FEBRUARY FOOD & WINE PAIRINGS

IN SEASON

Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Celeriac, Chard, Horseradish, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Leeks, Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Radish, Rocket, Shallots, Spinach, Spring Onion, Swede, Turnips, Winter Squash

Beef, Chicken, Duck, Goose, Guinea Fowl, Pork, Rabbit, Venison, Woodpigeon

Clams, Cockles, Crab, Farmed Halibut, Farmed Rainbow Trout, Farmed Salmon, Haddock, Hake, Langoustine, Lemon Sole, Ling, Lobster, Mackerel, Monkfish, Mussels, Oysters, Pollack, Razor Clams, Scallops, Wild Salmon, Winkles, Whiting

Apples, Pears

Celeriac, Potato and Parmesan Gratin Recipe by Anna-Jane Kingston

Certainly a dish in it’s own right, a creamy gratin is a delicious classic that’s indulgent in flavour. Pair it with a nice glass of vino and you’ve got yourself the ultimate comfort food. By all means, you can do this recipe with just potatoes, but the addition of celeriac will not disappoint.

Ingredients:

1 celeriac
3 large white potatoes
1/2 a peeled onion
2 bay leaves
8 sprigs of fresh thyme
250ml of double cream
350ml of full fat milk
2 teaspoons of English mustard
1 whole nutmeg
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Parmesan cheese
Butter to grease

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and prepare a rectangular baking dish by greasing it with a knob of butter. The dish should be roughly 30cm x 20cm and about 6cm deep – a dish that is good for layering.
    2.Peel and thinly slice the potato and celeriac. If you have a mandoline, it will come in very useful for this recipe. If slicing with a knife, cut the slices to about 1cm thick.
    3. Next, place all the cream and milk into a large saucepan. Add in the onion half, the thyme sprigs, the bay leaves and the mustard. Press down on all the garlic cloves with a knife so that they open slightly, then peel off their skins and add them to the pot.
    4. Start grating the whole nutmeg over the creamy mixture, and give everything a quick stir before switching on the heat.
    5. Start bringing all the ingredients to the boil, stirring constantly for about 3 minutes. Add all the celeriac and potato slices to the pot and swirl the mixture around. The creamy mixture won’t entirely cover all the slices, so put the lid on and switch it to a medium heat, allowing the steam to slightly cook them for about 2-3 minutes.
    6. Using a spoon or tongs, start lifting out the potato and celeriac slices and start creating layers – seasoning each layer with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I like to do one layer potato and one layer celeriac. Once the layers are complete strain the creamy sauce through a sieve into a pot or large bowl (removing the bay leaves etc.) and pour the entire sauce over the dish.
    7. Last but not least, grate a layer of parmesan (about 40-50g) over the top of the dish.
    8. Finally, loosely place a piece of tinfoil over the top of the dish – and allow to bake for 30 minutes. Remove the tinfoil after the 30 minutes and allow the gratin to bake for another 20 minutes uncovered. The top should be bubbling and crispy brown before serving.

Alken Brothers Wine Recommendation for this Dish:

Piancarda Rossa Conero DOC

Grape Variety: Montepulciano

Tasting notes: A red with full body and structure, matured in traditional oak casks for at least one year. It combines the typical aromas of cherries of Rosso Cònero with an imposing but pleasantly mellow structure.

87 Parker Points

Alc: 15.4%

Alto Adige Weissburgunder Pinot Blanc

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Blanc

Tasting notes: Very fine, fruity (apples, peaches), forward varietal aroma. Pronounced, elegant, grapey flavour, light to medium – bodied with a fresh mouth-watering finish.

Alc: 13%

Anna-Jane Kingston is an Irish food blogger from Donegal who has been experimenting with food since her school days. She always tries to make her recipes adaptable to help suit a wide variety of eaters. Her blog ‘A Thyme to Eat’ will inspire any reader and bring a little culinary delight to your table.

Sauerkraut and Bay Ham Hock Skillet Recipe by John Whaite

A skillet, also known as a hash, is an American dish of friend deliciousness. The name comes from the cast-iron pan in which it is made, but any frying pan does the trick. We reckon this ham skillet recipe is the perfect way to use up leftover Christmas ham!

Ingredients:

50g unsalted butter
500g Maris Piper potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
6 dried bay leaves
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 onion, roughly chopped
250ml chicken stock
200g cooked ham, shred
150g frozen peas, defrosted
2 tbsp sauerkraut
Sea salt flakes

Method:

  1. Put the butter into a large sauté or deep-sided frying pan and set over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the potatoes, bay, garlic and pepper, and fry, tossing the pan every once in a while, until the potatoes are golden brown and cooked through – at least 20 minutes.
    2.Once the potatoes are cooked, increase the heat to high, add the onion and then the stock.
    3. Boil rapidly to evaporate the liquid.
    4. When the stock has almost entirely evaporated, reduce the heat to medium, add the ham hock and peas and stir through. Fry until everything is a little crispy on the base.
    5. Sprinkle over the sauerkraut and a pinch of salt and serve.

Alken Brothers Wine Recommendation for this Dish: 

Domaine de l’Herre Mabec IGP Cotes de Gascogne

Grape Variety: Malbec

Tasting notes: Notes of violet, damson and blackberries. A surprisingly refined sweetness in the mouth with mature tannins. The fruity aromas are enhanced by a delicate earthy hint.

Alc: 13.5%

AOC Cremant De Limoux Rose

Grape Varieties: Chardonnay – Chenin Blanc – Mauzac – Pinot Noir

Tasting Notes: Clean, fresh, refreshing, developing notes of wild strawberries and red fruits, delicate, very fine.

Alc: 12.5%

John Whaite is an English baker who won the third series of The Great British Bake Off in 2012. He works as a chef, television presenter and author. He is a presenter and judge on the ITV Daytime cookery competition show Chopping Block.

 

Buttery Pan-Fried Hake Recipe from The Wonky Spatula

Nicola Halloran – ‘My weeknight meals have 3 boxes to tick; quick, easy & delicious. This buttery Pan-fried Hake recipe ticks all 3. I especially love making a double portion of this and bringing it in my bag for lunch on the go!.’

Ingredients:

1 hake fillet
250g sprouts
2 slices of back bacon
200g button mushrooms
2 tsp coconut oil
20g grassfed butter
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp garlic granules
Coarse salt & black pepper
Fresh parsley to serve

Method:

  1. Heat a large frying pan with 1 tsp coconut oil and fry off the bacon until crispy and golden.
    2. In the meantime steam the sprouts for 3-4 minutes until tender.
    3.Remove the bacon from the pan and add the mushrooms, oregano, garlic granules and a pinch of coarse salt.
    4. Lightly saute the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until they start to brown, slice the bacon into strips, half the sprouts and add to the pan.
    5. Finish off with a small knob of the butter and set aside while you prepare the fish.
    6. To cook the hake, heat a large frying pan with the remaining coconut oil until piping hot.
    7. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, finish off by monteing au beurre, add the remainder to the pan, allow it to melt and spoon it over the fish.
    8. Serve and enjoy with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

Alken Brothers Wine Recommendation for this Dish:

Salena Organic Chardonnay

Grape Variety: Organically Certified Chardonnay

Tasting notes: Light straw colour with a touch of green. Fresh aromas of peach, fig and honeysuckle greet. Soft full flavoured wine showing citrus peel and honeydew melon fruitiness. The texture is creamy and viscous; has a lovely lemony finish.

Alc: 13.5%

Nicola set up The Wonky Spatula blog in 2014.  Her blog started out as a simple list of what is/isn’t paleo and has grown from her mission to illustrate the tasty way to be healthy. A keen CrossFit enthusiast, Nicola is focused on developing simple step by step gluten free, dairy free, paleo & vegan recipes.

By Adam Rogers

Marketing & Social Media Executive

Alken Brothers Wine Merchants

Mobile: +353 86 0886807

Email: arogers@alkenbrothers.ie