One of the ways I “love up” on people is by cooking for them. It was such a treat to participate in a progressive dinner where I was charged with the main dish.
This motley crew ferried ourselves from house to house for the progressive dinner via two wheels.
this time paired with a Carmenere.
Carmenere is a grape varietal best known for its Chilean roots. The unique varietal pairs perfectly with ingredients that are difficult to match such as garlic, black and green olives, bell peppers (including piquillo peppers, fresh herbs, paprika, curry, cumin, anise, saffron, fennel, oregano, rosemary, thyme, spicy tomato sauce, sweet potatoes, eggplant, corn, onion and mushrooms. I chose tapas with these flavors and ingredients to pair well with the Chilean Carmenere.
- Curried lentils with Saffron rice (recipe below)
- Stuffed mushrooms with garlic, fennel, oregano, rosemary veggie crumbles (adapted from Renee’s bomb-diggity bolognese recipe)
- Stuffed piquillo peppers with cashew cream
- Patatas bravas with a spicy, tomato sauce
- Artichoke, leek and mushroom crostini with pesto
- Olive tapenade with thyme and marjoram
- Sweet potato hummus with smoked paprika (courtesy of my mother)
- Casa Silva, Carmenere, 2012
- Santa Carolina, Carmenere, 2010
- 2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
- 4 tablespoons earth balance
- 6 whole cardamom seeds
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cups boiling vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cover rice with cold water and set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
- Soak saffron threads in 2 tablespoons boiling water.
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; add cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks and fry 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Stir in the rice, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour in the boiling broth and stir in the salt and saffron.
- Cover and cook until rice is cooked and all liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes.