Roasted Sweet Potato and Mushroom Risotto, leftover Braised Flanken, and some Goose Bay Chardonnay
OK, I can already hear you all wondering out loud, has he really lost it? Yes, we had leftover alcohol and brown sugar braised flanken with some Chardonnay. To be fair, there was only a bit of the flanken left over, and it was not the main player on the table. The clear star of the evening was the killer risotto. Once again, Italy’s creme rice dish, showed its muscle and nutty flavors. We love Risotto, and have no problem enjoying it for days or weeks on end. So, when given the chance to make some, I jumped at it, and it came out wonderfully. We started by peeling, cubing, and then roasting the sweet potato in the oven at 400 degrees. In the mean time, I whipped together the usual risotto recipe, where we start with two or three onions diced and then sautéed in olive oil until they are perfectly caramelized. In the mean time, we started another pot with onion soup mix and water and brought it to a boil. Once the onions were caramelized, we threw in four garlic cloves and then some basil to boot. Once the garlic and herb coated the onions, we threw in two cups of Arborio rice, and made sure they were coated with the oil and herbs s well. Then starts the dance of hydration to dry to hydration to dry and – well you get the point. You first hydrate the pot with a cup of white acidic wine, and then let it get absorbed into Arborio rice and then continue hydrating the pot, a cup at a time, from the boiling liquid you have alongside it. In our case, it was the fore mentioned onion soup mixture. We kept hydrating the pot, until the half way point, when we threw in the thickly sliced mushrooms. They quickly started to release their liquid, and slowly started to shrink. After a couple of minutes, we resumed the hydration dance, until the risotto was 90% of the way there. At that point I threw in just enough liquid to get close but not complete the mixture. In other words just a cup or so less than what is needed to force the Arborio rice to release its starch. I did this because; I had another warming ahead of me on Friday night.
3 onions diced
16 oz of sliced mushrooms
2 large sweet potatoes cubed – roasted in the oven
4 or 5 garlic cloves
2 cups of Arborio rice
1 cup of white wine
5 cups of chicken/vegetable stock
2 cups of Rice Dream before reheating
Friday night, right before the Sabbath, I threw in the roasted sweet potato chunks, along with two cups of rice dream, and mixed it to the best of my ability, right before I left for synagogue. When I came back and took the dish out of the oven, it had come together perfectly. The starches had released themselves in a balanced manner, and they did not overrun the dish in any way. Instead, the risotto was integrated with its companions in a singular, creamy, and homogeneous manner. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes and the earthiness of the mushrooms, combined well with the Arborio rice, wine, and flavorings to add a dimension of nuttiness to the mix.
So back to the wine, yes I had a Chardonnay and I loved it. The Goose Bay Chardonnay was fine and did not need to be rushed or consumed quickly, but I did anyway. In the end, I could had drunk a red wine with the risotto and meat, but instead I enjoyed a wonderful wine, that was buttery and fruity and had just enough oak to make it easily stand up to the risotto, and not be conflicted by the flanken. The wine note follows:
2006 Goose Bay Chardonnay – Score: B+ / A-
The nose on this light gold to gold colored wine is rich and not your common run of the mill Chardonnay. The nose is almost perfumed Viognier style from the extra rich and ripe fruit. The nose continues with rich ripe peach, honey, lemon, sweet oak, ripe guava, alongside some almond or toast. The mouth on this medium to full bodied wine carries the rich and perfumed nose with rich ripe peach, guava, and honey. The mid palate is balanced with still bracing acidity that almost is a bit tart, but that calms down over time, along with oak, and toast. The finish is almost mouth coating and lingers long on the palate with tart and bright fruit, rich butter, sweet oak, honey, and a fair amount of vanilla. This is a wine that is not at the end of the road, but is highly enjoyable right now, except for the tartness that fades with air.