Good Morning, everyone! We figured that it would be fun to somehow honor the Olympics in this post and racked our brains trying to think up a fabulous Russian menu. Well... we really couldn't find anything we liked, so we changed our criteria and made a menu to honor the Top 3 Medalists. Well... the medal count of course had to change that day, but we made it work. The medal count in the end was: USA, Russia, Canada. However, the night before Norway/Netherlands were tied for the #3 spot. So we compromised... you'll see:
Cocktail - Maple Syrup Old Fashioned
Since Canada kind of snuck up on us last minute, we turned it into our cocktail. Canadian whiskey, maple syrup, lemon juice, dash of bitters! Classic cocktail meant for the cold weather!
Appetizer - Pierogi Ruskie
Yes, pierogis are traditionally Polish. However, when we googled Russian recipes, they did show up multiple times. And we like them, so judgement call - it's Russian. They are rather labor intensive, but such awesome comfort food. Make them, boil them for about 2 minutes (until they float), and they saute up in some butter and top with caramelized onions! (Side note - I wonder if you could use wonton wrappers and make your own that way and save some time??)
Appetizer Wine - 2012 Cloud Break Chardonnay
This wine costs under $7. Yes. Seriously. However, I've only found it at our local "big box wine retailer" Total Wine. Full bodied with lots of butter, apple, and oak - this is a great everyday drinking wine!
Entree - Root Beer Glazed Pork Chops over Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions
Don't ask why we picked this as our representation of America. It was just a stockpiled recipe that looked awesome! First and foremost - let that root beer glaze reduce! It will take at least an hour. Make it the first thing you start when you get into the kitchen! We grilled the pork chops for ease and the caramelized onions were made in a large batch so we could use them for the appetizer as well. The bourbon sweet potatoes are amazing - but use your judgement. We didn't use as much sugar or cream, just kind of added to taste. This meal was delicious! I don't even know how to explain that root beer glaze, but it was insane. It was almost like a thick balsamic reduction but without the tartness. If you're looking to jazz up a pork chop - this is the way to go!
Entree Wine - Trumpeter Malbec Syrah
As you can tell from the label, this bad boy has been hanging out for a while in the wine fridge. Unfortunately, I don't have a year for you - but we don't discriminate. This was a fantastic pairing for the pork chop! Berries, chocolate, and tobacco were on the tongue with there were sweeter tannins and a pleasant bit of oak. Smooth but structured - this was a great wine to hold up to the pork chop but not overpower it!
Dessert - Something Dutch
Okay, this is a recipe that John used to make a lot as a kid, but couldn't think of the actual name. The first picture is the egg-based liqueur (Advocaat). I know what you're thinking, but don't worry. Basically - you soak raisins in rum overnight. Then you add the egg liqueur and put into a crepe. We topped with some whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts. Do not serve this to children as the Advocaat has some serious bite to it. However it is delicious and works so well with the rum soaked raisins. But trust me, no need for an aperitif!
So there you go - our ode to the Olympics!