Pairings | Nuts
The best food to pair with Chardonnay
If you're looking for food pairings for chardonnay, you're in luck! Whatever the style it's a fantastic food wine.
What food to pair with coffee
For many people coffee is a regular companion to food whether it’s breakfast or that great German institution of kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) - only the amount of caffeine they might consume holding them back.
Which foods pair best with tawny port?
We rarely think of tawny port as a flexible pairing for food. We serve it with stilton, obviously and with hard cheeses like cheddar, with nuts and dried fruits and over Christmas with fruit cake and mince pies but that’s usually as far as it goes.
The best pairings for fino and manzanilla sherry
Manzanilla, as you probably know, is a fino sherry made in the port of Sanlucar de Barrameda rather than in the cities of Jerez or Puerto de Santa Maria which gives it its characteristic salty tang.
Which wines - or beers - pair best with cooked cheese?
Cheese and wine is a notorious minefield but is it any easier when the cheese is cooked? See my suggestions to match Mark Hix's delicious recipes in the Independent today:
The best food pairings for orange wines
More and more people have been drinking orange or amber wine but what’s the best kind of food to pair with it?
8 great wine matches for brussels sprouts
The idea of doing a post on wine matches with brussels sprouts might strike you as a tad over the top - after all who eats sprouts on their own? (Answer: me. Whenever I get the chance.)
Doughnuts and hot chocolate sauce
If you like churros you're going to LOVE this recipe for doughnuts with chocolate sauce from chef Nieves Barragan's new book Sabor*: Flavours from a Spanish Kitchen.
Roast chestnuts and Bernache
I’ve been in the Loire for the last two days enjoying a fascinating range of wines but the pairing that stood out for me was one I’d never come across before: roast chestnuts and Bernache.
Penne in walnut sauce
If you've run through your pasta sauce repertoire several times during lockdown try this delicious penne in salsa di noci (penne in walnut sauce) from Christine Smallwood's lovely new book Italy: The World Vegetarian. It's really simple - as she says basically a walnut pesto.
Cauliflower tortellini with hazelnuts and 10 year old Muscadet
I agonised over which match to highlight this week - there were so many good ones, especially from my trip to the Jura which I’ll report on in the next couple of days but I’ve gone for this intriguing and off the wall pairing from a seasonal wine dinner at Lido in Bristol on Saturday night.
Braised pheasant with chestnuts and Vacqueyras
Our final pre-Christmas meal at our favourite local restaurant Culinaria the other night was a real feast of winter flavours. Unusually every dish went well with the bottle we chose, a 2005 Vacquéyras Cuvée des Templiers from Le Clos des Cazaux, a wonderfully full-flavoured blend of Syrah and Grenache that was as good as many minor Châteauneuf-du-Pâpes I’ve tasted. A real treat.
A Greek-inspired summer supper
With this unseasonably hot weather why not look to Greece for inspiration when you're entertaining. Here's a simple meal for 4 that was inspired by a trip to Greece a few years ago.
A winelover's New Year's Eve dinner
After the tradition-bound cooking of the Christmas period (from which the family will never let you deviate . . .) it’s good to branch out a bit with your New Year’s Eve meal and also pick some dishes that will allow you to drink some serious wines. Note you need to start the beef two days in advance.
Honey pastries with baked figs
I love this Spanish twist on baklava from José Pizarro's gorgeous book Andalucia - it would make the perfect end to a summer meal.
Espresso and Hazelnut Cake and Fairtrade Coffee
As you've probably noticed we're currently in the middle of Fairtrade Fortnight. Encouragingly sales of Fairtrade produce and products were up 12% last year making sales in the UK worth £1.32bn in 2011, compared to £1.17bn in 2010, according to this recent piece in the Guardian.
Classic cheese ball
The cheese ball is an American party food classic. It's a little retro, but retro food is fun, and a cheese ball is the kind of thing you can easily posh up and adapt to use your favourite cheeses, herbs, and seasonings.
Fresh walnut tart and Jurançon
With two spectacularly high profile meals last week (see my last two posts) it was hard to choose a match this week. Should it be the Crozes-Hermitage and Herdwick mutton, kidney and oyster pie I had at Hix, or the perfect pairing of Sebastian Bobinet’s 2006 Saumur Champigny 'Amateus Bobi' and pig’s trotter at Pierre Koffman’s pop-up restaurant at Selfridges? (There - I’ve told you anyway!)
Walnut meringue cake with buttermilk cream and poached rhubarb
If you're looking for a show-stopping dessert to serve for a summer party try this utterly delicious tiered meringue cake I tasted (correction, 'ate') the other day at The Three Crowns.
Stichelton, pear and walnut salad
A perfect seasonal salad from Jeremy Lee’s gorgeous book Cooking to use the last of the Stilton or as Jeremy suggests, Stichelton. I love the touch of using membrillo in it and, if you can get hold of it, quince vinegar.
What to drink with foraged food?
Mark Hix, a great forager himself, concentrates on recipes you can make from the hedgerow this week in The Independent (now is a good time to go to his new restaurant, I suggest . . . ) so I’m thinking a little outside the box as to what to pair with them. Country wines, made with hedgerow fruits, seem the perfect answer. I don’t know why we don’t see more of them.
Chocolate, banana and hazelnut galette
If you're a chocolate-lover - or buying a present for one - you're going to want to get your hands on a copy of Sue Quinn's The Little Chocolate Cookbook which is full of really original and delicious recipes including this chocolate, banana and hazelnut galette.
Celeriac, leek, chestnut and cranberry pies
If you're vegetarian - or catering for one - you expect more than the Christmas sides while everyone else tucks into the turkey. This delicious pie from Rachel Demuth of Demuths Cookery School in Bath fits the bill perfectly.
Bulgur, herb, walnut and pomegranate salad
Bulgur is a useful grain that you can apparently eat if you're diabetic as I discovered when I was staying with friends in France a while ago. It makes a great base for a simple salad that you can basically adapt to whatever you have in the storecupboard and fridge.
What to drink with your favourite Christmas snacks
You may think it’s utterly pointless to waste time wondering what would be the best match for Christmas snacks. For most people the answer would be prosecco.
Five-spice smoked tofu nuggets
Tofu has never been my favourite ingredient to be honest but these brilliant smoked tofu 'nuggets' from my friend Elly Curshen's book Let's Eat are positively addictive.
Pecan pie and Kingston Black apple aperitif
I know Thanksgiving has past but I came across such a good pairing for pecan pie at a friend's* house the other day I had to tell you about it. Her pie by the way was quite distinctive with a thin layer of soft caramel in the centre (and, obviously, crisp pecans on the top).
Endive, Stilton and walnut salad with blanc de blancs champagne
Champagne two weeks running? I know - it is a bit indulgent but I just couldn’t ignore last night’s extraordinary dinner at the Savoy to celebrate the trophy winners and launch of the first Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships. Besides it is our 400th Match of the Week - equally something to celebrate.
Chocolate terrine with Brachetto d'Acqui 2007
It’s a mystery to me why we need a Chocolate Week. Surely no-one (except aberrants like myself who have an inexplicable preference for potatoes) needs encouraging to eat chocolate. But there we have it and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy your favourite food in the country’s classiest chocolate shops over the next few days.
Aubergines with walnut sauce and amber wine
It’s hard to pick out one pairing out of the multitude of dishes we were served with amber or orange wine during my first visit to Georgia last week but I’m going for one we barely ever failed to find on the table - grilled aubergine with walnut sauce.
Pumpkin ravioli and sparkling albarino
Having ended up unexpectedly in hospital last week I struggled a bit to find a match of the week. Water doesn’t make the most inspiring pairing for food although it (the food in hospital) isn't by any means as bad as it used to be. So I’ll tell you about the the dish I had before I was taken ill.
Lyndey Milan's Aussie-style barbecue lunch
One of the highlights of my trip to Australia a couple of years ago to celebrate the World’s 50 Best restaurant awards was lunch at one of their best known cookery writers Lyndey Milan’s in Sydney
Wine of the Week: Vin Santo del Chianti Nicodemo 2018
A lot of us - including me - think in terms of champagne and other sparkling wines on Valentine's Day but sweet wine can be just as much of a treat, particularly when V-Day falls, as it does this year, on a week night and you haven't got time to make a slap-up dinner
What to drink with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's veggie recipes
If you’re used to choosing wine - or other drinks - to match with meat or fish you may be flummoxed when it comes to chosing one for vegetarian friends. But as I explain in my Guardian column today it’s a question of finding out how the wine is made - and in particular whether any animal-based products have been used in the fining process.
West African pork and peanut stew with Heartland Dolcetto & Lagrein
Quite an adventurous pairing this week which you might have thought on paper wouldn’t come off. A hot, spicy pork and peanut stew and a glass of Ben Glaetzer’s bold, ripe 2010 Heartland Dolcetto & Lagrein from South Australia's Langhorne Creek.
Mature Savennières with chargrilled carrots, burnt aubergine, miso and walnut pesto
OK, this pairing at Jason Atherton’s new Social Wine and Tapas isn’t exactly easy to reproduce at home but it was certainly the highlight of my food and wine matches last week.
Leeks and Skyborry perry
One of the many appealing things about Birch in Bristol is that they have an extensive list of artisanal ciders. Which is maybe not so surprising given that they are intending to sell the restaurant and concentrate on making cider themselves.
Chicken with peanut sauce and Faugères rosé
We liked Larcen, the restaurant that was the inspiration for two of the Clever Food Ideas last week, so much that we managed to fit in another visit before we left France. I had the plat du jour (dish of the day) - a brilliant combination of chicken in a rich peanut sauce and a 2007 Faugères rosé from H Bouchard called Abbaye Sylva Plana.
Chargrilled endive, hazelnut crumble and Bayonne ham with white Bairrada
I’m having a bit of thing about Portuguese wine at the moment - it’s so great with food and such brilliantly good value. Especially on restaurant wine lists where it’s invariably underpriced in comparison to better known wine producing countries and regions
Vinsobres with wild boar stew and chestnut polenta
You’d expect a Southern Rhône red to go with wild boar but in fact it was the chestnut polenta that made the match with this former Côtes du Rhône ‘cru’ so successful