Wine Food pairing - Pinot and Pumpkin Seed Oil

Wine Food Pairing, have you considered pairing pinot grigio with pumpkin seed oil?

Pumpkin seed oil is cultivated from Styrian pumpkins originating in the southeast region of Austria. My husband and I always go directly to the farms in Styria to buy our oil and then transport it back to the United States in our check in luggage. We will usually bring at least four bottles home at a time! It looks like motor oil, but it is really just like liquid gold! Once declared too valuable to be used for cooking, pumpkin seed oil was available for medicinal purposes. It is believed that the oils helps to prevent bladder and prostrate problems and they also now think that perhaps it helps to control depression.

Pumpkin seed oil has rich nutty aroma and taste that can't be duplicated. We always use it to dress our salads, along with Balsamic vinegar and I also like to drizzle it over freshly steamed veggies like asparagus or broccoli .... YUM!

For dinner last night we visited our friends Pat, Bob and their newly acquired golden retriever Bentley. Bob and company had been fishing and managed to reel in a cooler full of lane snapper about 20 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Very good luck for us also, as we got an "invite" to share in the goodies!

Pat and Bob decided to deep fry some in panko bread crumbs, always tasty. Just to be health wise they also baked some with a dash of Old Bay Seasoning which was equally delicious. Served with a green salad dressed with, you guessed it .... pumpkin seed oil ...we had a feast fit for royalty!

We paired this with a chilled Cavit Pinot Grigio and with its crisp, light taste, it certainly did justice to Mr. Snapper. Thank you Mr. Snapper!

Pumpkin seed oil, Pinot Grigio, Wine Food Pairing, why not? CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - In Vino Veritas!

Wine Food Pairing ... in Vino Veritas ...... in Wine there is truth!

Who said that? Anyone know? GOOGLE probably does!

Yesterday, as I prepared for the evening meal I decided to ramp things up a notch. The warm spring day down here in Florida had me thinking about fresh Shrimp, something easy to prepare, but with a lot of flavor ... hmmm .... how about a variation of shrimp creole, with a south of the border twist?

To start, I put some yellow rice on to do its "thing" ... about 25 minutes worth. Then got out my trusty sautee pan and set to work. While I heated up a little EVOO, I chopped onions, green pepper and tossed them in to sweat down ... meanwhile peeling and de-veining my 20 count shrimpies.

Now for the easy part! I tossed in some canned diced southwest flavored tomatoes and a can of white beans then let the flavors mingle and marry for a while. I usually set the table and pop the cork on a bottle of wine about now. The choice? A white wine from Portugal, Redondo 2006, Alentejo. A quick taste ... GOOD! A fruity aroma, smooth and slightly acidic taste in the mouth would go perfectly with my evening meal.

Next for the "ramp" up on my meal ... I always wait until about 3 minutes before I am ready to serve before tossing in the shrimp (you never want to over cook and get them too chewy), then a good handful of chopped cilantro from the herb garden, diced jalepeno and, my husbands very favorite, several cloves of thinly sliced garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Give it a quick stir, put the lid on for 3 minutes and you are good to go!

Serve this over your yellow rice along with a fresh green salad and your chilled Alentejo. A terrific evening meal on a warm day.

Wine Food Pairing, make life easy, enjoy the journey. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Wild Caught Salmon!

Wine Food Pairing with a California Pinot Grigio and wild caught salmon from the cold pacific northwest waters.

Somehow, my local fishmonger had "fresh" wild caught down here in Florida, the only way we have fresh caught fish from the Pacific northwest is to have long poles or very fast planes! Hopefully it is the latter!

I decided to buy a large fillet and slather on some of my very favorite salmon spread. I mix up some lowfat plain yogurt, fresh dill , salt and pepper and then spread it over the fillet in an oven safe glass dish then seal it up with foil. The oven is pre-heated to 400 degrees and then you let this bake for as long as it takes to be about medium rare.... maybe 20 minutes. You never want to over cook salmon as it dries out and loses that delish, buttery taste! When this comes out of the oven I place it on my favorite platter and then garnish with crispy sliced cucumbers and a couple more sprigs of fresh dill.

I like to serve this with a green salad made out of spring mix, sliced mushrooms, vine ripened tomatoes and black olives. If I really feel decadent and I will toast up some of my special garlic bread to dip in extra virgin olive oil .... OH BOY!

I paired this with a 2006 Sole Raso Pinot Grigio from California. The combination was delightful with the buttery fish, fresh crisp greens and the crisp Pinot. I love my work!

Wine Food Pairing is a terrific adventure. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Fire Roasted Veggie Lasagna!

Wine Food Pairing, let's have some adventure with our next pairing!

I have always wanted to roast some peppers, you know, get the skins really black so that they slough off and leave the pepper"naked", but with a sweet, smokey flavor. Well, the adventure part comes into play when you have a ceramic stove top, I mean, I've watched all the cooking shows and they talk you through how to do this with gas flames, but how hard can it be to just lay them on the ceramic top. CHILDREN DO NOT DO TRY THIS AT HOME!!!!!!!

Let's just say that next time I will buy the peppers in a jar, pre-roasted! YIKES, what a mess! I had to pop the cork on a Chilean Merlot just to get me through the rest of the prep for this tasty lasagna dish. I layered on sauteed onions, garlic, fresh basil, mushrooms, cheeses as well as the "special" smokey flavored peppers along with the whole wheat lasagna noodles. Bake in the oven for about an hour and then top with freshly slivered parmesean cheese.

The result was well worth the effort ... totally....YUMMY! Another bottle of Merlot and the whole evening was a hit!

Wine Food Pairing, sometimes you just have to go for the adventure! CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Sake and Sushi?

Wine Food Pairing, how about Sake and Sushi?

Our friend "Brewsky" Bob recently traveled down to Marathon, in the Florida Keys, for a fishing trip. Well, the fishing Gods were with him and he came home with some wonderful Tuna that he and his wife Pat shared with us.

We were in charge of bringing the wine. What goes well with sushi? Sake, of course! Sake is an alcoholic beverage made with rice and water. It can be served warmed or cold depending on the temperature outside or the food being served. For our meal we chose to warm it up a little and it was a big hit!

We started with raw pieces of tuna, sliced thin and dipped into a mixture of wasabi and soy sauce ... Yum ... the buttery pieces of tuna were the perfect appetizer..... on to the entree.

"Brewsky" rolled the tuna in sesame seeds and quickly seared the tuna in a hot pan, keeping it rare. Pat whipped up a teriyaki dipping sauce and it was the perfect compliment! Add to this, steamed fresh asparagus and a green salad dressed with pumpkin seed oil from Austria and you have a an international delight.

Wine Food Pairing with Sake and Sushi, why not? CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Ribs and Red Wine, YUM!

Wine Food Pairing doesn't have to be fancy ... how about a BBQ feast of ribs and red wine?

Spring has sprung in Florida and what better way to celebrate it than to fire up the barbie? I made some terrific baby back ribs using my good friend "Brewsky" Bob's secret recipe ... of course I can share it with you guys if you promise not to tell!

The prep for this meal begins early .... about 6 hours before you plan on firing up the grill.

First off I make a dry rub, or in my case, a dry shake. Into a plastic ziploc I put red pepper, salt, freshly ground black pepper, cinnamon and a couple of dashes of caribbean jerk seasoning. I cut up my baby backs into manageable pieces of 3-4 ribs a piece and then shake them up, baby!

Sear these in a hot pan and place them into a glass oven dish. Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees and then let's play with the ribs a little bit. Pour half of a can of beer into the dish, what you do with the rest is up to you, but I certainly wouldn't waste it! Then go out into the garden and get some fresh basil......I like to use the leaves whole and just place them on the ribs..... next slice up some onion and garlic and layer these onto the ribs also. Now, cover and seal with foil and place in the oven. In 4-6 hours, magic will have happened! The ribs, tender and succulent are ready for some BBQ sauce of your choice and a little grill time!

I paired this with nice Merlot from Italy and all was well with the world!

Wine Food Pairing with ribs and red wine ... YUMMY! CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Home from Guanaja!

Wine Food Pairing, we are back home in Florida. We had a wonderful time in Guanaja Honderas, that beautiful Bay Island paradise, but now it is time to get back to business as usual, whatever that is!

Fortunately, the local farmer's market was open so I could run over and pick up some of the freshest of veggies straight from the farms and whip up a quick pasta primavera. I like to saute onions, garlic, a bit of turkey bacon for flavor and some diced green pepper in EVOO as my base and then I toss in whatever the market has to offer. Today it was mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini ... I season this with a little Worcestershire sauce, white wine, S & P, basil out of my garden and Tabasco for a little kick!

I boiled up some whole wheat angel hair pasta in salted water and put about a half of a cup of that water into the veggie pan, also. Everything goes into a large pasta dish and I garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan and cashew bits .....YUMMY!

Lest I get ahead of myself, I popped the cork on a chilled bottle of Canyon Creek Chardonnay while I was rinsing my vegetables. This 2005 Californian wine was the perfect pick me up to get me through the dinner prep phase as well an excellent compliment to the pasta.

Wine food pairing, back home in Florida .... and a found farewell to Guanaja. CHEERS!

Wine Food Pairing - Our Last night in Guanaja!

Wine Food Pairing on our last night in the Bay Island paradise of Guanaja Honduras. Fresh shrimp was on the menu and Tina, our cook was busy in the kitchen, while my husband was popping the cork on a cold Californian white Zinfandel.

We had mixed feelings .... we enjoyed our trip to Guanaja and hoped to return soon, but we always like to get back "home"! So we took our cold glass of wine out to the porch and sat on the swing and enjoyed the view of the Caribbean Sea. We sipped and talked about all of our adventures, of the stunning views, friendly people and the pristine turquoise water and the fact that we would be in Florida soon to enjoy the "paradise" there.

Tina called us dinner and we decided to eat on the porch where we could enjoy the tropical breezes.She had dusted the fresh shrimp with a light coat of flour and quickly fried them ..... yummy ... and served it with rice and steamed veggies .... light and satisfying, just like the Zinfandel.

The plates were cleared and the sun began to set. We had one last glass of wine and then it was time to toddle off to bed.

Wine Food Pairing, an adventure in Guanaja!

Wine Food Pairing - Red Wine in Guanaja Honduras!

Wine Food Pairing is important no matter where you are in the world, but how about in Guanaja Honduras? It may be a little harder to find the perfect vino match in this small Bay Island paradise, but certainly not impossible.

For this meal, our cook Tina, prepared a tender beef steak that looked to be a t-bone, but with a different texture....... very tender with good flavor, she sauteed it with peppers and onions.

We chose the Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot for this meal. The bold wine complimented the meat and parsleyed potatoes ... it even held up to the yummy rich chocolate dessert that followed the meal.

Wine Food Pairing in Guanaja Honduras ... why not? CHEERS!