Archive for the ‘Wine and Dine’ Category

We are probably going to eat too much braaivleis(bbq) this Heritage weekend so why not try a new salad to balance out the protein overload.

This is a Waldorf Salad and is easy to make and really delicious

Waldorf Salad



  • – 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • – 1/4 cup sour cream
  • – 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • – 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • – 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • – 2 to 3 drips hot pepper sauce
  • – 3 large unpeeled Red or Pink apples, diced
  • – 3 stalks celery, diced
  • – 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • – Lettuce
  • – 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)



  1. – In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and hot pepper sauce. Fold in the apples, celery, and pecans. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  2. – Divide among 4 plates lined with lettuce leaves and sprinkle with the chopped chives (if desired).

Source: realsimple.com


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Some call it Cottage pie other say it is Shepherd’s pie. Although the dish has an ‘identity crisis’ it is still one of my favourites. Easy to make and a real gem of a meal.


6 medium potatoes – peeled (and milk and butter for mash)
500g lean mince
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup brown mushrooms, sliced
1 beef stock cube
¼ cup water
1 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
1 tbsp garlic and lemon mix
3-4 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
½ cup grated cheese to sprinkle on top of mash


  1. Peel the potatoes, slice in half and boil until soft.
  2. Fry the onion in the cooking oil until soft.
  3. Add the mince, garlic & lemon mix, stock cube and water to the onions.
  4. Once the mince is sealed and has a nice brown colour to it, add the mushrooms, tomato paste, salt, rosemary, thyme and oregano.
  5. Mix together well.
  6. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Once everything is cooked, add the mixture to a round casserole dish.
  8. Mash the potatoes, add some milk and butter to create a soft even consistency (it should not be runny).
  9. Now spread the mash potato evenly over the mince mixture and then sprinkle with cheese (this is optional but tastes delicious!).
  10. Place the dish under the grill for a few minutes and allow cheese to melt and turn golden brown and slightly.

Source: justeasyrecipes.co.za

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Adding a dash of wine can transform a good dish into a superior culinary experience.

Cooks throughout history have discovered that wine adds a little magic when added to a recipe. Wine improves marinades, dressings, sauces, casseroles, desserts and bakes.

The complex combination of flavours of wine provide body and depth to dishes as well tenderising and adding moisture. Its acidity softens the tissues of tougher cuts of meat, its sweetness marries well with herbs and spices.

Traditional matches of wine and food can often be disregarded in cooking. For example red wine is not normally an accompaniment for fish or egg dishes. However, several traditional French dishes use eggs and fish and red wine to perfection. For example, poaching salmon in pinot noir helps counteract the richness of the fish.

Read more…

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A recent survey shows that women prefer wines they know to be more expensive.

According to research by the Stockholm School of Economics and Harvard University women attach more value to pricey bottles of wine than the actual taste.

Research showed that disclosing the price of the wine before it was tasted generally resulted in much higher wine ratings.

During the study conducted by Johan Almenberg of Harvard University, 266 volunteers in Boston, US were asked to taste one of two Portuguese red wines, one costing five US dollars (R40) while the other cost US40 (R300).

One-third of the volunteers were told the price before the tasting while other volunteers learned the price afterwards.

Women appeared to give far higher ratings when they were told that what they were about to drink was expensive.

Men did not seem that affected by the price, they appeared to go more on taste. But women certainly seemed affected by the price – and this impacted on their wine rating.

Interestingly enough though, in a blind tasting both sexes gave higher ratings for the cheaper wine than for the more expensive wine.

Almenberg said the impact of pricing on women could be “something evolutionary”.

“If you look for what women find attractive in a man, the pay cheque is probably not that important for either sex, but a lot of women attach more importance to that than men do,” he said.

Source: food24.com

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So, you’re having a dinner party and you don’t know what kind of wine to serve with your main course. Well the truth is, nowadays, you can serve whatever type of wine you like with whatever your course may be.

The old adage of Red Wine with Red Meats, White Wine with White Meats is a bit passé in today’s society. Still, clichés exist for a reason, and the reason (in very basic terms), is this:

Red Wine: Because of the richer tannins and rolling flavors found in red wine, the flavor and feel of le vin rouge tends to be more overpowering. When eaten with other rich flavors such as a creamy cheddar cheese or a juicy steak, the tannins in the wine actually bind to the proteins in your food, thereby leaving your tongue less susceptible to the astringent, drying sensation that red wine often provides. Additionally, the rich flavors complement nicely with the strong, rich tastes found in your steak or cheese and the two work in harmony together.

White Wine: White wine tends to be crisper, lighter, higher in acidity but much lower in tannins (if any). Because of this, white wine tends to go nicely with milder dishes such as poached seafood or raw oysters. The crisp, light flavors do not overpower the subtle flavors of the food and provide a pleasant, refreshing accompaniment with them.

So which to choose? Really, any you like. While the above paragraphs demonstrate the reason behind the adage, there is no reason why you can’t try a rich, red wine with raw oysters or a crisp Chardonnay with you veal parmesan. In fact, I enjoy matching apparent opposites such as this. The flavors and contrasts are fun to experiment with.

Plus, if you’re like me, sometimes you just prefer a red over a white (or vice versa), no matter what you’re eating.

Bottom line? Red or White is really up to you and it is an acceptable practice in our modern age to drink whichever with whatever foods. In my experience, the folks that speak condescendingly about “You’re supposed to drink red wine with that….” usually don’t know much about wine in the first place and are just spouting out what they’ve heard from everyone else.

Source: antiwinesnob.com

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Sometimes your ideas for a meal dry up and then it is time to go back to the basics.

Old trusted chicken recipes are sometimes overlooked. This simple and easy to prepare chicken and sweet potato recipe is an excellent meal for friends or family. This easy dish will enable you to join guests in the pre-meal conversations as the preparations are not too time consuming.


Serves 4

Hands-On Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


  • 2 small sweet potatoes (about 500g), peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 12 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1.5 – 1.8 kg chicken, cut into 10 pieces


Heat oven to 200º C. In a large roasting pan, toss the potatoes, onion, thyme, oil, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.

Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper and nestle it, skin-side up, among the potatoes and onions.

Roast until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, 40 to 50 minutes.

Source: realsimple.com

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A wine tasting party can be a classy gathering between friends or co-workers. Here’s how to host a wine tasting event:

1. Choose the wines. A wine tasting can involve many different wines, or be centered around a theme. You could serve wines from a particular region or country, or focus on white or red wines. Another theme choice is several different wines from the same winery. Choose the highest quality wines you can afford to make your evening a success. You can also compare several wines at widely varying price points to see if you can tell the difference. Plan to serve around 4 to 6 different bottles of wine, and make sure that you have enough of each for all of your guests. One bottle is enough for about 12 people during a wine tasting.
2. Serve appropriate food. A classy evening with wine calls for hors d’oeuvres like cheese and crackers, and small chocolates for dessert. Alternatively, you can hold the wine tasting following a full dinner. Do your research to ensure that you are pairing the chosen wines with an appropriate food selection. Plain bread and water should be served between wines to cleanse the palate.
3. Design a tasting card. The cards you provide for each guest should specify the type of wine, the vineyard, the year, and a short description of the wine, with space for each guest to record their thoughts. To keep it a bit more casual, you could simply provide guests with paper and pens to write their notes. Decide ahead of time whether you want to do a “blind tasting” or provide information about each wine before it is served.
4. Set the ambience. Use low lighting or candlelight, play soft music, and try to minimize distractions such as small children or television. Decorations can range from a white table cloth and flowers to a Tuscan theme with vintage bottles scattered around the room. Try to minimize scents in the room, which interfere with your ability to taste the subtle nuances of wine.
5. Serve the wines. Serve each wine one at a time, so that you are sure to notice the subtle differences between each wine. Typically, you should work your way from dry to sweet with white wines, and light to full-bodied with red wines. Serve 50 -60ml of wine per person for each bottle you have selected. White wine should be served between 10 and 12 °C, and reds between 15 and 18 °C. A wine tasting event is a great way to get together with fellow wine enthusiasts or those who don’t know much about comparing different wines. The atmosphere offers opportunity for sharing opinions, shaping your perception of each wine.

Source: howtodothings

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