Long story short: I have a bottle of allegedly-good white wine (2008 Pinot Grigio from Blue Teal Vineyards, if it means anything). I would kind of like to drink it properly - which I assume is with a meal.
The problem: I don’t know what any wine goes with, nor do I really know how to cook anything more simple than “boil pasta, open jar of sauce,” and also I am a very picky vegetarian.
The request: I am looking for a simple, affordable, vegetarian meal that will go nicely with a glass or two of decent-quality white wine. And to make it more exciting, I do not eat the following vegetarian mainstays: mushrooms, squash of any sort, zucchini, eggplant, and I’m sure there’s more. I also seriously don’t know how to cook, and will be using a gas stove for the first time in my life.
Your suggestions will hopefully allow a young woman to cook herself her first real meal, and if I manage it successfully, I will promise to not even eat it in front of my computer.
You do make it difficult! I was going to mention a salmon recipe. Well, maybe you can use the sauce.
Sweat some minced onion in butter with a bit of kosher salt. When the onions are tender, add an amount of flour equal to the butter. (You’re making a roux with onions in.) Slowly add milk and stir with a whisk so that the only lumps are the onions. After it thickens a bit, add lemon juice and freshly-chopped dill. (I was worried the lemon would curdle the milk, but it didn’t.) As I said, it’s good on salmon.
I also found it’s tasty on the steamed asparagus I had with the fish. So how about steamed asparagus and lemon-dill white sauce?
Then you can make some rice. I like white rice, and you can jazz it up a little by using vegetable stock instead of water. Now you just need something to round it out. I’d suggest pasta, but I don’t know how pasta prima vera, say, would go with the asparagus and sauce. (And anyway, I like red wine with pasta, regardless whether it has ‘white wine compatible’ ingredients.)
You know how white grape juice is like? Kinda tangy, kinda fruity? Broadly speaking, pinot grigio tends to be kinda like like that. This is why it would go well with Johnny L.A.'s salmon dish–it tends to be good for counterbalancing food that’s a little on the greasy side.
So if you know of something that you think would go well with white grape juice, it’ll probably go well with pinot grigio (though the wine is going to be less sweet, of course).
Personally, I think it also works fine just as a beverage by itself, not paired with anything.
If you’re looking for something else to try it with (though if it’s good wine, it’s too good for this purpose):
Take a lowball glass and put some ice in it.
Add equal amounts of pinot grigio and Campari; stir. (You can use any cheap white wine, but pinot grigio works well)
Garnish with a slice of orange.
Seconded. I had both fettucine alfredo (though with shrimp) and a glass of Pinot Grigio just tonight.
And NinjaChick, if you don’t want to cook it yourself, you can always order take out from a nearby Italian restaurant for just a few bucks. (Or hell, Stouffer’s or Marie Callender make pretty good frozen fettucine alfredo that you get at your nearby grocery store or Wal-Mart.)
My first experience with Pinot Grigio was with lobster and garlic mashed potatoes at a sea food restaurant and it has been one of my favorite wines ever since.
Quiche, maybe? You could whip one up with Swiss cheese, onions you’ve sweated in butter or olive oil, and some spinach. 2 eggs and 1 1/2 c milk or cream and you’re golden. Use the Pillsbury pie crusts - they’re simple and are not bad for taste. Or you could run to the store and see if they have any pre-baked - I’d suggest Trader Joe’s or the “Amy’s” vegetarian brand.
According to this month’s Saveur, the original Fettucine Alfredo is neither garlicky or heavy, as the only ingredients are noodles, butter and parmigiano-reggiano. You’d probably want to quarter the recipe for a single serving though, since there’s about half a stick of butter per serving!
Fettuccine Alfredo would be good with white wine IMO. And totally easy to make.
For one serving:
1/4 cup grated Parmesan. Get GOOD Parmesan; it’s the primary flavor in this dish so if you buy crappy Parmesan, it’ll taste like crappy Parmesan
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 T. butter
1/4 pound dry fettuccine
salt, pepper, nutmeg
Boil water, cook fettuccine in water.
When the fettuccine is almost done (or totally done, just don’t let it sit too long cuz it’ll stick together), put the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Let it melt, then add the cream and a little nutmeg. Stir together, let it heat for a minute or two (you just want it warm), then throw the cooked Fettuccine in the skillet. Toss with the cream/butter mixture, sprinkle the cheese on top. Continue to toss, adding salt & pepper to taste. Just keep tossing until the cheese is melted.
Another classic French dinner that goes perfectly with white wine - green salad & an omelet. Just throw together some nice greens with a vinaigrette (I like to make my own, but you can buy a bottle), and make a simple herb omelet. Or, if you’re omelet-challenged, scrambled eggs with some herbs in them. You can throw some cheese in, too, if you want. Very yummy.
I’d agree with something very simple - you don’t want to take away from the wine. A salad with a light flavored dressing, some crusty french bread, some cheese. But the key is to eat and drink it outside. For me, white wine always tastes better outside, preferably at sunset.
A good white sauce shouldn’t be heavy. Unless you’re talking about pork sausage gravy, and it’s the meat drippings that make that heavy. Well, it’s more hearty than heavy, but still very very filling. Of course, we consider garlic a food group, and it figures heavily into even our lightest meals. Fettuccine alfredo tends to feel borderline heavy, but I think it’s mainly the pasta. A veggie pizza with good white sauce should be just about right for what the OP is wanting.
And it’s dead simple to make. Get a frozen thin pizza crust (or a packet of mix and make it pretty thin.) Open a jar of white pasta sauce, and spread a little over the crust. Throw on some mozzarella cheese to taste, and whatever veggies you like. Toss it in the oven and bake according to crust directions. Nom. Dead simple.
Another option might be some pasta with pesto sauce. You can make your own pesto very easily if you have a food processor, or you can buy it pre-made. It’s basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and a little olive oil, and the homemade is just dreadfully good.
Sure it should. The term “white sauce” is so broad and vague as to be meaningless. Bechamel, which is probably the most well-known white sauce, is the definition of rich (nice way to say heavy). Its only ingredients are fat, flour and milk or cream. Some white sauces, like the traditional olive oil and garlic used on white pizzas, are much lighter. But many white sauces are quite heavy by design.