The Edge Outer Banks 2003-2004
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Seat-of-the-Pants Meal Preparation

By Linda Lauby • Plane Photos by Steve Alterman • Food & Wine Photos by Greg Bailey

Find this recipe in the EpicureWine dinners for The Edge used to be planned with a sense of urgency — you know, back when I was in the Corporate World, a sense of urgency was a positive management trait. For prior issues, we’d plan our menus weeks in advance, and dole them out to local restaurateurs and wine reps to make wine and music selections; we’d arrange to procure floral arrangements and huge coolers full of herbs and fresh produce; we’d wheedle our way into unbelievable oceanfront homes in which we’d prepare amazingly fresh seafood, aged meats and delectable desserts; we’d buy the coolest props, and what we didn’t buy we’d appropriate from each other’s houses; and we’d actually call professional photographers in advance to record our progress.

This year, we simply ran out of time. This is seat-of-your-pants, shakedown-cruise dining. Find this recipe in the EpicureEverything we prepared for this meal can go from recipe to table in less than half an hour. Honest. We sent Winged Horse Extravaganza Project Director Tricia Ibelli (who incidentally, also holds a culinary degree) out to buy any wine she could find with a horse on the label. We thought it befitting: she rewarded us by being up to the challenge — the list of 10 readily available wines follows. Sales Director Greg Bailey offered to host our dinner AND to take photos of the ensuing degustatory event. Tricia and I concocted the menu a day in advance and prepared the food; pilot/entrepreneur/fabulous babe Betty Shotton provided us with aviation-related props from TWA, Southeast Air and her own private plane; Find this recipe in the Epicureand Company Attorney John Gaw offered to supervise by way of ensuring quality control of each course and its accompanying wine(s). Of the 10 wines on the list, we made it through seven. The tasting notes are nonexistent, but believe me, they were all good. Very good. In fact, there wasn’t a dog in the bunch — especially surprising, since the only criterion for selection was label art! All of us agreed that of the wines listed, you can’t go wrong by pairing any of the whites with your appetizer salad or fish course, and all of the reds are suitable with the lamb. Personally, my favorites were the Clos Pegase Chardonnay and the Querceto Chianti Classico.

Find this recipe in the EpicureOur first course began with a seared-scallop martini salad, and was followed by grilled grouper with roasted corn-cucumber salsa and a basmati rice/roasted beet timbale. Moving from white wines to reds, our next entrée became more lusty as well, with pan-seared lamb chops and Cabernet demi-glaze, caramelized fennel and parsnips, and local May peas. To end the evening, we reverted to childhood cravings for cookies and ice cream, made somewhat grown-up with the addition of wine-macerated strawberries and a side of Iron Horse Champagne. For seat-of-the pants dining, we’re ready for take-off.

See the Epicure for this year's recipes!

Horsin’ Around with Wines

Wild Horse Chardonnay 2001
Wild Horse Pinot Noir 2000

Clos Pegase Chardonnay 2001
Clos Pegase Merlot 1999
Clos Pegase Cabernet 1999

Iron Horse Chardonnay 2000
Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut 1997

Canter Merlot 1999
Firesteed Pinot Noir 2000
Querceto Chianti Classico 2000
(Although there’s a unicorn on the label, we deemed it close enough, and were rewarded with a highly drinkable wine.)

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