New York, New York!

Hello from NYC! I just wanted to post an update. I moved to New York a little over 2 months ago, and I’ve been kitchenless (but not wineless, of course), so I’ve been slacking quite a bit on posting. Fret not though, I’ll be back soon, with some great recipes, and some great restaurants! New city, new job, new home, new wine!

Best,

Gretchen

In the meantime, enjoy some photos of New York, in all it’s glory!

The Statue of Liberty at Sunset

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A View From the Brooklyn Bridge

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The City

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Henry Fessy Pouilly-Fuissé 2010

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I splurged on a Chairman’s Selection wine, and by “splurg” I mean I spent more than $15 ($15.99 to be exact). This was light and fragrant, and paired so nicely with my Baked Almond-Dijon Halibut with Roasted Golden Beets! This is also my first French wine post, which is crazy because the French make some of my favorite wines! Plus I LOVE the mustache man on the label, so fun! So here it is…this white wine is made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape variety. To break down location (France can be tricky): Country – France; Region – Burgundy (Bourgogne); Subregion – Mâconnais; Appellation – Pouilly-Fuissé. Simple, right?

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Clear, pale lemon-green

Nose: Clean, medium intensity – fruit (peach, apricot), floral, and nutty (almond) scents

Palate: Dry – medium acidity – full body – leafy flavors mixed with fruits like peach, apricot, and grapefruit

Baked Almond-Dijon Halibut with Roasted Golden Beets

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This is one of my absolute favorite dishes. It’s so simple, so fresh, and so delicious. It’s hard to get fresh halibut, but our grocery store just got some in. We’ll see it a bit more during the summer months. So try this now, because come fall and winter it will be scarce! I had it with a lovely Pouilly-Fuissé by Henry Fessy.Image

Almond-Dijon Halibut

Ingredients

  • 1lb Fresh Halibut Fillet (for 2)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Sliced Almonds
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Rinse fish and pat dry
  3. Spread dijon mustard on top of fish fillet
  4. Sprinkle almonds and salt on top
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes

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Roasted Golden Beets

Ingredients

  • 3-5 Golden Beets – diced into 1/2inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Toss diced beets in olive oil and spread into a single layer on oiled baking sheet
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes – until dark spots appear

I served this meal with my Spinach Salad – Only I subbed in grapefruit and walnut oil. Like I said before this salad recipe is fail-proof. Any nut oil (or even olive) and any citrus!

Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2010

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Way behind on blogging!! For those who don’t know, I’m in the process of moving to NYC!! I start a new job on June 1, 2012 at Updater.com!

So…I went with this Sauvignon Blanc for my Citrus Brined Roast Chicken with Avocado Sauce. I imagined the citrus hints in the wine would pair well with the chicken. Once the wine opened up a little bit, I was right. Not my favorite pairing, but it worked. This wine is from Marlborough, New Zealand, which is well known for it’s Sauvignon Blanc, even though most of the country is unable to grow grapes (too mountainous or wet).  Marlborough, however, has a cool-climate ideal for producing an herbaceous and fruity Sauvignon Blanc.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Clear, deep lemon-green

Nose: Pronounced tropical fruit (melon, citrus), and floral

Palate: Dry – high acid – medium body – short length – pear, melon, and citrus flavors

Enjoyable and affordable at $12!

Citrus Brined Roast Chicken with Avocado Sauce

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This was my first brining experience, and it was AMAZING! It made the chicken so moist and tender, it was absolutely perfect. I definitely recommend it! I served the roast chicken with Chili-Lime Corn on the Cob and Black Beans (recipes below).

I saved the left over meat and bones to make soup next week!

Citrus Brined Roast Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4 lb Whole Chicken – remove giblets, neck, etc
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 3/4 cup Salt
  • 1/4 cut Sugar
  • 10 sprigs of Cilantro – roughly chopped (including stems)
  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • 1 gallon Cold Water
  • 2 tsp Seasoned Salt
  • 2 tsp Pepper

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl or container (preferably with a lid, but I used a large stainless steel bowl and covered with saran wrap) add salt, sugar, and warm water to dissolve.
  2. Add the cold water – add citrus juices, rinds, and cilantro
  3. Submerge chicken in liquid – cover and store in refrigerator for 8-24 hours
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and remove chicken from liquid – pat dry
  5. Season skin with seasoned salt and pepper
  6. Place chicken on roasting pan – roast for 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours (insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, without hitting the bone – chicken is done at 180 degrees) – Baste regularly
  7. Remove from oven – Let rest 10 minutes – Slice and enjoy!

Avocado Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 lime – juiced
  • 2 tbsp Plain Yogurt (I used greek)
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Cayene Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Water

Preparation

Add all ingredients to a food processor (or magic bullet, in my case) – Process until smooth

Chili-Lime Corn on the Cob

Ingredients

  • 4 ears Corn – shucked
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Lime – juiced
Preparation
  1. In large pot of water add corn and bring to a boil – boil for 5-8 minutes
  2. Remove from water
  3. Rub with butter – Drizzle with lime juice – Sprinkle with chili powder
Black Beans
Ingredients
  • 1 can Black Beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 cup Water

Preparation

Add all ingredients to a small pot over medium-low heat – Simmer 10-20 minutes – Enjoy

Damilano Barbera d’Asti 2009

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A classic Italian wine for a classic Italian dish, Spaghetti with Turkey-Basil Meatballs (well almost classic, they definitely wouldn’t be using ground turkey). When eating something acidic, like tomato sauce, you want a wine that is equally acidic. That’s why this Italian Barbera d’Asti is a no-brainer. It was from the Piedmont region in Italy and is accredited DOCG status, meaning at least 85% of the grapes used must be Barbera. Maybe I should have challenged myself a little more with this pairing, but I’m quite partial to Italian cuisine with Italian wine. Either way it was delightful.

Appearance: Beautiful, deep ruby

Nose: Clean, Pronounced Aromas – Black fruits (Blackberry, Plum), Licorice, Spice (Black Pepper), Mineral

Palate: Dry – High Acidity – Full Body – High Tannins – Flavors much like the nose

Spaghetti with Turkey-Basil Meatballs

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Turkey-Basil Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1lb Ground Turkey
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Basil – chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary – chopped (sub 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme (sub 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – crushed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup flour

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients (except olive oil and flour) in large bowl and mix well
  2. Shape 1-2 inch diameter balls and roll in flour – lightly coating each until you’ve used all the meat mixture (store on a baking sheet covered with parchment or wax paper)
  3. Heat olive oil in skillet to medium heat
  4. Add first batch (usually have to do 2 or batches) to pan and brown on all sides (2-3 minutes per side)
  5. Transfer cooked meatballs to a baking sheet covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil
  6. Continue until all meatballs are cooked

The Sauce Note: I chop all the veggies really small so the sauce is still smooth – my Pampered Chef Food Chopper is my friend

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Onion – finely chopped
  • 3 Carrots – finely chopped
  • 5-6 Cremini Mushrooms – finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – crushed
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Basil – chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary – chopped (sub 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme (sub 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Oregano (sub 1 tsp dried)
  • 2 32oz cans Crushed Tomatoes (I LOVE Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted – see pic at the end)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Bay Leaf
  • Olive Oil

Preparation

  1. Heat Oil in large sauce pan to medium-high heat
  2. Add onion – Saute until translucent – 10 minutes
  3. Add carrot, mushroom, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper – Saute 10 minutes
  4. Stir in garlic and herbs and continue to cook another 5-10 minutes
  5. Lower the flame to low and add the crushed tomatoes and bay leaf – Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes
  6. Remove bay leaf
  7. Add turkey meatballs – Simmer 30 minutes
  8. Serve over your favorite pasta (I served it over Ronzoni’s Garden Delight spaghetti)

Here is a picture of the tomatoes I like to use

Vina Robles Chardonnay 2009

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After the great debate (albeit internal), I settled on this California Chardonnay to pair with my Coconut Curry Chicken. This Chardonnay is from Monterey, California; the Vina Robles site (www.vinarobles.com) says, “We craft wines that represent a stylistic bridge between the Old and New worlds, capturing the finesse associated with European wines while celebrating the bold natural flavors of our estate vineyards in Paso Robles.” They do this by aging the Chardonnay in French oak barrels for 8 month, which is essentially why I chose it. I wanted to try a new age wine with a little old world tradition.

Now maybe I’m too easy on my wine, because I almost always consider my pairings a success. Or maybe the wine starts to write the review. Well, this one is no exception. The hint of oak, vanilla, and the tropical fruit flavors mingled nicely with the smooth coconut flavors in the chicken. As I mentioned in the recipe, my curry is smooth and subtle, so it did not overpower the wine.. The light char on the chicken (from broiling) also complemented the toast and mineral flavors in the wine. Survey says…SUCCESS!

A more formal review:

Appearance: Clear, deep lemon

Nose: Clean – Medium Intensity – Aromas of peach, pineapple, mango, mineral, and butter cream.

Palate: Dry – High Acidity – Full Body – Long Length – Flavors of peach, pineapple, butter cream, vanilla, toast

What wine do you pair with curry?

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A tough question, and one I asked myself while browsing in the wine store. Many curries are spicy, so most recommend something ripe and fruity, or sweet (Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling) . Spicy flavors tend to reduce sweetness in wine and cause the wine to taste dryer and more astringent. However, the Coconut Curry Chicken I am making is not spicy. We’ve made it once before and it is very smooth and subtle, so I decided that I wanted to pair it with something equally smooth and subtle. I was looking for something to go with the coconut flavors in the chicken. I narrowed my choices to either a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc often takes on flavors of green fruit and vegetation, so I don’t think that would be as smooth and creamy as I’d like. If I got an oak aged Chardonnay though, maybe it would display some tropical fruit, and creamy flavors (like vanilla, toast, or even coconut). Yes, that sounds perfect!

Voila! I ended up with a 2009 Chardonnay from California, aged for 8 months in French oak! Check on the review here: Vina Robles Chardonnay 2009.

Coconut Curry Chicken

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A couple of notes on this recipe:

  • Coconut Curry Chicken recipe courtesy of The Paleo Diet Cookbook
  • I served the chicken with jasmine rice (made in my rice cooker – otherwise follow instructions on package), chick pea tandoori, and a lovely Vina Robles Chardonnay. Tandoori is a mixture of coriander, fenugreek, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, onion, ginger, clove, garlic, bay leaf, nutmeg, and celery. It is normally mixed with yogurt for marinating, but I used as is on the chick peas.
  • Lesson learned – save some of the coconut curry for serving over the chicken (I did not, and it would have been much better if I had)
  • If you aren’t familiar with Garam Masala or curries, do not be afraid of this recipe! It is not overwhelming at all, very subtle and smooth flavors. Garam Masala literally means “hot mixture.” The one I used contains black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and coriander, all spices I have on hand. It’s easy to whip up the mixture, or you can buy it already mixed together.
  • I made the curry a day ahead, and let it marinate over night. You could make it the same day and just let it marinate for a couple of hours.
  • I forgot to put the cashews on before I took the pictures, so imagine cashews on top!

Creamy Coconut Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion – chopped
  • 1 Small Tomato – chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – crushed
  • 1 1-inch Piece Fresh Ginger Root – peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Spice Blend
  • 8 oz Fresh, Whole Coconut Milk

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium flame (the book recommends cast iron, but I used non-stick) – Add onion and tomato – Cook for 5 minutes
  2. Stir in ginger and garlic – cook 1 minute
  3. Reduce heat to low – Simmer 10 minutes – stir occasionally
  4. Add garam masala – simmer 5 minutes
  5. Remove from heat – cool 10 minutes
  6. Pour into a blender or food processor (I used my magic bullet – worked perfect) – Puree until smooth
  7. Return mixture to skillet – Add coconut milk – Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes – stir constantly
  8. Serve hot or cold

Coconut Curry Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup Coconut Curry
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Cashews – chopped

Preparation

  1. Combine chicken and curry – marinate for 2-12 hours – remove from refrigerator for 30 minutes before cooking
  2. Preheat oven to broil
  3. Place chicken on wire racks in oven (I placed aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to catch drippings – easy clean up) – Cook 10 minutes
  4. Turn chicken over – Cook 10 minutes
  5. Remove from oven – Let rest 5-10 minutes
  6. Scatter with cashews

Chick Peas Tandoori

Ingredients

  • 1 can Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans) – drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp Tandoori Spice Mixture
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth

Preparation

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients – simmer on medium low for 10-20 minutes. (I added a little extra cayenne for a kick!)