Saturday, September 27, 2008
WINE with DINNER
Last weekend my husband and I decided to go to one of the many wine tastings our local wine stores hold. This one happens weekly and we were curious to find out how informative it would be. Our knowledge of wine is fair, but not vast, we know what we like and tend to stick with our favourites. We went along willing to learn and soak up any info given to us.We were to taste a total of eight wines ranging from an Italian, Feudi di San Gregorio Falanghina, a clean, fruity white tasting of pears and apples which even I was able to pick up on, so I chose this as my pick of the day, through to a Fondreche Cotes du Ventoux O Sud. My husband picked the Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir Pic St Loup as his favourite. This was a powerful fruit filled red, tasting of plums and blueberries. The plums I could taste but alas the blueberries were eluding me. Along side the tasting we were given tasting notes and recommended food pairings. Our plan was to pick a wine each, which we had duly done, and on a chosen night cook the meal recommended as we enjoyed the appropriate wine. So last night I held up my part of the bargain.
A LEMON and CHIVE RISOTTO with SAUTEED SHRIMP was the suggested menu. I am not a huge lover of risottos but was willing to give this one a go. The preparation was slightly different to any I had cooked in the past so this would be interesting. All of the ingredients I had in the pantry and I still had chives growing on the patio. I decided my one purchase would be some fresh shrimp.
So here is the recipe. Please don't be afraid of risotto, it is not difficult to cook, it just takes a little patience, and with a glass of your favourite wine beside you you can relax as you stir and enjoy bringing this dish together.
The recipe said it would serve 6 but to me 4 servings was what I would recommend
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream (double cream for any non Americans)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup arboroi rice
1/3 cup dry white wine (I chose to use the wine I was going to drink as it was only a small amount)
4-5 cups hot chicken stock
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper to taste.
3-4 shrimp per person depending on the size.
Mix then set to one side the lemon juice, egg yolks and cream.
Heat olive oil in large skillet.
Cook onion gently until soft but not browned.
Stir in rice and increase heat to medium.
Add wine and stir until it is absorbed.
Increase heat to med-high and add 1 cup of chicken stock. Stir until absorbed. Then keep adding stock 1/2 cup at a time stirring continuously until each addition is fully absorbed. As you get to the last cup of stock taste the rice, it should be soft but still have a slight bite in the middle. At this stage you may or may not need to add the rest of the stock. For me I needed all the stock,but this might not always be necessary. Use your judgement.
Stir in the lemon mixture, chives and Parmesan. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.
Salt and pepper the shrimp and saute in a little olive oil. As they turn pink squeeze in a tablespoon lemon juice and serve over the risotto.
The recipe worked out very well, and was fairly easy to do. The wine was a great accompaniment to the dish. It would be a nice dish for friends. Also as someone who is not a huge fan of risotto I would have no hesitation cooking this again as I really enjoyed it. It was creamy but with a nice bite. I was very happy with the outcome.
Was the wine club a success? On the day not so much, but the notes we were given were good and certainly the suggestion of wine and food pairings was good. We will now wait and see if our second wine, which will be drunk alongside rosemary roast potatoes! I'm thinking we may need to add something else to complete a meal, works as well as the first recommendation.
So watch this space.