Some people think champagne is just any old sparkling wine. And while a very good sparkling wine may taste almost exactly the same, the term “Champagne” designated to those from the, you guessed it, Champagne region in France, where it is produced under a very strict procedure.
Champs and Apps
Champagne is usually a celebratory beverage, typically seen at formal events, birthdays, and in everyone’s house or party on New Year’s Eve. It has a relatively low alcohol content, and the fresh, sparkling nature of champagne makes it a perfect drink to serve at the beginning of the event. Champagne keeps the palate alert to new and diverse flavors, and you won’t get too tipsy (unless you’re chugging bottles).
The list of appetizers that pair well with champagne is long and wonderful: fish, vegetables, chicken, and egg-based appetizers all compliment a flute of champagne, and this particular list will help you narrow it down a little.
Not the most elegant appetizer, but it pairs surprisingly well with sparkling wines like Champagne. Potato chips are really easy to make. Top them with fancy condiments to add that WOW-factor to a typically boring snack.
First, thinly slice a few potatoes (pro tip: use a potato peeler to get them really thin). Heat up some vegetable oil in a frying pan, and fry the sliced potato until golden and crispy. Pat them dry of the excess oil using high-quality paper towels. Finally, add whatever seasoning or toppings you like.
For simplicity, we’d recommend salt, pepper and maybe a small drizzle of balsamic. If you add balsamic, put the chips in the oven on a high heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the chips to absorb the flavor.
If you’re looking for something a little more fancy, check here.
Seared scallops are a delicious, high class appetizer to accompany your Champagne. There are a number of ways to cook scallops, but the best way is to fry them. Cook with extra virgin olive oil and crushed garlic for the perfect flavor. Keep them on heat for about five minutes. Don’t overcook or they’ll lose a lot of their natural, delicious taste.
A nice dressing to go with your scallops is a jalapeño vinaigrette, made with hollowed jalapeños, rice vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. One quarter cup of vinegar, oil, and mustard per one large pepper is all you’ll need. Throw everything in the blender, crush it up, and you’re done. Serve with some rocket leaves for a slightly peppery taste. Delicious.
Need a food processor to mix things up? See my reviews of great food processors!
A simple cheddar and bacon quiche goes very nicely alongside a glass of bubbly. Quiche is really easy to make, too. Mix together two eggs, bacon, diced onion, cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Fill a frozen pie crust with this mix and put it in the oven at 400° Fahrenheit. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top of the quiche has turned a golden brown color. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes before portioning it up.
Crab cakes are another sophisticated choice to pair with Champagne. Make them as complex or simplistic as you like! They’re easy to play around with, depending on your taste. Crab cakes are sure to delight and impress even the most sophisticated guest.
When I serve crab cakes, I usually crush up eight saltine crackers and mix them with two tablespoons of mayonnaise, half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a quarter tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, a beaten egg and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Stir in a pound of fresh, well drained crab meat and let chill for one hour in the fridge.
While it’s cooling, spread a handful or two of breadcrumbs on a plate. Take the chilled mixture, form it into four patties, and roll them in the breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Once they’re ready, fry them in some garlic and butter until crispy and golden. They’ll look very impressive alongside Champagne, not to mention their incredible taste.
Be a Champagne Champion
Don’t be put off by the elegance of Champagne if you’re nervous about appetizer pairings. There are plenty of foods that are easy to make, and accompany the delicious drink very well. Everyone is entitled to a fancy flute of Champagne and a tempting treat, so grab a bottle and dig in!
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