What's New in March

A Sherry Dinner With Holly

On March 12 Holly Wing and a group of her colleagues and clients in San Francisco conducted a Sherry dinner at the home of Sarah Cosovich from Estate Wines, Ltd. The dinner consisted of seven courses and three sherry cocktails by Eric Quilty. Holly has recounted the evening for us and shared some of the recipes for anyone who may wish to try one for themselves.

We started the evening with everyone convening on Sarah Cosovich’s back deck. Here we were greeted with the first of our sherry cocktails, The Aperitif, and munched on some crudite with aioli, salumi, marcona almonds, manchego and olives in preparation for our tasting. The group moved to the front deck and tasted through the De Maison Selections' sherry portfolio. After finishing the tasting the Cazón en Adobo was passed around while clients sipped on La Cigarrera Manzanilla.

We sat down for the second course that started with cardoons cooked with thyme and pine nuts in honey and El Maestro Sierra Fino by Bonnie Crocker, a sales representative for our Portland distributor who kindly helped us with all of the cooking. This was followed by Cindy Cuomo’s Almejas en Salsa Verde, I modified the original recipe on our website by reducing the olive oil by half and adding some lemon zest along with the juice of one lemon. We paired this course with three different finos: Grant’s Fino La Garrocha, El Maestro Sierra Fino and Fino Elcano.

We then moved onto the third course. JJ Clifton, sales rep extraordinaire from Estate Wines, Ltd, prepared Garbonzos con Espinaches, a recipe he adapted from cookbook recipes by Jose Andres and Ferran Adria. It paired wonderfully with both the El Maestro Sierra Amontillado and Grant’s Amontillado La Garrocha.

For the fourth course we poured El Maestro Sierra Oloroso and Sangre y Trabajadero Oloroso with two different meat courses. The first was Meatballs in Oloroso, a recipe provided by Cindy. The second was Bonnie’s Pig Candy.

Onto the three desert courses. All three were paired with the two Olorosos, César Florido’s three Moscatels (Dorado, Especial and Pasas) and El Maestro Sierra’s Amoroso and Pedro Ximénez. Our fifth course, and first desert course, featured a gelatin made from El Maestro Sierra Oloroso accented by orange zest and served over a salad of cara cara and blood oranges, and topped with Mocatel Especial infused whipped cream. The next course, also by Bonnie, was an El Maestro Sierra Oloroso walnut cake accented with orange zest. We finished with some homemade vanilla custard ice cream infused with raisins that were soaked in Moscatel Especial.

It was an enjoyable evening with great food, great wines and wonderful company. Thanks again to Sarah for hosting such a lovely event, JJ for all of his help, Eric for his delicious cocktails and Bonnie for all of her countless hours prepping and cooking!

Be sure to try any of the recipes at home with the above mentioned sherries, hopefully you will find some new favorite pairings!

- Holly Wing

Dishes

Cazón en Adobo (Andalusian Fried Fish with Spicy Marinade)
From Wine Enthusiast Magazine

2 tbs good white wine vinegar
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and mashed to a paste with a little salt
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
A good grind of black pepper
1 lb. swordfish filet, skin removed, cut in 3/4" chunks
Olive oil for deep-frying
2 cups flour
Servings: If served among other tapas, good for a dozen people.

In a bowl, mix together the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, oregano and black pepper. Add the swordfish to the bowl, coating the chunks evenly. Place in refrigerator for as little as 4-8 hours, or as much as 4 days. About an hour before cooking, remove marinated swordfish from the refrigerator. When ready to cook, pour a few inches of olive oil into your frying vessel (like a wok, or a medium-sized saucepan). Bring oil to 380 degrees. While oil is heating, place the flour in a wide, shallow bowl. Just before frying, place each piece of fish in the flour and coat well. Then, wetting your hand with water, remove each piece of fish from the flour with the other hand, and sprinkle heavily with water (trying not to knock off the flour that's already on). Return that piece to the flour, and roll well, pressing on as much flour as you can. As soon as you've finished a piece, lay it on a rack to dry. Continue this process until all of the chunks are coated and resting on the rack. If your frying vessel is large enough, fry all of the chunks at once, or break into several batches. Cook each chunk until golden-brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. When a chunk is done, drain it on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt. Serve each cooked piece as quickly as possible. Garnish with sea salt and lemon wedges.

Garbonzos con Espinaches
By JJ Clifton, adapted from cookbook recipes by Jose Andres & Ferran Adria

Frozen spinach
2 slices of crust-less bread
1 red onion, diced
Garbanzos
1 tbs tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp cumin
1tsp pimentón
2 cloves of garlic
Salt
Sherry vinegar

Blanche frozen spinach in salted water for 1 min. Drain and set aside. Brown a couple slices of crustless bread in olive oil. Remove and dry on towel. Add more olive oil to pan. Cook diced and salted red onion until translucent. Add drained garbanzos and ~1 tbs tomato paste. Cook for a minute or so and then add a cup or so chicken stock.  Beans should be mostly covered and set to simmer. Add browned bread to mortar along with cumin, pimentón, garlic cloves and salt. Smash into a paste. When your bean broth is sufficiently flavorful add the paste and stir to thicken. Cook to desired taste and add more broth if desired. Add cooked spinach right before serving to warm through. Finish with healthy drizzle of sherry vinegar.

Almejas en Salsa Verde
By Cindy Cuomo, as modified by Holly Wing

24 small clams
1/8 cup good Spanish extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup El Maestro Sierra Fino
Juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup chopped parsley
Lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes

Rinse clams well to remove any sand or dirt. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and sauté garlic just until light brown (do not burn). Add lemon juice, lemon zest, El Maestro Sierra Fino and clams and cover tightly. Simmer until clams open, about 5 minutes. Add parsley and toss to coat. Season with pepper and serve immediately.

Meatballs in Oloroso Sauce
By Cindy Cuomo 

For The Meatballs:
1 1⁄2 lbs. coarsely ground beef
1 1⁄2 lbs. coarsely ground pork
1⁄2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1⁄4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon pimentón
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup flour

For The Sauce:
1 cup Spanish olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes
1 dried bay leaf
2 tbsp. flour
2 cups beef broth
1⁄2 cup sherry ( I added another 1/4 cup, used EMS Oloroso) 

For The Meatballs:
Gently mix together the beef, pork, bread crumbs, parsley, pimentón, eggs, garlic, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Let chill for 1 hour. Put flour into a bowl. Using wet hands, form meat mixture into 2 dozen even-size meatballs. Roll each in flour; shake off excess; transfer to sheet pan. Heat half the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown half the meatballs in the skillet, 10–12 minutes. Transfer meatballs to a plate. Wipe out skillet and repeat with remaining oil and meatballs, leaving oil and caramelized bits in skillet.

For The Sauce:
Heat skillet (with reserved oil) over medium-low heat. Add garlic, onions and bay leaf and cook until softened, 12–15 minutes. Add tomatoes and flour; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and sherry, raise heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until thickened, 12–14 minutes. Let cool; discard bay leaf. Purée sauce in blender in batches. Return sauce to skillet along with meatballs; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until thickened and meatballs are cooked, 16–18 minutes (I cooked this down a lot longer around 25-30 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Divide between four 6"–7" cazuelas.

Pig Candy
by Bonnie Crocker

1 lb thick sliced bacon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Cut the bacon into ~2 inch pieces. Put brown sugar and cayenne pepper into a zip lock bag. Add bacon, one piece at a time, and shake until covered. Bake for 25 minutes.

Deserts

Sherry Gelatin

1 tbs unflavored gelatin
2 cups El Maestro Sierra Oloroso
Grated zest of 1 orange
2 tbs sugar
Sliced cara cara or blood oranges
Whipped cream

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup of water in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine gelatin and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. In another small saucepan, combine the El Maestro Sierra Oloroso, orange zest and sugar and heat until the sugar is dissolved, be very careful not to boil. Stir this mixture into the gelatin and pour into 1 quart mold or bowl. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight to set. Serve over oranges and top with whipped cream.

Oloroso Walnut Cake

1 pound coarsely ground walnuts
4 large eggs
1 cup superfine sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter, melted but not hot
3 tbs El Maestro Sierra Oloroso

For The Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tbs El Maestro Sierra Oloroso

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Cream eggs and sugar. Add melted butter and El Maestro Sierra Oloroso, beat well. Fold in walnuts. Pour batter into a buttered and floured 11-inch springform cake pan and bake for 45 minutes or until cake feels firm. While the cake is baking make the syrup by combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then add El Maestro Sierra Oloroso. Pour the syrup over the cake as soon as it comes out of the over. Let stand in the pan for at least 1 hour before serving.

Raisin and Moscatel Ice Cream

3/4 cup black raisins
1/2 cup César Florido Moscatel Especial
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 small cinnamon stick
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup superfine sugar

Soak raisins in César Florido Moscatel Especial in a small bowl. Combine the heavy cream, milk, cinnamon stick and vanilla in a large saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Remove from heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and reheat. Cream egg yolks and sugar. Gradually add hot milk while constantly beating and then pour mixture into the saucepan while stirring vigorously. Continue to stir over low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon, do not let it boil. Pour into a serving bowl and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm but not hard (3 to 3 1/2 hours). Take ice cream out of freezer and mix in raisins and moscatel, ice cream must be soft enough to mix easily but firm enough to allow raisins to remain suspended evenly. Return to freezer to completely firm.

Cocktails

The Aperitif
by Eric Quilty

1 1/2 oz La Cigarerra Manzanilla
1/2 oz El Maestro Sierra Amontillado
3/4 oz Cocchi Americano
1+ tangerine wheels (depending on size)

Add to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and double strain over fresh ice into a hi-ball glass or glass of your choice. Top with Cava and garnish with a fresh tangerine wheel.

A Stone's Throw
by Eric Quilty

2 oz dry gin
3/4 oz Sangre y Trabajadero Oloroso
1/4 oz Rothman and Winter Apricot liqueur
1 dash Scrappy's cardamom bitters

Stir and strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a lemon zest.

The Digestif
by Eric Quilty

1 oz Sangre y Trabajadero Oloroso
3/4 oz Cynar
1/3 oz Dubonnet Rouge
~1 bar spoon Laphroaig (adjust to taste as bar spoons vary)

Stir and strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a orange zest.