Saturday Kitchens

(by peter & susie)

Recent visitors to our house have been visibly disconcerted by the quantity of wine bottles open on our dining table.

When we explain this is the result of work rather than self-indulgence, our pleas tend to fall on deaf ears…

This is understandable. Wine is never just work. It just so happens that we’ve been road-testing a lot of wine and food pairings lately – and mighty instructive (and enjoyable) it’s been too.

Much of this has been for Saturday Kitchen. Enticing scents of recipes by the likes of Theo Randall, Mark Sargeant, Anna Hansen, Bryn Williams and Galton Blackiston have been wafting through the house as we endeavour to track down the best wines to work as accompaniments.

Below is a brief recap on three Saturday Kitchen episodes we’ve presented recently. We’re also hoping to upload some specially edited Saturday Kitchen videos featuring our wine VTs very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Use the title links to find the recipes on the BBC site, as well as the iplayer video of the 5th November show (available until 12th Nov).

Finally, if you’re a fan of the show (and food and wine in general), do come and see us at the BBC Good Food Show at the Birmingham NEC.

It runs from Weds 23rd* Nov to Sunday 27th Nov – we’re hosting in the Saturday Kitchen and SuperTheatre stages on Saturday and Sunday. The likes of Michael Caines, Daniel Galmiche, Theo Randall, Mark Sargeant, Chris Evans, Emma Forbes and Laila Rouas will be joining us.

It should be fun – and in the short-term will entail even more open bottles on our dining room table…

 Saturday Kitchen 5th November 2011 (Susie – wine bits at 16.02 and 54.20)

For this bonfire night edition, Susie was in Banbury recommending wines to go with dishes by Theo Randall and Bryn Williams.

For Theo’s spicy penne with sausage and Swiss chard, Susie chose the Baglio Rosso Nero d’Avola 2009 from Sicily (£7.99, Marks & Spencer).

Theo loved it. ‘Absolutely delicious’, he commented, adding, ‘I love Nero d’Avola and with the sausages it works brilliantly…amazing’.

Bryn noted how it ‘goes really well’ while James summed it up as, ‘another bargain’.

Bryn was cooking braised beef cheeks with a parsley salad, to accompany which Susie selected the Taste the Difference Côtes du Rhône Villages 2010 (£6.99, Sainsbury’s).

‘Nice and spicy; cuts through the richness of the mash and the denseness of the beef…very, very good combination’ commented an ever enthusiastic and loquacious Bryn. He added, ‘you could serve beer – have a pint with it’ (the recipe features beer – and Susie had suggested Theakston’s Old Peculier as an alternative – though anyone drinking that by the pint is brave indeed).

The studio guests also thought it was a ‘great combination’, while Theo said: ‘beautiful, the richness of the wine with the beef and mashed potato – really good’.

All in all another delicious show, also featuring clips from Rick Stein and Keith Floyd. Though Theo’s pronunciation of Susie’s choice for Mel C’s food heaven (Valdivieso Sauvignon Blanc from Aconcagua) has to be heard to be believed…not an easy job, mind!

STOP PRESS: We’ve now got hold of the clips and here they are (first up is Theo’s pasta):

And here goes Bryn’s beef cheeks:

Saturday Kitchen 29th October 2011 (Peter)

A shorter edition than normal thanks to the Grand Prix, this Halloween weekend show featured recipes by Stuart Gillies and Anna Hansen, with clips from Rick Stein and Keith Floyd. Plus wines by Peter in Reading.

Stuart was cooking spatchcock poussin with walnut salad, for which I chose the Bellingham The Bernard Series Chenin Blanc 2010 (from £8.79, Majestic).

It was tamarind and miso onglet steak with besan chips from Anna Hansen – this called for the supple Torre del Falco Nero di Troia (£7.99, Waitrose).

All the wines went down well in studio; they certainly made for delicious combinations at home. FIrst up, the clip for Anna’s steak:

And Stuart’s poussin:

 Saturday Kitchen 15th October 2011 (Susie)

Susie was dispatched to Guildford in the hunt for wines to go with dishes by Galton Blackiston and Mark Sargeant.

Loin of roe deer on brioche with chanterelles and elderberry juice by Galton Blackiston brought forth the great value Lamatum Ribera del Duero 2008 (from £6.99, Majestic).

For Mark’s quick paella with hot-smoked salmon, Susie gamely opted for the Finest Navarra Rosé 2010 (£6.99, Tesco).

Truth is, we’d tried likely whites and reds with this dish but none did the job as well as the pink. We knew it wouldn’t find great favour in a studio hosted by rosé-phobic James, but in our view it was the right wine for the dish. (We’ll take it up with both Mark and James at the BBC Good Food Show!)