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Archive for the ‘Wine and Dine’ Category

We think that there is nothing better than dinner and wine outside on a warm summer night with friends...

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A summer's lunch...

Wouldn’t a lovely summer lunch be perfect now with a delicious glass of Dougas Green!?

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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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In an experiment on rats, European researchers have proved that eating strawberries reduces the harm that alcohol can cause to the stomach mucous membrane.

We all know that Champagne and strawberries make for the perfect match and now there’s even more reason to enjoy the two together.

A team of Italian, Serbian and Spanish researchers has confirmed the protecting effect that strawberries have in a mammal stomach that has been damaged by alcohol. Scientists gave ethanol (ethyl alcohol) to laboratory rats and, according to the study published in the journal Plos One, have thus proved that the stomach mucous membrane of those that had previously eaten strawberry extract suffered less damage.

This is not only because the bright red fruit is rich in antioxidants itself, but it also seems to activate the body’s own defenses against free radicals and other cell-damaging molecules.

The conclusions of the study state that a diet rich in strawberries can have a beneficial effect when it comes to preventing gastric illnesses that are related to the generation of free radicals or other reactive oxygen species. This fruit could slow down the formation of stomach ulcers in humans.

Source: winetimes.co.za

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Red meat; red wine, white meat and fish; white wine. That’s the rule on food and wine matching, isn’t it? Not for the more adventurous – and confident – among us.

Although the before mentioned approach does sit true in many situations, it is vital to not only consider the colour of the wine but also the balance of flavours and textures when combined with what you are about to eat.

Be brave, experiment and don’t be afraid to get it wrong. Before you invite VIP guests round, that is.

When throwing a dinner party it’s worth considering which wine to serve with each course rather than scrambling around your rack, fridge or floor for the nearest bottle to uncork/screw.

You know when you have got it right because it feels right, simple as that. Average food can be lifted considerably when paired with a perfectly matched wine. Good food, however, can also be crushed.

The crisp and tropical Chenin Blancs should match up well to creamy dishes or salads, while the smooth and fragrant Chardonnays stands proud next to a soft cheese course.

Source: getreading.co.uk 

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If you’re looking for something to go with wine, it will often be cheese. And if you’re looking for something to go with cheese, then it will definitely be wine. At dinner parties around the world, when you’ve exhausted the menu and are looking for something to nibble on, the wine and cheese pairing will never disappoint. But why do wine and cheese go so well together? Is it simply that they please our taste buds, or is there a more scientific reason for this match made in heaven?

Tannin – What Is It?

Actually, both are true. Most wine and cheese buffs will tell you that this food and beverage combo goes together because of the tannin. Whether they can explain it any more than that is unlikely, as most laymen don’t know the science behind this answer and don’t really know what tannins are.

Tannins are natural organic compounds usually found in grape skins as well as seeds and stems. They’re great antioxidants and wonderful preservatives, which is part of the reason they are added to wine. When the wine is being aged in oak barrels, tannins are added for structure and texture – and preservation.

Winemakers use tannin to give wines the distinctive flavors we recognize. Variations in the process result in variations in the taste, so there’s fine control over the bottle of wine we finally get to drink. Depending on the desired flavor, vintners can squeeze the grapes to remove the juice and ensure that little tannin is released. Alternatively, they can crush the grapes to release more tannin, as they do with red wine.

When there’s a concentrated amount of tannin, it can cause the mouth to pucker and result in a bitter aftertaste at the back of the mouth. That’s known as tannic, which is also the natural sediment found at the bottom of a wine bottle.

The amount of tannin also affects when a wine is drinkable. Red wine with only a little tannin is drunk at a young age. In contrast, a wine that improves with age will have plenty of tannin, but the ageing process will soften the taste and reduce any bitter aftertaste.

Tannins are also found in tea, resulting in the chalky, dry taste that hits the back of your mouth when you drink strong tea. And that’s why the English put milk in tea – to soften the taste of the tannins.

The Wine and Cheese Pairing

So what does all this have to do with wine and cheese? It’s this. Scientists have found that high fat, high protein foods balance the taste of tannin. That makes cheese the perfect food to go with wine. Of course, it doesn’t stop there, because there is always the question of which wine goes with which cheese, a hotly debated topic. After decades of testing, and countless “experts” brainstorming on holidays and have-a-go wine buffs drinking Merlot on the most expensive ski deals Austria has to offer, there are mile-long lists on the internet that claim to have the answer. And if you have a favorite wine or cheese, a quick Google search will help you find a good complement to add to your shopping list before your dinner party.

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For those about to braai we salute you. A famous Roman saying for  modern times.

I stumbled upon this Honey chop recipe and I think it will be a great braai meal for your National Braai Day braai.

Honey Loin Chops

Ingredients

2 tbs clear honey

3 tbs Worcestershire sauce

2 tbs soft brown sugar

2 tbs cornflour

Juice  of 1 orange, plus 2 tbs juice

2 tbs Seasoning

8 lamb loin chops

 

Method

-Mix together the ingredients for basting sauce. Paint the sauce onto both sides of the chops.

-Grill or barbecue, basting and turning frequently for about 15-20 minutes, or until cooked.

Source: bbq.co.uk

 

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