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    Notes - June 27, 2016


    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 this episode, Chris, Mark and Brad talk about 4 reds, which could be a first for the gentlemen!  All four of this episode's selections are excellent for BBQ season, a perfect pairing with steak.

    - Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu'île de Saint-Tropez Carte Noire Rosé 2015, Côtes de Provence AP, France

    - San Leonino Chianti Classico DOCG 2012, Tuscany, Italy

    - Motuproprio IGT 2011, Tuscany, Italy


    - d'Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2013, McLaren Vale, Australia


    Have a listen!


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    Italian-style grilled lamb chops
    Ingredients:
    2 large garlic cloves, crushed
    1 Tbs. fresh rosemary leaves
    1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    Coarse sea salt
    2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
    6 lamb chops, about 3/4 –inch (2 cm)  thick
    Method:
    Pulse all of the dry ingredients in a food processor until well combined. Pour the olive oil in and pulse into a paste.
    Put the paste and the lamb chops into a ziplock bag, rub the paste into the meat. Marinate them in the fridge for an hour. Before grilling, take the chops out of the fridge for half an hour, bringing them to room temperature.
    On a medium-high heat grill, sear the chops for two minutes, turn chops over and cook for another three minutes for medium rare.
    Serve with medium to full-bodied red wine.


    Notes - May 2016


    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 this episode, Chris, Mark and Brad talk about 4 reds, which could be a first for the gentlemen!  All four of this episode's selections are excellent for BBQ season, a perfect pairing with steak.

    - Wente Vineyards Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon 2012;
    - Grove Street Cabernet Sauvignon 2013;
    - First Press Cabernet Sauvignon 2011;
    - Chateau de Panigon 2010 Medoc AC Cru Bourgeois.

    Have a listen!



    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report!
    Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine.





    Notes - April 20, 2016


    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 this episode, Chris, Mark and Brad talk about D’Arry’s Hermit Crab, Ricasoli Chianti, Howard Park Cab and Freakshow Cab.

    Have a listen!




    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine.

    Roasted Italian Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

    Simple and delicious, this is Italian comfort food.

    Try to cut the veggies to be about the same size.

    Ingredients:

    1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausages (or a combination of the two), cut crosswise into thirds
    1 pound small red potatoes cut into large chunks
    1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
    2 red , green or yellow peppers, cut lengthwise into 8 pieces
    A few sprigs rosemary
    2 Tbs., olive oil
    A heaping teaspoon kosher salt
    Freshly cracked black pepper

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 450°F.

    In a large bowl, toss the vegetables and rosemary in olive oil, salt and pepper.

    Arrange everything on a shallow baking sheet in a single layer, making sure the sausages are evenly spaced apart.

    Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender and sausages are lightly browned, stirring once halfway through roasting.

    Serve with a light side salad and crusty bread.

    You can enjoy this with white, red or rosé wine.

    Notes - March 23, 2016


    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 this episode, Chris, Mark and Brad talk about Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling, HandCraft Petite Sirah, Caliterra Tributo, and Chapel Hill Shiraz.


    Have a listen!




    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine.

    Sweet and Sour Short Ribs
    You can make this dish ahead of time and reheat when ready. Serve it with mashed or scalloped potatoes and your favourite season green.


    Ingredients:
    1 ¼ cups beef stock
    2 Tbs. red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar if available)
    1 Tbs. soy sauce
    1 Tbs. packed brown sugar
    1 Tbs. cornstarch
    1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 Tbs. honey (substitute maple syrup if desired)
    ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    2lb (1kg) beef short ribs
    Garnish – finely sliced green onion


    Method:

    In a saucepan, combine beef stock, vinegar, sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch; cook over medium heat, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Stir in onion, garlic, honey or maple syrup, and pepper.
    Place ribs in in a small casserole. Pour sauce over; cover and bake in 325F oven for 1-1/4 hours. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes longer.

    Garnish with finely sliced green onions and serve with sauce.

    Notes - March 2, 2016


    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 this episode, Chris, Mark and Brad talk about Tiki Pinot Gris, Gran Feudo Rosada, Altano, and Vale do Bomfim.


    Have a listen!



    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine.

    This classic chicken liver paté recipe comes from Fine Cooking magazine. We serve this by itself with most types of red wine and whites like Rueda, Pinot Grigio and Cava. The only additions we ever make are a few brined green peppercorns on top for a little bite and a bit of crunch. This recipe is also part of the ‘Mount Everest’ of Christmas dinners, Classic Beef Wellington. It’s quite a bit of work, but the result is spectacular and delicious. In case you are curious, here’s the full recipe.

    Portuguese Sausage and Bean Stew

    This flavourful dish is served with crusty bread. It’s relatively easy to prepare and you can substitute ingredients easily.

    Ingredients:

    1 pound dried kidney beans or great Northern beans, rinsed and picked over or 2 (15- ounce) cans or kidney beans

    8 ounces sliced Toucinho (Portuguese-Style Smoked Bacon) or ‘regular’ smoked bacon, optional

    8 ounces Spanish chorizo or Portuguese chouriço (cured spicy pork sausage), kielbasa or other spicy sausage, cut into 1/4-inch-thick coins

    1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped 

    4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

    1/4 cup tomato paste

    2 medium Yukon gold potatoes - cut into 1/2-inch pieces 

    4 cups water

    1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes 

    2 tablespoons honey

    1 tablespoon sweet paprika

    2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

    1 medium bay leaf

    Method:

    If using dried beans, add the beans to a large bowl, cover by 2 inches with cold water and let soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain and set aside. If using canned beans, drain and rinse.

    Add the bacon, if using, to a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat and cook until browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat and return the skillet to the stovetop. Add the sausage and cook until browned. With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage to a bowl and reserve.

    Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet and return to the stove over medium heat. When the fat shimmers, add the onion and garlic, stir to coat in fat, and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

    Add the potatoes and stir to coat in the tomato paste. Add the beans, chorizo, and all remaining ingredients, except the bacon, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the flavours have melded and the dried beans are cooked through, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Crumble the bacon into beans, and season with additional salt, if needed. Remove the bay leaf, transfer the beans to a serving bowl and serve.

    Remember…don’t eat the bay leaf!

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