BY BILL ST. JOHN
The key element in the recommended wines (see below) is moderate or low alcohol. Alcohol in wine-and-food combos is like push technology: it slams whatever is in a food right smack in your face. Food has a lot of salt? High-alcohol wines cause it to taste even saltier. A bit of chili heat (as here)? Alcohol takes the hot off the chart. Wines with lower alcohol don’t mishandle those elements in food, letting the ingredients’ true flavors show through. Here we’ve got a white, a sparkling white, and a low-intensity red that all marry terrifically with this multi-layered dish.
HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED:
• 2 pounds Dover sole (on special at Marczyk Fine Foods this week for $8.99/lb (reg $11.99/lb))
• 3 tablespoons ghee or neutral oil such as canola
• 1 medium onion, small dice
• 6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
• 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
• 1 tablespoon garam masala
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
• 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
• 1/2 teaspoon cayenne chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon fine-grained salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup canned tomatoes, petit or small dice
• 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
HERE'S WHAT YOU DO:
Makes 4 servings
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the ghee and add the diced onion, stirring a bit for 3 minutes. Lower the heat slightly and add the garlic and ginger, stirring it in, 2 minutes. Add all the spices and flavorings, again stirring them in, and cooking everything for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and mix in, cooking for 5 minutes or until the curry gives up some of its water and thickens. Stirring, add the coconut milk and heat through. At this point, you may either cook the fish on its own (grill, broil, pan-fry), 5-6 minutes or until it is firm and just opaque, or braise it in the curry itself for about the same amount of time.
AND THE WINES!
The Way Back Sauvignon Blanc
Easy drinking Sauv Blanc from California. Natural wine that is simple and ready to drink, not too dry. Perfect for grilled seafood or fish.
Ch. Carbonneau Sparkling Wine
This "Life of Carbonneau" is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Light, bright and with a distinct playful acidity.
Poderi Cellario E Grino!
The "E" may not stand for "easy drinking" but that's what this wine is. A natural wine that undergoes spontaneous fermentation after being hand-harvested into small bins, this fun varietal (Grignolino) is truly unique.