Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Real Food and Wine

Magazines with fancy food are interesting to look at, but do we really eat that kind of food on a regular basis or really ever? I don't; so I must talk about real food and wine. As Americans we have certain foods that we love; we have eaten them out entire lives, and are not going to give them up soon. So, what I do is make those meals we love a "little gourmet." Just spice them up, make them a little pretty and enjoy them.

I just recently saw a Burger King commercial and they have added hot peppers and cheddar cheese to a burger. We all love burgers, but may want the volume of flavor cranked up, so now there is a new burger on their menu.

My first case in point will be the burger. For those of you who like blue cheese, add a piece of blue cheese inside of your burger, then grill or you can put a piece on top of your finished burger and sip a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with your blue cheese burger. I love this french wine by Arrogant Frog with burgers.

I also love adding a pat of sage or  rosemary compound butter inside my burgers ( make sure the butter is totally encased inside the burger) before grilling them. The deal with stuffing burgers is not to press on them. You really should never press on a burger, you press the juices out of the burger. I enjoy Syrah with foods flavored with sage and Cabernet Sauvignon with foods flavored with rosemary.

Roast chicken is a favorite of many people. I like to season my chicken well on the inside and outside and under the skin. I sometimes lift the skin of the chicken gently and add some rosemary compound butter under the skin to impart more flavor. Another trick is to make a rack with stalks of celery. It keeps the chicken raised from the bottom of the pan and adds flavor. I always add lots of herbs and vegetables inside the cavity of my chicken. I season it first, then add two quarters of a sweet onion, two celery stalk halves, a bay leaf, fresh thyme and fresh rosemary. I tie the legs with cooking string, tuck back the wings and add a bit of leftover chardonnay to keep the chicken moist while roasting. I also add a little olive oil or butter on the chicken to help it become a beautiful brown color. Flavor, color and moisture are the things I'm going for when roasting a chicken. Chardonnay pairs well  with  roasted chicken. Try this one by Jordan. The sides are up to you, but I love wild rice or garlic mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

Pot roast is a dish we all know so well. I like adding chopped rosemary in my gravy for an added jolt of flavor. Some add a bit of rendered bacon and a splash of cognac to their pot roast. A nice red wine like a Merlot, Meritage or Cabernet will fit the bill with this dish.

Seafood is one of my favorite foods to eat and cook. I love grilled shrimp on skewers. I like to create marinades for them and let them absorb all the great flavor and then put the on the grill. A nice chardonnay always pairs nicely with grilled shrimp and grilled fish. When having pan seared salmon, I love a Pinot Noir.
When pairing oysters a sparkling wine, especially a Brut will always do the trick. I just love fried oysters, oyster Po-boys and my favorite oyster appetizers. These appetizers come to life when paired with sparkling wine.

A nice rib eye steak is a "big meat feast" for a girl like me. I just love a nice Syrah, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon with a grilled steak. To impart big flavor, I marinate my steaks in Stubb's Beef Marinade. I also like to top my grilled steak with a pat of sage compound butter. For a real treat and a special occasion, try pairing this steak with Women of the Vine Syrah.
Pizza Stone

When eating fun food like pizza, a nice red wine like a Syrah pairs nicely. Try buying pizza dough already rolled and cut into pie shapes from your favorite pizza shop and put the dough on a pizza stone||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-NoMerchRules-_-and add your favorite toppings and put it on the grill to get that pizza kitchen smokey flavor.

When eating BB Que ribs, I love a Zinfandel or Syrah.I just think the fruit and peppery notes pair well with the sauce on the ribs.

In closing, we are all searching for the best wine and food pairings, why not start with the foods we eat everyday!

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