Friday, 17 November 2017

Wine Lover's Kitchen Review, Recipe and Giveaway

A lovely cookery book arrived whilst I was away on holiday in Jamaica. Wine Lover's Kitchen by Fiona Beckett is a stunning collection of recipes featuring one of the nations most loved alcoholic beverage, wine.  Fiona is one of the nations leading and authoritative voices in food and drink, having published an impressive  23 books and is the current wine columnist for The Guardian.
I enjoy drinking a lovely glass of of wine, whether it's a rich full bodied red wine,  fruity white wine, crisp prosecco and my current favourite, mulled wine. But cooking with it, I'm not so sure,  I occasionally add a glug of red wine to stews, chili con carne and the like but that's about it. Wine Lovers Kitchen features a number of inspiring innovative recipes where wine is featured from starters to desserts. Retailing at £12, this book contains 70 recipes, many with accompanying photos. 
Having had a a thorough read of his book I would say it isn't aimed for beginner cooks, but for the more confident and ambitious cook. 


Wine Lovers Kitchen is split into the following chapters:

Wine - the magic ingredient discussing the benefits of wine. 
10 things you need to know about cooking with wine
Soups, Salads and Appetisers: Recipes to try include: Smoked Duck, Mandarin and Pecan Salad with Pinot Noir, Warm Scallop Salad with Crispy Pancetta and Parsnip Chips and Luxury Cheese Fondue.
Pasta and Grains: Stand out recipes include: Rigatoni with Aubergine, Sausage and Zinfandel Sauce, Wild Mushroom and Champagne Risotto and Beetroot and Pinot Risotto. 
Fish and Seafood: Recipes to try include: Moules Marinieres with Muscadet, Quick Tiger Prawns with Pinot Grigio, Fresh Tomato and Basil and Roast Monkfish with Pancetta, Rosemary and Red Wine Gravy. 
Meat and Poultry: Stand out recipes include: Burgundy-style pork with white wine and mustard, sauce, Slow-braised lamb shanks with red wine, rosemary and garlic, Venison Sausages with Red Wine and Rosemary Gravy,  Entrecôte Marchand de Vin and Pepper-crusted steak with Red Wine Sauce. 
Vegetable Dishes and Pulses: Recipes to try include: Vignarole (spring vegetable stew), Fennel and Parmesan Sourdough Gratin and Courgettes and Mushrooms a la Grecque. 
Sauces, Butters and Relishes: Stand out recipes include: Plum and Pinot Jam, Apricot and Moscatel Relish and Roast Chicken Salad.
Sweet Things and Baking: Recipes to try include: Red Wine and Cherry Ripple Ice Cream, Super Boozy Christmas Fruit Cake, Roasted Pears with Sweet Wine, Honey and Pin Nuts and Red Wine and Chocolate Frosted Cake. 

So far, I've made the Entrecôte Marchand De Vin but have booked marked many more recipes.



Recipe for Entrecote Marchand De Vin
Ingredients
2 entrecote or sirloin steaks (225g/8oz each)
1 tbsp olive oil
40g tablespoons butter, softened
2 shallots, very finely chopped
125ml cup good quality red wine, such as Bordeaux or Shiraz
2 rounded tablespoons freshly chopped flat parsley 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
sautéed potatoes and a mixed leaf salad, to serve

Method
Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Heat a heavy-based frying pan/skillet over a medium to high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil, when it is hot, add 15g of butter. Wait until the foaming subsides, then put the steaks in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn and cook for another 2-3 minutes for a medium-rare steak. Transfer to a warm plate and cover lightly with aluminium foil.
Discard the fat in the pan and add half the remaining butter. Once it has melted, add the shallots and cook over a low heat for about 2 minutes. 
Increase the heat, pour in the wine and let bubble away for 2-3 minutes until it has reduced by about two thirds. Gradually whisk the remaining butter, pour in any juices that have accumulated under the steak and stir, Season with salt and pepper , then add the parsley. 
Serve the steaks with the sauce poured over, accompanied by sautéed potatoes and a mixed salad leaves.


The lovely people at Ryland Peters and Smalls are giving one lucky reader a copy or the Wine Lovers Kitchen. 

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Sunday, 15 November 2015

Bordeaux Wines - Review

After a long day at work, particularly towards the end of the week, I enjoy a nice glass of wine. I never have been one to go overboard with my consumption of wine, I know many people would not be able to relate to that, but I love to savour each sip. My wine habits have changed since my teenage years and rightly so, with maturity, knowledge and understanding I have a greater appreciation of wine. Some moons ago (my teenage years), I drank Lambrini - I'm not sure whether that's even considered to be wine and in my early 20's I was a Rose girl and that was from the heat of the Summer, to the cold winter, I loved Rose. With the completion of my Masters degree and my first professional role, I upgraded to Processeco in the Summer. But something weird happened mid-20's, I developed a taste for full bodied red wine. I still love white wine and do have this occasionally, but I love red wine. I'll be honest, I'm not a wine expert and I tend to have my favourite regions i.e France, Spain and Italy. Not yet sold on wines from the "New World". Anyway, back to what intended to write about Bordeaux wines. The lovely people at Bordeaux Wines kindly sent me a couple of their best selling wines to sample, which I happily reviewed.
The Chateau Fonguillon is considered to be a classic, it is a smooth and rich full bodied red wine with a lovely lingering taste of summer berries (more blackberry/blueberries than strawberries) . I loved this wine, it was opulent and velvety and currently retailing at £8 per bottle, this is something you must try.

I paired the Chateau Fonguillon with an equally delightful meal: Citrus Duck legs. Due to tender, rich and succulent citrus duck legs, this paired beautifully with the wine. I think this wine would also pair beautifully with other dark meats (beef, lamb and game), due to the rich complexity of the wine. 




The Chateau Mont-Perat 2012 is a delightful dry white wine.  With each sip, there is a long lingering crisp and fruity taste. I paired the Chateau Mont-Perat with a salted mackerel pilaff dish, the tone of the crisp white wine worked wonderfully with the salted mackerel. I also think the wine would work well with cheese and biscuits, perfect for the Christmas season. 





Many thanks to Bordeaux Wines.

xxx
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