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120405 main ingredient’s menu products, our market activities, expressions dinner at the taj, vanilla, la mouette, a night at the chapmans peak hotel, 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 The Sentinel & Hout Bay from the pool deck, Chapman’s Peak hotelIn this week’s MENU: Products Our market activities Expressions dinner at the Taj Vanilla La Mouette A night at the Chapmans Peak HotelProducts We have had numerous enquiries from people who read this newsletter,asking which markets we attend and what products we sell. To make this information,which has always been near the end, more easily accessible, we have moved theseparagraphs to the top. New this week is a range of Spanish sherry vinegars, solera agedfor four and eight years, in addition to the less expensive sherry vinegars we havestocked before. These are still available, as are the real Spanish paella rice and smokedpaprika. For those and any other products you need, you can access our product list andsee pictures in our website. If you can’t find what you need, let us know and we will tryto find it for you. Until our online shop is ready, drop us an email and we will help you.
We are very happy to see that traffic on our website is increasing and more orders arecoming 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. Do contact usif there is something you cant find, we may be able to help.Our market activities We will be at the Old Biscuit Mill’s brilliant, exciting andatmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday (Easter) and everySaturday between 09h00 and 14h00, and we will be back at Long Beach Mall on luckyFriday, 13th April for our South Peninsula friends.Another of the Expressions of... regional wine and food tastings with dinnerwas held last Thursday at the Taj hotel’s Mint restaurant, this time featuring the winesof Elgin, Lamberts Bay & Cederberg, cooler climate areas, with the food of GordonManuel from The Venue at South Hill wine estate in Elgin. We had a fairly rapid tastingof the wines before dinner and especially liked the Elgin Vintners new release SauvignonBlanc Semillon blend, The Century 2011 – the perfect wine for celebrations. PaulCluver’s Riesling Close Encounter 2011 was very Germanic in style, attractive and full oflight honey and low in turpene flavours. South Hill’s very reasonable Cabernet rosé isone we will be ordering this year and the Radford Dale Pinot Noir was knockout;completely fruit driven and very Burgundian in style and not at all heavy and dark. Thenwelcomed into dinner with a glass of Elgin Ridge Sauvignon blanc with great company asthe winemakers and markets join you, we ate very well. Pictures can be seen here.Our first course of poached pears and gorgonzola, walnuts and candid beetroot pureewas served with Iona Viognier 09. The next course was truly magnificent and verydelicious. We don’t often eat chicken at restaurants but this Elgin free range chickencooked en Papillote was served on a wild mushroom and truffle risotto and had beenperfectly cooked: crisp skin on the outside and falling off the bone. We had two winespaired with the lovely dish and there was much debate about which of them bestmatched. We voted for the Thelema Sutherland Viognier Roussanne 09 but the RadfordDale Freedom Pinot Noir 2010 was a very, very close second. The next course was Beeffillet poached in red wine on a rather sweet smoked potato puree with vanilla infusedbaby vegetables and a port wine jus. Well matched with Cederberg’s Shiraz 2008 but arather large helping after the chicken. The vanilla was intended as a component in thebaby vegetables, but a little too much had leached into the meat and the potato puree,which rather overpowered the other flavours.Dessert was a tiny apple mousse tart with strawberry compote, very good cardamom icecream with ginger and this was paired with the South Hill Rosé which picked up thestrawberry well. You can try these dishes on the Mint Restaurant menu for the wholemonth of April, paired with the same wines.The next Expressions of ... Greater Simonsberg, Stellenbosch Valley and Bottelary Hillswill be held on Thursday, 26th April with guest chef Christiaan Campbell of DelaireGraff, so be sure to book soon; these dinners are becoming very popular. And rememberthe Taj also has free regional wine tastings on from 5 to 8 pm on Wednesday evenings inthe hotel lobby.Vanilla There is quite a debate about vanilla. It is quite a sophisticated flavour. Onefirst encounters it in vanilla ice cream and then in your mother’s or others’ baking. Andof course it is a prominent flavour in wines, as good oak often imparts this to wines likeChardonnays and Chenins. Vanilla essence is a chemical compound that tries to capturethe flavours of the real vanilla bean, the fruit of a tropical orchid, but never quitesucceeds; extracts are the real thing. We think the difference is extreme and won’t useanything else but real vanilla. But do you want vanilla in savoury food? We have beenoffered truffle oil which contains vanilla and it appears fairly regularly on top
3restaurants’ menus in sauces for fish, seafood, meat and even vegetables. We find thesweet, rather cloying flavour does nothing for us on savoury dishes, but we are open tobeing persuaded. What do you think? You will, of course, find vanilla pods and theexcellent Nielsen Massey vanilla extract and paste in our product list.Flying with Seagulls Before putting our Dutch friends on the plane on Saturdaynight, they treated us to dinner at La Mouette, who have just introduced their veryreasonably priced Autumn six course menu. The portion sizes are, thankfully, notgargantuan but you do feel you have had a substantial meal at the end of the evening.Chef Henry Vigar has, you will be delighted to know, left the truffle and cheesecroquettes on the menu as the first course; these come with a bowl of smoked tomatoaioli. Next was a rather chewy round ravioli filled with butternut and covered with abrown butter and crisply fried sage leaves, which much complimented the dish. Thencame a fresh piece of roasted yellowtail on a chickpea, tomato and spinach ragout. Dowhole chickpeas go with fish? The jury is out on that one. The next course was a Confitshoulder of beef – tender and gentle; the beef was almost like something out of a stewand, surprisingly for us as we are not usually fans, the sweet corn polenta was soft andsmooth with distinct notes of corn rather than the hard rubber-like starch you get inother restaurants. A tomato gremolata and pea shoots accompanied it. Pictures here.Then appeared a tiny treasure, a warm and airily light choux pastry doughnut withlemon curd and filled with coffee Chantilly cream. Served on a Chinese spoon, it was fartoo little – we all wanted a bowlful of them. Dessert was a gooey Chocolate orangemacaroon, a chocolate financier, an orange puree, a very good marmalade ice creamwith some lovely crusty scrapings of what tasted like Ovaltine around it and Cointreausyrup. This menu costs a very reasonable R165 per person and R330 if you have the winepairings they suggest with each course. We had a bottle of Springfield Life from Stone,and took a very special bottle from our cellar of Cordoba Cabernet Merlot 2002. Sadly theCordoba wine estate is no longer in production, but Christopher Keet, who made the wines, isnow producing under his own name.La Mouette also has a 7 course Gourmand menu on offer at R395, R560 with the winepairings.The perfect weekend away and only a few miles from home We were spoiltrotten on Sunday night by Lydia Nobrega, who invited us to come and stay at theChapman’s Peak Hotel, which her family has owned for many years. Many of us havelovely memories of the old hotel, which is still there, and the great calamari they serveon the terrace, but they have built on a super modern addition and the rooms are verytasteful and cleanly luxurious, all with wonderful views across Hout Bay beach and baytowards the Sentinel and the harbour. Glass doors to the balcony completely block offany traffic noise and you sleep in great comfort. First we treated ourselves to a greatdinner on the terrace. Fiery hot Peri peri chicken livers and calamari & chorizo were ourstarters, followed by 5 fat sardines with very crisp chips for John and prawns andcalamari and a salad for Lynne. The food is freshly cooked and has always been of a veryhigh standard. We ordered a bottle of Adi Badenhorst’s lovely rich, fruity and crispSecateurs Chenin Blanc 2011, very reasonably priced at R99, and then opened a veryspecial bottle of Cape Point Semillon 2006 which we had brought with us in case Lydiaappeared. This wine just gets better and better in its fullness of flavour, depth andelegance. We had the rest the following night and it was possibly even better. As wewere not going far, we were tempted by the chocolate tart and the crème brulée beforetottering off to bed for a reasonably early night. Dinner came to R530 including acontribution for our great waiter Jethro. Breakfast in the dining room the next morningwas a sumptuous spread of everything you could possibly want - you can order a fullEnglish breakfast or variations - which is freshly cooked for you. If the weather is great,you can have it on the terrace. John stuck to his usual fruit and muesli, Lynne had acheese omelette and we both could not resist the freshly baked Belgian croissants withour good black coffees. Many of you will remember them; we sold them frozen, ready-to-bake from our shop. If you want to spoil your partner, book here for a very special