Honest Cooking https://honestcooking.com Honest Cooking | Recipes | Wine | Beer | Cocktails | Culinary Travel | Chefs Fri, 06 Dec 2019 14:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.12 https://honestcooking.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-MercatoFabbricaHEN-32x32.png Honest Cooking https://honestcooking.com 32 32 Vista Encantada is perf for a D.I.Y. Healthy Girlfriend Getaway https://honestcooking.com/vista-encantada-is-perf-for-a-d-i-y-healthy-girlfriend-getaway/ https://honestcooking.com/vista-encantada-is-perf-for-a-d-i-y-healthy-girlfriend-getaway/#respond Fri, 06 Dec 2019 14:00:25 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184230 Vista Encantada Sky Pool If you and your girlfriends are looking to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate but are not looking forward to spending thousands of dollars for a full-scale spa retreat, I have the perfect answer. The brand new Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences, located a short flight away in Baja,…

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Vista Encantada Sky Pool

If you and your girlfriends are looking to relax, recharge, and rejuvenate but are not looking forward to spending thousands of dollars for a full-scale spa retreat, I have the perfect answer. The brand new Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences, located a short flight away in Baja, is just the spot for you to put together a fun-filled, girl-friend getaway with plenty of healthy options!

Overlooking older sister property, Hacienda Encantada Resort & Residences

Although Cabo San Lucas isn’t exactly hurting for luxe properties, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences, with its 37 stylish suites, ranging from 1-4 bedrooms, manages to stand out from the rest. Not only are their suites humongous (definitely spacious enough for a dry-land game of Marco Polo) every one of them overlooks the stunning, deep-blue Sea of Cortez. You get the best of both worlds when you stay here. While the resort is located in peaceful seclusion away from all the hustle bustle, there’s also a complimentary van that will whip you downtown in about 15 minutes, if you want to socialize, shop, or hop from one happy hour margarita bar to another.

Check out the view in the lobby

But perhaps the most distinguishing feature of Vista Encantada is its exceedingly gracious service, which starts at check-in when your personal butler runs up to greet you. I’m still suffering withdrawal pains from not having Guillermo Justo, my adorable butler, answer my every whim. After showing me around the resort and making sure everything was to my liking, he asked for my cell phone. He then plugged in his number and told me to call him day or night if I needed anything at all. He didn’t bat an eyelash when I told him I might call him at 2:00 am for a bedtime story if I couldn’t fall asleep, which due to the incredibly comfy beds was not a problem.

Inside Tip:

If you have any special dietary needs or favorite snacks and beverages, simply call ahead and they will be happy to pre-stock your refrigerator.

 

Super Spacious Suites

The contemporary suites are all bright and cheerful, decorated with hand-made Oaxacan rugs, local pottery and colorful Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera paintings.

Cheerful, happy decor.

My 2,300+ sq. ft. two-bedroom suite featured a Master bedroom with a King bed and a second bedroom with two Queen beds, with two and a half bathrooms (generously stocked with Bulgari amenities).

I had two bathrooms this size!

There’s also a fully equipped kitchen, a sitting and dining area, cable/satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, a mini-bar that’s stocked daily, espresso maker, and linen robes and slippers. I loved taking in the unobstructed view from my private balcony complete with a plunge pool at one end and a BBQ grill at the other-perfect for a romantic dinner for two or a gaggle of girlfriends ready to party.

The perfect party patio!

More Resort Highlights:

Perfect Sky Pool

Catching up on all the gossip.

You can easily spend the day at their breath-taking, rooftop infinity pool, which is long enough for some serious lap swimming, sided by two outdoor Jacuzzi pools. Unlike many other resorts, there are plenty of sun and shade choices, including comfy cushioned lounge chairs, nesty sun teepees, private cabanas, plus a welcome assortment of paperbacks and free sunscreen.

Plenty of spots for sunbathing.

Fabulous Rooftop Fitness Center

I swear I would join this at home, it was that good! It’s filled with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment (with a helpful instructor who is happy to show you how everything works) free weights, stretching aids.

Even the gym has great views.

But the best part is that the line-up of elliptical and treadmill cardio machines face floor-to-ceiling views of the sea.

 

Milagro Wellness Spa

Indoor spa pool.

Head here for some serious spa-spoiling. You’ll find five treatment rooms, a therapy pool where the overhead jets hit all the right sore spots, an immaculate sauna and steam room. The spa menu offers natural healing treatments based on four ancestral Mexican flowers: dahlia, cempasuchil (Mexican marigold), amaranth, sunflower.

These might be incorporated in one of their traditional treatments, such as their lava shell massage, tequila & salt exfoliation, or a calorie-free xocolatt (chocolate) body wrap. For the best anti-jetlag treatment book a session in the Temazcal, a pre-Hispanic steam bath with medicinal herbs.

Fresca juice bar.

Rehydrate at the Fresco Juice Bar & Natural Delights, for a freshly squeezed tropical juice best enjoyed on one of the relaxing swing chairs.

Inside Tip:

I opted for the Mayan Massage, which was a welcome fusion of traditional techniques, including delicious smells, cupping, smudging, rocking, and who knows what else. I was so profoundly; relaxed it was hard to tell. But I did remember to get you the name of my exceptional masseuse, Andrea!

 

Food, Glorious food!

While you can choose the European plan (room only-no meals) I’d strongly suggest you go for the unique Dine Out Privileges® Plan, their all-inclusive option that lets you choose from a myriad of dining options, from fine dining to let’s-just-grab-a-burger at the beach bar. Between all their properties, you have around 15 different dining choices in the all-inclusive dining plan, including both on-site resort dining options as well as a handful of downtown restaurants ranging from a Seafood & Oyster bar, Steakhouse and Sushi Bar.

The BBQ was just one of many foodie theme nights at the resorts.

After a day of sunbathing followed by a massage, I was too relaxed to leave the resort so happily ate at Vista Encantada or next door at Hacienda Encantada.

My Sunday church breakfast

I’d start my day with an ala carte brekkie at their signature restaurant, Mestizo del Mar. If I were feeling virtuous, I’d order the Healthy Breakfast and choose a seat facing the lovely new Chapel on the hill. Another morning I’d go for authentic Mexican, chowing down on a hearty pile of chicken chilaquiles with green chili sauce and a mimosa.

 Shrimp bisque presentation.

Chef Oscar Rodriguez Garcia prepared a special tasting dinner for us one night at Mestizo. It opened with the most exquisite shrimp bisque with cognac foam and crab ravioli, followed by an organic baby lettuce salad topped with grilled octopus and freshly caught Totoaba fish served with creamy lime risotto.

Time to make the ceviche.

The man has a golden touch when it comes to seafood, which is why we were excited to take his ceviche cooking class the following afternoon. It was super easy since the kitchen provided us with a mis-en-place of all the ingredients. All we had to do was mix them together.

Two ceviche recipes.

Chef Oscar taught us two different sea bass preparations, one with cucumber, red onion, cilantro, avocado, and lots of lime juice for a classic ceviche and then a fruity version where we added tomato, watermelon, and roasted pineapple.

Tequila tasting

A tasty and highly educational Tequila tasting class led by Christopher, the charming sommelier, followed this. He talked us through the tequila making process starting with the harvesting (did you know it takes between 5-12 years for the agave plants to grow to just the right ripeness?) all the way to the distillation process.

Once we had the background down, Christopher led us on a guided tasting, where we learned to appreciate the nuances of the various styles, contrasting the variety of colors, scents, consistency, and flavors.

The good stuff!!!

 

Inside Tip:

We ended with a taste of José Cuervo Reserva de La Familia, the world’s first extra-añejo tequila, made using only blue agave and aged in French and American oak barrels for a minimum of three years, which sells for about $150.

Scallop toast at Los Ricos

For our final dinner, we popped over to the Hacienda’s Los Riscos Mesquite Grill, for a lovely al fresco, wine-pairing dinner. I knew we were in for a treat after our gorgeous starter arrived, scallop toast with avocado mousse paired with Villa Sandi Prosecco. I was surprised by the quality of the Mexican wines that Christopher had selected for us, particularly the 2013 Tierra Adentro Merlot that paired beautifully with both the steak and duck breast.

 

“Off-campus” Activities:

If (and that’s a big “IF”) you can manage to tear yourself away from the resort, there’s a loooong list of activities for you to choose from. Simply give a shout-out to the concierge who will be more than happy to make arrangements.

Although I only left “home” once, for a private cruise around the Bay, next time I visit I want to try the Parasailing Adventure for a unique birds-eye view of the Bay, followed by the Jazz and Wine sunset cruise. Or for a really memorable adventure, I’d think it would be a blast to sign up to be a professional dolphin trainer for a day!

Hang with the dolphins.

For more info and reservations contact Vista Encantada Resort.

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Holiday Essentials: Three Questions for Chef Nick Stellino https://honestcooking.com/holiday-essentials-three-questions-for-chef-nick-stellino/ https://honestcooking.com/holiday-essentials-three-questions-for-chef-nick-stellino/#respond Fri, 06 Dec 2019 03:31:29 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184389 Now that the holidays are here in full force, it’s time for some quick tips for the culinary crowd who’ll be spending some quality time in the kitchen. To enjoy the preparation and festivities sans stress, we reached out to Chef Nick Stellino for some insights. As a celebrated author of 12 cookbooks and multiple…

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Now that the holidays are here in full force, it’s time for some quick tips for the culinary crowd who’ll be spending some quality time in the kitchen. To enjoy the preparation and festivities sans stress, we reached out to Chef Nick Stellino for some insights. As a celebrated author of 12 cookbooks and multiple cooking shows, this Emmy-nominated Italian-American chef knows how to handle big events with ease.

1) What are a few essential spices, flavors, or ingredients that you think are the ideal additions to holiday meals?
In terms of herbs and spices, I opt for sage, rosemary, bay leaves, cinnamon, brown sugar, and Rye…. Rye whiskey!

2) What favorite, simple recipe of yours is good for large groups?
I have a great recipe for yams. I peel them, cut off the end of each potato, and then cut them in 2 rounds about 2-3 inches each. I flavor them with my Magic rub (recipe below!), then I brown the top and the bottom of each potato round in a mixture of oil and butter over medium-high heat. I use a cast iron skillet for that. My favorite is N. 10.5 from Marquette castings. Next, I add to the pan 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions and 3/4 cup of chicken stock and roast it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. When I take them out, I let them rest for 5 minutes before I serve them.

Nick’s Magic Rub
Ingredients
1 tablespoon C&H Golden Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder

Method: Use this spice rub to flavor your favorite grilled chicken, beef, fish, and pork dishes. Add the ingredients to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container for later use. The rub will stay fresh for about one week.

3) We’d love to hear about one of your favorite holiday meals, and what made it so special. Rolled Turkey breast smoked in applewood, but food is secondary. A pizza can be Thanksgiving—the family getting together, that’s the real deal!

Find more recipes and info on Chef Nick at https://www.nickstellino.com/.

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Inexpensive Self Care Ideas (Like Chocolate!) for the Holiday Season https://honestcooking.com/inexpensive-self-care-ideas-like-chocolate-for-the-holiday-season/ https://honestcooking.com/inexpensive-self-care-ideas-like-chocolate-for-the-holiday-season/#respond Fri, 06 Dec 2019 03:12:57 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184382 Partner Post: This post is sponsored by Lamontagne Chocolate. Special treats and self care doesn’t have to mean expensive days at the spa. Instead, try chocolate, and these other ideas. Whenever I think of self care, visions of spa days and luxurious baths run through my mind. While these all sound enjoyable, they’re not exactly…

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Partner Post: This post is sponsored by Lamontagne Chocolate.
Special treats and self care doesn’t have to mean expensive days at the spa. Instead, try chocolate, and these other ideas.

Whenever I think of self care, visions of spa days and luxurious baths run through my mind. While these all sound enjoyable, they’re not exactly practical (I haven’t taken a bath in years) or budget-friendly. This time of year can get particularly hectic with all of the to-dos and events, so I thought I’d give some ideas on ways to practice self-care that don’t cost a ton of money!

START A NEW BOOK
Disconnect from your phone and curl up with an actual book this holiday season. I have found that even just 15 minutes of reading at night before bed has been a great way for me to unwind, which is especially important for me during busy times of the year – like the holidays! In particular, I take advantage of the Libby app, which allows me to check out books on my Kindle like I would check out a library book – for free!

TAKE A YOGA CLASS
I don’t belong to a yoga studio because of scheduling conflicts and the cost. A more feasible option for me is the YMCA, which has great workout facilities AND childcare. However, I crave yoga during high-stress/busy times, and buying a 5-class pack for around $80-100 is totally worth it to me. This way I will get in one class per week for the month, of total yoga bliss.

SAVOR SOME CHOCOLATE
When is the last time you say down and just enjoyed a good piece of chocolate? I love sitting down at the end of the day with a little treat, but I usually do so while multitasking. Whether it’s laundry, working, or watching the latest episode of This Is Us, I rarely just sit and savor the chocolate, undistracted.

A recent favorite of mine is Lamontagne Chocolate, a family-owned Canadian chocolate company, that makes high-quality chocolates in small batches in delicious flavors like Maple Creme Bites, Chocolate Covered Pistachios, and Cafe Latte Almonds! Eating Lamontagne Chocolate is a great way to hit the pause button and take a moment to savor a great piece of chocolate.

Be sure to check out Lamontagne Chocolate on Facebook and Instagram and you can purchase it on Amazon! Use my code 10offTaylor for 10% off!

GO FOR A CHILLY SNOWY WALK
This might not sound appealing at first, but after bundling up and feeling the brisk air on your cheeks, I promise you’ll feel better afterwards. During the cooler months, walks are always invigorating to me, and I tend to focus more on my surroundings and thoughts than I do when it’s warmer. Perhaps because there isn’t as much activity on the trails and sidewalks as there is during the spring, summer, and fall, but I am always able to process more feelings on a brisk walk.

EAT WELL
The holiday season is a time where there are parties, potlucks, and cookies everywhere. I’m 100% on board with enjoying yourself and not being restrictive during this time. Food should be celebrated! However, I always feel better when I am making better food decisions the rest of the time. Moderation is such a huge part of a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle, and some wine, a delicious dinner, and dessert should be enjoyed to the fullest and perhaps balanced out with a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day!

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The Perfect Chicken Recipe For Christmas By Super Chef Georges Blanc https://honestcooking.com/the-perfect-chicken-recipe-for-christmas-by-super-chef-georges-blanc/ https://honestcooking.com/the-perfect-chicken-recipe-for-christmas-by-super-chef-georges-blanc/#respond Tue, 03 Dec 2019 14:00:23 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=183948 Poulet de Bresse A La Creme … the perfect Chicken Recipe for Christmas to woo and wow your guests without breaking a sweat RECIPES with Chefs Collective : Georges Blanc’s Famous 3-Michelin Star Chicken Bresse Recipe With Vonnas Crêpes   A classic using the finest and most expensive chicken you can find in Europe Georges…

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Poulet de Bresse A La Creme … the perfect Chicken Recipe for Christmas to woo and wow your guests without breaking a sweat

RECIPES with Chefs Collective :

Georges Blanc’s Famous 3-Michelin Star Chicken Bresse Recipe With Vonnas Crêpes

 

A classic using the finest and most expensive chicken you can find in Europe

Georges Blanc, a 3-Michelin star chef ( for 40 years), shares his recipes which was given to him by his grandmother who ignited his passion in the kitchen.

This recipes combines cream, bresse chicken and light ‘Vonnas’ crepes which are special and unique to Georges’ legacy. Michelle Tchea’s Chefs Collective jumped into the kitchen with this award-winning Chef who is working on publishing YET another book!

For the full Georges Blanc experience, visit Vonnas and walk, enjoy, immerse yourself in one of the few remaining ‘traditional’ gourmet chefs 

Bresse Chicken In Creamy Sauce With Vonnas Crêpes

1x 4 pound/1,8 kg chicken (Bresse chicken was used in the original recipe), cut into pieces 4 cups/1 liter of fresh cream scant ½ cup/100 g sweet butter 10 button mushrooms 4 garlic cloves 2 onions scant 1 cup/200 ml dry white wine juice of ½ lemon White wine salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: about 45 minutes. Serves 4

Peel and quarter the onion. Trim the stems and wash the mushrooms. Dry them then quarter them. Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan or skillet over high heat. Place the chicken pieces and the thigh, check in the pan and season them with salt and pepper.

Add the onion, mushrooms, and garlic.

Pour in the white wine and stir well, scraping up all of the caramelized sediment on the base of the pan. Add the fresh cream and dimmer gently for 20-25 minutes.

Bake wings (still on the chest) in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C. Season, add butter and peanut oil. When it’s cooked, take off wings and them in the creamy mix. Transfer the chicken pieces to a warmed deep serving platter. Cover with a piece of aluminium foil and keep warm.

Strain the sauce into a pan through a fine strainer. Add a dash of lemon juice, adjust the seasoning, and bring to a boil.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with Vonnas crêpes or buttered rice.

 

VONNAS CREPES

Serves 6

2,5 cups/500 g sweet butter 1,25 pounds/ 500 g mealy potatoes 1,25 cup/50 ml milk 3 tablespoons flour 3 eggs 4 egg whites 2-3 tablespoons thin fresh cream Salt
Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: about 25 minutes

First, clarify the butter. Cut the butter into small pieces and put it in the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pa of barely simmering water. Gradually melt the butter without stirring. The milky solids will fall to the bottom and any impurities will rise to the top. When it has melted, remove the butter from the heat. Carefully skim off the light-colored foam floating on the surface. Spoon off the clarified butter, leaving the milky solids behind. Set aside.

Peel the potatoes. Cook them in boiling lightly salted water for 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain, then pass through a food mill or potato ricer. Beat in the milk to make a smooth purée. Let cool.

Sift the flour, then mix it into the cooled potato purée. Beat in the whole eggs, 1 at a time, making sure each egg is thoroughly incorporated before adding the next. Add the egg whites and mix well. Stir in the fresh cream, 1 spoonful at a time, until the batter has the consistency of light cream. Do not over thin the batter. Melt 4 tablespoons of the clarified butter in a large skillet over high heat. Pour tablespoonfuls of the batter into the hot butter: they should form neat rounds by themselves. Depending on the size of the skillet, cook 4-6 crêpes at a time. They cook very quickly: as soon as one side is golden, turn the crêpe over and cook the other side.

As the crêpes are cooked, transfer to paper towels to drain. Arrange them on a warm serving platter and keep warm until you are ready to serve.

 

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Valais – Switzerland’s Ultimate Play Ground: Christmas Getaway in Europe https://honestcooking.com/valais-switzerlands-ultimate-play-ground-christmas-getaway-in-europe/ https://honestcooking.com/valais-switzerlands-ultimate-play-ground-christmas-getaway-in-europe/#respond Sat, 30 Nov 2019 14:00:22 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184018 The region of Valais ( Wallis in German) is home to some of the most dramatic backdrops found in glitzy travel magazines and instagram. Everything you see promoting Switzerland most likely comes from the region of Valais – mountains, glaciers, train rides and bumper crops of wine. Image of Wine Trail Valais Tourism   Found…

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The region of Valais ( Wallis in German) is home to some of the most dramatic backdrops found in glitzy travel magazines and instagram. Everything you see promoting Switzerland most likely comes from the region of Valais – mountains, glaciers, train rides and bumper crops of wine.

Image result for valais tourism images wineImage of Wine Trail Valais Tourism

 

Found in southern Switzerland, the Matterhorn, high-end ski-resorts catering to international guests, as well as famous winter train rides take you in and out of the Swiss Alps can easily be found in a regular guidebook. But what do locals do when in Valais?

Gastronomy and nature play a big role in Valais. The region is the largest wine-making region in Switzerland with more than 5000 hectares of vineyards, thanks to its sunny location which in some towns like Sierre, have more than 300 days of sun a year.

For an Experts Guide to Do’s and Donts to eating fonduecheck this out!

If you are looking for the perfect food and wine weekend in Valais – Michelle Tchea’s Chefs Collective takes you on a lesser known itinerary with design-focused hotels, excellent wine routes and of course traditional food stops to tick off all the great things to do in Valais, Switzerland.  Here are top reasons to visit Valais and yes, it involves loosening your pant buckle and indulging in all that Mother Nature has to offer.

Image result for crans montana

Image from Valais Tourism

 

CRANS-MONTANA – Instagrammable Moments and Cheese…Lots Of It

Leave Zermatt and Verbier to the international guests who just want to splash out on fancy resorts with little culture. Crans-Montana is one of the better ski-resorts to visit. Not only is it a year-round region with excellent fall-viewing of the mountains and Swiss Alps but it is also offers excellent skiing. For design-focused travellers and foodies, Chetzeron Hotel offers everything you look for in a not-so-typical Alpine experience.

Chetzeron is located 2112m above sea level and is a great base to explore the Alps. Starting out as a restaurant, the hotel is one for the architecture-geeks in all of us, as well as self-professed foodies with a young, vibrant Chef Lucia from Argentina leading the way.

The menu varies depending on the season with excellent local vegetables from Valais region, fruits and homemade items for both breakfast, lunch and dinner. Excellent views of Crans-Montana from the restaurant, bathroom and if you are lucky one of the suites.

Image result for chetzeron hotel

For something more local, Restaurant Le Mayen is in the heart of Crans-Montana but caters to locals with excellent cheese dishes. Typical offerings like raclette, fondue and rosti are on offer but are done very well here. The dessert is a must – go for the home-made tart but you really will not be disappointed in this friendly and delicious restaurant.

If you want to stock up on local cheese and wine. Your best stops will be at Le Laiterie Le Terroir and ask for Lucy or Stephan for their trusted cheese recommendations, as well as wine shop Le Tirbouchon, which offers wine tastings.

Image result for Restaurant Le Mayen

Restaurant La Mayen – Delicious

 

MOTHER NATURE – Work Off Those Cheese-Calories

Valais will leave your buckling at your knees if you do it correctly.

The cheese from the region is one of the best in Switzerland with excellent pastures for the cows to roam freely. So if you want to avoid gaining too much weight in Valais, be sure to take in all that Mother Nature has to offer.

The Marathon of Flavours is one of the events to get into if you happen to be in Valais in October. Launched this year, the event takes you on a 23km walk/run/crawl to some of the best wineries in the Valais region. Eat, drink and enjoy a small stretch of Valais with cured meats, pate, strudel and wine of course! A excellent day to meet locals, new friends and also sample some great Swiss wine like Pinot Noir and of course, Fendant. Michelle Tchea’s Chefs Collective recommends the Humagne Rouge but you can not go wrong in a region where most wines are made in small batches by hard-working wine producers.

The Valais Wine Pass is a good option if you miss out on the Marathon of Flavours ( Oct 17th, 2020)

Image result for valais wine valais tourism

Autumn in Vallis – Image from Tourism Board of Valais

 

Go Outside The Guidebook – Strolls And Hikes

Alsace in France may be known for its small and cute fairy tale cities but to do something out of the touristy-guidebook, visit some of the cute towns in Valais.

At the top of the list is Evolene, Nax and St. Martin. Evolene is one of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland with its old timber houses but one of the reasons to visit is for excellent Fondue. Restaurant La Paix – Le Grange  is where locals go for fondue and friendly service. During the winter sit next to the open fire, chat with locals and enjoy a special fondue experience out of a huge bread bowl. Top tip – get the morel fondue – it is worth the journey.

Image result for Restaurant La Paix - Le Grange

Image of the very special cheese fondue in Evolene (Cred. Valais Tourism)

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Pair Primitivo with these Holiday Dishes https://honestcooking.com/pair-primitivo-with-these-holiday-dishes/ https://honestcooking.com/pair-primitivo-with-these-holiday-dishes/#comments Thu, 28 Nov 2019 15:00:00 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184069 Time to start making a dish list for that holiday menu! Whether for a potluck feast with friends, or a massive cookout in your own kitchen, pairings are essential to the success of any holiday meal! As the saying goes, "Food without wine is a corpse. Wine without food is a ghost."

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Time to start making a dish list for that holiday menu! Whether for a potluck feast with friends, or a massive cookout in your own kitchen, pairings are essential to the success of any holiday meal! As the saying goes, “Food without wine is a corpse. Wine without food is a ghost.”


2017 Double Gold Award, Reena Retuta

Primrose is an award winning primitivo, lovingly cultivated in Sonoma, CA, by Nicholas Curry – a Bay Are bred, scuba diving father to a two year old son. What started as merely helping out a friend reinvigorate his overgrown, untended vineyard has turned into an annual organic bountiful harvest.

Primitivo is a perfectly balanced red wine – medium bodied, low in tannins, juicy berries on the palate, great to pair with hearty fall dishes. It is easy to drink by itself, but what’s the fun in that? Here are suggestions to pair with across the menu:

Appetizer:


2015 and 2016 Primitivo, Reena Retuta

With an array of cheeses and charcuterie, this pairing is sure to ease your tastebuds straight into the main course!

Main:


2015 and 2016 Primitivo, Reena Retuta

Whether you go for turkey breast, dark meat, its perfectly crisp skin, or even the ham, pairing primitivo will gently cut through the succulent savoriness, making each bite like it’s the first bite every time.

Dessert:


2015 and 2016 Primitivo, Reena Retuta

As you can imagine, pumpkin flavored everything tends to be overwhelming when fall finally comes around, so if you want to stick to a classic double chocolate fudge cake instead, go for it! With juicy berries on the palate, this primitivo is the perfect pairing for a rich treat to go down in delight.

2015 Primitivo Solano Valley AVA Retail: $48.00
2016 Primitivo Solano County Green Valley AVA Retail: $39.00

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A Festive Chocolate and Cheese Board https://honestcooking.com/a-festive-chocolate-and-cheese-board/ https://honestcooking.com/a-festive-chocolate-and-cheese-board/#respond Tue, 26 Nov 2019 15:43:38 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184346 Create an easy, stunning and fun chocolate and cheese board for all of your holiday guests during this busy time of the year.

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Partner Post: This post is sponsored by Lamontagne Chocolate.
Create an easy, stunning and fun chocolate and cheese board for all of your holiday guests during this busy time of the year.

I absolutely love this time of year. The cold weather outside seems to make it even cozier inside.

The months between October and January are a time for pulling out old family recipes and traditions, entertaining loved ones, making the home a warm and welcoming space, hosting get-togethers, sharing with people, and creating lasting memories.

For some, this can be a daunting season, but with a few tricks up your sleeve, you can host fabulous, relaxing get-togethers, dinner parties, brunches. One of my tried and true tricks is to have boards full of treats and nibbles on display. These boards can serve as both appetizer and dessert, and make the most beautiful centerpiece. As much as I love baking, not worrying about dessert is a huge relief and takes so much of the pressure off the host. Have a serve-it-yourself bar with beverages of your choice set up nearby and encourage your guests to help themselves.

Before you know it, everyone will be mingling, sipping, nibbling and looking forward to the next invitation!

First, and most importantly, the chocolate. Lamontagne Chocolate has a wide array of flavors that make it easy to create a dessert board everyone will love. For this board I chose the flavors (and colors — you know me) that I felt most represented Thanksgiving since it is right around the corner: Sea Salt Pistachio, Pumpkin Spice Almonds (how festive!), Cranberry Dark Chocolate, Caffe Latte Almonds, and Maple Creams.

When arranging my boards, I choose a nice big cutting board or tray, and I set whatever I want the main focus to be down first. In this case, Lamontagne chocolates. I chose to place some in antique French dishes and to leave some loose around the edges. Then I placed the cheeses. For a dessert themed board I like to use very mild cheeses, so I chose a mild French brie, a creamy goat, and a mild Cremont. Then I fill in with big clusters of fruits, meats (not on this board), crackers, and nuts. I like keeping things in clusters as opposed to mixing it all up because I think it is just far more pleasing to the eye. I like to really fill in all the gaps and make it look abundant and inviting.

With this festive, modern-day cornucopia, you and your guests will feel relaxed and totally indulged. There is nothing like good food to bring people together, and you can’t go wrong with Lamontagne Chocolate. They are a family-owned Canadian chocolate company that has been making chocolate delicacies in small batches for the past 40 years, they make high-quality items that are Kosher, gluten-free, and peanut-free. From chocolate bars to chocolate-covered nuts and foods, they have something for every occasion.

Lamontagne Chocolate is available for purchase via Amazon between the months of October and April. Use my code 10offAnita for 10% off your order!

Products are sold at an accessible price, with the “Grab & Go” packs – perfect for an any time of the day chocolate pick-me-up – sold in a case of 12 for around $24.

Be sure to check out Lamontagne Chocolate on Facebook and Instagram

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Where to Dine on Thanksgiving Day 2019 https://honestcooking.com/where-to-dine-on-thanksgiving-day-2019/ https://honestcooking.com/where-to-dine-on-thanksgiving-day-2019/#respond Tue, 26 Nov 2019 14:00:51 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184298 If you’re away from home on Thanksgiving Day or simply want to step away from the kitchen, these restaurants are open for us all. Enjoy the best meal of the year with no clean up by booking a reservation at one of these top restaurants. Regardless if you’re in the big apple or tropical Puerto…

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If you’re away from home on Thanksgiving Day or simply want to step away from the kitchen, these restaurants are open for us all.

Enjoy the best meal of the year with no clean up by booking a reservation at one of these top restaurants. Regardless if you’re in the big apple or tropical Puerto Rico!

Each restaurant features traditional favorites like a classic roast turkey and green bean casserole. Or new adaptions of standard holiday treats like chicharron and dark chocolate pumpkin soup. Pro tip book your reservation in advance, as you certainly won’t be the only one in the city who has the idea to eat out for the holiday.

Thanksgiving Day – Dining in NYC and other States

Thanksgiving Dinner at Bluebird London NYC

Image Courtesy Bluebird London NYC
Image Courtesy Bluebird London NYC

Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with unmatched views of Columbus Circle and Central Park at Bluebird London NYC. Offering a pre-fixe menu for $95 per person, dinner tarts at 2:00pm – 8:00pm. On Thanksgiving Day enjoy fresh takes on classics. Whilst enjoying the backdrop of the changing leaves in Central Park. The menu includes Brussel Sprout Salad, Branzino and Turkey. Alongside traditional sides and a chef’s selection of mini pies such as mini sticky toffee for dessert.

Thanksgiving with a view at queensyard/NYC

Queenyard, Bluebird’s sister restaurant, will be open on all day on Thanksgiving. Offering a pre-fixe menu for $125 per person. Enjoy a selection of dishes from queensyard’s dinner which includes Salmagundi. Made with salt baked beetroot, confit lemon, chicken, horseradish & buttermilk dressing. Alongside traditional dishes like oven baked turkey and a modern take on mac and cheese. Sweets bites includes an assortment of pies such as apple pie and bourbon bon bon. 

Festive Creations at Nomad Las Vegas/Las Vegas

NoMad's Roast Turkey paired with creamy parsnip creamy parsnip ecrasse, delicata squash, chestnut stuffing and a rich black truffle gravy
Image Courtesy – Nomad

Enjoy an effortless Thanksgiving dinner at NoMad Restaurant and NoMad Bar in Las Vegas. Opened from 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the NoMad culinary team will translate its creative upscale American cuisine into a Thanksgiving feast featuring the holiday’s favorite dishes. Festive creations include; Roast Turkey, Pomme Purée, Brussels Sprouts( roasted with bacon lardons and parmesan). Alongside Honeynut Squash, Cranberry Sauce and a variety of tarts.

Traditional Dinner at Harold’s/ NYC

Image Courtesy - Harold's
Image Courtesy – Harold’s

Indulge in a classically decadent Thanksgiving at Harold’s in the Arlo SoHo hotel. Harold’s is a neighborhood spot that offers breakfast lunch and dinner seven days a week. Harold’s will be offering a family-style pre-fixe menu for $65 a person from 12pm-10pm on Thanksgiving Day. The menu features holiday Anitpasti for the appetizers.

Whereas the main course has many options. Choices include Roasted Turkey, Italian Sausage and Ham Steak. Alongside sides like green bean casserole. sweet potato and more . Additionally desserts features pumpkin pie, pecan pee,cheesecake and apple cobbler.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Dante/NYC

Spend Thanksgiving at Dante – the Greenwich Village icon that was most recently voted ‘World’s Best Bar” by World’s 50 Best Bars. The $90 pre-fixe Thanksgiving menu features dishes such as Roasted squash and sweet potato with cinnamon creme fraiche, Lioni Burrata with roasted beets, fennel pollen, sorrel and rye and, of course, an Oven roasted organic turkey breast with armagnac gravy and cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving Feast at Gitano/ NYC

Image Courtesy Gitano
Image Courtesy Gitano

Transport yourself to Tulum and join the family at GITANO Jungle Room for a Thanksgiving Feast. GITANO Jungle Room is offering a fusion of Mexican classics like guacamole and duck al pastor. Expertly paired with Thanksgiving flavors such as mashed potatoes, corn, and pumpkin for a modern take on the traditional feast.

Thanksgiving Dinner at Lumaca / NYC

Spend this Thanksgiving at Lumaca in the HGU New York – for $65, guests can indulge in a classic Thanksgiving pre-fixe menu with any pasta or salad from the Lumaca dinner menu, an Organic Free-Range Turkey. In addition to sides like brussels sprouts and yams. Finish the meal off with an Italian touch – a Pumpkin Panna Cotta.

Thanksgiving Brunch at The Mark with Jean-Georges / NYC

The Mark Hotel - Thanksgiving Sandwich Close Up - Angela Pham
Image Couresy – The Mark Hotel – Thanksgiving Sandwich Close Up – Angela Pham

Escape the chaos of Black Friday and brunch at The Mark. The Mark invites you to keep the spirit of the holiday alive at our The Day-After Thanksgiving Brunch. Indulge in our Michelin-Star Chef Jean Georges Vongericthen’s delicious, “The Mark’s Thanksgiving Sandwich” made with Organic Turkey, Pickles, Tomato, and Cranberry, served with a side of crunchy French Fries. You will be thankful!

Thanksgiving Day – International Dining

Sand, Surf and Dim Sum at W Punta de Mita / Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Thanksgiving Day W Punta DeMita
Image Courtesy – wpuntademita

This Thanksgiving the resort is hosting a four-day culinary festival called ’A Taste of Autumn.’ After a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, live cooking demos, sunset meditations, and ceviche-making classes. The weekend will conclude with Farewell Dim Sum Brunch at the resort’s Jean Georges restaurant, Spice Market. Inspired by an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, the Sunday brunch on Dec. 1 will feature menu highlights like bao buns, grilled satay, dumplings, and inventive rice bowls. Plus a DJ spinning afternoon beats and an outdoor beachfront terrace where guests can dine with their toes in the sand.

Brunch Like A Local at Caribe Hilton / San Juan, Puerto Rico 

The resort’s Thanksgiving Day Brunch on Nov. 28th will feature flavorful local staples such as chayote & jicama salad, arroz con gandules, Longaniza stuffing, and seared red snapper filet.

Southern Style Thanksgiving Brunch at Barnsley Resort/ Georgia

Image courtesy Barnsley Resort

Barnsley Resort is serving a Southern-style Thanksgiving brunch buffet.  Highlights from the menu include Cracked Pepper Buttermilk Biscuits, Harvest Green Salad, Fall Salad with roasted butternut squash. Alongside  a bountiful seafood display and an impressive spread of mains. For instance Carved Pear-Thyme Brined Roasted Turkey, Prime Rib and Vegan Turkey Fricassee. 

However delicious the mains sounds, the sides are not to be missed. For example options includes Sorghum Glazed Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Garlic Green Bean Casserole, and Tillamook Baked Mac & Cheese. Certainly with such a lively menu, it might to hard to save room for the tempting desserts. However it’s not impossible when Bourbon Caramel Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Mousse Parfait are offered. Thanksgiving brunch is available on November 28th, from 11:30am-4pm – $72/adult, $26/child ages 6-11. Complimentary for children under five.

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Cloudy Bay Holiday Wine and Murray Cheese Autumnal Pairings https://honestcooking.com/cloudy-bay-holiday-wine-and-murray-cheese-autumnal-pairings/ https://honestcooking.com/cloudy-bay-holiday-wine-and-murray-cheese-autumnal-pairings/#respond Mon, 25 Nov 2019 14:00:22 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184161 Whether it’s friends-giving or Thanksgiving start Turkey festivities with Murray Cheese and Cloudy Bay wine pairing tips. While it’s difficult to imagine not enjoying a sip of wine with a hunk of your favorite cheese, certain combinations will particularly titillate your tongue and make your soul sing. Like these Murray Cheese and Cloud Bay pairings!…

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Whether it’s friends-giving or Thanksgiving start Turkey festivities with Murray Cheese and Cloudy Bay wine pairing tips.

While it’s difficult to imagine not enjoying a sip of wine with a hunk of your favorite cheese, certain combinations will particularly titillate your tongue and make your soul sing. Like these Murray Cheese and Cloud Bay pairings!

According to Murray Cheese connoisseurs these select wines pair beautifully with their autumnal cheeses. Its’s important to note pairing wine with cheese follows the same principles as other food pairings. As they should either complement or contrast. It’s a harmonious holiday pairing your guests will love! 

Cloudy Bay Wine and Murray Cheese Pairing Tips

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018 and 2019 – paired with Montealva

“The Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc is a great resonance pairing with Montealva. Both and wine and the cheese have bright citrus and floral notes. The goats milk and the Sauvignon Blanc came together and created a tropical burst.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinot Noir 2016 – paired with Landaff Cheddar

Photo Courtesy Murray Cheese – Landaff Cheese

“The 2016 Pinot Noir paired with Landaff is a classic ‘nutty and fruity’ pairing. The deep cherry notes of the wine pair really wonderfully with the brown butter nuttiness of the cheese.”

 

Te Wahi 2015 – paired with Weinkase Lagrein

Image courtesy Cloudy Bay

“We paired the Te Wahi 2015 with one of our favorite cheeses Weinkase Lagrein to play off a classic deep red with meat pairing. The dark berry notes of the wine compliment this cheeses salami characteristics and come together to create a meal in a bite.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Te Koko 2015 – paired with Brebirousse d’Argental

Image Courtesy Murray Cheese – Brebirousse D’Argental

“Brebirousse D’Argental and Te Koko 2015 are the perfect balance of flavors together. The lemony acidity of the wine does a beautiful job of cutting through the super-rich buttery fat of these sheep’s milk beauty.”

More on Cloud Bay Wines

Did you know that Cloud Bay wines help put New Zealand on the world wine making map, I did not! Over the past two decades, New Zealand has demonstrated that its winemaking ability extends well beyond excellent Sauvignon Blanc.  Pinot Noir has found an ideal climate here, as have Riesling and Chardonnay. Cloudy Bay produces all varieties but Sauvignon blanc is the estate’s flagship grape variety. Expressive, refined and fruity, Cloudy Bay wines embody the spirit of the region.

 

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A Classic Thanksgiving Menu Paired with the Right Wines https://honestcooking.com/a-classic-thanksgiving-menu-paired-with-the-right-wines/ https://honestcooking.com/a-classic-thanksgiving-menu-paired-with-the-right-wines/#respond Sat, 23 Nov 2019 14:00:20 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184276 The Classic Thanksgiving menu; includes old-time favorites like turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, and pie. Each dish takes preparation, each dish is valuable. Moreover you won’t want to ruin the menu by pairing with the wrong drink. Here’s where Certified Sommelier Courtney Schiessl comes in! Working at some of New York’s top restaurants, including Marta, Dirty French,…

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The Classic Thanksgiving menu; includes old-time favorites like turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, and pie. Each dish takes preparation, each dish is valuable. Moreover you won’t want to ruin the menu by pairing with the wrong drink.

Here’s where Certified Sommelier Courtney Schiessl comes in! Working at some of New York’s top restaurants, including Marta, Dirty French, and Terroir. Courtney Schiessl has extensive experience in beer, spirits but specializes in wine. Below she shares her wine recommendation pairings for the Classic Thanksgiving Menu.

Recommended Classic Thanksgiving Menu and Wine Pairings

Turkey and Cranberry Sauce with 2018 Division ‘Cru’ Gamay Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

classicthanksgivingmenu_pairing1
2018 Division ‘Cru’ Gamay Noir, Willamet

Try this Vanilla Cardamom Cranberry Sauce by Natasha Steinberg.

“The best thing about turkey is that it’s a bit of a blank canvas for wine pairing. Since it has a relatively mild flavor, almost anything goes with it! I like to go for a light or medium-bodied red wine that almost mimics the flavors of cranberry sauce. For instance this Oregon Gamay from Division Winemaking Co. It’s juicy, fresh, and a little earthy and has raspberry and cranberry notes to it. I also love it because it’s made with the same grape as the Thanksgiving classic, Beaujolais, but with an artisanal American twist!”

 Stuffing with Gravy with 2017 Two Paddocks Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand

classicthanksgivingmenu_pairing2
2017 Two Paddocks Pinot Noir, Central Otago, New Zealand

Try this Chorizo and Plaintain Cornbread Stuffing recipe by Claudine Karasik.

“Super savory and slightly herbal, stuffing with gravy needs a wine with plenty of juicy fruit to add some dimension. This New Zealand Pinot Noir does just that! Adding sunny, ripe red cherry fruit to the mix alongside notes of freshly cut grass, sea salt, and rocky earth.”

Mashed Potatoes with NV Nyetimber ‘Classic Cuvée,’ England

classicthanksgivingmenu_pairing3
MV Nyetimber ‘Classic Cuvée,’ England

Try this Tuscan Herbed Mashed Potato recipe by Kalle Bergman

“I’m a sucker for buttery, creamy, delicious mashed potatoes! But it’s important to balance out all of that richness with something bright and delicious. For instance this English sparkling wine (yes, England makes delicious sparkling wine!) from Nyetimber is perfect. It has enough body and texture to withstand the decadent mashed potatoes. But also has frothy bubbles and citrus-like acidity to refresh your palate between bites. PS: If you don’t want to go through the hassle of pairing different wines with specific Thanksgiving dishes. This Nyetimber sparkling will pair with everything and anything.  It’s so tasty that you will gladly sip it all day long.”

Green Bean Casserole with 2018 Donnafugata ‘SurSur’ Grillo, Sicilia IGT

classicthanksgivingmenu_pairing4
2018 Donnafugata ‘SurSur’ Grillo, Sicilia IGT

Try this Green Bean Casserole recipe by Taylor Kadlec

“Green bean casserole (or any other vegetable casserole, for that matter) is a study in contrasts. Made with fresh green veggies with rich, savory cream of mushroom soup! This Grillo, a local Sicilian grape variety, is clean and citrus-driven. It has plenty of green notes like fresh herbs and lime zest to match bright vegetable flavors. Furthermore the snappy acidity and a hint of sea salt will brighten up any rich textures or savory flavors, too.”

Apple Pie with Dow’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Porto, Portugal

classicthanksgivingmenu_pairing5
Dow’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port, Porto, Portugal

Try this Classic Apple Pie by Camille Becerra

“Is there anything more classically American than apple pie? Juicy apples, sweet spices, and buttery crust conjure up the ultimate Thanksgiving nostalgia. This relatively youthful tawny Port combines subtle berry fruit with comforting undertones . Including caramel, toasted nuts, and cinnamon. It’s sweet enough to stand up to the pie (pro tip: when pairing desserts, always pick a wine that is sweeter than the food). Yet won’t overwhelm this fruit-driven dessert with richness.”

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Fall into Fall With Cape Mentelle Wines https://honestcooking.com/fall-into-fall-with-cape-mentelle-wines/ https://honestcooking.com/fall-into-fall-with-cape-mentelle-wines/#respond Sat, 23 Nov 2019 01:32:10 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184183 Fall brings out the richness in everything around you. You may think you don’t want to surrender the lazy days on the beach, cook-outs, and biting into a juicy piece of watermelon, all of which speak Summer. But something is refreshing about the chill in the air, the warm and cozy feeling you get of…

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Fall brings out the richness in everything around you. You may think you don’t want to surrender the lazy days on the beach, cook-outs, and biting into a juicy piece of watermelon, all of which speak Summer. But something is refreshing about the chill in the air, the warm and cozy feeling you get of being inside by a fire that allows you to slowly break-up with Summer. The hearty, sumptuous meals made with sprigs of Thyme and Rosemary and sipping a deep crimson-colored Cape Mentelle’s wine can edge you into Fall with the greatest of ease.

Cape Mentelle’s Vineyards have been utilizing the richness of ironstone gravel soils found in the Margaret River Region in Western Australia for close to 50 years. The warm and sunny climate of the Region allowed the grapes to ripen in a drier setting while the Indian and Southern ocean breezes kept the vines cool against the Australian sun. What transpired were wines that are diverse and classic, complex, and intense and all filled with exceptional character and uniqueness.

For a complete selection and to purchase Cape Mentelle wines, go to https://www.capementelle.com.au/Wines/Buy-Wine. When purchasing, keep in mind Cape Mentelle’s Shiraz 2017 or Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, which both pair nicely with Shiitake Mushrooms with Thyme Oil and Charred Bread and Cowboy Rib Eye Steak with Creamy Lentils. The recipes are below.

Shiitake Mushrooms with Thyme Oil and Charred Bread

Pair with Cape Mentelle Shiraz Cabernet 2017

Feeds 2

Ingredients

extra virgin olive oil

4 thick slices of sourdough bread

1 cup shiitake mushrooms

2 teaspoons chopped thyme

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ½ oz soft cheese, such as blue or brie

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the bread slices, then add to a large cast-iron frying pan and cook in the oven until lightly charred on both sides.

Meanwhile, place the mushrooms in a small frying pan, add the thyme, a good pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.

Transfer to a bowl and drizzle over a little more olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Arrange the mushrooms on the charred bread. Top with cheese and serve.

 

Cowboy Rib Eye Steak with Creamy Lentils

Pair with Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Feeds 2

Ingredients

10.5 oz rib-eye steak

olive oil

2 cup chopped kale

2 cloves garlic, crushed or thinly sliced

14 oz brown lentils can

1 cup sour cream

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Heat a large cast-iron frying pan until good and hot. Pat the rib eye dry with a paper towel, then brush the meat with olive oil and sprinkle on one side with salt. Place the steak, salt-side down, in the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned and crusty on the bottom. Season the top with salt, then flip over and cook for another 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the fat render for a few minutes on each side, then transfer to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes.

Place the kale in the hot pan and cook until tender. Remove and rest with the meat.

Combine the garlic and lentils (and the juices in the can) in a small cast-iron frying pan. Bring to the boil and cook until the liquid has evaporated, and the lentils and garlic have softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Season to taste and spoon onto a serving plate.

Slice the steak and top with roughly chop the kale. Season and serve with the creamy lentils.

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Thanksgiving Wine Pairings for Everyone’s Favorite Dish https://honestcooking.com/thanksgiving-wine-pairings-for-everyones-favorite-dish/ https://honestcooking.com/thanksgiving-wine-pairings-for-everyones-favorite-dish/#respond Fri, 22 Nov 2019 22:58:54 +0000 https://honestcooking.com/?p=184302 Selecting an appropriate wine can feel downright bewildering. Especially when there are numerous food options like on Thanksgiving, A day where all our food favorites come together. From comforting stuffing, creamy potato gratin or scrumptious apple pie. Whatever your favorite Thanksgiving dish there is a perfect wine match. While whites can be served with more…

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Selecting an appropriate wine can feel downright bewildering. Especially when there are numerous food options like on Thanksgiving, A day where all our food favorites come together. From comforting stuffing, creamy potato gratin or scrumptious apple pie. Whatever your favorite Thanksgiving dish there is a perfect wine match.

While whites can be served with more foods like Napa Valley’s Sparkling or Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Reds such as Santa Cristina Toscana or Smoke Tree Pinot Noir are more suited for roasted foods and meats.

Seghesio Family Vineyards

With so many salads, sides, and sauces on the table, planning a pairing can be tricky. But these assorted whites and reds  curated by expert sommeliers are can’t-miss options for your Thanksgiving table.

THANKSGIVING WHITES

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2019 with Oyster Stuffing.

The Sauvignon Blanc that made New Zealand’s reputation for that grape in the 1980s is still one of the country’s best: citrusy and lightly herbal, with a terrific, succulent texture. Although it pairs best with seafood the newest version of Cloudy Bay’s Sauvignon Blanc matches with meats too. Try it with this stuffing alternative, made with oysters!

Cape Mentelle 2018 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc with Shrimp Cocktail

Cape Mentelle 2018 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc is perfect for welcoming guests and sipping with the appetizers. It’s absolutely a wine that can continue with the big meal, however it’s fresh citrus, lively fruit and salty sea spray make this wine perfect for shrimp cocktail, a fall inspired cheese and charcuterie board, or a beet salad topped with shaved goats milk cheese!” –  Sara Lehman, Sommelier

Napa Valley Sparkling Blanc de Blancs with All the Pies

Sterling Blanc De Blancs Sparkling

If you have one wine choice, its recommended to opt for a light, sparkling wine. Napa Valley’s Sparking Blanc De Blancs fresh has fruit-forward flavors, floral notes and a soft, creamy texture. It’s a sophisticated and elegant wine  offering a relief for especially heavy, rich sides. While the crisp, sweet taste pairs nicely with pumpkin, pecan, apple, or any flavor of your family’s favorite pie. Try with this Coconut and Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Chandon Brut with Cheese Souffle

“Our signature Chandon Brut is the perfect sparkling wine for any Thanksgiving celebration, and it’s soft, dry finish and notes of citrus, pear and apple make it easy to enjoy with any dish. This varietal is best paired with salty, creamy and nutty foods, so a roasted turkey chopped salad with lemon goat cheese dressing or a cheese souffle are perfect complements to this effervescent expression.” – Pauline Lhote, Chandon Head Winemaker

THANKSGIVING REDS 

Old Vine Zinfandel with Potato Gratin:

According to Seghesio Family Vineyards’ Executive Chef Peter Janiak, Potato Gratin’s salty pungency will elevate the ripe fruit flavors when paired with Old Vine Zinfandel. Additionally the wines acidity will balance the dish’s richness. Try it withJoana Oliveira  take on the French gratin dauphinois. Made with thinly sliced pumpkin and potatoes and baked with a rich béchamel and fresh thyme for a comforting autumn bite.

Smoke Tree Pinot Noir with Apple Bacon Stuffing

Aromas of black cherry, Santa Rosa plum and licorice with a hint of oak also pair well with stuffing.  Additionally its’ subtle earthy flavors surround the fruit features of the wine and tend to show well with the traditional flavors of the dish. Try with this decadent apple bacon stuffing made with French bread.

“For me, Thanksgiving and Pinot Noir are a perfect match during the meal and the cooking process.  Given my favorite flavors of Thanksgiving from roasted turkey, fresh homemade cranberry sauce and the lovely aromatic spices of cinnamon and nutmeg often used in traditional recipes, Smoke Tree Pinot Noir pairs well highlighting the fresh fruit profile of the wine and spiced nuances.  Additionally, the bright acidity alone helps to balance out the richer textures of the food.” – Anne Dempsey, Winemaker

Sonoma Zinfandel with Sweet Potato Gnocchi:

Serve Sonoma Zinfandel with sweet potato gnocchi says Seghesio Family Vineyards’ Executive Chef Peter Janiak. ” I generally do this on the weekend after Thanksgiving and while the whole family is together (lots of hands to help roll the gnocchi).  I serve it with picked turkey meat, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts leaves.   And for the sauce I make a stock from the bones and I finish the broth with a little picked thyme and butter. ” Try it with Lisa Lott’s  mini hand rolled sweet potato dumplings. Bathed in browned butter and served with salty pancetta and crispy sage.

Vintner’s Collection Cabernet Sauvignon with a French Thanksgiving Dish

2017 Sterling Vineyards Vintner’s Collection Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon features lush blackberry, cherry and black currant aromas, underlined with notes of vanilla and spice. Paired best with flavorful meats or creamy cheeses such as gouda. Try it with this creamy French gratin.

Home Ranch Zinfandel with Sweet Fennel Sausage:

Image Courtesy – Seghesio Family Vineyards

 

 

Seghesio Family Vineyards’ Executive Chef Peter Janiak says “Stuffing your bird with a dressing of sweet fennel sausage, dried cherries and pecans will bolster the fruit and spice notes in the wine adding length and strength to the finish.” Try it with this recipe by Carloying Gomes.  full of golden raisins, stuffed olives, black pepper and a drizzle of agave for a sweet and tangy homemade side that can hold its own.

Santa Cristina Toscana with The Bird.

Typically paired greatly with pizza or red sauce based dishes. This  wine has a very  smooth cherry, berry, dark chocolate, and anise flavor. However the Santa Cristina Toscana also pairs excellent with turkey too. Try with this juicy recipe offering tips for the perfect brine.

 

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