Thursday, July 12, 2018

This Week's MENU. Den Anker, ExtraBlatt, Bao Down, Gibson's, Blue Cheese, Bacon and Broccoli Pasta, Saronsberg Viognier

 This cock sparrow and his hen have been trying to get at a fruit bowl on our window sill and have been a deep fascination
for the predator instinct of our cat, Rory. We are not unsure that they are having fun baiting him

You could say that this is the perfect winter weather. Beautiful, mild sunny days, about 20ºC at midday, interspersed with enough rainy days to encourage us to enjoy lovely comfort food in front of the fire, celebrating the filling reservoirs and the new life in the garden. The dams are still not full enough for us to relax our cautious use of water, but the improvement is encouraging. Life treats us well, but there are many who share our corner of Africa but cannot share in the same delights. Winter often brings hardship, flooded homes, severe discomfort. So, while we enjoy the many benefits we have earned, we should always be aware of the other side of life and help where we can to make things better. Politicians have made promises for many years while they have made very comfortable lives for themselves. Fulfilling the promises and improving the lives of their constituents would make many more people happy to live here. We all need to strive to make this country better for everyone who lives here

We’ve come to the end of this year’s Iberian escapade stories. If you’d like to catch up on them, you can see them here

Den Anker in the V&A Waterfront has a winter special which runs until the end of September, which you might like to try. They invited us to sample it this week. A nice touch is that R10 from each meal is donated to the Elundini School in Dunoon

Waking up early on Winter mornings is difficult; you want to sleep longer, but you have to address the day. We like a lie-in at least once a week and we realised that we could then go out and have someone else cook us breakfast. Café ExtraBlatt in Main Road, Green Point was our choice this week

A new restaurant in Cape Town, called Bao Down, sounded as though it is just what we love, so we booked a table for four on Sunday; they have a special menu each Sunday. You don't choose the food, they do and they change it every week. Bao Down chef Graham Oldfield has worked for Liam Tomlin at the Chefs Warehouse as Head Chef and absolutely loves the clear flavours of Chinese, Japanese and Korean food. He has opened the restaurant with Philippa, his wife, who was a caterer, at 3 Vredehoek Road, just behind the Gardens Centre, above town. It is around the corner from Marika's

Another media invitation this week to taste a winter special in the V&A Waterfront, this time at Gibson’s. Since we were last there, they have moved downstairs to a waterfront position, with lots of space and roll-out roof covering in case of inclement weather

What’s on the MENU this week. Blue Cheese, Bacon and Broccoli Pasta     An easy pasta dish with lots of flavour. You can use the pasta of your choice: penne, or shells, macaroni or fusilli. It even works on spaghetti. But make sure you use good Italian pasta. Try not to overcook the broccoli or it will go a nasty grey. It, too, should be a bit al dente. If you leave off the bacon, it will be suitable for vegetarians. The pasta we used was fusillata, the pasta which is supposed to hold the most sauce

200g pasta - 250g small broccoli florets - 2 Tbsp olive oil – 6 pieces of streaky bacon cut into 3 cm slices - a good handful of lightly chopped walnuts – 1 clove of garlic, sliced thin - 100g creamy blue cheese, gorgonzola, dolcelatte, nothing too strong, cut into small cubes - zest of one lemon – juice of half a lemon – freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta in well salted water until al dente; Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a deep frying pan and fry the bacon till crisp; remove and keep aside. Add the walnuts to the pan and fry gently for one minute; add them to the bacon. When the pasta is nearly ready, steam the broccoli for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the garlic for a few seconds till soft. Do not discard the pasta water. Take the pasta out with a slotted spoon and stir it into the oil with the broccoli, the bacon, the walnuts and the lemon zest. Then add the blue cheese. Moisten the dish with a tablespoon or two of the pasta water to create a sauce, and stir until the cheese begins to melt and coats the pasta. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and serve immediately. Serves 4

This is a fairly robust dish because of the blue cheese, which can have a slightly metallic note. We think that a Viognier, unwooded or very lightly wooded, makes the perfect companion wine. Its notes of peaches, citrus and slight sweetness are the perfect foil. We had it with Saronsberg’s excellent Viognier. It’s a dry white wine with a slight fruity sweetness, which is exactly what this dish called out for, and its fresh acidity cleans the palate. It is our Wine of the Week

MENU’s Wine of the Week. Saronsberg Viognier from Tulbagh, made by skilled winemaker Dewaldt Heyns, has hints of fynbos flora, peaches, apricots, honey and summer grass on the nose, rich on the palate with white peaches, limes and lemons with some caramel hints from the toasted wood and great fresh acidity to cut through complex dishes. 
It’s a dry wine with a slight fruity sweetness. 40% wild yeast fermentation and the new wine is evenly divided for maturation between 1st, 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, adding structure. No malolactic fermentation is allowed, to keep it fresh

12th July 2018

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© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2018
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Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169

Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005

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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