Monthly Archives: October 2011
If you haven’t tried unoaked chardonnay before – shame on you. It’s a whole new experience in Chardonnay. Chardonnay haters love it because it is not rich and buttery like its traditional relative. Dedicated Chardonnay lovers still like it for its white peach and lemon flavors. Red wine drinkers even enjoy it because its crisp and refreshing, like a tall glass of water.
If I haven’t sold you yet, let’s talk about how easy Unoaked Chardonnay is to pair with food. It is a true white wine in that it does pair best with poultry. But, good news! You don’t have to shy away from a little bit of fat like you would with a traditional Chardonnay. Go ahead – leave the skin on and throw some butter into the mix – it can only help!
And my last piece of advice; if you’re looking for a satisfying, affordable Unoaked Chardonnay to try – go with CC Chardonnay: I Will Not Drink Bad Wine. It’s a great starter to bring you into the wonderful world of Unoaked Chardonnay.
2 chicken breasts, skin on
3 teaspoons light butter, softened
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1 lemon, segmented
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons corn starch
¼ teaspoon paprika
1 medium head orange cauliflower (about 3 cups)
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 shallots, diced
¾ cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon chives, minced
Salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Mix 2 teaspoons light butter and rosemary together in small bowl. Lift the skin of the chicken and gently rub the butter mixture between the skin and the breast. Lay the skin back down and generously salt and pepper the entire outside of the chicken breasts.
Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes in 500 degree oven to brown and crisp the skin. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and continue to cook, about another 5-7 minutes, depending on size.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add cauliflower. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain.
In a separate medium pot, add remaining teaspoon of butter, shallots and garlic. Season with salt/pepper. Cook until soft and translucent. Add
cauliflower and milk.
In separate batches, puree mixture until smooth. If needed add more salt/pepper and milk until you get the consistency you like.
In a blender, add lemon segments, EVOO, honey, corn starch and paprika. Blend until smooth and frothy.
Top cauliflower puree with chicken, then with lemon sauce and chives. Eat up!
CC Chardonnay: I Will Not Drink Bad Wine http://www.decantedwines.com/sku01357.html
It’s no secret that while Bordeaux’s temperatures have been rising, California has been struggling for sunny days. I hadn’t thought much of France’s weather conditions, since we have been so focused on Napa given our recent trip until the topic was brought up by Juelle Fisher, Fisher Vineyards, at a recent tasting we had with them. The discussion was that if France endured warmer temperatures similar to typical Napa weather, and vice versa would we experience a stylistic flip-flop in Cabernet from the two regions?
As most of us know, there is a lot that influences the style and flavor of a finished wine: land (most importantly), grapes/clones, viticulture, winemaking, climate, and weather. So would a change in weather conditions change a wine so much that it actually reflects another region all together? I would venture to say no, but it would make an impact. How interesting would it be to see a fully-ripe, higher alcoholic Bordeaux and a restrained, complex and earthly Napa Valley Cabernet? The French (and more likely British) would surely freak out but it is full to imagine.
Yes, the weather situations in both regions are going to present growers and winemakers with problems they have only read about. Each region will have a different approach and different technologies to correct those problems, but I do expect that the 2010 and 2011 vintages from both regions will be a unique spin on the typical styles that is sure to interest the curious wine consumer.
I’ve dug up a video from our trip out to Napa at our visit to Barnett Winery. Here we talk about the differences in vineyard management on a hilltop/mountain vineyard versus being down in the Valley. Some beautiful views on this one! And as a sidenote, we just brought in Barnett’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir which can be found here and here!
Don’t let the name intimidate you, this is an absolutely delicious stew. In celebration of corn, a sacred plant among the Aztecs, pozole was consumed at special occasions. Made with pork, corn (hominy), tomatillos and a long list of garnishes - this is the green version of pozole (there is also a red version).
We all love to pair our Sauvignon Blancs with salads, appetizers and light chicken or pastas dishes – but I’m here to tell you Sauvignon Blanc can be heavenly with a soup or stew. The trick is to steer away from tomato based soups or heavy cream soups. Add a punch of flavor with some spice, but don’t go overboard or you’ll overpower your wine. And have fun with toppings! That is one thing I love about this soup, the garnishes add so much flavor, texture and fun.
1 lb pork tenderloin, chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
(2) 7 oz cans tomatillo salsa
1 poblano pepper
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 cups chicken stock
1 can hominy, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ medium onion, diced
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup radishes, thinly sliced
½ cup cabbage, chopped
½ cup tortilla chips, crushed
Heat broiler to 500 degrees. Place poblano on a broiler pan. Char under the broiler until black on all sides. Remove from oven, place in large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 5 minutes. Peel charred skin off the pepper and chop into large chunks.
Add olive oil to Dutch oven over high heat. When oil just begins to smoke, add pork cubes and sear until brown on all sides. Remove and drain on paper towel.
Turn down heat to medium, add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add peppers, salsa, oregano, chicken stock and hominy. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
Return pork to pot. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours. To serve, ladle into large bowls and top with whatever you’d like!
Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc: http://www.decantedwines.com/sku00982.html
We recently launched several new wine clubs designed with our clients in mind. They are not your typical monthly wine clubs featuring mass producing wineries and costing $30/month. With those wine clubs….how can we say this nicely…well, you get what you pay for. Our wine clubs feature rare and boutique wines from established producers and rising superstars (most not available in stores) so you are always on the cutting edge of what’s new in wine.
Do you like wines from around the world? We have a club for that. Are you a self-proclaimed wine “connoisseur”? We have a club for that. Do you have a favorite grape? Sauvignon Blanc? Pinot Noir? Cabernet? We have a club for all of those. Ok, I’m done impersonating the verizon wireless commerical – I promise.
Another benefit of the wine clubs are custom designed wine clubs from yours truly. If you’ve read “Cooked” before and wanted to try one of my food and wine pairings, but didn’t have the wine – well now you don’t have an excuse! Join one of our clubs! This will be one of the only times that I am sharing the recipes with everyone on the blog. That’s right, they’re a secret, meant only for those in the wine clubs.
Chicken Paprikash Crostini. Pair with Beaux Freres ‘Les Cousins’ Pinot Noir 2009
Chicken Paprikash is a traditional Hungarian dish — chicken breasts cooked with onions, red peppers and lots of paprika; usually served with buttered noodles. Pinot Noir is so easy going and therefore easy to pair with wines. It is elevated with chicken and great with spice – making paprikash a perfect match. It is also great for appetizers and that is why we are turning paprikash into a small bite!
Makes 4 appetizer servings
4 chicken breasts, sliced thin, on an angle
½ baguette, sliced thin, on an angle
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, grated
Juice from ½ lemon
1 red pepper, sliced thin
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Brush baguette slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil (split among slices). Place on preheated grill pan, about 3 minutes per side, just until you see some color.
Season chicken slices with salt and pepper. Add to a preheated pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook 1-2 minutes per side, set aside. Add red pepper slices to pan and cook 1-2 minutes until softened.
Aioli: Combine mayonnaise, smoked paprika, paprika, salt, garlic and lemon in a small bowl.
Generously spread aioli over baguette slices. Top with chicken and red peppers.