Winter Recipes and Wine Pairings to ‘Wow’ Any Crowd

(BPT) – Winter offers an opportunity for reflection and for gathering around a table with loved ones. Whether you’re cooking for two or a dinner party with friends, these recipes are the perfect accompaniment to winter gatherings. Pair these recipes with the recommended wine pairings for a truly memorable meal. Even if you’re not cooking, make sure to keep your favorite wines, cheeses and sweet treats on hand for any impromptu visits!

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Sage Pesto Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Sage Pesto Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, and Sage Pesto Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Author: Katie Morris of Katie at the Kitchen Door

Serves: 4

Ingredients

One pork tenderloin, about 1-2 pounds

1 bunch fresh sage

6 sprigs fresh rosemary

15 sprigs fresh thyme

4 cloves garlic

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

sea salt and pepper

6-8 thin slices of prosciutto

6 thin slices fresh mozzarella

1. Remove the leaves from the sage, rosemary, and thyme. Place the herb leaves in a food processor with the garlic and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pulse the herbs until a finely minced rub is formed. Season the herb mixture with salt and pepper.

2. Rub one half of the herb mixture on the inside of the prepared pork tenderloin. Top with slices of mozzarella, slightly overlapping, and then with slices of prosciutto. Carefully roll the pork tenderloin up as you would a jelly roll, tucking the filling back in as needed. Use butcher’s twine to tie the pork into a roll, using one piece of twine every 2-inches. Rub the remaining half of the herb mixture on the outside of the pork and marinate the pork in the fridge for at least eight hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven or other oven-proof skillet. Brown the pork on all sides, then place the Dutch oven in the preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches 145?F, about 20-30 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Wine pairing: La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, lacrema.com

Zinfandel Brownies

Author: Dirk Yeaton on murphygoodewinery.com

Ingredients

2 cups Murphy-Goode Zinfandel

20 ounces melted Ghirardelli 60 percent cocoa, dark chocolate squares

12 ounces melted unsalted butter

20 ounces sugar

8 eggs

4 ounces all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

8 ounces Ghirardelli milk chocolate, double chocolate filling, chopped

1. In a saucepan, simmer wine to reduce by half, measuring one cup.

2. Mix together butter and chocolate, then in a mixer beat together with sugar.

3. With mixer on low, beat in eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to be incorporated. Beat on medium high for an additional five minutes, or until mixture has lightened in color.

4. Fold in reduced wine and vanilla, then flour and chocolate. Mix until fully combined.

5. Spread finished mixture in a buttered and papered jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through bake time. Brownies are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out with a sticky crumb.

Wine pairing: Murphy-Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel, murphygoodewinery.com

5 Ways for Modern Couples to Take Date Night to the Next Level

Apothic(BPT) – Romance is much more than a simple card on Valentine’s Day. Amid the hectic schedules and chaos of everyday life, romantics across the country are looking for ways to spice up that intimate evening with someone special. Since crowded restaurants and cold temperatures are a sure-fire way to kill the mood, a celebration at home can be much more appealing. Incorporate these modern twists on a romantic night in to take your next date night to the next level.

Uncork the night

Set the mood for a romantic evening at home with a bottle of decadent red wine. Apothic Crush is a red blend that combines red fruit flavors with notes of caramel. Its velvety smooth mouthfeel is sure to please every palate.

Modern day gourmet

Meal subscription services make it easy for even novice cooks to create culinary masterpieces. Tantalize your taste buds with exciting seasonal recipes using exotic ingredients delivered right to your door. The joint activity adds an element of adventure, livening up a night at home.

Travel down memory lane

Memories of relationship milestones and special moments generate warm feelings of nostalgia. Create a digital scrapbook of images from your most memorable experiences together and spend some time reminiscing about the magic that started it all.

Personalize your playlist

Surprise your significant other with a throwback radio dedication via Spotify. Your personalized message shared with a special song is sure to impress while evoking the carefree days of mixtapes and long conversations over landlines. To make your dedication, visit Apothic.com/CrushMusic.

A gift that keeps on giving

It’s important to take time out of our busy lives for date night. Keep the magic of the night alive with a “2016 Save the Date Night” booklet where you can schedule future date night outings or activities all year long. Remember, everyone loves a little mystery and subtle creativity trumps extravagance every time.

For more great date night ideas, visit Apothic.com.

Valentine’s Day Wines

A heavenly Valentine - Raspberry macaroons and wine.

A heavenly Valentine – Raspberry macaroons and wine.

Around the world, love is the same. But wines carry a distinctive character that only the soil and climate of that region can produce.

Spanish Madeira Wine Barrels

Spanish Madeira Wine Barrels

Spanish Madeira

There are still those who insist that chocolate doesn’t pair well with wine. We beg to differ. Tell that to someone who has tasted a fine Spanish Madeira while munching on the best French truffles. The robust, fruity taste of this heavy red stands up well to even the darkest chocolate. Neither overpowers the other.

Champagne

Champagne

Champagne

Or, consider how romantically perfect is a pairing of fine strawberries with a delicate Champagne from Champagne, the famed region in France that gives its name to this sparkling wine. Be bold and go against tradition. Dip the strawberries in chocolate sauce.

Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer

Gewürztraminer

Even a fine Gewürztraminer, a light German wine, will be appreciated by lovers around the world. Think romance and Germany may not come first to mind. But Goethe and Schiller were THE romantic poets/playwrights of the 19th century – when Valentine’s Day was invented. Indeed, this flavorful, dry white is the perfect way to say ‘I love you’. You can just say it to the glass while that special someone is near enough to hear.

Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes and Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes and Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon

But, you protest, Valentine’s Day is associated with red. No argument there. Have it both ways. Go with a superb Cabernet Sauvignon made in the heart of Portugal. Too strong? Select a delicate rosé from California and serve it with some roses.

Framboise

Raspberry Goodness

Framboise

No, you need something a little more passionate. Never fear, there are lots of choices.  A French Framboise with an infusion of raspberries will provide the fruity red that says ‘Meet me after work’. There’s nothing more passionate than a wine with the exact ingredients needed to celebrate this day dedicated to love.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Some of that French influence migrated to Canada generations ago. Try a fine Chardonnay from Quebec and find out why this region – making wine since the 1800s – produces wines that lovers have truly loved for the past 25 years.

Syrah 2

Syrah

Syrahs

New Zealand is known for its passion, as well. Thankfully, that comes in liquid form ala the great Syrahs from down under. Say shazam and a shiraz will appear that will light your heart on fire.

Merlot

Merlot

Merlot

Surely, you haven’t forgotten about Italy? No country in the world is more closely associated with romance, after all. It also happens to be one of the major wine producers. Methinks, that’s no accident. Enjoy a superb Merlot from Tuscany and you’ll soon know what love is all about.

Zinfandel

Zinfandel

Zinfandel

And, while we’re on the subject of geography and wines…. America has its own distinctive contribution to the world: Zinfandel. If this hearty red doesn’t get your blood racing, you probably shouldn’t be celebrating Valentine’s Day at all.

Winter Roasted Tomato Soup With Blue Cheese Paired With Wine Is Good for Your Health

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is a staple in our household, enjoyed in every season. My husband Jack and I have slurped our way through the Bubba dictionary of soups celebrating the tomato. (In the movie Forrest Gump, the character Bubba could rhyme off a whole list of shrimp delicacies and dishes; in my case, tomato soups.) We have enjoyed garden fresh tomato soup, tomato and rice, smoked tomato, tomato with bacon and basil, creamy tomato with parmesan and croutons and tomato soup with macaroni and cheese. The list is endless.

If the tomato grows, it’s soup prevails. Paradicsomleves is the word for Hungarian tomato soup. Gazpacho Andaluz is traditional Spanish tomato gazpacho – cold tomato soup. “Saar” is the name from traditional Indian tomato soup. Zuppa di Pomodoro is none other than Italian tomato soup. The name, alone, is enough to make one salivate.

The tomato is so good for us. Its soups can be meat free, gluten free, fat free and peanut free and still taste delicious. Even creamy tomato soup can be dairy free. Simply use whipped Silken Tofu, instead of cream, to thicken the soup. We have long known that the tomato is a good source of Vitamin C and the antioxidant called Lycopene. This fruit is also high in Vitamin K and calcium, which strengthens bone tissue. It is a good source of mineral chromium which helps to stabilize blood sugars for diabetics, as well. New research from Cornell University reveals that cooking this fruit increases its level of Lycopene. However, its Vitamin C level is reduced through the cooking process. Lycopene is believed to be highly beneficial in preventing and fighting cancers and heart disease. It is an antioxidant that our body does not naturally produce. Hence the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables possessing Lycopene. The tomato also contains chlorogenic acid and coumaric acid, which helps to fight against some of the carcinogens brought about by cigarette smoke.

Many avid home cook friends are as obsessed about tomato soup as they are about apple pie and family lasagna recipes. It is a comfort food! It naturally possesses 2 survival mechanisms – natural sweetness and simplistic umami. We all love sweetness. And we also crave umami. Umami is the 5th taste sensation that produces roundness and depth of flavour on the palate. We crave umami, which allows us to retain a healthy appetite and therefore keeps us alive – a survival mechanism. As the tomato ripens and ages, the level of umami increases. When slow cooked, umami moves from simplistic to synergistic, increasing dramatically. (Hence our addiction to ketchup! It is nothing more than slow cooked tomatoes with synergistic umami and sweetness.)

I’m personally a fan of garden fresh tomato soup made from pureed beef steak tomatoes straight off the vine. I serve this soup hot and cold. I love the pure taste of the tomato. I season the soup with sea salt, pepper, high quality extra virgin olive oil and finely chopped basil. Then I garnish each bowl with a heavy dollop of Creme Fraiche or Greek yoghurt, depending on my mood. The trick is to heat up the soup quickly, thus allowing it to retain its garden fresh flavour and acidity. The soup is meant to be hot, not cooked.

In the winter it’s better to use canned tomatoes than out-of-season, out-of-country fresh ones. When hunting for canned tomatoes ignore the label! Hunt for a brand that you enjoy. When you substitute canned for fresh, choose whole, peeled tomatoes. Stay away from the other canned versions like crushed, diced, stewed. The undergo further processing and are made from lesser quality fruit.

Use the following guidelines when substituting canned tomatoes for fresh:

One 28-ounce can of tomatoes equals about 10 to 12 whole tomatoes, peeled (or about 2 pounds)

One 14-1/2-ounce can of tomatoes equals 5 to 6 whole tomatoes, peeled (or about 1 pound)

If serving wine alongside tomato soup, consider its predominant flavours. Fresh tomato soup as described above sings with natural acidity and so demands a white wine with crisp acidity to match. Try Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, dry Riesling.

Soup made from slow roasted tomatoes will have intense fruitiness, higher umami and low acidity and can therefore partner to a red wine. If you desire roasted tomato soup with an austere red, be sure to roast the tomatoes, even the canned ones. Roasting the canned tomatoes for a few hours at 200 F in a turkey roasting pan concentrates the tomato, fruity-like flavours and reduces the acidity. Roasted tomato soup tastes wonderful when sprinkled with crumbled blue cheese and paired with a wine like Cabernet Franc or Zinfandel. Smoked tomato soup also works nicely with austere reds like Cabernet Sauvignon.

Here’s a Winter Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe using canned tomatoes:

Roasted Tomato Soup with Garlic

Serves 4 to 6

2 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes

8 tablespoons olive oil

3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1 1/4 teaspoons dried

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/4 teaspoons dried

1/4 teaspoon (or more) dried crushed red pepper

6 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt broth

Clotted Cream or fat free Greek yogurt (for garnish)

6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

Chunks of crumbled blue cheese (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 200°F. Place canned tomatoes in turkey roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil. Roast tomatoes for about 3 hours. Let cool. Transfer tomatoes and any accumulated juices to blender or food processor. Process until chunky.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, rosemary, thyme and dried crushed red pepper. Add chicken stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until soup thickens slightly, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm soup over medium-high heat before continuing.) Stir in basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with a dollop of clotted cream or fat free Greek yogurt.

Wine Suggestion: Cabernet Franc

 

For more simple and gourmet recipes celebrating cheese and paired with wine, download THE WINE AND CHEESE LOVERS’ COOKBOOK. It’s FREE!

http://winesecrets.sharidarling.com/free-wine-and-cheese-lovers-cookbook/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Wine Tasting – Top 4 Winter Wines

With the cold weather arriving in just a few months, you need to think about what wines will become a part of your daily rotation. Winter dinners are usually filled with hearty foods to keep the body and soul warm. Therefore, you need big, hearty, red wines to go along with the big, hearty foods that you will be preparing. The days of white wine and barbecue are over. Hearty beef stew and Cabernet Sauvignon is what will be on your table now. Here are four of the best winter wines.

Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes and Wine

Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes and Wine

1. Cabernet Sauvignon 
Cabernet Sauvignon is often referred to as the “king of the reds.” It is a very fruit wine, with much more tannins that lighter reds. Cabernet Sauvignon usually have a dark fruit flavor, such as plum, blackberry, cassis, or boysenberry. Cabernet Sauvignons are usually fermented in oak, leaving flavors of dill, caramel, coffee, and vanilla. A common winter food to pair with this one is a big piece of steak. Any cut of beef will work, but I would recommend a good filet mignon to go with your Cabernet.

Syrah

Syrah

2. Syrah
Syrah is another good choice for the cold winter months. While many people don’t like it do to the fact that it is so flavorful, it may fit in your winter wine repertoire quite well. With origins in the Rhone Valley of France, Syrah wines have notes of smoke, coffee, cured meats, and blueberries. This flavorful wine requires flavorful food. Some common pairings are lamb (lamb riblets or leg of lamb), and Shitake mushrooms mixed with thyme.

Zinfandel

Zinfandel

3. Zinfandel
There are many different styles of Zinfandel that pair with many different types of winter foods. Use a lighter style Zinfandel with more savory dishes. The lower alcohol content of the lighter Zinfandel wines will pair nicely with a wide variety of different winter foods. It especially pairs well with Italian cuisine, such as meatballs, spaghetti, or any dish that uses parmesan. Sweeter Zinfandels pair well with chocolate and cheese.

Sirah Grapes

Sirah Grapes

4. Petite Sirah
Petite Sirah is probably one of the best winter wines out there. Petite Sirah is a very big, dark, rich red wine. It is full of tannins, meaning it requires big food. The wine is so dark that it seems that somebody has mixed your wine with squid ink and put it in your glass. Pair this wine with your best beef stew recipe.

 

Philip Hofman is a New York blogger who works with a wine club [http://blog.anuvavinos.com] that specializes in wine tastings in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Hearts of Palm, Mango and Lime Salad Paired With Riesling

RieslingIn this cold weather with an abundance of snow, it’s fun to taste a little bit of tropical warmth and sunshine. Hearts of palm is the perfect ingredient to add to dishes and salads. It is firm and tender, but subtle in taste, making it an ideal texture-forward ingredient for refreshing salads.

Hearts of palm comes from the interior of palm trees. The heart is bright white and tender and lies beneath the 5th layer of trunk within the tree. Today, this vegetable is farmed in Costa Rica and Hawaii within the USA. It also grows wildly throughout Brazil and so is a staple in the Brazilian diet.

An alternative to wild hearts of palm is a domesticated farm species called peach palm. Peach palm is the most widely harvested for canning. It is a multi-stem variety that grows as many as 40 stems per plant. Due to all the stems, harvesting in moderation does not kill the tree.

Hearts of palm is hand-harvested and takes extensive time to undertake because of the many layers of bark that must be removed to get to the tender heart. For this reason it is considered a delicacy. It is also nutritious, a carbohydrate with some protein and fibre and high in calcium and vitamin C. It adds such wonderful texture to dishes but is subtle in taste and so will let the other flavours within a dish take centre stage. It’s the contribution of texture to a dish.

This ingredient is mostly used in salads, but can also be incorporated into dips and sandwiches, pastas and risottos. Massa ao Molho deFrango e Palmito, known in English as Pasta with Chicken and Palm Hearts, is a Brazilian classic featuring this ingredient. Hearts of palm can be used has an affinity with ingredients like artichokes, avocados, tomatoes, chicken, shrimp, to name a few.

This salad sings with the tropical flavours of mango and lime, a wonderful interlude to our winter blues.

Here is the recipe:

  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) hearts of palm, drained, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper as needed
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, washed and dried

In a bowl whisk together the lime juice and mustard. Set vinaigrette aside. In another bowl combine mango, onion, hearts of palm and half vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide lettuce among 4 plates. Top with mango mixture. Drizzle remaining dressing. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.

Suggested Wine: This salad has refreshing tanginess from the vinaigrette. Normally a crisp, white wine would be the idea companion to match this tanginess. However, because the mango is sweet, the salad requires an off dry white wine to match. Choose an off dry Riesling, off dry Gewurztraminer, white Zinfandel or off dry rose as a partner. I would choose Riesling from a cool climate to get that zinging acidity to match the fresh lime juice.

 

Discover how easy it is to pair the right wine with a dish in Harmony On The Palate e-Cookbook. Click the link below:

http://winesecrets.sharidarling.com/buy-harmony-on-the-palate-now/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Mastering the Red Wine Reduction

Coq Au Vin is a classic dish that utilizes the flavor of a red wine reduction.

Coq Au Vin is a classic dish that utilizes the flavor of a red wine reduction.

Red wine is a classic element in many delicious recipes. But, there is no better way to use red wine in cooking than with the traditional red wine reduction sauce. Once you’ve mastered this sauce, you’ll find many ways to use it.

The most traditional use for red wine reduction sauce is for steak or other beef dishes. The red wine flavor pairs nicely with the flavor of beef, and can really dress up the flavor of an inexpensive steak, as well as preventing it from being too dry. Red wine reduction sauce is also perfect as an accompaniment to a beef tenderloin for a classic holiday meal.

The cooking term “reduction” refers to cooking a liquid long enough to allow some of the water to steam out. This leaves you with thicker, more sauce-like liquid and more concentrated flavors. Following is a basic recipe for a simple red wine reduction that is packed with flavor.

Simple Red Wine Reduction Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 1/4 cups red wine (Merlot, Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon), divided

Directions

  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir the onions, garlic, mushrooms and shallots until the onions are translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Pour in the beef broth and 1 cup of the wine, and bring to a boil, scraping and dissolving any browned bits of flavor from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat, and simmer until the vegetables are very soft and the pan juices have reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
  2. Strain out and discard the vegetables from the sauce. Return the sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, stir in the rest of the wine, and reduce heat. Simmer the sauce until it is reduced to 1/4 of its original volume, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Once you’ve mastered this simple sauce, you’re sure to want to come up with your own variations. For example, you may choose to add additional vegetables for a more intense flavor. You may also choose to add multiple types of mushrooms to the sauce without straining them out to make wonderful mushroom/ red wine gravy. Mastering the simple, yet elegant red wine reduction sauce is a feat every cook will want to accomplish.

Choosing a Sweet Red Wine

Chocolate Torte with Port Wine Sauce

Chocolate Torte with Port Wine Sauce

When shopping for red wines, you’ll notice that there are a lot more dry red wines than red wines that are sweet. But, if you’re a sweet wine lover, you can find some red wines that will suit your palate.

The sweetest red wines are ports. These wines are fortified (usually with brandy) and have a higher content of sugar and alcohol. Port wines are perfect for drinking after dinner or with dessert. Port wines come in the following categories:

  • Ruby – Ruby ports are the youngest. They are not casked for very long, so they keep their bright color and fruity flavors..
  • Tawny – These are aged longer and are less sweet than the Ruby. The time they spend in the cask makes them a darker color and gives them a nutty flavor.
  • Vintage – These ports are aged the longest and have the least sweetness. They are smooth and mellow.

In addition to port, there are some other red wines that tend to be sweet. Lambrusco is an Italian red wine that is served chilled. It has quite a bit of sweetness and the flavors of blackberry and plum. It’s considered the perfect red wine for a picnic or barbecue when you want something cold, but with the complexity of a red wine. Beaujolais is a French wine that is also usually quite sweet. If you want a light variety, choose the Beaujolais Nouveau.

When choosing other red wines, there are some characteristics you should look for if you’re trying to find a red wine that is a bit sweeter. First of all, steer clear of anything labeled as “dry”. But, you can also find sweeter wines by choosing red wines that are:

  • As wines age, the fruit mellows, making the wine less sweet.
  • Check the tasting notes on a red wine before you buy. Any wine listed as fruity is likely to be somewhat sweet.
  • Choose a wine labeled “dessert”. Dessert wines are usually quite a bit sweeter than other wines.

When we think of red wines, we often think more of dry wines than sweet. And, it’s certainly true that, as a rule, there are more dry red wines than sweet. But, that’s no reason for the lover of sweet wines to avoid drinking red wines. Just be a bit more selective in your choices, and you’re sure to find red wines that are sweet and satisfying.

Polenta Rounds With Stilton Pate Paired With Cabernet Sauvignon

Polenta

Polenta

Polenta, a native dish of Friuli, Italy, is a wonderful ingredient to utilize for hors d’oeuvres and appetizers. It’s simply cornmeal that’s made into porridge or mash. But when boiled, polenta may be left to set, then baked, grilled or fried. Polenta is a fabulous base ingredient that can be partnered with a variety of ingredients and paired with wine.

I’ve been editing my cookbooks to make the Kindle savvy and came across this recipe this morning. It’s so easy and delicious and a harmonizing partner for any austere red wine.

You’ll need to make the polenta rounds from cornmeal. The pre-prepared polenta tubes available at supermarkets won’t work here; the rounds made from those tubes are too large to serve as bite- sized morsels. The ready-made polenta also can’t be punched with a cookie cutter. Besides, slow-cooked polenta is much tastier, in my opinion.

Polenta Rounds with Stilton Pate

Serves 4-6 (makes 16 rounds)

Pate:

  • 8 oz – 250 g – cream cheese
  • 4 oz – 125 g – crumbled Stilton
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp – 5 mL – finely chopped fresh rosemary

Polenta:

  • 1 cup – 250 mL – milk
  • 1/2 cup – 125 mL – fine cornmeal sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste corn oil (for frying)
  • rosemary sprigs (for garnish)

To make the pate, combine the cream cheese and Stilton in a bowl. Mix them together until they’re well blended. Mix in the garlic and fresh rosemary. Cover the mixture and refrigerate it until it’s needed.

To make the polenta, bring the milk almost to the boil. Add the cornmeal in a very slow stream, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low. Continue stirring in the same direction while the cornmeal thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. The polenta is done when it peels easily off the sides of the pot. Season it with salt and pepper. Remove it from the heat. Pour the polenta onto a sheet of aluminum foil. With wet hands, smooth it into a thin, even sheet. Let the polenta cool. Cut out 16 rounds, using a 2-inch (5 cm) cookie cutter or the rim of a wine glass. (Fancy cookie cutters work nicely, too.)

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the polenta for about 2 minutes on each side, until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set the fried rounds on the baking sheet.

Top each round with 1 tsp (5 mL) Stilton pate. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the rounds until the cheese is melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Watch closely so the pate just melts, but doesn’t slide off the polenta. Garnish the rounds with the rosemary sprigs. Serve them warm.

Suggested Wines: Barolo, Barbaresco, Amarone, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

Building Blocks

The predominant building block is fattiness and saltiness from the Stilton. An austere red has enough tannin to nicely offset the fat and salt in Stilton.

Flavors

Choose an austere red with berry flavors to complement the piquant flavor of Stilton.

 

Shari Darling just released the Kindle version of her cookbook “Wine Pairing Club Presents The Wine and Cheese Lovers’Cookbook. To purchase this book go to:

Amazon.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Choosing Red Wine Glasses

red-wineNovice wine drinkers may be a bit confused when it comes to buying wine glasses. There are big glasses and small ones, those with stems and those without.

Red wine glasses are larger than white wine glasses. This is not because you drink a larger portion of red wine than white wine. Whether you’re drinking red or white, a serving is considered five ounces.

Red wine glasses have a larger bowl for three primary reasons. The first is to better allow the wine to breath. As red wine breathes, the flavors are more apparent and the tannins are mellowed. This makes your glass of red wine taste much better and have far more complexity. It is for this same reason, that experts recommend that red wine be decanted before serving.

The second reason that red wine glasses are larger is to allow you to more fully enjoy the aroma of the wine. The bouquet is much more evident when the bowl of the glass is larger.

Finally, red wine glasses are larger to allow you to tip them partially on their sides during tasting. When you can tip the wine glass, the wine can coat the inside of the glass so that you can see the color and the “legginess” of the wine. Try that with a smaller glass and you’ll end up with a spill.

The new trend in red wine glasses is stemless. There is no real advantage to a stemless glass except that it is less likely to spill. The disadvantage is that your wine may become too warm because you cannot hold the glass by the stem to keep the warmth of your hand away from the wine. For this reason, stemless glasses should not be used for white wine. However, there is no reason why white wine cannot be served in a red wine glass with a stem.

Wine glasses come in several colors, which can make for a beautiful table setting. However, it’s important to remember that unless the glass is clear, it will be difficult to view the color and other visual characteristics of the wine.

Beyond these guidelines, you should choose the wine glasses that best suit your taste, your style and your budget. Wine glasses come in a wide range of styles and prices, so it’s easy to find glasses suitable for red and white wines that suit your budget and your preferences.

Older posts «