Hello food and wine lovers! Or just food lovers. Or wine. If I’m writing this post, it means it’s Friday again and time to visit your local wine store for this weekend’s feast.
Through the Grapevine is a weekly series on wine pairing with the occasional party thrown in. To read previous posts, click here.
I am not wine connoisseur by any means, but I do like a glass (or two) of wine with my dinner (and quite possibly before dinner, too). I love to learn new things and wine pairing fascinates me. I would like to point out that all the wines features in this post are under $25.00 CAD. I don’t know about you, but we’re on a bit of a budget in this household!
Since barbecue season is in full swing, (at least, it is at my house), we’re focusing on wines that pair with food that we can grill on the barbecue – ribs and lamb – and that means red wine.
This week – Middle Eastern-flavoured Lamb Chops with Summer Squash Salad, and Soy, Lime and Sesame Pork Ribs with Crunchy Cabbage and Kale Salad by Lawren Moneta.
Middle Eastern-Flavoured Lamb Chops with Summer Squash Salad
2 x 8 rack of lamb, about 3 – 4 lbs (750 g – 1 kg) Frenched
2 tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice
2 tsp (10 ml) garam masala
2 tsp (10 ml) garlic paste
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter
- cut rack of lamb in half through the centre chops. Blot rack of lamb dry. Combine lemon juice, garam masala, garlic paste and salt in a small bowl. Stir to blend, then rub into lamb. Generously coat rack with freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate for 45 minutes to 2 hours for seasoning to seal chops.
- Using a heavy-bottomed frying pan such as this one, heat oil over medium-high until it begins to shimmer. Place lamb racks, fat side down in hot pan and cook, turning occasionally with tongs until they being to turn golden, about 4 minutes. Add butter and reduce heat to medium. Continue browning, basting the inner curve of the racks with browned butter juices, turning often, until lamb is a deep golden brown.
- Lamb should read 120 F (49 C) on a meat thermometer for medium-rare when inserted into the thickest part of the rack. For medium, cook 4 or 5 minutes longer or until it registers 130 F (54 C) when tested.
- Transfer lamb to a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips and let rest for 5 minutes before carving into chops and serving with Summer Squash Salad (recipe below)
Summer Squash Salad
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
1 tsp (5 ml) honey
1/2 tsp (2 ml) each of ground cumin and coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a bowl whisk together all dressing ingredients and set aside.
2 cups (500 ml) butternut squash, diced 1/2 inch (1.25 cm)
1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (750 ml) green chickpeas
1 zucchini, shaved lengthwise
1/4 cup (60 ml) crumbled feta
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro
1 cup (250 ml) light packed baby arugula
1/4 cup (60 ml) toasted and salted pepitas
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Toss squash with olive oil, season with ground cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Spread out in a baking dish large enough to hold cubes in a single layer. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cubes are tender when pierced but still hold their shape. Remove and set aside to cool.
- When squash is fully cooled, place in a large bowl along with chickpeas and shaved zucchini. Drizzle dressing over squash mixture and gently toss together to coat. Fold in feta and chopped cilantro.
- Top with arugula and pepitas. Serve at room temperature with seared lamb chops.
Château La Gorce – France – 00
This Bordeaux blend of Merlot and
Cabernet Sauvignon has attractive
aromas of wild brambleberries, cassis
and black cherry with touches of cedar
and spice. The palate is medium-bodied
with a silky texture.
Carmen Apalta Gran Reserva Carmenere – Chile – 00
Always a terrific value, this lush Carmenere delivers plenty
of plum, cherry and mulberry notes with aromas of green
pepper and spice is a soft, round, medium-bodied profile with
We chose the Château La Gorce for this meal.
Soy, Lime and Sesame Pork Ribs with Crunchy Cabbage and Kale Salad
2 racks pork side ribs, about 3 lbs (1.5 kg)
DRY RUB AND GLAZE
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp finely grated lime zest
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp each black pepper, garlic powder, ground ginger and cayenne
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice, plus extra if needed
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 green onions, chopped, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) OR heat barbecue to medium
- To provide optimum flavours, remove silver skin membrane from underside of ribs. Slide a dull knife under silver skin along rib bone to loosen. Then with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel, grip loosened membrane and pull from bones. It should come free in one full piece. Discard. Place ribs side by side, bone side down, on a piece of heavy duty foil large enough to wrap and seal.
- Combine sugar, salt, lime zest and dry seasonings in a bowl. Stir with a fork to blend. Rub meaty side of ribs with dry seasoning mixture reserving 1/3 of mix for later. Wrap and seal ribs, and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven or in a closed barbecue for about 2 hours or until meat is tender and is easily cut from the bone.
- To make glaze, add soy sauce, lime juice, honey and sesame oil to remaining dry rub seasoning mixture. Whisk to blend.
- When ribs are tender, open foil and generously brush both sides of ribs with soy glaze. Leaving foil pack open, continue to bake in oven for 20 minutes. Alternatively, for drier ribs, grease barbecue grill and increase heat to medium-high. Remove ribs from foil and place meat side down on greased grill. Close lid and barbecue over medium-high for 10 minutes. Gently turn ribs and continue to grill for 10 more minutes.
- Remove to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into serving-size pieces. Drizzle with more lime juice, if you wish. Sprinkle with green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with Crunch Cabbage and Kale Salad.
Crunch Cabbage and Kale Salad with Thai Dressing
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Ponzu Sauce
2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until blended. Set aside. Can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.
12 wonton wrappers
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups fine shredded red cabbage
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage
2 cups shredded fresh kale
1/2 red onion, finely slice and separated into rings
2 Thai red chili peppers, seeded and slivered
1/2 cup mixed, minced fresh cilantro and mint
1/2 cup salted, roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish
1/4 cup toasted large flake, unsweetened coconut (optional)
- Cut wonton wrappers into 1/2 inch wide strips. Heat canola oil in a medium-sized, deep saucepan. Add strips in small batches and fry until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining strips. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cabbage, kale, onion, chilies and herbs.
- Give dressing a whisk and drizzle over salad. Gently toss to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with crispy wonton strips and peanuts. Scatter with toasted coconut, if using, and serve with Soy, Lime and Sesame Pork Ribs.
Quarisa Caravan Petite Sirah – Australia – 00
Aromas of smoke plum, boysenberry, blueberry,
vanilla and spice lead to a full-bodied palate with
decadent dark-fruit flavours framed by soft tannins.
A great barbecue wine.
Ravenswood Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel -USA – 00
Big and bold in style, this luscious Zinfandel boasts
ripe plum, brambleberry, cherry and pepper spice
notes. Mouth coating, with fine-grained tannins, it
finishes juicy and balanced.
We chose the Quarisa Caravan Petite Sirah for this meal.
Happy barbecueing, eating and drinking!