Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ceviche & Chenin Blanc/Viognier




















unWine'd with a pour...
























Wine Tasting Notes:  <$20
This wine is 80% Chenin Blanc and 20% Viognier.  The color is light wheat straw with a light green hue.  The wine is very aromatic and bright on the nose, a hint of grapefruit to me.  The Viognier adds just a hint of spiciness which leads to a nice clean finish.  I paired this wine with Ceviche on Saturday and Lobster on Sunday.  The wine was great with both.  Cheers to all at Pine Ridge.




Ceviche Recipe:

1/2 lb Seabass, boneless fillet
1/2 lb Shrimp, peeled & de-vained
1/4 lb Small Scallops
12 limes, juiced

Dice fish/shrimp/scallop into small pieces.  Dice the small scallop into four pieces - about that size for all your diced seafood is a good size.
Place all your diced seafood in a 9x13 baking dish.  Pour the juice of the 12 limes over the seafood.  You want the juice to just cover or be at the top of the seafood.  The acid in the lime juice will cook all the seafood.
Cover with saran wrap and place in refrigerator.  Stir every hour or so and leave in refrigerator overnight.  Stir the next day every hour or so until you add the remaining ingredients.  The stirring will make sure the lime juice is cooking all the seafood evenly.

Remaining ingredients: (Mix these ingredients on the second day.)

3 plum tomatoes, cored & diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced (vidalia or spanish)
3 - 4 Tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper, fine ground
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp white vinegar
Mix these ingredients in mixing bowl.

Remove seafood from refrigerator and separate the liquid into another bowl.  Now, add the above ingredients into the seafood.  Add 1/2 the juice from the seafood back into the mixture.  Place this in a tupperware bowl and refrigerate for 3 - 4 hours, stirring every hour.

Final ingredient:
2 avocados, diced
Stir the diced avocado into the mixture just before eating.

Serve with Pita chips or whatever you prefer...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Whole Trout on Cedar paired with Cotes du Rhone


















unWine'd with a pour...





















'09  Les Costes, Cotes du Rhone, <$20

This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 35% Carignan, 10% Cinsault and 5% Syrah & Mourvedre.  The wine is Ruby in color with red fruit on the nose but more earth than fruit, typical of French Rhones.  Tannins are very mild making this an easy drinking Rhone.  The wine has the slightest hint of spice from the Syrah but more so the mouth filling roundness of the Grenache & Mourvedre.  The finish is nice and it paired very well with the Cedar Plank Trout.  Cheers to all...

The Trout:
I brushed on a light coat of EVOO on the meat side of the fish with a little salt and pepper.  Additionally, I mixed 1/2 Tbsp of Honey & 1/2 Tbsp of Spicy Mustard and brushed just a little of that on the meat side of the fish.
The garnish is lemon, parsley & dill.
The grill temp was about 400 - 450 degrees and I let the fish cook about 30 - 35 minutes.  The fish was about 125 degrees, internal temp.  You don't want to overcook your Trout.



The Arugula:
I used one whole bunch of Arugula.  No stems, just the leaves.  First, I added 1 Tbsp of EVOO to the skillet and browned, on med heat, 1/8 lb of diced Pancetta with a 1/2 tsp of minced garlic.  Brown until the Pancetta is golden, just a few minutes.  Next, toss in all your "rinsed" Arugula leaves.  Reduce the heat to low and let the Arugula reduce, less than 10 minutes.  Toss the Arugula so that the Pancetta and Garlic mix well.

The White Asparagus:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beef Brisket, Tennessee Style

Grilling video, click link below:  unWine'd's YouTube Page
unWine'd and relax with Raphe


Prep'd & ready for the smok'r...




































Raphe's prep process for the brisket:


1 @ 5-7lb beef brisket, some fat trimmed (individual's choice to trim)
Place the brisket in a pan similar to this, fat side up, and pour in 1 cup or Orange Juice.  Let that stand for 60-90 minutes.  I don't turn it.  After time has expired, drain off the excess OJ.  The OJ acts as a tenderizer but doesn't affect the taste of the meat.


Dry rub mixture:
1 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1Tbsp garlic powder
1Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp chipolte chile pepper
1 tsp of chili powder
(Mix all ingredients, thoroughly, in a bowl.)


Before applying the dry rub to the brisket, I'll either put a coat of evoo (extra virgin olive oil) or basic yellow mustard all over the brisket.  This time I chose mustard as it helps to hold the dry rub.


I will apply most of the dry rub to the non-fat side.  As for the fat side, I use a sharp knife to score a few cuts into the fat but not down into the meat, just lightly.  This will allow the rub to get into the meat on the fat side.  Again, your call, some score - some don't.


Now that the dry rub has been applied to both sides of the brisket, I'll let it stand @ room temp for 60-90 minutes.  Afterwards, I wrap it in saran wrap & aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.  You could leave it in the fridge for 24 hours or you can start to smoke the brisket after the rub has been on for about 4 hours.  It's all based on how much time you have to invest into the process.  Regardless, do let the brisket come back to room temp before placing it on the smok'r.  I let mine sit for at least 2 hours.  During the 2 hours before it goes on the grill, I'll add a generous coat of brown sugar (light or dark) to the fat side.


Cooking instructions:


I use a mixture of hardwood and briquette charcoal.  And, I put about 25-30 pieces in the grill that are directly out of the bag.  Next, I'll add about 30 pieces of white-hot charcoal atop the unlit charcoal.  This process allows for low temp cooking. I build a medium size fire in my kettle grill but only on one side. That leaves the other half to act as indirect heat, which is what you want for low & slow.  Additionally, I'll place a disposable aluminum pan, 1/2 full of water, on the side opposite the fire.  This keeps moisture in the cooker during the smoking process.  Lastly, I'll add the hardwood chunks (hickory for this cut of beef for me) to the charcoal to get the smoke going.  I leave my hardwood chunks in water overnight so they don't burn out as quickly.  You can add a few chunks during the cooking process to keep a little smoke going, just a little at a time.


Now, it's time put the brisket on the grill (fat side up) over the water pan.  I like to maintain a heat of 200-250 in the cooker and I'll let the brisket cook until it has an internal temp of 190 degrees.  When the brisket reaches 190 degrees, I'll wrap it with a double-wrap of heavy duty aluminum foil and place back on the indirect heat side of the grill and choke the heat of the grill down to about 150 degrees.  I leave it in the foil for another 90 minutes.  The low heat will not cause it to over cook but will make the brisket nice and juicy.  WOW, I can already taste it.......  Take it off the grill, slice thinly or chop it or however you prefer it.  Enjoy.


Wet Mopping Mixture:


2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes
10 oz of a "nut brown" type beer (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp cracked black pepper
(Mix thoroughly in a bowl.)


After the brisket has been on the grill for about one hour, I'll start mopping the wet mop mixture on the brisket, just a light mopping to keep the beef moist.  I'll do this every 45-60 minutes after the first hour of cooking.  Adjust to your preference.


Fresh Pico de Gallo:


  • plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
  • 3/4 of one small to medium spanish or sweet onion, finely diced 
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of one lime
  • 3, medium sized, roasted & peeled jalapenos, cored, seeded & diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne



Caramelized Onions:
Cut the ends from the onions, peel and cut the onions in half.  Cut the onion into 1/4" "half-moon" shaped pieces.

In a large skillet, over med-high heat, add 2 Tbsp of evoo and 2 Tbsp of salted/softened butter.  Once the butter is melted and the evoo is hot, add all the sliced onions.  Toss onions until all have been coated with the evoo/butter mixture and reduce the heat to low.  Once the onions have softened, about 15 - 20 minutes, add 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of salt and stir thoroughly.  Now, let them start the browning process.  Stir, but not too often.  If too often, they will not brown properly.  It usually takes 45 mins to one hour, give or take.  The slower the better.  Just before you remove them from the skillet, pour a little red wine in the skillet and scrap the bottom of the pan to get all the good stuff from the bottom of the pan.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Salmon Florentine & Longboard Pinot Noir

unWine'd with a pour...


'08 Longboard, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir

This wine has nuances of Old World and New World Pinot.  The nose is red fruit, like raspberry and cherry but with some Old World earthiness.  It has a nice mouth feel with some spiciness and slight hints of vanilla on the mid palate.  The Longboard has a nice lingering finish that will have you reaching for a second bottle.  This Pinot lets you know that it endured those sunny days in the Russian River Valley and evolved into this complex vino for our pleasure.  One bottle just won't be enough.  

Cheers...



  •  
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 (10 ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/8 cup minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 (8-10 ounce) salmon fillets, rinsed and patted dry


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Using your hands, squeeze spinach of all excess liquid.
Heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 3 -5 minutes until they begin to soften.  Add spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook an additional 2 - 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool approximately 10 minutes. Add ricotta and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.


Cooking / Grilling Salmon:  Cook the fish to an internal temp of 130 degrees.  Use an instant read thermometer.  In the oven, it's about 20 - 22 minutes @ 325 degrees.  Don't over cook the salmon...
bon app├ętit...

Monday, July 4, 2011

'08 Caymus Cabernet & Rib Eyes with Goat Cheese, Lemon-Honey Mustard & Watercress















unWine'd with a pour...

2008 Caymus Cabernet - This wine is dark at the core with a ruby-like color at the edge as you tilt the glass toward horizontal. The nose is dark fruit, plum as well as some oak. On the palate the wine is red and black fruits, maybe some dark chocolate with great balance and structure. Mouth feel is ethereal. Just delicious!!! A personal Top-5 wine for me. Cheers to all...

Ingredients:
2 (1 1/2-inch thick) french-boned rib eye steaks
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard with seeds
1 lemons, juiced
1 small log of goat cheese, softened moderately
1/8 cup (total) finely chopped fresh thyme & parsley
1 tablespoon EVOO, plus more for garnish
salt and black pepper to taste
1 bunch watercress
1 lemon, halved and lightly grilled 

3 spanish or vidalia onions

12-18 oz of sliced mushrooms

4 ears of sweetcorn, husks removed

Steak - Goat Cheese Spread & Vinaigrette
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 60-90 minutes before cooking and let sit at room temperature.

Preheat the grill for high direct and indirect heat.  I prefer charcoal / hardwood for grilling this steak.

Whisk together the honey, spicy brown mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Mix together the cheese, herbs and evoo in a bowl until combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate.  Remove from refrigerator 30-45 minutes before using.

Brush the steaks with evoo and sprinkle liberally with shaved sea salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat until slightly charred, about 7 minutes.  Turn the steak and cook until the internal temp is at 130 degrees for a nice medium-rare.

Top the steaks with the goat cheese spread and drizzle with the honey-mustard-lemon vinaigrette. Add a little watercress over the top of the steak and then finish with a nice drizzle of evoo. Garnish with your grilled lemon halves.
(Recipe inspired by Bobby Flay but edited) 

Caramelized Onions:
Cut the ends from the onions, peel and cut the onions in half.  Cut the onion into 1/4" "half-moon" shaped pieces.

In a large skillet, over med-high heat, add 2 - 3 Tbsp of evoo and 2 Tbsp of salted/softened butter.  Once the butter is melted and the evoo is hot, add all the sliced onions.  Toss onions until all have been coated with the evoo/butter mixture and reduce the heat to low.  Once the onions have softened, about 15 - 20 minutes, add 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp of salt and stir thoroughly.  Now, let them start the browning process.  Stir, but not too often.  If too often, they will not brown properly.  It usually takes 45 mins to one hour, give or take.  The slower the better.  Just before you remove them from the skillet, pour a little red wine in the skillet and scrap the bottom of the pan to get all the good stuff from the bottom of the pan.




Mushrooms:
In a large skillet, on med-high heat, melt 6 Tbsp of salted/softened butter.  Once the butter is melted, add all the mushrooms, stir and coat with melted butter.  Pour a little Worcestershire, about 1 Tbsp, over the top of the mushrooms and stir thoroughly.  Lastly, add a little seasoning salt (I use Nature's), about 2 tsp, to the mushrooms and stir thoroughly.  Now, reduce the heat to low, stir infrequently and cook for about 25 - 30 minutes or until nicely brown.  Add a little red wine in the last 10 minutes of cooking if you wish.

Ancho Chile Lime Grilled Sweet Corn:

4 medium ears fresh sweet corn
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 tablespoon lime juice, fresh squeezed
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Remove husks from corn and rinse with water.  Mix, well, the 6 ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Afterwards, spread a generous coat on each piece of corn.  Next, wrap each piece of corn in heavy duty aluminum foil.  Grill over charcoal (along with rib-eyes) for approximately 15 - 20 minutes, turning every few minutes so as not to char to heavily.  Pull away from direct heat if need be.  Use the remainder of the spread on the corn after cooking is complete.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Meiomi Pinot Noir & Ahi Tuna



















unWine'd with a pour...

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...


Tapas:
Ahi Tuna - season with salt and black pepper, generously; 2 Tbsp EVOO in a skillet on med-high, (give the skillet time to get hot) cook Tuna 30 seconds on each side. Afterwards, wrap in saran wrap on a plate and place in refrigerator for 10-15 mins. Slice thin and enjoy. Cheers...


The Meiomi pairs great with the Ahi Tuna...