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.

A Great Pairing for Red Bean & Lamb Casserole is Elusive

It’s been a long time since we cooked Red Bean and Lamb Casserole, a Supercook favourite. It’s an adaptation of an Iranian dish.

Cubed lamb is casseroled in chicken stock with onions, garlic, tomatoes, kidney beans, turmeric, salt, pepper, lemon juice, coriander and mint. Yoghurt is stirred in at the end and the dish is garnished with parsley. We served with mashed potato and roasted courgettes.

We initially tried to pair the meal with Glorioso Crianza Rioja 2011, a medium-bodied Spanish red from the Wine Society, but surprisingly the flavours of the lamb casserole did the wine no favours, so we set the wine aside.

We thought a wine with more sweetness might be better and opted for a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red that is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo. We last enjoyed this with a lamb korma.

We detected intense red fruits on the nose with vanilla sweetness, black and red fruits and a slight mocha finish.  A good match, but we have enjoyed better pairings with this wine.2016-01-30 18.07.10

For the leftovers we decided to switch to a bottle of Prospector Shiraz 2013, a full-bodied Australian red from Naked Wines that we had enjoyed previously with a beef carbonnade.

We detected black fruits on the nose with vanilla sweetness and intense red and black fruits on the palate. The finish was smooth, peppery and spicy. The wine was a slightly better match than the Rioja, but we were left wondering what wine would have been a really good match.

Spanish or Australian Red with Slow-Cooked Lamb Korma?

On a cold rainy January day there is nothing better than something cooked in our crockpot and Lamb Korma from the Slow Cook Book was ideal.

Cubed lamb is fried with onions, ginger, garlic and a spice mixture of dried red chillies, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, cumin, mace and paprika.  The lamb is then slow-cooked with yoghurt and a little salt.  Double cream is stirred through towards the end of cooking.  The korma is then garnished with coriander and served with pilau rice.  We mopped up the sauce with naan bread.  Delicious.

We opened a bottle of The Hundred Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2011, a full-bodied Australian red from the Sunday Times Wine Club.  There was an initial sweetness, followed by intense blackcurrant fruits and a smooth, spicy finish. The wine was a good match with the korma, but we have enjoyed better pairings with this wine, such as this one.2016-01-01 17.31.00

However, we managed to improve on the pairing with the leftovers.  We opened a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2009, a medium-bodied Spanish red from Costco.  This wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Graciano and Mazuelo.

We loved its sweet, creamy smooth vanilla red fruits, with a lovely savouriness on the finish.  A very good match with the korma.

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.

Hungarian Tokaji is Good with Two Desserts

img_2198.jpegWe don’t drink many dessert wines, not least because we rarely eat desserts unless we are entertaining guests.

However, we had some ready-made desserts in the fridge and a dessert wine we wanted to try.  We had managed to buy a 50cl bottle of St Stephans Crown Tokaji 2008, 5 Puttonyos Hungarian sweet white dessert  wine at a very reasonable price from Tesco. Hungarian Tokaji is viewed by many as an aristocrat among sweet wines.

First up was a Delici sea salt caramel Belgian dessert from Costco. The packaging describes the dessert as a “delicate blend of crushed speculoos cookies and fleur de sel caramel, topped with an intense cream caramel mousse and finished with a dark chocolate ganache.” Very tasty.

The second dessert was a Gü maple and pecan pie from Tesco.  This is described as “a crumbly pecan biscuit base, topped with a creamy maple syrup-infused cheesecake.” Another enjoyable dessert.

Now for the wine.  We found it honeyed with burnt caramel, woodiness and a sweet smoothness.  However, it was not overly sweet.  A lovely wine.

Whilst we thought the wine was a good match with the sea salt caramel dessert, it was better with the maple and pecan pie.

A Southern French Red Works Well with Wolf Berner Sausages

We bought some Wolf Berner Sausages from Costco. These are frankfurter-style sausages stuffed with Emmental cheese and wrapped in bacon. We decided to grill them on the barbecue and serve with a potato salad, corn on the cob and pickled gherkins.

The sausages were alright, but a bit salty for us. We also didn’t detect much cheese.

We paired the meal with a bottle of La Rectorie Côtes du Vivarais 2013, a medium-bodied Southern French red blend from Waitrose.2015-06-10 18.36.28

The wine had a perfumed nose, with red fruit flavours and a slightly spicy finish. An easy drinking wine that was a good match with the food.

A Spanish Red Preferred to a Red Bordeaux with Ecuadorian Lamb Stew

We cooked Ecuadorian Lamb Stew, a Supercook dish we hadn’t done for a long time.

Cubed lamb is cooked with onion, garlic, tinned tomatoes, red and green peppers, chilli powder, coriander seeds, white wine and fresh coriander leaves.  The stew is served on a bed of saffron rice.

There was a little sweetness to the dish and we fancied a red wine with some sweetness to match. We’d read that Chateau Galès Graves 2011, a red Bordeaux from Lidl had a little sweetness.  I thought it coped reasonably well with the meal but Teresa didn’t think it worked, so we set the wine aside.2015-05-29 18.14.10

We tried a bottle of Campo Viejo Rioja Gran Reserva 2005, a medium-bodied Spanish red from Costco.  We detected spicy red fruits and dark chocolate on the nose, followed by red berry fruits and spicy chocolate on the palate.  The finish was lingering.  A very good match with the lamb.2015-05-29 18.25.17

Which Wines to Drink with Ostrich and Crocodile Burgers?

Iceland has started selling a range of exotic meats and we thought we’d try some burgers out on the barbecue.  We served them with potato salad and green leaves.

Ostrich Burgers

These have a fairly beefy flavour, but they are leaner and have a dry texture. We didn’t think they were particularly distinctive.

We paired the ostrich burgers with Lascar Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, a Chilean red from the Wine Society.

We tasted black berry fruits and some spiciness.  This was a good barbecue wine, but it was only an adequate match with the ostrich.2015-04-15 17.05.14 HDR

Crocodile Burgers

A much lighter-coloured meat.  Moist, slightly salty with a distinctive unique flavour.  These were much better and we would buy them again.

These burgers needed a white wine and we opened a bottle of Brancott Marlborough Chardonnay 2013, a New Zealand white from Costco.

The wine was lean, with creamy apple and lemon flavours and was a good match with the crocodile burgers.2015-04-15 17.48.31

We plan to try the kangaroo burgers and wild boar sausages next.

A White Burgundy is Very Good with Morbiflette

We’re currently watching the BBC series A Cook Abroad and in the episode where Monica Galetti visits Franche-Comté we were inspired to cook Morbiflette.  We found a recipe on the InterFrance website.

Onions, bacon, boiled potatoes, white wine and seasoning are fried together.  The mixture is transferred to an ovenproof dish, slices of Morbier cheese are placed on top and the dish is baked in the oven until the cheese melts.2015-03-04 17.10.03

The Morbier cheese imparts a unique flavour to the dish.  We served it with a green salad.

Interfrance recommend a light Côtes du Jura Chardonnay to go with Morbiflette.  We didn’t have one, so we opened a bottle of Macon-Lugny, Les Coteaux des Anges 2013, a white Burgundy from Costco.

We detected peaches on the nose, a hint of apples on the palate, followed by lemons, a note of orange and a little butteriness. The wine was a very good match.2015-03-04 17.13.06

A White Burgundy is Very Good with Tagliatelle Alfredo

We found a Tagliatelle Alfredo recipe on the Wine Society’s website ideal for using up leftover ham a few weeks back but didn’t get around to trying it.  The pasta sauce contains mushrooms, lemon juice, black pepper, white wine, cubed ham, (we used pancetta instead) and creme fraiche. The tagliatelle is garnished with chopped parsley and shaved Parmesan.

The Wine Society recommend a white Burgundy pairing, but we didn’t have the one they suggested. However, we did have a bottle of Macon-Lugny, Les Coteaux des Anges 2013, a white Burgundy from Costco.2015-02-04 18.15.30

We tasted a slight creaminess, with crisp citrus flavours of oranges and lemons.  A very good match with the pasta.