3 Awesome Wine and Cheese Parings
Looking for a reason to reach into that wine cooler? Here are some succulent recipes and savory pairings you can do in the comfort of your own home.
Ground Lamb Burgers with Gorgonzola
Makes 6 Servings. Approximate time: 40 minutes
Pairing: Both lamb and Gorgonzola have very strong flavors. Ideally, a shiraz or Bordeaux would be a good compliment as they are full bodied and can compete on your palate. Avoid something too dry because it might ruin the texture of the dish. If you prefer, sweeter varietals can work favorably with the earthy lamb tones
- 4 large tomatoes (choose green for extra flare)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 lbs ground lamb
- 4 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 4 oz Gorgonzola (room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
- Gently knead together in a large bowl ground lamb, olive oil, softened gorgonzola, basil, salt, and pepper. If Gorgonzola is too firm, crumble or cube before mixing.
- Divide the mixture into 6 parts and make patties.
- Preheat grill or non-stick pan for medium-high heat.
- Grill the patties on the preheated grill until no longer pink in the center, about 8 minutes a side, till well done.
Makes approximately 20 servings. Approximate time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Pairing: Hosting a large party? This recipe can be made up to a month in advance and stored in the freezer and then reheated in the oven when needed. Fresh is best for the biggest wow factor. A buttery double or triple creme brie would be a divine cheese to use but can possibly get messy. Look for a sauvignon blanc because it is light and compliments the dense, buttery and sweet flavor of the cheese. Furthermore the a sweet or tropical variety works well with dried cherries and almonds.
- 1 wheel brie approx 7 inches
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- A 12x18" puff pastry sheet
- 2 beaten eggs
- Parchment paper
- Flour to prevent the pastry sheet from adhering to parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the wheel of brie in half horizontally and separate the top half of the wheel from the bottom half.
- Sprinkle the bottom half of the brie with the dried cherries, toasted almonds and brown sugar.
- Replace the top half of the brie and apply pressure to secure the stuffing.
- Working on a well-floured surface, roll out the puff pastry so that it will fully cover the brie. Place the brie in the middle of the puff pastry and fold the excess pastry around the wheel.
- Brush the entire top side of the brie with the egg and place the brie on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the pastry begins to turn golden brown, then turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F and bake for another 20 minutes.
These are warm and utterly delicious.
Makes 4 servings. Approximate time: 20 minutes
Pairing: For those looking for a distinctly different, goat cheese is a delight. Flavors vary widely based on which cheese you choose so be careful in your selection. Pinot noir is mildly sweet and can combat a potentially tart and strong goat cheese. An extra ingredient to consider is a splash of balsamic vinegar, but that could possibly be too acidic for some.
- 4 large tomatoes
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon torn basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven broiler.
- Remove any stems still on tomatoes
- Slice tomatoes horizontally and hollow out by removing the seeds.
- Mix goat cheese and torn basil leaves in a separate bowl.
- Spoon an equal amount of the cheese mixture into each hollowed out tomato. Be careful not to overfill tomatoes to prevent run-away cheese.
- Place stuffed tomatoes upright in a baking dish.
- Top each tomato evenly with the bread crumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place under broiler for 5 to 10 minutes until bread crumbs are lightly browned.