A year ago I joined the Bonny Doon wine club. Every couple of months I receive a shipment of two bottles in the mail, and let me tell you, that is always a happy day. I never know what exactly is going to arrive, and it's always fun to try a new recipe to compliment the wine, or to incorporate the wine itself into a new dish. Bonny Doon is my favorite winery, and that may have something to do with the fact that it is the first winery I ever set foot in, not too long after my 21st Birthday. It's tasting room (which has since moved "sob") is located in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Pine Flats Road. A beautiful wooden building in the redwoods, boasting an orchard and picnic grounds. They pride themselves on making unique (to say the least) and unpretentious wines.
A few months ago I received a bottle of their 2001 Viognier Port. Very exciting. I've been a fan of viognier ever since I first tasted it, and the idea of making a port out of it seemed pretty wild. I sipped it. It was incredibly sweet. Ports aren't exactly my style. I wasn't sure what to do with this wine.
Inspiration struck when we had dinner at my favorite restaurant in Ashland, Oregon. Amuse. The sight of many parental visit dinners in college, and even my graduation dinner. This was the first time I had been without family, and being just Daniel and I, it made me feel as though I was an actual adult. Daniel had ordered sole in a reduction sauce. I tasted it and couldn't believe how good it was. Sweet and tart, with just a hint of spice. I asked the waiter what was in the sauce, a combination of lemon, port, butter and just a hint of
allspice. I then proceeded to bogart Daniel's dinner.
I recreated this in my kitchen using fresh tilapia, the bottle of port, some meyer lemons and I substituted cinnamon for allspice. I know it sounds crazy, but give this one a try. You won't regret it! It's a supremely easy and fast recipe. Perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Pan Seared Tilapia with Shallots, Port and Citrus Reduction Sauce served with Quinoa-
4 Tilapia filets
Olive oil for the pan
1/4 cup of Viognier Port (any light port or sweet wine would probably work)
2 Meyer Lemons (or the juice of one lemon) including zest
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon or allspice
Salt & Pepper to taste
Quinoa (cook according to directions
Pour a bit of oil in the pan and turn up to a high heat. In the meantime, season the tilapia with salt & pepper on both sides. Once the oil dimples, add to the pan. Put a heavy pan on top of the tilapia while it cooks, about 1 minute on each side, or until lightly browned. Remove the top pan and flip sides. Once tilapia is browned and cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside. Add a bit more oil to the pan and cook the shallots until translucent and tender. Remove and set aside. Deglaze the pan with the port and lemon, add butter, cinnamon and salt to taste. Let simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Pour over the shallots and fish, serve over quinoa.