Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Feature: Easter [Ham] Dinner with Pinot Noir

I'm sure many of you are prepping for Easter dinner.  In that case, you are probably wondering what types of wines to pair with your Easter meal.  To be honest, it can slightly difficult to pair an Easter feast with just one wine, so I have provided you with a few selections that may work for your perfect Easter Sunday.

Easter Meal
Steamed Ham with Pineapple Preserves, 4 Cheese Scalloped Potatoes, 
and Balsamic Green Beans and Red Peppers
(Photo by author)

- Cook ham according to package directions.
- I placed my ham in an aromatic water bed of rosemary, 1 bay leaf, and nutmeg. 

Four-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes (From The Food Network)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 clove garlic
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/3 cup shredded raclette (or comte cheese)
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1) Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Generously brush a large skillet with butter, then rub with the garlic. Combine the mozzarella, asiago and raclette in a bowl.
2) Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the potatoes, spreading them out. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, half of the cut-up butter, half of the shredded cheese blend, and pepper to taste. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the cream over the potatoes, then add the nutmeg and bay leaves; simmer 3 minutes. Dot the potatoes with the remaining cut-up butter.
3) Generously brush a shallow baking dish with butter; slide the potatoes into the dish; arrange with a fork, if desired. (If your skillet is ovenproof, you can skip this step and bake the potatoes in the skillet.)
4) Sprinkle the potatoes with the parmesan and the remaining shredded cheese blend. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Discard the bay leaves.

Wine Pairings

I really enjoy Pinot Noir with ham.  It's usually light enough bodied to accompany the smokey, light nature of the ham.  I recently reviewed a Pinot Noir from Anthony Road Winery that would be more than appropriate for the Easter holiday.  It's medium bodied with fresh cherry and toasty flavors that will go quite nicely with the above meal flavors and hold up well against the fatty cheesy scalloped potatoes.
(Photo by author)

Another fine choice is a Beaujolais wine.  The Gamay grapes from Beaujolais will provide a light- to medium-bodied wine that will, again, go well with the ham and cheesy scalloped potatoes.  Beaujolais is often low in tannins and is a very pleasant red wine for traditional white wine drinkers, too.
Beaujolais Wine
(Photo from Google Images)

Of course, never under estimate the choice to "drink local."  :)  You'll be amazed at what light- to medium-bodied red wines you can find that pair nicely with ham.  Cheers!
(Photo by author)

1 comment: