All recipes paired with wine, Fish and Seafood

Fish and rice pilaf

Fish and rice pilafI have originally created this recipe as a solution for left over rice. (yeas, you can also mix the fish and veggies with already cooked rice, but if you follow this recipe, the flavor of the rice dish will be richer)

Fish and rice pilaf


2 cups of rice (1 cup/2 people)
1 pound of any fish (I used salmon, but you can use any fish you like)
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped (optional)
1 leek
4 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of dry white wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Half a cup of fresh peas (could be frozen)
1 tablespoon of Emeril’s Italian Essence spice mix (or Herbes de Provence)
½ cup of Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil on medium heat in heavy pan and cook onion, celery and leek ((carefully washed and sliced into small rings – white part and ½ of the green part) until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and let cook for a few seconds.

Add rinsed rice, mix with vegetables and fry for 30 seconds, stirring. Season with salt and pepper. (watch out the salt if not using low sodium broth). Add all of the chicken broth and bring to boil. When reached boil, turn down the heat to low, cover the pan and let it cook for 40 minutes – or until the rice is done.

Before the rice is finished, prepare your fish. Cut it into small cubes and carefully remove any possible bones. In frying pan heat olive oil and butter. When hot, add fish, sprinkle with salt, pepper and the spices and fry quickly on medium hot. Add wine, stir together and let cook until the wine is almost reduced.

Fluff the rice when ready with a large spoon. Add fish mixture to the rice with the created sauce and mix together. Add peas and let it warm up in the rice. Taste and add more seasoning if desired. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy.

Wine pairing suggestions:
I have matched this dish with two different white wines, one from Sonoma, California – Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc and the other wine I picked was Sardinian Vermentino, called Argiolas Vermentino “Costamolino”


Great wines under $10, Italy, Sardinia, Vermentino, White wines

Argiolas Vermentino Costamolino 2008

Winemaker: Antonio Argiolas
Grapes: 90% Vermentino, 10 % other local Sardinian grapes
Region: Sardinia, Italy

 In the past, Italian Sardinia was in our minds more associated with mafia, then with good wines. “Sardinia,” in the words of Hugh Johnson, “is a strange, timeless island adrift in the center of things and yet remote.”

Antonio, with his two sons Franco and Peppetto, have worked very hard to fulfill their commitment to become leaders in Sardinian enology. They were able to incorporate modern technology into their traditional winemaking process. Argiolas family’s innovative philosophy helped them achieve highest standards in quality of the wine.

2008 Vermentino Costamolino is made from 90% Vermentino and 10% of other local grapes, grown in their hillside vineyards in the areas of Pranu Sturru-Suelli, Costa Bancodi and Perda Campus-Selegas, about 190 metres above sea level.

After a hand harvest, grapes were vinified in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Partial malolactic fermentation took off the acidic edge of the wine. It helped to bring out the elegance without sacrificing the typical freshness of Vermentino. This white has become a choice wine by the glass in Italy’s finest restaurants.

Tasting notes:
I haven’t had this wine for a few years, so I was excited to taste a new vintage. When I first smelled it, it reminded me of something from my childhood that I couldn’t remember. Later I figured it out – baked apples. Beautiful, intense aroma of Vermentino gave me notes of citrus, tropical fruits and baked apples with a hint of honey. Lovely aroma of this straw yellow wine, so typical for this grape varietal. Refreshing, with just perfect dose of zesty acidity, rich in fruit flavors.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak (partially)
Retail price: under $ 10.00

Ideal food pairing:
Excellent match to variety of dishes, from antipasti, pasta, salads to delicate risottos. Spicy cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, Thai or sushi will work great with this wine as well.