Within a blink of an eye my entire week has disappeared. Before my eyes reopened today – a warm Sunday morning – I managed to make a lovely little meal of sangria chicken and radicchio salad. My inspiration this week was a beautiful little etching by Picasso made during a period of art historical reflection. The flavors of orange and lemon are repeated in both recipes and the tender chicken (very sweet) compliments the crunchy salad (sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and a little bit bitter). The roasted grapes were the clincher for me – soft and plump, bursting with sweet juice. Prior to sitting down to eat I received a copy of the feature on Feasting on Art in ARTnews Magazine. I am thrilled to say the least and I hope any readers arriving via the article will pause and leave a comment – I am eager to hear your impression!

Pablo Picasso, Nature morte au citron et un pichet rouge
(Still Life with Lemon and Red Pitcher)
, c.1955
Etching, (image size) 33 x 40.6 cm, Edition of 300

After painting his way through first academic realism, then the subsequent Blue, Rose, and African-Influenced Periods, Cubism, Classicism and finally Surrealism, Pablo Picasso arrived at a point in his life where he reflected – not only on his own work but also the paintings of the Great Masters. He produced paintings based on work by a number of artists including Velazquez, Goya, Poussin, Manet, Courbet and Delacroix. The etchings from this period reveal an understanding of neo-expressionist work, a movement involving the return to depicting objects in a recognizable manner with bright colors and expressive brushstrokes. Neo-Expressionism emerged in the late 1970s although Picasso began to unravel the aesthetic theories a full 20 years earlier – demonstrating why he is the most important figure in 20th century art.

Sangria is a drink that has a multitude varieties and origins in Spain. It is often made with red wine, sliced fruit, a sweetener and slosh of hard liquor. The blood-like color of the finished drink provides the name – sangria is a derivative of the Spanish word sangre meaning blood. Sangria blanco is made with white wine (blanco being the Spanish word for white) and the variety common in northern Spain called zurra is made with peaches or nectarines (1). Regardless of the recipe used, every batch of Sangria I have ever sampled has been deliciously sweet and almost too easy to drink – especially after a long day in the Spanish sun.

{Sangria Chicken}

adapted from Gourmet

8 chicken wings
2 TB olive oil
salt & pepper
1 c red wine
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1 c orange marmalade
juice of half of a lemon
1 c red grapes, halved

Preheat the oven to 120C. Place the chicken on a roasting pan. Cover with a slick of oil and season with the salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes in the oven.

Meanwhile, place the red wine, vinegar, and marmalade in a small pot. Over medium heat, simmer until reduced to a thick consistency.

Drain the roasting liquids from the chicken after 20 minutes. Pour the reduced wine mixture over the chicken and add the halved grapes. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

{Orange & Radicchio Salad with Maple Chipotle Dressing}

adapted from Gourmet

1 orange, segmented
1 head of radicchio
1/4 c orange juice freshly squeezed
2 TB maple syrup
2 TB extra light olive oil
1 TB red wine vinegar
1 TB red onion, chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp chipotle chili, chopped + 1 tsp adobo sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt

Whisk all of the liquids together and add the chili and onion. Arrange the radicchio leaves on a large platter and scatter over the segmented orange. Drizzle the dressing and serve.

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Those of you living in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney, I will be on Eastside Radio 89.7FM tomorrow morning (Monday 7 September) at about 10:45AM talking about Feasting on Art. My friend Laura co-hosts the arts show every Monday morning from 9:30 to 11:30AM. She is pretty fabulous so you should all become regular listeners!