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Recipes for a Sweet Wine
© Sue Courtney
25 March 2003

These recipes were partially inspired by the Schubert Dolce 2000, a Wine of the Week in March 2003. They will probably match many other sweet wines as well as the other wines I have mentioned with the recipes. All the recipes are for two people.

The recipes include
- Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad
- Pork Fillet stuffed with Pears and Sage
- Chardonnay Beurre Blanc
- Pear and Potato Rosti
- Honey Sage and Orange Potatoes
- Basil and Orange Beans
- Toffee Peaches Poached in a Gewurztraminer Reduction
- Gewurztraminer Reduction

The recipes are original creations by Sue Courtney and no recipe books were used except to find a methodology for a butter sauce.

Pear, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad
A very simple salad, making the most of seasonal produce. Sweet wine is often served with blue cheese, nuts and fresh fruit. "Why not a salad", I thought.

You will need:

    - the leaves of fresh 'cos' style lettuce or any crisp, green, style of lettuce
    - one fresh pear, ripe but not too squishy
    - one 125g packet of blue cheese
    - a handful of walnuts
    - 1/4 cup cream

Wash and dry lettuce and arrange on individual plates.
Take 100g of the cheese, chop into cubes, place into a microwave safe bowl, cover with cream and heat on medium until cheese is melted into the cream. Heat for a minute, stir, hear for another minute and stir again, until combined.
Peel and cube pear, discarding core.
Arrange pear on salad greens.
Add about half the walnuts.
Pour over the sauce.
Crumble the remainder of the cheese and sprinkle over.
Garnish with the remaining walnuts.

I originally designed this salad, using Camembert not blue cheese, for Pinot Gris.

Pork Fillet Stuffed with Pears and Sage and served with a Chardonnay Beurre Blanc
You will need:

Stuffed and tied seared pork fillet - ready to wrap and go into the oven

    - One Pork Fillet
    - Plenty of fresh sage leaves - I used traditional green, variegated and pineapple sage
    - One 'just ripe' pear
    - A couple of tablespoons of late harvest style sweet wine
    - Oil or butter

Wash and dry the fillet and split the fillet down the length.
Peel pear, cut in half, remove core and slice one half lengthwise into 5mm slices
Cover one side of the cut fillet with sage leaves.
Lay the pears atop the sage leaves.
Drizzle over the sweet wine.
Close the fillet and tie with string or secure with small metal skewers.
Season with salt and pepper.

Melt oil or butter in a hot pan, add the fillet to sear on all sides to brown. Remove fillet and wrap loosely in cooking paper.
Bake for 30 minutes in a 200C oven
Turn off oven and wait another 10 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, make the sauce

Chardonnay Beurre Blanc
You will need:

    - Spring Onions
    - one lemon
    - 1/4 cup of chardonnay
    - 1/2 cup cream
    - 100 grams of butter

Place 2 tablespoons of chopped spring onions into a saucepan with the juice of the lemon and the chardonnay.
Bring to boil and boil until reduced to a couple of tablespoons.
Add the cream, bring to the boil then simmer slowly for 10-15 minutes. This will reduce the liquid.
Cut the butter into cubes.
Transfer the liquid to a double boiler and add the butter a cube at a time, whisking all the time until all the butter has been added and combined into the sauce.

To serve, slice the pork fillet into small rounds. Arrange on a plate and pour some of the sauce over. Put the remainder of the sauce in a jug to go on the table.

This dish is unbelievably good with a sweeter style, late harvest wine. It is also particularly good with a Pinot Gris or a Chardonnay.

This dish can be served with either Potato and Pear Rosti, or Honeyed Sage and Orange Potatoes. Green Beans add a striking contrasting colour.

Potato and Pear Rosti
You will need:

    - one slightly unripe pear
    - one potato about the same size as the pear
    - one egg
    - salt and pepper
    - oil or butter for frying

Beat the egg with the seasonings
Peel the potato and grate. Ditto the pear.
Mix the potato and pear together place into a clean tea towel and squeeze well to rid the gratings of as much liquid as possible.
Add the gratings to the beaten egg. Mix well.
Pan fry in spoonful sizes in oil or butter - I used a combo of butter and grape seed oil.

If using this style of the potatoes with the pork, place on the plate, then place the carved pork on top of the rosti. Spoon the sauce over.

Honeyed Sage and Orange Potatoes
You will need:

    - 3 potatoes
    - a few pineapple sage leaves
    - 2 tangelos
    - 1 tablespoon of a delicately floral liquid honey, such as a South Island Vipers Bugloss honey
    - 1 tablespoon olive oil
    - Additional oil and or butter for frying

As this dish combines a trio of cooking techniques use an all purpose potato such as Rua or Stroma if you can get them. Rua is a white/yellow skinned potato while Stroma is a light pinky/red skinned potato with a creamy, slightly yellow flesh. The slightly elongated shape of Stroma makes them good for this recipe as the slices will tend to be more even in diameter. Select new potatoes with young tender skins.

Wash and scrub any dirt off the potatoes. Microwave whole for 3 to 4 minutes. Slice across the girth of the potato into 1cm widths.
Melt some butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the slices on each side until they start to take up a golden colour. Remove to a baking dish.

Zest about a teaspoon of tangelo skin, then halve the tangelos and juice.
Add the juice, the liquid honey and a tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pan together with the chopped rosemary sage leaves and the zest. Stir well to combine and let the liquid reduce just a little. Pour over the potatoes and place in the oven with the pork about 10 minutes before the pork cooking time is up. Keep them in the oven with the pork when the oven is switched off.

Basil and Orange Beans
Not really for the sweet wine, but for colour on the dish.

You will need:

    - One large handful of freshly picked baby green beans
    - Juice of one orange or tangelo
    - half a dozen fresh basil leaves
    - 1 tablespoon of butter

This is basically made the same way as the potatoes. Cook the beans in a little water in the microwave for about 90 seconds. Then pan fry in a little butter, add the orange juice and basil to give the beans a gloss and simmer to reduce the liquid. Do not overcook the beans as they need to keep their bright green colour. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Toffeed Peaches Poached in a Gewurztraminer Reduction and served with Marscapone Cream
You will need:

    - One large peach
    - 1/2 cup of gewurztraminer reduction (see recipe below)
    - 2 tsbp sugar
    - a packet of marscapone cream

Cut peach in half and remove the stone.
Place peach halves in a saucepan skin side up and pour over the wine.
Heat the liquid and simmer the peaches in the wine for about 10 minutes.
Turn the peaches over and poach for about another 10 minutes.
Remove peaches and place in a flat dish that you can place under the grill.
Line the dish with baking paper and place the peach halves on the paper, cut side up.
Sprinkle each peach with a tablespoon of sugar.
Pour about a teaspoon of the cooking liquid into the cavity of the peach.
Place under the hot grill and cook until the sugar starts to bubble and toffee up.

To serve, place in a dessert bowl and top with marscapone cream (or whipped cream).

Instead of the Gewurztraminer reduction you could simply use a sweet wine. A 375ml bottle of Matua Valley Late Harvest Muscat 2002, for example, which costs about NZ$12 a half bottle is a reasonably priced wine for this dish. It's not too bad to drink, either.

Gewurztraminer Reduction

Rose petals floating on the gewurtzraminer
You will need:

    - one bottle of gewurztraminer - or the combined residues of several left over bottles of gewurztraminer.
    - one cup of sugar
    - one cup of rose petals

Put the wine, the sugar and the rose petals in a saucepan.
Bring to the boil and reduce to about a 250ml, or a large cup.
When the liquid is cool strain to remove the rose petals, which will now be quite disgusting looking (but will actually taste quite delicious).
Bottle the strained liquid and seal well for later use.

I used the remnants of the wines from a Gewurztraminer tasting held late last year.
There were about 3 bottles when the leftovers I wanted to use were combined and I reduced this to about 750ml. I preserved the liquid in one of the screwcap bottles from the tasting and now use it from time to time, for dishes such as this.
The rose petals I selected were from Cecile Brunner and Seafoam, small petalled roses with delicate musky rose scents.

The gewurztraminers I used had some residual sugar and the reduction became quite syrupy, so keep an eye on the liquid as it reduces and if it starts to turn towards treacly, remove from the heat immediately. I actually almost made toffee from the leftovers of a Chardonnay tasting that I reduced, however it didn't set and was instead preserved as "Chardonnay Treacle".

Kia pai te kai

© Sue Courtney
March 2003

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