Posts Tagged ‘Smitten Kitchen’

Clink & Drink Pink! The Rosé Report

Posted by Bethany

Friday, May 20th, 2016
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Anyone else feeling like they’ve had enough of Sprinter (spring + winter) yet? It was a chilly start to the season, but at long last the flowers are in bloom. And we have the best ones picked out just for you: back again for a third year, we are delivering to you a Bouquet of Rosés!bouquet-of-roses

These blushing beauties are all set for spring or summer sipping, whether it’s out in the garden, on the deck or brunching with friends.

Our Savvy Sommeliers have offered up their tasting notes along with some pairing tips and recipes to help you enjoy each wine to its fullest:


– Devil’s Wishbone Pinot Gris Rosé 
– stunning!
– Casa-Dea Estates Rosé – Memories of Lily of the Valley (the official flower of May!)
– Creekside Estates Rosé – perfect for a picnic
– Good Earth Food & Wine Rosé – spring time in a glass!
– Huff Estates Cuvée Janine – A pretty sparkling wine perfect for your next grand affair
– Tawse Growers Blend Rosé – a classic crisp Rosé you’d think its from France

 

Each Bouquet of Rosés is EXTRA special.  None of the wines are available at the LCBO. If you would like to order additional bottles or other hard-to-find Ontario wines (we do craft beers too!), call the Savvy Team at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or cheers@savvycompany.ca

 

 

In this Bouquet of Rosés you will find…

~ Tasting notes by Savvy Sommelier, Bethany Harpur ~

 

Casa Dea Cabernet Franc RoseCasa-Dea Estates Winery Cabernet Franc Rosé VQA 2015

$15.95
Prince Edward County

Care for a round of bocce? If you’re travelling to The County this spring, stop by Casa-Dea and try out this Italian version of lawn bowling on a hand-crafted pitch right beside the vineyards. Made even better with a cool glass of winemaker Paul Battilana’s Rosé.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Brilliant clarity in this pinky-peach concoction. Abundant aromas of wildflowers and strawberries, juicy peaches and lily of the valley, with subtle hints of fresh herbs. Silky texture balanced out with measured acidity and a lengthy finish.

Suggested Food Pairing: Try with Baked Brie & Strawberry Mint Topping – recipe to follow

 

Creekside Cabernet Rose 2014Creekside Estate Winery Cabernet Rosé VQA 2015

$14.95
Beamsville Bench (aka Niagara Escarpment)

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was left on the skins for three days before being pressed, this patio pleaser is big, bursting with fruit and ready to enjoy while you kick back and watch the hummingbirds. (Careful though, with a rosé this pink, the hummingbirds might think it’s for them!).

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Deep blush bordering on red ruby; complex aromas of red currant, cranberry and Twizzlers (yes! That is what our Sommeliers remarked during the tasting panel). Smooth texture with enough oomph and suggestion of tannin to have staying power; finishes dry, with subtle notes of tart strawberries.

Suggested Food Pairing: This is definitely a wine that would be lovely served with roasted duck, turkey or BBQed chicken. As having a turkey feast is not that typical in the heat of the summer, Savvy Sommelier Debbie shares her Mom’s recipe for Turkey Balls to serve as an appetizers, in a picnic or just to have in the freezer on hand for a quick meal.

 

Devil’s Wishbone Winery Pinot Gris Rosé VQA 2015 original_227656-devils-wishbone-winery-pinot-gris-rose-2015-bottle-1461510859

Savvy Special: $19 (reg $22)
Prince Edward County

Look at a map of The County & you’ll see the distinctive wishbone shape where the Bay of Quinte and Adolphus Reach meet at Picton. The “devil” part of this winery’s name comes from the poor soil quality in the area, where early settlers found it nearly impossible to grow anything. Winery owner Paul Gallagher researched that the clay and limestone mixed soil is perfect for growing vines.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A colour that reminded all of our Sommeliers of a Ballerina-tutu (!) with an airy nose of fuzzy peaches, wild strawberries and maple sap. Slightly off-dry and juicy with a pleasant, late-spring feel. Absolutely delicious!

Suggested Food Pairing: This wine has a hint of sweetness that will sing alongside a Caramelized Onion Tart like the recipe on the following pages

 


The Good Earth Rose 2014Good Earth Food & Wine Company The Good Wine Rosé VQA 2015

$17.95
Twenty Valley (Niagara)

You’ll know you’ve found the right place when you see the giant fork standing among the vines at Good Earth. And it may not even be big enough, if you want to try everything: enjoy a meal at the bistro amongst the vineyard or take part in a cooking class – life is good!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This delicate, petal-soft wine is spring & summer in a glass. The rose water aromatics bring baklava or Turkish delight to mind, while fresh, sweet red berries and crisp acidity balance out every sip.

Suggested Food Pairing: Serve it up with proscuitto-wrapped melon bites or the Grilled Watermelon and Shrimp Salad (recipe follows)

 

Cuvee JanineHuff Estates ‘Cuvee Janine’ 2011 Sparkling Rosé

Savvy Special: $25 (reg $30)
Prince Edward County

Huff Estates not only offers a spectacular range of wines, but is also home to the Oeno Gallery, a showcase of intriguing works from local and international artists. Mark my words, the outdoor sculpture garden will amaze you.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Named for winery owner Lanny Huff’s daughter, this 100% Pinot Noir-based sparkler shines with a glowing peach hue; on the nose, pink grapefruit, brioche and tangerine. Mineral-driven, almost smoky, with crisp acidity, a fine mousse and delicate fruit with notes of rhubarb. Elegant celebration wine, in a classic méthode traditionelle style (winespeak: made using the same technique for making French Champagne where the 2nd fermentation takes place in the bottle until ready).

Suggested Food Pairing: Brunch! Think smoked salmon, eggs Benedict, waffles with raspberry coulis. Also a great match with sushi.

 

Tawse 2013 Growers Blend RoseTawse Winery Grower’s Blend  Rosé VQA 2015

Savvy Special: $18.95  (reg $19.95)
Twenty Valley (aka Niagara Escarpment)

Every year, the vineyards on the lower slopes of the Niagara Escarpment come alive with song with the Summer Solstice Concert at Tawse.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Candy-apple and grapefruit ruby red, with earthy scents of rhubarb and tinned mandarins. This is a full-bodied wine with lots of character and superbly food-friendly.

Suggested Food Pairing: Think salty and savoury: how about charcuterie and cheese plate featuring Cows Creamery Appletree Smoked Cheddar from our Savvy Cool Curds artisan cheese-o-month-club. This wine will also be delicious with BBQed chicken, pulled pork or ribs.

 

 

~ Rosé Recipe Box ~

Spring & Summer time favorites enjoy with your Bouquet of Rosés

 

Baked Brie with Strawberry Mint Topping

The Complete Canadian Living Cookbook
Makes 10 to 15 servings
Photo credit: DairySpot.com

Baked Brie with strawberry toppingIngredients

1 round (8oz/250g) Brie cheese
1/2 cup (125mL) chopped strawberries
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white wine (rosé would be best!)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh mint
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped & roasted nuts – for garnish (optional) 

Method

In bowl, combine strawberries, wine and mint. (Make-ahead tip: cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.)

Place Brie on baking sheet; spread with topping.

Bake in 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is softened.

To garnish, sprinkle with nuts (optional)

Serve with warm, sliced baguette or crackers.

 

Caramelized Onion Tart

From Smitten Kitchen, smittenkitchen.com
Makes 10 servings 

Ingredients

Caramelized onion tart1 deep dish pie shell (store-bought, or make your own)
1 1/2 pounds yellow onions (about 4 medium), halved and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
Scant ½ tsp table salt
Pinch sugar
1 cup low-sodium beef, veal or mushroom stock/broth
2 tsp cognac, brandy or vermouth (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Gruyere, Comte or Swiss cheese
1 large egg
½ cup heavy cream (half-and-half and milk work too, but cream tastes best)

Method

Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions to the pan, toss them gently with the butter and oil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook the onions for 15 minutes, then remove the lid, stir in the salt and sugar and sauté without the lid for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are fully caramelized and have taken on a deep golden colour.

Pour in cognac, if using it, and the stock, then turn the heat all the way up and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the pan. Simmer the mixture until the broth nearly completely disappears, about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the salt, if needed, and season with freshly ground black pepper. Let cool until lukewarm.

You can hasten this process by spreading the onions out on a plate in the fridge, or even faster, in the freezer. In a medium bowl, beat the egg and cream together. Gently stir in the lukewarm onions into the custard.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Fill prepared tart shell with onion-egg mixture. Ideally, this will bring your filling level to 1/4-inch from the top, however, variances in shells, pans, pan sizes and even onion volume might lead you to have a lower fill line. You can beat another egg with cream together and pour it in until it reaches that 1/4-inch-from-top line if you wish.

Sprinkle cheese over custard and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the filling and turned slightly releases no wet egg mixture. Serve hot or warm, with a big green salad.

Grilled Watermelon and Shrimp Salad

From Savoury Image
Serves 4

Ingredients

May report - watermelon salad1 small watermelon, skin removed, cut into 1-inch thick wheels
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbsp  olive oil for grilling
1 cucumber, sliced to 1/4-inch rounds (refrigerate to keep cold)
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ cup lime juice
2 tsp salt
12-20 large shrimp or prawns, peeled and deveined
¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

Method

Preheat BBQ or grill pan to high.

Brush the watermelon lightly with olive oil to prevent sticking. Lay the slices directly on the grill racks and grill for 2 to 3 minutes. The slices should be easily lifted from the grill. Turn them over and grill on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes. Lightly salt then remove them from the grill and cut into 1 inch sized chunks.

In a large bowl gently toss the warm watermelon with the cold cucumber, mint, lime juice and salt and the 1/4 cup olive oil.

Lightly brush the shrimp with olive oil and grill for 30 seconds per side or until they turn pink or red. Divide the salad between 4 serving plates, top with the shrimp and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

 

Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Lemon Pasta

Original recipe & photo credits: Jessica Alba
www.marthastewart.com

Ingredients

Turkey meatballs2 lbs ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs (Japanese Panko crumbs are ideal)
1/4 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup onion, shredded
1/4 cup zucchini, shredded large eggs
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
¾ cup low sodium chicken stock
Your favorite pasta
1/3 to ½ cup goat cheese to
½ of white or rosé wine
Zest & Juice of 1 lemon 

Method

 In a large bowl, mix turkey, panko, carrots, zucchini, onion, eggs, Italian seasoning, and salt until well combined; form into 1-inch balls. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning, until browned, about 7 minutes.

Add ½ cup chicken broth, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, about 7 minutes. Add remaining ¼ cup broth and increase heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until liquid is absorbed.

In a separate pot, cook your favorite pasta. Once al dante, drain the water & place pasta back into the pot on low heat.  Crumble in goat cheese & stir until melted.  To help the melting, add white wine periodically until a creamy consistency similar to cream sauce that coats the pasta.

To finish the sauce, squeeze the juice of one lemon into the sauce, toss in zest & gently stir.  Plate with a mound of pasta topped with turkey meatballs. 

 

Have your fridge full of Rosé wines all summer long…

Always have refreshing Rosé wines on hand this summer.  To order additional bottles of your new found favorite Rosés from this assortment OR to receive a Bouquet of Rosés next month, by calling the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or order online at www.savvycompany.ca/rose.

The June Bouquet of Rosés will have a completely different selection of hard-to-find Rosé wines including:

Château des Charmes Sparkling Rosé, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Château des Charmes Cuvée André Rosé, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Kacaba Vineyard Rebecca Rosé, Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Pondview Estates Cabernet Franc Rosé, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Redstone Estate Rosé, Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment)
Traynor Family Winery & Vineyard Rosé, Prince Edward County

To order the June Bouquet of Rosés, call the Savvy Team on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or online at www.savvycompany.ca/rose 

Cheers & Enjoy your summer!

 

 

 

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We discovered a new Niagara winery – Di Profio Estates

Posted by Eva

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
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Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Di Profio Wines
–  May 2013 –

 

Di Profio Wines is unique in that it is one of few wineries surrounded completely by neighbours.  Residences meet with edges of farms.  The vineyards grow down from the escarpment on flat land running north & south on 12 acres.  They are so flat that a viewing platform was built to view the u-shaped vineyards. They enjoy the best of both worlds with their vines. The south clay loam vineyards were planted 17 years ago with Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay (1 of 7 in Ontario) & a little Vidal, whilst north vineyards are sandy loam where Riesling, Pinot Gris & Merlot  thrive for their 4th season.  And there are still 5000-6000 vines yet to plant.  Both north & south vineyards drain directly into Lake Ontario just  1km away.

In your Savvy Selections delivery, you will find:

Riesling 2011 enjoy this easy-drinking summertime sipper

Gamay Noir 2011 chill this slightly for a Beaujolais-style Gamay

Cabernet Merlot 2011 match this fresh & lively Cab Merlot with hamburgers

OPTIONAL WINE: If you asked me to add a bottle or two of the Select Late Harvest Vidal 2011 in your delivery then you are indeed in for a treat! 

Fred’s winemaking style is described as alive, vibrant and mellow (not sharp!).  The Gamay Noir is so drinkable.  Joe exclaims that having mature Gamay grapes in the fields is unique.  The new 2011 Cabernet Merlot is their fastest seller – so mellow without heavy tannins.  The gravity flow process is very efficient in its methodology.  Last year, they produced 535 cases, which will grow to 1000 cases this year.  Their goal is 3000-5000 cases but they will always remain a small winery supplying wine to restaurants, their own Zinc wine boutique & internet sales. 

On the following pages, Éva encourages you to visit Di Profio Wines as well as their Bed & Breakfast, Among the Vines. You will find her sommelier tasting notes along with recipes to would pair with the featured wines. 

Among the Vines Bed & Breakfast

Joe & Carollynn’s Bed & Breakfast is nestled between Jordan Village & Jordan Station amongst the vines of the Mia Cara Vineyard & next door to Di Profio’s winery.  They welcome you with open arms to join them to enjoy wine & improve their knowlege. They promise to make you feel as welcome as old friends.

Similar to other wineries we have featured in Savvy Selections, Di Profio wines are not on the LCBO shelves. If you would like additional bottles of your favourite Di Profio wine – or other featured Ontario wineries – just give me a call on 613-SAVVYCO (728-8926) or send me an email to debbie@savvycompany.ca to arrange an additional delivery for you. It is always my pleasure to introduce you to wonderful new Ontario wines!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Debbie & Savvy Team

Introducing…
Di Profio Winery 

Presented by Savvy Sommelier Eva Nagy

 

It all began with Guiseppe Di Profio known as “Peppe”, who like many Italians living in Canada imported his grapes from California in the ’40’s and ’50’s & experimented with different varieties & barrels to create the quality reminiscent of Italy.   The winemaking bug skipped a generation & landed on his grandson Fred, who studied Oenology & Viticulture at Brock University. 

During my interview with Joe, he affectionately said that his son Fred `bothered` him into buying a vineyard complete with a house on the property that they converted into Among the Vines Bed & Breakfast.  Now in its 4th year of operation, Joe & his wife Carollynn welcome 225 people each year.  

When Fred`s parents purchased the vineyard, it was completely abandoned. In its 12 years, it had overgrown & the dead vines never been replaced & replanted. Joe & Carollynn were advised to completely flatten the vineyard & begin again, but they retorted with, “we are not millionaires”.  In fact, they retired as teachers only 4 years earlier! They both felt it was time to change gears, even with no experience as farmers and `a green thumb only good enough to grow dandelions` laughs Carollynn.  They pruned an absolute forest.  They knew that at minimum each vine needed to produce two suckers to grow healthy vines and eventually bunches of grapes. Carollynn decided that she would “coax the vines with a lot of talking”. Much to Joe`s chagrin. It worked though as some of the vines had not 2 but 14 suckers!  A lovely forest of green ensued. 

There is always something to laugh about

Indeed it seems crazy to come out of retirement to purchase a vineyard with absolutely no farming background.  No doubt, it has been a steep learning curve yet, Carollynn & Joe did receive lots of help.   `There is a peacefulness to the vineyard`, explains Joe. `We both enjoy being completely involved from roots to bottle, for there is a story behind every one. 

Is that bottle shock?

Carollynn once thought that they could sell a bottle of wine immediately after it had been bottled, however, Fred quickly taught her about bottle shock.  Carollynn jokes that her bottle shock is the sore back as result of bottling!  Joe & Carollynn have coined all of this learning as `their anti-Alzheimer’s Project`.  At the winery, visitors learn about growing grapes in their vineyard rather than terroir or the technicalities of brix. `Sure, there are the technical details, but one must enjoy the grass roots`, explains Joe. And having a good time is indeed infectious in the DiProfio family. 

Everything is hand-done

All of the grapes are select & hand-picked, then double hand-sorted & hand-processed.  The DiProfio team prides themselves on the quality of their fruit, compared to the mush of grapes that have been machine-processed.  `We once supplied Gamay grapes to a nearby winery. One time, upon delivering the grapes, the winery staff came out to admire the beautiful hand-picked grapes.  Simply gorgeous they exclaimed!“ It is obvious that Joe loves the harvest when he can see the fruition of what his years of work. “Great wine, great grapes”. 

1 year and counting…

Based on Fred’s design, an architect created a striking looking structure that does not resemble a typical winery, rather a striking burgundy & black twisted & angular cube. Inside, the 3 floor building operates with gravity flow winemaking process. Joe, Carollynn & Fred  celebrated their 1st anniversary of the new building on June 15th. This year also brings celebration of 100 years of winemaking in their Italian family.  In Peppe’s honour, they will release an Appassimento-style Cabernet Sauvignon, aptly named “Peppe’s Pride” due to be released by the end of the year – we will be on the look out for this wine! 

Joe is very proud of his wines and the medals they have earned so quickly for their wines. It reminds him that all of the hard work is being recognized. In early spring,   there are no leaves on the vines yet, but Joe is out in the vineyard feverishly spraying trunks & canes to avoid black rot & to keep down fungus growth.  Mildew is another headache in the spring as it can quickly spread throughout vineyard with the gentle winds blowing off of the nearby Lake Ontario.  Managing Mother Nature in his vineyard, Joe jokes that this is where his biology degree comes in handy.  `Every day is different & I love the challenge of getting out there to grow grapes`. 

While the winery and their vineyards are only a few years old, the wines are easy drinking and ready to be enjoyed now. As each year passes, the vines will produce more grapes that with Joe & Carollynn`s care, will continue to impress with quality wines. 

Cheers & enjoy your Savvy Selections! 

 

~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~

 

Riesling 2011 VQA $16.15

If you are looking for an easy-drinking summertime sipper then you have found it!

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Light gold in the glass. Fresh aromas of apple, pear, citrus, mineral, slight petrol & floral with slight hint of sweet ripe fruit on the long finish. Mouth-watering acidity is immediate but quickly mellows to white grapefruit & lime flavours. Very well balanced.

Suggested Food Pairing: Smitten Kitchen’s French Onion Tart.

Decanting & Cellaring: Rieslings are often consumed when young.  Rule of thumb with Rieslings is 5-10 years aging for dry Rieslings with such acidity.

 

Gamay Noir 2011 VQA $16.55

Vigorous & youthful.  Are you looking for a refreshing Beaujolais-style Gamay?  Chill this slightly for a very refreshing red.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Vibrant purple ruby in colour. Aromas of fresh strawberry, rhubarb & cranberry waft from the glass & replay on the palate with the addition of red cherry, cocoa & chocolate flavours.  So fresh!

Suggested Food Pairing: homemade thin-crust Margherita pizza or mushroom tarts.

Cellaring: Enjoy this lively Gamay Noir now. 

 

Cabernet Merlot 2011 VQA $18.00

A blend of 53% Cabernet Franc and 47% Merlot creates a terrific wine for sipping alongside hamburgers.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Dark plum in colour.  Earthy & herbaceous flavours give way to berries, dark plum, black cherry, cola, clove & cinnamon with a distinct figgy-ness.  Aromas replay on the palate with the addition of smoke.  Young vines create such a fresh & vital red wine.

Suggested Food Pairing: As previously mentioned, this is a great sipping wine & can be enjoyed on its own or with BBQ-ed hamburgers given its smoky flavour.

 

OPTIONAL WINE: Select Late Harvest Vidal 2011 VQA $18.55

A sweet treat delightful on its own as dessert or alongside a fruit tart or soft cheeses.

Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour.  Floral, stone fruit, mineral & sweet citrus aromas.  Sweet, crisp & fresh with honey, super-ripe stone fruit, tangerine, pineapple & grapey flavours.  The acidity balances the sweetness perfectly.

Suggested Food Pairing: Di Profio’s Select Late Harvest Vidal can easily be served as dessert.  If you wish to further indulge then a fruit tart or soft cheeses would match perfectly. 

~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~

 

With Di Profio Riesling VQA 2011 …

French Onion Tart

From Smitten Kitchen
Serves 6 

Below is (roughly) the recipe for a savory tart shell recommended by Larousse Gastronomique. If you have a go-to crust that you love, feel free to use it here. If you can’t be bothered making one, there’s no shame in buying one at the store.

Ingredients

Crust

2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) chilled butter, in cubes
3 tablespoons cold water

Filling

1 1/2 pounds yellow onions (about 4 medium), halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
S
cant 1/2 teaspoon table salt
Pinch of sugar
1 cup low-sodium beef, veal or mushroom stock/broth
2 teaspoons cognac, brandy or vermouth (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces or 60 grams) grated Gruyere, Comte or Swiss cheese
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream (half-and-half and milk work too, but cream tastes best)

Method

Crust

Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl or the work bowl of a food processor. Add butter; either rub the butter bits into the flour with your fingertips, with a pastry blender or (in the food processor option) by pulsing the machine on in short bursts until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle in cold water and mix it with a spoon, a few more cuts with a handheld pastry blender, or by pulsing the machine a couple more times. The mixture should form large clumps. Knead it gently into a ball; it will be on the firm side but should be easy to roll. 

Lightly butter a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable base. Don’t have one? Try a standard pie dish or even a 9-inch cake pan. The second two options will be hard/impossible to unmold later, but there’s no harm in serving the tart from its baking pan.

Roll your dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap until it is about 11 inches in diameter. Peel the top plastic layer off and reverse the dough into the prepared tart pan, lifting the sides to drape (rather than pressing/stretching the dough) the dough into the corners. Press the dough the rest of the way in and up the sides. Trim edges, which you can leave ever-so-slightly extended above the edge of the tart pan, to give you some security against shrinkage. Chill for 15 minutes in your freezer.

If par-baking the crust (see notes up top for pros/cons): Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter a piece of foil and press it tightly into your firm-from-the-freezer tart shell. Fill tart shell with pie weights, dried beans or rice or pennies and blind bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven, carefully remove foil and weights, and return to oven for another 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly golden at edges. Set aside until needed.

Filling

Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onions to the pan, toss them gently with the butter and oil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover the pan. Cook the onions for 15 minutes, then remove the lid, stir in the salt and sugar and saute without the lid for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are fully caramelized and have taken on a deep golden color. Pour in cognac, if using it, and the stock, then turn the heat all the way up and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the pan.

Simmer the mixture until the broth nearly completely disappears (wetter onions will make for a wetter quiche), about 5 to 10 minutes.  Adjust the salt, if needed, and season with freshly ground black pepper.  Let cool until warm. You can hasten this process by spreading the onions out on a plate in the fridge, or even faster, in the freezer.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg and cream together. Gently stir the lukewarm onions into the custard.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Assemble & bake tart

Fill prepared tart shell with onion-egg mixture. Ideally, this will bring your filling level to 1/4-inch from the top, however, variances in shells, pans, pan sizes and even onion volume might lead you to have a lower fill line.

You can beat another egg with cream together and pour it in until it reaches that 1/4-inch-from-top line if you wish. Sprinkle cheese over custard and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the filling and turned slightly releases no wet egg mixture.

Serve hot or warm, with a big green salad.

 

With Di Profio Gamay Noir VQA 2011…

Mushroom Tart

From LCBO recipes by Lucy Waverman, Autumn 2003
Serves 6

Onions can be substituted for mushrooms, if desired. The pastry is very rich and needs to be patted out, not rolled. With the addition of 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar, the pastry can be used for mini butter or fruit tarts. Use foil tart tins, if desired. These tarts freeze well and will keep for a month.

Ingredients

Pastry

2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) cold butter, diced
1 cup (250 mL) cream cheese, diced 

Filling

2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
8 oz (250 g) fresh mushrooms, chopped
8 oz (250 g) wild mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped green onion
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method 

Place flour and salt in food processor. Scatter over butter and cream cheese.  With on-off motion, pulse together.  Remove from processor and form into ball.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Pinch 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls from pastry and pat into small tart or muffin tins. Chill until needed.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

Heat butter in skillet, add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes until juices disappear. Add garlic and cream, bring to boil, add lemon juice, green onion and parsley and season with salt and pepper.  Spoon into pastry cases.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is edged with gold, and mushroom filling is hot. Turn out of tins and cool 10 minutes.

These may be frozen on cookie sheets, placed in freezer containers and reheated from frozen state at 350°F (180°C) for 15 minutes or until filling is hot.

 

With Di Profio Cabernet Merlot VQA 2011…

Chris’ Bay Area Burger

From allrecipes.com
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
4 hamburger buns, split

Method

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Mix together the ground beef, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil.

Divide into four balls, and flatten into patties. Cook the patties for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.  The internal temperature should be at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). 

Remove from grill and place onto hamburger buns.  Top with desired toppings & condiments.

 

With Di Profio Select Late Harvest VQA 2011…

Fresh Fruit Tart with Pastry Cream

From Brown-eyed Baker

Ingredients

For the Pastry Cream
Serves 10 

2 cups half-and-half
½ cup granulated sugar, divided
Pinch of salt5 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Crust

1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

For the Fruit

2 kiwis, halved lengthwise, and cut into half-circles about 3/8 inch thick
2 cups (about 9 ounces) raspberries
1 cup (about 5 ounces) blueberries

Method

Pastry Cream

Heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.

Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.

Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.

When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half into the yolk mixture to temper.

Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.

Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.

Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.

Crust

Whisk together the yolk, cream and vanilla in a small bow; set aside.

Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process to cut the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about fifteen 1-second pulses. With the machine running, add the egg mixture and process until the dough just comes together, about 12 seconds.

Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 48 hours.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until workable).

Unwrap and roll out between 2 lightly floured large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a 13-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9- to 9½-inch tart pan.

Ease the dough into the pan corners and press the dough against the fluted sides of the pan; if some sections of the edge are too thin, reinforce them by folding the excess dough back on itself. Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough all over with a fork.

Set the dough-lined tart pan on a large plate and freeze for 30 minutes. (The dough-lined tart pan can be sealed in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag and frozen up to 1 month.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Set the dough-lined tart pan on a baking sheet, press a square of foil into the frozen tart shell and over the edge, and fill with metal or ceramic pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time.

Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil and weights. Continue to bake until deep golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes longer. Set the baking sheet with the tart shell on a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Assemble the Tart

Spread the cold pastry cream over the bottom of the tart shell, using an offset spatula or large spoon. Arrange the kiwi slices in an overlapping circle around the inside edge of the pastry.
Arrange the raspberries in rings just inside the kiwi. Mound the blueberries in the center. (The tart can be refrigerated, uncovered, up to 30 minutes.)

Remove the outer ring of the tart pan and place the tart onto a serving platter; serve.

 

Enjoy your Savvy Selections!

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