Wine Mondays has a simple premise: Simple wine pairings with seasonal menus, but it offers much more than that. The recipes are wonderful, time-tested classics from Boston's renowned L'Espalier restaurant, but given the pedigree of the chef, and author, that should come as no surprise.
The lovely tips on pairing food and wines, and brief yet informative, to-the-point wine notes help to flesh out the wine pairings that are suggested with each dish. While each dish has its own pairing, each recipe is included in a four-course menu. The flow from dish to dish, and wine to wine, is engaging and intelligent, allowing for one of the wines to carry you through the entire meal, just in case you don't feel like opening four wines for dinner! Take a look at the pair of recipes we're featuring this week and then give the book a look. If you love food and wine, and who doesn't, it'll be worth it.
About the AuthorsFrank McClelland, the James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Northeast 2007, has been the proprietor of L’Espalier in Boston, Massachusetts, for 20 years. In 2000, with L’Espalier firmly established as one of the country’s most highly regarded restaurants, McClelland opened a second restaurant with fellow chef and business partner Geoff Gardner. Sel de la Terre, featuring cuisine inspired by the culinary traditions of Provence, France, soon joined L’Espalier as one of the nation’s top-ranked restaurants.
Christie Matheson is the author of Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style and the coauthor of Wine Mondays. She is a regular contributor to publications including The Boston Globe Magazine, Cooking Light, Boston, Yankee, Body + Soul, Yoga Journal, Continental, San Francisco, and DailyCandy.com.
Buy Wine Mondays: Simple Wine Pairings with Seasonal Menus
Two Great Food and Wine Pairings
From: Wine Mondays by Frank McClelland and Christie MathesonWalnut-Encrusted Spring Lamb with Bacon-Potato Rösti
served with 2003 Grant Burge, “Miamba,” Shiraz, Australia
Full, rich, and spicy, this is a classic Australian red wine. Shiraz and lamb is an excellent combination. You could try a Shiraz from South Africa or a California Syrah, too.
Click here to download a printable PDF file of this recipe.
This has been a L’Espalier staple for decades. The nuttiness and sweetness of the crust enhances the richness and sweetness of the spring lamb. The rösti lends crispness to this dish and creates a platform to absorb the sweet juices from the lamb. To add a green element to this course, serve it with spring spinach.
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 racks of lamb (about 18 ounces total)
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to season lamb
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
1/4 cup breadcrumbs 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season lamb1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Make a marinade by combining the balsamic vinegar, mustard, minced garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the thyme, and the dried rosemary. Place the lamb in a bowl and smear the marinade all over the meat. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. When the butter is sizzling, add the onions, brown sugar, and salt and stir. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
3. Uncover and add the chopped garlic, fresh rosemary, mint, walnuts, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sherry vinegar. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and puree in a food processor until smooth. If the mixture crumbles, add more olive oil. (You want to be able to apply the mixture to the lamb with an offset spatula.)
4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
5. Remove the lamb from the marinade. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Wipe out the sauté pan and set it over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the lamb to the pan and brown it deeply on all sides, about 4 minutes total. 6. Place the lamb on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Use an offset spatula to cover the lamb completely with the walnut-herb mixture. Roast for about 12 minutes for medium- rare (about 135ºF on an instant-read thermometer). Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with Bacon-Potato Rösti (recipe follows).
Toasting nuts brings out their best flavor. To toast them lightly, spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes in a 400ºF oven. For more intense toasted flavor, bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Bacon-Potato Rösti3 Idaho potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled 2 slices bacon, finely diced
1 tablespoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons minced onion
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1. Grate the potatoes, using the large holes of a grater, into a large bowl. Let stand for 4 minutes. Lift the potatoes and squeeze out and discard the excess liquid. Return the potatoes to the bowl and stir in the bacon. Mix in the salt, garlic, onion, and pepper. 2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
3. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet and, when it starts to pop, evenly distribute the potato-bacon mixture in the skillet. Let cook until the potato cake becomes golden brown and begins to detach from the pan.
4. Distribute the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cut into bits, on top of the potato cake. Flip the cake and place the skillet in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes. Remove the rösti from the skillet and slide it onto a cutting board. Cut it into 6 wedges and serve with the lamb.
Please visit the next page for the second recipe.