Spring Smelts and Peas

As Spring finally begins to emerge from Winter, we get to re-experience all kinds of foods we haven't seen in a while - like catching up with old friends. Wild Canadian Smelts from The Lobster Place in Chelsea Market paired with fresh peas with mint and a bottle of Vare 2004 Bianco Salle Bucce from Chambers Street Wines. A very easy preparation all around.

The Smelts
1. In a bowl combine about 1/2 cup of flour with salt and pepper (and whatever other seasoning might take your fancy such as paprika, cayenne, etc.)
2. Pat the smelts dry and dust them in the flour seasoning mixture.
3. In a saute pan, over medium high heat, add some olive oil to amply coat the bottom of the pan.
4. When the oil is hot and rippling, add the smelts.
5. Pan fry until golden brown on both sides.

The Peas
1. Shell the peas.
2. Add the peas to a pot of salted boiling water.
3. Simmer for about 3 minutes or until the peas are al dente - softer but still have a pop.
4. Drain and in the same pot add a splash of olive oil, chopped mint, season to taste.
5. Toss and serve.

The Wine
Vare 2004 Bianco Sulle Bucce (Pinot Grigio, Ribolla Gialla, Sauvignon Blanc, Tocai Friulano, Pinot Blanc)
Rescued out of the bargain bin at Chambers Street Wines. A Napa Valley 500ml orange wine. You can see why this was not a hot seller for the average California Sauvignon Blanc drinker - especially at about $27 a bottle. But for those that love Radikon style orange wines - this was a real drinker. Very dark, slightly oxidative, great balance, mild tannins, orange peel, grapefruit, 


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