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    Notes - October 24, 2013


    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 Reserve Pinot Noir, Mandrarossa Cartagho, Waimea Viognier and Grove Street Cabernet Sauvignon.

    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.

    Spaghetti and Meatballs

    This fall classic is quite a bit of work, but more than worth the effort. Following this method, the whole meal can leisurely come together in couple of hours. Sometimes, we’ll double the meatball recipe and freeze half away for future use.  One standard package of Spaghetti will feed 6 people. Leftover (hahaha) meatballs make amazing sandwiches.

    A few words regarding the method (little tricks that will make things easier).
    Adding garlic after cooking the onions for a couple of minutes will prevent the garlic from burning (and turning bitter). 
    If you want to add wine to ‘deglaze’ the tomato paste and onion from the pan bottom – make sure to reduce the wine by half before adding the tomatoes. 
    When adding the tomato sauce to the pasta pot – do it in the sink, to minimize the splatter. Return to medium heat on the stove and add pasta and pasta water to cook.
    Try to use fresh herbs if possible – chop them finely together. If you can’t get fresh, use a combined amount of 1 ½ tablespoons of dried.
    We preheat the serving platter/bowl, along with the serving plates, so that everything stays really hot.  We coarsely grate Parmigiano-Reggiano over the entire dish before serving and have some finely grated cheese on the side.

    Old school measuring – most recipes measure the meat in ounces - this one would be 6oz of beef and veal and 8oz of pork (many ‘authentic’ recipes call for half a pound of each meat – but it makes for a tight fit in the pan and for dryer meatballs – the extra pork keeps them moist). The metric measure makes two extra ounces of meat, which won’t make a difference.

    Sauce ingredients:

    2 x 796 ml tins of crushed tomatoes (or whole peeled tomatoes crushed though a food mill)
    1 large yellow onion, chopped
    3 medium cloves garlic crushed and chopped
    1 tsp. fresh oregano and 1 tsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped together
    1 bay leaf
    1 Tbs. tomato paste
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
    Kosher salt

    Make the sauce:

    In a large (4L or bigger) saucepan heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, oregano, rosemary and bay leaf stirring often for 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until onion is soft 5 to 7 minutes.

    Add tomato paste and stir constantly for 3 minutes or until paste darkens (optional wine addition here). Add the tomatoes, stirring to scrape onion and paste off the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce for 45 minutes, stirring frequently (the sauce needs to be lightly bubbling).

    Remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to keep warm.

    While the sauce is simmering – make the meatballs.

    Meatball ingredients:

    1 Tbs. olive oil
    250g  ground pork
    200g lean ground beef
    200g ground veal
    1 cup coarse fresh white breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
    2 large eggs
    2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
    1/2 tsp. freshly ground fennel seed
    1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    Kosher salt

    Make the meatballs:

    Preheat oven to 450F

    Oil the bottom of a baking dish 20cm x 20cm (8 inch x 8 inch)

    In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix gently and thoroughly .

    Use a 2oz ice cream scoop or equivalent to make 16  golf-ball sizes meatballs.

    Wet your hands with warm water to shape the balls.

    Arrange the meatballs in the baking dish – there shouldn’t be any room left in the dish – and bake for 12 minutes.

    Remove the meatballs from the oven and drain off excess fat.

    Ladle half of the sauce over the meatballs and return to the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm.


    Cook the pasta:

    In a large pot bring 4-6 litres of water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.

    Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally. Cook the pasta for two minutes less than the instructions on the package. Drain the pasta, saving one cup of pasta water.

    Pour the remaining sauce into the pasta pot, add pasta and the reserved water, stirring for another 2-3 minutes over medium heat until spaghetti is al dente.

    Carefully transfer the pasta to a large heated serving bowl or platter, top with meatballs and their sauce and serve immediately.

    Freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese can be served as a side or added over meatballs.



    Notes - September 25, 2013


    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 Los Clop Reserva Malbec, Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc, Katnook Founder's Block Cabernet Sauvignon and Michael David Petite Petit.

    How would you like to join Brad Barker live in-studio for an upcoming episode of "Notes with Churchill Cellars"as their guest Sommelier in October?

    All you have to do is be the first person to send the correct answer to this Churchill Cellars skill testing question to contests@jazz.fm and the spot could be yours!

    Question: Of the 4 delicious wines featured on the September 25th edition of "Notes", what was Brad Barker’s favourite?

    A) Katnook Founder’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon

    B) Los Clop Reserva

    C) Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc

    D) Michael David Petite Petit

    Have a listen to the podcast for your answer!!

     

    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.

    Here is a recipe which will work well with both the d’Arenberg High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva.

    Grilled Flank Steak

    Flank steak is an inexpensive cut of meat that is perfect for serving to a large crowd. Serve with your favourite red wine.

    2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
    2 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
    2 medium cloves garlic, minced
    2 Tbs. chopped fresh aromatic herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, or a mix)
    1 Tbs. kosher salt
    1 Tbs. ground black pepper
    1-1/2- to 2-lb. flank steak, trimmed of any excess fat and membrane

    Mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over the steak and let sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
    Heat your grill to medium-high.

    Grill steak for 10 to 12 minutes for medium rare. Turn the steak every 3 to 4 minutes so that it is evenly cooked (if you use a thermometer it should read above 135F).
    Place the steak on a cutting board and let it stand for 10 minutes.

    Slice the steak thinly across the grain and serve immediately.

    Serve with mashed potatoes and a mix of sautéed mushrooms that have been finished off with red wine and butter and your favourite steamed green veggie.

    Leftovers make great steak sandwiches.

    Notes - August 29, 2013


    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 Caliterra Tributo Chardonnay, d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon, Dopff au Moulin Cremant d'Alsace Cuvee Julien Brut and Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva

    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.

    Here is a recipe which will work well with both the d’Arenberg High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva.

    Kalbi (Korean Barbequed Beef Short Ribs)

    1 can of cola (very cold)
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1/4 cup sesame oil
    5 cloves of garlic, minced
    1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped
    3 large green onions, cut into small pieces
    2 tblsp toasted sesame seeds
    1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
    4-6 pounds of Korean short-ribs
    (Korean-style short ribs can be found at most Asian markets. The cut, also known as "flanken," refers to a strip of beef cut across the bone from the chuck end of the short ribs. Unlike American and European-style short ribs, which include a thick slice of bone-in beef, Korean-style short ribs are cut lengthwise across the rib bones. The result is a thin strip of meat, about 8 to10 inches in length, lined on 1 side with 1/2-inch thick rib bones. The thin slices make for fast cooking on the grill).

    Place ribs in a shallow baking dish. Mix ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the ribs, cover and refrigerate overnight. 

    Heat grill to medium-high. Grill ribs for 3-4 minutes per side until done.

    Garnish with additional slices of green onion and toasted sesame seeds.


    Notes - July 25, 2013


    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 Pisse-Dru, Rainstorm Pinot Noir, Kunde Zinfandel and Kunde Chardonnay

    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.

    This month's recipe is for delicious Pork Goodness Wrapped in Bacon

    This is a great dish to serve to bacon-loving company.

    INGREDIENTS:

    1Kg boneless pork loin
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
    ¼ cup olive oil
    1 tsp  red chile flakes - crushed
    6 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
    1 shallot, finely chopped
    8 cups baby spinach
    ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
    500 g of sliced bacon

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    1.    Slice the loin from tip to tip, cutting a little more than halfway through.
    2.    Season the cut side of the loin with salt and pepper.
    3.    Over medium heat gently sauté garlic, shallots and chile flakes until just golden, about 4 minutes.
    4.    Add spinach, stir and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.
    5.    Let the spinach cool and press any excess water out with your hands
    6.    Chop the spinach finely and add to feta in a bowl, stir and add salt and pepper
    7.    Spread the mixture over the inside cut of the loin and close
    8.    Wrap bacon around the loin and tie it closed with butcher’s string
    9.    Heat grill to high – turn off one side or bank coals for indirect grilling –
    10.    Cook the pork off direct heat for 45 minutes to an hour, turning as needed - until the bacon is crispy and loin is fully cooked
    11.    Let the pork loin rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

    Serve with warm smashed potato salad, garden greens and seasonal salad.

    The smoky bacon flavours combined with the tangy cheese and spinach will play well with a well-oaked Chardonnay as well as these three red wines.

    Bon Appetit!

    Notes - June 27, 2013


    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 at the JAZZ.FM91 tent at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival to talk about Cellier des Dauphins Carte Noire Côtes du Rhône AC, Fresita Sparkling Wine (Infused with fresh strawberries), Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu’île de Saint-Tropez Carte Noire Rosé and Chateau La Grange de Bessan Médoc

    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.

    This month's recipe is for delicious Grilled Strawberries

    Simple and unbelievably tasty, grilled fresh strawberries are a seasonal treat worth trying.

    Serves 4

    1 Pint Fresh Ontario Strawberries
    ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1 cup brown sugar
    4 bamboo or wooden skewers
    4 small rosemary sprigs

    Your choice of mascarpone, vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

    1. Wash the strawberries and pat them dry.

    2. Place whole strawberries in a large bowl and gently toss in the balsamic vinegar. Add black pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

    3. Spread brown sugar out into a shallow bowl. Roll each strawberry in the sugar to lightly coat it.

    4. Slide 4 or 5 strawberries on each skewer, piercing the stem on one end.

    5. Over medium-high heat, grill strawberry skewers for 2 to 3 minutes a side until grill marks show.

    6. Serve the strawberries immediately over mascarpone, ice cream or yogurt and garnish with rosemary sprig.

    Strangely, this dish can be matched with a wide range of wine. If serving with ice cream, try with Fresita sparkling wine. Yogurt will play well with the off-dry wines.  Unsweetened mascarpone (with an extra crack of black pepper) will match the red wine and the rosé.

    Bon Appetit!

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