February's Eat This! Drink That!
It’s time to say adios to January and hola to some innovative wines and even better recipes!
January is truly the Monday of the year; it’s the month that seems to drag on longer than any other. But with that long month out of the way and with February knocking on our door, it’s time we shake things up and add a little spice to this next month of meals! Explore your inner-foodie with amazing Spanish-inspired recipes paired with some delicious wines from Spain! Fantastic, highly accoladed bottles and marvelous meals that are easy, quick, and will have you saying Olé!
This bold Spanish red, from the town of Cervera de la Cañada, is full bodied with dark fruit flavours and complex earthy and floral notes.
Smoky flavors well integrated with fruit (red and black berries) and a background of vanilla owing to good barrel aging. The palate presents a good structure that is soft and round. Clearly fruity, persistent, with a long toasted finish.
This is floral with big ripe black fruit, prune and plum tones and an emerging pleasing spice note. Supple and easy-drinking, this has good structure and reflects its mixed-oak heritage very nicely.
Aromas of sark cherry and blackberries, flavours plum and blueberry underscored with notes of licorice and subtle earthy tones. A juicy and smooth red blend with soft tannins and light oak againg.
Wine pairing: San Gregorio Las Martas 2014
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef extra lean
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp oregano dry
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 tbsp brown sugar packed
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 4 sheets puff pastry (2 packages, 2 sheets per package)
- 1 egg for egg wash
In a medium skillet heat the olive oil and add the ground beef. Sauté the ground beef until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the onion and garlic to it and continue sautéing until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, beef broth, brown sugar and hot sauce to the skillet and stir. Cook for two minutes then remove from heat and let the meat mixture cool until it comes to room temperature. Preheat oven to 425° F degrees.
Working with one puff pastry sheet at a time, roll it out so that it's long enough to cut 6 circles, 2 on each row. Using a 4-inch cookie cutter or bowl, cut 6 circles, 2 per row. Fill each with a about a tablespoon of meat mixture in the middle of each pastry round. Brush half of the pastry round edge with egg wash, then fold the dough over into a half-moon shape so the edges meet and then press them together with your fingers to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edge. Place it onto a baking sheet and repeat with remaining ingredients. You should get around 40 empanadas.
Poke holes in each empanada using a fork then brush the empanadas with the egg wash and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm with salsa or salsa verde.
Spicy Chicken and Chorizo Paella
Wine Pairing: Pata Negra Tempranillo Roble
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 12 oz pork chorizo
- 1/2 large red onion (chopped)
- 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups medium grain rice
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, then add the chorizo. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the onion, bell pepper and garlic.
Add the paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes.
Then add the rice.
Toss to coat then add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Mix well then add the shredded chicken. Add the tomatoes on top.
Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the liquid has been cooked down.
Vegan Spanish Pisto
Wine Pairing: Flavium Mencia 2014
- ½ diced potato
- ½ diced zucchini
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- ½ diced onion
- ½ diced green bell pepper
- ½ diced red bell pepper
- Sea salt to taste
- ½ cup tomato sauce (125 g)
Steam the potato and the zucchini for about 15 minutes.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and sauté the rest of the veggies for 5 or 10 minutes. Add sea salt to taste.
Add the potato and the zucchini (cooked) and the tomato sauce. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Fried Stuffed Olive Tapas
Wine pairing: Estratos Monastrell-Syrah 2016
- 1 500g can of tomato puree
- 1 350g can of black olives (pitted)
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1/4 cup plain flour
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- 1-2 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 1 pinch of dried chilli
- extra virgin olive oil
Pour the tomato puree into a wide dish. Drain, and add the olives, making sure they are all submerged. Set it aside to soak for about 1 hour. Beat the feta and capers together to form a rough paste
Remove the soaked olives from the tomato paste, keeping the sauce to one side. Gently roll little balls of the feta mixture into tiny sausage shapes and stuff these into the olives. Set up a station by lining up three shallow bowls – the first with the flour, whisked eggs in the second, and the last with the breadcrumbs.
Pour the vegetable oil into a deep pan and place over a medium heat. Pop a cube of bread in the oil, and when it's golden it is ready to use. Working quickly, roll the olives in the flour, followed by the egg, letting any excess drip off, then finally coat in the breadcrumbs.
Carefully lower into the hot oil and deep fry until golden and crisp. To make your sauce, place the leftover tomato puree in a small pan with the oregano leaves and dried chilli.
Season, place over a medium heat and simmer rapidly for 4 to 5 minutes, or until reduced slightly. Stir in a little extra virgin olive oil and serve with the fried olives.