All recipes paired with wine, Fish and Seafood

Spanish canoes (Barquito de Anchoa)

 Spanish canoes (Barquito de Anchoa)
As I got slowly introduced to more of amazing Spanish cuisine, through tasting wide selection of jamon, Spanish cheeses, olive oils and olives, I also came across some less known Spanish delicatessen. My Spanish friends were kind enough to show me how to serve them. This is a lovely way to serve marinated, mild white anchovies called Boquerones. If you say in your head “I hate anchovy!” let me tell you: this is not the salty anchovy from the jar. This is a completely different “animal”.

Spanish canoes (Barquito de Anchoa)
1 pack of Spanish Boquerones (marinated white anchovies)
(I bought mine – Ortiz brand – in the Spanish store of Costa del sol Restaurant in CT)
Red, green and yellow bell pepper – half of each
1/4 red onion
2 table spoons of small capers
4 table spoons of your favorite vinaigrette
2 endive leafs
1 head of romaine hearts (sliced and spread over the serving dish to hold the round canoes in place)

Clean each bell pepper from seeds, wash and finely chop half of each colored peppers into little cubes. Mix in a salad bowl. Reserve the other halves for another use.

Finely chop red onion and mix with peppers. Add capers without a liquid. Add in your favorite vinaigrette and mix together.

Wash endives clean and discard outer leaves. Carefully peel each leave off – cut off the thick white end so they don’t break. Spread endive’s leaves onto a bed of sliced Romaine hearts so they hold in place like little canoes.

I have added some baby arugula too and sprinkled a little bit of the same vinaigrette on it. (When all canoes are gone, you can add some chopped tomatoes to the party and finish the underneath salad).

Take anchovies out of the oil. Carefully spoon a little bit of pepper’s mixture into each canoe and garnish with 1 Boquerone per each canoe.

Serve and enjoy.

Wine pairing suggestion:

Try delicious Naia from Spanish Rueda with this Spanish appetizer. As you already know, I always reach for the same country of origin wines, when pairing with food. This is definitely a match made in heaven. Naia Verdejo, from the region close to ocean, and delicate marinated anchovies… yummy!

All recipes paired with wine, Beef

Beef Walldorf with Béarnaise sauce

This is not a simple recipe, but it’s well worth it if you want to impress your party guests. Makes about 20 appetizers.

Beef Walldorf with Béarnaise sauce
(courtesy of my friend chef Matt)

3 medium sized fillets Mignon
1 bag of frozen puff pastry dough
1 box of white mushrooms
1/2 cup of wild dry mushrooms (optional)
2 cups of beef stock
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
2-3 spoons of flour

For the sauce:
3 table spoons of tarragon leaves
3 table spoon tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 shallot
White vinegar
5 egg yolks
2 cups of butter – melt
tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Tabasco
1 teaspoon of white pepper
In a small pan, combine finely chopped mushrooms sprinkled with salt and pepper, with beef stock and heavy cream and let simmer (slowly on low heat) until all the liquid is reduced and mushrooms turned into almost a pate. Set a side and let it cool.

Unfold thawed sheet of dough on wooden surface evenly dusted with flour. Cut into small squares (about 3”). Cut a small cubes of raw fillet Mignon (about 1,5”) and put one piece on one half of each small square of puff pastry. Add a little bit of mushroom’s mix to each square and fold the dough over (cover and press ends to seal).

Cover baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Smear each square with whisked egg whites and bake until light brown (about 30-40 minutes, depends on the size of your squares).

Béarnaise Sauce:
In a small pan add all tarragon leaves, teaspoon black pepper, finely chopped shallot and white vinegar just enough to cover the herbs and let simmer to reduce.

In double broiler:
Add egg yolks, lemon juice, splash of Tabasco and white pepper to a bowl and mix together very carefully over the pan with boiling water (use caution not to set eggs). Keep stirring it until sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and carefully add 2 cups of melted butter (not hot). Add the tarragon reduction into the eggs mixture and season it with salt and pepper, if desired.

Suggested wine pairing:
Since we used a high quality beef in this recipe with combination with very rich flavor of mushrooms – any, even bigger red wine will work with it. The dipping sauce, on the other hand is acidic, so I have chosen new Spanish wine called VOLVER to match with this. Lovely combination!