We have partnered with Imagery Wine Assortment—a portfolio of distinctive, artistically impressed wines—to share holiday-ready wine and meals pairings, plus plating suggestions and tips for creating a shocking unfold.
There’s one thing in regards to the holidays that makes me need to cook dinner meals extra lavish than the typical dinner: glistening roasts, free-poured cream and cheese over grains, fish so tender it virtually falls aside.
Although this time of 12 months feels acquainted, the vacations shall be completely different. The prospect of fewer—if any—cookie swaps or massive household dinners is disappointing, but it surely doesn’t imply I’ll accept boxed mac and cheese. I’ll roll up my pajama sleeves and head to the kitchen to organize the prettiest-possible feast, even when I’m solely feeding two folks. (And roll your eyes if you’d like, however I by no means stated I wasn’t going to Instagram this!)
Listed below are three holiday-worthy dishes I’ll be making this season—plus, the proper wines to pair ’em with and serving concepts to make the entire thing really feel like an event.
1. Roasted Cauliflower Brown Rice Risotto + Chardonnay
I don’t eat an excessive amount of meat, so for a festive vegetarian meal, I like a warming, stick-to-your ribs brown rice risotto.
I prefer to crank my favourite vacation songs whereas I cook dinner (I nonetheless hearken to the home-burned CDs that my buddies despatched yearly for a decade), and typically I’m too busy singing together with Mariah Carey that I don’t hear the timer. Belief me, nothing kills the celebratory vibe sooner than acrid burnt walnuts, so if you’re toasting, bake the nuts simply till you’ll be able to odor them—belief your nostril, it is aware of. As a substitute of finely chopping them earlier than serving, I like to make use of the flat aspect of a knife or the bottom of a small bowl to softly smash them, which leaves tough walnut items you could really crunch on.
For the prettiest potential bowl, prime the risotto with large, flat shards of Parmesan as a substitute of grated. Even when the rice is piping scorching, cheese minimize like this can solely midway soften, leaving you with two salty, funky Parm textures in these first bites (as a substitute of instantly turning to gloop). I’ll ladle servings of risotto into particular person flat bowls, bringing the pot to the desk for second helpings.
Risotto’s less complicated flavors name for drinks that gained’t overpower the meal—I go for wine that’s citrusy and never too acidic. Enter: Chardonnay. With a crunchy carrot and radicchio salad on the aspect, this crisp white is dreamy. And whereas we’re on the topic, although I don’t suppose white wine must be ice-cold, it needs to be well-chilled, which suggests a pair hours within the fridge; too chilly, and among the delicate flavors will get misplaced.
However later, whereas on the sofa watching The Vacation, it doesn’t matter the wine temperature. So long as I’m stuffed from an important meal, I’ll have one other glass—and doubtless a pair rainbow cookies, too.
2. Sesame Encrusted Salmon + Pinot Noir
It’s not fairly Feast of the Seven Fishes-level incredible, however my household has a long-standing custom of fish on Christmas Eve. Best hit of years previous: lox-topped latkes (that was the 12 months Hanukkah fell on the identical evening—did I point out we’re Jewish too?). This 12 months, I’m feeling a giant salmon fillet, made extra-special with a Pinot Noir pan sauce.
A giant handful of flat-leaf parsley (barely run via with a knife) is a perfect solution to brighten up this fish earlier than serving, offsetting the pink salmon flesh. To make sure these herbs keep perky, I soak them in ice water, then spin dry in a salad spinner. Earlier than consuming, as a substitute of slicing the salmon into neat servings, I plop the entire fillet on a platter and gently break it into a number of giant items with a giant spoon, encouraging my household to additional break up and scoop their desired items.
Naturally, we’ll drink wine too—beginning with no matter’s left within the bottle, post-sauce. Spoiler alert: Fish doesn’t have to be served with white wine! Fatty salmon pulls out Pinot Noir’s notes of jammy fruit, and I personally prefer to serve it barely chilled. I believe one of many largest errors made with purple wine, particularly a lighter one like Pinot Noir, is serving it too heat. I pop the bottles within the fridge for an hour earlier than pouring a glass.
3. Pomegranate-Braised Lamb Shanks + Cabernet Sauvignon
Rising up, meat was a special-occasion dinner, and I’ve carried over that custom into maturity. Nothing feels fairly as luxe on a vacation as a pile of lamb shanks, braised for hours till fall-off-the-bone-tender. Although I don’t drink full-bodied wines daily, this recipe begs to be served with one thing like Cabernet Sauvignon. I prefer to serve heavier reds a tad cooler than room temperature (there’s a pattern taking place; purple wine shouldn’t be too heat!), so it goes within the fridge about half an hour earlier than dinnertime.
However earlier than digging in, let’s discuss in regards to the pomegranate braising liquid-turned-sauce: I like to cut back this one for some time (till thick and syrupy) earlier than pouring it over the meat, successfully glazing the shanks. And don’t skip the pomegranate arils on prime—they add the brightest colour distinction, glowing like jewels on prime of the meat.
What food-and-wine pairings will you be serving this vacation season? Inform us within the feedback!
We have partnered with Imagery Wine Assortment—makers of artistic, flavorful wines excellent for pairing—to share scrumptious wine and meals combos prepared for the vacation season. Assume: a creamy, nutty brown rice risotto with Imagery Wine Assortment’s citrusy-crisp Chardonnay; sesame encrusted salmon with Imagery Wine’s Assortment’s gentle and jammy Pinot Noir; and tender pomegranate-braised lamb shanks with with Imagery Wine Assortment’s full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Planning your individual vacation feast? Have all three wines delivered straight to your door.