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Archive for ‘Favorite recipes with wine suggestions’

All set! New Year’s Eve Dinner with Wine Shopping List

Posted by Debbie

Thursday, December 25th, 2014
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You’ve been planning, shopping, baking, cooking, decorating, and mailing (phew!) to get ready for the Holidays…so let us help you create a great dinner for the last day of the year. This take-home New Year’s Eve Dinner from Thyme & Again is an elegant menu prepared by their creative chefs using local ingredients. All you have to do is call the great folks at Thyme & Again by noon on Monday December 29th. Avoid the crowds, the kitchen and the stress!

Includes a Wine Shopping List too…

To make your New Year’s festivities extra easy, our Savvy Sommeliers  have provided wine recommendations from fine Ontario wineries to pair with these festive dishes. All of these wines are available at various LCBOs in Ottawa. For more wine recommendations from Savvy Sommeliers, call 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) www.savvycompany.ca

Here’s to a delicious dinner & exciting 2015!

 

 

Special New Year’s Eve Menu with Wine Pairings

 

 

sparkling wine closeup of glasses

HORS D’OEUVRES

Coffee Poached Pears; Chèvre with Candied Walnut & Orange on Seed Crackers (V, GF)

Mini Perogie with Braised Shortrib & Cheese Curds

North of Seven Vodka Flambée Lobster stuffed Gruyère Profiterole

Kick off the festivities with a bubbly! Savvy Sommeliers recommend:

Casa Dea Dea’s Cuvée Sparkling, Prince Edward County $18.95
13th Street Cuvée Sparkling Brut Rosé, Niagara $24.95
Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine Brut, Niagara $29.95

 

ED wine bottle and corkscrewSTARTERS

Acorn Creek Sunchoke, Apple and Chestnut Soup with fresh Thyme

Bluegrass Farms Baby Arugula; Smoked Tofu “Bacon”; Parmesan Tuille; Crouton;Lemon Garlic Dressing (V, GF)

Confit Duck and Shiitaki Mushroom Phyllo Pastry, Baby Greens and Honey Soy Drizzle

Crowd pleasing wines recommended by Savvy Sommeliers:
Rosewood Süssreserve Riesling, Niagara $14.95
Malivoire Gamay, Niagara $16.95
Kacaba Cabernet Merlot Syrah, Niagara $18.95

 

MAIN COURSESED glasses of wine

Oil Poached Striploin with Le Coprin Mushroom Tapenade
Rosti Potato with Zucchini Ribbon
Wine to serve: Huff Estates South Bay Merlot, Prince Edward County $29.95
*Will be featured in Savvy Selections wine of the month club in January 2015

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Shrimp and Alliums stuffed Roasted Chicken Breast and Sherried Tomato Cream
Duck Fat “Confit” Fingerling Potatoes with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Wine to serve: Lailey Sauvignon Blanc, Niagara-on-the-Lake, $19.95

~

Seared Black Cod with Lemongrass and Scallions
White and Bamboo Rice Pilaf with Miso Glazed Bok Choy
Wine to serve: Pondview Bella Terra Chardonnay, Niagara-on-the-Lake $24.95

~

Mixed Wild Mushroom and Brandy Ragout Stuffed Portobello with Cauliflower Purée (V, GF)
Rosti Potato with Thyme Roasted Carrots
Wine to serve: Rosehall Run Defiant Pinot Noir, Prince Edward County $18.95

~

Pork Two Ways: Hall’s Apple Cider Braised Pork Belly and Pan Seared Chard Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Medallion with Calvados Apple Butter
Duck Fat “Confit” Fingerling Potatoes with Miso Glazed Bok Choy
Wine to serve: Fielding Estates Pinot Gris, Niagara $18.95

DESSERTS

dessert Thyme & AgainSalted Caramel Crème Brûlée with Smoked Chili Truffle, Triple Chocolate Biscotti, Fresh Raspberries (GF available without biscotti)

Callebaut Dark Chocolate Mousse Cakelette with Drunken Cherries, Toasted Marshmallow, Espresso Cream, Fresh Strawberries (GF)

Key Lime & White Chocolate Cheesecake with Dulce de Leche, Parisian Macaron, Fresh Blueberries (GF)

Lemon & Raspberry Tart with Raspberry Coulis, Ginger Biscuits, Meringue Kisses, Fresh Blackberries

Our Savvy Sommeliers recommend to serve with these delicious desserts:
Southbrook Vineyards Framboise, Niagara $15.95 (dessert wine made with raspberries)
Cave Springs Indian Summer Select Late Harvest Riesling VQA 2008, Niagara $24.95
Tawse Riesling Icewine VQA 2009, Niagara $34.95

 

Menu codes:
N = Contains Nuts or Seeds
V = Vegetarian
GF = Gluten Free 

Your dinner order includes:

hors d’oeuvre
starter
entrée
locally baked bread
dessert


Price per person:

Beef: $48
Chicken: $45
Pork: $48
Cod: $45
Vegetarian: $38

Please contact Thyme & Again Creative Catering directly to place your order.
1255 Wellington St W.
Ottawa ON  Tel: 613-722-0093
www.thymeandagain.ca

Have a very happy New Year’s Eve with friends & family, from all of us at Savvy Company.
Debbie & the Savvy Team

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Hosting a dinner party? Relax…we’ll select the wines!

Posted by Debbie

Friday, January 24th, 2014
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With the cold weather, it is perfect for warming the house up with the delicious smells wafting from the oven.  Hosting a dinner party can be hectic & unnerving.

fielding-logo
While you have picked out the dishes for each course of the menu, our Savvy Sommeliers have selected 6 bottles of outstanding wines from Niagara’s Fielding Estates Winery that will WOW your guests.

The best part – this Savvy Dinner Party Pack is only available from us.  Order now to save over $25 & shipping by courier is included. 


Sparkling Wine 
an elegant crisp bubbly to serve on arrival

Fielding Brut

White Wines – enjoy with soup, salad… and save some for dessert!

Melt away any thoughts of winter with these refreshing white wines
Fielding Estate Bottled Riesling VQA 2011
Fielding Viognier VQA 2011

Red Wines – Why not have a mini wine tasting over your main course?

From the outstanding 2010 vintage, these red wines will WOW your guests:
Fielding Cabernet Sauvignon VQA 2010
Fielding Merlot VQA 2010
Fielding Cabernet Franc VQA 2010

Fielding winesORDER this special Savvy Dinner Party Pack > >

Now with the wines enroute, all you have to do is invite your guests….and set the table!

Grab your favorite recipe book or make your menu with these tried & tested recipes that the Fielding family, winemaker & Savvy Sommeliers recommend to serve with the selected wines.  Enjoy the meal and most of all the time with your friends & family around the dinner table.

 

Let’s get the party started!

Seafood Chowder

Here’s an idea – welcome your guests with a mug of this chowder rather than passing around platters of hors d’oeuvres before dinner. This sets a relaxed tone to the dinner party…and will be delicious with a glass of Fielding sparkling wine. 

Ingredients
8 slices bacon, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, chopped fine (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup flour
3 cups clam juice or seafood stock (or vegetable stock)
1 russet potato, peeled and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound shucked clams
1/2 pound cod, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound scallops
1/2 pound shucked oysters
4 cups half-and-half
Fresh parsley, for garnish 

Method
In a large stockpot over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned. Add the butter and onions, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Add 2 to 3 cups broth.

Then add the potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are almost fork tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the clams, cod, shrimp, scallops, and oysters and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the half-and-half and heat through (do not bring to a boil or the chowder will curdle).

When finished add parsley and serve.

 

It’s time to gather everyone at the table…

When your guests see the dinner table set with glasses of Fielding’s white wines & plates of refreshing melon & scallops, the sight will get taste buds going! 

Grilled Sea Scallop with Honeydew & Soy Glaze

Ingredients
½ small honeydew
½ English cucumber
½ long red chili
1 sprig mint, picked about four or five leaves)
1 sprig basil, picked (about four or five leaves)
1 lime
Olive oil
1 bunch arugula leaves to garnish
Salt & Pepper

Soy Glaze
¼ cup light soy sauce
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon sherry vinega
r½ teaspoon sesame oil

Method
Finely dice the honeydew, cucumber and chili and mix in a bowl. Finely chop the basil and mint. Set in a separate bowl in the fridge.

In a bowl whisk together the soy sauce, honey, vinegar and sesame oil.

Lightly oil the scallops with vegetable oil, season them with salt and pepper and cook over a hot grill until just cooked through, about four to six minutes.While the scallops are cooking, combine the herbs with the melon mixture and season with a pinch of salt and a couple drops of lime juice and olive oil.

In a bowl dress the arugula with a few drops of lime juice and olive oil.

To serve, spread the arugula out on four dishes then remove the scallops from the grill and place on the arugula. Dress each scallop with a generous spoonful of the honeydew mix and spoon some soy glaze around the plate.

 

For the Main Attraction….

fielding - curtis kingHere’s another novel idea: Have a mini wine tasting!  Just before you arrive with plates of the main course, give each guest 3 wine glasses with a sampling of the Fielding red wines in each.  Which wine is best with the dish will become a lively conversation!

A wine trivia or interesting tidbit to get the conversation started:  Did you know that Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc are the 3 grape varieties used in crafting French Bordeaux & or what the rest of the wine world calls ‘Meritage’ (pronounced Mary-tidge)?

Here are 2 recipes to consider serving for your main course.

Recipe #1:  Bacon wrapped Veal Tenderloin with Leeks & Mushrooms

Serves 4

Ingredients
4 veal tenderloin portions
1 package good quality smoked bacon, the thinner the better
2 medium leeks, trimmed and washed
1 pint button mushrooms, trimmed and washed
1 pint oyster mushrooms, trimmed and washed
1 small package dried porcini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
300 ml of cream (35%)
1 lemon
Salt & pepper 

Method
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees

Spread out four pieces of cling film (about 1 ½ feet by 3 feet each) on a large clean surface. On the cling film lay a piece of bacon lengthwise away from you about three inches from the left hand edge of the cling film.

Working from left to right repeat with another piece of bacon, slightly overlapping on the right side of the first piece. Repeat until you have laid out 5 strips on each piece of cling film.

Lightly season the veal with salt and pepper and place lengthwise across the bacon at the end closest to your body. Roll the bacon around the veal until it can be tucked under, then trim any excess bacon.

Place the bacon wrapped veal seam side down on the cling film at the end closest to you and wrap the cling film around the veal. Twist the ends to tighten and place in the fridge for at least one hour to firm up.

Cut the leeks in half and finely slice into half-moon shapes. Slice the button mushrooms and tear the oyster mushrooms into strips, removing the stems.

Soak the dried porcini in warm water. Once they are re-hydrated, chop them and strain the water through a fine sieve and reserve.

Place a large pan on the stove on high heat. Add a knob of butter and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. When the butter sizzles, add the mushrooms, toss to coat and put the pan back on the heat to get some colour.  Season with salt and pepper. If the pan looks dry, add a bit more oil and butter.

After a couple minutes you can toss the mushrooms. Again, if they are dry add a bit more oil and/or butter. Once they are nicely golden, turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and the leeks. Sweat these for four to five minutes then add ¼ cup of reserved porcini water. Allow this to reduce to half its volume and then add the cream. Allow to simmer.

While this is reducing heat another large pan over medium high heat. Carefully remove the cling film from the veal. Once the pan is hot, sear the veal in oil on all sides until nicely coloured. Place the pan in the oven and cook, turning frequently until medium rare (about 6-8 minutes). Allow the veal to rest.

Once the cream has reduced to coat the back of a spoon, check the seasoning and add a few drops of lemon juice. Place a large spoonful onto the middle of four plates. Carefully carve each piece of veal in two and place onto the mushrooms mixture.

Recipe #2: Beef Tenderloin with Port, Mushroom & Stilton Sauce

Serves 6-8

One of the Savvy Sommeliers Patti Petty loves to cook.  When she took a sip of the Fielding Cabernet Sauvignon & also a sip of the Merlot, she said “I have the perfect recipe to pair with both of these wines.”  Enjoy! 

Ingredients
¼ cup butter
½ tsp. coarsely ground pepper
1 tsp. minced fresh garlic
2-3 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied

Reduction Sauce
1 tbsp butter
4 oz. crumbled Stilton cheese
1 cup beef broth
¼ cup Maderia wine
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup green onions 


Method
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a skillet melt ¼ cup butter until sizzling; stir in pepper and garlic. Place tenderloin in skillet. Cook over medium high heat until browned on all sides (7 – 9 minutes).

Remove from pan; reserve pan juices and browned particles in skillet. Line a 9×13” baking pan with foil; place tenderloin in pan.

Bake 35 – 50 minutes or until meat thermometer reaches 160 F (medium). Remove from oven and let rest, tented for 5 – 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp. butter in same skillet with reserved pan juices and browned particles until sizzling; stir in blue cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted (4 – 5 minutes). Stir in beef broth and wine; add mushrooms. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are tender. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients.

Serve over carved tenderloin.

 

A sweet way to finish off…

Whether your guests have a sweet tooth or not, the team at Fielding certainly do!  Here are some of their favorite desserts – make one…or treat your guests to both!  They are classics.

Recipe #1:  Ken’s Favourite Apple Pie

From the kitchen of Ken & Marg Fielding (winery owners) 

Ingredients

Use your favorite pastry recipe for a 9 inch double crust pie

Filling
5 to 6 firm apples (Ken prefers to use Spy apples)
juice of 1/2 lemon
sugar – white or brown if you like
1 Tbsp. butter
ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. of Rum – yes you read that right!  (alternately 2 Tsp. vanilla extract)

Method
Wash, peel and core apples, but do not discard peel and cores.

Slice apples thinly on the side of a kitchen grater or in a food processor.  Place slices in a bowl and sprinkle very lightly with lemon juice, tossing apples over with a fork.  Starting with 1/2 cup or so, sprinkle sugar over apples, again tossing gently to coat.  From time to time taste a slice.  When it seems sweet enough for you, stop adding sugar.

Roll pastry into two rounds and fit one into the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate.  Fill the shell with apple slices, mounding them well into the centre. Roll out top, cutting a 1/2 inch round hole in the middle of the top, rather than making slits all around.

Dot apples with butter and grate about 1/2 tsp of nutmeg over them.  Sprinkle rum or vanilla over all, wet edge of bottom crust and lay top pastry over apples.  Seal and crimp.

Bake in a 425 degree F. oven 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degree F and bake 35 minutes.

 

fielding familyKen & Marg’s BIG Trick

Ken & Marg (far left & right in this photo) pass along their big secret to making this pie a delicious conversation piece…

While pie is baking place peel and cores in a small saucepan and cover with water.  Add 2 tbsp. sugar, place over low heat and simmer uncovered while pie is in oven.  After 5 minutes of cooling strain the liquid. This syrup has all the flavour from just under the apple peel.

When pie is baked, place on a rack in a location where there is good air circulation.

Pour 2-4 Tbsp of the syrup through the hole in the top of the pie as it cools and tip the pie gently from side to side to distribute the syrup evenly.  You may want to add more syrup.  As the peel is full of pectin, you don’t need to worry that this will make the filling runny.  It will tend to gel and give the filling a firmer texture.

 

Recipe #2:  Mom’s Rice Pudding

From the kitchen of Ray Cornell (Fielding’s winemaker)
“This is my Moms’ recipe. It’s really good, but not for the calorie conscious!” – Ray

Ingredients
3/4 cup short grain (arborio) rice
5-6 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar (brown or white) – Ray prefers using brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla  –  “I like vanilla so I always use 2 teaspoons” – Ray
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter

Method
Cook rice, milk, and salt in top of double boiler (approx. 1 hour).

Beat eggs and sugar.  Stir some of the pudding into eggs and stir all back into the pudding with the vanilla, nutmeg and butter (Tip from Ray – at this point you can also incorporate the raisins, but I omit them).  

Stir well, the heat of the pudding will cook the eggs.  Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours

Garnish with a dash of ground cinnamon or shaved almonds.

fielding cheers
Bon Appétit & Cheers!

 

Savvy Selections Ontario wine of the month clubRe-ordering your favorite Fielding wines is easy…

After you have enjoyed the wines we’ve selected for this Savvy Dinner Party Pack, you and your guests can re-order any of your favorites by contacting our Savvy Team directly on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca   We will gladly arrange a special shipment for you.

Here’s to another great dinner party!

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Brazil’s royal fruit – the pineapple

Posted by Patti

Friday, August 9th, 2013
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My trip to Brazil was great in so many ways – culture, cuisine & curiosities.  Traveling up Amazon Jungle, walking the streets of Rio de Janeiro with the infamous Cristo Redentor overlooking the city, seeing Iguazu Falls which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World…not to mention the Ilha Grande. I even got to see fresh pineapples growing in the Amazon! Try this recipe for grilled pineapple and you can almost hear the birds in the rainforest.

Sweet Grilled Pineapple with Rum Sauce 

Ingredients

1 Pineapple – see pineapple plants growing along Amazon River at left
vanilla ice cream
Rum Sauce (recipe below)
Coconut, fresh toasted & unsweetened

Method

Cut off the top and bottom of pineapple; cut off the skin and then slice pineapple into thick slices and remove cores.

Place on greased grill pan over medium high heat; grill turning once until grill marked and heated through. I prepared the pineapple early in the day and gently reheated in the oven.

Photo credit: Patricia Petty

 

 

Ingredients for Rum Sauce

¼ cup butter
¾ cup dark brown sugar
½ cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp rum (I used dark navy rum)

Method for Rum Sauce

In saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in sugar and cook, stirring until simmering, about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in cream.

Return to heat and bring to gentle boil and cook, stirring gently until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in rum.

For each serving cut pineapple ring in half, place 1 scoop of ice cream on top. Drizzle with warm rum sauce and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate any leftover sauce.

 

Bom apetite! as they say in Brazil and savour those fruitlets as each pineapple tree can only produce on pineapple every 3 years.

Patti

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Brazil’s Fish stew to die for

Posted by Patti

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013
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Are you ready for a new name for fish stew? Moqueca do Ilha Grande.  This recipe was inspired by a great dinner venue…we sat at a tiny restaurant on the beach on the island of Ilha Grande, about 2 hours south of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It truly was a memorable meal that evening and recreating it brought back incredible memories of an amazing trip.

Harbor view on Ihla Grande off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

Moqueca do Ilha Grande aka Fish Stew Ilha Grande

Ingredients

60z. portions of firm, thick white fish (I used halibut)
Fresh shrimp (optional) are also typical for Brazil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion sliced into thin rounds
½ cup white wine (I had a bottle of Riesling open)
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut mild (premium brand tends to be very thick and creamy)
Fresh cilantro sprigs for cooking and extra, finely minced as a garnish
¼ cup chopped cashews
Shavings of fresh coconut (optional)

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 400. Season the fish and set aside

In a deep, ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce down to about half. Add the tomato sauce and cook another minute or so. Add the fresh tomato and red pepper, cook another 8 – 10 minutes or until thickened. Then stir in the coconut milk.

Place the fish in a lightly oiled Dutch oven or casserole and pour the sauce over the fish. Cover and bake for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp if using and gently spoon sauce over it.

Add the cilantro sprigs (4 – 6), cover and bake until the fish is opaque, the shrimp is tender and the sauce is bubbling, approx. 5 – 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the cashews, cilantro and garnish with the fresh coconut shavings.

Serve with simple boiled rice and a hot sauce if desired. I took fresh broccoli and shaved the flower heads and then folded it in to the hot rice.

Bom apetite!
Patti 

 

Wine Pairing

 

2011 Fielding Viognier, VQA Ontario

$25.95 (LCBO Vintages 142323) 13.5% alcohol

 

 

 

 

2012 Morgadio da Torre Alvarinho Vinho Verde, Portugal

$17.95, (Vintages  960955) 12.5% alcohol

Both wines paired beautifully with the fish stew, in fact any Alvarinho would be a good match.

 

 

I hope you enjoy making – and eating – this traditional fish stew as much as I did.  The memory of that wonderful meal on the tiny island of Ihla Grande (there’s an oxymoron for you) will stay with me forever.

Patricia Petty
Accredited Sommelier with Savvy Company 

 

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My trip to ‘coffee country’ – Brazil

Posted by Patti

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
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Bem VindoWelcome.  On a recent trip to Brazil – the largest country in South America – I spent 5 days travelling up the Amazon, visited Iguazu (a world heritage site with 250 waterfalls), Rio de Janerio, and Ilha Grande. This trip inspired me to create a dinner menu based on the foods I tasted there, so different from our Canadian fare. The cuisine of Brazil is influenced by that of Portugal who settled the country and Africa, with the slaves who were brought over.

Wild Rice in the morning mist, Amazon River. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

My Brazilian Dinner began with appetizers.  First up was shrimp and mussels simply poached in a white wine ( I had a Reisling open) infused with fresh herbs (including cilantro), lemon peel, and garlic. Once the seafood was cooked I strained the liquid, reduced it down and added coconut milk before adding the seafood back in. Of course there were ham and cheese filled empadinhas, various olives and wine. We found wherever we went empadinhas (almost always filled with ham and cheese of some sort) were on the menu and olives were always brought to the table – what a nice touch.

With the appetizers, I served an Argentine Torrontes, an Ontario Rosé and of course beer, although not the Brazilian Brahmin that we drank everywhere. Next was a Portuguese inspired Caldo Verde. I used a recipe, which is somewhat untraditional from Martha Stewart’s web site and is one created by Emeril Lagasse. See here for full details of Emeril’s “new-style” Caldo Verde so-called because the kale is cut into thin strips and is cooked only until crisp-tender.

Our main course was inspired by an amazing fish stew I had at a small seaside restaurant on Ilha Grande, an island approximately 2 hours south of Rio de Janeiro and a short ferry ride away. I am not sure what the fish was although I know it came from the waters around the island that afternoon. It was fragrant with coconut and cilantro and truly wonderful. Vegetables were not commonly found in most restaurants as a side dish but I served this with the rice that accompanied it there and green beans. The white rice had the flowerettes from brocolli shaved very fine and folded in…pretty green specks!

View of the harbour, Ilha Grande, Brazil. Photo credit: Patricia Petty

Our desert was inspired by the fresh pineapple found everywhere. We actually saw pineapple growing in the Amazon jungle on a 3 hour trek one morning. Dinner was a way to relive my journey through Brazil. Funny how things come back to life when you’re eating food. The recipe for Caldo Verde is listed below & the Brazillian fish stew and the grilled pineapple will follow in the recipe blogs this week.

I always believe in drinking local when travelling and oh how I tried – the restaurants carried only a few local wines, the rest on the list were mostly from Portugal, Chile, Argentina. So  it saddens me to say that I didn’t find any great wines from Brazil while there I was there – but maybe I just needed to stay a bit longer! Or I’ll have to go back again soon to continue my search.

 

Bom apetite! as they say in the ‘Country of coffee’.
Patti Accredited Sommelier Savvy Company

Emeril’s New-Style Caldo Verde

From Martha Stewart

Emeril calls this version “new-style” because the kale is cut into thin strips and is cooked only until crisp-tender, which differs from the traditional version. Serve with crusty bread.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (sweet potatoes could be used as an alternative) this is my note
7 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces kale, large stems and ribs removed
8 ounces firm (smoked) chorizo or other hot smoked sausage, diced or crumbled
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Method

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot, and add the onions and garlic  then cook until the onions are wilted, 4 minutes.

Add the potatoes and chicken stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, and add the crushed red pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, thinly slice the kale. Set aside.

When the soup is thick and the potatoes have begun to break down, add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the kale and simmer until the leaves have softened but are still slightly crunchy and the flavors have melded, 15 minutes.

At the end, stir in the cilantro, parsley, and mint, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Suggested Wine Pairing:

2010 Hewitson Miss Harry, Austrailia,Grenach, Syrah, Mouvedre Well balanced, fruit, pepper notes. Paired beautifully with the smokiness of the soup.

 

 

 

 

Cheers & Enjoy!

 

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You’re invited to the best herb garden in town!

Posted by Debbie

Friday, July 26th, 2013
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Calling all gardeners & herb lovers:  spend a day in the country with us at home-grown Midsummer Herbfest this Sunday (July 28).  You will find our own  Accredited Sommelier, Debbie Trenholm, MCing the ever popular Chef Cook-off. You may have caught her on this morning’s CTV Ottawa Morning where she was with one of the ‘competing’ local chefs – Josh Gillard who is the new owner of Ottawa’s Must Wine Bar & Kitchen.

Watch the video of Josh creating this recipe below…in 4 minutes flat!

 What is the Chef Cook-off all about?

It is a fun & friendly competition of 3 local chefs who will whip up dishes before your eyes as you learn about their culinary techniques. Here`s the exotic dishes that Chef Josh Gillard will be creating during his lunchtime presentation.

Photo on set (left to right: Debbie, Jeff Hopper – CTV host, Chef Josh, Laurie (Josh’s wife) & Bruno (Herbfest PR Director)

 

 

More about competing Chef #2: Josh Gillard

Executive Chef/Owner of The Galley at The Nepean Sailing Club, is a graduate from the Culinary Arts program at Algonquin College.    Josh grew up with a taste for cooking from a very young age. Josh’s 15 years in the culinary industry have included positions in many acclaimed restaurants in Ottawa. Josh’s specialties include French Cuisine, Italian, Mediterranean and Tapas styles. Josh enjoys creating straight forward dishes using the seasons’ best to using his creative side bringing flavours together that are unforgettable.   Josh invites you to come and share the “nautical vacation hospitality”, relaxed and attentive service, tucked-away on the second floor within the warmth of the Nepean Sailing Club.

His most recent endeavor includes ownership of a wine and small plates establishment, located in the heart of Ottawa’s Byward Market called Must Wine Bar & Kitchen. This quaint little gem is revolutionizing Ottawa’s palate through exciting food and wine pairings, and offering a selection of high-end wines by the glass.  Josh and his culinary team offer small plates of exquisite arrangements of many flavours & textures that are a MUST try! Wine flights and pairings by the glass accompany the many exciting creations you’ll come to enjoy at Must.

At the Chef Cook-off, the crowd will be oohing and  ahhing while Josh makes Elderberry Bison with elderberry infused sambuca reduction,  caramelized apples & burnt scape goat cheese

See you there!
Debbie

Elderberry sambuca

Ingredients
4cups fresh or frozen elderberries
4oz elderberry syrup or must
750 ml black sambuca

Method
Combine ingredients and store for 30 days, then strain

 

Elderberry sambuca reduction

Ingredients
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp elderberry jam or jelly
1/4 small red onion
2 oz elderberry sambuca
6 oz beef stock (or bison)
2 oz 35% cream
salt and pepper to taste

Method
Melt butter in a pan, add red onions and jam. Cook for 1 min then add sambuca, light on fire and let it go out on its own.
Add beef or bison stock and reduce to half; then add cream and reduce by another half.  Season with salt & pepper.

Scape pesto goat cheese

Ingredients
1 cup chopped scapes
2 fresh cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
500g goat cheese (room temp)

Method
In a food processor, combine scapes, garlic and almonds and pulse till fine, then slowly add olive oil.
Thicken by adding parmesan, then sugar to cut back on bitterness. Add salt and pepper to taste and lastly, combine with goat cheese to desired flavor

 

Caramelized apples

Ingredients
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 thinly sliced apples
3 Tbsp brown sugar

Method
Heat butter till melted then add sliced apples and sauté for 1 min on high heat.  Reduce heat and add sugar.
Cook till sugar begins to brown, remove from heat and pan.

 

Elderberry almond bark

Ingredients
1 cup roasted almonds
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup water

Method
Roast almonds in the oven till lightly browned, then cool almonds and put in a ziplock bag and roughly crush with a mallet.
Melt butter in a pan and add brown sugar and water.
On low heat cook till mixture begins to thicken and add honey and cook for 1 more minute.
Add crushed almonds and remove from heat and mix till fully coated and then pour onto butter sprayed parchment.  Let cool and then break into pieces.
Store layered with parchment in a dry place.

 

Elderberry cider vinaigrette

Ingredients
1/4 cup Elderberry must or syrup
2 tbs sugar (more if desired)
1/3cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup strongbow or desired cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar1tsp black pepper
Salt to taste if desired

 Method
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate, then whisk together (or in a bottle and shake).

 

Arugula salad

Ingredients
Avocado
Arugula

Method
Cut an avocado in half and remove the pit.  Score in centimeter squares using a butter knife, being careful not to puncture the skin.
In a bowl mix baby arugula, elderberry vinaigrette and avocado, using a spoon to skim it from the skin.
Set aside and let arugula take in the flavors.

To Assemble – putting your bison & accompaniments all together as a full meal

Season bison with salt and pepper and sear on all sides in a pan with butter.
With the bison still in the pan, start to make the reduction, add red onions and elderberry jam then add elderberry sambuca and burn off alcohol. Remove bison from the pan and set aside on a pan to purge.
Add stock, reduce then add cream and reduce further. Then remove sauce from heat or leave on ultra low.
In a separate pan start to caramelize the apples.
On a plate take some of the goat cheese and make into 2 thin patties about 3 inches in diameter

To plate everything nicely together…

Start by plating the salad as its served cold. Lay down a bed on each plate of arugula, trying to save the avocado for the top. Crush or chop the almond bark and sprinkle over the salad.
Place bison on the grill or very briefly in the oven, making sure to just reheat and not cook further.
On the other half of the plate, first start with a pool of the reduction, then place the bison in the center.
Then take the caramelized apples and put on top of the bison and the goat cheese patty on top of the apples. With a kitchen torch(or blow torch) char the top of the goat cheese.

Serve immediately with a well paired wine and enjoy!

 

Never been to Herbfest?

Boasting over 100 vendors and artisans, with back-to-back lectures, the fun Chef Cook-off, live entertainment, and plenty more with lots of time to relax in the sunshine and meander through the beautiful landscaped herbal garden beds.

Don’t miss our Cheese Sommelier, Vanessa Simmons who will be under the big top tent with nibbles of artisan cheeses for her presentation: Summer Cheese Sizzlers – A Tasty Discovery of What’s Hot in Local Artisan Cheese. Don’t miss this fun day out for the whole family!

More about Herbfest at www.herbfest.ca

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Beat the heat with a pitcher of Sangria!

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
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Ole! Cool down with a pitcher of Sangria this summer.  This Spanish favorite summer drink are typically made with red wine, seasonal fruit with a splash of soda or sparkling wine (Spanish Cava is perfect) to give it a refreshing spritz. Did you know that Sangria was introduced to North America in the Spanish Pavilion at the 1964 New York’s World Fair.

Super easy to make, not to mention goes down easy too – Sangria can appeal to your friends who are not “into wine.”  You can use a variety of different wines in the recipe. Even use open bottles of wine that are sitting on your counter.

As seen on TV!

Watch me whipping up red & white wine sangria on CTV Ottawa Morning Live with host Kurt Stoodley – and you will find out my 2 secret ingredients!

Which types of wines to use?

Save your finest Bordeaux or wines that are deep in your cellar for a special occasion, when mixing up Sangria look for these grape varieties or styles of wine:

White Sangria

Pinot Gris
Muscato or Muscat
Off Dry Riesling
Prosecco (Italy) or Cava (Spain)
Chardonnay
Viognier
Vidal
Gewurztraminer
…or replace white wine with a Rosé wine – why not?

Red Sangria

Cabernet Sauvignon
Merlot
Zinfandel
Pinot Noir
Gamay Noir
Shiraz
Red wine blend

These wines are perfectly fine on their own.  I selected these grape varieties for their fruity & full bodied flavor profiles and bold style that would complement the added fruit.

Go Local!

Make this a All-Ontario summer drink by using Ontario wines, with locally grown fruit & finish off with a splash of Ottawa’s own Harvey & Vern’s Ginger Beer (available at Kichesippi Brewery or ask for it at your grocery stores).

 

Crowd Pleasing Classic Sangrai

Serves: 6 to 8 people

Easy to sip on any day of the week, with brunch, lunch or unwinding after work. Refreshing red sangria is fruit-laden without too much alcohol!

Ingredients

1 bottle of red wine (see above for list of recommended red wines)
1 lemon – cut into slices – cut into halves
1 orange cut slices – cut into halves or quarters
1 lime cut into wedges or slices
1 can of Five Alive concentrate
2 splashes of gin or triple sec (optional)
1 cup of berries (raspberries, strawberries) –  fresh or frozen
2 cups of ginger ale  **make it local by using Harvey & Vern’s Ginger Beer
ice – for WOW factor, make a large ice cube with empty plastic containers & float fruit then freeze


Method

Pour wine into one or two large pitchers.  Squeeze into the wine half of the sliced lemon, orange and lime. Once juiced, toss in the citrus fruit into pitcher.  Add remaining sliced fruit into mixture.Stir in Five Alive & Gin or triple sec if using. The best Sangrias are chilled overnight (or more) in the fridge to allow the flavors to mellow (and seep the fruit too!).

If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice.

Just before serving, add in ginger ale, berries and ice. Enjoy!

Photo credit: LyndseyLew Photography

A WOW-Pow White Sangria

Serves: 6 to 8 people

Ingredients

1 bottle of white wine (see above for list of recommended white wines)
2 oranges – thinly sliced & cut in half
1 lemon – cut into slices – cut into halves
1 lime cut into wedges or slices
1 small tin of mandarins – with juice
2 oz. Brandy (optional)
1 can of Five Alive concentrate or orange juice
2 cups of ginger ale (our pick Harvey & Vern’s Ginger Beer), club soda or sparkling wine (Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy)
More fruit – sliced strawberries, star fruit, peaches, nectarines, handful of fresh blueberries, a kiwi

Method

Pour white wine into a decorative pitcher.  Squeeze into the wine, the juice wedges from the orange, lemon and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges – leaving out seeds . Add brandy if desired.

Chill overnight. Just before serving, add ginger ale, club soda or sparkling wine to the pitchers.

If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled white wine and serve over lots of ice.

Photo credit: LyndseyLew Photography

Here’s to the lazy hazy days of summer!

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Debbie’s Phad Thai recipe

Posted by Debbie

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
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Adapted from Ken Hom Cooks Thai Cookbook
serves 4 -5 people

A good friend of mine taught me how to make Thai food and now I always have the ingredients for Phad Thai on hand.

 

Phad Thai Sauce

1 cup water
1 ½  cups sugar  (less if you rather not as sweet)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 piece of tamarind (approx 1″ x 1″) – purchase this at a Asian supermarket
½ cup ketchup

Method

Combine ingredients in a saucepan, stir and bring to boil.

Lower heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Strain sauce to collect remaining bits of tamarind (pits, skins etc).  Makes about 2 cupes.  This sauce can be stored in the fridge for weeks.  Reheat when ready to make Phad Thai.

Ingredients for Phad Thai

1 package of rice noodles (medium width)
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove of garlic minced
2-3 teaspoons of fish sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges
1-2 eggs
2 chicken breasts cubed
a couple of handfuls of bean sprouts (washed)
2-3 green onions finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped peanuts or cashews
2-5 sprigs of fresh coriander (coarsely chopped)

Optional items:
1 cup of cubed deep friend tofu (optional)
15 – 30 cooked or raw shrimp (optional)

To assemble

Soak noodles in warm to boiling water to soften (approx 30 minutes or longer.

his part of the assembly takes on 8-10 mins so have everything chopped and ready!

Heat wok. Add oil and garlic. Break eggs into oil and scatter fry. Add chicken and stir until cooked.  If using raw shrimp add to wok when chicken is almost done.

Drain water from noodles and add to wok. Toss continuously.

Pour Phad Thai sauce (as much or as little as you like), green onions, tofu and cooked shrimp (if using). Add fish sauce to taste.

Keep tossing noodles until completely coated with sauce and food is really hot.

 

To Serve Phad Thai

Place a handful of bean sprouts side of plate. Mound noodles beside sprouts. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, coriander and squeeze lime juice over top. Serve immediately with spring rolls.

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Grill Angel Food Cake on the BBQ!

Posted by Patti

Friday, September 14th, 2012
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This combines the best of 3 things: a light cake, fresh fruit & BBQ.  Be sure to watch the angel food cake very carefully while it is on the BBQ. Take your eyes away for a second & it could burn…especially when it is coated with maple syrup!

 

Grilled Angel Food Cake with Fresh Fruit Salsa


2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries – diced
2 golden delicious apples peeled – dice finely
2 kiwi – peeled & diced finely
1 cup raspberries – fresh or frozen
1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar (or omit & add more brown sugar)
2 Tbsp raspberry jam (or Farm Boy Fig Jam is also good)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon (optional)

 

Method
Mix in a bowl & chill until serving.
This is a great fruit mixture to top a bowl of yogurt, pound cake, ice cream…you name it!

 

How to Grill the Angel Food Cake

  1. Heat BBQ on medium high.
  2. With an already prepared Angel Food Cake, cut cake 6 or 8 slices, brush very liberally with real maple syrup.
  3. Place on a hot BBQ until toasted – the sugar starts to caramelize and you get attractive grill marks (done when it looks like a campfire marshmallow — not the ones that catch fire!).
  4. Serve on a plate topped with a spoonful of fruit salsa and whipping cream (Tip: infused the whipping cream with lavender sugar or a splash of Tia Maria liqueur).
  5. Garnish with a sprig of mint or slice of orange
  6. Be ready for oohs and ahhhs!

 

What bottle of wine to uncork?

With the fresh fruit and light cake, you have many wine pairing options! Try a bottle of red icewine (made with Cabernet Franc grapes), Sparkling Shiraz  or take a dry approach by serving a glass of sparkling white like Moscato d’Asti made in Italy.

 

Voila!  Your BBQ’d dessert is ready to eat.

 

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Easy as Pie!

Posted by Patti

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
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One of our Savvy Selections wine of the month subscribers invited me to dinner & served this dessert.  It is OMG delicious!  And while he fessed up that he doesn’t usually make desserts, this recipe is no sweat at all. His tip – be watchful that the pie pastry doesn’t brown too quickly.

Quick Apple Tart

Ingredients

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
3 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, very thinly sliced
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp white sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon (or so) of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apricot jam, melted

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold pastry on parchment paper (do not skip this step!)
  3. Using the tines of fork, pierce 1/2-inch border around edge of pastry, then pierce center all over
  4. Arrange apples atop pastry in 4 rows, overlapping apple slices and leaving border clear.
  5. Brush apples with melted butter; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake 30 minutes.
  6. Brush melted jam over apples. Put the tart back into the oven until golden, about 8 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature.

What bottle of wine to uncork?

When you pair a dessert with a wine, the rule of thumb is to select a wine that is sweeter than the dessert. Nothing goes better with an apple dessert than Ontario ice wine. Chill a glass of icewine made with Vidal or Riesling or even Gewürztraminer and you have a heavenly match. See our list of suggested Ice wines

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