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Cab-Tastic Barbecue Sauce

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

bbq chickenThis 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.

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Easy Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes

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.

tomatoes2Now, 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.

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Mrs. Vino’s World-Famous Mulled Wine

OK, maybe not world-famous – but famous in the tasting room!

MRS.VINO’S MULLED WINEMulled Wine
(Make with 2014 Sangiovese or Tango blend)

1 bottle of 2014 Tango
1/2 bottle of tap water (use the wine bottle)
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 package Morovino mulling spices
1/4 c. dried fruit (used dried cherries, plums, raisins, apricots or blueberries for best results)

OK, last year Mrs. Vino took a LOT of guff because the recipe she was handing out in the tasting room was not exactly the same recipe she used to make wine for the tasting room – it was the easier version of the recipe that she uses when she makes Mulled Wine at home.  SO, this year, here are 3 different ways to make your mulled wine – based on time and inclination.

To make mulled wine EXACTLY like the tasting room version:  1) Put the wine, water, sugar, dried fruit and spice package (take tag off, leave cork on and spices in bag) all in a saucepan.  2) Simmer over low heat (do not boil – it will volatilize the alcohol) for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Mrs. Vino usually makes her mulled wine for the tasting room the night before she serves it – that’s the difference.  So for this version, when the wine has finished simmering, 3) take the pot off the stove and cover it.  Let it cool down a bit.  Then put it in the refrigerator overnight (leave the spice bag and dried fruit in it).  When you are ready to serve it, put it back on the stove top on low heat and bring it back up to a simmer.  Discard the spice bag and ladle into glasses as desired.  NOTE:  Mrs. Vino usually uses a combination of raisins and dried apricots for the tasting room mulled wine.

To make Mulled Wine like Mrs. Vino makes it at home, follow steps 1 and 2 – and serve immediately.  Still delicious, but leaving the bag and fruit in the wine overnight does concentrate the flavors a bit.

To make Mulled Wine in your Crock Pot, put the wine, water, sugar, spices and dried fruit in your slow cooker and simmer covered for 1 hour on high and then uncovered for at least an additional 30 minutes on low.  Keep the slow cooker on low and serve directly from the slow cooker.

Serve it with cookies, holiday carols, and  friends – it’s a perfect pairing!

 

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Maple Roasted Chicken Thighs

MAPLE ROASTED CHICKENSometimes it’s hard for people to envision pairing a sweet wine with a savory dish!  But this beautiful recipe has it ALL goin’ on – Sweet, tart, salty, spicy, and umami – it tickles all your taste buds.  And the spicy black pepper is the perfect foil for the lightly sweet riesling.  You are going to love it!

MAPLE ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS
Serve with Cosa Dolce Riesling

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. ground black pepper
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/3 c. real maple syrup (Use the closest thing to real maple syrup you can find – NOT Aunt Jemima Lite)
zest of 1 lemon

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large ovenproof baking dish, combine the sweet potatoes and the olive oil. Toss well to coat. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt and black pepper. sprinkle half of this mixture over the sweet potatoes and toss or stir to coat. Arrange the sweet potatoes in an even layer in the bottom of the baking dish.

Rub the remaining sugar mixture over the chicken thighs with your hands (sure it’s a little messy – but so much fun). Arrange the chicken in a single layer over the sweet potatoes. (I don’t need to tell you to wash your hands thoroughly at this point, do I?) Drizzle the maple syrup over the thighs. Cover the baking dish with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for another 15 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees at the thickest part of the thighs. Serve the chicken on top of the sweet potatoes – just before serving, sprinkle the lemon zest over the chicken. It’s great served with biscuits to sop up all the yummy maple juices.

 

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Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce

Pasta with Avocado Sauce

Pasta with Avocado Sauce

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite vegan blogs (Oh She Glows) – which you should definitely check out.  The sauce is also amazing on zucchini noodles for a refreshing summer salad!

CREAMY AVOCADO & SHRIMP PASTA
Serve with Morovino 2012 Sangiovese (but any of our Barberas are also awesome with this)

2 small cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
1 tablespoon citrus olive oil (I like Robbins Family Farm Mandarin Olive Oil, but lemon or other orange olive oil works just as well. Don’t have citrus olive oil – no problem it’s delicious with plain extra virgin olive oil, too)
1 ripe medium avocado, pitted
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (1/4 t if you use 1T of lemon juice, 1/2 t if you use 2T of lemon juice – the salt balances out the acidity)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 lb bay shrimp (the tiny salad shrimp)
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
Zest from the lemon
1/2 lb of your favorite pasta (I like fettucine with this)

While your pasta – whatever kind you like – cooks, make the sauce. Cuz Avocados turn brown pretty quickly – this sauce is not a make ahead. OK, Kids, this is pretty simple. Place everything through black pepper into your food processor or blender. Actually, I use my “knock-off” magic bullet for this, cuz it works perfectly! If the sauce feels a bit thick, add 1 or 2 T of the pasta water to the blender.

When your past is cooked, drain it and place it back in the pot. Add the avocado sauce and toss until combined. Put it on a big plate (or individual plates). Top with lemon zest, shrimp and feta. Yummmmmmm.

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Tea-Poached Salmon

Oh my dears, this recipe is perfect with Morovino’s 2012 Pinot Noir.  This is our new, go-to, honey-I-really don’t-feel-like-cooking-let’s-do-something-easy recipe!

TEA-POACHED SALMON FILET
Serve with 2012 Pinot Noir

2 C. water
4 Oolong tea bags (Smoky Lapsang Souchong tea is also awesome)
1 lime, zested then halved
1 t. toasted sesame oil
2″ fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into “coins”
4 garlic cloves, slivered
1/2 c. dry white wine, divided use (I use Beach Blonde)
3 T soy sauce, divided use
1 T honey
2, 1/2-lb salmon filets (or steaks)
Salt & Pepper
1/8 t. Sriracha (literally 2 tiny drops)

Super easy, super delicious and pretty healthy, Mrs. Vino loves poached salmon because it is basically impossible to over cook. First, let’s make the poaching liquid!

In a sautese (That’s a saute pan with high straight sides – you must invest in one, my dears! Mrs. Vino uses it for everything.), combine the water, tea bags, 2 T soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, 1/4 c. wine and the juice of 1/2 of the lime (not the zest). Simmer liquid over medium low heat for 5 minutes. While the poaching liquid is simmering, salt and pepper the salmon filets/steaks. Remove the tea bags from the poaching liquid and discard. Remove 1/2 c. of poaching liquid (liquid only, no bits) and set aside for a minute. Slide the salmon into the remaining poaching liquid and cover. Simmer for 7 minutes.

Put the poaching liquid in a very small saucepan over high heat with the second 1/4 c wine and 1 T of soy sauce and reduce down by half (this will become the sauce for the salmon). When the sauce is reduced, add the honey, Sriracha and the juice and zest of the lime and whisk together. Put the salmon on a plate and drizzle with a tiny bit of the sauce. Serve with salad and rice or a nice crusty French bread. YUMMMMMM. Really, one of Mr. Vino’s new faves.

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SUPERBOWL Sangria

IMG-20150125-01449I started making this for the tasting room around Halloween (when it was 85 degrees out) and it was a huge hit. So I’m bringing it back to the tasting room for Superbowl – cuz who doesn’t love a good sangria.  It’s super easy to make your own – just 4 ingredients and a pitcher – we even put Cosa Dolce on sale to make it easier/cheaper for you.

MOROVINO SUPERBOWL SANGRIA
1 bottle of Cosa Dolce Riesling (or other semi sweet wine)
1 medium apple (peeled, cored and sliced into thick slices)
1 cinnamon stick (no cinnamon sticks?  Use 1/4 t. powdered cinnamon)
1 Chai tea bag (I use the Chai from Avila’s Secret Garden Organic Tea bar – feel free to use your favorite)

Dump the bottle of wine in a pitcher big enough to hold it.  Add the slices of apple.  Add the cinnamon and the tea bag.  Put everything in the fridge overnight and let it infuse.  Take the tea bag out.  You can leave the cinnamon and apple slices in – cuz the apple slices are delicious and the cinnamon is pretty.

Pour into wine glasses and enjoy!

* Best to make 2 bottles cuz this goes pretty quickly.  Cosa Dolce is currently 2 bottles for $35 (through Superbowl Weekend).

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Mulled Wine Season is HERE!

Wait! What’s that wonderful aroma in the tasting room???  It’s November so it’s Mulled Wine Season.  This year I think the Mulled Wine is the best ever (OK, I’m pretty sure I say that every year – but this year I mean it).  For those of you who misplaced your recipe for Mrs. Vino’s Holiday Mulled Wine in all the holiday craziness – here you go:

MRS.VINO’S MULLED WINEMulled Wine
(Make with 2013 Barbera)

1 bottle of 2013 Barbera by Morovino*
1/2 bottle of tap water (use the Sangiovese bottle)
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 package Morovino mulling spices
1/4 c. dried fruit (used dried cherries, plums, raisins, apricots or blueberries for best results)

OK, last year Mrs. Vino took a LOT of guff because the recipe she was handing out in the tasting room was not exactly the same recipe she used to make wine for the tasting room – it was the easier version of the recipe that she uses when she makes Mulled Wine at home.  SO, this year, here are 3 different ways to make your mulled wine – based on time and inclination.

To make mulled wine EXACTLY like the tasting room version:  1) Put the wine, water, sugar, dried fruit and spice package (take tag off, leave cork on and spices in bag) all in a saucepan.  2) Simmer over low heat (do not boil – it will volatilize the alcohol) for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Mrs. Vino usually makes her mulled wine for the tasting room the night before she serves it – that’s the difference.  So for this version, when the wine has finished simmering, 3) take the pot off the stove and cover it.  Let it cool down a bit.  Then put it in the refrigerator overnight (leave the spice bag and dried fruit in it).  When you are ready to serve it, put it back on the stove top on low heat and bring it back up to a simmer.  Discard the spice bag and ladle into glasses as desired.  NOTE:  Mrs. Vino usually uses a combination of raisins and dried apricots for the tasting room mulled wine.

To make Mulled Wine like Mrs. Vino makes it at home, follow steps 1 and 2 – and serve immediately.  Still delicious, but leaving the bag and fruit in the wine overnight does concentrate the flavors a bit.

To make Mulled Wine in your Crock Pot, put the wine, water, sugar, spices and dried fruit in your slow cooker and simmer covered for 1 hour on high and then uncovered for at least an additional 30 minutes on low.  Keep the slow cooker on low and serve directly from the slow cooker.

Serve it with cookies, holiday carols, and  friends – it’s a perfect pairing!

**If you don’t use Morovino Barbera, use a light, fruity red wine like Merlot, Grenache or  Barbera.  For wines other than our Barbera, start with 1/4 cup of sugar.  Then taste and add more if necessary.  Too much sugar is when Mulled Wine goes horribly, horribly wrong!

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Easy Creamy Risotto with No Stirring!!

Most of you know that risotto is Mrs. Vino’s favorite 30 minute comfort food.  It’s such a great backdrop for . . . any flavors.  Chopped up rotisserie chicken, sauteed mushrooms, avocado and tomato salad . . . you can put just about anything on top of a risotto and it’s delicious.  Risotto has a reputation as being a bit hard to make.  I don’t believe this is necessarily true – but it does require a bit of focused attention at the stove (pretty much constant stirring).  Sometimes Mrs. Vino is totally into the Zen of stirring a risotto.  Then again, sometimes she’s not.  That’s why I was so excited when I opened up my most recent issue of my fave Cooking Light magazine and saw this tip for no-stir risotto.

I’ve tried some other recipes for no-stir risotto (usually baked).  And they are OK, but just don’t have the creamy, chewy richness of a more traditional risotto.  And I actually did not believe that the technique in this link would be any better.  But the technique looked so easy that I just HAD to try it.

I cannot believe that the super simple step of rinsing the rice in the chicken (or other) stock that you use to make the risotto would make a difference.  I was completely blown away that this made the best, easiest risotto I’ve ever had.

If you love risotto – or if you’ve been afraid to make risotto because it seems hard – please give this a try.  You will be so glad you did.

Easy Creamy Risotto from Cooking Light

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Mulled Wine Season is HERE!

Wait! What’s that wonderful aroma in the tasting room???  It’s November so it’s Mulled Wine Season.  This year I think the Mulled Wine is the best ever (OK, I’m pretty sure I say that every year – but this year I mean it).  For those of you who misplaced your recipe for Mrs. Vino’s Holiday Mulled Wine in all the holiday craziness – here you go:

MRS.VINO’S MULLED WINEMulled Wine
(Make with 2012 Sangiovese)

1 bottle of 2012 Sangiovese by Morovino*
1/2 bottle of tap water (use the Sangiovese bottle)
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 package Morovino mulling spices
1/4 c. dried fruit (used dried cherries, plums, raisins, apricots or blueberries for best results)

OK, last year Mrs. Vino took a LOT of guff because the recipe she was handing out in the tasting room was not exactly the same recipe she used to make wine for the tasting room – it was the easier version of the recipe that she uses when she makes Mulled Wine at home.  SO, this year, here are 3 different ways to make your mulled wine – based on time and inclination.

To make mulled wine EXACTLY like the tasting room version:  1) Put the wine, water, sugar, dried fruit and spice package (take tag off, leave cork on and spices in bag) all in a saucepan.  2) Simmer over low heat (do not boil – it will volatilize the alcohol) for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Mrs. Vino usually makes her mulled wine for the tasting room the night before she serves it – that’s the difference.  So for this version, when the wine has finished simmering, 3) take the pot off the stove and cover it.  Let it cool down a bit.  Then put it in the refrigerator overnight (leave the spice bag and dried fruit in it).  When you are ready to serve it, put it back on the stove top on low heat and bring it back up to a simmer.  Discard the spice bag and ladle into glasses as desired.  NOTE:  Mrs. Vino usually uses a combination of raisins and dried apricots for the tasting room mulled wine.

To make Mulled Wine like Mrs. Vino makes it at home, follow steps 1 and 2 – and serve immediately.  Still delicious, but leaving the bag and fruit in the wine overnight does concentrate the flavors a bit.

To make Mulled Wine in your Crock Pot, put the wine, water, sugar, spices and dried fruit in your slow cooker and simmer covered for 1 hour on high and then uncovered for at least an additional 30 minutes on low.  Keep the slow cooker on low and serve directly from the slow cooker.

Serve it with cookies, holiday carols, and  friends – it’s a perfect pairing!

**If you don’t use Morovino Sangiovese, use a light, fruity red wine like Merlot, Grenache or  Barbera.  For wines other than our Sangiovese, start with 1/4 cup of sugar.  Then taste and add more if necessary.  Too much sugar is when Mulled Wine goes horribly, horribly wrong!

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