Saturday Kitchen 23.1.10

(by susie)

I don’t know if you managed to catch this week’s Saturday Kitchen but it featured some seriously challenging recipes when it comes to wine matching.  Even James Martin admitted Patrick Williams’ Tilapia Brown Creole Fish Stew was a ‘tricky dish to match’.

We’d filmed the wine slots for this week’s show in a freezing cold and wet Sanderstead, just south of Croydon, so it was somehow appropriate that both dishes I had to match were very ‘warming’ in their own way.

As mentioned Patrick Williams of the Terrace Restaurant came up with a fabulously colourful and spicy Creole fish stew which featured Tilapia fish, chilli, pimento seeds, red and yellow peppers, tomatoes and garlic.

That combination of fish and tomato along with a lot of aromatic spice led me straight to Gewürztraminer, but a New World version (which meant drier and more citric than an Alsatian example), the Cono Sur Visión Gewürztraminer ‘Las Colmenas’ 2009 from Chile (Majestic, from £6.95).  It’s a really fabulous wine, exotic and yet refreshing and extremely moreish.

Happily for me it also went down pretty well in the studio, with James stating ‘it certainly does it for me’ and Patrick going on the say ‘When you’ve got so many spices and so many flavours going on it’s very difficult but I think she’s done really well’.

Jersey chef Shaun Rankin was next up and cooked a dish that was equally challenging for quite different reasons.

First of all it was a soup (always a nightmare to match wine to), and secondly it had such a variety of flavours; scallops, garlic (lots of it!), chorizo, crispy chicken skin, potatoes, spinach and chicken stock.

Although it may have seemed most obvious to go for a white wine (which was mentioned in a few tweets I subsequently received and was clearly Patrick Williams’ opinion, more of which anon…) when Pete and I tried the dish at home it was seriously much better with a young, fruity red – largely due to the chorizo and chicken skin – and I went for the unoaked Marquesa de la Cruz Tempranillo from Campo de Borja in Spain, which is currently a bargain at £4.99 in Waitrose.

The wine received a mixed reaction in the studio with Shaun loving it ‘I think it’s great, I really do – it’s vibrant, really crisp, it works’ but with Patrick homing in on the scallops and bluntly stating ‘I think it kills the scallops’ – which just goes to prove you can’t please everyone!

You can find the recipes (and wine details) on the BBC website, as well as the entire show on iplayer (wine bits at 0:16:38 and 0:57:55)