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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tonight's Menu

I'm excited about the dinner that I'm serving for a small event tonight. Thank you Ivan from the Pritchard Ave. MLCC for the pairings.

• Fresh Oysters with Mignonette sauce
• Ahi Tuna Udon spoons
• Blue Potato latkes with crème fraiche and golden caviar
• Morel and Porcini mushroom bouchés

Appetizers and Salad Pairings

# 158493 Segura Viudas Brut... a dry sparkler from Spain. Nice fruit and not overly toasty.
# 6799 Emeri Moscato Sparkling..... a slightly sweet sparkler. The moscato grape has a slight orange / mandarin tone to it, which would be a nice compliment to the salad.
# 73783 Erban Spatlese QBA.... a revived German white that we had a few years ago, that got relisted. Slightly sweet with a great nose and round mouth feel.

• Roasted Golden beet with Spring baby greens and pomegranate vinaigrette

(photo by Desmond)

• Pesto escargot

Entrees and Side Dishes Pairings

# 5793 Chocolan Carmenere ...... a merlot on steroids! Big and bold. Loads of dark cherry, spice and some smoke.
# 313825 J. Lohr 7 Oaks Cabernet or # 587956 Trius Cabernet Reserve.... I gave you two because the first may be out of stock. Either is great. Good backbone, smooth tannins and loads of fruit.
# 865634 A-Mano Primativo..... an Italian from the southern area. A direct cousin to the Zinfandel, spicy mid bodied and a bit peasant like. The tannins would be smoothed out by the Osso Bucco.
# 574236 Erdinger Dunkel Wiesbier..... a German porter style wheat beer. Has a sweet aftertaste and body that will compliment the side dishes and highlight the main .

• Elk Osso Bucco
• Imam Baldi (Turkish eggplant dish)
• Roasted sweet potatoes

(photo by Karen)

• Dark Callabaut Creams with Pavlova and Manitoba Strawberry sauce

Dessert Pairings

# D.D. Leobard Iced Strawberry Dessert Wine.... will compliment the berry.
# 4976 Schmitt and Sohne BeerenAuslese..... a close cousin to an icewine. Sweet, creamy and really fruity. A fair bit of honey on the mouth. Will go with anything.

Cheese course

• Bleu des Causses
• Brillat-Savarin
• Cave-aged Gruyere
• Trappist
• Fresh Dates and Green apple slices
• Baguettes

With the cheese plate, you must go with a port. Nothing else will do! I suggest two styles.... # 271585 Bin 27 LBV Port or # 801209 De Bortoli 8 YR. Tawny. The Bin 27, the more traditional, has got great flavour and style and will match the robust cheeses with a sweet nature. The Tawny will be more woody and the " burnt " nature will bring out the texture and flavour of the selections.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Gingerbread Biscotti

(photo by Karen)

Gingerbread Biscotti

2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp Frangelico (or try kirsch, or coffee liquors)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Mix butter sugar and molasses until smooth. Add one egg at a time and mix. Add vanilla and liquor and mix until smooth. Combine dry ingredients and mix slowly into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Turn out dough onto floured surface and form into a large log. Divide dough into three pieces and flatten out each piece into rectangles onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and cut into biscotti pieces. Turn cookies and bake for 5-7 minutes at 300ºF. When cooled, drizzle melted chocolate or make a simple icing of icing sugar and liquor.


King Salmon in Phyllo

(quick photo by Karen)

This gorgeous and beautifully marbled salmon filet seems to melt like butter. Normally, I do not buy farm-raised fish. This is an exception in many respects. This may become the first certified organic farm-raised fish. It is available now in January at Gimli Fish on Dufferin Ave. in Winnipeg. The quality of the fish lends itself to many preparations, including being sushi grade.

King Salmon in Phyllo with morel sauce (for 2)

2 King Salmon Filets
2-4 sheets phyllo
1-2 tbs melted butter
10 dried morels (reconstituted)
2-3 shallots, minced
drizzle olive oil
a few drops truffle oil (optional)
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté shallots in a pan on medium high heat with the olive oil and cook through until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the morels and stir until cooked through. Deglaze the pan with a bit of the white wine. Add the cream and cook until reduces. Add the remaining white wine and reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cool.

Place salmon piece on one or two phyllo sheets. Spoon half of the cooled morel mixture on top. Fold phyllo over the salmon into packets. Place on a baking sheet and brush with butter. Bake at 400ºF for about 15 minutes until brown. Baking time depends on the thickness of the fish.