Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cedar Plank Wild Salmon & Vouvray Chenin Blanc

unWine'd with a pour...

unWine'd with a pour...

This Chenin Blanc has notes of green apple and pear on the nose and the acidity is nice and crisp. The wine is refreshing with a nice lingering finish.  "Quaffable as an aperitif," but also a great accompaniment to sushi, fish or chicken to name a few.

Seasoning for Salmon:
Salmon:  1.25 lbs, Tag'z 5 Star Meats in Murfreesboro, TN
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon pepper, fine ground
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

I didn't use all the seasoning. I used a even coat over the entire piece and kept the remainder for another time. The sweet & spicy exceeded my expectations. Really good.

I cooked the Salmon to 135 degrees internal temp in the thickest part of the fish. Grill surface heat was about 350 degrees and it cooked to temp in about 30 minutes.

Chicken Quarters & Meiomi Pinot Noir

unWine'd with a pour...

Chicken Marinade:
4 Chicken Quarters (Thigh & Running-Gear)  Tag'z 5Star Meats; Mike, Trish & Sara are great!!!
1/2 cup EVOO
1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
Shaved sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 cloves, roasted & chopped, garlic
(Mix all ingredients in a bowl, pour into an airtight container with the chicken.  Place in refrigerator for 4 hours.  Remove from refrigerator 90 mins prior to grilling so the chicken can come back to room temp.)

Grille surface heat was 325 - 350.  Grille approx 25 mins on each side, start with skin side up.  You can brush some of the remaining marinade on the chicken to keep it moist while it cooks.  I also check the internal meat temp with an instant read thermometer and take it off the grille when it's 165 - 170 in the thickest part of the meat.

If you're a Pinot fan, this is one you'll want to add to your list.  $19.  It has a bright, deep garnet color. Aromas blackberries on the nose and cola on the mid-palate, maybe a little vanilla as well.  Abundant flavor, texture and structure.  Supple tannins leads to a lingering, succulent finish.
Wagner Family Wine:  Meiomi, Belle Glos, Caymus, Caymus Special Select and others.  These are all opulent, in my opinion.  Cheers to all at Wagner Family...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Taste of Cheese

Hot Peach Chutney, Honeycomb, French Brie, Taleggio, Landaff & Blue Cheese

The vino is a 2001 Barocco that I brought home from Sicily (Taormina) in '08.  Ruby in color, lots of fruit with nice tannins and a great finish.  And, many memories of a great vacation.  Cheers to all...

Rex Hill Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley

unWine'd with a pour...

'09 Rex Hill Vineyards Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley: red fruit, bing cherry & strawberry on the nose, aromatic & floral with a slight spiciness and nice finish.  Great by itself or with the Grouper I grilled.

Grilled Grouper:
2 @ 10oz Grouper Fillets: evoo w/ kosher salt and black pepper to taste for the rub. Grilled for approx 5 - 7 mins on each side over 350 grille surface heat.

Lime Butter Aioli: 4 Tbsp, room temp, unsalted butter, 1 tsp fresh lime zest, 1 tsp chili powder, 1, finely diced, shallot and kosher salt & black pepper to taste. Serve on the side or over the fish.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cedar Plank Grilled Sea Bass & Oregon Pinot Noir

Marinade for Sea Bass:

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp EVOO 
1-2 tsp lemon zest (grated lemon peel or substitute dried lemon peel)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp small capers, rinsed
1 1/2 tsp fresh garlic puree or garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried shallots (or use dried onions or chopped fresh shallots)
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Mix the above nine ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Afterward, transfer to a zip-loc bag and place the fish in the bag with the marinade.  Let stand in the refrigerator for 1 - 2 hours.  Don't go longer than that or the lemon juice will start to "cook" the fish.  You don't want that to happen.

Cedar Plank Grilling:
I soak a cedar plank in water for 4 or 5 hours prior to placing it on the grille.  You'll want to do that to keep it from "catching ablaze."  Not a good scene...  The plank will give the fish a hint of smoky flavor.  I can smell it now, it's amazingly good.  You can find the planks at Whole Foods or on-line.

With the grille surface heated to 325 - 350 degrees, place the cedar plank over the "indirect heat" portion of your grille.  Place the Sea Bass directly on the plank.  I usually estimate the cooking time at 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish, it will vary.  I only turn the fish once during grilling.  When it flakes with a fork, you're done. 

Pineapple - Mango Salsa:

  • 1 peeled & diced mango
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced pepper (I use orange)
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 green onions, sliced (the white part)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (one lime, juiced)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (I use roasted)

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Pali Pinot Noir:  Willamette Valley, OR; Red fruit on the nose, bing cherry mostly with some earthiness.  It's not a fruit bomb.  And, it has a hint of spiciness with a nice finish.  It was good with the Sea Bass.  Cheers to all...



Chenin Blanc & Cumin Seared Tuna

unWine'd with a pour...

Vouvray Chenin Blanc, ~$16; wheat straw in color, nice acidity, very crisp with a note of honeysuckle,  great with the spiciness of the tuna...

Cumin Seared Tuna:
3 medium jalapeno chiles
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1/8 cup thinly sliced scallions, both white and green parts
1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons evoo
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
tuna steaks (6 ounce size), about 1 1/2 inches thick

Jalapeno Tartar Sauce:
Under a broiler, roast the jalapenos, turning occasionally, until the skin chars all over, 6 to 8 minutes. Put the chiles in a glass bowl, cover w/ saran wrap, and let them steam.  Approx 10 mins.

While the jalapenos steam, whisk the mayonnaise, scallions, cilantro, lime juice and 1 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a separate bowl.

Using a knife, scrape the charred skin off the jalapenos. Discard the stems, cores, and seeds and chop the jalapenos finely. Stir about half of the jalapenos into the sauce and add more jalapenos to taste -- you may not want to use them all. Chill until ready to serve.

In a bowl, combine the cumin, the kosher salt, and the black pepper. Rub the mixture onto both sides of the tuna steaks.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of EVOO in a 6 or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tuna steaks and sear until browned on the first side, about 1 - 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the second side, about 1 - 2 minutes more (the tuna will still be raw in the middle). I prefer 1 minute on each side.

Let the tuna rest for 5 - 10 minutes and with a very sharp knife, slice it crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with the jalapeno sauce. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

'05 ELU St. Supery Meritage

unWine'd with a pour...

A red Meritage must be made from a blend of at least two or more of the following varieties: Cabernet SauvignonMerlotCabernet FrancMalbecPetit Verdot or Carmenère, with no varietal comprising more than 90% of the blend.
The '05 ELU Meritage is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon; 19% Merlot; 3% Petit Verdot; 3% Cabernet Franc.
This wine has dark fruit on the nose, like plum and blackberry/black-cherry.  It has nice tannins but not too tannic and the mid palate has a hint of vanilla.  I noticed the vanilla after the wine had been decanted for a hour or so.  The wine has a nice lingering finish.  Personally, I like the Meritage as you get to enjoy the subtle nuances of each of the varietals and what they have to offer.  I would definitely drink this wine again.  Cheers to all...