Columns by John

John Brown has been a wine and food columnist in West Virginia since the 1980’s. His regular columns appear in the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail under the title Vines & Vittles and in The State Journal - a statewide business weekly

My workout regimen: Exercising restraint is not an option

My workout regimen: Exercising restraint is not an option

Since my days
as a long distance runner are in the rear view mirror, I have had to find a suitable aerobic exercise regimen to forestall the dirigible-like expansion of my midsection.  I am fighting the inevitable losing battle. However,  I am persistent and so I work out feverishly on exercise equipment, sweating profusely so that I can rationalize a lifestyle that only Orson Welles might have considered moderate.
 I feel compelled to mention this because, as you can probably guess, I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about food and wine.  And today, I am going to provide you with a recipe that is so delicious you won’t mind working out just so you can justify having it on a regular basis.             
 Someone once said that necessity is the mother of invention and so, as I rummaged around in the pantry and refrigerator looking for culinary inspiration, I stumbled upon a few ingredients and came up with a delicious meal idea.  I call it Smoky Salmon Pasta.    
The shopping list:
One red bell pepperOne-half cup of chopped cilantro
One clove of chopped garlic
Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
ne chopped jalapeno pepper
ne-half cup dry white wine
ne-quarter cup of Half-and-Half
One cup of chicken broth
Oone-quarter pound of smoked salmon
One pound of farfalle pasta (bow-ties);
(Salmon Note) You may use any smoked salmon that is readily available, but I prefer to get mine from Joe’s Fish Market in Charleston (304-342-7827). The good folks at Joe’s brine and then “cold smoke" their salmon over apple wood and it is fabulous. It’s also great as an appetizer with a good pinot noir, such as the 2006 Evesham Wood from Oregon. 
Preparing the meal: 
1. Put a fork in the red pepper and roast it over the burner on the stove turning it until the skin begins to blacken. Place the pepper in a small paper bag and allow to sit for about 20 minutes. Then peel it, discard the seeds and chop into half inch pieces.

2. In a large sauté pan, place olive oil, jalapeno and garlic and lightly cook until the veggies are soft. Then add the chicken broth white wine and cook on moderate heat until liquid is reduced by one-third. Remove the pan from the burner and add the red pepper and salmon.

3. Now boil the farfalle in salted water until al dente (about 10 minutes). Place the sauté pan back on the burner, add the pasta, the half and half, season with salt and pepper and toss all ingredients. Now add the cilantro and serve.

Wine Recommendations:
This meal needs a full-bodied white wine. I love it with the Falcor Chardonnay which is a rich, oaky mouthful of wine that marries nicely with the spicy, smoky flavors of the dish. You might also try the L’Ecole No. 41 Semillon from Washington  State which is ripe and round with good balancing acidity.
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