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”


California, Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma, White wines

Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc 2008

Winemaker: Sarah Quider
Grapes: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Sonoma, California

Put together two devoted, second-generation Italian-Americans with a passion for hard work, wine and food – and you can expect miracles. An astonishing hospitality and wine career of Rhonda and Don Carano started back in 1973, when Don, still practicing law at successful Reno’s law firm, established Eldorado Hotel/Casino – 282 room property.

It was “supposedly” on the wrong side of the tracks”. Today’s Eldorado has 817 rooms, 10 award-winning restaurants, 80 thousands sq. ft. of casino space, huge showroom, specialty retail space and complete convention center. The couple today owns another hotels and resort properties in Nevada.

It was on their wine buying trip to California in 1979, seeking the best wines to compliment their restaurant’s menu, when Caranos felt in love with Sonoma. It reminded them so much of Italy, they immediately purchased 60 acres parcel in Alexander Valley. That’s how Ferrari-Carano winery started. Just like in their other business projects, they believe in ownership to be able to completely control the quality. Today they own 17 vineyards in Sonoma county, with total over 2,500 acres of land.

That’s just a little bit from their amazing history. With carefully selected team of winemakers under the supervision of Steve Domenichelli, vineyard director, they are devoted to produce the best possible wines every year. Not only loyal customers, collectors and wine drinkers, but also wine experts confirm that they consistently do.

I chose their Fume Blanc today, but I will definitely come back with reviews of their Chardonnays and great, highly rated reds that Ferrari-Carano produces.

2009 vintage of Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc is a blend of vineyard lots from various appellations of Sonoma — Dry Creek, Alexander and Russian River Valleys. When grapes arrive at the winery, each lot is gently crushed, de-stemmed and pressed into stainless steel tanks for 48 hours of cold settling. The juice is either transferred to stainless steel tanks or older French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine in barrels is sur lie aged for 4 months. Individual lots are treated separately until blending to create the final Fumé Blanc blend.

Tasting notes:
Light golden color. I smell a lovely blend of fresh tropical fruits and lemon aromas. This is not your typical Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. It’s much milder, maybe more sophisticated and elegant with the notes of mango, pineapple, lemon and light grapefruit. The combination of stainless steel and oak gives wine enough crispiness and freshness, with depth and complexity from the barrel aging lots.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak (partially)
Retail price: under $ 15.00

Ideal food pairing:
Seafood, shrimp scampi, with spicy cuisine such as Chinese, Indian, Thai or sushi