While sorting out the home delivered groceries (lockdown skills), I happened to notice the Parmesan Parmigiano Reggiano cheese amongst some other goodies. It instantly kindled, in my budding culinary mind, a possibility of pairing a dish prepared this cheese with the Valpolicella wine which we brought home recently.
A brief discussion (okay, it was a reasonably detailed one) with my better half ensued and after a prompt internet research, we homed on to a dish (more of a Hors d’oeuvres actually) called as the Parmesan-and Fennel Seed-Crusted Chicken Fritters. Recipe and nuances follows later in the post, however for the moment allow me to say something about both the wine and the cheese involved here.
Wine – Cortiga Giara Valpolicella DOC
Corte Giara is a DOC Valpolicella produced by Allegrini estate in Veneto, Italy. It was awarded as Winery of the Year 2016 by Gambero Rosso. As per their web page, Corte Giara range was created to satisfy the demand for easy drinking wines that are fresh, intensely aromatic and pleasurable, and are available at a reasonable price.
Cheese – Parmesan Parmigiano Reggiano Streveccicio
Named after the scenic eponymous provinces of Italy that marks its origin, Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio is also known as the ‘King of Italian Cheeses‘. It is named after the producing areas shown in the map below. Parmigiano is the Italian adjective for Parma and Reggiano that for Reggio Emilia. The traditional recipes and ageing give this cheese a fruity flavour that is best savoured by itself and also in various dishes
Dish – Parmesan-and Fennel Seed-Crusted Chicken Fritters
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan
¾ teaspoon fennel seed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Vegetable oil for frying
½ pound chicken breast
Recipe – in a small bowl, combine flour and salt, set aside. In another small bowl, beat egg and milk until blended, set aside. On a plate, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, fennel seed, and thyme. Pour oil into a pan and heat it at medium-high. Cut small strips chicken and in batches, dredge chicken pieces in flour to coat lightly. Dip each floured strip in egg mixture to coat, then press into bread crumb mixture, coat both sides. Cook four or five fritters at a time in hot oil, about 4 minutes or until underside is golden brown; turn and fry 2 to 3 minutes longer to brown other side. Serve warm with your favorite sauce. (Recipe source – https://bit.ly/30BeN9N)
Pairing – Valpolicella is a fruit driven wine with enticing aromas. It has a sharp acidity acidity which cut through the rich cheese thereby enhancing food- wine pairing flavors.
Pairing with chocolate – after the sumptuous meal, we also savoured a glass of Valpolicella with some dark chocolate which also went off well. Although it is a dry wine but it displays a lot of fruit which seemingly paired nicely with the chocolate.
What started with sorting out groceries, went on to turn into a delectable cheese-food-wine affair creating memories in its wake.