Recipe : Marc Miron’s Split Pea Soup – Soupe au Pois aux Canada aka Habitant Soup (with mods)

Lori made this for a Saturday Pairing and it was great….Ray says the best Split Pea Soup ever! The Ham Stock makes a big difference! The pairing was a Cotes-du-Rhone, which went very well, but all the flavors in the soup make it a nice pairing with soft whites (the Posip, from Croatia was excellent) or fresh red wines (such as a dolcetto).

Split Pea SoupMakes: 3-4 servings
Preparation time: about 40 minutes (if ham stock is already prepared)

  • ½ # dried yellow split peas
  • Half a small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
  • 5 cups ham stock (see recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 cup ham hock meat (from recipe below)
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Check peas for small stones and discard discoloured ones.
  2.  In a heavy soup pot, sweat the diced onion, celery and carrots in the canola oil.
  3. Add ham stock and dried peas, bring to a boil, then simmer, skimming foam from the top to remove impurities, until vegetables and split peas are tender. Add the thyme and 1 Tbsp maple syrup.
  4. In a blender, purée half of the soup, then return mixture to the pot. Add the ham hock meat and adjust the seasoning. (When cooking split peas and lentils, wait until the dish is almost done before adding salt and pepper to taste.) Garnish soup with croutons and a sprig of fresh thyme if desired.

Ham Stock Makes: about 5 cups
Preparation time: about 2 hours

1 large or 2 small smoked ham hocks
1 cup (250 mL) diced carrots
1 cup (250 mL) diced celery
1 cup (250 mL) diced onion
About 12 cups (3 L) cold water
10 sprigs fresh thyme
4 bay leaves 10 sprigs Italian flat parsley
15 whole black peppercorns

1. In a large stock pot, place ham hocks, carrots, celery, onion and cold water (adding more cold water if needed to cover.)
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Skim foam off the top to remove any impurities.
3. Add the thyme, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns. Simmer for 1½ hours, skimming from time to time.
4. Drain stock through a colander, discarding vegetables but setting the ham hocks aside to cool. Cool and refrigerate the stock. Once the ham hocks are cool enough to handle but still warm, clean the meat from the bones, discarding the fatty and skin parts. Chop the meat into bite-size pieces and store in the fridge or freezer until needed.


Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in food, pairing, recipe, Uncategorized, wine | Leave a comment

Tomato, Peppers & Onion Galette


PAIRING: A smooth and easy drinking Merlot paired nicely with this Galette. Because of the richness from the crust and caramelized vegetables, the Galette will pair well with many full flavored wines. Smooth red, rich white and dry sparkling wines are fine candidates. The Galette recipe can be modified to have other fillings, which might benefit from different pairings. For instance, a meat filling, with greater fat content, would work well with bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


For the Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • ¾ cup ice-cold water

For the Tomato Jam:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 medium (10 ounces) tomatoes, diced.  If not tomato season, use plum.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or a good citrus vinegar if you are out of lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Peppers:

  • 2 peppers yellow, orange, and/or green deseeded sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 3 TBSP olive oil


For the Galette:

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • Tomato jam
  • 1½ pounds tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBSP (2 ounces) blue cheese, crumbled in large chunks
  • 2 TBSP (2 ounces), goat cheese crumbled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish
  • Thyme, mint and basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Set the oven to 375°F. Mix the pepper strips and onion wedges on a baking sheet with thyme sprigs and 2 tbsp oil. Roast for 30 mins, stirring occasionally, until they’re softened.
  2. Make the dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture until pea-sized pieces form. Add the water and continue to knead until a dough forms. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the tomato jam: In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the tomato paste and cook until caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining tomato jam ingredients and cook until the tomatoes have broken down and reduced to ½ cup, 13 to 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée the tomatoes into a thick purée, then let cool completely.
  4. Make the galette: Preheat the oven to 375º. Roll out the dough into an 18-inch circle, ⅙-inch thick. Transfer the dough over to a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the Parm over the center of the crust. Spread the tomato jam to form a thin layer on the dough, leaving a two-inch outer border clear. Arrange the tomato slices, peppers & onions over the tomato jam and season with salt and pepper, then dot with the blue cheese and goat cheese.
  5. Fold the outer ½-inch of dough over itself to form an even lip around the galette, then begin to fold the dough over the tomatoes, forming a series of pleats. Brush the outside crust liberally with the beaten egg.
  6. Bake until the galette is golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely, then garnish with flaky sea salt and thyme, mint and basil leaves. Slice and serve.


Lori Schaefer 10/3/16

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in food, recipe | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chimichurri Pecorino Toasts


chimiAbout the “recipe”: This was a big hit at a Saturday Pairing, with many requests for the recipe…so here it is. As usual, our cooking is based on an approach, without exact quantities; adjustments are made along the way. Chimichurri can be very acidic…this version attempts “balance”. Nevertheless, it has strong flavors and should be “paired” with other food. For example, in this pairing the saltiness of the pecorino adds zip and creaminess to the verdant greenness of the Chimichurri. Other possible uses for the Chimichurri are as toppings for grilled chicken, salmon or steak. The ingredients listed below makes lots of extra….reducing quantities by one-half will still serve 6-8.


Pairing: This paired beautifully with a red Zinfandel (Optima, from Dry Creek), juicy and full with spicy notes. The power and spice of the wine matched well with the strong flavors of the Chimichurri toasts, which were nicely balanced by the Pecorino.

Ingredients List

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 30 sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Leaves from 10 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chipolte peppers (from a can of chipoltes in adobo sauce)
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Baguette
  • 2 cups shredded Pecorino (about 8 ounces)


  • Combine all but the last two ingredients in a food processor to a pesto-like thickness. Taste and adjust as you see fit….that’s how easy it is to make the Chimichurri.
  • The rest is for preparing the toasts:
    • Split the baguette in half lengthwise twice, and cross-wise to make pieces the size you want
    • Toast in toaster (or regular) oven until just turning brown.
    • Top the toast with the Perorino and toast until it begins to melt

Serve toasts with Chimichurri on the side for spooning on.




Ray Schaefer 9/25/16

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spanish Tortilla with Aioli

untitledAbout the “recipe”: This was a big hit at a Saturday Pairing, with many requests for the recipe…so here it is, as such. Our cooking is often based on a general approach, and specific exact quantities aren’t a part of that. So this “recipe” is more of a guideline. Spanish Tortillas (as opposed to Mexican), are in the direction of omelets, with lots of potatoes, onions and peppers. The Aioli elevates the dish. The Tortilla can be made several hours before eating, and left out at room temperature, if desired. The Aioli can be made during this time, or in advance (and refrigerated).


Pairing: We paired this with a wine from our Crisp White section, a lovely floral and lively Treixadura (that’s the grape) from Spain (makes sense with a Spanish Tortilla, no?). The lemon and garlic in the Aioli are important flavors in this dish but not overly assertive, so many dry white or dry rosé wines would be good pairings.

Ingredients List


  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Green Peppers
  • Eggs
  • Olive Oil


  • Egg (yolk)
  • Garlic
  • Mustard
  • Lemon juice

Preparations (two)


    1. Peel and dice potatoes, peppers and onions (roughly in proportions of ½ potatoes, ¼ onions and ¼ peppers.
    2. Sauté potatoes in lots of olive oil at low-medium temperature.
    3. When the potatoes are about half way to tender, add the onions and peppers and continue cooking until everything is tender.
    4. Let the mixture cool
    5. Whip enough eggs to just bind the mixture (about 3 eggs starting with a medium size potato) and stir it into the cooled mixture, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Heat non-stick pan to high, add a little olive oil and add the mixture.
    7. Once it’s bubbling around the edges (almost immediately) turn the heat down to medium-low
    8. In 5-10 min the bottom will be set (check underneath carefully, looking for a nice browness).
    9. Place a plate larger than the pan over the top of the pan and flip the tortilla over onto the plate.
    10. Put the tortilla back in the pan with the other side down and cook another 5-10 min until both sides are browned.
    11. Set aside or serve in wedges with a dab of aioli on top


    1. The ingredients should be at room temperature
    2. Add an egg yolk to a bowl (the emulsifier for adding oil)
    3. Add a small amount of lemon juice (about 1/8 teaspoon), mustard (about ¼ teaspoon) and a finely chopped garlic clove (or two if you like garlic), and mix
    4. Whisk briskly while adding olive oil very slowly. As you whisk and add olive oil, the mixture will thicken and become creamy. Stop and add salt (about 1/2 teaspoon). At this point you can add the oil more quickly, up to about ½ cup for one egg yolk. If it gets too thick, add a little more lemon juice or water to taste, ending up with a consistency like mayonnaise.
    5. Add extra lemon juice, mustard and/or garlic to taste (note that the flavors will meld and become stronger over time) and refrigerate until ready to use.



Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wines from the Canary Islands: Unusual, Interesting and Delicious

Wines from the Canary Islands are unusual, interesting and delicious, made with indigenous grape varieties that have been around for over 500 years.Lazarote

Technically, the Canary Islands are part of Spain. However, they are located just 60 miles off the coast of Morocco (Africa). The soils are primarily volcanic, with unique growing conditions that can produce a unique minerality in the wine, with smoky, flinty and saline flavors.

The most extreme condition are on the island of Lanzarote where individual vines each are planted in “craters” that remind one of the moon. Called “hoyos”, they are dug into the volcanic soil to protect them from fierce winds blowing across the Atlantic from the Sahara desert. The first picture shows a field of hoyos (human figure in the center shows the scale). The second picture is of an individual hoyo showing a low stone wall on the sea side of the crater, that provides additional protection from the wind. The black volcanic soil has high drainage, so with only a few inches of rain per year, the vines are severely stressed. canarias-single craterThe second function of the hoyos is to allow the vines to more easily reach the organic matter below the top layer of volcanic ash.




As you can imagine, harvesting is difficult, and done all by hand and with help from animals, as indicated in the third picture.



camelPlantings on other islands aren’t so exotic, but many are planted at high elevations on terraces carved into steep volcanic hillsides. Many different microclimates result in varied wines. Because of the geographical isolation of the Canary Islands, vines were not exposed to Phylloxera, the aphid that wiped out most of the wine grape vines in the world late in the 19th century. Thus the vines are planted on their own roots rather than being grafted onto rootstock, as is done in most of the world. Canary Island wine is an opportunity to explore wines made in the ancient way, and taste varieties of grapes not often seen. Interestingly, one of the earliest “reviews” was by Shakespeare, who mentions Canary Island wines in The Twelfth Night and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Also, the “Madeira” used for the toast after the signing of the Declaration of Independence was actually from the Canary Islands.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in travel, Uncategorized, wine | Tagged , , | 1 Response