand du Plessis, who runs a catering company called Extreem Kwizeen. He had been following our Portuguese travels on line. He asked us if we knew of the Broadway Café in Maitland, which is a Portuguese bakery and café. He told us that one can have very good Pasteis de Nata and authentic Portuguese food there and invited us to join him for a quick lunch there with him. How could we resist? We had not heard about this café and found the prospect very interesting. It is in Voortrekker Road…
The Gaggenau Sommeliers Awards 2018    
This competition and awards ceremony was held over two days last week. On the first day, the Sommeliers who were finalists had to do a service test and a food pairing at the Test Kitchen. The second part of the competition was at the amazing Gaggenau BSH Brand Experience Centre in New Church Street, which we were invited to attend. This is the first year that Gaggenau have sponsored this competition in South Africa.
MENU's Iberian Exploit 5. Visiting the business of Amorim Cork    
We left Porto early in the morning and drove down to another of the Amorim factories. This time it was to see the whole process of producing corks from the raw product and so see their museum, their flooring section and the champagne cork area. The factory is very large….
MENU's Iberian Exploit 6. Off to Lisbon in a new chariot    
Because of the burglary in Porto the hire car we had needed to be repaired, so we were given a new car by the hire company. While it was a bit smaller than we had wanted, this one had SatNav. It so improved our life and the trip…
On the MENU this week. Chicken and Almond Soup  
It is that time of year: Soups and stews to keep us warm are what we all start to long for. This week it’s a fairly traditional recipe, known in many lands, a simple chicken soup. But with a twist and a touch of luxury, and some class.
Also known as Feather Fowlie in Scotland, it is said that Mary Queen of Scots insisted that it was given a French touch and she added the cream. Perfect if you are Banting too. (Well not counting the breadcrumbs and croutons).
1 onion - 3 carrots - 2 turnips – 3 sticks of celery – 1 boiling chicken, 2 to 2.5 kilos in weight - 10 black peppercorns – 3 allspice berries - a bouquet garni – ½ level teaspoon of sea salt - 50g ground almonds – 30g fresh white breadcrumbs – 150 ml double cream – salt and white pepper
Roughly chop the vegetables. Put the cleaned chicken into a large soup pan, with the vegetables, peppercorns, bouquet garni. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Make sure you remove any scum from the surface, then lower the heat to a simmer, and cover with a lid. Continue cooking until the chicken is tender. Lift it carefully out of the stock and let it cool. Take off the skin and remove all the flesh off the carcass. Remove any peppercorns or allspice berries you see and the bouquet garni. Put the chicken meat into a liquidiser with the drained vegetables and purée till smooth.
Put the purée into a clean pan and add the almonds and the breadcrumbs. Carefully strain about 600 ml of the stock and stir it into the soup. Simmer over a low heat for about 30 minutes. Just before you serve the soup, remove a cup of it and blend it with the cream, then stir this back into the soup. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. Serve garnished with chopped parsley or chives and with crisp croutons. Serves 6. It might be nice to serve this with a small glass of malt whisky....
Bouquet Garni: A small bunch of sprigs of fresh herbs, wrapped in a 5 cm piece of celery and a bay leaf and tied up with a long bit of string, so that it’s easy to remove from your dish. You can use rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram. It adds lovely flavour to soups and stews
MENU’s Wine of the Week. De Grendel’s 2016 Elim Shiraz      
This was one of the Top 12 wines in the Shiraz SA Challenge 2018 and was our own highest scoring wine in the tasting. It is full of warmth and spice on the nose, silky soft, spicy and peppery on the palate, a real gem with lots of red berry fruit with a long finish of pepper and liquorice and a whiff of smoke. Bottled in Magnums only, and available from the Durbanville farm at R650 a bottle; very special and rare as only 1410 bottles produced. You need to join their Loyalty Club to be able to purchase this, details here They are offering 10% off your first order. Magnums are a great idea for large dinner parties or special occasions.

1st June 2018

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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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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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