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Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp is the perfect party appetizer. The mild spiciness is tamed with a refreshing glass of Prosecco Superiore. Find out why this pairing works, and why you should serve it at your next dinner party.

It’s the holiday season. A time of celebration. A time of parties and entertaining. A time of year where bubbles are popped more than any other time. But one of the things I’m most passionate about is not just drinking sparkling wine for New Year’s or as an aperitif at a party (nothing wrong with either, but I’m just a proponent for year-round sparkling sipping, and pairing it with all styles of food).

And one of the most versatile styles of sparkling wine, one great for pairing with a wide variety of foods and styles, is Prosecco Superiore.

A couple weeks ago I shared one of my favorite sparkling wine pairings with a recipe for Grilled Pork Chops with a Wine Brown Butter Sauce and shared what makes Prosecco Superiore different than other styles of Prosecco. If you missed that you can catch up here.

If you are here for the first time and asking yourself what is Prosecco, or Prosecco Superiore, in the first place, start here.

But what I want to focus on now is the styles of Prosecco Superiore (in particular the levels of sweetness), and what styles of food they pair best with, and explain how a pairing like Spicy Siriacha Grilled Shrimp works so well with one of the primary styles of wine.

But first…

Understanding different styles of Prosecco Superiore

If you remember,  Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG, and it’s smaller, more concentrated designations, are among the highest quality sparkling wines produced within the region. In the next post, we’ll dive into the smaller regions within Conegliano Valdobbiadene and what make them unique. For now, we’re focusing on style.

3 types of Prosecco wine are produced:
  • Tranquillo: The still wine of the region, and the least known. This niche product represents a very small (1%) of the wine made in the region, and not likely to be found outside of Italy.
  • Frizzante: Semi-sparkling (or “fizzy”) wines which have been stored on their lees in the bottle. These are considered to be the real representatives of region. These undergo a brief re-fermentation in the bottle during the spring, and are meant to be drunk in the summer and autumn following the vintage
  • Spumante: The most popular and widely produced style at 92% of total production, this is the fully sparkling style.

Styles of Prosecco Superiore – From Dry to Sweet

The majority of the wine produced here is in a dry (“brut”) style, even though the wines come across “fruity” due to their natural fruit flavors found in the Glera grape (the primary grape of these wines, and constitute at least 85% of the wine). It can be confusing at first, but here is how you can tell how dry or sweet a wine is by looking at the label.

  • Brut: 0–12 g/l RS (residual sugar)– The driest style, and most common, with up to 12 grams per liter of residual sugar after bottling (or up to a half gram of sugar per glass).
  • Extra Dry:12–17 g/l RS– Considered “off dry” with 12-17 grams of sugar per liter (or just over a half gram of sugar per glass).
  • Dry: 17–32 g/l RS– The sweetest style, with 17-32 grams of sugar per liter (or up to 1 gram of sugar per glass).
Food Pairing for Prosecco Superiore
  • With Brut being the most common and least sweet this is going to pair with the widest variety of food, from appetizers to main dishes. This is what we paired that Grilled Pork Chops with in this post. You can also pair with salads, seafood, or even light pasta dishes.
  • Extra Dry is going to have more dominant fruitiness and a hint of sweetness. These are also great as an aperitif, but also with rich sauces, cream based foods, or even flavorful meats like duck or game hens.
  • Dry is the least common, and one that will demonstrate the most fruit and sweetness. Most will pair this style with pastries or semi-sweet dessert dishes. But my favorite pairing for this, and what we’re doing below, is with spicy food!
Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp

I loooooove shrimp. It’s one of the seafood dishes we grill the most around here (next to salmon). It’s great as an appetizer or used in tacos or pasta.

Shrimp has a natural sweetness to it, making it great with a touch of heat to balance it out. But we like to go big with our flavors when it comes to shrimp.

This recipe calls for a spicy marinade. But don’t worry, it’s not over the top spicy! There’s lots of balancing flavors. We’ve got some sweet and citrus from the orange juice to balance out the spiciness of the sriracha. If sriracha isn’t your thing you can substitute your favorite hot sauce (but we don’t recommend leaving it out entirely, as it’s balanced out by sweeter elements.

After the marinade we’re going to give it a coating in our ultimate dry rub (which has a balance of umami and sweet flavors).

Everything is in balance here. And it’s going to be ridiculous with a glass of refreshing and slightly sweet Dry Prosecco Superiore.

The Spicy Shrimp Marinade

Place all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl or gallon size food bag, add the shrimp, mix together, and place in the refrigerator for a half hour (no more than 1 hour, as the acid from citrus can “cook” shrimp if left too long).

Don’t have sriracha? Use your favorite hot sauce, or be brave and add a tablespoon of chipotle in adobo sauce!

The Dry Rub

After the marinade time, remove the shrimp from the marinade (and discard the liquid). Skewer the shrimp onto pre-soaked wood skewers (or metal skewers; no need to soak metal ones). Then coat with the dry rub. This is going to give your shrimp even more flavor as the marinade caramelizes while grilling hot and fast. We use our Ultimate Dry Rub for this recipe (but feel free to use whatever you typically use for seafood or chicken).

How to Grill the Shrimp

Set up your grill for direct heat and place your shrimp over direct heat for up to 3 minutes per side. The ideal internal temperature for shrimp is 120 degrees F. If the shrimp constricts, that is the sign they are overcooked and can get rubbery.

Serve to guests on the skewers, or remove from the skewer and serve as a finger food.

If you’re nervous about the heat (and you shouldn’t be), you can serve with a cooling and refreshing simple creamy dipping sauce.

The idea is to create balance between the spicy flavors, the umami, and the sweet finished with the creamy coolness of the dipping sauce. The semi-sweet wine will bring everything together for an epic finale!  

Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp – The Recipe

Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp

Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp is the perfect party appetizer. The mild spiciness is tamed with a refreshing glass of Prosecco Superiore.

  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined (26-30 count)
For The Spicy Sriracha Marinade:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the rub:
  • ½ cup of the Ultimate Dry Rub, (or your favorite dry rub for seafood or poultry)
Creamy Dipping Sauce:
  • 1 cup Crème fraiche (sour cream works too)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or favorite spicy hot sauce)
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Tools/Equipment:
  • Wood Skewers (or metal)
  1. Soak wood skewers for at least 1 hours in water prior to grilling (good to do the night before in a plastic bag). If using metal skewers this step isn’t necessary.
  2. Prepare marinade by combining all ingredients in a bowl or plastic bag. Add shrimp to marinade and then refrigerate for 30 minutes, no more than an hour. (The acid from citrus can “cook” shrimp if left too long).
  3. Set grill for direct grilling.
  4. Remove shrimp from marinade and discard marinade. Skewer the shrimp (we like four shrimp to a skewer) and then apply dry rub to both sides of the shrimp.
  5. Place shrimp over direct heat for up to 3 minutes per side. The ideal internal temperature for shrimp is 120 degrees F. If the shrimp constrict, that is the sign they are overcooked and can get rubbery.
  6. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
  7. For the Creamy Dipping Sauce, combine all ingredients and serve in a ramekin.

Wine Pairing for Spicy Shrimp

I chose a Dry style of Prosecco Superiore for this because it has just enough sweetness and fruity flavors to balance out that hint of heat from the shrimp, while creating great balance. The fruitiness compliments the grilled shrimp, while bringing out some of that natural sweetness from the meat. The wine also acts as a fantastic palate cleanser between bites.

This is going to be a hit at your next party!

This post was sponsored by Consorzio di Tutela Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. As always, all opinions are my own and I only work with folks I love and support. And I will always have a warm place in my heart for the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore growing region.

The post Spicy Sriracha Grilled Shrimp – And Prosecco Superiore Wine Pairing appeared first on Vindulge.

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Another fantastic use for any leftover smoked brisket — Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!

(*UPDATE* — You can view us cooking up this combo of Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Smoked Tomato Bisque over on AM Northwest.) 

We get a lot of folk on social media who tease us whenever we publish a recipe for “leftover smoked brisket”.

“If you got leftover brisket it means it ain’t good brisket,” they like to joke. Haha (she said with her most unenthused voice)

The reality is when you’re passionate about something, and cook it a lot in order to perfect your craft, you’re gonna end up with leftovers.

And in our case, we own a BBQ catering company, and test and serve recipes for a living. So, while we test, we end up with leftovers. When we cater an event, or do a pop up, we sometimes have leftovers. And leftovers are among my favorite ingredients to work with.

Here at Casa Vindulge we’re can easily go from cooking a 6-8 lb brisket at home, but in the competitive barbecue world or at catering events, produce briskets of a larger scale (15lbs+). That means lots of practice. Practice also means trial, error, and… sometimes leftover brisket. You can find our go-to recipe for Smoked Brisket here.

Two weeks ago we smoked two 15 lb briskets (that’s 30 lbs of meat!!), and after giving nearly all our neighbors some brisket love, we still had leftovers. After making this crazy delicious Smoked Tomato Bisque the other day we discovered something was missing. What could be missing from a downright delicious tomato soup? A grilled cheese of course.

But this wasn’t just any grilled cheese. This was a smoked beef brisket grilled cheese made with leftover tender brisket, smoked cheddar and gruyere (or Comté) cheeses, melted to ooey gooey perfection.

Best Cheese for Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

We’ve discovered the best combination for this is a mix of shredded cheddar and shredded Comté (or gruyere). Comté and gruyere melt incredibly well, and are both fairly mild cheeses (so they won’t take away from the main attraction). Cheddar has great flavor and also melts well. The combo if the two is out of this world.

How to make a Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Start by warming up your leftover brisket. I like to do this in a pan on the stovetop, slowly. The juices from any fat will re-hydrate your meat if it’s been sitting in the fridge. If you’re dealing with dried out brisket and need to add a bit of moisture, I recommend adding about a tablespoon of your favorite BBQ sauce. But don’t go too heavy on the BBQ sauce. We’re just trying to add a little hydration, not overpower the meat with sauce.

Once your meat is warmed, transfer the meat to a plate, wipe out the pan, and get it nice and hot for cooking your sandwiches.

Lay out your bread and distribute the butter one side of both pieces. Turn the bread over and use the un-buttered side to build the sandwich. Layer with cheddar, load on the shredded brisket (be generous), and then top with the Gruyere (or Comté).

Place the other slice of bread on top.

Place sandwiches on the hot skillet (covered with a lid) and cook for 3-5 minutes per side, until the bread is golden, then flip. Cook other side until equally golden and crispy and the cheese is ooey gooey melted and you just can’t take the waiting anymore.

Cut in half. Feel free to enjoy with this Smoked Tomato Bisque for the ultimate soup and sandwich combination.

You have to try this sandwich! There are perfect pairings in this world — peanut butter and jelly, apple pie and ice cream, burgers and fries, and grilled cheese and tomato soup. This here is grilled cheese and tomato soup on steroids!

Smoked Beef Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

An incredible use for leftover brisket — Smoked Beef Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. And several other uses for leftover smoked brisket. 

  • ½ cup leftover smoked beef brisket, shredded or sliced
  • 2 slices of bread, cut ½ inch thick (sourdough or como loaf work well)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 thick slice smoked cheddar
  • 1 thick slice Gruyere or Comté cheese
  1. Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium heat (or warm up an electric panini press).
  2. Add the brisket to the skillet to warm up. Slowly warm up your brisket for 3-5 minutes. Once it’s warm, remove and set aside. Place pan back on the burner and warm up to medium heat. 

  3. Lay out your bread and distribute the butter one side of both pieces. Turn the bread over and use the un-buttered side to build the sandwich. On the inside layer of the bread layer the Dijon mustard to both sides. 

  4. Next layer with a slice of the cheddar, load on the shredded brisket, and then top with the Gruyere (or Comté). Place the other slice of bread on top (butter side facing out). 

  5. Place sandwiches on the skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes (covered), until the bread is golden, then flip. Cook other side (covered) until equally golden and crispy and the cheese is ooey gooey melted and you just can’t take the waiting anymore. Remove. 

  6. Cut in half and serve alongside this Smoked Tomato Bisque

Alternatively you can cook in a Panini press for 3-5 minutes. I am not cool enough to own a Panini press so I have to make due flipping my sandwiches the old fashioned way.

 

For our smoked brisket recipe, click here

Wine & Beer Pairing for Brisket Grilled Cheese

Well, since we followed this up to our recipe for Smoked Tomato Bisque, we paired it with the leftover Barbera. I was a bit surprised, and entirely delighted, how well the fruity and acidic wine went with the buttery, crusty, cheesy sandwich loaded with the tender brisket. Sans soup I think the sandwich would be fantastic with an oaked Chardonnay (bring on the buttery oaked wines. more butter da better), but I don’t recommend Chardonnay for the soup. Stick with a fruity acidic red wine if you make it with the soup (and I really hope you do).

Otherwise a nice Pilsner will do the trick! Light and refreshing and perfect way to cut through the richness of these sandwiches (and trust me, these sandwiches are rich!).

Want more leftover brisket recipes?

But first, here’s our Recipe for Smoked Brisket

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

For more recipes with wine pairing check out the Recipe Index.

* This post was originally published in October 2014, and updated in December of 2018 with new photos and tips. 

The post Smoked Brisket Grilled Cheese Sandwiches — Uses for leftover brisket appeared first on Vindulge.

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The next time you think of pork chops, elevate them to the next level by making this super easy, yet elegant, Wine Brown Butter Sauce. Pair it with a bottle of delicious Prosecco Superiore, and you’ve got yourself an incredible meal for date night or entertaining guests.

 

We’re very passionate about our bubbly around here. And ever since traveling to the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region of Northeast Italy, home of the best Prosecco, I’ve been preaching my love non-stop for the sparkling wines from this region.

And one of the things I love most about sparkling wine, and Prosecco Superiore in particular, is how well it pairs with a diverse variety of foods.

Sparkling wines are typically stereotyped into those strictly for celebrations or as an aperitif. But few people realize that when paired with food, sparkling wines are THE most versatile food wines around. Period.

You give me anything from a salad to a steak and I’ll find you a sparkling wine to pair. So I was beyond thrilled to partner up with one of my favorite sparkling regions on the planet to pair some of our favorite grilled foods (meat included!) with the versatile wines from this region. And to start, we’re grilling some pork chops.

But first, what’s the difference between Prosecco and Prosecco Superiore DOCG?

Simply put, Prosecco often gets lumped into one category — fresh, fruity, and inexpensive sparkling wine made throughout the Veneto region of Italy. But if you’re willing to look a little deeper, there’s so much more to Prosecco than it gets credit for.

Prosecco Superiore comes specifically from the hilly area of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, which includes 15 little towns located at the heart of the Veneto region, home of the highest quality DOCG wines of the region.

Why does this matter?

Because these wines are different than their better known counterparts, and are incredibly high quality for the price (you can find great examples from around $15-$25!). They are usually lower in sugar, so they don’t come across so sweet. Instead you get a great balance of fruit and floral flavors with fine, elegant bubbles.

And most of them are made by smaller, family-operated winemakers, with more attention given to the details. Essentially, you’re getting the highest quality product possible from the grapes of this stunning region.

And best of all, these wines are great with foods of all kinds.

We’ll go into more detail about what makes these wines unique in our next pairing post, but until then you can click here to learn more about the Conegliano Valdobbiadene region, where these wines are produced.

Now let’s talk Grilled Pork Chops with Wine Brown Butter Sauce

There are a million pairing options for Prosecco Superiore, but one of my favorite things to debunk is the idea of pairing sparkling wine with meat. Most folks will default to red wine or a rich white wine for a meat pairing (especially grilled meat). But sparkling, and Prosecco Superiore in particular, have both the richness and acidity to handle so many cuts of meat. Pork chops have a great natural sweetness to them, and when grilled take on a fantastic smoky char. The brown butter sauce we use is finished off with some of the Prosecco Superiore giving it a depth of flavor and acidity to brighten up the grilled meat and bring everything together.

Basically this pairing was made for Prosecco Superiore!

How to pick out the best pork chops for this recipe?

Since we’re grilling this, and you want it to cook evenly, you want thick chops. I mean like 1 ½ – 2 inches thick. Having thicker chops helps prevent overcooking your pork. You can go bone-in or boneless.

Next we’re going to season it with our herbed dry rub.  This is going to add great flavor to that crust once we grill it.

How to Grill Pork Chops

We typically love to do a reverse sear on our pork chops, like this recipe. But for the wine we don’t want too much smoky flavor (this time). So we’re sticking to grilling hot and fast.

If you don’t have a grill you can mimic these same instructions over a searing hot cast iron pan on your stovetop.

Grill over direct heat on both sides for approximately 8 minutes per side, until internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. After you pull the pork it will continue cooking another 5 degrees. The exact length of time will ultimately depend on the thickness of your pork chops. If you have too much flame under the pork, then set up the grill for direct and indirect cooking so you can move the pork chops over indirect heat.

Once they are finished, move to your brown butter sauce while the pork chops rest for a few minutes.

How to make the Wine Brown Butter Sauce

You can do this on a cast iron pan directly on your grill, or on the stovetop. Your choice. The grill will be a bit trickier to just make sure you don’t burn the butter.

Start by melting the butter in a pan (use a cast iron skillet if doing this directly on your grill). Let the butter slowly simmer for six minutes, until you start to see the butter start to turn a darker color. Then add your chopped shallots, garlic, sage, and salt. Let it mix until the vegetables soften and the sage starts to fry (about two minutes). Then pour in the wine and let it simmer one more minute. That’s it! So simple and it adds incredible flavor to your pork chops. Total time is about 9 minutes.

The last thing you need to do is to be sure to pour yourself a glass of Prosecco Superiore to pair with this simple, yet elegant dish to find out for yourself how great sparkling wines from this region can pair with grilled meat!

 THE VIDEO

Grilled Pork Chops with Wine Brown Butter Sauce

Grilled Pork Chops with an elegant and easy Wine Brown Butter Sauce. Elevate your next pork chop night with this delicious, yet simple, recipe. Pair with a glass of Prosecco Superiore! 

For the Pork Chops:
  • 2 thick cut pork chops, at least 1 ½ – 2 inches thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage
For the Prosecco Brown Butter Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 2 large fresh sage leaves, julienned
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup Prosecco Superiore (or other white wine)
  1. Preheat your grill for direct/indirect cooking.
  2. Mix the salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and sage in a bowl for the dry rub.
  3. Coat pork chops with olive oil and then liberally apply your dry rub to all sides. Like a lot of flavor? Consider doubling the dry rub ingredients. You can season the day before.

  4. Place pork chops on grill over direct heat for 6-8 minutes. You are looking for a good sear or grill marks. Avoid flame ups by keeping the lid covered on your grill. Flip the chops for another 6-8 minutes (again place lid on the grill). If you find your grill flaming too much, then move the chops to indirect heat. Remove from grill when internal temperature (IT) of the pork chops is 140 degrees F. Let rest while you make brown butter sauce.

  5. For sauce, over medium-high heat add butter to a cast iron pan. Let simmer for about six minutes, and then add salt, shallots, garlic, sage, and thyme for another two minutes. Finally add the wine to finish for one minute and remove from heat.

  6. Slice the pork chops and then cover with sauce. Serve with your favorite side. We love parsnip puree. Pair with the Prosecco Superiore DOCG!

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

This post was sponsored by Consorzio di Tutela Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG. As always, all opinions are my own and I only work with folks I love and support. And I will always have a warm place in my heart for the Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore growing region.

The post Grilled Pork Chops with Wine Brown Butter Sauce and Prosecco Superiore wine pairing appeared first on Vindulge.

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