Quick quiz: what foods start with I?
Iceberg lettuce - blugh. Italian dressing - ew. Not really a food on its own and also, no thank you. Inari sushi - a prepared dish, not an ingredient. I can think of a few more that are in the vein of not really a standalone ingredient but not many. I is a hard one!
After racking my brain for seriously like an hour on this one (during which I discarded the above ideas and others), I finally hit upon the idea of using icewine to make something. I kind of liked the symmetry of doing bourbon on Sunday #1 of MoFo and doing another booze for Sunday #2.
Actual icewine ended up being a little outside of our price range for something we just needed for MoFo. (If I was going to be drinking it too, we might have eaten the cost as a treat-- but as is, we were just cooking with some of it and J was drinking the rest alone, as I'm 6.5 months pregnant and my fetus doesn't need after dinner drinks.)
We ended up finding a 375mL bottle of "vin du glacier"-- wine made with grapes that have been frozen after harvest, as opposed to grapes that froze naturally and then were harvested-- by Pacific Rim winery. According to Barnivore, the stuff is vegan (all of PR's stuff is but their dry Riesling) and it cost $15. The genuine icewine we saw in two other stores was $60 for the same size bottle and of questionable veganicity. The choice was clear!
Though most of the icewine sauce recipes I saw on the internet called for some combination of berries, I decided to make a sauce with nectarines instead. Nectarines are one of my favorite fruits and they seem to be on their way out here, so I had to get them while the getting was good. I used the sauce to top lemon waffles, which were of my own devising... they didn't turn out great (edible, but not amazing; not lemony enough, too crispy; but on the other hand, fairly savory, and mostly whole wheat flour, so not super unhealthy) so I'm not going to post the recipe. The sauce was delightful, though, so I'll share that.
makes 1-1.5c (depending on size of nectarine)
1/2c icewine or other white dessert wine
1 large yellow nectarine, diced
2 tsps soy-free Earth Balance
2 tbsps confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1. Combine all ingredients but nutmeg in saucepan and whisk til smooth.
2. Heat over medium heat til boiling.
3. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce begins to thicken, ~15 minutes.
4. Towards the end of cooking time, add in the nutmeg bit by bit and taste after each addition. If you are not a big nutmeg fan, you will not want the full amount; stop when you feel it's appropriately spiced.
The sauce is really quite delicious. Tart, not overly sweet. (Note that if you were to use a white nectarine instead, it would be MUCH sweeter.) It paired nicely with the waffles, though I wish they'd been more lemon-y. The nectarine melded really nicely with the icewine and I loved the way the nutmeg tasted in it... though of course, you know how I am with nutmeg.
I don't usually like to use filters on my food pictures, but something about the glossiness of the sauce made it damn near impossible to photograph nicely. It looked slimy. It really wasn't slimy. The filter on the waffle picture was the best I could get it to look so that's what I went with.
Both J and the Emperor really enjoyed this dinner. The Emperor loves waffles and was frothing at the mouth by the time dinner time came around. I only gave him a tiny bit of sauce to start with, because I wasn't sure he'd even try it... but he saw nectarines and started shrieking with delight, then was rapidly silenced as he crammed his mouth full of food. He ate two entire (small) waffles and his fair share of the sauce. Here he is in the process: