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South African Wine Tasting – the canapés

 

South African Summer Tasting title

27th June 2018 @The Polka Theatre, Wimbledon:

50 of you descended on the Polka Theatre for an evening of ‘lekka’ South African wines and delicious canapés.

By all accounts a fun evening was had by all.   We had many recipe requests, so see below for the first, the Mushroom Risotto.

Also a little reminder about our next wine tasting event:

Wine, music and food pairing in conjunction with the Jigsaw Players – Friday 19th October 2018 at the Merton Arts Space, Wimbledon Library.  More info to come soon.

And now, for my first recipe:

Mushroom Risotto – with white truffle oil 

Wine pairing – Olifantsberg Blanc – white blend (Rousanne, Grenache, Chenin, Chardonnay)

First you’ll need to pop to the shops:

  • 50g of dried mushrooms (Waitrose have a pot in the spices section)
  • 1 vege. stock cube
  • A good splash of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 BIG cloves of garlic, don’t hold back
  • 1 pack of chestnut mushrooms
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 1 glass of white wine – ideally a nice one but don’t waste the good stuff!
  • 1 good sized blob of butter
  • Parsley leaves (which I sadly forgot but I  do think would add to the dish!)
  • 50g ish grated parmesan (fresh)
  • A good splash of white truffle oil

My Method:

Soak the dried mushrooms with 1 litre of boiling water and leave them for 20 mins or so, then squeeze the water out of the mush but keep it for stock.  Chop the newly plumped mushrooms.

mushroom risotto spoonGlug of oil in my biggest frying pan and get the onion and garlic softening – don’t burn the garlic – it tastes nasty.  Then throw the dried and fresh mushrooms into the pan.  Get your salt and pepper out – again, don’t hold back.

Put the rice in the pan once the mush mix is soft and give it a good stir.  After a minute or so pour in your glass of wine (from the ingredients, not the one you are drinking at the moment!).

Get your mushroom juice on the boil with your stock cube in it.

Now, add in the stock about 1/4 at a time, don’t add more until the rice has totally absorbed the previous dose – could be 5 mins in between each addition.  Keep stirring slowly, no sticking or burning allowed.

Once you’ve added all the stock the rice should be cooked.  If it isn’t, mine wasn’t, add some more boiling water – I ended up adding about 200ml more last time.

All of that takes about 45 mins.

Then stir through the parmesan and parsley and save a little cheesiness to sprinkle on top.

Delicious!

Hay Festival 2018

Hay-on-Wye, Wales.  24th May – 3rd June 2018
“Empathy, ingenuity and resilience – the core of our humanity and hope.  That’s what we’re going to celebrate in Hay in May.” Peter Florence, Director, Hay Festival

We are very proud to be one of the select few chosen to take a trade stand at the fabulous Hay signHay Book Festival.  Last year was fascinating and lots of fun so we are looking forward to hitting the road again and heading up to Hay-on-Wye and meeting lots of lovely people.

We will be showcasing our literary range of wines so as to demonstrate the personalised Hay Wineslabel design arm of Hannibal Brown.  We welcome any new ideas for wine names which are a play on famous books.

Bring your photos to the stand – we are designing and printing labels on the spot so we can send you away with all your gifts for 2018 done and dusted!

If you are coming to Hay Festival then please stop by, taste our delicious organic, vegan, biodynamic and award-winning wines.  Last year the Hannibal Brown stand was buzzing with friendly folk enjoying a glass and chatting about the fascinating topics which are raised every year at the festival.

If you have never been to the festival I urge you to go.  There are comedians such as David Baddiel and Dara O Briain, IMG_7896music from Laura Mvula, Imelda May and many more.  Illustrators, Poets, Politicians, Scientists, Broadcasters – you name it, they’ll be there.

Visit their website and see the full listings: hayfestival.com/home

Fingers crossed for sunshine – see you there!

 

 

Wine and Spice Pairing – Coriander/Cilantro

It’s mentioned in the Bible and written in Sanskrit, it’s believed to have been used for over 6000 years – perhaps food back then wasn’t as bland as one would expect!Corriander

Coriander, as we know it, is known in North America as Cilantro, well that is used to refer to the leaves and stalk, which makes sense as the seed gives an entirely different flavour.

Corriander is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean, although we associate it with Asian and Mexican cuisine.  In Chinese cooking it is referred to as ‘Chinese Parsley’.

With an aromatic sometimes soapy flavour it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I love it!   Due to its pungency a wine pairing that we would suggest is a fragrant Gewürztraminer or Chenin Blanc – at our wine and spice pairing event (Pinot & Paprika) we made a Snapper Cerviche with Coriander Chutney and paired it with our Sauvignon de Touraine by Guy Alion.

For the Cerviche:

Take a fresh Red Snapper filet and cut into 2cm pieces.  In a pyrex dish add finely diced red onion (1/2 an Onion), a cup of chopped, seeded tomatoes, a finely chopped red chilli, 2 teaspoons of salt.  Cover with lemon and lime juice – about a cup in all, and add some ground oregano and a splash of Tobasco.  Give it a jiggle every hour to be sure all the fish is exposed to the acids.  After several hours the fish will turn white as it cooks in the acid – it’s amazing!

For the Coriander Chutney:

Basically blitz the lot together and eat it nice and fresh – a brilliant dip or accompaniment to Indan food too – adds a lovely breath of freshness.

  • 1 cup chopped Coriander
  • 1/2 inch Ginger – chopped
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Pinch os sea salt
  • a few mint leaves