Archive for category Main Courses
We are so excited that the Avila Beach Farmer’s Market is back! It makes dinner so much easier. And ooooh, the spring goodness we can find there. We were pulling a long day at the tasting room and Mr. Vino suggested hitting the Farmer’s Market for dinner. I think that he was thinking to pick up some fish tacos. Me, I hit the produce guys and the fresh pasta guy for this riff on a recipe from Cooking Light. And oh, my – it was amazing with our new 2016 Beach Blonde Pinot Grigio!!
Pea and Snap Pea Pasta
6 oz fresh sugar snap peas (get 8 ounces cuz you are going to eat some of them while prepping)
1 C fresh shelled peas
3 T really nice olive oil
Juice and grated lemon peel from one fresh lemon
2 oz shaved Asiago or Parmesan
Salt & Pepper
Radish Microgreens (yep, back in the day we called them “sprouts”)
Lobster ravioli (or other delicate pasta like Pappardelle. It’s vegetarian with plain pasta!!)
This is so dang easy it’s almost embarrassing and the whole thing comes together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.
Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling, add snap peas and cook until they turn really bright green (1 minute or so – don’t overcook). Remove the snap peas with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl of cold water to shock them. The drain on paper towels.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook per package instructions. Add the fresh peas during the last 30 seconds.
While pasta is cooking, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. When pasta is done, drain pasta and pea mixture. Add pasta, peas and snap peas to bowl and toss lightly to combine.
Plate pasta and top with shaved cheese and microgreens. Don’t have Asiago or Parm? This also is really nice with Feta.
Fresh, healthy, delicious.
Mrs. Vino’s Riff on Beef Bourguignon – only where’s the beef????
Make & Serve with 2014 Morovno Petite Sirah
Many of you know that Mr. & Mrs. Vino are trying for a more vegetable-forward diet. This has provided some super fun opportunities for Mrs. Vino to play in the kitchen. This riff on Beef Bourguignon uses a Petite Sirah (a Rhone varietal) instead of burgundy and hearty mushrooms instead of beef. And is vegegarian (you will NEVER miss the meat). This is easily converted to a vegan dish by using a slurry of 1 T water and 1 T cornstarch instead of the Beurre Marni to thicken. PS, Beurre Marni was a new technique for me, taught to me by chef Google. But I will totally use it again.
This recipe looks really long – but only because I had fun writing it. Took about 40 minutes total to prepare.
2 large Portobella Mushrooms
1 little blue Styrofoam package of Crimini mushrooms (or Baby Portobellas), sliced
1/2 C. Dried Shiitake mushrooms (I get mine from Costco and it is my new kitchen staple)
1 C. boiling water
½ Onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 C. vegetable broth
1 C. Morovino Petite Sirah
3 T Olive Oil (divided)
2 t. Herbs de Provence
2T Balsamic Vinegar
2 t. Salt
2 t. Pepper
1T Butter, softened
In a large coffee mug or small bowl, rehydrate the dried mushrooms in the boiling water – this will take about 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove the stems from the large Portobella mushrooms by breaking them off. Then remove the dark gills by scraping them out with a spoon. Put the mushrooms gill side down on your cutting board and cut the caps into thick slices (like 3/4” thick). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the mushrooms on the baking sheet, drizzle with 1 T of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the mushroom caps 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and using your kitchen tongs, turn the mushrooms over. Return sheet to oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
While Portobellas are roasting, heat 1 T of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute until soft (4-5 minutes). Remove the onions and carrots to a small bowl. Add the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil, notch the heat up to medium high and add the sliced Crimini to pan. You don’t need to add more oil – no matter how much oil you add the mushrooms will absorb it. Just keep stirring the mushrooms around so they don’t stick and they will release their own juicy goodness. Saute the mushrooms for 5 ish minutes, until they start to brown.
While mushrooms are sauteing, use the back of a fork to cream together the butter and flour in a small bowl. If you were to then roll it into pea sized balls, you’d have Beurre Marni – great for thickening soups and sauces. Me? Really? Roll into pea sized balls – not likely. Just leave the mixture in the bowl for now.
When the mushrooms have browned, add the Petite Sirah to the pan and deglaze for a minute (aah, I love the sound of a good deglaze). Drain the Shiitakes (reserving the liquid) and add them into the pan with the carrots and onions. Add the vegetable broth and the reserved liquid in which you rehydrated the mushrooms (mushroom broth) to the pan. Reduce heat back to medium. Add the Herbs de Provence and simmer strongly (not quite boil) for 10 minutes until liquid starts to thicken. At this point, your roasted Portobellas are probably ready. Turn the heat off in the oven, but leave them in to keep warm until the sauce is ready.
Back to the Beurre Marni. Instead of rolling it into ridiculous pea sized balls then adding them to the sauce, just use the fork to add the butter/flour mixture to the simmering sauce in small increments – stirring between additions. Continue at a strong simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Add Balsamic vinegar. Stir, then add salt and pepper to taste.
I serve Mushrooms du Rhone over a hearty pasta, but it’s also great over polenta, mashed potatoes or a toasted hearty bread. Arrange thusly. Pasta/bread/polenta/potatoes on plate (choose one, not all). Slices of roasted Portobella on top of pasta, or whichever. Spoonfuls of mushroomy sauce atop Portobellas. Top with a sprinkle of chopped parsley for extra credit. Green salad on the side. Serves 4.
Some of you know that my go-to food style is Asian influenced. I love Asian-style cuisine because it’s quick, easy, fresh and pretty healthy. My love of Asian cooking started when I used to get to pick out a restaurant for my birthday dinner – you can read the blog post about that here. And Miso soup is my absolute favorite cold weather comfort food. So I stopped by our local grocery and saw a Miso I wasn’t familiar with (most stores carry Red, Yellow and/or White Miso). The Miso was called Mugi and it is made with aged, fermented barley in addition to soybeans. Well you know Mrs. Vino loves her a new food toy – so I had to take it home and check it out.
So I made my basic Miso Soup recipe to check it out. Mugi is much milder and less salty than Red/White/Yellow Miso. It’s got a really interesting barley-y, malty aroma and slightly sweet flavor. It’s really delicious and I recommend it for a basic miso soup. But it reminded me very much of Guiness Stout (which I love with Salmon) and got the wheels turning for a new recipe.
So here it is: Glazed Salmon in Miso-Stout broth. Mr. Vino loves it. I love it. AND, it’s a great way to use up any Stout beer left over from St. Patrick’s Day!!
Glazed Salmon in Miso-Stout Broth
Serve with Morovino Petite Sirah
4 C. chicken broth
1 Shitake mushroom, remove stem, slice cap thinly on diagonal
1” of ginger, sliced into 4 or 5 coins
3 cloves of garlic, whole, but peeled
pinch of red pepper flake (to taste)
¼ c. rice wine vinegar
¾ c. dark beer, like Stout
6 ounces of soba noodles
2T Mugi Miso (aged, fermented barley and soy beans)
1 Carrot, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 rib of celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
¼ c. shelled edamame
¼ c. Garlic Hoisin Sauce
1 2-lb Salmon or Steelhead filet, skin removed
2 scallions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
In a large saucepan over medium low heat, add the chicken broth, shitake mushroom stem, ginger, garlic, red pepper flake, rice wine vinegar and stout. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon. Spread the garlic hoisin sauce atop the salmon. Fill a second pot with water and bring to a boil.
Using a slotted spoon, take all the funky, chunky bits out of the broth (garlic, ginger, mushroom). Reduce heat to low. Add in the miso, carrot, mushroom, celery and edamame and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. While the broth is simmering, add the soba noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions. AND put the salmon in the oven to roast.
When soba is ready, drain well and put a little nest of noodles in the bottom of a pretty bowl. Ladle the broth over the noodles. Cut the salmon into 4 pieces and place a piece atop each nest of noodles. Garnish with sliced scallions. Serve with a green salad or quick-pickled cucumbers.
If you eliminate the Stout and use Yellow or White Miso, this is my standard Miso Soup recipe. You can add tofu and/or whatever fresh veggies you have in the fridge and it’s really delicious.
OH YEAH, if you still have Stout beer left over, use it to make your own whole grain mustard – see the recipe/blog post for it here.
Make and serve this dish with Morovino 2014 Syrah (or not, see directions)!
I love this super easy dish that was adapted from the Hillshire Farm website. Sorry Hillshire Farm, I really like to use Aidells Bacon & Pineapple Sausage with this dish!
1 package Aidells Bacon & Pineapple Sausage (or any smoky sausage that you like), cut diagonally into 1/2” slices
2 T Olive Oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 small head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets or (1 small package frozen broccoli, thawed)
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ C. mild Roasted Pepper Salsa
½ C. Morovino Syrah
2 t. smoked paprika
2 C. prepared Orzo pasta (you can use rice, but Orzo is faster)
Add olive oil to the bottom of a heavy skillet and heat over medium heat until it starts to shimmer. Add sausage and saute until browned (3ish minutes). Add onion, broccoli and pepper sand saute for 5 minutes until veggies take on color and begin to soften. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute until fragrant (not browned). Add salsa and smoked paprika. Add Syrah (OK, that stings a bit – alternately add ½ c. of other smooth red wine and drink the Syrah while you are cooking). Heat for 4-5 more minutes until sauce thickens. Serve over Orzo pasta and top with shredded Asiago or Parmesan. Yum.
Make Reuben Pizza!
We love our Wine Family. They know we love to cook and we love to eat. So when Tom B. smoked us a Pastrami, we immediately thought about a Reuben Pizza that Linda G. made for us a couple of months ago. It’s not really complicated enough to call a recipe – may be we’ll just call it assembly instructions. But it will definitely be featured in our Superbowl party this year. Enjoy.
Ingredients: Thousand Island Dressing. Canned Sauerkraut. Pastrami. Swiss Cheese. Pizza Crust. PS, if you want to make any of this from scratch – awesome. But sometimes I love/need a pantry supper.
Start with your favorite pizza crust. I’m a fan of the Pizza Dough In a Poppin’ Fresh tube. But this also works really nicely with a premade pizza crust like a Boboli.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees (or whatever temperature is appropriate for your preferred crust).
Top your pizza crust with Thousand Island Dressing. Rinse and Drain the Saurkraut. Scatter the sauerkraut on top of the dressing. Chop the pastrami and scatter on top of the sauerkraut. Top with slices of swiss cheese. Bake until the cheese is melty and bubbly.
See? Easy Peasy. And delicious. Thanks Linda and Tom for the inspiration.
This January, Vino Man and I decided to move to a more plant based diet. Better for us. Better for the environment. Tasty-licious. This move was made easier when we signed up for the amazing Talley Farms Fresh Harvest Program and started picking up a box of amazing, seasonal, locally-sourced produce every week. (Info on Talley Farms Fresh Harvest, here.) That, too was good for our bodies. And good for our pocket book – the Jr. share is less than $20/week (I was already spending that much on veggies at the grocer).
In honor of our Tenth Wineversary, we decided that our monthly newsletters would feature some of our great wines in the past. So we dipped into the cellar and pulled out a Double Gold Medal Award Winning 2009 Dolcetto. We hadn’t sampled it in a while, and thought it would be a great opportunity to see how it was aging.
But in our new more veggie-based world, we wanted to try the Dolcetto with a Vegetarian meal. Big wines and plant based meals pose some challenges, but I’m always up for a food challenge. Having recently been introduced to an incredibly amazing product called Kimbo Veggie Smoked Duck (Tofu), I thought it would be a great experiment.
Full disclosure. I usually hate tofu. It’s my “Bête Noire”. In my 40 years of cooking (and I grew up cooking Asian-style dishes) I have never been able to successfully execute tofu. Until now.
The recipe below is VERY quick and easy. Came together in about 15 minutes (excluding preparation of the rice). The Veggie Smoked Duck is available at larger Asian-style markets. My friend Judy brings it up from SoCal for me by the box – cuz the Vino man loves this too. Enjoy!
Oh yeah, the Dolcetto? Well Damn. That Dolcetto is good stuff. The 2009 is prime right now – even smoother than when you put it in your cellar. It was great with this dish and will still absolutely hold up to lamb, steak and meatier dishes too. We recommend that this wine be consumed this year – before the fruit begins to fade out.
VEGGIE SMOKED DUCK STIR FRY
1/2 large head Napa Cabbage, shredded (or thinly sliced)
1 bunch broccoli – cut off florets, then peel and slice the stalk (it’s the best part)
1/2 large onion – peeled and sliced thinly from root to tip
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 C. frozen Edamame (shelled), defrosted
1 1″ piece of ginger, grated
1/2 C. Garlic Hoisin Sauce (We like Soy Vay)
1/4 C. Sake or dry white wine
1/2 package of Kimbo Veggie Smoked Duck, sliced, then quartered
2 T Canola oil, divided use
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
Brown Jasmine Rice
Prepare your rice via your preferred method. I like my rice cooker – perfect rice every time. When there’s about 10-15 minutes left on your rice, start your stir fry. Preheat your oven to 250 degress. In a large heavy bottomed skillet or wok, heat 1 T of Canola oil over medium high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and saute until they are limp and lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Stir constantly, as you are using pretty high temperatures. You need to keep the food moving or it will scorch. Add broccoli florets and stems and saute another 3 minutes. Then add cabbage and Edamame and saute 2 minutes more. Add the garlic and half the Hoisin and all the Sake/wine. Stir for about 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant. Put the veggies in your serving dish and place in the oven to keep warm for a few minutes. Put the second tablespoon of oil in the saute pan and heat till shimmering. Lower heat to medium. Add the smoked duck and the second half of the Hoisin sauce and heat until just warmed through – 2-3 minutes. Pull out the veggies, top them with the smoked duck, then sprinkle with the green onions. Serve atop the rice with the Morovino Dolcetto vintage of your choice. Amazing.
A big, bold wine doesn’t always need to go with a meat dish. Our new Tango (Syrah/Petit Sirah) blend is just amazing with this hearty vegetarian dish! This is a perfect starter, or use like a salad. ENJOY.
2 Cloves garlic, diced
4 large Portobello Mushrooms
4 fresh mozzarella cheese balls, sliced thinly
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
Fresh Basil – leaves only, sliced in chiffonade
¼ C Balsamic Vinegar
2 t. Brown Sugar
Set your oven to 400 degrees and place one oven rack on the second rung from the bottom, and another oven rack on the second rung from the top. Melt butter and garlic together in a microwave safe bowl. This will soften the garlic flavor a tiny bit. Prepare the mushrooms by removing the stem (save them to use in soup), and using a teaspoon to scrape out the brown gills. Brush the mushrooms, inside and out, with the garlic butter mixture. Put mushrooms on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Start with a layer of tomato, then a layer of cheese, the tomato, then cheese (you see where I’m going with this) until the mushroom cap is full. Make sure to finish up with a layer of cheese on top. Put the baking sheet with the mushrooms in the oven on the rack at the second rung from the bottom and cook for 10 minutes.
While the mushrooms are cooking, make the balsamic glaze. Or just pull it out of your fridge, cuz you should always have some of this on hand. When in doubt, put Balsamic Glaze on it!! You could put it on rocks and they would be delicious. To make the glaze, put the sugar and vinegar in a very small sauce pan over medium high heat and bring to the boil. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 8 minutes or so – the glaze should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Turn the oven to broil and move the pan with the mushrooms to the rack at the second rung from the top. Broil mushrooms until the mozarella turns bubbly brown.
Pretty plating – put some nice arugula on a plate. Put two mushrooms on top of the arugula. Drizzle the mushrooms and greens with the balsamic glaze. Sprinkle the fresh basil shreds on top of the whole shebang. Mmmmmmmmmmmm
Don’t know how to chiffonade basil? Here’s a great tutorial on YouTube.
Do you like your BBQ Sauce Sweet? Spicy? How about a super easy sauce that’s a bit of both. This is one of those recipes that looks a bit complicated because it has more than 3 or 4 ingredients. BUT, I’ll bet you have most of these in your cupboards anyway! If you can’t bring yourself to use the Morovino Cab in the sauce (and I can’t really blame you), use any full bodied red.
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ t. smoked paprika
¼ t. cumin
1 C. Morovino 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (or other full bodied red)
1 T brown sugar
½ C. Ketchup
2 t. Sriracha sauce (Asian hot sauce)
1T soy sauce
1T cider vinegar
1 t. Worcestershire Sauce
½ C orange juice
2 T orange marmalade
This is one of those recipes that looks a bit complicated because it has more than 3 or 4 ingredients. BUT, I’ll bet you have most of these in your cupboards anyway! If you can’t bring yourself to use the Morovino Cab in the sauce (and I can’t really blame you), use any full bodied red. In a saucepan over medium heat, saute garlic and smoked paprika in the olive oil until garlic turns light gold – about 1 minute. Add wine and brown sugar and simmer until reduced by half(ish)–about 4-5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the marmalade and simmer until they start to thicken a bit. Finish by stirring in the marmalade. Let cool before using.
This sauce is lightly sweet and lightly spicy. Try it with meatballs on a sourdough roll for a yummy meatball sandwich. Marinate cut up chicken overnight in ½ the sauce, remove the chicken to the grill, then use the other ½ of the sauce for basting. It’s YUMMY on pork tenderloin, or use with a pork tri-tip in the slow cooker for a pulled pork sandwich.
EZ Baked Shrimp and Tomatoes (adapted from Cooking Light)
Make and serve with 2015 Beach Blonde
2 leftover heels of French bread
3T. minced fresh dill or 1 T dried
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T butter, divided use
2 T olive oil, divided use
1 ½ lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined (save shrimp shells)
¼ t salt, divided use
¼ t black pepper, divided use
¼ c. Beach Blonde or other dry white wine
2 large tomatoes (preferably one red, one green)
2T balsamic vinegar
Neither Mr. nor Mrs. Vino are fans of the heels of French Bread. So Mrs. Vino pops them in her freezer to use whenever she needs bread crumbs. This is both frugal and delicious – packaged bread crumbs taste like cardboard. To begin, cut the bread heels into slightly smaller pieces and send them for a spin in your food processor or mini chopper until coarsely crumbed. Then add the dill and garlic and pulse a few more times until you have fine crumbs. Heat 1 T of butter and 1T of oil in a small non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the crumb mixture to the butter, watching carefully cuz they are gonna want to burn, and cook for about 3 minutes until lightly browned – stir frequently.
Then, preheat your oven to 450. Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish (or a prettier one if you have it – or even 6 individual gratin dishes) with the remaining 1 T of olive oil. Arrange peeled shrimp in a single layer in dish(es). Sprinkle with 1/8 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper (that’s about 4 twists of Mrs. Vino’s grinders). Sprinkle shrimp with wine, then scatter half of the bread crumbs on top of the shrimp.
Now, about those tomatoes. Many grocery stores are now offering a clamshell container with heirloom tomatoes. These heirlooms taste much better than any other grocery store tomato. And, in some cases, they are priced less than 2 lbs of the “cluster tomatoes” from the supermarket that basically taste like plastic. Frequently the heirloom tomatoes feature a green tomato. The green tomato really brightens this dish. Do you have to use it? No, of course not. If no green tomatoes are available, use whatever you have. Back to the dish.
Slice the tomatoes into thin ¼” slices. Put an overlapping layer of tomatoes on top of the bread crumbs (which are on top of the shrimp). Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1/8 t. each of salt and pepper. Then top with the remaining breadcrumbs. Dot the casserole with the remaining 1 T of butter. Bake it at 450 for about 15 minutes or until shrimp are opaque and pink. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar just before serving.
This dish is great all by itself with a big green salad and loaf of bread. Or, for extra credit, make a big batch of risotto (using the recipe on the package of Arborio rice or from the Morovino website). Then top risotto with a big spoonful of this shrimp dish. That will stretch the shrimp dish from feeding 2-4 to feeding 6-8 for just a few cents more. And it is incredibly yummy.
We were lucky enough to be gifted this holiday season with a wonderful pasta called Pici (Thanks Robert & Mary!). This is similar to a thick spaghetti or Bucatini, but it includes the germ of the wheat – making it a big mouthful of nutty pasta-y goodness. I had so much fun trying to decide how to top the Pici. I wanted something that would be hearty enough to stand up to it, without overwhelming it. This pasta was inspired by a lunchtime BLT Sandwich. In this case, the Pancetta takes the place of the Bacon, Arugula Pesto takes the place of the Lettuce. And the tomato is roasted. The yummy, nutty pasta replaces a great whole grain bread. It’s super simple to make and delicious with Barbera! Enjoy.
Serve with Morovino 2013 Barbera
4 Roma Tomatoes halved lengthwise
1/2 lb Pancetta (a slab, not sliced)
4 C. Arugula (4 big handfuls)
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley (mostly leaves, not stems)
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil plus 1 t for drizzling
2 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t. salt
9 ounces of Pici (or other hearty pasta)
1/4 c. shredded or shaved Asiago
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with sides (sometimes called a jelly roll pan) with parchment paper. Cut the slab of pancetta into 1/2″ish cubes. Scatter the pancetta cubes on the jelly roll pan. Place the tomato halves, cut side up, amongst the pancetta on the pan. Put into the oven for 30-35 minutes – stirring every 10 minutes or so to flip the pancetta cubes and the tomato pieces so they brown evenly. Cook the Pici (or pasta according to package directions).
In the bowl of your food processor, add the arugula, parsley, garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Pulse until smooth.
Drain the pasta and drizzle with th 1 t of olive oil to prevent sticking. Plate a nest of the pasta. Top with the Arugula Pesto. Add the roasted tomato and pancetta, then top with the shaved Asiago. Salty, tangy, nutty, hearty – perfect winter comfort pasta!