Cooking with Chef Eric C. Maczko

From Chef Eric C. Maczko of Pine Ridge Vineyards

 


When it comes to pairing wine and food, the wine always comes first.  A successful match begins with an understanding of the wine and its structural components: acid, alcohol, tannin, sweetness, body, complexity and length of finish.  Then the fundamentals take over, as in: how will salt affect this wine; how will sweet factor in; what effect will acid in the dish have on this wine; what impact will meat protein and fat have, and so on.

And just like a talented winemaker, we begin to blend these selected components on the plate to form a composed dish which highlights the nuances in the wine we want highlighted, and down-plays the characteristics we want to minimize.  By having like flavors in the food as in the wine, these flavors tend to cancel each other out rather than add up.  When one flavor or aromatic note is diminished, secondary flavors and aromatics can become more pronounced. By tasting at every step in the formation of a dish, I see the two become closer at every turn.  This is the tightrope I walk every day as I consider a completed dish in my mind while taking my first sip of a wine.  Every experience is different, and each one memorable.

Chef Eric C. Maczko

Eric Maczko was promoted to Executive Chef of Pine Ridge Vineyards in 2001, with the intention of elevating the culinary program and integrating the science of food and wine pairing for all guests.  Chef Eric directs all aspects of food service and wine pairings at the historic Stags Leap District winery, with multi-course menus featuring the highest quality local seasonal ingredients with emphasis on organics.  He bridges the gap between classic French techniques and California cuisine, focusing sharply on the extensive array of award-winning wines at Pine Ridge.

Eric is also a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently working towards his Advanced Sommelier Certification.  He has had recipes and features in numerous books and magazines including: Wine Adventures, Napa/Sonoma, My Wines of Napa Valley, Recipes From Gold Medal Wineries and The Vintner’s Kitchen: Celebrating the Wines of Oregon.
This recipe arose from my desire to master the stuffing and frying of olives, but with my own twist. The first obstacle was which type of olive.  It has to be large enough to stuff, but not so large they’re difficult to eat.  So I chose Spanish Castelvetrano Olives, a mild green type perfect for one bite.  Then I considered the stuffing; anchovies, roasted peppers, cheese - they’ve all been done. I turned to an ingredient I love: garlic confit.  Garlic cloves are poached in olive oil and pureed with fresh thyme leaves – delicious!  I chilled the puree, and after pitting the olives, used a piping bag with a small tip to fill them all before egg washing and rolling them in breadcrumbs.  Using grapeseed oil which has a very high smokepoint and a neutral flavor, I quickly fried the olives to a crunchy, golden brown.  The only problem after that was having to wait for them to cool!

Fried Green Olives stuffed with Garlic Confit

Click here to download a printable pdf file of this recipe.
Yield: 36ea

24ea – Garlic Cloves
A.N.-Olive Oil
1ea-Bayleaf
2t-Thyme(chopped)
2T-Shallot(minced)
A.N.-S&P

36ea-Green Olives(pitted; such as: Castelvetrano, Luques, Picholine)
Pastry Bag fitted with a ¼ inch tip
4ea-whole eggs(beaten)
3C-Bread Crumbs
3-4C-Peanut, Canola or Grapeseed Oil (for frying)

1.) Combine first 6 ingredients, and poach on a very low simmer for approx. 45 min(or until cloves are fork tender). Remove bayleaf and puree garlic cloves along with ½ oil in a food processor.  Reserve the remaining oil for another use.  Fill pastry bag fitted with tip with garlic puree and pipe directly into pitted olives until they are full.  Chill the olives before continuing.


2.) Prepare eggs in one bowl, the bread crumbs in another.  Dip olives into egg mixture, then bread crumbs.  You may repeat the process to ensure olives are fully coated. 


3.) When finished freeze olives (overnight or for 2 to 3 hours).


4.) Heat oil in a large enough pot to fry safely to 400F.  Fry olives in small (6 per) batches until nicely browned and crispy.  Remove to paper towels to dry and then keep warm while frying the remaining olives.  Serve warm, alone or with a fresh summer salad!

Fried Green Olives stuffed with Garlic Confit
This recipe arose from my desire to master the stuffing and frying of olives, but with my own twist. The first obstacle was which type of olive.  It has to be large enough to stuff, but not so large they’re difficult to eat.  So I chose Spanish Castelvetrano Olives, a mild green type perfect for one bite.

2007 Pine Ridge Charmstone
Fruit for the 2007 Charmstone was harvested from select vineyards in a handful of the Napa Valley's renowned appellations.  This vintage displays a deep ruby hue and inviting nose of cherry, blackberry and black currant fruit enhanced by subtle hints of toasty oak, cinnamon and cream.


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Comments

  • Snooth User: jloiselle
    146523 8

    What does A.N. stand for and what is S&P?

    Feb 16, 2010 at 1:28 PM


  • Snooth User: tkdix
    295033 5

    "as needed"

    "salt and pepper"

    Feb 16, 2010 at 2:01 PM


  • Snooth User: mbelaguna
    371264 5

    AN stands for as needed, S&P: salt & pepper

    Feb 16, 2010 at 3:22 PM


  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 4,989

    A very appealing recipe, Eric, and a style of dish I've never tried to prepare, though that will now change.

    Though I'm sure there are many possible candidates, any wines you like best with the dish (both Pine Ridge, and non-Pine Ridge)?

    Feb 16, 2010 at 6:17 PM


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