Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Two Wines - Two Dishes - PDX Style

People often ask me, including my daughter, what is my favorite food. Well the truth is, when you are a foodie (A person who loves almost all food and seeks out new culinary treats) like I am, it tends to be, well, everything.

However,  there has been a couple dishes that really stand out and since this is a wine blog, it only makes sense I share two classic dishes that are made with wine.

I just came across a post titled 8 of the best Julia Child Recipes and of those 8, three were cooked with wine. Not to my surprise, one of those recipes holds fond food memories for me.

Perhaps you remember one of my older post titled At The Market - A little Taste Of  France. In that post I shared one of my many "Did That Just Happen? Stories".  Let me share one of my fondest, not so absurd, French memories with you.

The trip was part of a culinary weekly excursion, and to say the food was amazing is an understatement. I remember a few incredible dinners we had, but the one that stood out the most was the classic Boeuf Bourguignon or simply Beef Burgundy.

Boeuf Bourguignon is such a simple dish but to make it a great dish, as opposed to an average one, boils down to the quality of ingredients and technique. Oh and yes, this was one of Julia's favorites. I almost feel embarrassed to say it but it is really just a beef stew with red wine.

A true Beef Burgundy is made with good quality red wine from the Burgundy region of France. Mushroom, pearl onions, and potatoes are almost always served in or along with this tender and succulent dish.

You can also concoct a great Beef Burgundy using American wines.  I suggest our PDX Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine is a perfect choice for an exceptional Beef Burgundy!  

Here is a link to a wow your guests Beef Burgandy recipe I found on The Spruce. Use our PDX Cabernet Sauvignon for the red wine. 

Beef Burgundy

I am not sure how Julia Child felt about mussels, though I do remember my first steamed mussels dish. It was actually in Culinary Art school many moons ago. I got a chance to try many new dishes those two exciting years. I try to forget the calves brain I sampled, though it was not all that bad. 

One of my favorite classes was the seafood course. I learned how to put a lobster to sleep, how to filet a fish, and how simple it was to steam mussels. Although I didn't make it myself, I certainly enjoyed it.

I enjoyed it so much, it often appears on my restaurant plate and of course my Holiday party platter. Steamed mussels tend to be a cook's blank canvas.

The technique is simple enough and can be made with so many different ingredients. Start with sausage or bacon, add onions, leeks and garlic. For the steaming liquid, wine, beer, or stock acts as the base. Consider tossing in fresh herbs or scallions. The options are endless. 

Please, DO NOT forget the bread. You will need that to sop up the aromatic juices. Believe it or not, this is a pretty inexpensive and quick meal to make. 

Here is a simple recipe I found on my favorite site Savuer. For the white wine, an excellent choice is our PDX 2015 Vidal Blanc. 

Mussels With White Wine, Garlic, And Parsley

One Final Thought

Can I have a ride? 

The life of mussels appears to be quite boring. Just sayin. They 

typically just sit there, eating, and hanging out at the bottom of the 

water. No music, no cell phones, and certainly no bar. Like, get a 

job or something.

But they make up for their mediocre life with their cool 

reproductive style. The lazy male just sits still, and releases his 

sperm. The sperm follows the current and locates the lazy female. 

The female mussels do that thing female mussels do and produce 

mussel larvae. 

The larvae hangs out at the fish stop and waits for a very specific 

fish to stop by. It then hops on and takes a three week joy ride. 

When able to make it out on its own, it hops off the unharmed fish 

and starts its own boring life. I guess after all that excitement, it 

needs to rest until the next available ride comes along. 

"Hey Mr. Fish, so what do you do for a living?"

 "I work at the mussel delivery center." "I deliver mussel larvae

"Yeah right, like that's a thing."  

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