Food and Wine Pairings: Quarantined
It is official, we are on order to "Stay Home" in Washington State due to the Pandemic COVID-19. Have you heard of it? It is pretty nuts. As a highly infected state, we are certainly behind the power curve...and thus negatively impacting "the curve." It is definitely frustrating and like everyone else, I am just ready for it all to be over. I love staying home with my dogs, but what I have learned from all this chaos is cooking has unknowingly become my creative outlet. I found freedom in preparing meals and it has now been restricted.
I am sure like yours, our grocery store has kind of gone to the shitter. To no fault of their own of course, people are hoarding and so many items beyond toilet paper out of stock. I no longer have the ability to plan a recipe with the assurance I will be able to obtain the ingredients. Grocery shopping has been nothing short of challenging during this time and I have had to shift my diet to incorporate things I normally do not eat.
There is no use in complaining, so I have chosen to step up to the challenge and have fun with the hand we have been dealt. I took a look in my pantry to see what I had sitting on the shelf for an undetermined amount of time; analyzing the items to see what presumably could be deemed as common items people are likely to have in their homes. I found Peanut Butter, Jelly, a box of Mac&Cheese, and a can of Bush's Baked Beans.
Do you have some or all of these in your own home? Perfect! Dive into these pairings and make modifications where they are needed. I have recommended specific wines that would make a phenomenal pairing, but anything you have right now will work. Stay home, stay safe, do not feel any pressure to get the suggested wines. Whatever you have will do.
In these recipes I use the general term for many of the ingredients to encourage you to use what you have. If you want to add something else to ramp up the recipe, go for it.
Pro tip: The more wine you drink, the better the dish will be!
PB&J paired with Lambrusco (Anything that Sparkles!)
*Come on...you got this.
*Not a Jelly fan? Swap for Honey!
Why it works:
The aromas of the Lambrusco compliment the sweetness of the jelly and cut through the boldness of the Peanut Butter. This or any other sparkling wine is a good option because the popping bubbles will not be flattened by the thick coat of peanut butter on your tongue.
Mac&Cheese Casserole paired with Chardonnay (Any white)
*Box of Mac&Cheese
*Panko 1/2 cup of Bread Crumbs
*1 tbsp of butter
*1/2 an onion
*1/2 cup of cheese
*Cook your Mac&Cheese per the instructions on the box
*Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees
*Option: cook the bacon, let it cool and crisp, then crumble
*Option: chop onion and saute on medium until the onions become translucent (3-5 minutes)
*When the Mac&Cheese is prepared per the box instructions, mix with the bacon crumbles and chopped onions
*Mash into a greased casserole dish
*Mix the melted butter, bread crumbs and the additional cheese in a separate bowl and sprinkle over the top of the casserole
*Bake for 20 minutes
Why it works:
This dish is heavy and needs a wine that can match the boldness of the meal. An Un-oaked Chardonnay has the bold flavor that will not get lost in the ubiquitous amount of cheese. Stear clear of an Oaked Chardonnay because those wines have buttery notes, which may cause a dairy flavor overload. But if that is what you have, risk it.
Quaran-beans paired with Zinfandel (Any red)
*Can of Bush's Beans
*1/2 of an Onion
*Optional: In a medium to large sized pot, saute the chopped onions and jalapeño on medium until the onions become translucent (3-5 minutes)
*Optional: Slice the hot dogs and add them to the pot
*Open the can o' beans and dump it into the pot
*Once heated to your desired temperature, serve it up
*Additions: slap some hot sauce in there to keep things spicy...but not too spicy, this is a bean heavy dish after all.
Why it works:
The earthy flavor of our favorite camping dish makes for the perfect match with the aromas of a Zinfandel. Light to medium bodied red wines like this one make for a good pairing because the floral notes will not get wiped out by the acidity of the beans. If you are going to add a lot of spice, keep the alcohol content of the wine low. You don't want to be burning the candles at both ends if you know what I mean.
I hope you had some of these items tucked in your pantry and you enjoyed these pairing proposals. I plan to make the Quaran-beans this Friday, so make sure to follow along with my Instagram and Facebook stories for inspiration.
Do you have any make-shift recipes? Please let me know. Share them here or on The Wine Tails Facebook page. It is always great to have more recipes in your arsenal. Thank you for following along, cheers!