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Archive for May, 2012

This delicate wine features a composition of soft yet dark berry fruits with a lingering vanilla oak on the palette. It smells of freshly crushed summer berries and ripe plums with a spicy vanilla undertone. This silky, easy drinking wine is the perfect go-to when you want to enjoy a relaxed, sophisticated glass of red wine.

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Scientists want to study samples of the world’s oldest wine, currently being displayed at a museum in the town of Speyer, Germany. The only hitch is: everybody’s afraid to open the bottle!

The glass bottle, estimated to be at least 1,650 years old, has been handled with extreme care since it was found and has been displayed on the exact same spot for the last 100 years.

Museum directors biggest fear is that the bottle could shatter and its priceless content be destroyed as a result of just a moment’s carelessness! Although scientists are eager to test it to find out exactly how old it is and where it comes from, not to mention what it tastes like, cracking it open is out of the question.

Ludger Tekampe, the head of the department responsible for storing the wine, says: “It’s not clear what would happen if air gets into the wine”. Further, there is a danger that, after all this time, the wine could have become poisonous. Scientists however doubt that this would be the case and state that the wine would probably just not carry a very pleasant taste.

Tekampe stated that the wine’s content is remarkable stable considering what it’s been through. However he is still the only person who handles the bottle; everyone else is just too afraid. “I held the bottle in my hand twice during renovations. It was a strange feeling”, he said.

What do YOU think should be done about the bottle? Should they open it or leave it un-touched?

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Once again weekend comes around, a time to unwind and spend quality time with loved ones. Today Douglas Green shares with you an all-time favourite recipe that has long been the traditional South African family get-together meal: Leg of lamb!

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Remember to get:

*1 Lemon (remove the zest with a peeler/ grater and juice lemon)

*6 cloves of garlic

*1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons of olive oil

*Salt

*Black Pepper

*1 2.5-3kg leg of lamb (including the bone)

*1.4 kg small carrots (washed)

*2 cups of fresh, flat-leaf parsley

*1 cup fresh mint leaves

*6 onions chopped

*2 teaspoons honey

 

Combine the following:

 1) Preheat oven to 200˚C.

2) Pulse the lemon zest, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper until course in a food processor/ blender.

3) Place the lamb in a large roasting pan and rub in the lemon mixture.

4) Toss the carrots, 1 tablespoon of oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and set aside.

5) Put the lamb in the oven and after 50 minutes of cooking add the carrots to the pan.

6) Roast the lamb to your desired doneness. (About 90 to 150 minutes if you’re looking for medium done.)

7) Transfer the lamb to a cutting board, loosely cover with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes before you slice it.

8) While the lamb rests, puree the parsley, mint, onions, honey, lemon juice, remaining ½ cup olive oil. ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in a food processor/blender. This is a beautiful sauce that you can now serve with your deliciously cooked roast leg of lamb and carrots!

Douglas Green recommends your favourite glass of red with this dish as the deep flavours pair well with the textures of the lamb!

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The Oldest Bottle of Wine…

Unearthed in a vineyard near the town of Speyer, Germany, the oldest wine bottle was found inside a Roman tomb. The bottle was found in 1867 and dates back to approximately 325 A.D. and is believed to be the only one with the contents still preserved!

ImageUpon closer inspection, the green-yellow glass amphora has handles shaped like dolphins. The ancient liquid content inside has a silty sediment. About two thirds of the contents are thicker. It is estimated that this is an olive oil which the Romans commonly used to float on top of wine to preserve it from oxidation. Although they did have cork closure at that time it seems that their oil method of preservation has worked quite effectively- keeping the wine from evaporating to this very day!

The bottle is permanently on display, along with other wine antiquities at the Historisches Museum der Pfalz in Germany. 

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Let mom have a well-earned rest this weekend as you cook up a lovely Mother’s Day Sunday lunch! Here is a delicious yet easy to put together menu for you to share on Sunday!

Menu:

Starter: Asparagus & Ham packages

Main: Delicious Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach

Dessert: Raspberry Tiramisu

Asparagus & Ham Packages:

Havarti cheese, asparagus and red peppers make these “packages” ideal for a starter. They are easy to make but the small touches such as using fresh chives to tie them together is what really makes this a special starter!

Ingredients:

16 trimmed fresh asparagus spears

1 medium sweet red pepper cut into 16 strips

226 grams of Havarti cheese cut into 16 strips

8 thin slices deli ham or prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise

16 whole chives

Combine the following:

1)      In a large pan, bring about 3 cm of water to the boil.

2)      Add the asparagus, cover and cook for 3 minutes.

3)      Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water.

4)      Drain again and pat dry.

5)      Place 1 asparagus spear, 1 red pepper strip and 1 cheese strip on each slice of ham.

6)      Roll up tightly and tie together with a chive.

7)      Refrigerate until serving. (makes 16)

Delicious Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach

These appealing pork chops make for the perfect main and will come across really thought out and professionally prepared with a pleasant stuffing.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

6 diced sun-dried tomatoes

1 bag of frozen spinach (+-284 grams), thawed and excess water squeezed out.

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ cup goats cheese

1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese

4 centre-cut pork chops (113 grams each)

1 ½ cups chicken broth

½ lemon, zested

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Combine the following:

1)      Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over a medium heat.

2)      Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).

3)      Add the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until these are combined (about 2 more minutes).

4)      Transfer the mixture into a medium bowl. Add the goats cheese and cream cheese. Stir to combine and set aside.

5)      Using a sharp knife carefully cut a pocket into the thickest portion of the pork chop.

6)      Stuff each pocket with ¼ of the spinach and sun-dried tomato mixture and close the pork around the stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with salt and pepper.

7)      In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice and mustard.

8)      Warm the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over a medium to high heat. When the pan is hot add the pork.

9)      Cook until golden brown and cooked through (about 4 minutes per side).

10)  Transfer the pork to a side dish and tent with foil to keep warm.

11)  Add the chicken broth mixture to the pan over a medium-high heat.

12)  Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the chicken broth simmers. Reduce the broth to half to make a light sauce (about 8 minutes). Spoon some of the sauce over the pork before serving.

Raspberry Tiramisu:

Tiramisu, which literally means “pick me up,” is a popular Italian dessert and the perfect way to make mom smile on Mother’s day! This variation, which features raspberries rather than coffee and chocolate, is what make this dessert memorable.

Ingredients:

2 packets of fat-free cream cheese (227 grams), softened.

¼ cup of sugar (or 6 packets of sweetener/ sugar substitute)

2 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup of water + ¼ cup water

1 packet of sugar-free lemon flavoured gelatin (4-serving size)

2 cups of thawed frozen, fat-free, non-dairy whipped topping

½ cup red raspberry preserves

2 packets of ladyfingers (biscuits)

500 grams of fresh raspberries or thawed frozen raspberries.

Combine the following:

1)      Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl.

2)      Beat with an electric mixer at a high speed until smooth and set aside.

3)      Combine water and gelatin in a small, microwaveable bowl and microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until water is boiling and gelatin has dissolved. Cool slightly.

4)      Add gelatin mixture to cheese mixture and beat for 1 minute. Add the whipped topping and beat another minute, scraping the side of the bowl. Set aside.

5)      Now whisk together preserves and water in a small bowl until well blended.

6)      Reserve 2 tablespoons of preserves mixture and set aside.

7)      Spread 1/3 cup of the preserves mixture evenly over the bottom of a 28 x 18 cm glass baking dish.

8)      Split the ladyfingers in half and place in the bottom of the dish.

9)      Spread half of the cheese mixture evenly over the ladyfingers and sprinkle 1 cup of raspberries evenly over this mixture. Top with the remaining ladyfingers and spread the remaining preserves over this.

10)  Finally top with the remaining cheese mixture.

11)  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

12)  Drizzle with the reserved 2 tablespoons of preserves mixture and sprinkle with the remaining raspberries before serving.

Don’t you think your Mother will just LOVE this menu?

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