McMenamins: a local chain of adult wonderlands, each replete with numerous bars, eateries, spa quarters, music venues, movie theaters and a variety of lodging styles, all in a family-fun environment that welcomes the presences of open containers of its major amenity: drink.
Not every McMenamins hotel has a booze production facility onsite, but all have pubs that pour the proprietary beverages: from wine and beer to cider and spirits. Bringing it full circle, Gretchen Benson, McMenamins corporate chef, shares one of her favorite recipes that cooks with a house alcohol.
“We love to work with our in-house products,” Benson says of the wide selection. “McMenamins beer, wine and spirits are fantastic additions to our recipes and are our main inspiration for menu items.”
Using the 2015 Edgefield White Rabbit in this recipe for baked wild Alaskan cod, Benson says aromatic flavors of the white blend (which touts everything from Pinot Gris and Riesling to Marsanne and Gewürztraminer) bring a fruit-forward and spiced palate to the dish, lightening up the cream sauce and providing citrus qualities.
Pairing with the cooking wine is easy, but Benson offers advice when making this dish at home. “You can make the White Rabbit sauce and butter a day ahead,” she suggests. “Freeze any leftovers for other dishes. The butter pairs well with grilled asparagus too.” A recipe for success.
Baked Wild Alaskan Cod
Recipe by McMenamins
2 8-ounce cod fillets
1 cup White Rabbit-Herb Cream Sauce (recipe below)
1 toasted bread crumbs
2 sprigs Italian parsley
2 lemon wedges, for garnish
Preheat often to 400° F. Spray a pie tin with non-stick pan spray and place the cod fillets in the tin. Ladle the White Rabbit Herb Cream Sauce over the fillets. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 8 minutes, or until until the fish reaches 130° F in its thickest section.
Plate and sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs on top. Serve with a lemon wedge.
White Rabbit Herb Cream Sauce
Yields 1 quart
8 ounces cream cheese, 1-inch cubes
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup 2015 Edgefield White Rabbit
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped chives
3 tablespoons chopped tarragon
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 1/2 tablespoons White Rabbit Herb Butter (recipe below)
Mix salt and white pepper together in a small bowl and set aside. Chop herbs and combine in a small bowl.
In a heavy bottom pot, heat heavy cream to a simmer. Add salt and pepper, let simmer on low for 5 minutes. Slowly stir the cubed cream cheese in until smooth and reduce heat slightly, simmer on low for another 5 minutes.
Whisk in the White Rabbit wine, lemon juice and herbs. Simmer on low for approximately 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the White Rabbit-Herb Butter.
Transfer to a shallow metal pan cool in the refrigerator until cod fillets are ready.
White Rabbit Herb Butter
Makes 1 cup
1/2 tablespoon rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons sage
1 1/2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoon basil
1/4 cup Italian parsley
2 tablespoon White Rabbit wine
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/4 cup roasted garlic
Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Remove butter mixture from bowl and spoon onto parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll into a tight log. Chill for 2 hours before serving.