October's Eat This, Drink That!
Sparkling wines are not just for celebrating but for any occasion that calls for bubbles - like Thursday! These wines are perfect as an aperitif or to pair with richer foods. The month’s Eat this! Drink that! brings you a variety of wines from Spain, New Zealand (yes, New Zealand), Italy, and of course the infamous Champagne region of France. The recipes give you a chance to create a tasty dish worth indulging in for a perfect pairing.
The Cavas Hill 1887 Brut is complex, expressive and harmonious with aromas of grapefruit and green apple leading to a elegant, fruity and fresh palate with an after-taste of white peach. This is a fantastic Spanish Brut that uses the French méthode champenoise in combination with local grape varietals to produce a truly distinct Brut.
Villa Sandi Treviso Prosecco Il Fresco Brut is a beautiful dry, fresh and flavoursome sensation on the palate followed by a fruity and harmonious aftertaste. Pairs well with a range of aperitifs or steamed shellfish.
This Cuvée of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir has elegant aromas, is rich and full on the palate with a pleasant, lasting mousse. Sophora exhibits an array of ripe fruit flavours and vibrant citrus combined with delicate yeasty characters and a naturally balanced acidity to produce a luscious style of sparkling wine
The Moutard Grand Cuvee Brut Champagne is a stand-out wine, its seductive bouquet of peaches and pears underpinned by touches of almond and brioche. Wonderfully fresh, with creamy textures and an elegant sign-off, it's an ideal aperitif, but has the weight for food as well.
Deep Fried Mushrooms
Recipe type: Appetizer
Wine pairing: Cavas Hill 1887 Brut Cava
- 16 oz button mushrooms, stems removed
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp. red chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Clean mushrooms and sprinkle with some salt. Set aside while you prepare your breading station.
Bring out 3 descent-sized plastic containers with lids. These will be part of your breading station. Alternatively, you can use mixing bowls if you like.
In one container, place the flour. oregano, garlic powder, cayenne, black pepper, salt, red chili flakes, basil, and thyme. Mix to combine. In another container, break in the eggs and beat together with 1/8 cup milk. In the final container, add the breadcrumbs. Add a touch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder here (and some more red chili flakes for the spice lovers!)
Working in batches, place mushrooms in flour mixture. Put on lid and shake until mushrooms are fully coated. Transfer those mushrooms to the egg mixture and shake until fully coated again. Finally, move the mushrooms to the breadcrumbs and shake until evenly coated. Place coated mushrooms on a separate, clean plate and repeat until all mushrooms are coated.
Pour enough oil into your pan that will allow you to deep-fry the mushrooms. Anywhere from 1-2 inches. Heat to 350F (a candy thermometer is best here.) When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms in small batches, about 6 mushrooms at a time. Deep-fry for 6-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through so you get a nice, golden brown colour on the mushrooms. Times will vary depending on your temperature. NOTE: Oil temperature will drop drastically when you add the mushrooms in, so before you move onto your next batch of mushrooms, make sure the oil reheats to 350F.
Remove from oil and place them in a bowl that is lined with paper towel to catch any oil drippings. Cook until all the mushrooms are completed.
Serve with ranch dressing or your favourite dipping sauce!
Rosemary Garlic Fries
Recipe type: Appetizer
Wine Pairing: Sophora Sparkling Cuvee
- 2 large (or 3 medium) Russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
- 3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 1 Tbsp dried rosemary)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dried garlic
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Spray a baking sheet with non-stick baking spray; set aside.
- Slice potato lengthwise into ¼” slices. Lay each slice flat and slice into ¼” strips. After slicing, rinse potatoes in cold water. Pat fries lightly with paper towel to remove excess water.
- Place fries, oil and seasonings in a large plastic bag; shake until fries are well coated.
- Arrange fries in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 24-30 minutes, or until edges of the fries turn golden brown.
Lobster Mac and Cheese
Recipe type: entrée
Wine Pairing: Moutard Grand Cuvee Brut Champagne
- 16 ounces macaroni pasta
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 3 cups milk
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
Mac and cheese instructions:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
- Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam and bubble, stir in the flour; cook on medium heat until flour just begins to turn pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne pepper, and white pepper; cook and stir another minute, then whisk in 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk and whisk again. Bring the sauce just to a simmer. Stir in nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat off, then add 2 1/4 cups of Cheddar cheese; stir until melted and combined. Add Dijon mustard.
- Transfer the macaroni into a large bowl, then pour in the cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine sauce with pasta
- Set aside until lobster is ready
- Cut a slit in the underside of the tail. Remove the meat, using a fork if necessary to loosen it from the shell, pulling the meat from the wide end to the tail tip.
- Chop the lobster tail meat into, bite sized pieces – leave some chunky for garnish
- Add the sea salt to the chopped lobster. Toss to coat evenly
- Add the butter, olive oil and dried parsley to a medium-high heat sauté pan
- Add the lobster to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes, it will be slightly undercooked
- Remove from heat
Assemble the Lobster Mac & Cheese:
- Add the chopped lobster to the bowl of mac & cheese and stir to combine – reserve the chunky pieces of lobster for garnish
- Divide the prepared lobster mac & cheese into 6 individual ramekins
- Mix panko bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl, and sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese on top.
- Add the lobster meat garnish – be sure to tuck it inside the mac & cheese
- Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese topping are golden brown, about 20 minutes
Chipotle Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-lime Crema
Recipe type: Entrée
Wine pairing: Villa Sandi Il Fresco Prosecco
- 3 tablespoons low-fat or nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
- ½ chipotle pepper en adobo (minced into a puree)
- 1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
- 2 limes, divided
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ medium green cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
- ¾ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- Large pinch kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 corn tortillas
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, and chipotle pepper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, toss together the shrimp, juice of 1 lime, and the chili powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, cilantro, the juice of the remaining lime, and the salt. Toss well.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high. Lay the shrimp in the pan and cook on one side until lightly brown, a minute or 2. Turn them over and cook on the second side until done, another minute or 2. The shrimp are done when they turn pinkish and opaque in color.
- Warm the tortillas using your preferred method.
- To assemble, spread a few teaspoons of the chipotle mayo along the center of a warmed corn tortilla. Lay 3 or 4 shrimp across the mayo. Top with a generous spoonful of the cabbage slaw. Serve additional slaw as a side salad.