Monkfish + Eggs = ?!

(by peter)

Susie had to rush off to Spain (Ribera del Duero, darling) shortly after Saturday Kitchen went out this last weekend, hence my post on her show.

Susie was in a bright and spring-like Amersham to find wines to go with dishes prepared by Nick Nairns and Donna Hay.

You can find all the recipes, as well as the entire show, on iplayer (available for one week only following broadcast) on the bbc website. (Wine bits at 16:45 and 54:25).

You can also read Susie’s blog on how she went about choosing the wines, by clicking here.

For Nick Nairn’s monkfish with curried lentils, Susie eschewed the full, direct flavours of New World Riesling to go with the Martín Códax Albarino 2008 (Majestic, from £8.24).

This went down a storm, with Nick commenting, “I absolutely love this…it’s perfectly suited to the weight of these spices: an inspired choice”. For Donna, it was “spot on”, while James thought it was “brilliant…a bargain at £8.24”.

Donna’s pancetta-baked eggs with a minted pea and feta salad was always going to be troublesome. Egg dishes are difficult to match with wine at the best of times (even expensive ones), but when we’d tried it at home with a range of wines, we found the two elements of the dish (eggs and salad) to sit quite apart, and with very different characters.

As a result, Susie went with a blend (St Hallett Poacher’s Blend, £5.30, widely available), a style we had tried, and which worked for us. But the wine got a mixed reception in studio, with Donna not convinced, saying it didn’t go with the eggs (but not making any reference to the salad, with its contrasting flavours). Guest Sue Johnston liked it, though.

It’s also possible that the wine was always going to suffer in comparison to the Albariño. At least Nick conceded that, at £5.30 compared to £8.24, this was a different price bracket.

The white Burgundy that Susie recommended for Sue’s food heaven (pan-fried turbot with savoy cabbage and crab and ginger bisque) was described by James as “absolutely perfect”.

Which is always a good note to end on.