In the hills and valleys of the Appalachia, the wild leek or ramp is the culinary harbinger of spring. This first allium of the season is at once garlic and scallion, with a pungent and pleasing complexity. As the great Hawaiian fish, onaga or red snapper, nears the end of its season, we celebrate these spring food delicacies by pairing them with Jordan Chardonnay.
2 shallots, finely minced
¾ pound chilled, unsalted butter, cut in ½” cubes
1 cup Chardonnay
2 ounces Champagne vinegar
3 Tbsp heavy cream
2 lbs leeks, rinsed well and thinly sliced
4 Tbsp peanut oil
6 six-ounce red snapper filets, skin lightly scored
salt and freshly ground pepper
For the sauce and leeks
In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-high heat, sweat shallots in 1 tablespoon of butter until just translucent, about 2 minutes. Raise heat to high. Add Chardonnay and Champagne vinegar, and reduce to ¼ cup. Add cream and simmer to thicken for another 2 minutes.
Whisk in remaining butter over low heat. When the mixture is smooth, add leeks and braise over lowest possible heat until just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
For the red snapper
Preheat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Lightly salt the red snapper. When oil begins to shimmer, add red snapper, skin side down. If it begins to buckle, gently flatten with a spatula to ensure even cooking. When skin has crisped, turn the filets and cook until just opaque. Remove fish from the pan before it begins to flake apart.
To serve, arrange a portion of ramps on each plate and spoon sauce over it. Place red snapper on top and finish with a salad of scallion and shiso or other combination of tender spring greens.
By Jordan Vineyard and Winery
Jordan Winery sits in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County, where the iconic Jordan Winery Chateau overlooks nearly 1,200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards dedicated to agriculture, hospitality and conservation. Distinct among Northern California wineries, the majority of the vast estate has been preservedas natural habitat—an oasis where craggy oak trees dot the landscape, geese and ducks swim the lakes, and rabbits and turkeys roam the hills. Visit www.jordanwinery.com
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