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Spring-Kissed Seafood Chowder + Pelerin 2011 Les Tournesols for #winePW

The second Saturday of the month is one of my favorite days. Do you know why? Because it's our #winePW - Wine Pairing Weekend - reveal. I absolutely adore it. How can you not love bloggers who love food and love wine?! It's a fantastic event from which I never fail to make a wine shopping list.

And this month Wendy, in her debut hosting appearance, of A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting. Here's Wendy's invitation for "A Wine Lover's Dilemma." She's asked us to choose our favorite spring flavor and pick a wine that will highlight all of the wonderful qualities in the dish. What a fun project!

If you see this early enough, please join us April 11th at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. We’ll be chatting on twitter at #WinePW about our Spring food and wine pairings. We’d love to have you join us!

During these events, I try to highlight a local-to-me vintner and, if possible, a new-to-me vintner. It's an adventure all around. This month, I selected Pelerin Wines, a micro-winery that is crafting small lots of wine from the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation here on California's central coast.

In My Glass
About the label...Pelerin means 'pilgrim' in French and, according to the winemaker, represents their ongoing quest to follow their passion: to produce uniquely delicious wines. Using sustainably and organically-grown fruit whenever possible, Pelerin's wines are hand-harvested and bottled unfiltered.

About the wine... I selected the 2011 Les Tournesols Rousanne & Viognier from Pelerin. Les Tournesols is French for 'sunflowers', which is more of a Summer flower. But the aromas and flavors of the 2011 Les Tournesols highlight Meyer lemon with notes of fennel and honey. This wine is expertly balanced, with a richness of Roussanne and a playfulness of Viognier.

In the Bowl
I wanted to create a recipe that showcased some of my favorite Spring produce: fennel, peas, pea shoots, and tons and tons of herbs. My mom wanted me to make something with seafood for our Easter table, so I made this Spring-Kissed Seafood Chowder that is simultanously creamy and filling and crisp and delicate. It's spawned the creation of, and is the first dish to grace the (virtual) pages of 'The Purple Book.'

  • 2 C organic half-and-half
  • 2 tins smoked fish (I used smoked herring from Trader Joe's)
  • 8 ounces bacon (I used an applewood smoked, no nitrite bacon)
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • 2 C celery (chopped)
  • 3 stalks green garlic (chopped)
  • 2 C organic whole milk
  • 5 C cubed potatoes (I used organic white potatoes)
  • 2 C organic heavy cream
  • 2 C shelled English peas
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled
  • 1 pound fresh scallops
  • 1 pound white fish (I used halibut), cut into chunks
  • 1 pound clams
  • 1 pound mussels
  • freshly ground pepper
For Garnish
  • fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly shaved (I use a mandolin)
  • fresh pea shoots
  • fresh English peas
  • fresh herbs (I used a combination of parsley, mint, cilantro, green garlic tops, and dill), chopped

In a large souppot, place the smoked fish and half-and-half. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Once bubbles begin to form around the edges, take the pot off the heat and allow to infuse until it is cool to the touch. Pour the mixture into a large bowl so you can use the same pot.

Cook the bacon in the souppot until some of the fat is rendered and the bacon has started to brown.

Add the fennel, celery, and green garlic. Cook over medium heat till the fennel and celery is softened, approximately 10 minutes.

Pour the infused half-and-half back into the pot; pour in milk and add the potatoes. Simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, approximately 30 minutes. Once they are soft, mash them with a potato masher. The soup will begin to thicken. You can leave it as chunky - or make it as smooth - as you like. I left some chunks. Pour in the cream. Then add in the peas and all the seafood.

While the soup simmers, use your ladle and spoon the hot liquid over the seafood. The shells should open and the seafood will turn opaque when it's cooked through. This took approximately 15 minutes at a very low heat. Take care not to overcook the seafood. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper.

To serve, ladle soup into individual serving bowls. Garnish with fresh pea shots, fresh peas, shaved fennel, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

Serve hot.

Wine Pairing Weekend #11 
Here's what all of the bloggers have created for the April Wine Pairing Weekend! What great Spring flavors.

  And that's a Wrap...
...on our April #winePW event.  My Spring-Kissed Seafood Chowder + Pelerin 2011 Les Tournesols pairing was so much fun! I'll pin this recipe and other posts on my #winePW pinterest board. David, the event creator, also has a Wine Pairing Weekend pinterest board

And, be sure to mark your calendars for May's Wine Pairing Weekend. We'll be continuing the #WinePW conversation on Saturday, May 9th! Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva has challenged us to pair wines with Mexican food. Can't wait.

If you can't find Pelerin 2011 Les Tournesols, look for a Viognier-Roussanne blend that is not too syrupy. And if you try this pairing - or just the wine - I would love to hear what you think. Comment below, find Culinary Adventures with Camilla on facebook, or tweet to me at @Culinary_Cam.


  1. I know you realize how lucky you are to live in the heart of wine country. I am so jealous!!

    1. I do know! ;) Thanks for hosting this month, Wendy.

  2. What a great twist on seafood chowder. I love that you used fennel. I have been wanting to find more ways to use it!

  3. I am a sucker for fennel. Great recipe and pairing. Thanks.

  4. YUM! Great looking dish with a delicious wine pairing. I have had Pelerin's Pinot; it was very nice. I will look for this wine. Thanks.

  5. Looks like a great dish cam, and sound like great pairing with the Pelerin. How about that we both had seafood paired with a white Rhone blend! Tell me...what is the Purple Book?

  6. Looks like a great dish cam, and sound like great pairing with the Pelerin. How about that we both had seafood paired with a white Rhone blend! Tell me...what is the Purple Book?

  7. What a beautiful dish and pairing. I'm not familiar with Pelerin, but will be on the look out for it. Love the Purple Book - great idea!


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