Mon 5 Apr 2010
A few nights ago, for dinner, I cooked the Salmon with Sweet Chili Glaze and Sugar Snap Peas that’s on the cover of the April issue of Bon Appétit. The recipe calls for pea tendrils or shoots as the final touch, but visits to our two usual grocery stores did not produce such a thing, so I substituted broccoli sprouts, which didn’t provide exactly the required note but did add a nice crunch and earthy flavor. You have to know when to improvise when cooking, n’est-ce pas? This dish was a hit! There’s a lovely combination of flavors and textures, with that Asian sweet-and-sour contrast going on. It will become a standard item in my repertory. Here’s a link to the recipe. I didn’t take this photograph, but it represents mainly what my result looked like too, minus the pea shoots or tendrils. Image by Craig Cutler.
For the wine, I wanted something that would bridge these various sensations — sweet and sour, spicy and earthy — so I opened a bottle of the Hahn Estate SLH Pinot Gris 2008, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County. The original winery of this enterprise, owned by Swiss-American Nicky Hahn, was Smith and Hook — first vintage 1980 — named for adjacent ranches in the Highlands. Hahn Estates, which owns 650 acres, now encompasses Cycles Gladiator, Bin 36, Lucienne, Copa del Rey (from Chile) and Huntington, which benefits a scholarship fund for higher education of children in Kenya. The SLH label is the newest effort.
The Hahn SLH Pinot Gris 2008 is made all in stainless steel to retain freshness, delicacy and clarity. Aromas of roasted lemon, lime peel and spiced pear are entwined with a gorgeous floral element in the form of honeysuckle and jasmine, infused with a hint of something spare and almost astringent. In the mouth, lemon and lime flavors offer nuances of peach and tangerine, along with, after a few minutes in the glass, slightly herbal qualities of celery seed and fennel. The appealing texture nicely balances soft, moderate lushness with vivacious acidity, while a trace of bracing bitterness enlivens the finish. Great with our salmon, or try with other spicy Asian dishes, or sushi or ceviche. Very Good+. About $20.
A sample for review.