Today, let's make plans to grill up something different and add a bit of excitement to our weekend.
Pork: the other white meat. I think that might still be used to promote pork; it’s a catchy phrase, and one that instantly associates pork with healthy thoughts. Well, I’ve got no pork recipes to share with you today, but I am going on a bit about another meat. We all spend a lot of time grilling beef, pork, and chicken, so much so that perhaps we overlook the full potential of what we can grill!
It’s the middle of August, and while it feels more like late September here on the East Coast, there’s still a lot of grilling to be done in 2013. In my recent writings about wine I’ve been on a bit of tear as of late thinking about and encouraging people to move outside of their comfort zones and celebrate the diversity we have available to us. Today let's do that by taking a look at some grilling recipes that take advantage of meats other than our old standbys. Today let's make plans to grill up something different and add a bit of excitement to our weekend!
Click here to find adventurous grilling recipes with wine pairings.
— Gregory Dal Piaz, Snooth
Coleslaw, 4 Ways
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Perfect Wine-and-Food Pairings
Photo By: Kieran Scott ©This content is subject to copyright.
Steak and Cabernet Sauvignon
Why they're the perfect pair: Cabernet Sauvignon is high in tannin &mdash the substance that leaves a chalky sensation on your teeth and dyes your mouth dark after drinking. The fat in a steak stands up to tannins and softens their impact, and the meat's bold flavor matches the big, fruity flavor of the wine.
Similar combinations to try: Red meat and red wine are a classic combination. Grilled steak would be delicious with an American red Zinfandel, or a tannic or soft Merlot, while a pan-fried steak pairs well with a fruitier red like an Australian Shiraz, or a California, Oregon or Washington Merlot.
Photography courtesy of Lisovskaya/Getty Images
Oysters and Muscadet
Why they're a perfect pair: Muscadet, which is made in western France and along the Atlantic coast, heightens the oysters' fresh flavor with its acidity.
Similar pairings to try: Mussels, clams, oysters and white fish like trout or skate are also delicious with lightly oaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
Photography courtesy of Lisovskaya/Getty Images
Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chianti
Why they're a perfect pair: Chianti has a bold, fruity flavor with enough acidity to stand up to the tomatoes and meat.
Similar pairings to try: Spanish Rioja also pairs well with tomato-based sauces. Parmesan cheese goes well with Chianti.
Photography courtesy of istetiana/Getty Images
Spicy Indian Takeout and Riesling
Why they're a perfect pair: Slightly sweet, low-alcohol wines like German, Australian or New York Rieslings give the palate some relief from a spicy meal. A highly alcoholic wine would make you feel the burn.
Similar pairings: Spicy Asian food or highly spiced Mexican dishes like enchiladas also pair well with Riesling. A dry Gewurztraminer also pairs well with heart-pumping cuisines like Thai or Indian.
Photography courtesy of sf_foodphoto/Getty Images
Salmon and Pinot Noir
Why they're a perfect pair: While fish typically pairs better with white wine, salmon's flavor will stand up to the bold but not too tannic flavor of Pinot Noir. Consider regional pairings &mdash salmon harvested in the Pacific Northwest pairs well with the Pinots from that area.
Similar pairings to try: Pinot Noir also pairs well with other fatty fishes like tuna, especially when they are served rare or raw.
Photography courtesy of Troels Graugaard/Getty Images
Stilton and Port
Why they're a perfect pair: The contrast! The salty cheese and the sweet wine contrast beautifully, but both are aged long enough to develop a similar earthy, tawny flavor.
Similar pairings to try: Serve sweet wines like port, sherry and Madeira with salty and/or strong cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton and other blue or pungent cheeses.
Photography courtesy of Kieran Scott/Getty Images
Lamb and Bordeaux
Why they're a perfect pair: Because of the gamey flavor, lamb shines with a wine that has a rich, bold personality to stand up to it. Bordeaux is bold and fruity, and the fatty richness of the meat helps absorb some of the wine's tannins.
Similar pairings: Choose aromatic wines with bold flavors and maybe even some smokiness to pair with lamb or other game, such as venison.
Rarely do you find a wine that handles a whole cuisine better than Pinot Gris and Thai food. Like most Asian cuisines, dishes are placed on the table at the same time so one wine has to do duty for all. The crisp acidity of Alsace Pinot Gris makes it a reliably good match but the new wave of Pinot Gris from New Zealand (see panel tasting, p101) with their opulent fruit and beguiling sweetness are impressive.
Other good matches for Thai food: none is quite as flexible, but Gewurztraminer works with many dishes
Recipes & Pairings
Due to its location inside of Castilla y Leon – the breadbasket of Spain, Ribera del Duero’s culinary heritage is vast and varied. Lamb and anything off the grill play a vital role in many of the area’s famous preparations. Some of our best memories of visits to Ribera are all about impromptu vineyard bbq’s with lamb grilled over vine cuttings. In fact, Lechazo (roasted suckling lamb) from the region has its own protected designation [&hellip]
Mojo Verde Sandwiches
Simplicity and pristine ingredients are important elements in many of Spain’s most famous dishes, and we love how this concept is carried through in Chef April’s mojo verde sandwich. It’s the perfect marriage of sophistication and simplicity. Get the best bread you can find –it’s the secret to a memorable sandwich. If you don’t have [&hellip]
General Chin’s Chicken
Chopped Champion and Chef, Lanny Chin brings us a perfect Rueda pairing with his very own General Chin’s Chicken. We love the addition of sambol (also referred to as sambal oelek), it reminds us of relaxed meals in Indonesia. Mixed with honey and fresh lime juice, it creates the ideal spicy and sweet combination. A [&hellip]
Queso & Birria Tacos
This tasty recipe (and ultimate comfort dish!) from Chef Rosana Rivera was chosen as one of the grand prize winners of the RyR Pairing Challenge with Chef’s Roll. Based in Tampa and the winner of season 22 of Beat Bobby Flay, Chef Rosana Rivera developed this delicious dish as a custom pairing to highlight the [&hellip]
Seared Scallops with Nantua sauce, Fennel, Escabeche and Manchego
Chef Joseph Martinez, Chef de Cuisine at Silo Terrance Oyster Bar in San Antonio, Texas created this mouthwatering scallop recipe as a custom pairing for crisp Rueda Verdejo wines. It’s so delicious that he beat out dozens of competitors to become one of the grand prize winners in our nationwide Chef’s Roll RyR Pairing Challenge. [&hellip]
Mushroom, Bacon + Pumpkin Rice Bowl
With rice as your base, your flavor builds are endless! In this recipe, crispy bacon, earthy mushrooms and pumpkin adds a savory twist to your traditional grain. Serve as a side dish or add some protein for a filling grain bowl. Enjoy with a glass of Ribera Tempranillo bit a bit of aging to complement [&hellip]
Croquetas de Pollo con Cúrcuma (Turmeric Chicken Croquettes)
Hello bite-sized pillows of delight! Crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside, these Chicken Croquettes will be your new go-to appetizer or side dish for all gatherings. For the true Spanish experience, pour yourself a glass of a younger, fruit-forward Ribera Tempranillo, that is easy on the oak. You could also serve [&hellip]
Clams in Green Sauce
Description: Some of the best meals are the simplest and purest of flavors. Steamed sweet clams, a drizzle of fresh parsley sauce, spritz of bright lemon and a glassful of bone-dry stainless steel Rueda Verdejo – perfection. Select a Rueda with popping acidity for an inspired pairing that works with the umami in the clams. [&hellip]
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Want to eat local? Sometimes a tasty protein source is as close as our own backyard. No hunting license required. The common brown garden snail (Helix aspersa), the plague of many American gardens, is actually the same animal that, when served on a plate in a fancy restaurant, we call escargot. But before scooping up snails in your backyard, make sure the snails in your area are in fact Helix aspersa. There are other snails that aren't so good for eating.
Grill Gourmet: The Best Wood And Food Pairings To Try This Season
As the barbecue season is about to heat up, it's time to clear off the grill and get your outdoor cooking game on. And one way to take it a notch higher is tossing in some wood chips while grilling.
Smoking with wood chips is a wonderful technique to add more layers of flavor and aroma to your favorite grilled recipes.
" When done right, smoke flavor is the perfect addition to any grilled dish. It elicits the taste of grilling over an open fire, which gives you that traditional BBQ flavor," says Brian Barnett, Director of Specialities at Char-Broil.
Since different wood chunks make for different flavors, the key is to figure out what wood is compatible with the dish you're preparing.
"With unique compositions and burning points, different woods will produce different flavors. Fruit flavored woods such as apple, cherry and peach are great for when you want a subtle and delicate smoke flavor. For a more robust flavor hickory, pecan, mesquite and oak are perfect to add that kick," Barnett explains.
"Size also plays a factor. Larger wood chunks burn slowly releasing smoke over long periods of time, while wood chips burn hot and fast for smoke in a quick burst," adds the expert.
Without further ado, here's your guide to the best wood and food pairings for this grilling season:
- Apple: It has a mildly sweet and fruity flavor which makes apple wood ideal for cooking smoked chicken, turkey or fish. Recommended recipes: Applewood Smoked Chicken, Applewood Smoked Shrimp Salad and Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast. Pair these recipes with herb sauce and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for a delectable weeknight dinner.
What's more, you can even play around with wood blends – if you want to try something more adventurous. "Oak is a great base and pairs well with apple, cherry or hickory woods", notes Barnett. Meanwhile, hickory can be combined with fruitwoods like apple and cherry.
You can even experiment with foods other than meats. "Mild-flavored woods can be used to infuse a smoky flavor into cheeses, nuts and even vegetables," says Barnett.
If you're a beginner, here are a few practical tips by the Char-Broil expert that you should keep in mind while cooking on a grill:
- Season your grill grate. Season it with a high heat oil, like Canola, to prevent your food from sticking to the grates.
- Always handle meat gently when grilling. Never squeeze your burgers or steaks or, the juices will run leaving your meat dry
- Learn the art of direct vs. indirect grilling. Use direct heat to get a nice sear on a steak or go low and slow to get fall off the bone ribs.Watch out for flare-ups. Move the food to a cooler zone of your grill if flares become too intense.
- Smoking with wood isn’t just reserved for a charcoal grill. When smoking on a gas grill, create a smoking packet with aluminum foil or use a smoker box.
Other than that, make sure you don't go overboard while using wood chips for smoking. Ideally, smoking food should take up only half the total cooking time. It's also important to closely monitor the smoke while you're at it. White smoke emanating in a gentle stream means you're doing it right while billowing black smoke is definitely a red flag.
Dessert: Cake From Cans
Forget peeling slippery mangoes this easy and impressive cake uses quality canned fruit.
Recipe: Asha Gomez
How to Make Cardamom Mango Cake
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
- 3 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for flouring the pan
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp green cardamom powder
- ½ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup canned Alphonso or Kesar mango puree
- 3 cups canned Alphonso or Kesar mango puree
- 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- A few pinches of cardamom powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Liberally butter and flour 10-inch Bundt pan.
- Sift flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt into a large bowl. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or a handheld electric mixer, cream butter and sugar at medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until well combined. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour mixture and puree. Beat at medium speed for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until batter is smooth. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake until cake is deep golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes.
- While the cake is baking, make simple syrup: In a small pot, boil sugar, water, and cardamom until the mixture is reduced to a thick syrup, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool completely in the pan. Invert the cake onto the wire rack, then transfer to a cake plate or platter. Poke a bunch of holes in the surface of the cake with a skewer and drizzle cake with syrup. Glaze and garnish the cake by evenly pouring the puree over top, then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and cardamom powder.
This brine today is a little different than a basic brine because I added a bottle of white wine to it. I made it for the Recipe Redux theme of cooking with alcohol. (Please, scroll below to see the other great recipes in this month&rsquos Redux!) Here was my thinking, wine and other alcohols apparently makes food taste better. Or at least that&rsquos what Sara Moulton said at IACP a few years ago. It like bonds to our taste receptors and makes it so that you can taste the other flavors in the food. Or at least that is what I remember her saying&hellip something like that. So after experimenting with this wine brine, and loving the heck out of the results, it is my guess that the brine forced the alcohol into the chicken. I don&rsquot know for sure, this is pure conjecture, but I do know that the resulting juicy as heck chicken is so incredibly good. I kept thinking that it was like the winey, briney cousin of marinade in a way.
The first night we had it with a sautéed mushrooms. Oh, my goodness! Love! Love! Love! I love the way the rosemary in the brine comes through with all of these savory flavors. And if you really want to hit a complete dinner home run serve it with The Best Homemade Potato Salad by Meaningful Eats. It&rsquos gluten free too!
Now that I know wine is so magical in brine, I want to try it with other meats and wines. What do you think would be a good combination?
More Grilled Chicken
All Day I Dream About Food | Not grilled but totally yummy and summery looking: Easy Low Carb Caprese Chicken