Food Flirt

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Location: Petaluma, California, United States

Jacqueline is an international award winning journalist whose stories about food never fail to tantalize her reader's taste buds.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut with Jacuzzi Tocai Friulano wine

The Jacuzzi Family Vineyards makes a delicious Tocai and I wanted to find a dish that would bring out its unique flavors.   Tocai originated in Hungary long, long ago and when I there a few years back, I developed a real interest in Tocai and paprika.  I was excited to find that Jacuzzi was making a variation of Tocai Friulano.

I searched my files and found a perfect match: Pork Chops and Sauerkraut and oh my was I right on with this pairing!  I used to make this dish years ago when my children, Laura and Tim, were growing up but hadn't made it in a long while, so I thought why not try it out with the Tocai Friulano.

My recipe is kind of vague about how much of this and that, so you can do your own thing and make this recipe your own.

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

4 bone in pork chops
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup Tocai Friulano (or other good quality white wine)
1 large jar (or 2 cans) of sauerkraut, drained
salt and pepper
dusting of smokey paprika

Brown pork chops in a large skillet, using a bit of vegetable oil if pan is too dry.  Season with salt and pepper.  Give a light dusting of smokey paprika.  Place browned pork chops on a plate, cover with foil.

Place onions into same skillet and cook until soft and golden.  Add carrots.  Stir around and then add wine.,  Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet and stir.  

Add sauerkraut and stir until all pan ingredients are well mixed.

Place pork chops within the mixture, cover with a lid or foil.

Cook on low until pork chops are cooked through.

Serve immediately with a cool bottle of Jacuzzi Tocai Friulano.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sophia and the Escargots 

When my granddaughter Soiphia Corn was very young, around 5 years old,  I received a French cook book for Christmas and we were looking at the pictures together.  We came upon  a photo of delicious looking escargots.  When I told her they were snails she was horrified that people actually ate those ugly, slimy things.  She studied the photo closely for a while and then told me that maybe, when we went to Paris, she would try one.

As the year's passed by, now and then the Corn family and I would dine out at a French cafe nearby and I would always order escargots.  One year I finally persuaded Sophia, now age 7,  to dunk her bread into the butter mixture that spilled out of the shells onto the plate.  She loved the taste of that. I was not  successful in convincing her sister Isabelle, age 9, to get anywhere near the plate.

Then on my birthday last year we went to the French cafe and as usual I ordered my escargots and Sophia, now age 9, surprised me by saying she was ready to actually eat one!  And she did, and she liked them so well she ate 6 of them, much to the surprise of her family!

Then a few weeks later the Corn's went to the cafe without me but with a friend of Sophia's and when Sophia ordered escargots the waitress was very surprised!  Word got around the cafe about Sophia and the escargots and the entire wait staff made passes by the table to watch such a young girl happily digging into her serving of escargots -- even using the special little escargot clamps to expertly hold the shells while, using the tiny fork,  she pulled out the tasty,  juicy, garlicky, snails and popped them into her mouth.

She tried to get her friend to taste one but the friend just turned up her nose and, with Isabelle, called out "euuuuuuu" as Sophia held up a shell and demonstrated the proper way to eat the tasty morsel.