● By Style
Wine bottle photo by Aaron Roseli. All other photos courtesy of Chronicle Books.
Roast Pike with Lamb Sauce, Lovage and Bacon
The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews
(Chronicle Books, 2009, $50)
The pioneering modern Irish chef Gerry Galvin created this unusual recipe. He suggests serving it with a mixed green salad enhanced with watercress, sorrel and thinly sliced apple.
- 4 tbsp. butter
- Four 6- to 8-oz pike fillets
- Flour for dusting
- Salt and pepper
- Canola or vegetable oil for greasing the baking dish
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup lamb juices, or 2 1/2 cups lamb stock, reduced over medium heat to about 1 cup
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh lovage or celery leaves
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Dust the pike fillets lightly on both sides with flour, season with salt and pepper, then sear them lightly for about 30 seconds on each side. Remove from the pan and transfer to a lightly oiled glass or ceramic baking dish.
Stir the garlic into the lemon juice in a small bowl, then drizzle it over the fish. Roast the fish in the oven for about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the lamb juices or reduced stock in a small saucepan, and then stir in lovage leaves and balsamic vinegar. Keep warm.
To serve, divide the fish between 4 plates, sprinkle the servings equally with chopped bacon, and serve with the sauce on the side. Serves 4.
2008 GREGORY GRAHAM GRENACHE (CRIMSON HILL VINEYARD)
This Gregory Graham wine is unbelievable – a great price and incredibly drinkable! Gregory Graham is best known as the former winemaker for Rombauer (of the famous Chardonnay) where he worked for 21 years. He began making wine under his own label in 1992 and constructed a winery in 2006.
The Grenache varietal of grapes is little used in California but prevalent in France, and one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late so it needs hot, dry conditions like those found in the south of France and California. Grenache is normally used as a blending grape, especially in Chateauneuf-du-Pape where it’s typically 80 percent of the wine blend; however, Graham took this varietal and used his California style to make a beautiful wine out of 100 percent Grenache.
The grapes for Graham’s Grenache come from his Crimson Hill Vineyard in the Red Hills area of Lake County. The crimson red volcanic soil, along with the long growing season, provides the perfect site for growing great red wines. Graham picks his grapes at the peak of “fruit flavor,” which you will taste in this amazing Grenache. The 2008 Gregory Graham Grenache is full bodied and fruit forward – a fresh style of wine that’s very versatile and pairs well with any type of meal, and smooth enough to drink on its own. This is the type of red wine that even non-red wine drinkers will enjoy!
— Richard Righton
Owner, Bidwell Street Bistro in Folsom