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war of the worlds 1 Print
Written by guest culinary writer, Chef David Stemmle   

After we had settled into the food, we started on the wines again.  The Pouilly Fume was quite different than before — the fruit and acidity really came through.  We all agreed that the bitterness was negligible, and that it was more assertive and almost spicy.  Average score: 7.5.  A drastic improvement… but what about the Hunter?  It had been the clear favorite before the meal, but now it seemed to be competing with the food — a little overblown.  The nuances we loved in the beginning now seemed busy with the complexities of the food.  Average score: 5.

Overall, the winner was still the Hunter with a better total score of 13.5 compared to 12.25 for the Guy Saget.  The Hunter was also the better value at $16.99 compared with $18.99.  But the Guy Saget represented the Old World very well.  It supported the idea that Old World wines taste better with food, and that food can be better with Old World wines.  Next time I plan a cocktail party, I'm going to reach for the Hunter; but at my next dinner party, it will have to be the Guy Saget.

Recipe

Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Salmon and Goat Cheese Mousseline

  • 7 oz cooked salmon
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • ¼ tsp hot Hungarian paprika
  • 4 poblano peppers - cut around the stem on top and pull out the seeds

Puree mousseline in a food processor until smooth, then pipe into poblanos.  (I used a freezer bag and cut the corner, but an actual piping back will work too).  Roast peppers for about a half hour in a 350 degree oven to cook the egg whites and soften the peppers.

Goat Cheesy Grits

  • ¾ cup grits
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

I used stone ground grits, but instant grits will work too.  Follow instructions on the package.  I used about a cup of warm milk, and a cup of water to adjust to the consistency I wanted.  Season with salt and pepper, then stir in goat cheese once the grits are cooked.  Remember to taste it and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Grapefruit and White Wine Sauce

  • 4 oz butter
  • 1.5 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup grapefruit juice (if you are using frozen, you can just add 2 tbs of the concentrate to the reduced wine - concentrated juices are an easy way to add a lot of flavor to your sauces quickly)

Reduce to about ¼ cup over low heat, whisk in butter a little at a time, until smooth. Remove from heat.  Remember that acid will curdle the milk fats in the butter, so low heat and lots of motion are very important to keep the sauce from breaking.  If it does, add a touch of cream off the heat and whisk it back together.

Cilantro, Red Onion, Grapefruit and Goat Cheese Salad

  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 grapefruit, supremed (cut the rind and pith away, the slice down each side of the membrane to cut loose segments of just fruit)
  • about 2 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • thinly sliced red onions — marinated in grapefruit juice for as long as possible before the meal, even overnight

David Stemmle is a chef and culinary writer based in Durham, North Carolina.  He is also CEO of Headstart Gourmet, producer of fine wine-reduced compound butters.  His pieces on wine and food pairing appear regularly on Vinterviews. v

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