Browsing Category

Beer and Wine Pairings

Beer and Wine Pairings/ Featured/ Vietnamese Recipes

Teriyaki Salmon

Teriyaki salmon paired with Pinot Noir

So, as you guys may have noticed on the blog and on my Instagram, I’m beginning to venture into the area of wine pairing with my meals. My plan is to focus on affordable wines, and pairing them with the everyday meals that I blog about. However, Southeast Asian cuisine (especially Vietnamese) is a tough cuisine to do a wine pairing with because there are just so many layers of flavour in the meals. I tried pairing a wine with a Vietnamese Pork Chop Rice dish the other day, and I didn’t know what flavour profile to focus on – the lean pork, tangy fish sauce, creamy egg yolk, pungent scallion oil, crisp cucumbers and hot rice all married together to provide such complex flavours!

A Vietnamese pork chop and rice dish, paired with a Pinot Noir

I tried a fruity Oregon Pinot Noir with the pork dish, but it just didn’t taste right together. The wine was just a bit to light and fruity for the heavier pork dish. So tonight, I paired the same wine with some teriyaki salmon and rice and it was perfect!

The wine is an Oregon Pinot Noir called Underwood that I got from a friend whose last name is Underwood. I know, right? I wish I had a wine with my last name!  This wine isn’t available in Saskatchewan but is available in Manitoba or Alberta.

We often hear that you should pair fish with white wine, but I think that light, fruity and acidic Pinot Noirs pair very well with Asian-inspired salmon dishes. I feel like a white wine would have been too crisp for this teriyaki salmon – the crispness would have clashed with the rich teriyaki sauce and resulted in a tangy aftertaste.

This salmon recipe is adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s teriyaki salmon recipe, and I’ve shared my slightly modified version below. I served this salmon with a side of steaming hot jasmine rice and green beans sautéed with minced garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce. Pour yourself a nice fruity Pinot Noir and give this recipe a try!

Salmon filets in the rich teriyaki marinade

Teriyaki Salmon

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • Thumb size piece of ginger, finely minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp mirin (or Chinese rice wine)
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • 2 salmon filets, skinless
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1

Whisk the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, mirin and a drizzle of olive oil together in a bowl.

2

Place the salmon filets in a dish, season with salt and pepper, and pour the sauce over them. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate in the fridge for a couple hours.

3

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil and smaller drizzle of sesame oil. When the oil is hot, place the salmon in the pan, reserving the marinade. Cook for 2 minutes, then pour in the marinade over the salmon and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn the salmon filets over and cook for another 3-5 minutes, basting with the sauce to coat the salmon.

4

Serve with rice and spoon some of the sauce over the salmon.

Beer and Wine Pairings/ Canadian Recipes/ Featured/ Meal Planning

Weekday Pot Roast

Weekday Pot Roast Dinner

One of the hardest things that I had to come to terms with after having a baby is that I don’t run the schedule anymore. Prior to having a baby, I was an extreme type-A person, and my cooking was run on a tight schedule. I prided myself on my ability to time dinner prep perfectly so that I was plating it up just as the husband was walking in the door. Now with a baby, that is completely unrealistic. Dinner prep now is interrupted multiple times with crying and feedings and there’s no guarantee when it will be plated up!

I’ve heard from other moms that slow cooker meals are lifesavers when it comes to preparing weekday meals. You just throw a few ingredients into a slow cooker and let it cook by itself. Admittedly, I have yet to find a slow cooker meal that I love. I find them all to be bland and it literally tastes like you threw a bunch of ingredients together to cook with no technique or finesse. (I know, I kind of sound like a culinary snob there, didn’t I?)

Anyways, I will continue my search for a decent slow cooker meal, but in the meantime, I have this pot roast recipe that I have been making at least once a week. There are three reasons why I love this recipe:

  1. It takes about 10-15 minutes to prep and brown the vegetables and the meat. This is about the maximum amount of time my baby will peacefully sit in her bouncy chair and watch me cook.
  2. I use a cup of red wine to deglaze the pot. This gives me the perfect excuse to open up a bottle of red wine and have a glass. I mean, I could also use beef broth to deglaze the pot but what would be the fun in that?
  3. After everything has been prepped and browned, you toss everything back in the pot and let it simmer for 4 to 5 hours. I just love that wide time range – 4 to 5 hours means that even if at the 4 hour mark, I get derailed by a crying baby who needs to be fed, it’s not that big of a deal.

This pot roast is best prepared in a Dutch Oven (or French Oven). On my Christmas wish list is a Le Creuset French Oven.

On my Christmas wish list – the Le Creuset French Oven, perfect for roasts and stews.

These things are so pricey but would be well worth the investment. However, since I don’t have one yet, I just use a big pot and it works just fine.

For the meat, I usually buy whatever roast is on sale that week. It doesn’t have to be a premium cut of meat because 4-5 hours of cooking will make any cut of meat super tender and flavourful. The meat falls apart when you take it out of the pot. This week at Sobeys, “inside round marinating oven roasts” were on sale so that’s what I used.

I serve this roast with the carrots that were cooked along with it, some mashed potatoes and a quick gravy made with the liquid in the pot.

Browned meat and veggies, swimming in broth and red wine, ready to simmer for 5 hours

It’s the perfect weekday meal for these cold winter nights. Also, I should mention that after 4-5 hours of cooking time, your house smells super delicious – it smells like you put in way more effort to make this meal than you actually did!

As you can see in the photo above, we paired this particular dinner with the Stark Raving red wine. There’s no rhyme or reason for this – the Stark Raving red is the every day drinking wine in our house, so when I don’t have a particular wine preference to pair with a meal, we default to the Stark Raving. It’s an easy drinking red blend that pairs well with everything and it’s a decent price (~$15).

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Also, if anyone has any delicious slow cooker meals that will convert me into a slow cooker believer, then please share!

Weekday Pot Roast

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 15 minute prep, 4-5 hours cooking time

Ingredients

  • 3-5 lb roast
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole yellow onions, peeled and halved
  • 8 whole carrots, peeled and cut in half (4 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1

Season the roast all over and well with salt and pepper.

2

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the halved onions on both sides and set the onions aside on a plate.

3

Brown the carrots in the pot and set aside with the onions.

4

Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pot and sear the meat for one minute on all sides until it is brown all over. Remove the roast and set aside with the carrots and onions.

5

Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Place the roast and the vegetables back into the pot and add 3 cups of the beef broth to almost cover the meat.

6

Add the fresh herbs, put a lid on the pot and cook on medium-low heat for 4-5 hours.

7

If you're making a gravy, after the 4-5 hours of cooking time, take a cup or two of the liquid in the pot and strain into a small sauce pan. Whisk together 1 tbsp of cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water, and then add to the sauce pan. Heat over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Beer and Wine Pairings/ Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Does anyone else feel like November is just going by too fast? Next thing you know, Christmas will be here! I feel like I’m behind on putting Christmas decorations up. So far, I just have my front entry way decorated, but I haven’t had time to put my wreath up on the front door or put up my Christmas tree. I have it written down in my to do list, but I keep on putting it off day after day. The goal is to get all the decorations up before the end of the month!

Christmas decorations are up in the front entry!

Christmas decorations are up in the front entry!

The baby is down for her morning nap, so I have a couple hours. Instead of putting up the tree though, I’m in the mood to make some cookies. With Christmas around the corner, I’ve decided to make some Ginger Molasses Cookies. I’m hoping that the smell and taste of these cookies will get me in the holiday mood and give me some motivation to put up the Christmas tree. These cookies are deliciously soft and chewy and are my personal favourite. My husband still prefers my Snickerdoodles over these ones, but too bad for him.

Oh, let’s talk about wine pairings! There are a couple of types of wines that would go very well with these ginger molasses cookies. For all you white wine lovers out there, a nicely chilled German Riesling would pair well with the spicy notes of the ginger in this cookie. My personal favourite is the Dr. Loosen Riesling. For all the red wine lovers, the bright acidity of a Pinot Noir would pair well with the richness of the molasses in this cookie.  I haven’t found a Pinot Noir that I absolutely love yet though – anyone have any recommendations?

cookies-and-dr-loosen

Give this recipe a try and please send me your Pinot Noir recommendations!

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Print Recipe
Serves: 12-15 cookies Cooking Time: 10 minutes bake time

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • White sugar to roll the cookies in

Instructions

1

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Set aside.

3

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and white sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and creamy. I used my hand mixer. Add the molasses and egg, and beat for another 2-3 minutes.

4

Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

5

Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes or pop the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. (I usually take this time to clean up the kitchen a bit and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F).

6

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll the balls in the white sugar. Space the balls about an inch apart on the cookie sheet and bake in the 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

7

Cool the cookies completely and enjoy!