Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Maui Sunset Chardonnay

Maui Sunset Chardonnay

                                    Well Kierann finally completed the labels for the chardonnay.

She loves Hawaii and the beach. She came up with the name
after seeing the sunset. I told her I wanted the label to be
"a reflection of the warmth and beauty of the wine and how 
it is just like Maui." She said: "I like the pictures of Maui
sun, moon, and rainbow"
My daughter is right,
She should write the blog.
Nice that she is learning to read. 
Maybe she will follow my blog.

The chardonnay is fabulous. Never thought I could top my
production of the syrah / cabernet blend.
Not that I am disappointed,
but I like bolder reds and this was more of a lighter rose.

My wife, the grape and vine of my life,
said she thought it was lite and delicious.
It's nice to have 2 girls that approve of your work.
Make that 3, including my oldest daughter Eden.
That could be the name of my next varietal.
A Merlot called Kierann & Eden.

Well, I'm digressing...
The chardonnay cleared up after all the clarifiers.
It was so murky with sediments and the grape concentrate,
 that I was red in the face.
Or should I say white (since this is chardonnay)
as a ghost.
But the wine settled...

And at the time of bottling, it had a nice amber color.
The filtration worked.

I had Kathleen sample the first glass.
She enjoyed it.
I tried the 2nd glass and noticed a
lot of great flavors:
Ripe fruit of green apple, pear,
and a touch of lemon.
Also, there was a subtle taste 
of nutmeg and cinnamon.
Lucky me.

Now the difficult part, bottling and boxing.
It's like putting your daughters to bed.
They are so cute and sweet,
you just want to stay up all night and read books with them.
With my wine, I could sit in my wine cellar,
(aka: my "man cave")
and just stare at the labels, the wine
and enjoy my solitude.

Next up, making Merlot.
It's almost like raising a family.
I'm making a family of wines.
Having Kierann make the labels,
Kath sample the wines,
it's a family affair.

Enjoy the wine of your time.
Most imporatantly,
enjoy the time with your family
and always...
share the wine.

email: realmeneatquiche@gmail.com

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Trattoria Laurellinos

Trattoria Laurellinos

I know most of my blogs are wrapped around cooking or wine. 
Every once in a while it is nice to step outside to grab a lunch or dinner.
Even nicer is to let someone else do the cooking and checking out a
restaurants wine list.
Plus side... no dishes to wash!!!

About a year ago, my wife and I decided to have lunch with friends at Trattoria Laurellinos.

I rated it a B minus. I had the Minestrone zuppa. 
The Italian soup had a nice assortment of beans and vegetables made in a vegetable stock with pasta.
Not bad.
The antipasti, calamari fritti was a little better. 
Light battered fried calamari.
The garlic aioli was lighter and refreshing.
Again, not great but not bad either.
Service and friendliness of staff made me think I should have given
them a B plus.

Well, a year later and my wife and I decide to head on over down Macarthur
Blvd. to Larellinos. 
We both chose salads.
My wife had the beet salad: Insalata di Bietole.
Good mix of salad greens. 
I tried her salad and loved the acidity of the pink 
Nice assortment of ripe beets. 
A sharp contrast with the soft goat cheese and earthiness of macadamia nuts. 
The mango vinaigrette brought a beautiful sweetness to the mix.

My salad: Insalata di Spinaci.
Fresh spinach, Pancetta, egg, gorgonzola cheese, and balsamic dressing. 
I was hoping the hard boiled egg was not crumbled but whole.
It was crumbled. 
However, the spinach was clean and fresh, the vinaigrette
 a colorful brown dressing, thick and tangy. The pancetta, crunchy and salty.

2 BIG salads with lots of bread. Dressings were spot on!
Did not like the ice teas. A little too bitter and had a chemical taste.
Warm and friendly.
Just nice people and we enjoyed talking to them.

One note, checked out their wine list.
Maybe time to update.
Luna di Luna has nice wines. 
Drinkable but not everyone likes a merlot.

The service Great and the food seems better.
And a nice lunch crowd eating there.
Looks like your ranking is moving up a notch.
Good job.

Check out Trattoria Laurellinos:
We will be back!

Steven and family.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Pesto Chicken with Tomatoes

Real Men Eat Quiche and Drink Wine: Pesto Chicken with Tomatoes: Pesto chicken with tomatoes. My wife and I made this dish the other night. I'm not a big pesto fan but I still can't get over the taste...

Pesto Chicken with Tomatoes

Pesto chicken with tomatoes.
My wife and I made this dish the other night. I'm not a big pesto fan
but I still can't get over the taste. Enjoyable.
I think we have about a hundred chicken recipes.
Some with marsala, red wine, white wine, cream sauces;
Some fried, broiled, baked, cubed, shredded, and more...
Somehow, pesto keeps crawling back from the recipe book.
Must be that GREEN color, or maybe the smell of the basil.
Guess I found my weak spot. Pesto.
Or should I say: "Pesto !"

Here goes:

1 box of whole wheat pasta. I like elbows or ziti.
Wheat pasta, less fat.
Penne works great here.

1- 2 chicken breasts, depending on how much chicken you like.
I think my friends on the east coast have Perdue.
We have Foster Farms.
1 cup of baby (cherry) tomatoes.
2 cups of freshly chopped basil leaves
1 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of parmesan cheese
1 garlic, smashed and diced
juice of 1 lemon + 2 Tbsps. of lemon reserved for the marinade
1/2 cup of olive oil + 4 Tbsps reserved for the marinade. I like Bertolli oil.

First, I take the chicken breasts and remove all the fat.
Slightly flatten (aka) pound the chicken breasts.
I (lightly sprinkle) salt and pepper each side of the breasts.
Set aside.

For the chicken marinade:
2 Tbsps. of lemon juice
4 Tbsps. of olive oil
1 Tbsp. of poultry seasoning.
Poultry seasoning is basically dried ground onion, garlic, basil, sage, coriander,
 black pepper, paprika, rosemary, and marjoram.
Both The Spice Hunter
and McCormick make dry spices.
Blend (infuse) the oil with the lemon juice and stir in the poultry seasoning.
Pour over the chicken breasts.
You can marinate the chicken in the fridge for 1 hr.,
but remember to let the chicken get to room temp before cooking.
My preferred cooking method:
I oiled my barbecue. (Or you can spray with Pam.)
Cooked the chicken over medium setting, roughly 5 minutes
per side until lightly scoured with grill marks on both sides,the chicken juices run clear
and the meat is white and moist.
Also, barbecued my tomatoes until they are  blistered (popped open.)
Let both rest

Place the pine nuts in a small pan.
Place over low heat on the stove for 2 minutes to loosen the oils and aromatics
 from the pine nuts.
In a cuisinart or food blender:
 mix the 2 cups of finely shredded basil, the cup of pine nuts that you roasted, the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1 cup of parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta in a pot of salted water. Al Dente: 8 minutes.
Drain. Do not rinse! Do not oil!

Dice the chicken into shreds or cubes. Cut the tomatoes in half.
Place in a serving bowl with the pesto and pasta.
Mix well.
Serve chilled or room temp.

Now for the fun stuff...
I'm filtering and bottling my chardonnay today.
Everyone say Yeahhhhhhh!

Life is beautiful.
Thanks Kath, Luv u.