Wine

Succulent Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters

Corn Fritters

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 corns)
1 tsp. paprika
1 medium egg
1/4 -1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. cilantro, chopped + more for garnish
1 scallion, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 dollop of sour cream for garnish
lime juice, freshly squeezed
olive or canola oil for pan frying

Preparation: 

Combine all ingredients except for sour cream and lime juice. This will yield about 4 medium-sized corn patties.

Cover the bottom of a medium pan with oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Pan fry for about 4-5 minutes in total. Turn it once halfway through cooking using a spatula. The color should be golden brown as you see in the image.

Garnish with sour cream, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Cook’s Note: the batter will be a little runny and the shapes will not be perfect. However, you will enjoy this tasty side dish.

I hope you will give this recipe a try and let me know how the corn fritters come out.

Wine Pairing Suggestions: Sauvignon Blanc or an off-dry Riesling
When in doubt, always use Champagne or sparkling wines.

Happy Cooking & Sipping!
Happy New Year!
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
Food & Wine Blogger, Recipe Developer, Sommelier Level 2 and WSET Level 2 certified.
Cookbook Author: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Website: www.foodiewinelover.com
Email: gina@foodiewinelover.com 

Scrumptious Stuffed Shells & Sangiovese 

Chianti Classico

Chianti Classico

Food & wine pairings create many emotions; if done right, they are both great givers of happiness. 🍝🍷🥰
Today, I am sharing with you a recipe for stuffed shells that I paired with a lovely Chianti Classico. The idea is to keep it simple and minimize cleaning in the kitchen. This recipe serves 6 with a side of salad. The level of difficulty is easy to intermediate.
Scrumptious Stuffed Shells & Sangiovese

 

Ingredients:

1 (12-ounce) box jumbo shells*
1 handful of salt for pasta water
24 oz. jar – plain marinara sauce
8 ounces of fresh mozzarella, cut up
1 (15 oz) container of whole milk ricotta
Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste

Preparation: 

Boil pasta in salted water for 6-7 minutes. Drain.
Preheat the oven to 350°F

In the meantime, on the bottom of a large glass baking dish, spread some tomato sauce. Fill each shell with 1 teaspoon of ricotta cheese and place them in a single layer on the baking dish. Drizzle with tomato sauce. Place a piece of mozzarella in each shell. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese. Voila!

Bake for about 45-50 minutes until you see the sauce bubbling.
Cook’s notes. I used about 27 shells. (There will be some unused shells)

Wine pairing
: Renieri 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG. This wine is made with 100% Sangiovese, and the grapes are cultivated in the southernmost part of the Chianti Classico zone, in the town of Castelnuovo Berardegna. The warm temperatures produce bigger and riper wines.
The aromas and flavors include cedar, leather, oak, underbrush, red juicy cherries, vanilla, tobacco leaves, mushrooms, and earthy characters. The tannins are supple and supported by vibrant acidity, leading to a long finish with a hint of chocolate. A superb wine, but I don’t believe it deserves 95 points. My opinion!

This wine complemented the stuffed shells to sublimeness.

Happy Cooking & Sipping

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
Food & Wine Blogger, Recipe Developer, Sommelier Level 2 and WSET Level 2 certified.
Cookbook Author: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Website: www.foodiewinelover.com

Braised Short Ribs in Tomato Sauce

Braised Short Ribs in Tomato sauce

Braised Short Ribs in Tomato sauce

 

Braised Short Ribs in Tomato Sauce

Braised Short Ribs in Tomato Sauce

 

It’s been raining here, and I needed some comfort food to cheer me up. I made braised short ribs simmered in a tomato sauce and paired them with a Nero d’Avola. It is the flagship grape of Sicily. Mille e Una Notte translates to A Thousand and One Night and comprises predominantly of Nero d’Avola. This wine boasts violet hues and shows great concentration. The nose delivers aromas of dark fruits, blackberry, plum, savory and sweet spices, and a hint of earthiness. The mouthfeel is silky and mirrors the nose with additional flavors of dark chocolate, baking spices, hints of black pepper, nutmeg, and licorice. The finish is lingering, and this wine has the potential for long cellaring. Below is the recipe for the short ribs.

Braised Short Ribs in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

6 short ribs (about 3 lbs.)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
olive oil for frying
5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (32) oz prepared plain tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1 (26.46) Pomi strained tomatoes
Flat leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1 lb. spaghetti or any pasta of your choice
1 handful of salt for the pasta water
Parmigiano Reggiano

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350-degree Fahrenheit.

1. In the meantime, liberally season the short ribs with salt & pepper. In a Deutch oven on medium-high heat, heat 2-3 tbs. olive oil, sear 3 short ribs for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove. Sear the second batch. Remove and set aside.
2. In the same pan, add more oil if needed, sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes, and deglaze with the wine for 1-2-minutes. Add in the tomatoes, water, parsley, and ribs. Bring to a gentle boil and turn off the burner. Cover.
3. Place the pan in the preheated oven for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
4. While the short ribs are cooking, bring the pasta water to a boil, and add a handful of salt. Cook according to package directions or al dente.
5. Serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano or local Parmesan cheese.

Cook’s Note regarding Italian traditions: if you want to eat like the Italians, serve the pasta first, followed by the short ribs. Here in the US, we tend to serve them on the same plate.

While the wine and the dish were delicious on their own, a brown sauce would have made a better pairing with this outstanding wine. The acidity in the tomato sauce overpowered the wine and mellowed its flavors. Either way, the food and the wine were both super stars, but they didn’t get long together.

I hope you will give this recipe a try! I recommend this wine for a special occasion and stick with a Sangiovese-based red wine for an ideal pairing.

Happy Cooking & Sipping from Gina’s Kitchen!
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures: https://foodiewinelover.com/product/cookbook/
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier & Italian Wine Scholar Student (Unit 1 completed)
Winner of 2019 Italian Wines “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award, held in Puglia, Italy
Brand Strategist

Etna Rosso & Veal Bolognese

Etna Rosso with Veal Bolognese

Etna Rosso with Veal Bolognese

 

Are you familiar with Etna Rosso? This wine is from Sicily and offers fantastic value.

Etna Rosso is a volcanic wine rich in minerals produced with at least 80% Nerello Mascalese and up to 20% Nerello Cappuccio.

Nerello Mascalese is a noble red grape that thrives on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily with nuances of red berries, cranberry, aromatic spices, woodsy herbs, thyme, dried flowers, and mineral characteristics.

Nerello Cappuccio is usually used in a blend and rarely as a varietal because of its lack of tannins. This grape variety adds elegance with flavors of red cherries and softens the grippy tannins in Nerello Mascalese. It makes for a perfect blending partner!

2017 Gambinowinery Gambino Vini Tifeo Etna Rosso appears itself in a translucent ruby red reminiscent of an elegant Oregon Pinot Noir with delicate aromas and flavors of cherry and raspberry, tobacco leaves, forest floor, leather, and cocoa. The tannins are silky and showcase a high level of acidity leading to a long finish with a sultry mineral freshness.

Food pairing:

Mouth-watering Veal Bolognese over Pappardelle. This dish is made using wholesome ingredients and is a shorter version than the original long-simmered sauce. The recipe is on page 82 of my cookbook. It makes a dazzling pairing because the level of acidity in the tomato sauce and that of the wine interweave harmoniously, Bam!

Happy Cooking & Sipping!
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures: https://foodiewinelover.com/product/cookbook/
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier & Italian Wine Scholar Student (Prep course completed)
Winner of 2019 Italian Wines “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award, held in Puglia, Italy
Brand Strategist

Gina’s Variation of Spaghetti & Meatballs

Pasta is better inhaled like a vacuum cleaner. It’s so much fun!

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs

 

Spaghetti & Meatballs is a comforting Italian-American dish. It is not a traditional Italian dish because the Italians prefer to eat their pasta alone without the meatballs. Meatballs are known as “polpette” in Italian, and they are consumed as a tasty second course (secondo). I have many different versions of tomato sauce, and sometimes, I use Italian sausage for added richness. Today, I am sharing with you a simplified sauce that is rustic and is a crowd-pleaser. For a smoother sauce, simply pure’ the San Marzano tomatoes. This blog post is not sponsored, but I am using the brands that I like. There are times when I combine ground beef and pork, and in that instance, I don’t use the sausage. Alternatively, you can use ground turkey for a healthier version. I use seasoned breadcrumbs instead of the traditional slice of bread soaked in milk. Generally, I don’t use grated cheese, except in my Veal Meatballs with Pecorino. Put your apron on, and follow me in the kitchen. Don’t forget your glass of wine or cider! This recipe is crafted for 6-8 people depending on their appetite. You can easily divide the ingredients to feed fewer people.

 

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti & Meatballs

 

Ingredients for the meatballs

1 ½ lbs. ground sirloin
1 ½ lbs. ground chuck
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon oregano
½ small onion, grated
1½ teaspoons sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggs
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs, Progresso brand
1 handful of flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish

Preparation:

Mix well all the ingredients by hand (I use a glove because I have long nails) and form the meatballs using an ice cream scooper with a spring. Spray a large tray and place the meatballs on there. Bake them for 10-12 minutes in a 350-degree oven, turning them once. You can also pan-fry them in olive oil for tastier meatballs but this process is less convenient. Set aside.

Ingredients for the Tomato Sauce: 

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 (26.46 ounces) container of Pomi -strained tomato
1 (26.46 ounces) container of Pomi – finely chopped tomatoes
1 (28 oz.) Flora’s San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound of spaghetti
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano to taste (a lot)

Preparation:

In a large stock pot, on medium heat, heat olive oil and sauté the garlic quickly, and add the tomato paste. Stir constantly until it’s caramelized. Add the strained, chopped, and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a gently boil, stir occasionally. Add the meatballs. Lower the flame. Cover with lid tilted. Stir occasionally to avoid the sauce from sticking on the bottom. Allow 1½ to 2 hours until all the flavors marry beautifully. Toward the last 15 minutes, bring your pasta water to a boil. Add a handful of salt, and cook according to package directions. I like mine al dente so cook it for at least 1 or 2 minutes less. The best way to find out how you like it is to taste the pasta before draining it.

Mix the pasta with the sauce until every strand is coated. Serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Garnish with parsley

Wine pairing suggestion:  Sangiovese-based wines such a Rosso Di Montalcino or Chianti Classico will work harmoniously with the acidity in the tomatoes.

Happy Cooking & Happy Sipping from Gina’s Kitchen!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures: https://foodiewinelover.com/product/cookbook/
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier & Italian Wine Scholar Student (Prep course completed)
Winner of 2019 Italian Wines “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award, held in Puglia, Italy
Brand Strategist

Vintners Resort, a Tranquil Escape in Sonoma

Recently, my husband and I took a vacation to wine country and stayed at the Vintners Resort, nestled in the heart of Sonoma wine country. It provides a full-service resort that includes fine dining and wellness experiences. The room was spacious and offered the finest accommodations, with a stunning view of the vineyards.

Vintners Resort

Vintners Resort

 

For breakfast, we ate at the rustic River Vine restaurant inside the resort, which is currently serving breakfast to hotel guests only. Every dish was fresh, delicious, and beautifully presented.

Breakfast at the River Vine restaurant

Breakfast at the River Vine restaurant

 

River Vine restaurant

River Vine restaurant

 

John Ash & Co. is an upscale restaurant located on the premises and offers 5-star service and emphasizes seasonal cooking. It is the first restaurant in Sonoma County to follow the farm-to-table philosophy of cooking with seasonal, local ingredients.

My husband and I enjoyed some fresh oysters paired with a local sparkling wine as an aperitif. The ambiance was serene and romantic, and Christopher, the manager, was gracious and hospitable. The waitstaff was very attentive and courteous. For dinner, we relished on some gourmet-style short ribs over polenta, and pan seared scallops and prawns. This delectable meal would not be complete without a scrumptiously decadent trio of ice cream.

Fresh oysters paired with a 2015 Russian River Valley Brut Rose Fresh Hog Island oysters and 2015 Russian River Valley Brut Rose Vintners Resort

 

Pan Seared Diver Scallops & Gulf Prawns, paired with a local Brut 2015 Sparkling Rose

Pan Seared Diver Scallops & Gulf Prawns, paired with a local Brut 2015 Sparkling Rose

 

 

Braised boneless prime rib short ribs braciole over Front Porch Farms red floriani polenta Braised boneless prime rib short ribs braciole over Front Porch Farms red floriani polenta

 

Ice Cream trio: Mexican hot cocoa, lemon bar, and peach with orange hazelnut biscotti Ice Cream trio: Mexican hot cocoa, lemon bar, and peach with orange hazelnut biscotti

 

The bar area is quaint with a cozy feel.

Relaxing at the quaint bar

Relaxing at the quaint bar

 

Mr. is enjoying the outdoor pool Mr. is enjoying the outdoor pool

 

Beautiful landscape Beautiful landscape

 

Posing with the grapes Posing with the grapes

 

Enjoying one of the stunning fountains Enjoying one of the stunning fountains

 

Pool area near the spa

Pool area near the spa

 

Vintners Resort's lobby

Vintners Resort’s lobby

 

A glorious day at Vintners Resort

A glorious day at Vintners Resort

 

Beautiful flowers

Beautiful flowers

 

The landscape is lush and meticulously maintained, and the property is surrounded by verdant vineyards offering a spectacular backdrop for wedding photography. We had fun walking through the vineyards and captured some outstanding photos. The resort has an outdoor pool and a new spa. “Vi La Vita spa” is a state-of-the-art facility designed for relaxation and pure joie de vivre! It was a fantastic way to decompress and enjoy La Dolce Far Niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).

The check-in process was contactless, and travelers should feel safe staying at this resort. The management took the highest level of precautions to ensure our safety.

The weather was glorious, and we enjoyed strolling through the property while admiring the beauty of nature. We would stay there again!

Vintners Resort

Vintners Resort

 

Visit Sonoma and stay at the charming Vintners Resort! You will thank me for this recommendation.

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier
Winner of 2019 Italian Wines “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award, held in Puglia, Italy
Brand Strategist

Castello di Amorosa – The Castle of Love

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

 

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

 

You know you love a winery when you visit it a second time! I compare it to having more than one sip of my favorite wine! I love revisiting! (double entendre, wink, wink)

In 2013, I first visited Castello di Amorosa──translates to Castle of Love─ and fell in love with the castle and its medieval architecture. Upon my return home, I hosted a side-by-side tasting with the 2008 La Castellana and a top-notch Italian Super Tuscan, and it was a toss-up!

 

Castello di Amorosa

Side-by-side tasting 2008 Castello di Amorosa’s La Castellana with an Italian Super Tuscan

 

“Fourth generation winemaker Dario Sattui built an authentically styled 13th-century Tuscan castle winery to honor his Italian heritage and deep love for medieval architecture. Dario is the great-grandson of pioneering vintner Vittorio Sattui, an Italian immigrant who founded St. Helena Wine Cellars in 1885. The Sattui family lived at the winery, even after Prohibition closed the business in 1920. Dario was always fascinated by the stories and photos of the old winery. As a child, he would play in the winery’s underground cellars and dream of reviving the family business.” ~ Website. 

Dario Sattui said: “he was determined to make the Castello authentic in every respect. I used only old, hand-made materials, and I built it employing the same methods and materials that would have been used 700-800 years ago. You cannot fake something like this. You either do it right, or people will know it is not authentic.”

Recently, I had the opportunity to revisit the winery and paid more attention to all the intricate details. The castle is nestled on a rolling hillside with cypress trees gracing the magnificent entrance, reminiscent of Tuscany. In South Florida, where I reside, it’s summertime all year round and a little cooler during the “winter” months. Unfortunately, I don’t get to enjoy the fall season. I was mesmerized by the yellow and brown leaves on the vines. By coincidence, they coordinated harmoniously with my outfit. The beginning of autumn was in full display at the Castello!

Castello di Amorosa

It’s beginning to look like fall at Castello di Amorosa

 

Lyn, our host, took us on a magical tour of all the rooms before conducting a delicious wine tasting that included a barrel tasting. The featured wines were a 2017 Sangiovese, a 2017 Sparkling Rose (Spumante) a 2015 La Castellana, similar to a Super Tuscan, a 2018 Old Vine Zinfandel, a Merlot, some white varietals, and La Fantasia. The latter is an Italian style frizzante (soft sparkling) wine which is naturally sweet with a low ABV with bright aromas of strawberry and pomegranate, offering a vibrant mouthfeel with a kiss of summer on the finish.

Their wines are meticulously crafted in an Italian style, and align perfectly with the medieval theme. If you would like to purchase their delicious wines, please visit their website: Napa Valley Castle Winery in Calistoga | Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

 

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

 

I hope you enjoyed my wine journey, and hopefully, someday, you will have the opportunity to visit this spectacular winery.

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier
Winner of 2019 “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award
Brand Strategist

Tiffany’s Three Moons Wines

Filet Mignon & Tree Moons Winery

Filet Mignon & Three Moons Winery Estate Reserve 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Filet Mignon

 

While a top notch wine can easily stand on its own “legs”, it can also make a magical  pairing with a luxurious meal.

Today, I present you with the Three Moons Winery Estate Reserve 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon from the acclaimed Howell Mountain located in Napa Valley. Tiffany Moon is the name behind the label. She is a medical doctor and a cast member on the famous show “Real House Housewives of Dallas”.
In 2009, during her residency, Tiffany and her now-husband, Daniel, would travel to Napa to visit wineries. They were invited by a local winemaker to partake in harvesting grapes, learning about the aging and the bottling process of the wines. This experience led them to make their own barrel of a big bold red Cabernet Sauvignon in 2009. They would share the wine with family and friends. Daniel named the wine Three Moons to honor his father who founded Sam Moon stores, and his brother. Tiffany jokes that her three moons represent her and her twin girls. The Moons recently launched their private label that includes this Cabernet Sauvignon, a red blend and a Sauvignon Blanc. They turned their passion to a brand!
This Cabernet Sauvignon is not your typical weeknight wine. It’s one that you splurge on special occasions or purchase to add to your wine collection. I enjoyed this wine with my Waterford Crystal glass to elevate the experience. Every sip of this wine was seductive and boasted aromas and flavors of juicy black cherries, blackberries, crème de cassis, with a nuance of spices and freshly ground black pepper, offering a dust of dark cocoa on the mid palate. It had just the right amount of tannin with a polished astringency and not at all aggressive, well-structured, bold with remarkable fruitiness. The finish was majestically grand.
I paired it with Filet Mignon cooked medium-rare with a homemade Béarnaise sauce. (not easy😅) The richness of the wine and that of the meat created a gourmet-esque combination of flavors on my palate. This wine can be found on Three Moons Wine website.

Filet Mignon & Tree Moons Winery Estate Reserve 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

Filet Mignon & Tree Moons Winery Estate Reserve 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Hope you enjoyed this food & wine pairing edition.

Happy Cooking and Sipping from Gina’s Kitchen!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier
Winner of 2019 “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award
Brand Strategist

Penne alla Vodka with Crabmeat & Rosé Champagne

Penne alla Vodka with Crabmeat

Penne alla Vodka with Crabmeat

On New Year’s Day, I made Penne alla Vodka and added lump crab meat  to the sauce to give it a touch of elegance. This recipe is delicious but, because of its richness, it’s not part of my recipe rotation. Please click on the link below to follow the recipe. Simply add 1/2 – 3/4 lump crabmeat to the sauce, toward the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Gina’s Penne Alla Vodka | Foodie and Wine Lover (foodiewinelover.com)

I paired this fancy dish with Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Réserve Exclusive Rosé. It comprises of 45% Pinot Noir, 45% Pinot Meunier, and 10% Chardonnay. This pairing soothes my soul and sings the song to my heart.  Every sip I take, my heart twerks a little faster.

This Rosé Champagne is lively and refreshing, and will delight your taste buds. The color is deep orange with aromas of cherries and nuances of mixed red berries and grapefruit. The palate follows the nose with hints of almonds and effervescent ginger ale. This rich-style Champagne is full-bodied and has a creamy texture, with lots of tiny bubbles. The finish is irresistibly enjoyable, and marries harmoniously with the creaminess of the dish .

May your glass always be full of tiny bubbles!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier
Winner of 2019 “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award
Brand Strategist

 

Fancy Shrimp & Grits paired with Champagne

Shrimp & Grits paired with Champagne

Fancy Shrimp & Grits paired with Champagne

 

On New Year’s Eve, I made my version of Shrimp & Grits. I am not claiming it to be an authentic Creole recipe, but it’s my version. This dish is simple without all the fuss and can be done in 15 minutes. I paired it with Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru Champagne, and it was a winning combination. With all the excitement that evening, I did not measure all the ingredients. Please use your judgement as these are approximate measurements. I used Prosciutto instead of bacon to elevate the flavors and give the dish a festive touch. The recipe that I am sharing today is for about 6-8 people, and I baked the shrimp in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. You can divide the recipe in 2 to feed fewer people, and pan fry them on the stovetop in a single layer.

Serves: 6-8  Level of difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

1.1/2 cups grits
butter to taste, optional
2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
paprika to taste
1 cup of dry white wine
extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 lb. chopped Prosciutto, pan fried
scallions, chopped for garnish

Preparation:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F.

2. In a medium-sized stainless-steel tray, season the shrimp with salt, pepper and paprika until they are all coated. Arrange in a single layer. Add the wine. Drizzle liberally with olive oil. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the shrimp are no longer translucent.

3. In the meantime, cook grits as per package directions. Add butter for richness.

4. Place the grits in individual bowls, add the shrimp, drizzle some sauce on top, garnish with Prosciutto bits and scallions.

Wine pairing suggestions: Sparkling wines or Champagne

Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru Champagne

 

It was my first time tasting the Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru and I was extremely pleased with it. The Champagne and the shrimp paired dazzlingly together. Had I used some spicy ingredients like Cayenne or chili peppers, I would have recommended a Demi-Sec (with some sweetness) Champagne to offset the heat in the dish.

Egly-Ouriet is one of the most remarkable Grower Champagne at Ambonnay in the Montagne (mountains) de Reims. Their Brut Grand Cru Champagne consists of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay and is very expressive of the terroir. The color is golden straw, showcasing aromas and flavors of freshly baked bread, toasted almond, pears, ginger, savory spices, that are woven throughout, giving the Champagne a touch of elegance with lively acidity. It was a delicious gastronomic experience!

Happy New Year 2021!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier
Winner of 2019 “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award
Brand Strategist

Exclusive photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
All rights reserved.

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