Happy holidays y’all! And what better time than the holidays to break open a bottle (or three) and celebrate with good food, friends, and family? Some of us have already been enjoying fun friends and family festivities, and we would love to hear about your wine and food pairings.
The holidays are upon us and Old Man Winter has visited our state, with dustings of snow in the Panhandle. It’s finally feeling like Christmas. So, pull out the fancy dishes, grab your notepad (or iPad), and let’s get cracking on that grocery and wine list. Don’t worry….these pairings are simple, yet sublime and guaranteed to satisfy even the finickiest Aunt Flo (just kidding Aunt Flo! Love you!).
Let me just say that I am not a wine expert. I am a wine lover. That said…I believe that if it tastes good, it’s ok. I don’t get too scientific when it comes to the wine I drink or the food I eat with it. I have great respect for the folks who are highly trained in these areas. I have learned a lot from sommeliers and chefs. The idea is to enjoy the wine and food…whatever that means to you.
Some folks make it a habit of having turkey on the Thanksgiving table and ham on the Christmas table…to each his own. There is no hard and fast rule about which meat has to be on the table. Heck, some folks don’t even serve meat. The important thing is…who is at the table, not what. Where friends and families gather, with good food and wine, is bound to be a memorable holiday. Hope you enjoy this simple wine and food pairing.
Appetizers (simple, yet sublime!):
- Boar’s Head Havarti cheese
- Grapes, strawberries
- Cranberry jalapeño chutney on cream cheese with crackers (My daughter, Lisa, turned me on to this chutney a while back….it can be as mild or as hot as you want!) Recipe below.
- Wine: Llano Estacado Signature Rosé (light and fresh, fruity!) This is a perfect wine to serve all night).
Dinner (once again, we are keeping it simple):
- Fresh spinach salad with chopped, dried cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette
- Roasted sweet potatoes with chopped pecans and a dusting of cinnamon
- Fresh steamed green beans with almond slivers and bits of ham
- Cranberry jalapeño chutney
- Baked, spiral honey ham
- Wine: Messina Hof Moscato (slightly sweet, goes perfectly with honey ham and spicy chutney!) or if you prefer red with your meal, I love McPherson Cellar’s Sangiovese (a nice black cherry aroma).
- Pecan Cheesecake Pie (my specialty…recipe below!)
- Wine: Grape Creek Riesling (semi-sweet balances very well with a sweet dessert!)
Merry Texas Christmas y’all!
Cranberry jalapeño chutney
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (add more to taste)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped coarsely (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy)
- ½ cup cilantro
- 4 green onions
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- pinch of salt
- 2 (8 ounce) blocks of cream cheese
- Ritz crackers
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor (or in saucepan) (EXCEPT CREAM CHEESE) and pulse until desired consistency. I like mine fairly fine. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours (preferably overnight) to allow the chutney to macerate. Serve over cream cheese and with crackers.
Pecan Cheesecake Pie
- 1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 4 large eggs, divided
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pie plate according to package directions. Fold edges under and crimp.
- Beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture into piecrust; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.
- Whisk together corn syrup and remaining 3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla; pour mixture over pecans. Place pie on a baking sheet.
- Bake at 350° on lowest oven rack 50 to 55 minutes or until pie is set. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 days.
Pie Recipe: www.bakeorbreak.com
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