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    Notes - May 22, 2014


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Handcraft Petite Sirah, First Press Cabernet Sauvignon, Château Donissan and Château Maurac.

    Have a listen!

     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.

    Chicken Liver Pâté

    This is dead-simple to prepare and has been adapted from a New York Times recipe, which uses common Canadian measures.  Many recipes on-line come from the UK and call for ingredients not readily available in Canada. Pack the pâté into small glass jars and refrigerate until you want to use it.

    Ingredients:

    8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
    2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
    1 pound fresh chicken livers trimmed
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
    1/3 cup Madeira or port
    3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
    Kosher salt to taste

    Preparation:

    Put a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat, and melt 4 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to foam.

    Add the shallots, and sauté them until translucent, being careful not to allow them to brown. Add the livers, thyme and Madeira or port, and bring the heat to high. Cook, occasionally stirring the livers around in the pan with a spoon, until the wine has reduced and the livers are lightly browned but still very soft and pink on the inside, approximately 5 minutes.

    Remove the pan from the stove, and put its contents into a blender or food processor, along with the cream and the remaining butter.

    Purée until smooth, adding a little more cream if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt if necessary.

    Pack the pâté into a glass jar or bowl and smooth the top out with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about two hours or up to five days.

    Notes - April 24, 2014


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz, Casa Silva Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Bertani Secco-Bertani and Ungava Gin.

    Have a listen!


     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.

    Chèvre and Asparagus Tart

    Serves 6-8

    5 ounces chèvre (goat cheese)
    1 egg
    ¼ cup heavy cream
    10 grinds fresh black pepper
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    12 ounces asparagus, preferably on the smaller side (if larger, cut in half length- wise)
    1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted per package instructions

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine chevre, egg, cream, pepper and salt in small bowl. Trim bottoms off asparagus.

    Unwrap puff pastry, and trim to 14-by-10-inch rectangle. Place dough on sheet tray lined with parchment or silicone baking mat.

    Place 1 asparagus spear on short side of dough, about 1/2 inch from end. Using it as a guide, spread cheese mixture from center of the dough outward into a rectangle,

    stopping at asparagus spear. Lay remaining asparagus spears on top of filling, alternating ends and tips.

    Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until asparagus are tender and pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes, and serve.

    Notes - March 26, 2014


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Domaine Moillard Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Pinot Noir, Angove Vineyard Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Château La Gravette Lacombe and Castle Rock Williamette Valley Pinot Noir.

    Have a listen!


     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.

    Lamb Chops Crusted with Fennel & Black Pepper

    Need dinner fast? Broiled lamb loin chops cook in just ten minutes, give them a quick dry rub and you're still ready to serve in less than half an hour.

    Ingredients:

    2 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly crushed
    1-1/4 tsp. ground coriander
    1 tsp. dried rosemary, chopped
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    3/4 tsp. garlic powder
    3/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
    8 lamb loin chops, about 1 inch thick (4 to 5 oz. each)
    1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

    Preperation:

    Position a rack 4 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler to high.

    In a small bowl, combine the fennel seeds, coriander, rosemary, salt, garlic powder, and pepper; mix well. Brush the lamb chops with the olive oil to coat. Press an equal amount of the spice mix on both sides of the chops and let them sit for 10 minutes.

    Coat a broiler pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray. Set the lamb chops on the pan and broil until the first side is well browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chops and continue to cook until the second side is well browned and the center is cooked to your liking (cut into a chop near the bone to check), about another 5 minutes for medium rare.

    Serving Suggestions:

    Serves with vegetable couscous and sautéed cherry tomatoes.

    Notes - March 4, 2014


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Chapel Hill Bush Vine Grenache, Azahara Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Cayran Dentelles de Camille.

    Have a listen!

     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.

    Classic Beef Stroganoff

    This classic Stroganoff recipe features thin slices of sautéed beef with mushrooms and onions in a sour cream sauce, all served over buttery egg noodles. It's a rich yet homey meal that comes together quickly enough to make even on a weeknight.

    more about:

    •    kosher salt
    •    beef top round roast
    •    black peppercorns
    •    canola oil
    •    butter
    •    white button mushrooms
    •    onions
    •    all-purpose flour
    •    beef broth
    •    sour cream
    •    egg noodles
    •    chives
    •    Kosher salt
    •    1-1/2 lb. beef top round or shell steak, sliced 1/4 inch thick, slices cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
    •    Freshly ground black pepper
    •    2 Tbs. canola oil
    •    3 Tbs. unsalted butter
    •    10 oz. white button mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (4 cups)
    •    1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about half a medium onion)
    •    1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
    •    1 cup lower-salt beef broth
    •    1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
    •    1 12-oz. package wide egg noodles
    •    1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives

    Tip:

    Use reduced-fat sour cream at your own risk; it will likely curdle.

    Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

    Season the beef with 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Heat 2 tsp. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half of the beef and cook, stirring often, until the meat is just browned, about 1 minute; do not overcook. Transfer to a plate and repeat with 2 tsp. of the oil and the remaining beef.

    Remove the skillet from the heat. Add 1 Tbs. of the butter and the remaining 2 tsp. oil to the skillet and stir until the butter melts. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes more.

    Sprinkle the mushroom mixture with the flour and stir for 15 seconds. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in the skillet with a wooden spoon. Add the sour cream and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Add the beef and any juices from the plate to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is barely simmering. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions in the boiling water until barely tender. Drain and return to the pot. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and stir to melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Serve the beef Stroganoff over the noodles, sprinkled with the chives.

    Notes - January 22, 2014


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Fog Head Chardonnay, Francois Lurton Pinot Grigio, Casal Thaulero Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon and First Press Chardonnay.

    Check it out!

     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.

    Smoked Fish with Pasta

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2/3 cup dry white wine (Casal Thaulero Pinot Grigio)
    1 (200g) package cream cheese, cubed
    1 cup 35% heavy cream
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 tablespoon sugar
    250-300g smoked salmon or trout(either hot or cold smoked works fine), cut in (1cm) pieces
    salt, to taste
    1 lb. (450g) dried pasta, (linguine,  tagliatelle or robust short-cut like rigatoni)
    fresh thyme or parsley for garnish – optional

    Bring 5L of salted water to a boil over high heat.
    In the meantime, over medium heat sauté the onion until it starts to fleck with brown, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add wine, turn heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese until it melts thoroughly, stir in cream and return to medium-high heat bringing the sauce to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, add tomato paste, sugar and smoked fish. (add the pasta to the boiling water now) Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring constantly until sauce is quite thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    Cook the pasta one minute less than package instructions or until just el dente. Drain pasta, reserve some pasta water.  Add 2/3 of the sauce to the empty pasta pot and stir in drained pasta, coating the pasta well. Add a little pasta water if the sauce seems dry (is not coating the pasta).  
    Serve the pasta in a communal bowl or in individual bowls, pour over remaining sauce and garnish with thyme or parsley.   

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