Soufflé, Bouillabaisse, Winex and other fun events

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Soufflé, Bouillabaisse, Winex and other fun events
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The latest news from John & Lynne ford, owners of Main Ingredient, one of the many gems in Cape Town.
During another hectic week of eating out and attending trade wine tastings and Winex, we are mad enough to have the painters in, just in time for our guests from Hawaii who arrive on Saturday! We’ll have Friday night to tidy up and put everything back in place. Today, Lynne is cooking a warthog Potjie for Saturday night while she writes her part of the newsletter and planning another picnic lunch for Sunday. We hope the sun will shine so that we can take our visitors to Postberg to see the spring flowers. The Potjie has beef stock, some red muscadel and lots of winter veg like carrots, sweet potato, butternut and parsnips. We wanted them to get a real taste of Africa and were delighted when a friend donated some warthog.

Not much time? This week’s recipe is one we think might save your bacon if you want a good and impressive dinner party starter and have not much time on the night, because you make it the day before and then rebake it just before you want to serve it. Lynne has watched it being cooked many times on TV and had never tried to do it. It works and it tastes delicious

Twice Baked Three Cheese Soufflé
25g butter – 25g flour – 1 tsp mustard powder – 300 ml milk - salt and pepper – 50g strong cheddar cheese - 20g blue cheese -30g Grana Padana (all grated and mixed together) - cayenne pepper – 3 eggs separated- 20g grated cheddar Sauce; 150ml cream, 20g blue cheese

In a Pyrex mixing bowl, put the butter, flour, mustard, milk and seasoning. Stir. Put into microwave and heat for 1 minute at full power. Stir well. Put back into microwave for one minute, remove & stir well. Keep doing this till you have a thick and unlumpy sauce. Add the cheese and heat for another minute or two until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Taste, adjust seasoning and then allow to cool while you whip up the egg whites to stiff peaks. Turn oven to 180⁰C. Stir the three yolks into the sauce, then carefully fold in the egg whites so the mixture is soft and fluffy. Do not over-mix or beat. Butter six straight sided soufflé ramekins and divide the mixture amongst them. Sprinkle over some cayenne pepper and put into a deep baking tray in the oven, Pour 3 cm boiling water around the ramekins, then bake for 20 minutes till risen and golden. Cool. When you wish to serve, turn the oven on to 200⁰C. Run a knife around each soufflé and turn out on to a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little more grated cheddar. Bake for 10 minutes then serve. Melt the cheese in the cream, do not boil and serve with the soufflés. Good with mixed leaves dressed with a good herb vinaigrette.

Durbanville Eureka and Red white and Blue

Last Friday we were invited by the Durbanville Boutique Wine Association to their Reds Whites and Blues festival to taste wines from some of the newer producers and some of the Garageists making wine in the area. It was held in the conference venue on Eureka farm and we discovered that they have a very talented group of chefs who produced some of the very best function food we have had recently. So different from a CTICC event which produced all the old deep fried and pastry stodge. They made a killer springbok pastei in a tea cup, really good prawns dipped in a guacamole and chilli jam and delicious mussel soup. Check out their website if you want something not too far from town and with lovely views and food. We loved the wines especially the sauvignons blanc from Welbeloond and Nomada, Nomada merlot and Pieter de Waal’s Hermit on the Hill shiraz. An added highlight was really good Eric Clapton style music from a group named Basson Laubscher and The Violent Free Peace.

On Sunday we were taken by friends to Quensh in Observatory. This organic vegetarian café/ shop is run by a Venezuelan and has an intriguing blackboard menu, with photos. They don’t have a wine list and they don’t have wineglasses; we drank our Cape Point sauvignon blanc out of large coke tumblers and it went very well with Brunch! John had an arepas (a pair of polenta patties in place of a bun) stuffed with cheddar, avocado and sundried tomato and Lynne Eggs Benedict on a very good croissant. The egg was perfectly poached and served with roasted butternut in place of ham. The Hollandaise was good, if a little sparse, but was also served with a good sweet chilli sauce and a green herb sauce. We had their banana cheesecake and John enjoyed a really special chocolate fondant, perfectly cooked. We recommend you go and try it out, their prices are very reasonable and there is a lot we would like to try on their breakfast or their lunch menus.

This week saw us at two trade wine presentations. On Monday, at the Mount Nelson, Liquidity, the producers of the excellent De Toren wines showed us their Z and Fusion V red blends and also Taittinger champagne and Jean Daneel’s reds and whites together with a selection of tequilas, grappas, Bourbons, whiskies and beers. The Fusion V is softer than we have had previously and is very good now, but should still age well for several years. All Jean Daneel’s wines are good, but his chenin blanc is a triumph: a beautifully complex mouthful of rich, delicious fruit.

Next evening, in the Whale Well at the SA National Museum, Tokara presented their wide range of Tokara and Zondernaam wines. Standouts for us were the Elgin and Walker Bay sauvignons, Walker Bay chardonnay and the Tokara red, Zondernaam chenin blanc and shiraz. We also loved the Tokara noble lat harvest sauvignon and their 5 year old potstill brandy, which comes in a very beautiful bottle.

A feature of both these tastings was the excellent snacks served to accompany the wines, more very good prawns at both, plus great cucumber and pastrami sandwiches at the Nellie and a whole range of delicious canapés from Nicky Beaumont of Zest caterers at the Whale Well. Winex started yesterday evening and we hope many of you will visit the show tonight and tomorrow. There is a wide selection of excellent wines. Our favourites were Kevin Arnold’s Serenity and award winning Chardonnay and the Oak Valley sauvignon blanc 09 and pinot noir. We liked the new Fairview Capra Viognier; other farms viogniers we tasted were much too wooded and Paul Cluver’s delicious, fragrant gewürztraminer. Mooiplaas Pinotage is wonderful and Lynne finds it so different from the many she doesn’t enjoy. Martin Meinert’s Synchronicity is ready for putting down and drinking at very special occasions in the future. And all Paul de Wet’s Zandvliet Shirazes from My Best Friend to the Kalkveld are showing beautifully. A new copy of the coffee pinotage, which Diemersfontein developed and made famous, has been launched from Val de Vie: named Barista. We will have it in the shop for you to taste on Saturday 19th. Five of our customers won pairs of tickets to the show in a lucky draw and we hope they all enjoy it as much as we did.

We went to Bouillabaisse afterwards and had their really good Winemaker’s dinner which is incredible value at R250. This is held on Wednesday nights. We started with salmon tempura, so fresh and succulent and served with a wasabe, chilli and green sauce, a mussel soup with coconut milk, lemongrass, chilli and unusually, small pieces of fresh celery which made a perfect counterpoint in this delicious soup. Succulent sliced duck leg falling off the bone in a rich glazed sauce with stir fried ribbons of veg and then an amazing classic crèpe suzette. Wow. We only had room for the Ondine merlot as we had tasted so much at Winex but will definitely return to taste more from their menu.

New/Back in store: Jaggery (a pure, wholesome, traditional, unrefined, whole sugar) is coming. Bernie’s delicious Gooey meringues are back in stock for the addicts and we will have more croissants tomorrow and the delicious double choc hazelnut Danish pastries will come with them.

Food and Wine entertainment for you This Saturday, 12th September, Zevenwacht Wine Farm will host a rugby breakfast at the Alfresco venue which incorporates a complimentary breakfast as well as a goodie bag for ladies and gents. They will also host a fundraising dinner for RAEL (Recovering Addicts Empowering Lives) on Monday, 21st September. Please see attached a synopsis of the event as well as the ticket. To book for either or both, contact: Carmen 021 903 5123 ext: 2219

Join WINE magazine for an informative seated tasting of 10 top-scoring wines from this year's Shiraz Challenge . The tasting will be held on Tuesday, 15th September at the Mount Nelson in Cape Town. It will start at 18h30 and will be presented by DP Burger of GlenWood.

WineX, this country’s biggest public wine show, will enable you to taste nearly 1200 wines from ±200 South African and international producers between 9th and 11th September at the Cape Town International Convention Centre between 17h00 and 21h00 daily. Early Bird tickets are available at R75 until 6th September. A special two day pass at R140 for Wednesday and Thursday nights is also available until 6th September. Tickets thereafter, and at the door, will cost R90 (Wednesday and Thursday) and R95 (Friday). BUT, if you come to us, we will sell you tickets for R70, up to and including all days of the show. We are running a special competition for our wine buying customers, with WineX tickets as prizes; buy a case of any 6 bottles of wine to enter the draw. Johannesburg aficionados will have to wait until 27th October, when it will begin at the Sandton Convention Centre.

The annual Durbanville Wine Valley Season of Sauvignon will be held from 2nd to 4th October on wine farms in the picturesque Durbanville area.

Your invitation to Main Ingredient’s Free Saturday morning Wine Tastings every Saturday from about 10am in the shop 12th September: Miravel wines from the Helderberg 19th September: Barista, De Krans pink port and Altydgedacht gewürztraminer

Weekend markets: Nelle and Jane will be on our pavement as usual on Saturday, with their delicious country goodies. Come and buy fresh farm eggs, fruit and vegetables, preserves and home baked breads, cakes and pastries from them and then come and visit us! We will be tasting wines, so do come in and have a chat and a taste and buy something great to cook with this weekend.


John & Lynne
Main Ingredient

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