Posts Tagged salad

Marinated Chevre (goat cheese)

This recipe comes courtesy of Tia Vino (Mr. Vino’s Sister-in-Law) who is an outstanding and awesome cook.  Mrs. Vino loves it when Tia and Tio Vino come to visit in early spring to escape the snow.  She loves it for several reasons.  1.  Frequently, she comes home from work to find dinner almost ready 🙂  2.  Said dinner is always delicious.  3.  Scott and Janet are two of her favorite people on earth.  This recipe has become a staple – it makes a great appetizer, starter salad, heck even a sauce for pasta!  ENJOY.

Serve with Morovino dry Pinot Grigio or  Sangiovese.

1 T. butter (because when you are using a full pound of cheese, why not??)
1/3 c. (about 2 large) shallots, finely chopped
¾ – 1 lb creamy goat cheese (I get the logs at Costco)
3 roma tomatoes*
3 T. Balsamic vinegar
3 T. Soy sauce
2 t. Worcestershire Sauce
½ c. NICE olive oil
1 small handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper

OK, it seems like it has a lot of ingredients and is complicated, but it’s not! With a little organization, this comes together in less than 10 minutes. Saute the shallots in the butter over medium heat – we want soft and golden, not brown and burned! Make a small “x” in the bottom of the tomatoes with a sharp pairing knife, then put them in rapidly boiling water for 2 minutes or until the skin starts to peel. Carefully remove the tomatoes (those are some hot tomatoes), let them cool a moment, then peel, seed and dice them.

Here’s where we can get creative. If I’m using this as an appetizer, I cut the cheese log in half lengthwise – don’t worry if it crumbles a bit, the marinade covers a multitude of sins. If I’m using this as a salad course, I slice the log into 1” thick slices. Or, use one of those Tuperware mold things and form a pretty shape.

Whatever shape you choose, here’s what happens next.  Lay the cheese in a flat dish – I use a Pyrex 9 x 9” baking dish. Spread the shallots over the cheese. Put the diced tomatoes and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix. Pour the mixture over the cheese. Cover and let set 24 hours to 3 days in your fridge.

Fun serving options. As an appetizer, just serve the cheese log with garlic toasts. As a salad course, place 2 leaves of butter lettuce on a plate, top it with one of the cheese rounds then spoon the extra marinade on top (OMG, this is AWESOME and really fussy looking) If the log gets to crumbly, listen to what it is telling you! Smash the cheese and marinade together, then spread on small slices of peasant bread and warm in the oven.  Or this is a good time to toss the cheese and sauce with hot pasta to make a main course!

*Mrs. Vino Cheat – if the Roma tomatoes don’t look good, or you don’t have the time or inclination to use fresh tomato, you can substitute 1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomato, drained and it still tastes mighty good!


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Curry Roasted Shrimp

Make with . . . (sorry, no wine in this one), Serve with Cosa Dolce or Pinot Grigio.
This recipe is healthy and delicious and can be served several different ways (see end of recipe).

2 large seedless oranges
½ t. Kosher or Coarse Salt (divided)
1 large red bell pepper
1 large avocado
2 t. extra virgin olive oil
1T curry powder (Madras or Oriental is spicier than regular curry, but not too spicy for Mr. Vino’s tender palate)
1 ½ lbs peeled raw shrimp, tail off (or, if you ENJOY shrimp shucking, get in the shell shrimp, but peel them before you cook them)
A few grinds of black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and put the oven rack in the middle setting. Line a baking sheet (with a rim) with parchment paper. Cut the red pepper in half lengthwise, then each half in three-ish lengthwise pieces, then cut each piece into 1” chunks. Spread the pepper chunks on the baking sheet.  Grate the zest of one of the oranges and put it in a small bowl. Peel the oranges using a sharp knife, just like you were starting an Orange Supreme (for a video on how to do this, go to Once the oranges are peeled, slice them thinly crosswise, then quarter the slices. If your oranges have seeds after all, it would be good to remove them. Spread the orange slices with the red pepper on the baking sheet and sprinkle with ¼ t. of coarse salt. Roast them until they are soft and the oranges start to dry out–about 12 minutes.

Toss shrimp with oil, curry, ground pepper, orange zest and remaining salt. Yes, it looks completely gross at this stage, but be patient. After 12 minutes of roasting the oranges and peppers, add the shrimp to the pan and roast for another 6-8 minutes, until shrimp are pink. Peel and cube the avocado and set aside.

To serve: Option 1: Shred some baby greens and dress with your favorite Vinaigrette dressing. Put a serving of the salad on the plate and top with shrimp, oranges, peppers and avocado. Nutritious and delicious.

Option 2: Finely slice some Romaine lettuce and warm some tortillas. Treat this like a Shrimp Fajita–put a serving of peppers and oranges in a tortilla, add some shrimp, avocado, lettuce, salsa and green onions. YYUUUMM.

Option 3: Toss the shrimp, peppers, oranges and avocado together. Serve with brown jasmine rice and sliced mangos on the side. Incredible!

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Chicken Liver Salad

No, don’t make faces – yes I can see you making them!

Make and serve with the new 2011 Pinot Grigio Rose.

1 lb(ish) chicken livers
½ c. Morovino 2011 Pinot Grigio Rose
3 T. Morovino Pinot Grigio Rose (divided use)
3 T. balsamic vinegar
4 slices turkey bacon, chopped
1 bay leaf 1 sprig fresh thyme or ½ t. dried
3 minced green onions
3 T. olive oil (divided use)
2 medium onions sliced into thin rings
2 medium tart apples (like Granny Smith)
1 T. butter
1 T. lemon juice (juice of ½ lemon)
1 T. golden raisins
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bag of your favorite salad greens (Mrs. Vino likes Spring Mix for this)

Liver is Mrs. Vino’s ultimate comfort food (check out her blog post on the subject). However, Mrs. Vino fully appreciates that liver is NOT everyone’s comfort food. For the adventurous or curious, read on.

Rinse chicken livers and pat them dry. Look for and remove any green spots (there probably won’t be any, most livers come to you pre-cleaned–but always good to check). Place livers in a bowl with 1/2 cup Pinot Grigio, 2 T. balsamic vinegar, bay leaf and thyme. Refrigerate for 1 hour (this removes the gamey, strong flavor from the liver). Dump your bag of greens into a bowl, then arrange on 4 small plates (side salad) or two large ones (dinner salad).

Heat 2 T oil in a non stick pan. Add onions and bacon and fry over medium high heat until golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm. Wipe out pan with a paper towel. Peel and core apples, slice thinly. Melt butter in pan (give it a minute to cool down first) over medium heat. Add apple slices and cook until crisp/tender. Add lemon juice, additional 3 T of Pinot Grigio and raisins and cook for 3 minutes. Set aside and wipe pan with paper towel. Heat remaining 1T oil in pan over high heat. Remove livers from bowl with a slotted spoon, reserving the marinade. Dry livers. Add livers to hot oil and cook on all sides (about 3 minutes on Mrs. Vino’s burners). Add salt and pepper to taste, then place livers on top of salad greens. Pour reserved liver marinade (not as gross as it sounds) in to pan and bring to a boil. Add remaining 1T of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Drizzle over liver & greens. Top with reserved onions and apples, and then minced green onions. Really. Really. Good. And cheap.

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