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.
Having just returned from holiday in Mexico, we fancied cooking a favourite from Supercook – Costillas a la Mexicana, which is Mexican pork chops.
Garlic is rubbed over the chops and they are refrigerated while the Salsa Mexicana is made. Chillies, tomatoes, onion and garlic are chopped and blended and salt added. The chops are pan-fried and the sauce is poured over at the end. We served with tortillas.
We tried a bottle of the excellent Ravenswood Zinfandel, but we quickly decided this didn’t work and switched to an Italian white – The Society’s Pinot Grigio 2014, from the Wine Society.
We detected a slight pineapple sweetness with flavours of tropical fruits and nectarines. A good wine and a good match with the pork.
We tried Burmese Chicken Curry from Madhur Jaffrey. An interesting mix of Indian and Thai flavours.
Cubes of chicken are rubbed with hot curry powder, garam masala and salt. Onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and paprika are blended into a paste and the chicken is stir-fried with the paste, tomatoes, fish sauce and lemongrass. Water is added and the chicken is then simmered.
We served the curry with boiled rice, poppadums and a side dish we found on the Saveur website called Myanmar-Style Long Bean Salad (Pei Daunt Shay Thoke). This was a tasty combination of green beans, shallots, chopped roasted peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and salt.
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.
We tried Serbian fish from Supercook. Haddock fillets are marinated in white wine, onion, garlic, fennel seeds, lemon juice and parsley. Meanwhile potato slices are baked in the oven with tomatoes, salt, paprika and flour. The marinated fish is then added to the baking dish together with chopped bacon, mushrooms and sour cream and returned to the oven. A tasty way to cook haddock.
To drink with the fish we chose a bottle of 8 Razones Albariño 2013, a Spanish white from Sunday Times Wine Club.
There was a slight sweetness with citrussy, yet mellow nectarine flavours. The wine paired well with the meal.
We 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.
We had a medium-dry German Riesling that we knew would go well with an Asian dish with some sweetness. See here for a previous pairing.
We cooked Shao Jou (Cantonese Roast Pork) from Supercook. This is strips of pork marinated in onion, soy sauce, sugar, sherry, ginger and hoisin sauce. The pork is then roasted.
We served this tasty dish with egg-fried rice and stir-fried pak choi, a delicious recipe from the Riverford Organics website. The pak choi is stir-fried in sunflower oil with red chillies, salt, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil.
We paired this meal with a bottle of Tesco‘s Finest Riesling Steillage 2014, a medium-dry German white. It had a creamy sweetness, with flavours of tropical fruits and pineapple. The wine had just the right degree of sweetness to cope with the sweetness in the food and was a very good match.
We cooked a modified version of Jamie’s Roast Chicken with all the Trimmings.
The chicken is rubbed all over with butter flavoured with lemon zest and thyme. A lemon and thyme sprigs are placed in the cavity and the chicken is then roasted with garlic, sliced potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and parsnips. However, we used turnips instead of parsnips.
We have read that Jurançon Sec is a good match with roast chicken and so we opened a bottle of Domaine Cauhapé Chant de Vignes Jurançon Sec 2012, a Southern French white from the Wine Society.
We detected a slight initial sweetness, smooth tropical fruits, followed by a pleasant tangy grapefruit finish. We though the wine was a very good match with the roast chicken.