Posts tagged ‘wine’

December 3, 2010

Persephone’s Deli | Salmon on Rye

When I worked in South Orange, New Jersey, there was a little tiny delicatessen (the Town Hall Deli) that claimed to have invented the sloppy joe.  This is not a manwich (i.e., can o’ sauce over ground round).  This is a serious sandwich with usually a couple of types of meat (the original had slices of tongue), cheese, coleslaw and housemade russian, all on rye.  Good stuff.  Those sandwiches could feed a small classroom of fourth graders.  They were huge

Tonight I continued with a Hanukkah theme.  I made the PK version, and wisely made them smaller.  A single slice of toasted rye was slathered with homemade Russian dressing, topped with slices of caraway gouda from Oakvale Farmstead, and piled with celeriac remoulade and pan-seared salmon.

South Orange Salmon Sloppy Joe

For the remoulade and dressing

2 egg yolks

1 peeled garlic clove, minced

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November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Wines | Persephones’s Drinks Cabinet

You may have noticed that I like to enjoy a nice wine with dinner all the time now and then.  So of course I wanted to give extra thought to the wine pairing for my favorite food holiday: Thanksgiving.  I visited with my friends Josh Shapiro and Miss McCoy at Vino 100 Short North to figure out what would taste great with my dinner, and heck, your dinner, too.  Persephone’s always happy to help!  Here are our picks.

Feeling Bold and Modern?

Josh recommends that you pair your bird with a rosé from Provence.  While rosé used to have a terrible reputation in the 80’s as overly sweet and well, kinda gross, now rosés are being rediscovered by the cool kids.  Not just for summer drinking anymore, Provence rosés add a smidge of elegance to a holiday meal.  A couple of good ones are Commanderie Bargemone ($17) which is delicate and has a dry finish, and Domaine de Terrebrune Bandol ($30), which was awarded 90 points by Wine Spectator.  The nice thing about these is that they appeal to both red and white wine crowds.  Success!

The Right Red

Beaujolais, also being touted as Gamay, referring to the grape, pairs well with a rich holiday meal.  The acidity in Beaujolais partners skillfully with the turkey and rich gravy.  These are not the unserious Beaujolais Nouveaus you’ve read stories about.  These are beautiful, balanced wines that have black fruit and cherry flavors.  The 2008 Pierre Chermette ($19) is lushly fruity and velvety with a peppery finish.  For a Cru Beaujolais, Josh recommends the Domain Chignard Les Moriers 2008 ($25).  This is what’s being served at his house.  No word yet if he is accepting reservations.

Whites that Work

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November 15, 2010

Low Country in the Midwest | Ooh, Lah Lah Shrimp & Grits

Awww.  I live in the midwest!  I feel happy about that!  Most people confuse Ohio with Iowa.  But whatever, even Ruhlman (who is from Cleveland) visited here last weekend and was, I think it’s safe to say, gobsmacked by how great it is in little ol’ Columbus.  (It’s in Ohio, not Iowa, people.)

So.  Dinner tonight was Shrimp and Grits.  I wanted to make this because I got my hands on a super secret new product that Snowville Creamery is developing.  And they gave it to li’l ol’ Persephone to try out.  Snowville developed a uniquely wonderful dairy product by concentrating very low-fat milk 2 1/2 times with a nano filtration system.  Science!  It makes the milk kind of like evaporated milk, only without heating.  It’s so deliciously sweet and thick and almost like cream, but with the fat of 2% milk.  You want it, right?  You’re thinking, “what might I do with that?”  Well, Persephone thought grits.  She also thought about rice pudding, but that’s another post.   Being from Texas, and having spent a fair bit of time in Georgia as well, cheese grits are something that frequently comes to mind.  Can’t help it. 

So without further ado and back story:

Ooh Lah, Lah Shrimp & Grits, serves four, plus a small Cherub with some leftover grits for breakfast (yay me!)

1 cup stone ground grits (I used local grits from Stutzman Farm)

3 cups Snowville Creamery Ooh, Lah Lah (or 3 cups whole or low-fat milk; please just not skim.  Please.)

3 cups of water (or stock)

1/2  cup smoked (really!)

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November 10, 2010

Curry for a Lady

I love curries.  Love, love, love.   I love them even more now that I’m a bit more familiar with the cooking techniques and spices that are considered basic.  Anjum Anand had an Indian Food Made Easy series on BBC that was really a great intro to the genre.  You can find it on the Cooking Channel now, which to be honest isn’t really my cup of tea, save for series like hers. 

Tonight, I did a take on her Bengali Butternut Squash recipe, only with the last winter squash we picked up at Rennick’s a few weekends ago.  It was a turban squash that I probably, in hindsight, should have roasted.  Fortunately, Hades was the one that wielded the knife and not me.  And score! no trip to the hospital.  I really recommend this be done with a more manageable squash like a butternut or acorn.  Really.  Your local emergency room will thank you.

A Chelsea Girl’s Curry

2 T vegetable oil

1 bay leaf

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October 26, 2010

The Week of Gourd: Hubbard Squash Risotto

Blue Hubbard

Image by SamH one via Flickr

So the Week of Gourd continues.  They’re all over your grocery store, in season, inexpensive, but perhaps a bit of a mystery.  One of the many varieties to check out is the pretty blue Hubbard squash.  I’ve been told they can grow to enormous sizes, but mine was around three pounds (only?) and I used half for this recipe.   This is a seriously thick-skinned squash, good for keeping over the winter. 

Have a good sharp knife at the ready and some nerves of steel.  As for this one, I got the knife started, it got lodged and I ended up banging the squash on the cutting board to loosen the knife.  Not exactly the super technique, but I’m not the only one who fights with these beasts. (I know Hades is reading this, shaking his head, vowing to not leave me alone next time with a hard winter squash and a butcher knife.)   But I’ve heard of chefs using cleavers and hammers.  Do not be deterred!   I got the knife out, and broke the squash in two, removed the seeds and pulp, rubbed both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 350 degree oven for an hour while the tornado sirens were going off.  Midwest living!  Persephone 1, squash 0.  When the squash was tender, I let it cool a bit, then took a large spoon and scooped out all the orange flesh from one half.  I’m still pondering what to do with the other half.  I’m sure you’ll hear about it soon enough.  Without further ado, tonight’s recipe:

Roasted Hubbard Squash and Rosemary Risotto

2 T olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

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October 4, 2010

Dinner, Day Two: Needmore Chicken

Sunday dinner with the family is important to me.  It’s a time when the extended family  is invited (tonight it was Cronus and Rhea) and everyone partakes of a leisurely meal.  It’s a great thing for Cherub, who is three: she gets to practice her table manners and eat something the whole family is enjoying.    

For Local Foods Week, I thought chicken would make for a good Sunday dinner.  As it turns out, Hill Family Farm is in Xenia, about an hour away.  We bought a whole bird and decided to take it the French country route, a riff on a Coq au Vin.  Anthony Bourdain’s recipe in the les Halles Cookbook was a jumping off point.  I used Ohio wines for marinating and for the table.  Since we purchased our bird at Dorothy Lane Market, what better musical inspiration than Dayton’s Guided by Voices.   

Hades has hung with Franz Liszt; gave the odd tip to Stravinsky.  He’s held his own with Shane MacGowan, and there’s a rumor that he wrote the bassline to “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”  In short, he knows music.  He cannot impress upon me the greatness of Guided by Voices often enough.  Its time to rock.  Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, Ohio’s own, Needmore Chicken!    

Needmore Chicken    

1 whole roasting chicken, giblets removed and reserved for another use    

2 parsnips, sliced (ours were from the backyard)    

4 green onions, white parts only, sliced in two lengthwise (we were late to the farmer’s market, feel free to use a whole diced onion)    

Bouquet Garni – cheesecloth wrapped bay leaf, 10 peppercorns, small sprig of fresh thyme, two sprigs of parsley)    

1 bottle of red wine (we used Firelands Cab Sauv)   

  

    

In a large bowl that will hold the chicken comfortably, combine all ingredients.  Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight to 24 hours.    

Notice the lighter parts where a parsnip or chicken wing stuck close to the breast skin during marinating.

 

    

2 T butter    

1 T flour    

Salt and pepper    

After marinating, remove chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  Season inside and out with salt and pepper.    

Remove the bouquet garni, and strain the solids out of the marinade, reserving each seperately.  In a large, heavy lidded pot, add 2T of butter and heat over medium high heat until almost smoking.  

    

Using it for its God given purpose.

 

Place the chicken in the pot and sear on all sides until golden brown, turning as needed.  Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.  Tip in reserved vegtables from the marinade and cook until softened, about three to five minutes.  Sprinkle the vegetables with 1T of flour and stir to coat, cook for another minute.  Add back in the chicken, pour in the marinade.  Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer for an hour and 15 minutes.   

1/4 pound bacon ends, chopped finely   

 1 large handful of shitake mushrooms, stems sliced, tops quartered   

 6 to 8 whole baby shallots (or pearl onions)   

Pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, water   

In a small skillet, render the bacon ends until crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.  Keeping only 1 T of bacon drippings, heat over medium high heat and add in the mushrooms.  Sear until browned, remove to same paper towel lined plate as the bacon.  In the same pan, add in the shallots or onions, along with the salt, sugar and water to cover.  Cut a piece of parchment or wax paper to cover the pan, reduce heat to low and cook until the liquid is evaporated and the shallots are carmelized a bit.  Add in two ladlefuls of the cooking liquid from the chicken and reduce until syrupy.  Remove from heat.   

When finished cooking, remove the chicken from the sauce and place on a cutting board to slice up.  Strain the liquid from the pot and add to the skillet with the reduction.  Mix in the bacon and mushrooms, remove from heat and whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter to finish the sauce.   

A simple, elegant appetizer for this meal, or any meal, let’s be honest, is French breakfast radishes with herb butter.  The butter was from Snowville cream, and mixed with backyard herbs (this time, parsley, tarragon, rosemary, basil, and green onion).   

Serve with egg noodles and Provencal tomatoes (tomatoes halved and stuffed with breadcrumbs, parsely, garlic and chopped tomatoes).  Pour a ladle of sauce over the noodles for good measure.   

Meal notes: breadcrumbs for the tomatoes were from the left over biscuits from this morning.  Noodles were from Mrs. Miller’s Homemade Noodles, Fredrickstown, Ohio.  Herbs were from Cronus’s garden.  All other sourcing can be found on the Farms and Producers page.  Wine served with dinner was a 2008 Syrah from Kinkead Ridge, Ripley, Ohio.  

  

Playlist included Bulldog Skin because it totally rocks and it’s my personal favorite GBV, unless you count My Valuable Hunting Knife…

September 23, 2010

Thursday Night Turkey, via Slovenia

Poseidon is somewhat of a world traveler.  After spending some time in Slovenia, he brought back with him a delightful way to incorporate turkey into a weekly menu.  He first came across this dish at the restaurant Julija on Ljublijana’s Main Square.  It’s a very typical and traditional Slovene dish, but with Italian notes (after all, Venice is just a stone’s throw).  Turkey and game are more popular there than chicken.  Why not consider a turkey breast for your weeknight meal?  It’s not a lot of work (season the ingredients and toss them in the oven, make a quick sauce), but it’s a lot of flavor.

Julija’s Fennel Turkey with Gorgonzola Bechamel, Roasted Brussels and Potatoes

For the Turkey:

1.5 lb. boneless (skin on!) turkey breast

1 T fennel seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 to 10 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Olive oil, salt, pepper

Combine the fennel, garlic and sage then stuff under the loosened skin on the turkey breast.  Drizzle breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place in a roasting pan and put in a 400˚ oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 165˚.

For the vegetables:

8 to 10 brussel sprouts, trimmed

2 medium red skinned potatoes, cubed

Salt and pepper

In a bowl, combine the Brussels and potatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Arrange on an oiled baking sheet, place in a 400˚ oven (along with the turkey) for approximately 30 minutes, or until vegetables are browned.  Shake the pan once or twice during roasting to evenly brown.

For the Gorgonzola sauce:

2 T butter

2 T flour

¼ c heavy cream

¾ c milk

 2 oz gorgonzola or blue cheese

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter over low heat, then add in the flour, stirring to eliminate any lumps.  Cook for one or two minutes.  Whisk in the cream and milk.  Add the cheese and stir to melt.  If the sauce is too thick, add in a bit more milk.  This should only take 3-4 minutes.  Set aside, keeping warm until you are ready to serve.  (Or should you just pour the whole thing over some macaroni?  Perhaps another time…)

To finish the veg:

2 slices bacon, chopped

Apple cider vinegar

To finish the vegetables, cook the bacon in a large pan over low heat until crisp.  Add in the roasted brussels and potatoes, along with a splash of apple cider vinegar.  Stir to incorporate, cook over low heat for a minute or two.

Serve with Hedges C.M.S. White, from Washington State.  It is a shockingly good pairing.

PK tip: be careful, if you have leftover bread in your pantry, you may be tempted to eat the rest of the Gorgonzola sauce out of the pan as you’re cleaning up.  Well, that’s not really a tip.  It’s something to do.  And come to think of it, I recommend it.

Tonight we listened to Hang with Me, by Robyn, amongst other things.

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