Posts Tagged ‘food and wine pairing


Recipe: Winter Vegetable Chili

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt
  • One 14-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes
  • 1 canned chipotle in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup canned hominy, drained
  • 1 cup canned red kidney beans, drained
  • Brown rice, chopped red onions, cilantro, sour cream and tortilla chips or bread toasts, for serving


  1. In a medium, heavy enameled cast-iron casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over high heat, stirring, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper, parsnips and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chile powder and cumin and season with salt. Cook for 1 minute.
  2. In a blender, puree the tomatoes and their juices with the chipotle, adobo sauce and water until very smooth. Add the mixture to the casserole along with the hominy and beans and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer the chili over moderate heat until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt. Serve with rice, red onions, cilantro, sour cream and chips.


In pairing a wine with this dish, we recommend going with a hearty red wine with adequate fruit to balance out the heat, such as a Mencia or Syrah. If you’re a dedicated white wine drinker, never fear as a Pinot Blanc or Godello will pair wonderfully as well!



Recipe: Gumbo Hand Pies

Gumbo Hand Pies

Gumbo Hand Pies

Being that it is the season of Mardi Gras and everyone thinks of New Orleans and Cajun Cuisine, I explored the recipes over at the Cooking Channel and found this gem for Gumbo Hand Pies and found it delectable! If I might make a suggestion for wine pairings it would be the Pueblo del Sol Tannat from Uraguay for a red wine and a dry Gruener Velliner out of Austria such as Graben-Gritsch.


  • For the dough:
  • 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 oz cold cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • For the egg wash:
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • For the spice topping:
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon pre-made Cajun seasoning
  • For the gumbo filling:
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 half of a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons water or white wine
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup smoked sausage such as andouille
  • 1/2 cup shelled and deveined shrimp, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh okra, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped


In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cold butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to just a little over 1/8 thick. Cut the dough with 4.5 cookie or biscuit cutter.

Continue rolling the scraps until all the dough is used. Make sure to keep the dough covered once cut.

Making the roux: Heat a 2-quart pot over medium high heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, sprinkle flour over it and begin to stir, cooking for 1 minute and constantly stirring. Drop the heat to medium low and continue to stir and cook for 15 minutes. The roux will turn an almost reddish-brown color. Once the roux is cooked, add diced tomatoes with juice and bay leaf. Return the heat to medium high and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the onion, bell pepper, celery and sautee for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add water or white wine, stirring to get any cooked bits off the bottom of the skillet. Add the chicken, sausage and okra. Saute for 6 minutes, add the shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp turns opaque. Add in the tomato roux mixture and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and set aside to cool, about 30 minutes.

Make the egg wash by mixing eggs and water in a small bowl. Set aside.

To fill the hand pies, take a circle of dough and place the filling in the center, about 1 tablespoon. Be careful not to overfill. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold over to close the hand pie. Dip a fork into flour so that it doesn’t stick and use it to crimp the edges closed. Set the filled hand pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and continue to fill and fold the remaining pies. Refrigerate the filled pies for 15 to 20 minutes before baking.

Heat oven to 425. Mix paprika and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove the pies from the refrigerator and brush with egg wash and then cut 2 small vents into the top of each pie with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the paprika and salt mixture or Cajun seasoning and place them into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until pies are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm.


Cheese: Ibores

Ibores Cheese

Ibores Cheese

Ibores is a zesty, warm-flavored goat’s milk cheese from the rugged province of Extremadura in Spain. It is firm, with a pleasant, lingering tangy finish. Rubbed with paprika and olive oil during the two month aging process, the wheels are visually striking and offer a great alternative to fresh goat cheeses. Ibores is very versatile for pairing with many wine types and goes great with Riesling.


Recipe: Herbed Fish Wrapped in Greens

Herbed Fish Wrapped in Greens

Herbed Fish Wrapped in Greens

I’m always in need of a rather simple recipe that is easy and quick when I have guests coming over that provided me with minimal time in the kitchen and more time to enjoy my guests. Here’s a simple recipe for white fish that does just that, and pairs well with the softer varieties of red wine such as pinot noir, blue franc, and bolder whites such as chardonnay and pinot gris!

Bon Appitite!



  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh tarragon and/or parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 4 6-ounce white fish fillets, such as flounder, sole or tilapia
  • 4 large leaves of Green leafy Vegetables such as Swiss Chard, kale, or even lettuce
  • Directions:

    Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

    Mash together butter, herbs, and shallots. Spread 1 Tbsp butter mixture on bottom of a 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish.

    In a pan of steeping water, quickly shock the Large Leaf of Swiss Chard, or other leafy green vegetable just to make it more pliable.

    Season fish with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper Divide remaining butter mixture and spread on fillet, then roll up. Place 1 fillet on large Swiss Chard leafy green vegetable then tuck leaf around fish to enclose fish and place in baking dish. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake until fish is cooked through, about 15 minutes.


    Recipe: Christopher’s Hummus



    Hummus is often considered bland and pasty, primarily because it isn’t seasoned and flavored by the preparer properly. I like spice and flavors to jump out of a food and attack my palate and blend with my wine, so I want to share a tasty rendition of hummus the way I think it should be done. With this recipe, think Pinot Nero, Mencia, Shiraz, or any other nice drinkable-sipping red wine. If the day is warm and you wnat to think chilled white wine I recommend your steering towards Riesling, or Muscat Canelli wines. Bon Appitite!


    1 package of dried chick peas (1 pound usually)

    2 quarts of chicken broth (homemade will have more flavor, but the store brand works just fine!

    6 cloves of finely minced garlic

    Fresh oregano

    fresh basil

    fresh thyme

    1 jalapeno, finely diced

    a dash of ground ceyenne pepper

    1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

    1/2 teaspoon of salt

    the zest of 2 lemons

    the juice of 2 lemons

    5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


    Rinse the dried chickpeas in a sieve removing and dark, or undesirable beans. Then place the chickpeas into a pressure cooker pot along with everything listed except the lemon juice and olive oil. If there is not enough broth to cover the chick peas, add enough water to bring the liquid level above the chick peas. Bring the chickpeas to a high boil in the pressure pot cooking them for 10 minutes once the weight starts to whistle on the pressure cooker.

    Once the pot has cooled to the point you can safely open the pressure cooker, drain the chickpeas and place in a food processor. Grind the chickpeas until they reach the consistency you like your hummus and add the lemon juice and olive oil; mixing thoroughly.

    If you like sun dried tomatoes, those can be added in the food processor, as can be dill, or any other flavorful taste you can think of!


    Recipe: Smoked Salmon Crepes

    Smoked Salmon Crepes

    Smoked Salmon Crepes

    I know a lot of folks think crepes are complicated and overly fancy; I on the other hand find them rather simple and extremely quick when in a pinch. The crepe itself is very versatile and I do like me some versatility! A crepe can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It can be rolled, folded or draped. It can be made simple or as dressed up and fancy as you like. It can be on the bottom, the top, or served by itself- it’s a great thing to have a easy, simple, reliable crepe recipe around! So, don’t worry- just follow the recipe and you’ll be fine!!

    First is the crepe itself, the stuffing for this recipe follows.

    Ingredients : 

    Basic Crepes

    Basic Crepes

    • 2 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 cup flour
    • 3 tablespoons melted butter
    • Butter (or cooking oil that has a high heat tolerance), for coating the pan


    In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour allowing the bubbles to eliminate themselves making the crepes less likely to tear and break apart during cooking. The batter will keep for about to 2 days.

    Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter, or oil to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. (keep a clean butter knife handy to pull the edges of the crepe off the pan if it seems to be sticking or tight against the pan.) Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat without stacking so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone, or you have all the crepes you need for your service. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

    Should you want your crepes seasoned for a more savory dish, or a dessert; you may add dried, finely ground/minced seasonings to the batter. Savory may include red pepper, garlic, ginger, mustard, ect. Sweet may include sugar, cocoa, fruit, etc.
    Now For the rest of the recipe for the Smoked salmon Crepes:


    For the crepe sauce: 

    Smoked Salmon Meat

    Smoked Salmon Meat

    • 1/4 cup minced green onions or chives
    • 1/2 cup Dry White Wine
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • Salt
    • Cayenne pepper to taste
    • 1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
    • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 pounds smoked salmon, thinly sliced (can be found in most grocers pre=smoked and sliced already to make things easier for yourself!)
    • 1 pound Brie, thinly sliced
    • 12 medium crepes


    In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the shallots and white wine. Season with salt and cayenne. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture reduces by half. Add the cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, a couple of pieces at a time. Season with the hot sauce and Worcestershire. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and keep hot.

    Place a couple of slices each of the salmon and cheese over the bottom of each crepe. Roll each crepe up tightly. Place in a buttered casserole dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt.

    To serve, spoon the sauce in the center of each plate. Lay a couple of the crepes in the center of sauce. Fresh chives snipped over the crepes on the plate and a nice garnish and a fresh hit of springtime flavor!
    I would recommend a clean, fresh wine with these crepes that has adequate acidity to handle the cheese and cream, but nothing so overwhelming it overpowers the delicate layers of flavor in the dish. For a white,  Stuhlmuller Estate Chardonnay would pair lovely. Reds are a bit more tricky as they can be too bold- a Pinot Noir such as Belle Pente’s Belle Pente Vineyard Pinot Noir would be excellent! 

    BElle Pente Belle Pente

    BElle Pente Belle Pente


    Cheese: Shropshire Blue

    Shropshire Blue

    Shropshire Blue

    Shropshire Blue is a blue cheese made from pasteurised cows’ milk and uses vegetable rennet. The orange colour comes from the addition of annatto, a natural food colouring. It has been described as a cross between Stilton and Cheshire. The “Blue Veins are made in the same manner as roqueforti cheese.

    The cheese has a deep orange-brown, natural rind and matures for a period of 10–12 weeks with a fat content of about 34 per cent. Made in a similar way to Stilton, it is a soft cheese with a sharp, strong flavour and a slightly tangy aroma. It is slightly sour but sharper than Stilton and generally creamier.

    I recommend trying a Petite Sirah, Such as Writer’s Block with this cheese, richness of Petite Sirah tends to be balanced with a nice acidity for blue cheeses and these two are a pair in heaven!

    Writer's Block Petite Sirah

    Writer's Block Petite Sirah

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