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Archive for June, 2016

Food and Wine Pairing

The pairing of food and wine can be an intimidating task for many non-foodies and wine connoisseurs, but it’s actually not as difficult as you may think and rather fun to experiment with.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

Style: Matching the style and weight of the wine to pair with your food is key. For example, a full-bodied cabernet will pair well with a juicy sirloin steak. Ruby port is an ideal partner for intense flavours such as a rich chocolate dessert or a cheese board. A delicate wine like chardonnay and a lighter meal like fish make for a great partnership. Can you see where we are going? This is fun!

Colour doesn’t matter: It’s widely believed that red or white meats should be paired with their respective wines. However, the dish should be looked at as a whole, for example,hicken served with a rich tomato-based sauce could be paired with a light red wine. It’s all about looking at the colour of your food as a whole and matching it with a beautiful wine for the perfect love affair.

Stay away from oaky wines: Wines with less oaky notes are generally easier to pair with food. Oaky wines can often overpower the food that it’s paired with.

Salt helps: Adding salt to your food has the adverse effect of helping your wine complement your dish. Tending to please the palate, wines taste fruitier, milder and less acidic.

You can’t go wrong with the bubbly: Champagne or sparkling wine works well with almost any food. For even less risk opt for the brut variety.

At the end of the day the wine you pair with food is up to you. Each person’s unique palate prefers certain flavours to others. Experiment with different food and wine combinations and the flavours you like will pair well.

A Succulent Steak for a Cold Winter

There’s nothing quite like a good steak in the heart of winter, well, all year really, but especially in winter! If cooked to the perfect consistency, this could be one of the best meals you will eat all day. If you follow these few easy steps, you will be well on your way to creating a heavenly meal that is sure to whet your appetite at the very sight of it.

Happy cooking!

Tips  before you get started

  • A good beef steak should be at least 21mm thick and should be evenly cut.
  • Remember to defrost it in the fridge a few hours before you intend on cooking, and then to take it out the fridge about 10-minutes before you cook it to take the chill out of it.
  • If you plan on using a pan – use a heavy-based one.
  • Season steaks lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Oil the steak, and not the grill to prevent the steak from sticking.

The three steps to success

  1. Heating the pan or grill to the correct temperature is important for both flavour and tenderness. A moderately hot grill or pan should create that perfect sizzle when the steak is placed on it.
  2. Steaks should only be turned once as the more you turn it the tougher it gets.
  3. Knowing how to tell when your steak is ready to come off the grill is key to perfectly cooking a steak. Using either a pair of tongs or your fingertip, press the centre of the steak. For a rare steak it should be soft, medium is springy and well done is very firm.

Tip: Resting the steak under foil for 2 to 3 minutes after keeps the steaks juicy and tender.

Rare Cook for 2 to 3 minutes each side, turning it only once. Internal temperature approximately 55-60ºC

Medium RareCook until moisture is visible on top. Turning only once, cook second side until moisture is visible on top and steak feels ‘soft’. Internal temperature approximately 60-65ºC

MediumCook until moisture is pooling on top. Turning only once, cook second side until moisture is visible and steak feels ‘springy’ but soft. Internal temperature approximately 65-70ºC

Medium Well Done Cook until moisture is pooling on top. Turn and cook the second side until moisture is pooling. Reduce heat and continue to cook until ‘firm’. Internal temperature approximately 70ºC

Well DoneCook one side until moisture is pooling on top. Turn to cook the other side until moisture is pooling. Reduce heat and cook until the steak feels ‘very firm’

Don’t forget to rest it…