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Archive for the ‘Rose’ Category

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I know you’re probably being inundated with what you should/absolutely/must have for the best/most exciting/most extravagant Thanksgiving this year for wine and food and I promise I will not do that to you.  Instead, I’m just going to tell you what I’m going to have. As a bonus, I’m even throwing in the recipes.  What?!?!? Aaron is giving us recipes? That’s right. I’m going all mainstream on you.  Not just listing the ingredients like I normally do and making you figure it out, but actual recipes that you could follow if you wanted to do that sort of thing.

This year I’ve decided on a South by Southwest theme.  No, not the festival in Austin, but southern and southwestern cooking mixed together.  My mother grew up in the south, my father in the southwest…so meta.  Anyway, as always, if you want advice, send me an e-mail with what you’re having and I’ll help you pick out some wines.  Happy early Thanksgiving!

The Wines

Aperitif: Pere Ventura Tresor Rosé

Meal time: Scott Paul La Pauleé 2008 (Pinot Noir)

Digestif: Averna Amaro Siciliano Fratelli Averna (Not wine, just in case you were wondering. Amaros are hot this year, oh yeah)

Turkey

The Brine (Do the day before):

2 gallons water
2 cups Kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 fennel bulb, split
1 white onion, split
2 limes, sliced
4 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs of oregano
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Toast all the spices in a skillet until they are aromatic, then put all of the ingredients in a stock pot and simmer until the salt is dissolved and the fennel has softened a bit (10-15 minutes).  Let the brine cool, put your turkey in and cover it for at least 12 hours.  Before you’re ready to pop it in the oven, remove from the brine and pat dry.  Preheat the oven to 400F Then add the rub.

The Rub:

1 tablespoon coriander seeds crushed
1 tablespoon fennel seeds crushed
1 teaspoon  thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons crushed dried chilies (ancho, guajillo, etc.)
Peel of 1 small lime (no pith please) grated
1 tablespoon minced onions
4 tablespoons softened butter

Mix all ingredients together and rub all of your turkey.  Get it mostly under the skin.  Yes, your hands will get dirty.  You can wash them later.
Pop that bird in the oven at 400F for 30minutes.  Hopefully, you have a meat thermometer.
Turn the heat down to 325F and continue to cook for 1 hour.
If you have the time, turn the heat down to 250F and cook until the white meat is 165F or the dark meat is 175F, otherwise just leave it at 325 and your bird will finish up within another hour.  If you want to get crazy, go ahead and baste the turkey with the drippings that fall every 1/2 hour or so.  Expect your total cooking time to go up a little when you do this though since heat is escaping the oven.  On to the sides!

Green Chilies Sauce (Replacement gravy)

2 cans green chilies
½ quart cream
Salt/pepper

Put the first two ingredients in a saucepot and raise to a simmer.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Make 10 minutes before you serve all the food.  For the advanced user, instead of the canned goods, go ahead and get 4 poblano peppers.  Stick them on the grill with the corn until all sides are blistered and blackened.  Then slide them into a sealed container or bag for a few minutes so they steam up a bit.  Peel off all the skin, then slice and dice.  Voilá. Your own chilies.

Trivia for the dinner table:  The spelling “Chili” refers to any member of the Capsicum family, many of which are used in cooking.  This can also be used to reference the dish which football fans love during the fall.  It can also be spelled as “Chile” or “Chilli”.  The “correct” spelling is debatable.  However, the country of Chile would like to insist everybody spell their name as is.  I have seen this embarrassment in grocery stores and wine shops in which they spell the country of Chile, “Chili”.  

Hot Sauced Brussel Sprouts

1 lb Brussel Sprouts
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt/Pepper
1/2 cup your favorite hot sauce
1 tablespoon Oregano
1 tablespoon butter

Clean, slice of the stems, and halve the brussel sprouts then toss them with the olive oil.  Roast those bad boys at around 350 for 15-20 minutes until the edges get brown.  Meanwhile heat up the butter to melting point and mix it with the hot sauce and oregano.  Once the sprouts are done roasting, toss them in the hot sauce mixture.  Enjoy the ensuing mouth-gasm.

Grilled ears of corn

4 ears of corn
Soak. Pat dry. Grill.

Soak whole ears of corn for 20 minutes in water.  Pop on a flaming hot grill.  Rotate after you see grill marks on the bottom. Take them off when grill marks are on the other side.  10 minutes-ish to cook.

Wild Rice with cranberries

1 cup Wild rice
½ cup Cranberries
3 cups Chicken broth
1 Tablespoon sugar
½ cup chopped Pecans
2 tbsps Butter
Salt to taste

Put the rice, broth and butter in a pot and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat to low and let cook for 20 minutes.  Add the cranberries, sugar, and pecans and some salt if needed.  Stir. Cover again and cook for another 30 minutes or until the rice is fluffy and you don’t see liquid bubbling around.

Pickled Okra and Jalapeños (Make at least a week in advance)

1/2 pound Okra or enough to fit into a big mason jar
1 Jalapeño, sliced
1 tablespoon Dill
2 teaspoons Juniper berries
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
Dash of Cayenne if desired
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/2 cup Vinegar
1 cup Water

Bring the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Meanwhile stuff your your okra and jalapeno slices into the mason jar. Add in the dill, juniper berries, fennel seeds, and cayenne. Once the liquids are boiling, take them off the heat and pour into the mason jar until the dry ingredients are covered. Seal the mason jar closed and refrigerate for at least a week.

Pecan Pie

It’s a secret southern mother recipe. Sorry.

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Man, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted!  I’ve been busy…drinking wine and stuff.  OK, I really can’t come up with a good excuse.  To make up for my prolonged absence, I am giving you a crazy-awesome wine and food experience.  I even have multiple pictures just to back up all the hyperbole of the last sentence.  Let’s get to the good stuff!

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Seafood medley of clams, mussels, lobsters, and shrimp accompanied by red potatoes, chorizo, and ears of corn.  Cooking juices loaded up with butter for dipping.

Wine: Charles & Charles Rosé 2012

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Yes, yes, yes, the food and the wine were absolutely fantastic.  All of it was cooked in single pot, and I don’t want any grief from East Coasters about that fact that I did my clambake in Minneapolis!  The dry rosé from Washington had a great sense of minerality that worked well with the seafood and quite a bit of bright fruit to add a nice layer of texture on top of the meal.  Overall, this was a great wine and food pairing, but when it comes to the experience of the meal, there’s always so much more involved.

It just so happened for me that my craving to have a clambake this year was given the perfect opportunity by my father being born a certain number of years ago (His secret is safe with me).  Fortunately, the rain held out and we were able to enjoy the great outdoors in the city while stuffing ourselves silly with delicious seafood and washing it down with solid wine.  As a little sensory bonus I clipped some rosemary, lemon thyme, and lavender from my garden and poured some hot water over them (essentially just making herbal tea) to add a little headiness to the air.   It was fun, it was messy, it was an adventure.  This is truly one of those events that I think everyone simply must have annually. I don’t even care what you’re celebrating.  Just find a great meal, get some great wine, and then put some effort into it!

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The best part about wine and food is that it gives an event something to focus around.  This shared social experience of enjoyment is, in my mind, one of the finest things in life.  One might credit the amount of wine consumed, but I’m guessing it’s the act of sharing something enjoyable that brings people closer together during these nights.  I would add that it’s of extra benefit to share something enjoyable that is also new.

I could probably go on a rant about how we as an American society are not spending enough time sitting and enjoying meals together, but I think we’re all acutely aware of that message.  Instead, I will say this: wine and food are an integral part of the human connection.  The experience is also an important opportunity for adults to show children how to drink alcohol responsibly with food.  So the next time you think about planning a meal go ahead and decide to cook something you think is fancy and share a bottle of wine over it.  Just the little bit of extra effort in thinking about it will pay off in dividends.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

 

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Rating: 4/5

Traditional Sweet and Sour Chicken with carrots over white rice.

Wine: Dusted Valley Ramblin’ Rosé 2010

Notes:

What a delightful wine.  I came across this vineyard earlier in the year when they came to strut their stuff at a trade show in Minneapolis.  By far, they were my favorite Washington wine producer at the show and since I’m now a member of their Stained Tooth Society (aptly named), I’ll probably have a few more future posts pairing their wines.

This rosé, while fruit forward as just about every rosé is, doesn’t dip into the sweetness realm like so many others.  Crisp and dry, just the way I like ’em.  Its lingering finish elevates it above just a “pleasant sipper” and made me want to get some food along side it.   Some Sweet and Sour Chicken fit the bill.  The touch of cinnamon really played nicely with the fruitiness in the wine and the bit of acid along with the body of the wine held up against the food easily enough.    The only thing that could have made this better would have been to add a little more pepper in the mix.

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Rating: 5/5

1/2 Chicken rubbed with pepper, rosemary, salt and some leftover Chinese Plum Sauce I had from a wine and food pairing event the night before.  Side of mashed sweet potatoes with nutmeg and cinnamon and sauteed kale with garlic, lemon juice and ginger.

Wine: Elk Cove Pinot Noir Rosé 2009

Notes:

Hello, autumn.  After hearing raves multiple times from a woman who checks me out at the wine shop on this wine, I decided to give it a go.  Why not?  I haven’t actually had a Rosé all year anyway.  Shame on me, right? So I finally did.  Just when summer was over.  Paired with the chicken, sweet potatoes and kale, this was a magnificent lunch for two.  The wine has these light floral, strawberry and watermelon characteristics, but with a solid body and structure behind it that mixed wonderfully with the fall flavors in the food.  Perfect seasonal segue meal.  Roasted chicken always looks beautiful as well so I included a picture of the full meal this time.

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