Peppercorn MÃ©lange & Sake Flavor Pairing
Beautifully poised balance and harmony. Gaining popularity on the cocktail scene and as a versatile wine for cooking, sake finds a befitting partner in the quintessentially French unison of multicolored peppercorns. The balanced heat of peppercorn mÃ©lange accents the clean vigor of a centuries-old Japanese beverage.
An eye-catching and multi-dimensional mixture of black, white, green and pink, peppercorn mÃ©lange adds a colorful counterpoint to sake’s uplifting clarity.
The lively blend adds a montage of pungent, hot flavors and softer, cedar-like undertones. Once considered the “drink of the gods,” sake dates back more than 1,800 years. The medley of flavors found in different styles of this fermented rice wine – ranging from fruity sweet and acidic to dry and slightly bitter – hints at its flexibility as an ingredient.
Taste the unity of these flavors in Peppercorn MÃ©lange Chicken and Udon Noodles in Lemon Grass-Sake Broth (featured on the cover) or in a Sake Green Tea Martini with Crushed Peppercorns. The combination also comes to life as a mixture for curing salmon or hamachi, a mignonette sauce with freshly shucked oysters, or with mixed berries in a peppercorn-sake syrup.
“This pairing is very creative and fun; we love combining flavors that might be juxtaposed to surprise the palate. The possibilities of sake and peppercorn mÃ©lange are endless.”
Justin Beam, Mixologist | Fearing’s, Dallas
PEPPERCORN MÃ‰LANGE CHICKEN AND UDON NOODLES IN LEMON GRASS-SAKE BROTH
The pairing of Peppercorn MÃ©lange and sake adds heat and floral notes to this Japanese-inspired meal-in-one udon noodle bowl with grilled chicken, shitake mushrooms and vegetables.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes 6 servings.
â€¢ 2 teaspoons McCormick® Gourmet Collection Peppercorn MÃ©lange, divided
â€¢ 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Sicilian Sea Salt
â€¢ 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
â€¢ 3 stalks McCormick® Gourmet Collection Lemon Grass
â€¢ 1 tablespoon sesame oil
â€¢ 4 heads baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
â€¢ 8 shitake mushrooms, sliced
â€¢ 5 cups chicken stock
â€¢ 1/3 cup dry sake (Japanese rice wine)
â€¢ 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Gourmet Collection Ground Ginger
â€¢ 1/2 cup snow peas
â€¢ 1/4 cup each red and yellow bell pepper strips
â€¢ 2 packages (about 7 ounces each) precooked/instant udon noodles, cooked as directed on package
â€¢ 2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
1. Place 1 teaspoon of the peppercorns in large resealable plastic bag. Close tightly. Pound with a rolling pin, mallet or heavy skillet until coarsely cracked. Mix with sea salt. Press seasoning mixture onto both sides of chicken breasts. Grill over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through, turning frequently. Keep warm.
2. Place remaining 1 teaspoon peppercorns and lemon grass stalks in the center of a piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Tie tightly with a long piece of string.
3. Heat sesame oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Add bok choy and shitake mushrooms; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add chicken stock, sake, ginger and the spice bundle; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes. Add snow peas and bell peppers; simmer 5 minutes longer or until tender-crisp. Remove spice bundle.
4. Slice chicken diagonally into thin slices. Divide noodles, broth mixture and chicken evenly among soup bowls. Sprinkle with green onions, if desired.
Test Kitchen Tips:
â€¢ Udon noodles are Japanese noodles made from wheat. They can be found in the Asian aisle of some supermarkets and in Asian groceries. They are available in the precooked/instant form in aseptic packages or in the dried form.
â€¢ To use dried udon noodles, cooked noodles in large pot of boiling water 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Prepare recipe as directed, adding drained noodles with snow peas and red peppers.
â€¢ Sake is available wherever fine wines are sold. It may also be found in the Asian aisle of some supermarkets or in Asian groceries.
Nutritional Information Per Serving: 263 Calories, Fat 5g, Protein 29g, Carbohydrates 22g, Cholesterol 60mg, Sodium 744mg, Fiber 1g