HI and welcome to my splendiferous Vinous and Gastronomous blog page, aiming to share and revel in the wonderful world of Wine and Food.
First up, On the Menu tonight at Chateau Gastro-Vin.
Pan fried Hake with warm salad of roasted beets, blanched tomatoes fennel and herbs. Drizzled with Salsa Verde. Served with a delicious Chateau Fontvert Luberon-reserve rose. Food Is partly inspired by my local market and the salad inspired by Mr Jamie Oliver. Wine, a classic match to any Med' infused dish offered by Oddbins R.I.P.
Simply roast those beets (40-50 minutes) like you would a jacket potato and allow to cool. Once achieved, liberate them from their jackets and place in a serving bowl. Next, Blanche your tomatoes to remove the skin and place with your beets. You should be starting to get a lovely bleeding of colour. Next up is delicately sliced fennel bulb, tossed in to the salad. Allow to mingle and become aquainted prior to serving when you will dress with fresh garden herbs (to your liking, lemon thyme, basil or mint works well) extra virgin olive oil and salt.
Your hake should be filleted in to nice long meaty pieces. simply rub with oil, pepper and salt before frying in a pan fro 8 minutes. If you want to make a difference you will crush a garlic clove, chili, and a sprig of thyme in to the oil to season the pan prior to cooking your fish.
You should know the drill, rest your fish on some paper towel before tentatively arranging along side your salad and enjoying with the most beautiful of people in your life. Yummers! (don't forget that Salsa Verde, buy it if you can't be bothered to make it)
So why does this work? OK, Hake is a meaty fish and deserves some substance in that salad-hence beets to balance texture and weight. all you're doing next is building flavour that complement each other. Bright Acidity of tomatoes cuts through the meaty texture of beets and Hake and creates a foundation for lifted aromatics of herb and a contrast in the form of fennel. Simple! The drizzle of Salsa Verde bridges the void on the plate between fish and salad and pulls flavours together, Anchovies and caper from the fish and parsley and white wine vinegar for tomato and garden herbs respectively.
The final dimension to any meal for me is the lubrication!
Simply put, from the South of France. A region that sits between Provence and the Rhone and makes suitably similar wines to its neighbours. This wine is typical in its assemblage of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. White grapes are permitted to by blended with red in this region to produce rose but this particular producer is obviously quality conscious and sided with the respectable method of saignee (bleed from the press). What evolves is a crisp rose wine with enough acidity to rumble with strong acids in the food from tomato and salsa verde. the body carry's a creamy texture that floats over the palate with the firm hake and beets along side. Fruit flavours of strawberry that have been dipped in black pepper herbal spicy notes and citrus pink grapefruit combine with similar nuances in the salad if not adding higher peaks of flavour to the combined dish. An excellent rose but sadly one that you will have to search for as it was purchased from the former off-licence chain Oddbins. In my opinion, ask your local purveyor of fine wines to put you on to a good Provence rose or Luberon if they stock it. perfect for the summer season and even better with a dish like this!