Great wine pairings for every budget

June 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Nick Smith takes a trip to Sonoma County for a few ideas on pairing great summer dishes with the perfect wine on every budget!

La Crema Winery pairing recipe for pinot noir
Chipotle roasted pork quesadilla with black beans

Exactly what constitutes a "true quesadilla" varies from region to region in both the U.S. and Mexico. For our version, we have sandwiched Chipotle roasted pork and black beans, with Monterey jack cheese between two flour tortillas and toasted it on a hot griddle. The combination of sweet and smoky Chipotle with salty cheese stands up to the complexity of our La Crema Pinot Noir.

Makes 8 folded quesadillas

Ingredients

  • Chipotle roasted pork
  • 8 oz. Chipotle in adobo (puréed together)
  • 2 Tbsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1/3 C. Salt
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. Chipotle powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Chile powder
  • 2 Tbsp. Freshly ground
  • Black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic powder
  • 5 lb. Pork shoulder (boneless)
  • 1/4 C. rendered Pork fat

Combine dry rub ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Coat pork shoulder with rendered fat and apply rub mixture. Roast in a 250º F oven for 6 hours or until meat is tender. Remove pork from oven. Strain and reserve pork jus from roasting pan (allow to cool). Shred pork into 1/2 inch pieces and remove any excess fat, sinew and bones. Skim off excess fat from jus and add to shredded pork.Thoroughly mix pork and taste for seasoning.

Quesadillas

  • 8 Flour tortillas
  • 16 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro leaves, picked and washed
  • 16 oz. Chipotle roasted pork (recipe above)
  • 4 oz. Canned black beans, cooked
  • Salt to taste

To assemble, cover half of each tortilla with 2 oz. of grated cheese, a small handful of cilantro leaves, 2 ounces of pork and 1/2 ounce of black beans. Fold each tortilla in half and press firmly. Toast both sides of the quesadilla in a hot nonstick pan until golden brown. Serve hot and enjoy.

La Crema Winery pairing recipe for chardonnay

Ingredients

  • 1/4 C. Hazelnuts, toasted
  • 8 oz. Fire roasted peppers (Piquillo in a jar)
  • 1 Tbsp. Smoked paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C. Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Put peppers, hazelnuts, paprika and vinegar into a blender. Blend on high. While blender is running, slowly pour in the oil. Reserve romesco in the refrigerator. Season with salt to taste.

Hazelnut romesco
Ser ves 6 Ingredients

  • 2 Ripe avocados
  • 3 Tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 2 Tbsp. Sour cream
  • Water as needed
  • Salt to taste

Using the blender again, put the avocados, lime juice, sour cream and cilantro into blender canister. Blend ingredients adding water until smooth and buttery consistency is obtained. Reserve in refrigerator. Season with salt to taste.

Grilled rock shrimp with avocado butter and hazelnut romesco
A deliciously light summer dish that pairs beautifully with La Crema Chardonnay.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. Rock shrimp, deveined, rinsed and dried
  • 1 tsp. Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. Cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 Toothpicks
Pre-heat grill. Mix shrimp, rosemary, parsley, oil and garlic. Allow to marinate for 10 minutes then skewer using a toothpick. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Grill shrimp over high heat until done, about 2 minutes. While shrimp are cooking, place a tablespoon of avocado butter in the bottom of a small glass. Cover with half the amount of romesco. Dip shrimp skewers into glass and garnish with cilantro stems.

La Crema Winery Tasting Room
235 Healdsburg Avenue
Healdsburg, California.

For more information, visit: www.lacrema.com

About La Crema
La Crema was founded in 1979 and quickly established itself as a pioneer for intensely flavored Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the cool Sonoma Coast.

Continuing this tradition, La Crema pursues the ultimate expression of the Russian River Valley, Carneros and Anderson Valley by handcrafting wines of distinctive flavor which achieve elegance and balance.

The La Crema Winery itself is not open to the public, however we encourage you to visit our beautiful new Tasting Room located in Healdsburg, California - the heart of Sonoma County Wine Country.


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