Mediterranean Style @ home…

I shall tell you about one of my favorite octopus dishes which belongs to Spain’s “Galiçia” region “Pulpo a la Gallega”. I was thinking of cooking this dish for a long time and finally I made it…

Many people does not think about cooking octopus at home; since there is enough variety of readymade octopus salads in the supermarkets, containing too much vinegar and salt, typical readymade canned dish…  It is easy to open, no need to use any cooking material, only needs a plate and that’s it… for me it never and ever goes well with a wine… it is better to drink “Raki” which may match better…

However, we purchased a fresh nice whole octopus. In the market I told them to clean the octopus and then we again cleaned some remaining parts at home. We put the octopus together with 2-3 bay leaves in a pressure cooker filled with water. We boiled about 30 minutes where we got a very tender and soft structure. We let it cooled inside the same water about 1 hour.

After than it is very simple… You chop the octopus into pieces and put them in a wooden plate which is a custom in Galiçia region. Sprinkle generous amount of paprika, some sea salt and some olive oil on the top.

And that’s it! Open a nice white or rose wine… I would definitely prefer a white wine made from Albariño grapes in Rias Baixas region of Galiçia, but in any case Turkish whites and rose wines would certainly go very well with this dish… I opened “Kayra Terra White Kalecik Karasi 2010” and “Turasan 2010 Kalecik Karasi-Syrah Rose” in order to understand the food & wine pair and their structures …

We added some of the tentacles of the octopus to “mung bean salad” which became one of our classics. While we are using boiled eggs and some olives in the typical “mung bean salad”, this time we preferred to put octopus inside the salad instead of eggs and olives and we added some chopped dried tomatoes as usual… The result was stunning for us… I strongly recommend this receipt especially for the coming summer days…

We love to cook vegetables at home. One of our favorites is the French classic vegetable dish “Ratatouille”. For me the best Ratatouille can only be made from the best ingredients. Eggplant, green squash, red capsicum, tomato and tomato paste, olive oil… All must be fresh and reflect the season. I also recommend cooking as much as Ratatouille for this summer…

“Mixed seafood cooked in casserole” is a typical dish where you can usually find in many restaurants. In Turkey they sometimes sprinkle bad quality of “kasar” cheese on the casserole, which is very unnecessary for me. Especially in Italy, South of France and Spain they cook such seafood dishes very common and I find always “rose wines” match very well with this dish. I especially liked “Turasan Kalecik Karasi – Syrah 2010 Rose” with this dish… In my opinion this rose is one of the best in Turkey in terms of price – quality base. This wine has some deep pink color with lots of strawberry, raspberry, some candy floss flavors and citrus aromas. The alcohol level is quite high (14%) so that there is bitterness during the finish, however it is not that disturbing … Can be enjoyed during whole summer…

We used “sea bass”, vongole, shrimp and calamari in the casserole … Other than these ingredients; we used some vegetables such as tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, and capsicum. We added some chopped parsley on the top after the casserole is cooked.

This same type of dish is also cooked in North Africa with cumin and coriander and the result is absolutely stunning and different, I also strongly recommend this taste as well… By the way, we take out the unopened vongoles from the casserole which is not good to eat… Normally whenever you cook vongole or mussels they must be opened after cooking, otherwise they are not fresh and must not be eaten.

We ended up with a very nice dessert which we like to prepare at all times… This is a receipt from Jamie Oliver, famous British chef… It has only 3 ingredients: Pine Apple, Mint and sugar…

We slice thinly the pine apple. We beat the sugar and mint together in a bowl and then sprinkle this mixture on the top of the pine apple… That’s it!

It is very refreshing and especially very good to eat during summer time; however, we love to eat this dessert even during winter, because this is an absolute all time enjoyable dessert … Especially when you have a dessert wine made from “Muscat” grapes (even semi-dry is also good), it would be a perfect match… Actually I tasted for the first time a British wine beside this dessert. It is called “Hidden Vineyards” which there is no signification about the grape and even vintage on the bottle. I could not find any information in the web either.

In any case, pear and apple flavors are dominant on the nose and palate; there is also some nice mint and eucalyptus flavors which is a very fresh and nice wine with low alcohol level (8%) and medium acidity.

It may also match very well with a German Spatlese or Kabinett Riesling… The same effect would make also for Urla Vineyards’ “Symposium” wine from Turkey which I am expecting to check out these pairings in the near future…

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About Murat Mumcuoglu

Crazy about wine & gastronomy... Chef & Owner of Istanbul's smallest tapas bar "Hola Panini & Tapas" located in Moda district...
This entry was posted in british wines, Cappadocian Wines, food & wine pairing, in the kitchen, ipek hanim farm, Kalecik Karasi, Kayra wines, Rose, spanish wines, sweet wines, Syrah/Shiraz, Tasting notes, Turasan. Bookmark the permalink.

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