(After seeing “Julia & Julia” and realizing that Julie Powell included a count down on her blog as she cooked her way through Julia’s book, I had second thoughts about including the count down in my blog posts. I don’t want to be a copy cat! But since I started it already, unknowingly, I figure I might as well proceed. Worked out for Julie, right?)
I’m narrowing in on finishing the first half of the book – working on the last white wine chapter, Gewürztraminer (gah-VERTZ-trah-mee-ner), this week and next. After only one day in the kitchen, I’ll go out on a limb and say that it’s going really well. The recipes in this chapter include Onion and Apple Tart (pictured here), Curried Pumpkin and Potato Stew, Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry, and Monster Turkey Meunster Melts with Cranberry Horseradish Relish – all dishes that are relatively rich, to go with the relatively full-bodied wine, and that sometimes have a little spice and/or a little sweetness, to go with the wine’s typically spicy qualities (gewürz is German for “spice”) and/or its often off-dry (or very slightly sweet) nature. I cooked and tasted three dishes today and, with a little adjusting, they’re slam dunks.
Gewürztraminer is definitely an under-appreciated wine in the U.S. My supermarket only had four different kinds of it! And that’s a shame – because Gewürz is a great food wine. Besides the full body and slight spice (not heat spice, but baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg), Gewürztraminer is typically bright, fragrant, often floral, and to me, always drinkable.
Recipes for this chapter also include Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy and Spiced Sausage Dressing, Duck a L’Abricot, Asian Barbecued Spareribs, and Honey-Orange Lamb Chops – but I’m putting them off until next week, hoping that by then the heat wave will have worn off. (It was supposed to hit 89 today in Napa!)
Meanwhile, testing results, and accompanying photos, continue to come in from my recipe testers. I can’t thank them all enough for helping, and for having such a good time doing it!