Classic Chianti That Loves Your Seafood

Classic Chianti That Loves Your Seafood

Who in their right mind pairs a classic Italian wine with lighter fare such as seafood. Turns out you can get a great Chianti that isn’t the cheap variety you drank in your school days, but is delicate and won’t overpower your meal.


Classic Chianti That Loves Your Seafood By Nancy Radler Just the title of this article seems like an oxymoron. Who in their right mind pairs a classic Italian wine with lighter fare such as seafood. Turns out you can get a great Chianti that isn’t the cheap variety you drank in your school days, but is delicate and won’t overpower your meal. I’m a big fan of the mystery genre and found this wonderful red in one of the mystery books I was reading which was set in New Orleans, the capital of spicy seafood. One of the characters made a spicy shrimp dish and ate it with a Montepaldi Chianti. That got me to thinking that maybe, I should try it too. Unfortunately, after a lengthy search of local wine distributors and online, I was unable to find somewhere in the US to buy this wine. Therefore, I decided to try a2000 Castello de Monterinaldi Chianti Reserva, which I bought online from Simpatico Wine Company. Once I had this little beauty in my hands, I tried it with aLouisiana Seafood Gumbo. Much to my surprise, this Chianti was a velvetyrich red with a delicate taste and scent that didn’t overpower the meal. This Cajun seafood gumbo features lots of shellfish and a little andouille sausage for a more complex flavor.

Ingredients | 1 C. vegetable oil 1 1/2 C. flour 2 C. chopped onions 1 C. chopped celery 1 C. chopped bell pepper 1/4 C. minced garlic 1/2 lb. sliced andouille sausage 1 lb. claw crabmeat 3 qts. shellfish stock (homemade or purchased) 2 C. sliced green onions 1/2 C. parsley Salt, to taste Cayenne pepper, to taste 1 lb. (35 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat 2 dozen shucked oysters, liquid reserved Cooked rice, for serving Directions In a two-gallon stockpot, heat oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add flour and using a wire whisk, stir constantly until brown roux is achieved. Do not allow to scorch. Should black specks appear in roux, discard and begin again. Once roux is golden brown, add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté approximately 3 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are wilted. Add andouille, blend well into vegetable mixture and sauté additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add claw crabmeat and stir into roux, as this will begin to add seafood flavor to the mixture. Slowly add hot shellfish stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly until all is incorporated. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer and cook approximately 30 minutes. Add additional stock if necessary to retain volume. Add green onions, parsley, and season to taste using salt and cayenne pepper. Fold shrimp, lump crabmeat, oysters and reserved liquid into soup. Return to a low boil and cook approximately 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve over cooked rice.

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You can also pair this Chianti with more traditional Italian dishes such as Italian Sausage "Grinders" with Peppers and Onions by Wolfgang Puck.

Ingredients

SAUSAGES: 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) boneless, skinless turkey meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) boneless pork butt, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes 3 Tbs. sugar 2 Tbs. salt 1 Tbs. whole fennel seeds 1 Tbs. chopped garlic 1 Tbs. sweet paprika 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 C. (500 ml) chicken stock or good-quality canned chicken broth

PEPPERS AND ONIONS: 1/4 C. (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tbs. chopped garlic 3 bell peppers, halved, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) strips 2 medium white onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) wedges 1 Tbs. sugar 1 Tbs. paprika 2 bay leaves 3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil Salt Freshly ground black pepper

COURT BOUILLON: 2 carrots, peeled and trimmed 2 celery stalks 1 leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and thoroughly washed 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 pinch dried thyme 1 bay leaf 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 2 quarts (2 l) water 2 C. (500 ml) dry white wine

GRINDERS: 6 submarine sandwich-style rolls Extra-virgin olive oil Dijon mustard

Directions

First, prepare the sausages: In a mixing bowl, combine the turkey, pork and seasonings. Toss well to distribute the seasonings evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes. Push the chilled mixture through a meat grinder using the large-hole plate. (Alternatively, in batches, pulse in a food processor with the stainless-steel blade until coarsely but evenly chopped.) Transfer to an electric mixer and, using the paddle attachment at lowest speed, mix for 1 minute; increase the speed to medium, slowly pour in the stock, and mix 2 minutes more; then switch to high and mix 30 seconds. (Alternatively, in batches, pulse in the stock in the processor.) To form a sausage, place a 12-by-16-inch (30-by-40-cm) piece of plastic wrap on a work surface. About 6 inches (15 cm) from one narrow end, place 1 C. (250 ml) of the mixture. Fold the 6 inches (15 cm) of wrap over it, and pat into an 8-by-1 1/2-inch (20-by-4-cm) cylinder. Roll up tightly and knot the ends to seal in the meat. Securely wrap again in aluminum foil. Repeat with the remaining mixture to form 6 sausages. Refrigerate. For the peppers and onion, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, onions, sugar, paprika and bay leaves. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Stir in the basil. When the pepper-onion mixture starts cooking, prepare the Court Bouillon: Cut the vegetables into 1/4-inch (6-mm) slices and put them in a large saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the wrapped sausages. Cook until firm, 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, remove the sausages. Leave at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Carefully remove the foil and plastic wrappers. Preheat a grill, broiler, heavy skillet, or griddle. Slice open each roll like a book. Brush the cut sides with olive oil and toast on the heated cooking surface. If you like, spread with mustard. Brown the sausages, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. On a cutting board and, cut each diagonally into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces. Divide half of the pepper-onion mixture among the bottom halves of the rolls. Add the sausage pieces and top with the remaining peppers and onions. Serve immediately. Makes 6 sandwiches.

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's new TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.) ©2004 WOLFGANG PUCK WORLDWIDE, INC. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

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The next time you’re in the mood for spicy seafood or pasta, try a bottle of Castello de Monterinaldi Chianti Reservato compliment it perfectly. Have a tasty week!

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