Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful week and are looking forward to the weekend.
This week is all about a summer celebratory dinner and the wines that pair with each dish. Either a romantic dinner for two on the patio or deck, or to share with friends and family.
Asparagus and Spring Pea Soup
Roasted Lemon Chicken with Spiced Tomato Rice
Chocolate Coffee Pudding Parfait
Let’s dive right in!
ASPARAGUS AND SPRING PEA SOUP
- In a large saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat until foamy. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Do not brown.
- Cut asparagus into pieces. Should be about 4 cups (1 L). Add to shallots and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes. Stir in spinach, peas and stock. Return to simmer and remove from heat. Vegetables should be tender, but still bright green in colour.
- Transfer to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add herbs, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. Purée until smooth and velvety. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve, if desired.
- To serve, ladle hot soup into bowls. Garnish with a smear of yogurt and top with creatively arranged microgreens.
CLOUDY BAY MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC – NEW ZEALAND – 00
One of the more complex expressions of New Zealand Sauvignon,
this wine has impressive notes of lemon, gooseberry, lime blossoms
and asparagus uplifted by elegant minerality and racy acidity.
CASAL GARCIA VINHO VERDE – PORTUGAL – 01
Fresh floral, citrus and green apple notes mark this
light and delicate wine. The attack is juicy and crisp
with a light spritz on the palate.
We chose the Casal Garcia Vinho Verde to go with this dish
ROASTED LEMON CHICKEN WITH SPICED TOMATO RICE
1 2/5 cup (350 ml) fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp Za’atar Spice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small Thai chili, chopped
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 tsp sea salt, plus extra
4 x 6 oz (180 g) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp combination of finely minced cilantro and fresh mint, for garnish
1 thinly sliced Thai chili, for garnish
1 broccoli, steamed
Spiced Tomato Rice, recipe follows
- Combine lemon juice, Za’atar spice, olive oil, garlic, chilies, sugar and salt in a mini food processor. Whirl until emulsified. Place in a deep bowl. Add chicken and rotate a few times, to evenly coat. Marinate for up to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line a baking dish with parchment paper large enough to hold chicken in a single layer.
- Drain and place chicken in baking dish and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until juices run clear and thermometer reads 160 F (70 C) when inserted in the thickest portion of the breast.
- To serve, sprinkle chicken with minced fresh herbs, sliced chili and freshly ground black pepper. Serve on a bed of Spiced Tomato Rice with steamed broccoli, on the side.
SPICED TOMATO RICE
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until soft. Do not brown. Add a splash of water, if necessary. Add chilies and rice and stir to coat. Stir in tomatoes and fish sauce. Add boiling stock and lemon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid, and place a kitchen towel over top, replace lid and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking rice.
- Serve with Lemon Chicken and broccoli and garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.
STONELEIGH MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC – NEW ZEALAND – 00
Vibrant aromas of passion fruit, lemon, elderflower
and herbs lead to refreshing flavours of ripe
tropical fruit, grapefruit zest and melon accented
by crisp minerality.
GRAY MONK PINOT GRIS – BC VQA – 01
This classic BC Pinot Gris offers a floral nose
with notes of peach, apple, pear and citrus.
The luscious, medium-bodied palate has off-
dry orchard fruit flavours balanced by refreshing
We chose the Gray Monk Pinot Gris to drink with the main course.
And now for my favourite part – dessert. Especially if it has chocolate in it.
CHOCOLATE COFFEE PUDDING PARFAIT
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE PUDDING
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pinch salt
3 cups whole milk
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Slowly whisk in milk, making sure lumps don’t form. When fully incorporated, whisk vigorously until smooth. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring gently, whisking when necessary to avoid lumps forming. Mixture should begin to thicken and cornstarch should be cooked after 10 minutes. Do not boil.
- , stir in chocolate. Continue to stir over low heat until chocolate is melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a large serving bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 to 3 hours.
COFFEE LATTE PUDDING
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp espresso instant coffee powder
- In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Slowly whisk in milk, making sure lumps don’t form. When fully incorporated, whisk vigorously until smooth. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring gently, whisking when necessary to avoid lumps forming. Mixture should being to thicken and cornstarch should be cooked after 10 minutes. Do not boil.
- When mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon, whisk in espresso powder until smooth.
- Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a large serving bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap into the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 to 3 hours.
SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE
1/4 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp fleur de sel
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup toasted cashews, finely chopped
2 cups whipping cream, whipped with 2 tbsp granulated sugar.
- In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat water and sugar over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Do not stir.
- Boil mixture for 4 to 5 minutes or until it begins to turn a golden amber colour. It can easily turn dark and taste burnt.
- Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in cream, as mixture will bubble up. Continue to stir until well combined. Stir in butter until melted. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour into a bowl and set aside, uncovered, to cool. Then transfer to a squeeze tube, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.
TO ASSEMBLE: Whip cream with sugar in a large bowl until peaks form. Fold 1/3 into Coffee Latte Pudding. Divide Chocolate Pudding between 8 glass dessert dishes. Add a layer of Caramel Sauce, Coffee Pudding and dollops of whipped cream. Sprinkle with toasted cashews.
FRANGELICO – ITALY
Crafted from toasted wild
hazelnuts combined with
coffee, cocoa, vanilla and other
natural extracts, this golden
liqueur will add smooth, rich
hazelnut flavours to any dessert
HARVEY’S BRISTOL CREAM – SPAIN
A unique blend of oloroso, fino, amontillado
and Pedro Ximénez sherries, Bristol Cream
has orange rind, raisin and caramel aromas
with soft, sweet and slightly nutty flavours.
We chose Harvey’s Bristol Cream to go with this dessert.