Food and Wine Pairing at LeVinRouge Cod en Papillote and South African Pinotage

This is a beautifully light and fresh fish recipe for those longer, balmier evenings as Summer fast approaches. This is a dish with all the emphasis on fresh produce and crunchy vegetables. It’s colourful, it’s interesting and best of all, it’s just so easy to prepare and if all that isn’t enough to tempt you, just note that the cooking ‘en papillote’ means there is no clean-up after!!!

Pair with a young Pinotage that is perfectly light for the fish.

Preperation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 25 mins

Ingredients (Serves 2):

2-4 Medium Cod Fillets

1 of each: Carrott and Courgette

3 Cloves of Garlic

1 Onion

1 Tomato, 1 Lemon and Fresh Basil

Olive Oil & Soy Sauce

Nutmeg Ground

Salt & Pepper

Method:

Vegetables

Slice the carrot and courgette into medium sticks and mix with the finely chopped garlic. Roughly chop the onion.

Add olive oil to a hot pan and add the onion first for 60 seconds followed by the rest of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes. The goal is that they are starting to soften but still have some crunch in them.

Cod en Papillote

On a sheet of foil paper / parchment (papillote), make a mattress of stir-fried vegetables.

On top of the vegetable mattress place the 2 small / 1 medium sized cod fish and on top of the cod, make a layer of fresh tomato slices. Top the tomato with a layer of fresh basil leaves. And the final layer is comprised of slices of lemon.

Season with some salt, pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg ground

Finish with a drizzle of olive oil across the top of the lemon and some drops of soy sauce.

The folding of the foil / parchment is important here. Pull the paper from the sides and fold at a height above the fish so as to leave some air in the pocket. This steams the fish in the oven. Close at the sides and repeat this process for each serving of papillote.

Cook for 15 mins at 180°C.

Remove from the oven and open the foil / parchment very carefully to avoid a steam burn. Serve in the parchment or if you wish to transfer, be sure to transfer the juices contained within also.

(Consider serving with some white rice, or on it’s own)

About the Wine:

The 2011 Palesa Pinotage Fairtrade Bottle is very light and well-balanced with lots of fruit. Note aromas of blackberry and banana with a hint of oak.

Enjoy!

Julie Whelan is Chief Spokesperson for LeVinRouge, a start-up Wine Accessories company focused on delivering a top quality Wine Aerator Set to market at reasonable prices. The LeVinRouge vision is to bring a product into people’s homes and onto their dining tables that enables them to get the fullest flavours and aromas from their wine.

The LeVinRouge Wine Aerator is currently available at amazon.com. It is sold with a convenient travel pouch and no-drip stand so it can be kept on the table throughout your dinner party / meal without running the risk of staining the table or table-cloth. The Food and Wine Pairing Guide is a limited-offer bonus for our customers providing advice on pairings with French Grapes and to celebrate the summer season, the LeVinRouge Wine Aerator is 10% off with the coupon code BESTWINE only at http://www.amazon.com/LeVinRouge-Wine-Aerator/dp/B00IK636KM

 

Tiramisu and Australian Cabernet Sauvignon

Everyone knows the Italian Tiramisu, but does everyone realise just how easy it is to make?  Julien from LeVinRouge takes us through the process in the company’s YouTube Cooking Demonstration Series. Here we take a look at the process and consider that the 4 hour wait after prep is the perfect time to open a self-congratulatory bottle of South African Pinotage.

The Tiramisu is a wonderful summer desert, as it’s lighter than other traditional cake desserts and if served straight from the fridge, the cool coffee creamy taste is wonderfully pleasing on a warm evening.

Preperation Time: 10-15 mins

Waiting Time: 4 hours

Ingredients (Large Cake):

400g Mascarpone

6 Squares Dark Chocolate

4 eggs

100g Sugar

400g Lady Fingers

2 Cups Coffee

Cocoa Powder to Sprinkle

Method:

Crack 4 eggs and separate the whites and the yolk. In a large mixing dish, whisk the yolks with 100 grams of sugar. Continue to whisk quite energetically for about 20 seconds and then add the 400g of mascarpone and resume mixing with the yolks and sugar. Mix until the mixture is a smooth light yellow creamy one.

Time now to whisk the egg whites into peaks (monter les blancs en neige). This process needs to be regular, steady and non-stop. Vigorously whisk the egg whites until it becomes a foam and finish with a pinch of salt in order to keep the eggs in place.

Mix the whites with the cream and the key here is to do so with a spatula or wooden spoon. Pour the egg whites into the top of the cream, and slowly mix the whites into the cream without breaking the foam. It’s best to pull the foam from the side and run over the top in a smooth, steady movement. Now we have the cream for the tiramisu.

Now we build the tiramisu: Dip the lady fingers in the coffee for just a second to soak up some liquid. The first layer in the baking dish is lady fingers. Folliwing that, layer the ladyfingers with the cream, continue this process until you have the following: ladyfingers, cream, ladyfingers, cream.

Sprinkle a layer of cocao across the top of the cream, and then top that with a shredded dark chocolate bar.

Leave in fridge for 4 hours before serving. Even better if you can bear to leave it overnight!

About the Wine:

Finally, while waiting, treat yourself to an aerated yellow tail Australian Cabernet Sauvignon from 2012. This is believe it or not… a LIGHT Cabernet Sauvignon which is very easy to drink. Note aromas of blackberry, chocolate and vanilla.

Enjoy!

 

Julie Whelan is Chief Spokesperson for LeVinRouge, a start-up Wine Accessories company focused on delivering the highest Wine Aerator to market at reasonable prices. Their vision is to bring a product to people’s homes and dining tables that enables them to get the best from their wine.

The LeVinRouge Wine Aerator is currently available at amazon.com. It is sold with a convenient travel pouch and no-drip stand so it can be kept on the table throughout your dinner party / meal without running the risk of staining the table or table-cloth. The Food and Wine Pairing Guide is a limited-offer bonus for our customers providing advice on pairings with French Grapes and to celebrate the arrival of the outdoor dining season,  the LeVinRouge Wine Aerator is available for all our valued customers at 10% off with the coupon code BESTWINE.

Raisin Cream Chicken and Lentils

This is a recipe from Central France which is characterised by very sweet, wholesome flavours thanks to the combination of raisins, cream and chicken, with the superfood, the awesome, the supremely popular and extremely tasty, the legume of choice, the one, the only: lentils. This recipe coincides with the release of the LeVinRouge Cooking Demonstration Episode 2, as available on YouTube at the LeVinRouge Channel.

Pair this dish with a Chilean Merlot that is just light enough not to overwhelm the creamy flavours.

This is one of the easiest, most hassle-free dishes in the LeVinRouge Catalogue. The lentils require no-prep, just chop and peel the vegetables to accompany them. The Raisin Cream Chicken, for any followers of the LeVinRouge Provencal Tian, is cooked in the same way as the beef fillets of that recipe. The superior health benefits of the lentils offset the slightly indulgent cream chicken.

Preperation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Ingredients (Serves 2):

2 Chicken Breasts (med-large)

4-6 Smoked Bacon Rashers

Small Glass of Fresh Cream

1 Large Onion (Roughly chopped)

1 Large Carrot (Roughly Chopped)

3 Cloves of Garlic

50g Raisins

150g Lentils

Butter

 Method:

  1. Fill a medium sized sauced pan with water and add all your lentils, roughly chopped carrot, ¾ of the onion and all the smoked bacon. When this is done, simply place your saucepan onto a high gas and boil for 22-25 minutes.
  2. After the lentils have been boiling for about 10 minutes, add the butter to the frying pan you will be cooking the chicken in. Following the same cooking method as the Fillet Beef in the Provencal Tian recipe: listen carefully to the “singing” of the butter. As soon as the butter goes silent it’s time to add the chicken to the pan.
  3. Turn after 30 seconds, season with a little salt and pepper and then add the raisins and a little more butter to your pan. After the butter has melted and mixed with the raisins, add the onions. Continue to mix together for a few seconds and then add a drop of water to the pan. Turn the gas to medium heat, cover the pan and leave for about 5-8 minutes before turning. Then allow to cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the cream to the chicken (still on medium heat). Mix the cream, raisins and chicken together for 10-15 seconds. Turn off the heat and prepare to serve.

About the Wine:

Finally, pair with a glass of 2010 Santa Rita Reserva Merlot from The Maipo Valley in Chile. This Merlot, when poured through your LeVinRouge Wine Aerator should release an exciting combination of plum flavours, and notes of vanilla and spice.

Enjoy!

Tip: Leftover Lentils can be stored in a lunchbox in the fridge and reheated in the microwave. An awesome, AWESOME next day lunch.

Julie Whelan is Chief Spokesperson for LeVinRouge, a start-up Wine Accessories company focused on delivering the highest Wine Aerator to market at reasonable prices. Their vision is to bring a product to people’s homes and dining tables that enables them to get the best from their wine.

The LeVinRouge Wine Aerator is currently available at amazon.com. It is sold with a convenient travel pouch and no-drip stand so it can be kept on the table throughout your dinner party / meal without running the risk of staining the table or table-cloth. The Food and Wine Pairing Guide is a limited-offer bonus for our customers providing advice on pairings with French Grapes.

 

Why I Love My Mother

The Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Written and Why My Love Grows with Every Passing Day

This year my mother turned 60. I’m 28. She lives in Ireland with my Dad and our dog. I do not. Two of my brothers live in the town we grew up in and one is attending University an hour away but returns home on the weekends.   I left Ireland 5 years ago now and it’s possible I may never live there again. I return as often as I can but it’s expensive, it’s difficult to get the time, etc etc. So I’m always left wanting more.

I know I’m privileged. I live an exciting and adventurous life, I constantly meet new and interesting people, I’m both challenged and stimulated in my personal and professional life… I’m extremely lucky and I know it every day.  But every day I miss my family. Every day I think of how great it would be to just call in after work for a chat with Mom or Dad, or to call to see one of my brothers in their home, or to play with the dog for 20 minutes.  Every day I’m a little heartbroken that I am so far from them. And so; on birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, weddings, funerals, etc., it’s harder. I think it’s harder because of the guilt. The loneliness is not something that consumes me generally. I miss my family all the time but I’m not miserable. I really enjoy my life. And so I feel guilty at times. I wonder if they really understand just how much I love them all, when I chose to live far away and I’m not there to prove my love and show my love.

I feel it especially with my mother. I’m an only daughter and I feel guilty for leaving her with a bunch of men! They’re the best bunch of men in the whole entire world, but girls need girls. So for Mom’s birthday, what I wanted more than anything was to give her the gift of my love. In my family, we love to give cards for any occasion and we write very much from the heart. So I decided to handmake  60 individual cards, each one detailing one of the reasons why I love her. You would think this would be a relatively big undertaking, but a testament to how wonderful my mother is, is that this was the easiest project I ever undertook. For about a week I kept her in my mind as I went through daily life. This meant I remembered things from my childhood, I was able to think about how she would react to situations I was in or how she would advise me to react if I asked her for such advice. Every time I would remember something, or observe something about her, I wrote it down. I could have written hundreds of reasons. And easily for Dad too. They are the best parents in the whole entire world and I’m the luckiest daughter in the whole entire world.

I told Mom and Dad that the birthday present was in the post and they should skype me the moment the package arrived and we could “open” it together. So that’s what we did. Mom and Dad sat on my bed at home, and like so many important occasions since I Ieft home 5 years ago, we celebrated this one over the computer. Watching both of my parents faces as they realised what the gift was and then opened each card one by one, was one of the best moments of my life. The three of us cried for about 30 minutes! But I knew then, my parents understood just how much I love them both.

Here’s an excerpt from The Reasons I Love My Mother:

  • She taught my brothers and I how to be independent adults. Though she always helped us with anything we ever needed, she also gave us our own responsibilities.
  • Growing up, she always backed up Dad if he says no, and vice versa. It meant we never got away with anything!! But it also meant we respected both Mom and Dad equally.
  • She loves my Dad unconditionally and has taught me about the kind of love I want to aspire to have in my life.
  • She’s proud of me, I know this and I’ve always known it. She’s been proud of all of us, at every step. Even when we don’t give her too much to be proud about, she’s patient and proud.
  • Every time I return home, she has a new supply of books waiting for me on my bedside locker.
  • She spent weeks knitting me a beautiful scarf when I bought all the materials on a whim one day and then got bored after about 30 minutes.
  • Her hugs.
  • She has the best/strongest nails in the world.
  • She has the biggest collection of wedge sandals I’ve ever seen!
  • She always has a steady supply of really nice shampoo when I go home for holidays and will be very generous with it but near kills me if I don’t put it back in her shower! Which I forget to do all the time!
  • She’s emotionally, very very open and isn’t afraid to show her vulnerability sometimes. Which just makes her one of the strongest people I know.
  • She encourages success, but her only expectation of me and my brothers is to be happy.
  • When I was younger, if I had a sick day from school, she would come home at lunch time with the most amazing sandwich and chocolate éclair from a local bakery and rent me a dvd.
  • She sings / hums constantly in public.
  • She’s addicted to house plans and TV shows about houses, and magazines about houses and websites about houses. Addicted!
  • I’m always so proud to introduce my Mom to anyone / everyone because she is so warm and open and welcoming.
  • The reason I’m able to take risks in my life, and live so far away is because my home and my family is such a constant for me. My mother supports and loves me no matter what. When I moved to China initially, I know it made her sad and worried, but all she ever showed me was that she was happy for me knowing I was happy.
  • She always said to me: keep your 20s to yourself and travel. I listened. It was the best advice anyone has ever given and received. I’m 28 now and my life is a constant adventure because she facilitated and encouraged this.
  • When I have let her down, she has forgiven me immediately.

Karen Whelan is daughter of Joan and John Whelan. She is the founder LeVinRouge, a start-up Wine Accessories company focused on delivering a top quality Wine Aerator Set to market at reasonable prices. The LeVinRouge vision is to bring a product into people’s homes and onto their dining tables that enables them to get the fullest flavours and aromas from their wine.

The LeVinRouge Wine Aerator is currently available at amazon.com. It is sold with a convenient travel pouch and no-drip stand so it can be kept on the table throughout your dinner party / meal without running the risk of staining the table or table-cloth. The Food and Wine Pairing Guide is a limited-offer bonus for our customers providing advice on pairings with French Grapes and for the entire Month of May is 10% off with the coupon code BESTWINE to celebrate Mother’s Dayimage

Provencal Tian LeVinRouge Cooking Demonstration

Food and Wine Pairing at LeVinRouge

Provencal Tian with Fillet Beef Steak and a French Bordeaux

This is a recipe from Provence in the south of France which places a strong emphasis on fresh produce and quality meats. The result is a very artful plate yet classic in it’s simplicity.

Pair this dish with a full-bodied French Bordeaux that complements the juicy fillet wonderfully. The work is in the preparation, though even this should take no longer than 10 minutes. Thanks to this easy preparation and uninvolved cooking, it’s a superb dish to serve whether it’s in the evening after work or if you want to host some friends or family and be able to engage in the social event. If you are two people eating, it’s recommended to cook the same quantity of Provencal Tian as outlined in this recipe as this is an amazing and healthy lunch served cold the following day with some rye crackers.

Preperation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 25 mins

Ingredients (Serves 4):

2 Large Fillet Beef Steaks (up to 250g each)

2 Large Tomatoes

1 Aubergine / Eggplant

1 Courgette

1 Large Potato (peeled)

5 Cloves of Fresh Garlic (finely chopped)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Butter

Salt and Pepper

Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

Thyme and Rosemary

Prep Method:

Provencal

Grease your vegetable dish with butter rubbing it all around the inner edges and on the base of the pan. Peel the potato and chop the tomatoes, aubergine, courgette and potato into slices about ½ of a cm thick. The desired outcome is that the vegetables are sliced such that they are all relatively uniform in size and height. When the slicing is complete, place the vegetables in the pan in a stacked order. This order is important. The ideal is to have a slice of tomato pressed against a slice of potato. The moist nature of the tomato helps cook the potato while in the oven. This is the biggest task complete!

Scatter finely chopped garlic over and in-between the vegetable slices.

Splash extra-virgin olive oil generously on top of and throughout the vegetable slices.

Finish with a layer of mozzarella and sprinkle with some thyme and rosemary.

Fillet Beef

Season the meat with some salt and pepper.

Cooking:

Provencal

Simply place your pan of vegetables into the pre-heated oven at a temperature of 180°C for 25 minutes.

Fillet Beef

Moments before your Provencal is ready to take out of the oven, add some butter to your pan and place on maximum gas / heat. Listen carefully to the “singing” of the butter. As soon as the noise stops, at that exact moment, you want to add your seasoned meat to the pan.

For rare fillets, cook each side of the steak for about 30 seconds in the pan. When complete, lift the steak off of the gas and add a little bit of water to encourage the juices from the meat and the butter into a light sauce.

About the Wine:

Finally, pair with a glass of 2011 Château Picon Bordeaux Supérieur. This is a full-bodied red and when poured through your LeVinRouge Wine Aerator will release this wines woody aromas and a hint of berry fruits.

Enjoy!

Julie Whelan is Chief Spokesperson for LeVinRouge, a start-up Wine Accessories company focused on delivering the highest Wine Aerator to market at reasonable prices. Their vision is to bring a product to people’s homes and dining tables that enables them to get the best from their wine.

The LeVinRouge Wine Aerator is currently available at amazon.com. It is sold with a convenient travel pouch and no-drip stand so it can be kept on the table throughout your dinner party / meal without running the risk of staining the table or table-cloth. The Food and Wine Pairing Guide is a limited-offer bonus for our customers providing advice on pairings with French Grapes.