Tag Archives: wine pairing

A Mushroom Wine Pairing

Photo by Chip Riegel

The humble mushroom is a cook’s best friend, given its amazing flavor and texture, versatility and nearly year-around availability in local farmer’s markets. It’s also beloved in the wine world as it has a natural affinity for so many different wine grapes and styles.

When pairing wine with mushrooms, consider their power: delicate varieties (the chanterelle, the oyster, for example) play best with light to medium bodied wines. Meaty ‘shrooms (portobello) love big, bold styles.

For the following dish of blue oyster mushrooms roasted with grape tomatoes and tarragon (from the Winter 2015 edition of Edible Rhody), we zeroed in on the texture of the mushrooms: roasting adds a richness to their delicate nature, calling for a medium-bodied wine. We also wanted to complement the dish’s other ingredients and aromatics: tomatoes and tarragon. And for this we turned to Italy for a white and a red that work well with acid and herbs.

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2014 Cantine Colosi, Nero d’Avola, Sicily There’s a supple cherry fruitiness in this medium-bodied bottle that is a lovely balance to the oyster mushroom’s delicate earthiness, and its menthol finish is just delicious with the dish’s tarragon notes. The nero d’avola grape – the superstar of Sicily – is a natural match for tomatoes.

2013 Argillae Orvieto, Umbria This blend is a beautiful example of the savory white wines Italy is known for. It has floral and tropical notes that add a brightness to the roasted dish, but it is its savory, almond notes that we prize with the mushroom’s earthy flavor and the warm licorice aromas from the tarragon.

ROASTED BLUE OYSTER MUSHROOMS WITH GRAPE TOMATOES AND FRESH HERBS
Co-owner Bob DiPietro, RI Mushroom Co., South Kingstown

Just about any type of fresh herbs can be used in this recipe—just be careful they don’t overwhelm the dish. Use less of stronger herbs like rosemary or sage than you would basil or tarragon. You can also substitute different mushrooms or opt for a mix. (Total cooking time may vary.)  Bottles’ Note: we like to use tarragon in this dish, and think it’s sublime served over pasta.

¾–1 pound (5–6 cups) blue oyster mushrooms
1 cup (½ pint) grape tomatoes, washed and halved
2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1–2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar*
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mix of chopped fresh tarragon, thyme or Italian flat leaf parsley, divided
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
Trim off woody stems of the mushrooms and reserve for another use (a terrific addition to homemade stock). Shred the remaining mushrooms lengthwise into a large bowl.

Add tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and 1 tablespoon herbs. Toss well.

Arrange the mixture in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through to ensure even browning.

Remove from oven, add remaining herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. (I always add salt at the very end whenever cooking mushrooms, otherwise they will exude their natural juices.)

May be served as a side dish, tossed with pasta or as a topping for steak or burgers. Serves 4.

* Instead of vinegar you can use pickle brine. I highly recommend the pickle brines from Rhode Island’s own Fox Point Pickling Co.

Cheers and Bon Appetit!

 

 

Wines to Pair with Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Photo by Amy McCoy

Come ON … look at that photo … why are you still reading and not on your way to the market to pick up fixins to make this Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese?  While you’re out, stop by Bottles for one (or more) of the wines we suggest to pair with this absolutely delicious, rich and comforting dish. (Recipe below, courtesy of Edible Rhody.)

White Wine:

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Evolucio Furmint. Grown primarily in the Tokaj region of Hungary, the furmint grape produces both sweet and dry wines. This crisp, refreshing easy-drinking bottle is a dry version, though given its ripe apple and floral aromas, it presents as a touch on the sweeter side. Which means it will echo the beautiful sweet squash, and its tangy acidity will slice through all that cheese.

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Souscherie Savennieres Clos Des Perrieres. One of our favorite expressions of the chenin blanc grape is the beautiful wine made in the Savennieres region of France’s Loire Valley. This medium bodied, stunning and very special bottle has notes of honey and apricot (both of which have a natural affinity for cheese) and a vanilla finish, which is a lovely complement to butternut squash.

Red Wine:

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Caiado Red Blend.
A mix of cabernet sauvignon and two other relatively-obscure red grapes from Portugal, this terrific-value-of-a-bottle bursts with juicy fruit, is slick with silky tannins and is low in alcohol – all things we like when pairing wine with cheese-based dishes. It reminds us of the jam on a well-crafted cheese board: it’s the bright, sweeter yin to the cheese’s rich, creamy yang.

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Laurence Remi Dufaitre Cote de Brouilly. Most wine pros have the gamay grape on their short list of wines that match mac ‘n’ cheese really well. And given its lighter style, and fruit-forward elegance, we have to agree. This in particular is a really fun, organic bottle from one of the more pristine of the Beaujolis cru. It’s succulent with bright fruit and a crispy acidity which will complement the squash and the cheese in equal measure.

FARMERS’ MAC ‘N’ CHEESE WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH
By Amy McCoy, author of Poor Girl Gourmet and founder/blogger of TinyFarmhouse.com

Master recipe (serves 4–6):
3¼ to 3½ pounds whole butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced into ½-inch rounds
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound pasta, such as ziti or penne rigate, prepared al dente according to the manufacturer’s instructions
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 cups (1 quart) whole milk, warmed
8 ounces (approximately 4 cups), grated sharp cheese (Narragansett Creamery Atwell’s Gold, cheddar cheese or a mix), divided
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly oil a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then transfer to a large, rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.

Roast on the middle rack for 50 to 55 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, and the squash easily mashes with a fork.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly. Transfer squash to a mixing bowl and mash.

(Can be done a day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight.)

Place cooked pasta in a large mixing bowl.

Then make the béchamel sauce. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour gradually, using a whisk to blend it into the butter. Cook until the mixture is a light caramel brown shade, approximately 5 to 7 minutes, being careful not to burn. Slowly add the warmed milk, whisking constantly to keep the mixture from clumping. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until the sauce is the consistency of pancake batter, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in half the shredded cheese and sprinkle with nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper.

Add the butternut squash and stir to combine evenly throughout the sauce. Mix the butternut-béchamel sauce with the pasta, stirring well to combine, then transfer to the baking dish. Top with remaining cheese, sprinkle with thyme leaves, season with salt and pepper and bake until the cheese is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes.

Notes: Can be prepared up to the point of topping with added cheese then covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. Please note that the cooking time may need to be increased as the ingredients will be starting from a colder temperature right out of the refrigerator.

For a slightly creamier finished dish, increase the milk to 5 cups.

Bon Appetit!

Wines to Pair with Braises, Roasts & Stews

They’re the mainstay cooking methods in winter kitchens, and the backbone of virtually all of the comfort foods we are genetically inclined to crave when the mercury dips below 32. Here are our picks for the wines that will match the rich, warming flavors these techniques will bring to your table.

2010 Chateau Magneau Rouge
Graves, Bordeaux, France
A particularly dry wine with only hints of fruit and a pronounced minerality that goes especially well with the flavor of roasted lamb.

2010 Domaine Bessa Valley
‘Petit Enira’
Ognianovo, Bulgaria
A sturdy red with a judicious amount of boastful red fruit that stands up just fine to the richest of roast beef dishes. It’s 100% merlot and it’s from Bulgaria (Bulgaria? Bulgaria!). Trust us, it’s a perfect match!

2014 Il Casolare (Verdicchio)
Marche, Italy
A white wine that is more savory than fruity with loads of flavor like roasted almonds, fresh herbs and sweet hay.  Great with herb-rubbed roasted chicken as the wine and chicken share many of the same flavors.

2014 Gia (Barbera/Dolcetta/Nebbiolo)
Langhe, Italy
Intense and highly appealing aromas and flavors that are a perfect match to the rich personality and creamy texture of Osso Bucco.

2012 Pujol Izard
Minervois (Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah)
Languedoc, France
A serious dish like short ribs requires a serious wine like this one.  Studded with intense flavors of dark red fruit with hints of black pepper, this full bodied beauty can stand up to the richest of ribs.

2014 Penya
(Grenache, Carignan, Syrah)
Cotes Catalanes/Roussillon, France
Silky and not too heavy, this blend from the South of France is a perfect match to your favorite Coq au Vin dish.  Perfect to cook with and great to drink!

2014 Terre Nere
Etna Bianco D.O.C.
Sicily, Italy
An interesting and rich white wine to go with a rich seafood, such as an oyster stew.
Definitely floral on the nose with a fresh and salty flavor profile that has hints of minerals, just like oysters!

2013 L’Argentier
(Cinsault)
Languedoc, France
A deliciously rustic wine that’s an ideal partner for cassoulet. Highly aromatic and medium bodied, this wine is perfectly at home with whatever your cassoulet recipe calls for.

2014 Astoria ‘Caranto’
(Pinot Noir)
Veneto, Italy
For a traditional Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, we’re shaking things up with a pinot noir from Italy. Perfectly balanced between light and heavy, the Caranto’s flavors make the beef sing while being heavy enough to not get lost.

Cheers and Bon Appetit!

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Chateau Magneau Rouge

lamb_rhodyThe Chateau Magneau Rouge is a very dry wine, with only hints of red fruit flavors. It has loads of minerality from the granite-rich soil which predominates the sub-region of Graves in which its grapes are grown and it’s precisely this lean, mineral style that makes it an excellent pairing with lamb, cranberries, and roasted root vegetables. It’s also a smart choice for a classic roast chicken.

ROASTED LEG OF LAMB WITH QUINCE CRANBERRY PAN SAUCE AND ROASTED VEGETABLES
-Chef/Owner Ben Lloyd, The Salted Slate, Providence

Says Chef Ben: “I buy my lamb from Don and Debbie Hopkins from their farm Hopkins Southdowns in North Scituate, Rhode Island. Marinating the lamb overnight gives it a wonderful flavor. I like to serve it with gnocchi or polenta alongside the roasted vegetables.”

INGREDIENTS:

Lamb:
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup roughly chopped garlic
¼ cup crushed coffee beans
6 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme, stemmed and leaves chopped
1 (3½- to 4-pound) boneless leg of lamb, tied or netted
2 shallots, peeled, trimmed and diced
2 (1 pound) quince (or substitute Bartlett pears), peeled, cored and diced
½ cup cranberries
3 stalks celery, diced
1 cup dry cooking sherry (or red wine)
1½ cups lamb, chicken or beef stock
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Vegetables:
2 bulbs (about 1 pound) kohlrabi, trimmed, scrubbed, halved and sliced ¼-inch thick
1 (about 1 pound) Macomber turnip, peeled and cut into batons (2- by ½-inch sticks)
½ pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 shallots, peeled, trimmed and chopped
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled and halved

INSTRUCTIONS:
In a small saucepan, warm 1 cup olive oil, ½ cup chopped garlic, crushed coffee beans, rosemary and thyme until herbs just begin to sizzle. Remove from heat and cool. Place lamb in a large bowl and pour marinade over the lamb, filling any little cavities with pieces of garlic/herbs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove lamb from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 450°.

Place shallots in a flameproof roasting pan with quince, cranberries and celery. Add ¼ cup marinade from the lamb and toss. Place lamb atop mixture (be sure to reserve any remaining marinade). Generously season lamb with salt and pepper.

Roast lamb for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325°. After 40 minutes check lamb with an instant read thermometer. For medium rare, remove lamb when it reaches 125° (or 130° for medium). It will reach 135° (or 145° for medium) while resting. Transfer lamb to a warm resting plate and cover loosely with foil.

For the roasted vegetables, return oven to 450°. In a large roasting pan, toss kohlrabi, turnip, Brussels sprouts, shallots and garlic cloves with ¼ cup remaining marinade. Season well with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until vegetables just begin to brown and caramelize.

As the veggies roast, heat lamb roasting pan on high heat for about 2 minutes. As things start to bubble, add the sherry and reduce by half (about 2 minutes), then add stock. Continue to boil and reduce liquid to 1 cup. Season to taste.

To serve, you can either strain the sauce or serve it over the lamb with its fruits and veggies, according to your liking. Serve lamb alongside the additional roasted vegetables. Serves 6 as a main course.

Bon Appetit!

Wines for Winter Holidays

It’s official: Home entertaining season has reached its fever pitch. And because wine plays a key part in most winter occasions – from a romantic fireside dinner for two to a holiday open house for 100 – we selected 9 1/2  wines that are ideal for your table, under the tree, or for your host.

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NV Serafini & Vidotto “Bollicine” Sparkling Rose
Veneto, Italy
A medium weight sparkling rose tailor made for winter celebrations.The bollicine (Italian for bubbles) are crisp yet creamy and lead to brambly strawberry and toasty flavors. It’s a great bottle to pop open with hors d’oeuvres and makes a great gift, too.

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2014 Domaine Salvard Cheverny Blanc (Sauvignon Blanc)
Loire Valley, France
Crisp and lively, this sprightly wine is an ideal aperitif and pairs exceptionally well with shellfish (we’re partial to oysters). Open a bottle and start shucking! A super gift, it’s classic French label belies its gentle pricing.

DSC_0005 copy 2013 Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast, CA
A statement wine for your table or as a gift: Classic California chardonnay at its richest: creamy pear flavors accented with oak spice. It’s a dream of a wine, and pairs best with rich seafood: think butter-basted salmon or lobster ravioli.

DSC_9984 2013 Montinore Estate Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, OR
Pinot Noir’s savory, herbal and tart berry flavors, coupled with its light body style, were made for roast chicken, baked fish, braises, and other less demanding winter fare. It’s organic and biodynamic, too.

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2007 Aljibes Red Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc)
Tierra de Castilla, Spain
Herb-crusted roasts and the like will love the dark berry, spice and raisin flavors that flow from this Spanish beauty. And its high scores make it a great gift for your wine-loving pal who’s into that type of thing.

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2009 Haut-Corneau Graves
Bordeaux, France
This isn’t good bordeaux for under $20. It’s great Bordeaux and its coffee, chocolate and pepper notes will play nicely with duck and beef dishes. It’s our house-wine for the holidays – and at this price – can be served at an open-house for 50+ without breaking the bank.

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2012 Antigal Uno Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina
Smooth vanilla spice notes and luscious black & red berry fruit mean this bottle will be superb with rich roasts and aged cheese. Its bold packaging makes it an impressive gift, too.

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2011 Domaine Eden Cabernet Sauvignon
Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
A Bordeaux blend, forward with blackberry, sage, and forest floor aromas. Its suppleness and medium-body style lend it to lots of winter foods — and it’s this versatility, coupled with its elegant packaging, that makes it an impressive gift for the host/hostess.

DSC_9993 copy2012 Fattoria di Lucignano Chianti
Tuscany, Italy
Serving lasagna, are you? The balanced tannins and acidity found in this Chianti will be molto perfecto. It’s great with other creamy casserole dishes, too, as well as with antipasti of all types.

&

…for our “1/2”: 2005 Fattoria di Lucignano
Vin Santo (375ml – half bottle)
If not now, when? Sweet dessert wines are ideal after big winter holiday meals, when the thought of another bite is too much to bear. A classic style, Vin Santo is thick with sweet dried apricot, honey and toffee notes and is lovely with blue cheese or biscotti.

Cheers & Happy Holidays!

Pork Chops with Lenore Syrah

wood_grilled_erPhoto by Chip Riegel

Syrah is, in my mind, Washington’s grape and the Lenore is a great example why.  Brimming with dark and brooding fruit flavors and a little bit of a smoky flavor, this is a perfect pairing with Edible Rhody Magazine’s grilled pork chops and rich Soffritto .

Treat yourself to a perfect pairing with this delicious recipe.

fallwines-lenore-vert-1Corvidae Wine Co. Lenore Syrah

WOOD-GRILLED PORK CHOPS OVER CANNELLINI SOFFRITTO WITH RADICCHIO

by Chef/Co-owner Brian Kingsford, Bacaro, Providence

INGREDIENTS

Brined Pork Chops

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup salt

2 tablespoons fennel seed

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

3 sprigs each fresh rosemary, thyme and sage

6 cups hot water

6 (12- to 14-ounce) double cut pork loin chops

Soffritto

½ pound pancetta, diced into ⅛-inch cubes

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic

2 onions, finely diced

3 carrots, finely diced

2 celery stalks, finely diced

3 sprigs thyme

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 (14-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained

¼ cup chicken broth

Kosher or sea salt

1 small head radicchio, stemmed, chopped in thin ribbons, rinsed and dried

Honeyed Onions (for garnish)**

Extra-virgin olive oil (good quality)

¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar, best available**

½ cup stemmed and chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS

To prepare the brine, in a large bowl or nonreactive container add brown sugar, salt, fennel seed, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and sage to 6 cups hot water. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add pork chops and additional cold water until chops are fully submerged. Refrigerate overnight (or at least 12 hours). Discard brine after use.

On the day of preparation, preheat grill or prepare coals and preheat oven to 450°. Mark chops on the grill on both sides, about 5 minutes total. (Alternatively, sear chops in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat, searing evenly on all sides.) Once chops are marked or browned, place in a roasting pan and roast until pork chops reach 130° (using an instant-read meat thermometer placed in the center), checking after 20 minutes. Let rest for at least 8 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, prepare the soffritto. Sauté pancetta over medium heat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until fat is rendered. Add garlic and stir until mixture is fragrant. Add vegetables and thyme, and sauté until vegetables are softened. Add cannellini beans and chicken broth, making a thickened stew-like consistency, adding more broth if too thick. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and add butter. Season with salt to taste.

To serve, divide radicchio among 6 warm dinner plates. Ladle soffritto over radicchio and scatter the honeyed onions. Place chops atop vegetables. Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 6 as main course.

Honeyed Onions **

¼ cup local wildflower honey

¼ cup good-quality red wine vinegar

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

 DIRECTIONS

Combine honey and vinegar in saucepan on low heat. Add sliced onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are softened. Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before serving.

Quick-Aged Balsamic Vinegar **

¾ cup light brown sugar

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

 DIRECTIONS

Place brown sugar in a small saucepan with about 2 tablespoons of water. Apply heat just to melt the sugar and water to a thickened consistency. Add the vinegar and stir. If needed, reduce very gently over a low flame until desired thickness is achieved. (The balsamic will thicken once cold as well.) The longer heat is applied, the less the flavor resembles an aged balsamic vinegar, so try not to scorch or overheat.

Sumptuous Wine Pairing for Savory Seafood Dishes

Seafood Wine Pairing

Photo by Chip Riegel

Home-made seafood dishes deserve an equally tasty wine.

The Devil’s Advocate (named for those who dismiss Chardonnay) is not a oaky butter bomb, but rather lithe and studded with tropical fruit.

This will be especially great with Edible Rhody Magazine’s rustic seafood dish, Haddock and Clams with White Wine, Potatoes and Escarole.

This Chardonnay has sherry like notes that will go really well with the haddock (or cod) and the clams.

A great cold weather wine with a cold weather seafood dinner!

Southold Wine - Devils Advocate

Southold Farms and Cellar Devil’s Advocate Chardonnay

HADDOCK AND CLAMS WITH WHITE WINE, POTATOES AND ESCAROLE

by Steve Johnson, The Red Dory, Tiverton

INGREDIENTS

½ pound salt cod, cut into small pieces
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1 medium leek, cut into thin rounds and rinsed well
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into half-rounds
1 small head escarole, stem removed, chopped and rinsed well
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
1 cup white wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 cups water
1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 lemon
8 (3- to 4-ounce) fresh boneless, skinless thick haddock or cod filets
1 tablespoon canola oil
32–40 littleneck clams, scrubbed
Minced parsley or chives for garnish
Focaccia bread

DIRECTIONS

Soak the salt cod in cold water in a large bowl for 4 hours, changing the water 3 times, and then drain, discarding the water.

Place the salt cod, onion, leeks, potatoes, escarole, garlic, olive oil, wine, thyme and water in a large stockpot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer gently for about 1 hour. The russet potatoes should just start to thicken the stew. Add the beans and season to taste. (Can be made a day in advance, refrigerated overnight.)

When ready to serve, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 4 fish fillets at a time (without crowding, so they brown properly) and sear until golden on 1 side, then remove to a plate next to stove. Repeat for next 4 filets. Return fish to skillet, seared side up, add clams, cover and heat until clams are open.

Meanwhile, double-check the broth for seasoning, adding a sprinkle of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice if necessary (and you might want to add some of the liquid from the sauté pan to the soup pot).

To serve, ladle broth in 8 warm shallow bowls and place a cod filet and 4–5 clams in each with a sprinkle of parsley or chives, a drizzle of olive oil and a wedge of lemon. (You can also offer this buffet style and let guests serve themselves.) Serve with thick slices of toasted focaccia to soak up the broth. Serves 8.

Definitely This Wine with Fall Salads

BOSTON_BIBB

What food and wine pairing will taste like a party in your mouth?

Edible Rhody Magazine’s Boston Bibb Salad and Ravines Riesling.

Typically, acidic salad dressings are hard to pair with wine – they make the wine taste bitter.

However the fresh apple cider sweetens this dressing and pairs perfectly with this fruity but bone-dry Riesling.

Brimming with flavors peak-of-summer fruit flavors like peach and nectarines, this will go especially well with the spiced pecans and cheddar cheese in the recipe.

Woo-hoo to fall salads!

 

Ravines Riesling - Finger Lakes Wine

RAVINES RIESLING

Great wine from the Finger Lakes region. Dry & crisp without being sweet.

Flavors of peach, honeysuckle, and a crisp ripe lemon/lime finish.

Try with dishes that include apples, like Edible Rhody Magazine’s Boston Bibb Salad.

Cheers!
– Eric Taylor, Bottles General Manager

 

Boston Bibb Salad with Apples and Pecans

Photo by Chip Riegel

BOSTON BIBB SALAD WITH APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE

by Steve Johnson, The Red Dory, Tiverton

At the restaurant, our vinaigrettes tend to be on the slightly acidic side, but this one is a touch sweeter thanks to the addition of fresh apple cider.

SALAD

INGREDIENTS
1–2 heads Boston Bibb lettuce, trimmed, washed and dried

1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup cubed semi-sharp Vermont cheddar cheese (we use Grafton cheddar)
½ cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Spiced Pecans*
Apple Cider Vinaigrette**

DIRECTIONS
Divided among 8 salad plates, arrange lettuce, red onion, cheese and cranberries as desired. Sprinkle with pecans and fresh chives. Dress with Apple Cider Vinaigrette. Serves 8 as an appetizer.

* SPICED PECANS

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 tablespoons (¼ pound) melted butter
4 cups pecans (or your favorite combination of nuts)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, blend the sugar, salt and spices. Pour in the melted butter and stir to mix. Add the pecans and toss to coat evenly. Spread the seasoned nuts out on a baking sheet and roast them for 12 minutes or so. (There should be more than enough pecans for the salad, with some to snack on too!)

** APPLE CIDER VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS
⅔ cups cider vinegar

¼ cup fresh apple cider
2 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons grainy mustard
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup good olive oil
1 cup canola oil
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
In a mixing bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients to make the vinaigrette. Double-check the seasoning.

 

Sparkling Wine Paired with Asian Cuisine

Sparkling Wine Pairing

Asian inspired cuisine can be difficult to pair wine to, but sparkling wine is often the very best pairing. This is especially true for Edible Rhody Magazine’s delicious Make Your Own Noodle Bowl.

The tiny bubbles of sparkling wine do a great job of cleansing the palate in between bites and gets your mouth ready for another go.  We also love the tone that sparkling wine sets for your meal:  a carefree, light-hearted party time!  We strongly recommend the Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut: extremely lively bubbles and beautiful flavors of lemon and bergamot orange, with notes of butter and hazelnuts.

Looking for great holiday wines? Read the Bottles Top Holiday Wines list!

Perrier Jouet Grand Brut

MAKE IT YOUR OWN NOODLE BOWL
by Amy McCoy, author of Poor Girl Gourmet and founder of PoorGirlGourmet.com

1 (10-ounce) package udon noodles or 4 individual packs ramen, seasoning packets discarded
6 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 (1-inch) knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 (½-pound) sweet potato, washed and peeled and sliced in ¼-inch-thick half-rounds
1 bunch scallions, sliced crosswise into ½-inch rounds
1 small head bok choy (approximately 8 ounces), washed, trimmed, sliced into 1-inch-wide ribbons
1 medium bunch Swiss chard (approximately 8 ounces), washed, trimmed, sliced into 1-inch-wide ribbons
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large eggs
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into 4 wedges (optional)

Prepare the noodles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Set aside.

In a large stockpot, combine the vegetable stock and soy sauce, then add the ginger and sliced sweet potato to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Once the sweet potato is fork-tender (approximately 10 minutes) add scallions, bok choy and Swiss chard. Simmer until the greens are wilted and bright green, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add noodles and stir well. Keep over low heat.

Working quickly so noodles don’t get mushy, heat the oil in a medium sauté or frying pan and fry the eggs to your desired doneness.

Divide noodles among 4 warmed bowls. Add vegetables and broth and season with salt and pepper. Top each with 1 fried egg and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve each with a lime wedge. Serves 4.

 

Start a Holiday Dinner with Chardonnay & a Sugar Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Few things are better in the winter than a rich soup for a weekend lunch or to start off a holiday dinner, and a bottle of Chardonnay is the perfect accompaniment. One of our current favorites in the store is Laetitia Chardonnay, ideal with warm appetizers like Edible Rhody Magazine’s Sugar Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Hazelnut Crema. Yummo!

The apple and pear flavors of Chardonnay make for a seamless pairing with the unique and delicious flavors of the pumpkin.  In addition to the ripe apple and pear flavors, Laetitia Estate Chardonnay from California has a touch of creamy vanilla flavors that will set off the handful of spices used in the soup.

You can find Laetitia Chardonnay on our large in-store display of Top Holiday Wines. Not only is this wine delicious, but it’s handsome and perfect to bring along to your next dinner party! Enjoy!

laetitia

SUGAR PUMPKIN SOUP WITH TOASTED HAZELNUT CREMA

Executive Chef Willis Stepp, Public Kitchen & Bar, Providence

Stock up on fresh local sugar pumpkins and make a few batches of this flavorful and velvety soup for the freezer. It’s perfect on a cold winter’s day for lunch and makes an elegant starter for an evening or holiday meal.

3 cups peeled, seeded and cubed sugar pumpkin
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
½ cup minced sweet onion
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground clove
½ cup toasted hazelnuts
1 cup water
½ cup chopped shallots
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Preheat oven to 375°. Toss cubed pumpkin in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, broken into bits. Spread out on a lined sheet pan. Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until pumpkin is soft and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Melt remaining butter in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, making sure not to brown. Add stock, heavy cream, brown sugar, spices and roasted pumpkin. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Purée in a blender until smooth. Return to pot and check for seasoning.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepot bring the toasted hazelnuts to a boil in 1 cup water. Simmer for 10 minutes or until hazelnuts are tender. Strain nuts and reserve liquid.

In a food processor add nuts, 1 tablespoon olive oil and shallots. Purée until nuts form a uniform smooth paste, adding scant cooking liquid, if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into warm shallow bowls. Garnish with a dollop of hazelnut crema and a sprinkling of chives. Makes 6 servings.