September 27, 2004

Blackberry Merlot & Blueberry Dumplings

This was oh so good. I let the berries simmer for 25 minutes, and although the mom did peak at it every few minutes (strict no-no), it turned out great regardless. Substitutions: I used splenda instead of sugar and Ben & Jerry's Vanilla Lite ice cream

Blueberry Dumplings

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar, plus 1 1/2 cups
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1 quart fresh or frozen blueberries
2 cups water
Vanilla ice cream or fresh cream, for serving

1. Stir flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients, using a pastry cutter or fork. Add milk to form dough. Set dumpling dough aside.

2.In a large saucepan, combine berries, 1 1/2 cups sugar, and water and bring to a boil. Drop dumplings into hot boiling berries by the tablespoonful. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook slowly for 20 to 30 minutes. Do not remove the lid before 20 minutes has passed, and do not stir dumplings. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or fresh cream. Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen

Blackberry Merlot

Ernest & Julio Blackberry Merlot "A dark red wine with a pronounced berry aroma, ripe plum and cherry fruit flavors, and a soft and supple mouthfeel. "

This was a surprisingly delicious, sweet wine that makes your tongue tingle. I paired it with provolone. To my delight, the provolone takes on a more smoky flavor and is quite powerful. In the past I've thought provo to be weak and bland. Not so! In the interest of eduction, here is the pairing:

Compliment - Smoked Cheddar
"The velvety smooth character and rich cherry fruit flavors of our Merlot bring out the smoky character and enhance the smooth texture of smoked cheddar."
Compliment - Smoked Jack
"The velvety smooth character and rich plum fruit flavor of our Merlot provide a good match for the slightly sweet yet smoky character and creamy texture of smoked jack."
Compliment - Provolone
"The full-bodied nature and rich plum fruit flavor of our Merlot bring out the smoky flavor and complement the semi-firm texture of provolone."