White wine and seafood are a match made in heaven. When food connoisseurs talk about pairing this food with that wine, when it gets to seafood, white wine makes up the majority. Examples such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Chenin Blanc, Fume Blanc etc. For someone who rarely drinks, sometimes I ask myself of what use this information is to me. A couple of weeks ago I spent hours walking through home stores and stressing about wine glasses. I ended up coming home with 3 different kinds, plus champagne flutes, martini glasses, drinking glasses and whisky glasses. There is a part of me that takes delight in seeing them all arranged, and the other Ijebu (penny pincher) side of me is thinking for the Love of Christ DUNNI!!!!! you went overboard. Thankfully the receipt is still staring at me, so the 30 day return calendar is ticking.
Wine glasses vary in shape and size, and you should ensure that you serve the right wine in the proper glass. Wine glasses for red wine have wider bowls which is to allow the wine to breathe as the reaction of oxygen with red wine alters the taste for the better. White wine on the other hand which is usually served cold needs a narrow bowl to reduce its exposure to air which preserves the flavour and also retains the temperature. Er, when drinking white wine, it is best to hold it at the stem instead of the bowl so body heat from your palm doesn’t raise the temperature of the wine. Ask me why I know all this, I still don’t know. Don’t let me start on the 4S rules of drinking wine.
With this post, I know I am going to alienate some of my muslim readers, and for that I apologise. You can use fish stock as a substitute. If you don’t drink for non religious reasons, you can still cook with wine. The heat burns off the alcohol content so you are just left with the flavour of the wine, and you can serve this to kids. This recipe is a seafood medley, so any combination of seafood that you can find will be great – I got a pack comprising of different kinds. It is simple and quick and can serve as a weekday meal, date night eat in or a fancy lunch at work. Hey you will probably pay a pricey amount to eat this at a restaurant during your lunch break.
So you will need
200 – 300g of Seafood – prawns, scallops, squid, mussels, chunks of fleshy fish etc
1 cup of White wine – I always recommend to cook with wine you love to drink, so don’t experiment with a brand you’ve never had before. I will advertise (for free) Banrock Station Colombard Chardonnay. If you ever see this on the Australian wines aisle, pick it up please, it is a great choice and also cheap
1 or 2 pieces of Ata Rodo (scotch bonnet/habanero pepper) – the yellow variety
A handful of Herbs – basil (efinrin), parsley or coriander (you can also use a combination of 2)
1 small Red Onion
1 Green bell pepper
Seasoning cube – Knorr chicken cubes preferred
1. Prepare your seafood – I got mine from a pack so it was ready to use
2. Chop the red onion, green bell pepper, ata rodo and set aside. Chop the herbs and place in a different bowl
3. Heat up two tablespoons of Olive oil in a pan, fry the ata rodo, onions and green bell pepper until the onions are golden brown and the green bell pepper has wilted. This should take about two minutes.
4. Add the seafood to the pan and let it fry. As it cooks, it will release its juices into the pan which will in turn cook the seafood. Ensure that you are stirring regularly. Let this fry for 2 – 3 minutes. If you are not using a non stick pan, some bits will stick to the bottom of the pan. Don’t try to scrape this so you don’t crush the seafood. The wine will de-glaze the pan.
5. Pour the white wine (or fish stock) into the pan and watch it bubble for a few seconds and then settle. Add the herbs, salt and 1 seasoning cube and stir
6. Let this cook for 3 minutes to burn off the alcohol and also reduce in volume to form a delicious sauce. If you would like to try some kitchen theatrics seen on Tv, flambé the sauce by either tilting the pan a bit to catch the fire if you are using a gas lit cooker, or you simply ignite a lighter over the pan. Stand well back please so you don’t singe your eyebrows.
Pour the sauce over a plate of boiled rice or yam or simply enjoy with lightly toasted slices of bread. If you are wondering why I did not use additional spices, this is intentional. Seafood is in its element when you cook it with white wine, so I kept it simple to allow the flavours interact to leave a crisp and clean taste on your palate without interrupting it with spices. The flavour of the herbs gives the sauce a fresh taste and that’s just enough for me.