South African Chenin is Great with Apple & Pork Casserole

We revisited a recipe that we hadn’t cooked for a very long time, Apple and Pork Casserole from Supercook.

Cubed pork is casseroled with onions, sage, seasoning, and apples. The mixture is topped with potatoes. We served with puréed carrots and swedes.

We paired this simple casserole with a bottle of The Huguenot Chenin Blanc 2014, an off-dry South African white from Sunday Times Wine Club.

There was a slight sweetness with apples, pineapples and tropical fruit flavours. The wine was a very good match with the meal.2016-03-18 18.18.42

Off-Dry Whites Work Well with Thai Massaman Curry

2016-03-12 18.33.37We tried Madhur Jaffrey’s version of Beef and Potato Massaman Curry,  a Thai dish.

Pieces of beef skirt are fried with coconut cream, bay leaf and Massaman curry paste, which is made from red chillies, white peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, curry powder and shrimp paste.

Fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar, potatoes and water are then added and the curry is simmered.  Fried shallots are sprinkled over before serving.

We attempted to pair the meal with a bottle of Villa Maria Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014, a New Zealand white from Costco.  However, more sweetness was needed, so we set it aside in favour of a bottle of Awatere Pinot Grigio 2013, an off-dry New Zealand white from Tesco.2016-03-12 18.29.26

We tasted tropical fruits with a pineapple sweetness and grapefruit sharpness. This wine was a reasonably good match with the food.

We tried a bottle of Houghton Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, an Australian white from Costco, with the leftovers a couple of days later and thought this was also a good match.  See here for a another good food pairing for this wine.

Which White Wine with Rick Stein’s Moghul Chicken Korma?

We tried Rick Stein’s Moghul Chicken Korma.

Chicken pieces are marinated in a spice paste containing ginger, garlic, water, cinnamon, cardamon, coriander, nutmeg, yoghurt and salt. The chicken is then simmered with fried onion paste, ground almonds and more water.  Green chillies, ground poppy seeds and saffron rosewater are then added and the dish is finished with double cream.  We served with pilau rice.

We opened a bottle of Mahau Sound Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a New Zealand white from Sunday Times Wine Club. We detected freshly-cut grass on the nose, followed by citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, gooseberry tropical fruit flavours, with a creaminess and a tangy finish.  A very good match with the Korma.

 We had the leftovers the following day and wondered whether a slightly drier wine would work even better.  We tried a bottle of Villa Maria Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014, a New Zealand white from Costco.  It was not as good with the Korma, so we set it aside in favour of an off-dry wine, Houghton Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, an Australian white, also from Costco. We tasted zesty lemon, gooseberries and tropical fruits.  This was the best match of all three wines.

A German White is Good with Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

We tried Sri Lankan Chicken Curry from Rick Stein.

Chicken pieces are fried with cinnamon, cardamon pods, cloves, shallots, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric and roasted Sri Lankan curry powder.  The curry powder consists of rice, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, a cinnamon stick, fenugreek seeds, cloves, cardamon seeds, black mustard seeds, black peppercorns and dried red kashmiri chillies, all ground into a fine powder.

The chicken is then cooked with chopped tomatoes, curry leaves, pandan leaf (we used bay leaf with dried basil), lemongrass, and green chillies.  Coconut milk is added near the end.  We served with Thai rice and prawn crackers.

Given the ingredients involved we were surprised that the overall flavour of the curry was a bit muted.  Still pleasant enough though.2015-10-22 18.10.52

We opened a bottle of The Society’s Ruppertsberg 2013, a slightly off-dry German white from the Wine Society.

We enjoyed its good acidity and citrussy lemon and lime flavours.  A good match with the meal.

An Italian White is Very Good with Mixed Fish Stew

We tried the mixed fish stew with croutons recipe from ocado.com.

We cut some salmon and smoked haddock into pieces, added some prawns and simmered in a stew made from garlic, tomato purée, onion, tomato, fennel seeds, saffron, paprika, fish stock, salt and pepper.

We served the stew with croutons, grated Gruyère cheese, a parsley garnish and a rouille made from mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, saffron and garlic purée.

Very tasty.  We’ll do this recipe again.

We opened a bottle of Orvieto Classico Secco, Barberani 2012, an Italian white from the Wine Society.

We found the wine slightly off-dry, fresh with good acidity and lovely creamy citrussy flavours.  A very good match with the fish stew. 2015-08-23 17.49.10

A South African Chenin is Very Good with Chilli Chicken Pasta

We tried Paul Ainsworth’s Chilli chicken pasta with red pesto sauce from the Great British Chefs website.

Chicken breast strips are cooked with a sauce containing onion, garlic purée, vegetable stock, sweet chilli sauce, red pesto, crème fraîche, basil, tomatoes and seasoning.  The mixture is served over fresh pasta and we used tagliatelle.

We decided on a bottle of Esporao Monte Velho Tinto Alentejano 2013, a Portuguese red from the Wine Society.  A good wine but a clash with this particular dish. 2015-07-15 18.27.54

We turned to a bottle of The Huguenot Chenin Blanc 2014, an off-dry South African white from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  See here for a previous pairing with this wine.

We tasted tropical fruits, especially pineapple and peach, and the finish was slightly citrussy.  The wine was a very good match with the pasta.2015-07-15 18.34.07 HDR

New World Whites Work Well with Peanut Butter Chicken Stew

Last month we cooked Caribbean Peanut Chicken and particularly enjoyed the peanut butter flavours.  We were entertaining guests and fancied trying another recipe with similar ingredients and chose Peanut Butter Chicken Stew from Supercook.

This is a West African dish that we served with boiled rice and sweet potato.  Chicken pieces are cooked with onion and a paste made from chicken stock, salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, cumin and chilli powder.  Tomatoes are added later and the dish is garnished with parsley. Delicious and even better than the previous recipe.

We opened a couple of wines to pair with the meal – Lions Gate Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2011, a South African white blend from Tesco and Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a New Zealand white also from Tesco. Both these wines went well with the meal, with the New Zealand wine having the edge.

We had the leftovers with a bottle of Bleasdale Langhorne Crossing Verdelho/Sauvignon Blanc 2014, an Australian white blend from the Wine Society.

This was crisp, fresh, slightly off-dry with grapefruit and tropical fruit flavours.  The wine was a good match with the chicken.2015-06-14 19.11.01

A German Riesling is Very Good with Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass

We tried Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass from Madhur Jaffrey.

Sliced pork loin is marinated in soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, green chillies, black pepper, sugar and hot curry powder.  The pork is then stir-fried with shallots and garnished with coriander leaves.2015-04-24 18.26.36

We served the pork with prawn crackers and egg noodles stir-fried with garlic, ginger, chilli, fish sauce and chopped coriander. We thought the noodles competed a bit with the flavours of the pork, so served the leftovers with plain noodles, which was better.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Klein Riesling 2013, a German white from Naked Wines. The wine was off-dry with crisp, fresh, tangy, citrussy lemon and grapefruit flavours.  A very good match with the pork.2015-04-24 18.29.54

German Rieslings Work Well with Sri Lankan Cashew-Coconut Chicken Curry

We cooked Chicken Curry with a Cashew-Coconut Sauce, a Sri Lankan dish from Madhur Jaffrey.

Chicken pieces are rubbed with coriander, cumin, fennel, cayenne pepper and salt.  A little rice is fried with coconut and then ground with cardamon pods, cloves and cashew nuts.  Water is then added to make a paste.

The chicken pieces are cooked with cinnamon, fenugreek, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, water and pandanus leaf. (We cannot buy this locally, so we used a bay leaf and some dried basil). The spice paste is added and also coconut milk towards the end of cooking. We served the curry with rice.

We decided on a bottle of Peter & Peter Riesling 2013, a German white wine from Tesco.2015-04-11 18.47.31

This was slightly off-dry, with creamy, tangy lemon and melon flavours and was a good match.

The following day we had the leftovers and tried a bottle of Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc, a New Zealand white from Sunday Times Wine Club.  A superb wine, but it didn’t work with the food, so we set it aside.

We returned to a Riesling and this time opened a bottle of Ruppertsburger 2012 Riesling Kabinett, a German white from the Wine Society.  There was some sweetness, a creamy smoothness, with citrus fruit flavours, minerality and a slightly tangy, but sweet finish with pineapple hints.  A very good wine and a much better match than the Peter & Peter Riesling.2015-04-12 18.42.15

A Chilean Sauvignon is Good with Indian Prawn Curry

2015-03-06 19.24.14We cooked an Indian prawn curry recipe from Supercook.

The sauce contained onions, garlic, ginger, chopped chillies, turmeric, coriander, paprika, fennel seeds, aubergines, canned tomatoes, creamed cocomut, lemon juice and water.  The prawns and more sliced chillies were added towards the end of the cooking.  We served the curry with raita, a sambal and chapattis.

We opened a bottle of Corte Ignacio Concha y Toro Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from the Wine Society.

We detected fresh tropical fruits on the nose and these, particularly grapefruit, followed through on the palate.

A good match with the curry.