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December 27, 2013

Apple, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad served in Endive

Endive leaves make a great base for serving this creamy apple salad.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red apple, such as Gala, cored and diced
  • 3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup celery, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 large Belgian endives, leaves separated; smallest leaves saved for another use
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

    Instructions:

    In a medium bowl, combine the apple, blue cheese, celery, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt.

    To assemble, mound a small spoonful of the apple mixture onto the core end of each endive leaf. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.

    Posted by terri at 03:13 AM | Comments (0)

    Christmas Wine Dinner

    We always enjoy our wine dinners and this one was no exception. We began the evening with a 2012 Viognier from Chamisal Vineyards in Paso Robles California. This was the first time Chamisal sent this particular wine to us through our wine club so we were anxious to try it. The apricot, apple and peach notes with the wonderful acidity worked well with several of the cheeses we served especially the mild cheddar and drunken goat cheese.

    We had a very special scallop dish. The scallops were sautéed to perfection and served with a Martin Codax 2011 Albarino, a white grape grown in Northwestern Spain. This crisp wine is excellent with seafood and this was a very good pairing.


    Endive leaves add crispness to a salad and are great for serving the salad on as well. We paired the salad with a Villa Des Anges, Old vine 2012 Rose from France. The intense crispness and fruit aromas made this a very good pairing with the salad. The acidity cut through the mayonnaise and the apple in the salad brought out the fruit aromas and flavors of the wine.
    Apple Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad on Endive

    The entrée, an apple wine pork roast was served with a V Sattui 2008 White Riesling. The pork roast was seasoned with salt and pepper and placed into a roasting pan with a bottle of apple wine and 1 cup of apple cider. It was cooked until the meat was fork tender. The sugar content in the wine created a thick slightly sweet but yet savory sauce when cooked down. The V Sattui was a great pairing bringing together the flavors in the meat and sauce with the fruity flavors in the wine.

    The final touch on a great meal with excellent wine pairings was a sweet and tart Cherry Pie. The wine pairing surprised us all, an Australia Sparkling Shiraz from Emeri De Bortoli. It was a perfect pairing; the bubbles in the wine seemed to jump off the tart cherries creating a delicious taste sensation.

    Posted by terri at 03:10 AM | Comments (0)

    December 16, 2013

    Basil Pesto Encrusted Salmon reposted

    I've tried several salmon recipes over the years and most of them have been really good. But I wanted to try something different so I decided to create my own. Going with what I had on hand, I rubbed the salmon with a little lemon and fresh cracked black pepper, then coated it with basil pesto and cooked it on the grill.

    I opened a bottle of Saved Rosé wine from California and it was an amazing pairing.

    Serves 4

    Ingredients:

  • 4- 6 ounce salmon filets, skin removed
  • 1 lemon cut in half
  • 2-3 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

    Instructions:

    Prepare medium hot grill.

    For Grilling Tips:The Art of Grilling
    Spray cooking surface with cooking oil.

    Sprinkle salmon with red and black pepper and squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon on top of salmon. Rub the top of the salmon filets evenly with pesto.

    Place on grill and close lid. Cook until salmon is cooked to your liking. The more you cook the dryer the salmon becomes so be very careful not to overcook. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of the salmon.

    Slice remaining lemon and serve on the side.

    Cooking Wiser
    To save time use prepared pesto but if you have access to basil make you own pesto. It is so good.

    For more flavor, add wood chips to the charcoal, alder wood or cedar are good choices for salmon.
    If it is raining and you aren't in the mood to light the grill, roast in a preheat 400 degree oven on middle rack.

    Posted by terri at 03:09 AM | Comments (0)

    December 03, 2013

    Chicken Corn Chowder

    If a simple, tasty, and comforting bowl of soup for a cold winter day is in order then try this recipe.

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • ¼ cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1- 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • ½ cup half and half
  • 1 can (14 oz.) fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen cream corn, thawed
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric,
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Black ground pepper
  • 3 dashes of Tabasco sauce

    Instructions:

    COOK bacon in large saucepan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; drain on paper towels. Discard all but 3 Tbsp. of drippings from pan.

    ADD garlic, onions and celery to saucepan. Cook until tender.

    Add flour to make roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly.

    SLOWLY add milk and half and half. Stir until smooth.

    ADD remaining ingredients including bacon. Bring to boil; simmer on low heat 15 min. or until heated through.


    Posted by terri at 03:12 AM | Comments (0)

    December 02, 2013

    Herbed Goat Cheese Tarts

    I served these appetizer size tarts with a French sparkling wine at our last wine dinner. A white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc usually compliments the tangy flavor from the goat cheese but I tried a Rose and it worked well.

    The soup was also a hit, a Chicken Corn Chowder

    Makes 24 mini tarts

    Ingredients:

  • 6 ounce goat cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed Italian herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme, basil)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts

    Instructions:

    Spray or brush with cooking oil the tart pan to prevent sticking. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

    Cut 24 circles out of the pie pastries. Each circle should be slightly larger than the tart area. Gently punch pastry down into tart area.

    In a medium bowl, combine goat and cream cheese and whip with mixer until smooth and blended. Slowly add eggs, one at a time and continue to beat another 30 seconds.

    Add cream or milk, herbs, and garlic. Stir to combine.

    Spoon filling into the pastry.

    Bake 12-15 minutes or until pastry is golden and eggs have set.

    Remove from oven and cool about 5 minutes before removing tarts from pan.

    You could make one regular goat cheese tart. Fit pie shell into an 8 inch pie plate.

    Posted by terri at 03:03 AM | Comments (0)

    November Wine Dinner

    This was a fabulous wine dinner. The entrée was a salted pastry encrusted beef tenderloin. The flavor was amazing. It resembled a beef wellington with the difference being that the crust wasn't eaten. It was peeled away from the meat.

    The menu included
    Herbed Goat Cheese Tarts paired with a French sparkling Rose
    Chicken Corn Chowder paired with a French white wine


    Posted by terri at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

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