Saturday, November 05, 2005

Happy 100th Post

This wasn't planned for the 100th post, but I had to get this out there.

Food Network is previewing a show from FINE LIVING.

OMG! I've been having a mild love affair with Andrea Immer for years. She has her own show, Pairings with Andrea. Damn!!! I wish we got Fine Living with our cable package!

Andrea Immer is a Master Sommelier and has several books. I have three:

Great Wine Made Simple
Great Tastes Made Simple
Everyday Dining with Wine

I bought Great Wine Made Simple a few years back. In that book, she focuses on the Big Six grapes and strives to make wine make sense for the non-Sommeliers amongst us. I loved the book, I had to get the next where she begins to work with wine pairings. The third book is more about cooking with wine. All the books are easy to use and a joy to read.

So, what are the Big Six according to Andrea?

Sauvignon Blanc
Pinot Noir
Cabernet Sauvignon

In this episode she's made:

Swiss Chard with raisins and toasted pine nuts (paired w/ Chardonnay)
Drop Biscuits (w/ Chardonnay)
Cheese Grits with Shrimp and Chorizo (w/ Zinfandel)
Chocolate Scotch Bars (w/ Zinfandel)

Since I didn't catch the beginning of the episode, so I'm wondering if she focuses on two wines per episode? Anyone?

I hope I get to see more previews from Fine Living with Andrea Immer.

She gave a final tip. Pink Lemonade for kids or folks who don't want wine. The tangy acidity works as well as wines in pairings. Another thing she is doing. Putting two glasses at each setting and pouring both wines, to have both at the same time with dinner, to go back and forth.

OMG! I get another episode!

She does, takes two wines and works them into the episode. This one, Gewurztraminer and Zinfandel=Thanksgiving Dinner! You go girl!

OK, enough chatting, here is her recipe for:
Cheese Grits with Shrimp and Chorizo
from Everyday Dining with Wine
Serves 4

4 oz. chorizo, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 tsp salt, plus more for taste
1 cup quick cooking grits or instant polenta
2 TB unsalted butter
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese (Mmmm)
Ground black pepper
2 TB finely chopped chives, optional

1. Cook the chorizo in a heavy, medium skillet over medium heat, until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chorizo to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the skillet.

2. Bring 4 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly stir in the grits. Reduce heat to low and cook about 5 minutes, whisking occasionaly, until the grits are thick and smooth.

3. While the grits are cooking, add 1 TB of butter to the skillet and heat over medium high until the butter is foaming. Cook the shrimp until just pink, turning once, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chorizo and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds longer.

4. Stir the remaining tablespoon butter and the cheese into the grits and season with salt & pepper. Spoon the grits into 4 warmed bowls and top with the chorizo and shrimp. Sprinkle with chives, if desired. Serve immediately.
This recipe marries two of my favorite dishes--low country shrimp and grits, and the Spanish tapa of shrimp and chorizo bits sizzled together with garlic. Using Manchego cheese in the cheese grits keeps with the Spanish theme, and contributes enough richness that you don't need cream or milk in the grits or sauce--so while it's not spa cooking, this dish isn't as heavy as traditional shrimp and grits. The earthy corn taste of grits is great with the earthiness of old style, spicy Spanish Riojas and Ribera del Dueros. Quick-cooking grits, smoked sausage and quick cooking shrimp make this dish a great weeknight choice. For extra convenience, I use the frozen bags of peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp.
Interesting. In the book she recommends the Roijas, but on the show a Zinfandel. Not knowing too much about the Roijas, I'm guessing it has a peppery spice or thick jammy taste that would pair up well with the spicy chorizo. Anyone? Comments?

Ahhh, I feel very satisfied with my Saturday.


Dancer in DC said...

She also made a very interesting cranberry relish that included roasted shallots. I was most intrigued.

Lady Brandenburg said...

Happy 100th!

ScottE. said...

OK, I've made the Cheese Grits with Shrimp and Chorizo.

The dish was fine.

During 'construction' I realized that I HATE Manchego, so I used cheddar that I had. I must have been thinking about something else when I read "Manchego." Oh my, I was not excited by that flavor.

That said, I might use 3/4 cup of cheese and a little extra salt in the grits.

I really liked the Chorizo with the grits. They worked well together. The shrimp were ok. I've always been finicky about my shellfish, so I'm not too suprised that I didn't love them.

I used cilantro instead of chives.

I also halved the recipe for the two of us and it was just about right. A little cookie or something later will seal the deal.

Alright...anyone else have ideas or thoughts?