But then again, I wouldn’t know. I just know it was really great food with some really great people. Sunday night my father attempted (and succeeded at) Julia Child’s recipe on Coq au Vin. We didn’t have an old rooster as some of the old French recipes might call for, but it was still on point. I was a little late for dinner because of work, but don’t you know I made up for it by bringing the wine!
“Les Dames de Huguettes” Bourgogne – 2009 (Hautes Cotes de Nuits) Domaine Mongeard – Mugneret
This wine gets a little bit of shtick online, but I thought it was really nice. Red Burgundys are really great and I certainly don’t drink them enough. Well, they are usually Pinot Noir, so I drink plenty of those, but not many from France. They are seen as too light, not having enough fruit, not having enough tannin or not having enough structure in general. Sometimes, if it quacks like a duck…. They aren’t trying to be anything else. I take Burgundys for what they are – elegant. I got this one at the Wine Merchant in Cary.
With this one in particular, the nose smelled like a dark red, full of dark fruits. There was no astringent smell at all, only freshness. The color was amazingly bright ruby red and on the palate bright fruit of cherry to match its color. The wine was soft, but with the exact flavor that I wanted with the meal (My dad had already told me he would be using an Oregon Pinot Noir in the Coq au vin). I knew I needed something to match. Though they are completely different styles of Pinot Noir, it worked because the sauce was light enough to hang on with the French Burgundy. The smells and tastes lingered together and didn’t overpower one another.
The Coq au vin came out beautifully, even though it had to be reheated! The chicken was tender, the onions were cooked perfectly and the mushrooms full of richness. And the sauce! Light carmel colored liquid gold – I love that the sauce wasn’t too rich or too overbearing like gravy can sometimes be. It dripped with lusciousness without causing that over-full feeling and soaked the rice under the chicken nicely. Add bread and butter and I couldn’t help but to eat as slowly as possible to savour every bite. It’s fun how some of these French recipes become an accomplishment, you have to try them out!
It’s at these times that we feel like we can really go travel anywhere. Sure, we weren’t in France, but we were acting French. French peasant food with array of fresh breads, cheese and salads, beautiful red Burgundy and a table of friends. At once, we are transported to a new culture and loving every minute of it.
A bien tôt! Salut!
For the first time in my life, I actually had a valentine this Valentine’s Day! Whoohoo! To celebrate such an occasion I decided upon making one of me and my valentine’s favorite dish, seafood chowder.
Last July when I had visited before we headed off to county Clare to see the cliffs of Moher. On our way back we stopped at a small pub near Connemara, though it was cold and spitting rain all day, we were warmed by the best bowl of seafood chowder I had ever tasted with of course delicious Irish brown bread and butter on the side. (It was also my first bowl of seafood chowder 🙂 ) The pub was packed and we found it hard to find a couple seats. I saw a couple sitting at a table with 2 seats on the other side. We made friends and sat with them, discussing their travels and our travels and loving a moment that would never come our way again. We left full, warm and happy.
Last night I tried to remake this seafood chowder, used the recipe and paired it with the wine below. It wasn’t even close to being as amazing as that first bowl, but it was rich, the fish tender and the meaning the same.
The Recipe: brought to you by Monk’s Pub in Ballyvaughn
- 8-10 fresh mussels (discard any that are open)
- 1 pint fish stock or clam juice
- 1 pint milk
- 1 pint heavy cream
- ½ lb total mixed fresh diced carrots, diced green beans, peas and corn
- 1 Tbs flour, dissolved in 3-4 Tbs water
- 1 lb mixed fresh fish fillets, cut into coarse chunks (I used salmon, cod and monksfish)
- ¼ lb fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
- Lemon wedges to garnish
Bring 1/4-inch water with a splash of white wine to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add mussels, cover, and steam until just open, about 2-3 minutes. Remove mussels with slotted spoon (discard any that don’t open) and when cool, remove from shells, coarsely chop and set aside.Combine the fish stock and milk in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Add the mixed vegetables and simmer until just beginning to soften, about 6-8 minutes.
Add the fish and shrimp and simmer until almost cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the cream, then slowly stir in the flour/water mixture to thicken. Simmer for 5 minutes to combine flavors.
Add mussels, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve in soup bowls garnished with a wedge of lemon.
Redwood Creek, California Chardonnay 2007
I tried to find an oaky white wine to go with the chowder and though this wine had a hint of oak, it wasn’t oaky enough. Still it was a nice wine to drink and went well enough with the creamy base. Since the wine was a little more acidic it cut the richness and was delightful. I could have also chosen a Sauvignon Blanc and would have really loved to have Angelina Chardonnay from the Russian River valley (very oaky and smooth).
So I realize that this is a wine blog, meaning I should be writing about wine. But as you’ve been able to tell, I haven’t had enough time to go to any wine tastings! Alas, I am crushed. I will start posting more about when these tastings are so at least YOU can go to them, drink and be merry.
I was however extremely impressed with myself – food wise – last night and wanted (no, needed) to share. As the title of this post announces I made pork tenderloin last night with sauteed kale greens and mango salsa.
I pulled the pork tenderloin out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to defrost in the morning. When I came home 12 hours later, the thing was still frozen. After throwing it in the microwave for 4 minutes, I placed it on a baking sheet with aluminum foil. I used fresh crushed sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to season the tenderloin; I used a good amount of both on all sides.
375 degrees for 40 min. – perfectly cooked for a 10-12 ounce portion
Allow to rest.
Kale Greens (Probably one of the world’s healthiest foods)
Cut off stems at the bottom of the kale greens and wash leaves in water thoroughly. Wash again to get all remaining dirt and pat dry. Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves or 1 tsp of pre-chopped garlic to oil until it becomes fragrant. Add kale greens to pan. Stir and flip until all greens are coated lightly in oil. Keep flame med-low temperature. Add onion flakes, salt, pepper and a few red pepper flakes. Allow kale greens to wilt to desired wilty-ness. Remove from heat. (I used about 4 cups kale greens, made 2 nice sized 1/2 cup portions after saute)
Bought from the store. Heh. 🙂
I placed the kale greens on the plate, sliced and topped the greens with pork tenderloin and added mango salsa to the side. Paired with a South African Rose and life was truly complete.