Sommelier Smackdown

Wines for the October Sommelier Smackdown with Hai Tran

Patatas Bravas

  • 2 pounds red skin potatoes, quartered
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 cup mayonnaise

For the Sauce:

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, cayenne, and tomato and simmer for 20 minutes.  Allow the mixture to cook, then blend in a food processor until smooth, blend in the mayonnaise and chill for half an hour. This sauce can be made a day ahead, which will allow the flavors to meld.

For the Potatoes:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss quartered potatoes with half the oil and place onto a baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the pan and season the potatoes with a bit more salt. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the aioli and garnish with parsley leaves. Serve hot.

Chorizo & Clams

  • 36 of the tiniest clams you can buy
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Spanish Chorizo sausage, thinly sliced.
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
  • 6 threads of saffron
  • 2 cups white wine

Scrub the clams, discarding any with cracked or open shells that fail to close when tapped.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add shallots and cook over medium heat until lightly brown, about three minutes. Add wine and reduce for two minutes. Stir in the chorizo and tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the clams and tightly cover the pot.

Cook the clams over high heat until the shells open, about eight minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to give the shells room to open. Add the parsley and shake one last time. Ladle the clams and cooking liquid into shallow bowls.

Arragon Chilindron

  • 3 pounds chicken, goat, lamb, venison or rabbit, in serving pieces
  • 5  shallots, diced
  • 2.5 ounces smoked paprika
  • 2 pounds piquillo peppers (or red roasted peppers)
  • 2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Nduja (a spicy Proscuitto spread)

Salt the meat and set aside for one hour at room temperature.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, and add the oil. Brown the meat on all sides in batches. Do not overcrowd the pot. Set the meat aside in a bowl when browned. Take your time and do this right. Add more oil if needed.

When all the meat is browned and set aside, add the onions and stir to bring up some of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add salt. Cook until they begin to brown, then add the wine. Reduce for two minutes, then add tomatoes, peppers, smoked paprika, bay leaves and Njuja.  Add the meat back to the pot and mix well.

. Turn the heat back down to medium and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot to remove any proteins. The level of liquid should be about 2/3 the way up the sides of the meat. If it is low, add water.

Cover and cook at a bare simmer — just barely bubbling — for at least two hours. The chilindron is done when the meat falls apart and is extremely tender.
Right before serving, add the parsley. Serve with rice or bread. Simple sauteed greens are a good accompaniment.

 

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