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Thanksgiving Wine & Food Pairing

Thanksgiving Wine & Food Pairing

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Posted on November 19, 2013

Leek, Bacon & Apple Bread PuddingPaired withEarly Mountain Vineyards 2012 Malbec Merlot RosDuring this time of year, with Thanksgiving looming, Rosis our "go to" wine for pairing with holiday meals. Varying styles make it extremely versatile, and in the case of our 2012 vintage, this style was made for a food pairing. Its hue is bright pink, nearly iridescent in color, and its profile is dry and acidic. One sip and you may think you've bitten into the juicy rind of a watermelon. Pair it with a hearty dish like this savory take on "bread pudding" and your senses will be wowed by this non-traditional pair!Baking the apples help to tone down the wine's (and the apple's) tartness, while the salty pork accents the Ross fruity side. The result: a hearty pair, albeit with crisp and refreshing finish.

Chef Jenn's Leek, Bacon & Apple Bread Pudding
2 cups Leeks (white and light green part only), washed and cut into inch slices
1 lb bacon, sliced into small strips
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
2 granny smith apples, small diced
12 cups of crustless brioche bread cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
3 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded gruyere
Preheat the oven to 350
Slice the leeks in half lengthwise and submerge under water to release any dirt. Drain, dry and cut into inch slices.
Place a large sautpan or wide pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Allow the bacon to crisp, stirring as needed for up to 10 minutes. Add the butter, garlic and leeks. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and allow the leeks to slowly release liquid, break down and become soft, about 30 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes. Add the apples and cook for an additional 5 minutes. While the leeks are cooking, spread the brioche cubes on a sheet pan and toast for 15-20 minutes until dry, not browned.
Combine the bread, leek mixture, thyme and cup of the cheese in a bowl. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, heavy cream, nutmeg, sea salt & pepper. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Add the bread mixture, then cover with the milk and egg mixture. Let soak for about 15 minutes. Top with the remaining cup of cheese and a touch of sea salt. Bake for 1 hours or until the pudding feels set and the top is brown and bubbling.