Wine & Food

Snooth User: Eric Guido

Comfort Food

Posted by Eric Guido, Nov 22, 2008.

Hey everyone

I need an idea for a first course. The Friday after Thanks Giving I'm doing a dinner for a group that want Comfort Food and Big wines.

I've got my menu planned out pretty well with a Rich Butternut squash Risotto, a main course centered around a killer Meatloaf (trust me, it's worth the main spot) and finishing with a Pecan Pie. Wines currently included, Mondavi, Cabernet Sauvignon Riserve 2004, Pride Napa/Sonoma Merlot 2005 and the dessert will be served with a Bea Sagrantino Passito '99.

However, the first course is killing me. I don't want to cop out with another boring antipasta plate (what's comfortable about that?).

Any ideas? I haven't picked out the forth bottle of wine yet either so if there's a type of wine you'd suggest to go with it, then please feel free.

Thanks

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Replies

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Reply by oceank8, Nov 23, 2008.

I'm not too fancy when it comes to planning meals and don't know if either of these would work as a "first course" but when I think of comfort food I think of mashed potatoes (after Thanksgiving I mix them with some Wondra, make patties, and fry them - the BEST!), or I think of Mac and Cheese (certainly a lot can be done with this dish).

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Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 23, 2008.

I did consider a supped up Mac and Cheese but I'm afraid of everyone getting full before the main course hits. It would probably make a great alternative to the Risotto if I needed one. Thanks for the ideas.

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Reply by vigna uva vino, Nov 23, 2008.

what about a nice spicy chile, or a black bean soup w cilantro and sour cream?

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Reply by vigna uva vino, Nov 23, 2008.

And you can pair the chile with a wine from, well... Chile... Cousino-Macul Maipo Valley

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Reply by Philip James, Nov 23, 2008.

Mac and cheese was our first idea idea as well actually... Crab cakes was #2, but not really with big wines...

Epenadas if they like that sort of thing (i do!) would work, as they are small and can pair with a big assed wine.

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Reply by fibo86, Nov 23, 2008.

This might be a stupid question but is it snowing where you are at that time? (i'm in Australia that's why i ask)

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Reply by Philip James, Nov 23, 2008.

No, its pretty cold though - around 2 centigrade and very windy, probably around -3 centigrade with windchill.

However...a friend of mine is in Melbourne on business and he's telling me that although its supposed to be warm (southern hemisphere summer) its only 8 degrees, so he had to run out and buy warm clothes. He's from Singapore so didnt think to pack much!

Where are you based?

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Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 23, 2008.

I thought about Chili, in fact I was originally going to do a Chili or a Goulash for the main course. The Meatloaf though is a show stopper.

Crab cakes with a... Santa Cruz Chard??? Now that is starting to spark some ideas.

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Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 23, 2008.

Oh yeah, I just got back from a party today, here's a pic of a new menu item that went over really well;

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/ind...

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Reply by Philip James, Nov 23, 2008.

My other thought was French Onion Soup...

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Nov 24, 2008.

Yeah a nice hearty soup would work nicely -- either French Onion like Philip suggests or maybe a thick stew or minestrone...

That pumpkin ravioli looks delicious!

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Reply by oceank8, Nov 24, 2008.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter is one of my favorite dishes. We used to have one of Wolfgang Puck's restaurants out here that did it really well. They would somehow fry the sage so it was super crunchy - YUM!

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 24, 2008.

So funny what people think of as Comfort food. My first thought was mac and cheese but I went and made comfort food for myself yesterday. Polenta with sausages braised in tomato sauce. We all have our own zones. The pics all look great Eric. So when will we have our first Snooth food and wine offline?

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Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 24, 2008.

Hey Gregory, I was actually thinking about that very thing. I'l put more thought into it at the start of the new year. I must warn though, that I wouldn't be able to have much face time with you guys if I'm cooking.

As for French Onion Soup, what would you guys pair with that.

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Nov 25, 2008.

That's a good question. I might go for a Chardonnay -- maybe one that's more crisp?

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Reply by Robert Dallas Gray, Nov 25, 2008.

I think I'd want something with a bit of depth with french onion soup, especially if you're going to make it with toast and a sweet, nutty cheese on top. Maybe something viogner-based from the southern Rhône or Languedoc, preferably with bit of marsanne or roussane in the blend (D'Arenberg's Hermit Crab does a pretty good impression of this style). Even a Savennières might work well -- that kind of honeyed warmth might really complement the roasty onion flavours ...

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Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 25, 2008.

Wow, so much to think about here. Well, I'll have to settle on everything by tomorrow since I have to source everything tomorrow afternoon. I think I might need to go with the Chard, mainly because I know what to expect from high mountain chard. Really liked your ideas Robert, but I don't know enough about the wine you suggested to pull them out at an event. I'll certainly put them on my list to pick up and sample.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 26, 2008.

Sherry. Something deep and nutty with enough sweetness to stand up to the soup, which is of course packed with sugar. I'd prefer an amontillado but an oloroso might be better for a wider audience. Two favorite producers are Lustau and Alvear, who technically produces Montilla not Sherry but this is primarily a geographical distinction, though the do onlt work with the Pedro Ximenez grape.

http://www.snooth.com/wine/alvear-a...

http://www.snooth.com/wines/lustau%...

http://www.snooth.com/wines/lustau%...

http://www.snooth.com/wines/lustau%...

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Nov 26, 2008.

Eric, Robert -- that was basically my thinking. Robert, I agree your suggestions sound great but sometimes I feel I need to experiment on my own time and go for the sure shot when hosting a party.

I've created my fair share of experimentation disasters in polite company. Haha... all in good fun of course.

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Reply by Pymonte, Nov 26, 2008.

Awwww, man. See what working for over a week straight does?

I sooo woulda been on this if I had a day off or two.

Gougeres woulda been a cool alternative to mac and cheese.

Or you could make a bechamel, add some really nice cheese, thicken it with gelatin to the point where it is solid when cooled, standard breading procedure with panko bread crumbs, and then deep fry all of that. Make 'em small enough and you'll get really nice cheese explosions. You could throw some truffles in there too.

Devilled eggs, or quail eggs

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