The Holiday season is all about spending time with family and friends. And for John and me, nothing says that better than a hearty Cassoulet. Cassoulet can be translated as “bean pot stew” or “white bean stew” or “meat and bean casserole”.
In France, there are as many cassoulet recipes as there are cooks! For all recipes there are some basic rules to follow when making a Cassoulet: around 70% should be made up of cannellini beans, juice and aromatics and 30% of
meat. Typical meats include pork, lamb and sausage, and of course, confit duck legs (John’s favorite). I like to use a combination of recipes so I can adjust the ingredients to my favorites and use herbs and spices that we have growing here on the farm. For the wine, a Syrah based blend is the perfect pairing for Cassoulet. Pick up a bottle of our 2012 Family Album Rhone Blend, find your favorite Cassoulet recipe and give it a try!
My Christmas dinner this year is inspired by Chef Charles Lewis who prepared the wonderful Farm to Fork dinner we hosted at the end of October. I’ll be serving Black Pepper and Herb Roasted Niman Ranch American Lamb Chops with a Hope based reduction sauce, a Wild Mushroom Ragout, and fresh vegetables from John’s garden. Wine pairing suggestion: 2012 Hope Rhone Blend. Click here to download a copy of my Hope wine reduction sauce recipe.
If you’re looking for food and wine pairing ideas or suggestions, I’ll help if I can – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please share your favorite food and Aver Family Vineyards wine pairing recipes on our Facebook page. Have a wonderful Holiday Season, enjoying good food and wine with family and friends!
Super Quick Holiday Appetizers
I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season as much as we are. We hosted a little open house last weekend and I thought I’d share a few of my very quick but very impactful wine/appetizer pairings.
The first pairing we did was our Inspiration Chardonnay paired with Mini Cheese Balls. Not only did they look amazing, they were very tasty as well. I found the recipe on The Food Network, see below. I used a combination of Cream Cheese and Gruyere. I rolled them in pistachios, chives, tarragon, hulled pumpkin seeds, bacon and paprika, and almonds.
The second pairing we did was a Fig Jam and Manchego Cheese Crostini paired with our just released Family Album Cabernet. I simply bought a loaf of the Cranberry Walnut bread from Trader Joe’s, sliced it in 1/4 inch slices, then cut each slice into four pieces. I topped each with a slice of Manchego cheese, topped with a dollop of Fig Jam.
The last pairing was everyone’s hands down favorite. We served our Hope Rhone Blend with Bacon Candy.
To make bacon candy you simply combine light brown sugar and chili powder. Spread lightly on the bacon and bake at 400. You want to make sure the sugar caramelizes a little. I used the recipe from Food and Wine below. This is definitely my new go too! Be sure to try it!