Sunday, 21 August 2022

Food and wine pairing: the Calvet Kitchen French gastronomy series

Calvet Kitchen series. Image courtesy of Calvet Wines.

We love a food and wine pairing. There may be some naysayers out there, but when it’s fun, accessible, and enhances both what you’re eating and what’s in your glass, what’s not to love?

Calvet has recently launched its virtual Calvet Kitchen to help people learn about the wine range and discover some French dishes along the way.

Each month, focusing on a different wine region or Appellation d’Origine Protegee (AOP), a new recipe is released, along with suggestions for the perfect bottle(s) of Calvet wine to pair it with. Learn how the two go together and why.

Some of France’s hottest young chefs are joined by award-winning sommeliers to talk you through the recipes - and the wines.

Mark Kears, managing director, UK & Ire, Les Grand Chais de France said, “Wine is first and foremost about connection with people. Through the Calvet Kitchen we want to help wine drinkers to explore the depth and diversity of the wine regions of France and connect with them through some of the people behind each region’s unique cuisine and wine. The Calvet Kitchen is a light-hearted opportunity to discover a host of new French dishes and wines that people can then enjoy cooking and pairing at home in the comfort of their own kitchens.”

Calvet Kitchen recipes and wines

Line-caught sea bass and sweet almond creamed potatoes with a dash of raspberry vinegar

Perfect with AOP Bordeaux White
Calvet Prestige Bordeaux White
This wine reveals delicate aromas of exotic fruits such as passion fruit, as well as subtle woody notes due to its maturation in oak barrels.

Calvet Réserve Bordeaux White
Rich and intense, with aromas of white fruits and citrus, our Bordeaux Réserve is blend of fruity and woody notes.

Image courtesy of Calvet Wines.

Serves 4
20 min

4 line-caught sea bass fillets
1 shallot, chopped
250g potatoes
500ml shellfish (or fish) stock
250ml milk
750g single cream
100g sweet almond milk
50ml raspberry vinegar
Early or seasonal vegetables

Cook the vegetables: Cover the vegetables in salted, boiling water to cook, then plunge into iced water to cool.

Cook the creamed potatoes: Melt butter in a pan, add the shallot, cover, and cook gently until soft. Dice the potatoes and add to the pan. Cook the potatoes without letting them brown.

Pour over the shellfish (or fish) stock. Reduce the liquid and add the cream and the milk. Leave to cook, then blend and sieve. Add the sweet almond milk.

Set this sweet almond cream aside, to be blended with the raspberry vinegar just before serving, to create an emulsion sauce.

Prepare the line-caught sea bass: Make “beurre noisette” by melting a knob of butter in a pan until it is foamy and light brown in colour. Add the sea bass and cook over a high heat.

Brown the skin of the fish well, basting regularly with the butter. In another pan, reheat the vegetables in butter until they start to brown.

To serve: Arrange the vegetables in a shallow bowl. Beat the sweet almond creamed potatoes together with the raspberry vinegar, then pour it onto the plate. Place the sea bass fillet on top of the vegetables.

Scallops with buckwheat cream

Perfect with Calvet Rosé d'Anjou
This wine, with notes of blackcurrant, raspberry and boiled sweets, has a few surprises for you to discover throughout your meal.

Calvet Rose d'Anjou. Image courtesy of Calvet wine/Facebook.

Serves 6
15 min

For the buckwheat cream:
600g stock or 1 chicken stock cube
70g buckwheat (or wholemeal) flour
200g whipping cream (35%)
200g semi-skimmed milk
6 scallops
Ground black pepper
1tbsp olive oil

For the stock:
1 carrot
1 onion
1 stick of celery
1 leek

1 chicken carcass
Ground black pepper

For the crispy buckwheat strips:
1 buckwheat crepe
500ml grapeseed oil

To serve:
1 sprig of chervil

Start by preparing the chicken stock: Heat the oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add pieces of the chicken carcass and let them brown. Then add the vegetables (chopped). Fry the carcass and vegetables together. Add 600g water and deglaze the pan. Simmer for about 1 hour. Strain the stock, reserving the liquid. Set aside.

To make the crispy strips of buckwheat crepe: Roll out the buckwheat crepe and cut it into narrow strips. Fry the strips in grapeseed oil until they brown. Remove from the pan, and place on a paper towel to absorb any oil.

To make the buckwheat cream: Start by dry roasting the flour in a frying pan or in the oven (180°C) until it browns. Set aside. Bring the chicken stock to the boil. Mix together the cream and the milk and the roasted flour. Pour the mixture into the stock. Simmer together for 5 minutes (if it is too thick, add a little milk). Season to taste. Set aside and keep warm.

To cook the scallops: Heat a pan with a dash of olive oil and brown the scallops on both sides. Season. Tip: The scallops are cooked when they turn translucent in the centre.

To serve: Pour the buckwheat cream into a shallow bowl. Arrange the scallop in the bowl with a few crispy buckwheat strips. Garnish with a sprig of chervil.

Crab cocktail verrine with avocado mousse

Perfect with AOP Haut-Poitou
Calvet Haut-Poitou
This very elegant wine is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, with powerful aromas, including notes of exotic fruits and citrus. Ideal as an aperitif, it also goes really well with fish, seafood or goat cheese.

Calvet Haut-Poitou. Image courtesy of Calvet Wine/Facebook.

Serves 4
20 min

4 ripe avocados
100ml cream
1 leaf gelatine
1 lime (juice)
500g brown crab (or other crab) meat
30g shallots, finely chopped
30g chives, finely chopped
250g tomatoes, diced
1 egg yolk
20g Dijon mustard
15ml sherry vinegar
175ml olive oil
Espelette pepper
Shoots or edible flowers to garnish

To make the mayonnaise: Beat the egg yolk vigorously with the mustard, salt and Espelette pepper. Gradually add the olive oil then the vinegar. Continue beating until the mayonnaise reaches the desired consistency.

To make the avocado mousse: Heat the cream. When it starts to boil, add the gelatine and remove from the heat.

Remove the avocado stone and blend the flesh with the lime juice. Add in the gelatine-cream mixture and continue to blend. Strain and pour into a cream siphon. Add gas, using a whole cartridge. Repeat with a second cartridge. Chill for at least 1 hour. If you don’t have a cream siphon, chill the mixture for at least 2 hours then beat to a smooth, light consistency.

To make the crushed tomatoes: Gently fry the shallots in olive oil then drain the diced tomatoes, add them to the pan and cook over a high heat. Strain to remove excess juice and set aside.

To prepare the crab meat: Mix the crab meat with the mayonnaise and chives.

To serve: In a cocktail glass: Spoon the crushed tomatoes into the glass, place the crab meat on top, cover with the avocado mousse and finish with a floral garnish.

To find out more and see future recipes, check out @calvetwines on Facebook and @calvet_wines on Instagram.

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