Food Meets Its Match

Written by
Vintage Cellars
February 19, 2019
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Try these classic pairings with a wine style that's a little out of the ordinary but big on flavour.

Kara Maisano, sommelier of Victorian restaurant Masani Italian Dining and GT WINE’s Young Sommelier to Watch of 2018, collaborated with Vintage Cellars to bring you exciting food and wine matches for this Food & Wine Pairing issue of Cellar Press. A sommelier’s challenge is to convince customers to try new wines — when paired with the perfect dish, who can say no to a new wine experience? Kara knows the importance of an ideal food and wine pairing experience. Here, Kara and Vintage Cellars share a few favourite combinations.

LEMONGRASS PRAWN SKEWERS WITH GREEN MANGO & RICE NOODLE SALAD

TRY: Howard Park Mt Barker Riesling, Great Southern, $29.99 in any six, $33.32 single price.
A classic summer go-to wine, this Mt Barker riesling’s racy acidity and vibrant jasmine aromatics are perfect with meaty prawns. Dry to the finish with signature lime, green apple and white nectarine flavours, the riesling’s hint of anise plays on the exotic green mango and heat of the chilli. Delicately textured and refreshing.

Serves: 4 Preparation time: 25 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes (plus marinating)

80ml (⅓ cup) vegetable oil; 1 tbsp fish sauce; 1 tbsp finely grated ginger; 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, thinly sliced; 2 garlic cloves; 1 bird’s-eye chilli, roughly chopped; juice of 1 lime; 24 medium green prawns, peeled and deveined; lime wedges and thinly sliced bird’s-eye chillies, to serve Green mango & rice noodle salad 250g rice stick noodles; 2 green mangoes, cut into julienne; 1½ cups mixed Asian herbs, such as coriander sprigs, mint, Vietnamese mint and Thai (holy) basil; 3 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally Lime-chilli dressing 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped; 1 bird’s-eye chilli, roughly chopped, or to taste; 2 tbsp caster sugar or finely grated light palm sugar; 2 tbsp fish sauce; ¼ cup (60ml) lime juice

1 Process oil, fish sauce, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, chilli and lime juice in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl or snaplock bag, add prawns and mix well to coat. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours to marinate. Thread prawns onto skewers, cover and refrigerate until required.
2 To make green mango & rice noodle salad, place noodles in a large bowl, pour over boiling water to cover, stir and stand for 4-5 minutes until tender. Drain, rinse under cold running water and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until required.
3 To make lime-chilli dressing, using a mortar and pestle, pound garlic, chilli and sugar to a paste. Stir in 2 tbsp hot water to dissolve sugar, then stir in remaining ingredients. Check flavour and adjust to your taste – dressing should taste hot, sour, salty and sweet. Set dressing aside.
4 Preheat a barbeque grill or chargrill pan to medium high. Chargrill skewers for 1-2 minutes each side or until prawns change colour and are just cooked through.
5 Divide green mango & noodle salad among bowls, top with prawn skewers and drizzle with lime-chilli dressing. Serve with lime wedges and sliced chilli.

SALAMI & FENNEL PIZZA

TRY: Chaffey Bros La Résistance GSM, Barossa Valley, $22.99 in any six, $25.54 single price
Bursting with juicy black cherry, wild strawberry and blood plums, this grenache-led blend is the perfect backdrop to sweet and smoky Mediterranean fare. Ripe, intense fruit with pink peppercorn and dried herbs from the heartland of Barossa’s old vine vineyards. Soft tannins enhance the richness of the salami and buffalo mozzarella.

Serves: 4 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20 mins (plus resting)

400g can cherry tomatoes, drained; 1 garlic clove, finely chopped; 200g cherry tomatoes, halved; 100g sliced salami; 3 small buffalo mozzarella (about 150g each), thinly sliced; 60g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; 2 tsp fennel seeds, dry-roasted and coarsely crushed, combined with 2 tsp sea salt; 1 baby fennel bulb, thinly shaved on a mandolin, fronds reserved; extra virgin olive oil, to serve Olive oil pizza dough 450g (3 cups) pizza flour; 7g dried yeast; 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 For dough, combine flour, yeast and 2 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. On low speed, add olive oil, then gradually add 300ml lukewarm water (you may not need all the water) and mix to a soft, rough dough. Knead on medium-high speed for 4-5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 1-1½ hours until doubled in size. Knock back dough, knead lightly, cover and set aside for ¾–1 hour until doubled in size.
2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250°C fan-forced, placing two heavy-based oven trays or pizza stones in the oven to heat.
3 Divide dough into four, then roll each into a 30cm round on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a piece of baking paper.
4 Roughly crush canned tomato, add garlic and spread over bases. Scatter with fresh tomatoes, half the salami, mozzarella and parmesan. Season with fennel salt mixture and freshly ground black pepper. Use baking paper to transfer pizzas to heated oven trays in batches and bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking time, for 6-8 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Scatter pizzas with remaining salami, shaved fennel and fronds, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste and serve.

TARRAGON ROAST CHICKEN WITH PEA SALAD

TRY: Church Road McDonald Series Pinot Gris, Hawke’s Bay NZ, $31.99 in any six, $35.54 single price
No other dish is as comforting as roast chicken. This pinot gris completes the experience — it's sumptuous and honeyed, expressive with dried ginger and rosehip, brown pear, red apple and mango. This full-bodied wine relishes the caramelised garlic and sweat pea salad.

Serves: 4 Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1 hour (plus resting)

2 heads of garlic, halved; 100g softened butter; finely grated rind of 1 lemon, lemon coarsely chopped, plus 1 extra lemon, halved; ¼ cup finely chopped tarragon, plus 4 extra tarragon sprigs; 1.6kg free-range chicken, at room temperature; extra virgin olive oil; good-quality mayonnaise, to serve Pea salad 250g sugar snap peas, trimmed; 200g frozen peas; 1 small butter lettuce, leaves separated and torn; 1 cup watercress sprigs; ½ cup mint leaves; ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil; 1½ tbsp tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar; 3 tsp good-quality mayonnaise; 1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Finely chop 1 garlic clove and combine in a bowl with butter, lemon rind and tarragon. Season. Carefully run your fingers between chicken skin and breast to separate, keeping skin intact. Spread ¾ of tarragon butter evenly under skin. Rub remainder over chicken. Stuff cavity with 1 garlic head, chopped lemon and extra tarragon. Truss legs with kitchen string and fold wings under.
2 Transfer to a roasting pan with lemon halves and remaining garlic. Drizzle with a little oil and roast, basting occasionally, for ¾–1 hour until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer. Loosely cover with foil and rest for 15-20 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, to make pea salad, blanch all peas in boiling salted water for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Drain, refresh under cold running water, then drain well. Transfer to a bowl with lettuce, watercress and mint. Refrigerate until required. Whisk oil, vinegar, mayonnaise and mustard in a bowl, thinning with a little water if necessary to a drizzling consistency. Season. Before serving, toss lightly with salad.
4 Drizzle chicken with pan juices mixed with a squeeze of juice from the roasted lemon. Serve with the roasted garlic, pea salad and mayonnaise.

CHERRY ROAST DUCK WITH CRUNCHY POTATOES & CABBAGE SLAW

TRY: Greywacke Pinot Noir, Marlborough NZ, $47.99 in any six, $53.32 single price
The duck's gaminess is enlivened by black plums, rhubarb, lavender and clove in this generous pinot noir. It has evocative floral and savoury spice notes to complement the sweetness of the cherries and duck meat. Aged in French oak, the wine's fine tannins linger to finish with allspice, cinnamon and star anise.

Serves: 4 Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 1¼ hours

4 duck marylands; 8 eschallots, peeled and halved; 1 head of garlic, halved; 4 thyme sprigs; 400g pitted cherries; 1 cup (250ml) chicken stock; ½ cup (125ml) pinot noir; 2 tsp red wine vinegar, or to taste; 800g scrubbed kipfler potatoes, halved Cabbage slaw ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil; 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar; 1½ tsp Dijon mustard; 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped; ¼ each small red cabbage and small white cabbage, thinly shaved on a mandolin; ½ small Spanish onion, thinly sliced; ½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Preheat oven to 200°C fan-forced. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat, add duck legs, skin-side down, and cook for 6-8 minutes until well browned and fat renders. Transfer to a roasting pan (reserve frying pan with duck fat for cooking potatoes) with eschallots, garlic and thyme. Season to taste.
2 Roast duck for 45-50 minutes, then remove pan from oven and pour off any residual fat. Add cherries, stock and wine to pan and return to oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes until cherries are tender and sauce has reduced a little. Transfer duck to a plate to rest, then simmer pan juices over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes to reduce slightly. Stir in vinegar and check seasoning.
3 Meanwhile, combine potatoes and enough cold salted water to cover in a saucepan, bring to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes until par-boiled. Drain well. Heat reserved duck fat in pan over medium-high heat, add potatoes and toss well to coat. Season to taste, transfer to oven and roast for 40-45 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
4 To make cabbage slaw, whisk oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic in a large bowl. Season to taste. Add cabbage, onion and parsley. Before serving, toss to combine.
5 Serve duck drizzled with cherry sauce, with crunchy potatoes and cabbage slaw.