Friday, November 30, 2007

Sad, so sad

Her geography teacher should be horsewhipped. Or sent to Budapest, France.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A wonderful dinner tonight

So Tom and I picked up some gorgeous looking pork tenderloins at BJ's for an awesome price: only $12.00 for 4. They're usually around $9 or $10 for just two!

I was surfing the interwebs today looking for a recipe and found one that I used, but modified. I didn't even measure, I just eyeballed it and guesstimated. All measurements below are approximate.

2 healthy sized pork tenderloins
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix all dry ingredients together well. Slather tenderloins with olive oil and place on a rack on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Coat oiled tenderloins with dry mixture, using all of the mixture and pressing it into the tenderloins. Roast at 325 until pork reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Cool for about 10 - 15 minutes and slice into 1/2" thick slices.

We had this with a spicy rice and paired it with Montes Purple Angel Carmenere. WOW. It was pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself :-D

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Henri Boillot Meursault Les Genevrieres 2004

If we're going to drink a Chardonnay it's going to be a White Burgundy, and this wine is the reason why. It has none of the characteristics of a California Chardonnay with oak so predominant that you need to pull the splinters from your teeth afterwards. In my humble opinion, oak masks the wonderful fruitiness of a good Chardonnay.

This beautiful Burgundy had rich, ripe tropical fruit notes of pineapple and a touch of mango. Hints of pear were also apparent. Good acidity and well-balanced, it has another few years to mature. We have another few bottles, so I can revisit these notes to see how well it holds up :-D

Tom's Ditto Bread

photo © Linda Blakely 2007

3 packages yeast
1/2 t sugar
3 cups water
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 T cornmeal
3 cups whole wheat flour
7 - 8 cups flour
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup molasses
6 T butter
3 T sesame seeds
2 eggs
1 T salt

Mix yeast with 3/4 cup warm water and sugar. Set aside. Boil 3 cups water and pour in a bowl. Add molasses, butter, brown sugar, cornmeal, salt and sesame seeds. When cooled, add yeast mix. Beat eggs stiffly and add to mixture. Mix in whole wheat flour one cup at a time. Begin adding rest of flour one cup at a time, decreasing amount added as dough stiffens. Knead in remaining flour. Lightly grease large bowl. Place dough in the bowl and turn it over to grease both sides. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down, divide into thirds and place in greased loaf pans. Allow to rise 30 - 45 minutes covered. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake loaves uncovered for 35 - 45 minutes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fall Wine Fair this Friday!

I'll be assisting Gonzalo Oliva and Sam Cockrel of GOS Imports this Friday (Nov 16) from 3pm - 8pm at Simon's, A Wine Bar located at 1004 Hendricks Ave. You'll get 10% off anything you order (no minimum necessary!) plus you'll get an additional 10% off if you order $200 or more. How cool is that?

If you are planning to go, let me know!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wine Dinner with Allan Green of Greenwood Ridge Winery

Last night Tom and I attended a "Meet the Winemaker" Wine Dinner at Restaurant Medure in Ponte Vedra Beach. Allan Green of Greenwood Ridge Winery was there to present his wonderful wines.

We started off with the 2006 Greenwood Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, paired with a variety of hors d'oeuvres: Tuna Tartare and a variety of imported cheeses. The Sauvignon Blanc paired well with the hors d'oeuvres with its crisp and refreshing palate. It was tart, with good acidity and a well-balanced finish.

Next was the first course: Tempura Colossal Crab with Coconut Curry Broth paired with the 2006 Greenwood Ridge Riesling, Mendocino Ridge. The spiciness of the Curry Broth was a perfect match for the off-dry and fruity Riesling. Delicious!

The second course was just as good: Portobello Mushroom Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese, Pistachio and Cranberry Vinaigrette paired with the 2006 Greenwood Ridge Pinot Noir, Mendocino Ridge. Can I just say...WOW! The berry flavor of the Vinaigrette brought out the strawberry-ness of the Pinot Noir, and the pungent goat cheese brought out the smokiness.

Our entree was next: Dry Rubbed Long Island Duck Breast with Foie Gras, Carmelized Onion and Truffle Spaghetti Squash paired with the 2002 Greenwood Ridge Merlot, Mendocino Ridge. Absolutely fantastic! The duck was tender and smoky which was perfect with the Merlot's woodsy balsam notes.

Last, but certainly not least, was the dessert. Ahhhh, the dessert: Open-Faced Apple Tart with Mascarpone Pastry Cream and Lavender Honey paired with the 2004 Greenwood Ridge Late Harvest White Riesling. Again, it was a great pairing. The wine was not too sweet or acidic and had wonderful melon and pear notes.

All in all it was a terrific meal. You could tell that the chef took some time to come up with the best courses to pair with these wines. Tom and I both gave this wine dinner two enthusiastic thumbs up ;-)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Clarendon Hills Syrah Astralis 2003

photo © Linda Blakely 2007

Last night Tom and I and a good friend went out for dinner. We brought along with us a bottle of Clarendon Hills Syrah Astralis 2003, one of the high-priced wines we were unable to sell when our store closed. This wine received a 99 point rating by Robert Parker, stating "It’s hard to believe the 2003 Syrah Astralis Vineyard could be better, but it offers riveting richness, intensity, purity, and equilibrium. Structurally, it is similar to the Piggott Range, revealing abundant amounts of sweet, ripe tannin, and huge extract, richness, and depth. Meant for true connoisseurs who are willing to forget it for 5-8 years, it represents what Roman Bratasiuk and Clarendon Hills do so well ... show respect for the great traditions of France, but recognize the extraordinary raw materials that emerge from old vines planted in McLaren Vale. This fabulous wine offers both power and elegance, and showcases the extraordinary talent of Roman Bratasiuk." This was wonderfully balanced and quite delicious! Worth the 99 points? You bet! Worth the triple digits it retails for? Well, let's just say we would never have spent that much for a bottle of wine. We're not ones to cellar wines for many years. We like to drink them now. Why wait?