120419 main ingredient’s menu wine tastings, kleine zalze at the winchester, spinach & ricotta gnocchi verdi, taste of cape town, products, our market activities, wine courses, events and restaurants
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 different kind of bird: A Bell Huey collecting water to fight a fire on Signal Hill todayIn this week’s MENU: • Products • Our market activities • Wine tastings: TVM, Ultra • Kleine Zalze pairing dinner , Harveys at the Winchester • Spinach and Ricotta “Gnocchi Verdi” with Tomato and Parmesan Cream • Taste of Cape Town • Wine courses, Events and RestaurantsProducts We’ve had a number of requests for Asian, especially Thai products, sowe’ve brought back a few which had disappeared from our product list, Tamarind pastein a jar, Sambal Oelek, Shrimp paste and a different sweet soy sauce (Ketjap manis forIndonesian fans). For those and any other products you need, you can access our productlist and see pictures in our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and wewill try to find it for you. Until our online shop is ready, drop us an email and we willhelp you. We are very happy to see that traffic on our website is increasing and moreorders are coming from it.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the thingswe write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmetfoods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and deliciousready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or through ourwebsite. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.Our market activities We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting andatmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturdaybetween 09h00 and 14h00 , and we will be back at Long Beach Mall on Friday 27thApril from 09h00 to 16h00, for our South Peninsula friends.Tracy van Maaren Tasting A good trade wine tasting at Auslese in Hope Streetyesterday (pictures here) of wines distributed by Tracy van Maaren. Auslese is thetasting venue of Harold Bresselschmidt’s nearby Aubergine Restaurant. Harold had donetwo food pairings for wine on each table, see the blog for pictures and details. Westarted with Pol Roger bubbly, a rather lightweight Chablis and a Bourgogne Pinot Noirthat didn’t shine as much as the local ones on show. Then on to taste John Loubser’sown 2009 Silverthorn The Green Man, lean mean, crisp and interesting MCC and his NVThe Genie Brut Rosé, made from Shiraz. (John is the Cellarmaster at Steenberg). KleineZalze had three wines, all of which cried out for food and, serendipitously, we have hadthem matched with food today at the Winchester Mansions – see below. Their wonderfulVineyard Selection 2011 Chenin is rich and complex and many layered. Their classic 2009Cabernet Sauvignon should be used as the benchmark for teaching students what aCabernet grape should taste like when made into wine, as it is a very true expression ofwhat the grape can do. Their Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc made from Elim, Stanfordand other bought in grapes is really lovely and shows no influences of hot climatesauvignon. Vin’s D’Orrance 2011 Simply White (Chenin Viognier) and 2010 Simply Red(Cab Franc, Cab, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Merlot, were interesting, but more interestingwas the 2008 Cuvée Ameena Shiraz which was sophisticated, soft and ready to drinknow. The Raats Family wines blew us away, starting with the many layered very elegant2009 Chenin Blanc, which goes off in the mouth like a firecracker and then cries “NOWEAT!”. The Red Jasper 2010 has fruit flavours jam-packed into the bottle and ends witha lovely long salty licorice. Then came the long and lean Dolomite Cabernet Franc 2010,with incredibly intense flavours of hot cassis and more salty licorice. The flagshipMvemve Raats 2009 De Compostella, this year mainly Cabernet Franc, with Petit Verdot,Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet sauvignon, has had enormous accolades and the previousvintage was awarded 96 points by Neil Martin for the Wine Advocate and was RobertParker’s highest scoring South African wine in November 2011. It has a verysophisticated nose, is already soft and ready to drink but filled with class, fruit, acids,tannins and we think will definitely be one worth adding to your cellar for futurehappiness.Vriesenhof showed their smoky green leaf 2011 Chardonnay which has layers and layersof good fruit and then a surprising end with flavours of vanilla ice cream. Absolutelydelicious and just the style we should be making. Their Pinot Noir is full of berry fruitson the nose and palate, lots of alcohol and then finishes with echoes of those long fruitflavours. The Pinotage is one for Pinotage fans, showing typical Pinot noir strawberryfruit with a rich, rounded, toasty vanilla base.Why do we leave the best till last and then find she has already run out of wine? Nextyear we will be sure to taste first. Luckily Cathy Marshall managed to find us anotherbottle of her Pinot Noir, so we were able to enjoy a final tasting of this notable PinotNoir and her very approachable Amatra Merlot 2011 soft and sweet Merlot, made fordrinking now. It has absolutely no stalky green flavours, or mint or eucalyptus.Ultra Trade Tasting Have you wandered into a bottle liquor store like Ultra andseen all the special wines like their Table Bay and Secret Cellar range and wonderedwhat they taste like. We do buy the odd bottle to take home and try and sometimesthey are good, and sometimes not. So what a treat to be asked to taste them all, to see
3what the current wines are like (they do change through the year). Mark Norrish, whoruns the wine buying for Ultra, has lately been successful in sourcing some rather goodwines and they are being sold at prices from R25 for whites to R54.99 for an MCC.However their source is a huge secret and he will not divulge any clues. Another wineretailer queried whether the farms are being justly rewarded for these wines and onehas to point out that, while we are still in a recession, there are an awful lot of farmswho simply cannot sell their wines and they need space in their cellars to contain thenew wines they have just produced in this year’s harvest, so they might be grateful tomove them. There are many good value wines out there if you look. There is a very goodimported French range of sparkling wines Veuve de France, which we have been drinkingall summer; priced at R34.95 you can pop a bottle at the drop of a hat. The Brut hasbeen our choice up to now but we were very impressed with the Rosé. The Demi-secmight make a very good ‘Champagne’ jelly or cocktail but, while it is not to our taste, itmight be yours. There are two white wines in the Table Bay range: a 2010 Chenin and a2011 Sauvignon blanc, priced at R29.99, a rather bloody and lactic Merlot and a verygood classic Cabernet Sauvignon, full of berries, licorice and wild flavours, priced atR32.99. Ultra have three Method Cap Classiques, The Table Bay at R54.99 – crisp andappley; the Secret Cellar MCC Brut which is elegant, but with a little fruity sweetness atR49.99 and the MCC Blanc de Blanc 2007, our favourite with lovely buttered toast nose,crisp golden colour with brisk bubbles – a huge bargain at R49.99. This wine was a WineMagazine Top 10 finalist. Nice to see if you can work out which one it might be, we haveour candidate... We liked the Secret Cellar Merlot 2009 and think that this is a good foodwine, possibly still with some age to come, but we absolutely loved the Shiraz Reserve2007 which is full of fruit, very soft and appealing. These reds sell for R29.99! They alsohave a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, full of tinned asparagus at R25.99 and a 2007 Cabernetwhich we found had a rather bitter end. Finally if you need real French Champagne, trythe NV Bonnaire Brut at R169, and the Brut Rosé at R239. They are good, but we do haveMCC’s available of at least equal quality. They also have a Don Simon Sangria at 39.99for 1.5 litres, which might have been great for the summer but Mark suggests you mightuse this as a base for gluhwein by heating it in the winter. We tasted it mixed with theinexpensive French bubbly and believe it would make a very refreshing sundowner.Winchester Mansions Gourmet Grapes & Gallery dinners We were invitedtoday by Nils Hecksher, the General Manager of the Winchester Mansions Hotel to join apre-tasting and wine pairing lunch with Kleine Zalze wines in their Harvey’s restaurant.This was to assess the menu pairings for their very exciting Grapes, Gourmet and Gallerydinner on Wednesday, June 6th matched with 6 Kleine Zalze wines. These dinners areheld every month, prepared by the hotel’s Executive Chef Jochen Riedel, and cost avery reasonable R345 per person for a five course meal with matched wines from thatmonth’s selected winery. They will use the Chenin Blanc as their welcoming wine andfollow with the delicious first course of a fresh and warm glass of pea soup with a softconfit Norwegian Salmon served with the Family Reserve Sauvignon Blanc. The nextcourse is Cinnamon smoked (in house) Chicken with poached pears, roasted walnuts,garden leaves and a vanilla blue cheese crème fraiche, served with the 2010 Pinot Noir.If you can get all the flavours on one fork, a superb mouthful. The pears poached in redwine work very well with the cinnamon, the chicken and the wine. Then a perfectlycooked Osso Bucco on a delicious saffron risotto with gremolata, served with the 2009Cabernet which we so loved at the TVM tasting yesterday. How well this winecomplimented the food and vice versa. The soft veal, the aromatic risotto, the deep anddelicious jus and the herby garlic gremolata were outstanding with this classic Cabernet.The fourth course is a fillet of pork rolled in rough cumin and black pepper, served witha shallot jus, a Brussels sprout-sized serving of stuffed cabbage and a tiny interestingtartlet of white chocolate and avocado cheesecake in the most buttery short pastry casewe have had for a long time, that went ‘poof’ and melted when you bit into it. The juryis out on the sweetness of the white chocolate but some tasting around the tablethought it matched the wine well, others (us!) felt it needed a more salty note. Thespices and the pork went superbly well with the 2010 Shiraz Mourvedre Viognier 2010.
We had a short pause, a spoonful of a lovely lemon lime sorbet to refresh our palatesand then it was time for dessert. Surprisingly they served the Gamay Noir Rosé 2011 withthe Berry compote Pavlova and what an unexpected, but excellent, match that is. Thefruit in the wine clearly complemented the berries in the Pavlova and cuts through thecream and the crisp and melting meringue, which is not too cloyingly sweet. The menuwill also include filter coffee or tea to finish and we think this is going to be a wonderfuloccasion to attend. Get your booking in soon, we think it is going to be very wellattended. See here for pictures.LOW CARB DIET CONTINUES We have had a look at recipes which we havepublished previously, to see if there are any that are fairly low in carbohydrates. If youare missing pasta, this is a very good substitution because it looks and tastes like apasta, but is mainly vegetable and cheese. This recipe contains 1 tablespoon of flour,which equals 5.4 gm of carbohydrate. There are 16 gm of carbs in the tinned tomatoes,so 4 gm per serving. It feeds four people as a starter, so you will get a quarter of that ineach serving, not a heavy load. We would encourage you to use the very best quality andfreshest ricotta cheese you can find, it so improves the recipe. And please do use realbaby spinach, not Swiss chard. Chard works but does not give such light and fluffygnocchi. The trick as usual, is to handle the gnocchi as little as possible. This is a starterfor 4 or a main course for 2 or 3.Spinach and Ricotta “Gnocchi Verdi” with Tomato and Parmesan Cream 500 gm Spinach – 200 gm fresh ricotta – grating of nutmeg – salt and pepper – 1 egg 45 gm grated Parmesan – 1 T flourWash the spinach and cook in salted water till wilted. Drain well & squeeze tillabsolutely dry, then place in a food processor with the ricotta, seasoning and nutmeg;blend quickly and gently. Softly mix in egg, parmesan and flour. Chill then, using twoteaspoons, shape into gnocchi quenelles. Use them immediately or cover with cling filmand use within a couple of hours. Keeping them longer will dry them out.Tomato Sauce: 800g tinned tomatoes – Salt and pepper – 2 cloves garlic, chopped – 100ml creamPut all into a pan, bring to the boil and reduce for 10 minutes, then add the cream andblitz with your wand blender. Taste and season. If you must and your tomatoes are notripe, soften the acidity with a little sugar.Parmesan Cream: 250ml cream – 150ml finely grated parmesan. Mix together in a jug.Boil a pot of well salted water, and when it is simmering nicely, gently drop the gnocchiinto the water. Remove it as soon as it comes to the surface and drain.Take small individual serving dishes; ladle 2–3 T of tomato sauce into each. Put in 3 to 5(depends how large you made them!) gnocchi in each, pour over the same amount ofparmesan cream. Grate extra parmesan on top. Put into a preheated 180ºC oven forabout 10 minutes until bubbling and the cheese starts to colour. You can cook these inone large casserole dish. You will need to increase the timing but wait until the cheeseis bubbling and starting to colour. Serve and eat at once.HOW TO CONFIT IN CONVECTION OVENS We succeeded in confiting our salmonfillets in the convection microwave combination oven (ours is an LG) and can report thatif you follow the instructions, you too can get it to work. You must have an oven timerthat can stay in the oven while you are cooking. Look in good Cooks’ shops. Ours costabout R65. We discovered that when the oven was set to 50 degrees the salmon didn’tconfit because the actual temperature was not at 50 degrees. Lynne discovered byexperimentation that by setting our oven to 90°C, the actual oven temperatureregistered the perfect 55 degrees. So you will also need to experiment before you put inyour salmon. The dish and the oil you cook in must also have reached 55 degrees beforeyou put in the salmon. Then keep to the 14 minutes cooking time that Raymond Blancrecommends, but do watch the fish. Do marinate it before you cook it to get some
5flavour into it. When it starts to flake, it is ready but it must still look as though it isuncooked. We did not need as much oil as we used, we almost covered the fillets, so wethink you could use a lot less and just generously coat the fish. Good luck. In theory thisshould also apply to meat, but there could be issues with heat and microbes so do govery carefully. We think it is a step too far.Taste of Cape Town is an event which foodies in this part of the world look forwardto every year. This year, it will take place in the venue which was so successful lastyear, next to the Stadium in Green Point. In earlier years, Taste of Cape Town was onschool sports fields, in Camps Bay, Tamboerskloof and in Mowbray, all of which hadadvantages and some disadvantages. Cams Bay had the most wonderful views over theAtlantic, Tamboerskloof was on the upper slopes of Signal Hill, with attendantaccessibility and parking problems and Mowbray was a good venue which, somehow,lacked the pizzazz of the previous venues. Green Point, with its Stadium, parks andother amenities is brilliantly situated, with its Fan Walk and access to public transport aswell as good parking facilities, so we are very happy to see it return. Click here to readall about the fun you can have this here and here to get an idea of the fun we had inthe last few years. We went this evening; click here to see a selection of photographs.There was a huge crowd, but it never seemed to be too crowded; we had loads of funand some brilliant food.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 list for Apriland beyond. All the events are listed in date order and we already have exciting eventsto entertain you right through the year. Click here to access the list. You will need tobe connected to the internet.We have had a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine.Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run courses, some very serious andothers more geared to fun. You can see details here.Some restaurants have responded to our request for an update of their special offers andwe have, therefore, updated our list of restaurant special offers. Click here to accessit. These Specials have been sent to us by the restaurants or their PR agencies. We havenot personally tried all of them and their listing here should not always be taken as arecommendation from ourselves. If they don’t update us, we can’t be responsible forany inaccuracies in the list. When we have tried it, we’ve put in our observations. Wehave cut out the flowery adjectives etc. that so many have sent, to give you theessentials. Click on the name to access the relevant website. All communication shouldbe with the individual restaurants.Summer time is picnic time and several wine farms offer picnic facilities. We haveput together a list of wine farms who can provide you with a picnic, We haven’t put inmuch detail, just where it is, phone number, email address and a link to the website.The latter is where you will find all the important information. Go and check it out.19th April 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