Sunflowers and Carmen, ooh la la.

March 9, 2013 § 1 Comment

It’s been a while since I played with food in the kitchen.  So, when the opportunity finally arose, I pounced.  Inspired by big, bold sunflowers and the Gheorghiu/Alanga recording of Carmen.


Actually, this dinner started with a wine: the 2009 Château de Campuget “1753”, a dark côtes du rhône.

Cotes du rhone

I knew that I wanted this wine, but was at a complete loss as to what food to pair it with.  Grilled meats?  Hearty lamb?  Ratatouille?  No.  I wanted something different, and therein lay the challenge.  Finally, I settled on a seafood dish consisting of ingredients from around this French region- with a generous sprinkle of garlic (I went through two knobs!) and herbs to match the grandeur of the wine.

As an appetizer, provencal olives with lemon zest:

Olives

For the meal:

Provencal Dinner
Potatoes en provençal:

Small new potatoes, half an onion (cut lengthwise), 4 cloves garlic (whole, peel on), 2 medium tomatoes cubed, pitted olives, red chili flakes, herbes de provence, olive oil, fresh rosemary, black pepper.  Baked, topped with chives.
Roasted Shrimp:
Twelve fresh shrimp (unshelled, deveined) drizzled with an olive oil mixture (olive oil, fresh red pepper flakes, chopped garlic), baked.  Mixed with garlic chips (garlic, sliced, sauteed in olive oil, sprinkled with salt).
Asparagus:
Steamed, drizzled with olive oil.
Tomato mixture:
3 large tomatoes, blanched, de-seeded, de-fleshed, diced.  3 shallots, couple of slices of purple onion, fresh basil, chives, lemon juice.

Cutting Preparation

And, for dessert, caramelized ginger, chocolate-covered orange peels, honey, dried blueberries, and orange zest:

Chocolates

And, to go with the appetizer and dessert, a 2010 Les Jamelles viognier.

Voignier

Et, voila!  Bon appetit!

[Ahem: since this blog is supposed to be about Italian stuff, switch the potatoes out with linguine, the côtes du rhône with a Monte Conero Rosso, and the viognier with a flowery, smooth white of your favorite Italian region!  Buon appetito! ;)]

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