The Perfect Dish to Pair with a Glass of Montecillo Crianza Tempranillo

December 14, 2017

This December I’ve been challenging myself by cooking more!

Creative dishes – some easy and some a little more complex. And although some of them look a hot mess when I bring them to the table, they’ve all tasted quite delicious!

This week after being sent some wine and recipes from one of my favourite wine regions in Spain: Rioja, I yet again attempted to created the perfect pairing!

Salt Cod Croquttes with a Roasted Tomato and Pepper Sauce.

The Salt Cod Croquettes in this recipe – which was designed by Canadian Chef Charlotte Langley – contain ingredients that I already had in the house, so I felt confident enough to give it a try.

And the Roasted Tomato & Pepper Sauce, which was super easy to make, pairs perfectly with the Montecillo Crianza Tempranillo because of its deep fruity notes and smooth finish to help balance the acidity of the tomato.

This is that sort of dish that a little bit of effort goes a long way.

For the prep you’ll need to plan for some time in advance but once the components are complete, the final assembly takes just a few minutes.

Let’s get started on the Salted Cod Croquettes.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds of Alaskan Cod
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 pounds yellow – fleshed potato
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cold pressed canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Grapeseed oil for frying

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Place cod in a dish and sprinkle generously with one cup of salt. Let’s sit uncovered overnight.
  2. Soak cod in 4 cups of cold water for one hour. Remove cod and set aside to dry on paper towel. Reserve the salted water for the potatoes
  3. Peel potatoes and boil in the water that was used to soak the cod until very tender and falling apart. Drain and set aside.
  4. Sweat off onion and garlic in a frying pan over low – medium heat until translucent. Break cod into chunks and add to onions and garlic. Cover the pan and fry until the cod is fully cooked – approximately 10 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and slowly incorporate all potatoes until it forms a solid mass of fish and potato. Set aside to cool
  6. In 3 separate dishes place flour, butter milk and fine breadcrumbs.
  7. With a spoon, drop a teaspoon of the fish and potato mixture at a time into the flour, toss with fork, then dip flour coated croquette into buttermilk. Finally, roll the croquettes in the fine breadcrumbs and place on parchment paper lined sheet pan. Repeat until all the croquettes are breaded.
  8. Place in fridge until sauce is done.

Now on to the Roasted Tomato and Pepper Sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 pounds red, vine ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons cold pressed can oil
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • Salt

Here’s how to make it:

  1. On a sheet pan, toss together tomatoes, oil, onion, garlic and salt.
  2. Place in the oven at 350°F and roast for 4 hours, or until the tomatoes are caramelized around the edges.
  3. In a spice grinder, crush up the fennel seed and peppercorn very fine.
  4. Sprinkle evenly over the tomato mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until crushed roughly but not fully puréed. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Side note: If you’re looking at this recipe and your roadblock is fennel (which was the only thing I was didn’t have in my spice drawer) cumin, caraway seeds and dill are also nice substitution that will also work in this dish.

And with that, viola, your on the home stretch to dinner!

Now just assemble:

Heat a small amount of grapeseed oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add to the croquettes and gently roll them around the pan until crunchy on all sides. Remove from the pan and place onto a piece of paper towel to drain before seasoning with a little salt.

Spoon a little of the sauce onto the base of a plate. Arrange 3-4 croquettes in the middle and serve with slices of roasted peppers, boiled potatoes, fresh tomatoes and a dollop of aioli as a garnish!

Now serve and wait for the applause!

So whip up that buttermilk, get to pressing those cod cakes and start pouring the Montecillo Crianza Tempranillo; You’re guests will be impressed!

Mr. Fab cakes & red!

Looking forward to reading your comments!