Family Meal Season 1 Episode 5
Each month, on this cooking show, I show you how to prepare a delectable feast with wine pairings. Then, you get to watch while my friends tell me what they think about it all.
Family Meal is about exploring food from different places and different times to understand how people make awesome food with what they have.
For our first season, we are cooking from vintage African-American cookbooks.
Check out our fifth episode now! The transcript is below. ↓↓↓↓
Don’t be afraid to have a party. You don’t even need to be in the same place to have a party. All you need is something to celebrate. This video is for the Party People! And aspiring party people too.
Today, we’re celebrating outdoor cooking. If you love smoky flavors, umami and char-grilled goodness, keep watching. Coming up are five celebratory dishes that will make any grilling party amazing. Pair this kind of food with good wine and what you have is … a Family Meal.
Welcome to Family Meal — a virtual wine tasting party. Each month I cook a 4-course meal and pair it with some fun wines. Then, you get to watch as my friends tell me what they think about it all.
It’s July, the middle of summer. It’s grilling season. So, I’m serving a meal that’s all about char, smoke and high heat cooking. And the wines I picked have to stand up to these full-flavored dishes. There will be 8 eaters enjoying this open flame feast with 5 recipes and eight wine pairings. My first virtual summer grill party.
As you know if you’ve watched before, Family Meal is about exploring food from different places and different times to understand how people make awesome food for the time and place they live in.
Last month we looked at Freda DeKnight’s 1973 cookbook: Date With a Dish. Freda travelled all over the country interviewing black cooks about their dishes and recipes. The result is a book of dishes you’ll love. One of last month’s eaters said the soup from that meal was the best they’ve had in their life! That episode includes 5 dishes and 7 wine pairings. If you want to see it, click here or look below for the link.
In this episode, we are riffing on recipes from Milton Williams 1981 cookbook: The Party Book. It’s perfect for what I’m doing this month. I’m throwing a grill party at four different homes on the same day!
Milton was the caterer to the stars in Hollywood. in the 70’s and 80’s. He was known for throwing extravagant themed parties with live performances and over the top decorations. He got his first catering gig when the cook at the home where he worked got sick. No other restaurant could fill in so quickly. So, Williams ask for the the job and his career was born.
His clients included folks like four-time academy award winning composer Henry Mancini and Aaron Spelling, the producer of the original Charlie’s Angels and many other famous people and dignitaries.
But, his cookbook isn’t about hosting an extravagant gala. It’s got recipes and dinner party menus that you can feed your friends with some good wine on a Sunday afternoon. And that’s what inspired me about this book. I used this book to make food that’s festive enough to call “party food”, but still doable for me, a home cook with a camera. I think it’s my most exciting menu yet.
Anybody who can inspire me to do that with food is someone worth learning more about. But don’t take my word for it. Make these dishes yourself and tell me what you think. Comment, like and subscribe so I can see if these recipes resonate with you too. And, make sure you hit the bell, so you’ll be notified of all Winosity’s future videos.
Ready to hear what’s on the menu this month? Let’s get into it.
Salsify is the starting point this month. Yes, salsify. It’s a root that tastes a bit like oysters. It’ll be great in a dip with some smoked sour cream all slathered on a bit of fluffy flatbread. If you watched a few months ago, you may have seen the Edna Lewis episode. She had a buttered salsify recipe in her book. So, I’m combining her ingredients, with Milton’s menu and my grill theme to create something new.
A dip and bread is a classic appetizer, right? This bread course will be great with sparkling wine. We’ll be enjoying this dip with two chilled French Crémant. Oysters and sparkling wine are a classic combo. We’ll see if this oyster flavored vegetable works with these bright wines too.
Next, there’s an herbaceous grilled pork roll. It has fennel, a curry sauce and a fresh herb salad. This dish has bright flavors, plus smoky flavor from the grill.
This dish will be paired with medium bodied Pinot Noirs from California. Believe it or not, slightly chilled is the way to serve these two wines. I mean it’s 100 degrees outside. So, putting them in the fridge for a bit is a good thing. It will help their fruit flavors shine.
I’m very excited by the main course this month. Admittedly, there’s a few steps to this casserole dish. I almost decided not to make it because it takes a few days to make because I’m making cheese from scratch. But, I decided that it’s worth it. Why not make the food that makes you happy, that you’d be happy to serve to your friends? So, I’m going for it.
Ok, here’s what’s in the dish. It’s a “casserole” of rutabaga gnocchi, smoked lamb, macerated tomatoes and farmers’ cheese. Each item will be made on it’s own, but I’ll warm it at the end to get the cheese melted a bit and everything combined.
It will be served with a charred romaine salad. It’s just like what it sounds like it is. Grilled lettuce and fresh herbs in light vinaigrette. I will be great next to the intense casserole.
This course will be paired with two bold Petit Sirah. Both are from California and have the power to stand up against smoked lamb and grilled vegetables.
I know the theme of this meal is high heat, but I thought a lighter dessert would be nice to end with after all of the smoked and charred flavors. So, I’m going with a blood orange tart with torched Swiss meringue. This blood orange curd is tart and sweet. The meringue is sweet and creamy, and has just a hint of charred flavor. So, it’s in keeping with the theme without being overwhelming.
It will be paired with two sweet-ish rose wines. One is sparkling and the other is still, but they are both Italian.
Do this menu sound like a party to you? They definitely do to me. But, let’s see if I can pull them off well enough for my friends.
Smoked Cream & Salsify Dip Recipe
Salsify has a number of fun names. Jerusalem star and goatsbeard are a few. But, the best name, hands down, is Jack go to bed at noon because the plant’s edible flowers close every afternoon.
What does Jack go to bed at noon taste like, you ask? The answer is oyster. So this is like a vegetarian oyster dip. And it’s pretty easy recipe to prepare.
Open the cans of salsify and drain them. Then prepare you peppers and herbs to be diced. You can chop by hand, but I’m using a mechanical chopper. I’m not using a food processor because I don’t want to mess up and have a puree. I want this to still be chunky.
This is frozen. It’s hard enough now that I can cut it into chunks. I’m using a handheld smoker because this is such a small batch. You can use any wood you like. I have a mix of hickory and apple today. Keep the cream in smoke for about 10 minutes. That should be enough time to infuse the flavor.
Once the cream is smoked, you need to get it soft enough to mix with the rest of the ingredients: some mayonnaise, the herbs, pepper, seasoning and… the jack go to sleep at noon. Don’t forget that. It’s a party-worth version of the classic seafood dip.
We made this flatbread from scratch for the wine party. It’s got yogurt and some flake salt. It’s light, fluffy and delicious; one of the perks of eating in person.
You can use store bought flatbread for this dish. Just coat it in a bit of olive oil and coarse salt. Then, bake it a bit to refresh or drop it on a hot grill to get some char. Or just put it on a slice of toasted sandwich bread. This smoky dip is great no matter how you use it.
We’re having this dip with two Cremant. It’s just sparkling wine from France that isn’t from Champagne. Since this wine can be pretty much from anywhere in France and made from many types of grapes, it comes in many styles and has many flavors. But these are fresh, with citrus and a bit of [green apple]. They are a nice counterpoint to the smoke flavor. But they also support the sharpness of the sour cream. And for me, fishy and brininess goes so well with bubbles. This is the veggie version of fish. But, I think it’s a cool vegetarian take on the classic seafood and sparkling wine combination. But what does the eating panel have to say?
Everybody loves dip, right? I think this recipe is a keeper. Smoky, a bit sour and creamy. It’s super tasty.
Grilled Pork Roulade
Imagine a grilled, stuffed pork chop. That’s basically what this dish is. It’s pork stuffed with a flavorful chutney. In California, fennel just grows on the side of the road like a weed. Yeah, it’s the wild kind. But, it smells great. But, let me put a few fennel seeds in my garden. [laughing]. Nothing. But, I’m not mad. Fennel is delicious and totally chutney worthy.
First, I’ll start by toasting the spices in a dry pan. Curry means different things to different people. For this recipe, it means a mix of turmeric, coriander and cumin. You can add other spices that make sense to you, but those are the basics here. You want them to start releasing their aromas without burning.
The next step is to cook the vegetables, first the leeks. You want them to get them good and tender. While they’re cooking down, add the garlic. It’s been sliced into thin slices.
The fennel goes in next. It’s been sliced into fairly thick slices so that you have some nice chew in the chutney. You also want to season the mix enough salt and pepper to get everything good and savory.
The next step is to add the Ouzo and reduce it by half. This will create a thick sauce for the chutney. This saucy chutney is what’s going to get rolled up in the pork. But you’ve got to get the pork ready.
You can cut your tenderloin almost in half, but don’t cut all the way through. This creates a butterflied tenderloin that you will pound down into an even more tender piece of meat.
Pound the butterflied pork out to about 1/2” thickness, then season both sides with salt and pepper.
Next, spread out the chutney over one side. Then roll up the pork into a roll along the short end of the loin. You should have a number of layers in your roll. Move roll to a pan to grill
Ok, it’s ready for the grill. You’re going to grill it for a total of about 15 minutes. That should be enough time to get a good smoky flavor on it.
Now that it’s cooked, it’s time to plate.
Once cooked, you can cut roulade into slices. Top each slice with a bit of herb salad. You can use any herbs you have on hand that taste nice with pork.
I have a bit of parsley and mint that I’m dressing in a bit of vinegar, salt, pepper and oil. That goes right on top. If that’s not a party dish, I don’t know what is.
I paired this pork dish with two Pinot Noirs from California. They are kinda bold Pinots. But, that’s OK. This is grilled pork with curry.
They are both from Sonoma. But, there’s still a difference between the two. The first is the bolder of the two. It will definitely spar with the dish, hopefully in a good way, to create an intense experience. The second wine is just slightly quieter. It’s like that sound when 100 people are singing, but it only sounds like one. We’ll see which experience my friends prefer.
I mean, who doesn’t love grilled pork… and red wine. They were ready for a big punch. And, I think that Pinot gave it to them.
Smoked Lamb Casserole
Are you ready for a dish that’s so good that I was willing to take three days to make it! Well, I think it’s good at least. Each component has to be made separately. Then you put it all together at the end. It’s basically a fancied-up casserole.
The ingredient that takes the longest time is the cheese. But, most of that time is aging. The rest of the recipe isn’t that hard.
You start by heating salted milk over medium-low heat to a heavy simmer for 30 minutes. While it’s cooking you want to stir it constantly. Never let it get to a boil.
After 30 minutes, turn off the heat and add vinegar slowly while still stirring. Keep stirring for about 10 minutes until curds form.
Once you have a good number of curds, strain off the liquid in a towel lined sieve. I didn’t have a towel, so I’m using a clean, but wet pillow case. Squeeze remaining liquid out of the curds with the towel. Get as much liquid out of there as possible.
I’m going to just age this a few days. But you can go for longer if you like.
The next step is to smoke the lamb. I’ve made this recipe before. Maybe 10 years ago now. It was a hit then. We’ll see what people think today. We want a nice and juicy piece of lamb from this.
In my opinion, marinating the lamb helps keep it juicy. I’ll make the marinade by grinding the spices until a paste forms. Then I mix the spice paste into some olive oil. That’s the marinade.
These shanks are pretty lean. But, if you use a fattier cut of lamb, you may want to remove some of the fat. Ok, I take the marinade and rub it over the lamb. I’m going to let the lamb marinate for about an hour, you could go as long as a day if you wanted.
After the lamb is marinated, I’ll smoke it for 4 hours at 250 degrees.
Doesn’t that look amazing? It’s glistening and covered in tasty spices and herbs. I’m going to chunk it up so it’s ready to be added to the casserole. And I’ll make sure to save some of the juice from the lamb. The pasta I’m making next will soak up all this sauce.
On the menu for today, it says Swede pasta. I put that because it’s shorter and I was running out of space. –There’s a lot of ingredients in this dish!– But, growing up this veggie was called rutabaga. It’s literally a cross between a turnip and cabbage and tastes just like that: kinda of like a brussel sprout met a radish and fell in love. My mom would serve rutabaga up like mashed potatoes or in cubes with some butter salt and pepper. But today, we’re going to use it to make a gnocchi.
Wrap the rutabaga, potato and garlic in foil separately and bake them until they are tender. The garlic will be done in 40 minutes. The potato will be done in an hour. The Rutabaga will be done in 90 minutes.
Mash the roasted vegetables with seasoning and a beaten egg. After that’s all combined, add the flour in batches until a dough forms.
Roll the dough flat about ½ inch thick. I’m using a floured cutter too keep the gnocchi even. Then, I’m cutting them in quarters.
Now that those are all formed up, I’ll fry them in batches. It only takes 3-4 minutes to cook them. And they are golden brown fluffy pillows.
The last component of the casserole is the macerated cherry tomatoes. This is super easy. If you have small tomatoes, all you do is prick each tomato about three times and drop them in some balsamic. The holes help the balsamic penetrate into the flesh. But, I have larger tomatoes, so I’m quartering them. Let that sit for at least 20 minutes, but not so long that the tomatoes get soggy. This component add acidity to this dish. Ok, let’s put it all together
Right before serving combine all of the ingredients in a casserole pan and heat them up a bit. About 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees should be enough. This will get everything steamy. And the natural juices from the lamb and the creamy cheese will melt a bit to bring everything together. I think it’s going to be delicious.
And, here it is. I think that looks amazing. Yes, it’s a casserole. This isn’t your everyday casserole. It’s a casserole fit for a feast and we’re serving it with a salad.
Charred Romaine Salad
This salad has got a bit of charred flavor and some fresh herbs. I’ll start the salad by making the dressing and marinade. The dressing is simple: salt, pepper vinegar and half of the oil. Then there’s a marinade for the lettuce made by mixing the other half of the oil, salt and pepper. It helps it not dry out into a crisp while it’s grilling.
After coating the lettuce, grill the heads for 1-2 minutes on each side until grill marks appear.
After the lettuce cools, cut it into bite sized pieces. Do the same with the fresh herbs. If the leaves are small enough you don’t need to chop them, though.
Then mix all of this in a bowl. I think this salad is best served cold. It helps the fresh flavors of the herbs pop and is a nice contrast to the meaty casserole.
I’m serving these dishes with two very aggressive Petit Sirahs. Both are from California and both are big reds. They are also slightly spicey and oaky. To bring down the intensity bit, I’m going to aerate and decant these to round out the flavors some. Still, these wines will have tannin that a bit drying in the mouth. Drying your mouth out might not sound great. But when you’re eating oily lamb, creamy cheese and vegetables coated in oil, the drying sensation will be nice. And the spicy notes in the wine will add character when you have wine with the food. At least, that’s my thought. We’ll see what my friends think.
That’s was a powerful course. Big wines, smoked meat. Very satisfying. Now, for something a bit lighter and sweet.
Blood Orange Tart
I wanted to stay in the high heat theme but have a dessert that’s still refreshing. So, I’m making a blood orange tart with torched Swiss meringue. There’s the tartness of citrus in this recipe with just a hint of smoke and char in the meringue.
I’ll start with the crust. It’s sweet and buttery. The first step is to sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.
Dice frozen butter into ½ inch cubes and begin mixing that into the dry ingredients until you have small clumps that stick together. When you get the about the consistency of graham cracker crumbs, you’re all set. Just add a bit of water to bring the dough together.
Roll out the crust to the size of the pan. Try to get it as even as you can. Then freeze the crust for an hour. After that you bake it for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Ok, I’ve got that looking good. I’ll come back to it later.
While the crust is coming together, you can work on the blood orange filling. Bring together cornstarch, sugar, salt, water.
Bring to a boil on medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer to thicken. Once thickened, remove from heat.
Beat egg yolks. Slowly add spoonfuls of thickened filling to egg yolks to temper. Combine all ingredients and simmer for 4 minutes until yolks are cooked. Stir constantly. Add blood orange juice, lemon zest, and butter and combine.
Next, pour the filling into the pan.
The last step is the meringue. You’re going to create a steam bath. Fill a large pot with 2” of water and bring to a gentle simmer. Combine egg whites, sugar, salt, cream of tartar, in a bowl over the steaming water for 10 minutes.
Whip this mixture in an electric stand mixer until stiff peaks form. About 5 minutes is all it should take. Now, we’re ready to finish this pie off.
Some other recipes say to pipe the meringue. But, I’m just going to pour it on top and shape it nicely with the back of a spoon. It might take a few rounds of shaping to really get it looking nice. But. I’m committed. This is a feast after all!
Once you have a shape you like, we will bake at 325ºF for 20 minutes. That should get the top looking good and golden. Doesn’t that look delicious?
I’m serving this pie with two roses from Italy. Both are sparkling, one just slightly. The other is fully sparkling. I’m looking for a bright, high acid and fruity wine. That should pair nicely with blood orange curd. These are tangy just like the curd itself. Let’s see what my friends think.
I think that was a great way to end a grill party. What about you?
So, there you have it. I made five dishes, inspired by Milton Williams 1980 cookbook: The Party Book
I made salsify and smoked cream dip with bread, a pork roulade with curried fennel chutney, a smoked lamb casserole with farmers cheese and a blood orange meringue pie.
Milton Williams cookbook really got me in a celebratory mood. Many of the recipes will be familiar to you if you’ve ever cooked food from the 1980s. It’s the kind of food my mom cooked for small family events or weekend picnics. But, it’s also possible to reimagine these recipes for a wine party. That’s what I did here today.
But, you don’t have to wait for a wine party. There is always something to celebrate. It doesn’t have to be a big event or a holiday. I say find something to celebrate everyday. I think I’m going to do that. A charred romaine salad with the macerated tomatoes and a few bits of cheese would be a great and healthy celebratory meal you can whip up any day.
As for the wines, I have this salad with the Blanc de Blanc would be a nice choice. This wine was very floral and great on a hot summer day. That was my favorite sparkling, but the Limoux was also a hit. Both are great wines for a celebration.
If you’re a Pinot Noir fan, the two we tasted today were excellent, as per the eater. You can go wrong with either. But, I lean towards the Six Degrees. They are fruity, but big enough to stand up to grilled flavors.
So, that was Episode 5 of Family Meal and our wine pairings. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, like, and subscribe. Make sure you hit the bell to get notified about upcoming episodes. And don’t forget to share Family Meal with your friends.
If you want these recipes, you can find them on the blog at Winosity.com where you’ll find other food and wine pairings
And you’ll also find the Winosity app there, where you can keep track of the good wines you discover out in the world and get wine recommendations based on your preferences.
Chef: I hope you will join us in late August, for the next episode. I’ll be cooking recipes from Barbara Smith’s 1999 cookbook, Rituals and Celebrations. Her life was very electic. There’s so much to say about her. But, I’ll just draw a couple of analogies to suggest the kind of person we will be drawing inspiration from. She’s been called the Black Martha Stewart. In the past, you may have called her a renaissance woman. In the 2000s, she might have been referred to as a slash dot entrepreneur. Today, you’d call Smith a lifestyle influencer and she’d probably have millions Instagram followers to prove it. She was a model, restaurateur, and a TV talk show host. She also had a home décor line and successful series of cookbooks. She did so much that I’m sure there will be a lot to inspire dishes for the August episode.
Thanks for watching, folks. Bye!