25 August 2006

Combinations #5: Roundup

Here's the roundup for my first hosting of the Combinations challenge. It's always fun coming up with a recipe for a dinner party, but it's a whole different ballgame coming up with something for a lot of people you've never met to cook. I hope that all of you who participated were able to find ingredients or substitutes easily, and that you enjoyed preparing and eating the meal. I'm delighted to see the range of wines selected for this recipe.

Without further ado, here's the combinations chosen for Grilled Mint Julep Lamb Chops and Slow Cooked Green Beans:

A little lower on this page you can see my entry, using the 2003 Rock Rabbit Syrah. I made this dinner the same day I posted the challenge--just wanted to make sure everything was as good as it sounded in my head.

The first outside entry came in from Mickey at Kitchen Inferno, who opened a bottle of Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir from Oregon. I recently had a bottle from the Burgundy side of that family, and will have to give this a try.

Next up came a truly southern post via Australian blogger Edward at Wino Sapien. Edward selected the 1994 Black Label Coonawarra Cabernet. The lamb I used in my dish came from Australia, so it all comes full circle.

The final contribution came by way of the Contributions founder, Andrew of Spittoon. He and I were thinking alike, and he used a Syrah/Shiraz, in this case the 2005 Ravenswood Lane Off The Leash Red Max from Australia. Sorry it didn't work out as well for you! On a side note, I've been in several bars (and a few homes) where a spittoon was in use, though not for wine... In the South and West, a spittoon or cuspidor is used for spitting while chewing tobacco, one vice of which I've never partaken. Woe unto he who accidentally knocks over the spittoon on his way out of the bar.

Thanks to all of the participants, and I hope we meet again in a future Combinations challenge.


Edward said...


Thanks for hosting and the write up. I will use the recipe for the sauce in particular in future, as it is lovely with all manner of grilled meats.

Benito said...


Thanks for the contribution, mate!

The sauce for this challenge is a variation on this recipe, which is really quite good. To simplify it for international recipes, it's just:

1 part peach or apricot jelly
2 parts Bourbon or other whiskey
4 parts Dijon mustard

I've used this on grilled shrimp, grilled leg of lamb (one of my favorites), and roasted pork tenderloin. It's dead simple, everyone loves it, and the better the ingredients, the better the sauce. Given my geographical location I can generally get farm-made peach jelly and decent Kentucky Bourbon. Though it might be easier to use Jack Daniels, which has a fairly wide distribution, and as a Tennessee boy I certainly approve.

Andrew said...

Thanks for hosting and selecting a great recipe - certainly going to keep the details to hand.

If anyone would like to host Combinations in the future please drop me an email.

Several years ago now when I worked in a wine shop I went to a gathering of shop managers for a tasting. Several spittoons scattered around the floor. During the tasting one guy I knew quite well went for a close up spit... as he returned to his seat noticed he had dunked his tie about an inch into the rather full bucket (white shirt obviously) and as the cries of anguish reverberated managed to knock another guy carefully carrying another bucket to the loo to be emptied. Said bucket went flying over first guys seat, coat and bags.

Personally I found the whole event hilarious...

Benito said...


Years ago I heard legend of a raucous wine society located around here. One of their traditions at meetings involved the wearing of long white t-shirts. Any time you spilled wine on yourself (or someone spilled wine on you), you had to note the wine and date the stain in permanent marker on the shirt.

I'm told the elders of this society looked positively filthy in their ceremonial garb. Regular washing of the t-shirts was encouraged but not any method that would remove the stains or ink.