Thursday, August 17, 2006

Parental Units

The Ps came to visit this weekend and, like always, it was fueled by great food and wine. On Sunday I prepared a steamer pot of clams and red snapper.

I first diced and sauteed half a large onion and five garlic cloves in olive oil in my sturdy dutch oven (thanks, mom!) After they were nicely colored I tossed in 30 rinsed and cleaned littleneck clams and put the lid on to allow them to steam. Once the clams were slightly open I added about 3/4 a bottle of Vega Sindoa Viura/Chardonnay from Spain, gave them a good stir and popped the lid back on. Once the wine had reduced a bit and the clams were half open I added the snapper filets, some sea salt and about 10 grinds of fresh pepper and popped the lid back on. After one side of the snapper had turned a bit white I flipped the filets over and added about a tablespoon and a half of butter, and returned the lid. 5 minutes later I added a small amount of fresh chopped tarragon and fresh red bell pepper (from Bluebird farmstand at the Farmer's Market) everything was done and ready to eat. On the side we had some nice grilled bread (from Simone the doughgirl at the Farmer's Market) for sopping up the buttery, garlicky, olive oilly, winey broth. Yuuuummmm.

We served 2 bottles with this steamer pot. The first was Epiphany Cellars 2005 Grenache Rose from Santa Barbara (only one case came into Memphis so don't even bother looking for it), and the second was Vina Rey 2003 Tempranillo Crianza. The rose exhibited deep red berry fruit, a nice hit of tannin and lovely complex spice character. The Vina Rey was lush and dark with earthy notes, silky texture, spicy flavors and a lovely finish. Seek it out now!

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