Monday, April 4, 2011

Vine and Dine - Tal Ronnen's Cajun Portobello Sandwich

Fred and I shimmied our way into Vine and Dine with two of my favorite foodies and bloggers Tami of Vegan Appetite and LIz of Cooking the Vegan Books. We also recruited our boyz to join in the fun by pairing wines with our recipe selection. This week Tal Ronnen's Conscious Cook was the book of choice. The Cajun Portobello Sandwich with Avocado and Remoulade (pg. 112) was the recipe of choice. First off, I really must get into the habit of reading recipes in detail before I make my plan. I had a tendency to browse them and miss some important details. I have been trying to eat earlier in the evening and though, "oh, a sandwich, this will be quick and easy." Well, I got the easy part right, but this one takes a bit of time. You have to reduce the marinade/cooking liquid for 20 minutes, then let the mushrooms marinade for another hour. So much for quick. I thought for a veggie type sandwich this one was a bit fussy was the word I kept using. But seriously, more if it was my lack of planning.

We have a serious lack of good bakeries here. It is always a challenge to find that perfect sandwich bread. I ended up using a demi loaf of french bread with pretty good results. I do wish I would have had time to make Tami's Black Pepper Baguette as I think it would have been perfect here. Now, even with all the fuss, I do have to say this was a really good sandwich! I love anything blackened and spicy. Add to that my love of portobellos and this really was my kind of sammy. I made 1/2 the recipe but a full recipe of the remoulade. Quite to my delight, the leftover remoulade actually made a pretty darn good potato salad for our house guest this weekend. I felt quite frugal and all left over savvy. 

Fred made an excellent selection for the wine.Check out his debut wine review.

I admit I had to have help with a pairing of what Kim was going to cook. I finally found "Ramone", who at first sight of me, I think, ran. Visually, people take me as a beer and whiskey guy, so not so. I imagine he thought I was there to kidnap him and take him to Montana to mate with goats. After I had explained myself, I received the best 30 minute wine class ever! 

Ramone pointed out several wines that covered a wide range of compliments. I chose a 2009 Chante Cigale,from the southeast part of France ( appellation Chateauneuf-Du-Pape) that is a blend of four varietals. Ronnen's recipe was light and vegetabaly but yet slightly earthy so I needed a white wine that could hold its own. The different grapes in this wine, combined, bought a minerality, acidity, balance and taste that produced a white wine strong enough to compliment the recipe but yet was exceptionally smooth, mild, and had a srong base. Our dinner had just the right amount of saltiness and spiciness to bring out a surprise in our wine, a smidge of pepper mixed in the white pear forwardness ( that took us forever to figure out!) We were still finding new tastes at the last sip. What a delightful wine for our night! 

Fred and I really enjoyed our first Vine and Dine. It was a great opportunity to pair up food, wine and ourselves in the kitchen. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful job, Fred! We like those Chante Cigale wines. Looks like you and Ramone hit it out of the park! Kim, that baguette would be perfect. Great thinking!

    Glad you guys are onboard!