Mom’s Tuna Casserole … Dressed Up with Fresh Ingredients and White Burgundy

Pairing:  Tuna Casserole (version 2.0) paired with a 2011 Jacques Bavard Saint-Romain

Food:  Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I remember a staple of Friday night dinners was tuna casserole. Garrison Keillor’s stories are laced with anecdotes about bringing tuna casseroles to church suppers. The formula for making it usually consists of a can of concentrated Cream of Mushroom soup (Campbell’s of course), a couple of cans of tuna, a generous Tbs or 2 of Old Bay Seasoning, some form of cooked noodles or pasta, and a heavy dusting of fine bread crumbs and grated cheese. Assembled and baked at 400F until golden brown and bubbling on the edges. Still a fine, tasty and quick meal. (Version 2.0) takes it up a few notches and takes a little longer to prepare. Instead of the canned soup, make a simple béchamel sauce and combine it was sautéed, sliced fresh mushrooms. In place of the canned tuna, take a fresh tuna steak (about 6 oz.), cube it (1/2 in. cubes), pan sear the cubes, and mix it into the sauce with the Old Bay Seasoning and noodles. Same crumbs and parmesan cheese topping. Bake until golden and bubbly on edges. Viola!

Tuna Casserole

Wine:  It is fair to say that the word, Burgundy, is probably one of the most widely known wine terms in the world of wine. Yet, only the hearts of true oenophiles skip a beat when thoughts turn to Burgundy. This relatively small wine region in east-central France is where arguably the world’s finest, most exclusive wines are made (though vintners in Bordeaux may take exception to that claim). One often hears of the extraordinary (and expensive) wines of the Cote de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy where one finds some of the rarest and best white wines on the planet. These wines often have the word Montrachet as part of their name. However, there are some quiet backwaters tucked into the remote hills and valleys of this area that produce some very flavorful Chardonnays (all whites in Burgundy are Chardonnays) at very reasonable prices. Saint-Romain is one of these places.  A charming place we were lucky enough to stay in for a few days during our first visit to Burgundy.


Tasting Notes:  The bouquet of this pale gold wine is of apple blossoms, green apples and hints of citrus. On the palate one gets Granny Smith apples and honeysuckle. A very pleasant, drinkable white wine by itself or as an accompaniment to food. Flavors are a nice complement to the tuna, mushrooms and the mace and nutmeg added to the béchamel sauce. A real treat.

Other Food That Pairs Well with Saint Romain:  White Fish (Grilled, Roasted), Roast Chicken,  Oysters, Lobster, Trout

Other Wines That Pair Well with Tuna Casserole:  Unoaked Chardonnay, Beaujolais, Pinot Noir,  Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand or California), Dry Riesling (Australia)

Read About:

A Source:

Birthday Scallops … with White Burgundy

Pairing:  Pan Seared Curried Scallops paired with 2011 Jacques Bavard Bourgogne

Food: One of my Dad’s “go-to” Friday night meals was scallops, usually bay scallops, broiled in butter. Last evening, in remembrance of Dad on the 108th anniversary of his birthday, we enjoyed scallops for our dinner. It was a simple preparation … dredging the halved sea scallops in our favorite curry powder, searing them briefly on each side in a hot skillet, deglazing the pan with some of the wine, then browning some butter in the same pan and drizzling the butter over the warm scallops. We tossed some cooked gemelli pasta in the pan to soak up all of the remaining butter sauce. Served it with garden-fresh green and yellow beans. Delicious! Here’s to you, Dad!

Pan Seared Scallops

Wine2011 Jacques Bavard Bourgogne. For those who may not know or remember, the white wine from the Burgundy region of France is made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape. Indeed there is a village in that region named Chardonnay. There are many towns in that area synominous with great white burgundy … Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet to name but a few. The higher end wines are named for the town the grapes come from, or, for really special wines (i.e., expensive) the wine may be named for a particular vineyard in that town. This winemaker, Jacques Bavard, selects grapes from several different villages in Burgundy, combining them to create his Bourgogne. Very nice and much more affordable.

Bourgogne Bavard

Tasting:  The delicate nose of this Bourgogne hints at white flowers, peach, and apricot. The white flower aroma perhaps is drawn out by the curry in the dish. On the palate, one gets white peach, melon and a background of tropical fruits, all with nicely balanced acidity. A note about drinking white wines … there is a tendency to chill white wine a bit too much. Serving them a little closer to 55 or 60 degrees F will bring out the complexity of flavors that are too often masked by colder temperatures.

Other Wines That Pair Well with Scallops:  Viognier, dry Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, New World Chardonnay, Soave

Other Foods That Pair Well with White Burgundy:  white Fish, Chicken, Lobster, Grilled Salmon, Oysters

Read More:

A Source: