Friday, November 25, 2011

They call me Mr. Nibs

...Cacao Nibs that is.  Try this dry rub for your next rib-eye, flat-iron or other steak.  Sear your beef in a skillet (cast iron if you have it) for approx 3 mins on each side.  You can use a couple Tbsps of butter, oil or EVOO to sear, your choice.  Afterward, transfer to grill or oven to finish cooking to your preferred doneness.

Dry Rub Mix (Source:  Internet, adjusted to my preference and enough for two steaks, 1 - 1 1/2 lbs)
2 Tbsp Cacao Nibs (you can find some at Whole Foods, other at )
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Mustard
1 tsp Chipolte Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (Light or Dark)
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
(Mix all these ingredients in a food processor.)

You can just rinse the steaks and pat dry or you can apply a light coat of EVOO and then apply the rub, your choice.

These, boneless, rib-eyes are about 1 1/4" thick.  Apply a "generous" coat of the dry rub all over the steak. Afterward, wrap in Saran Wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight if you have time.  And, remember to remove the steaks from the fridge and allow them to come back to room temp before cooking.

Venge's Scout's Honor Red Wine & Bone-In Chicken Thighs

'09 Scout's Honor from Venge Vineyards.  
This wine is a blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel & Charbono.  

(Charbono - The wine made from Charbono tends to be dark, with medium to high tannins & acidity.  This varietal is a grape variety from the Savoie region of France.)

This wine is inky purple (aka - a tooth stainer) in color with much dark fruit (blackberry, black cherry) on the nose, as well as some spiciness.  This wine is 15.5% so it's not for the faint of heart, it's a big boy.  The wine has good structure, a bit chewy and dusty in my opinion.  This wine has a nice lingering finish and will stand up to many bold foods. ~$38.

Dry Rub: (Apply EVOO to chicken before applying dry rub.)
Dried Thyme - 1 Tbsp
Oregano - 1 Tbsp
Cumin - 1 Tbsp
Onion Powder - 1 tsp
Smoked Paprika - 1 Tbsp
Kosher Salt - 1 tsp
Black Pepper - 1 tsp

Grill heat - Internal 350-375
Grill thighs for approx 20 mins on each side, skin up first

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving "Pinot Noir" Tasting

unWine'd with a pour...

Meiomi Pinot - California, $19
Spindrift Pinot - Oregon, $22
Louis Jadot - Bourgogne (Burgundy Pinot) France, $21
Apaltagua Pinot - Chile, $12

Tasting Notes - Coming Soon

Saturday, November 12, 2011

'06 MEDICI, Oregon, Pinot Noir & Pan-Seared Beef Fillet

unWine'd with a pour...

I was introduced to this Pinot by my good friend Mr. PR Snipes of the Murfreesboro Snipes.  I'm a huge fan of Russian River Valley Pinots from CA but after drinking the Medici "I am now a fan!"  You cannot find this wine in my area (Middle TN) but since Mr. Snipes was recently in the Willamette Valley area, I am now the proud owner of 6 (now 5) bottles of the '04 & '06 Medici Pinot.  I will drink it slowly and purposefully.
As for my personal tasting notes, I get red fruit on the nose, bing cherry to me, but not too fruit forward.  It's nicely balanced and not tannic.  The mid-palate seems to have a hint of vanilla and a slight touch of spiciness.  And, the wine has a nice lingering finish - quite quaffable.  I give it a rating of opulent.  <$30 / bottle.

Cooking the Fillet:  I use a generous coat of EVOO on the steak and then add, to taste, shaved sea salt and black pepper.  I let that sit for about one hour at room temp.  When I'm ready to cook, I place the cast iron skillet in a 400 degree oven and let the skillet get smoking hot.  Afterward, transfer to the skillet to the side burner on the grill.  Over high heat I'll place one Tbsp of butter in the skillet and then place the fillets in the skillet.  I cook them for 3 minutes and then add one more Tbsp of butter and turn the fillets for 3 more minutes.  After that six minutes, I transfer the fillets to my grill, which is at 500 degrees, for another 6 - 8 minutes, not turning - just place them on the grill. This cooking time produces a very nice med-rare every time.