Highlights: Affordable Cabernet, delicious salad, juicy steak, quick cook/prep time, and great to please and impress your dinner guests!
Okay y'all asked me to start sharing some of my wine and food pairings as well as my rules for how I pair wines. If I am being COMPLETELY honest here, I don't have many rules. But I do follow some of the standard ones. So I will share the ones that (I think) I scored on and how you can incorporate them for a meal for yourself or with a group of people!
First Up: THE WINE
My parents actually told me about Freakshow Cabernet. They buy it at their local grocery store. The Freakshow wines are made by Michael David Winery in Lodi California. If you haven't had wines from Lodi, you should definitely try them. While they are different from Napa (what you are probably used to) they have some great wines that tend to be affordable! I'll put the wine tasting notes below for your reference.
My rule with Cabernet and food pairings is generally a big meat and/or fatty companions. Now, with that said I do not think you NEED food to enjoy a cabernet. The younger cabernets I do recommend pairing with foods. There are a lot of cabs that I can sit on the couch and enjoy without food. Also, you do not NEED to only drink cabernet with dinner. It is great with sharp cheeses (working on a cheese and wine post for y'all as well to come). With that said, you can still make a great healthy dinner that is packed with boldness for a cabernet to stand up to. (AKA: the salad I made on this post).
There are a ton of simple salads you can make to pair with a cabernet. This one I used flank steak, butternut squash, arugula, tomatoes and avocado. I decided to cook the butternut squash with sage and rosemary to give the butternut squash a more bold flavor (as I personally think that butternut squash can lack flavor if not cooked the correct way). And the steak I did on the stove top with olive oil, rosemary, and thyme (drooling just thinking about it again).
PREP time: 10 Min Cook time: 20 Min
-Flank Steak (portion to your liking, this was about 3oz on my salad)
-Butternut Squash (I buy the precut at the grocery store--reduces prep time)
-Komato tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
-Avocado (1/4-1/2 avocado per salad)
-Rosemary/Garlic (or just Garlic) infused olive oil
Directions: (Bare with me, I am not a food blogger so I'm sort of winging it on a recipe as I don't really follow many recipes myself -- although now I'm thinking I should so I can just copy and paste)
STEP 1: PREP
-Preheat the oven (I use my little convection oven for this --if cooking for 1-2 people) to 375
-Finely chop some sage and rosemary together
-Put butternut squash (small cubes) into a bowl and add a little bit of olive oil [they just need to be lightly coated). Then add a few pinches of sage/rosemary blend. Again you don't want to add too much as the sage can be a bit overpowering if you add too much. And then add some salt and pepper.
-Pop the butternut squash into the oven for 20 min.
-While these are cooking chop the following: tomatoes, avocado, and the fresh tyme and rosemary blend.
-In a bowl add a handful or two of asparagus (for each person) and toss in the garlic infused olive oil.
-I like to start plating at this point. Put the garlic olive oil tossed arugula on each plate and then add the tomatoes and avocado on the side.
-I then lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar over the salad/plate.
-Put the steak into a bowl with olive oil, rosemary &tyme blend --mix around
-Heat up the stove top (you can also cook on the grill). I put it on medium since I have an electric (I know --terrible) stovetop. Then I cook the flank steak for about 2 min each side (or to your liking as I like mine a little rare).
-Cut the flank Steak and add to the top of the salad
-Add the butternut squash on the side
POUR YOURSELF (another) GLASS AND ENJOY!
Let me know what y'all think! Cheers!