A sign of impending Spring, forced forsythia branches from my backyard.
We are heading into the home stretch. I can just feel it. The days are getting longer and the wind has shifted, blowing in the beginning of a new season. Don't hang your coat up yet. There are still plenty of cold days to go, but the countdown to warmth has begun.
Cooking remains back to basics until the farmers markets kick in again. I am looking at potatoes with a weary eye, but not giving up hope. I came across a Thai version of these stir fry potatoes and decided to give them a try using the chili's my sister brought back for me from her recent trip to Cambodia.
Spicy Wok Fried Potatoes
• drain potatoes and coarsely chop them.
• heat about 3 Tbs. canola oil in a wok
• add 2-6 dried chilies, depending on your taste
• stir fry the chilies for barely a minute then add the potatoes. Cook on high heat stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Let the potatoes get brown and crispy.
• add one bunch of chopped scallions and salt to taste and continue to stir fry for another minute.
With the leftovers (the portion my husband wouldn't eat) the next day, I adding a couple of beaten eggs to the potatoes and pan fried them to make something akin to a Spanish tortilla. Wonderful!
Mmmmm. Spicy, fried potatoes. Doesn't get much better than that! And I love what you did with the leftovers! Such a great idea! The perfect wine for this meal jumped out at me immediately. It was the spicy element of the chilies that immediately cried out for a "sweet-ish" Riesling. The reason for me is really two-fold. First, a wine slightly on the sweet side is really what you want to look to pair with spicy foods. The sweetness of the wine will quell the heat of the chilies, which is very important. A drier wine, higher in alcohol, will only intensify the heat. Plus, the heat will destroy the flavors of the wine. So, sweetness is definately a quality you want to look for. Second, Rieslings are acidic wines. The acid of the wine will help cut through and balance the richness of the oil.
Remember, when you are pairing wine with food, you want to pay attention to the dominant flavors (sauces, dressing, spices) in the dish. For particularly spicy dishes, you want to stay away from a lot of reds - especially ones high in tannin. If you are really craving a red, look for a simple Grenache perhaps. There will be an abundance of fruit which can work well with spicier foods.
To become acquainted with Riesling, look for German wines from St Urbans Hof or Peter Mertes. Trimbach, from Alsace is another terrific producer worth seeking out. These producers all make wines in the $10-$15 price range.