While Greece may be having the most terrible financial problems, the food of the country is alive and well and recently came to Prince Albert when Madeleine and I presented a Food and Wine Workshop at The African Relish Cookery school in that enchanting little Karoo town. I kept the pots full and Madeleine the guests glasses.
Meze, or Mezze, is the Greek word for a selection of small dishes, hot or cold, and savoury which are usually served at the start of a meal.
Having been invited to present the Workshop at The African Relish Recreational Cookery School in Prince Albert, Madeleine and I went up for a four day weekend armed with an arsenal of fabulous wines and an array of dishes kindly supplied by Mediterranean Delicacies, all of which can be purchased at your local Pick n Pay.
We had a lovely crowd attending the Workshop and we presented some stunning dishes. Included in the mix was delicious slow cooked lamb which I did with lots of garlic and red wine and roasted it in a slow oven for the afternoon. The lamb had come from Food from the Karoo whose farms are not too far away from Prince Albert. FFTK is available in a selection of stores in Cape Town and is also delivered to your home. Beautifully packaged.
Guests were welcomed with glasses of Teddy Hall MCC Blanc de Blancs before I started preparing the feasts. The lamb was prepared and marinated and put into the oven for very slow cooking during the afternoon. It was fall apart tender and enjoyed with Dornier Pinotage later that evening.
During the preparation of the Greek Meze Buffet, with little tastes being handed out, Bouchard Finlayson Kaaimansgat Chardonnay and Landskroon Chenin Blanc Off – Dry were served.
The buffet consisted of Taramosalata [Smoked Cod’s Roe Spread], Tzatziki [Grated Cucumber and dill in Greek Yoghurt], Hummus [a smooth Chick Pea Spread], Melizanosalata [A paté of smoked Aubergine, also known in the Middle East as Imam Bayeldi, The Imam fainted], Dolmades [rice stuffed, rolled and braised vine leaves], Calamari Salad, Greek Feta [which cubed and seasoned with sesame seeds and crushed dried seaweed], Haloumi [slices of this delicious Greek cheese we fried in butter and served with lemon wedges] and to add a touch of the Cape, Pickled Fish. As I said earlier, all these ingredients can be purchased in your local Pick n Pay. With lunch we served the refreshing Eikendal Sauvignon Blanc and a range of craft beers from AndUnion, the Touro Tripel Blonde Belgian Beer being particularly well received.
The afternoon was filled with Michael’s Curried Eggs with rice pilaf, where the tasting of the Van Loveren Red Muscadel Blanc de Noir was a perfect match with the spicy curry. I made a Panzanella – an Italian Bread Salad and did a Masterclass on Phyllo Pastry, which I used in a fruit dessert with Crème Patissiere.
Late afternoon, I did a Masterglass demonstrating Johan Kruger’s Sterhuis MCC Blanc de Blancs and the van Loveren Christina van Loveren MCC as fine examples of the Cape’s version of Champagne. I followed this with a classic, the Rudera Robusto Chenin Blanc. The Dornier Donatus White was a fine example of a blended white wine and the Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal a delicious red blend from Peter Finlayson in Hermanus.
From there we went on to a “hands on” Mojito making class using the smoky La Muerta Mezcal de Oaxaca, complete with a gusano, an Agave parasitical worm bouncing around the bottom of the bottle. With fresh mint from The African Relish garden and some deliciously ripe limes we made cocktails of which Hemingway would have been proud, even though he had his Mojitos with white rum. As a matter of interest, Mezcal is the fermented juice of the agave plant, a relation of the lily. If the agave is called Tequiliana Weber and is grown in the Mexican state of Jalisco, it may be called tequila. So all tequila is mezcal, but not the other way round. This La Muerta Mezcal is made and bottled in the province of Oaxaca.
Dinner brought on the lamb with Cajun sweet potato wedges and roasted vegetables, served with the Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal, the Dornier Pinotage. The Phyllo pastry desserts and coffee went down a treat with a glass of Landskroon Port.
We stayed in an enchanting cottage in Prince Albert called Doringbos. If you would like to stay there, you can make your reservations through The African Relish Recreational Cookery School. They have a two bedroomed cottage called Akkedisse where we have stayed before.
Prince Albert offers much to the tourist
– Gay van Hasselt is making delicious cheeses and dairy products at her eponymous Dairy
– The Perolds producing Soetkaroo Dessert Wine on their tiny Estate in the Main Road of the town
– Bokkie Botha producing delicious meals at his open on certain days only restaurant
– William and Colleen Penfold offering fresh and exciting meals at The Prince Albert Trading Company where you will find an eclectic range of antiques, books and collectables
– The Badenhorst family make olive products & press excellent enchantingly packaged extra virgin olive oil
– And, and, and.
The African Relish Recreational Cookery School
Tel 023 541 1381
Mobile 082 319 7031
Address: 34 Church Street, Prince Albert 6930, South Africa
GPS Coordinates: Latitude -33.13.569 Longitude 22.01.834