I was actually doing some online banking recently when I started to think about what to make for dinner. I popped over to Stephanie Le’s i am a food blog and, yet again, got wonderfully lost poking around her stories, recipes and (incredible, incredible) photos for over a half hour. As a warning, if you haven’t been to her website, the same thing will most likely happen to you.
Based in Vancouver, i am a food blog takes pleasure in the simple things - Le is just as likely to create her own recipes as she is to tackle the recipes of others. In fact, she has another site where she cooked through the entire Momofuku cookbook! She also has a knack for culinary mash-ups, combining various cuisines into delicious results like Chinese Sausage Potato Salad or Turkey Banh Mi Burgers.
Need more of an endorsement? Saveur magazine named i am a food blog as their Blog of the Year in 2014!
And so, for this post, I’m picking three of my favourite recipes from her site (which you totally need to visit and spend some time with), along with suggested wine pairings for each:
The trade-off of baking these in the oven is that they won’t be as juicy as traditional frying, but that extra crispiness you get as a result makes it well worth it for me. Now, if you do go ahead and employ a Thai chili pepper with your wings, that heat’s going to be key. I’m going with a white, but I don’t want anything that’s absolutely bone-dry, as that will just accentuate the heat. Something like Wild Goose Vineyards’ 2014 Autumn Gold from the Okanagan Valley! This wine is a juicy and ever-so-slightly off-dry blend of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Riesling, loaded with citrus and tropical fruit, and will lap up all of that spicy and salty goodness well.
Come ON! How good does this look? This dish is going to be rich and creamy - therefore you’ll want a wine with bright acidity to cut through it all. At the same time, there’s the saltiness of the cheese and a touch of jalapeño heat, so I’m thinking a good dose of fruitiness is in order, too! Let’s go with something pink. The Niagara Peninsula’s Back 10 Cellars have a Gamay-Merlot blend called Rose Coloured Glasses - its waves of strawberry and citrus will totally hit the spot.
I foresee this dish happening at my place more than a few times this winter. A hearty dish loaded with potato, garlic, onions, carrots, peas and ground beef - I want a wine that’s equally hearty to warm those cold winter days. Head towards Perseus Winery’s 2012 Merlot, sourced from British Columbia’s Similkameen Valley. Gobs of dark cherry fruit and a touch of anise will keep things warm and cozy.
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.
Photography Credit for blog picture: Stephanie Le - i am a food blog