Monday, August 27, 2012

"Fatalis Fatum" 2008

A red wine blended from Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Absolutely delicious! Serve with a roast beef or lamb dish. There is a very subtle underlying fruity flavor that I really enjoyed.

Sparkling Brut, Blanc de Blanc 2008

A light fruity sparkling wine made from Chardonnay grapes. Can be served with shrimp, scallops and a lobster bisque.

"Perle" Chardonnay 2009

From a Dijon Clone vines, aged 80% in oak barrels served with a salmon dish. It had a light nutty flavor.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tomatoes and Steak

Dinner doesn't have to be complicated, sometimes simple is best. We've grown a lot of tomatoes this summer and for dinner we had steak and tomato salad. Instead of the cherry tomatoes used in the previous recipe just supplement them with beefsteak tomatoes. Because they tend to be more "fleshy" you may have to let them sit longer in order to get the full flavor out of the tomatoes.

Brush your steak with extra light olive oil and then season the steak with coarsely ground black pepper, and coarsely ground sea salt.

Preheat the grill for 15 minutes, cook the steak for two minutes, turn it clockwise to get a nice grid allow it to cook another 2 1/2 minutes on the same side. Flip the steak and do the same to the other side.

If you want to be exact, you can get a meat thermometer rare steak will be 115-120 degrees, a medium rare will be from 125-130 degrees, and a medium steal will be from 135 to 140 degrees.

Personally I don't use a thermometer. Press the tip of your finger to the tip of your thumb If the steak feels like the fleshy part of your hand below the thumb then it's rare. Medium rare, touch the same spot on your hand while gently touching your middle finger to your thumb. Medium is the same method only touching your ring finger to your thumb and for well done touch your pinky to your thumb.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Braised Leg of Lamb with a Red Currant Glaze

There is this incredible little butcher near me that has the freshest cuts of meat around. I went in there with the intention of getting veal-shanks for Ossobuco but I didn't get there until after work and they had already sold out. So I got a leg of lamb. I decided to braise it to see if I could keep it from being too gamey, and I ended up being very happy with the results

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. 

Prep the meat with the spices and a little bit of flour. 
I used black pepper, onion powder, fresh thyme, garlic, chives and flour.

Take the pot that you will be cooking the lamb in, and heat it on the stovetop. I thought I would get a better sear on the fat using butter as opposed to olive oil.  

Sear all sides of the lamb, approximately 2-3 minutes per side. 

Add the liquid that you will be using. I used one part sparkling peach juice, 1 part red wine and 2 parts stock. 

Bake in the oven for 4 hours. 

20 minutes prior to removing the lamb from the oven add in the vegetables that you will be serving with it. I added potatoes, parsnips, carrots and leeks. 
Also, a simple way to do a glaze is to take a jelly and spread it over the meat just before you're about to remove it from the oven. Brush it liberally over the side of the leg and allow it to roast. 

Once you take it out of the oven you can reserve the juices and serve with the lamb once it is sliced and served. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chicken, Zucchini, and Armenian String Cheese Bake

Before starting on the zucchini, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Marinate the chicken in white wine and rosemary. 

I was at the tail end of the bottle, so I used a Channing Daughters Mudd Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Delicious! 

Channing Daughters is a small winery out in Bridgehampton. The intimate tasting room and wonderful staff make it a must see if you're making your way out to the Hamptons.   

Put the marinated chicken in a baking dish and bake for approximately 20 minutes. 
Remove and reserve.

Prepping the Zucchini

I'm still making my way through the copious amounts of zucchini that has grown this summer. Due to their size, the zucchini has a "pithy" center. I prefer removing it because I find both the texture and the flavor to be distasteful. 

Sprinkle a small amount (approximately 1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil on a baking sheet.
Layout the zucchini the first sheet I baked I left the rings intact. However, in the interest of expediency I started cutting them in half for the bottom layers. 

Season with fresh thyme, chives, salt and pepper. 

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 12-15 minutes. 

Once you've finished baking all the zucchini, begin building the layers. I wanted to maintain the moisture  in both the chicken and the vegetables so I poured some of our family's tomato sauce at the bottom. 

I then began stacking zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and since I wanted it to be a little creamy, small amounts of goat cheese. 

Lay in your chicken.
I then took the whole zucchini rings from the first batch I baked, and placed them over the chicken. 

The top layer was topped with the armenian string cheese. 
I had so much fun pulling it apart, it's almost ridiculous. 

Bake for another 15 minutes. 

Eat up and enjoy!