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Posts Tagged ‘onion’

A ragú based around Tony’s sausage from his market down the street comprised of onions, parsnips, green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, a bit of beef broth, dash of pasta water, oregano, and bay leaf.  Served along with the house-made tagliolini that is obviously comprised of flour and eggs, and I add a dash of salt and olive oil.  Oregano and pecorino to top.

Wine: G.D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo 2015

IMG_8975Notes:  Now that I live in Boston, I’m taking advantage of the major cultural staple of being able to walk into some market owned by an elderly Italian person and wish that they were your grandparent.  For me, Tony’s Market, appropriately owned by a guy named Tony who is between 80 and 150 years old and is still making the sausages, is just down the street.  Anyway, I wanted nothing more than to cook and drink some wine after being up since 3:30am that morning for a major system update for work and this really hit the spot.  A comfort meal at it’s finest with a beautiful wine to boot.  I originally planned to add a little heat in the form of red pepper flakes and either some clove or nutmeg, but I was on a severe lack of sleep so those accidentally got left out.  Next time…

IMG_8970

More food porn.

 

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photo-9

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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Rating: 5/5

Cornish Hen marinated in olive oil, garlic and onion then put on the grill with a risotto full of tenderly cooked onions using a dash of the red wine instead of the traditional white.

Bonus gratuitous food shot

Wine: Domaine Diochon Cuvée Vielles Vignes 2009

Notes:

This was superb.  The gamay had a surprising amount of punch and had to be left out for an hour before I started in on it.  Lots of dark berries and fig components that went nicely with the creamy risotto and the grilled hen.  The tannins, although softly apparent on their own, seemed to melt away with the extra bit of finishing salt I dashed on at the end.  For those with concern about gamay, this is a serious one.  As a bonus, the dish turned out to be pretty good looking so I’ve included the gratuitous food shot above.  As a bonus to the bonus, I’ve even included a nice infographic of this label for those of you who want to figure out what exactly the items on a typical French label mean.

Bon appétit!

Interpreting a French Wine Label

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Rating: 4/5

Lasagna layered with homemade pasta noodles, sauce composed of browned ground turkey in tomatoes, onion, garlic, yellow pepper, basil, rosemary, caraway seeds, and salt/pepper, fresh spinach leaves and a cheese blend of ricotta, asiago and parmesan.

Wine: Tenuta Sant’Antonio “Mont Garbi” Ripasso

Notes:

Valpolicella is generally known for two types of wine.  One is their standard blend of Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Molinara which is a lighter, aromatic wine and generally flies under the radar of enthusiasts.  The other is Amarone, which is made from the same grapes, but the grapes are dried ahead of time and then fermented into a rich and dry wine.  Amarone is the popular kid out of Valpolicella and its price tag generally reflects this.  However, at some point, a very enterprising wine maker decided to take the leftovers from Amarone and blend them with some of the standard blend to create a middle of the road wine which turned out to be pretty good.  They called it Ripasso and it officially got recognized in December 2009 with a DOCG status (which means they could put the word “Ripasso” on a bottle and it would mean something).

Anyway, this paired nicely with the lighter lasagna.  The wine delivers all sorts of red fruits upfront, but has enough structure and spice in the end to make it play wonderfully with the ricotta cheese and the caraway.  Simply Italian.  Enough said.

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Rating: 5/5

Chickpeas and chopped dried dates put into a masala (a mixture of spices) created from tomato paste, garlic, cardamom, star anise, yellow onion, cumin and cayenne pepper.

Wine: Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier 2008

Notes:

Yowzah!! This was fun.  If you ever have a night where all you feel like doing is wrapping yourself up in a blanket and listening to the cold winds whipping around outside, this is your meal. As a bonus (for some; not me), it’s vegetarian and vegan friendly if you’re in to that sort of thing.  The cayenne actually plays an interesting role in this dish in the fact that if you just put a dash, it acts as a supporter to the warmth in the spice blend.  If you put in more than a dash, the rest of the spice blend acts as a warm supporter to the heat “pricks” of the cayenne.  I went with the former which paired beautifully with the wine from Eden Valley, Australia.  Now, to avoid some confusion, there was only 3% Viognier in this bottle so it’s hard to really call this a blend (but this is how they do it in Côte-Rôtie, France!).  Yalumba could have legally said the whole thing was Shiraz and that would have been fine.  Most of the world states that if you have at least 85% of a varietal in a bottle you can just call it by that varietal.  However, I always appreciate a vintner’s honesty when they go the extra mile and tell me what the exact blend is.  The best part about this pairing was how even though the fruit tones were muted because there was nothing in the food to enhance them, the wine still was incredibly balanced and took on a darker life that was very interesting and enjoyable.  It also helped greatly that the finish on this wine lasted as long as the warmth from the spice blend did.

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