Saturday Kitchen 6.10

(by susie)

It’s not every day you get to be carried by two footmen in a sedan chair en route to a Saturday Kitchen wine shoot, as we did in Luton last week. (We were having a bit of fun at the local Mossman Collection, one of the biggest carriage collections in the UK.)

But then a girl could get used to that sort of treatment…

Dreaming apart, this week in studio it was the delightful combination of Cyrus Todiwala and Annabel Langbein – both cooking some pretty tricky dishes to match wine to, it must be said. (Which of course meant we had to cook both to be absolutely sure of getting the right combination – hard life…)

Cyrus was making a combination of cod massala salad with eggs and parsee potatoes. We found that a good IPA beer worked really well – but in wine terms the best match was the succulent Elegant Frog Viognier 2011 (£8.49, Sainsbury’s).

James commented, quite rightly, how well Viognier goes with Indian food, to which Cyrus replied, ‘absolutely: it’s under-rated, especially compared to Sauvignon Blanc, but I think it’s fantastic – super.’ Apparently it’s one of his favourite grapes (and the frog is his favourite animal), so he termed the whole experience ‘special’. Annabel, meanwhile, described the match as ‘an amazing combination’.

Annabel, a presenter and chef from New Zealand, was cooking a beautiful spicy beef with harvest vegetable salad and prawn toasts. Again, not the easiest combination from a wine perspective, so I needed a brilliant all-rounder. We found that elegant Syrah worked with its peppery character, but the most seamless was Pinot, so I went for the excellent value Nelson Pinot Noir 2010 (£8.99, Marks & Spencer).

‘Love it,’ was Kiwi Pinot lover Annabel’s reaction, while James termed it, ‘delicious’.

My thanks as ever to all the very hard working people at Cactus TV who put this brilliant show together, with a specific mention to our VT director, TV’s Andy Clarke, cameraman James Cook and runner Barney Neild.

You can catch the show until Saturday via iplayer (wine bits at 15:56 and 56:27) – also featured are classic moment from Rick Stein and Great British Menu. All the recipes are on the BBC Food site. These also include James Martin’s San Marzano tomato pizza, monkfish blanquette with duchesse potatoes and pan fried halibut with truffle poached egg, hollandaise and cavolo nero.