The perfect date night dinner! Make it a date activity by making homemade pasta, or surprise your date with this creamy and delicious pasta dish. The perfect pair for our Classic Chardonnay
Caramelized Leek Pasta
adapted from Justine Doiron
2 large leeks very well cleaned
Diamond Crystal kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk of choice I used almond milk, but any you have on hand will work
Freshly ground black pepper
16 ounces dried spaghetti
1/2 lemon for juicing
1 ounce fresh parmesan for serving
Remove the green tops of the leeks from the white bottoms. Using long, careful cuts, slice the green parts of the leeks lengthwise, creating long green strips that are similar in size and shape to spaghetti noodles. Set these aside.
Halve the white parts of the leeks and thinly slice them crosswise into half-moon pieces. Set aside.
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Prepare a bath of ice water to the side. Liberally season the water with salt and submerge the green parts of the leeks into the water for 30 seconds to a minute, or until they are softened and bright green. Transfer them directly into the ice bath and remove the heat from the water, but leave the pot on the stove.
Set a large sauté pan on the burner next to the pot and bring it to medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil (about 3 tablespoons). Let this heat up before adding the white parts of the leeks. Season with salt and add a tablespoon of butter. Stir to melt the butter and combine.
Cook down the white parts of the leeks for 15-25 minutes, quickly "caramelizing" them (true caramelization would take 45-60 minutes, but this is our quicker version!).
Bring the pot of water that blanched the green parts of the leeks back to a boil. Add in the spaghetti and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until al dente.
While the pasta is boiling, move the caramelized leeks to the side of the pan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour. Stir into a paste.
Gradually add the milk into the pan, using about 1/3 cup at a time, stirring for 30 seconds until it has combined with the butter and flour, and repeating until a smooth sauce forms. Swirl this together with the caramelized leeks. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
When the pasta is ready, use tongs to transfer it right into the creamy sauce. Add splashes of pasta water to help everything emulsify.
Drain and squeeze out any excess moisture from the green parts of the leeks, and add them to the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir until everything is combined.
Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve and top with parmesan cheese.
Pair this light and citrusy dessert with our Traditional Method Zweigelt or any of your favorite sparkling wines!
Author: Baker Street Society
Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 10 servings 1x
For the Winter Pavlova
230 grams egg whites (about 7 egg whites)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
310 grams superfine sugar*
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
For the Orange Cream
(237 ml) heavy cream, chilled (1 cup)
Zest of 1 orange
4 oz mascarpone cheese
For the Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
273 ml water (1 1//2 cups)
250 grams sugar (1 1/4 cups)
6 oz cranberries
Pomegranate arils of 1 pomegranate
1.Preheat oven to 300 and prepare 1 half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Draw an 8 inch circle on the parchment, then flip the parchment over so the pencil side is down on the half sheet pan.
2. Next, clean your mixing bowl and whisk with some vinegar or lemon juice to get rid of any oils.
3. Add the room temperature egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt to the mixing bowl and mix on speed 4 for a 10 speed mixer.
4. Once soft peaks form, begin adding the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time every 30-60 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl 4-5 times when adding the sugar so that all of the sugar gets mixed in. If any sugar remains undissolved, this will cause the mini lemon pavlovas to weep.
5. Mix on speed 4 until stiff peaks form, which takes about 25-35 minutes from start to finish. To test for stiff peaks, lift the whisk attachment out of the bowl and see if the pavlova meringue stands up straight. If not, mix longer until stiff peaks.
6.Add the cornstarch and lemon juice and mix for about 30 seconds.
7. Spoon the meringue onto the parchment in the circle, keeping it high.
8. Gently spread the meringue out to fill the circle and make upward furrows around the sides so that it helps the meringue to rise up and not outward.
9. Make the top of the pavlova flat or slightly like a bowl.
10. Place the pavlova in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 250 degrees. Bake for 90 minutes, then turn the oven off, and let the pavlova rest in the oven for at least 6 hours or overnight.
11. Do NOT open the oven for any reason once the pavlova is in the oven, otherwise it can deflate. Keep the oven closed until the pavlova has baked and cooled completely.
You can make the pavlova a day ahead store it in an airtight container without the toppings, but it is best eaten within 1-2 days.
To Make the Orange Cream
1. Whip heavy cream until medium stiff peaks form. Add orange zest and mascarpone and mix for 30 seconds.
To Make the Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until berries easily break down when pressed with the back of a spoon.
2. Press sauce through a fine mesh strainer to leave pomegranate seeds and cranberry skins behind.
3. Refrigerate for at least two hours before pouring onto pavlova.
To Assemble the Winter Pavlova
Top the pavlova with orange cream, cranberry pomegranate sauce, fresh pomegranate arils, sugared cranberries, and gingerbread cookies (optional). Add toppings right before serving or within an hour of serving.
Don’t add toppings far in advance, as the toppings make the pavlova dissolve some from the added moisture.
*If you don’t have superfine sugar, pulse granulated sugar in a blender until fine and powdery.
Pair this delicious and seasonal dessert with our Humphreys Zweigelt or Apres dessert wine!
1 (12 ounce) package whole cranberries
1 cup white sugar
¾ cup water
1 (15.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
¾ cup butter, melted
1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cranberries, white sugar, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all cranberries have popped and the mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, melted butter, and eggs. Stir in oats, brown sugar, ginger, and cinnamon. Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the mixture, and spread the rest into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Pack down to form a solid crust, getting it as even as possible. Spread the cooled cranberries over the crust. Pinch off pieces of the remaining mixture and place evenly over the cranberries.
Bake in the preheated oven until the top is lightly browned, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 40 minutes before slicing into 24 bars.
Enjoy with a glass of Humphreys Zweigelt or Apres!