What to eat with this month's ByTheBox

What to eat with this month's ByTheBox

Domaine de la Pepiere, Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine sur lie 2021 with Snapper Crudo, Apple & Oyster Cream

This Crudo dish is a cracker. If you like raw fish, you ought to give this a go. The creaminess of the oyster cream pairs perfectly with the tartness of the apple and the delicate fish. Sub in kingfish or trevally if you prefer. This Muscadet brings oyster shell-like minerality and heaps citrusy freshness, offering much better value than alternatives like Chablis. 

500g snapper (skinless and boneless)
30 ml fresh lemon juice
30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
6 fresh oysters, shucked, with their liquor
100 ml heavy cream
1 small shallot, finely minced
1 granny smith apple cut into matchsticks
fresh chives, finely chopped, for garnish

To prepare, begin by slicing the snapper fillet into thin 1cm pieces and arranging them on a chilled serving platter. In a small bowl, create the marinade by combining fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle this marinade over the snapper slices, coating them evenly, and let them marinate for 5 minutes.

For the oyster element, blend shucked oysters (with their liquor), heavy cream, and minced shallot until smooth. Adjust the consistency as desired and season to taste.

Assemble the dish by placing a dollop of the oyster cream beside the snapper slices. Top with apple matchsticks and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Finish with a sprinkle of fresh chives.

Marathon Downs Over The Fence Rosé Pet Nat 2022 with Pork Katsu Sando

Breaded and fried pork in between two pieces of white bread is the perfect snack to sit alongside this Pet Nat from Marathon Downs. Make sure you get the regular run in mill sliced white bread for this and it's worth it if you can get your hands on Tonkatsu sauce. You could make it, but that’s for another day. The fried, savoury nature of this Sando, with a hint of sweetness, benefits from the cleansing, bright nature of the Pet Nat to cut through it all. 

4 boneless pork cutlets
Sea salt
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly whisked
Vegetable oil for frying
4 slices thick white bread (crusts removed)
Softened butter
Japanese tonkatsu sauce (you can get this from any specialty asian supermarket)
1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage, plus extra for serving
Hot mustard (optional)

Season both sides of the pork cutlets with sea salt and let them sit for 15 minutes until the salt dissolves. Next, bread your pork with flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs - in that order! Heat a good glug of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Fry the pork cutlets for approximately 5 - 7 minutes, turning once halfway through, until they’re golden brown. Drain them on paper towels and sprinkle flaky sea salt. Let them rest for at least 5 minutes. 

Butter each slice of bread and generously spread tonkatsu sauce over one slice. Layer shredded cabbage on top, followed by a pork cutlet. Drizzle more sauce over the cutlet and add another cutlet. Spread more tonkatsu sauce on the final bread slice and place it on top. Cut each sandwich into thirds. Serve with hot mustard.

Alta Mora Etna Bianco 2018 with Ricotta dumplings with Spring Asparagus & Lemon

Malfatti as they are known in Italy and traditionally made out of spinach and ricotta, bound together with egg and flour. There’s a harmony between the texture of the ricotta and the creaminess of the wine. And the notes of lemon are mirrored in both.

2 cups whole-milk ricotta
2 large eggs
Flaky Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 large leek, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces (remove woody ends)
¼ cup parsley or mint leaves (for garnish)
Parmesan for garnish 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Gently mix in the flour until just combined (avoid overmixing to prevent tough dumplings). Heat butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and slightly browned, about 5-8 minutes. Add asparagus and peas to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook until asparagus is just tender  (2 to 4 minutes). Remove from heat.Drop heaping spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture into the boiling water. Cook until the dumplings rise to the surface and become light and pillowy (4 - 5 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked dumplings to the skillet with the vegetables. Toss gently over medium heat to coat the dumplings in the buttery sauce. Grate the zest of a lemon over the top and transfer the dish to a serving bowl or platter. Top with parsley or mint leaves, parmesan, and an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Carrick Billet Doux Pinot Noir 2020 with Eggplant Parmigiana 

It doesn’t get more comforting and delicious than Eggplant Parmigiana. There’s a few steps to get through but the result is worth it. Meal prep for the week or make for a large group and serve alongside a green salad. Billet Doux is a Pinot with density and richness so the heartiness of a tomato based dish like this is a match made in heaven.

2 large eggplants
Salt, for sweating the eggplants
Olive oil, for frying
800g canned crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
250g mozzarella, grated or shredded
100g Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Slice and sweat eggplants, then rinse and pat dry. Coat eggplant slices in flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs mixture. Fry slices until golden brown, then drain on paper towels. Prepare tomato sauce by simmering crushed tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Assemble layers in a baking dish: tomato sauce, eggplant slices, mozzarella, Parmesan, and basil. Repeat. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbling. Garnish with fresh basil, slice, and serve. 

Unico Zelo Mallee Gambit Nero d'Avola 2021 with Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Thighs

The fruit forward nature of the Nero d’Avola screams for something sticky, sweet and delicious to match. We went straight to pomegranate as it’s got sweetness and it’s tart to balance out that sweetness. Super simple to make, you’ll be addicted to using pomegranate molasses in everything. 

8 free-range skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, plus extra for drizzling
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon cumin 
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
A bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, mint, and coriander, finely chopped
1 cup of pomegranate seeds

In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken thighs, crushed garlic, pomegranate molasses, lemon slices, red onions, cumin, thyme, olive oil, 1½ teaspoons of fine salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and set aside to marinate for at least 2 hours. If you have more time, you can refrigerate the mixture for even longer (refer to the Make Ahead note). Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Transfer the marinated chicken and all its contents to a shallow roasting tin. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken turns sticky and caramelised. In a bowl, combine the freshly chopped herbs and pomegranate seeds. Once the chicken is done, you can drizzle it with a little more pomegranate molasses if desired (optional). Then, scatter the chicken with the mixture of herbs and pomegranate seeds.

Finca Bacara Time Waits For No One Monastrell 2019 with Moroccan Lamb stew

This Monastrell calls for a hearty stew and we’ve opted for the lamb kind. With it’s wild herb aromatics and savoury undertones the wine melds into stew, with dry tannin to chew through the lamb.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 kg diced lamb shoulder
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Turmeric 
1/2 large or 1 small preserved lemon, finely chopped (skin only)
1 tablespoon tomato purée
600 ml hot beef stock or lamb stock
1 tablespoon honey
Zest of 1 lemon, with a squeeze of its juice
80g pitted Kalamata olives
A handful of chopped mint, coriander, or parsley (or a combination)
Couscous or rice

Set your oven to 150 degrees. In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil and brown the diced lamb shoulder in batches. As you finish each batch, transfer it to the slow cooker. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and the sliced onions. Cook them until they become soft and translucent, which should take about 8-10 minutes. Now, introduce the crushed garlic and chopped/grated ginger, cooking and stirring for an additional 1-2 minutes. Then, add the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, preserved lemon (skin only), and tomato purée. Warm this mixture through before transferring it to the cast iron pot. To capture every bit of flavour, swirl some water around the pan and pour it into the slow cooker along with the hot beef or lamb stock. Season with salt and pepper, cover, and cook for a gentle 6-8 hours. When the lamb is tender and easy to pull apart, stir in the honey, lemon zest, and Kalamata olives, and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Finally, garnish your aromatic stew with a generous sprinkle of chopped mint, coriander, or parsley, or a mixture and serve it alongside couscous or rice.