Tag Archives: Wine

Salad of Green Lentils from Le Puy AOP

Lentils that are considered to be the finest are the green Lentils from Le Puy en Velay area, in the mountains south west of Lyon. Here is an easy recipe for a tasty and healthy summer salad. After preparation you can also add slices of smoked sausage, ham, chicken or confit. Let your taste buds guide you.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

· 300g of Green Lentils du Puy

· 3 cloves of garlic

· 2 onions

· 15g butter

· 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

· 1 Bay leaf chopped to produce 30ml

· 700ml dry white wine

· 6 soup spoons of olive oil

· 15ml soup spoons of sherry vinegar

· 15ml Dijon mustard

· Chopped chives, Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Wash the lentils and check for any little grains of sand

Peal the garlic and cut in half, and peel and chop onions roughly

Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan, add the butter onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf, stir gently using a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes

Add the lentils and mix in well, add the white wine, bring to the boil then lower the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer for about 40 minutes

Prepare the vinaigrette sauce with the olive oil, sherry vinegar, mustard, and the chopped chives. Add salt and pepper. Whisk until blended.

Strain the cooked lentils, and put in a salad bowl, remove the thyme and bay leaf

Pour the vinaigrette over the warm lentils and mix in well. Serve warm or cold

Serve accompanied by fresh crisp bread and a glass of wine

Bon appetit!

After The Madness of the Festive Season

After all the Christmas and New Year hosting, feasting and  of being hosted, I was rather desperate to get away from it all and food wise needed something really simple and easy on the stomach. There were some lovely leaks in the fridge and I also had some nice potatoes in my storeroom. I decided that a delicious leak and potato soup, followed by a crisp salad would do the trick.

As it happens the first dish I ever cooked on my own at the tender age of 11, under the direction of the Chef who I was totally in awe of, was potato and leek soup. I loved it then and I still do so now. That anything so simple could taste so good!

And of course; with the beautiful view of the ocean below my sundeck, the magnificent yacht anchored in the bay, with such an awesome view eating in made me feel that I was in the best restaurant in the whole world. What more could one ask for.

The view from my deck

This is his (the Chefs) original recipe from way back then.

Leak and Potato Soup  ( So simple yet so delicious)

Served on my deck, while watching the sun set gently over the sea.

serves 4

Ingredients

4 leeks cut into small dice (there should be about 1½ cups)

1 medium onion peeled and diced (about ½ cups)

2 Tbsp. butter

4-5 potatoes peeled and cut into about 1cm dice (about 3 cups)

4 Water

2 cups milk

2 tsp. salt (or to your taste)

White pepper to taste

Method

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and onion, cook them slowly, covered, for a few minutes, or until they are soft but not brown, stirring occasionally.

Then add the potatoes, 4 cups of water, 2 teaspoons of salt and simmer covered for about 30 -40 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.

Add 2 cups of hot milk and a tablespoon of butter; simmer gently for a few seconds, blend together but not too much.  Taste and correct the seasoning.

Serve with some fresh crusty bread and a nice glass of wine.

Fettuccine served with Caviar

This is an unusual but exquisite pairing of juicy, burst-in-your-mouth caviar with pasta; a luxurious treat, one which I save for special occasions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

fettuccine pasta
Olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
lemon zest from one lemon
juice from half a lemon
half cup of white wine
one cup fish stock or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
chives for garnishing
Caviar ( sometimes a mixture of red and black is fun)

Method

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a salt. Add the fettuccine and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking; heat a little oil in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes, then pour in the white wine and reduce liquid by half, then add the stock and reduce by half.

Toss the sauce together with the fettuccine; add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste; allow to cool slightly before tossing in the caviar, working it gently through the fettuccine to make sure it is evenly distributed.

Garnish with chive sprigs and serve immediately! Enjoy with a full-bodied white wine, I like to serve Cloudy Bay Chardonnay

Myths; are screwcaps better than cork?

Apparently not. The big cork producers like Amorin has done extensive research to remove the much dreaded cork taint, and reports are they have succeeded in doing so.

There is of course a place for the screw caps in fresh, young wines – to be drunk soon, but cork is still tops as gurus from Portugal will attest, and there are very few wines in screw caps to be found in Portugal.

You will not find any French 1st growth in screw caps either, or any port from the Douro, nor Meerlust or the upper echelon Nederburgs, from the Cape wine-lands.

Cork is much, much more eco- friendly, keeping people working in the country and at the same time protecting the european lynx and many birds that live in cork forests.