120607 Main Ingredient's Menu - Expressions of Tulbagh & Robertson, Hartenberg Shiraz & Charcuterie, Tokara, De Grendel, Cassoulet, events, restaurant specials, courses, products, markets
1 MENU Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal Gourmet Foods, Ingredients & Fine Wines Eat In Guide’s Outstanding Outlet Award Winner from 2006 to 2010 www.mainingredient.biz - http://www.adamastorbacchus.com/ Click here to Subscribe to MENU or to contact us Click on underlined and Bold words to open links to pictures, blogs, websites or more information A twilight view across Table Bay to the TygerbergIn this week’s MENU: • Products • Our market activities • Tulbagh & Robertson at the Taj • Hartenberg Shiraz & Charcuterie • Tokara dinner • Soup, Sip & Bread at De Grendel • Events and Restaurant specials • Wine courses & cooking classesProducts We have a new range of tangy French mustards, Cornichons (small Frenchgherkins, and two delicious new French vinegars: Provence herbs and Shallot. We haveother winter delights in stock, especially ready to heat and eat duck confit andtraditional French cassoulets and pot au feu. For those and any other products youneed, you can access our product list and see pictures in our website. If you can’t findwhat you need, let us know and we will try to find it for you. Until our online shop isready, drop us an email and we will help you. We are very happy to see that traffic onour website is increasing and more orders are coming from it.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing thethings we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderfulgourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients anddelicious ready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or throughour website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.Our market activities Come and visit us at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, excitingand atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturdaybetween 09h00 and 14h00. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking.Click here for a map. We will be back at Long Beach Mall tomorrow, Friday 8th Junefrom 09h00 to 16h00. We look forward to seeing you there.We have had a marvellous week, if madly hectic, and have been very overfed.Expressions of... at the Taj Hotel Thursday evening saw us at the Taj Hotel forthe tasting of wines from the Robertson and Tulbagh areas and there were some gems.As usual, we started with whites and then moved on to the reds. Dewetshof was ourstarting point with their chardonnays, the star being the Bateleur. From there, wemoved to Springfield Wild Yeast chardonnay, and Life from Stone sauvignon, both oldfavourites. There was a large number of very good wines and some of those we alsoenjoyed were Lemberg Pinotage from Tulbagh (it’s a rare event when Lynne likes apinotage), Rijk’s Chenin blanc, Fraai Uitzicht Merlot, Graham Beck Brut blanc de blancs,Saronsberg’s Brut MCC and Dewetshof Pinot Noir. We then went through to Mintrestaurant, where we had some of the wines paired with food from Fraai Uitzichtrestaurant. See the blog for pictures and details of what we ate. They will be openthis weekend for the Wacky Wine Weekend, which began today, but then they will closefor a couple of weeks so they can go overseas. A great time was had by all; these veryfriendly food, wine and fun filled evenings are something you should not miss. The nextone is on the 28th of June and the theme will be Expressions of Stellenbosch Berg,Banhoek & the Helderberg and the Guest Chef will be Janice Anderson of 96 WineryRoad.On Saturday we had a lovely Beef Bourguignon at a friend’s and the dessert was awicked Black Forest cake from Cassis – these must be the best cakes in Cape Town. Dogo and try one if you have a special occasion, or even if you don’t. They should comewith a health warning though – quite amazing quality and full of all the most decadentingredients.Hartenberg Shiraz and Charcuterie Festival We packed up like mad demons atthe Biscuit Mill on Saturday so we could rush through to Hartenberg for the tail-end ofthe Shiraz and Charcuterie Festival. We got the last dribble from many bottles, missedone or two and had some seriously good charcuterie from Richard Bosman, Steve Jeffery(The Charcuterie) and Neil Jewell from Bread & Wine at Moreson in Franschhoek – and,of course, could not resist buying a French cheese, an Amour de Brillat from LodineMaske of Fromages de France in Franschhoek. Lynne re-tasted and fell in love all overagain with Hartenberg’s The Stork and really liked the Tamboerskloof. We then satoutside with our friends and ate and tasted a few more of these lovely wines. This is areally great festival to visit in the middle of the winter. Photographs here.Tokara As we were in Stellenbosch and had to drive back, Lynne decided to treatJohn to dinner at Tokara, always one of our favourite places. It was not very busy thatevening - it seems most of you were at home watching the Stormers beat the Bulls (werecorded the match to watch later). Richard Carstens is a wizard with food, turningquite simple ingredients into superbly matched plates of food with texture, colour,flavour, counterpoint, surprise and excitement. We ordered our dishes and Richard sentus samples of others, so we left feeling very full and satisfied. See the photos anddescriptions of the food we ate and then make a booking to go there soon, so you toocan sample these dishes. He says he is over molecular gastronomy and is doing veryinteresting things like cooking with dry aged carrots so that they taste like roast meat.
3Soup, Sip and Bread at De Grendel We overslept on Sunday because of all thecharging around we had done the previous week, but made it to De Grendel for theirSoup, Sip and Bread menu at 12h30. It was the most glorious Cape winter day, bright andsunny and warm with a tiny nip in the air and the air was like champagne, it almostbubbles – the sort of day people in the drab north don’t believe we have in winter.Today, we have the counterpoint: 40mm so far. We have said it before but the viewfrom the terrace where we had lunch must be one of the best views found on any winefarm, taking in Robben Island, the bay and splendid Table Mountain, with the city at itsfeet. We watched the ships and yachts jostling for position in the bay and ate a lovelylunch. This is the first time we have eaten at their new restaurant; we have to return totry the normal, very varied, à la carte menu soon. Soup Sip and Bread is another “not tomiss” festival each year and Durbanville is only half an hour’s drive from the city. Someof the farms did simple food at very affordable prices, others like De Grendel did awhole menu of “soups”. Pictures here.How to make a winner There are a few competitions around which one can winwith the best casserole or dish. If you want to make a winning dish, do what chefs do,try to build up layers and layers of flavour in your pot. Do use a mirepoix - a base offinely chopped onion, celery, and carrot which you then sweat off in some oil and/orbutter. Do use a bouquet garni; a small parcel of fresh herbs, conventionally parsleyleaves and stalks, thyme, rosemary or chervil all wrapped in a bay leaf or two and tiedin some string so you can fish it out later when the dish is ready. Then it is essential touse good stock, not just flavour cubes that contain mostly MSG or hydrolysed vegetableprotein and none of what they purport to be: Chicken stock must have chicken in it,ditto all the other flavours. Don’t forget to taste and adjust your seasoning at the end.We have been asked many times recently for a recipe and, as John has a sore throat thisweek, Lynne decided to spoil him with one, but we didn’t have any duck. It is very easyto make once you have done your prep. This was made mostly from our store cupboardand freezer as we buy Toulouse sausages (soft and chunky pork, garlic and herbsausages) whenever we see them as they are like hens teeth. These came fromJoostenberg, Rudi does some good ones and we do know other makers you can orderfrom. We hear that they might soon appear in supermarkets, but we don’t know when.The courgettes are not traditional but Lynne was trying to cram in another healthyvegetable. You can soak and then cook your beans the day before but using tinned beansis easy and gives the lovely creamy texture cassoulet needs. Use white haricot, notbutter beans, which impart a bitter taste to the cassoulet.Cassoulet sans Quack1 large onion, finely chopped – 1 carrot, finely chopped – 1 stick of celery, finelychopped – 2 courgettes, finely chopped - 1 T olive oil – ½ t salt - 2 leg pork chops, cutinto cubes – 4 Toulouse sausages, cut into 3 to 4 cm pieces – 3 cloves of garlic, chopped –1 bouquet garni - 500 ml good chicken stock – 2 tins of white haricot beans – 4 T tomatopassata or chopped tomatoIn an stovetop casserole (like le Creuset), fry the onion, celery, carrot and courgette inthe oil and a little salt until soft, then add the meat and sausages and seal. Add thegarlic, bouquet garni, stock and the beans and tomato passata. Bring to a simmer thencover with the lid and put into a slow oven at 160°C for at least three to four hours.Take out the bouquet garni and discard. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding pepperand more salt if necessary. For the luxury version, tuck in some confit of duck about anhour from the end. You can also add lamb, smoked or belly pork and/or chicken. It isthe beans and the garlicky sausages that make it a cassoulet, all the others are optionaland regional.So if you want to try making your own cassoulet, we have duck confit in tins for you,whole legs (thigh and drumstick) preserved in duck fat, which you can then use for duckfat potatoes. Prices are: 2 legs R165 and 4/5 legs R300.
If you work out that buying and cooking a local duck would probably cost you nearly R95to get the two legs, the duck fat included in the tin makes this quite a good price andsaves you the effort. We can get you (on order) the correct dried white beans fromFrance as well. If you don’t want to go to the trouble, we can help there as well. A jarof French ready-made cassoulet containing duck and all the above will cost you R190 forthe 410g size and R300 for the 820g sizeTaste of the Helderberg As this is being sent, we are on our way to the LordCharles in Somerset West to enjoy the Taste of the Helderberg. We are very grateful toAnnareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes for arranging transport for us anda few other wine and food people, allowing us to enjoy the tasting without guilt.Food and wine (and a few other) events for you to enjoyThere is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy yourleisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do inour world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for whichwe have information. To help you choose an event to visit, click on our EventsCalendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number ofexciting events to entertain you right through the year. Click here to access theCalendar. You will need to be connected to the internet.Learn about wine and cooking We have had a lot of enquiries from people whowant to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both runwine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can seedetails here.Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of theirclasses can be seen here. Pete Ayub, who makes our very popular Prego sauce, runsevening cooking classes at Sense of Taste, his catering company in Maitland. We canrecommend them very highly, having enjoyed his seafood course. Check his programmehere.Restaurant Special offers. Some more restaurants have responded to our requestfor an update of their special offers and we have, therefore, updated our list ofrestaurant special offers. Click here to access it. These Specials have been sent to usby the restaurants or their PR agencies. We have not personally tried all of them andtheir listing here should not always be taken as a recommendation from ourselves. Ifthey don’t update us, we can’t be responsible for any inaccuracies in the list. When wehave tried it, we’ve put in our observations. We have cut out the flowery adjectives etc.that so many have sent, to give you the essentials. Click on the name to access therelevant website. All communication should be with the individual restaurants.Winter is coming in with a bang, but we can still expect some wonderfulclear and sunny days. Make the most of them and enjoy a picnic on a wine farm;several wine farms offer picnic facilities. We have put together a list of wine farms whocan provide you with a picnic, We haven’t put in much detail, just where it is, phonenumber, email address and a link to the website. The latter is where you will find all theimportant information. Go and check it out.17th May 2012Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, ifyou’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check ourproduct list for details and prices. PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information