Many of you enjoyed the pairing I’ve made with Manzanilla and Nova Scotia lobster, including the worldwide-known sommelier Josep Roca. So, I decided to create another pairing to unite the Jerez region with Nova Scotia.
One of the key points of creating a dish is combining local ingredients without losing their unique flavours. The best place to start creating is farmers’ market to choose some of the flavors of Nova Scotia to highlight on the plate.
From seasonal vegetables, I chose acorn squash and delicata squash, some baby carrots, purple potatoes, and rainbow chards. For this recipe I will also use pure maple syrup from Nova Scotia, and some walnuts.
The dish has four components: sherry-squash purée with walnuts, almond-herb sauce, seasonal veggies and maple-glazed Atlantic salmon.
Sherry-Squash Purée with Walnuts
In this dish we’ll use our paired wine as an ingredient in the food. This is a good trick to create similar taste and aromas in the food, and a complementary pairing with wine.
- A small acorn squash
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- ½ cup of walnut
- ¼ cup of Sherry wine (Amontillado)
Make small holes on raw acorn squash with your knife and bake it for 45 minutes in the conventional oven at 350 oF. It’s easier to cut and mash it afterwards. After mashing the squash, put all the ingredients in a pan and cook it until the alcohol of the wine evaporates. If you want a softer texture, add some milk or water.
This is the same sauce that accompanied our lobster plate previously. It plays an important role in the dish, giving the extra nuttiness and also combining with all the elements of the dish.
- 1 cup roasted almond
- 1/3 bunch mint
- 1/3 bunch parsley
- 1/3 bunch dill
- ¼ cup olive oil
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix them. When the texture becomes like crunchy peanut butter, it’s ready.
Follow your heart and the colors of the seasonal vegetables. Rainbow chard, purple potatoes and orange baby carrots seem to be a good choice.
- Stems of rainbow chard
- 3 purple potatoes
- 6 baby carrots
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
Cut small sticks from the stems of the chard. Cut purple potatoes in cubes. Cleaned the baby carrots. Cook them in boiling salted water for a minute, just to soften them a little bit. Next, sauté them in a pan with olive oil until they are crispy outside.
Maple-Glazed Atlantic salmon
Maple syrup is one of the most important ingredients of Canada, and so is Atlantic salmon. Bringing these two ingredients create a delicious dish, sweet and crunchy outside and soft and juicy inside.
- 2 pieces of Atlantic salmon (cleaned and without skin)
- ¼ cups of maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
Prepare the sauce by mixing maple syrup and soy sauce and marinate the Atlantic salmon in it for an hour in the fridge. Once it’s well coated with the sauce, put the salmon in a hot pan, cook it very quickly depending on the size of the pieces. Pan cooking creates a nice crunchiness, but if you prefer another option would be cooking in the oven.
Wine Pairing: Fino
Fino is a dry sherry wine made with Palomino grapes with biological aging. This type of aging helps to create the distinct tertiary aromas of Fino, while it protects its pale color – it’s achieved by aging under a layer of flor created by yeasts which impedes oxidation.
The wine that pairs this meal is Tio Pepe Fino from Gonzales Byass. It has a brilliant straw yellow color with green hints. On the nose, bitter almonds, roasted nuts, ripe quince, candied orange and salted aromas are impressive. On the palate it’s an explosion of aromas with white flowers, orange zest and roasted nuts. It’s dry, fresh and long.
When all the elements of the dish are ready, use your imagination for a sublime plate decoration. Take your time and do your best. Remember, the first sense that will judge the food will be our sight. And finally, pour yourself a glass of Fino.
With this pairing of Fino and Atlantic salmon, you can bring together two different parts of the world in one table. It’s true that we neglect the power of local food and wine pairings, but these gatherings are very enjoyable as well, wine and food from extreme points of the world come together.
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