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A word on Num Nums

It’s num num season at LQF. Our hedges are strung like Christmas trees with the red, juicy baubles.

NUmNum2

“It’s an acidic fruit with a hint of spice,” says Margot Janse. “In texture, it’s very fresh, soft yet crunchy.”

What to do with this indigenous fruit? “You can make it into a preserve, a purée, an ice cream—flip you can do anything you want with it. Eat it straight off the bush!

NumNum

It’s official name is the Carissa macrocarpa, but it’s also known as the ‘Natal plum, big num-num, grootnoem-noem and amatungulu.’

These plum-like fruits don’t only grow in Franschhoek, but are also prolific in coastal regions from Humansdorp through Kwazulu-Natal and Mozambique.

Keen to grow your own? Here are some tips:
Plant one metre apart to form a dense, impenetrable hedge in full sun to semi-shade in good garden soil, enriched with compost. It can be pruned if necessary. It is best grown from seed, but can also be grown from cuttings. Fill the seed tray with soil and compact lightly. Treat seed with a pre-emergence fungicide and sow in the tray, cover the seed with a thin layer of soil or compost and water well. Store tray in a wind-free area. Once germinated, replant seedlings into well-composted soil. Seedlings can be fed with a liquid fertilizer.

Source: www.plantzafrica.com

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Food, Franschhoek, Ingredients,
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Margot Janse Gastkok at RIJKS® Restaurant

What a way to start the year… by introducing unique African flavours and ingredients to a willing, and hungry culinary audience in Amsterdam.

For just one week, our Executive Chef Margot Janse is a Gastkok aka guest chef  at the the newly opened RIJKS® Restaurant at the world-renowned cultural icon, The Rijksmuseum. For more info go here.

margot and Rijks team

Here’s the one-of-a-kind-menu; from the heartlands of South Africa, to no doubt, the hearts of Holland.

Sweetcorn veloute, milk cloud, madagascan pepper maize meal, sesame

Haring,  vetkoek, oyster braaioli, lemon and champagne chutney

Afrikaanse gruttenpap, buchu, chicken, pumpkin in a wonderbag (Barley, millet, sorghum, lentils)

Boeren opleg custard, grapes, walnuts, wild rice, fynbos bread sticks, Grape jelly and salted dried grapes

Baobab hangop, coconut sorbet, macadamia, salted honeybush caramel

* ‘Braaioili’ is a smoked Aoili and ‘The Afrikaans Grutenpap’ is a combination of  Beluga Lentils ( Black Lentils), Millet,  Barley, Sorghum (once prepared a spinach and onion puree is stirred through it before serving).

Founder, owner and head of the Le Quartier Français Family, Susan Huxter was on the field, or at the table as it were, and delivered these behind the scenes snaps for us.

margot - greg

Sweetcorn veloute, milk cloud, madagascan pepper maize meal, sesame

Sweetcorn veloute, milk cloud, madagascan pepper maize meal, sesame

Haring, vetkoek, oyster braaioli, lemon and champagne chutney

Haring, vetkoek, oyster braaioli, lemon and champagne chutney

Afrikaanse gruttenpap, buchu, chicken, pumpkin in a wonderbag (Barley, millet, sorghum, lentils)

Afrikaanse gruttenpap, buchu, chicken, pumpkin in a wonderbag (Barley, millet, sorghum, lentils)

Cheese course cheese custard salted dried grapes and sticks  with fynbos and inspired by floris van dyk

Boeren opleg custard, grapes, walnuts, wild rice, fynbos bread sticks, Grape jelly and salted dried grapes

Boeren opleg custard, grapes, walnuts, wild rice, fynbos bread sticks, Grape jelly and salted dried grapes

Baobab hangop, coconut sorbet, macadamia, salted honeybush caramel

Posted by: Le Quaf
Posted in: Chefs, Ingredients, Le Quartier Français, Margot Janse, Travel,
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West Coast oysters in The Living Room

The waters of Saldanha Bay are rich in nutrients, a fact demonstrated by the abundant sea life which includes; cormorants, seals, and penguins.

oysters

The reason for this is a term called ‘upwelling’ and it is when the Benguela current passes the Cape peninsula pushing off surface water and carrying it into the cold, deep waters of the bay. This creates nutrient rich plankton for the oysters to feed on, and it’s what gives the West Coast oysters their characteristic sweet flavour.

Come and try a plate of these beauties in The Living Room—with, of course, a bottle of Môreson bubbly.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Ingredients, The Living Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The Sour Fig Caipirinha

We’ve taken Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha and have made it local! Margot Janse’s favourite cocktail from The Living Room, the Sour Fig Caipirinha is made with a unique South African ingredient that grows wild locally in Franschhoek. It’s the fruit of a succulent known as the suurvygie (sour fig) and gives the drink a delicious and unusual savoury-saltiness.
Margot uses this ingredient in a variety of ways in a number of dishes too.

We’ve taken Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha and have made it local! One of Margot Janse’s favourite cocktails from The Living Room, the Sour Fig Caipirinha is made with a unique South African ingredient that grows wild locally in Franschhoek.

It’s the fruit of a succulent known as the suurvygie (sour fig) and gives the drink a delicious and unusual savoury-saltiness. Margot uses this ingredient in a variety of ways in a number of dishes too.

The plant aka vygie in flower

The dried fruit of the plant

The dried fruit of the plant

cocktail

The Sour Fig Caipirinha

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Franschhoek, Ingredients, The Living Room,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

How to mix the perfect G&T

Good news folks, we’ve started using local brand, Fitch & Leedes’s  Indian Tonic and Soda Water in our bar.

We already use a local gin too from Inverroche Distillery in Stilbaai; come and try a perfectly mixed (locavore) G&T in The Living Room. Or, make it yourself at home using these tips:

fitch and leedes

How to mix the perfect G&T
Chill highballs in the freezer (nothing worse than a tepid G&T…)
When you’re ready for your G&T, remove glasses from the freezer and pack with ice, two fingers from the rim (the more ice there is, the less it will melt and dilute the flavours of the drink).
Add two shots of local, Inverroche Gin
Run a lemon or lime around the rim of the glass, give a gentle squeeze and drop it in
Serve Fitch & Leedes  Indian Tonic on the side,  so the drinker can be in control of the drink

Enjoy!

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Bar, Ingredients, The Living Room,
comment-notesComments: 1


  

What is Wagyu Beef?

At Bread & Wine, Neil Jewell has been tinkering with luxury meat product Wagyu Beef. On the menu find Wagyu bresoala with amaranth, pickled turnip and horseradish cream and a Wagyu burger served with suet mayonnaise & Klein Rivier parfait.
But what is Wagyu Beef? Neil sources his Wagyu beef from the Freestate. “These days the beef we eat comes from a cow no more than 8 months old, due to farming methods they don’t live much longer,” explains Neil. The Wagyu beef comes from a three-year-old cow and the difference is incredible. It’s beautifully marbled, and it actually tastes like beef!”
Wagyu has been the victim of myth and misconception.  Heralding from Japan, it was said that the cows producing the richly marbled meat were massaged daily while listening to classical music, and then fed beer. There is some truth in the beer – according to Fine Dining Lover it’s more ‘fermented wheat, a by-product from the beer factory’ than say your average Heineken.
Wagyu is the breed of cow, and this aligned with a strategic diet and good farming practices allows for the great quality of beef we can now enjoy on the South African plate.

At Bread & Wine, Neil Jewell has been tinkering with luxury meat product Wagyu Beef. On the menu you’ll find Wagyu bresoala with amaranth, pickled turnip and horseradish cream as well as a Wagyu burger served with suet mayonnaise & Klein Rivier parfait (ask about the delicious Wagyu biltong too).

waygu

But what is Wagyu beef? Neil sources his Wagyu beef from the Freestate. “These days commercial beef comes from a cow no more than 8 months old, due to farming methods they don’t live much longer,” explains Neil. The Wagyu beef comes from a three-year-old cow and the difference is incredible. It’s beautifully marbled, and it actually tastes like beef!”

Wagyu has been the victim of myth and misconception.  Heralding from Japan, it was said that the cows producing the richly marbled meat were massaged daily while listening to classical music, and then fed beer. There is some truth in the beer – according to Fine Dining Lover it’s more ‘fermented wheat, a by-product from the beer factory’ than say your average Heineken.

Simply put: Wagyu is the breed of cow, and this aligned with a strategic diet and good farming practices allows for the great quality of beef we can now enjoy on the South African plate.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant, Food, Ingredients,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

The buzz at The Nordic Food Lab

Bee beer, beeswax ice cream, honey crisps – the gourmet researchers at The Nordic Food Lab have had a hive mentality with their latest experiments.
Said Guillemette Barthouil: “With the exception of honey, bee products are mainly considered medicinal. We eat them not because they are good but because they are good for us. Yet the bee hive produces a wide palette of fascinating flavours, which is rather incredible considering they all come from the same small house and are produced by the same animal.”
And, so the culinary academic spent a few weeks researching the different components in order to make a dessert based solely on ‘the beehive’.
And you can make it too! Head over to their blog for the recipes.  Now all you need is a beehive.
Who are they?
Nordic Food Lab is a non-profit, self-governed organisation, established in 2008 by head chef of Noma Rene Redzepi and gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer. Our purpose is to explore the building blocks of Nordic cuisine through traditional and modern gastronomies, and to share these results with chefs, academics, industry, and the public. From a houseboat in Copenhagen harbour, we investigate old and new raw materials and techniques, developing knowledge and ideas for the Nordic region and the world.

Bee beer, beeswax ice cream, honey crisps – the gourmet researchers at The Nordic Food Lab have had a hive mentality with their latest experiments.

bee

Said Guillemette Barthouil: “With the exception of honey, bee products are mainly considered medicinal. We eat them not because they are good but because they are good for us. Yet the bee hive produces a wide palette of fascinating flavours, which is rather incredible considering they all come from the same small house and are produced by the same animal.”

And, so the culinary academic spent a few weeks researching the different components in order to make a dessert based solely on ‘the beehive’.

bee plate

And you can make it too! Head over to their blog for the recipes.  Now all you need is a beehive.

Who are they?
Nordic Food Lab is a non-profit, self-governed organisation, established in 2008 by head chef of Noma Rene Redzepi and gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer. Our purpose is to explore the building blocks of Nordic cuisine through traditional and modern gastronomies, and to share these results with chefs, academics, industry, and the public. From a houseboat in Copenhagen harbour, we investigate old and new raw materials and techniques, developing knowledge and ideas for the Nordic region and the world.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Ingredients, Inspiration, recipe,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Cheese Fondue Day & Recipe

Americans love to celebrate their food culture, from ‘National Caramel Popcorn Day’ to ‘Animal Crackers Birthday’ (no jokes). Every single day in April has a foodie holiday, on the 11th of the month; they celebrate ‘National Cheese Fondue Day’, and since the days and nights are getting colder we thought we’d celebrate this one with them.

There’s hardly anything more comforting than a bowl of hot melted cheese, right!

cheese fondue

We scoured the web, and decided that this recipe from Food & Wine does the fondue justice. Chef Ryan Hardy makes shares a luxurious fondue that’s made with ‘two kinds of Swiss cheese (Emmentaler and Gruyère) and two kinds of spirits (white wine and Kirsch), all traditional ingredients.’

Pop into Bread & Wine for the dipping ingredients; crusts of beautiful sourdough bread and saucisson sec, then while you’re there grab a bottle of Môreson Dr Reason Why, it will cut through the richness of the dish and elevate the cheese.

Ingredients:
1 pound Gruyère cheese, coarsely shredded
1/2 pound Emmentaler cheese, coarsely shredded
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Kirsch
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Crusty bread cubes, hard salami and small dill pickles, for serving

Method
In a bowl, toss the Gruyère and Emmentaler with the cornstarch. Rub the inside of a cheese fondue pot or medium, enameled cast-iron casserole with the garlic, then add the wine and bring to a simmer. Add the cheese mixture all at once. Using a wooden spoon, stir over moderately low heat just until the cheese is melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Kirsch and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the bread, salami and pickles.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Bread & Wine Vineyard Restaurant, Ingredients, Môreson, recipe,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Ingenious and indigenous ingredients

Ingenious and indigenous ingredientsEnter the kitchen of culinary whirlwind Margot Janse; and you’ll find a playground of indigenous South African ingredients being transformed into dishes that are utter magic. Some of the ingredients are:KapokbosA strain of wild rosemary.NastergalBright, purple berries from a nightshade plant.Num num‘Natal plum’: a bright red fruit the size of a plum indigenous to Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape coastlines.Eugenia berriesEdible pink-purple berries that offer an unsual flavour profile of both sweet and spice.Baobab fruitThe tree of life, the baobab, produces fruit that has an amazing natural sherbet inside.
Enter the kitchen of culinary whirlwind Margot Janse; and you’ll find a playground of indigenous South African ingredients being transformed into dishes that are utter magic. Some of the ingredients are:
Kapokbos
A strain of wild rosemary.
Nastergal
Bright, purple berries from a nightshade plant.
Num num
‘Natal plum’: a bright red fruit the size of a plum indigenous to Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape coastlines.
Eugenia berries
Pink-purple berries that offer an unusual flavour profile that’s both sweet and spicy.
Baobab fruit
The tree of life, the baobab, produces fruit that has an amazing natural sherbet inside.

Enter the kitchen of culinary whirlwind Margot Janse; and you’ll find a playground of indigenous South African ingredients being transformed into dishes that are utter magic.

Some of the ingredients are:
Kapokbos
A strain of wild rosemary.
Nastergal
Bright, purple berries from a nightshade plant.
Num num
‘Natal plum’: a bright red fruit the size of a plum indigenous to Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape coastlines.
Eugenia berries
Pink-purple berries that offer an unusual flavour profile that’s both sweet and spicy.
Baobab fruit
The tree of life, the baobab, produces fruit that has an amazing natural sherbet inside.

baobab fruit

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Ingredients, Margot Janse,
comment-notesComments: 0


  

Amazon Alex

Yesterday, acclaimed Brazilian chef Alex Atala took to the stage at The Design Indaba as a ‘Food Design’ speaker. He seduced the packed room with his passion for Brazil, indigenous ingredients and food philosophy. Some out-takes are:
“Old ideas can be more clever and modern than new ideas. New ideas tend to be driven by innovation, think of the phone to the smart phone.”
“What is creativity for a chef? It’s not doing something that’s not been done. It’s doing something surprising.”
“The best way to be global is to be local.”
At one point Margot Janse joined him on stage, so we asked her a few questions.
What did you do on stage?
Nothing! [laughs]. He said I was his translator, but I didn’t need to translate anything. My Portuguese is great. [laughs again].
How would you describe his cooking style?
He’s my hero, my inspiration. I really appreciate that he so respects his country and is proud of Brazil. He realises he has a responsibility to educate people about the amazing produce and culture. In his speech he spoke about reinventing and making food a surprise; you’re getting something that’s already done, but in a new way—and he shows respect to where it’s come from.
His food is not overdone, and he honours Brazil in such a deep way.
He’s coming to eat at The Tasting Room tonight?
Yes, and everybody is asking me what I’m going to give him. Well, what I usually do! But I’ll start off with suurvygies. I’ve visited his restaurant, D.O.M in Brazil many times and I’ve given him baobab and buchu already!
What Brazilian ingredients piqued your interest?
All the strange and unbelievable things from the Amazon; from the wetland plant priprioca which he uses in desserts as you would vanilla, to jambu root which literally tastes  electric.

Yesterday, acclaimed Brazilian chef Alex Atala took to the stage at The Design Indaba as a ‘Food Design’ speaker. He seduced the packed room with his passion for Brazil, indigenous ingredients and food philosophy. Some out-takes are:

“Old ideas can be more clever and modern than new ideas. New ideas tend to be driven by innovation, think of the phone to the smart phone.”

“What is creativity for a chef? It’s not doing something that’s not been done. It’s doing something surprising.”

“The best way to be global is to be local.”

alex atala

At one point Margot Janse joined him on stage, so we asked her a few questions.

What did you do on stage?
Nothing! [laughs]. He said I was his translator, but I didn’t need to translate anything. My Portuguese is great. [laughs again].

How would you describe his cooking style?
He’s my hero, my inspiration. I really appreciate that he so respects his country and is proud of Brazil. He realises he has a responsibility to educate people about the amazing produce and culture. In his speech he spoke about reinventing and making food a surprise; you’re getting something that’s already done, but in a new way—and he shows respect to where it’s come from.

His food is not overdone, and he honours Brazil in such a deep way.

He’s coming to eat at The Tasting Room tonight?
Yes, and everybody is asking me what I’m going to give him. Well, what I usually do! But I’ll start off with suurvygies. I’ve visited his restaurant, D.O.M many times and I’ve given him baobab and buchu already!

What Brazilian ingredients piqued your interest?
All the strange and unbelievable things from the Amazon; from the wetland plant priprioca which he uses in desserts as you would vanilla, to jambu root which literally tastes  electric.

Posted by: Susan Huxter
Posted in: Chefs, Indaba, Ingredients, Inspiration,
comment-notesComments: 0


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