Monday, December 14, 2009

Not quite the post I promised...

...but I want more time to work on the wine-food pairing entry. Besides, I got distracted by something else I found while wine tasting.

A company in the Tri-Cities area has a great little business going. They buy the grape seeds (separated by varietal) from wineries in the area. They then express the oil from the grape seeds. They leave some of the oil unflavored, but flavor some of the others. They then grind the expressed solids into a fine flour; I sampled the Merlot flour and it had a really nice nuttiness to it.

One of the flavors I bought was Chardonnay Fumé. It was created by fuming the Chardonnay grape seed oil with dried Chardonnay grape vines. The end result...Oh my!

Some of the different ways you can use these oils are:
  • Dipping oils for bread, crackers, etc.

  • Vinaigrette

  • Stir fry oils (I plan to use the five-spice for this)

  • Broiling

Chardonnay Fumé Broiled Lamb
2 8 oz. lamb chops
1-2 tsp Chardonnay Fumé grape seed oil
1 tsp coarse Kosher salt

Preheat broiler. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet rather than a broiler because I get a better sear. I also have an electric oven so a skillet is really easy to use.

Trim excess fat from lamb chops and sprinkle salt evenly on both sides. Let sit for a few minutes.

Lightly oil both chops with the grape seed oil. Let sit for a few minutes.

Once the broiler is heated, place lamb chops on broiler or skillet. Sear for 2 minutes, then turn over and sear for one minute for a rare to medium rare (depending on thickness) lamb chop.

Let rest before serving.

The lamb chops were amazingly tender and juicy. The Chardonnay grape enhanced the inherent sweetness of the lamb. The oil helped give the chops a really nice crusty sear and had a very mild smokiness to them.

The grape seed retains the flavor of the grape, so the lamb went really nicely with a locally-produced Chardonnay I had on hand.

I've never used grape seed oil before, but this will definitely be changing after the new year. I'm getting new ideas nearly every day, but haven't had the time try most of them.

Hopefully next week I'll have the wine pairing entry done.


Aryanhwy merch Catmael said...

I've cooked with grape seed oil a few times, but I'd never heard of grape seed flour. Was it expensive?

Susan Wensel said...

It is a neat idea. They let me sample some raw flour.

I didn't pick any up this time, but I've got their info for when I'm ready. The oil was $6 for a 8? oz bottle.