Saint Valentine was a bishop and martyr of the church who was put to death in Rome for his beliefs by Claudius II on February 24, 270AD. He was beaten with clubs, stoned, and then beheaded. Not exactly the Valentine’s Day we look at through rose-colored glasses and honor with chocolates and champagne. Nevertheless we (men) have certain obligations and expectations during this “Hallmark Holiday” that needs to be fulfilled. Gentlemen, I’m here to lend a helping hand.
I will offer two keys to winning her heart, or at least getting her drunk, this Valentine’s Day: white wine and Champagne.
Let us delve first into the Xarel-lo (sah-rello) grape. Albet i Noya is Spain’s leading organic wine producer and the maker of this beautifully light and refreshing Xarel-lo. This is a young wine meant to be drunk within two years of bottling. To draw a better taste profile I would say it falls between a Pinot Grigio and a Sauvignon Blanc. The Xarel-lo grape is mainly used and blended to make the Spanish sparkling wine called Cava, which we absolutely love at my wine store. However, you will see that when made on its own, it can stand up to any crisp light-bodied white wine on the market at our price of $10.99. This varietal is exactly what I strive to find for my customers. Something different that doesn’t break the bank that will compliment light, healthy meals.
Another fantastic option for wine is to go the champagne route. Personally I would suggest the Duval-Leroy “Paris” bottle which has the Paris skyline painted on the bottle by famed artist Leroy Neiman. Not only is the bottle stunning, but the champagne inside is delicious with toast, ginger, apricot, and mineral notes it’s no wonder why Wine Spectator gave it 91 points, and at $44.99 you can’t go wrong. If you don’t believe me, stop and taste them at the store this Friday and Saturday from noon-8 p.m.
All right guys, a quick aside here. Don’t forget to give a card. If you give her nothing else a card will somewhat save you from a cold night on the couch. I know that card stores are unexplored territories for men, so try your local CVS or Walgreens. Do not under any circumstances buy all of your gifts for Valentine’s Day at the aforementioned drugstores. Speaking from experience, it never goes over well, get the card and get the hell out!
Here are the only acceptable gift options for this so called “holiday.” Keep these pearls of wisdom in your wallet at all times. Chocolate is acceptable, but not from the drugstore! Wine and champagne are absolutely acceptable gifts because you get to enjoy it too, so it’s kind of like a gift to you, because damn it…you deserve it. Dinner is also a very acceptable option because like wine you get to muscle–in on the gift. Flowers are a great go-to gift in a pinch, even if you have to buy them at the gas station on your way home. The only problem with flowers is that you don’t get to share in the enjoyment like with wine and dinner, so keep that in mind. That’s it. Those are the only acceptable gifts for Valentines Day.
If you deliver the goods on this holiday you’ll keep from ending up like dearly departed Saint Valentine. If anyone has any questions don’t hesitate to stop by and discuss.
Now we are ready for Chef Repp’s recipe offering this week which is just off the charts when it comes freshness and flavor. In Protest to Valentine’s Day Chef Repp has provided portions for his recipe to serve one person. Just multiply the recipe by the number of people that are eating.
SAMBAL SHRIMP PASTA serves 1 person!
I hate Valentines Day
- 1Tbls canola oil
- 2 oz COOKING SHERRY
- 2 Tsp SRIACHA SAUCE
- 1 Tbl MINCED GARLIC
- 1 Tbl MINCED SHALLOTS
- ¼ Cup THAI BASIL
- 8 oz CHICKEN STOCK MIX
- 1 LIME JUICED
- ¼ Cup PARMESAN CHEESE
- ¼ Cup SCALLIONS
- ¼ Cup CILANTRO Chopped
- ¼ Cup BUTTER Diced
- Large Pinch of KOSHER SALT
- 1/3 lb of LINGUINI COOKED IN HEAVILY SALTED WATER
- 10 EACH 16/20 SHRIMP SHELLED COMPLETELY
Hot Saute pan season and sauté the shrimp in the canola oil until cooked about half way. Remove and reserve.
Add a little more canola oil and add the garlic and shallots and sauté until translucent
Add the sherry and chicken stock and reduce by 1/3
Add the lime juice, a large pinch of salt, the sriracha sauce, thai basil , scallions, cilantro
Slowly whisk in the butter and emulsify
Add the shrimp and pasta and cooked until the shrimp are cooked through
Add the parmesan cheese and mix well
If the sauce is to thick add a little more chicken stock to thin it down