And with that, here's what you should be dishing up this weekend:
wood-grilled oysters in chipotle vinaigrette
halibut with zucchini salsa verde
chuck hughes creamed corn
mache salad with cherry tomatoes and thomas keller's lemon vinaigrette
vanilla-scented plums and blackberries
A huge shout-out and thank you to reader Kate, who so thoughtfully sent this halibut recipe my way. The zucchini-cilantro-white-onion-jalapeno-lime combo instantly courted me and the subtle spiciness of the sauce screamed for Chuck's sweet and decadently creamy corn dish alongside. And Thomas Keller? Well, he can do no wrong. Stick a vanilla bean in anything and I'll call it dessert. And a bowl of fresh plums and blackberries, punched up with the intoxicating aroma of fresh vanilla, might just be one of the most beautiful things I've ever come across.
"Chablis and oysters go together like PB&J, like Sunny & Cher...like Carlo & Rossi. Don't worry though, real Chablis is nothing like that jug wine you suffered through during your college years. Chablis is a region in Burgundy, France made from the Chardonnay grape that has a crisp mineral flavor to it that works well with oysters and other shellfish. Many have a smoky, flinty flavor profile that will really play well with the smoked, spicy wood-grilled oysters. To learn more why Chablis is such a great choice and other ideal oyster pairings, click here.
Gruner Veltliner (or GruVee as it's sometimes called) is one of the hottest white wines right now and with good reason. Hailing from Austria, this grape is refreshingly crisp, with good acid levels and a signature spiciness on the finish that will make it a perfect match for the peppery, jalapeno goodness of this dish. The really good news? The most recent vintages, 2008 and 2009, were very good in Austria, which means you're more likely to find a reliable bottle at the shop. (Click here for more info.)"
Thomas Keller's Lemon Vinaigrette
Recipe Courtesy of Ad Hoc at Home
3/4 cup champagne vinegar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (preferably from Meyer lemons), strained
3/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
2 teaspoons finely minced chives
Whisk together the vinegar and the lemon juice in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the canola oil. Stir in the shallots and the chives. Refrigerate in a covered container for up to two weeks (the chives darken after one day).