Monday, September 9, 2013

Wine Club ... The F Word

Someone once said, "[f]rom an early age, I understood that cooking was not a job, it is a passion."  Those are the words of Gordon Ramsay, the Scottish chef known for his tongue as much as his cuisine.  I've watched many an episode of Kitchen Nightmares and Hell's Kitchen.   He has certainly has the right to say anything he wants; after all, he has earned his share of Michelin stars.  However, if you watch enough of those shows, it seems the "F word" is more about profanity than it is about food. 

Rest assured, we do not plan on turning the Savage Boleks' kitchen into some cooking competition or a restaurant hell.  Instead, we will be drawing upon some of Chef Ramsay's other programs, such as The F Word and Gordan Ramsay's Great Escapes, as well as his cookbooks.  These shows and books illustrate that, when it comes to Chef Gordon Ramsay, the "F-word" really does mean "food."

We have previously hosted wine club dinners whose theme centered upon a particular chef's recipes, such as  Frank Stitt  and Mario Batali.  Indeed, the Frank Stitt dinner was probably our best dinner.   Both of those dinners featured recipes from a particular cookbook authored by the Chef.  For this wine club, we will be making from Gordon Ramsey's Ultimate Cookery Course.  We selected recipes that reflect Gordon Ramsay's interests and inspirations, which are drawn from around the world.  Whether it is the Spanish flavors of a romesco sauce or the Thai flavors of a pork curry, we hope that you will enjoy this meal as much as we will preparing it.

Grilled Seafood with Romesco Sauce

A wine club dinner during these warm months is not a wine club dinner unless there is something grilled.   For our first course, we will be grilling some shrimp and squid, which we will serve with a romesco sauce.  The sweetness of the fresh seafood combined with the sauce -- in all of its glory of roasted peppers, tomatoes, nuts, vinegar and olive oil -- should make for a very nice start to the wine dinner.

Meatballs with Orecchiette, Kale and Pine Nuts

Orecchiette is the traditional, ear-shaped pasta of Puglia or Apulia.  The word "orecchiette" means "little ears."  Those little ears are often served with broccoli, anchovies and chiles.  Chef Ramsey does his own twist on the dish by serving the pasta with meatballs, kale and pine nuts. 

Pork Neck Curry with Mango Salsa

To some extent, a wine club dinner has to be about experimentation ... the willingness to try something different.  With certain exceptions (such as food allergies or an intolerance to certain ingredients), anything should be possible. Chef Ramsay says this dish -- Pork Neck Curry with Mango Salsa -- is one of his most favorite curry dishes.  It is a combination of "zingy Thai flavours with one of the most overlooked cuts of pork, and topped off with a really light mango salsa." I have been waiting to make this recipe for a very long time. (For those who may not be interested in pork necks, like my beautiful Angel, there will be a fish dish... but, you may have to endure some Chef Ramsay-like ribbing as you eat that fish.)

 Apple Crumble

For the final course, we will be serving an apple crumble.  This recipe combines both fruit puree and chunks, along with dried cranberries to create layers of texture and interest beneath the crunchy topping.

That is the menu.  As always, it is subject to change, due to the availability of ingredients.  Any changes or updates will be added to this post.  Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!


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