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Food

News, recipes, culinary events and cookbook reviews.

Subcategories from this category: Restaurants, Events, Cookbooks, Recipes

Posted by on in Food

 

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It’s a good start when your just-launched 2018 sauvignon blanc attracts gold and the Best of Show South Africa White award at the reputable Mundus Vini spring tasting held in Neustadt, Germany last month.

Not that this new release from the prestigious Pierneef Collection differs that much from its previous vintages: for both the 2016 and 2017 share many characteristics with the current release, a feature that many legions of fans applaud and expect.

In the 2018 Pierneef sauvignon blanc the semillon component is upped to 12% from 8% last year, a move which I think mellows flinty sauvignon blancs with a touch of honeyed, waxy richness. It is also an all-Cape South Coast wine, its grapes having been sourced in Elim and Napier, with the semillon from Elim.

Staying true to previous vintages the nose offers hints of grapefruit and gooseberry, follows with these flavours on the palate, plus some green pepper, allied to crisp freshness and backed by mineral notes. In all this elegant complexity already offers much pleasure, and will surely go on developing in bottle for years to come as cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche has  proven with previous vintages.

Alcohol levels are held to under 13% in this screwcapped bottle, adorned, as are its siblings,with a linocut of a South African scene from the Pierneef Collection.

Open a bottle of the 2016 vintage, which I did immediately after writing this, and the similarities were striking: the wine is as fresh and frisky as the latest vintage, with the semillon here sourced from Bot River. There is a waft of granadilla on the palate not noticeable in the other vintages.

In the 2017 vintage the semillon is reduced to just 8% and i think the difference is just discernible cf 2018, while the sauvignon grapes came from the same districts but the semillon originated in Elim.

Elegance is uppermost, and the Pierneef sauvignon blancs are stylish wines that present a complex blend of freshness, flavour and flint.

They make a fine aperitif ahead of a patrician menu, come into their own with most seafood creations such as La Motte Chef Eric Bulpitt’s Citrus and Fennel Franschhoek Trout and can enhance some dishes from the Far East – here advance experimentation is advisable...

The 2018 La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc sells for R135 online or at cellar door. For more information on the older pair visit www.la-motte.com/collections/pierneef-collection/products.

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Posted by on in Recipes

 

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This recipe arrived  from Delheim wine estate where they enjoy wild mushroom harvests in the winter, and dry some of porcini funghi for later use. If you cannot access this ingredient, double the quantity of the fresh mushrooms. Also a good idea is to practise making gnocchi on the family first before attempting it for guests - not difficult but fiddly.

Gnocchi:

2 cups cooked mashed potato

1 cup flour

1 egg yolk

salt and pepper

1T olive oil

1T butter

Sauce:

80g dried porcini msurhooms

250g mixed mushrooms

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic , minced

1 cup cream

1 cup mushroom or vegetable stock

half cup grated parmesan cheese

ground black pepper

fresh basil leaves

Make the sauce: Pour very hot stock or water over dried mushrooms and soak about 15 mins. Drain, reserve stock or water.

Heat the oil add the onion, mushrooms and drained porcini mushrooms. Cook gently until mushrooms are tender but not brown, about 5 mins. Add the garlic and cook about 2 mins. Add the cream and reserved stock or water and increase heat until mixture simmers, simmer until sauce has thickened. Season to taste. Finish with cheese when serving. 

Make the gnocchi: Mix the mash, egg yolk, flour and a little salt to form a dough that is soft and a little sticky. Generously flour a working surface and your hands, place dough on surface and form a long sausage, about 3cm thick. Cut into 2cm pieces and press each lightly with back of a fork. Bring a pot of water to the boil and place gnocchi piece gently into water, and boil until they float to the top. Can leave for another few seconds and then take out using slotted spoon. Heat the oil and butter together and gently fry the gnocchi in batches untl golden..

Serve with the mushroom sauce, top with parmesan and shredded basil leaves .

A light-bodied red wine like Delheim Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon makes a good partner.

Serves 2 hungry diners or 4 moderate appetites.

 

 

 

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Posted by on in Cookbooks

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THE SOUTH AFRICAN VEGAN COOKBOOK

By Leozette Roode, published by Human & Rousseau,  Cape Town, 2018

The first of its kind in South Africa, this compilation of vegan recipes also offers readers who may be contemplating a vegan lifestyle much information, from basic equipments, answers to common questions, vegan alternatives for everyday products and menu ingredients using locally sourced products.

Last year veganism and its advocates became more frequent on South African culinary websites along with articles on the subject in the print media. This year sees more of the same, so that – while this country is, and is likely to remain, populated by avid meat-eating urban and rural South Africans, the number of vegetarians and vegans is sure to be increasing. Probably among the younger generation, who – if they stay the pace – will mean a larger number of older folk will bring up their families without eating meat in the near future. Time will tell.

Meanwhile this is the first local vegan cookbook to appear on our book store shelves, and author Leozette is well-equipped to write it: She is an international blogger, recipe developer and demonstrator of vegan recipes and ideas and has aimed, in this book, to offer readers 100 easy-to-follow, inexpensive and quick recipes.

Her journey from meat-eating to veganism is well- described in her introduction. Here she also offers facts on why going vegan is good for the environment, citing water resources needed to raise red meat and poultry, the quantity of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere while raising animals and the huge areas of our land that are required either for grazing these animals or growing crops to feed them. She also offers a useful list of vegan-friendly alternatives to meat, dairy, confectionery and other products – including wines.

Recipes start with breakfast ideas, including some berried smoothies and chocolate granola, follow with snacks like tandoori cauliflower bites and move to lunch choices that range from simple soups like zucchini “noodle” soup and multigrain salads to chicken-style salad cups and chilli con carne using soya mince. Some of the pasta dishes will tempt non-vegan eaters as well.

In the bakes offered as teatime treats the alternative ingredients are more obvious – eggs replaced with flaxseed powder, milk by almond or soya milk, butter by coconut oil, etc. But the results – muffins, scones, cakes and sweet tarts – look very appetising in the full page colour photographs.

Recipes for supper and grander occasions complete the menu and the recipe index ends the text.

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Posted by on in Events

 

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Those following a Banting-type diet can savour a long, guilt-free feast with autumnal flavours at the next Pop-up in Pringle Bay lunch. March 9 is the day to diarise when Brian Berkman will set his long table for a five course buffet meal that includes ratatouille, beef brisket and cheesecake, home cooking at its tastiest best. The luncheon costs R350 and a digestif in the form of a walk on the beach is free of charge....

There are just 10 places available so booking in advance at Quicket or at BrianBerkman.com is essential. 

 

Bookings via Quicket are also open for the following dates: April 27, May 11, June 8, July 20, August 17, September 7, October 19, November 23, December 14, December 21 and January 4 2020 

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Posted by on in Events

 

 

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Country cuisine and al fresco feasts

    

This hugely popular late summer harvest celebration takes place over three days from Friday March 1 to Sunday the 3rd with towns and farms in the Robertson, Ashton, McGregor and Bonnievale areas taking part. As before, all ages and tastes are catered for in this food and wine affair, along with activities ranging from energetic to pampering the senses.

Experience the grape’s journey from vine to barrel to glass by picking & stomping, vineyard safaris and blending & tasting experiences. Enjoy riverside lunches, gourmet dinners, vineyard picnics and food & wine pairings. Vineyard runs and mountain biking both make great starts to the day or try a game of croquet.

Among the attractions are a terroir tour at Bushmanspad, or working for your breakfast at Jan Harmsgat by harvesting a basket of grapes before enjoying your al fresco meal under the pecan nut rrees. Lords Wines are hosting a special McGregor market at their superb mountainside location on the Saturday and Tanagra hosts will be offering wine and grappa tastings between distilling their worldclass marc on their picture-perfect farm outside McGregor. Along with conventional wine-tasting and pairings, Weltevrede estate is presenting cheese and wine and chocolate and wine pairings with their Simplicity range.

Entry to the big family market at Viljoensdrift on Sunday March 03 is free of charge. See www.handsonharvest for the full programme. Book directly with the farm offering the event of your choice. For accommodation, contact the local tourism offices in Robertson, Bonnievale, Ashton and McGregor. Call Robertsonwinevalley for more info on 023 626 3167.

 

 

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Underground tastings in old candelit cellars

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