22 January 2007

Combinations #9: Paprika and Chorizo Baked Eggs

Andrew wrote to remind me of the latest Combinations challenge: Paprika and Chorizo Baked Eggs. For newer readers, this is a game in which one person posts a recipe, and the participants have to cook it and choose a wine to pair with the dish. Andrew makes mention of sparkling wines as a traditional accompaniment for breakfast-style egg dishes, but as I enjoy a good omelet as a quick and tasty dinner, I've got a little experience here.

As for the recipe, I made a few changes and substitutions. I don't have any small ovenproof containers similar to what was described, nor was I feeding many people, so I simply cut everything in half, made conversions from metric, and cooked the whole thing in my smallest Pyrex dish. I felt some canned chipotles in adobo would go better with the chorizo than fresh red pepper, and made some additional seasoning changes to pump up the heat. ½ teaspoon of Tabasco for four people? I've splashed more than that in my eye while punching up a bowl of soup.

And the wine? My first impulse was to go with a Spanish white, like an Albariño. But while at the wine shop I noted the 2003 Serengeti Pinotage from the Swartzland region of South Africa, about $11. Curiously, the Serengeti is located much father north in Tanzania, though the crash of rhinoceroses pictured on the label are native to parts of South Africa. Pinotage is that odd South African grape that was crossed from Cinsault and Pinot Noir. Some people love it, some hate it. The argument has gone on for a while. I fall into the first category, and felt that it would be a more acceptable match for the strong flavors involved. Some vegetal aromas and flavors, just a touch of that characteristic Pinotage wood ash. Medium tannins, long finish where bright cherry flavors can be appreciated, particularly after some breathing. There's a few bitter notes along the way, but those are quickly subdued by a pairing with food.

When looking at this, I was aiming primarily at the chorizo as the major flavor component of the dish (and Lord knows, I love chorizo--fresh, cooked, smoked). By that yardstick, the Pinotage and sausage matched exceptionally well. Everything together is perhaps better suited to late-night bachelor cravings, but the dish on its own would be ideal for breakfast or brunch. Just a word of caution: if you make it like I did, it will be quite hot.


Andrew said...

Now that is an interesting choice of wine; I would never have considered a Pinotage. It might have gone well with my take on the recipe too, although I was going along the 'local dish-local wine' route.

pmjones said...

Re: Tabasco and "I've splashed more than that in my eye while punching up a bowl of soup." -- Ow ow ow ow ow!

fredric koeppel said...

V. interesting post. The Tabasco line is priceless. I would have gone (as you mentioned earlier) with a non-vintage brut champagne, which is what i do with christmas breakfast -- eggs, country ham, grits, red-eye gravy and biscuits -- but the chorizo element adds a dimension that demands attention. Pinotage takes some getting used to.

Benito said...

To be perfectly honest my favorite beverage with breakfast is tomato juice or a can of V8. But if I'm having breakfast items for dinner, I'll have a glass of whatever's on hand. Lighter fare goes better with something white and refreshing, while I think that heartier items benefit from a red. I tend to make my omelets with lots of fresh herbs, strong cheese, sometimes salsa, and whatever leftover cooked meat happens to be in the fridge. Maybe a garlic-Tabasco savory waffle on the side. That often requires a more aggressive pairing.

fredric koeppel said...

whoa, I want one of those savory garlic waffles right now!
good photo too; i have to get a better camera.

Diablito said...

Thanks for the tip. I made some scrambled eggs with Chorizo, onions, some Petite Basque cheese and paired it with a 2004 MAN Vintners Pinotage. It was a lovely pairing. Thanks again!