I usually don’t make New Years resolutions but for 2017, I decided to make it a mission to cook more. One Sunday I spent the entire day studying Serious Eats and making this slow cooked ragu sauce which took 5-6 hours. But on weeknights, quick, easy and satisfying options are necessary. So one Monday, I decided to make myself this epic, while simple, three-course wine pairing dinner at home.
Blowfish Wines & Giveaway (ends 11 Feb 2017)
People always say, Thursdays are the new Fridays. People also celebrate Hump Day Wednesdays. Then there’s Mondays. In short, there’s always an excuse to open a bottle of wine. Blowfish wines are good options for non-wine-experts; they’re inexpensive (averaging HK$100 per bottle), pair easily with food and simply crowd pleasers.
Now to celebrate the end of the elongated holiday season and welcome a lot of weeknights to come before another holiday, Blowfish are giving out a full case (12 bottles) of wines, which include: Chardonnay (x4), Shiraz (x4) and Cabernet Merlot (x4). Head over to my Instagram page for more details (now!) – it ends on 11 Feb 2017 (Saturday).
Now onto the food and wine…
1. Chardonnay – Pumpkin Ravioli with Browned Butter Sage Sauce
The dish: I learnt how to make ravioli from scratch in a cooking class and it was honestly not too difficult. But it takes a lot of manual labour and most importantly, time.
For my quick and easy Monday dinner, I bought a pack of Waitrose-branded pumpkin pine nuts ravioli from Taste supermarket and it only took 2 minutes to cook. I then mixed it into a browned butter sage sauce (recipe here) and the whole cooking process must’ve took under 7 minutes. It was the perfect first course of the meal.
The wine: Chardonnay in general is perfect to kickstart any dinner. Plus, it pairs well with ‘white’ sauce pastas and citrusy flavours, therefore the Blowfish Chardonnay was a good complement to my lemon-y browned butter sage sauce and ravioli.
2. Shiraz – Ribeye steak
The dish: I always say steak is the most satisfying thing to cook at home. It’s quick, easy and delicious, as long as you have a good quality piece of meat.
I recently started using the sous vide method (you need a precision cooker though) to slow cook my steak before searing it and it is a game changer. The actually preparation work is about 5-8 minutes in total, but you need to wait for the steak to slow cook for about 45 minutes (it could happen while you’re preparing and eating the first course).
But if you don’t have one, follow my Guide to Perfecting your First Homemade Steak, which will have your steak ready in just 10 minutes.
The wine: Shiraz is often my go-to choice of wine. Firstly, I actually prefer red over white, and I also like the heavier and fuller type. For an amateur wine drinker like me, you can’t go too wrong with pairing this with a nice flavourful piece of red meat.
3. Cabernet Merlot – Cheese Platter
The dish: To keep things as simple, yet as satisfying, as possible, I ended my meal by putting together a cheese platter. On my platter, I chose two types of blue cheese, parmesan cheese and a baked camembert.
The wine: I only recently discovered that some white wines pair really well with cheese. But with no wine expert residing at home, it felt like this Blowfish Cabernet Merlot was probably the more straight forward and un-intimidating way to side-kick my cheese platter. It was well-balanced and matched especially well with the strong blue cheeses I had.
To Simple yet Fancy Weeknights
So it turns out that seemingly fancy weeknight dinners are still possible when you have a full-time job. Pop a bottle of casual wine and suddenly Monday or Tuesday nights can also be nights to look forward to.