Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Quick 6 ingredient batter recipe

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Quick 6 ingredient batter recipe: "Here is the fastest lightest batter recipe. Only 6 ingredients. Great for any seafood batter recipe. Makes a lighter, crunchy, flaky coatin..."

Quick 6 ingredient batter recipe

Here is the fastest lightest batter recipe. Only 6 ingredients.
Great for any seafood batter recipe. Makes a lighter, crunchy, flaky coating.

1 medium egg
1/2 cup of cornstarch
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 Tsp. of baking soda
1Tsp. of baking powder
2/3 cup of whole milk

Lightly beat 1 egg and stir in milk.
In a separate bowl. Mix dry ingredients: baking soda, baking powder, flour and cornstarch.
Next, slowly pour in milk / egg liquid in with dry ingredients.
Stir until both dry and wet ingredients are fully mixed with no lumps.

I like to store the batter in the fridge until ready to use.
This batter is perfect for shrimp, cod, haddock.

A pinch of salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, paprika,
or red chili powder would give the batter a little heat and flavor.

Old Bay Seasoning:

Argo and Kingsford Cornstarch:

Clabber Girl Baking Powder:

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda:

Here is a nice wine that would pair well with any fish recipe.
I just found this winery up in the Sierra Foothills.
Wilderotter Vineyard 2009 Sauvignon Blanc.

Remember, always share the best of food and wine with the one you love...


Friday, May 20, 2011

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Chicken / Beef Stir Fry with Green Beans and Oran...

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Chicken / Beef Stir Fry with Green Beans and Oran...: "If you live on the west coast like I do, specifically the Bay area, the only good stir fry is found in Chinatown in Oakland or San Francisc..."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicken / Beef Stir Fry with Green Beans and Orange - Peanut Butter Sauce

If  you live on the west coast like I do, specifically the Bay area, the only good stir fry is found in Chinatown in Oakland or San Francisco.
Sorry, but is not easy finding a good Chinese restaurant or stir fry recipe.

After watching the Cooking Channel and the Food network for awhile, I found one of my favorite chefs: Tyler Florence  and he had a stir fry recipe. I tweeked it to my taste and liking.
Like any good chef and any good recipe, you have to experiment with sauces, ingredients,  fresh vegetables, fruits, meat  and fish.
After working the recipe over and over, I think this is the best approach to a quick and easy stir fry.
You can add your own vegetables, peppers, and sauces to your taste.
Add mushrooms?
Mirin sauce? Fish Sauce?

Here's my twist on Stir Fry ( chicken or beef ) with green Beans and Orange - Peanut Butter Sauce:

1 whole chicken breast and / or 1 package of beef sirloan steak cut into 1” strips.
3 – 5 tbsp. of peanut or cooking oil.
Handful / roughly 24 green beans
1 small garlic clove - minced.
2 green onions - diced
1 tbsp. of  minced ginger.
1 red chili or 1 tsp. of chili paste.
1/4 cup of chicken broth
2 tbsp. of soy sauce
1 tbsp. or pinch of sugar.
1tbsp. of cornstarch.
¼ cup of water.
1 tbsp. of rice wine vinegar.
1/4 cup of orange juice ( no pulp)
1 tbsp. of peanut butter.
1/8 cup of slivered almonds, peanuts, or cashews.

Beef / Chicken.
Heat wok over medium / high heat and pour in peanut or cooking oil.
Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts and / or beef  in 1” strips and place them in wok.
Turn pieces after they slowly turn brown. Roughly 1 min. / side.
Once brown on both sides, remove from wok and place on a paper towel lined plate to remove excess fat.
Beef / chicken should be slightly crunchy on outside yet soft and tender on inside.
 Now reduce heat in wok to medium. Add more oil if needed.

Green beans and vegetables.
Add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbsp of ginger and 2 finely diced green onions to wok.
Toss in  a handful of  fresh green beans ( approximately 2dz. beans).
Add  a tsp. of chili paste or 1 red chili for heat.
Saute the ingredients.
Remove from wok and let rest in a bowl.

Making the sauce.
In the empty wok, add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, 2 tbsp. of soy sauce and a tsp. or pinch of sugar.
Add cornstarch to the wok. (Take a tbsp. of cornstarch and mix with a ¼ cup of water to make a slurry).
This should thicken up sauce.
Stir the sauce and add a tbsp. of rice wine vinegar. Add orange juice and stir.
Stir in a tbsp. of peanut butter to the sauce.

Combine ingredients.
Toss in beef / chicken. Toss in green beans and vegetables. Add 1/8 of cup of  slivered almonds, peanuts, or cashews. Toss again. Place over steamed white or brown rice.

Practice makes perfection.
Even in cooking.
But eating is more FUN.

Enjoy !


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Food Network Recipe of the Day

Homemade Vegetable Soup ( Sauteed Vegetables)

I love making soup. 
It reminds me of the days when my dad would make homemade soup.
I would watch with anticipation as he diced vegetables. Make his own stock. 
The kitchen had an aroma of a rainy countryside with an abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables waiting to be picked.

Homemade Vegetable Soup ( Sauteed Vegetables)
2  - 3 carrots
2 Zucchini squashes
2 – 3  sticks of celery
2 whole tomatoes ( or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 green cabbage
2 boxes of beef stock
2 tbsp. = 2 leaves of fresh basil
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2  small garlic cloves
Pepper and Salt to taste

Small chop 2- 3 whole carrots and 2 -3 sticks of celery.
Finely dice ½ yellow onion.
Mince 2 small garlic cloves.

In a large Le Creuset Pot or cooking pot,
add extra virgin olive oil and heat pan on medium temperature.
Toss in carrots and celery and sauté until vegetables start to soften.
Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent in color. Do not brown !

Add 2 boxes of beef stock to pot and continue cooking over medium heat.
Roughly chop cabbage.
Dice tomatoes.
Chop zucchini squash.
Add cabbage, tomatoes and zucchini squash to pot.

Chiffonade  2 basil leaves and add to pot.

Reduce heat to low and cook vegetable soup slowly for 1 hr.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

For an added measure:
Add parmesiano reggiano cheese rind to soup pot while cooking.
Serve soup warm with sliced rustic baguette.

I like to serve this with an 07 Gabbiano Chianti Classico or an 07 Banfi Chianti Classico Reserva.
Both are low cost nice chiantis which are available at Bevmo for around $10 - $20 / bottle.

Nothing better than a hot bowl of soup and a glass of wine to warm the body and soul.


Monday, May 16, 2011

The Importance of Wine Decanting or Aerating

The Importance of Wine Decanting or Aerating:
I like to decant my red wines. Wines are living, breathing fruits of love and nature.
Decanting and aerating helps to reduce the harshness of  tannins in bold red wines whether they are super tuscans or local american zins.
One aerator I use is a Vinturi Red Wine Aerator.

Vinturi makes a white wine aerator too. Since white wines really have no tannins, I have yet to find a purpose for me to aerate my white wines.

Most of the zins and big cabernet sauvignons I drink need to decant or aerate.
One of my favorite blends is called the Prisoner.
This wine definitely needs to breathe before serving.

The main reason for decanting is to let oxygen enter the wine.
Let the wine rest and breathe before serving.
That is why we swirl wine in a glass.

Incorporate air into the wine. Look at the complexity of the legs of the wine in the glass.
View the subtle colors of the wine as it sets in the glass over time. Enjoy the aromas from the bounty of the harvest.
A grape is a wonderful thing!
It just needs to relax 1st.

Like me,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I was fortunate to eat at Redd another fine Yountville restaurant.
Met the chef there and he gave me this recipe which I am sharing with you.
My wife and I love it!

1 head of Cauliflower  - 2 cups of cauliflower florets
1/4 cup of cream

16 fresh scallops (Diver / Day Boat)
Olive Oil
Salt / Pepper to taste

Caper - raisin Mixture
1 1/2 Tbsp. of UNSALTED butter
2 Tbsp. of capers
2Tbsp. of slivered almonds
2 Tbsp. of GOLDEN raisins
1 Tbsp. of chopped parsley

1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar, reduced
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Bring 2 Qts. of salted water to boil.
Break 1 head of cauliflower into small pieces, reserving 1 cup of florets for garnishing.
The garnish florets should be blanched for 1 minute in boiling water and then put into an ice bath. Drain and set aside.
Cook the other florets in the water, strain, and plunge in the cold water.Strain and place in a saucepan and cover with cream and cook for 8 minutes. Puree and put through a fine mesh sieve. Keep warm.
Warm a saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil til smoking.
Season scallops with salt and pepper and saute 4 scallops at a time. Cook 1-1/2 mins. per side.
In a saute pan, add butter and cook the butter until it starts to turn brown. Add reserved florets and cook for 1 minute.
Add capers, almonds, raisins, season with salt and pepper and heat through.
Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil and reduce to a syrup consistency. Reserve.
Warm 4 plates. Put a small circle of cauliflower puree in the middle of each plate. Add 4 scallops and garnish with parsley. Drizzle balsamic reduction around plate and add a little extra virgin olive oil.

This recipe pairs well with a Spatlese German Riesling.
Here's the Top 10 from New York Times  - Eric Asimov / Bernard Kirsch:

Schäfer-Fröhlich Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Spätlese 2007
*** 1/2
Lacy, delicate and almost fragile, with beautiful aromas and flavors of flowers, ginger and minerals. (Importer: Rudi Wiest/Cellars International, San Marcos, Calif.)
Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese 2007
*** 1/2
Complex and nuanced with juicy peach, apricot and mineral flavors. (Terry Theise/Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, N.Y.)
Wegeler Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Bernkasteler Doctor Spätlese 2007
Delicate with lovely, lingering flavors of lime, spices and apricots. (Rudi Wiest/Cellars International)
Dr. Loosen Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese 2007
Well-balanced aromas and flavors of ripe fruit, citrus and slate. (Lauber Imports, Somerville, N.J.)
Schloss Lieser Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Spätlese 2007
Lacy Mosel fragility with citrus and mineral flavors. (Rudi Wiest/Cellars International)
Hexamer Nahe Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Spätlese 2007
More intense than delicate with peach, apricot and mineral flavors. (Terry Theise/Michael Skurnik Wines)
Fritz Haag Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Spätlese 2007
Knife-edge balance of sweet and zesty with flavors of peaches, apricots and minerals. (Rudi Wiest/Cellars International)
Josef Leitz Rheingau Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Spätlese 2007
Gorgeous yet balanced flavors of voluptuous ripe fruit, spices, minerals and flowers. (Terry Theise/Michael Skurnik Wines)
Willi Schaefer Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Graacher Domprobst Spätlese 2007
** 1/2
Poised and balanced with spicy peach and mineral flavors. (Terry Theise/Michael Skurnik Wines)
Dönnhoff Nahe Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Spätlese 2007
** 1/2
Ripe and fleshy with persistent flavors of pears, herbs and minerals. (Terry Theise/Michael Skurnik Wines)

Thanks to  New York Times, Eric Asimov, Bernard Kirsch and  Redd - Chef Reddington.

Love is sharing a great meal with wine,

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bottega Restaurant and Conn Creek Winery

If you are planning to travel to California and you are looking for a GREAT place for lunch, stop on over to Michael Chiarello's Bottega Restaurant in Yountville, CA.
For lunch I had the Polenta Under Glass with caramelized wild mushrooms and balsamic game sauce.
2 words: Absolutely Incredible !
It was sooooo good, I had to schedule my 3rd visit to his restaurant.
For pasta I devoured the Potato dough Raviolo which was filled with spinach & ricotta, black truffles, a farm fresh egg yolk and topped with sage browned butter.
This guy is a genius.
And for my 2nd course, I finished with a Wild Sea Scallops alla Vendemia caper, grape, rosemary brown butter sauce, parsnip passatina.
Full and smiling.
The ambience is nice at Bottega and the wine is good. I enjoyed a bottle of the Duckhorn Chardonnay.

I am planning on visiting Conn Creek Winery soon and bringing some work friends so that they can enjoy some of the best wines from the Napa / Rutherford region.
My favorites are the Anthology wines and the Cab Francs. Big bold reds with ripe berry flavors.
I know you will enjoy any of the AVA Series wines.
Conn Creek has other wines you may want to sample and buy. Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay.
All by the master winemaker himself, Mike Mcgrath.

La Dolche Vita,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Indian Wells Cabernet - page 2

Yesterday I blogged about a nice cab. Well here's more info and picture so you can enjoy.
Its available at BevMo:

A nice cabernet sauvignon for under $20.

Drink,smile and enjoy life !

The Only Knives Needed in the Kitchen

The only knives you will ever need in the kitchen are a pairing knife, a bread knife and a chopping knife.

 A pairing knife is perfect for cutting fruits and doing decorations. Size 3-4"".
A bread or cake knife is for slicing hard artesian breads or slicing softly and straight  through cake.
Size: 8-10''.
And a cutting and chopping knife to cut through bones, poultry,fish,meat,game,etc. and slice and dice through vegetables. Size: 6-8"
I prefer stainless steel for all knives.

Keep Chopping !

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wine of the Day: Indian Wells

Wine of the Day:
2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon
Delightful and not heavy on the tannins. Nice taste of back cherry and black raspberry.
I tasted a little bit of pepper at the finish.
Great price too ! Under $30 at most stores except in Hawaii.