NATIONAL SAUVIGNON BLANC DAY – JOIN ME!
Welcome back, my friends! Ready to enjoy one of my fave food-and-wine combos with me?
Ever since I found out that we’d be celebrating National Sauvignon Blanc Day today, I’ve been thinking about oysters. Raw, sautéd, even barbecued or smoked – just bring ’em on!
For me, Sauvignon Blanc has been a go-to white for decades.
It’s a great “food wine,” and because it varies so much in style, I find I can pair it with an amazingly wide range of meals.
Normally, Asian-style flavors aren’t the first that come to mind when I plan a meal for Sauvignon Blanc. But since the “Sauv Blancs” I’ve been enjoying lately are bright and fresh-tasting, leaning more toward citrus and tropical fruit and less toward anything grassy or herbal, I thought I’d push the envelope a bit and give my very simple oyster recipe an Asian twist.
CONSIDER THE OYSTERS!
Sauvignon Blanc and oysters, both raw and cooked, have been a natural “Geographic” pairing ever since the French started washing down the briny bivalves with their crisp, lively Bordeaux and Loire whites.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(What’s a “Geographic” pairing? Want to find out? If you don’t yet have my guide – “Rosina’s 5 Non-Rules for Pairing Wine With Food” – just click for your free download!)
It’s a popular New World wine-with-food combo too. Down in New Zealand, home to scores of world-class Sauvignon Blancs, the local oysters are practically a requirement.
And here in Northern California, when my friends and I picnic at our nearby oyster farms, we bring along a few different bottles from local wineries.
THE WINE ~ AND THE PAIRING
Trying the wines, I decided to play up the appealing lemon, lime and pineapple aromatics. My Asian ingredients, quite simply, were coconut (both milk and fine-textured flakes) and wasabi. Call it Thai-Japanese if you like.
I didn’t want to use any chile-based heat because Sauvignon Blanc is typically bone-dry, and oil-soluble chile heat (more so than the water-soluble heat of wasabi) works better with sweeter beverages such as off-dry Riesling, beer and sake.
One characteristic you can practically count on in Sauvignon Blanc is good, strong acidity. Especially when the wine also has citrus flavors, it can act like a refreshing blast of lemon juice on whatever you’re eating.
I also thought it would be a great counterpoint to the toasty, buttery breading (which included fine-textured corn meal and coconut in addition to the bread crumbs), and to the creamy coconut milk I used to finish the sauce.
On top of all of that, I figured that the coconut, plus the natural pineapple and lime flavors in the wine, would add up to a fun “piña colada effect”!
Here’s my recipe. I hope you’ll give it a try – and please do feel free to put your own personal spin on it!
THE RECIPE: ROSINA’S “THAI-JAPANESE” OYSTERS
2 jars oysters (size Medium or Large), drained (save liquid)
1/4 cup egg whites, or 1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup coconut (fine-textured flakes)
1/3 cup corn flour or corn meal (fine-textured)
1/4 cup olive or other vegetable oil (add more if necessary)
1/4 cup butter (add more if necessary)
1/4 cup dry white wine (preferably Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 Tbl. wasabi paste (fresh, from a tube, or mixed from powder), or to taste
Fresh lemon halves or quarters
Drain oysters (use a sieve over a bowl) and stir into egg whites to coat completely.
Combine bread crumbs, corn flour and coconut and mix well. Add oysters and toss or stir to coat them in this breading mixture.
In a wide pan (I use cast-iron), over medium-high heat, heat oil and butter. Arrange oysters in pan and sauté. When underside is golden-brown, turn oysters over carefully. Sauté until the second side is golden-brown and the oysters are cooked through.
Transfer oysters to a serving platter or individual plates.
Turn heat to high. Add wine to pan, stirring up bits of breading, and reduce by about 3/4. Add coconut milk and oyster liquid, and reduce by about 1/2. Turn off heat, stir in wasabi, and spoon sauce over oysters.
Add lemons and serve immediately. Pour Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy!
Have fun with all of this, my friends – experiment all you want – and happy Sauvignon Blanc Day once again!
Cheers and best wishes!
PS – Would you like to join my (free) “Drink Wine With Dinner® Club,” and get in on all the fun and flavor?
Easy! Just head to the handy “Sign Up Now” box (above right) and fill in the blanks.
See you “on the inside”!!!
Cheers once again,