Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Prawns and Alsace, sort of

One thing about daughter being away is that wife and I can indulge in some of the food that daughter does not enjoy, few though they are. One thing daughter does not eat is shellfish, she ate prawns as a child but once she became more cognitive she has refused the sweet little critters.

Monday had originally been pencilled in as an opportunity to go out for sushi or curry, both things daughter avoids, but wife felt poorly on the weekend and stated that she would prefer dinner at home "if that was alright with me", and it was. I originally thought about making something with crab but then realized that I didn't want to be bothered cleaning Dungeness and didn't want to go to Costco to pick up blue crab meat, always available and always a good deal. With crab out of the mix I then selected a menu of pan seared prawns with risotto and roasted broccoli, my preference for seasoning the prawns would normally be shallots, lemon and garlic but wife has garlic issues and I'd already decided to add lemon to the risotto and the roasted broccoli so I had to come up with something else.

A quick glance in the fridge revealed some sweet Thai chili sauce so I thought "Hey that'll work", but I didn't want too much sweetness so I cut 1/4 cup of chili sauce with a teaspoon of rice wine vinegar and added a drop, or maybe two, of habanero sauce and the result was yummy. I peeled the prawns, added salt and pepper and they were ready to go . I sauteed a diced tomato with some chopped shallot in a butter/EVOO combo until the tomato gave up its' liquid and then added the prawns at high heat for roughly 3 minutes until they were nicely pink then added the chili sauce for about 30 seconds.

The result was excellent, the sweet Thai chili was nicely offset by the light vinegar and touch of heat and the rich creamy risotto was balanced by the earthy, salty flavours of the roasted broccoli tossed with lemon and romano cheese. With a lot of sweet, rich flavours wine might have posed an issue but I had a couple of bottles of Noble Blend from Joie Farm Winery on hand and it was a perfect match. Noble blend is an homage to the Alsatian tradition of field pick wines with a variety of Germanic style grapes blended together to make an Edelzwicker or Gentil wine that is fruit forward but with enough acidity to carry food. The Noble Blend 2010 was a blend of primarily Riesling and Gewurztraminer with Pinot Gris and Pinot Auxerrois also in the mix resulting in a mouthful of lemon and orange citrus with a bit of spice and mineral to keep the fruit at bay. This wine is a great compliment to asian cuisine and excellent just on it's own, Joie makes around 3,500 cases a year of Noble Blend annually and while it's not cheap at around the $24 mark I recommend having a bottle or two on hand for the summer.

Also on Monday I got good news when visiting the BCLDB store in that I discovered that The People's Pinot Noir from Central Otago is once more discounted to $15.99 a bottle. I posted about this wine back in November of 2011, read it here and have continued to drink it regularly since then, but with a $2 a bottle incentive I see no reason not to buy a case of this excellent New Zealand Pinot before the price goes back up at the end of the month. The wine has reasonable distribution with the bulk in the Yaletown store and 4 cases each in Collingwood-Kingsway and Broadway-Lillooet - who knew the Eastside was Pinot territory ?

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