For Superbowl Sunday we were looking for a nice local late harvest something or other to serve with our cheese and dessert course. I had read about McCrea Cellars releasing a Late Harvest Viognier that I was unable to get my paws on.
So, as soon as I found out about their Late Harvest Roussanne I emailed the winery to find out about where to buy it in my neighborhood.
Susan Neel responded to my email and pointed me to a few local vendors that had purchased the small release wine. I picked up a bottle at Metropolitan Market in Sandpoint and emailed the winery to thank MS. Neel and ask for a pairing recommendation for the wine.
These pears were what she suggested we served. The recipe was adapted from Mario Batali's Roasted Pears with Chestnut Honey and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
I followed Susan's instructions. Since there was no Washington Syrah around we used a bottle of a lovely 2000 Marquiz Phillips Shiraz from the cellar.
The orange blossom honey was found in our pantry. A jar of Famille Mary Miel de Fleus d' Oranger purchased while shopping the Rue Cler honey shop last March.
The Pecorino came from the cheese counter at Larry's Market in Queen Anne. A quarter pound did the trick. The cheese is so phenomenal it was quite tempting to eat it out of hand on its own. I highly recommend it.
This is definitely an über elegant, gorgeous dessert that looks very professional and gives the impression that it took hours to make when, in reality, it is as simple as it can be with hardly any prep work and less than an hour to achieve fabulous results.
Pears, honey, red wine, sugar and cheese. For a dish this utterly delectable and beautiful, it is almost obscene that it is so easy to make.
Mario Batali Roasted Pears
(recipe adapted by Susan Neel of McCrea Cellars)
"Find 4 large perfect pears (Bosc or Anjou), slightly under-ripe (in other words, right out of the supermarket). Slice a sliver off the bottoms so they stand up straight. Don't peel or remove stems or anything - just wash them. Put them in a small shallow baking dish - crowded is perfect.
Pour one cup of dry red wine (recipe calls for Chianti but we used - surprise! - syrah) and one cup of sugar into the bottom of the dish. Roast them in a preheated 400 degree oven until they're soft, about 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Strain the liquid in the bottom of the pan and set aside. To serve, place each pear in the center of a dessert plate. Drizzle with chestnut or orange blossom honey and spoon the wine sauce around the base of each.
Using a peeler, shave pieces of room-temp. Pecorino Toscano over the pears and serve."
*As the pears and wine sauce cooled on top of the stove, I spooned the still hot sauce as it thickened to create a glistening finish on fruit and stem. Pears are such amazingly gorgeous fruits. The glistening sauce coating only enhanced their beauty.