The recipes we brought to you by Mark Dodson and Great British Chefs for our summer feature have been so enthusiastically received that we thought we would ask the experts at Amathus Drinks to recommend three wines to accompany each of the dishes.
The wines have been carefully selected to compliment each of the dishes and also to fit any budget.
Vintages with hotter conditions stand out for the honey-like, floral and muscatel aromas. However, in fresher vintages, the characteristics of the wine remind of tropical fruits, white flowers and high acidity.
We have all been there, standing in the wine aisle at your local supermarket, hundreds of different bottles staring expectantly back at you, beckoning for your attention. You glance in your basket for inspiration. ‘Prawns… a white then… that one is on offer… it’ll do’. You get home and find the juggernaut of a Californian chardonnay you bought because it was a quid cheaper than usual, stomps all over your fresh, fragrant bowl of prawn linguine. It’s too big; rich and creamy on the palate, with enough oak to build an ark it leaves your dinner crushed and cowering in it’s wake. Evening ruined.
This, however, needn’t happen. We have come up with a few simple rules to help you pick a wine that will compliment what you are eating and lift it to unprecedented heights. Take note and enjoy!
Match the wine to the sauce, not the protein.
The protein in a dish is often the star of the show and is therefore important. However, when trying to pick a wine to compliment what you are eating, consider the sauce in which the protein is served. For example, with baked cod in tomato and chorizo sauce, try a juicy pinot noir. Soft, well rounded and not too heavy with medium levels of tannin. This will be able to stand up to the sauce without overshadowing the fish. Likewise, a juicy sirloin with a generous helping of béarnaise sauce can work wonderfully with a robust, layered white. A weighty chenin blanc with well-balanced minerality and a vibrant streak of acidity to cut through the richness of the sauce will work a treat.
Read the label This sounds obvious but winemakers often provide tasting notes and pairing guidelines on the bottle (supermarkets are have begun to do this on price labels too). When browsing the supermarket shelves it can be easy to get sucked in to buying a marked down bottle or simply grabbing one with a pretty label but if you take a moment to read the information given to you it can often result in a better decision.
Match like with like Put simply, match the characteristics of the food with that of the wine. With a light hors d’oeuvre such as salmon mousse blinis go for a delicate, crisp and dry sparkling rosé. Earthy foods like wild mushrooms work well with earthy wines such as cabernet franc. Rich, sweet foods like dark chocolate go beautifully with a rich, sweet crusted port. You get the idea.
Making a Start
To give you a rolling start, we have selected three recipes from our blog and paired them up with a great bottle of vino, any of which would make for the perfect night in.
This little known grape has been hailed as “Sicily’s answer to Malbec” by The Guardian’s Fiona Beckett and this example is fresh and vibrant with a savoury kick of black pepper. A solid, fruity red that would work well with almost all tomato based dishes that represents outstanding value for money.
Staying in Sicily, this time an organically cultivated blend of Grillo (70%) and Chardonnay (30%) that produces aromas of lemon and pineapple. The combination of grape varieties gives this wine a weight that allows it to handle a stew (albeit a light one) without loosing any of that clean acidity that marries so well with the fresh tomato salad.
This Californian red is a blend of four grape varieties; Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Velvety on the pallet with ripe dark fruit and hints of vanilla giving a touch of sweetness make it a perfect tipple with chocolate.
One more thing…
You don’t have to spend a lot for quality This is not specific to paring wine with food but it’s good to know. A common approach to buying wine is that you get what you pay for. Sometimes true. I once had the pleasure of tasting a 2006 Krug Brut (to save you from asking, around £200) and the only way I can describe it was like walking in to a Parisian bakery on a sunny Saturday morning and hitting a wall of toasty brioche gorgeousness. That said, you can often find good solid wines without breaking the bank. With supermarkets really upping their game in recent years it is easily achievable to get something really special for less than a tenner (£8 if you look hard enough).
Last Thursday the ProWare team enjoyed an 8 course tasting menu at Jöro. The open kitchen is quite unique which creates a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere. Seeing the talent and expertise of the chefs in action makes it an exciting experience. There must be an element of showmanship about it but whilst it was a very lively and busy evening in the restaurant there was an incredible air of control coming from that open kitchen. Head Chef Luke and the team delivered a wonderful and varied set of dishes. We were left not knowing which was our favourite. What we did leave with is an appreciation of unique tastes, ingredients and a memorable evening dining out at what is easily Sheffield’s best restaurant. In addition to the fabulous food, it was a treat to see our Stainless Steel Tri-ply pans and Copper Tri-ply Mini Pan in use during service.
The evening started with a series of amuse-bouches and some freshly made bread. Each dish was expertly explained by our host/sommelier who was a delight. He answered our haphazard questions with charm and interesting tidbits of information including where they forage for some of the food on their menu.
The most popular dishes of the evening were the Cod with chevril as well as the Cumbrian Herdwick Hogget with wild garlic, jersey royal & mint pictured below.
And of course, the Browned Butter Parfait which is one of the recipes Chef Luke shared with us for Christmas. Check out the recipe here.
To read more about Jöro check out our blog here and read more below to find out about how Luke got to the place where he is now.
Meet the Chef – Luke French
Beginning as a kitchen porter at The White Pheasant pub in Fordham, Cambridgeshire, Luke French worked hard to climb up the kitchen ranks, going on to become part of the catering team at the University of Cambridge. Over the following two years he amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience, thanks in part to the wide variety of events that he was tasked with catering, from student meals to large scale banquets, to fine dining for delegates and government officials. He also had the opportunity to try his hand at a great number of international cuisines, expanding his knowledge and refining his skills along the way allowing him to reach a height of Junior Sous Chef.
From here, he went on to work at a selection of high end restaurants such as Aliemtum, Graffiti, Hotel Felix and Gonville Hotel. During this time of working in AA Rosette and Michelin Star establishments, Luke also gained experience working with pastry, an area which had thus far remained unexplored.
Following this, in the months prior to embarking on a global travel adventure, he worked at The Fat Duck. With three Michelin stars and a recipient of the esteemed title of Best Restaurant in the World, Heston Blumenthal’s eatery is noted for its wildly inventive food, multi-sensory cooking and unorthodox flavour combinations.
Luke travelled first to India, on to Thailand, then Vietnam, Burma and finishing in Cambodia. Enjoying the street food on offer and immersing himself in the vibrant cultures introduced him to new, local ingredients. This time, he says, has become a rich source of inspiration for the food he is cooking today.
Upon his return to the UK, he spent some time in Cambridge, working as Head Chef, giving him free reign to develop his own distinctive style of cooking. He eventually moved to Sheffield and joined the team at local gastro pub, The Milestone, where he worked as a sectional chef for two years. A head chef vacancy opened up, an opportunity to which Luke jumped and a position he subsequently achieved.
On the Way Up
Alongside his duties as head chef, Luke worked with Stacy and Mat (Jöro co-owners) to open Craft and Dough, who serve indulgent, innovative pizzas with the finest craft beers available. This formula has proved successful, resulting in the three Craft and Dough restaurants opening in Sheffield and Luke acquiring invaluable experience.
While cooking at event hosted for a group of architects working on a new development, located just around the corner from The Milestone, Luke first heard about Krynkl. Twenty-nine shipping containers, combined to produce “a revolutionary new space created to showcase the best and most exciting independent start-ups and businesses from Sheffield, where they can share space, skills and ideas. A space built for work and play”. After the warm reception received by several pop-ups, hosted at The Milestone, it became apparent that Sheffield was ready for Joro to set up a permanent home. The restaurant opened at Krynkl in November 2017.
A New Direction
With the opening of Jöro, Luke set about redefining Sheffield’s culinary scene with his nature-inspired food, channelling the ethos widely adopted in Denmark and Norway; that cooking should be kept simple to really get the best out of quality ingredients.
“A meal made of many small plates” is the message that greets with you when opening the Joro website.
We can wholeheartedly say that everyone experience a meal at Jöro. We left the restaurant with full bellies and our taste buds tingling. We would like to say a big thank you to Luke and the whole team at Jöro for a wonderful evening. Also we’d like to credit Tom Kahler for the featured image about of Luke.
Spice Kitchen are an award-winning artisan producer of tea and spice blends based in Walsall. They have a excellent range of small batch, freshly ground spices great for keen home cooks. In addition to this they sell products for tea aficionados and have some wonderful gift ideas.
They were kind enough to send us two of their spice tins (Gift of the Year 2018), containing 10 Indian spices with 7 individual spice pots, wrapped in a beautiful handmade silk sari wrap.
We have used the spices from their Indian Spice Tin to make a fantastic Lamb Rogan Josh. Lamb Rogan Josh is an old family favourite of ours and for the longest time the version in Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian Cookery was our go-to dish for an easy Saturday night.
The dish originates from Kashmir and can be made using beef or lamb. In researching this version, we saw a suggestion that the meat could be substituted for cauliflower – though cooking times would obviously be significantly reduced!
Part of the faff of making this dish was sorting through the spice cupboard or having to pop out to the supermarket. Thanks to Spice Kitchen almost all of the ingredients were easily to hand in the spice tin.
The dish is even better if it is prepared ahead of time and the sweet yellow rice is a perfect accompaniment if you have the time!
Using a blender, combine the ginger, garlic and 4 tbsp water into a smooth paste.
Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot over a medium-high heat and brown the meat in several batches. Set to one side.
Add the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon to the hot oil, stir once and wait until the cloves swell and the bay takes on colour. Then add the onions and fry for 5 minutes until they brown.
Add ginger paste and fry for 30 seconds. Mix in the coriander, cumin, paprika and cayenne; then add the fried meat and juices and stir for 30 seconds.
Add 1 tbsp of the yoghurt and stir until it is well blended. Add the remaining yoghurt, a tablespoon at a time, stirring in between.
Cook for a further 3-4 minutes then add 425ml water and bring to the boil.
Cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender. Alternatively, cook in oven at 180C. Stir every 15 minutes or so.
When the meat is tender, turn the heat up, remove the lid and boil off some liquid.
Before serving, skim off as much fat as you can from the top and sprinkle with garam masala and some freshly ground black pepper.
There are items you buy for your kitchen that you think will be life changing. You get it home, purposefully cook something that requires its use and marvel at the speed and ease with which you have managed to hull a strawberry or slice an avocado. After a few weeks you realise that the task you bought this gadget for can be done with a knife. Just as quickly (if not quicker because you already have a knife out of the drawer) and just as easily (when you think about having to dismantle and wash your new toy). So it remains untouched, existing only to make your utensil draw harder to open and to act as a constant reminder of your misguided vision and wasted money.
However, there are those things that become your close culinary companion that you use almost every time you cook. You may stumble upon something in a shop completely by accident, its £2 so you throw it in your basket without giving it a moments thought and it turns out to be the the single most indispensable item in your kitchen. It could be something you treated yourself to 10 years ago because you always wanted one. It was expensive but hey, you get what you pay for; and you still have it now, sitting on a shelf looking as good as the day you bought it.
We think it important to celebrate those things that can be kept and used and loved for years on end so we asked members of the ProWare team to tell us about the kitchen kit they have come to treasure.
“£14 is a steal for this knife. It’s the perfect size and shape for all sorts – fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese; just everything. The blade stays sharp after prologued use and it can go straight in the dishwasher afterwards. It has a lovely sturdy and well-balanced feel in your hand. For all round performance and value, its the best knife I’ve ever bought!”
“We use a lot of garlic at home and this has saved us so much time. It’s a quick and easy way of producing finely chopped and minced garlic. No more fiddly chopping or scraping bits off a chopping board. Once twisted, the contents can be used when required and simply emptied in. It also works great with ginger, chillies and herbs.”
“Put simply, its just a great turner. It has a large surface area which makes it good for flipping omelettes which I have quite frequently, or fried eggs. It hasn’t overheated and deformed like a previous one I had. I have a lot of roast veg and chicken combos so it’s good for serving them up as well and because of the nylon head it doesn’t scratch baking trays and non-stick cookware. For M&S it’s very reasonably priced for the quality you get and no more expensive than a lot of their competitor’s offerings.”
“Very easy to clean, non-absorbent and kind to knife blades. £20 may seem expensive for a plastic board but these are solid and will last years. They’re also available in various colours to avoid cross contamination of raw and cooked ingredients.”
“You just can’t have too many of these – they’re so versatile! Oven, microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe and really excellent value for money. Available in sizes 0.5L to 3L and they are all handy but I find the 2L to be the best all-rounder.”
Jayne – Tupperware Batter Shaker (get one similar here)
Tupperware Batter Shaker (via pinterest.co.uk)
Why I love it –
“I have an original Tupperware batter shaker that my mum bought me when I first left home (that’s a long time ago now) and I still use it all the time for batter mixes and scrambled eggs. I used to use it for Angel Delight treat time when my lads were young and it’s now become my grandson’s favourite ‘ok to play with’ item from my cupboards. Apart from the fond memories, it’s a great little gadget that I can’t image being without!”
“I bought these on a whim about a year ago because my old whisk was starting to rust – at a quid for two I really didn’t expect much. The quality of both whisks is excellent and they represent outstanding value for money but it’s the coil whisk (the one on right) that was a real game changer for me. I use it all the time! It has a flat bottom so it’s perfect for use in small saucepans and jugs, it’s light, easy to clean and despite being essentially a length of wire, the handle feels very ergonomic.”
Get in touch!
We would love to hear about what you have in your kitchen and why you love it. Please leave a comment below, email or tweet us.
Last December we were delighted to launch our Stainless Steel Tri-Ply range. We have now had a couple of months to live with them and see how the pans perform in the real world. The team here at ProWare have had a discussion about what they like most about them and this is what we came up with, we hope you agree!
A totally flat base ensures excellent hob contact
These pans are designed with a perfectly flat base to ensure maximum contact with flat hobs and reduce ambient heat loss. This means they are very responsive to changes in heat, quickly achieving a rolling boil or settling down to a simmer. The Tri-Ply construction allows them to perform at their best on all hob tops (find out more here).
When developing the Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 14cm Milk Pan and 26cm Frying Pan, we decided to offer the choice of non-stick or not (read more about the benefits of each here). Each has its pros and cons. Consequently, each perform some tasks better than others. If you’re going to use you frying pan for fried eggs and crepes, go for non-stick. Conversely, if you intend to make lots of sauces using a metal whisk, a 14cm saucepan without non-stick would be preferable. Another bonus is that the entire range is oven safe!
Our stainless steel rivets are secured with 200 tonnes of pressure
When we develop a new product, the approach we take when deciding on a specification level is to ask ourselves ‘what would we want in our own kitchen?’ With a wall thickness of 2.5mm and cast stainless steel handles, these pans both look and feel extremely robust. In addition, our handles are secured using stainless steel rivets pressed with 200 tonnes of pressure. Most manufacturers use more cost effective aluminium rivets however, these are softer than stainless steel and can deform if repeatedly banged causing handles to loosen. We offer a lifetime guarantee on every element of the cookware with the exception of the non-stick coating.
Hanging loops mean these pans don’t have to be confined to the cupboard
We have established that there is more to these pans than just a pretty base (get it?…anyone?), but we couldn’t talk about our Stainless Steel Tri-Ply without acknowledging just what handsome devils they are. Classic yet contemporary design combined with the non-tarnishing properties of stainless steel means these pans will come out of the dishwasher looking almost as good as the day you bought them for years to come.
We have incorporated several design aspects in to these pans to make them not only beautiful but dynamically functional. A steep arch in the handle makes the items easier to handle; it keeps the handle away from the heat source; and, allows the pans to nest efficiently in cupboards or drawers. An eyelet where the handle meets the pan body disperses heat to ensure handles don’t get too hot and a hanging loop enables the pans to be elegantly displayed in your kitchen. We also know that larger pans can be very heavy when full. That’s why we have added helper handles to the 18cm and 20cm saucepans, and the 24cm sauté pan.
6 Induction Compatible
Cooking on induction is now possible with ProWare
This is the first complete range we have produced that can be used on an induction hob. The popularity of induction is increasing rapidly due to its wide appeal as a clean, efficient method of cooking.
7 Roast to Perfection
ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Roasting Pan
In February 2018 we launched something entirely new for us. The latest member of the Stainless Steel Tri-Ply family, our 35cm Roasting Pan has the same three-layer construction as the rest of the range meaning it will work on an induction hob too. This stunning piece makes oven-to-table dishes that much more appealing and it is built to last so will see you through decades of roast potatoes!
We would love to hear from you!
If you think we have missed anything or have any feedback about our Stainless Steel Tri-Ply (or any of our other products), please get in touch.