Thursday, 29 October 2015

Slow-cooked soy crumb Bolognese and Valdifalco Morellino di Scansano

In case the previous soy recipes there are still people among you who feel skeptic about the virtues of soy-based meat substitutes, I have a sure-fire hit on my hands. Right here, people Da bomb. Just keep reading and you'll soon see what I mean. 

Bolognese, schmolognese, you might say (in case you were drunk and/or fully versed in Yiddish), but stand corrected, that is so not the case. Slow-cooking mellows the flavours and results in  Italian comfort food at its best. This soy Bolognese is as comforting and full of love as Nonna's arms, whose embrace will make even the shittiest week seem like a distant memory. I dare you. Not one of you would ever guess it's vegetarian. Let me repeat that: not a single one. 

Sure, it takes some time for this pot of love to come together, but you know what? That's all it takes. No real work is required as it just cooks away on the stove, all on its own. And in the meanwhile you are free to engage i other acts of love. In the kitchen... or in any other room...!

Serves 4-6

Slow-cooked soy Bolognese:

a couple of tbsp oil
1 celery stick, chopped in small cubes
1 large carrot, chopped in small cubes
1 onion, chopped in small cubes
4 largeish cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1,5 dl red wine
half a bunch of fresh thyme (or 1,5 tbsp dried)
3 bay leaves
4 dl soy crumbs
5 dl veggie stock
2 tins finely chopped crushed tomatos
salt, black pepper

Sauté garlic, celery, onion and carrot in oil over medium heat (lest they burn) until soft and the onion is translucent. Add thyme, bay leaves and red wine. Let it come to boil and then add soy crumbs. Let them soak up the flavours for a couple of minutes and add veggie stock. 

Cover and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Then add tomatos. Stir, season, cover and leave to simmer over gentle heat for 3,5 hours. 

Check the taste and season as needed. Serve.

Either with pasta..

... or keep going and turn it into a vegetarian/ vegan shepherd's pie.

You can use regular mashed potatos as well, but seeing how soy crumbs are so full of nutrients I opted for something equally nutrient and high in fiber and protein: yellow lentils. So, not only is this comforting and meat-free - this is practically super food! That ought to keep you loving long time!

Vegetarian/ vegan shepherd's pie with soy Bolognese:

1 portion of slow-cooked soy Bolognese

Yellow lentil mash:

5 dl yellow lentils
7.5 dl water or vegetable stock
25 g butter
1 egg yolk (for a vegan version use lentils' cooking water instead of butter and yolk)
3/4 tsp granulated garlic
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1,5 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
salt, white pepper

If you have time, soak the lentils in cold water for 20 minutes as this helps them cook faster.

Boil lentils until done (15-20 minutes) and drain. Puré with the rest of the ingredients, check the taste and season. 

Spoon into an oven-proof dish over the Bolognese layer. 

If you want, you can decorate it with fork (as in over here) or by piping little rosettes (as over here).

Bake at 225°  until golden. Serve.

This is perfect dish for a cozy Sunday lunch, so surely it deserves some wine to go with it, non?

And seeing how this is a celebration of Italian flavours, the wine I chose for this comes from Italy as well. Valdifalco Morellino di Scansano is Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. 

Its got some tannins alright, but combined with the Bolognese's sweetness and softness (that's the magic of slow-cooking)  it provides a nice balance to it. 

A good pairing with tomato-based pastas and (vegetarian) stews and herbs such as fresh basil and rosemary are something this wine loves. 

And in case you're still not ready to give soy the go-ahead, try this traditional version with lamb or this homage to my heritage: reindeer herder's pie!




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Monday, 26 October 2015

The joys of working from home: pasta with oven-roasted tomato red pesto

Once upon a time a girl was working from home. You know, a girl that might have absolutely nothing to do with reality, so let's call her... a Food Blogger. Now, a working from home-kind-of-day would have been perfect for something gloriously slow-roasted, but since our Food Blogger was so damn lazy busy, she never quite found it in her the time to go all the way to the shop (across the street).

Sure, a stew of slow-roasted meaty deliciousness might have been a bit tricky since she was also taking part in a Meat-free October (as I said, this story has nothing to do with any actual persons...)

For reasons the Food Blogger's hazy terribly efficient brain full of all sorts of important things couldn't quite remember, she did have a 1,5 kg of tomatos in the fridge. So, instead of a juicy bit of pork neck they found their way into the oven instead. After 4 hours they had dried and aromatized (big on making up her own words, this Food Blogger I see) as their flavours had concentrated (ooh, and fancy cheffy words as well!) 

So, the Food Blogger blizzed them into a pesto. Since our Food Blogger had a bit of an aversion to cheese (again: a totally fictional character!) she went for a Parmesan, a.k.a. dairy-free a.k.a. vegan pesto. And hey presto, a one-ingredient pasta sauce was done!

And then the Food Blogger managed to photograph the food in daylight (oh, the joys of working from home) and lived happily ever after.

(And then George Clooney called, invited himself over for a spot of lunch, fell madly in love with our Food Blogger, begged her to run off to Italy with him and then everybody lived happily ever after. The End.) 

(See, told you. Totally fictional.) 

This yields enough red pesto for 4-5 portions of pasta

Red pesto made of oven-roasted tomatos:

1,5 kg tomatos
3/4 tsp sugar
2 tsp Herbs of Provence
3/4 tsp granulated garlic
salt, black pepper

For the pesto:

1,25 dl oil (left over oil from sun-dried tomatos works brilliantly)
1 large bunch of basil (2 handfuls for the pesto itself, rest for serving)
1/2 dl pine nuts (now with the pumpkin season on you could use pumpkin seeds as well)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
salt, black pepper

Cut the tomatos in half, remove the hard core and place on a baking sheet-lined tray the cut side up. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle the herbs and seasoning on the tomatos. Roast at 100-125° for 3,5-4 hours (depending on your oven). 

Let the tomatos cool down. Reserve 1/3 of the tomatos for serving and cut them into strips. Whizz remaining tomatos with rest of the ingredients, check the taste and season as needed. 

Cook pasta in salted water until done, drain (reserve some of the liquid), stir in pesto and add a bit of cooking liquid if needed to make it runnier.  Fold in tomato strips and rest of the basil leaves. Serve.

PS. Equally good on bread, too!

PPS. The pesto can be made ahead  as it'll keep (covered with a layer of oil) for days.




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Thursday, 22 October 2015

Caribbean soy (veggie) burgers for Meatless Mondays

You know, it's not easy being a vegetarian.  According to one research 84% will sooner or later return to meat-eating and according to another one third will fall off the wagon drunk (!!!) 

Having myself returned to the carnivore existence after a 1,5-year-hiatus I can totally understand that. I mean, no-one's going to get a craving for a carrot at 3am. No-one's going to wake up to desperate need for kale, right?

These burgers, made with soy fillets and I can tell you the (very sceptic) test audience fell quiet (for all the right reasons, mind). "So damn good!" uttered the El Mercados. "So bloody good I actually forgot I was eating vegetarian food!" said the Tzatziki Champion (right before reaching for more...)

The secret's in the marinade. That's the way to get flavour into those things. Feel fee to dump them into marinade already the night before, if you need to. As far as breading and deep-frying goes, these babies are actually soooo much more grateful than, say, chicken.  With these you'll never have to worry about overdoing the deep-frying as these won't get dry the way chicken would - instead they stay crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

And should you want to make your own brioche burger buns, just see over here for the recipe!

Serves four

Caribbean veggie burgers:

4 soy fillets (or 8 in case you're using bigger buns)
1 l vegetable stock


1 dl soy sauce
0,5 dl honey
the finely grated zest and juice of a lime
1,5 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 red chilli
1,5 rkl oil

For breading:

1 dl flour (ca be substituted with coconut or soy flour)
2 egg, whisked
a couple of dl coconut flakes

Oil, to fry

Cook the soy fillets in the stock for 10 minutes, steam drier and place in the marinade - from anywhere to 4 hours until the next day. Drain on a kitchen towel.

Wipe the fillets dry, drench in flour, then dip in the egg and cover with coconut flakes. Deep-fry until golden, 6-8 minutes.

Mango,chili and ginger dressing:

1,5 dl mayonnaise
3 generous tbsp mango purée (baby food works fine!)
1/2 - 1 red chilli (depending on your size)
1/2 - 1 tsp minced ginger
A pinch (about 1/2 tsp curry powder

Combine the ingredients and hey, ho, let's go!

Coriande, garlic and lime dressing:

1 large bunch coriander
1 jalapeño
the juice of a lime
1,5 tbsp oil
(salt, pepper, if needed sugar)

Blizz the ingredients and helloo, Bob - your uncle!!!

To serve: 

salad leaves, tomato slices, thinly sliced red onion, fresh coriander

Steam the buns, stuff, accessorize as you please and serve.

With polenta fries or sweet potato fries.




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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Meatless Monday, Pizza Monday - Potato and rosemary pizza and Taittinger Réserve Brut

I've been getting a lot of messages asking how I am. And you know what? I'm fine. I really, truly, sincerely am.

Yes, recent months have had more turbulence than a passenger plane being shot down my the Russians (come on Putin - we know it was you all along and not those Ukrainian separatists!) but now everything is good. So very good. 

I went on my first (and quite possibly the last) ever Tinder date. In just 22,5 minutes I'd managed to kick off a class war. And anyway, he supported the wrong football team so it could have never gone anywhere anyway.

The next candidate Tinder tried to match me with was a former porn star. Who I know has herpes. And, as it turned out, also a wife. So, I left Tinder and never returned. 

Fully aware of how I suck at making a good first impression I decided to try my luck and speed dating. But that coincided with Manchester United - Liverpool game so obviously I didn't make the date after all. 

So, it might be safe to assume I just might end up alone. But happy.

I might not have The Boy Next Door in my life anymore, but I have my Family Next Door, El Mercados. And all the other wonderful loves of my life that have been making sure my kitchen table is never short of people... or laughter.

Last weekend for instance, was exactly the kind of weekend all weekends should be like: no rush anywhere, laid-back get-togethers, good food, great wine, awesome people... and pizza.

But vegetarian pizza, because of Meat-free October  

You'll find my pizza recipe here. You can make it well in advance (up to 3 days ahead), store it in the fridge and then, when the lazy Sunday strolls in with the inevitable craving for pizza, you'll have freshly baked pizza at the table in less time it takes to order one in. 

Potato and rosemary pizza is a simple classic which you can pimp any way you like. Use sour cream or any kind of cream cheese you like (regular, one with chives, one with garlic, one with black pepper...) Thinly sliced red onions are a good addition. We got a little giddy and topped ours with caviar. 

Though, a vegetarian kind because of Meat-free October  

Depending on the size and desired thickness this makes 2-4 pizzas

Pizza con patate e rosmarino - potato, rosemary and cream cheese pizza:

1 portion of pizza dough

200 cream cheese
3 large potatos, thinly sliced (mandolin gives the best results!)
4 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
salt, pepper

to serve: rosemary oil

Roll the pizza dough balls into thin sheets. Spoon cream cheese on them, leaving a 2 cm margin around the edges, place the potato slices overlapping one another, sprinkle rosemary on top and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 250-275° (depending n your oven) until crust is golden - 6-8 minutes. 

Try not to burn the pizzas - this is not a good time to start giggling at catastrophic auditions on Bulgarian Idol (however, should you decide to do it anyway, you'll find them here)

Drizzle with rosemary oil (for how-to, just see here!) and serve.

It's never a bad time to turn everyday into a celebration (if you're not going to spoil yourself, who is?), instead of just wine we decided to crack open a bottle of bubbly!

Taittinger is a Champagne we've been getting to know quite a bit recently. Taittinger Réserve Brut has charming elegance (courtesy of high proportion of Chardonnay) with gentle toastiness (aged for minimum three years) but also complexity (mineral notes, balanced acidity and mellow bubbles that linger on) that makes it clear you've moved on to something just a little bit better. 

Serve as an aperitif, as something to celebrate the new chapter in your life with or with grilled seafood or (red) fish.

PS. For more pizza ideas, see here. Now that Halloween and pumpkins are in season you should definitely try my pumpkin and chorizo pizza or these festive prosciutto, brie and pear pizzette!




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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Dining and w(h)ining in (vegetarian) Helsinki: Just Vege

In case it's vegetarian restaurants you're after in Helsinki, Hakaniemi and Kallio seem to be The Neighbourhoods to head out to. The street that houses Soi Soi is also home to petite Just Vege for which I received several recommendations as I was looking for the next vegetarian restaurant to try after Silvoplee

For a resident of a decidedly bourgeois neighbourhood of Töölö, Vaasankatu street is Kallio at its roughest (or most authentic?)

Restaurant owner's Zeev's wife's reaction after hearing about her husband's desire to open a vegetarian restaurant in Kallio was that of dismay - "you're crazy" being the exact words. Two years in she still thinks that, but is willing to admit he is onto something. Just Vege has never done any advertizing - its popularity is all down to word of mouth.

The growing number of vegetarians has kept the restaurant busy, but more and me meat-eaters venture through its doors, too. The opening hours are very user-friendly: they're open 7 days a week, during weekdays until 10 and during weekends up to 2am. 

There are plans to expand to the city centre (yes pleaaaaase!) and even to Estonia. 

The menu consists of stuffed pitas, burgers and salads and offers a culinary journey to the Mediterranean countries and Middle East - my favourite places in the world (matbuha! s'chug! kibbeh!). And all his without hours on the plane, hassle of trying to get understood in a language you don't speak or pending intifada. 

Pricing is very reasonable: apart from one dish everything on the menu is €10 or less. I, ever grammatically fanatical, must say the menu would have benefited from some proof-reading...

Originally from Israel, Zeev has extensive experience in the restaurant business and tells me he was the first person to bring shawarma to Helsinki.

His passion for food and his pride over the restaurant is evident in everything he does: from the way he looks after his customers and the quality of food on offer. 

Tastes are spot on, but the health benefits are every bit as important a part of his food philosophy. Next week they'll launch a range of mood and energy level- boosting super food salads. 

Majority of drinks are organic, too.

According to his own words, Zeev was never big on meat. His daughter decided to become a vegetarian already at the tender age of three and was eventually joined by her Dad. He praises the lightness of the diet though missus still eats meat.

Soy-based meat substitutes are being used to make their burgers as Zeev loves their high protein content and meaty texture. That translates to burgers with such amazing consistency even some of the customers have refused to believe they're not made out of meat.

We started our lunch with meze platter (€10), which my companion, the Spaniard behind El Mercado loved every bit as much as I did. Hardly surprising, considering meze is the oriental equivalent of tapas feast.

Great, fresh and authentic flavours - by far my favourite. The place clearly pays attention to details and quality of the ingredients - pita for instance is imported from Israel. 

According to their website, Just Vege's falafels are the best in town and that could very well be true. You can tell they're made to order: both flavour and the texture (crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside) are first class. 

Next up was the apple of Zeev's eye and something he wishes more people would discover: seitan kebab (€12). By the way: did you know seitan's been made in China since 6th century?

(Can I just say I can't get over that name. Imagine this: "more tea, vicar? How about some seitan?")

The seitan at Just Vege is the result of lengthy product development with the goal of being as close to shawarma as possible. The texture is bizarrely meat-like - my companion couldn't believe he was eating vegetarian food. Taste-wise only comes second to B-Smokery's version. 

And as we just had to try the burgers, too, we opted for the only one with no cheese in it: Hot and Spicy (€8.50, as a meal €10). Matbuha (spicy, tomato-based pepper and chilli paste) and s'chug (coriander, garlic and jalapeño dressing, originally from Yemen) gave it a wonderful kick. The texture of the patty was very good indeed- you'd easily mistake it for meat.

I also loved the accompanying clear coleslaw for which fresh dill gave a surprising and fresh twist.

There are no desserts on the menu just yet, but that just might be about to change. Zeev's working on a vegan cake featuring some interesting ingredients (chickpeas!).




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Friday, 16 October 2015

Warm kale salad with roasted sweet potato, red onion and pomegranate seeds - autumn colours on a plate

This meat-free October has somewhat inevitably broadened my horizons and started to change my approach to veggies. And salads. I'm slowly starting to realize that they. Can. Actually. Taste.Good (yes, I just wrote that.) As long as you steer clear of the cucumber, tomato and sad, soggy salad leaves.

Now that the autumn is in full force, salads can be warm, too, like this recent discovery. It gets its body from roasted veggies, warmth from the spices and lovely texture from pomegranate seeds. I mean - just look at those colours! You only need about handful of ingredients, but once you put them together... good. So god, you too might find yourself whipping up another batch right after finishing the first one. 

You can serve it warm or at room temperature. Another thing that makes this a great addition to buffets is the fact this is suitable for all possible dietary restrictions. 

Instead of sweet potato you could also use pumpkin or carrots (in which case be prepared for a longer roasting time)

Serves four

Warm kale salad with roasted sweet potato, red onion and pomegranate seeds

2 largeish sweet potatos (total weight about 1 kg)
4 red onions

0.5 dl oil
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp allspice
1,5 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt, black pepper

125 g bag of kale, core removed and leaves shredded
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
oil for frying

to serve:

the seeds of a pomegranate
bunch of coriander

The dressing:

4 tbsp oil
1,5 tbsp pomegranate molasses (can be substituted with Balsamico syrup)
1 tbsp honey
the juice of a lime

Peel and chop the sweet potatos into a 2 cm chnks. Cut the onions in 8 segments. Heat the oil in a pan and then add to spices. Pour the oil over the veggies, toss to make sure they're all covered and roast at 200 for 15-20 minutes until done.

Heat a couple of tbsp oil in a pan, add garlic and a little while later kale. Cook, covered, for about 5 minutes until done to your liking.

Place the kale on serving plate, top with roasted veggies and sprinkle with coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the salad. 




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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Stroganoff with beetroot and soy chunks and dill oil

I can't remember when it all started as it just slowly snuck up on me. 

I went travelling and never once even thought about going to a bar. Instead I filled the evenings with opera and fine dining.

Then I found myself wanting to read all the literary classics. Never managed to get beyond Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but that's beside the point

I bought Talbot's dry clean-only wool trousers with tartan check as I though they'd look lovely with a  twinset. Ok, I did get them on eBay and without any intention to schlep all the way to dry-cleaners but still.

I also noticed how my visits to my hair dresser started to take longer and longer as we debated how blonde is too blonde (surely that's a trick question?) I want Real Housewives of Orange County blonde, she uses words like "subtle" and "appropriate". 

Then it hit me. After my latest birthday my age was officially closer to 40 than 30. I'm pre-middle aged (and apparently that means too old to be a chav). 

I've even discovered taste for sherry. And dishes I've not even thought about since school canteen fill me with nostalgia. Such as stroganoff. So, I surprised myself making it the other day. Though, because of this meat-free October regime, I made mine using beets and soy chunks. 

You know, I'm going to have to share this with you. Though a refined lady acting her age probably wouldn't (on the other hand - isn't vigilance about bowel movements all the rage? Or is that something for a couple of more decades down the line?)

While I do love beets as much as the next person, that trip to the loo the morning after never fails to shock me. Every single time I just find myself fretting over what it is that I have, well, broken. So, for those of you who keep saying life only starts after 40, this is not the kind of life I was looking forward to. 

But off we go and onto the recipe! Instead of dill you can throw in thyme (half a bunch) or rosemary (4-5 sprigs), too, as beet is BFFs with both of them. In case you're after a vegan (a.k.a. dairy-free) treat, substitute sour cream with soy cream or cashew cream (for how-to see here).

Serves 6-8

Beet root and soy chunk Stroganoff:

400 g beets, peeled and cut into roughly 1 cm cubes 

175 g uncooked soy chunks
1,5 l vegetable stock

3 rkl oil
2 red onions, cut into four and then roughly sliced
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted on a dry pan and crushed with pestle and mortar
1 dl red wine (can be omitted, then just add more vegetable stock and Balsamic vinegar)
1/4 dl Balsamic vinegar
140 g tomato concentrate
4 dl vegetable stock
2 bunches of dill
240 g sour cream
salt, black pepper
2 gherkins, cut into 1/2 cm cubes

Dill oil:

the stalks from dill
6 -8 tbsp oil
pinch of salt

To save time (and nerves) parboil the beets. Either steam them or cook in a little water for 20 minutes. Drain. 

Cook the soy cubes in vegetable stock for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve the stock for later.

Sauté onion and garlic in oil until onion is soft. Add crushed fennel seeds, red wine, Basamic and, after a couple of minutes, soy chunks. Let them soak the flavours for a couple of minutes and then add beets, tomato concentrate, vegetable stock and finely chopped dill tops (reserve the stalks). Season.

Simmer, covered for about an hour until the beets are done to your liking. Then add sour cream and gherkins. Bring to boil check the taste and season as needed.

Serve with boiled rice, mashed potatos or yellow lentil puré.

I went all frugal yet fancy and drizzled the Stroganoff with dill oil. It gives the dish lovely fresh finish and you something to do with something you'd normally just discard.

Place the stalks in a small blender, heat the oil in a pan, pour into the blender as needed and blizz into a smooth oil. Season with a pinch of salt.




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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Valdespino sherry tasting - I can hear Jerez calling!

It comes as no surprise that wine is something I (and this blog) love. Be it white, red, rosé, sparking or port. But there is a wine I've been trying to get to grips with: sherry. Sure, I've used it in cooking; in these mussels, in this baby octopi recipe, these Andalusian lamb shanks, these Iberico pork cheeks and Crème Ninon, the diva of the soup world. Recent Valdespino wine tasting made me realize what a versatile wine it really is and how well it pairs with food, too!

The sherry country, starting from Cadíz and culminating around Jerez is the last unexplored corner of Andalusia for me. I've been dreaming of exploring it for a while now and I think I'm finally about to make it happen - that's how much I fell for Valdespino's Oloroso and Cream. 

House of Valdespino is one of the oldest in Jerez and one of the most prestigious ones, too. Founded in 1264 it has throughout its history supplied royal families from Spain to Sweden. 

When one thinks of sherry, one thinks of hundred-year-old grannies with perms tighter than David Beckham's abs, sipping sherry out of thimbler-size glasses, "purely for medicinal purposes, dear" (see if you can say that without breking into your finest Hyacinth Bucket voice...!)

However, in the recent years it's enjoyed quite a renaissance and the younger generation (along with the world outside Spain) has opened their eyes to the versatility of this drink.

Even in Finland over half of all the sherries sold comprise of Valdespino's Oloroso and Cream. 

Fino is probably the best known sherry variety and the most popular one in Spain. It's enjoyed ice cold (even as a sherry tonic!), but it's also considered the most versatile kind for tapas feasts. 

It's dryness and notes of almond compliment the little nibbles that often accompany aperitifs: olives, toasted almonds, but you might also want to try it with smoked salmon and fritti misti. Works with crostini and tuna paste, too (recipe to follow!)

My own palate (clearly about to hit the middle age..) has surprisingly became enchanted with sweeter sherries like Oloroso and Cream, though those too should be served chilled. I can honestly say Valdespino's are the best I've ever even tried. 

Oloroso has a darker colour and nuttiness with hints of toastiness; courtesy of years in old oak barrels. Though clearly sweeter than fino, it has richness that pairs well with a variety of tapas. Concentrated, acidic flavours like sun-dried tomatos are just one surprisingly good match. Serrano ham is another. 

Darker and more robust meats (game, even) would be worth a try, too!

Cream is even sweeter than Oloroso with velvety finish. Sweet, however, is known to balance salty components. This works particularly well with tortilla Española (a tapas classic if there ever was one!) but saltier sausages such as chorizo bring an interesting dimension to it, too. 

Salty cheeses (Manchego with Oloroso, rich blue cheeses with Cream...) would make nice pairings for the sweeter sherries, too.  

Oloroso and especially Cream wouldn't be out of place as dessert wines, either, especially now with all the autumnal flavours such as apple, cinnamon  - anything nutty and toasty - but Dios mios, the last wine we had just pulled out all the stops.

I first had Pedro Ximenés in Ronda and was love at first sip. Echoing the dark, toasty, syrupy character of locally produced sugar cane molasses miel de caña,this is a jubilant way to finish a meal all on its own. But pour it over a good quality vanilla ice cream (and maybe top with some caramelized nuts...?) and you've got yourself the easiest dessert imaginable. 

Its toastiness is perfect match for rich, chocolatey treats (like brownies and mud cake) and anything with burnt sugar such as crème brûlée.

By the way - ever thought why desserts like crème brûlée, crema catalana and flan have all been created by traditional wine-making countries? Because the egg whites were needed in the wine-making process (clarification of the wine) the leftover yolks found a new lease on life combined with cream, sugar and vanilla and hey presto!




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