Cooking and Catering Blog | Chef Chic, Tucson

3 Types of White Wine to Enhance Your Fall Menus

October 3, 2017

We recently shared a blog on how to select the perfect red wine. Today, we’re focusing on the ultimate types of white wine to pair with your favorite fall meals.

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you have to put the crisp whites on hold until next year. Full-bodied white wines complement heartier autumn dishes (and seasonings) like soups, stews, and slow-cooked meats.

Types of White Wine and Food Pairings

When selecting a white wine for an everyday dinner or special occasion, it’s important to consider the attributes and flavors that will enhance your dining experience. Not sure where to start? Next time you plan a menu, reach for these types of white wine for your cozy fall and winter meals:  

  1. Chardonnay Any Day: Oaky and buttery, chardonnays are a go-to pairing option in the colder months. Their rich flavors work well with creamy sauces, poultry and pork dishes, and fatty fish, such as salmon and trout.
  2. A Bit of Bubbly: Champagne’s effervescent characteristics balance both salty and fatty foods. Not to mention, it matches the elegance of gourmet ingredients like truffles, Brie, caviar, and foie gras. If you don’t want to serve a lavish meal, offer your guests a bit of bubbly and sophisticated hors d’oeuvres for an evening in or holiday cocktail party.
  3. Fruit-Forward Favorite: Viognier is bursting with sweet notes, such as tangerine and honeysuckle. It’s a smooth, medium-acid wine that can be served with roasted and slow-cooked root vegetables. The floral and perfumy notes also work well with dishes that feature aromatic Asian and African spices.

Impress Your Dinner Guests: If you’re looking to impress your guests without the stress, let Chef Chic create a customized food and wine pairing for any occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or holiday, we’ll help you make it a night to remember.

Contact us today to book your event at (520) 406-2757.

Sources:

https://www.thespruce.com/prosecco-wine-italian-bubbly-3511228

http://winefolly.com/review/differences-between-chardonnay-and-viognier/

http://winefolly.com/review/viognier-vee-own-yay-wine-guide/

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/15-rules-great-wine-and-food-pairings#14

http://www.biltmore.com/wine/wine-101/entertaining-with-wine/wines-by-season

Upscale Party Food: Create a 5-Star Cheese and Cracker Platter

September 25, 2017

The cheese and cracker platter is the go-to party food for easy entertaining. Whether you’re having friends over for football or Thanksgiving dinner, everyone seems to migrate around the cheddar and Ritz. But how can you step it up for an elegant occasion?

If you’re hosting an upscale event and want to make it extra special, simply give your everyday party food favorites an upgrade. You can, of course, opt for foie gras and caviar, but adding intrigue to comfort food classics can be a more approachable option. If cheese and crackers are what your guests love…go with it!

Play with mixed textures, fun flavors, and pops of color to amp up all of your party food platters. This is how we do it at Chef Chic…

Build A Better Cheese & Cracker Platter

  1. Try New Cheeses: Head to a local cheese shop or the cheese counter at your grocery store and ask to taste a few options you’ve never tried before. Cave-aged cheeses have a granular texture while soft French cheese are easy to spread. Consider a bit of both to add diversity.
  2. Jam Out: Cheese and crackers are made even better with a dollop of homemade jam or chutney. They lend sweet (and sometimes spicy) notes that balance out particularly pungent cheeses. If you don’t have time make your own, look for pre-made gourmet varieties.
  3. Give a Fig: Another way to impart sweetness and fill out the board is by incorporating fresh fruits. Figs are especially stylish if you can find them in season. Otherwise, grapes, dates, and sliced apples and pears are also pretty additions. Just be sure to squeeze a bit of lemon juice onto fruit slices to keep them from browning too quickly.
  4. Pickle It: If you are a fan of pickling, now is the time to pickle those late-summer veggies. Then, arrange them nicely on the board or serve them in a small mason jar with a cocktail fork. Again, if you don’t pickle at home, you can buy all sorts of pickled vegetables at the store, from carrots and string beans to cucumbers, radishes, and more.
  5. Go Outside the Box: Traditional crackers are great, but there are a lot of other party food options. Toasted baguette slices are elegant and gluten-free crackers are helpful if you have friends with food allergies. Homemade veggie chips add a lighter touch. Better yet, offer a combination so your guests can pick, choose, and try a little of everything.

Planning a Party? Need a little help? We specialize in planning customized party food menus and creating memorable events to suit all of your preferences. Contact us to learn more about our personalized catering services in Tucson, Arizona. (520) 406-2757

The Best (and Healthiest) Reasons to Try Our Paleo Diet Meal Plan

September 18, 2017

Do you know that Chef Chic can offer you a customized Paleo Diet meal plan? We pride ourselves on accommodating all dietary restrictions and requests—and Paleo has been at the top of the list lately!

If you haven’t tried the Paleo Diet or aren’t sure what it’s all about, here are the basics:

  • The diet is inspired by Paleolithic hunter-gatherers who mostly ate meat, seafood, vegetables, roots, and berries.
  • A Paleo Diet meal plan primarily consists of high-quality meats, heart-healthy fats, and lots of veggies (especially dark leafy greens).
  • It eliminates inflammatory foods and refined carbohydrates, such as dairy, sugar, grains, and gluten.

Bottom Line: The emphasis is on real, healthy, whole foods that taste great and make you feel good!

Why Go Paleo?

The goal of the Paleo Diet is to support digestion, decrease inflammation, and balance blood sugar. People who have tried the diet report that they feel more energized and satiated after eating. And when you consume the right quantities of macro and micronutrients, you can naturally curb cravings for sugar and junk foods.

Gourmet Menu Options

The key to sticking with the Paleo Diet (or any diet) is to be prepared with fresh and satisfying meals. This way, you look forward to eating as opposed to dreading a day full of calorie counting, cabbage soup, and celery sticks. Blech!

If you don’t have time to cook each and every day (who does?), our Prepared Meal Delivery services are designed to help you eat healthy without having to do any of the work. We use herbs, spices, and dressings to style up each dish so you can enjoy hearty, flavorful, and exciting cuisine week after week. 

A few of our favorite Paleo menu options include:

Lemon Chicken & Asparagus

Salmon with Lemon Dill Crust

Chimichurri Steak with Tomatillo Sauce

Pot Roast with Cauliflower Carrot Puree

Lemon Basil Pork Chop with Roasted Broccoli

Doesn’t sound like a diet, right?

Try a Personalized Paleo Meal Plan

  • If you’re interested in sampling the best of the Paleo Diet, contact us to learn more about our Prepared Meal Delivery services. 
  • Already a client? Let us know about your dietary goals and we’ll be happy to update your menus accordingly. (520) 406-2757

 

Sources:

https://diypaleo.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

http://paleogrubs.com/paleo-benefits

Types of Red Wine: How to Match Them with Your Meals

September 13, 2017

It can be overwhelming to select the perfect wine to enjoy with your meal. There are so many types of red wine, each boasting various grape varieties, regions, and flavor profiles. How do you know if you should go with a Cabernet from California or a Bordeaux from France? And does it even matter?

At Chef Chic, we believe that a well-matched wine can turn any dinner into a 5-star meal. If you’re looking to upgrade your nightly dining experience, check out our red wine pairing tips…

Red Wine and Food Pairings

Before you pick up a bottle of red, make sure that it’s the right option for your dinner. Red wines pair well with:

  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Barbecued meats
  • Red sauces
  • Pizzas
  • Tomato-based soups and stews

Lighter dishes, like chicken, fish, and entree salads usually pair best with a white or rose wine.

Types of Red Wine and Regions

While there are many regions that grow all types of red wine grapes, some of the most prestigious include California, France, Italy, and Spain.

Regions like California and France are mostly known for Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux. These are medium- and full-bodied wines that impart bold, well-rounded flavors, like cherry, vanilla, tobacco, spices, and smoke. These hold up to rich, heavy dishes and sauces.

Rioja wines from Spain offer similar notes to the classic Cabernet but are more fruit forward. Hailing from the Mediterranean, Riojas complement tapas, sliced meats, and strong cheeses. You can also try a Rioja with curries and Asian-inspired dishes.

Merlot is one of the most popular wines from Italy. It’s known for being approachable and versatile. Serve it with anything from pasta to grilled steak to dark chocolate.

Want to Learn More About Red Wine?

If you’re interested in sampling some of the most renowned red wines from around the world, contact us to plan a personal wine pairing party.

Gourmet Lunchbox Ideas for Kids and Adults

September 4, 2017

A sandwich, chips, and an apple…does this describe the contents of your lunchbox on most days of the week? It may keep you full, but it’s not exactly a thrilling lunch to look forward to.

At Chef Chic, we prefer to infuse lunches with flavor and creativity. If you’re preparing lunch for the new school year, a weekend picnic or work, consider our gourmet lunchbox ideas. We whip these up for our clients so lunch is always the best part of the day. We think lunch should be more than a break—it should be something to get excited about!

  • Deconstructed Lunch: Skip the sandwich and stock a Bento Box with your favorites. Suggestions: slices of salami, crackers, carrot sticks, hummus dip and olives. For the adults, pair this with a bottle of white wine for a late-summer picnic in the park.
  • Reimagined PB&J: Start with good-quality peanut butter or any nut butter you like. Top with fresh-fruit jams like rhubarb, strawberry, raspberry or grape. Add bacon, bananas, or even chocolate chips. Grill or press in a panini maker.
  • Fall Soups: Invest in a good thermos and fill it with pumpkin chili, pureed squash and apple soup or chicken noodle soup (hint: this is the perfect way to quell any first day jitters). It’s also a good way to use up leftovers.
  • Asian-Inspired Salads: Incorporate fresh ingredients from all over the world to create exciting salads you actually want to eat! We love this Asian Chicken Salad from Giada, featuring napa cabbage, Thai basil, sesame seeds and slivered almonds. Or, try soba noodles with peanut sauce. 
  • Sophisticated Salmon Salad: There’s nothing more elegant than salmon. Plus, it’s light, lean and full of heart-healthy fats. Make salmon salad (as you would tuna salad) using canned salmon and season it in various ways. Add curry powder, chopped apples, bacon and/or pecans. Serve with crackers or sourdough bread, or atop a bed of fresh greens.

Make Your Lunch the Envy of the Office!

Running low on gourmet lunchbox ideas? Chef Chic can make lunch the highlight of your week with these and plenty of other meal plans. If you’re already a personal chef client with us, ask us about adding lunch to your weekly meal plan. If you’re not a client yet, contact us here to inquire about starting meal service.

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