Fall marks the beginning of many seasons, football season, the new seasons of Saturday Night Live, Dancing with the Stars and The Blacklist (YES!) and in my kitchen – one pot meal season! These one pot wonders are hearty, comforting dishes that satisfy our appetites while also giving us a bear hug from the inside out. They’re also easier on the cleanup because, well, everything happens in ONE pot! This mouthwatering recipe for Arroz con Pollo is an extremely worthy addition to the Fall one pot lineup, featuring succulent dark meat chicken, aromatic garlic, onion and bay leaf and flavorful piquillo peppers cooked together on a fragrant bed of saffron-infused short-grain rice.
Arroz con Pollo, aka Chicken and Rice, is a traditional dish of Spain and Latin America but has different incarnations in many countries around the world. There is actually much debate as to where the dish originated, as well as which ingredients it should traditionally include. As I have found, these debates can get um, how should I say – passionate? Puerto Ricans, for instance, believe anatto and beer are essential to making Arroz con Pollo while in Spain, saffron is used to impart the dish’s signature yellow color. Before anyone gets upset with me, however, please know, this gringa means no disrespect and while this recipe may not be 100% culturally correct – it is most definitely CRAZY DELICIOUS!
Many incarnations of this dish call for a traditional Spanish “sofrito,” a mixture of garlic, tomatoes, onion, olive oil and paprika that is cooked down in advance and blended into a flavorful paste. Our recipe for Arroz con Pollo doesn’t call for a sofrito per se, yet still uses many of the same ingredients, including minced garlic, onion, bay leaf and roasted piquillo peppers instead of the tomatoes. Rather than cooking them in advance and blending them into a paste, these ingredients are added “on the fly” which streamlines the recipe while also adding tremendous flavor.
Since this recipe for Arroz con Pollo calls for a dry white wine, that’s generally what I like to serve with it; preferably, the same wine used in the recipe. And since I love the old adage, “If if grows together, it goes together,” a white Rioja, Godello, Albariño or other Spanish white wine would be fabulous. If you have a hard time finding any of these options though, or want to use something you already have on hand, a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio would also be great. When cooking with wine, always use one whose flavor you enjoy because even though the alcohol cooks off, you’ll still be left with its “essence.”
When you pull this gorgeous Arroz con Pollo out of the oven, the intoxicating aromas of the chicken, bay leaf and saffron will literally make your mouth water! One things I especially love about this dish, is that it is as beautiful as it is delicious. Once you scatter the peas and olives over the pan of cooked chicken and rice, the colors form the most beautiful mosaic. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do and I’d really like to know if you have any favorite one pot meals? Please let me know in the Comments section below!
We’re in the home stretch of Summer and it is H-O-T here in South Florida! Even as a native Floridian, I can’t remember it ever feeling this oppressively hot and humid. Thankfully in the evenings a delightful coastal breeze blows in off the ocean, offering a little respite from the scorching days. To combat the infernal temperatures, we’ve also been reaching for lighter, preferably chilled food and drink. For that reason, I really wanted to share this delicious Citrus, Honeydew, Fennel & Olive Salad that’s become a Summer essential here at Chez Miskew.
This delightful salad offers a veritable symphony of Summer flavors and textures. Juicy wedges of ruby red grapefruit and orange complement the savory fennel while the plump, bright green Castelvetrano olives add a briny contrast that is ultimately refreshing. For those of you who also believe we eat with our eyes first, this salad is a sight to behold featuring harmonious hues of pink, orange and green. In order to make this salad you’ll need to know how to segment or supreme citrus. This is a super easy technique that you’ll be so happy you mastered (check out this video from Saveur.com)! Before starting, put your citrus fruit in the fridge to chill for about 20-30 minutes (or even overnight) which will make it much easier to work with.
For wine lovers, a white or rosé wine with bright fruit and a crisp acidity would be the perfect choice to pair with our Citrus, Honeydew, Fennel & Olive Salad. A minerally Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé from France’s Loire Valley or a refreshingly dry Provencal rosé would be fabulous. From the US, a California Sauvignon Blanc would also be a wonderful choice. Stick with a wine with crisp, citrusy notes which will harmonize with the salad’s flavors and you’ll have a delightful pairing on your hands.
This Citrus, Honeydew, Fennel & Olive Salad is so visually appealing it would make a great choice for al fresco entertaining or a romantic dinner at home a deux. No matter when you serve it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do and that it offers you some solace from the heat this Summer. What are your favorite foods to enjoy during the sweltering Summer months? I’d love to hear so please let me know in the Comments section below!
Spring, glorious Spring! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I’m super excited to share this delicious recipe with you that’s perfect for the season: Shredded Chicken & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette. This salad has oodles of delicious flavor and texture and is packed with healthy ingredients including organic chicken breast, Brussels sprouts, Pink Lady... Read More
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This time of year in South Florida we are obsessed with Stone Crabs, a delicacy only available from October 15th through May 15th. While these crustaceans can be found in waters as far north as Connecticut, the best are widely believed to come from Florida. The world famous Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami’s South Beach is the authority on these... Read More
This time of year in South Florida we are obsessed with Stone Crabs, a delicacy only available from October 15th through May 15th. While these crustaceans can be found in waters as far north as Connecticut, the best are widely believed to come from Florida. The world famous Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami’s South Beach is the authority on these crustaceans, also known as Menippe Mercenaria (Menippe = Greek, meaning force or courage and Mercenaria = Latin meaning something of value).
Unlike most other crabs including Maine’s Peekytoe, Chesapeake Blue, or the Pacific Dungeoness, only the claws of the stone crab are harvested and the crabs are not killed during the process. These crabs are captured in baited traps and only one claw per crab can be taken so it can still defend itself against predators. The claws make up about half the weight of the entire crab and once harvested, the pricey appendages are classified and priced according to weight – Colossal size claws can weigh up to 25 ounces or more! Once harvested, the crab is returned to the water where the claw will regenerate in approximately 12-24 months.
The stone crab gets its name from their extremely hard shells and the claws must be cracked prior to eating – an art form in and of itself! Stone crabs have a delicious, sweet flavor and their texture is somewhere between the delicacy of crab and the decadence of lobster. They are traditionally served with a mustard sauce which complements the delicious meat although many prefer to eat them plain with nothing at all. Many establishments are know for their mustard sauce and there’s some debate as to which type of sauce is the best. Some folks lean towards a spicy mustard sauce (like us!) while others tend towards sweet with the addition of some honey. Which type of mustard sauce do you prefer if any at all?
Wine pairing suggestions: In order to complement the texture and flavor of the crab as well as the tanginess of the mustard sauce, opt for wines with notes of citrus and stone fruit with a racy, cleansing acidity. Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, and unoaked Chardonnay are wonderful choices to pair with Florida Stone Crabs. Here are our recommendations available at The Wine Atelier:
1.) Champagne Ayala Brut Majeur, Champagne, France, NV ($44) – a light, fresh style of Champagne which will complement the texture of the crab meat beautifully!
2.) Round Pond Estate Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford, California ($20) – notes of juicy citrus and white flowers characterize this California beauty!
3.) Banfi La Pettegola Vermentino, IGT Toscana, Italy, 2013 ($20) – light and bright with notes of green apple, apricot & grapefruit with a racy acidity!
4.) Drouhin Vaudon Chablis, Burgundy, France, 2012 ($25) – Notes of apple, citrus, and white peach characterize this mouth watering Chardonnay!
November marks the return of our popular “Wine Word of the Week” series where you, our fabulous readers, get to suggest words about wine you’d like to learn more about. You can either leave your suggestion in the “Comments” section of this post or on our Facebook Fan Page by clicking here. If we use your word, your name is... Read More
November marks the return of our popular “Wine Word of the Week” series where you, our fabulous readers, get to suggest words about wine you’d like to learn more about. You can either leave your suggestion in the “Comments” section of this post or on our Facebook Fan Page by clicking here. If we use your word, your name is automatically entered into a drawing to win one FREE month of our Explorateur Wine Club, a $50 value! We select one lucky winner each month so your chances of winning are pretty good but remember – you have to play to win!
This month kicks off with our latest wine word, malolactic fermentation (aka “malo” or “ML”), a secondary fermentation which occurs after alcoholic fermentation, the process by which yeast converts the sugar present in grapes into alcohol. During malolactic fermentation, bacteria converts the tart-tasting malic acid (think green apples) present in wine into more approachable lactic acid (think milk) resulting in a creamy, buttery mouthfeel.
Malolactic fermentation, also more appropriately called malolactic conversion, is used in virtually all red wine as well as some fuller-bodied white wines such as Chardonnay to enhance the wine’s complexity and stability. On the flipside, white wines such as Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc do not undergo “malo” in order to preserve their desirable tart, acidic flavor profiles. Because malolactic fermentation can sometimes occur naturally, it needs to be prevented in certain instances through the addition of sulfur dioxide which kills any bacteria present in the wine, filtration which physically removes the bacteria, or the addition of an enzyme which discourages the process from occurring. Whether or not a wine has undergone malolactic fermentation has less to do with the wine’s quality and more to do with whether it can enhance the wine’s desired profile.
Now that you have learned about our latest Wine Word of the Week, it’s time for you to suggest your own! Just leave your suggestion in the “Comments” section below and stay tuned to see if we select your word. In the meantime you can check out previously selected Wine Words of the Week by clicking here.