Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rosie Poaches A Pear In Red Wine And Spices.

A week ago, I bought two pears.
I used the first pear in a salad dish I made.
I used sautéed diced duck as the crouton
 in a delightfully amusing, citrusy
 and fruity salad mixed greens salad.

For the past four afternoons,
 Mr. Hawthorne has asked me,
"What are you going to do with that other pear."
"I have plans for it.  I'll do it tomorrow."

Today, he finally called my ass
on my procrastination.
And I acquiesced.
Rosie is making a poached pear.
I'm making a spiced wine sauce
 in which to poach the pears,
and then I'm reducing the sauce.
I'll serve the pears with the reduced sauce,
toasted walnuts, and crumbled bleu cheese.


Trust me on this.
This is another one of those cases
where the total is greater than the sum of its parts.
I love synergy.
Especially when it happens with food.

Let's start with the poaching liquid.
My flavorings for the poaching liquid:
1 cinamon stick
1 tsp orange zest
8 - 10 cloves
10 gratings of nutmeg

More for the poaching liquid:
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup of my Twisted Cabernet Sauvignon.
The beauty of this Twisted Cab
is that it comes with a twist cap!
I quickly determined this was not near enough wine.
Instead of using anymore of my red wine,
I opted to used Mr. Hawthorne's white wine -
a Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay.
I poured in 1 cup of his Chardonnay.

I just wanted the red for color.
I used Mr. H.'s for the bulk.
And because I certainly didn't want to use
anymore of my wine for poaching
and not drinking.

Do I really need to explain this to you?
I didn't think so.

Here are the POACHING INGREDIENTS in case you missed them:
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (Twisted)
1 cup Chardonnay  (Robert Mondavi Woodbridge)
1/4 cup Mr. Hawthorne's Blue Ridge Mountain Sourwood Honey
1 cinnamon stick
1 heaping tsp orange zest
8-10 whole cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract

Honey, cinnamon stick, orange zest, and cloves.

Add in wines.

Add in the vanilla.

Bring to boil.
  Reduce to simmer.
Simmer 15 minutes.

While the poaching liquid was simmering ...
...  I toasted some walnuts.
Toasting intensifies the flavor of any nut you toast.

I have an Anjou pear.
Disfiguring marks give the pear character.
Same as they do people.
Life scars us.
I wear my scars as badges.

 Naked Pear.
I peeled the pear,
leaving the peeling in one piece.
Can you do that?
Would you even try to?
Do you even give a crap?
Do you think I'm OC because I must do this?

I placed the pear in the poaching liquid.
It came halfway up the side of the pear.

Ten minutes each side.
Pour the poaching liquid over top of the pear frequently.

Remove pear from liquid.

Add 1/2 cup sugar to poaching liquid.

While I'm working on the pear,
Mr. Hawthorne fried up some soft shells, shrimp, and oysters.

Soft shells aren't in season.
Mr. Hawthorne always freezes a few dozen
extremely well-cleaned soft shells every season
so he can have them out of season.

I reduced my poaching liquid by half.
Took about 20 minutes.

Plate a wine and spiced poached pear.

Mr. Hawthorne complimented me on this dish.

I love it when you have both sweet and savory going on.
It's yin and yang.

And you end up with groups of flavors
that complement each other
and become more than the sum 
of their individual parts.

I must have pear, poaching liquid,
 bleu cheese, and walnut in each bite.
This is delightful.
It's fresh.
It's fruity.
It's salty.
It's savory.
It's sweet.
It's nutty.
It's yeasty.
It's winey.
It's good.

The Hawthornes still fork on the same plate together.

Opposing ends.
Opposite sides.

Yin and Yang.


Marilyn said...

That looks very good. I think I just might have to try that soon.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

It was very good. Perfect combination of flavors!

Anonymous said...

Dammit Rosie, now I want a soft shell.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Anony, stop by and we'll fix you some. Only have maybe 30-40 left.