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Posts Tagged ‘De Wetshof’

De Wetshof “The Site” Chardonnay and white sand mussel chowder

Preparation Time: 60 minutes Cooking Time: 45 minutes Yield: 4

White sand mussel chowder paired with Danie De Wet's fabulous 2009 "The Site" Single Vineyard Chardonnay

A recent holiday in Knysna found me on the beach at Brenton-on-Sea in search of white sand mussels. Commonly used for bait by fishermen all the way along our coastline, I’ve often wondered what sort of chowder they would make.

I’d taken a bottle of Danie De Wets’ 2009 “The Site” Chardonnay on holiday with me (along with a whole bunch of other wines, naturally!) and I had this plan to pair a white sand mussel chowder, made with crème fraiche, with this single vineyard Chardonnay. More about the wine and how it paired with the chowder later on. Read more…

Of cook books and amakhowe

December 23, 2010 4 comments
Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4

Erica Platter and Cindy Valayadan at the launch of Erica's cook book, East Coast Tables, at 96 Winery Road in Stellenbosch

Erica Platter launched her new cookbook, East Coast Tables, at 96 Winery Road in Stellenbosch a couple of weeks ago. Besides bringing with her Cindy Valayadan from Umhlali, one of the many local food personalities with whom she worked closely in the development of the book, and husband John, she also brought some genuine Natal banana leaves (a local supplier wanted R25 a pop for them!) and something that I have not had the pleasure of seeing for many a long year – amakhowe.

If you’re familiar with isiXhosa or isiZulu, you will recognise amakhowe for what they are – large (up to 25cm across), delicious porcini-like mushrooms that grow wild in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Transkei. They are considered by many to be our local equivalent of truffles.

The cook book – an enticing collection of specialities, flavours, family recipes and kitchen secrets from the Natal Coast – includes a whole section devoted to this remarkable mushroom written by well-known Natal chef, Marco Nico, who recently moved down to settle in Stellenbosch and start an artisanal charcuterie.

Detailed descriptions of popular seasonal ingredients, where to find them, how to prepare and use them, and a plethora of recipes for each, forms a substantial part of the book. Local personalities, like Cindy Valayadan and Marco Nico, are woven into the book with their personal recipes and tips lending remarkable diversity to the book. The recipes are easy to follow, and Clinton Friedman’s food photography is breath-taking. Read more…

De Wetshof Chardonnay d’Honneur and Cannelloni

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Preparation Time: 60 minutes Cooking Time: 90 minutes Yield: 4

Cannelloni it seems means “large reed”, an apt description for the large pasta tubes with a savoury stuffing that carry the name, except that they are actually manicotti.

Cannelloni are made from a rectangle of cooked pasta, into which a savoury filling is rolled, then baked in either a tomato or béchamel sauce.

The closest one can come to real cannelloni without a pasta maker, is to use lasagne sheets in which to wrap your selected filling. Alternatively, one can buy what are called cannelloni tubes (but which are really manicotti!) and use them instead. They tend to be a bit finicky, because once cooked they are quite delicate, so I’d opt for the lasagne sheets instead, if you do not have a pasta maker. Read more…

Smile, you’re on candid camera

The iconic Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden as it appears on Google Street View

Google Street View has arrived in the Cape Winelands. The groundbreaking system was launched during an innovative teleconference last Thursday, led by Google product manager for Europe and Africa, Jarda Bengle, speaking from Google’s European offices in Zurich, Switzerland.

Mr Bengle “walked” participating media people through the finer details of Google Street View, the controversial mapping system that allows users to move virtually around a growing variety of places of interest from the comfort of home, provide the user has a reasonably fast Internet connection. The controversy arose when Street View was first mooted, because it was seen in some quarters to be a violation of personal privacy, with the up close and personal views that it made available over the Internet of people, places, motor vehicles, homes, and businesses. Read more…