Burgundy is all about Terroir

Burgundy (Bourgogne) is a region in France that is famous for its wine and its food. Three years ago we went there for a few days to discover the wine region and purchased some nice wines. Most Burgundian wines are at their best between 5 and 10 years from the harvest, and since the wines we purchased were mostly from the vintages 2007 and 2008 it is time to start drinking them. And that’s all the excuse I needed to organize some Burgundian evenings to share the wines with our friends and enjoy them with some good Burgundian food. Continue reading “Burgundy is all about Terroir”

Pairing Wine and Cheese

Wine and cheese are a great match. But not just any wine with any cheese. Restaurants still offer a mix of very different cheeses with a glass of port. However in cases that different styles of cheeses are served together, they should be paired with different styles of wine as well. Last night we tasted 12 different wines with 12 different cheeses with a group of friends. We combined 7 types of cheese with 7 types of wine and tasted which combinations worked best. We had the cheese and wine for dinner, augmented with home-baked Italian bread and vegetable antipasti (sautéed mushrooms, roasted peppers, … Continue reading Pairing Wine and Cheese

Good Lambrusco exists

Lambrusco is a light bubbly red wine from Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia in Italy that does not have a good reputation at all. It is usually cheap plonk that is frowned upon by many connoisseurs. However just like almost any other wine, it is possible to make good quality Lambrusco. Over the last few years, Italy’s famous wine guide Gambero Rosso has awarded it’s tre bicchieri (3 glasses) award to dry Lambrusco. When I ordered some wine and saw the same webshop also sold this Lambrusco for less than 8 euros per bottle, I decided to try a bottle. The 2010 Lambrusco … Continue reading Good Lambrusco exists

Hyperdecanting wine à la “Modernist Cuisine”

There are two reasons for decanting wine: separating the sediment from the wine (only needed for all wines that have sediment in the bottle, usually older wines) and letting the wine ‘breathe’ (oxygenation and outgassing; this may improve most wines but especially young red wines of which the tannins haven’t yet softened). Dutch wine connoisseurs use two different words to differentiate between these two purposes: decanting (decanteren) for separating the sediment and ‘carafing’ (karafferen) for letting the wine breathe. The amazing book (well, actually set of books) “Modernist Cuisine” by Nathan Myhrvold et al. claims that using a blender to … Continue reading Hyperdecanting wine à la “Modernist Cuisine”

Tiramisù

Not very original, but this remains one of my favorite desserts. “Tira mi su” literally means “pull me up”, and that refers to the lightness of this dessert. Yes, lightness. Although it will of course never be low in calories, it is possible to make a ‘fluffy’ version of Tiramisu that is not extremely dense. Best results are obtained when you make this one day in advance and if you do not transport it too much (after an hour-long ride in a car the mousse tends to separate). Please note that this recipe requires the use of raw eggs. So … Continue reading Tiramisù

Sous-vide pigeon with smoky pigeon jus

This was the secondo for our X-mas dinner this year. Pigeon is often overcooked and then has a strong livery taste and is dry. By cooking the breast sous-vide, it has a delicious flavor and is very tender.  The pigeon jus is delicious and very flavorful because it is reduced to an almost syrupy consistency and because part of the pigeon bones are smoked. This dish is quite a bit of work, but definitely worth it! Ingredients For 4 servings 2 pigeons (wild or farmed, NOT frozen!) 250 grams (1/2 pound) chopped celery, carrot, onion 1 glass of red wine 1 shallot … Continue reading Sous-vide pigeon with smoky pigeon jus

Ravioli with scallops and parsnip

As primo for our X-mas dinner this year I made these wonderful ravioli stuffed with scallops and parsnip. The inspiration for this recipe came from Niki Segnit’s The Flavour Thesaurus. The combination of parsnip puree and scallops works really well, and to enhance the flavor I also added chopped tarragon. If you can obtain fresh scallops in the shell, consider using those for the seared scallop that is served with the dish. Fresh scallops in the shell are more expensive, but taste better and will also sear more easily. The recipe will work well with scallops sold out of the shell … Continue reading Ravioli with scallops and parsnip