What’s on your plate tonight?

Okay, those of you who follow my Facebook wine blog know this is a play on a series I do there called “What’s in your glass tonight?” that focuses on wine, specifically Virginia wine, and mentions in passing the food we’ve paired it with.

Tonight the dishes turned out to be so fabulous that I wanted to talk about them. Only that’s kind of hard to do in a blog that is supposed to focus on wine. So here you have it, “What’s on your plate tonight?”

Tonight we served fresh salmon. I’ll be honest: we’re not big beef eaters in our household. But we do love seafood and always serve it on Friday nights. This evening, I wanted to try two new (to me) recipes, one for risotto (from Cook’s Illustrated) and the other for salmon (from foodandwine.com). They were fabulous and fabulous paired with the wine we’d picked.

The risotto recipe is from an issue of Cook’s Illustrated we just got in the mail (pitching us to subscribe) and is called Almost Hands-Free Risotto. I won’t go into detail on the recipe except to say that almost all the liquid was added at once, contrary to every other risotto recipe I’ve made. The result was amazing — a creamy, rich risotto with a sprinkling of parmesan and parsley and chives. Really lovely. I think I have a new standard risotto recipe here!

I’d been looking for a salmon recipe that used whole grain Dijon mustard and found one tonight on foodandwine.com — you can find it here. It’s by Ken Norris and Jennifer Quist of the Riffle NW Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Best part? It’s super easy to make.

Cut your fresh salmon fillets into equal sizes, put in a pan, and season with salt and pepper.

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Mix together some whole-grain Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, and chopped chives (either dried or fresh).

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Spread this mustardy goodness over the salmon slices.

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Roast at 400 degrees and then broil until the crust is starting to get crispy. (I broiled it for an equal amount of time.)

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We served this tonight with a 2012 First Colony Winery Meritage. Now, 2012 was a good year for Virginia wines. This Meritage is complex, though not as densely rich as others we’ve tried from that same year. On the nose, I get leather, blueberry, and white pepper, with a hint of mushroomy earthy tones (a good thing). On the palate, the blueberry jumps out first, followed by pepper and a great leather (from the tannins). A very nice wine and one that paired beautifully with the richness of the salmon and the ping of the mustard crust.

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This wine was a blend of Cab Fran, Cab Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. It was perfect with the mustardy salmon and the rich risotto. Ah…..

Cheers, everyone!

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Filed under On Wine, Recipes

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