Home' Greymouth Star : November 6th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 9
We are coming
to that special
time of year
sparkle, or at
least our wines
It is the time to celebrate an end to
another year by drinking bubbles.
So what is available and what is good
Lindauer, now made by Lion
Nathan, is the biggest seller and it is
hard to compete with on special at
$9. e Rose is the best quality in the
Jacobs Creek from Australia and the
local Shingle Peak compete in that
low price range of fruity Sauvignon
Blanc, medium dry Pinot Gris, dry
Pinot Noir/Chardonnay Brut and off-
Brancott Estate (Montana) come
in with their bubblies at $23 ($13 on
Good sparklers in the mid-price area
are Deutz (Montana), Morton Brut,
Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvee Brut,
Lindauer Special Reserve.
Over $30 look for Nautilus, Quartz
Reef, Daniel Le Brun and Cloudy Bay
French Champagne is good sparkling
wine and you are paying an extra $30
for the label.
Veuve Clicquot is probably the best
available here under $100. e others
are good --- Piper Heidsiek, Mumm,
Moet, Ayala, Lanson. e best value is
Lanvin, at $55.
Medium and sweet sparklers are fun
and taste good and are easy to drink
and be careful.
Bernadino is the still the best. Others
are Ricadonna, Zibibbo, Prosecco,
Soljans Muscat, Lambrusco, Moscato.
For the red wine drinker there are
a few sparkling Shiraz and sparkling
So there are plenty to choose from
to sparkle your way through the silly
Low alcohol wines
ere is a new breed of low alcohol
wines being introduced. One reason
is obvious, the other reason is lower
A glass of 13% wine has about 80
calories in the alcohol. Low alcohol
wine is a good idea if you like wine,
but not the affect of the alcohol. You
can have some wine with your lunch
and can work well in the afternoon.
You can have two glasses of 8%
Sauvignon Blanc instead of one at
ere are two problems with this
new breed of dry low alcohol wine.
e grapes will be picked before they
are ripe, when the grape sugars are low
and the acids are high.
Low sugars mean low alcohol when
the wine is fermented to dryness. But
the wine has very high acidity so cane
sugar is added to soften that effect and
the calories shoot up.
e other problem is the lack of
flavour as wine depends on grape
ripeness for its complex flavours. ese
wines are mainly Sauvignon Blanc,
Pinot Gris and Rose. Brancott call
theirs Flight , Selaks is Breeze and
Saint Clair is Bright Light . Nine per
cent seems the norm.
e older and better way to make
low alcohol wines, especially Riesling,
is to take ripe grapes and stop the
fermentation at 8% to 10%.
en you have the delicious ripe
flavours and some natural grape sugars
left to make a medium or sweet wine
like Forrest e Doctor Riesling.
e Rickey --- this classic can be
short or long. It was originally a gin
rickey but vodka is fine. Into an ice
filled glass pour 20ml lime juice, 45ml
gin, top up with soda and stir briefly.
Garnish with lime.
"Alcohol is not the answer; it just
makes you forget the question."
Asparagus is one of my
favourite vegetables. It
can be enjoyed steamed,
boiled, roasted or grilled
or, when finely sliced or
shredded, it can be eaten raw.
One of its major advantages --- apart
from the flavour and its tempting
appearance --- is that one small raw
spear of asparagus contains only three
calories or 0.0125 kilojoules. However,
each spear is high in folic acid and is
a good source of potassium, fibre and
vitamins A, B6 and C.
From its first cultivation in ancient
Greece, asparagus has played a key
role in traditional folk medicine and
has been used as a tonic and a sedative
and also as a treatment for neuritis and
Asparagus makes a great combo with
Asian choy --- the Chinese name
given to any leafy vegetable. ere is
some confusion over the names, as
growers and retailers provide varying
designations for the same vegetable.
e following delights are listed under
their most common names.
ù Chinese (Peking) cabbage (wong
bok) is a large, firm cabbage with long,
pale green leaves and white stems. It is
one of the most widely available Asian
vegetables. It is excellent in salads and
can also be quickly stir-fried.
ù Pak choy (bok choy) has long white
stems and smooth green leaves. Because
they are a little tough they are best
steamed or stir-fried.
ù Shanghai cabbage is baby pak choy
(bok choy) --- a smaller cabbage with
thick, crisp, tender, juicy white stems
and smooth green leaves. Steam whole
or slice for stir-fries. Or thinly slice and
use raw in salads.
ù Choy sum (choi sum) --- a
flowering Chinese cabbage with long,
thin green stems, small, light-green
leaves and yellow flowers --- is great for
stir-fries or steaming. It is often served
drizzled with warm oyster-flavoured
sauce. Choy sum also makes excellent
salads. Use the flowers as a garnish.
Little asparagus tart
To prepare asparagus for cooking, first
remove any tough white ends. Bend the
spears, one at a time, until they break at
a natural point. Alternatively, trim with
a knife. Remove any tough scales with a
1 sheet ready-rolled savoury short
200g asparagus spears
2 rashers, middle bacon, diced
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 large shallots, sliced
4 eggs, well beaten
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 200degC. Lightly
oil a 20cm tart pan. Gently press the
thawed pastry into the tart pan and
trim. Line with foil. Add the baking
beans or rice to keep the pastry flat.
Bake for 15 minutes, remove the
beans and foil and continue cooking
for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, trim the asparagus spears
and cut into 7cm lengths from the tip
end. Chop the remaining stems finely.
Place in a bowl and cover with boiling
water. Stand for 1 minute then drain
and pat dry. Saute the bacon in the oil,
until crisp. Add the shallots and saute,
until softened. Do not brown. Beat the
eggs and seasonings. Place the bacon
and shallots in the cooked pastry shell.
Add the asparagus pieces then place
the spears on top like the spokes of a
wheel. Slowly pour in the eggs. Bake at
180degC for about 30 minutes, until set.
Serves three as a light meal with salad or
two as a main.
Choy with oyster sauce
I used Shanghai cabbage (pak choy)
for this recipe.
6 baby Shanghai cabbages
½ teaspoon each: sesame oil, white
1 tablespoon each: oyster sauce, water
2 teaspoons garlic-infused canola oil
e.g. Laughing Frog
Bring a large saucepan of water to
the boil. Add half the sesame oil. Drop
the Shanghai cabbages into the boiling
water and blanch for 30 seconds.
Remove from the saucepan and drain
well. Place in a single layer across a
long plate tucking the leafy ends in
neatly. Heat the remaining sesame oil,
sugar, oyster sauce, water and canola oil
together and drizzle over the vegetables.
Scallops with asparagus
and choy sum
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar,
¼ extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white sugar
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped mint
250g thin asparagus spears
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 rasher bacon, diced
1 cup sliced choy sum or broccoli
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
25g butter, diced
To make the vinaigrette, place the
vinegar in a medium-sized bowl.
Slowly whisk in the olive oil. When
incorporated, whisk in the seasonings.
Stir in the mint. To cook the vegetables,
first trim the asparagus, breaking off any
tough ends. Cut the spears into 5mm
long pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of the
olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the
bacon and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add
the asparagus and choy sum and stir-fry
until crisp-tender and bright green.
Remove to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of
the vinaigrette. To cook the scallops, first
dry them with a paper towel. Season all
over. Heat the remaining oil in the pan.
Add the butter and when sizzling add
the scallops. Cook gently until golden
on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn
over and cook another 1-2 minutes,
until just cooked. Place the asparagus
mixture on two or four plates. Top with
the scallops and drizzle with a little
more vinaigrette. Season if necessary.
Serves four as an entree or two as a
Chicken, Chinese cabbage
and udon noodle soup
Mirin is a low-alcohol sweet, rice wine.
250g skinned and boned chicken
4 cups good chicken stock
1 tablespoon each: grated root ginger,
soy sauce, mirin
1 teaspoon chilli paste
4 brown mushrooms, sliced
220g packet cooked udon noodles
4 cups thickly sliced Chinese cabbage
1 cup bean sprouts
Cut the chicken into paper-thin slices.
Place the stock, ginger, soy sauce, mirin
and chilli paste in a large saucepan
and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10
minutes. Add the mushrooms. Simmer
for 3-4 minutes. Place the noodles into
boiling water briefly to heat through.
Drain and place in four serving bowls.
Add the Chinese cabbage and bean
sprouts to the stock. Simmer until just
tender. Add the chicken and remove
from the heat. e hot stock will cook
the meat. Ladle into the bowls and
serve. Serves four.
Teza Feijoa and Limeblossom ---
Fruit flavoured iced tea is a very
modern bottled drink; delicious
and refreshing and natural. Based
on green tea it is lightly sweet with
familiar feijoa grip around the gums
and limey aromatics filling your nasal
cavity. 325ml. $3.
Win free coffees!
To celebrate Robert Harris cafes winning the flat
white gold medal at the annual New Zealand Coffee
Awards, we have a $100 voucher for one lucky
reader, to be redeemed at the Greymouth Robert
Harris cafe, at 123 Mackay Street.
E-mail us your name, address and phone number
to.--- email@example.com with the
subject line Robert Harris, or mail to:
Robert Harris Draw
C/o Greymouth Star
One entry per household. Entries close on
The 'choy' of
Little asparagus tart
Red wine choice
Brown Brothers Tempranillo 2010 ---
A good Australian brand from Victoria
who have always tried different grape
varieties. Tempranillo is a major
Spanish variety, famous in the Rioja
wines. Medium bodied rich wine with
hints of dark plums, raspberries and
anise. Light tannins but high alcohol
--- 14.5%. Drink now till 2014. Dry.
White wine choice
Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2013
Cellar Selection --- Stimulating zappy
wine from Marlborough with upfront
passionfruit, guava, capsicum flavours
and a nettle pungency --- a delicious
mouthfeel. Drink now till 2014. Dry.
Monteith s Pacific Pale Ale --- Light
gold colour, good effervescence, fine
mousse, grapefruit aromas, gentle malt
flavours and persistent hops giving a
medium aftertaste. 330ml. 4.6%. $2.50.
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