Paco García Tempranillo Blanc

Croquetas de Bacalao Tapas (Salt Cod Fritters)

salt cod tapasBacalao (salt cod) is a Spanish delight.  Enjoy these bite size fish cakes, dipped into rich, creamy, garlicky allioli. They are irresistible as a tapas dish or appetizer. Serves 6.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb salt cod
  • 1 1/4 floury potatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 6 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 egg, beaten
  • plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
  • 3 1/2 oz dried white breadcrumbs
  • olive oil, for shallow frying
  • lemon wedges and salad leaves, to serve

ALLIOLI INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the salt cod in cold water for at least 24 hours, changing the water two or three times. The cod should swell as it rehydrates. Sample a tiny piece. It should not taste unpleasantly salty when fully rehydrated. Drain well and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Cook the potatoes, unpeeled, in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, then mash with a fork or use a potato masher.

Pour the milk into a pan, add half the spring onions and bring to a simmer. Add the soaked cod and poach very gently for 10-15 minutes, or until it flakes easily. Remove the cod and flake it with a fork into a bowl, discarding bones and skin.

Add 4 tablespoons of mashed potato to the cod and beat them together with a wooden spoon. Work in the olive oil, then gradually add the remaining mashed potato. Beat in the remaining spring onions and the parsley.

Season with lemon juice and pepper to taste – the mixture may also need a little salt but taste it before adding any. Add one egg to the mixture and beat it until thoroughly combined, then chill until firm.

Shape the chilled fish mixture into 12-18 balls, then gently flatten into small round cakes. Coat each one in flour, then dip in the remaining beaten egg and coat with dried breadcrumbs. Chill until ready to fry.

Meanwhile, make the allioli. Place the garlic and a good pinch of salt in a mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle. Using a small whisk or a wooden spoon, gradually work in the egg yolks.
Beat in about half the olive oil, a drop at a time. When the sauce is as thick as soft butter, beat in 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice. Continue adding oil until the allioli is very thick. Season to taste, adding more lemon juice if you wish.

Heat about 3/4 inch oil in a large, heavy frying pan. Add the fritters and cook over a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook for a further 4 minutes on the other side, until crisp and golden. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with the allioli, lemon wedges and salad leaves.

© Recipe courtesy of Spain-Recipes.com

AUGUST WINE CLUB:

Paco Garcia Tempranillo BlancoBodegas Paco Garcia
Tempranillo Blanco
Rioja, Spain

Silky styleSILKY WINE STYLE

In 1988, a local grower in Murillo de Rio Leza discovered that one of his red Tempranillo vines produced both red and white grapes at the same time. This spontaneous genetic mutation, very similar to what would be a case of albinism, gave birth to a new cepage, Tempranillo Blanco.  It has been harvested by hand in Paco Garcia’s “La Finca del Yergo” vineyard (2014) on clay laden soils; altitude of 550 meters above the sea level.

Winemaking Process: Once at the winery, after stemming, the berries are placed by gravity in stainless steel tanks to macerate for several hours so as to maximize extraction of structure, aromas, color and acidity from Tempranillo grapes.  They’re then presses (separating the skins from the pips) and the resulting must is taken to tapered and inverted tapered stainless steel tanks of 10,000 liters each, with double cold water sleeves to begin fermentation at low temperature.

Afterwards, the wine is kept on its lees for six months, half in stainless steel tanks and half in French oak barrels. This ensures the wine is rich, smooth and creamy, yet displaying the citric fruit and floral character typical of the Tempranillo Blanco variety.  The resulting wines are then blended together and bottled, expressing their round character and persistent bouquet once released.

Tasting Notes:The wine shows a unique bouquet of citrus notes (lemon and orange blossom) and fruits (pineapple and banana) with hints of mint, honey and cedar wood, displaying a subtle minerality.  And the mouthfeel benefits from the original Tempranillo’s volume, structure and length.  Try is now and later, to see the evolution that its acidity, structure and time spent in the barrel provide.  A couple years of bottle aging will appease its freshness and increase its finesse. It’s up to you to decide when and why you prefer to drink it, but it’ll always be a beautiful drop of loveliness.

 

Appellation: Rioja Alta DOCa, Spain
Varietal: 100% Tempranillo Blanco
Analysis: 12.90% alcohol / volume
pH: 3.23
TA: 6.81 g/l
Residual Sugar: 1.5 g/l
Critical Acclaim: Reviewed & approved by Doug Frost, Master Sommelier and Master of Wine.

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Crab Cakes with Curry Aioli

Sauvignon Blanc is a great pairing for seafood, but because it is still cold outside, we wanted something comforting that could easily be whipped up during the work week. The curry aioli adds a nice heat element to this dish and highlights the brightness of this wine.

crab-cakes-recipeINGREDIENTS:

• 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
•  ¾ cup mayonnaise
•  2 tablespoons crème fraiche
•  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
•  1 tablespoon snipped chives
•  1 tablespoon minced parsley
•  1 tablespoon minced tarragon
•  1 cup panko bread crumbs
•  1 pound lump crab
•  ½ cup canola oil
•  1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
•  Salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a bowl, whisk ½ cup of the mayonnaise with ¼ teaspoon Madras curry powder. Let chill.

In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining mayonnaise with crème fraiche, lemon juice, chives, parsley, and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the crab, form into 4 patties and coat with the panko. Transfer crab cakes to a lightly oiled baking sheet and let chill.

Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8 inches from the heat. Drizzle the crab cakes with 2 tablespoons of oil and broil for about 12 minutes or until golden and crisp (ok to turn once). Transfer to plates and drizzle with curry aioli.  Add a lightly dressed arugula salad if desired.   Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine magazine.

Limited_SB13_BottleshotSilky_StickerLIMITED CAMBRIDGE CELLARS
SAUVIGNON BLANC
DRY CREEK VALLEY, CA

Cambridge Cellars strives to produce wines that embody the designations from where they are grown. Their  “LIMITED” wines represent those rare, exception lots from distinguished appellations throughout California’s wine country.  Dry Creek Valley is anchored in by two distinct areas of water – Lake Sonoma to the north and the Russian River to the south.  Sauvignon Blanc is the standout white varietal as it thrives in moderate conditions that are neither too cool nor too warm. Dry Creek is blessed with a steady fog in the morning coming in from the San Francisco Bay and by afternoon temperatures are warm and dry, allowing the Sauvignon Blanc grape to reach maximum potential.

Douglas-Danielak-winemakerDOUGLAS DANIELAK, WINEMAKER

“Our Limited is a beautiful example of crisp, ripe and fresh Sauvignon Blanc. Bright fruit notes of pink grapefruit, peach and apple open on the palate, with vibrant acidity and a rich mouth-feel through the finish. ”

 VARIETAL: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
APPELLATION: Dry Creek Valley, California
ANALYSIS: 13.2% alc/volume

FEATURED WINE CLUB WINE: January 2015