This post has been a long time coming. Nathan ordered a Cherry Blossom beer on our very first date almost exactly four years ago and since we started the blog we’ve been meaning to pair the beer with a meal and feature it on Rampant Cuisine. For one reason or another we haven’t gotten around to it until now but trust me when I say that this meal and pairing is worth the wait!
I consider myself to be a very
blonde logical person. So, when Nathan and I were thinking about meals to pair with our cherry blossom beer we naturally deduced that cherries would be in season at the same time as cherry blossoms. Well, for your information, it doesn’t work this way. Our misconception worked out in our favor, however, because what would have been simply a cherry chutney became a fresh plum/dried cherry and mixed berry chutney that exceeded our expectations. We used the chutney as the sauce for a tender and juicy roasted pork loin and had roasted red potatoes and spring asparagus as sides. If you’re like us and don’t like braving the DC crowds to see the cherry blossoms downtown this is a delicious and peaceful way to observe the cherry blossom festival from the comfort of your own home.
Katryn’s Wine Pairing: 2012 Entrada Cabernet Sauvignon
7.8 out of 10 or 9.1 out of 10 when factoring in the price!
I’ll admit that I was pretty skeptical about this wine…mainly because it cost, well, $4.99. In my defense, it was on sale!! I was looking for a juicy wine with cherry and berry flavors and the description on the label of this bottle perfectly fit the bill! I was pleasantly surprised by how good this wine was (given the price) and it was a successful accompaniment to the flavors in the chutney and the pork. I would buy it again!
As Katryn mentioned above this is the beer that I got on our first date together. This sweet, sweet, beer took the edge off of the stress of a first date and allowed me to
trick woo my lovely wife into marrying me. The base of this beer is a solid lager with crisp, light flavors not unlike Yuengling. Added on top of this foundation there is just the slightest aroma and taste of cherry. It doesn’t punch you in the face with fruit like a Lambic but subtly lets itself be known on your palate. Certainly not a beer for everyday drinking but a fun beer to enjoy on a spring day.
Roast Pork Loin with garlic and thyme:
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. butter, melted
1 1/2-2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tbs. olive oil
2-3 onions, quartered
1 2 1/2-pound boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed and tied with kitchen twine
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 13 x 9 x 2-inch roasting pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl. Rub garlic-thyme mixture all over pork. Heat a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add pork, and brown all over, about 4 minutes. Place pork, fat side down, in prepared roasting pan and arrange the onion pieces around it. Roast pork 25 minutes. Turn roast fat side up. Roast until thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 145°F., about 15-20 minutes longer. Remove from oven; cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes.
Pour any juices from roasting pan into small saucepan; set over low heat to keep warm. Cut pork crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange pork slices on platter. Pour pan juices over.
4 red or black plums
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, sliced lengthwise
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger
1/2 cup dried mixed berries
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
Peel plums. Halve and pit. Cut into 1/2″ wedges.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, next 7 ingredients, and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in plums. Cover and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft and juices have thickened, 20–25 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Let cool slightly. DO AHEAD: Chutney can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm slightly before serving.
1 pound fresh asparagus
Good olive oil
Kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Break off the tough ends of the asparagus. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.
3 pounds small red potatoes
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, season to taste, and serve hot.