Mr. Fannie and I are fortunate enough to live very close to one of our favorite area wineries; close enough, we could almost crawl home if necessary. Also fortunate is the fact we’ve never had to test that theory.
Four times a year, our favorite winery, which, by the way is Roxy Ann, hosts wine and food pairings as the Wine Club Membership wines are released (oh, yeah, did I mention we are practically Charter members? We’ve been members since way back when there was barely a tasting room). This Spring release pairings were particularly tasty. Let’s start with the star of the show:
Roxy Ann Pinot Gris is one of our absolute favorite go-to white wines. We also know of a certain wine lover, now in Silver Springs, Maryland, formerly of Oklahoma, who has begged for a wine shipment or two (or three or four or…you get the idea) of her own of this liquid gold. Here’s what the “experts” say about the 2010 Pinot Gris just released:
“Smooth and round, this is a generous, ripe Pinot Gris, with a distinct spiciness to the Bartlett pear; melon and nectarine flavor that plays well against the delicate citrus acidity. It is a rich, full-bodied wine that should please those seeking a lively mouthful of creamy, minerally-pear and lemon flavors that linger on the harmonius, juicy finish”
I couldn’t have said it better myself!
And now, what say you we “pair” this with something tasty, hmmm?
This tasty little morsel offers something a little savory, the dill offers a pop of flavor that lingers on the palate, a perfect blend with the peary/citrus offered up by our star of the show. The size of this little prize is perfect for an hors d’oeuvres party or, perhaps, a wine tasting. If you choose small enough potatoes, they can work well as a little finger food…fingering one of these while balancing a wine glass in the other hand shouldn’t be hard to do. Believe me, I gave it a try once, or twice…
Irish Cheddar Stuffed Red Potatoes
24 small red potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds)
1/4 cup butter, cubed (here’s a tip…use a cheese grater and grate your cold butter, this helps to blend it better…this works great when “cutting” butter into flour for pastry too!)
1/2 cup shredded Kerry Gold Irish Cheddar cheese, divided (or any good quality sharp cheddar cheese; believe it or not, I found Kerry Gold at costco)
1/2 cup crumbled, cooked bacon, divided
2/3 cup cream cheese
1 bunch dill, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Scrub potatoes; place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain.
When cool enough to handle, cut a thin slice off the top of each potato. Scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell (cut a tiny slice from the bottom to stabilize). If you can’t find tiny enough potatoes, cut the larger ones in half. I tried “scooping” with a regular teaspoon and then a grapefruit spoon; I had trouble keeping the “shell” intact…finally I found it was easier to cut a “core” from each potato with a paring knife.
In a large bowl, mash the potato tops and pulp with butter. Set aside 2 Tbsp each of cheese and bacon for garnish; add remaining cheese and bacon to potatoes. Stir in the cream cheese, dill, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into potato shells. Top with remaining cheese and bacon.
Place in an ungreased 15″x 10″x 1″ baking pan (I lined mine with parchment…I LOVE parchment!). Here’s another tip…you can hold the potatoes at this point…refrigerate for up to several hours…then bring to room temp before baking. Bake at 375 for 12-18 minutes or until heated through.
Yield: 2 dozen
Enjoy! I certainly did…