Showing posts with label wine matching. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wine matching. Show all posts

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

France, Languedoc-Roussillon: Stylish stays and amazing eats with Pays d'Oc wines

As part of my Pays d'Oc wine adventure, a meal at Michelin-starred restaurant La Table de Saint Crescent and at Domaine Gayda happened to be on the cards as well as a very stylish stay at Château St Pierre de Serjac in Puissalicon and a quirky overnight at a barge/hotel.

A Michelin meal at La Table Saint Crescent

The restaurant La Table Saint Crescent( part of a former oratory from the Middle Ages) opened its doors for the first time in 1995 after a major refurbishment.  The imposing building is located on the outskirts of Narbonne, a town full of history, along with the Canal de la Robine.

Since 2008, when Chef Lionel Giraud took over the management of the kitchen, we were told that over the years the place has been continually refurbished, but always in keeping with the building's architectural history. The dining room is modern, light, airy and elegant. The service was when we visited was exceptional and very knowledgeable.

Our dishes and wine were perfectly matched with Pays D'Oc wines below:

Pays D'Oc wines served with our meal at La Table Saint Crescent

Mackerel in three citrus potato - liquid centre explosion of citrus juice

Dry olive, fruits and citrous sphere that was another fun explosion eat!

Crisp tapioca very finely sliced  monkfish chicks , sesame oil, wood vines on top

Pays d'Oc wine with our starters

Fish soup  - I loved it!  Super filling, very tasty and so pretty

Well, what can I say I ate almost all before taking the picture It was amazing!  Celeriac remoulade coffee from Ethiopia nuts mushroom and mustard leaf croutons

Lobster, Cabbage,  local fortified sweet red wine (Banyuls) reduction - This dish was paired with a full bodies red wine from Pays d'Oc -  - Yes, seafood and red wine and it worked a treat!
Palate cleanser : citrous meringue - refreshing and I thought that was dessert ....

Dessert: Light citrus ice cream with chocolate crumble and dark chocolate mousse berries and edible flowers - Chocolate is always a good idea!  a beauty of dish and delicious!
I really enjoyed this Michelin meal - highly recommended.  
La Table de Saint Crescent in Narbonne
T: +33 4 68 41 37 37

Dinner at Domaine Gayda in Brugairolles with Pays D'Oc wines

Located about 20km from Carcassonne, Chef Jean-Christophe Gille is serving delightful food in a very welcoming atmosphere with stylish decor and stunning views of the organic vineyards.   We were taken around the cellars by  Tim Ford, co-owner of  Domaine Gayda,  and his fabulous wife, Barbara.  We heard so many interesting histories of how they met, how Tim end up in Africa and Barbara eventually followed him.  I could've stayed at that table hearing the history of the Domaine and their own stories for days. It was a great dinner with fantastic food and great company.  I love learning and hearing the behind the scenes facts and anecdotes from the  wine producers.
The restaurant is beautifully decorated, quite modern and very spacious. Service was cordial. I was told they have a huge New Years Eve party every year. 

The meal 
All made in the premisses and look that branded butter
Pea soup and wasabi- light and refreshing

Brandade  and pickled onion - Brandade is a
emulsion of salt cod and olive oil this one had a sharp pickled onion on top - nice touch

Foie gras lentils bacon, Toast and cream horseradish paired with Gayda  Chenin Blanc - The sweet and sour of the wine cut through the fatty and delectable Foie and being a lentil lover I  really enjoyed this dish. Never thought of the combination of lentil, bacon and foie - always learning something different.

Mushroom and  Hazelnuts, cod,  fish eggs and mash olive oil - that mash potato was a dream... not for the fainted hearted.

Local beef, potato fondant, ceps and  celeriac paired with Cabernet Franc- Figure Libre 2015 - the wine cherry, cassis notes and spices. Elegant, full-bodied and perfect pairing with this hearty meat dish.

Apple chestnut cream (Creme de Marron) apple compote  and French toast nice looking dessert!

Cheeses: Comte,  bethmale, ewe coulommiers and quince - I enjoyed the local cheeses.

This place is a wine and food  lovers dream!

Domaine Gayda
Chemin de Moscou
11300 Brugairolles
Phone: +33(0)4 68 20 65 87

Stylish stays in the Languedoc-Roussillon to explore Pays D'Oc wines

Château St Pierre de Serjac in Puissalicon

Who wants to stay in a Château? A majestic Château estate overlooking its working vineyards, it features a hotel, a restaurant, a spa and luxury self-catering properties set in 200 acres of beautiful Mediterranean countryside in the Languedoc, South of France. The property has self-catering properties with private terraces and gardens, and some even come with private heated swimming pools. 

There's also a very swish restaurant and bar in the property serving Pays d'Oc wines too.  A very beautiful , stylish and peaceful place to stay in the region.

An underground cellar in the Chateau - Yes please!

Infinity pool overlooking the vineyard

My room

The view from my room
The restaurant at Château St Pierre de Serjac

Foie Gras, cherry and green apple

Juicy and tender beef tenderloin very nicely cooked for my taste

Alphonsia Maria Barge - chambres & tables d'hotes  in Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone

The barge is almost a hundred years old, it's  an authentic Dutch vessel of 110 feet long. It was built in 1913 in the Netherlands and remained in service until 1998.

In its heyday,  it transported cereals along the small canals all over Northern Europe. Over the past 90 years, the ship has gone through various transformations. First, Alphonsia Maria was built as a sailing boat. However, in 1926, the main mast was taken down and replaced by an engine. Nowadays it's been modernised and is privately owned. It's used as unique accommodation with 4 bedrooms owned and catered by Yann LABAT. 

The barge is quite comfortable and very well equipped with all modern amenities. 
If you like quirky and different place to stay with charm this is a place for you! I loved it. 

They provide wi-fi, bicycles, fishing rods, balls of petanque and canoes as well as breakfast and evening meals. There is also a 150 sqm terrace with a swimming pool, solarium, couch and an outdoor dining area.

We had a Pays D'Oc wine tasting on the deck overlooking the Canal Du Midi with a splendid sunset as the background.  What could be more perfect? The local oysters for the aperitif were caught that morning just a few kilometres away. 

 The evening menu costs €28 and includes an aperitif, appetiser, entree,  and dessert (wine and coffee)
 Lunch from €15: Live oyster tasting, from the Bassin de Thau, delivered daily by the producer, salads and a board of prawns.
Transfers to airport or train station from €25.
I stayed in the "Madame Marguerite" room with a modern shower room including an excellent hair dryer! 
(all prices 2017)

Alphonsia Maria Barge
(nearest city Montpellier : 10 km)
t: +33 (0) 695827441

Disclosure: I was a guest of Pays D'Oc IGP. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Recipe: Îles Flottantes

Îles Flottantes

Îles Flottante is French dessert that consists of a cooked meringue served with a creamy sauce make of egg yolks, in this case, the crème anglaise. The look is very similar to floating island on the plate. In our family in Brazil, it's known  as 'ovos nevados'

My mum used to prepare this recipe at least once a month for a weekend treat. At the time,  she placed each individually cooked meringue in a large deep porcelain bowl, very similar to the one below but large! And we would help ourselves. I just adore the silky yellow cream with speckles of vanilla seeds.      

This recipe for me defines sweet comfort food. Delicate and incredibly tasty carries me right way back to my childhood in the first spoonful. Try eating it with your eyes closed; It's an amazing feeling.

This recipe is a crowd pleaser. Everyone loves it, but few people think of making it.  It is not too complicated. You can prepare the custard / crème Anglaise the day before.
Îles Flottantes

Îles flottantes  recipe

Îles Flottantes

3 egg whites, room temperature
120g caster sugar
500 ml of whole milk

1)In a thoroughly clean, degreased and dry bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks. Gently add the sugar and continue beating until it forms stiff peaks.
2)Bring the milk to a boil in a deep pot, meanwhile, with the help of two spoons cast meringue forming quenelles. It can also be cast in spoonfuls.
3)Lower the heat and place the meringue in the simmering milk, cook then gently for 15 seconds on each side. Place another batch of a maxim of three a time and place on a plate. At the end there will be some milk left, sieve it and reserve it.

Crème Anglaise

3 egg yolks (at room temperature)
300 ml of whole milk
45g icing sugar
1 vanilla bean


1)Open the vanilla bean in half, scrape the seeds and place in a separate pan with the leftover milk place over medium heat.
2)Remove the film from the yolks and beat with the sugar in a small bowl until pale. Reserve
3)Once the milk starts to boil turn off the heat and turn half of it into the yolk mixture, mixing vigorously with a whisk.
4)After that, turn the yolk into the milk in the pan and stir over low heat until thickened. To find the right pass point the finger on the back of a spoon, it should be a clean stroke.
5)Turn off the heat, allow to cool and arrange the cream in bowls with meringue quenelles on top.
6)Chill and serve cold.

 Tip: I made this dessert with coconut milk - it's delicious!
Îles Flottantes pairing with Cremant de Loire
Wine pairing: sparkling wine  from the Loire Valley, Cremant  de Loire.
Grapes: Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, with a creamy texture in the mouth and fruity finish in the palate., complex aromas of white flowers well balanced sparkling wine is full bodied with good length.  Rich and very refreshing a great pair with desserts.

Available from Oxford Wine Company RRP: £13.99

Until next time why not join me on  InstagramTwitter and Facebook…X

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Peixada, Brazilian fish & seafood recipe

Peixada, Brazilian fish & seafood recipe

Like other large countries, we can not identify the Brazilian food without looking into the kitchen of each region. Dishes and preparation methods differ dramatically in this diverse country, which a range extends from exotic  Amazonian fruits from the north to the delicious southern barbecues. 

Many of these differences are due to the history, geography, climate and ethnicity. Particular ingredients and preparation methods base to form a separate regional food which in combination contribute to the identity of the consumer. However, revenue from local food includes more than just ingredients and preparation. Ethnicity, race and class mix all aspects of life, including food.

This recipe is quite similar to moqueca, but without palm oil and coconut milk.   It's a simple, quick and friendly comforting dish. In some parts of Brazil; people add other vegetables like potato, coconut milk,  and prawns as the case on this recipe.

This dish definitely matches with white wine. The wine of choice today is the Bordeaux Blanc, the intense Château Lestrille Capmartin Bordeaux Blanc 2013. The grapes are 65% Sauvignon Gris, 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon.  The fresh and citrus flavours pairs really well with fish and seafood.
Available from Wine Trust

Peixada recipe

Peixada, Brazilian fish & seafood recipe

Serves: 6 generous portions - family dish
time: 30 minutes cooking plus 30 minutes idle

2K Swordfish in slices of about 1cm thick
Salt and juice of 2 lemons for seasoning
Two handfuls of Parsley 
2-3 Spring onion stalks, sliced
2 large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
100g of carrots, in batons  or any shape of choice
2 ripe large tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
400g shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1 handful of coriander to decorate

1)Season the fish with salt, half of the garlic,  half of the spring onion, half of parsley and lemon juice and leave it to marinate for half an hour.
3) lace the oil in the pan and saute in the rest of garlic, onion and tomato for 5-10 minutes, add the carrots and the fish and 200ml of water, let it cook gently for 15-20 min, pending on the thickness of the fish slices. Check the water, if too dry add a bit more.
3)With the fish cooked, add the shrimp and cook for about 5-10 minutes, the dish should be juicy but not too watery.
4) Serve sprinkled with coriander and lime wedges.  Rice is usually the side dish of choice.

Thanks to Bordeaux wine for the sample . For more info on Bordeaux Wines head to


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