Friday, November 16, 2018

Lingcod, Legumes, and Domaine Mittnacht Frères Crémant d’Alsace #Winophiles #AlsaceRocks #DrinkAlsace #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with the November #Winophiles event.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

Kat of Bacchus Travel & Tours is hosting the French Winophiles as we explore Crémants. You can read her invitation here. And many thanks to Wines of Alsace USA and Teuwen Communications for sponsoring this event with samples to some of the French Winophiles crew*. Cheers!

About Crémants 
Crémants are sparkling wines made using the same method used for Champagne where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, but are made outside of the Champagne region. Grape varieties vary, depending on area. 

Champagne is mostly made from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay while most Crémant d’Alsace is made from Pinot Blanc, though Auxerrois, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir grapes are also allowed. Crémant d’Alsace Rosé must be 100% Pinot Noir. And though some Alsace Crémants are single-varietal wines, others are blends. However, all exhibit a crisp dryness.

The Rest of the Winophiles

In My Glass
One of the bottles I received was from Mittnacht Frères, a family-run estate begun in 1958. Currently run by Christophe Mittnacht, the domaine embraces and employs organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard. Mittnacht believes that biologically complex, complete soils are required to produce meaningful wines.

Made from biodynamically-grown grapes, this dry, mineral-driven Crémant is comprised of 50% Pinot Auxerrois, with the remainder made up of equal parts Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris.  This bubbly is very dry with notes of brioche beneath crisp apples and a refreshing minerality. This definitely feels like an autumn sipper.

On My Plate
I was so excited to see lingcod as the share for our CSF (community-supported fishery), Real Good Fish, this week. I decided to make one of the first dishes I ever cooked for Jake when we started dating over twenty years ago: local catch over lentils and topped with caramelized onions.

Yes...the way to my husband's heart was through his stomach! We've come a long way from eating this in our studio apartment while sitting cross-legged on the floor.

And a quick note in case you're looking at the fish, thinking that it's smurf-colored. No, you're not imagining it. The lingcod flesh was blue! Our newsletter said not to worry, but I did some digging anyway and found this from another local fisherman: "The cause of this rare turquoise color is due to a bile pigment called biliverdin, which is responsible for turning the blood serum of these fish that freakishly odd color – but how this pigment gets into the tissues and flesh of the fish, or why only some lingcod turn this striking shade, still leaves biologists puzzled. Biliverdin is also the pigment that is responsible for that greenish color sometimes seen in bruises." Thanks, Hans - from H & H Fresh Fish. I love learning new things. And, as promised, when it cooked, it returned to its usual milky white.


For the Fish

  • 1 pound lingcod or other firm white fish, divided into 1/4 pound portions
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

For the Onions

  • 2 organic onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar (I used a golden balsamic)

For Serving

  • Bejeweled Legume Salad (my recipe here), for serving

For the Onions
Melt butter in olive oil in a skillet. Add the onions and toss to coat. Cook over low-medium heat until the onions are translucent and caramelized.

Stir in the honey and vinegar and let cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

For the Fish
Melt the butter in olive oil in a rimmed skillet. Add your fish and allow a sear to develop. Don't wiggle it. Once it has a nice sear, it will release easily. When the fish has cooked halfway through - you can see it on the side - flip the fish over. Cover the pan and allow the fish to steam until cooked to your desired doneness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, as needed.

For Serving
Spoon legumes on individual serving plates. Place cooked fish on top of the legumes. Top with caramelized onions. Serve immediately.

Find the Sponsor...
Wines of Alsace on the web, on Facebook, on Pinterest, on Twitter

*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.


  1. Great post. I'm definitely going to point Dan this way. He's the fish cook in the household.

  2. What a delicious looking dish! So many flavors and textures.

  3. Looks like a perfect pairing to me Cam! Cheers!

  4. Interesting tidbit about the color of the fish. I am sure that this was an amazing pairing.

  5. That looks amazing! And the geeky science stuff about the biliverdin (which sounds like something out of Harry Potter) was really cool! I can imagine this was wonderful with the Crémant d'Alsace!

  6. Sounds like a nice bottle and a tasty fish preparation. Is lingcod related to cod or something totally different?

    1. Not related to cod at all. They are in the same group of fishes as sablefish, Pacific rockfish and scorpionfish and this bottom-dwelling fish only occurs on the West Coast of North America.

  7. That lingcod looks fantastic! How did it work with the wine?