Friday, February 13, 2009

Recession Valentine- WINO article

Whether your a romantic who just loves to gush about Valentine's Day or you're a cynic about the whole thing as just another corporate plot to guilt you into buying chocolate and over-priced roses, it's hard to argue with a day that encourages you to celebrate the people you care about the most. My favorite way to celebrate the people I love, regardless of what day, is to cook for them!

WINO magazine, a local wine magazine, highlighting Washington wines published a couple recipes from EAT & DRINK in the Northwest. I couldn't find the Garlic Greens with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts recipe in the current issue, so I wanted to make sure readers who were interested in it could find it here:

Romance, Wino Style
February 7, 2009 WINO magazine
By Melissa Peterman and Marcus Pape

You hand-knitted your sweetheart a scarf for Christmas, and created love coupons for back rubs and long walks for their birthday, all in the effort to save money in this horrific economy. Now, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and you’re thinking “How do I pull this one off?”
Instead of a trip to wine country or reservations at the trendiest restaurant in town, conserve your cash by trying something a little closer to home. Why not impress your valentine with a little wine knowledge and your culinary skills, and make them an unforgettable dinner made with love?
You are probably thinking, “Yeah, but that seems like a lot of work!” Come on, isn’t love the ultimate motivation to do your very best and show your sweetheart that you can plan, shop and cook like the pros? Who wouldn’t be impressed with a table set for two and wine paired with a gourmet meal made by you? Or better yet, cook the meal together. A little wine while you chop, mix and dance or smooch in the kitchen before dinner can be just as rewarding as eating the meal itself.
Here are two dishes from EAT & DRINK in the Northwest’s winter edition, sure to please your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank.

Rib-Eye Steak with Parano Butter and Garlic Greens with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
Makes 2-4 servings

Two (8 oz) rib-eye steaks about 1-inch thick Coarse salt and cracked black pepper
3 T. finely grated Parano cheese* (or substitute 2 T. grated Parmesan and 1 T. grated aged Gouda)
3 T. unsalted butter
Olive oil
*Parano cheese (a Dutch cheese with a nutty, Parmesan/aged Gouda taste and a dense smooth Gouda texture)

Preheat oven to 400° F

Remove rib-eyes from refrigerator about 15 minutes before cooking. To make the Parano butter, mix grated cheese, butter and a pinch of pepper in small bowl. Tear a sheet of wax paper in half and divide Parano butter into 2 small mounds next to each other on one sheet of wax paper. Lay the other sheet on top and press down lightly. Place into the refrigerator to firm.
Sprinkle rib-eye steaks with salt and pepper. If pan searing, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. Add steaks, reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 2 minutes per side. Place one pat of Parano butter on top of each steak and place the whole pan into the preheated oven for 2 more minutes, (for medium-rare). Remove pan, and let steaks rest for 5 minutes.

If Grilling
To grill the steak, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Lightly brush both sides of the steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place steaks directly over medium-high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce heat to low and top each steak with one pat of Parano butter. Cook for 5 more minutes (for medium-rare). Transfer to a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes. Serve with Garlic Greens with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts.

Garlic Greens with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
Makes 2-4 servings

1 head of lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur kale)
2 T. olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
½ small lemon, juiced
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper
½ c. golden raisins
½ c. toasted pine nuts

Rinse kale, cut off the tough stalks and discard. Place four kale leaves on top of each other and roll them tightly. Use a knife to thinly slice the kale into ribbons and place into a bowl and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced kale and stir with tongs for 1 minute. Add garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper and stir for 30 seconds. Add lemon juice, raisins and pine nuts and stir. Remove pan from heat and set aside. Serve on the side of Rib-Eye Steaks with Parano butter.

Paired Wines:
Gordon Brother 2003 Tradition, Washington
Hogue Cellars 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington
Chateau Rollat 2005 Edouard de Rollat Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington

General Pairing Suggestions:
Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blend, Merlot, Cabernet Franc

Pairing Food & WineWine, as you know, can be a great accompaniment to food, but this connection can be made in various different ways. Some wines complement a particular flavor or flavors found in a dish, such as bell peppers with the green character found in many wines. Other successful pairings are based off contrast, such as sweet wine with spicy foods. Some wine and food matches can often be based on nothing more than the weight and structure found in both the food and wine.
But even with so many pairing options available, a truly successful food and wine experience can come down to nothing more than your own personal preference. With this in mind, use these guidelines and suggestions as a resource, but know that the best way to find the perfect pairing is to experiment with various wines that fit your taste. Drink what you like! - Marcus Pape
General Pairing Guidelines

1. Match body of food with body, or weight, of the wine.

2. Match acidity levels. It’s better to lean toward more acidity in a wine, because not enough can leave it tasting flabby.

3. Match sweetness. The wine needs to be at least as sweet as the food, or it will seem drier than it really is.

4. Match flavor qualities. Similar characters in both food and wine help accentuate each other (e.g. herbal, citrus, earthy).

5. Pair contrasting flavors (eg. sweet and spicy).6. It’s good to pair complex dishes with simple wines.7. Match Location. Wine and food from similar regions tend to pair well together, especially in old world countries.

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