Pairing Challenge

Beer Versus Wine – The Perfect Blue Cheese Stuffed Filet Mignon Pairing

Congratulations to last month’s Beer Versus Wine Challenge winner –Megs from If It Falls on the Floor!  Part of the honor includes coming up with the next month’s challenge.  Below is If It Falls on the Floors post and challenge food.  Participants have until next Tuesday, May 13 to turn in their suggestion before we take it to a vote.  Winner gets to present June’s challenge, a winners badge, and to sweeten the offer, Megs is giving away a free copy of her cookbook to the winner.  (I already have a copy.  Trust me.  You want it.)  For more on the rules, click here.

In my past life, I owned a catering business, Divine Bovine, where people often asked me how I learned to cook…..

My father, a cattle rancher from the central coast of California, was one of the originators of the “Santa Maria style BBQ” back in the early 50’s.  He was fortunate to be able to combine his love of food with his gift for gab; weekends often included invitations to dinner for friends and neighbors.  Dad would barbeque his famous beef tri-tips and mother would put us kids to work in the kitchen, making salads, beans and casseroles.  It was the start of my cooking lessons.

Blue Cheese and Bacon Wrapped Filet

Blue Cheese and Bacon Wrapped Filet

So when The Wandering Gourmand posted his first pairing contest, Fish n’ Chips, I was totally on board.  It was PARTY time!  I had inherited my dad’s love of entertaining and cooking – this was the perfect excuse to invite over friends to have some fun!    I had never made F n’ C before, a little too much grease, and now I was going to serve it for dinner.  Yikes!  A little of this, a little of that and Viola!  Dinner was made and a great time was had.  The next pairing, Shrimp n’ Grits (chosen by The Wandering Sheppard) was excuse for another dinner party.

And now it is my turn to name a pairing.  Talk about pressure.  In the old days, I custom-catered small cocktail parties, fancy galas, annual dinners, intimate dinners and huge fundraising events.  I catered for political hopefuls and US congressmen, even Al Gore, then Vice-President.  (I guess that just dated me!)  I catered for Steve Young (SF 49’ers) and Dave Dravecky (SF Giants). Rarely did I serve the same menu twice.  Living in California, celebrities and big wigs didn’t faze me (much), neither did cooking for them.  Coming up with the perfect pairing menu has me nervous.

May is the month for Mom’s and Grad’s.   It’s Memorial Day weekend.  It’s the end of school and the unofficial start of summer.  So fire up your grill – we are definitely going to BBQ!  Now, I realize, depending on where you might hail from, the term BBQ might mean different things.  I’m talking about an oak wood fire burning down to red glowing coals with a grate hovering 7 to 9 inches over the top.  I’m talking a gas or charcoal grill.  I’m talking California style.  Put away your sauces and condiments.  You’re in for a treat.  A favorite from my cookbook Grilled Filet Stuffed with Bleu Cheese and wrapped with BACON (Tracy, I followed your suggestion).

The food has been presented!  Now, what’s your perfect beer or wine pairing for Blue Cheese Stuffed Steaks???