A Good Song
I am forever in pursuit of a good song. Maybe I have synesthesia because I find music in certain food and wine combinations like RSV’s Cabernet Franc and sweet or spicy peppers. They harmonize beautifully as if they were made for each other. The peppers pick up on the graphite and dried herb notes of the wine to make the combo sing. This is the type of song I seek.
Some people may assume the song might veer off key when you add the heat of spice to a dish, but I wanted to challenge the wine a bit by using a little spice in the form of chili pepper. A while back I tasted an organic fermented chili flake salt made by B & B Gardens Provisions – a very small family-owned company in Napa. They dry ferment chili paste left over from their hot sauce production and then mix the dried flakes with flaked salt. I knew at first taste that their chili salt was something special and it would make a great match for the Cabernet Franc. I had yet to dream up a recipe, but I really wanted to support their fledgling company by using their delicious salt.
And voila! Here it is. These delicate crunchy croquettes slowly reveal the flavor of the fermented chili. By the time you’re done with one croquette, the chili flavor will start to sing. The flavor won’t overwhelm your palate but will sit perfectly between the sweet leeks and the earthy potatoes to add a je ne sais quoi that meets a sip of the Cabernet Franc head-on. What a joyful experience for your taste buds. My mouth is watering.
Until the Next Wine….