Archive for category 5-Minute Friday

Dinner in 12 minutes!

Yes, it’s the Holiday Season and that means that schedules can be the tiniest bit frantic!  After a day of holiday shopping (shop local, please) sometimes the temptation is to pick up fast food.  But you can make a great delicious easy dinner with ingredients from your pantry – all  in the time it takes to boil a pot of spaghetti.  Here’s this year’s THE HOLIDAYS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY quick dinner!Spaghetti with tuna and peas.

Make with Morovino Dry Rielsing, serve with Dry Riesling or Barbera

16 oz Spaghetti or Fetuccine
2 T Olive Oil
6 cloves of garlic, slivered/sliced
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. Morovino Dry Riesling (or other dry white wine)
2 cans tuna packed in water, drained
1/2 onion, diced
2 C. frozen peas
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper (seems like a lot, but you really do need this much)
1/8 t. salt (or to taste)
1/2 t. dried tarragon
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 C Parmesan cheese – grated or shredded
1 T butter

Fill a saucepan with water and put in on the stove on medium heat.  While the water is coming to a boil (about 3 minutes on my cooktop), dice the onion, sliver the garlic and zest the lemon.  As soon as the water comes to a boil – add the pasta and cook according to package instructions (about 9 minutes). While the pasta is cooking, put a saute pan on the stove over medium-low heat.  Add the olive oil and the onion.  Cook six minutes – you want to sweat the onions, not brown them.  Stir occasionally.  When they have softened, add the slivered garlic and saute for 1 minute.    Then add the wine, lemon juice, chicken broth, peas, tuna, salt and pepper and tarragon.  Stir gently until the peas are heated through – about 2 minutes.  While this is heating, the pasta should be finishing up.  Drain it.  Pull the pea mixture off the heat.  Add the cooked pasta, the parmesan and the butter to the saute pan with the peas and stir until the peas, tuna et all and pasta are mixed together.  If your saute pan isn’t big enough to hold the tuna/peas and the pasta – just dump everything into a big bowl and stir until mixed.  Spoon onto plates and garnish with a bit more parmesan, a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper and the lemon zest.  Nutritious.  Delicious.  Time elapsed – 12 minutes.  Serve with Morovino Barbera or Dry Riesling!

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

5-Minute Friday (comfort food)

No prefab meal for tonight’s 5 Minute Friday!  Because Mrs. Vino is in the mood for comfort food.

For some reason I’ve been craving the comfort food of my childhood – a Tuna Melt with Tomato and a pickle!  Thank goodness this great meal can be put together in 5 minutes.  And, I have the perfect pairing for it – our brand new, not-released-to-the-tasting-room-yet 2011 Pinot Grigio Rose.  I make my tuna salad with Greek Yogurt instead of Mayonnaise to lighten it up a bit and add a bit of diced celery and green onion for texture.  The yogurt adds a bit of brightness and freshness to the tuna.  It’s still plenty creamy, though.  So the really crisp 2011 Pinot Grigio Rose is perfect to pair with it.  Oh yeah, and if this is truly my comfort meal, there has to be potato chips!  And, if you spritz your chips with Truffle Oil – it goes from good to gourmet!  The salty, earthy truffled chips really bring out the fruit character of the wine.  Watch the blog next week for Mrs. Vino’s experiences with her brand new microwave potato chip maker (AWESOME) and learn about one of her new obsessions.

It really doesn’t matter how simple the meal – a good wine pairing will elevate it to gourmet (well, the Truffle Oil doesn’t hurt, either).

So here’s my question to you all – Do you have a 5-Minute comfort food?  And, if so, what is it!

Leave a comment

Harry’s Beef Burgundy & 2nd Chance Pinot Noir

Tonight we are excited to have the amazing History of Painters playing for our Friday Night Live Music series, so it will be a late, late night.  That means it’s 5 Minute Friday!

Tonight’s prefabricated 5 minute dinner (OK, it’s actually a 7-8 minute dinner) is another choice from Costco – Harry’s Beef Burgundy with noodles.  Hmmmm, what’s the perfect pairing with Beef Burgundy??? It must be a burgundy-style Pinot Noir!  We are so lucky to have amazing Pinot Noirs on the Central Coast, but to pair with this meal, I’m going with a classic traditional European style Pinot.  And, I don’t need to go too far – 2nd Chance Winery is just across Landing Passage from Morovino.

2nd Chance Winery’s 2009 Pinot Noir made from Clone 667 is earthy, rich and lighter than some of the California styled Pinot Noirs.  I love the minerally, loamy notes to it.  Harry’s Beef Burgundy has a nice light sauce.  You can definitely taste the red wine in it.  The beef is tender and the noodles are perfectly al dente after 7 minutes in the microwave.

Sure, it’s not a trip to France.  This nice microwave meal is tasty all on its own. But when you pair it with the beautiful and elegant 2009 2nd Chance Pinot Noir – it’s as close as I’m going to get at 8 p.m. on a Friday night.


Leave a comment

Five Minute Friday

Welcome to a new feature in The Practical Kitchen – 5 Minute Fridays!

As much Mrs. Vino enjoys her time in the kitchen, there are just days when it is just NOT gonna happen.  I’ve discovered a couple of things:

1.  There are some really tasty pre-cooked dinners out there that can be microwaved in 5 minutes.
2.  When those meals are paired with the right wine, it elevates the whole experience to something special!
3.  If you light a couple of candles and play some nice music while you are eating your 5 minute meal and suddenly you aren’t as tired anymore.

Morovino is now doing live music on Friday evenings from 5 – 7 p.m.  This means that Mrs. Vino usually gets home around 8 p.m. and is way, way too tired to cook.   So every Friday, The Practical Kitchen blog will feature a different prefabricated 5 minute meal paired with a different local wine.  If you have favorite pre-cooked meals, I’d love to hear about them.

Costco’s Monterey Gourmet Foods – Seafood Lasagna paired with Peloton Cellars 2010 Albarino

I always approach prefabricated seafood a bit cautiously.  But the Monterey Gourmet Foods Seafood Lasagna offers really tasty, tender shrimp, scallops and fish.  The sauce is creamy, the noodles are tender, it has great seafood flavor and it’s not overly salty.

Peloton Cellars 2010 Albarino is an amazingly crisp, full bodied white that  has the perfect balance of acidity and creaminess to pair with the lasagna.  It’s beautiful Citrine color sparkles like a jewel in the glass.  It has great citrus notes and a lightly floral nose that I just love.  But if you want to try this wine, hurry.  I believe Peloton is almost sold out of it!

So fire up the microwave, light the candles, turn on some George Winston or Liz Story, take a deep breath and . . . enjoy.

Leave a comment

“The Holidays are Driving Me Crazy” Pasta

Make with your favorite Morovino Red, serve with the rest of the Morovino Red

1 jar Ragu Roasted Garlic Robusto pasta sauce (or your favorite)
½ C. of Morovino red wine of your choice:  Barbera, Sangiovese, Cabernet, Dolcetto
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried basil
½ bag frozen chopped spinach fresh pepper to taste
1 lb your favorite pasta

Get home from shopping. Kick off shoes (this dish must be prepared barefoot or in slippers). Dump sauce ingredients in a big pot. Bring to a simmer, but not a boil. Let sauce simmer until pasta is done. Fill a big pot with water and bring to a boil. Dump in your favorite pasta. Cook it until pasta is done. Drain pasta. Put pasta back in big pot. Dump sauce on top and toss. Put on plates and top with grated cheese if you have it. If not, oh well. It’s got spinach and tomatoes in it—in Mrs. Vino’s book that means you don’t need a salad, vegetable, bread or anything else. It’s a complete meal all by itself. Sure it’s a “cheat.” But there is an art to doctoring up canned or jarred products and the holidays are the perfect time to explore that art! I don’t care what anyone says—if you applied heat or cut something, you COOKED it.

, , , ,

Leave a comment