This afternoon, we’re hosting our extended family for Christmas Eve. We’ll be serving a Niman Ranch uncured smoked ham along with broccoli, garlic mashed potatoes, and other goodies.
For wine, we’ll be trying a couple of whites that come highly recommended: Eroica’s 2010 Riesling from Washington state and a Sauvignon Blanc from J. For the red wine, we’ve got a couple of great Pinot Noirs from the Duckhorn Wine Company – a Migration Anderson Valley and Decoy Sonoma County.
Hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas weekend 2011 wherever you may be!
My wife made a wonderful pasta dish for tonight’s New Year’s Eve supper. She made it up as she went along – something she likes to do and is very good at! I tried to capture the process in real-time!
Here’s the gist:
- Bring 6 qts water to a boil over high heat, add 2 Tbsp salt, add 1 lb fettucine. Cook al dente and drain pasta.
- While waiting for the pasta water to boil, heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.
- Add 3 diced shallots and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes and saute quickly.
- Add 8-10 oz sliced cremini mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Saute the mushrooms until softened, about 5 min.
- Add 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth, 5 cut-up pieces of cooked bacon, 1/2 lb thin, sliced asparagus and 6 Roma sliced tomatoes (peeled or peel after cooking a bit).
- Cook stirring gently for 2 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup heavy cream (or 1/2 cup cream and 1/4 cup red wine). Immediately reduce heat and cook until thickened.
That’s it – a very tasty pasta dish for New Year’s Eve. Serve with a special red wine (we served ours with a wonderful Copain Anderson Valley Pinot Noir that was a Christmas gift from good friends)
Happy New Year! Best wishes for a wonderful 2010!
Last week, the Wall St. Journal’s Tastings column by Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher features a list of pinot noirs they recommend for Thanksgiving dinner.
While they personally say they prefer a great aged Cabernet Sauvignon with their turkey, many folks prefer the lighter Pinot Noir. They note that “Pinot Noir, at its best, has elegant, sometimes earthy tastes that would pair well with Thanksgiving dinner without adding yet another big, challenging taste to the table.”
What’s on their list? (Click here for the complete article):
We’re also partial to the Navarro Pinot Noir Méthode à l’Ancienne from the Anderson Valley in Mendocino county. Navarro is one of our favorite wineries and their Pinot is a delight! Enjoy!
Are you doing the cooking the turkey this Thanksgiving and looking for a great recipe? Be sure to checkout our all-time most popular recipe: Scott’s High Heat Upside-Down Roast Turkey Recipe!
Looking for something other than turkey? Here’s another all-time favorite: Scott’s ‘Lazy-S’ Easy Oven-Roasted Tri-Tips!
For some weird reason, earlier this week I happened across an old Cooks Illustrated article about Slow-Roasted Beef (link works for those with subscriptions to their online edition).
Perhaps because of the current state of the economy or who knows why, I found the recipe particularly interesting – as it described a cooking technique for cheap beef roast cuts (eye-round, etc.) that made these normally tough roast cuts of beef turn out tender and delicious.
Continue reading “2009 Recession-Era Slow-Roasted Roast Beef”
This Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine section carried the latest “Pairings” column by Lynne Char Bennett titled “Dry Creek Zinfandel makes a penne-wise partner“. Zinfandel is among our favorite red wines (along with Syrah and Shiraz from Australia’s Barossa appellation) – so the article caught my eye.
Included in Bennett’s column was a recipe for “Baked Penne with Meat & Mushroom Sauce” which we made – with minor variations – tonight.
Her recipe minimizes some of the fat that might otherwise be present – we used 97% lean ground beef, for example, when we cooked it and the mushrooms help extend the flavor along with the herbs that simmer into such a flavorful sauce.
Turns out this recipe was a real family crowd pleaser – we all really liked it, helped ourselves to a couple of servings, etc. We served it along with a simple Caesar salad – yummy! We paired a Ridge 2006 Dusi Ranch Zinfandel with the penne – a great combination!
We’ll certainly be making the baked penne again – and are already looking forward to some left overs tomorrow night!