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).
To compare the results achieved from stainless steel alongside non-stick we have devised simple experiment. Heck sausages are a favourite among ProWare staff. Not only are they a lunchtime saviour for us at The GoodFood Show, their range of meat and vegetarian sausages truly has something for everyone. In recent times, they have also ventured out in burgers, veggie balls and even sauerkraut.
It is with great pride that I can announce that Heck’s Chicken Italia sausages will serve as yardstick in this highly scientific endevour!
NB – Both of our Stainless Steel Tri-Ply frying pans are oven safe, however, the non-stick pan is only safe up to 200C, we therefore decided to exploit the advantage of the former for the purpose of this test and used the non-stick pan on the hob only.
The end results did show a difference between the two pans but in all fairness it was perhaps not as obvious as we had anticipated. The sausages in the stainless steel pan certainly did brown better which gave them a better caramelised flavour; and should you be making bangers and mash, you could have made a stonking onion gravy with the sticky juices left in pan. It would also be within the realms of possibility to add some Yorkshire pudding batter, sling it in the oven and make a toad in the hole.
In the face of this, the non-stick pan performed admirably and held its own. Whereas the final result may not have been quite as good, for those wanting a speedy clean up and to use less oil, this would be the pan to choose.
It has been over 60 years since non-stick cookware was first introduced, and since then its popularity has continued to be widespread and significant. You would likely be hard-pressed to find a household in the UK that doesn’t have at least one non-stick pan. The promise of pancakes gliding effortlessly on to your plate; the prospect of never again being stood at the kitchen sink chiselling burnt food off your favourite frying pan. The appeal was, and still is, obvious. There are some strong arguments, however, in favour of the more traditional stainless steel pans that beg the question – which is better, non-stick or not?
Whatever your feelings are toward non-stick pans, it is difficult to deny their virtues in the realm of frying eggs and making pancakes. The ease with which you can produce perfect fried eggs with nothing but a drop of oil and a delicate touch make them (in our view) worth having, if just for this task alone. Also, cleaning non-stick pans is often a breeze. If you get a decent one sometimes just a wipe with a paper towel does the trick.
ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 24cm Non-Stick Frying Pan
Unfortunately, they do have their limitations. The main one, which every keen cook will race to share, is that when using a non-stick pan, you cannot achieve that lovely golden colour when searing meat or caramelising. For this purpose, stainless steel pans are invaluable. Another area in which stainless steel reigns supreme is the making of gravy and pan sauces, an essential part of some dishes. All the juices that are released during cooking stick to the pan, allowing you to deglaze with the desired liquid.
ProWare Stainless Steel Tri-Ply 24cm Frying Pan
Aside from culinary matters, there are also some very practical reasons why stainless steel pans are favourable. Firstly, they are generally considered to be far more durable than their non-stick counterparts due to non-stick coatings often being easily damaged and requiring careful handling (find out more about looking after your non-stick here). To ensure the longevity of our pans we use Teflon Platinum Plus, a market leading, ceramic reinforced coating that we test rigorously (check out the video below). In addition, non-stick pans can’t be preheated in the way a stainless steel one can. This is due to good non-sticks being made up of multiple layers and when a pan is heated while empty the heat has nowhere to be transferred to which can lead to the layers deteriorating.
Many people are deterred from cooking with stainless steel because they think everything will immediately stick, burn and it will all end in a charred, greasy disaster. What they don’t know is that it will only take a bit of confidence, some practice and the right pan for it to become a walk in the park.
A great place to start is buying a quality pan. Pans that are very thin (some basic ones are as thin as 0.4mm), are likely to develop hot-spots and will not heat evenly. It is this which leads to food being burnt in one place and underdone in another. Our ProWare 24cm Stainless Steel Frying Pan has a three-layer construction – two layers of stainless steel sandwiching a core of aluminium. The overall thickness of the pan is 3mm, resulting in a wonderful robust feel and an ability to heat very evenly. It also means, like the rest of the range, this pan is oven safe.
Once you have your pan, the easiest way to ensure effortless, stick free cooking is to season the pan (it is worth noting that this is not essential if you are willing to use oil a bit more liberally). Seasoning will produce a thin layer on the surface of the pan which will allow you to cook without the addition of more oil, and most importantly, without your food sticking. This is how you do it:
Seasoning Stainless Steel
Ensure your pan is thoroughly clean and over a medium heat, allow the pan to heat up for 2-3 minutes.
Add a tablespoon of oil (rapeseed works very well) and swirl around the pan to evenly coat the inside.
Heat the oil until it begins to smoke. Once smoking, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool completely.
Pour out the oil and wipe the inside of the pan with paper towel.
Your pan is now seasoned and ready to use.
Another useful tip when it comes to cooking with stainless steel is take your time! Do not rush and resist the temptation to constantly move your food around the pan. For example, when cooking meat, if the pan is properly preheated and the oil is hot when the steak is added you need not move it again until it is time to turn it. The meat will seal beautifully and you will be able to lift it from the pan easily, if you try to move it too soon you run the risk of tearing the flesh.
A conclusion we can draw in the argument of stainless steel versus non-stick, is that they both have their merits and drawbacks but it really depends on what you intend to use it for. For the more ardent cooks amongst you, we would actually recommend having one of each. Use your non-stick for things like eggs, crepes and delicate fish; and the stainless steel for just about everything else.
Some say the Six Nations Championship is without a doubt the world’s greatest rugby tournament. Every year the fans of these six nations – England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales – partake in the thrill and excitement of this pageant of world class rugby.
To get in the spirit of the tournament we’ve created a dish for each match based on England’s opponent so you’ve got a new recipe to devour each weekend. On Saturday the England Rugby Squad take on France at Twickenham Stadium in the first match of their Six Nations fixture. To start our collection of recipes off we’ve selected this indulgent Côte de boeuf. Côte de boeuf is a simple dish which is full of flavour and bound to impress your guests. We’ve used a 30 day dry aged Hereford Côte de boeuf which is available at Waitrose or Ocado though you should be able to find this bone in beef cut at a butcher too.
Our Copper Tri-ply Sauté Pan is the perfect pan for this recipe. The copper exterior heats up so quickly and the aluminium interior holds the heat efficiently without hot spots making this pan ideal for searing the beef. When it’s time to place the beef into the oven there is no need to transfer it to an oven tray just place the lid on the pan and pop it in the oven. Be careful when removing the pan as it will be extremely hot, so always use oven gloves. The stainless steel interior of the pan is a great non-reactive and hygienic surface but oil and beef fat may stick the pan after cooking, however do not fret! Fill the pan with hot soapy water and leave for 15 minutes before cleaning. Also, if you want to restore the shiny exterior of your Copper Tri-ply pan try one of our polishing methods here or enjoy the ever changing shades of the penny brown copper colour.
Heat Sauté Pan with a drizzle of olive oil until it moves around the pan swiftly and starts separating. This means it’s hot enough for you to add the beef.
Add the beef to the pan and let it sear for 2 minutes. Then flip it and sear for a further 2 minutes on the other side.
Place the lid on the Sauté Pan and put the pan into the oven for 10 minutes for a rare finish or 12 minutes for medium rare flipping the beef half way through the cooking time.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a Mini Pan and once melted add the finely chopped garlic, then a minute later the chopped parsley and mustard. Stir to combine then cook for 3 minutes further before removing from heat.
Remove the beef from the oven when desired finish is reached.
This recipe was given to us by the first runner up in our Autumn recipe competition; Helen Huxley’s Balsamic Pear and Smoked Bacon Salad. This salad is packed with seasonal flavour. The savoury and sweet ingredients make this light meal a real treat for the taste-buds.
This is why Helen loves this recipe:
“This is a quick and tasty recipe for when you want a salad and something warm but not anything stodgy. It is easy to prepare and nice with crusty bread. Split into 4 portions and serve as a starter at a dinner party, have it is a fantastic lunch or a quick supper!”
This Salted Chocolate Vegan Tart is so delicious I cannot begin to tell you! It’s really important to use a good quality dark chocolate when making this recipe as you can really taste the difference. In the ProWare office of late we haven’t been able to get enough of Seed and Bean’s salted vegan chocolate. So we decided to make it into a tart!
This tart’s base is a more ‘biscuity’ base, not to be confused with Masterchef’s ‘buttery biscuit base song‘ as we’ve used soya margarine to keep it vegan. And really, this recipe is all about the rich chocolate filling! We’ve also paired it alongside coconut cream which is very versatile. The recipe is based on Ashley Rodriguez’s recipe for Coconut Rhubarb Creamsicles (which is amazing by the way!). To make the coconut cream more thick we’ve removed the coconut water by placing the can in the fridge beforehand. Coconut cream is great served on top of fruit salad, in a Victoria sponge cake, as a topping on Chia Seed Pudding and even as a replacement for whip cream on a latte!
Written by Corin
Prep time:5 minutes
Cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Chill time pastry:60 minutes
Chill time filled tart:5-6 hours
For the filling
200ml soya milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
255g dark salted vegan chocolate (we used Seed and Bean’s salted dark chocolate)
If not using salted chocolate add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge with the side of the can you are going to open facing upwards. Let chill for 1 hour then open the can and carefully pour away the liquid into a bowl or glass. A thick coconut cream will remain in the can. Put this into a medium bowl and whisk together with the sugar and vanilla. Cover then put back in the fridge until you’re ready to eat the tart.
For the pastry sift the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl.
Chop the margarine roughly then add it to the dry ingredients by rubbing it into the flour/icing sugar quickly. Add the vanilla extract and add enough water slowly, little by little stirring with a wooden spoon until it is able to be made into a ball.
Wrap the dough in Clingfilm and put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
When it is nearing the end of the 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface so that it is 1/2 cm in thickness. Then line the tin with the pastry.
Once the tin is lined with the pastry cut a piece of grease proof paper so it over hangs the tin slightly then place your ceramic baking beans inside. Blind bake the pastry in the oven for 15 minutes with another piece of grease proof paper over top of the tart. This will stop the edges from browning too much.
After the blind bake, remove the weight/beans and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven when it is golden brown and cooked through. The dough is very much like a biscuit base rather than flaky pastry.
Combine the soya milk and water in the milk pan and bring it to a gentle simmer over a low to medium head. In a small bowl mix the cornflour with a few tablespoons of soya milk then return to the milk pan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil.
Break the chocolate into the medium sized bowl and pour over the hot soya mixture, stirring to combine. Add the vanilla extract and extra sea salt if not using salted chocolate. Pour in the pastry and refrigerate for 5-6 hours.
Chop 2 tablespoons of pistachios and scatter over the chocolate tart before serving and serve with a dollop of coconut cream.
With all the sunshine lately, this gorgeous sorbet beckons. It is light, fruity and would be fabulous served between courses, sometimes called an Intermezzo to cleanse the palate, or as a refreshing dessert.
Tangy yet sweet, the tangerines add a wonderful colour and flavour to this dessert.
I’m submitting this recipe for Kavey’s Early Summer Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream Event themed Sorbets or Granitas. I’m really looking forward to seeing all the other exciting recipes submitted, just in time for summer too!
Written by Corin
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes (plus 2-4 hours to cool in fridge, churning time in an ice cream maker, then 8 hours in freezer)
Roughly 500ml dry Prosecco, chilled
Zest of 5 tangerines (approx 1-2 tablespoons)
1 litre of tangerine juice, strained (15-20 tangerines depending on their size)
Ice cream maker (don’t forget to put the bowl in the freezer well in advance, following the manufacturers instructions before use)
Hand grater or zester
Put the bottle of Prosecco in the fridge to chill.
Place the water in a small saucepan and add the sugar. Use a spoon to stir the mixture over a medium heat until it is combined. Once combined, increase the heat slightly and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then remove from the heat. Transfer the mixture to another bowl and put in the fridge to chill. (about 2-4 hours)
Meanwhile wash 4-5 tangerines and dry them, then use these for the zest/finely grated peel.
Juice enough tangerines until you have approx 1 litre of juice. Pour the juice through a sieve to remove the pulp. Then place in a covered container in the fridge to chill.
Place the container you intend to keep the sorbet in into the freezer to chill. Once all mixtures are really cold, mix together the tangerine juice, zest, sugar mixture and Prosecco using a whisk, then transfer it to your chilled ice cream maker bowl and freeze/churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer the sorbet into your chilled container and place in the freezer over night or until hard before serving.
Ice cream is one of my favourite things. Whether it be regular ice cream, frozen yogurt or my newest love, coconut milk ice cream. I splurged last May and bought myself an ice cream maker and I haven’t regretted it. I have made many frozen yogurts, custard ice cream recipes, and so many varieties of coconut milk ice cream. I’ve come to like the coconut milk ice cream more than traditional ice cream because it is lighter and more refreshing to eat while still having the perfect creamy consistency as well as just the right amount of sweetness.
I’ve roasted the cherries with coconut sugar and 30ml of ‘The Kraken’ spiced rum, which adds a delicious flavour, however if you are going to be serving this ice cream to children or someone avoiding alcohol, it’s best to omit it altogether from the recipe. In general, about a tablespoon of alcohol added to coconut ice cream helps prevent the ice cream from freezing too hard. Since there is over 3 tablespoons of rum in this recipe, it takes much longer to solidify in the freezer; however, this makes it much easier to scoop when you’re ready to eat it.
The arrowroot powder in coconut ice cream is essential to create a creamy texture. This can be substituted with corn starch, however arrowroot powder can be found in the baking isle of most larger supermarkets. I use either honey or maple syrup to sweeten the ice cream, but if you want to make it vegan make sure to use maple syrup.
The chocolate chips I used are from and made by local Sheffield independent Chocolate shop and Cafe Cocoa Wonderland. I used their ‘Cute as a Button’ dark chocolate buttons in this recipe, but can also highly recommend the lemon/lime ones if you’re in the mood for a treat. You can order some of their chocolates online, so go on and indulge!
Written by Corin
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5-10 minutes (plus 2-4 hours to cool in fridge, then 3-4 hours in freezer)
Baking time:20 minutes
2 cans full fat coconut milk
120ml runny honey (substitute maple syrup to make it vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80ml The Kraken Spiced Black Rum (optional)
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder/starch
Pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (can substitute with brown sugar)
100g dark chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips which I chopped slightly before adding)
Ice cream maker (don’t forget to put the bowl in the freezer, following the manufacturers instructions before use)
Cherry pitter (optional)
Add the coconut milk, honey, vanilla, and salt to a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat while whisking frequently.
While the coconut milk mixture is heating remove a ladle of the warm mixture into a separate bowl and mix in the arrowroot powder. Use a whisk to mix thoroughly so no lumps remain.
Once the coconut mixture is simmering, add the arrowroot mixture in the small bowl and mix constantly for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add 50ml of rum. Let the mixture cool slightly, stirring every so often during the process, then transfer to the fridge until very cold (approx 2-4 hours).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C. Wash the cherries and strain them so they are fairly dry. Place them in an oven proof dish and pour over 30ml of rum and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar on top. Shake the tray slightly to evenly distribute the rum and sugar.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes shaking the tray about half way through baking time. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn. When they start to shrivel slightly remove them from the oven and let them cool before removing the stems and pips. I did this by hand but you could use a cherry pitter if you have one. Then chop the cherries into quarters using a knife and fork.
Before you churn your ice cream put the container you intend to store the ice cream in into the freezer to chill.
Once the mixture is very cold, whisk it briefly then transfer it to your chilled ice cream maker bowl and freeze/churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the roasted cherries and dark chocolate in the last 5 minutes of freezing until thoroughly combined.
Transfer the ice cream into your chilled container and place in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving.