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Mike Filigenzi

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Food for a chenin tasting

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:39 am

Hi all -

I'm going to be hosting a chenin blanc tasting in a couple of weeks. This is mostly because I've ended up with too many bottles of the stuff in the basement and we're not drinking much white wine these days. They're mostly from the Clarksburg area but there will be some French and at least one South African version.

This will be starting at around 6 PM, so I'll need to have enough food to provide supper for everyone although we won't be doing a sit-down meal. A couple of complications include one good friend who's on a ketogenic diet, which forbids any sort of carbs (simple or complex) and one who is gluten averse. Of course, not every bite of food will comply with these restrictions but I want to be sure that both of them get enough food. The one thing I'm definitely making is roasted cauliflower soup. I test drove that one a couple of nights ago and it came out very well. I was wondering if anyone here had any ideas of some other dishes that could be made ahead of time and would go nicely with the wine. Bonus points for either gluten free or carb free!
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Howie Hart

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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Howie Hart » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:57 am

My exposure to Chenin is almost entirely Vouvray, It is my favorite pairing for steamed or boiled lobster. I would say lobster, crab or even shrimp dishes would work. Maybe even clam chowder.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:52 am

Moules mariniere, too.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jenise » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:46 pm

Ketogenic. Basically, Atkins, as I would unscientifically call it. Is this a medical necessity or just a current preference? Was just looking at a recipe for baked cheese-stuffed (goat+parm+garlic and chives) artichoke bottoms, if you're not averse to using a canned artichoke bottom. I rather like the flavor of them and accept that they're not actual artichokes like fresh. But some would not.

For an event of my own, I'm looking at crepes. Yes, there's flour involved, but also lots of milk (use whole) and egg, so it would be low carb though not entirely zero carb, and further reduced in volumn by the involvement of a carb-free filing, like something involved smoked fish, crab, shrimp or lobster.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:48 pm

Thanks, everyone. Great ideas - I like all of them. The artichoke bottom things sound like they'd be fine with the canned bottoms.

The ketogenic thing is somewhat like Atkins but more scientifically oriented. The idea is to change your metabolism such that you are excreting high levels of ketones in your urine. This (as I sort of understand it) is indicative of burning fat rather than carbs. It's been around a long time and has well proven benefits for diabetics. My friend is not diabetic but he is a molecular biology professor who's been researching how this diet affects mice. He published something recently showing that mice on the ketogenic diet live significantly longer than mice on a standard diet. That's made him a believer, and he's lost about twenty pounds since going on it. I'm not willing to go along with such a thing myself, but I'm willing to take this into consideration when planning a menu.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jenise » Tue Oct 24, 2017 2:51 am

Mike Filigenzi wrote: The idea is to change your metabolism such that you are excreting high levels of ketones in your urine. This (as I sort of understand it) is indicative of burning fat rather than carbs.


Actually, that's exactly Atkins. The original Atkins anyway. His book explained ketosis in detail and told you how to look for the odor in your urine (and where to buy test strips) to ensure you'd reached optimum fat burning before slowing adding back any carbs. There was some blowback over the years about ketosis being dangerous, but it seemed to be nothing more than hysteria (Fake News planted by Weight Watchers??? :) ), especially to anyone who did well on the diet. I did!

Re the artichoke bottoms, the recipe was written for canned not fresh. Like I said, many would pass on them for that, but I happen to not dislike the flavor.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Barb Downunder » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:52 am

Re artichoke bottoms. I like the canned ones actually, very useful pantry staple. But I have heard they conflict with wine, is this a problem for a wine tasting?
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jenise » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:53 pm

Barb, artichokes have a reputation for not being good with wine, but I think that's garbage. It all depends on where and how you use them. A canned artichoke bottom, preserved in nothing more than salt water, will be fairly bland in a good way for stuffing with tangy cheeses.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Bill Spohn » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:12 pm

Blanquette de veau. Not as much cream as you'd think. I favour Daniel Boulod's recipe

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food ... eau-103000
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:42 am

Jenise wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote: The idea is to change your metabolism such that you are excreting high levels of ketones in your urine. This (as I sort of understand it) is indicative of burning fat rather than carbs.


Actually, that's exactly Atkins. The original Atkins anyway. His book explained ketosis in detail and told you how to look for the odor in your urine (and where to buy test strips) to ensure you'd reached optimum fat burning before slowing adding back any carbs. There was some blowback over the years about ketosis being dangerous, but it seemed to be nothing more than hysteria (Fake News planted by Weight Watchers??? :) ), especially to anyone who did well on the diet. I did!

Re the artichoke bottoms, the recipe was written for canned not fresh. Like I said, many would pass on them for that, but I happen to not dislike the flavor.


That's definitely it. Ketogenic diets have been around since the 1930's (for epilepsy), so maybe he re-purposed the idea?

Bill - Blanquette de Veau would be delicious with the wine. I was thinking that something like that would be a little more complicated than what I was looking for but it doesn't look at all difficult. I'll have to consider that.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Bill Spohn » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:24 am

Mike, if you want a cold Italian equivalent (also easy to make) as an earlier course, Vitello Tonnato is a favourite for me. Cold sliced veal with a tuna caper sauce.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:36 am

Love Vitello Tonnato, Bill, and that one would be easy to make ahead. Just the kind of thing I was looking for. That along with the soup and various nibbles would make for a nice light supper.

Thanks!
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Bill Spohn » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:57 am

Do let us know how it goes.

Damn! Now I am craving some vitello tonnato! Maybe with a nice crisp Falanghina, or......
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jenise » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:54 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:
That's definitely it. Ketogenic diets have been around since the 1930's (for epilepsy), so maybe he re-purposed the idea?


'Ketogenic' certainly sounds very scientific. Better than "Drinking Man's Diet", a name Atkins also came to be known by. A lot of people probably did it without reading the book and had no idea why it worked--unfortunately, if you don't know how and why it works you probably will fail at it.

Speaking of which my brother-in-law once reported that his wife and ginormous daughter (her obesity eventually killed her) were doing it, but complained that they gained weight! Well, YEAH. There they were eating cheese and steak and god knows what else high fat AND they were cheating with candy bars and such. No ketosis and unrestrained high calorie food, what did they expect?
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jenise » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:46 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:Love Vitello Tonnato, Bill, and that one would be easy to make ahead. Just the kind of thing I was looking for. That along with the soup and various nibbles would make for a nice light supper.

Thanks!


Agreed. Brilliant idea. Pork cooked medium or lightly home-cured--call it "fresh ham" to be trendy--is also a great substitute for veal in this dish.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by wnissen » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:54 pm

Any off-dry or moelleux? I love foie gras on toasts or little crackers, the guests can make it themselves. Maybe smoked trout? I've not had that particular pairing but fish and chenin are classic in my book. You could make a roasted pork loin or roulade and slice it at serving. Or pick up a rotisserie chicken.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jenise » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:20 pm

Walt, you're so right about fish and the off dry chenins. One of the best wine pairings of my life was a rosette of smoked salmon (lox type) with a Cuvee Constance. Bill Spohn might remember Manny pulling that pairing together at one of our Xmas lunches.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Bill Spohn » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:27 pm

I do.

Around $100 US for a 500 ml bottle, but great wines.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Ken Schechet » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:21 pm

Here are some favorite Chenin pairings. Many can be served cold, which would be good for the type of event you are planning:

Seafood - for example, cold shrimp. Warm lobster, as suggested earlier, is also awesome.

Sauteed fish

Salad

Oriental foods, particularly Chinese and Vietnamese. Some of those cold Vietnamese summer rolls would be great to have around for people to nibble on.

Smoked salmon - always great to have around a gathering.

Hope some of these work.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:53 am

Thanks, Ken! I hadn't considered Vietnamese, but that's a good idea.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:27 am

So for the post mortem:

It was a lot of fun. I think everyone had a good time, people enjoyed the wine, and no one went home hungry. I made the cauliflower soup, pork tenderloin tonnato, and a green bean salad. The tonnato was from a recipe on Serious Eats, which involves slow roasting pork tenderloin, giving it a quick sear, and then chilling it before slicing thin and adding the sauce. I had an "oh shit" moment an hour before everyone was supposed to arrive when I realized I had stuck the tenderloins in the fridge without searing them (which really does matter). Since they were so well chilled, I fortunately was able to sear them without raising their internal temp by much. They went into the freezer for a half hour or so and were then ready to go.

The green bean salad included shallots and pepperoncini and was dressed with a mix of mayo, lots of parm, lemon juice, worcestershire, and anchovies. I went light on the pepperoncini but thinking they would clash with the wine but they end up being pretty well tamed by the dressing.

Only problem was that everyone brought food. There were polenta squares with wild mushrooms, homemade salami, cheese, pate, and more. Most of the people in this group have been eating together for well over twenty years and we always bring food to such events, so I should have recognized this and either requested no one bring food or cut back on the amount of food I made. As it is, we'll be eating pork, green bean salad, and soup for some time to come. (Which is not all bad.)

The wines were very interesting. All except one or two were identifiably chenin, with a Ken Forrester and a local one (St. Rey) being most popular among the dry wines. I think a splendid time was had by all.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by wnissen » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:36 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:So for the post mortem:

The wines were very interesting. All except one or two were identifiably chenin, with a Ken Forrester and a local one (St. Rey) being most popular among the dry wines. I think a splendid time was had by all.

Well, that sounds super. I keep meaning to seek out more local chenin.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jenise » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:10 pm

Bravo, Mike. I love the pork tonnato idea and will give that a try soon myself. Btw, speaking of soups for chenin? I wish I'd remembered to point out to you a recipe I posted here a few years ago, that I never made but had at someone else's home, and/but which I did remember in time to make this weekend for a dinner party in Los Angeles as one of two courses to go with two flites of chardonnay. Chenin would go as well for all the same reasons: it's the carrot and citrus salad soup from the Mourad cookbook. Carrots and onions cooked down with carrot juice and reisling, simmered with vanilla bean, pureed and poured around a mound of mixed citrus segments (we used grapefruit, orange and meyer lemon). OMG, it was if anything even better than I remembered, and only after eating it did I or anyone think to mention, "oh yeah, btw, that was vegan." Everyone wanted the recipe. Maybe I should dig it out to highlight it.
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Re: Food for a chenin tasting

by Jim Cassidy » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:45 pm

Jenise:

I love the pork tonnato idea and will give that a try soon myself.


I checked out a recipe for the veal version, and it looks like a prime candidate for the sous vide treatment. Are you likely to try that?
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