Cooking Chat http://cookingchatfood.com hundreds of tasty, (mostly) healthy recipes, wine pairings & other food adventures Fri, 25 May 2018 10:32:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 86962254 10 Reasons to Join Food Blogger Pro — while you can! http://cookingchatfood.com/reasons-to-join-food-blogger/ http://cookingchatfood.com/reasons-to-join-food-blogger/#comments Fri, 25 May 2018 08:46:18 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=3765 Food Blogger Pro membership is now open for enrollment! But you need to hurry, as the enrollment period ends on May 31, 2018. Read on for 10 reasons why I think Food Blogger Pro  is a great investment. Note: this post contains affiliate links. When I find a great product or service, I like to share it with...

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Food Blogger Pro membership is now open for enrollment! But you need to hurry, as the enrollment period ends on May 31, 2018. Read on for 10 reasons why I think Food Blogger Pro  is a great investment. Note: this post contains affiliate links. When I find a great product or service, I like to share it with my readers. Sometimes I use affiliate links so I can earn commission for my recommendations.


Let me share with you 10 reasons reasons to join Food Blogger Pro based on my experience as a FBP member and affiliate. If you are serious about growing your food blog, you will want to click here to join Food Blogger Pro.

1 ) Learn from success: If you are interested in starting a food blog that generates an income, or to take a blog you have to the next level, Pinch of Yum is a highly successful example to learn from. When I last checked their numbers, the blog was getting over 4 million page views per month, generating over $40,000 in monthly income. Lindsay and Bjork are very transparent about how they generate that traffic and income–they detailed the blog’s growth in monthly income reports published on their blog for over five years. They have stopped doing those monthly updates, but you can get the past income reports from Pinch of Yum, but to get their insights on how build your own blog, you definitely need to join Food Blogger Pro. They have taken a very analytical approach to figuring out what things really drive traffic to a food blog over time, and break it down clearly in their instructional videos and posts.

2) Improve your food photos: Taking drool worthy food photos is crucial for growing a food blog.  Food Blogger Pro has wonderful instructional videos that have helped me learn how to take great photos in natural and artificial light, how to optimize the photos and get them accepted at sites like foodgawker. Prior to joining FBP and reading the Tasty Food Photography ebook, I hadn’t gotten any photos accepted at foodgawker. Now I’ve had over 150 photos picked up there! (one example below).

grilled pork chops, an example of a tasty food photo from Cooking Chat.

3) Boost your SEO knowledge: The awesome SEO tips have been a big focus of my time on  Food Blogger Pro lately. Unfortunately, I was blogging casually for several years hardly knowing what SEO means (Search Engine Optimization, BTW), let alone how to put SEO into practice to grow my food blog. FBP has a series of videos to get you a basic under understanding of how to use SEO to boost your blog. They also have a great SEO expert named Casey Markee as a regular contributor to the site, and I’ve found him to be super-helpful. There are something like 10 million recipe searches per day on Google, and you need to know SEO to get you slice of the search action!

4) Connect with a great community: The great community is as much of a selling point for FBP as the lessons you can get. Pose a question to the forum, you’ll get several helpful answers back in no time. For instance, I’m considering a new ad platform and got some good insights from FBPers that have used it. There are also a lot of opportunities for mutual support, like inviting each other to shared Pinterest boards and roundup posts, including some on Buzzfeed that have been really boosting traffic more many FBPers.

Bjork & Lindsay Ostrom, founders of Food Blogger Pro

5) Lindsay & Bjork are great teachers: Heck, Lindsay was a 4th grade teacher until making the move to full-time food blogger. She and Bjork are both great at breaking down blogging concepts with very clear, specific instructions. Plus, they have a nice friendly style and sprinkle in some humor to keep the learning fun.

6) FBP is chock-full of resources that stay fresh: There’s so much good info on Food Blogger Pro, covering photography, SEO, monetizing your blog and much more. In fact there are over 300 instructional videos available to FBP members. And Lindsay and Bjork are constantly cranking out more resources, so there’s always something new to learn. In fact, one reason that they are limiting FBP enrollment to brief semiannual enrollment periods is to focus on creating more resources to supper FBP members as best they can. In addition to the learning resources, they help members access a number of discounts that are helpful to food bloggers. For instance, I got a reduced monthly rate for Tailwind, a great service for scheduling on Pinterest.

7) Get your food blogging questions answered: In addition to all the great resources available on Food Blogger Pro, when I have I specific question I want feedback on, I will post it to the forum and quickly get great suggestions from my peers. For instance, lately I’ve been working on improving my post titles and content strategy to boost my SEO results. I will post to the forum about titles and topics I’m considering, and quickly get feedback on what approaches are likely to work best. It’s like having a group of food blogging coaches available 24/7, for one very reasonable monthly rate.

8) Well-organized information: OK, let me set something straight lest I lead you to think there’s an overwhelming amount of information on the site. There is a lot, but it is well-organized by topic area (this is true of both the community help portion and the instructional videos). So you can navigate around and find what you want quite easily. I dabble in some other blogger communities, mostly Facebook groups. There can be useful info in such sometimes, but it’s very hit or miss as to whether you are going to find anything useful when it’s not organized like FBP is.

9) It’s helped me grow my blog: I switched Cooking Chat over to WordPress in November 2014. I was getting about 3,000 page views per month at the time; now I’m up around 40,000 and growing steadily. Understanding SEO from FBP lessons and tips from fellow FBPers has really helped with the growth. Another big reason is the photography tips I’ve learned from Lindsay.  The income generated here on Cooking Chat is still modest, but between ads and sponsored posts I have been earning between $500 to $1000 in my busy months. BTW, Lindsay and Bjork wisely counsel that growing a profitable food blog takes time, no promises of instant success.

10) Time is running out! Ok, I have already mentioned that May 31 is the deadline to join Food Blogger Pro before the doors close to new members until next fall. But hey, that deadline has gotten even closer while you were reading this post, so I thought I should end with a friendly reminder!

I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about the FBP membership based on my experience. Just leave a comment or shoot me an email and I’d be happy to share with you more about my experience with Food Blogger Pro.

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Cheesy Beef Casserole with Wine from Côtes de Bordeaux #winophiles http://cookingchatfood.com/cheesy-beef-casserole/ http://cookingchatfood.com/cheesy-beef-casserole/#comments Sat, 19 May 2018 06:06:30 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=9001 Today we are talking about wines from the Côtes de Bordeaux region of France with the French Winophiles. I am sharing my recipe for Cheesy Beef Casserole along with other pairings that I tried. Disclosure: the wines were provided as complimentary samples. Today I am joining my fellow French Winophiles in exploring the Côtes de Bordeaux region. I prepared...

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Today we are talking about wines from the Côtes de Bordeaux region of France with the French Winophiles. I am sharing my recipe for Cheesy Beef Casserole along with other pairings that I tried. Disclosure: the wines were provided as complimentary samples.

Hearty beef and cheese casserole is a great way to use extra cheese on hand. Delicious with a red wine from Côtes de Bordeaux. #winophiles #casseroles
Today I am joining my fellow French Winophiles in exploring the Côtes de Bordeaux region. I prepared a Cheesy Beef Casserole to pair with one of the four bottles I sampled for the occasion, and will provide you with that recipe today. But first, let’s learn more about Côtes de Bordeaux the region and some of the other pairings I tried.

About the Côtes de Bordeaux

a map of the Cotes de Bordeaux wine region

The Côtes de Bordeaux region is made up of five appellations — Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs, and Sainte-Foy — located on the right banks (côtes) of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. This area is sometimes referred to as “Bordeaux in blue jeans” as small family-owned producers thrive here, unlike other parts of Bordeaux, typically dominated by large brands and producers.

Côtes de Bordeaux accounts for 10% of the production of Bordeaux, and 97% of Côtes de Bordeaux is red wine. However, be sure to give a Côtes de Bordeaux white a try– we really enjoyed the Sauvignon Blanc / Semillon blend we sampled…more on that coming up in a minute.

Maybe you a notion that Bordeaux is exclusively expensive wines meant for special occasions, when you are ready to splurge. You need to get to know Côtes de Bordeaux! These are everyday wines at affordable prices. They tend to be fruit forward in style, and ready to drink now…no need to put your Côtes de Bordeaux in the cellar for five years before you enjoy it!

Carl York, the head sommelier at Craigie on Main in Cambridge (on of my favorite restaurants!) puts describes the food friendliness of the Côtes de Bordeaux:

The Côtes de Bordeaux have a big place at the table. If you like wine with food, there aren’t many better choices for a Tuesday night than a bottle from Blaye, Cadillac, Castillon, Francs, [and Sainte-Foy].”

Do you like wine with food? We sure do, so let’s talk about some of the Côtes de Bordeaux pairings we tried.

Côtes de Bordeaux Wine and Food Pairings

Côtes de Bordeaux red wine paired with steak. #winepairing #frenchwine

Let’s start with the 2015 Chateau Couronneau ($19, 14.5% ABV), which I had with a version of steak frites, shown above. This wine is from the AOC Sainte-Foy Côtes de Bordeaux. I get rhodadendrum on the nose of the Chateau Couronneau, with cherry fruit and notes of licorice. There is also some noticeable acidity which makes it a good food wine. This bottle is 60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Steak frites is of course a French classic. A simply prepared steak served with fries is a great choice at a French bistro. Here’s a recipe on Epicurious that I prepared in preparing our steak. I cheated on the fries part, and put some frozen fries in the oven. In baseball season we need shortcuts from time to time! I definitely recommend this steak frites and Côtes de Bordeaux pairing.

We also loved the Chateau Couronneau paired with an Ossau Iraty cheese. The Côtes de Bordeaux with its bold flavors stood up well to the strong taste of this soft sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees. You will see a theme emerging about the Côtes de Bordeaux wines pairing very well with good cheeses!

I’m going to pause the discussion of the red wines from Côtes de Bordeaux we sampled to tell you about the one white Côtes de Bordeaux wine we tried. The 2016 Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours ($20, 13.5% ABV). This white Côtes de Bordeaux is a blend of 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 50% Semillon. This white wine is from the Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux AOC.

I don’t have white wines from the Bordeaux region very often, but tasting this Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours might change that! I got lemon on the nose of this white Côtes de Bordeaux, and a bright hibiscus floral taste with citrus fruit. Good minerality and refreshing acidity in this medium bodied white wine.

honey mustard chicken thighs paired with a white Cotes de Bordeaux.

I made a crockpot honey mustard chicken thighs recipe, shown above. We really enjoyed this pairing; recipe coming soon! We also liked the white Côtes de Bordeaux with some leftover brie cheese, which we had start sampling with the next red Côtes de Bordeaux we will cover.

The 2015 Chateau Paret ($11, 14% ABV) is actually the first Côtes de Bordeaux  we opened as part of this Winophiles event. I get blackberry fruit with hints of graphite. I noted the nice structure with firm tannins. The Chateau Paret shows that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a Bordeaux from the Côtes de Bordeaux region.

The Chateau Paret was excellent paired with some Brie de Meaux cheese. The strong soft cheese found a great partner in this red Côtes de Bordeaux.

Chateau Paret paired with brie cheese.

Despite how well the brie and Chateau Paret pairing went, we did manage to save enough of the wine to also enjoy some of it paired with a simple cheeseburger. This bottle is 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cab Franc.

Chateau Paret is situated at Saint Genès de Castillon facing the Puisseguin appellation, in the Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux AOC. The winery has has been family owned since 1887.

Felix de Biac with Cheesy Beef Casserole

Felix de Biac is an enjoyable Cotes de Bordeaux red wine. #wine #Frenchwine #CotesdeBordeauxNow it’s time to talk about the Cheesy Beef Casserole I cooked up to go with the 2014 Felix de Biac ($24, 13.5% ABV). The Cheesy Beef Casserole was inspired by the good cheese and Côtes de Bordeaux pairings we had leading up to this event.

I originally thought maybe I would grill some lamb chops to go with the the Felix de Biac, but last weekend once again was shaping up to be iffy for grilling. When my thoughts turned to indoor preparations, a cheesy beef casserole featuring some of the leftover cheese we had on hand seemed like a great idea.

The recipe makes good use of leftover brie–maybe pin this recipe for the next time you have extra brie on hand? I also used a couple ounces of goat cheese along with a little bit of Manchego. You could certain change up what cheeses you feature in this cheesy beef casserole recipe.

Basically you cook up some ground beef with some onions, garlic and a bit of pepper while the pasta cooks. When the pasta is ready, you combine the pasta with the beef mixture, then add the cheeses.

The Felix de Biac is from the AOC Cadillac Côtes de Bordeaux. The wine is comprised of 58% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2 % Cab Franc. I get violets on the nose, taste of blackberry with medium tannins. I also get a bit of pine on the palate with the Felix de Biac. A nice long finish and pleasant mouthfeel.
plate with cheesy beef casserole

I was pleased with the Felix de Biac paired with our Cheese Beef Casserole. They wine and meal worked pretty well together…I would give it a B / B+ pairing. I would still like to try the Felix de Biac with some grilled lamb chops. I think I will pick up another bottle and wait for a sunny evening!

Overall, I came up with some good recipes to go with our Côtes de Bordeaux. I would say the honey mustard chicken thighs paired with the 2016 Château Peybonhomme-Les-Tours was my favorite. The cheese pairings also were a really great way to enjoy these Côtes de Bordeaux.

Côtes de Bordeaux wines are easy drinking, perfect for the summer time. Fruit forward, light on the tannins, and even the reds can be served slightly chilled. A nice touch for summer fare! So head to your local wine shop to pick up a couple of bottles. Try our Cheesy Beef Casserole and some of the other pairings I mention here, or come up with your own Côtes de Bordeaux pairings. Be sure to tell me about your pairings in the comments!

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Cheesy Beef Casserole

dish with cheesy beef casserole

A hearty casserole with beef and a variety of cheeses, pairs well with a red wine from Côtes de Bordeaux.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: main
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ozs ground beef
  • ⅓ cup chicken or beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup baby spinach (or more if you like)
  • 12 ozs elbow macaroni or other short pasta shape
  • ¼ cup brie, cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp manchego cheese
  • 3 tbsp Goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Begin cooking the pasta according to package instructions. Proceed with the other steps as the pasta cooks. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain the pasta and set aside in the pasta cooking pot while you finish cooking the beef.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in the onions and cook for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften.
  4. Add the pepper and garlic, cook for a few more minutes.
  5. Add the ground beef to the skillet, stir to combine with the veggies. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir the beef occasionally. After about 5 minutes, it will begin to brown. Stir in the broth at this time along with the spinach. Cook another 5 minutes until the broth is absorbed and the beef is cooked through.
  7. When the beef is cooked, combine the beef and veggies with the cooked pasta. Stir in the goat cheese and Manchego cheese. Transfer the beef and pasta mixture to a casserole dish.
  8. Spread the brie cheese evenly around the top of the beef and pasta mixture. Cover the casserole dish, and bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Remove cover, and bake the cheesy beef casserole for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, serve and enjoy with a glass of red wine from Côtes de Bordeaux.

Notes

  • I wrote the instructions putting cooking the pasta first as it flowed better that way. However, you can start to cook the veggies and beef before adding the pasta to the boiling water, in order to have the beef and pasta ready about the same time.

French Winophiles Visit the Côtes de Bordeaux

 

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Asiago Lemon Spaghetti with Malagousia Wine from Greece #winePW http://cookingchatfood.com/lemon-spaghetti/ http://cookingchatfood.com/lemon-spaghetti/#comments Sat, 12 May 2018 11:34:32 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=8985 Asiago Lemon Spaghetti: Spaghetti tossed with lemon and Asiago cheese for an easy and light pasta dish. We served it with a Greek white wine called Malagousia for today’s Wine Pairing Weekend event. We are mixing it up with this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend theme! We typically focus on a specific type of wine or...

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Asiago Lemon Spaghetti: Spaghetti tossed with lemon and Asiago cheese for an easy and light pasta dish. We served it with a Greek white wine called Malagousia for today’s Wine Pairing Weekend event.

spaghetti tossed with lemon, Asiago cheese and parsley for a quick and tasty pasta recipe. #pasta #lemon #Asiago

We are mixing it up with this month’s Wine Pairing Weekend theme! We typically focus on a specific type of wine or perhaps a wine region. But this month, hosted by Lori from Dracaena Wines, we are talking about wines that start with the letter “M”.

Sure, there are some obvious choices here, like Merlot or Malbec. But as someone who relishes trying new wine, I had to go off the beaten path for this one.

The timing was perfect. I had recently sampled some 28 wines at the Grand Pairing event hosted by Pairings Wine & Food. I scoured the list of wines from the event, and landed on the bottle of Malagousia for today’s theme. I paired the wine with Asiago Lemon Spaghetti, which I’ll talk about more shortly.

What is Malagousia wine?

Malagousia is a Greek white wine grape rescued from virtual extinction in the 1970s by a professor from Thessaloniki University, as recounted in this Decanter post. Once only found in a few mountain villages, Malagousia can now be found throughout Greece.

Malagousia can range in style from fresh and delicate to more full-bodied styles when it is barrel vinified.

Asiago Lemon Spaghetti

plate with spaghetti tossed with lemon juice and Asiago cheese.

Each wine poured at the Grand Pairing event I mentioned was offered along with a food pairing, which helped thinking about pairings for the Malagousia wine. This Greek wine was served with Asiago cheese, and I recalled the pairing worked well. So I decided to make a dish featuring the cheese.

The Malagousia features citrus notes, so I thought a simple Asiago Lemon Spaghetti dish would highlight the nuanced flavors of the wine.

Making Asiago Lemon Spaghetti is so simple! Shred the Asiago cheese and assemble the short list of other ingredients as the spaghetti cooks. Drain the spaghetti, toss with the other ingredients, and your Asiago Lemon Spaghetti is on the table!

Malagousia with Asiago Lemon Spaghetti

Domaine Zafeirakis Malagousia is a very good, medium light bodied white wine from Greece. #wine #GreekwineWe opened the 2016 Domaine Zafeirakis Malagousia ($20, 12.5% ABV) to serve with our Asiago Lemon Spaghetti. Briny on the nose, with lemon fruit, floral undertones and notes of salinity. Medium/light bodied white wine.

As you might imagine, the lemony citrus aspects of the taste profile went well with the lemon spaghetti flavor. The salinity works well with the Asiago cheese, making this a nice pairing.I could also see this Malagousia working well with a light seafood dish.

The Zafeiraki Winery is located in region “Palaiomylos” in Tyrnavos. That location didn’t mean much to me until trying this wine! Tyrnavos is a region near the foot of Mount Olympus, in the middle of mainland Greece. I hear a lot about Olympus and such things due to our son’s interest in Greek mythology. Now I have another reason to be interesting in Greek culture–some wonderful new wines to try!

I definitely enjoyed this Malagousia white wine. I think my mother might too, so if there’s another bottle left at the shop I will have to pick it up to share for Mother’s Day tomorrow!

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Asiago Lemon Spaghetti

plate with spaghetti tossed with Asiago cheese and lemon.

Spaghetti tossed with lemon and Asiago cheese for an easy and light pasta dish. This recipe can serve as a side or a light main course along with a green salad.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: boiling
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • 12 ozs spaghetti
  • ⅓ cup Asiago cheese, shredded (plus extra to pass at the table)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • ⅓ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil a large pot of water to cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
  2. When spaghetti is done, drain and toss immediately with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic powder, and parsley.
  3. Stir in the Asiago cheese, followed by the lemon just and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Plate the spaghetti, and offer additional lemon and cheese at the table. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Good quality Asiago cheese is key to making the dish a success. Get a block of good Asiago from your favorite local cheese shop or a good cheese department at a grocery store.
  • The lemon flavor with the 1 tablespoon of lemon juice is moderate (the amount from about 1/4 of a lemon). You could go with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for more pronounced lemon flavor. Or offer lemon slices at the table so those inclined can add more lemon–that’s what we did and it worked well.

More “M” Wines from Wine Pairing Weekend

Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick will be discussing “M” is for Marselan

Jill Barth of L’OCCASION explains Monterey Wines For Summertime

Camilla Mann of Culinary Adventures with Camilla enjoyed M is for Mourvèdre with Maple-Glazed Duck Legs

Cindy of Grape Experiences enjoyed an evening Wine and Dine: La Mora Favorites with Margherita Flatbread

Lauren of The Swirling Dervish is chatting about Dry Muscat from Málaga and Pork Paella (Wine#PW)

David of Cooking Chat enjoyed Asiago Lemon Spaghetti with Malagousia Wine from Greece #WinePW

Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm celebrated In the Merry Merry Month of May I Met Magistrate Merlot #WinePW

Gwendolyn of Wine Predator decided M is for Manchego Mac N Cheese and Malbec: 8 Wines, 4 Countries, 3 Continents #WinePW

Nicole on Somm’s Table is Cooking to the Wine: Recanati Marawi with Black Cod and Papaya-Cucumber Salad, Part 1

Lisa, The Wine Chef paired Roast Chicken With Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir From The Mornington Peninsula – The Best Australian Wine Region You’ve Never Heard Of #WinePW

and Dracaena Wines  will be #WinePW Meets #Winephabet Street; M is for Moscatel

Join us next month on June 9th . The topic will be  Australian Wines for Summer Grilling and Gwendolyn (@ArtPredator) of winepredator.com is hosting again!!! 

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Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish and a Vermentino #ItalianFWT http://cookingchatfood.com/salmon-with-lemon/ http://cookingchatfood.com/salmon-with-lemon/#comments Sat, 05 May 2018 11:16:28 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=8956 Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish recipe bursting with Mediterranean flavors. The recipe we provide makes a perfect date night meal for two, but can be easily doubled for more people. This salmon is perfect served with a Vermentino white wine. When I heard the Italian Food, Wine and Travel blogging group would be focused on Vermentino...

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Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish recipe bursting with Mediterranean flavors. The recipe we provide makes a perfect date night meal for two, but can be easily doubled for more people. This salmon is perfect served with a Vermentino white wine.

Pan seared salmon topped with lemon olive relish and served with a Vermentino white wine. #salmon #seafood #winepairing #Vermentino

When I heard the Italian Food, Wine and Travel blogging group would be focused on Vermentino today, I searched my Cooking Chat archives for pairing ideas. I decided to remake and share this Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish recipe, as a previous version paired well with a Vermentino.

Inspiration for Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish

I can’t take full credit for the Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish recipe. I adapted today’s salmon dish from the cookbook Stir: Mixing It Up In The Italian Traditionby Boston chef and restaurant owner Barbara Lynch.

Barbara’s recipe taught me the basic approach I use for pan searing salmon, which serves as the basis for recipes like Simple Pan Seared Salmon with Ginger Soy Marinade. With this approach, you get a skillet good and hot, add a bit of oil, and then sear the salmon skin side down for four minutes without moving it. Then you flip it for a couple more minutes on the flesh side, and turn it back over to finish it.

salmon with lemon olive relish.

Under ten minutes cooking time and you have some salmon cooked just right! The pan searing makes the outside slightly caramelized and seals in the flavor and juice.

My lemon olive relish is a bit easier to make then Chef Barbara’s recipe, as I simply squeeze some fresh lemon juice into a bowl along with the other ingredients. Her recipe has a process for segmenting the lemon and chopping it up. Tasty but definitely a bit time consuming.

Vermentino and Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish

Sarala Vermentino white wine from Sardinia has lemon fruit flavor with almond notes. Good served with salmon with lemon olive relish. #wine #winepairingI opened the Sàrala Vermentino Di Sardegna ($18, 13% ABV) for this #ItalianFWT event. Floral nose, with lemon and melon fruit. Some minerality, with some almond notes. This Vermentino is more full bodied than many Italian white. The body helps make it a good match for the meaty salmon, and that lemon fruit of course goes well with the lemon olive relish. I definitely give the pairing an A!

I also had a side of pasta with red lentils and ginger with the salmon, and that dish also paired well with the Vermentino.

Sardinia is a great source for Vermentino wine. Lemons grow abundantly on the island, with the lemon trees giving fruit four times per year. Seafood is naturally common on Sardinia. While salmon may not be the fish you are likely to eat there, I’d say our Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish served with a Vermentino definitely captures the spirit of the food you might eat in Sardinia.

What is Vermentino wine?

Are you not familiar with Vermentino? It’s worth getting to know! Vermentino is a white wine grape found primarily in Italy. Sardinia is certainly a prime spot for this white wine grape, but you can also find Vermentino in Tuscany, Liguria and other parts of Italy. In Southern France, the Vermentino grape is known as Rolle.

summer spaghetti with garlicky shrimp

This article on Wine Folly notes there are two different styles of Vermentino, one being rich and creamy and the other crisp and light. The Sàrala Vermentino is definitely on the richer side. The Aragosta Vermentino that I served with this Spaghetti with Garlicky Shrimp shown above is a good example of the lighter, crisp style of Vermentino.

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Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish

salmon topped with lemon olive relish and a side of pasta.

Pan seared salmon topped with an easy and tasty lemon olive relish. Recipe serves two, making it a perfect date night meal. You can easily double the recipe for more people.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 13 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Category: main
  • Method: pan sear
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

For the Lemon Olive Relish

  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sliced olives
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 tsp honey
  • 1/3 tsp Champagne vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the salmon

  • 10 ozs wild salmon fillet, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tsp canola oil

Instructions

  1. Make the relish: combine all of the lemon olive relish ingredients–lemon juice, olive oil, olives, parsley, honey, vinegar– together in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir, and set aside.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. When the pan is good and hot, add the salmon skin side down in the pan. Cook the fish for 4 minutes without moving it.
  3. Use a spatula  to carefully flip the salmon, to cook it flesh side down for 2 more minutes.  Flip the salmon again to cook another 1 or 2 minutes, skin side down. The salmon should be ready for 8 minutes total cooking time, but cut open to check that it is done to your liking.
  4. Remove the salmon to a platter and let it rest briefly. Cut the salmon into serving portions, the top with a couple spoonfuls of the lemon olive relish. Pass extra relish at the table. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Other white wine vinegar can be substituted for the Champagne vinegar.
  • If the salmon skin sticks to pan when flipping, try to place the salmon back on a part of the pan without any of the skin. This doesn’t happen to often cooking the salmon as instructed. It is more likely to stick if you flip it to soon or move it during the initial 4 minutes of cooking.

Vermentino articles from #ItalianFWT bloggers

Join the rest of our Italian crew this Saturday May 5th live on Twitter at 11am ET #ItalianFWT and learn all about vermentino around Italy.  Join in the fun! See you then for a taste of summer.

Gwen from Wine Predator is sharing “You Need To Know Vermentino: Paired with Carbonara #ItalianFWT”
Lauren from The Swirling Dervish is writing “Vegetarian Plates and Pigato from A.A. Durin: Perfect for Your Summer Table”
Jill from L’Occasion is adding “Vermentino from Maremma, Land of The Butteri Tuscan Cowboys”
Jane from Always Ravenous is penning “Which Vermentino to Pair With Shrimp & Fresh Herb Pilaf?”
Lynn from Savor the Harvest is contributing “One Italian Island White Wine You Must Try”
Katarina from Grapevine Adventures is dishing on “Vermentino by Antonella Corda – An expression of Sardinia Terroir”
David from here on Cooking Chat is giving us “Salmon with Lemon Olive Relish and a Vermentino”
Nicole Ruiz Hudson from Sommstable is bringing “Piero Mancini Vermentino and Salmon Two Ways”
Camilla Mann from Culinary Adventures with Cam is posting “From Sardegna to the Land Down Under: Vermentino + Pizza alle Vongole”
Wendy from A Day In The Life on The Farm gives us “A Successful Search for Vermentino”.
Susannah from Avvinare shares “Vermentino in its Varied Styles from Liguria to Sardegna”

Pan seared salmon topped with an easy and tasty lemon olive relish. Just 15 minutes to make it! #salmon #seafood #healthyeating

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Orzo with Provencal Pesto #SundaySupper http://cookingchatfood.com/orzo-provencal-pesto/ http://cookingchatfood.com/orzo-provencal-pesto/#comments Sun, 29 Apr 2018 10:11:42 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=8931 Orzo with Provencal Pesto recipe features orzo pasta tossed with a pesto inspired by the flavors of Southern France–tomatoes, olives and fresh herbs. Good as a side dish for lamb or pork, or can also serve as a vegetarian main. We love orzo dishes here, especially as the weather gets warmer. Somehow orzo seems a bit...

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Orzo with Provencal Pesto recipe features orzo pasta tossed with a pesto inspired by the flavors of Southern France–tomatoes, olives and fresh herbs. Good as a side dish for lamb or pork, or can also serve as a vegetarian main.
Orzo tossed with a pesto inspired by the flavors of Southern France--tomatoes, fresh herbs, garlic and olives make this side dish sing! #orzo #SundaySupper #Provence #sidedish

We love orzo dishes here, especially as the weather gets warmer. Somehow orzo seems a bit lighter than some other types of pasta, making it great for the season. So we are happy to share this Orzo with Provençal Pesto recipe as part of today’s Sunday Supper event focused on orzo recipes.

I first made this Orzo with Provençal Pesto recipe in my early days of blogging. I didn’t even post a picture along with it, but remembered recalled that it was tasty along with a braised lamb dish. I thought I would update this orzo recipe to share with you today.

plate with orzo tossed with Provencal Pesto and topped with olives and cheese.

I was pleased that our Orzo with Provençal Pesto recipe stood the test of time. I made it exactly as I put it together and posted back in 2011, and it was very tasty once again. Savory flavor of olives and Parmesan cheese along with the fresh taste of tomatoes and fresh herbs transport you to Southern France as you enjoy this dish.

For our recent edition of Orzo with Provençal Pesto, we enjoyed it along with some simple roasted pork chops. I’d say this orzo recipe is perfect as a side for pork or lamb, but could also stand on its own as a vegetarian entree along with a green salad.

Wine Pairing for Orzo with Provençal Pesto

orzo with rosé wine pairing

The wine pairing choice for Orzo with Provençal Pesto will depend a bit on what else is on your plate. But a great default choice here is a medium to full bodied rosé from Provence. Rosé can be a great food friendly choice any time of year, but is especially appealing this time of year.

A rosé from Provence typically includes some combination of Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache and Carignan. If you are in the mood to splurge a bit, look for one from the Bandol appellation. I write about one favorite Bandol rosé here, which we served with Mediterranean grilled chicken along with another orzo dish. That bottle goes for about $25, but you can certainly find good French rosé for about half that price.

Just stay away from super light rosé styles if you are serving a meat dish along with the Orzo with Provençal Pesto. Save those for the pool side sipping!

More Cooking Chat Orzo Recipe Favorites

Before I share our recipe details and link to some great orzo recipes from my Sunday Supper friends, let me mention a few more of my favorite orzo recipes from Cooking Chat.orzo with grilled swordfish and kale pesto.

For a full meal, try our Orzo with Grilled Swordfish with Kale Pesto (shown above) or this Orzo with Chicken and Spinach, which is a great one pot meal.

Greek Orzo with Spinach, Feta and OlivesWe love the Greek Orzo with Spinach, Olives and Feta shown above for a side dish. The Orzo Salad with Kale Pesto is a great option to bring along for summer picnics or potlucks. Click here for more of our Cooking Chat orzo recipes.

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Orzo with Provencal Pesto

plate with orzo topped with provencal pesto and olives.

Orzo tossed with a pesto inspired by the flavors of Southern France–tomatoes, olives and fresh herbs. Good as a side dish for lamb or pork, or can also serve as a vegetarian main.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 5 servings
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

For the Provençal Pesto

  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste

Other ingredients

  • 8 olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • optional: toasted almonds or pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Begin cooking orzo according to package instructions.
  2. Make the pesto: place the pesto ingredients in a food processor, pulse to combine into a purée. Set the pesto sauce aside as the orzo finishes cooking.
  3. When the orzo is done cooking, drain and then toss immediately with the Provencal pesto.
  4. Stir the olives and Parmesan cheese into the orzo, and top with the optional almonds or pumpkin seeds if using. Plate and enjoy along with the rest of your meal.

Notes

  • You can use canned or fresh tomatoes.

 

Orzo Pasta Recipes

Sunday Supper MovementThe Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Sign up for our newsletter to get FREE recipes delivered right to your inbox! newsletter sign up #SundaySupper

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Spanish Roasted Potatoes http://cookingchatfood.com/spanish-roasted-potatoes/ http://cookingchatfood.com/spanish-roasted-potatoes/#comments Wed, 25 Apr 2018 11:32:41 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=8915 Spanish Roasted Potatoes are easy to make! Just toss fingerling potatoes with olive oil, paprika and garlic in a baking dish, then roast. Enjoy this side dish recipe with with beef or lamb dishes. We were in Spanish mode earlier this month, sampling wines from the Navarra region. I was looking for a side with...

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Spanish Roasted Potatoes are easy to make! Just toss fingerling potatoes with olive oil, paprika and garlic in a baking dish, then roast. Enjoy this side dish recipe with with beef or lamb dishes.

Spanish Roasted Potatoes are easy to make. Just toss with olive oil, paprika and garlic, then roast. #sidedish #potatoes #SpanishFood #paprika

We were in Spanish mode earlier this month, sampling wines from the Navarra region. I was looking for a side with some Spanish flavor to go with our Steak with Manchego Mushroom Sauce, and cooked up these Spanish Roasted Potatoes.

steak with Manchego mushroom sauce on a plate with potatoes and salad.

Some roasted potatoes can be rather bland, but our Spanish Roasted Potatoes has some nice spice provided by the paprika and garlic.

Preparing the Spanish Roasted Potatoes as instructed yields moderately spicy potatoes. You could definitely add a bit more of the spice if you want more kick. I didn’t want to overwhelm our wine.

The Spanish Roasted Potatoes are easy to prepare. Just some small fingerling potatoes in half, toss with the olive oil and spices, and they are ready to roast. Stirring the potatoes a couple times during the cooking helps them cook evenly.

baking dish with Spanish Roasted Potatoes

Enjoy served along a beef or lamb dish. One night we had some extra, so I added the leftover Spanish Roasted Potatoes to a batch of Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili toward the end of cooking the chili, and that added nice substance to the meal.

Please let me know if you try these Spanish Roasted Potatoes, and how you served them!

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Spanish Roasted Potatoes

baking dish with Spanish roasted potatoes

Spanish roasted potatoes are an easy side dish flavored with paprika and garlic.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: roasting
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. With a large spoon, toss the potatoes with the olive oil. Sprinkle the paprika, rosemary, garlic and salt over the potatoes. Toss to combine.
  3. Place the potatoes in the oven. Remove the potatoes to stir after 10 minutes and 25 minutes of roasting. Roast for a total of 40 to 45 minutes. When done the potatoes should begin to get a bit crispy on the outside and easily pierced with a fork. Enjoy as a side with beef and other meat dishes.

Notes

  • Use fingerling potatoes or other small potato varieties. We like to use a bag of multicolored potatoes for a nice presentation.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste. The quantities given result in a fairly mild paprika and garlic flavor.

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Picpoul Wine with Pesto and Other Pairings #winophiles http://cookingchatfood.com/picpoul-wine/ http://cookingchatfood.com/picpoul-wine/#comments Sat, 21 Apr 2018 08:33:01 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=8897 Picpoul is one of our favorite white wines, and we especially like it with pesto! Picpoul is also a great partner for seafood. Learn more about Picpoul wine and foods to pair with it as part of the French Winophiles exploration of this grape. This month the French Winophiles group is delving into Picpoul wine....

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Picpoul is one of our favorite white wines, and we especially like it with pesto! Picpoul is also a great partner for seafood. Learn more about Picpoul wine and foods to pair with it as part of the French Winophiles exploration of this grape.

Picpoul wine and pesto make a great pairing! #winepairing #Picpoul #winophiles #pesto

This month the French Winophiles group is delving into Picpoul wine. I was eager to jump into this topic, as Picpoul has often been one of my go-to white wines. Picpoul wine is especially good with pesto, but certainly goes with other foods, too. But Picpoul is not a well-known wine here in the U.S., so let’s cover some basics first.

What is Picpoul Wine?

Picpoul de Pinet can be an excellent, affordable white wine choice. This Picpoul from Saint-Peyre is a very good value. #wine #picpoulPicpoul is a wine grape that comes in both dark skinned and light skinned varieties, Picpoul Noir and Picpoul Blanc, respectively. Picpoul Blanc is more prevalent as a varietal wine, while Picpoul Noir is more likely to be used as a blending grape. Picpoul Blanc is what I have had frequently, and will be my focus in this Picpoul wine article.

I tend to associated Picpoul with the Languedoc region in Southern France, but can also be found in other parts of France, Spain, California and other wine regions.

Picpoul de Pinet is the largest white wine producing appellation in the Languedoc. Located close to the Mediterranean sea, breezes moderate the daytime temperatures of Picpoul de Pinet vineyards. The soils are limestone, with sandy soil deposits. For more on the Picpoul de Pinet appellation, visit this page on the Languedoc Adventure site.

Picpoul can also be spelled Piquepoul. Seeing as I’m usually grabbing a Picpoul de Pinet, I go for the Picpoul spelling.

Picpoul and Pesto

bow tie pasta with pesto and tomatoes on a plate with white wine.

Picpoul is sometimes known as “lip stinger” based on the acidity of Picpoul wine. I guess that is why I naturally gravitated toward Picpoul as a pairing for pesto. Sauvignon Blanc is a classic pairing for pesto, but Picpoul is definitely a great alternative!

I’m a big pesto fan, and thankfully most of my family is, too. In recent years, I’ve been making more kale pesto than traditional basil pesto. I can vouch for Picpoul as a great pairing for both kinds of pesto. Get my kale pesto recipe along with 10+ ways to use it, and my basil pesto recipe here.

plate with bowtie pasta tossed with pesto, topped with tomatoes.

I’ve sampled some other Picpouls, but my favorite is the Saint-Peyre Picpoul de Pinet (appx. $10, 13% ABV). We had the 2017 Saint-Peyre Picpoul de Pinet for our recent meal.

I get citrus on the nose of this Picpoul. Taste of lemon fruit and sea shells. Minerality. Nice mouthfeel, some softness along with the acidity.

I served this Picpoul slightly warmer than I often do white wines. At a few recent tastings we’ve been talking about how whites show more flavor when taken out of the fridge for a bit (15 minutes or so) before serving. This approach worked nicely with the Picpoul.

As usually, the acidity in the Picpoul cut the bit from the garlic in the pesto. That bright lemon fruit refreshes the palate nicely. Pesto and Picpoul is a nice pairing!

For this recent Picpoul wine sampling, I tossed bow tie pasta with kale pesto, and topped with some grape tomatoes. The wine’s acidity also works nicely with the tomatoes.

Other Food Pairings for Picpoul Wine

With the proximity to the sea, Picpoul de Pinet and seafood are a natural combination. I had a few pieces of easy sautéed shrimp on my plate. As anticipated, the shrimp paired very nicely with the Picpoul de Pinet. I’ve also enjoyed Picpoul paired with simple pan seared scallops.

roast cod with parsley pesto

I have also enjoyed Picpoul with our Roast Cod with Herb Pesto, another example of Picpoul working well with seafood…oh yes, pesto too! With the cod, we served the  2014 Domaine Feline Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet ($11, 13% ABV). That’s another good Picpoul producer if you can’t find the Saint-Peyre.

For even more Picpoul pairing ideas, be sure to checkout all of the articles from my fellow Winophiles bloggers!

 

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Steak with Manchego Mushroom Sauce with Red Wine from Navarra #winePW http://cookingchatfood.com/manchego-mushroom-sauce/ http://cookingchatfood.com/manchego-mushroom-sauce/#comments Sat, 14 Apr 2018 11:14:08 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=8876 Roasted sirloin steak topped with a delicious Manchego Mushroom Sauce, wonderful with a red wine from Navarra, Spain. Disclosure: Wine sent as a complimentary sample. What to make with the Navarra red wine we had to sample? Navarra is located in Northeast Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. With Cabernet Sauvignon as the dominant grape...

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Roasted sirloin steak topped with a delicious Manchego Mushroom Sauce, wonderful with a red wine from Navarra, Spain. Disclosure: Wine sent as a complimentary sample.

Roasted sirloin steak topped with a delicious Manchego Mushroom Sauce. Wonderful with a red wine from Navarra, Spain. #sauces #steak #Manchego #winepairing #Navarra #sponsored

What to make with the Navarra red wine we had to sample?

Navarra is located in Northeast Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. With Cabernet Sauvignon as the dominant grape in the 2009 Senorio De Otazu, I was definitely thinking in terms of something meaty.

The Navarra Gastronomy web page mentioned wild mushrooms along with other foods abundant in the region, which got me thinking about a mushrooms sauce for steak. Sampling a bit of the Navarra red wine with Manchego cheese inspired me to create Manchego Mushroom Sauce to top our steak.

I make mushroom sauce pretty often, but this is the first time I’ve added cheese that I can recall. So good! I will definitely be making Manchego Mushroom Sauce again soon.

Steak with Red Wine From Navarra

Senorio de Otazu is a very good red wine from Navarra Spain. #wine #NavarraWine #sponsored

So we had the 2009 Senorio De Otazu ($18, 14.5% ABV) to open with our Steak with Manchego Mushrooms Sauce. I noted the oakiness on the nose of the wine. Taste of cherry fruit and notes of cedar. Dusky elements to this meaty wine.

This wine is comprised of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 3% Tempranillo. Aged in French oak barrels for 16 months.

We sampled a bit of the Senorio De Otazu with a plate of Serrano ham, olives and Manchego cheese. This Navarra red wine was especially good with the Manchego cheese! I looked for Idiazabal, a smoked cheese from the Navarra region, but didn’t find it. I was pretty happy with the Manchego pairing.

As I mentioned earlier, my pre-dinner nibbling inspired me to create the Manchego Mushroom Sauce for the steak. As I suspected, the Manchego made a pairing that would have been good anyway really sing! I definitely give this Steak with Manchego Mushroom Sauce and Navarra red wine pairing an “A”.

I also made some roasted Spanish potatoes as a side dish to go with the Steak with Manchego Mushroom Sauce. The paprika notes on the potatoes rounded out the Spanish flavors on the plate nicely. Recipe for the potatoes coming soon!

Lesser known than the adjacent Rioja region, Navarra definitely has a wide range of wines worthy trying. As part of our sampling for this Wine Pairing Weekend, I also paired a very good Navarra white wine with our Salmon Pesto Pasta recipe shown below.

plate with pesto pasta topped with salmon

Learn more about the region at the Navarra Wine website.

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Steak with Manchego Mushroom Sauce

steak topped with Manchego mushroom sauce served with salad and potatoes.

Steak topped with a delicious Manchego mushroom sauce is the perfect meal to pair with a good Spanish red wine from Navarra.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings
  • Category: main
  • Method: roasting
  • Cuisine: Spanish

Ingredients

For the steak

  • 12 ozs sirloin steak
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme

For the Manchego Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 10 ozs mixed mushrooms
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup dry red wine
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp shredded Manchego cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Make the rub: combine the teaspoon of salt, garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of thyme in a bowl.
  • Pat the steak dry. Sprinkle half the spice mix onto one side of the steak, and rub it into the meat. Turn over and repeat on the other side of the steak. Set aside so the steak can absorb the rub.
  • Start making the mushroom sauce. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan on medium. Add the shallot, and cook for a few minutes until the shallots soften.
  • Add the mushrooms to the shallots, and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the mushrooms start to “sweat”, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir the red wine into the mushrooms. Add the thyme and paprika. Cook until the wine is mostly absorbed.
  • Finish the sauce by adding the butter and cheese to the sauce, stirring as as the cheese melts. Keep warm as you finish cooking the steak.
  • Start cooking the steak around the time you add the mushrooms to the sauce. Heat an oven proof skillet on medium high, and coat with oil spray. When the pan is hot add the steak. Sear the steak on one side for a minute, then turn to sear for a minute on the other side.
  • Move the steak to the oven. Roast for 12 to 12 minutes for medium rare.  When done to your liking, remove steak from oven. Let the steak rest for a few minutes.
  • Slice the steak and plate a portion, topped with the mushroom sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Using a mixture of mushrooms adds robust flavor. I used a combination of shiitake and oyster mushrooms, but you can vary based on what you have available.
  • You could reduce the salt in the rub to 1/2 tsp and increase the other herbs a bit if you are managing your sodium content.

steak with Manchego mushroom sauce on a plate with potatoes and salad.

Navarra Wine and Food Pairings from #winePW

Join us at 11 am Eastern / 8am Pacific time for our twitter chat about the wine and food of Navarra! Just find and follow the hashtag #WinePW. For information on past and upcoming Wine Pairing Weekend events, visit this page.

Roasted steak topped with a delicious Manchego mushroom sauce. Pair with a Spanish red wine for a great gourmet meal! #winepairing #steak #Manchego #mushrooms #gourmet #sponsored

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Salmon Pesto Pasta Recipe with White Wine from Navarra http://cookingchatfood.com/salmon-pesto-pasta/ http://cookingchatfood.com/salmon-pesto-pasta/#comments Sun, 08 Apr 2018 12:47:36 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=8857 Our recipe for Salmon Pesto Pasta features pasta topped with pesto and salmon for a delicious way to enjoy some healthy seafood. You can make it with traditional pesto or our kale pesto recipe. We paired the dish with a white wine from Navarra, Spain. Disclosure: The wine was sent as a complimentary sample. Salmon gets...

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Our recipe for Salmon Pesto Pasta features pasta topped with pesto and salmon for a delicious way to enjoy some healthy seafood. You can make it with traditional pesto or our kale pesto recipe. We paired the dish with a white wine from Navarra, Spain. Disclosure: The wine was sent as a complimentary sample.

Pasta tossed with zesty pesto and salmon for a delicious, healthy pasta recipe.

Salmon gets combined with pesto and pasta a lot in our home.

I often make a big batch of kale pesto on Sunday. Some of that pesto gets tossed with pasta, with some extra saved for a quick meal during the week. I also like that kale pesto on seafood, so will often serve fish alongside my pasta, while offering chicken or pork to Jodi, who is not a fish fan.

Salmon and pesto combine so well I realized I needed to serve our salmon pesto pasta recipe straight up here on Cooking Chat. It’s a regular on our menu, and if you like salmon and pesto, this salmon pesto pasta might quickly become a favorite of yours, too.

Making Salmon Pesto Pasta

Salmon pesto pasta is a very easy meal to put together. You start by making the pesto.

I provide the salmon pesto pasta recipe below using a classic basil pesto recipe. But these days I am making kale pesto more than basil pesto, and using kale pesto for this recipe is definitely a good option.

The recipe below also uses the typical pine nuts. But our home has been nut free for awhile due to food allergies. Pumpkin seeds are a great substitute in order to make a nut free pesto!

Once you get your pesto made, start boiling the water for pasta. I like to do a simple pan sear method for cooking the salmon. Start that about halfway through the pasta cooking time and things will all come together nicely.

Pairing Wine with Salmon Pesto Pasta

plate with salmon pesto pasta served with white wine from Navarra Spain.

Salmon is one of those dishes where the wine pairing can go in different directions depending on the preparation and what you are serving it with.

I often enjoy salmon with a red wine. This Salmon with Mushrooms recipe pairs beautifully with Pinot Noir, and is a great pairing to dispel the notion that you need to always drink white wine with fish.

But when you add zesty pesto to the salmon and wine equation, it’s time to start thinking about a white wine pairing for salmon pesto pasta.

If I’m just having a vegetarian pesto pasta dish, I am going to focus on a crisp white wine, on the lighter side. Sauvignon Blanc is a classic choice for pesto, and I also like Picpoul de Pinet.

But when you combine salmon with pesto pasta, a fuller bodied white wine is needed to stand up to the fish. A white Rhone blend or a number of Italian white wines can do the trick. When I was getting to make salmon pesto pasta again recently, I thought it would be a perfect time to try the white wine from Navarra that had been sent recently.

White Wine from Navarra

plate with pesto pasta topped with salmon

For the April Wine Pairing Weekend event, hosted by Gwendolyn at Wine Predator, we are enjoying wines from the Navarra region of Spain. Navarra is located in Northeast Spain, in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Lesser known than the adjacent Rioja region, Navarra definitely has a wide range of wines worthy trying. Learn more about the region at the Navarra Wine website.

I was sent to wines to sample from Navarra, and decided to open the 2017 Ochoa Calendas Blanco ($15, 12.5% ABV) with our salmon pesto pasta. The wine is comprised of 50% Chardonnay, 43% Viura, 7% Moscatel. Light straw color in the glass, lemon on the nose. I tasted citrus and seashells, with a nice long finish.

Ochoa Calendas Blanco is a high quality white wine from Navarra, Spain. Great with Serrano ham, as well as salmon pesto pasta! #winepairingThe balance of citrus and round flavors made this a great match for the salmon pesto pasta. The Chardonnay component gives it the body to match the salmon, the Viura I believe brings the crispness that goes with the pesto, and a touch of sweetness from the Moscatel.

The Calendas Blanco also went great with the serrano ham we nibbled on while I was cooking!

What is that Viura grape mentioned in the wine description? Viura is Northern Spain’s term that goes by Macabeo elsewhere. This article suggests Viura can sometimes be bland, but made well it brings a refreshing crispness to the forefront. Clearly that is happening in this bottle from Ochoa.

Bodegas Ochoa, located in the small town of Olite, traces its winemaking roots to 1370, as the wine supplier for the king. The winery has been continuously family owned and operated since 1845. Learn more about Bodegas Ochoa here.

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Salmon Pesto Pasta

plate with pesto pasta topped with salmon

Pasta tossed with pesto and salmon for a delicious way to enjoy some healthy seafood. Make with traditional basil pesto as shown below, or use kale pesto if you like.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: main
  • Method: mixed
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

For the pesto

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts*

For the salmon and pasta

  • 12 ozs wild salmon fillet
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 tsp champagne vinegar (other light vinegar is OK)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 12 ozs ziti or other short pasta shape

Instructions

  1. Begin boiling water for the pasta.
  2. Place the garlic cloves in the food processor, pulse to mince.
  3. Add the remaining pesto ingredients–basil, cheese, olive oil and pine nuts–  to the food processor. Puree until all the ingredients combined in a well-integrated sauce. Scrape the sides of the processor to get any chunk of basil or garlic that haven’t been incorporated yet, and briefly puree again. Set the pesto aside.
  4. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook based on package instruction timing and testing for doneness. When the pasta is done, toss it immediate with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the pesto. Cover to keep warm while you finish cooking the salmon.
  5. As the pasta cooks, begin cooking the salmon. Heat the canola oil on medium high in a nonstick skillet. When the pan is hot, add the salmon skin side down. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes without moving the salmon. After this initial cooking time, carefully turn the salmon over with a spatula.
  6. Sear the salmon for 2 more minutes, flesh side down. Turn the salmon back over to the skin side. Depending on the salmon thickness and how you like it, the salmon may be ready now or need 2 more minutes cooking skin side down.
  7. When the salmon is done, remove it to a platter. Break the salmon into serving portions.
  8. Plate a serving of the pasta, topped with a portion of salmon, and an extra dollop of the pesto. Enjoy with a glass of white wine!

Notes

  • I give the traditional pine nuts in the ingredients list, but since our home switched to nut free due to allergies, I now substitute lightly toasted pumpkins seeds. This works very well.
  • I make a version of this dish with kale pesto frequently. It’s pretty similar to traditional basil pesto. Get our kale pesto

 

Pasta tossed with zesty pesto sauce and topped with pan seared salmon for a tasty and healthy pasta dinner. #pesto #salmon #pasta

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Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan #SundaySupper http://cookingchatfood.com/roasted-asparagus-parmesan/ http://cookingchatfood.com/roasted-asparagus-parmesan/#comments Sun, 01 Apr 2018 08:39:01 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=8831 This Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan is an easy spring side dish. The recipe can be doubled for a bigger crowd. Bonus: roasting asparagus and tossing it with cheese makes it a much better partner for wine! Happy Easter! Are you still trying to come up with another side dish or two for your Easter meal? The...

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This Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan is an easy spring side dish. The recipe can be doubled for a bigger crowd. Bonus: roasting asparagus and tossing it with cheese makes it a much better partner for wine!

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan cheese is an easy and delicious spring side dish recipe! #SundaySupper #Easter #asparagus #roastedveggies

Happy Easter! Are you still trying to come up with another side dish or two for your Easter meal? The Sunday Supper crew has you covered! Today we are sharing a great lineup of easy and delicious Easter sides.

I thought about sharing a salad recipe, as that is often what I am tasked to bring to our big Easter family gathering. But I’ve already shared several of my go-to salad recipes for past Sunday Suppers, like my Arugula Salad with Maple Vinaigrette.

Then my thoughts ran to asparagus, a veggie that I rarely make out of season. Fresh asparagus is a harbinger of spring for me. Granted, the asparagus in the stores here in New England is still coming from warmer climates. But grabbing it reminds me that warmer days can’t be too far away now. Right?

How to Make Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese

roasted asparagus with parmesan on a plate.

So how do you get some tasty Parmesan crusted asparagus on your plate along with all your other Easter fixings? Don’t sweat, making our Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan Cheese is easy.

First point here is that you can easily scale up this recipe for a bigger crowd. But if you double or even triple it, I would use a second baking dish because you want the asparagus spread on a single layer of the baking dish.

grated parmesan cheese in a blue and white bowl.

Also, I recommend going for some good quality, authentic Parmesan cheese imported from Italy for this roasted asparagus recipe. Go head and get a block of Parmesan, and shred what you need for this dish, and save the rest for some pasta!

The other tip, if you don’t prep asparagus much, is how to know where to chop and discard the woody asparagus stem. To determine where to chop the asparagus to discard the woody stem, hold a stock of asparagus at each end, and snap it in two.

The portion opposite from the tip is the woody part you don’t want to cook. It can be reserved for making vegetable broth. Do this with a couple of spears and use the good part from that process to measure where to cut the rest of the asparagus.

Once you have the asparagus ready, you are simply tossing it with the remaining ingredients and roasting in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to check it at 15 minutes to avoid overcooking.

Wine for Roasted Asparagus

roasted asparagus with parmesan cheese can be paired with a red wine. #winepairing #asparagusAsparagus is a notoriously tricky dish for wine pairings. I discuss the reasons for that in more detail in this article Red Wine with Asparagus and Mushrooms. As suggested by that title, mushrooms can be a tasty partner for roasted asparagus, too!

Roasting asparagus and tossing it with Parmesan cheese makes it much more approachable to pair with wine. Yes, you can even go with a red wine! Pinot Noir is often an Easter favorite, and would definitely pair up nicely with this roasted asparagus recipe.

Talking about red wine and asparagus reminds me how I often see asparagus offered as a side dish for steak at restaurants. Please people, roast or grill that asparagus before you serve with a big steak friendly red wine!

But when I made this roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese to share with you today, I was actually serving it alongside this Crock Pot Honey Mustard Chicken recipe. So I opened a Vouvray, which is a white wine from the Loire Valley made from Chenin Blanc grapes. This wine was excellent with the chicken as well as the asparagus. In fact, I think I’m going to get another bottle for our Easter meal!

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Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan #SundaySupper

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan in a white baking dish.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan is an easy spring side dish. Bonus: roasting asparagus and tossing it with cheese makes it a much better partner for wine!

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: roasting
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus, woody portion of stock removed, remaining portion cut in half
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. In a baking dish, toss the asparagus with the olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle the garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste and half of the Parmesan cheese over the asparagus.
  3. Place the baking dish in the oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the asparagus is tender and beginning to brown. Check after 15 minutes to avoid over cooking. Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the asparagus, at least 20 minutes is likely needed unless the asparagus is quite thin.
  4. Scoop the asparagus into a serving bowl, and toss with the remaining Parmesan. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • This makes a modest amount of asparagus. You can easily double this recipe, but you will want to use to baking dishes in order to keep the asparagus in a single layer.
  • To determine where to chop the asparagus to discard the woody stem, hold a stock of asparagus at each end, and snap it in two. The portion opposite from the tip is the woody part you don’t want to cook. It can be reserved for making vegetable broth. Do this with a couple of spears and use the good part from that process to measure where to cut the rest of the asparagus.

roasted asparagus with parmesan in a white baking dish.

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Sunday Supper MovementThe Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan recipe is an easy and tasty spring side dish. #SundaySupper #asparagus #roastedveggies #sidedish

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