Wine and food are a natural combination. At Market Alley Wines, we feature wines that pair well with foods, and then give you a recipe (or two) to try out yourself, just so you can prove it to those skeptical friends of yours. Stop by the shop to browse our collection of cookbooks or just to talk cooking. It's all about enjoying the taste!
Bahn Mi Mon Ami!
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 16:29
Bahn Mi's are a traditional Vietnamese sandwich that have become hugely popular in the U.S. We received "Vietnamese Home Cooking" by Charles Phan for Christmas and decided it was time to try them out for ourselves.
Phan, whose San Francisco restaurant The Slanted Door was one of our destinations on our fourth date, takes traditional recipes and makes them accessible to the average home cook with ingredients that are readily available (in most places anyway.)
The meat in Bhan Mi can be anything from meatballs to spiced pork. But the sandwich must include pickled carrots, thinly slice fresh jalapenos, thinly sliced cucumber and loads of fresh cilantro. Phan suggests getting grocery store baguettes or a bolillo which is a torpedo-shaped Mexican roll.) We decided to make Lemongrass Pork.
Lemongrass Pork Ingredients
- 3/4 C finely chopped lemongrass (we used dried lemongrass and much less)
- 1/4 C chopped garlic (yes, that is a lot of garlic)
- 3 T kosher salt
- 1 1/2 T dried coriander
- 1 1/2 T freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 C canola oil
- 4 lbs boneless pork loin
Combine all ingredients but pork to make paste. Set aside.
Depending on the size of your pork loin, either butterfly lengthy wise without cutting through (so it opens like a book) or if it thicker, cut in horizontally about 1 inch and cut the length of the loin. The idea is to get that baby stuffed with 3/4 of the spice mixture. Roll up the pork and secure with twine every three inches. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Phan suggests 8 hours but we did much less.
Preheat oven to 325. Let meat come to room temp then back until thermometer reads 140, about 1 1/4 hours. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil.
Pickled Carrots Ingredients
- 1/4 C distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 C peeled and finely julienned carrots
Mix all until sugar dissolved. Add carrots and let stand at least 20 minutes or up to a week.
This is traditional served with Maggi seasoning sauce which is similar in taste and consistency to soy sauce. We used a light spread of mayo and a splash of soy sauce. We neglected to take a photo but will for sure be making this super flavorful recipe again!
Pickled Beets with Goat Cheese and Pistachios
Sunday, 11 November 2012 13:26
Below are the recipes from the dishes we served at the Van Ruiten Wine and Food Tasting.
This is a recipe we adapted from The Purple Pig in Chicago. Easy and delicious! If beets are in season, go ahead and roast them and pickle them.
- 1 jar (16 oz.) whole pickled beets (we used Aunt Nellie's from County Market)
- 4 oz. Goat Cheese (I stock up on these when Aldi has them. They can be frozen and pulled out to thaw anytime)
- Heavy cream
- Handful Pistachios shelled
- Salt and cracked pepper
Drain beets and let them dry on a paper towel. Whipped goat cheese with about 2 T cream until smooth. Add some salt and cracked pepper. Break pistachios into pieces with the flat side of a large knife. Toast them in a dry pan until they start to brown. Put beets in a bowl, add cheese then top with nuts.
Served with Van Ruiten Pinot Grigio.
Apple, Manchego and Chive Salad
Sunday, 11 November 2012 13:34
This is another recipe adapted from a restaurant - Cafe Lurcat in Naples, Florida. It is only four ingredients but it was a crowd pleaser at the tasting!
- 4 med. Granny Smith apples
- A bit of lemon juice
- 4 ounces Manchego cheese
- 8 chives (enough for 4 tablespoons chopped)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil - the best you can find
- 2 pinches kosher salt
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Sunday, 11 November 2012 13:51
- medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 rib of celery, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
- 1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash and apple should be at a 3 to 1 ratio)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, mild curry powder, salt and pepper
- Fresh sage
Cut squash in half, season with salt and pepper and roast in oven for about and hour until tender.
Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat and heat the butter for 1-2 minutes. Do not let it turn brown. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes, taking care to turn the heat down if the vegetables begin to brown.
Add squash, apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until squash and carrots soften. Puree, and return to a clean pot. Add salt and spices to taste.
Take individual sage leaves and fry them in butter until crisp. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and sage leaf.
Served with Van Ruiten Chadonnay.
Sunday, 11 November 2012 14:00
Shrimp Scampi for two
- 15-20 wild caught South Carolina Shrimp - www.portroyalseafood.com
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 C fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 C Vermouth
- butter and olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel, devein and pat dry shrimp. Salt and pepper them. In saute pan, heat equal parts butter and olive oil until hot but no smoking. Toss in shrimp. Add garlic after about 30 seconds. Cook for one minute then flip shrimp. Cook 90 seconds more then remove shrimp to a bowl. In pan, add lemon juice, vermouth and parsley. Stir to combine and reduce slightly. Toss shrimp back in and stir to coat. Serve immediately over cooked noodles or toasted baguette slices.
Serve with Van Ruiten Pinot Noir.
Coconut Pork and Mango-Habenero Chutney
Sunday, 19 June 2011 17:08
Summer grilling comes in many flavors, from burgers to steaks to grilled shrimp kabobs. This unique pork dish is fun and simple and a bit sweet and spicy and it pairs well with both a crisp white wine and a bold red.
- 2-3 lb pork roast
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4-6 T pork rib dry rub (see below)
- Mango-habenero chutney (see below)
Pat your pork roast dry and sprinkle liberally with the dry rub. Wrap the roast in foil and put on the grill, under indirect medium heat, for about an hour.
Unwrap the pork and return to the grill. Continue to cook indirectly, but baste with coconut milk every 10 minutes or so, getting it good and moist.
When the pork is done (internal temperature of 145 degrees), pull from the grill and put in a large bowl and let rest for at least five minutes. Use a pair of forks to shred the pork (it should pull apart easily).
Heat up a tortilla, toss in some shredded pork and top with the chutney and pour a glass of wine. Time to enjoy!
- 2 cups diced mangos
- 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger
- 1 habenero pepper, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raisins (brown or golden)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until thick, about 25 minutes, stirring often to keep from sticking. Let cool, and remove the chance of ginger. Will store up to a week in the refrigerator.
Pork Rib Dry Rub
- 1 T cumin
- 1 T paprika
- 1 T dried garlic
- 1 T dried onion
- 1 T chili powder
- 1 T brown sugar
- 2 T kosher salt
- 1 t cayenne pepper
- 1 t black pepper
- 1 t white pepper
Mix together and store in an airtight container.
Served with Van Ruiten Cabernet Sauvignon.
Flourless Chocolate Cake with a KICK!
Sunday, 11 November 2012 13:37
This is my go-to dessert. For someone who doesn't eat dessert and doesn't care much for baking, this is one I actually enjoy eating and making!
- 10 oz. of semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 7 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- Pinch of salt
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Raspberry coulis (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9 ½ inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper. Grease the sides and the parchment with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
Melt the chocolate and butter together over a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring occasionally until smooth.
Whisk together the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl, and then slowly, a bit at a time, whisk in the melted chocolate. Add the salt and spices and taste, adjusting the spices if needed.
Pour into the springform pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar. Swirl raspberry coulis on plate, add cake and a mint leaf for a beautiful presentation.
Serve with Van Ruiten Petite Sirah.
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 18 ounces (1 1/2 pints) raspberries
Combine sugar, berries and 1/2 C water in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook until sugar is dissolved. Cool, put in blender and puree until smooth. Strain then discard solids. Makes about 2 cups.
Dinner and Drinks for One
Sunday, 01 July 2012 18:12
Fact: I don't like hot weather. At. all.
So today when Paul was making plans for us to go to the QC's for the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest, I had to take a pass. No amount of great live music (WOOT!), delicious and bad for me festival food (YUM!) or Paul's company (HELLO?!!) could make a Port-a-Potty in 100 degree heat tolerable. So off Paul went and home I stayed.
Of course, I quickly moved to figuring out what I was going to eat for dinner tonight. I was committed to only two things: not making a store run and eating something extremely tasty. That is when it hit me. Erin.
Yesterday, Erin was in the shop for some wine. Erin is the creator and author of naturallyella.com - a most wonderful food blog with amazing photography, writing and recipes. Erin focuses on healthy eats with flavor. A short search on her site and I had it - Spicy Peanut Noodles! And since Paul's only food dislike is peanut butter, it seemed like a perfect fit.
The recipe is so easily adaptable to what you like and have on hand. I also have a beautiful abundance of basil so added that in addition to the cilantro. And yes, after this picture was taken, I added two ice cubes to my wine - Protocolo Blanco, light, crisp and COLD! This made enough for two people so if Paul doesn't finish it up when he gets home, I'll have lunch tomorrow.
Spicy Peanut Noodles (adapted from naturallyella.com)
- 1/3 C peanut butter
- 3 T soy sauce
- Juice from 3 limes (about 1/8 C) - I used lime juice rather than broth for an added kick
- 2-3 T Sambal Oelek (ground fresh chili) I added more to make it extra spicy
- 1 T ginger, minced
- 1 T honey
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- about 4 oz. udon noodles (You could also use fettucine or spaghetti noodles)
- sliced or cut vegetables (I julienned carrots, cucumber, green pepper), thinly sliced scallions and jalepenos (I did mention this was a spicy version, no?)
- 1/2 C chopped cilantro
- crushed roasted peanuts
In a large bowl, add sauce ingredients. Whisk until combined. You may need to add water if sauce is too thick. Cook and drain noodles according to package directions then add to bowl. Add veggies and cilantro. Toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with roasted peanuts and anything else you think would be good! And holy cow, don't forget the wine! Spicy dishes like this pair well with our Maryhill 2009 Riesling or Steelhead 2010 Sauvignon Blanc.
Wine: Protocolo Blanco
Album selection: Room Full of Blues, "Hot Little Mama"
The Comfort of Carbonara
Monday, 05 March 2012 08:05
Due to circumstances beyond our control, Paul and I had two weeks of eating only a "bland" diet. Bland. What a bad word! No vegetables, no fruit, no spice, no fun. We did, however, manage to pull off a few tasty meals that didn't leave us feeling miserable. Case in point ... Carbonara.
This is a really simple, but company-worthy dish that contains just a few ingredients. Paul made his fabulous no-knead bread (recipe to follow) to go with the pasta. It was delicious!
- One package refrigerated fettucine or homemade
- 1/2 of pound good bacon (or more to taste)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 C melted butter
- 1/2 C chopped parsley
- Salt and Pepper
- extra eggs if desired
Dice bacon then cook until crisp. Set aside. Melt butter then let cool a bit. Once cooled but not yet firm, beat in the two eggs until combined.
Cook pasta in salted water according to directions. It only takes a couple of minutes! Drain, put in serving bowl and toss with egg/butter mixture, bacon, Parmesan and parsley. Grind a generous amount of black pepper and salt to taste.
If more richness is desired, poach a few egg yolks and add on top before serving.
Monday, 13 February 2012 18:26
(adapted from "Sunday Suppers at Lucques" by Suzanne Goin)
- 1/4 t saffron threads
- 3 T butter, melted
- 1 qt canned chicken broth
- 1/2 c diced white onion
- 1/4 c diced shallot
- 2 t fresh (or dried) thyme
- 1 dried chile de arbol, chopped
- 1 cup (err on the lighter side) Arborio rice
- 1/4 c white wine
- 2 T parsley, chopped
- 1/4 grated parmesan cheese
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- pour the chicken broth into a pan and set to low heat to warm through
- slowly melt the 3T of butter
- lightly toast the saffron in a small pan until slightly fragrant and ried out
- put the dried saffron into a mortar and pestle and crush into a power - be sure to brush the dust off the mortar!
- pour the butter into the saffron power and stir it up gently - bend down and smell!
- heat a saucepan on the stove with medium heat - add the saffron butter, onion, shallot, chile and thyme - lightly season with salt and pepper
- saute the onion for several minutes until the onion begins to turn translucent
- add the rice and stir and saute for 2-3 minutes
- add the wine and stir until the wine is absorbed
- pour yourself a glass of wine!
- using a baster or a ladle, add about a cup of chicken broth to the pan and start stirring
- reduce heat and keep a slow rhythmic stirring going continuously
- as the rice absorbs the broth, add more, a 1/2 cup at a time and keep stirring
- After about 20 minutes, start tasting the rice for doneness
- Keep stirring and adding broth until the rice is nearly done - just the other side of al dente
- stir in the parmesan cheese and half the parsley
- as you serve, sprinkle top with remaining parsley as garnish
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
Monday, 06 February 2012 12:30
BBQ sauce with a kick! This sauce is addicting. It also makes a great gift for foodies.
Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce. Makes about 2 cups.
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
- 1/3 cup molasses (if using unsulphured molasses, cut back a bit on the brown sugar or it will be to sweet)
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons prepared Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1/4 tablespoon ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a low boil them simmer about 10 minutes until combined. Cool then put in fridge.
Chicken with Cooked Wine (Pollo al Vin Cotto)
Monday, 31 October 2011 13:34
This is a adapted from Mario Batali that while isn't the quickest dish to prepare, isn't particularly difficult and is certainly impressive. It will also make your home smell wonderful! We like to serve this with rice pilaf but polenta and risotto are great too!
- 4 1/2 C red wine (not expensive but don't use anything you wouldn't drink)
- 1/2 C honey
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole cloves
To make the vin cotto, combine the above ingredients in a heavy bottomed sauce pan and ring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until reduced to one cup, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves before using.
- 1/4 C olive oil
- About 8 chicken thighs, skin and bones intact
- 1 large onion, large dice
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 C green olives, pitted and chopped
- 3 T raisins
- 1 T capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 T pine nuts, toasted
- 3 T blanched almonds, toasted
- 1/2 C red wine vinegar
- 1/4 C sugar
- black pepepr
- 1 T hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 C finely chopped parsley
In a large saute pan (or two large sized pans depending on how much chicken you use), heat the olive oil over high heat until very hot but no smoking. Season the chicken with salt, add skin side down to the pan and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and carrots and cook, stirring, until deep golden brown. Add olives, raisins, capers, pine nuts and almonds to the pan and stir well. Add 1/2 C of the vin cotto to deglaze the pan, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom, then boil until reduced by half. Add the remaining 1/2 C vin cotto then bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, combine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring, until the liquid has reduced to a glaze. Season with salt and pepper.
Either served on a warmed platter or individual plates. Sprinkle with black pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley and serve.
Serve this with a Rioja or Garnacha ... both delightful Spanish wines.
Goat Cheese Ravioli
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 17:24
This is a true company dish. If you have guests that enjoy cooking as much as eating, have them participate. The group effort makes this fabulous dish even more special. We like to make our own pasta but you can try this with wonton wrappers. It isn't as perfect, but the filling and sauce will round it out.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large shallots, minced
- 8 ounces arugula, chopped (about 8 cups)
- 6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), crumbled
- 1/2 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 42 (about) wonton wrappers (from one 12-ounce package)
- 2 large egg whites, whisked just until foamy
- 6 ounces thinly sliced pancetta* or bacon, coarsely chopped
- 1/8 cup (1/4 stick) butter
- 6 large plum tomatoes, quartered, seeds and membranes discarded, tomatoes diced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 12 fresh basil leaves (or more)
- Fresh thyme sprigs
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté 10 minutes. Add arugula; toss until wilted but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Transfer arugula mixture to large bowl and cool. Mix in goat cheese and Parmesan cheese. Season filling with salt and pepper.
Line 2 baking sheets with heavy-duty foil; spray foil with nonstick spray. Place 4 wonton wrappers on work surface; cover remaining wrappers with plastic to prevent drying. Lightly brush entire surface of each wrapper with egg white. Spoon 1 generous teaspoon filling into center of each wrapper. Fold wrappers diagonally in half, forming triangles. Press edges firmly to seal. Arrange ravioli on prepared sheets. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (Can be made ahead. Cover with plastic and chill up to 1 day; or cover with plastic, then heavy-duty foil, and freeze up to 1 week. If frozen, do not thaw before cooking.)
Make tomato-pancetta butter:
Cook chopped pancetta in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp and brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel; drain. Set aside. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from skillet. Add butter to drippings in skillet; melt over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and thyme; sauté until tomatoes are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Cook and serve ravioli:
Place melted butter in large bowl. Cook half of ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 4 minutes for fresh or 5 minutes for frozen. Using large strainer, transfer ravioli to colander and drain; place in bowl with butter and toss to coat. Cover to keep warm. Cook remaining ravioli in same pot of boiling water. Drain and add to bowl of buttered ravioli. Toss gently to coat. Divide ravioli among bowls. Rewarm tomato butter over medium heat. Add reserved pancetta and basil; sauté 1 minute. Spoon sauce over ravioli; garnish with thyme.
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