Light Greek lunch

October 25, 2012

The salad with feta

Again I present something Greek here. It also comes from “Jamie does…”, the cookery book by Jamie Oliver. Hot days in Bangkok lend themselves in a perfect way to this kind og food, light and refreshing kind of meals.

Green vegetables on toast

We used an Asian vegetable for the ‘green vegetable on toast dish’: “kangkung” is its Indonesian name. I do not know what it is called in Thai. Sprinkle fresh parmesan on the warm vegetable. The melting cheese provides just the right “glue” to produce a very tasty complement. Some roasted garlic is also added.

The light Greek lunch

The crunchy bread together with the cheese flavoured green and the fresh ingredients of the salad (tomatoes, red peppers, onions) with feta are just perfect to stimulate your attpetite even on a hot day.

A glass of sparkling

Any white wine would have complemented the two dishes, I guess. In style would have been a Retsina, a flavoured wine customaynin Greece.

Since we were in a celebratory mood (it was the first day of the school holidays), I grabbed a bottle of bubbly from the fridge.

Base sparkling from Chandon

The sparkling from Chandon is not cheap in Bangkok (about 1,000 Thai Bath), but his zesty freshness with the small bubbles made it an ideal wine to have with the Greek food.

Cheers to us all.

Greek fish stew with Riesling from the Nahe wine region

October 22, 2012

Greek fish stew

I love the recipes from Jamie Oliver. In his book: “Jamie does…”, the Aegean Kakavia, a Greek fish stew, is presented.

These days, as you know, there is some kind of weariness between Greek and German people because of the currency and bailout issues. So a Greek dish with a German wine seemed the right pairing; hinting at some kind of reconciliation or just because fish and Riesling harmonize so well?

I don’t know.

The recipe is dead simple. The beauty is that any fish will do. We had flounder and prawns. Chop some onions, tomatoes, garlic, celery and potatoes and cook it in some vegetable stock, with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. At the end add some fresh parsley and dill, and voilà, here we are.

2010 dry Riesling by Emrich-Schoenleber

I love Riesling and hold the wines made by Emrich-Schoenleber Estate in Monzingen, Nahe in high esteem. They remind me of my childhood and the time I spent with my maternal grandfather in Martinstein, just a couple of kilometres to the West.

This low alcohol (11.5%), bone dry Riesling is a fine specimen of what the Nahe wine region can produce. The wine is fresh and zesty, with intense lemon aromas, well balanced acidity and a long finish. I could have a bottle every day…but since I live in Bangkok, this is hardly possible. The more I treasure this fine Riesling wine.

If you happen to pass by the Nahe, visit the winery of the father and son vintner duo and enjoy a 250-year tradition of grape-growing and wine-making. The cellar door of the Emrich-Schoenleber family is a beautiful place to taste fine wines. You will not regret it.

Sticks Pinot Noir and Cowboy food

March 18, 2012

Beautifully coloured Pinot Noir

The last thing I did at Melbourne Airport when we left for Thailand in early January this year, was to buy a bottle of ‘2010 Pinot Noir’ by Sticks Winery.

I knew the bottle would not last long. On a Saturday when we felt like rural folks, we had it with a hearty meal of cowboy food.

Sticks Winery and its vineyards are located just opposite the old homestead of the Sadlier family at the foot of the hill South-west of Yarra Glen, called Christmas Hill. My friend Steve Sadlier had set up most of the vineyards many years ago when the place was still known as Yarra Ridge Winery.

If I remember correctly, my first ever wine tasting in Australia was in the tasting room of this winery. The wines were presented by Meagan, who became Steve’s wife a couple of years later. Sticks was the first vineyard I walked through in Australia. Goodness me that’s now so many years ago, maybe 1991 or 1992.

The 2010 Pinot Noir by Sticks

I was not sure if the wine would go that well with rural tucker. After all Pinot Noir makes a delicate and refined wine, something subtle and gently textured. And Sticks Pinot Noir is exactly that with delicious fruit aromas from wild cherry with a bit of spice, long on the palate with a suppleness hard to imagine. Maybe ill suited to the food we were going to have, I thought.

However that may be, we were in for a dish by Jamie Oliver, one of my favourite chefs of modern cuisine. From his “America” book, we cooked the Mountain Meatballs (page 308).

Mountain Meatballs as interpreted by Margit Adam

These meatballs are spicy. Jamie Oliver made up the recipe, he says in the book. The true Rocky Mountain dish is made of “prairie oysters”, sheep or cattle balls. We followed Jamie more than the wild West tradition.

The melted cheese in the meatball is just wonderful creamy. I also love the slight coffee aromas. This dish is a ripper of bush tucker, as we would call it in Australia. We served it with rice. I could eat it for breakfast, I must say, with bread or potatoes.

Jamie suggests a wine from the Côtes du Rhône, most likely a Grenache, a Shiraz and/or a Mourvèdre. Next time we’ll have these meatballs, I will try that.

Shanks of lamb and GranMonte 2010 Heritage Syrah Viognier

February 22, 2012

Sunday meals are important in our family.The highlight of the last weekend was the lamb below cooked according to a recipe from Jamie Oliver which was a bit altered to accommodate the availability of ingredients.

The lamb was cooked for three hours and served on mashed potatoes. The full recipe can be found here.

Instead of Guinness we used Coopers Ale, an Australian beer. Instead of raisins we used figs. Moreover, we braised very thinly cut celery and mixed it into the potato mash. Finally, we dropped the mint leaves from the recipe as well.

As veggies, green asparagus with mushrooms were offered. Needless to say, that the meal was super super delicious. The meat melted in the mouth. The bed of mashed potatoes gave a remarkable tilt to the dish.

The side dish

Here is the complete meal on the plate

As wine, I selected the ‘2010 Hertiage Syrah Viognier’ by GranMonte Vineyard in Khao Yai, the Asoke Valley, Thailand. GranMonte is producing excellent wines. We had visited the winery recently and participated in the annual harvest festival. I will write more about this event in another blog entry.

In a temperate climate I would have chosen a wine with a higher alcohol level, but in the tropics 12% is just fine. The Viognier gives it the acidity necessary to make this blend an ideal accompaniment for red meats such a lamb.

Isn’t this a wonderful colour

The bottle

GranMonte wines can be sourced from various places in Bangkok. The cellar door price of the Heritage Syrah Viognier is about 880 THB. If you are in Bangkok, please visit the Asoke valley and its wineries.

My tip of the day: drink more wines from Thailand.

4. Sunday of Advent with German Riesling

December 19, 2010

It was my time to cook Sunday lunch. Anyway, the three gorgeous women I share my life with were due to travel to Australia later today. In order to give them time to pack, I prepared lunch. I admit, however, that Margit helped me quite a lot. Otherwise, I guess, I would not have accomplished the task.

So what did I cook? A strange dish, I must say, straight out of the Jamie Oliver cookery book titled “Jamies does…”. It is a recipe from the Maghreb, Marrakesh to be precise. It consists of spicy vermicelli stuffed with prawns in a courgettes-tomato kind of sauce and on top a large fish is positioned (sea bass, snapper, etc.). Since we did not have a whole fish, we used fillets of sea bass.

The whole process is too complicated to be recited here. The recipe can be found on the internet, one of Jamie’s websites. Boy that dish is delicious, just wonderful. I would like to encourage you to try it, especially if you like spicy food.

The prawn-stuffed spicy vermicelli with fish

The fish is succulent but crisp

On the plate

As the title of this blog entry suggest, Riesling was the wine of my choice. German Riesling is my favourite. Wine does not age in my care here in Bangkok in the tropics. I selected a ‘2008 Riesling Kabinett’ by Schloss Johannisberg, one of the oldest Riesling producers in the Rheingau and Germany as a whole.

2008 Riesling Kabinett Schloss Johannisberg

A Kabinett was just the right wine because of its relative high “rest sugar” it’s off-dry or semi-dry, “halbtrocken” or “feinherb”, as the Germans say. However, the label did not say if the wine was dry or semi-dry. But my palate told me the sugar level must be at about 9 grams or so. Alcohol was 11.5%.

In any case the wine went extremely well with the very spicy vermicelli. I just love the bouquet, this slight petrol note on the nose. This is a wonderful rich wine, with a fine balanced acidity, the taste of apples and peaches are prominent.

2008 Riesling Kabinett Schloss Johannisberg

I wish we had more of this drop

If you buy this wine directly from the producer, you have to spend 17 Euro for a 0.75 litres bottle.

The meal with this wine was just perfect for the occasion. Time fly’s. Christmas is approaching fast and soon I will be back in Glenburn, Australia and taste many new-world wines.

Fürst von Metternich-Winneburg’sche Domäne
Schloss Johannisberg

D-65366 Geisenheim
Tel.: +49 (0) 6722-7009-0
Tel:. +49 (0)6722 96090

Red Mountain Estate – Wines from Burma

December 11, 2010

Pinot Noir by Red Mountain Estate

My friend Moritz brought some bottles of wine from a trip to Burma back to Bangkok. He gave me a ‘2009 Pinot Noir Taunggyi Wine’ by Red Mountain Estate which is located in the Southern Shan State at the picturesque Inle lake. The vineyard was planted in 2003 at about 1000 meters altitude.

When I opened the bottle and found a plastic “cork” my enthusiasm declined rapidly. Well, what will the wine taste like, I thought, with such an enclosure?

To say it from the outset, the wine is a project in the making. The technology used by Red Mountain Estate may be ultra modern. All equipment is imported from Europe and the wine is aged in Hungarian oak. However, the tropical conditions, as customary to New Latitude wines, is still a challenge.

The colour of the wine is a dark red. It is medium bodied and has 12.5 % alcohol. The taste is a mixture of saw dust and rubber, not unpleasant though, and perfectly drinkable.

I had the chance to taste some more of the Red Mountain Estate products at Moritz’s house. I liked the Chardonnay best followed by the Rose. The reds were not particularly strong, a bit thin, for my taste. As I said, work in progress.

Front label of Red Mountain Estate Pinot Noir

The location of Red Mountain Estate is very beautiful, almost spectacular. Photos of the Inle Lake, the vineyard and the winery can be found on the estate’s webpage (Moritz has some on his facebook site). I should visit this region and have a look myself.

The back label of the Pinot Noir by Red Mountain Estate

PS: We had some antipasti – fried salami – before the main course, a pasta. The recipe is from a Jamie Oliver cookery book. Wonderful, so tasty, with olive oil and fresh Parmesan cheese.

The fried salami antipasti

Red Mountain Estate
Taung Chay Village Group, Nyaungshwe Township,
Southern Shan State, Myanmar.
Tel: +95-081-209366 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +95-081-209366      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: +95-081-209475
Mobile: +95-09-5174312

Ferragosto – Sunday lunch in Bangkok

August 17, 2010

I am not the cooking-type person. You understand what I mean. I am not patient enough to do the hard but creative work in the kitchen (except washing the dishes, I am good at that). Maybe I do not understand chemistry. But what I know is, that I love to eat well, usually not alone but in company of family and friends.

When the “family council” discussed cooking chores, it was decided that I should cook on Sunday August 15 because the next Sunday would be my birthday, and the twins wanted to cook for me. So I agreed.

Since August 15 was “Ferragosto” (the middle of August) as the Italian call it (it’s a national holiday to celebrate the Assumption of the blessed virgin Mary), the occasion warranted an Italian dish.

I choose a chicken dish (pollo alla cacciatora) from the Jamie Oliver Italian cookery book. Chicken is not my favourite meat. I might have eaten too much of it during my long years here in Asia. However, I made that choice and discovered thast there a quite a few things to do.

Jamie says you need lot’s of Chianti and this is where I started: I went to our local supermarket and selcted the wine. I choose two bottles of Chianti by Coli, one for the “soaking” of the chicken (a normal Chianti Classico) and one to accompany the meal (I decided on a 2004 Chianti Classico Riserva).

The Chianti Classico Riserva from Coli

You will find the recipe in the above book – and many other cookery books I might say. I like Jamie Oliver and his approach to Italian food. I also followed his suggestions regarding the beans and decided to add potatoes to supply the carbohydrates. The family (my private food critics) loved what I had cooked and we had a wonderful Sunday lunch.

Pollo alla cacciatore-Chicken the hunter’s way

Cannellini beans

Set for lunch

Chicken, beans and potatoes

Succulent chicken

The wine

Coli is a well known producer from Tuscany, and with a production of about 12 million bottles per year not exactly small. Because of the exorbitant wine prices in Thailand I acquired a modest quality segment. The wine was good, had great colour and medium body, though a bit “light” (12.5% vol alc.) for my taste.

Espresso, chocolate and Averna

Next Sunday it’s the young generations’ task to feed the family.
Try the “Pollo alla cacciatora”, it’s worth it.

La Domenica – A Tuscan feast with Tuscan wine

June 13, 2010

Jamie Oliver’s Italy

It was high time for some beautiful Italian food after my culinary peregrinations in Taiwan, especially since I am in the process of packing my suitcase again. I will be in Vietnam for the next two weeks and explore some of the foods in Hanoi and Saigon.

I am a lover of pasta, any pasta. Based on a recipe from the Jamie Oliver Italy book, we set out on a “fusilli con rague”. Imagine a sauce thick with the flavours of beef rosemary and tomatoes simmering on the kitchen stove for hours.

Our favorite Prosecco so that the waiting was bearable

The table waiting for the pasta

Voila: the pasta

It was delicious, just what I needed, earthy and robust, rooted in the peasant traditions of Italy.

What about the wine? I bought a bottle of Italian wine from my favourite wine shop in Taoyuan just across from the International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training (ICLPST). Nothing special, but decent. It was a bottle of ‘2007 Chianti D.O.C.G.’ by Melini, one of the best wine makers of Tuscany.

In wine reviews it gets three, sometimes four, out of five stars. It has about 13.5 % alcohol and costs between US$ 8 to 12. This young Chianti is a solid wine for every day, with good fruit flavours, medium bodied with a long finish. It went very well with the pasta.

PS: The good news is that in July we will be in Rome and Florence with ample opportunity to taste many Tuscan wines.

Jamie Oliver in Marysville, Victoria

March 12, 2010

I am ready for bed here in Siem Reap in Cambodia. Before hitting the hay, I checked the internet for a last time and what did I find? The celebrity chef Jamie Oliver in Marysville. Can you imagine?

The Worlds Longest Lunch was held in this small town, in the Northeast of Melbourne, savaged by the bushfires in February 2009. The event is part of the Melbourne Food and Wine festival.

Have a look at the little video depicting the star cook addressing the participants, many of them victims of the ferocious fires which destroyed so many lives.

I would have loved to be there.

Spiedini di salsiccia e manzo

December 6, 2009

The spiedini on my Weber

The other day we experimented with a recipe by Jamie Oliver. It had fired up my Weber and was ready to go. ‘Spiedini di salsiccia e manzo’ was the dish, we intended to cook. The photo above gives you an idea.

The recipe goes as follows:

– beef fillet cut in cubes of 2.5 cm (12 pieces)
– Italian sausages of the highest quality ( 4 large ones)
– four thickly slices pieces of pancetta (or streaky beacon)
– fresh sage leaves (18-20)
– gloves of garlic, peeled (2-3)
– one lemon, zested and halved
– extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper

In Jamie Olivers recipe you stick the meat and the sausages on firm sticks of fresh rosemary. We used skewers instead. But I will try it with the rosemary sticks if I prepare this dish in Australia next time.

We marinated the meat in a “magic potion” for a long time before sticking them on the skewer. Make sure that you put about 3-4 pieces of pancetta on each stick, also the sage interspersed with meat needs to be part of each skewer. I whacked them on the “barby”, turned them around a few times, all in all about 20 minutes suffice to make them the most delicious food you ever had.

You can serve them with polenta, or potatoes, or just eat them with bread. Have a beer or two, or a glass of cold white wine. Voila, a great meal. Thanks Jamie for the hint, we loved your recipe.