Champagne Grapes 101

What’s in my basket?

Did you pick up your basket this morning and after examining the contents ask yourself, “What in the world is that and what am I supposed to do with it?” Well, I’m here to give you a tip or two on what to do with that item that you may not be familiar with.

This week the surpise item is Champagne Grapes.

Yes, those tiny beads of delightful taste are not grapes that picked too early nor did they shrink. They are actually “born that way”. Champagne grapes are completely seedless and are a heavenly sweet delight. They are most commonly seen as garnish on fancy schmancy meat and poultry dishes as well as in cheese displays.

If you’re a fan of dehydrating fruit you can dry Champagne grapes and you will find yourself with the most delicious currants you’ve ever tasted. Of course you can just pop them in your mouth and eat them as is but if you’re feeling a little adventurous and want to impress your family try this quick and easy recipe that I’ve made for my crew.

Pork Tenderloin with Champagne Grapes

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin (silver skin removed)
  • 1tsp. sea salt
  • 1tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2tsp. mild chili powder
  • 1 finely diced garlic cloves
  • 1/2tsp white sage
  • 1/2tsp. thyme
  • 1cup stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1tbs. butter (do NOT use margarine)
  • ½-1cup Champagne grapes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400*. Combine herbs and set aside. Rinse tenderloin and remove silverskin. Combine spices and rub tenderloin with herb blend. Heat 1tbs. extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil over medium high heat in an ovenproof sauté pan. Once the pan is hot sear all sides of the tenderloin then place in hot oven. Cook tenderloin until the internal temperature reaches 145*(**see note below). Remove tenderloin from the oven. Remove tenderloin from the pan, set on a plate to rest and cover completely with aluminum foil (Resting allows the juices to settle and the meat will stay moist and tender. Covering meat with foil while it is resting also allows it to continue to cook internally without drying out in the oven).
  2. Return sauté pan to the stove and on medium high heat you will deglaze your pan and make a reduction sauce by using stock. Once the liquid has been reduced by half add diced garlic and butter and continue cooking approximately 1 minute. Remove from heat and toss in grapes just to slightly heat (you don’t want to overcook the grapes as they will become mushy.)
  3. Slice tenderloin at a diagonal, plate pieces and spoon grape reduction sauce over the pieces. You can serve with any starch and/or veggies of your choice.

Notes

For many years the recommended culinary industry standard for the internal temp. of tenderloin has been 160° degrees. In recent years that has changed for lean cuts to 145°.

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3 Responses to “Champagne Grapes 101”

  1. Nan Mathews says:

    Really they will cook away in a recipe. They are fine to eat. Just get what you can. There is no need to stress. Pop a few in your mouth and try them. They are very tender and we (the husband and I) found them to be lemony. Of course take off all of the large ones. I did make the grape cake with the tiny stems. They seems to dissappear after baking. Really.

  2. Fatima Logsdon says:

    Nan—Do you have any tips for destemming these things? I’m just coming off of an hour of destemming these little rascals and I have no desire to make the cake, I set out to make in the first place! These are delicious, but any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  3. Nan Mathews says:

    This looks great. We made shrimp and champagne grape salad and champagne grape cake.

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