Making a meal great doesn't mean you have to cut onions into flowers or prepare a souffle (although that would be fine with me). It means that the ingredients you use are superior and the kitchen tools you prepare the food with from cutting the product to placement in the oven for an exact temperature dispersement are exceptional. These tools and the simplicity of preparation speaks to the flavor profile that lifts the dish from good to sublime.
Fruits or vegetables should be organic period. The nuanced flavor permeates your tastebuds and elevates the experience. Quality oils and vinegars are a must as they intensify the aforementioned fruit or vegetable profile and add another dimension of flavor that you can mold to perfectly pair a specific wine. Rieslings because of there many different styles or sauvignon blancs are impeccable pairing selections not only because of their composition but the acid and balance they provide to enhance the organic produce.
My favorite oils and vinegars are from a company called the Olive Solvang Press:
Tuscan Herb infused Olive Oil
Wild Anithos Dill infused Olive Oil
Black Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar
Blueberry Balsamic Vinegar
Cranberry/Pear White Balsamic Vinegar
Any protein be it fish, poultry, pork, or steak must be of exceptional quality. Your local butcher is the perfect choice for specific cuts of meats or Costco and Whole Foods for proven excellence across the board.
Prime steaks at Costco are wonderful examples of quality without breaking the bank. Make sure that when you choose fish it is wild caught and preferably the Atlantic Ocean (more on that in my next blog). All meat products should be chosen by marbling and color.
Jidori chicken is the only chicken to mention. Jidori chicken is raised free range on small farms using natural grains no meat by-products, hormones, or steroids.
Smithfild Duroc pork or Comparte Duroc are very good products. Specifically the best breeds for a certain use, Berkshire for loins, Tamworth for belly, Red Wattle for ham, and Mangalitsa for the jowl.
The best ranches to procure beef from are as follows:
Snake River Farms - Idaho
Craig Angus Ranch - Colorado
Nebraska Star Beef - Nebraska
Chicago Steak Company
American West Beef Company
A wonderful way to end the meal is with an impressive dessert that doesn't take forever to prepare.
Bananas/Strawberries Foster is simple and memorable. Get the recipe and blow the guests away!
Regarding the wine pairings you should keep it simple:
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Gruner Vetliner for Fish
Oregon Pinots, Russian River Pinots, Santa Rita Hills Pinots, or Burgundian Chardonnays for Chicken or Pork
Malbec, Cabernet, or Syrah with Beef
Ice Wine, Sauternes, or Tawny Port with Dessert
So for any meal to be successful you need quality produce, exceptional protein, and a WOW dessert. All of this is not possible without the assistance from PAZAZ™ "The Magic of Cooking", kitchen tools for the discerning chef. The Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Heavy Duty Baking Sheet Pan, and the Steel Mesh Cooling Rack. Go to pazazshop.com, Amazon, or E-bay to purchase these AMAZING KITCHEN TOOLS.