potato

These potatoes are on FIRE! Sparkling Wine Quenches The Heat

This morning I decided to include Potatoes Picante on my Sunday brunch menu.  This spicy Spanish red sauce on top of crispy potatoes is on FIRE with the addition of cayenne pepper.  It can be as spicy as you like it depending on how much cayenne pepper you add…and a tiny pinch of this spice goes a long way! 

Potatoes Picante

For the Picante Sauce:

2 large tomatoes (preferably fresh out of the garden for the best flavor)

12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained, chopped into very small pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 pinches cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika

2 tablespoons butter

For the potatoes:

3 Russet potatoes, peeled.

2 cups Vegetable oil

To prepare the sauce:  Cut the tomatoes in half.  Place a box grater in a bowl.  Grate the cut side of each tomato so that the tomato pulp falls into the bowl.   Discard the tomato skin.

Place the olive oil in a pan and warm it gently over low heat. Add the tomato pulp, chopped red peppers, sugar, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper to the olive oil.  Stir to combine all ingredients.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and add butter. Stir until butter is melted. Return sauce to heat and keep warm over very low heat while preparing the potatoes.

Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half again, making 4 strips of potato. Cut each strip into 4 pieces which will make cubes of approximately one inch.  Put the vegetable oil in a deep frypan and heat until sizzling. Carefully add potatoes in one layer and fry over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes. Check to make sure the potatoes are tender and continue to fry for 5 more minutes until potatoes are crispy and lightly browned.  Remove potatoes from oil with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain the oil off the potatoes.  Sprinkle with a little salt if desired.

Serve warm potatoes on small plates drizzled with the picante sauce. Buen Provecho!

bubbly

I paired the potatoes with Charles Bove Sparkling Wine…tiny bubbles dancing in the flute, the pairing tasted “buttery” to me which was quite pleasing to the palate. The bubbles are created by  long-aging on its yeast via methode traditionnelle practice of secondary fermentation in the bottle.  This dry and festive wine is made from grapes primarily grown in he superb white chalk soils of the central Loire Valley.  Nothing fancy, just light and refreshing. $15 range.

Later I will quench the summer heat at Blue Cow Ice Cream Shop. Homemade ice cream in Roanoke Virginia! bluecowicecream.com

Blue Cow Ice Cream Flight…flavors (front to back) Chocolate Cayenne, Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl, Peach Ginger, Banana Pudding.

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Bacon Wrapped Chili Lime Shrimp

 shrimp citrusI

Love these appetizers to serve with lemony Veritas bubbly!

 Bacon Wrapped Chili Lime Shrimp

24 Jumbo raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and (remove tail if desired)

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

12 slices lean bacon, cut in half

Place shrimp in a plastic bag. Sprinkle shrimp with Old Bay seasoning. Shake bag to coat shrimp with seasoning. Remove shrimp from bag. Wrap half slice bacon around each shrimp. Place on baking pan seam side down.

Prepare lime honey vinaigrette:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

Combine lime juice, honey and red chili flakes in a small bowl. Add more honey and or chili flakes to taste.  Set aside.

Place bacon wrapped shrimp under broiler in the oven.  Broil 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until bacon is crispy.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  Place shrimp on a serving plate and drizzle with lime honey vinaigrette. Enjoy!

veritas champagne 2

Veritas Scintilla, Monticello Virginia sparkling wine is an excellent pairing with the bacon wrapped chili lime shrimp.  Made in methode champenoise this bubbly pops with tiny bubbles all through the glass.  Buttery lemon aromas with notes of crisp green apple followed by a quick finish.  Veritas website recommends pairing with oysters, Marcona almonds, salty potato chips and caviar.

One-Bite Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Lemon Aioli

Optimized-potatoes

“Tasteful Selection” brand one-bite potatoes available at Fresh Market (fingerling potatoes cut in half can be substituted if one-bites cannot be found at the market).  The perfect appetizer  to serve with champagne because…

Optimized-champagne sign

A special thank you to Kelly for sending me this photo from London, England!

Here’s the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

24 ounces one-bite potatoes

3 tablespoons butter

1 large shallot, sliced very thin

1/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Place butter on baking sheet (I like to use my flat cast iron pan for this recipe) and put in oven to allow butter to melt. As soon as butter melts, remove pan from oven and spread butter around on the pan.  Place the sliced shallots on the pan and lay the potatoes on the pan on top of the shallots.  Sprinkle potatoes with salt, pepper  and toss to coat the potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with chopped rosemary during the last 10 minutes of baking, toss to coat the potatoes with the rosemary.  Bake potatoes for 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Fresh Lemon Aioli:

1/2 cup Dukes brand Mayonnaise

zest of 1 small lemon (I like to use my microplane to zest the lemon rind and grate the garlic)

1 clove garlic grated

1 tablespoon lemon juice

dash salt

freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Place aioli in refrigerator – serve icy cold as a dip for the potatoes.

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