We tried Indonesian Spicy Chicken with Coconut Milk, a recipe downloaded a while ago from the Cooking Asian Food website that now appears to no longer exist.
Shallots, cumin seeds, garlic and turmeric are blended into a paste and chicken breasts are cooked in the paste together with kaffir lime leaves, fresh coriander, nutmeg, black pepper, coconut milk and water. We served the chicken with egg noodles, garnished with coriander leaves.
We opened a bottle of Denman Hunter Valley Semillon 2013, an Australian white from Tesco. It was very slightly off-dry, delicately flavoured with zesty citrus and tropical fruit flavours. A good match with the chicken.
We 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.
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.
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.
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.
For a barbecue we decided to try Five-Spice Rib-Stickers from the Great Big Barbecue Cookbook.
The pork spare ribs are marinated in 5-spice powder, garlic. ginger, chilli sauce, dark soy sauce, dark brown sugar and sunflower oil. We grilled the ribs on the barbie and served them with blackbean and roasted garlic stir-fried egg noodles.
To pair with the meal we opened a bottle of Blind Spot Clare Valley Riesling 2012, an Australian white from the Wine Society.
The wine was slightly off-dry and we found it citrussy with pronounced lemon and lime flavours. Whilst this was a reasonable match with the ribs, the sweetness in the coating needed a slightly sweeter wine to cope with it.
We combined the curry paste with chicken, coconut milk, fish sauce, palm sugar, fresh chilli and kaffir lime leaves. We garnished the curry with Thai basil leaves and served it with Jasmine rice and prawn crackers. Lovely.
However, we struggled to find the right wine to accompany this dish. First we tried a bottle of Blind Spot Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc 2012, an Australian white from the Wine Society.
This was fresh, zingy with flavours of grapefruit, lemon and lime, with good acidity and was great to drink on its own. It was also OK with the food, but we think something off-dry would have gone better.
Here’s the verdict on other wines we tried to match with the dish both on this occasion and a couple of days later with the leftovers:-
Les Combelles Colombard/Ugni Blanc 2011, a French white from the Sunday Times Wine Club – reasonable, but not a great match
Rawnsley Sauvignon Blanc 2011, an Australian white from Tesco – didn’t work at all
Brancott Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a New Zealand white from Costco – acceptable, but not great
So, no stunning matches this time. Interestingly, we had an off-dry Australian Riesling with a Penang curry a few years back and it’s the only decent match we’ve achieved so far.
We tried Beef Kofta Curry from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey. Rick says this is the Indian version of Italian meatballs in tomato sauce.
The curry contains coriander, cumin, Garam masala, Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric, onions, garlic, green cardamon, cloves, cinnamon, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, curry leaves and green chillies. We served the Kofta with plain boiled rice.
The dish was okay and we enjoyed it more as the meal progressed, but overall it didn’t excite us and we won’t be doing this recipe again.
Finding a good wine pairing also proved somewhat problematic. We started with a bottle of Blind Spot Pinot Gris 2012, an Australian white from the Wine Society. We previously sucessfully paired this with Devil’s Curry, also from Rick Stein, but this time there was no affinity with the dish, so we set the wine aside.
Brancott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a New Zealand white from Costco was an improvement, but still not a great match. Enjoyment seemed to vary from mouthful to mouthful.
We used up the leftover curry a couple of days later and the flavours became considerably hotter. We tried a bottle of Ocean’s Edge Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013, from Tesco.
This wine still had intense peachy flavours, but was not so overtly fruity as the Brancott and was overall more restrained.
We thought this was a better match with the curry and probably a more versatile food wine.
Rick Stein’s Devil’s Curry from his Far Eastern Odyssey cook book is a Malaysian chicken curry with a difference. It contains dark soy sauce, rice vineagar, mustard seeds, onions, garlic, Devil’s curry paste, potatoes, tomatoes and chilli. The curry paste is made from Kashmiri chillies, paprika, ginger, onions, garlic, nuts, coriander seeds and turmeric. Hot and sour, we weren’t sure at first about this recipe, but found this to be a grower. Rick suggests serving the curry with plain rice, which we did.
We paired this with a bottle of Blind Spot Pinot Gris, Yarra Valley 2012, an Australian white from the Wine Society.
This was fresh with tropical fruits, particularly melons, pineapples and with some grapefruit on the finish. A good match with this unusual curry.
When we heated the remainder of the curry the next day, the flavours became more intense and the Brancott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 New Zealand white from Costco we paired with it was also a good match.