Category Archives: Recipes and Wine Pairings

Jamaican-Style Pumpkin Soup with Prosecco

Jamaican-style pumpkin soup is perfect with a glass of off-dry Prosecco.

As many of you know, I’ve been writing recipes with wine pairings for Wine Enthusiast. Here’s another one from the fall guide.

Since North Americans harvest pumpkins in the fall, the Caribbean islands would seem an unlikely source for great recipes. Yet, from the Virgin Islands to Barbados to Nevis, this creamy squash is a popular crop. The type of pumpkin common in Jamaica is close in flavor to butternut, which can be swapped for this recipe. Otherwise, look in Latin specialty shops for the green-skinned Calabaza or Caribbean pumpkin. The vibrant orange flesh has a slightly sweet flavor, and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. This recipe calls for pureeing the entire batch, but feel free to puree half, leaving whole pieces to float, as is common on the island.

TO PAIR Prosecco
Whether serving the soup as a first course or a simple weeknight entrée with crusty bread, look for an off-dry, fruity Prosecco to pair. The hailing from Italy’s Veneto, the sweetness of the wine not only enhances the flavor of the squash, but it counters the heat of the scotch bonnets.

Serves 3-4; Total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS
3 Tbs coconut oil
2 large shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium or large carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green onions, chopped plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
2 bay leaves
3 sprig fresh thyme
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 or 2 fresh scotch bonnets (depends on tolerance for heat)
4 cups of chicken stock, unsalted
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
4 cups of peeled and seeded Jamaican pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 lb of whole squash)
½ of a lime, juiced
½ cup coconut milk
Toasted pepinos, to garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat coconut oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, green onions, carrot, celery and garlic. Sauté until soft and barely golden, about 5-6 minutes.

2. Add remaining ingredients, except lime and coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered for about 35-40 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.

3. Discard bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and scotch bonnet. Using a stick blender in the pot, puree until smooth. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth (or use an immersion stick blender). Return soup to pot and season with salt and pepper, lime juice and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring to integrate, three to four minutes. Ladle into bowls; garnish with pepinos and parsley. Serve.

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Pork Schnitzel with Cucumber Salad and Champagne

Skip the Grüner and pair Champagne with fried schnitzel.

As many of you know, I’ve been writing recipes with wine pairings for Wine Enthusiast. Here’s a recent selection from the fall wine and food guide

Traditionally, Austrians use veal for their Wiener Schnitzel. But “schnitzel” merely describes a cutlet of meat, pounded thin, then breaded and fried, so pork subs in easily. Plus, it’s cheaper and less ethically ambiguous. The cool flavors of cucumber and dill balance the dish, while the salad, as a swap for potatoes, reduces carbs — for those of you who are counting.

To Pair: Champagne
Grüner Veltliner is the traditional schnitzel match, but it’s hardly the only wine that works. Case in point: Champagne, a lover of crunchy, fried foods. Pork is light enough in flavor to let a rich, toasty bottle of Champers shine, while the wine’s brisk character will cut through the meat’s fried exterior.

Serves 4; Total time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS
Four 4-ounce boneless pork chops, butterflied and pounded thin (ask your butcher to prepare the meat for you)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons of milk
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving
Cucumber Salad
4 Persian cucumbers
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon sherry or champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped dill plus sprigs for garnish
Salt and pepper, to season

DIRECTIONS
1. Cut cucumbers into thin rounds and finely chop the dill. In a bowl, add the sour cream, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Add cucumber slices, dill, then mix. Cover and put it in the refrigerator.

2. Beat eggs in bowl with milk. Put flour and panko on separate plates or waxed paper. Season pork with salt and pepper and dip in the flour, then egg, then panko, pressing gently to coat.

3. In a large skillet, heat a 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Add cutlets (in a single layer) and cook over high heat, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Add parsley to the skillet and cook until crisp, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer parsley to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Serve the pork with the cucumber salad. Garnish with parsley.

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Salmon Avocado Poke Bowl with Spicy Ponzu Sauce Paired with Tavel Rosé

Salmon avocado poke bowl pairs well with a dry Tavel rosé .

I’ve been writing recipes with wine pairings for Wine Enthusiast over the past year and decided I should start sharing the inspiration on my blog. Enjoy!

This increasingly mainstream dish with Hawaiian roots is typically prepared with tuna; I’ve swapped it for salmon and added avocado for a silky texture and a dose of good fat. Nutritious and simple to prepare, these bowls are perfect for autumn nights when you’re starting to dream of palms trees by the sea.

Wine to Find: Dry Tavel Rosé

The wine world banged on about rosé all summer, to the point of jeopardizing consumer interest in the future. Rosé doesn’t need to be a trend, one to be embraced then discarded when Instagrammers get bored. There’s a reason regions like Provence and Tavel are considered classics. And to that point, salmon and rosé are a classic duo, even with a ponzu marinade. The ripe strawberry and watermelon overtones of a Tavel from the Rhône Valley play off the rich flavor of the fish, while the tangy mineral finish contrasts with the fat.

Serves 4
Total time: 20 mins

Ingredients
For the bowls
1 pound sashimi grade salmon, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 cup scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup shelled edamame, steamed
1 medium carrot, julienned
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
Cooked white or brown rice, served hot
Salt and pepper to taste

For the marinade
5 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, or orange)
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients.
2. Add salmon, avocado, half the scallion, and red onion to marinade. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning, accounting for saltiness of soy in marinade. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (Fish will start to cook as it sits in the citrus.)
3. Divide rice between bowls. Spoon fish and avocado mixture over rice.
5. Garnish with remaining scallion, carrot, edamame. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top. Serve.

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Recipe and Wine Pairing: Salmorejo Soup with Manzanilla Sherry

I’ve been writing recipes with wine pairings for Wine Enthusiast over the past year and decided I should start sharing my inspiration on my blog. Enjoy!

Salmorejo, a chilled soup hailing from the warm climes of southern Spain, is gazpacho’s heartier cousin. Originating in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, it’s creamier and less acidic. It’s also perfect for utilizing abundant end-of-summer tomatoes and day-old bread. The key to building flavor in this otherwise simple preparation: ripe tomatoes, high-quality olive oil, and sherry wine vinegar.

Pair It: Manzanilla Sherry
On a hot afternoon, match this cold soup to a chilled glass of Manzanilla. Produced near the ocean, the sherry’s saline tang and light acidity highlight the bright tomatoes and salty jamón, while echoing the sherry vinegar.

Serves 4-6
Prep time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
Salmorejo Soup
2 cups of water
½ tablespoon salt
½ loaf of day-old baguette or 2 slices of white bread, coarsely torn
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
½ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Garnish
1 hardboiled egg, chopped
Two slices Serrano ham, chopped

Directions
1. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon salt to a medium bowl. Add bread and let soak for 10-15 minutes. Remove bread, squeeze excess liquid from it, and set aside. Reserve soaking liquid.
2. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Make a cross with a knife on the bottom of each tomato and put them in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and cool slightly. Peel skin, seed, core, and roughly chop. Set aside.
3. In a blender, add tomatoes and garlic. Run 30 seconds on high-speed or until crushed. Add bread and 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, blending for another 30 seconds on medium speed. Add reserved soaking liquid by tablespoonfuls if mixture is too thick to blend. Once mixture is smooth, add olive oil while machine is running. Add additional tablespoon sherry vinegar, to taste, and blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cover and chill, at least two hours, up to 1 day.
5. Divide into bowls and top with chopped egg, Serrano ham, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve.

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