Poulet Au Citron et Lavande

This sounds very impressive, and if company is coming, they will think you have been moonlighting taking culinary classes. Simply put, this chicken with lemon and lavender is based on the principle that if it grows together, it goes together. Dotted across the hills of Lirac are wild bushes of lavender and aromatic herbs that take the wine to the next level. This recipe is inspired by these fields. And if your guests happen to think you are a culinary master, maybe don't correct them.
1 chicken, jointed into 8-10 pieces
A generous pinch of salt
2 tbsp dried lavender
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp lavender honey or plain wild honey
2 sprigs of thyme
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
1.  To make the marinade, crush the lavender using either a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. Put the crushed lavender into a large bowl with the oil, honey, thyme, lemon zest and juice. Mix well.
2.  Place the chicken pieces in a large plastic container. Pour the marinade over the chicken and make sure all the pieces are well coated. Cover and leave to marinate for 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours).
3.  When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C. Put the chicken and marinade into a roasting tin and sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway. To check if the chicken is done, pierce the thickest part of the flesh with a skewer – the juices should run clear, not red or pink.
4.  Serve the chicken with the cooking juices poured over and around. A crisp green salad and some boiled new potatoes are a great match for this summery dish.

Shrimp Scampi

This dish may very well be our biggest Tuesday night guilty pleasure. Loads of flavour, lots of garlic, and just enough herbs to keep it fresh. Also important, is a good quality baguette for soaking up all the delicious jus afterward.

4 garlic cloves, 2 grated, 2 thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Warm crusty bread (for serving)



1.  Whisk grated garlic, salt, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Add shrimp, toss to coat, and chill, uncovered, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
2.  Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium and cook shrimp mixture, being careful not to let shrimp or garlic brown, until shrimp is pink but still slightly underdone, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil in pan as possible. Add sliced garlic and red pepper to skillet and cook, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and lemon juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add butter and cook, stirring and swirling pan occasionally, until butter is melted and sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes more.
3.  Add in shrimp and occasionally stir until fully cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter, top with parsley, and serve with bread for dipping alongside.


Red Wine and Soy–Braised Short Ribs

This pairing has everything I am looking for. The Syrah is rich and full, and all about the pleasure. These amazing ribs are all of that! Brown sugar plays off of the ripe black fruits, and the mirin & soy sauce combo is bursting with umami flavour that brings out all of the subtle earth notes the wine has to offer.


4 lb. 2"-thick boneless beef short ribs or 5 lb. 2"-thick crosscut bone-in short ribs (flanken style), cut into 2x2" pieces
Kosher salt
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. grapeseed or extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, crushed
1 - 2" piece ginger, peeled, sliced ⅛" thick
2 cups dry red wine
½ cup mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ mu radish or daikon (about 8 oz.), peeled, cut into 1" pieces
1 large egg, beaten to blend
Shilgochu or gochugaru (coarse Korean hot pepper flakes), sliced scallions, and cooked rice (for serving)

1.  Season short ribs all over with salt. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a small pot over medium-high. Working in 2 batches, cook ribs, turning occasionally and reducing heat if needed to prevent scorching, until browned all over, 10–12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate.
2.  Add onion, garlic, and ginger to same pot and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly browned, 6–8 minutes. Add wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 8–10 minutes. Add mirin, soy sauce, brown sugar, and 2 cups water. Return ribs to pot and bring liquid to a simmer. Partially cover pot and cook, reducing heat to maintain a very gentle simmer and adding splashes of water as needed, until ribs are very tender (they should shred easily) and sauce is thick enough to coat meat, 3–3½ hours. Add radish about 1 hour before ribs are done. Remove from heat.
3.  Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add egg, tilting pan to create a very thin 6–8" circle. Cook just until set, about 1 minute, then roll up egg into a cylinder; transfer to a cutting board. Thinly slice into ribbons.
4.  Top ribs with egg, shilgochu, and scallions.



One-pot Puttanesca

There are so many layers of flavours and textures in this dish that it keeps bringing out more and more subtle notes in the wine. Although technically vegetarian, there is so much density, richness and umami, especially from the anchovy filets, it keeps up with the full body of the wine.


6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, divided
⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
6 Tbsp. double-concentrated tomato paste
3 Tbsp. drained capers
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for panko
8 oz. small pasta (such as ditalini, orzo, or mini shells; about 1½ cups)
5 oz. baby spinach (about 4½ cups)
½ cup panko


1.  Cook garlic, 2 anchovies, and ⅓ cup oil in a medium Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat, stirring and smashing anchovies with a wooden spoon, until garlic starts to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add olives, tomato paste, capers, ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until tomato paste turns a shade darker, about 3 minutes.
2.  Add 4 cups water to pot, increase temperature to high, and bring to a boil. Add pasta and spinach, tearing leaves into smaller pieces as you go. Stir to combine, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring often to keep pasta from sticking, until cooked through, 10–12 minutes.
3.  Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 anchovies and 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add panko and a pinch of red pepper flakes and salt and cook, stirring often and breaking anchovies apart, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
4.  Divide pasta among bowls and top with panko mixture.



Epic Lamb Kebabs

Earthy, wild, black pepper, juniper, and clove notes in the wine are absolutely perfect for lamb. Making it in kebab format makes every bite deliciously covered with seasonings. This is definatly a meal that is casual but will impress anyone from your partner to friends. All of the sweet smoke, and herbs bring out the herbal brambly notes in the wine. It's a match made in heaven.


3 lbs lamb shoulder , bone out
2 cloves of garlic
3 lemons
1 heaped tablespoon dried oregano, ideally the flowering kind
4 oz feta cheese
5 oz natural yogurt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika


1.  Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Score a criss-cross pattern into any fat on the lamb, then cut into 2cm-thick slices.
2.  Peel the garlic and finely grate over the lamb with the zest of 1 lemon, then squeeze over its juice. Sprinkle over the oregano and season with a big pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Rub all over the meat, then cover and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3.  Thread the lamb on to a long, sturdy metal skewer to make one epic kebab (or split between two, if you prefer).
4.  Preheat a large griddle or barbecue to high, then cook the lamb for 15 minutes, or until dark and gnarly all over, turning regularly. Transfer to a large baking tray and roast in the oven for 5 minutes, or until just cooked through but still slightly blushing.
5.  To serve, shave the meat off the kebab, drizzling over any resting juices (see tip below). On a plate, drizzle the feta with a little extra virgin olive oil. Put the yogurt into a bowl and sprinkle over the paprika. Cut the remaining lemons into wedges.
6.  Serve with your favourite green salad and warmed pita and dig in.