Mr. Sherman was one of my favorite teachers in culinary school. He let us drink wine in class; of course he was the favorite! Just kidding. Mr. Sherman is the beverages instructor. A class in which we learned about all beverages and their place in the culinary world. We did have a wine tasting once a week, but it was a true tasting. Very small pours and we spat out the wine. I never had a class in culinary school that I didn’t like, but this was one of the more interesting classes.
Mr. Sherman is a small Jewish man with a sense of humor as dry as an old world Bordeaux. That’s my kind of humor. I was often the only one laughing at his jokes (I am often the only one laughing at my own jokes.) He is married to Chef Roskin, a chef instructor also at my alma mater. I had the pleasure of learning from Chef Roskin in two separate classes at school. She is also a small woman and fits Mr. Sherman well. I am 5’3″ and felt like a tower when standing next to Chef.
They not only match each other physically, but their personalities seem to mesh well, and even though they remain professional while at work, the students get to catch glimpses into their playful romantic relationship. Whether they’re caught having lunch together in the on-campus cafe or grinning at one another while saying, “see you later”, a grin that not only means, “I can’t wait to see you later” but also “I’d like a quick kiss on the lips, but this will have to do”, theirs is the type of relationship that seems, from the outside at least, like it will last and they will be having fun together and enjoying one another for the rest of their lives.
During one of our wine and food pairing lessons, Mr. Sherman began talking about a lovely dessert wine called Pedro Ximenez. His wife would make pecan waffles (although now that I’m writing this I can’t remember if he said waffles or pancakes) and they would drizzle the waffles with Pedro Ximenez instead of maple syrup. This was something I had to try. In honor of this relationship, here is a recipe for a special breakfast. Serving sweet wine with homemade breakfast makes it just a touch more fancy and romantic, don’t you think?
Happy Valentine’s Day! Embrace your loved ones today, and make something special together.
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup all purpose or white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon white, brown or turbinado sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk (you can use any type)
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degress fahrenheit.
- Finely chop the pecans and place them on a baking sheet in the oven until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes, stirring once.
- Preheat the waffle iron according to manufacturers directions (I usually have mine on a medium-high setting).
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Fold in the toasted pecans.
- Cook in waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions. Serve with Pedro Ximenez for drizzling and sipping.