Saturday, December 7, 2013

Annual White Celebration

We wait in anticipation the whole year for this event, The Annual White Celebration held on Molenvliet Wine and Guest Estate along side Karla Oetlers Absolute Collection Events and Staffing to see what new ideas and concepts will follow through into the following year as far as events and Weddings go. All dressed in white 350 guests, suppliers and friends gathered for this year end event 2013.

I have been to a few of Karla's parties now and she pulls out all the stops, from being at the most beautiful wine farm I have ever seen to the endless props, tents, statues all in white, even a white popcorn stand, white writing in the fields and dancers. 

On arrival you walk down a long table with crisp vegetable chips, olives and nuts to eat with the sparkling wine under a drape tent in the middle of the vineyards, we all got to hang out a bit and have some fun during the busy season for the hospitality and event industry.

Keeping us constantly entertained we moved down to the venue where we received our branded wine glasses and three tokens to try a white, red and rose' wine while DJ Chopper started to play the music to get us started with a party vibe.

In the courtyard was something I have never seen before, beautiful chandeliers surrounded by a construction scaffolding dotted with antipasti, cheese boards, breads, dips, charcuterie of cold meats laid out on platters and all the accompaniments that go along with it.

As if this was not enough inside we were offered endless assorted canapes like mozzarella rolled with pesto, smoked salmon on macaroon, chilli tempura prawns and duck pancakes with hoisin sauce. I found myself stationed at the oyster tower for a while enjoying them traditional style with my sparkling wine, professional photographers were capturing every moment and you could even get a Caricature drawn of yourself to take home.

After my oyster frenzy I visited the burger bar which was filled with different toppings like, caramelised onions, home made mustard, tomatoes, relishes and mayonnaise. They also had the flat pizza guy from the Old Biscuit Mill topping mini pizzas with his usual Parma Ham, Parmesan, rocket and balsamic reduction.

We ended the night dancing our feet off to DJ Rene, The Frenchman with his can't stand still music and drums, he gets even me onto the dancefloor. The sweets for the evening were cakes and petit fours from Cakes by Wade which came out on silver platters with big glowing sparklers attracting everybody's attention. All the guests were enjoying themselves so much that for a thursday night I only left after 1pm, luckily off the following day. Well done to Ockie and Karla for an amazing evening, can't wait for the next one.

Pictures and Article Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Falafel lettuce rolls

I make these very often and I almost prefer it rolled in lettuce to the pita style version as it is lighter and fresher for summer. A Falafel is a chickpea fritter originted from Egyptian street food,  normally served with pickles and tahini sauce which is made from sesame seeds. Here is my version, Falafels, sesame wilted spinach, carrot, mushrooms, smokey tomato relish and tahini rolled in lettuce.

Chickpea Falafels
Makes 18
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 chilli, seeded and chopped
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 egg
flour / chickpea flour to thicken
3ml cumin
3ml coriander ground
2ml paprika
10ml lemon juice
salt and pepper
oil for frying
Pinch of sumac

Fry off the onion, garlic and chilli until softened, place everything in a blender except the oil and blend until smooth with 100ml of flour. Add more flour if necessary to make a thick paste that comes away from the sides of the blender, adjust seasoning and heat to your liking.
Heat oil in a pan and either roll balls of falafel mix or quenelle with 2 spoons into the hot oil and fry until golden.
Drain on kitchen paper and sprinkle with sumac a tart flavoured spice (optional).

1 head of Iceberg lettuce 

Handful of english spinach
Squeeze of lemon
sesame seeds

1 Tomato, seeded and diced
1/4 onion, finely chopped
2ml chipotle chilli (Smoked Mexican chili found at V&A Waterfront, Pick n Pay)
5ml white vinegar
10ml Olive Oil
salt and pepper
few sprigs finely chopped celery leaves

sliced raw mushrooms
1 Carrot julienne
Tahini ( found at V&A Waterfront, Pick n Pay)

Separate the lettuce leaves carefully so as to keep them whole, rinse and dry.
Toss the spinach in a dry pan to wilt, add sesame seeds and a squeeze of lemon, season.
Mix the tomato, onion, chilli, vinegar, oil, seasoning and celery to make a tangy relish.
Serve all on a platter with the falafels, lettuce, spinach, carrot, mushroom, salsa and tahini. Take a lettuce leaf, top it with all the ingredients and roll up then eat, use loads of napkins.

This recipe is wheat and dairy free if you use the chickpea flour as well as vegetarian.

Recipe and picture Copyright by Tamsyn Wells.