Lamb and Syrah are nearly as epic of a combination as Lamb and Easter. So if you plan on the latter this Easter weekend, why not combine it with the former. I asked Chris Donelan, of Cuvee Christine Syrah fame, to provide me a family recipe for lamb that I could try with my folks who were in town recently. I went to Chris because I have experienced her hospitality and cooking on numerous occasions and have a fondness for the simplicity with which she creates high quality meals.
The following recipe is no exception though it does require – as always I suppose – high quality ingredients. This roast lamb can be done in the broiler, though we grilled ours with a touch of mesquite charcoal added to our normal briquettes. As for side, go with what you like. We are on the tail end of beet season and had beets tossed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and a touch of lemon along with green salad, cheese, and crunchy bread (grilled). The lamb is so good that whatever you serve with it is truly going to be only a complement, so compliment it with something nice, fresh, and Eastery.
As I mentioned in our risotto recipe, what makes great recipes great are their reliance on good ingredients and flexible parameters. This is such a recipe. Chris finely chops her Continue reading
Risotto is like winemaking. I love preparing dishes that provide flexibility and freedom within a standard framework. Cooking is not unlike winemaking, where principles are applied similarly to each variety and vintage. But within each vintage or variety, there is plenty of room for creativity and nuances based on the producer’s choices. Risotto is such a dish.
During winter, we love making dishes that are hearty, go well with red wine, and stick to your ribs. Risotto is such a dish and yet paradoxically seems lighter and less exhausting to the palate than something like Beef Bourgone (another favorite). With a big salad and good crunchy bread, risotto makes a wonderful mid-week dinner on its own (even if usually served as a primo). My favorite Donelan wine to enjoy with this dish is the 2009 Cuvee Moriah. Its bright red fruit, herbs-de-provence characters along with its supple, firm structure pair so comfortably with the lighter flavors but rich textures of the risotto.
Risotta confines you to the stove once you begin preparing it, which can make serving it for dinner parties more difficult. Since we always find our friends in our kitchen regardless of the dish, what difference does it make! Much of the chopping and prep can be done in advance, though once you start cooking you’ll be locked in.
The following recipe is adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Naked Chef and my Father’s methods Continue reading
We hope you are enjoying a wonderful Fall with your family & friends. With Thanksgiving upon us we thought this rustic, flavorful pate would make a delicious appetizer for holiday entertaining paired with one of our incredible wines. Did you know Syrah and
Grenache are perfect for Thanksgiving? The layers of complex flavor and fruit surface exceptionally well with roast turkey, dressing and other dishes of the holiday.
As many of you know Nantucket is one of my favorite places on earth and we get away to this beautiful piece of paradise as often as we can. The island is full of charm, history and fantastic food. One of our favorite places is American Seasons. Chef Michael LaScola and his wife Orla Murphy LaScola create fresh creations, like this country pate, and pair them with an equally creative wine list. Orla suggests our 2009 Cuvee Moriah with this pate. The Cuvee Moriah, a blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah, has beautiful balance and structure which pairs well with the meaty flavors of this pate. (Learn More About 2009 Cuvee Moriah)
American Seasons Country Pate Ingredients Continue reading
Don’t believe anyone who says new world wines don’t pair well with food.
We could not agree more. For starters, our wines (yes, produced in the “New World”) not only pair well with food, but have also been singled out by chefs a few times over for recipes such as this: Black Bean Corn Cakes. Sometimes it seems that the term “food wine” has been high jacked by those wishing to promote their high acid, low concentrated wines that are nice, but not always great – interesting but maybe not compelling.
I readily admit that high acid wines do well with food, namely for their ability to cleanse a palate much like sorbet offered between the courses of a long meal. These wines also tend to prevent palate fatigue by keeping the senses fresh while you enjoy your meal. But are New World wines completely incapable of this? I think not. The key to Continue reading
It is that time of year. No, it’s not only the grape harvest – it’s also the Nantucket Bay Scallop harvest. For decades now the Donelan family has enjoyed the fruits of Nantucket, including the annual scallop season, which comes every October. Here Joe Donelan describes their annual tradition. (I’ve tried Christine’s recipe, it is wonderful!)
The family spends a great deal of time on Nantucket Island, and while whaling was the life-blood of the island for about a hundred years, most of us know it for beautiful beaches, historic towns and incredible sailing. For locals, every October 1 is what the island is all about – when “Family Scallop Season” opens.
Nantucket Bay Scallops are considered the finest bay scallops found anywhere in the world, which is why we look forward to this rite of Fall here in New England. These small, tender, and velvety little beauties have a wonderfully intense flavor. Every year we look forward to getting in the bay with our gear to haul bushels, which we bring home to my wife Christine.
Our son Tripp Donelan is the primary hauler for our family. We display our licenses on our bibs and hats. Only a bushel of scallops per day is permitted and a few of our favorite spots include Monomoy, Hither Creek, Shawkemo, and Madaket Harbor. You can either haul them with a rake or simply dive for them.
The following recipe is one of our favorites and while many people love them raw, this sauté over pasta is terrific. Which wine? We think both our 2009 Venus and our 2010 Nancie Chardonnay pair wonderfully with this dish. The sweetness of the scallops with the minerality of the wines makes for an incredible combination. Even if you can’t get Nantucket Bay Scallops we encourage you to cook with your family and friends this Fall while sharing a bottle or two of Donelan wine. Enjoy and please let us know what you think of the pairing. (Join the Donelan Community)
Nantucket Bay Scallops with Fresh Pasta. Continue reading