Because sparkling wines are typically blended wines (or cuvees) they have a unique ability to pair with a wide range of foods. Bubbles are the perfect compliment with fruity, savory, sweet, meaty, nutty, and salty foods. Similarly, the acidity of sparkling wine is the perfect counterpart to cut through rich and fatty dishes. Sorry red wine, but bubbles play better. These are a few of my favorite Go-To food and sparkling wine match ups.
Caviar Potato Chip
¼ cup crème fraîche
3-4 ounces roe caviar
1 bag plain salty potato chips
1 tablespoon of chives cut into ½ inch pieces
1 plastic spoon
Select flat, round chips and space evenly on a serving platter. Top each potato chip with a ½ teaspoon size dollop of crème fraîche and a plastic spoonful of caviar. Be careful not to use metal spoon when serving caviar as it can affect the flavor. Top with a single chive.
Smoked Salmon Blini
1 package of pre-made blinis
4 oz of smoked salmon
½ cup crème fraîche
Pinch of salt and pepper
Fresh dill or parsley for garnish
Bring blini to room temperature just before serving. Space out blinis evenly on a serving platter. Scoop crème fraiche into a small mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk with hand mixer for 1 minute or until cream becomes light and fluffy like whipped cream. Top each blini with a piece of smoked salmon. Add a small dollop of the creme fraiche and a sprig of dill or parsley.
Popcorn with Truffle Salt
1 package of plain, unsalted microwave popcorn or ¼ cup popcorn kernels
2 teaspoons of truffle salt
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Cook popcorn according to package directions. When kernels have popped and are still warm, toss with salt, cheese and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Transfer to smaller serving bowl.
Champagne Cheese Board
4 oz Triple Cream Brie
4 oz Truffle Tremor
4 oz Aged Gruyere or Comté
Bunch of green grapes or small champagne grapes
1 thinly sliced Gala apple (or other pink variety)
½ cup Marcona almonds
¼ dried apricots
¼ cup of raw honey or fruit jam
Crackers or sliced French baguette
Assemble the three cheeses on a large serving platter equally spaced. Pile the remaining fruits and nuts around the board to break the color palette. Serve along side crackers or sliced baguette.
1 pt whole fresh crimini mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ cup Italian style breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, salt, black pepper, and onion powder. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle a small amount of bread crumbs over the top of each. Drizzle with remaining oil.
Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce
2 packages of good quality butternut squash ravioli
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
12 fresh whole sage leaves
Shaved Parmesan cheese for garnish
Olive oil for garnish
Cook ravioli according to package instructions. Once ravioli have been dropped in the boiling water, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sage. Continue to cook and stirring constantly until the sage is crispy, but not burned and butter starts to bubble and brown, about 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place drained raviolis into the butter sauce and cook 1 additional minute to coat the pasta. Transfer to serving bowl and top with shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
Mini Egg Quiches
1 box of 2 pre-made pie crusts, room temperature
6 large eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1½ cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
¼ cup of yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz cubed Canadian bacon or ham
¼ cup minced chives
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Spray mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
Using a small round cutter or cup with a 2 ½ " diameter, roll out pie crust and cut into individual circles. Mold dough into indentations of muffin tin and prick the bottom of the dough with a fork once or twice. Place in the oven to pre-bake for about 12-15 minutes.
Whisk together eggs and heavy cream until light and fluffy. Add salt and pepper until well-combined. Stir in cheese. Pour into pie shells and top with cubed bacon or ham and a sprinkle of chives. Bake for for 15-20 minutes until the egg mixture is set. Remove from the oven and let rest about 5 minutes before serving.
Fresh Spring Rolls
1 package of 12 spring roll rice paper wrappers
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 large cucumber, peeled and julienned
½ cup finely chopped purple cabbage
1 avocado, sliced
5 large green lettuce leaves (romaine, butter, etc), torn in half
24 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and sliced in half length-wise
Hoisin or satay dipping sauce
Pour warm water into a 9-inch round baking pan or bowl. Working with one at a time, submerge the rice paper wrapper into the warm water for 15-20 seconds (or whatever the package suggests). You want the wrapper to be soft, yet still slightly firm and pliable. Immediately remove from the water and lay out flat onto a work surface such as a large cutting board. Place 2 tablespoons of grated carrot, a few slices of cucumber, a sprinkle of cabbage, a slice of avocado and the picked herbs on the of bottom ½ of the rice paper in a 3 inch by 1 inch rectangle. Season vegetables with a pinch of salt and pepper. Lay ½ of a lettuce leaf on top of the veggies and 4 slices of shrimp in a row. Remember, do not overstuff the roll. Roll everything up tightly. To do so, gently pull up the bottom of the roll and roll over the filling. Then, roll and use your hands to tuck the filling in as you go. It's basically like you're rolling a burrito! Remember, you want a very tight roll. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.
1 (12 ounce) package of refrigerated biscuit dough
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 finely chopped green onions
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 pinch paprika
1 pinch of bay seasoning
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
Divide rolls in half, roll out and press into the prepared muffin pans. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, crab, mayonnaise, egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, Cheddar cheese, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of mixture into tarts and garnish with paprika and bay seasoning.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, or until light brown.
Pear Apple Crisp
3 pears, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
3 green apples, peeled, halved, cored and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons, plus ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons, plus ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
½ cup slivered almonds, chopped
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 8” round or 1-qt baking dish.
In a large bowl, stir together the pears, apples, the 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the melted butter, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Pour into baking dish.
In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining ¼ cup of flour, oats, the remaining ½ cup brown sugar, the almonds, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir in the remaining melted butter until you have evenly moistened crumbs. Spoon the crumb mixture evenly over the pear and apple filling.
Bake until the fruit is tender when tested with a fork, the juices are bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool.
Serve the crisp warm or at room temperature with scoops of the vanilla ice cream.