Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sunday Tasting of Italian Wines in South Deerfield

Wine Tasting Sunday from 2pm to 4pm at MRKT in S. Deerfield. Spend the afternoon drinking bits of Italy with the restaurant's sommelier, 24-year-old Nancy Clarke. Reservations required for March 1 event. Call 413-397-2190.
Sommelier Nancy Clarke, MRKT

On Wednesday, Nancy' last class before she had to go to work at 4:30 was in Quechua, an indigenous language spoken in Argentina and Ecuador. By the time she got to MRKT, a little restaurant in South Deerfield, she was fully focused on France. Just last week a bottle of Chateau Flotis 2011 and a bottle of Domaine Capmartin 2012 were moved from the "by-the-glass" list to the "by-the-bottle" list. It had to be done because the cases were running low. 

At MRKT, the "by-the-glass wine list” has no less than five red wines, six white wines, a rose, a house Cabernet Sauvignon and four desert wines.  The aforementioned Chateau Flotis and Domaine Capmartin will be replaced with wines from small distributors that meet Nancy’s standards for the little farm-to-table menu that is heavy on the local and the artisan.

There are two ways to pair wines, according to 24-year-old sommelier. The first is the lemon rule. If the food you are serving requires a bit of acid or lemon, a bit of brightness, then the wine should be bright. For example, a tuna tartare which is usually served with olive oil lemon and lemon would fare well with a Sauvignon Blanc.

The second rule is simple. If you love the wine, you'll like the food. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Recipe of the Week: Party Wings by Tim Wilcox

RECIPE: Party Wings

Tim Wilcox of Kitchen Garden Farm 

This is my version of chicken wings, the ultimate party food. 

My recipe combines elements of Thai fried chicken, Pok Pok's Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings, and Buffalo wings. Plus, it features our Kitchen Garden brand sriracha, which is now widely available at stores throughout the Valley.

3 lbs party style chicken wings (cut into drumettes and flats)
1/2  cup sugar
1/2 cup fish sauce
8 large garlic cloves, 4 minced, 4 thinly sliced 
2 Tbsp minced cilantro roots (optional)
1 cup rice flour, corn starch or tapioca starch (not glutinous rice flour)
Canola or peanut oil for deep frying
1/4 cup Kitchen Garden Sriracha
1/4 cup Thai sweet chili sauce 
Homemade roasted chili powder, optional

1. In a large bowl, combine the wings, sugar, fish sauce and minced garlic and cilantro roots. Refrigerate overnight (or put in your entryway since there's not room in your fridge and it's the middle of winter anyway). 

2. 20 minutes before you plan to serve the wings, heat about a quart of oil in a deep cast iron skillet or dutch oven to 375 degrees. 

3. Drain the wings and discard liquid from marinade. 

4.Dump the rice flour or starch onto a large plate and coat the wings thoroughly, a few at a time, then set them on a dusted baking sheet. Use more rice flour if necessary to get a nice coating on the wings. 

5. Fry the sliced garlic until golden and just beginning to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

6. When the oil is hot, fry the wings, in batches if necessary, until cooked through and golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. (The wings can be held for hours, uncovered, in a low oven before being tossed with the sauce and served.)

7. Mix the sriracha with the sweet chili sauce. In a mixing bowl, add the wings and fried garlic slices and drizzle on the sauce while tossing or stirring them to ensure even coating. More or less sauce can be added depending on the heat tolerance of your guests. An extra pinch of homemade roasted Thai chili powder adds an extra hot and smoky kick to the wings.

8. Serve with a garnish of raw and/or pickled seasonal vegetables. 

Note: to make roasted Thai chili powder heat a small skillet over medium low heat. Add whole dried Thai chilies and dry-roast until they change color from red to smoky brown, stirring often. Take care not to burn them. Allow to cool and them grind them to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or specially designated coffee grinder.