Best Wines For Easter/Passover Feast #SundaySupper

For this week’s #SundaySupper we celebrate the traditional spring feasts of Easter and Passover.  And what’s a feast without some good wine?

Wine has always figured prominently in many religions, including Communion in the Christian faith, and the Passover Seder.

easter-eggs-wine-ornaments-table-13607647

The two main dishes served for Easter are ham and lamb.  Both pair quite well with a wide variety of wines—Red, White and even Rosé.  Ham’s tried and true partner for white wine are Riesling and Gewürztraminer.  Both wines offer fresh, flavorful taste profiles with enough sweet fruit to balance the salt in the ham and enough acidity to support endless variety of glazes that top the ham.  If you prefer a red wine with your ham, go with Zinfandel especially if your ham features a spicy sweet glaze.

Lamb’s tried and true wine partner is Pinot Noir. The fresh, earthy, herbal, spicy character of Pinot Noir will enable you to play with a variety of marinades, crusts, and sauces.  Pinot Noir also has the added benefit of working with roast poultry or even beef should you fancy those in addition to, or instead of the traditional ham and lamb main dishes.  Other reds like Syrah, Rhône blends, Merlot, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Sauvignon also work well.

So then how to choose which?  I’d recommend Pinot Noir for rack of lamb, or leg of lamb served pink with fresh herbs or spring vegetables.  For roast lamb, or lamb shank served more well done served with garlic and/or rosemary and a sauce, choose Cabernet Sauvignon or a Bordeaux blend.  For slow roasted lamb or barbecued lamb go with a Syrah.

Of course, there’s more to a feast than ham and lamb.  Likewise, there are other wines to consider for your feast.  I highly recommend having a bottle of bubbly on hand.  And also consider a Rosé, either sparkling or still. Both are very versatile at the table and will go will with everything from your first course through your main dish.

Here are my recommended wines for your Easter/Passover feasts!

Wines for Easter

Know what I love about sparkling wine? It’s the only type of wine that’s socially acceptable to drink with any meal! Besides, it pair well with almost anything, and adds a celebratory feel, a “je nais se quoi”  to your gathering. So have a bottle of bubbly on hand.  I recommend Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs – a sparkling wine made mostly from Pinot Noir with a cherry, citrus, and vanilla character. It’ll be great with your appetizers and salad.

For white wine, I recommend an off-dry (slightly sweet) Riesling.  One of my favorites is the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica.  It’s off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.

Rosé is an oft overlooked option at the table for Easter. It has mild red wine flavors with the cool refreshing personality of a white wine.  Look for the 2013 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare.  It has a crisp, refreshing  wild strawberry, citrus character.  It will pair well with a wide range of appetizers, salads, and side.  And even the ham!

For red wines, I recommend a Pinot Noir, and a red Rhône blend.   I like  2011 Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2011 from New Zealand where they’re makings some fantastic Pinot.  It has harmonious black cherry, cranberry, baking spice and vanilla character.  I also recommend the  2012 Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas. It’s a blend of mostly Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre that has juicy raspberry, cherry, spice, slightly herbal character underscored by an appealing minerality. 

Wines for desserts

For desserts, I recommend  Moscato d’Asti for fruit based and creamy desserts or Madeira for richer desserts such as cheesecake, tiramisu or chocolate based desserts.

Look for Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti, it’s billowing peach, and rose petal aromas are followed on the palate delicately sweet, lightly sparkling with fruit-driven peach, and apricot flavors.

Madeira is a fortified wine made on an island off the coast of Portugal.  It has wonderful toffee-caramel like character that is the result of heated aging. And its acidity keeps it from being overly cloying on the palate.  Look for Broadbent 10 Year Old Malmsey.  It has a rich full-bodied molasses, toffee character with hint of orange character.

Wines for Passover

Kosher wines have come a long way from overly sweet Manischewitz.  There are quality bottles produced all over the world including Israel, Italy and Napa.  And today’s Kosher wines can compete with the best wines from around the world.  Here are some quality bottles that won’t break the bank.

On the sparkling wine front, look for newly released Freixenet ‘Excelencia’ Kosher Brut Cava with a crisp, refreshing pear, and apple character to pair with your breakfast/brunch (bubbly is the only wine that’s socially acceptable in the morning ;-), appetizers, salads, and egg-based dishes.

2013 The Tribe Chardonnay - from Napa Valley based Covenant Wines, one of the top producers of Kosher wine.  This is a crisp, fresh Chardonnay with hints of apple, pear quince, and a bit of spice. It’s also a great option for pairing with appetizers, especially those with melted cheese, or chicken.

2010 Gamla Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Golan Heights, Israel – Here’s a medium-bodied red wine that has a  fruity, smooth, blackberry, cassis, and vanilla character. Pair with braised lamb.

Whether you’re celebrating Easter, Passover, or just looking for menu inspiration, the #SundaySupper team of weekly contributors has a stellar line up of recipes waiting for you! Check it out….

Breakfast/Brunch

Appetizers:

Savory and Sweet Breads:

Sides and Salads:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Best Wines to Pair With Chili #SundaySupper

I love chili. There’s just something about the combination of tomatoes, chili powder, peppers, and cumin and insert your favorite meat here that I adore.  While I’ve mostly enjoyed the aforementioned classic version of chili, I do enjoy a good chili adventure too!  And this week’s recipes showcase the amazing diversity of what is essentially a humble classic American stew.  You can keep it simple, or you can dress it up. You can keep it classic or you can make it exotic.  And that’s part of the appeal for me, it’s so diverse!

Bowl of chili

Image courtesy of For The Love Of Cooking.net

Now when it comes to which adult beverage to enjoy with a steaming hot bowl of piquant chili goodness, an ice-cold beer is top of mind for most.  I get that.  But setting aside my general preference for wine over beer, I prefer wine with chili for two reasons:

  1. Carbonated beverages make me feel fuller sooner, and well…I’d just rather have more room for chili!
  2. Depending on the heat level of the chili, I find that carbonated beverages intensify and prolong the burning effect of the capsaicin present in the peppers used in chili.

So then, what kind of wines pair best with chili? There are plenty of options, especially if you prefer red wines. Look for medium to full-bodied (but not too elegant) white, pink and red wines with ample fruit flavors, and moderate tannins.

For red wines, consider Zinfandel, Malbec, Syrah, Tempranillo, Grenache, Carmenere or Rhone-style red blends.  For white wines consider an off-dry German or Alsace Riesling, Viognier, Marsanne, or Chenin Blanc.  And don’t forget Rosé, the oh so versatile pink wine that delightfully bridges the gap between red and white wines.

Consider red wine (served slightly chilled) for tomato based chili, and white wine for “white” and other non tomato-based chili.  A rosé will work with both!  For non-traditionally spiced chilis with an Asian, or Mexican spice profile, I’d recommend the Zinfandel, or red Rhone blend. The spicier the chili (heat-wise) the more fruit-forward and sweeter you want your wine to be.

One final note – No wine will pair well with a Texas five-alarm or other incendiary, eye-watering, nose-running bowl of red.  Opt instead for beer, a low-alcohol (around 10%) Nigori sake or a yogurt-based (the dairy will cool you off ) drink.

Here are 5 wines that will pair well with the diverse menu of chili offered for this week.  

Gnarly Head Old Vine ZinfandelA old vine Zinfandel from the self-proclaimed “Zinfandel Capital of the World” – Lodi with a dark berry, plum, and spiced vanilla character (Around $10, find this wine) Pair this 

2011 Domingo Molina Hermanos Malbec-Tannat - A delicious Malbec from Argentina with a twist – it contains 30% Tannat (pronounced Ta-Not) which adds depth and length to this full-bodied delicious wine with a savory, plum, blackberry and licorice character (Around $15, find this wine)

 2010 E. Guigal Côtes du RhôneA perennial top quality everyday Rhone blend of about 65% Syrah with the balance being Grenache, and Mourvedre with a brambly full-bodied mixed berry, plum, licorice, and spice character. (Around $15, find this wine)

2012 Cave de Tavel “Lauzeraies” Rosé - A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvedre this is a  classic French rosé with enough “weight” to stand up the bold  flavors and texture of chili. This is the wine to reach for if prefer to pair your chili with a chilled wine, but prefer red wine flavors. It shows layers of wild strawberries,cherry spice, citrus flavors with a subtle mineral undertone.(Around $13,find this wine)

Chateau Ste. Michelle RieslingThis is an off-dry (slightly sweet) Riesling from the Columbia Valley in Washington State with a citrus, peach and lime character. (Around $8, find this wine)

This week’s #SundaySupper features a virtual chili cookoff, where YOU, get a chance to vote for your favorite recipe. A list of all the entries and links to them are below.  Voting begins at 8am Eastern time on Sunday, 2/23/14, and ends at midnight on Thursday, 2/27/14 (National Chili Day).  The winner receives a ticket to the Food and Wine Conference plus a $25 gift card.

Will YOU be a part of the #SundaySupper Chili Cook-Off judges panel this week? Voting is live at the Sunday Supper Movement Online Community Magazine starting now and concluding (fittingly) on February 27 – National Chili Day! Browse the submissions and cast your vote by clicking HERE!

Beef and Bison Chili

Pork Chili

Chicken, Duck, and Turkey Chili

Mixed (meat combo) Chili

Fish and Seafood Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Twist-on-Chili

Chili Cook-Off Voting at the Sunday Supper Movement Online Community Magazine

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Best Wines To Pair With Tapas #SundaySupper

I was pretty excited when I saw this week’s #SundaySupper tapas theme.  That’s because my wife and I recently returned from a 17-day trip to Spain! Our itinerary included visits to Barcelona, La Rioja (Spain’s most renown wine country), San Sebastian, Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, and Granada.  One of the highlights of our trip, of course was Spain’s food – especially the tapas, which we ate almost daily!  We were very impressed by the integrity and freshness of the ingredients in most of the food we enjoyed.

The notion of perfect and delicious little bar snack has now taken wing from its humble beginnings, developing into a worldwide gastronomic delight perceptively different from the usual restaurant experience..while still maintaining the feel of convivial food

We did our most serious tapéo (tapas hopping) in Barcelona, and San Sebastian.  But the cacophony of clanking glasses, fast paced chatter and the shuffling of tiny plates filled the atmosphere in every tapas bar we visited.

photo (47)

Each experience was unique and memorable in its own way.  For example, the experience in Haro, the wine capital of Spain, had a much more intimate feel than Barcelona, which was, as one would expect, was more frenetic.  Some of the tapas were the same from place to place, but we also enjoyed some regional specialties.

One of my favorites in San Sebastian - Bar Bergara.  Image courtesy of vamonosdetapas.com

One of my favorites in San Sebastian – Bar Bergara. Image courtesy of vamonosdetapas.com

The gastronomic highlight of the trip for me was San Sebastian (which has a well deserved reputation for being the culinary capital of Spain)!  It’s the most famous city in the Basque Country, and the local word for tapas is pintxos. 

Check out some of the tasty tapas we enjoyed in Spain…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pairing Wines with Tapas

I’m a big proponent of the wine and food pairing guideline that says ‘what grows together, goes together“.  In other words, pair tapas with Spanish wines.  The wide gamut of Spanish wines are naturally well-suited to the broad spectrum of Spanish foods.  My recommendations include many well know Spanish wines that are great with tapas, including Cava, Albariño, and Rioja, as well as the lesser well-known, but no less fantastic with tapas, Txacholi (Chacoli).

Another classic, but unsung hero of Spanish wine worthy of your consideration is Sherry.  Despite, the belief that Sherry country is where tapas were first created, Sherry remains mostly underappreciated, and misunderstood. It’s not just the libation of old ladies.  For example, relatively few people understand that Sherry ranges in style from bone dry to rich and very sweet (Here’s a great primer on Sherry).  Fortunately Sherry is becoming more popular outside of Spain because of its food friendly nature and exceptional quality/price ratio.  I count myself among those who believe that Sherry is their quintessential accompaniment.  Not sure about giving Sherry a try?  Try a half-bottle!

Tip: Since tapas are “small plates, you may find yourself ordering a wide assortment.  Consider ordering your tapas in two waves – those that work with white wine (Cava, Spanish white wines, or Sherry), then order tapas that work with red wines (meats, or mushroom based ones).

Check out the mouth-watering assortment of amazing tapas at the #SundaySupper virtual tapas bar and my wine pairing recommendations! :

Pair these dishes with Cava, the Spanish equivalent of champagne, made mostly in Catalunya by the same exacting standards as in France.  It has a wonderful palate-refreshing qualities also make it ideal with broad range of Spanish tapas.  Look for  El Xamfra Mercat Brut Cava.  It has an intriguing floral, stone fruit, citrus, and toasted nut character

Try this dishes with a slightly sweet Cava.  Look for Segura Viudas ARIA Extra Dry. It shows off-dry tropical fruit, apple, pear, honey and a bit of citrus flavors with crisp palate cleansing acidity and effervescence.

Pair these dishes with a Fino Sherry.  Fino is a light-bodied, very dry type of Sherry that is excellent with olives, almonds, ham, and chips and dips.  One of my favorites is Valdespino “Inocente” Fino. It has a complex, elegant, chalk, aromatic herb, and salted almond character.  These dishes will also work with the El Xamfra Cava.

Pair these dishes with an Amontillado Sherry. It’s an off-dry medium-bodied style Sherry with a richer, nuttier character than Fino.  Look for the Lustau Amontillado “Los Arcos” Solera Reserva. It has an off-dry edge, and an almond paste, date, spiced orange, slightly honeyed character. These dishes will also work well with the recommended Rioja below.

Pair these dishes with a Rosé.  Spain make some fine Rosé.  Most are Tempranillo and/or Grenache based.  But check out the 2012 Raventos i Blanc “La Rosa”. It’s made of Pinot Noir, and has a lovely, dry tangy mixed red berry and watermelon character.

Pair these dishes with an Albariño, the racy, refreshing white wine originating from the small wine region of Rias Baixas (ree-ahs-buy-shuss).  Look for the 2011 Condes de Albarei Albariño.  It has expansive aromas, a silky texture, and peach, citrus, and mineral flavors.

Pair these dishes with a Txacholi, a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol produced in Basque country. The wine is produced from an indigenous varietal of grape grown in vineyards that overlook the rugged Cantabrian coastline and are perfumed by the salty sea air. It’s fantastic with seafood.  Look for  the 2012 Zudugarai “Amats” Getariako Txakolina.  It has a zippy, crisp, tart green apple, citrus and mineral character. 

Pair these dishes with Rioja, named for Spain’s preeminent wine region.  The workhorse grape in Rioja is Tempranillo.  The supple, earthy, and often refined wines bring to mind Burgundy in some respect for me.  Look for the 2010 Bodegas Bilbainas “Viña Zaco”. It shows perfumed floral, red fruit, and spiced vanilla aromas with ripe black cherry, plum, vanilla flavors supported by well-integrated tannins.  

Pair these desserts with an Oloroso Sherry, a denser richer style of Sherry.  Look for the Lustau East Indian Solera. It’s a provocative sweet creamy Sherry with a toffee, fig, caramel, raisin, and baking spice  (cinnamon and clove) character. 

What’s your favorite wine to enjoy with tapas? Salud!

Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Casserole and Wine Pairings #SundaySupper

As I stand upon the doorstep of another year, poised to step into 2014, one of the traditions our family has is eating black-eye peas for luck and greens (which represent money) for prosperity.  Our other tradition is that I make my Seafood Gumbo. We don’t always make the greens, but we always have black-eyed peas.  The challenge is that I’m so involved with making the gumbo,the black-eyed peas are often an afterthought quickly whipped up at the last-minute.  So this year, I decided to whip up something that would combine the black-eyed peas with the greens (how’s that for hedging my luck and prosperity for 2014!).  And it had to be something I could make ahead so I can give all my love and attention to my Gumbo on New Year’s Day…thus this Black-Eyed Peas and Green Casserole. Black-Eyed Peas and Greens Casserole Truth be told, it turned out better than I expected, especially because I was pretty much winging it… Black-Eyed Pea and Greens Casserole It’s a fairly versatile recipe too because you could easily substitute other meat or vegetarian protein sources for the andouille sausage.  You could lighten it up by substituting oil oil for the bacon fat.  The spice level can be adjusted up or down by adding more or less jalapeño and/or cayenne pepper.  Cheddar cheese not your favorite?  Try it with pepper jack…and so on…

What’s your favorite New Years tradition?

Black-Eyed Pea and Greens Casserole
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
A casserole that combines the best of Southern New Year's tradition "eat for luck" staples - black-eyed peas and collard greens!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup dry black-eye peas
  • 1 pkg of Zatarain's Dirty Rice Mix
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 10oz pkg of pre-rinsed chopped collard greens
  • 12oz pkg of Aidell's Cajun Style Andouille, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and divided
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tsp of Emeril's Essence
  • 1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Sort and wash peas; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above peas; Bring to boil. Add the dried peas and boil for 30 minutes, or until tender (as tender as a canned black bean would be). You don't want them to have much of a bite to them, but you don't want them mushy either. Drain the beans when you've got them where you want them. Rinse and set aside.
  2. While beans are cooking, cook the Zatarain's Dirty Rice Mix according to directions omitting the ground beef. Set aside
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Pan-fry bacon. Remove from bacon from the skillet and drain on a paper towel, then crumble. Save for later use.
  5. Add sliced andouille sausage to pan with bacon fat and brown. Remove from pan and set aside
  6. Add ½ chopped onion, celery, jalapeño, and tomato paste to skillet and cook over medium heat until vegetables are soft; 5-10 min.
  7. Combine vegetables, cooked dirty rice, black-eyed peas, and crumbled bacon in large bowl and mix well.
  8. Parboil collard greens for 15 minutes and drain
  9. Add 1 TBSP of olive oil to pan in which you cooked bacon and vegetables, over medium heat: Add other half-onion and saute until 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant about 30 seconds.
  10. Place parboiled greens in pan with garlic/onion and saute 10 minutes. Add Essence and salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add greens to black-eyed pea and rice mixture along with ½ cup of cheddar cheese.
  12. Stir it all together and then scoop it into a 9x12-inch (or similarly sized) casserole dish coated with PAM. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes, just until cheese is melted.
  13. Serve with cornbread!
Notes
It would be easy to substitute for andouille sausage with other meat or protein source, but the andouille sausage adds a nice smokiness to the dish.
I used collard greens, but mustard greens or a combination thereof would also be nice

 

I’m also offering wine pairing recommendations for the other delicious menu items served up at the virtual #SundaySupper table for this week’s ”Reflections and Resolutions” theme.

Since it’s a New Year’s theme, I’m recommending all sparkling wines this week!  Of course, bubbly is a top of mind selection for celebrations, or drinking like cocktails. But they are much under-rated and under-appreciated at the table.  Simple put, Sparkling wines are fantastic with food! And if there is one wine that can take you from appetizers through to dessert, it’s a sparkling wine.

Here’s what I mean – bubbly works well:

  • As a counterbalance to salty(ever had bubbly with popcorn? – it’s yummy!), rich and creamy, and moderately spiced foods
  • As a replacement for other highlighting acids (citrus) for fish or shellfish
  • Raw foods – sushi, sashimi, oysters, and ceviche
  • With many Latin, Asian, and Middle Eastern dishes
  • With many cheeses, especially hard cheeses like Parmesan, rich cheeses (triple-cream cheese anyone?), and salty cheeses such as Feta
  • With tart foods: citrus, vinegars, pomegranate, dill, caper, and tomatoes
  • Dishes with a crunchy texture  (phyllo pastry, fried chicken, and tempura come to mind)
  • Pairing with rustic or coarsely textured foods like polenta, pesto, hummus, and baba ghanoush

There are four primary styles of sparkling wines  - Blanc de blancs is 100 percent Chardonnay (other white wine grapes) and carries those flavors. A classic brut is a blend of red and white grapes, typically Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Blanc de Noirs is mostly made with red wine grapes, typically Pinot Noir, and tends to have red fruit flavors. And sparkling rosé has just been left on those Pinot Noir (or other red wine grape) skins a tiny bit longer, to pick up more color, texture, and flavor.  There many types of sparkling wine too – Champagne, Cava, Prosecco and Crémant to name a few.

Experiment.  Find the style and or type you prefer, and don’t wait just for a special occasion or celebration to pop open a bottle of bubbly!

Here is this week’s #SundaySupper menu and my wine pairing recommendations:

Breakfast

Pair these breakfasts dishes with the 2011 Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato.  It’s a blend of Gordo Muscat and Black Muscat from the Yarra Valley in Australia.  It’s only 5.5% alcohol and it has a red berry, strawberry, peach, and zesty citrus character.  It’s a fun and fizzy quaff that is moderately sweet but not cloying.

Appetizers & Snacks

Pair these with a Blanc de Noir.  I recommend Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs.  It’s made from primarily Pinot Noir and exhibits strawberry and black cherry aromas with subtle vanilla highlights.  On the palate, it’s lush with creamy cherry, lemon and cola flavors. 

Main Dishes & Sides

Pair these appetizers and snacks with a Rosé Sparkling wine.  One of my favorites is the Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Rosé.  It’s pairs wonderfully with a wide range of foods.  It’s a blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay with a creamy, layered, citrus, strawberry, tart cherry and mineral character. 

Desserts

Pair these desserts with a sparkling red wine - Brachetto d’Acqui, from Italy. It is a produced from the Brachetto grape.  Look for Banfi Rosa Regale. It has a delicate aromas of  rose petals and offers luscious flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries

Drinks

Sunday Supper Movement Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy! You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

This is Christmas; Wine Pairings for Holiday Themed #SundaySupper Recipes

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is about recipes inspired by holiday music, movies or TV shows.  As I recalled some of my favorite Christmas memories, the first memory that popped into my head was the movie “Christmas Story”.  The movie is hilarious, but what made it special for me is that I used to watch it with my kids every year.  As I was having that flashback, I found myself listening to my favorite Christmas song, and feeling emotional.  The song gets me every year. Year after year.  It’s a song that is beautiful, meaningful, soulful and brimming with the holiday spirit. The song is “This is Christmas” by Luther Vandross.  

This is Christmas: Holiday Themed #SundaySupper

The many joyous memories evoked by a “Christmas Story”, and the message of faith, and hope are what Christmas is all about for me!

You can check out the song here (WARNING – 90′s hair and attire in full effect;-)

Aside from the message of the song, what I’ve always appreciated about it is that it’s some original contemporary Christmas music.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the classics, but I can only stand hearing “Jingle Bells” sung some many different ways. So for me, it’s refreshing to add something fresh to my holiday play list.  Check out the lyrics here.

What song “gets” you this time of year…every year?

And of course family, food and traditions are also what the holidays are about! Check out this week’s wondrous holiday themed recipes from the #SundaySupper family and my wine pairing recommendations.

Pair these party appetizers and snacks with an off-dry (slightly sweet) bubbly.  Try Chandon Extra-Dry Riche, a wonderful blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, and a touch of Muscat with a peach, nectarine, honey, apricot character.

Festive Main Dishes

Pair this classic salad with Sauvignon Blanc.  One of my favorites is the 2012 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Fumé Blanc.  It has a delicious candied grapefruit, meyer lemon, herbal and mineral laced character.  It exhibit a compelling combination of vibrant acidity and subtle oak notes that adds depth and some body.  

Pair these dishes with an off-dry Riesling.  One of my favorites is the 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica - It’s off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Pinot Noir.  Look for the 2012 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir. It has wonderful mixed berry, plum, cherry, cranberry and spice character. 

Pair these dishes with a red Rhône blend.  I recently featured the 2011 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon Villages Les Vignes de Bila-Haut as the Wine of the Week on my blog.  It’s a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan with a supple texture and a black cherry, red currant, blackberry, and mineral character. It’s $10 at Costco.

You KNOW with a names like “Filthy Animal Pizza”  and “Maple Syrup Spaghetti” these dishes needs a big wine.  Pair this insanely delicious unique dishes with the 2010 Michael David Winery Petite Petit, a big, bold blend of 85% Petite Sirah, and Petit Verdot with a full-bodied, savory plum, and vanilla spice character.

Pair these desserts with a late harvest Riesling.  I like the 2011 Navarro Late Harvest Cluster Select Riesling.  It has a great apricot, pear, pineapple, honey and baking spice character, with a long finish. And its crisp acidity keeps from being cloying. 

Pair these desserts with Port.  Look for Warre’s “Otima” 10-year-old Tawny Port. It’s a rich tawny port with a toffee, caramel, honey and dried fruits character. 

Cozy Drinks:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

All-American Wine Pairing Guide for Being Thankful #SundaySupper

For this week’s #SundaySupper we celebrate Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with a bounty of tasty dishes for which to be thankful. And this year also presents a rare opportunity to be thankful, because it’s the first time since 1888 that any of the eight days in the Jewish celebration of lights has fallen on the same day as the holiday marking the Pilgrims’ 1621 first harvest in the New World.  And “Thanksgivukkah”, as some are calling it, won’t happen again until 2070!

Trying to figure out what wine to pair with the Thanksgiving turkey is easy – just about any wine with enough weight will suffice.  The challenge is what wine(s) to pair with other diverse palate of sweet, tart and savory flavors, textures, and aromas that present themselves on Thanksgiving.

I like to keep it simple, drink whatever make you and your guests happy.  But safe bets for red wines are wines that have ample fruit, and are not too oaky, or high in alcohol such as Pinot Noir, wines made from Rhone grapes such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, or a blend, and Zinfandel. For white wine, go with aromatic, fresh, (well-balanced acidity) wines like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier, or Gewürztraminer.  And last, but not least, are my secret weapons for holiday wine and food pairings – Sparkling wine and Rosé.  Sparkling wines bring a celebratory feel and remarkable food-pairing versatility to the holiday table.  Also consider Rosé for its underrated versatility at the holiday table.

All-American Wine Pairing Guide For Being Thankful #SundaySupper

My Thanksgiving “wine-up” L-R; 2003 Roederer L’Ermitage Brut, 2012 Loring Wine Company Central Coast Pinot Noir, 2012 Donkey & Goat Stonecrusher Roussanne, and 2011 Yorkville Cellars Late Harvest Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc

Since Thanksgiving is the most American of holiday, I’ve chosen all American wines.  It’s a great time to buy American wines, because in my view, they are better than they’ve ever been!

Here are 11 wines you’ll be thankful for when it comes to wine and food pairing for your holiday celebrations:

Sparkling

  • Roederer Estate Brut – a delicious blend of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir that’s on the fruitier side of brut that is crisp and elegant with pear, apple, cinnamon, and hazelnut character.  You might also consider a Rosé sparkling wine!

Reds

  • 2011 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Noir  – a sleek wine with wild berry, cherry, and savory aromatics and flavors. 
  • 2011 Owen Roe Sinister Hand – a classic Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre from Washington State with a black cherry, cranberry, clove character, and an earthy undertone
  • 2011 Ridge Lytton Springs  – Blend of (mostly) Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Carignan that is well-balanced  and very food friendly with red fruit, sweet spice and bramble aromas; with ample black cherry, red currant, and spice flavors with a long lip-smacking finish. 

White

  • 2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle-Dr. Loosen Riesling Columbia Valley Eroica - It’s off-dry  with vibrant acidity and a beautiful white peach, grapefruit and mineral character.  This one will work well with appetizers and the main course.
  • 2012 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier - This is a wonderful blend of 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier that is low alcohol (12%) with an aromatic, juicy grapefruit, melon, passionfruit, and baked stone fruit character with lively acidity that make it a versatile food pairing partner.
  • 2012 Ferrari-Carano Sonoma County Fumé Blanc - Don’t let the Fumé Blanc moniker food you.  That’s all about marketing.  It’s Sauvignon Blanc, and it has a delicious candied grapefruit, lemon, herbal and mineral laced character.  It’ll pair well with herb stuffing, both white and dark meat, and much more.

Other

  • 2012 Donkey & Goat Stone Crusher El Dorado Roussannethis is unique “orange” wine, meaning white wine made applying the primary red wine technique of letting the wine soak on the grapes skins – in this case for 15 days – to add a large dose of tannins.  The result is a wine that is very versatile at the table.  It has a great mouthfeel with a spiced orange peel, lanolin, and herbal character.  Let it breathe a bit before serving and you’ll be amply rewarded
  • 2012 Tablas Creek Rosé Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles - a charming Rosé that is incredibly flexible partner at the table.  It a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre, 5% Counoise with delightful strawberry, watermelon, spice and mineral flavors. It has enough weight to stand up to a holiday meal without being heavy

Dessert:

  • 2008 Barra Bella Dolce Petite Sirah Dessert Wine - which is a Port-style wine made from Petite Sirah with fresh blueberry, mocha, and ground coffee aromas, and sweet spicy dark fruit flavors that will complement chocolate, nut-based, coffee and caramel desserts.
  • 2011 Navarro Late Harvest Cluster Select Riesling -  It has a great apricot, pear, pineapple, honey and baking spice character, with a long finish. And its crisp acidity keeps from being cloying. Pair with tree and stone-fruit-based desserts, creamy and custard desserts.

For your Hanukkah celebration - Check out both Hagafen and Baron Herzog for their selection of Kosher wines.  

Check out this week’s delectable dishes served up by our ever thankful #SundaySupper team!

FIRST COURSE / APPETIZERS

SAVORY BREADS + STUFFING

MAIN DISHES

SIDE DISHES

DESSERTS + SWEET BREADS

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Wine Pairing Recommendations for Squashin’ Winter #SundaySupper

Squash.  More specifically, Winter Squash. That’s what this week’s #Sunday Supper theme is all about.  Honesty, I had no idea you could do so much with winter squash! Though I must confess my squash repertoire is limited to an occasional foray into butternut squash (mostly store-bought salads and occasionally soup), and pumpkin pie.  But after seeing these amazing recipes, and learning about the superfood qualities of squash, I’ll be eating more squash!

In fact, now that I think of it, my office is hosting a “Potluck and Culinary Challenge” next week, and with these recipes at my disposal, I feel as if I have an unfair advantage!  Well you know what they say….”All is fair in love, war and culinary challenges”;-)

Winter Squash; Image courtesy of dailyhit.com

Winter Squash; Image courtesy of dailyhit.com

Wine Pairing Tips:

This week theme gives me an opportunity to present two key wine and food pairing principles:

  1. Pair the wine and foods of equal “weight” – Pair full-bodied, hearty dishes with full-bodied wines (red, white and sparkling). In other words, try to keep the mouth-weight profile of the wine and food in balance.  The wine and the dish should be equal partner with neither overwhelming the other.
  2. Pair to the prominent element of the dish - Identify the dominant element of the dish; more often it is the sauce, seasonings or cooking method, rather than the main ingredient. This week’s theme is a great example.  Squash may be prepared in a myriad of ways. In and of itself squash has a mild flavor profile. Which is why it’s so versatile.  But once it’s part of a dish with a stronger ingredient profile such as lasagna, chili,or perhaps an ethic dish, you’ll need to pair the wine to the stronger ingredient profile of the sauce or condiment. Likewise the roasted squash has a different flavor profile than fresh.

`Check out the amazing array of sweet and savory recipes the #SundaySupper family of food bloggers for this week and my wine pairing recommendations.

Pair these breakfasts and breads with the 2011 Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato.  It’s a blend of Gordo Muscat and Black Muscat from the Yarra Valley in Australia.  It’s only 5.5% alcohol and it has a red berry, strawberry, peach, and zesty citrus character.  It’s a fun and fizzy quaff that is moderately sweet but not cloying.

Pair these appetizers, starters, and condiments with a glass of bubbly. One of my favorites is  La Marca Prosecco.  It shows apple, peach and honeysuckle aromas followed by fresh, fruity apple, citrus flavors. 

Pair these dishes with a Riesling.  Look for the 2011 Columbia Crest Two Vines Riesling.  It’s distinctly off-dry with pear, peach, and citrus aromas, followed by stone fruit, mild orange and nuanced honey flavors rounded out with a crisp refreshing acidity.

Pair these dishes with Gruner Vetliner from Austria – another under-appreciated food friendly wine.  I recommend the 2011 Stadlmann Gruner Veltliner.  The Stadlmann family has been making wine since 1780, and this one shows an appealing green apple, stone-fruit, white pepper and spice character. 

Pair these dishes with Chardonnay.  Look for the 2011 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay. It’s moderately oaked, and medium-bodied with an appealing lemon cream, pear, apple and citrus character.

Pair these dishes with Pinot Noir.  I recommend the 2012 Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir. It shows a supple texture and an enticing plum, tart cherry, cranberry, and spiced vanilla character.  

Pair these starters, main  and side dishes with Cabernet Franc, an under-appreciated food pairing partner.  Look for the 2010 Dr. Konstantin Frank Cabernet Franc. It’s produced in the New York’s Finger Lakes region, a wine region that’s definitely on the rise!  It’s medium-bodied and smooth with nicely balanced red cherry, blueberry fruit flavors accompanied by savory spice and herb notes.  

Pair these starters, main  and side dishes with a red Rhône blend. I picked up a bottle of 2011 M Chapoutier Bila-Haut Les Vignes from Costco recently and drinks about it’s $10 price tag. It’s a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan that  has a delightful black cherry, red currant, blackberry, and mineral character.  

Pair these dishes with Tempranillo from the Rioja region of Spain.  I like the 2010 Vina Zaco Tempranillo.  It’s produced by one of Spain’s oldest wineries, Bodegas Bilbainas.  It opens with perfumed floral, licorice, black cherry and spiced vanilla aromas that follow onto the palate with soft juicy tannins.  

Pair these dishes with Zinfandel.   Look for the 2012 Cline Cellars Lodi Zinfandel.  Cline Cellar is one of America’s consistently good value wine producers and this Zinfandel is a great example.  The fruit is sourced from Lodi, California – the self-proclaimed Zinfandel capital of the world.  It has an easy drinking plum, blackberry,  and spiced vanilla character. 

Pair these dishes with Chianti from Italy.  A perennial favorite of mine is the 2009 Marchesi de Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Rufina Riserva. It shows a mouth-filling dried red fruit, sweet spice, and dried herb character with a very satisfying finish. 

Pair these desserts with Törley Doux Sparkling Tokaji. It’s a rare sparkling Tokaji, a wine produced in Hungary from a blend of blend of Furmint and Hárslevelű grape varieties.  It’s layered and concentrated with an intriguing dried citrus, tropical fruit, wildflowers, and honey character. 

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

The Best Wines For Fall Foods #SundaySupper

It’s official! Today is the first day of the Fall season.  Fall has always been bittersweet for me. I’m definitely a Summer person.  I adore the dry, warm weather and the longer days.

But Fall is my second favorite season for two reasons. First, Indian Summer in California is quite nice (although it rained in the Bay Area yesterday).  The second reason is the annual grape harvest.

Vineyard in Germany_Autumn colors

Image courtesy of love2mags.blogspot.com

It’s gorgeous in wine country in the fall. The verdant vineyards are reaching maturity, and are it’s a time ripe with vinous possibilities.  I love walking into a winery and seeing the harvest under way – grapes being  destemmed and crushed, the smell of fermentation.  And the wine events?! It’s definitely the best time of year for wine events!  Fall is not so bad after all!

The change of season also signals a change in our tastes in wine.  As we start to crave more substantial foods, we also start to want more substantial wines too.  More oft than not,  our tastes change from lighter summer-time whites, rosé, and perhaps a few select reds to more full bodied white, rosé, red wines. And that makes sense to me because one of the key principles of food and wine pairing is to match the “weight” of the food to the “weight” of the wine.

Check out this week’s fabulous fall fare put together by the #SundaySupper team and my wine pairing recommendations.

Amazing Breakfasts/Brunches

Pair these dishes with the 2011 Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato.  It’s a blend of Gordo Muscat and Black Muscat from the Yarra Valley in Australia.  It’s only 5.5% alcohol and it has a red berry, strawberry, peach, and zesty citrus character.  It’s a fun and fizzy quaff that is moderately sweet but not cloying.

Outstanding Soups, Starters, Sides, and Main Dishes:

Pair these dishes with a white Rhone blend. One of my favorites is the 2012 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc. It’s a blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne with a mouth-filling peach, citrus, and mineral character. 

Pair these dishes with the 2012 Borra Intuition.  It’s an unusual blend of Kerner, Gewürztraminer, and Riesling. It’s medium-bodied with a rich mouthfeel, and refreshing peach, apricot and spice flavors.  

Pair these dishes with Pinot Noir.  Look for the 2011 Hahn Winery California Pinot Noir. It has wonderful mixed berry, lavender, and spice aromatics, that follow onto the palate.

Pair these dishes with Chianti, the classic Italian red wine made from Sangiovese.  And one of the world’s great gifts to the table. Look for the 2011 Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti. It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo with a beautiful black cherry, spice, and licorice character with a kiss of rusticity.

Pair with these dishes with a Syrah.  I like the 2011 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah. This damn tasty wine is full-bodied, with wonderful acidity, and a dark fruit, spice, and slight earthy character.  

Decadent Desserts:

Pair these with a Cadillac, named for a little known village just south of Bordeaux that produces wonderful sweet botrytized white wines. It’s never reached the lofty status of Sauternes, just across the river.  The wines are typically made from Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle grapes. Look for the 2009 Chateau Suau, Cadillac.  It a blend of 40% Sauvignon – 60% Semillon with a fruity, complex, and sweet peach and honey character with good acidity. 

Pair these with a Cream Sherry.  Ok, so you might be asking..”um, it’s that the stuff my Grandmother used to drink?  Well, yes and no.  This is the sweetened inferior juice shipped to export markets.  Look for the Emilio Hidalgo “Morenita” Cream Sherry.  It’s a great example of the real deal from Jerez, Spain.  It has a wonderful sweet date, mocha spiced ginger, candied orange peel character that is delicately sweet with well-embedded acidity. Yummy stuff!  

Tasty Drinks:

Don’t forget to join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EDT. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here ? Sunday Supper Movement.

Wine Pairing Recommendations For Global Street Food #SundaySupper

This week’s #SundaySupper theme is all about Global Street Food. You know – that ready-to-eat food served up at mobile street carts, food trucks, movable market stalls, and food parks.

One of the things I love about living in the San Francisco Bay Area is its diversity.  It’s a (mostly) delightful, if sometimes quirky mash-up of ethnicities, cultures, politics, religions, you name it.  The gastronomic scene reflects that diversity.  Name a cuisine and you can find it in the Bay Area.  And of course

And of course, there are a multitude of opportunities to sample street food in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Off The Grid, SOMA Street Food Park, among many others.

One of my favorites is Sanguchon, a Peruvian Food Truck that serves a killer pulled pork sandwich. I usually get it with yucca fries.

Many local wineries have gotten in on the act, none more so that Rock Wall Wine Company, which regularly hosts “Food Truck Frenzy” with 6-8 gourmet food trucks, a DJ, and plenty of their award-winning wines.

Yes…wine goes with damn near anything.

Especially street foods from around the world.

Global Street Food #SundaySupper

Rock Wall Wine Food Truck Frenzy – Image courtesy of Rock Wall Wine Company

Global street food deserves a global wine selection.  My wine pairing recommendations include wines from Argentina, France, Germany, Italy, and California

My wine pairing recommendations  and this weeks slate of scrumptious #SundaySupper street eats follow (click on the name of the wine to find):

Pair these dishes with sparkling wine.  One of my favorites is Scharffenberger Brut Excellence.  It’s a great value that’s a blend of 67% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay with a full-bodied golden apple, ginger and honey character.  And remember sparkling wines are one of the most friendly wines there is!

Pair these dishes with a Pinot Blanc, a white grape variety that is a mutation of Pinot Noir. The first time I had it with food prepared with typical Indian food spices I was skeptical, but Pinot Blanc and such dishes rock! Look for the 2011 Paul Black Pinot Blanc d’Alsace from France.  It opens up with appealing apple, lemon and ginger aromas that follow on the palate with a lively mouthfeel, a kiss of tropical fruit and mineral undertone.

Pair these dishes with a wine made from the Torrontés grape variety, Argentina’s only indigenous grape.  Look for the 2011 Bodegas Colomé “Estate” Torrontés Valle Calchaquí Salta.

One of the tried, tested and mostly found true tenets of wine and food pairing is that “Riesling goes with anything”.  Arguably Riesling is the most versatile white wine at the table. That’s certainly the case this week.  Pair this diverse range of dishes with an off-dry Riesling.  I like the 2011 Von Hovel Oberemmeier Hutte Riesling Kabinett (is that a mouthful or what?).  It has a stone fruit, tropical fruit, sweet lime, and spice character and racy acidity.

Pair these dishes with a dry Rosé, a very versatile partner at the table.  Look for the 2012 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare. This an atypical Rosé in that it’s a blend of  both red and white Rhône grape varieties.  A typical Rosé is composed of solely red grape varieties.  It has an appealing strawberry, white peach, melon, spice and mineral character.

Pair these dishes with Chianti, the classic Italian red wine. Look for the 2011 Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti.  It’s a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo with a beautiful black cherry, spice, and licorice character with a kiss of rusticity.

Pair these dishes with Malbec, or more specifically, a blend of Malbec and Tannat, a little known grape variety, that today is best known as the national red grape variety of Uruguay.  Look for the 2011 Domingo Molina Hermanos Malbec-Tannat from Argentina. It’s a dark and delicious full-bodied wine with a blackberry, plum, and chocolate character with soft texture and a mineral undertone.

Pair these sweet treats with Banyuls, a lighter style fortified wine made in France.  It’s a Port-style wine made from Grenache, and is a great match for chocolate.  Look for the 2009 Les Clos de Paulilles Banyuls Rimage.  It has rich, dense blackberry, plum, caramel, and vanilla aromas and flavors. 

Pair sweet treats with Moscato d’ Asti. I like the 2012 Vietti Cascinetta Moscato d’Asti.  It has a lovely rose, and peach character with a soft effervescence.

Pair these sweet treats with the 2011 von Hovel Riesling noted above:

Let’s hit the pavement this Sunday in search of the best street food from around the globe!  Join us for a #SundaySupper event featuring Global Street Food that we’ve made in our own kitchens, in honor of our favorites and/or those we would love to try! We’ll also be holding our live #SundaySupper twitter chat at 7pm (ET) on Sunday evening.  We’d love to have you join us as we discuss the best and the worst of Global Street Food!

Hangtown Fry and Wine Pairings with Breakfast for Dinner #SundaySupper

When I saw this week’s Breakfast for Dinner theme, I immediately knew I had to pull double-duty this week. While I typically offer wine pairing recommendations for my #SundaySupper foodie friends, I’m in the kitchen this week too. That’s because my dish this week – Hangtown Fry, is perfect for this week’s theme. On top of that I have been craving since last year!

Legend has it that a 49′er hit a glory hole, an incredibly rich pocket of gold nuggets. He walked into the El Dorado Hotel restaurant in Hangtown, now Placerville California, and asked the waiter what was the most expensive item on the menu. The waiter answered that would be one of three things, oysters, which were tinned and shipped all the way from Boston, Bacon, which was scarce, and Eggs, which were also scarce. The prospector answered, fix them all on one plate and bring it to him. So was born the ‘Hangtown Fry’.

I was introduced to Hangtown Fry by my friend Manny.  He made one for me during a “field trip” of our wine tasting club made to the Tomales Bay Oyster Company last year.  It was a day full of friends, fun, food, and wine. We enjoyed raw oysters, grilled oysters and clams, and various other barbecued delights, but the Hangtown Fry was my favorite!  I enjoyed it with a glass of sparkling wine. Simply put, it was a deathbed food and wine pairing for me!

For the uninitiated (and I was among them until last year), Hangtown Fry could possibly be the first California cuisine. It consists of fried breaded oysters, eggs, and fried bacon, cooked together like an omelet. In the gold-mining camps of the late 1800s, Hangtown Fry was a one-skillet meal for hungry miners who struck it rich and had plenty of gold to spend.

Hangtown Fry for Breakfast for Dinner #SundaySupper

Ole Skool California Cuisine – Hangtown Fry garnished with scallions and crumbled bacon! An oyster in every bite!

I choose to make my Hangtown Fry omelet style – mostly because I worked by way through college as a cook and I’ve made thousands upon thousands of omelets.  But you can make this frittata style and finish under the broiler.  In fact, the original recipe call for finishing a Hangtown Fry by putting a lid on the pan cooking until the top if set (about 5 minutes either way)

Hangtown Fry
Author: 
Recipe type: Brunch
Cuisine: California Gold Rush
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
Hangtown fry is a type of omelette made famous during the California Gold Rush in the 1850s. The most common version includes bacon and oysters combined with eggs, and fried together. The dish was invented in Placerville, CA a.k.a. "Hangtown"
Ingredients
  • 3 strips cooked bacon, chopped or crumbled
  • 3 oysters, shucked
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 dashes of hot pepper sauce
  • I teaspoon, chopped fresh basil
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 sliced scallions, thinly sliced
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon until crisp and set aside. Reserve 1 TBSP bacon fat.
  2. If the oyster are large, cut into bite sized pieces.
  3. Pat oysters dry, and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  4. Put flour, 1 beaten egg, and cornmeal in 3 separate bowls. Dip each oyster in flour, then egg, then cornmeal; place on a floured plate.
  5. Heat reserved bacon fat in butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oysters; fry, flipping once, until golden brown, about a minute.
  6. Whisk remaining eggs in a bowl; season with salt and pepper and hot pepper sauce.
  7. Add eggs to pan with half the bacon and scallions. Cook until eggs are just set, about 3 minutes.
  8. Flip (if making omelet) or smooth over top; cover, and cook until top is set, about 5 minutes.
  9. Transfer omelette to a plate, and garnish with remaining bacon and scallions.
  10. Serve with sliced tomatoes

 

For more Breakfast for Dinner inspiration, check out the rest of the lineup the #SundaySupper team of food blogger has created, along with my wine pairing recommendations. All the recommended wines can be found for less than $20.

Pair these dishes with sparkling wine! Look for Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut.  It’s a blend of (mostly) Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with pear, toasty almond, and floral aromas. On the palate it shows lively citrus, and apple flavors. Aside from being among THE most food friendly wines, know what else I love about bubbly? It’s the only wine that’s socially acceptable to drink any time of day!

Bubbly is so nice, I’m recommending it twice!  Pair these dishes with a sparkling Rosé.  One of my favorite is from Burgundy – Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne “Perle d’Aurore” Brut Rosé.  It’s a beautiful eye of the swan color with fruity blackcurrant, strawberry character.

Pair these dishes with a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley.  Look for the 2011 Patient Cottat “Le Grand Caillou” Sauvignon Blanc.  It has a lovely tropical fruit, citrus, spice and mineral character with a tangy acidity.

Pair with these dishes with a Syrah, I like the 2011 Andrew Murray Vineyards Tous Les Jours Syrah. This damn tasty wine is full-bodied, with wonderful acidity, and a dark fruit, spice, and slight earthy character.  

Pancakes, Waffles, and French Toast topped with maple syrup is a very challenging pairing for wine.  You’re probably better off with a cold glass of milk or your favorite cup of coffee, but if you have a sweet tooth, try the Yalumba Museum Reserve Muscat a fortified dessert wine from Australia.  One sip and it’ll be Muscat love with its decadently rich toffee, caramel, and spiced orange peel character. 

Pair these dishes with Moscato d’Asti, a sweet, low alcohol wine produced in the province of Asti in North-west Italy.  Look for the 2011 Saracco Moscato d’Asti. It shows a sweet, fragrant, delicate, floral, tropical fruit, and a hint of honey character.  It’s “frizzante”, which means it’s not as effervescent as most sparkling wines. 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.