cooking class

Cooking and Wine Pairing

Holiday Food & Wine Pairing

This month, we hosted our monthly culinary classes ([link id=”1696″ tax=”tribe_events_cat” text=”Cooking & Wine Pairing”], [link id=”165″ tax=”post_tag” text=”Sommelier Smackdown”], and [link id=”1986″ tax=”post_tag” text=”Cooks & Corks”]) on the theme of  holiday dinners.  The following recipes were created by myself and the pairings by  sommelier Alana Zerbe. If you like our food and wine pairings, you can grab a copy of our cookbook at Amazon.  You can also experience the magic in person by coming to a food & wine pairing classes.

Heirloom Carrots with Pecans & Chevre
Paired with [link id=”939″ text=”Ch. Ste Michelle 2012 Chardonnay”] (Columbia Valley, Washington)

Garlic-Roasted Pork Loin with Sous Vide Onions, Shiitake & White Whiskey
Paired with [link id=”61300″ text=”Bouchaine 2009 Pinot Noir”] (Carneros, California)

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Paired with [link id=”693″ text=”Earthworks 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon “](Barossa Valley, Australia)


 More Cooking Classes in Philadelphia




Heirloom Carrots with Pecans

cooking classes

Carrot & Pecan Recipe

This dish originally had more ingredients, but as I was building the dish during a cooking class, I realized that these four components were perfect unto themselves. If you must, you can add some fresh goat cheese, but that’s not necessary. What is necessary is to use cyprus flake salt. It has a bright crunchy texture that is a perfect counterpoint for the carrots. Yes,  the fleur de sel is another type of salt, which is a hand-harvested sea salt. It has a tendency to stick to veggies much better than regular old salt, which is why I use it here.  Also of importance is to use high quality olive oil.  A personal favorite is Oro Bailen from Spain.

This recipe calls for using a sous vide machine (aka water oven). I’ll write about that at the bottom of the recipe and offer an alternative.

  • 1 bunch heirloom carrots, peeled and trimmed of green tops
  • 1 tsp Cyprus Flake Salt
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel
  • 2 tablespoons toasted crushed pecans
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • handful of  arugula

Cooking Instructions

  • Set water oven to 183F
  • Put whole carrots into ziplock bags (remove air)
  • Submerge the pouch in the water oven and cook for 1 1/2  hours.
  • Remove carrots from pouch
  • Cut into 1/2 inch sections.
  • Toss with arugula, pecans, cyprus salt, and olive oil.

Here is a quick primer on cooking with a water oven and how to cook carrots.

A sous vide machine for home use costs around $300, and is worth every penny. I use a Nomiku Sous Vide Immersion Circulator, but there are many other brand available.

You can also cook this dish using your microwave oven. Here is a video to show how.


Garlic-Roasted Pork Loin with Shiitake & White Whiskey Sauce

Deep and savory flavors, but also very easy to do. I suggest cooking the pork overnight, and then quickly cooling if off . If you are cooking sous vide, that can easily be done via an ice bath. You can heat up with a blow torch, which is not only quite fun, it also browns off all the fat, too!

Garlic Roasted Pork

  • 2 to 3 pound pork loin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

Cooking Instructions

  • Clean and dry the pork loin, let sit fat-side down.
  • Blend the herbs together, and sprinkle on the meat.
  • For sous vide cooking: vacuum seal and cook for 6-8 hours at 150 degrees. Brown the fat with a propane torch.
  • For regular oven cooking: wrap tightly in aluminum foil and cook at 150 degrees for 6-8 hours.


White Whiskey & Shiitake Sauce

  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp white whiskey (aka white dog)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Cooking Instructions

  •  Use a sauce pot over medium-high heat
  • Add the butter and mushrooms. Wait until they caramelize before stirring.
  • Once the mushrooms are crispy, add the whiskey and stock.
  • Let reduce by half and add the heavy cream and salt.
  • Reduce heat and let cream sauce reduce for five minutes.



Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup Dark Corn Syrup
4 ounces belgian milk chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon good bourbon
1-1/4 cups toasted pecans
1 (9-inch unbaked deep-dish pie crust)

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Par bake crust  for five minutes, or until just slightly golden.

Mix sugar, syrup, chocolate, butter and bourbon. Slowly warm over a double boiler over low heat. Let cool. Whisk eggs, and slowly fold chocolate mixture into the eggs. Evenly distribute pecans at the bottom of the crust. Evenly and slowly pour mixture into pie crust.Back for 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Let sit for one hour before serving.