Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dinner and Booze

 

One of the “Problems” with New Year’s Eve is all the left over booze. 

Now if it is beer or liquor, no worries….just set them up and I’ll knock them down.  But what do you do with the leftover Champagne?

This year at the bonfire, the Champagne of choice was Barefoot Bubbly, of which my favorite was the Brut Cuvee.

The Brut Cuvee was the 2009 Gold Medal Winner in the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition and is a really good DRY Champagne with a classic nose and a great aftertaste of green apples.  I have no idea how much it cost (Debi bought) and I didn’t drink any on NYE because I was pulling a Charlie long before midnight.  However, I had some later and I really enjoyed it.

Now, back to the originally posed question, what to do with it.  It seems odd to just sit down and drink a bottle of Champagne……well, that is if you are not in Germany (where they call it Sekt) or at a strip bar (where it costs you $150 for a little bottle).  How about cook with it?

I found an interesting recipe online and decided to give it a go…

Pork Chops in Creamy Champagne Sauce with Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Ingredients

  • 4 medium red potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 pork loin chops (about 5 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 cup sparkling wine or dry Champagne
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

Place potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan and pour over enough water to cover. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook 8 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and return potatoes and garlic to pan. Add sour cream and mash until almost smooth (or lumpy if desired). Stir in parsley and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt and black pepper and add to hot pan. Cook 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove pork from pan and set aside. To the same pan, add shallots and cook 2 minutes, until soft. Add thyme and tarragon and cook 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sparkling wine and cook 1 minute. Whisk flour into milk and add to pan. Return pork to pan and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until pork is cooked through and sauce thickens. Serve 4 pork chops with all of the sauce and mashed potatoes. Reserve remaining pork for rice.

 

My Personal critique of this one -

Flavors were great.  Everything meshed well, even the steamed asparagus that I threw in myself. 

Everything else I did exactly as called for in the recipe.  So there were a few problems. 

  • The mashed potatoes were a little firmer than I liked, so next time….more milk/sour cream.
  • The sauce was thicker too.  This could be rectified by more champagne.
  • Debi doesn't like Tarragon.  Oh Well.

Aside from that, I thought the food was good and I would definitely make this again.  We still have 3 bottles left :)

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