Hummingbirds and Monarchs have returned. Springtime down South. We’re still a few week’s away from the serious business of backyard grilling. In the meantime, great food is right at our fingertips. All food becomes something special with a nice, balanced wine and welcoming aperitifs.
Gardener’s Wedge Salad
1 head iceberg lettuce
4 slices bacon cooked & crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes diced
1 tablespoon chives diced
1 cup blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
Prepare the lettuce by removing the outer leaves, chop the head of lettuce in half and then half again, making 4 wedges. Cut the end to remove the stem.
Plate the wedges and top with the blue cheese dressing, bacon crumbles, tomato, chives, and additional blue cheese crumbles.
Serve cold and enjoy!
Sparky’s Pan-Fried Mountain Trout
2 skin-on trout filets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter with olive oil until frothy. Cook trout filets, skin side down, for 2 minutes, then carefully flip with a thin wide spatula. Cook for another minute or until almost cooked through, then add garlic, parsley, and lemon juice and continue to cook for another minute or so until the fish is golden brown and the flesh flakes off easily with a fork. Transfer to serving plates and enjoy
Steinhatchee Garlic Mashed Potatoes
6 cups chicken broth
5 pounds red potatoes unpeeled
5 cloves garlic whole
½ cup salted butter
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large pot over high heat.
Meanwhile, cut the unpeeled potatoes into 1 inch cubes or chunks. Place the potatoes chunks and garlic cloves into the boiling chicken broth and boil until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Strain the potatoes from the broth and put the cooked potatoes into a large mixing bowl.
Add in the butter, cream cheese, buttermilk, and salt. Use a masher to mash the potatoes and other ingredients until everything is melted, combined, and completely mashed.
Tallulah’s Cherries Jubilee
1 pound fresh ripe sweet cherries, cleaned and pitted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 cup cherry brandy (Kirsch) or rum
Vanilla Ice Cream
Wash and pit the cherries (leave whole.) Place the cherries in a flameproof skillet large enough to fit the fruits in a single layer. Add the sugar and lemon juice and stir to combine. Cover the pan and heat on medium-low until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Uncover the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the cherries are juicy and syrupy, about 5 minutes.
Slide the pan off the heat and add the Kirsch. Ignite the alcohol with a utility lighter or long fireplace match. Quickly move the skillet back onto the burner and gently shake and swirl until the flames subside, about 30-45 seconds.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately spooned over vanilla ice cream. Store any leftovers in a jar in the refrigerator:
Sir Verde’s Wine Suggestion: Make this a memorable dinner. Serve chilled Dry Creek Vineyard Fumé Blanc. Begin the feast with cocktails, particularly Martini’s or Beefeater’s Gin and Tonic.
Be happy. Bonne dégustation. Love one another.