Quality Complements

Pair wine with cheese, then add one of these fine accompaniments from Chef J Frank.

Kip Dawkins

Plum, blackberry and ginger conserves

In the October 2011 issue of Virginia Living we paired four Virginia wines with four Virginia cheeses. But man cannot live by wine and cheese alone, even when those products are our state’s finest. So below you’ll find five recipes to accompany those delicious wine and cheese pairings:

Peach Chutney

Serve with: Grayson from Meadow Creek Dairy & Rapidan River Semi-Dry Riesling from Prince Michel Winery

12 pounds yellow peaches, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped

8 ounces cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

8 ounces onion, thinly sliced

8 ounces seedless raisins, chopped

12 ounces light brown sugar

2 ounces preserved ginger, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

15 fluid ounces white vinegar

Mix the peaches, apples, onions, raisins, sugar, ginger, garlic, salt and cayenne in a large pan. Add vinegar, and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook slowly for about 1 1⁄2 hours, stirring regularly. When smooth and thick, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. While still warm, pack into jars. Cover and seal when cool. Will keep for about six months. Makes about three pounds.

Red Tomato Jam

Serve with: Farmstead Fresh Chèvre from Caromont Farms & 2009 Vintage Rosé from Barboursville Vineyards

4 1⁄2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 small onion, diced

1 1⁄2 cups cider vinegar

1 tablespoon or about one inch of broken cinnamon stick

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon allspice

1⁄2 teaspoon cloves

Combine all ingredients in a pan and simmer until mixture reaches jam consistency. Pack and seal in jars.  

Plum, Blackberry and Ginger Conserves

Serve with: Piedmont from Everona Dairy & 2009 Meritage from King Family Vineyards

2 cups plums, pitted and finely chopped

2 1⁄2 cups blackberries

1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

1 cup orange blossom honey (or other fruity honey)

1⁄2 cup orange juice

zest of one orange

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a low boil and simmer stirring frequently, for 30-40 minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool. Refrigerate. Will keep for several weeks. Makes 3-3 1⁄2 cups.

Spicy Pecans

Serve with: Raw Sharp White Cheddar from Oak Spring Dairy & 2009 Chardonnay from Gray Ghost Vineyards

2 cups pecans

2 cups canola oil

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon ground Aleppo pepper or cayenne

2 teaspoons cumin

1 tablespoon salt

Boil the nuts in water for 8 minutes. Drain. Heat the oil in a pot or heavy-bottomed saucepan to 350 degrees. Mix spices, and coat pecans well while still damp. Shake off extra spice, and fry 5-6 minutes or until golden in color. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with spice mix again. Cool and store in a closed container.

Rosemary-Walnut Shortbread

1 3⁄4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1⁄2 cups chopped walnuts

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1⁄2 cup herbal honey infused with lavender, thyme and rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1⁄2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, diced

Place the flour, walnuts and salt in a food processer. Pulse a few times to blend until walnuts are small. Add butter and pulse again until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add honey, lemon juice and rosemary, and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic, and form into a log 1 1⁄2 to 2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut log into half-inch thick slices. Put slices on cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack.

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