Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Truffle Macaroni and Cheese Paired with 2008 Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Wine on the Dock 1

Sorry friends, I have no photography for this post (other than the token photo above).  Thankfully I have good reason for this lapse, and I have a bit of compensation for you; a multiple pairing discussion.  All this is a result of last night’s monthly gathering of friends (which actually happens about every second or third month) for a wine tasting.

So here is a little history.  This group started several years ago with a very simple structure.  Each couple brings a white and a red wine, and an hors d’oeuvre.  The host, which rotates among the group, is always at liberty to add further instructions such as “only Washington State wines,” or “only Old World wines.”  Over the last few gatherings we have imposed a new standing guideline – pair your hors d’oeuvre with one of the wines you bring.

This was a great move, and with each event, the pairings are getting more exciting.  Chef Sue and I could not agree on our hors d’oeuvre, so we each made one.  Honestly, we did not work too hard on agreeing – we both wanted to cook.  I would tell you more about Chef Sue’s pairing, but I can’t remember the wine she selected.  I can tell you this; she prepared superstar green chile tamales (with a very pleasant bit of heat) paired with a sweet German wine (not a Riesling).  The heat and the sweet were a very pleasant pairing.

I took a similar approach and prepared cream cheese and bacon stuffed green poblano peppers paired with a 2008 Wente Riverbank Riesling.  The poblanos are mild, but when combined with the cumin, and the richness of the cream cheese and bacon, I needed a moderate sweetness and equally moderate acidity to form a complimentary pair.  The 2008 Wente Riverbank Riesling worked exceptionally well.  This Riesling is not overly sweet, displays delightful apple flavors, and has a well balanced acidity that make it a versatile wine.

I was very pleased with my handy work, but was quickly humbled by the pairing offered by good friends Kelvin and Leya.  As soon as they walked in the house, and before I saw what was in the pan, I was already having a Pavlovian response to the aroma of truffle.  And it soon got even better.  Kelvin described their pairing while I impatiently waited for him to stop talking and get to the good stuff.  It was worth the wait.  The 2008 Pahlmeyer was a spiritual experience with full HD/3D visions of angels.  And the truffle macaroni and cheese lived up to the aromas that left me in a olfactory stupor just moments earlier.  And the pairing was Olympic caliber.  I am negotiating with Kelvin and Leya for release of the recipe and will be sure to share it once they relent.

For now, here is the recipe I constructed for cream cheese and bacon stuffed green poblano peppers.


  • 12 poblano peppers
  • 12 strips of bacon
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds and ribs then rinse.  Place open half down and allow to drain/dry while you prepare the cream cheese filling.
  3. Mix together all the filling ingredients.  Voilà!
  4. Pack the filling into the peppers.  Voilà!
  5. Poblano peppers should be roughly about 1/2 bacon strip in length (yes, you can even measure with bacon!).  Cut the bacon in half laterally and gently, with all appropriate respect, place a piece of bacon over each pepper half.
  6. Place on a sheet pan and send to the over for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, allow to cool for about 5 minutes and serve.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


1 comment:

  1. As the one scraping the last macaronis out of the pan, I can attest to the yumminess that was the Truffle Mac 'n Cheese.