Monthly Archives: November 2011
An updated Thanksgiving menu with all the trimmings.
Skip the mashed potatoes and boring canned cranberry…
Spice up your menu with our updated takes on a traditional Thanksgiving. And the best part is, we’ve already matched the wine selections for you!
How to use this menu: We had fun creating the perfect wine and food pairings for each dish in this menu. If you have a large group, grab a bottle of each wine and taste it with its partner. Or pick up 1 or 2 bottles suggested and see how the pair with all the flavors at your meal!
Why this pairing: Dry roses offer a complexity of flavors that can complement turkey and many other dishes in a traditional Thanksgiving feast (cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes). The light acidity, fruit and delicacy of the flavors make it a perfect match for roasted turkey which itself doesn’t have a ton of strength in flavor. The rose also helps cut the savoriness of whatever gravy you decide to serve.
Why this pairing: Stuffing, with its complexity of flavors, pairs nicely with a Pinot Noir that has a good fruit/earth balance. The stuffing enhances the soil based flavors of the Pinot and balances the heaviness of the stuffing with its light body and crisp acidity.
Why this pairing: Sweet potatoes are a hard one. With this particular recipe the pancetta incorporated into the dish is a perfect match for a Pinot Gris/Grigio. The oiliness and floral flavors of the wine balance the salt in the pancetta, while the dry acidity offers a contrast to the sweetness of the potatoes.
Why this pairing: Parmesan and sage are deep flavors and call for a more structured wine that can not only compete with them but shine. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot complements the earthiness of the sage but yet offers fruit flavors that stands out and adds complexity to the pairing.
Roasted Green Beans with Mushroom Chips & Blue Cheese
Pair with: Sauvignon Blanc like Westerly Sauvignon Blanc, Domaine Vacheron Sancerre
Why this pairing: The crisp acidity of Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with green vegetables. At times, Sauvignon Blanc is even known to have a (green) vegetal flavor mainly in New Zealand. Here we want to bring out nuances of that flavor in the wine so we pair the dish with wines that aren’t heavy in the vegetal department: domestic Sauvignon Blancs and French style like Sancerre.
Why this pairing: Cranberry Sauce is probably the most challenging dish at the meal to pair a wine with. We went with a GSM blend (heavy on the Grenache) to compete with the acidic and sour flavors of the dish. Grenache’s signature flavors of spice and sour cherry complement the sauce while also giving enough body to stand up to the jalapeno used in this particular sauce.
Why this pairing: Pumpkin ice cream and pumpkin beer? This is a match made in heaven. The only thing that could possibly make this pairing better is by topping that ice cream sandwich with a Pumking floater!
Why this pairing: When pairing wines with dessert, your wine should always be sweeter than your dish. The concord grape pie offers a slight sweetness that pairs well with Moscato’s semi-sweet grape flavors, the sparkle adds a ‘cleansing the palate’ quality at the end of the meal.
Peyrassol Vin de Pays Rouge Croix 2010
Sean Minor Napa Valley Red 2009
Ingredients (6 servings)
1 ½ lbs baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup milk
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons minced sage
5 large eggs, seperated
Salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Add ½ cup grated parmesan and swirl around the dish to coat.
Add potatoes to a medium pot with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until fork tender, 15 minutes.
Drain potatoes. While they are still hot, run them through a ricer or food mill into a large bowl. Let cool slightly. Add remaining butter, milk, cream, remaining parmesan, sage and season with salt and pepper. Mix in egg yolks.
In a separate large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold whites into potato mixture in 3 batches just until combined, do not overmix. Pour mixture into soufflé dish.
Bake 40-45 minutes until puffed and lightly browned on top.
Westerly Santa Ynez Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Domaine Vacheron Sancerre 2010
1 ½ lbs green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt/pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds oyster mushrooms
½ lb maytag blue cheese
Mushroom Chips: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the oyster mushrooms from the stem and break apart into bite size (smaller mushrooms can be left whole). Mix mushrooms, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread the seasoned mushrooms out on 2 baking sheets in a single layer.
Roast the mushrooms about 10 to 12 minutes until crispy. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 3-5 minutes. Scrape the mushroom chips off the bottom of the baking sheet with a bench scraper and set aside.
Beans: Increase oven to 400 degrees.
Spread green beans over a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil (for easy clean up). Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix so every bean is covered in seasoning. Roast until tender and lightly caramelized, 10 minutes.
Spread roasted green beans on platter, top with crispy mushroom chips and blue cheese crumbles. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Swanson Pinot Grigio 2008
Ponzi Vineyards Pinot Gris 2010
Ingredients (6 servings)
6 small sweet potatoes
1 lb pancetta; ½ inch thick rounds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
With a sharp knife, cut slits into the potatoes about ¾ of the way through (do not cut completely through the potato!) Each slice should be about ¼ inch thick.
Slice pancetta rounds into ½ thick strips. Add maple syrup to a small bowl, stir in cayenne. Add pancetta to syrup and mix until each strip is covered completely. Place a pancetta strip in every other “slit” you’ve created in the potatoes.
Arrange potatoes on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Brush each potato first with melted butter and then with remaining maple syrup. (Use all the syrup and be sure to get some in every “slit”)
Sprinkle potatoes with salt and bake for 45 minutes.
St Innocent Pinot Noir Momtazi 2008
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2009
Ingredients (6 servings)
8 ears corn OR 4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb ground chorizo
1 onion, diced (1 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1 large loaf challah bread
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt/black pepper, to taste
If using fresh corn: Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from the cob into a large bowl. Using the back of your knife, scrape the natural juices off the cob into the bowl. Set aside.
If using frozen (thawed) corn: In a large bowl, using a fork mash about 1/3 of the kernels, releasing their juices.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add chorizo and brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
To the chorizo renderings, add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add corn and reduce heat to low. Add heavy cream and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until thick and creamy, about 30 minutes. Add cooked chorizo and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, accordingly.
While corn is cooking, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut challah into ½ inch cubes and spread onto two cooling racks, placed on two baking sheets. Bake 20-25 minutes, until dry and lightly toasted. Remove from oven and increase temperature to 350.
Combine corn mixture, challah and chicken stock in a large bowl then pour into a buttered baking dish (you may need two, depending on size of your dishes). Cover dish(es) with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, add parmesan and bake another 20 minutes until golden brown.
Michael Gassier Cercius Cote du Rhone Red 2010
Chateau Puech Haut Prestige 2009
1 Granny Smith green apple, cored, cut into ½ inch dice
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno, seeds removed
1 ½ cups sugar
Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring
occasionally 10-15 minutes until cranberries burst and soften.
Let sauce cool slightly before serving.
Makes 6-8 servings.
Dragon Cotes de Provence Rose Cuvee 2010
Starmont Merryvale Rose Of Cabernet 2009
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 lemons, quartered
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 gallon water
Add all brining ingredients to a large glass bowl or gallon-size plastic bag. Add turkey. Refrigerate for 6 hours. Remove from brine, pat dry with paper towels.
(1) 8-10 lb fresh turkey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperture
1 large head garlic
2 yellow onions, quartered
3 large carrots, peeled, chopped into 1 inch pieces
3 ribs celery, peeled, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon minched fresh thyme
1 quart turkey (or chicken) stock, warmed on stove
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut garlic head in half. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap in aluminum foil and bake 45-50 minutes until soft and lightly brown. Let cool enough to handle. In a small bowl, mash roasted garlic with butter. Add thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
Add 1 onion, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery to the cavity of the turkey. Add remaining vegetables to the bottom of the roasting pan. Place turkey, breast side down, on top of vegetables and rub butter mixture all over bird, including underneath the skin directly on the breast. Generously season outside with salt/pepper.
Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup warm turkey stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh, about 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with turkey stock.
Remove turkey from the oven. Cover with aluminum foil and a heavy kitchen towel. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup Rosé wine
2 cups turkey (or chicken) stock
1 teaspoons minced, fresh thyme
Salt/pepper to taste
While turkey is resting, melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and continue to cook until deep golden brown 3-4 minutes, whisking constantly. Add rose to deglaze. Whisk in drippings from roasting pan and turkey stock. Add thyme. Continue to cook until reduced and thick, 15-20 minutes, whisking occasionally. Taste and add salt/pepper if needed.
(Both under $20!)
This is a great eggplant lasagna recipe for two reasons: 1. It is heathy. Yes I know that sounds like an oxy-moron; a healthy lasagna, but it’s true! It’s about as healthy as you can get a lasagna without losing all what makes a lasagna great. And 2. it is portioned for 2 people. Have you ever seen a lasagna made for 2 people? I haven’t and that has always been annoying to me. If I made a full 8 portion lasagna it would take a week for my husband and I to finish it.
Ok wait I have a third reason why I love this lasagna – it pairs great with wine. I realize that many of the recipes I provide for food and wine pairings are a bit indulgent because let’s face it you don’t worry much about pairing your wine to dinner on your average weeknight. You save those recipes for special events. I get it and that’s cool with me. But if you’d like to treat yourself to a healthy, easy, relatively speedy weeknight meal – try this lasagna and try the Bogle Petit Sirah. There is just something so incredible about a Petit Sirah and hearty Italian food.
2 large, firm, Japanese eggplants, 1/2 inch slices
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 lb hot Italian sausage, removed from castings
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 lb plum tomatoes, I used a dark, heirloom variety because that’s what they had on sale
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce, My grandma only used Hunt’s so that’s what I stick too
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1 wedge Laughing Cow Cheese, Garlic & Herbs flavored, softened
1 small egg, beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt/Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay eggplant on a cooling rack, over a baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablepsoon olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden in the center, and crisp along the edges.
While eggplant is cooking, heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until brown. Add onion and garlic. Cook until soft, 3-5 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine and reduce for 2-3 minutes.
Add tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer until most of the moisture has evaporated, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a non-stick bread pan (remember this is a two serving lasagna) layer about 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Follow with two pieces of eggplant, then 1/2 of the cottage cheese mixture, then 1/3 of tomato sauce. Repeat. Top with two pieces of eggplant, remaining tomato sauce and all the mozzarella.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook for 10 minutes to brown and crisp the cheese.
Bogle Petit Sirah 2009: