Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hippety: Frog Legs Pinot Blanc

I drink to the general joy of the whole table.
-- William Shakespeare

As promised, today we'll have two, two, two posts from Adventures in Wine Cookery. Moreover, we'll have a Theme Ingredient... Frog Legs!
Frog Legs Pinot Blanc

Norbert C. Mirassou, Mirassou Vineyards, San Jose

As far as we know, this is an original recipe.

1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 pairs frozen frog legs (large)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 cup California Pinot BLanc or other white table wine

Preheat electric skillet to 320°; add butter and garlic. When butter is melted, add frog legs. Cover and cook at 320° with vent open for 10 minutes. Sprinkle parsley over frog legs; add wine. Recover pan, with vent closed, and lower heat to 280°; cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Place frog legs in serving dish and pour over remaining pan juices. Serve with rice, squash cooked with mushrooms and tomatoes, and heart of lettuce salad.

My choice of wine to accompany this dish: California Pinot Blanc

Mirassou claims to have the oldest wine family in California, dating back to 1854. Norbert and his brother Edmund ran the winery together several generations in, and "Mr. Norb" is credited with developing the first overhead sprinklers for vine irrigation. Why was that extra super duper important? Well, seems that if you wanted to grow vines in Monterrey, you needed better irrigation, and you really, really wanted to be able to grow vines in Monterrey, because Monterrey was Phylloxera-free.

Thank you, Mr. Norb! Also, thanks for championing Pinot Blanc, in this recipe and in the state. I really recommend following the link to the oral history I linked to above; after the obituaries for both brothers, there's a transcript of an interview with them, talking about their lives, work, etc. I can't even begin to sum it all up for you (beyond, "mmm, wine!"). One thing that stands out for me: talking about when "the market broke." Not "crashed"...broke. Also, ever wonder how delicate produce got from California to New York in the 20s? You can find out...

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