Friday, January 29, 2010

ZAP- Zinfandel Advocates and Producers

Last night we worked a great event at Fort Mason in SF...  ZAP, the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers tasting event.  Imagine an entire hall filled with food and Zinfandel.  To say the least each member of our team had to take two turns around the room for tasting the California Zins and the various food offerings (including Pazzo's and Central Market from Petaluma).  The event will also be going on this Saturday if you are looking for a fun day out- sorry to say we won’t be there for that one

We served a Slow Smoked Beef Brisket with Onion Zinfandel Jam, which paired wonderfully with a BR Cohn Zinfandel.  Sherri (with BR Cohn) and I worked to create the pairing.  The smokey accents of the Brisket helped to brighten the Zinfandel and the Onion Jam soothed the tannins, and I used their 2007 Sonoma Valley Zin to make the Jam.

I know the requests are coming so here is the Jam recipe:

5 lbs diced yellow onions
¼ cup olive oil
1 bottle Zinfandel
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper

Sauté the onions and olive oil till well caramelized- this may take over an hour, once sautéed set the stove to a very low heat and go slowly so as not to burn. Add the other ingredients and allow to reduce until thick.

Store in the refrigerator.  This would also be great on Pork.

Here’s to Zinfandel!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Valentine's Day at Kunde Estate

We do a lot of work for and at Kunde Estate Winery, weddings, catering for winery tours, special events...  It's a great place with some lovely event venues, and, of course, the wine!  We're working with Kunde on their Valentine's Day romantic dinner and wine tasting.  The menu is styled as a romantic dinner and carefully paired with their wines.  This is going to be excellent.

Seared Sea Scallop with a Strawberry Avocado Relish
2008 Gewürztraminer

Dry Jack Risotto with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Rosemary
2008 Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc

Braised Beef Short Ribs in Potato Cups with White Truffle Oil
2006 Syrah

Lamb Pop Chops
with a Rosemary, Garlic and Cocoa Wine Reduction
2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Lemon White Chocolate Mousse
(Amuse-Bouche / Palate Cleanser)

Hazelnut Espresso Daquoise
Dark Chocolate Chunks
Zinfandel Port

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Winter Wineland

This last weekend we paired with Dutch Crossing Winery for the annual Winter Wineland weekend.

They choose to pour their Nevins Cabernet that we paired with a White Bean Soup with Sage and Bacon.  We went through 40 gallons!  All very good together.

White Bean Soup (1 gallon)
1 lbs White Beans
4 oz Bacon (Chopped)
¼ cup Olive Oil
2 Tbl Garlic (Crushed)
1 cup Onions (Diced)
1 cup Carrots (Diced)
½ cup Celery (Diced)
1/8 tsp Sage (Dry)
½ tsp Thyme (Dry)
1 Bayleaf
4 cups Broth (Roasted Vegetable or Chicken)
4 Tbl Bacon Crumbles
6 Leaves Sage (Fresh)

Soak beans overnight, fully covered with water. Drain.

Sauté the chopped bacon in olive oil until crisp.  Add in garlic, onions, carrots, celery, sage, thyme and bayleaf, sauté till tender.  Add beans and broth, Simmer 2 hours

Place ½ of the soup in the food processor until smooth. Return to pot.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fry and Crumble sage. Service soup garnished with bacon & sage crumbles.

This soup freezes well.

Hope you all stayed dry out there and enjoyed the weekend.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bourbon and Branch

A couple of years ago for my birthday we went to Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, it’s set up as a classic speakeasy, very period feeling.  You even have to get a password when you make reservation.  We had a wonderful time and remembered it well.  This last week we had the chance to go again and it was just as awesome.

They take their cocktail recipes very seriously and creatively.  They have an extensive cocktail menu with classics you have never heard of as well as their own creations.  I had two wonderful cocktails. 

Being a lesser alcohol girl I usually stay to Vodka, but since Vodka did not become common place in the US until the 1950’s you will not find it on their menus (not in their 1920’s theme).  But don’t be disappointed, they do fabulous things with Gin.  I’ve never thought of myself as a Gin fan (in fact I usually think “ack”),  however they do marvelous things there; I had a wonderful Gin cocktail called an Austrian Fizz.  Gin, Lemon, Grapefruit and St Germain Elderflower liquor - light and refreshing- really a wow.  The other’s name escapes me, it was something like Ginger Marmalade, made with Rum I think.

If you’re in the city and want to take a step out of time and relax, I highly recommend it.