These summer months are full of celebrations and entertaining! Now’s the time to get inspired and what better way to do that than with a few new recipe and wine ideas. Check out these food and wine pairings by chef Ruth Van Waerebeek. If you’re not familiar with how to pair food and wine – this list will have your guests thinking you’re a natural wine connoisseur!
Oriental-marinated Chicken and bacon-wrapped Peach skewers
8 tasting servings (makes 8 skewers)
Ingredients: For the oriental marinade:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons liquid honey
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
For the skewers:
1 ½ lbs chicken breasts sliced into 1-inch cubes
4 firm peaches or nectarines
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
8 slices smoked bacon, cut in half lengthwise
1 large onion, in big chunks
16 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the chix cubes, toss to coat and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 3 hours.
2. Before serving: slice the peaches/nectarines in 4-6 pieces and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and brown sugar. Wrap each peach/nectarine wedge in half a bacon slice. Thread the marinated chix onto the skewers, placing 1 bacon-wrapped peach/nectarine, a piece of onion and a bay leaf between the pieces of meat (you should have 3 pieces of meat and two peaches/nectarines per skewer). Reserve the marinade.
3. Light a grill. Lightly brush the skewers with the reserved marinade. Grill the meat over a moderately hot heat, turning frequently, until the chix is done, about 7-8 minutes. Serve at once with a couscous-tomato and cucumber salad (Opt).
Grilled lamb Chops with Almond, green Olive and Mint Pesto Sauce
12 lamb chops, with bone (for tasting: 25 large lamb chops)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the almond and mint pesto:
¾ cup almonds, peeled and toasted
1 cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup green olives, pitted
1/2 – ¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ teaspoon hot chilli powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
Put the parsley, garlic and olive oil in a large bowl. Add the lamb chops and cover with the marinade; refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight.
Prepare the pesto: put all the ingredients for the pesto in a blender and process until a smooth purée. Pour the sauce in a bowl and reserve.
Preheat the grill at medium heat, take the lamb chops out of the marinade and grill 4-6 minutes per side, or until the desired doneness. Brush with the reserved marinade once and a while. Serve the grilled lamb chops with the almond-mint pesto, grilled cherry tomatoes or mixed vegetables and a rice pilaf (Opt.).
Spicy quince/guava-glazed grilled pork tenderloin with Chilean salsa verde
This recipe can be prepared both with quince paste (mostly available in Hispanic section or with guava paste).
For the quince Adobo: (for 25 tasting portions)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons onion, very finely minced
2 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
3/4 pound quince or guava paste, cut into small pieces
1 to 1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
Salt to taste
2 ½ lbs Pork tenderloins, (count two 1/2-oz slice per person (16 portions /pound)
For the Chilean salsa verde: (for 25 tasting portions)
1/2 cup scallions, chopped, white and green part
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (packed)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (packed)
1 jalapeño pepper, some seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup cold water
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt to taste
Micro greens for decoration (Opt.)
1. Prepare the quince adobo: In a small saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the spices, fruit paste and water and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the paste has dissolved completely. Add soy sauce, ketchup and season salt to taste. This adobo should have a bite! Simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.
2. Brush the pork tenderloins with half of the adobo and reserve.
3. Light a grill or preheat a cast-iron grill pan. (or the hot plate for large servings). Grill the pork over moderate heat,(adobo has sugar and burns easily!) brushing with the remaining marinade frequently, for about 20 minutes for medium, or until nicely caramelized and firm to the touch. (Transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.)
FOR TASTINGS: CUT PORK RIGHT BEFORE SERVING; CAN BE SERVED LUKEWARM.
4. Prepare the green salsa: Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, this salsa should be brimming with flavour. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Place green salsa in squeeze bottles for serving.
Note: this recipe can be prepared with different cuts of beef, flank steak or any other type of steak
We will need about 3 lb to 4 lbs of beef for 25 tastings
For the chimichurri salsa: (makes 2 cups, enough for 25 tastings)
8 cloves garlic, finely minced (or crushed in mortar with pinch of salt)
2 fresh bay leaves
3/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper
For the chimichurri: Mince or crush the garlic with the bay leaves fine in a mortar (or puree in small blender with some vinegar) and transfer to a bowl, add the parsley, oregano and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt (!) and ground black pepper. Set mixture aside for a few hours to develop flavour. Keep in a jar in refrigerator for up to a week.