Food & Wine Pairing Recipes

Recipes of 2015:
A Kind of Shepherds Pie

To begin:
A pie skin

Layer 1:
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 chopped medium yellow onion
2 clove chopped garlic
2 petals anise, crushed to powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Layer2:
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
9 medium white mushrooms
1/4 tsp tarragon 
Salt and pepper to taste

Layers 3,4 & 5:
1/4 cup chopped olives of choice
1 Tbsp black currents
4 sliced hard boiled eggs
Sprinkle salt and pepper over eggs

Layer 6:
2 good sized yams
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup half & half
1/8 tsp saffron
Salt and pepper to taste


Line 9X9" casserole with a pie skin (if it does not come right up to the top, that's ok)

Season ground lamb with chopped onion, garlic, anise,  
and salt & pepper to taste 
Cook crumble and blend in heavy skillet until just barely done
Remove from heat and let cool till just warm 
then spread in pie skin as bottom layer

Return pan to heat and add balsamic vinegar,
sliced mushrooms with tarragon
and salt & pepper to taste
Cook on low heat until mushrooms are soft and changed
Remove from heat and let cool till just warm 
then spread on top of meat mixture to create next layer

Continue layering with
Sliced olives of your choice (I used kalamata)
Black currents
Sliced hard boiled eggs, 
sprinkled with salt & pepper

Boil yams till done then drain and  season with salt, pepper & saffron
Blend with butter and half & half until smooth
Carefully dollop and spread on top of eggs to create the final layer

Bake tented in foil at 350 for 30 min
Remove the foil and continue to bake another 30-45 minutes 

Remove from oven and cool at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving

Enjoy with a glass of 
Ventisquero Grey Single Block Carmenere 11',

Iman Bayildi 
(The is my version, which is slightly altered from the one in 
the New Double Day Cookbook)

4 servings

1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise, do not peel
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1/2 large sweet yellow bell pepper, chopped into small bits(optional)
2 cloves garlic, grated
3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped into small bits
1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, mint, or oregano… pick one(optional)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp raw organic sugar, if needed
1/8 tsp pepper

Score cut surfaces of eggplant halves in a crisscross pattern to leave 1/2” of the meat along all sides of the shell, sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp salt and let stand 1 hour. 
Press out as much liquid as possible, rinse in cold water and pat dry on paper towels.
Scoop out centers leaving shells 1/2” thick and brush rims with a little olive oil.
Cut centers in 1/2” cubes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Sauté onion, sweet pepper and garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil over moderate heat 8-10 minutes until golden; drain on paper towels and reserve.
Sauté tomatoes in 2 Tbsp olive oil for 5 minutes and mix with onion.
Brown eggplant cubes in remaining oil, add to onion and season with pepper, remaining salt and choice of basil, oregano, or mint.
Sprinkle a little sugar if it tastes too tart and 
add lemon juice, then gently toss to mix… Don’t mush it up! (Actually I like it a little mushed up, but Mother says it’s wrong so…) 
Place eggplant shells in a lightly greased shallow casserole, cutting a slice off the bottoms if necessary to make them stand. 
Fill and bake, uncovered 50-60 minutes until tender. 
Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving with a side of fresh warm bread, maybe Turkish pide

Enjoy with a glass of Ernst Gouws & Co Pinotage 11’, 

Nightshade Harvest Hors d'Oeuvres 
makes about 32-40 snacks total

Hors d'Oeuvre 1
1 large Italian eggplant (long and about 3" diameter),
cut into 1/3" rounds
1 -2 egg s, whisked in shallow bowl

2/3 cup bread crumbs seasoned with 
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed fennel seeds 

1/4-1/3 lb Capricho de Cabra (velvety soft goat cheese)
walnut halves and pieces to equal each round, 16 -20  

Salt eggplant rounds and put in layers on paper towels with paper
towels on top then set a heavy plate on top. 
Let stand up to an hour.
Gently squeeze liquid from rounds, rinse and pat dry with more
paper towels

Whisk up an egg or two in shallow bowl
Pour seasoned bread crumbs  into a bag for shaking

Cover eggplant rounds in egg 7 or 8 at a time then shake in bread crumb bag

Place on heavily oiled heavy pan to bake at 350 for 22.5  minutes
Remove and turn all rounds over and bake another 22.5  minutes.
They should be crisp and firm.

Place on serving plate and let cool a few minutes before
Topping with small bit of goat cheese (use 1/8lb or a little more...1/2 of your 1/4-1/3 lb round)
Press a piece of walnut onto the cheese

Hors d'Oeuvre 2
8-10 tiny sweet colorful peppers,
Carefully cut only little green tops off and then half the peppers
and remove seeds (don’t worry about the halves with hole in the bottom as 
basil leaf will take care of it)
Place 1 basil leaf in each half
followed by small bit of goat cheese (the other 1/2 of your round)
then squish a walnut piece down on top of the basil leaf and
put one drop white truffle oil on each 
Arrange on plate in between eggplant wheels
Beautiful and So delicious, W.W. did gooooood!

Serve the two together and enjoy with a glass of Cipresseto Rosato Toscana 14', review 169

Mediterranean Style Rolled Flank Steak

2lb flank steak, well flattened 
(Let the butcher put it through the tenderizer one time and then you can easily flatten it out the rest of the way with the palm of your hand)
Olive oil
Salt & pepper


Garlic
Sweet onion 
Walnuts
Feta cheese
Fresh basil
Kalamata olives
Red bell pepper
Chard, chopped, steamed and drained
About 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

100% cotton kitchen string

Basmati rice and baguette & butter to serve with

To begin:
Lay flank steak flat and drizzle with olive oil
sprinkle with salt and pepper

Turn steak over and rub with crushed garlic
and layer next 7 ingredients 

Roll up lengthwise (so roll is long, not wide)
Tie up with string

BBQ on top shelf with pan to catch drippings underneath 
at about 350-400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes  

Pull from grill, cover with foil
and let rest 15 minutes

To end:
Slice into rounds and serve on bed of basmati rice 
with warm baguette and butter

Enjoy with a glass of Bodega Norton Malbec Reserva 2012’, 
review 168

Menage a Mushroom, Eggplant, Red Bell Pepper

Makes ​4​ main meal servings​,
or maybe 6-8 as side dish​

Ingredients:
​3​ medium Japanese eggplant
1/​2​ cup milk
1 egg​, whisked with a little salt and pepper​
1/​2​ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
A light oil such as avocado
​3​ cups small button mushrooms (about 15), quartered
1 ​medium ​red bell pepper, chopped in medium-small bits
​1​ tsp tarragon
​2​ Tbsp fresh chopped basil
Salt & Pepper to taste
​4​ Tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp white truffle oil
​2​ Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
Penne Rigate No.76
Olive oil
​4​ oz. ​nice Spanish ​
goat cheese
​2​ Tbsp toasted pine nuts

Cut ​3​ medium Japanese eggplant into 1/4" rounds
Soak in milk
Beat an egg and run the eggplant rounds through that
Dredged in Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Baked on a heavy cookie sheet or pizza pan with fair amount of
avocado oil in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes and then
Flip em' and go another 15 minutes
They should be lightly browned when you pull them out
Set aside while you finish preparing other stuff

Toss together: 3 cup​s​ small quartered white button mushrooms
1​ medium sweet pepper pepper, chopped to medium small bits
1 tsp. tarragon
​2​ Tbsp fresh chopped basil
salt & pepper to taste
Heat heavy skillet on low​/medium​

Add ​4​ Tbsp avocado oil and
1 tsp white truffle oil
Saute' the mushroom medley until shrooms release liquid and flavors and textures combine nicely, red pepper still firm… don't over cook it

Remove from heat and Toss in 
​2​ Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf Italian parsley and then
Gently add eggplant

Serve on Penne Rigate No.76 cooked al dente with 1/2 tsp salt and then
drained and drizzled heavily with olive oil

Plate or shallow bowl it up and dot with goat cheese
Garnish with toasted pine nuts and
A sprig of parsley

Enjoy with love & squalor Pinot Noir, review 167

A Chicken Recipe

makes 4 servings 

2lb boneless skinless chicken breast
marinate overnight in: 
1/2 cup rice vinegar 
1/2 cup sake
1/3 cup hemp oil
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp plum sauce
1/4 tsp mustard powder 
1 tbsp white truffle oil

In medium casserole dish make a nice bed of chopped bok choy and chard

Place evenly on top:
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/3 cup chopped fennel, bulb & green bits
1/2 cup chopped fresh peas
2/3 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
1/3 tsp finely ground caraway seeds

Pour 1/2 cup sake or white wine over veggies

Drain and discard marinade and 
arrange chicken pieces atop veggies

Sprinkle with salt & white pepper to taste
evenly sprinkle 1/3 cup blanched almonds

Bake at 350 in oven, covered or foil tented until done, 
about 40 minutes

Serve on smashed potatoes done the way you like them

Enjoy with a glass of Tessellae Old Vines Cote du Roussillon 12’, 

review 166

Cardamom Maple Salmon
a la Shawna

1 to 3 lbs Salmon (steaks, fillets or whatever form you like)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup sake or dry white wine
1/4 cup avocado oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1" piece fresh grated ginger root
Black pepper 
(Adjust amounts as you wish, this is just a go by)

Lemon wheels for planking the salmon 

Marinate salmon 1/2 hour in refrigerator in large freezer bag.

Remove from bag and discard extra marinade.

Lay lemon wheels on cedar plank and bbq Pacific NW style until it flakes easily with a fork. Just don’t over cook it and it’ll be seriously awesome!

Serve on or near a bed of interesting rice with garnish of lemon wedges and side of fresh organic summer market produce treats.
Be sure to have fresh organic strawberries for desert.

Enjoy with a glass of Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay 13’, review 165.

Pizza, The Good Kind

Don’t get your pizza from someplace everyone knows due to annoying advertising; that’s Not cool(or healthy). Purchase instead from one of your local masters or make one up yourself. Now That’s cool!

If you are are in Zootown I recommend 
This one is called 'Orange St.’,  ordered with house made Italian Sausage.
I seriously recommend the Arugala Salad w/Blackened SaLmon as well.
It is to Live for!

Enjoy with a glass of 
Middle Sister Forever Cool Merlot, review 164.

Matambre Arrollado

This recipe is open to interpretation. Ingredients and amounts are kind of up to you. I’m not going to tell you how much of what to use as it will vary according to the size of flank steak you use and your own personal taste. 
That said, here is my version of Matambre Arrollado.

Makes about 8 slices, so maybe 4-6 servings

You’ll need: 
heavy plastic wrap
fresh cracked black pepper
cayenne pepper
Himalayan sea salt
1.5lb flank steak, pounded into a rectangle and making
sure there is no fat left on it
fresh garlic
fresh thyme
fresh chives
fresh rosemary
Italian flat leaf parsley
hard boiled eggs
kalamata and other olives
red and orange bell pepper
grated carrot
cooking string
sunflower oil
beef broth 
a little red wine for deglazing

Lay flattened steak on a piece of plastic wrap that has 
been seasoned (sprinkled) with salt, pepper, and cayenne

Rub meat with lots of garlic and then season as you wish
with thyme, chives, rosemary, parsley, grated carrots and olives

Arrange red and orange bell peppers in strips horizontal with
the direction you will be rolling it up from

Place hard boiled eggs either whole or cut in half lengthwise
in one row at the end where you will be beginning the roll or
in two rows (if cut in half, face down) with one of the rows being in the middle

Roll the creation up peeling the plastic wrap away as you go and then tie the meat up nicely with kitchen string making sure the ends are well sealed

Sear meat in heavy skillet in a little oil to seal in juices

Remove and place in appropriate sized baking dish

Deglaze skillet with a little red wine and add to the beef broth

Pour broth into dish the meat is in just to where it fills the dish up not more than an inch along the sides… we are going to steam the meat this way,
I used about 2 cups

Cover with foil or lid and place in 350 degree oven until meat is tender and not
overcooked
I went an hour but checked often which seemed to work

Remove from oven and let rest and cool for a while (I’d even go a half hour) still in covered dish with broth to help keep the meat moist

Slice and serve with chimichurri and a side of pasta seasoned lightly with roasted garlic, toasted pine nuts, salt, and olive oil. 

Enjoy with a glass of Tilia Malbec-Syrah 13’, review 163

My Pasta Salad

1 16oz box Rigatoni pasta No.27 (or pasta of your choice)
Cook al dente, drizzle and toss with Lots of olive oil
Set aside

Combine and toss together:
1/4 cup green olives
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1 8oz btl Italian dressing of choice, I used Annie’s Tuscany Italian
cracked pepper to taste 

Toss veggie mix together with pasta and 
1 cup cheese of choice, I used feta and 
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

It’s all about the tossing

Serve as a light meal with whole green onion and/or parsley garnish, 
or along side a nice grilled steak for a full on dinner situation

Enjoy with a glass of Sagelands Cabernet Sauvignon 13',
review 162

Viva Madrid Spanish Chicken 
Recipe by Shelbi Bites found at allrecipes.com 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2015 Allrecipes.com

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
Submitted By: shelbi bites
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: 4
"Zestily seasoned chicken is cooked in the skillet with bacon, garlic, and dates!"
INGREDIENTS:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves - pounded thin
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 dates, pitted and chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
dried thyme to taste

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2015 allrecipes.com
Get complete recipe for this amazing dish here

NOTE FROM THE WINE WITCH: 
I added 1/4 tsp of spanish paprika (smokey) and a little salt and pepper to the dredging flour.... just my personal twist.

Serve on Spanish rice and garnish with something pretty and green like cucumber slices.

Enjoy with a glass of Tridente tempranillo 2012, review 161.

Mushroom Bolognese on tajarin(tie-yah-REEN) or tagliatelle pasta

Makes approx. 6 cups

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb pork sausage
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
salt to taste

Some olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4  or 5 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2/3 cup chopped carrot
1 small can fire roasted tomatoes (14.5oz.)
1 cup dry red wine

Shredded parmesan 
Italian flat leaf parsley for garnish 

Brown beef and sausage in large heavy skillet and set aside

Saute' onion and celery in small amount of olive oil in large heavy skillet until onion starts to clear and soften

Add meat and remaining ingredients Except parmesan and parsley

Simmer softly, and stir occasionally until texture and taste are to your liking... Do not let it boil

Serve on tajarin(tie-yah-REEN) or tagliatelle pasta and garnish with parmesan and parsley

Enjoy with a glass of Maraia Barbera del Monferrato 13', review 160

Wine Poached Bosc Pear Salad
-inspired by recipe in October 12' issue of Country Living

4 servings

2 Bosc pears, peeled, halved and cored
2 cups dry red wine
1/4 cup raw sugar
Zest and juice of one navel orange
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Put the above ingredients in a nonreactive pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until pears are tender, about 40 minutes. Cool. (can be prepared a day or more ahead of time)

1/4 cup whole hazelnuts 
A few cranbaisins 
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt & Pepper 
4 single salad sized beds of arugula
2 oz. Bleu cheese (I used Danish), crumbled

Toast hazelnuts on a baking pan in 350 degree oven until golden, about 10 minutes; tossing occasionally. Remove and roll off skins with paper towels or dish towel. Chop nuts into medium size bits and set aside.

To make dressing strain 1/2 cup poaching liquid (strained) into a small sauce pan and cook over medium high heat until reduced by half. Transfer to small bowl and add balsamic vinegar. Whisk in olive oil then add salt and pepper. 

Arrange arugula in salad bowls or plates. Drizzle with dressing then sprinkle hazelnuts, cranbaisins, and bleu cheese. Place one half pear on each, cut side up. 

Serve as a light lunch, or as a side dish with dinner graced by a glass of 

Domaine de la Janass Cotes du Rhone Cuvee Reserve 12', review 159.

Recipes of 2014:


Mandala Hors d Oeuvre Plates
Featuring Cheese


Choose four or five cheeses you like, I chose these:

Oro Italian Black Truffle & Saffron
Pecorino Pepato
Society Roquefort
Le Pommier Single Creme Brie
Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar
Arrange on a plate with crackers, mandala style


Choose some veggies, dip, nuts and dried fruit you like,
I chose these:
Cucumber
Carrot Sticks
Almonds
Cranbaisins
Pecans
Yogurt Dill Dip (yogurt, mayo, dill, lemon juice.... easy)



Choose some fruit you like, I chose:
Apple
Mango
Arrange on a plate, mandala style and squeeze 1/4 lemon or so over to keep fresh

Enjoy with a glass of La Marca Prosecco Sparkling Wine,



Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium butternut squash
1 cup hearty chicken stalk
2 cups full fat milk 
3 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 white pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/8 cayenne pepper
carrot, for curls (optional)

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place open side up in baking dish
with an inch or so of water in the bottom, cover with foil and bake in 350 degree oven
until nice and tender, about an hour. Let cool and remove squash meat from shell with spoon, discard shell.
In small batches run the cooked squash through a food processor or blender
and set aside.

In large skillet on medium heat melt butter and whisk in flour

Slowly whisk in broth and then milk

Stir in squash goo until well blended

Add spices and adjust to taste

Heat through, do not boil

Serve in bowls garnished with carrot curls and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Enjoy with a side of warm bread and a glass of

Domaine Lafage Cuvee Nicolas 12', review 157


Coiled Children Playing with Eggs


10 thick slices quality roast beef
10 thick slices quality smoked ham
6 hard boiled eggs
20 pimento stuffed large geen olives, sliced
8oz. full fat cream cheese, whipped
6 Tbsp mayonaise 
2 tsp yellow mustard, prepared
pinch of dried dill
salt & pepper to taste

Chop the cooled hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper, set aside.
Mix mayo, mustard, dill, set aside.
Whip cream cheese.... a lot. 
Add the mayo mixture and blend.
Stir in the eggs and mix well.

Place the slices of meat,  ham over beef so you will have
10 altogether. 
Spread a thick layer of egg mixture evenly over each one.
Place about 10 slices of olive randomly on each one.
Roll up from long end to long end, and 
secure with a toothpick in the middle.

Arrange the 10 rolls on a plate, cover with plastic and refrigerate
overnight to set.

Pull from fridge and cut each one to make three pieces securing each piece 
with a toothpick (the middle piece already has its toothpick).

Arrange on a pretty plate and serve the hors d' oeuvre.

Enjoy with a glass of Padrillos Malbec 13’, review 156.

Frittata a al Shawna

1 cup Andouille sausage, diced & saute’d 
1/4 cup artichoke hearts
2 Tbsp diced sweet pepper
1 Tbsp diced kalamata olives
1 Tbsp chopped sun dried tomato
10 small cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered

6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
3 green onions, chopped
2 clove grated garlic
1 Tbsp basil pesto
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded parmesan or sharp white cheddar

Preheat oven to 400 and grease a shallow 2 quart baking dish.

Cook diced sausage for a few minutes in large heavy skillet
before adding next five ingredients and heat for another four or five minutes.
Transfer to the baking dish.

Whisk together next seven ingredients (eggs through pepper) and pour
over sausage mixture. 

Cover evenly with shredded cheeses and bake in preheated oven until
eggs are set and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. 

Enjoy with a glass of Locations Wine I-1 Italy
Red Wine by Dave Phinney, review 155.

Baghdad Beef Stew
found at and slightly altered from the one on allrecipes.com
Altered ingredients/amounts are in bold. To create the original recipe by MJodiH, go here.

1 Tbsp hemp oil
1 lb cubed lamb stew meat
1 (17oz) can figs, drained (reserve juice) and chopped
(I used dried figs soaked in warm water for an hour or so)
1 3/4 cups water, or as needed
1 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup sliced onion
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup chopped almonds

Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Cook and stir lamb in hot oil until browned completely, about 5 minutes.

Pour reserved liquid from figs into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough water so the mixture is 2 cups total; pour into pot with the lamb mixture. Reduce heat to low and cook at a simmer for 90 minutes.

Stir honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper into the lamb mixture. Remove from heat. cool for 1 hour before reheating to serve. 

Enjoy with a glass of Comoloco Jumilla
Red wine 12', review 154.

Pepper Steak
a la Shawna

4 servings

2 lbs sirloin steak, cut in 2” strips
coarse cracked peppercorns to taste
salt to taste
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
3-4 Tbsp cold pressed light oil, I used hemp
1/2 tsp miso disolved in
1/2 cup hot water
3/4 cup onion, julienned 
4 or 5 sweet peppers(not necessarily bell) of various color cut into 2" long fat slices
1 large tomato, diced
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp honey

Toss steak strips with salt, pepper and garlic
In large cast iron skillet brown sirloin in hot oil
Remove meat and set aside

Deglaze skillet with miso broth mixture,
add remaining ingredients,
cover and simmer on low heat until 
veggies are tender but still firm

Incorporate steak strips back into pepper mixture
Toss and serve on rice or with fresh
hot bread

Enjoy with a glass of The Reveler Red Cuvee 10', review 153

Quick Stuffed Tomatoes

slightly altered from Allrecipes.com

2 large tomatoes
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup pearl couscous
2 Tbsp shredded full fat, high quality
mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp minced fresh mint leaves
1/8 tsp ground black pepper 
some shredded parmesan to top at the end

(my alterations are in bold,
to see original recipe go to Allrecipes.com)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degree C).
Cut the fresh tomatoes crosswise in half and scoop out the pulp; set aside. Invert the tomato shells on paper towels to drain.
Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Stir in the cheese, basil, mint and pepper. Then gently stir in the tomato pulp.
Place the tomato shells in an 11x7 inch baking dish. Spoon the couscous mixture into the shells, pressing the mixture firmly into the shells. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Enjoy with a glass of les Moirets Cotes du Rhone 11’, review 152.
Nanaimo Bars
a la w.w.

Bottom Layer:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp raw honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts, your choice
2 1/2 cups crumbled ginger snaps 

Mix first four ingredients in heavy sauce pan
on low/medium heat
Stir constantly until mixture is custard thick
Mix crumbs and nuts together and add
custard mixture to it
Press firmly into 9X9 pan and chill in refrigerator
while preparing next layer

Middle Layer:
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
4 Tbsp cold milk
2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder
1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners sugar

Whip first four ingredients until fluffy
Add confectioners sugar until consistency 
is smooth and creamy
Layer gently on top of crust and return
to fridge for several hours while middle 
layer sets.

Top Layer:
Ganache:
4 oz. quality dark chocolate bar, chopped into small bits
(I used Dagoba Eclipse)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp brandy or rum
Heat cream until just under boiling… do not boil
Pour over chocolate, add rum
and whip until smooth and creamy
Carefully pour over custard layer and 
chill until set, at least 2 hours

Serve and enjoy with a glass of 
Honoro Vera Garnacha 12’, review 151.

Grilled Marinated Chicken Breasts
a la wine witch

marinade makes enough for 3-4 lbs chicken

3-4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp dry white wine
2 cups canned apricots, do not drain
2 Tbsp plum sauce
2 Tbsp juice of fresh lemon
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp hearty mustard
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 shallot, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients (except chicken) in a food processor or blender and 
blend until smooth.

Marinate chicken in large plastic freezer bag(s) 
in refrigerator overnight.

Remove chicken and discard left over marinade.

Grill em' up on the barbie and serve with baked potato and
salad or other colorful side veggie. mmmm....

Enjoy with a glass of Thorny Rose Chardonnay 11', review 150.

Pear & Gorgonzola 
Filled Phyllo Tarts

1 large pear, pealed and chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled or cut
into small bits
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
30 dried cranberries 
Walnut halves for toppers
15 mini pre-baked phyllo shells

Toss chopped pear with lemon juice

Gently add gorgonzola and walnuts, 
cover and set aside

Whip cream till hard peaks form (or as best you can)

Fold whipped cream into gorgie-pear mixture

Fill phyllo shells and press 2 dried cranberries into each one

Top with piece of walnut

Enjoy with friends and a glass of 

Coronas Tempranillo Red Wine, review 149

Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb
NOTE: recipe found at allrecipes.com 
Servings: 4
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup fresh mint leaves
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 (1 1/4 pound) racks of lamb, trimmed
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
Prepared and photographed by the Wine Witch

Enjoy with a glass of Triton Mencia 11’, review 148.

Roasted Carrots & Shallots with Oil-Cured Olives & Gremolata

1/4 cup pitted and thinly sliced oil-cured olives
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Zest of 1 medium lemon, finely chopped (1-1/2 to 2 Tbsp.)
1 cup 1/4-inch-thick-sliced shallot rounds (3 or 4 medium 
shallots)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lb. medium carrots


Enjoy with a glass of Petite Petit 11’, review 147.

NOTE: Recipe found at eat.snooth.com, an excellent site to visit and explore. 
Check it out :)

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)
a la Wine Witch

Servings, 3 or 4

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into little bits
4 cups light vegetable or chicken broth
3-4 oz linguica sausage, very thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 tsp paprika 
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb (or about 6 cups) kale, julienned
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 

In large heavy skillet or soup pot on low to medium heat cook onion, garlic, and potatoes in the olive oil, about five minutes.
Add broth, cover and let cook until potatoes are falling apart soft. 
Let cool. Add salt, pepper, and paprika.
After cooled to just warm transfer to blender or food processor and blend until
smooth. 
On a low heat in heavy skillet cook sausage and carrot until tender and juices are released from the meat. 
Add a little bit of water if it starts sticking. Do not drain. 
Add potato soup mixture to the sausage, mix well and simmer until nice and hot about ten minutes or so.
Add kale and lemon juice, mix well and cook about another five minutes until kale is a nice jade green color. 
Serve with a side of corn bread.

Enjoy with a glass of Ciconia Vinho Regional Alentejano 11', review 146.

Hors d'oeuvre trio:

Easy Tasty Layered Dip
Make as little or as much as you like, just use equal amounts of each

Line vessel to be used with plastic wrap. I used a 1 cup sized measuring cup and went
with 1/4 cup each on the layers. That would probably be good for two servings

Mix some chopped sun dried tomatoes (from oil soaked ones) with tomato paste until it is 
fairly thick and holds a shape then spoon into vessel and pat and tap down
to get it settled

Whip 8 oz cream cheese until it's... well, whipped
Spoon 1/4 cup of it (for a one cup vessel) on top of first layer then pat and tap down to get it settled

Next add a layer of oregano or basil pesto followed by another layer of
the whipped cream cheese.. pat and tap

Cover top (or bottom as it were) with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 24 hours

Remove top layer of plastic wrap and turn onto a plate for serving 
Pull off vessel then carefully remove plastic wrap
Viola! Pretty

Serve with toast points or water crackers

Baked Cheese Olives

Makes 8-10 servings

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
24 pimento-stuffed green olives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

In a small mixing bowl, combine cheese and butter. 
Stir flour and cayenne pepper into the cheese and butter mixture
Blend well
Wrap a tablespoon of dough around each green olive
Arrange the wrapped olives on a cookie sheet

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown

I wish these ones were my own creation. They are wonderful!
For original recipe please go to: Allrecipes.com

Baked Artichoke Dip
1/2 cup pickled artichoke hearts
3/4 cup chopped spinach
4 cloves fresh garlic, grated
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2/3 cup mozzarella cheese 
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, in small pieces 
fresh cracked pepper

Mix all ingredients and pour into a small baking dish 
(I used an 8" cast iron skillet and it worked just fine) 
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes till bubbly
Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes 
Serve with toast points and enjoy
Yum

Enjoy all of these with Terre Di Plinio Sangiovese 11’, review 145

Mushroom Pie Nut Risotto
serves 4

1 1/2 tsp butter
1 tsp white truffle oil
2 shallots, minced
1 small sweet onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4oz crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
about 4 cups hot chicken or veggie broth
2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
Red bell pepper for garnish

Brush off mushrooms with dry paper towel, remove and save stems, quarter the caps and add to stems. Set aside.
In large iron skillet on medium heat melt butter with truffle oil.
Add onion, shallots, and garlic and cook a couple minutes until onions
clear and soften.
Add mushrooms and cook until they soften and begin to release liquid. 
Add Arborio rice stirring and coating for a few minutes.
Add white wine and cook down some more.
Add half of salt and pepper, reduce heat to a simmer and add
about 1/3 of the chicken or vegetable stock.
Continue reducing and adding stock, stirring constantly until
rice is tender and consistency is nice and creamy. 
Add remaining salt and pepper according to taste.
Remove from heat and stir in yogurt and toasted pine nuts.
Serve in shallow soup bowls with decorative side of sliced
fresh red bell pepper.

Enjoy with a glass of Estancia Chardonnay, review 144.

Braised Lamb Shanks 
With Balsamic Marinade

Serves 2

2 lamb shanks (approx 2.5 lbs), cracked
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1/4 tsp cardamom 
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped 
1 medium onion, halved then thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup lamb or beef stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Grape seed, or peanut oil for searing shanks
A splash of brandy for deglazing pan
Fresh rosemary for garnish

Lamb to be served on potatoes, 
smashed the way you like them.

Preheat oven to 450

Place shanks in bowl and coat with olive oil
then rub down with salt, pepper

Sear shanks on all sides in a nice grape seed or peanut oil to seal in juices
Return to bowl and cover seared shanks with turmeric, cardamom, and rosemary

Deglaze pan with a splash of brandy and add to *balsamic/broth mixture

Make a bed of onion and garlic in a 9x9(ish) lidded casserole dish
and lay shanks on top

Cover and bake for 30 minutes then reduce oven heat to 325

*Combine broth and balsamic vinegar and pour over shanks
Cover again and continue baking, turning every half hour or so

Bake until lamb is nearly falling off the bone, about 2 hours
Uncover for the last 20 minutes of baking

Remove shanks and keep warm in a lidded dish

On stovetop medium heat reduce and stir onion garlic broth until smooth and gravy thick

Serve shanks drizzled with gravy thick broth on smashed potatoes

Enjoy with a glass of Brujeria Red Blend 08’, review 143


NOTE: this recipe was inspired by Saba-Braised Lamb Shanks at Allrecipes.com

here's a pic of the one I made
Flourless Chocolate Cake 
(found at allrecipes.com)

1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white sugar
18 (1ounce) squares 
bittersweet chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
6 eggs

Directions... read more

Enjoy with a glass of Antano Crianza 09’, review 142

Fantastic Lamb Meat Loaf
1 lb ground lamb
1 relatively average carrot, coarsely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 medium red onion
2 eggs
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 tsp each salt & pepper
1/2 cup lamb or beef stock
1 lightly oiled glass bread pan

Remove rings and use very clean hands to combine all ingredients thoroughly .
Press into oiled glass bread pan and bake 45 minutes to an hour in a 350 degree oven until done. So simple, so delicious.
Remove and let rest a few minutes before slicing.
Serve over basmati rice or smashed potatoes with fresh sliced cucumber.

Enjoy with a glass of milbrandt vineyards Brothers' Blend 11', review 141.

Cornish Game Hens in Apricot Sauce



serves 4



2 cornish game hens

1 cup salt for brining



1 1/2 Tbsp grape seed oil

1 small onion, finely diced

2 cups canned apricots

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup black currents or raisins

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Olive oil

Black pepper

Chopped fresh cilantro



Dissolve salt into 5 quarts water, add hens and soak for 2 hours.

Rinse hens well and pat dry.

Cut hens in half with super scissors or big sharp knife…be careful now.

Heat oven to 350 degrees



Saute onions in oil on medium heat in large heavy skillet about 6 minutes.

Stir in apricots, vinegar, and raisins.

Spread half of mixture into an 8X12 glass baking dish, reserving the rest for topping the hens before cooking.

Lay hens skin side up over sauce, drizzle them with olive oil then salt and pepper and top them with remaining apricot mixture.

Bake hens about one and a half hours, basting with pan sauce 2 or 3 times.

When hens are a golden brown and juices have run clear turn heat from bake

to broil and cook until hens are spotty brown; about another 4 or 5 minutes, watching carefully so they don't burn.

Pull from oven and transfer hens to a large platter.

If necessary, return apricot mixture to oven and broil to evaporate excess liquid; maybe 5 more minutes.

When sauce is thick and hearty spoon over hens. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and serve on jasmine rice with a side of steamed asparagus.

Enjoy with a glass of Kings Ridge Oregon Pinot Noir 12’, review 140.





Note: Blessed be the giver of home made canned apricots.

Chicken Breast With Rose Petal Sauce

serves 4

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
(in four chunks of meat to make four servings)
1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter
1 large cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp ground anise seed
2/3 cup prickly pear puree
6 red rose petals (plus some for garnish)
1/3 cup chopped almonds
2/3 cup chicken broth, or as needed

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare chicken breasts by
rubbing with a little olive oil and seasoning lightly with 
salt and pepper.
Cook uncovered on broiling pan with water in the bottom of it for about 30 minutes, just until chicken is done and tender. DO NOT OVER COOK; DO NOT UNDER COOK EITHER….DO IT JUST RIGHT OR THE UNIVERSE WILL IMPLODE AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS WILL HATE YOU. Pull chicken from oven and let rest a few minutes before plating.
(I don't know about you but cooking chicken breast makes me a little nervous)
While chicken is cooking (better set a timer on that) prepare the sauce: 

Melt butter in heavy sauce pan on low heat.
Add garlic and saute 2 minutes.
Add salt, pepper, and anise and cook another minute or so.

In food processor or blender combine prickly pear, rose petals, and almonds. 
Process until smooth.

Pour rose petal mixture into saucepan with the garlic and cook over medium
heat, add broth and simmer to reduce stirring consistently for about 15 minutes. Sauce will become thick and you will end up with about 2/3 cup total.

Pour equal portions of sauce over perfectly prepared chicken breasts,
garnish with rose petals and serve.
Enjoy with a glass of Joseph Drouhin
Chorey-les-Beaune 07'
review 139

Vegetable Wafers with Asian Duck Stuff
-this recipe has been completely altered (but still delicious) from original recipe called 'Vegetable Wafers and Conserve of Duck to Asian Savours' (in French) found at lespetitsplatsdema.blogspot.com

Serves 4

Combine and set aside:
2 cups cooked duck meat cut into small bits
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup cashews, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Combine to make wafers:
2 cups grated celeriac (celery root)
2 carrots, grated
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 eggs
salt & pepper to taste

In large heavy skillet heat a fair amount of duck fat (cooking oil will due) 
Fry up 8 wafers(2 at a time) using about a 1/2 cup stuff per wafer
Transfer to cookie sheet and keep in warm oven, 175 degrees, until ready to serve

Add a little more duck fat and then duck mixture to the pan and cook on medium heat about 10-15 minutes
Remove from heat

Create four servings layering wafer, duck stuff, wafer
Garnish with a little vegitable matter and serve
Enjoy with a glass of , review number 138

Note: This stuff is 'my last meal' good

May the duck giver be eternally blessed! 


Linguini & Friends

2-4 servings

1/2 pkg linguini 
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 oz crumbled feta
2 Tbsp shredded parmesan 
2 Tbsp fresh basil cut into thin strips
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
salt & pepper to taste

Start water for pasta
In heavy skillet saute garlic in 2 Tbsp oil from tomatoes
Cut tomatoes into thin slices and add to skillet
along with remaining oil
Remove from heat, cover and set aside
Cook pasta according to package, drain
and toss with tomato and oil mixture
Salt & pepper to taste and then
Add in feta, parmesan, pine nuts and basil
Serve with warm bread and
enjoy with a glass of 
Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 10',

Warm Brie 

with Black Currant Preserves 

and Brandy



8 oz bit of brie

1/4 cup black currant preserves

1 Tbsp brandy

2 tsp orange zest



Preheat oven to 400 degrees 



Place brie on ovenproof plate

and bake just until it starts to melt (about ten minutes).

Heat preserves with brandy until nice and hot-do not boil.

Spoon warm preserves over brie and

top with orange zest.

Serve with assorted fruits and crackers.

Enjoy with a glass of Hidden Legend Pure Honey Mead,

Recipes of 2013:
Marinated Country Style Pork Ribs
ala Wine Witch



1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup whisky

2 lrg cloves garlic, grated

Several sprigs of fresh thyme

1 long sprig of fresh rosemary

Squeeze of 1/4 fresh lemon

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

2 lbs boneless country style pork ribs

1 granny smith apple, chopped



Combine first 7 ingredients and pour into large 

freezer bag over ribs

Seal tightly, refrigerate 

and let marinate at least six hours

Place chopped apple in a 9x9 casserole and 

arrange ribs on top (discard marinade)

Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for about an hour

turning ribs over after first half hour

Pull from oven when fully cooked and tender and

let rest a few minutes before serving

Enjoy with a glass of Fleur du Cap Pinotage, review 135

Baked Fennel With Gorgonzola



serves 8



4 bulbs fennel, untrimmed

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

4 oz Gorgonzola cheese

2 Tbsp dried bread crumbs

salt to taste



Rinse fennel. Trim off stems, and reserve about 1 cup of the tender green leaves. Trim any bruises or dry looking areas from fennel. Cut each bulb in half from stem through root end.



Lay fennel bulb pieces in a 10" frying pan, and add broth. Cover, and bring to a boil on high heat. Simmer until fennel is tender when pierced, 20-25 minutes. Transfer fennel to a shallow casserole, 9 to 10 inched wide; lay cut side up.



Boil broth, uncovered, on high heat until reduced to about 12 cup. Stir in about half the fennel leaves. Spoon mixture evenly over fennel.



Mash cheese with bread crumbs. Dot mixture evenly over fennel. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day. Also wrap remaining fennel leaves in a towel, seal in a plastic bag, and chill.



Bake casserole, uncovered at 375 degrees until cheese begins to brown and fennel is hot, about 20 minutes. Tuck remaining leaves around fennel. Season to taste with salt.



Recipe found at AllRecipes.com…I did not change a thing.

Enjoy with a glass of 'O' Wines Red Wine, review 134.

Cornish Game Hen with

Wild Rice Mushroom Stuffing



6 Game hens, thawed and prepped 

2 cups wild rice blend of choice

1/2 lb mushrooms

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 Tbsp dried sage

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1/2 tsp fresh thyme

salt & pepper to taste

olive oil



Prepare rice as directed and set aside.

Toast pine nuts in a heavy dry skillet on medium heat, it doesn't take long so don't burn them. Put in a dish and set aside for later.

Chop mushrooms and place in heavy skillet on medium/low heat with a little olive oil; cover and let cook for a few minutes.

Add fresh herbs and cook until mushrooms are tender. 

Gently combine rice, pine nuts, and mushrooms adding salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff into six Cornish game hens and put whats left in a casserole to cook and have on the side. 

Rub hens with olive oil, season with salt and pepper then place on an oven broiler with a little water in the bottom tray and tent with foil. Cook in a 350 degree oven for two or three hours until done, removing foil for the last ten minutes to brown the birds.

Remove from oven and let rest while preparing gravy with the drippings. 

Serve with all of your favorite holiday side dishes and enjoy with a glass of 

Schug Pinot noir, review 133.

Cheese & Meat Stuffed
Jumbo Pasta Shells in Marinara

-ala w.w.



5 or 6 servings



Marinara:

some olive oil

1 medium yellow onion

8 or 10 cloves fresh grated garlic

about 1/4 tsp fresh crushed fennel seed

8 medium sized mushrooms, sliced

1 large can fire roasted tomatoes

a bunch of fresh or dried basil

a bunch of fresh or dried oregano

a bunch of fresh or dried thyme

Salt & pepper to taste

a cup or so of dry red wine 



Heat oil in large skillet or dutch oven, medium heat

saute onion for a minute or so then add garlic 

(total about five minutes).

Add fennel and mix around for a minute or so

Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and herbs 

Turn heat down and add a lot of fresh clean water

Heat uncovered to the point were sauce just simmers slightly and NEVER BOILS. 

Now wait. Stir the sauce using a magic wooden spoon blessed 

by the Italian god Cimushttp://www.angelfire.com/ny4/sylverspage/italiangods.html every hour or so for at least 8 and up to 17 hours, the longer the better. 

As sauce reduces begin adding red wine(or water) and keep reducing until it's nice and thick. 



When sauce is done turn off heat and let it sit covered on a back burner somewhere.



Turn on pasta water to get it heated to boiling while you do the 

Meat mixture:

1/2 lb extra lean ground beef

1/2 lb ground hot italian sausage

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1/2 tsp crushed fennel

salt & pepper to taste (but don't taste it)

Squish it all together until well incorporated and cook over medium heat in a heavy skillet until browned and crumbly. Remove from heat and set aside.



Box Jumbo Pasta Shells:

Prepare jumbo pasta shells according to package instructions. DO NOT OVERCOOK PASTA OR THE UNIVERSE WILL IMPLODE! 1/2 box is enough for 1 9X13 pan.



Cheese mixture:

1 lb ricotta cheese

2-3 Tbsp. pesto

2 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese

Mix ricotta, parmesan, and pesto (pesto recipe is on my food page) and stuff half of the manicotti shells with that. 



Now stuff remaining shells with meat mixture.

Pour marinara into a 9X13 glass baking dish so it is about 3/4" up the side of the dish.

Lay shells alternating meat then cheese until the dish is filled, 

tent with foil and bake for about an hour in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly, about an 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, top with some freshly shredded parmesan cheese(optional) and let rest for fifteen minutes before serving.

Serve with a nice side salad and/or warm baguettes.

Enjoy with a glass of Ecco Domani Chianti, review 132.



-thank you Tani for inspiring me to write out my marinara sauce, though 

it is pretty open to interpretation and I've never made it the same 

way twice. Still, this is close to what I usually do ;)

Chocolate Cherry Fudge Brownies
Topped with Dark Chocolate Ganache
ala wine witch

Brownies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups dark cocoa powder
3/4 cup raw sugar
2 farm fresh eggs
1 tsp Mexican Vanilla
1/2 cup unrefined wheat flour(get one that says 'ain't' or 'dang')
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup cherry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8X8X2 baking dish
Melt butter in heavy sauce pan
Add cocoa and blend with wooden spoon by hand till well incorporated
Now blend in sugar and eggs, one at a time
Stir in vanilla and salt
Stir in flour and blend until smooth
Add cherry preserves and again blend till smooth
Spread evenly into prepared baking dish and
bake for about 25 minutes, until toothpick
inserted in center comes out clean
Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature

Ganache:
4 oz. quality dark chocolate bar 
(I used Dagoba Eclipse)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp brandy or rum

Chop chocolate into small bits and set aside
Heat cream in small heavy sauce pan over medium heat and 
just as cream starts to come to a boil remove from heat and whisk into
chocolate bits until smooth, add brandy and whisk a little more
Let cool until thick and whip with whisk until light and fluffy
Pour over cooled brownies (not chilled, just room temp) 
Begin in the center and work out

Topping:
Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons very finely chopped cocoa beans/nibs

Cut and serve at room temperature, when it's at its best.
Cover and refrigerate left over, because it's even amazing at its worst.

NOTE: These are so rich that I cut them into 36 pieces,
about an inch squared for bite sized brownies.

Enjoy with a glass of Arenal Carmenere 10', review 131.


Chicken Cordon Bleu

-my simple version

serves 4



2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast

4 nice slices of ham or canadian bacon

4 naughty slices of swiss cheese

1 cup coconut/almond, or other version of plain milk

2 eggs, whisked

2 cups bread crumbs seasoned with 

salt, pepper, and paprika to taste

Toothpicks for securing meat rolls

A light oil for frying 



Pound chicken breasts to about 1/4" think and divide into four equal sections.

Layer ham, then cheese at one end and roll tightly and 

secure with toothpicks.

Dredge in milk, then eggs, then bread crumbs.

Fry in heavy skillet on med heat and turn until evenly crispy.

Lay on baking sheet and bake in 350 degree oven for another 20 minutes or so until chicken is cooked through.

Melt half a slice of swiss cheese on each piece.

Serve on mashed potatoes, or pasta, or along side a pasta salad….whatever sounds good to you. 

Traditionally mornay sauce is spooned over them but I prefer to melt a little swiss cheese on top instead. 



Enjoy with a glass of Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay 11', review 130.

Herbed Lamb Shoulder Chops with Mushroom Balsamic Reduction



4 8oz lamb shoulder chops

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 med cloves garlic, grated

Salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 tsp chopped fresh basil

2 tsp chopped fresh oregano

2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup aged balsamic vinegar

1 cup lamb or beef stock

8 small mushroom caps, sliced

1 tsp butter



and for serving:

1 cup prepared basmati rice 

Fresh fruit 



Lightly coat chops with half the oil then

rub down on all sides with garlic, salt and pepper



Mix chopped herbs together and

coat chops with herb mixture

Cover and refrigerate at least an hour



Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Pull chops from fridge

Heat remaining oil on medium/high in heavy skillet

Brown chops on both sides, 3 1/2 minutes per side 

Move skillet to oven and bake another two minutes

(you can turn oven off now, we're done with that)

Return skillet to stovetop and removed chops to 

serving platter and cover to let rest



Turn heat down to medium/low and add chopped onions and 

let cook about a minute

Add balsamic vinegar and scrape all the goodies from bottom of pan

Add broth and sliced mushrooms and reduce to about half,

until mixture is a little thick

Remove from heat and incorporate butter into the sauce



Lay chops on a bed of basmati rice,

spoon balsamic reduction over them and

serve with a side of fresh fruit

I used 1/2 sliced fresh peach 



Enjoy with a glass of Smoking Loon Merlot, review 129.

Oregano Pesto
3 cups packed fresh oregano (basil will work also)
4 cloves garlic
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/8 cup brazil nuts
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 or 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (optional)

Place oregano in food processor or blender then pour a tablespoon or
so of the olive oil over and blend for a bit. 
Slowly add remaining ingreedients and oil and 
continue to blend until smooth.  

Enjoy on baked spaghetti squash along side
a seasoned and grilled steak of your liking
with a glass of Campo Viejo Tempranillo 10', review 128.

Curried Chicken Salad
ala w.w.



Makes 6 servings



1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, 

cut into small 1/2-1" chunks and *marinated at least 2 hours in fridge.



*Marinade:

2 Tbsp Patak's Hot Curry Paste

2 Tbsp curry powder

1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger root

2 cloves fresh garlic, grated

1/4 cup olive oil



Bake in covered casserole at 350 until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 1/2 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely.



Combine:

1/2 cup mayonaise 

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup chopped almonds

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 medium apple of your liking, chopped into smallish bits

3 chopped green onion

1 stalk chopped celery

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

salt & pepper to taste

Refrigerate until chicken mixture is cooled completely.



Incorporate mayo mixture with cooled chicken mixture and refrigerate a couple hours before serving; garnish with fresh cucumber and celantro or parsley sprig. It's a nice lunch time salad, and as you must know it is completely appropriate to drink white wine earlier in the day Dahling…

So enjoy with a glass of Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 11', review 127.


Lettuce Wedge Salad
with Roquefort Dressing



Makes 4 large salads



Rinse, drain, and quarter one iceberg lettuce head

Set each quarter on it's own plate

In the lettuce folds arrange pieces of:

avocado

choice of olives

cucumber

cherry tomatoes

slices of apple

dried cranberries

blueberries

and anything else that strikes your fancy



Set a side of *Roquefort dressing,

small chunk of Roquefort,

and some wheat crackers on the plate

Garnish with lemon wedge & green onion

Enjoy with a glass of Shooting Star Blue Franc 10', review 126.



*Roquefort dressing:

1 cup mayonaise 

1 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt

2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp garlic powder

4 oz. Roquefort bleu cheese



Blend first eight ingredients till smooth

Incorporate Roquefort bleu cheese

Serve on the side in those small salad dressing cup thingy's.



Anthony Bourdain's Steak au Poivre



I overcooked mine just a little as I prefer my steak still mooing, but still I could not stop "Mmmmming throughout the meal. So good, and so easy! Why have I not done this before? TIP: Use loin, tenderloin…oh yeah! Outstanding! 

-w.w.



Recipe courtesy of Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, ©2004, Bloomsbury
I found it at Delish.com











SERVINGS
4



INGREDIENTS
4 8-ounce steaks
2 ounces olive oil
2 ounces freshly cracked peppercorns (crushed but not ground to powder!)
4 ounces sweet butter
1 ounce good Cognac
4 ounces strong, dark veal stock (something to keep in your freezer)
Salt and pepper



EQUIPMENT
Heavy skillet
Kitchen tongs
Wooden spoon
Serving platter



DIRECTIONS FOR STEAK



1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Moisten the meat very slightly with oil, then dredge each of the steaks in the crushed peppercorns to thoroughly coat. Don't be shy with the pepper.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add 2 ounces, which is half of the butter. Place the steaks in the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.

3. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until desired doneness, about 5 to 7 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium rare, and so on. Remove from the oven and remove the steaks from the pan to rest. Have I told you yet to always rest your meat after cooking? I've told you now.



DIRECTIONS FOR SAUCE

1. Return the skillet to the stovetop and carefully stir in the Cognac. As much fun as it is to create a column of flame as you add flammable material to an incredibly hot pan, it's not really desirable or necessary — especially in a home kitchen. Unless you're a pyromaniac, I recommend carefully adding the Cognac to the still-hot pan off the flame, stirring and scraping with the wooden spoon to get every scrap, every peppercorn, every rumor of flavor clinging to the bottom of the pan.

2. Now place the pan on the flame again and cook it down a bit, by about half. Stir in the veal stock and reduce over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with French fries or sautéed potatoes.



Note on searing: With any recipe that calls for searing meat and then using the pan to make a sauce, be careful to avoid blackening the pan; your sauce will taste burnt. Avoid by adjusting the heat to, say, medium high, so it will still sear the meat but not scorch the pan juices. But stoves and pans vary, so pay attention.



This bit from me:

Enjoy with a glass of The Den Pinotage 10', review 125.



Layered Salad
Wine Witch Style

In a 9X13 cake pan layer the following:



lettuce 

jicama root 

red bell pepper

cucumber

squeeze a little lime juice over that

sprinkle of salt

chopped fresh chives

shelled fresh or frozen peas

9 hard boiled eggs, sliced

salt/pepper



cover with dressing made of:

     1 cup plain Greek yogurt

     1/2 cup mayonaise 

     1 Tbsp lime juice

     8 chopped kalamata olives



top off with:

2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 lb of cooked and crumbled bacon



Enjoy with Vidonya Vinho Verde White 10', review 124.

Asado

Argentine Chronicles: The Meatfest 

Here's one way to do it:

Make Parsley-Garlic Chimichurri, a tasty condiment to have available throughout the various courses. 



First course, a variety of quality bratwurst sausages and grilled provolone cheese

serve round about 1PM



Second course, boneless country style pork ribs marinated overnight in TJ's BBQ Sauce (or however you like them) then grilled with corn on the cob in their husks. 

Serve round about 4PM.

Third and final course, try buffalo burgers & a nice colorful salad from your local summer market splashed with at little toasted Camelina Gold oil and rice vinegar.

serve round about 7 or 8PM.



Basically start early and pace your guests, that's a lot of meat! 

Enjoy all the way through with IQUE Malbec. This is my 'desert island' malbec; it's just so very very good, review 123.

Biryani
(based on the one JH made)

serves 3-4 

Mess of sno peas
1 cup prepared basmati rice
3-4 lamb shanks
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cup lamb or beef broth
1 medium yellow onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp grated ginger root
2 Tbsp Patak Biryani curry paste
1 10 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 medium potato cut into small pieces
salt & pepper to taste
roasted pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

In heavy dry skillet slowly toast pine nuts and set aside for later
Turn skillet to medium high heat, add oil and sear shanks on all sides
Reduce heat and add onion, garlic, ginger root and biryani paste
When onion begins to clear add broth and tomatoes
Cover and let simmer stirring occasionally until meat is falling off the bone (about 1.5-2 hours) 
Add potato when meat is about half done
Add salt & pepper to taste after meat is cooked
Prepare rice per pkg instructions
Lightly steam a mess of sno peas 
Layer rice on peas followed by meat mixture 
Top with pine nuts, mint, and cilantro
Enjoy with a glass of Campo de Borja Mosen Cleto Reserva Red Wine 09', review 122.



A Kind of Keema Curry
a la w.w.
Serves 6

1/2 lb ground lamb
1/2 lb ground beef, lowest fat
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 medium yellow onion
1" chunk fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
3 medium cloves garlic, grated
Variety of fresh hot chili peppers, to taste…chopped or whole
(I used 3 serrano, 1 large fresno, and 1 habanero…
that was pretty hot)
2 Tbsp Pakak's Hot Curry Paste
2 Tbsp curry powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 cups beef or lamb broth
1 small potato cut into small pieces (optional)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup garbanzo beans

Heat up large heavy skillet on medium heat then add oil, onion, ginger root, garlic  hot peppers, curry paste and powder, and salt & pepper. 
Cook and incorporate until onion softens and starts to clear.
Add ground beef and lamb, mix and brown adding broth as necessary.
Add potato and remaining broth, cover and let potato cook through.
Add and incorporate frozen peas and garbanzo beans and heat through, about ten more minutes. Voila, pretty easy.

Serve in bowls with sides of: 
Naan …I like to purchase it, but you can make your own if you wish.
Mango chutney …I like to make my own, but you can purchase it easy enough.
And raita ...a mixture of plain full fat yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, and a little lemon or lime juice…or you could follow a recipe.
Enjoy with a glass of Chateau Ste Michelle's Dry Riesling 11', review 121.

Marinated Rosemary Orange Pork Chops

Ingredient amounts are per chop so…
double for two, triple for three, etc. etc. etc.

Ingredients:
Use boneless thick cut pork chops

1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (per chop)
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice (per chop)
1 Tbsp olive or other cooking oil (per chop)
1 tsp honey (per chop)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar (per chop)
1/2 clove grated garlic (per chop)
1/4 tsp salt (per chop)
1/4 tsp pepper (per chop)
A spring or three of fresh rosemary (go crazy)

Combine ingredients and marinate pork overnight in refrigerator 
(large freezer bags are great for this). Let warm an hour or so before cooking. 
Throw on the grill, low heat and covered or bake in a 350 oven, also covered 
until tender and cooked through. 

Serve with rice and grilled mushrooms drizzled with toasted sesame oil and sea salt.
Enjoy with a glass of Missoula soul red, review 120.



Greek Style Stromboli 

2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed (or make your own)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp oregano pesto
2 Tbsp virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 diced onion
2 medium cloves diced fresh garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
8 oz. crumbled feta
Turmeric to sprinkle on feta layer
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives

Prepare bread dough according to pkg or recipe. After it rises, you will punch down and roll/stretch each loaf into an approximate 15"X12" rectangles.
When bread dough is about an hour from being ready to punch down and roll out begin the next process:

Heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in heavy skillet. Saute onion and garlic just till soft then add meat and spices and incorporate all until lamb is browned and all are well blended. Let cool to room temp.

After dough has been roll/stretched out:

Combine eggs, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and pesto and spread all but 2 Tbsp onto bread doughs keeping it 1/2" from the edges.
Layer meat mixture, feta cheese, turmeric, and olives, half onto each loaf.
Roll up from 12" end, and seal the edges and ends well.
Place seam side down on greased baking sheets. Coat with remaining 2 Tbsp pesto egg mixture and bake at 375 for 30 minutes then tent with foil and cook another 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand at least ten minutes before slicing. Enjoy with a glass of Don Ramon Campo de Borja 10', review 119



Bleu Cheese Steak Roll on Creamy Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Serves 4 

2 lbs New York steak, flattened down to 1/4" or thinner 
(large thick cut symmetrical ones work best) 
I used two one pound steaks for this one.
1/4 cup dry red wine per pound of meat
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce per pound of meat
1 large clove fresh grated garlic per pound of meat
Salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp cooking oil to coat broiler pan with
2.5 oz. crumbled bleu cheese per pound of meat
parsley for garnish

Flatten steaks to a quarter inch or flatter and rub down with garlic, salt & pepper then marinate in worster and wine at least 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator.
Pull steak from fridge about an hour before cooking...discard marinade(there won't really be much).
Heat oven to broil and lay steak on oiled broiler.
Broil about two minutes per side on second rack down with oven door shut.
Steak should be a little pink...don't overcook!
Pull from oven and sprinkle bleu cheese evenly on top.
Roll up and seal with toothpicks.
Return rolled up steaks to broiler and broil again turning  until outside is evenly browned. 
Pull from oven and let rest for ten minutes or so before pulling toothpicks out, slicing and serving on a cloud of creamy hot garlic smashed potatoes....yukon gold are my favorite, but you make em' the way you like.
Enjoy with a glass of Bogle Petite Sirah 10', 

Baghali Polo
Persian rice with lima beans and lamb shanks

Meal in photo prepared by 
JH Watson.
This recipe is my bastardized version of what he did; still it's pretty tasty.

serves 4

first you'll need:
4 lamb shanks, cracked (have your butcher do that, please)
1 pkg adolfs meat marinade 
fresh ground pepper
2 Tbsp cooking oil

Prepare marinade according to pkg and marinate meat for about an hour in lidded casserole. 
Pull meat from marinade and crack some pepper on it, place in cast iron skillet on medium high heat and sear on all sides in a couple or three tablespoons of oil.
Put back in casserole with marinade, cover and bake in the liquid (abut half covering the lamb) until it is falling off the bone. Add water throughout as needed. 
About 2 hours at 350....I think.

and then:
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
6 oz. frozen green lima beans
1/4 tsp salt to (or to taste)
1 tsp dried dill (or to taste)

First rinse basmati 
Boil 2 1/4 cups water (1.5 to 1) water
Add rice, lima beans, and salt 
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
Fluff dill in with prepared rice and beans.

Serve from large platter with lamb and liquid over rice.

and finally:
feta cheese
walnuts , and
sliced raw sweet onion as condiments....
lots of all of em'.
Enjoy with a glass of Sir Paz Estate Parker Road Bin 8 07', 

Thai Fish Curry
Combine these first thirteen ingredients in food processor:
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 15oz can coconut milk
4 green onions, chopped
1 1" piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp raw sugar
1 tsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes

Other ingredients:
3 large cod filets, halved
1 1/2 cup or so sliced mushrooms
1 medium red bell pepper, deseeded and diced
1 medium tomato, diced
lime slices, chopped cilantro & fresh basil for garnish

Pour sauce from food processor into heavy pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat and add mushrooms, red pepper, and fish pieces. Cover and simmer 10-12 minutes.
Gently incorporate tomatoes and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Serve in shallow bowls on Jasmine rice. 
Garnish with lime slices, chopped cilantro & basil
Enjoy with a glass of Apex Accent Chardonnay 09', 

My Take On Dulce de Leche &
Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding,
a traditional Mardi Gras treat

Begin by preparing the 
dulce de leche cream topping using
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

The topping:
Take the label off the can of sweetened condensed milk and use can opener to open several slits at least 1" long each along edges of can.
Place can in small pot and add water until it is no more than 1/4" from the top of can.
Bring water to a simmer, do not boil, and keep there for three hours, adding more water as it reduces to keep that 1/4" from top of can level.
Remove can with tongs and cool before opening.
Pour into bowl and stir until blended into a uniform consistency.
Now it's ready to use in recipe.

The rest:
4 Kaiser rolls halved and cut into approx. 1" cubes
3 1/2 Tbsp unsalted melted butter
1 cup prepared dulce de leche topping
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
2 Tbsp dark rum
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate bits ....I used 1.5 (3oz.) Dagoba eclipse bars, 87%
2 Tbsp raw sugar
Powdered sugar

Preheat over to 350.

Place bread cubes in large bowl, drizzle with 3 Tbsp melted butter, toss.
Transfer to rimmed baking sheet and bake about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool.
Coat 10" glass pie pan with 1/2 Tbsp melted butter.

Stir whipping cream and 1 cup of the topping in medium saucepan over medium heat until incorporated and just under boiling. Remove from heat.
Whisk eggs and whites together and add rum, vanilla, and salt.
Slowly whisk into warm dulce de leche mixture. 
Pour over large bowl of bread cubes and let soak 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Mix chocolate pieces into soaked bread cubes and transfer to prepared glass baking dish.
Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp raw sugar.
Bake until puffed and set in center, about 30 minutes. Cool 15 minutes then dust with powdered sugar.

Serve warm and topped with more dulce de leche topping.

Pick your celebration; Chinese New Year, Mardi Gras, Valentines Day, or just Life in general and enjoy this decadent desert with a glass of Spice Route Chakalaka 09', review 11

Toasted Sesame Oil Marinated Meat and/or Tofu Kabobs 
-based on Cherlins original creation

Marinade:
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1.5 tsp honey
1" chunk of fresh ginger root, grated
2 or 3 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper

1-2 lbs chicken, pork, beef, or tofu cut into approximately 1" pieces
20 or so wooden skewers, soaked for a while in water

Mix first eight ingredients together and gently warm in sauce pan on stove top just enough to make sure the honey is nicely incorporated. Place cubed meat or tofu into a large freezer bag and cover with COOLED marinade, squeeze all the air out and seal tightly. Refrigerate overnight. 

Skewer meat or tofu onto soaked wooden skewers and barbecue, turning until cooked. You may broil them on a greased broiler pan second rack down in your oven if you don't have a barbecue; turn often to make sure they don't stick. Ten or fifteen minutes should do the trick but use your own good judgement. 
Serve with jasmine rice and asparagus spears. Enjoy with a glass of Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red 10',

Hot Chili Mole a la Shawna 

Ingredients for dutch oven:
1 lb quality stew meat
2 lbs dried beans of choice
1 large (28) oz can diced tomatoes 
2 bell peppers cut into small slices
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Brown 1 lb of stew meat in a little oil and set aside.
In dutch over or large kettle:
Soak 2 lbs of beans of choice (I used black and small red beans) for at least 24 hours drain and rinse again half way through the soak.
Brown 1 lb of stew meat in a little oil and set aside.
Follow directions on the bag and about half way through the process add the set aside stew meat and just let them finish until tender.
Add the remaining ingredients above, turn heat down and simmer while preparing the next step.

Ingredients for large heavy skillet:
3 Tbsp or so of olive oil
1 1/2 yellow chopped yellow onion
5 cloves garlic, grated
1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp brown sugar
2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp combination fresh hot chili peppers, finely diced
1 banana chili (or other sweet-hot pepper), finely diced
1 tsp turkish oregano 
1 Tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened, of course)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander 
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
1/4 small lime, or large, whatever 

Start with heating onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until onions start to turn translucent.
Add carrots and sugar and cook a few more minutes.
Add beef broth.
Add remaining ingredients excluding lime and let simmer for a good ten minutes or so on medium heat stirring constantly.
Add skillet full into kettle and blend all ingredients together.
Let simmer on medium heat until meat is totally tender and flavors all blend.
If chili seems too thin you may whisk up about a Tbsp or so of corn starch with a little water and use that to thicken. 
When chili is constancy you desire squeeze and stir in lime, remove from heat and cover while you make the cornbread. 
Present in individual bowls garnished with chopped raw onion, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and celantro (optional); serve with a side of cornbread. 
Comfort food extraordinaire! Enjoy with a glass of Girard Cabernet Sauvignon 09',
Recipes of 2012: 
Goat Cheese-Stuffed
Mushrooms with
Bread Crumbs & Rosemary

Recipe found at foodandwine.com 

Ingredients:

24 large cremini mushrooms (1 1/2 pounds), stems discarded

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp rosemary leaves,
plus one 3" sprig of rosemary

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbsp fine bread crumbs

6 oz. fresh goat cheese,
cut into 24 bits


Enjoy with Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne,

Baked Salmon With Miso Butter 

1 or 2 lbs salmon steaks

Baste salmon with miso butter and bake at 350 degrees until fish flakes.
DO NOT OVER COOK. 
Serve on bed of half spinach and half basil then garnish with lemon wedges.
Keep excess miso butter as a condiment on the table. 

Miso Butter:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup miso
3/4 cup white wine, preferably sake
1 or 2" length piece of grated ginger root(peel it with a spoon)
1/4 cup rice vinegar

Mix all ingredients in heavy pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly with whisk. Remove from heat and it's ready to use. Be careful not to cross contaminate with fish. It will most likely make enough to use several times and keeps quite a while in the refrigerator.  Enjoy with a glass of Bourgogne La Chapelle Notre-Dame
Pinot Noir 10',




-inspired by Law and the wonderful memory of an incredible meal.



Italian Spinach Sausage Pie



Ingredients:

1 pound bulk Italian sausage

6 eggs

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 double crust ready-to-use pie crust (or make your own wonderful pie crust from scratch, like Cherlin did :)

1 tablespoon water



Find complete recipe at Allrecipes.com 

Enjoy with Chateau Puech-Haut Le Prestige 10', review 110. 

-Special thanks to Cherlin for finding, preparing, photographing, and sharing this most tasty culinary creation with me. 



Lemon Baked Cod

Ingredients:
4 medium cod filets
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
zest of about 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt
1/4 tsp cracked pepper (preferably white)
1/3 tsp paprika 

Marinate cod in large freezer bag with combined
olive oil and lemon juice for about half an hour.

Combine remaining four ingredients in medium shallow bowl.

Coat marinated cod pieces in bread crumb mixture 
and place in ungreased 8X8 baking dish.

Bake uncovered on medium rack in preheated 350 degree oven until fish flakes; 
about 25 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

Garnish with lemon wedges and serve on rice with a side salad. 
Enjoy with a glass of Les Vignes de Bila-Haut
Cotes du Roussillon Villages Blanc 11',
Lamb Roast & Root Vegetables 

2 lb lamb roast, bone in, cut from leg
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt 
Pepper
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Marinade:
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup stout beer
2 Tbsp honey
1 bay leaf
Combine and marinate lamb for one to two hours covered in refrigerator.

Roast vegetables:
Carrots
Mixture of small potatoes
Leeks
Parsnips
Onion
White or yellow beet
Small mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
Salt & Pepper
Cut all except mushrooms into chunks and arrange half in 8X8 pan. Other half will cook with the meat. Save mushroom aside and add to other veggies about 20 minutes before done.

Lets begin:
Pull lamb from marinade and discard marinade. 
Rub meat with 2 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Stab with small knife 12-15 times and stuff marked meat 
with garlic, thyme, lemon zest, and rosemary.
Sear meat on all sides, in hot skillet with a little oil to seal in juices.
Place roast on rack that fits into a small covered roaster and add a cup or two of water then cook for 20 minutes at 400, then reduce heat to 350 and continue cooking for another 35 minutes before adding vegetables. 
Add some of vegetable mixture to the roaster surrounding the meat. Put remaining vegetables, including two more cloves of crushed garlic, into small casserole; salt and pepper to taste; drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil, cover and cook alongside roast. Cook about another hour or until meat and vegetables are tender and done. Total cook time for roast is about two hours. 
Remove casserole of vegetables when done to your liking and set covered on warm stove. 
When roast is done, remove from oven, set on platter and let rest for ten minutes or so before carving. Reserve liquid in bottom for gravy or save for a soup broth. 
Enjoy with hot fresh french bread and a glass of Marie de Beauregard Chinon 100% Cabernet Franc 09',



Fried Green Tomatoes



3-4 medium green tomatoes (15-20 slices)

sliced one quarter to one third inch thick



In separate saucers have about 1/3 cup of each of these:

1) 1/3 cup milk

2) 1/2 cup corn starch

3) 2 eggs, whisked until whisked

4) 2/3 cup bread crumbs mixed with 1 to 2 Tbsp brown sugar; salt & pepper; and 1/3 tsp fresh ground nutmeg



Dredge one slice at a time in order ending with bread crumb mixture then in heavy skillet on medium high in 1/2" vegetable oil...



Fry for 8 minutes per side 

Drain on paper towels

Serve alone with a dollop of Greek yogurt, or along side simple grilled red meat or chicken. 

Enjoy with a glass of Potel-Aviron Julienas Cru Beaujolais 08', 





Ratatouille
My interpretation



Ingredients:

3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped small

1 shallot, thinly sliced

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 6" stalks of rosemary- one for garnish, 

and one to strip and chop (throw stem out)

1 cup roasted bell peppers in oil and cut into small pieces

1/2 cup of kalamata olives, chopped

4 medium sized ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and hand squished in a vintage mixing bowl while chiming out Mozart's 'Voi che sapete' from Cosi Fan Tutte(link)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA3yuwDq2H4...or it's just not the same. 

Finished puree should measure 14-16 oz.

1 cup of dry red wine

2 medium Japanese eggplant (aubergine)

2 small bell peppers

1 medium yellow squash

1 medium zucchini

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste



Lets begin:

In heavy skillet on medium heat saute' onion and shallot in one tablespoon of olive oil. 

When onions turn translucent add garlic and minced rosemary needles.

Turn heat down a little; stir and cook until caramelized.

Add olives and roasted bell peppers; stir until incorporated and hot...don't burn it!

Turn heat back up to medium and deglaze pan with wine. Heat to a boil then turn heat down to a medium low and reduce until liquid is almost gone.

Add your opera blessed tomatoes and heat to simmer...don't boil it! 

Reduce liquid by half. 

Salt/pepper to taste (if needed)

Remove from heat and set aside while you prepare the veggies.



Phase 2:

Slice eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash into 1/4" rounds, salt both sides of each and lay out on cookie sheet.

Let veggies sit about a half hour then rinse slices off in cold water and dry on paper towels (don't re-salt).



To complete: 

Pour half of red sauce into a 8x8" casserole with at least 2" high sides.  

Arrange half the veggies by alternating slices in whatever pattern you choose, brush with olive oil. 

Cover with the rest of red sauce and repeat with remaining veggies and brush with remaining olive oil.

Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour....

or you could bake, covered, in a 325 degree oven for a little longer if you like. Whatever makes you happy :)

When done pull from oven, lay rosemary sprig on top and let rest for fifteen minutes or so. Serve on orzo pasta alongside hot French bread; or as a side dish with a nice grilled steak.

Enjoy with a glass of Chateau Bonnet Red Bordeaux Controlee 09', 



Moussaka
The way I make it

Makes one 9X9 size pan, about 4 large servings. 
Double the recipe for larger gatherings.

Bottom Layer:
1 medium sized eggplant, sliced 1/4" 
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup or so of olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt on both sides, arrange in single layer on tray and let sweat for an hour; rinse and dry on paper towels.
Brush eggplant on both sides with olive oil and dredge in bread crumbs.
Bake on cookie sheet in 425 degree oven about 15 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark.
Remove from oven, set aside, and reduce heat to 350.

Middle Layer:
2 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion
1 lb. ground lamb
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup diced fire roasted tomatoes (or chopped fresh)
1 Tbsp dried currents
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 portobello mushroom, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/2 can tomato paste
1/2 tsp ground allspice
salt/pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp chopped kalamata olives
Combine currents and wine and set aside.
In heavy skillet on medium heat stir fry onion and garlic in olive oil; add meat and brown. Transfer to a large strainer, set over a bowl, and drain fat. Wipe out skillet with paper towel.
Transfer meat mixture back and continue.
Add remaining ingredients except for parsley and olives; simmer until liquid reduces, about 15-20 minutes. 
Remove from heat and mix in parsley and olives. Set aside.

Top Layer, bechamel sauce:
2 cups milk
1 whole bay leaf
1/2 tsp allspice berries
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 egg yolks
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp parmesan
salt/pepper

Save for tippy top:
2 Tbsp shredded parmesan 
2 Tbsp feta

Heat milk on low in sauce pan about 15 minutes with whole bay leaves, allspice, and ground nutmeg. Do not boil.
Melt butter and whisk in flour.
Strain bay leaves and allspice berries from hot milk and whisk into butter/flour mixture. 
whisk egg yolks with lemon zest and 1/2 the parmesan;
then slowly incorporate by whisking a half cup or so of sauce 
into egg mixture before adding it back into the sauce pan. 
Heat and stir until sauce is smooth and thickened. Do not boil. 
Remove from heat.

Assemble:
In 9X9" baking dish
one layer using half eggplant mixture
one layer using half meat mixture
then another layer of eggplant
and another layer of meat 

Pour the bechamel sauce evenly over the top to about 1/4" thick
Sprinkle remaining parmesan as well as the feta evenly over that

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes
until cheese is melted and top is bubbly and brown.
Remove from heat and let rest at least 15 minutes before serving.
Garnish top with a little chopped parsley if you wish.
Enjoy with a glass of Vidal-Fleury Cotes du Rhone 09',




Anitpasto Skewers

You will need:
12 wooden skewers
12 cherry tomatoes
12 pieces of salami
12 Italian mini mozzarella balls
12 slices deli pepperoni
12 oil-cured black olives
12 other kind of olives (you choose)
12 chunks havarti, cheddar, or some other cheese you like
12 tarragon marinated mushrooms
12 marinated hot chili peppers or pepperoncini 

Arrange on skewers how you wish and serve on a bed of greens. Enjoy with Arcangelo Primitivo 10', review 104

Tarragon marinated mushrooms:
1 lb button mushrooms
1 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled and bruised
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp tarragon
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp peppercorns

Simmer all ingredients except mushrooms, uncovered, 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, boil 1 minute, then cool, cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator about 1@ hour before serving, mix well, and serve in marinade or drained (on skewers)
-from the New Double Day Cook Book


Coq au vin
-al a DJ Law, Nephew extraordinaire 

8 chicken thighs (or rooster if you can procure it)
1/2 cup flour
salt/pepper
1/2 cup butter
8 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 red onions, slice thick julienne style
2 large carrots chopped in medium bits
4 or 5 stocks sliced chelery
1 bottle pinot noir
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 lb mushrooms 
1 small handful of fresh thyme
A nice chunk of asiago cheese to grate on top of finished dish

Use a heavy heavy dutch oven type situation for this. Enamel covered cast iron is ideal.

Dredge meat in flour with a little salt and pepper, set aside.
Melt butter until almost brown; now brown chicken well then set aside again.
Add garlic and onions to the pot then simmer and stir until onions start to brown. 
Put chicken back into the pot and add some wine.
Then add chopped celery, carrots, chicken stock and as much wine as will fit.
Simmer on medium heat stirring occasionally for one hour and fifteen minutes, adding more wine as liquid reduces. You will end up using the entire bottle. 
Add mushrooms and thyme and cook another fifteen minutes or so.
Serve on a bed of rice; pasta; or mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes; sprinkle with grated asiago...it's all good! So very very good.
Toast with a glass of Lange Pinot Noir, review 103


Sausage & Feta Stuffed Bell Peppers

preheat oven to 350

ingredients:
3-5 medium bell peppers
1 lb hot italian sausage
1/4 tsp. crushed dried fennel 
2 large cloves chopped garlic
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Mediterranean oregano 
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1/3 tsp. pepper 
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata Greek (or whatever kind you like) olives
1 6.5 oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 4 oz. chunk feta cheese, then crumble it
2 Tbsp olive oil

Remove tops of peppers; cut lengthwise in half; discard seeds and membranes. Coat pepper halves with olive oil and set aside.
Cook sausage with garlic and fennel, drain fat; let cool. 
Toss herbs and pepper with feta cheese, artichoke hearts, and olives.
Add cooled sausage mixture.
Fill halves of peppers with mixture and bake at 350 in olive oiled casserole dish for 30-40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. 
Serve with warm French bread and a tossed green salad for a nice little three course meal. It's all good.
Enjoy with a glass of Duca de Cardino Chianti, review 102


Chicken a la King

Makes about 6 Servings

ingredients:
3 Tbsp butter
!/3 cup flour
Salt & pepper to taste
1 pint half and half
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
1 4oz jar pimentos 
1 1/2-2 lb cooked boneless/skinless chicken breast, 
cut into large chunks
Basmati rice

Melt butter in heavy skillet on low heat then sprinkle flour in while wire whisking frantically. 
Now add half and half slowly and whisk until smooth.
Slowly add chicken broth, salt and pepper; 
blend until fully incorporated.
Add red and green bell peppers, mushrooms and chicken; 
then using a large wooden spoon continue stirring and cooking over medium heat until mixture has thickened.
Add pimentos and call it good.
Serve on a bed of basmati rice.
Enjoy with El Bomer Grenache Blend, review 101.

Italian Sausage/Apple Meatballs on Pasta w/Pine nuts 

(inspired by Bob)
1 lb hot italian sausage
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 granny smith apple, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp crushed fennel (optional)
1/2 cup dry red wine
15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
oil for cooking
head of roasted garlic
handful of toasted pine nuts
Himalayan sea salt
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Parsley
1 lb Pasta, Acini Di Pepe no.44

Squish first five ingredients together until fully incorporated.
Roll into 1" balls and brown in hot iron skillet in a little cooking oil.
Place in baking dish.
Mix tomatoes, wine, and basil, oregano, salt, and pepper together
Pour over dish and tent with foil.
Bake in 350 oven until sausage is cooked fully through, about 30-40 min.
Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or so.
Serve on pasta tossed with lots of olive oil, roasted garlic, Himalayan sea salt and toasted pine nuts. 
Garnish with parsley and parmesan and enjoy. 
It's really, really tasty! Enjoy with Hot To Trot Red Blend 09', review 100

Elk Steak served with Fry Bread and Chard

Nez Perce Indian Cusine
Makes about 4 servings 
Heat oven to 375
2.5-3 lbs elk or lean beef steak(I used beef eye of round) cut into single serving portions 
1 lb bacon
2 large onion cut into thin rings
salt & pepper to taste

Salt and pepper steaks then sear on all sides in cast iron pan.
Create three layers in a small dutch oven or heavy baking kettle
In order of bacon, steak, onion.
Bake at 375 until steak is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Serve hot with fried bread and rainbow chard.
Try it with Waterbrook Melange Noir 08', review 99

Nez Perce Indian Fry Bread
4 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cups powered sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup water 
1 cup milk
vegetable oil for frying

Combine first four ingredients in large bowl and make a well in the center.
Pour the water into the center and incorporate with fork and later with clean de-ringed hands until a big ball of dough magically appears. 
Let rise for about twenty minutes.
Pull off pieces of about 3" diameter when rolled into a ball then flatten and make a hole in the center before frying until golden brown.
Serve with dinner or drizzle with honey for desert. Enjoy!

My take on Mendoza-Style Empanadas
original recipe from the Oliva-Quiroz family.

Makes about a dozen.


Preheat oven to 400 
Ingredients:
1lb ground beef
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion
1 1/2 Tbsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
green olives, pitted and cut into pieces (about 10 olives)
2 hard boiled eggs, cut into 12 slices 
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper to taste
12 empanada rounds
You will a cup of water for sealing edges.

Finely chop onion and fry in the olive oil until almost translucent.
Add beef and partially cook before adding spices to taste.
Set aside to cool.
Prepare empanada dough.
Place about 1/4 cup of meat mixture on one side of each round.
Top with egg and olives in equal parts.
Fold over and crimp edges together with some water to seal.
Place on floured baking sheets and paint with egg yolk/water mixture.
Cook for about 15-20 minutes in 400 degree oven until golden brown and pretty :) 
Keep a close eye on em' to avoid burning. 
Enjoy while still hot with a glass of Santa Julia Malbec, review 98
Empanada dough:
3 cups flour 
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 egg
1 egg white (save the yolk)
1 tsp vinegar
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil

Beat water, egg, egg white, and vinegar together and set aside.
Mix salt into flour.
Use pastry blender to incorporate butter and oil into flour mixture.
Make a well and pour the previous mixture into it.
Mix together with fork and later with hands until dough is incorporated and smooth. 
Shape into approx. eight inch cylinder, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one to two hours.
cut into 12 even pieces and roll into balls then flatten on floured surface with rolling pin into 6-7" rounds ready for filling.
Add a little water to the egg yolk and set aside for brushing the empanadas just before cooking. 


Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Ingredients:
1 stick softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
2 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup raspberry jam
4 oz semisweet dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
6 oz fresh raspberries
1/2 tsp water
powdered sugar for dusting

For recipe instructions, go to: Eating Richly.com. I made four of them with 3.5" tart tart dishes and as you can see, they came out beautifully. A perfect complement to Porcupine Ridge Syrah, review 97.



Herb Grilled Ribeye Steaks
This recipe would be a perfect complement to La Huella de Adaras, Almansa Red Blend; Review 96


You will need:

Some ribeye steaks
Some fresh rosemary
Some fresh Italian parsley
Some oregano
Some lemon cut into rounds
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
Crushed garlic

Mix together enough olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic to coat steaks with, then rub onto both sides of all steaks. 
Place oregano and parsley on one side, 
then flip and place rosemary and lemon rounds on the other side.
Seal in large freezer bag(s) and keep in refrigerator for three hours,
then let warm to room temperature for another hour before grilling.
Throw on hot grill, herbs and all and cook about seven minutes per side for thick cut steaks. 

Marinated Sirloin Kabobs

1-2 lbs Top sirloin steak cut into 1" pieces

marinade:
1 cup stout beer
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp finely grated ginger root
1 Tbsp spicy mustard
cracked pepper as desired

Veggies, cut into 1" pieces :
Mushrooms (skewer whole)
Red bell pepper
Red onion
Zucchini
Carrots
(feel free to add any vegetables you deem 'tasty' to your kabobs)

Combine marinade ingredients and place in large heavy freezer bag with meat pieces. Refrigerate 1-3 hours.
If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water first. 
Skewer meat using about 5 pieces per skewer.
Place on grill and turn until done.
Skewer veggies; brush with olive oil; salt & pepper to taste.
Place on grill when meat is about half way done.
Prepare Jasmine rice according to directions.
Remove completed kabobs from skewers and toss meat and veggies together.
Serve on a bed of jasmine rice and enjoy with a nice glass of Bar Oil, Review 95.


Moscato Marionated Salmon
On Wild Rice & Basmatti

marinade:

2 c. moscato
1/2 c. lemon juice
good size sprig of fresh basil
1/2 c. olive oil
himalayan sea salt
cracked pepper
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Prepare marinade in large heavy plastic bag; place 1-2 lbs salmon of choice in the bag; seal tightly and refrigerate for 1-3 hours.

Ideally I would cook it on a cedar plank barbeque
If that is not an option....
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove salmon from marinade and bake lightly wrapped in heavy foil. 
Fish is done when it flakes DO NOT OVERCOOK. (approx 30-40 minutes) 
While fish is cooking prepare basmatti and wild rice in equal portions but separately and then combine them. 

Remove salmon from heat and let rest for a few minutes before serving atop a bed of the rice combination. Place lemon garnish on salmon and serve with a vegetable side dish of your liking and fresh bread. 
Try with Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Review 94'

Cod with Artichokes and Chickpeas

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • One 9-ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and pressed dry
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives
  • Four 6-ounce skinless cod fillets
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion, artichoke hearts, mushroom caps, carrots and garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 7 minutes. Add the chickpeas and stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is nearly evaporated, 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and chives and keep warm.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until almost smoking. Season the cod fillets with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook over high heat until well browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets and cook until they're white throughout, about 3 minutes longer.
  • Spoon the vegetables into shallow bowls and top with the seared cod fillets. Serve with lemon wedges.
  • Recipe found at foodandwine.com
  • It was perfect with Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 09', Review 93

Pesto Marinated Chicken Breasts

Combine in large ziplock bag:
1/3-1/2 cup basil pesto
1/3 cup italian dressing
Cut into thirds:
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
Seal in marinade bag and refrigerate for at least three hours.
Remove breasts from marinade and discard marinade.
Roll breasts in bread crumbs and pan fry in heavy skillet with a little oil until done. If more cooking is needed after they have browned you may bake them in a 350 degree oven to finish them up. 
Prepare pasta(acini di pepe no.44) and toss with olive oil, sea salt, and roasted garlic.
Serve breasts on pasta, with a nice green side salad and fresh french bread.
Have with Chateau Ste Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 10', Review 92.



African Spiced London Broil

Ala Wine Witch
1.5 to 2 lbs london broil  
3 cloves garlic; minced
juice of one lemon
1 tsp Nomu African Rub(www.nomu.co.za)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup peanut oil
Incorporate all ingredients
Marinate meat in large ziplock bag at least 1 hr (keep refrigerated while marinating)
Bring to room temperature before cooking.
Ideally: Grill on 400 degree grill, covered. Approx. seven minutes on one side and then six on the other. DO NOT OVERCOOK...unless you like chewing on shoe leather.
Otherwise: Pan fry in heavy skillet on high end of medium heat; seven minutes on one side, six on the other. 
Pull off grill (or out of pan), cover and allow to rest 5-10 minutes.
Slice thinly and against the grain and serve along side creamy smashed potatoes done the way you like em'. 
Enjoy with Slowine Shiraz 06', Review 91.

Popcorn & Black Licorice
Pop corn with an air popper or on the stove top...the old fashioned way. Don't use that crappy microwave stuff if you really want a HEALTHY snack. 
Sprinkle with fancy salt of choice (I like to use Himalayan)
Sprinkle a little garlic powder, if you like
Drizzle a fair amount of olive oil and toss together
Now add pieces of your favorite black licorice and toss again
Enjoy with a nice wine and raise a toast to your favorite drama coach from long ago who patiently taught you so many things, including the delightful combination of licorice & popcorn.


Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs)

1 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup plain yogurt or milk
2 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp clove powder
1/4 cup flour
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork
1 Tbsp peanut oil

Combine bread crumbs and yogurt or milk; let stand ten minutes. 
Beat eggs on low for one minute; add and incorporate, flour and bread crumb goo.
Squish together beef and pork and combine with egg mixture.
Make meatballs about two inches in diameter and then flatten slightly and fry in oil on medium heat until cooked through.
This will take several batches to complete.
Serve on smashed potatoes and garnish with red bell peppers and flat leaf parsley.



Recipes of 2011:

The Wine Witches Italian Cream Cake

3 lbs ricotta cheese
7 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp flour
zest of 3 large lemons
1/8 tsp salt

Crust:
1.5 cups gingersnap crumbs
6 Tbsp melted butter
Combine and press into the bottom of buttered 9 1/2" spring form pan
Bake at 325 for about 15 minutes, pull out and set aside
Increase oven temp to 375
Whip up ricotta cheese with lemon zest until fluffy. 
In separate bowl combine egg yolks, vanilla, lemon juice, and sugar; combine with ricotta and add in flour a little at a time. 
Whip up egg whites with salt until fairly firm peaks form then fold into ricotta mixture. 
Pour over crust and bake until brown and puffy. Start checking after an hour. 1- 1 1/2 hours baking time.
Remove and run knife along the edge of pan. 
Let cool completely then chill 4-6 hours before removing ring from pan. Bring back to room temperature before serving with fresh fruit on top, or on it's own. 



Lemon Pasta & Seared Scallops
1/2 lb spaghetti pasta
1/2 lb scallops
1 lemon
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup greek yogurt
Olive oil
Himalayan salt &
Fresh cracked pepper to taste

Set peas out at room temperature while you prepare the rest.
Zest the lemon and then juice 1/2 of it.
Prepare pasta as directed; approx. 7 minutes on hard boil in salted water should produce a nice, al dente texture. DO NOT OVERCOOK. It's ok to set the timer. Drain (do not rinse), toss with olive oil, and set aside. 
While pasta is cooking, heat large cast iron skillet on medium high heat then add a Tbsp or so of olive oil.
Salt & pepper scallops then sear until just tender, and again, DO NOT OVERCOOK. Remove from skillet and set aside for just a moment.
Add yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and pasta to skillet and toss to coat before adding peas.
Serve with scallops on top. 


Parmigiana a la Shawna

2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4" rounds (leave skin on)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs mixed with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1tsp Italian seasonings
2 or 3 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup olive oil (approx.)
1 large can Italian plum tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil or 1 Tbsp basil pesto
1 Tbps minced fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced very thin

Dip eggplant in eggs and then bread crumbs, pile on large platter, cover loosely and chill in fridge for about 20 minutes.
Saute garlic in 2 Tbsp olive oil for about one or two minutes in large sauce pan over moderate heat.
Remove from heat and add tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, salt & pepper.
Cover and simmer on low stirring occasionally, DO NOT BOIL. 30-60 minutes. I like to add a little red wine toward the end, but it's not necessary.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat large heavy skillet and then add oil to about 1/4" 
Begin frying up eggplant in small batches until lightly browned.
Layer to drain between paper towels.
Spoon a thin layer of sauce into an ungreased, shallow 2 1/2 quart casserole, then build up alternate layers of eggplant, sauce, parmesan, and mozzarella, dividing ingredients equally and ending with mozzarella.
Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes, until bubbly. 
Remove from oven and let stand for at least fifteen minutes before serving. 
Serves 6-8


Quinoa with Black Beans & Cilantro

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped white onions
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
12 cup chopped fresh celantro
Crumbled feta cheese
Avacado & sour cream
Saute onions and red pepper 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir in next four ingredients. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is almost tender. Add beans and 14 cup cilantro. Cook uncovered until liquid is fully absorbed. Serve in bowls garnished with feta, cilantro, avocado, and sour cream. 

Thank you Ronda and Lisa for turning me on to this recipe. It's great!

Zucchini Casserole Pie

Using a medium lidded casserole dish, press about a pound of extra lean ground beef into about a quarter inch crust that comes up the sides of the dish a couple of inches. Sprinkle some worcestershire sauce and pepper over that.
Then make a layer using some left over Italian Roasted Veggies
...or you could use a layer made from sauteed mushrooms with a small onion, some garlic, and some very herby marinara sauce. That would work great.
The next layer is 1/2 cup cooked basmati rice
On top of that, a thick layer of sliced zucchini (salt and pepper before next step).
Now add one small can of stewed tomatoes.
Cover and bake for at least an hour.
Uncover and spread out a layer of shredded parmesan cheese.
Cook uncovered another few minutes until cheese is nice and melted.
Remove from oven and let rest for at least fifteen minutes before serving.
Serve with warm bagettes. 



Italian Roasted Veggies ala Wine Witch

In a large casserole dish start in layers with:
approx. 4 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium beet chopped into smaller bits
2 large carrots chopped into about 1/2 inch pieces
2 medium yukon gold potatoes chopped into about 1 inch pieces
5 cloves garlic whole or halved
2 large leeks cut lengthwise and then into 1-2" pieces
1 medium onion; chopped
1 can tomato sauce
about a cup of dry red wine
salt and pepper
fennel
Italian herbs to your liking
Cover and bake in 350 oven for about an hour or until veggies are tender but still firm.
Serve along side basic pasta with pesto and shredded parmesan cheese.

Stuffed Zucchini
1 very large zucchini, cut in half and hollowed out
1 lb extra lean ground beef or lamb
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
6 large mushrooms cut into medium sized pieces
14 cup dry red wine
fresh basil and oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Brown meat with onion, and garlic; add mushrooms, herbs, salt & pepper, and red wine; reduce until fairly dry.
Stuff hollowed zucchini with mushroom mixture and wrap tightly in foil. Bake in 350 degree oven in large pan with a little water in the bottom for approximately an hour and a half (start checking after an hour). When knife is easily inserted through the zucchini remove from oven and let rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes topped with freshly grated parmseain cheese.


Cher's Pesto & Sausage Lasagna

Ingredients:
Oven-ready lasagne noodles
1lb sausage
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5oz)
Spinach
1 container ricotta (15 oz)
1/2 cup shredded parm
1 Tbsp. parsley
2 eggs
white sauce with
**garlic/basil pesto
4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook about 1 lb sausage, drain off fat, add diced tomatoes; cook til most of liquid is reduced. Set aside.
Mix Ricotta, Parm, and 2 eggs together; then add 1 Tbsp fresh parsley. Set aside.
Make 1 1/2 c white sauce (3 Tbsp each butter & flour, 1 1/2 c milk, cook and thicken stirring constantly) then add about 1/2 c garlic/basil pesto to the white sauce. Set aside.

Layers:
1 Coat bottom of dish with a little sauce
2 noodles
3 sausage sauce
4 spinach (I use frozen, if fresh I think you're supposed to cook it first and drain because it holds alot of moisture)
5 ricotta/parm mix
6 White sauce/pesto mix
5 mozz... repeat.

**Simple Garlic & Basil Pesto(allrecipies.com)
Ingredients:
3 cups chopped fresh basil
2 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 cup pine nuts
18 cup brazil nuts
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili powder

Directions:
Place the basil in a blender. Pour in about 1 tsp of the oil, and blend basil into a paste. Gradually add the pine nuts, Brazil nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, chili power, and remaining oil. Continue to blend until smooth.


New York Steak Marinated in Montana Moose Drool
with Sauteed Mushrooms
Marinate a couple of steaks for several hours in Moose Drool or other stout beer with 2 cloves of chopped garlic
Remove steak from marinade
Salt and pepper to taste
Grill until desired doneness (7 minutes on each side)
Slice about 9 large mushrooms
Saute in olive oil
With fresh basil and oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Serve on top of steaks
Enjoy!




Bleu Burger
As Big As Your Head
Two thin patties of lean ground beef
2 Tbsp Stilton (or bleu cheese of your choosing)
Caramelized onion sprinkled with balsamic vinegar
Sliced tomatoes
Lettuce
A couple of toasted buns

Place cheese between two beef patties and seal around edges. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook on grill or skillet to desired doneness. On one half of toasted bun place tomatoes and lettuce. On second half a scrape of brown mustard then pile on caramelized onion. Put it all together and serve with JoJo Potatoes and your choice of various goo's & sauces. A mild mustard would work, so would mayo mixed with lavender. If you are into those weird fancy goo's you can always use that crazy ketchup stuff all the kids are into these days. I'll leave choice of goo up to you.


Lavender Salmon
Recipe complements of Danny

One to two pounds of your choice of salmon
1/3C. tamari
1/2 C. vermouth
Dried lavender flowers
Marinate salmon in tamari and vermouth for about 20 minutes, then sprinkle with dried lavender flowers before cooking. Grill or bake until just done. Do not over cook! It's easy and beautiful. Enjoy!




Caraway Sage Bread
2 pkgs active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk(scalded then cooled)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
Incorporate 3 tsp dried sage and 3 tsp caraway seed into
7 1/4 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, oil, and 4 cups of the herbed flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down dough; divide in half. Roll each half into rectangle, 18x9 inches. Roll up, beginning at short side. With side of hand, press each end to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in greased loaf pan. Cover; let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 425 Bake 25 to 30 minutes.
Makes 2 loaves.

Argentinian Pot Roast
Serves 2-4
Feel free to double the recipe for a larger crowd"do what keepest thou from wilting, shall be the loophole in the law" -JR Bob Dobbs

2 pound round or rump roast
3 large carrots
1 cup finely chopped parsley
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 good size onion, chopped
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 bottle red wine
I used Rene' BarbIer Red and it worked great.
Pinch of raw sugar
Freshly ground salt & pepper
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
or the equivalent volume in scrubbed new potatoes.

Using a sharp chef knife and starting at the blunt end of roast so the knife point appears at the tip, make a deep incision from end to end.
Grate one carrot and mix with parsley and garlic. Stuff into the incision and if necessary, tie the roast with string.
Heat oil in large casserole dish or other flameproof and oven safe pot and sear the meat on all sides to lock in juices. Remove and set aside. Cut remaining carrots into chunks the same size as the onions and fry them in the pot. Return meat to the pot and tuck in the herbs and add the wine and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil then cover tightly using foil as well as lid and transfer to a 175 degree oven. Let steam gently in its juices for about four or five hours. 
When perfectly tender remove meat and let it rest. Add the bell peppers and potatoes to the pot, return to oven, and cook until tender. Slice the meat and arrange atop the colorful tender vegetables.
Serve with Chimichurri Salsa
A thyme infused, oil and vinegar dressing that you will need to prepare a few days ahead of time.

Chimichurri Salsa
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium onion
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 cups olive oil

Combine all ingredients in an empty wine bottle or large cruet; cap, shake and let infuse for a few days. Keep in refrigerator. 

Grilled Blue Cod with Red & Green Pepper Sauce
Serves 4

You will need:
4 fillets of blue cod
4 red peppers
4 green peppers
6 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt & Pepper 

Grill peppers on all sides until almost completely covered with black blisters. Place under running cold water and remove blackened skins as well as seeds and stem. Puree the red pepper in food processor with 3 Tbsp olive oil and half of the lemon juice. Set aside. Now puree the green peppers with remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil and the rest of the lemon juice. Set aside as well.

Brush the fillets with olive oil and salt/pepper. Grill for 5-6  minutes per side.

Using four individual serving platters, pour the red & green sauces from opposite ends so that they meet in the middle. Place grilled cod over sauce and serve immediately. 

Grilled Lemon-Garlic Elk Steaks
2 lbs venison steaks

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced onion
1 tsp grated ginger root
1/2 tsp black pepper

Place steaks in a shallow pan or large resealable plastic bag. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour mixture over meat, cover and place in refrigerator for 4-8 hours. Preheat grill for medium heat. Remove steaks from bag and discard marinade. Place steaks on grill and cook for 5-7 minutes per side. When meat is cooked to desired doneness, remove from heat and serve. (photo found at Babble.com by Anne Marie Nichols of This Mama Cooks

Tapa: Crema de Cabrales
Bleu cheese, apple, and walnut spread
1/4 lb Cabrales Bleu Cheese
2 tsp. raisins
1 Tbsp white grape juice
1 Tbsp cream
1/2 medium peeled apple, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp dried thyme

Allow cheese to come to room temperature. Soak raisins in the grape juice for 20 minutes then remove raisins from juice and set both aside. In mixing bowl combine cheese, cream and juice; blend by hand with fork until smooth. Incorporate raisins, apple, walnuts, and thyme. Serve with crackers or on toast points.

Bobotie (pronounced: ba-boor'-tea)
a South African Dish

1 chopped onion
1 small clove garlic
1/2 tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp chopped red hot chili pepper
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb ground lamb
1 slice white bread, crust removed and soaked in a little milk
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp chutney
5 crushed almonds
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
3 to 4 bay leaves
1/2 orange, sliced in wheels
1/2 lemon, sliced in wheels
Oil for cooking

Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic, onion, chili pepper, and curry. Simmer on medium heat for three minutes. Add ground lamb and simmer till meat is almost done. Now squeeze milk from bread and discard milk; add the bread, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, chutney and salt n' pepper to the mixture and blend in. Simmer another minute or two and remove from heart.
Take pie pan (I used a small casserole) and place two bay leaves, one lemon wheel, and one orange wheel on the bottom. Scoop the meat mixture into the dish and spread evenly to the edges. Decorate the sides of the dish with remaining lemon and orange wheels, wedging them around so that only 1/3 protrudes. Spread almonds evenly over dish and push them into it. Beat eggs and 1/4 cup of milk and a little salt/pepper to taste then pour over the meat. Place two bay leaves on top of dish then place dish, uncovered, into 350 degree oven for about a half hour or until done. Serve hot, on yellow rice with side of chutney and a dinner salad.
Yellow rice: Basmati rice cooked with turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and butter. Add scallions when done...or you can just buy yellow rice at the super market if you prefer. This is a very easy dish to prepare and enjoy. Try not to like it, I dare you.

Argentine Lentil Stew
here is my version:

1 cup dry lentils
1 quart water
1 cube vegetable bouillon
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 large clove garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup bbq. sauce
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Place the lentils and water in a large pot, mix in bouillon, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients minus salt/pepper and continue to simmer 20 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve

for original version go to Allrecipes.com

Chicken Siomai as Appetizer &
Bourbon Chicken ala Wine Witch 

Chicken Siomai 

1/2 lb cooked, ground chicken breast 
1/4 cup minced carrots
1/4 cup minced mushrooms
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup minced celery
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce will work)
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
wonton wrappers
Combine first eight ingredients and mix well. Place a tsp or so on center of wonton wrapper and fold edges up to make a little cup around the filling. Place on bamboo steamer, or whatever steamer you have, and steam for 15-20 minutes. Serve with soy sauce, and a little plate of hot Chinese mustard, sesame seeds, and ketchup. 

Bourbon Chicken ala Wine Witch(original recipe drastically improved....I mean altered :)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken boobs
peanut oil
cornstarch
Sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup tamari (soy sauce will work)
Cut chicken breasts into approximately 1" pieces, dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in wok (cast iron skillet will work if you do not have a wok) and fry chicken bits until evenly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients in bowl and pour into wok. Bring to a boil, then add chicken bits back to the pan and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with a side of sticky white rice and tamari or soy sauce.

Mushroom & Penne Pasta Bowls
4-6 servings 
1 lb penne 
olive oil
1 lb fresh mushrooms of choice
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 14 oz cans chopped tomatoes
shredded parmesan cheese
chopped parsley
warm loaf good French bread (optional)

Saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic in approximately 2 Tbsp olive oil for 5 to 7 minutes. Add herbs, salt/pepper, wine, and tomatoes and simmer on low heat about 30-40 minutes while preparing pasta.
Prepare pasta al dente(firm) according to pkg. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Drain, then drizzle, and toss with some olive oil and set aside until sauce is ready. Remove mushroom sauce from heat and gently fold in pasta. Serve in large soup bowls topped with parmesan cheese and parsley. 
A small dinner salad before the main course would be nice, but not necessary. French bread is also a nice option.
Enjoy with Nugan Estate Shiraz


Recipes of 2010:

Moms Rhubarb Pie  
Sift together: 
1 Cup, or little less Sugar 
Note: I have seen recipes call for up to 1 1/2 Cups sugar (yuck). Personally I would use about 3/4 Cup as I really think too much sugar compromises the character, integrity, and natural beauty of the fruit, but you do what you want.
1/4 Cups Flour
1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Cardamom 
Dash salt
Add to dry ingredients and blend until smooth:
3 Eggs, well beaten
Then add:
4 Cups 1 inch thick sliced rhubarb
Now:
Line large pie tin with pie skin of choice, I usually just use Pillsbury, but feel free to make from scratch. You will need two of them. Fill with rhubarb mixture and dot with 2 Tbsp. Butter. Top with second pie skin and make pretty design on top with sharp knife to allow steam out. You can always use a pie bird if you like. I bet some of you don't even know what that is, hu? That's ok. It will give you something to google later. Bake pie in preheated 400 degree oven for 50 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool for a while before slicing. Serve for desert with Sandeman Porto and enjoy!
Enjoy with Sandeman Porto


Pecan Cranberry Stuffing
12 cups small day-old bread cubes
2 tablespoons butter
2 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium ribs celery, diced
2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and diced
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage (or 3 teaspoons dried sage leaf, crumbled)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups liquid (turkey or chicken stock or broth)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Prepare the bread cubes.

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and apples; saute 5 minutes.

Combine the bread with the vegetables, sage, thyme, dried cranberries and pecans. Combine the liquid with the cayenne and pour over the stuffing; season with salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Spoon the stuffing into a large casserole dish and cover. 

Bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven 45 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 10 minutes.
to compliment your turkey dinner enjoy with Elk Cove Pinot Noir


Acorn Squash Ala Wine Witch
Halve and hollow out one large acorn squash.
Fill each empty cavity with:
1/2 chopped macintosh apple
10 rasins
Sprinkle, heavily with:
Nutmeg
Cardamom
Cinnamon
Fresh ground Sea Salt and Pepper
Drizzle each half with some olive oil
or Blood Orange Oil
Place in cake pan with half inch water in bottom
Cover with foil
Bake at 375 degrees until done. 
Approx. 40 minutes
Enjoy with Chianti

Colcannon: A Recipe
serves 4
1 small cabbage, steamed and chopped fine
2 cups hot seasoned smashed potatoes 
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
pinch white pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix cabbage with remaining ingredients, spoon into an olive oiled 1 1/2-quart casserole, and roughen surface with a fork. Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes until lightly browned. Simple and delicious.


Lamb Meat Balls On Basmati
Serves 4

1 1/2 lb ground lamb
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp crushed fennel or anise
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil

Sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all ingredients except olive oil and form into 2" balls. Brown balls well on all sides in oil in large, heavy skillet over moderately high heat; drain on paper towels. Transfer balls to ungreased shallow 2 quart casserole. Mix tomato sauce and water, pour over balls and bake uncovered for 30-45 minutes until bubbly. Serve over basmati rice. 

Basmati Rice
Rinse 1 1/3 cups rice. In medium heavy sauce pan combine and bring to a boil 2 1/2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir in rice, reduce heat, cover and cook on low heat until liquid is absorbed into rice, about 15-20 minutes. Fluff and serve.

Basque-Style Eggplant, Peppers & Tomatoes
6-8 servings
1 medium sized eggplant, peeled and cut in 3/4" cubes
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large sweet green peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2" squares
3 cups coarsely chopped, seeded, peeled ripe tomatoes
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp minced parsley
Dredge eggplant in flour and stir-fry in oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat 7-8 minutes until browned. Add peppers and saute 3-4 minutes, then add tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring. Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Mix in salt and parsley and if mixture seems too liquid, simmer uncovered until the consistency of stew. Serve with garlic bread. (I sometimes serve over rice)

-an old favorite of mine from the New York Double Day Cookbook

Smoked Salmon Yum Yums with Caviar

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temp
5 green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
fresh ground black pepper
1 lb smoked salmon
Caviar
Pumpernickel toast points or water crackers

Whip cream cheese until fluffy, then stir in green onions, dill, lemon juice, zest, and pepper to taste.
Spread onto toast points or crackers and top with smoked salmon and caviar.