Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Father's Day lunch from Overture

So what is better than going to a top restaurant in Stellenbosch at the moment and sitting miles away from everyone else? Well, how about getting the chef to deliver Sunday lunch to you himself! Lynne ordered from Overture for Father’s Day and Bertus Basson came with the delivery himself

So nice to see him, we had a quick chat and then he was off doing other deliveries on the Atlantic Seaboard and in town. 
Ciabatta rolls, butter, Twice baked cheese souffles, Dry aged Sirloin steak, crispy potatoes, caramelised onion, confit garlic, fantastic looking vegetables, rubs, herbs, sauces followed by Sticky Toffee Pudding and treacle sugar Ice cream and custard for dessert. And very little cooking required. All for only R545 for two, including delivery..
We prepared the three course meal, followed Chef Bertus Basson's concise and easy instructions and photographed each course as it was ready. And we drank a stupendous bottle of Jordan Cobblers Hill 2008, a classic blend of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc with Merlot, with it. Thank you Gary Jordan and Kathy
The only thing that was out of kilter was our damned gas oven. It needs a service. The starter was twice baked, light as air cheese soufflés in a rich Huguenot cheese sauce, with tiny Jerusalem artichokes, almost mistaken for asparagus spears. These were a revelation and so different from the large gnarly blobs you normally get. They are the corm of a sunflower, and have a lovely nutty flavour. The small dish is more artichoke, sliced, in a light gastrique, which completely offset the richness of the soufflés. At the back are the ciabatta rolls and whipped butter. They meant we could soak up all that delicious cheese sauce. An excellent start
The steak was a large slab of sirloin, sadly without any fat left on it. It looked so lustrously pink, it could have been mistaken for a prime piece of tuna. It had to be coated in a supplied spice rub and seared on all sides in very hot pan, then the caramelised onions, confit garlic, herbs and butter were added for 10 minutes in the oven. And then rested for 10 minutes. 
Lynne aimed for medium rare and nearly got it. The pan juices were wicked, the meat flavour was excellent. On the left is the green peppercorn sauce, then the whole cauliflower with capers, sultanas and almonds which was roasted for 30 minutes, and on the right, the crispy potatoes - had we more room we could have consumed a bucket of them. And, in the front, the sour cream and chives (She did sprinkle a few more from our garden on the top). She thinks that the dish did need a green vegetable, but it was so filling that we don't think we could have managed more. Lynne had the remains of her steak on a sandwich at lunchtime. The wine from our cellar was really spectacular and such a good pairing. The much awarded @Jordan 2008 Cobblers Hill, blended especially for Woolworths. It was so ready to be enjoyed. Green herbs and cassis leaves on the nose with berries and cigar smoke. A mouth full of rich fruit with a touch of umami. Cherry, mulberry, cassis, and nice chalky tannins. some warmth and on the end salty licorice.
We did wait an hour before we could manage dessert, which was a rich sticky toffee pudding accompanied by treacle sugar ice cream and a good custard. Lynne topped them with the almonds. And we were groaning for a while afterwards, so unused to three courses are we now. 

Thank you so much Bertus Basson you did us proud. What a wonderful way to celebrate Father’s Day, the only downside being that Clare had to be locked down in her home, so that we had to make do with a phone conversation.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Food Fanatics “the French affair” Saturday Pop up lunch from The Homestead

Elaine Rousseau of Food Fanatics caterers works out of her restaurant and functions centre, The Homestead, in Constantia Main Road in Wynberg. It is a very beautiful 200 year old venue with marvellous gardens. Like most restaurants and caterers, they have been hit during the Covid 19 lock down and have been selling food on line for collection or delivery. https://foodfanatics.co.za/ Have a look at their website to see what is on offer. They will be bringing The Homestead Pop-Up experience to your home. 
Sadly, it turns out that she and her wife should have been flying off this week to France to visit Paris, the Loire and other lovely French areas; A trip which was cancelled because of the virus. So they decided to do A Taste of the Homestead pop-up with a French theme this past weekend and invited us to come and collect a double pack to try. They do these things on a regular basis, and the next one you can order will be for Father’s Day. We can say without reservation that it was a gastronomic experience well worth doing
SO, for the first time since lock up, we set off on a long journey from Sea Point to collect our pack. We drove the beautiful way, along the Atlantic coast past Camps Bay, Llandudno, Hout Bay and Constantia. Fully masked on arrival, we stood in the garden at a good distance and chatted to Elaine. The last time we were here was on the 4th of March with our wine club for a wine tasting and supper afterwards; just before things got serious.
Elaine Rousseau in her domain. She is a very talented chef
This is the back of the restaurant and they put up bigger marquees on this lawn for weddings and parties
The numbers of party guests will have to be smaller at first but they will be back to doing functions as soon as they can 
We drank a glass of Dainty Bess Rosé MCC from Jane Eedes to celebrate seeing each other again
Such a lovely rosé, fresh strawberry raspberry fruit and great mousse
The magnificent and very enviable vegetable garden, she uses the produce in the restaurant
Lemons from her trees
A vegetable you don't often see, Cavolo Nero from Italy, black cabbage
Our box for two. You take this home and another carrier bag filled with lovely treats
We were also gifted a bottle of Rousseau Sacharia Sauvignon Blanc made by her brother Andre
It went extremely well with the food. You can purchase it through Elaine
A delivery note. As you can see from this there is also always a vegetarian option
Wall art!
As soon as we got home, we took everything out of the box and put it on our outside table
to show you what a superb selection you get for R290 per person
This is for two, so would cost R580
Very authentic Paté de Campagne, with good flavour and some pistachio nuts in it, with a mustard dressing,
tiny cornichon gherkins, pickled onions and a lovely apricot chutney
The main course of slow braised Chicken à la Normande just had to be popped into the oven for 20 minutes. Two very large cuisses of chicken (leg and thigh) in a superb onion, apple cider, brandy, cream and mustard sauce. This was so large that Lynne had to have hers over two days. It was accompanied by fried apple slices which so offset the richness of the sauce. This took us right back to the wonderful food of Normandy, And the Sacharia Sauvignon Blanc sang with this dish
Pain d'Epi (Wheat stalk bread) with tarragon butter to go with the Paté
Sage and Black pepper savoury Madeleines, light as air and just as good savoury as sweet
To accompany the main course was the star of the show, a French onion, Gruyère cheese and thyme Galette
A galette is a sort of pancake from Brittany, this had flaky crisp pastry, with an oozy cheese and onion filling, so rich, so divine
We had quarter each, and more the next night. 15 minutes in the oven 
The vegetable dish was Puy Lentil salad with roast new potatoes, fine beans, green onions and crisp radishes
We did remove the potatoes and popped them in the oven to warm for a few minutes
There was also a mixed leaf and herb Country salad with baby beets, and a thick Dijon dressing
And dessert was amazing. Two huge (and we do mean huge) Paris Brest choux pastry rounds,
topped with almonds and a white chocolate crumble. Inside was a light coffee flavoured crème patissière, and Chantilly cream
Lynne had to cut hers into quarters, it was so rich and wicked, as a whole one is too much after such a large meal
Great the next day as well
There were the cocktails to make first. With instructions supplied. All you had to do was add your favourite gin
And just the sort of cocktail Lynne loves, nice and sour, with lots of flavour and not huge
Basil, lemon and gin make a superb partnership
We have basil in the garden, always, so this might become habit forming. We even have a lemon syrup....
We didn’t use ice, why water down gin? Our gin is kept in our wine fridge, but you might like to ice it
Thank you Elaine for this wonderful meal
and for giving us a story to tell after nearly three months of silence!