Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Piri Piri Chicken, Carrot-Orange Salad & Fried Haloumi with 2010 Muti Albarino & 2011 Dourosa Branco

See that phone that looks like it's from a '90s movie over there? Yeah...that's gone. Poor wifey. Our house got a major phone upgrade across the board yesterday.

We're evolving.

So, to celebrate, piri piri chicken, that delicious Portuguese goodness that gets all blazing hot, smoky and acidic all at once.

Dinosaur-sized chicken quarters ($.69/lb at Harvesttime) done up Jamie Oliver piri piri style. Chicken was fine, but mostly we wanted the sauce.

Could have made the forthcoming salad as a dinner-sized number, dumped a bunch of piri piri on it, served it with the cast-iron-fried haloumi cheese (half sheep/half goat - $6.50 at Harvesttime - good to know a quick alternative is close to home), and been just as thrilled with this meal.

Carrot and orange salad, from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food (page 80). Sliced carrots mixed with a bunch of cilantro and green onions. Dressing of the juice of two oranges, one lemon, 2 tbsp. of orange blossom water and a wee touch of pistachio oil. Silly Great Salad.

Haloumi, fried in the mini cast-iron with oil, pink peppercorns and oregano. New house favorite. It's basically fancy fried cheese. And that's why it's delicious.

Pita bread, brushed with oil, topped with Himalayan black salt (Middle Eastern grocery on Foster), wrapped in foil and thrown in the oven.

A buffet of Portuguese-Middle Eastern greatness here that we flipped for immediately.

Two wines, a 2010 Raul Pérez "Muti" Albariño Rías Baixas ($35 - Binny's) & 2011 Dourosa Branco Douro ($14 - Binny's).  The Dourosa white, a rabigato blend, was all Douro on the cheap with food. Rather flat and boring by itself, but tasted like the Douro air with the grub.

The star was the Muti Albariño. Elegant and pure for sure, with some minor age on its tires, this came off like a very dry chenin blanc, getting all crazy Vouvray winemaker-like. Orange, minerals, wool, honeysuckle, lifted by a lemon peel note towards the end. Happy and light, yet a bit broody at times, and thinking. Somewhat short on the finish but nothing that detracted from its deliciousness. We're liking the Raul Pérez bottlings we've had. This was no exception.

And a fine and good pairing to boot. Food stayed delicious, the wine remained itself, not tremendous linkage and lift but with the hotness here, the minimal amount of interplay was a surprise. Loved it.

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