JANUARY FOOD & WINE PAIRINGS

IN SEASON

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

Beef, Chicken, Duck, Goose, Lamb, Pheasant, Pork, Rabbit, Venison, Woodpigeon

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

Apples, Pears

Kakiage Mixed Vegetable Tempura Recipe by Fiona Uyema

Fiona was lucky enough to learn the secret to a light and crispy tempura batter while living in Japan and it’s simple – don’t overmix the batter and use ice-cold water. Overmixing the batter will activate the gluten, leaving the batter heavy and doughy, so lumps are OK.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

vegetable oil for deep-frying
lemon wedges to serve
freshly ground sea salt to serve (optional)
For the vegetable mix
80g sweet potato, cut into matchsticks with the skin still on
80g carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
50g kale, stalk removed and roughly chopped
100g onion, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons cornflour
For the batter
1 egg yolk
200ml ice-cold water
a few ice cubes
150g flour, sieved
50g cornflour, sieved
For the dipping sauce
100ml dashi stock (home-made dashi stock (pp. 52–54) or 100ml water and a sprinkle of dashi instant granules)
20ml mirin
20ml soy sauce
grated ginger/daikon (optional)

Method:

1.Put all the ingredients for the dipping sauce into a saucepan and let them simmer for a few minutes, then set aside and let cool. 2.Mix all the vegetables in a large bowl and, using your hands, evenly coat them in cornflour, then set aside.
3. Beat the egg yolk and ice-cold water in a large bowl. Toss in a few ice cubes to keep the water cold.
4. Gradually add the flour and cornflour to the water/egg mix and then lightly mix. It’s OK to leave lumps in the batter.
5. Toss all the vegetables into the batter mix and ensure they are all equally coated.
6. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan to 170ºC (medium/high heat). Drop a bit of batter in the oil to check the temperature. If the batter rises slowly to the top of the oil, starts to sizzle and slowly turns a golden-brown colour, then the temperature is right.
7. Put a large tablespoon of the tempura vegetable mix on a large wooden spoon and slowly place in the oil against the side of the saucepan. Use a large spoon or chopsticks to slide the tempura mix off the wooden spoon and into the oil. Remove the wooden spoon slowly once the tempura mix is secure and firmly bound together.
8. Deep-fry the tempura until it is golden brown, turning a few times.
9. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
10. Serve with either the dipping sauce or lemon wedges and a sprinkle of freshly ground sea salt.

Tips 
For vegetarians use a vegetarian-based dashi stock using seaweed and/or shiitake mushrooms.
Make sure none of the ice cubes are caught in the kakiage before you place it in the hot oil.

Alken Brothers Wine Recommendation for this Dish:

Rosso Monte Reale IGT

Grape Variety: Sangiovese

Tasting notes: Fruit-forward, yet refined, moderately tannic, and has rich aromas of red & black cherry and dried herbs.

Alc: 12.5%

Fiona Uyema spent three years in Japan, where she learned about Japanese food. She has appeared on TV and featured in many publications, including the Irish Independent, The Irish Times, EasyFood magazine, FOOD&WINE and the RTÉ Guide. In her cookbook ‘Japanese Food Made Easy’ Fiona shares her love of Japanese cooking, known for its health benefits and carefully balanced flavours. Using local ingredients where possible, she demonstrates how easy it is to cook Japanese food at home without spending hours preparing complicated dishes.

www.fionauyema.com

Beef cheek with Tetilla, Chicory & Almonds Recipe by JP McMahon for The Foods and Wines of Rías Baixas

Galicia is well known for its beef and dairy cows. Most of their cattle are grass fed on the lush pastures around San Isidoro. As in Ireland, it is only in the winter that they are brought in doors. The cheek of the ox is a wonderful alternative to any of the prime cuts you generally associate with beef, namely, the loin and the fillet. Cooked slowly for a long time, it is a deeply rewarding cut. Tetilla is a cow’s cheese that originates from the province of A Coruna. Its name means ‘little tit’, as the mould used to shape it resembles a breast. In this recipe we use the rind to make a sharp cheese sauce that complements the richness of the beef.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 red chicory, quartered
50g almonds, roasted
25g butter
Olive oil
Sea salt

For the beef cheek

2 large beef cheek
500ml stout
1 carrot, peeled
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
Small handful of flat-leaf parsley

For the cheese sauce

75g tetilla cheese rind (you can use a soft cheese rind such as Durrus as an alternative)
350ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
Sea salt

Method

1.To cook the beef cheek: Trim the beef cheek of all sinew. Season liberally with sea salt and place in an oven proof container. Place the vegetables and parsley around the cheek and cover with the stout. If the cheeks are not covered completely top up with a little water. Place in a 160˚C oven for 3-4 hours until completely tender. You will know when they’re down as a knife will pass easily through them. Remove the cheeks and strain the sauce. Reduce the sauce by half or until it coats the back of a spoon

2.For the cheese sauce: place the rind in the vegetable oil and leave in the fridge for 1 week. Taste the oil after a week. If it still needs more flavour leave it for longer. Drop the two eggs into boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove immediately after the 3 minutes and place in ice water. Crack the eggs open into a jug. Season with some sea salt. With the aid of a hand blender, bend the oil and the eggs together. This is like a mayonnaise so be sure to add the oil in gradually. If the sauce gets too thick you can let it down with a little water. Place in a small plastic bottle or a piping bag.

3.Panfry the chicory quarters in a little butter and oil until soft and wilted. Add the almonds.

4.To serve: slice the beef cheeks and warm in a pot with the sauce. Place the chicory and almond mix on the base and the cheeks on top. Arrange a few dots of the cheese sauce around the cheese. Finish with a little grated almond if you wish.

Alken Brothers Wine Recommendation for this Dish:

El Pedrosal Crianza, Ribero del Duero

Grape Variety:  Tempranillo

Tasting Notes: This wine is an excellent example of top quality Crianza. Cherry red colour, and enticing oak spiced scent of fruit aromas, soft and perfectly integrated tannins with great character and a long elegant seamless finish.

Alc: 14.5%

JP McMahon is working alongside The Spanish Embassy in Ireland to promote food and wines from Spain. Created by the Spanish Foreign Trade Institute, Wines from Spain is the generic branding for promotional activities designed to inform consumers abroad about quality Spanish wines. Designed for foodies and wine lovers, our web has been set up for the purpose of informing about the events on Spanish wines to be held in Ireland.

http://www.cavarestaurant.ie/pages/restaurant.html 

Crabby Potato Cakes Recipe with Lemon and Caper Mayonnaise by Rachel Allen

A step up from your average potato cakes recipe, these are a great way of making a little crab go a long way. If you can get a hold of the brown meat from the crab, the flavour will go even further. Served with a generously herby mayonnaise.

(makes 10-12 cakes)

Ingredients:

500g (1lb 2oz) cooked crabmeat, brown and white if possible, free from any shell
500g (1lb 2 oz) cold mashed potato (leftover mash works well)
1 garlic clove, crushed finely
grated zest of 1 small lemon, plus lemon wedges, to serve
1 large egg
70g spring onions, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 tbsp chopped parsley
a good knob of butter
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground
Black pepper

Lemon and caper mayonnaise
2 tbsp chopped capers
2 tbsp lemon juice, plus extra to serve
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Generous pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
50ml extra-virgin olive oil
150ml sunflower oil

To serve
Green salad

 Method:

  1. First make the mayonnaise. Put all the ingredients, except the oils, in a glass bowl (a stainless-steel bowl can give the mayonnaise a grey colour.)
    2.Mix the oils in a jug. Continuously whisk the mixture in the bowl while adding the oil slowly in a thin, steady stream until it is completely combined to a smooth, creamy texture.
    3. Taste for seasoning and add an extra splash of lemon juice if necessary. (For speed, you can use an electric hand whisk.) Cover and chill while you make the burgers.
    4. Mix all the ingredients, except the butter and olive oil, together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, tasting and adjusting the seasoning if needed.
    5. Shape the mixture into 10 or 12 even-sized patties.
    6. Melt the butter in a frying pan with the olive oil. Fry the crab cakes on one side until golden, then turn and fry the other side.
    7. If you use an ovenproof pan, you can finish these off in the oven at 200°C (400oF), Gas mark 6, for 5–8 minutes.
    8. Serve with lemon and chive mayonnaise, a green salad and lemon wedges.

Alken Brothers Wine Recommendation for this Dish:

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Macrina

Grape Variety: Verdicchio

Tasting notes: Lots of mineral, citrus blossom, grapefruit and lemon zest characteristics are found in this light bodied, fresh, dry white.

Alc: 14.5%

Recipes from My Mother is a full of warmth and nostalgia, Rachel shares culinary inspiration passed down through the generations. She uses gorgeous ingredients that are used in abundance to create comforting, vibrant meals. Rachels love of food started when she was very young, sitting in the kitchen with her mother, helping and tasting. Here she celebrates the food memories of her childhood, alongside those of friends and other members of her family.

http://www.rachelallen.com/

By Adam Rogers

Marketing & Social Media Executive

Alken Brothers Wine Merchants

Mobile: +353 86 0886807

Email: arogers@alkenbrothers.ie