So much good wine to talk about this week, so I hope you are ready. Had a blast at yesterday's Foodportunity, (photo borrowed from The Frantic Foodie herself!) which is a must-go event for all Seattle foodies out there. Great food, interesting peeps, & so nice to be back in the world with my foodie family at last!
Talking & scheming with chefs about places for upcoming Queso y Vino dinners, so there should be some fun events coming up in the near future. Don't want to jinx myself by giving too much away, so stay tuned...
Enjoy the glorious weather, this week's wine recommendations, & hope to see you all soon. See the upcoming events listed below.
Presidenta, Queso y Vino, 206-518-1166, firstname.lastname@example.org
I now have a Facebook fanpage so please become a fan!!!! It's where to stay ahead of the curve on events, new wines I'm recommending, & general food gossip. I keep up with gourmand Twittering for you... Oh yeah, you can follow me as quesoyvino there too.
Flamenco shows at Taberna del Alabardero!
Jesus Montoya will be performing with guitarist Jose Tanaka & dancers
on March 25, 26 27 (with 2 performance times!)
Attend both the show & dinner for $65, or take in the show only in the bar for $20
I am not organizing this event (just attending!), so call Taberna for reservations at (206)448-8884
Croquetas de Jamon y Pollo
Iberico Ham and Chicken Croquettes
Pincho de Jamon Serrano
Serrano Ham on Tomato-Rubbed Toasted French Bread
Gazpacho de Remolacha
Red Beet Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Mousse
Mixed Paella, Made with Saffron Rice, Chicken, Shellfish and Vegetables
Panacotta de Frutos Rojos
Harvest Vine wine & tapas April 20th (menu forthcoming)
Stay tuned for
and other special appearances in the works
The Facebook fan club asked for this recipe when I
mentioned making it this week, so you got it! Hopefully we have more
beautiful grilling weather in our future. We have a meat-grinder
attachment on our Kitchen aid, so we went for grinding our own, but
already ground lamb (or as we found, even buffalo!) works with this
tasty recipe. Tofuboy, are you really upset with me now? It was pasture-raised lamb from a family in OR's Umpqua Valley!
1 lb trimmed shoulder, or neck
filletof lamb, chopped
into 1-inch chunks
1 level Tbs ground chili pepper
1 level Tbs ground cumin
4 level Tbs sumac, if you can find any, or finely grated zest of 1 lemon
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
a good handful of shelled pistachio nuts
a few handfuls of mixed salad leaves, such as romaine, endive & arugula, washed, spun, dry & shredded
a small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked
1 red onion, peeled & very finely sliced
a bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
extra virgin olive oil
4 large flatbreads or tortilla wraps
4 heaped Tbs plain yogurt
This dish is best cooked on a barbecue over hot coals, but if that's not possible, put your broiler on to its highest setting or heat up a griddle pan. Either way, get your heat source preheated.
Place the lamb in a food processor with most of the thyme, chili, cumin, & sumac (reserving a little of each for sprinkling over later), a little salt & pepper, & all of the pistachios. Put the lid on & keep pulsing until the mixture looks like ground meat.
Divide the meat into 4 equal pieces & get yourself 4 skewers. With damp hands, push and shape the meat around and along each skewer. Press little indents in the meat with your fingers as you go--this will give it better texture when cooked.
In one bowl, mix the salad leaves & mint. In another, combine the sliced onion with a good pinch of salt & pepper & a squeeze of lemon juice (the acidity will take the edge off & slightly pickle the raw onion). Scrunch this all together with your hands, then mix in the parsley leaves.
Grill the kebabs until nicely golden on all sides. Dress your salad leaves & mint with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice & some salt & pepper. Meanwhile, warm your flatbreads for 30 seconds on your griddle pan or under the broiler, then divide between plates.& top each with some dressed salad leaves & onion. When your kebabs are cooked, slip them off their skewers onto the flatbreads--you can leave them whole or break them up. Sprinkle with the rest of the sumac, cumin, chili & fresh thyme, & a little salt & pepper. Now either toss the salads, grilled meat & juices together on top of the flatbreads & drizzle with some yogurt before rolling up & serving; or let your friends toss theirs together at the table, then dress & roll up their own, drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil.
THIS WEEK'S QUESO Y VINO WINE RECOMMENDATIONS
I offer a 10% discount on whole or mixed cases, free delivery for orders over $150, smaller orders will be conveniently & gladly delivered to you for the nominal fee of $10. Start a buying club & I'll waive the delivery fee! Ask me if you'd like to arrange a free pick up at the Saturday University Farmer's Market or Sunday at the Ballard Farmer's Market or the West Seattle Farmer's Market. We're usually there from a window of 10:30 until noon depending on our order requests, and can be around to meet you before or after your market shopping.
Verasol TN Tempranillo 2008, Navarra $9.99
Verasol MCS.J Monastrell 2008, Jumilla $9.99
I'm extremely excited to have brand new $10 Spanish reds to offer you. The Verasol wines are the project of respected winemaker Pedro Sarrion, whose mission is to search out old vines & native grapes from up & coming wine regions. The wines are all aged without oak to show off the true nature of the varietals & their indigenous grapes. Modern, fun, true.
TN Tempranillo comes from the southern slopes of the Pyreness & tastes a bit like a sassy Grenache. My co-taster Naomi Andrade said, "this is Good" when we were going through a big line up of new wines. TN is light, supple, easy with cherry acidity. Clean & fruity, a totally enjoyable quaff, with violet essence & a spicy finish.
The MCS.J pops with fragrant bramble berries, smoky juicy plums, baked pie fruits, cloves & blackberry. Juicy, spicy & peppery with a licorice stick finish. Both GREAT wines for so little.
Casa de Mouraz Organic 2006, Dao $10.99
Lovely, lovely, lovely. Casa de Mouraz was one of the first in the Dao to go organic & then biodynamic, hence the ladybugs on the label. There are even several holdings that go back to the 16th century, & the vineyards coexist with pine, oak, chestnut & cork tree forests. The granite soil & gentle 8 months in oak create a delightful wine, with feminine leanings. 40% Touriga Nacional, 30% Tinta Roriz, 20% Jaen, 5% Agua and 5% Alfrocheiro. Inviting red raspberry nose, supple, pliable body, an approachability that keeps leading you back to the glass. I am very happy to find this wine.
Maritavora 2004, Douro $10.99 (reg. $18.99)
This wine has some serious Douro grip! Bang for the buck, baby. The father of poet Guerra Junqueiro bought a group of farms in the mid-19th century, and this upper-Douro Quinta was founded in 2004 by someone who worked with the Niepoorts. Their practices are the perfect confluence of past & present. 40% of the wine is foot-trodden & fermented in traditional stone lagares. Then 40% of the wine is aged in French oak for 12 months. The flavor from this blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, & Touriga Nacional is a big & bold Douro mouthful. Crushed rock, candied cherries, this was fantastic with a bowl of black olives. Serve this meaty red with Fillet of Beef with Porcini, Olive, & Manchego Butter from Spanish Kitchen by Jane Lawson. I think it's a little too big for a Portuguese duck recipe.
-90 points, Wine & Spirits
Chateau Douley Premeieres Cotes du Bordeaux 2006, Bordeaux $11.99 (reg. $13.99)
This delightful French wine came home in my husband's bag, where it was passed from Bruce Naftaly's kitchen at Le Gourmand to ours. Bruce liked it too, I hear... This hails from the east bank of the Gironde River, surrounded by the pricey & prestigious regions of Pomerol & St. Emilion. This is 80% smooth Merlot, & a balance of spicy Cab Franc & Cab Sauvignon. Smooth & fleshy with dusty plum skins, allspice, & green pepper, and a flourish of violets on the finish. Bring this bistro-style wine into your home & enjoy Marjolaine de Coninck's work.
Guimaro Mencia 2008, Ribeira Sacra $14.99 (reg. $16.99)
Calling all Mencia lovers, this is a lovely example of how good this pocket of Spain can get, at price tag I can get a handle on. Guimaro exemplifies the Mencia grape, which is that exotic Galician varietal that some say may be related to Cab Franc. Young winemaker Pedro Rodriguez Pérez lives and works in the tiny village of Sober (ironic eh?), where he is one of only nine residents. Can you imagine?! The average vine age for his project is 40 years. But this is the kicker: grapes are grown on the slopes of Ribeira Sacra, so steep, they recall The Mosel with vines on slopes up to 75 degrees. "Working these vines requires a fully manual operation. Grapes are harvested into baskets worn on pickers’ backs, moved by small carts on tracks down the steep hillside, and, finally paddled back to the cellar along the Rio Sil." Incredible! A feminine & elegant expression of the grape, with typical white pepper & pomegranate flavors, redolent with silken spice. Mineral sanguinal aspect typical of the grape, this is true elegance with a slightly ripe finish. Another for vine geeks & anyone up for pleasant dinner company.
Fitz-Ritter Riesling Extra Trocken Sekt, Pfalz $19.99 (reg. $21.99)
Sekt means "sparkling wine" in this region of the world, and this bubbly is one of the most fascinating & delightful finds I've come upon lately... A bottle that screams spring, Fitz-Ritter will satisfy wine geeks along with all your Easter brunch guests. This is 100% old-vine Riesling from the sunny micro-climate of the Middle-Haardt region. The family has been producing since 1785, & is one of the earliest producers of Sekt, now on its 8th generation. One of the oldest producers in the Pfalz, this scenic winery is graced with almond trees planted between the vineyards. Just another lovely fact about it. It was instant love for me. Salty, springy, & ever-so floral, this has acidity in spades to make it an intellectual's quaff, or a truly versatile food wine. I am so excited to sell this!
Didn't find your perfect wine this week? Go with a
Specially Selected Six-Pack!
This has been such a successful way to serve you that I say we shall continue this tradition, holidays or not. You pick the theme and price level you want to pay & I'll mix and match from my favorites in the cellar. Limited quantities, thoughtfully selected.
Choose your juice theme & your 6-pack price level:
The Pride of Portugal $60; $75; $100
Savor South America $60; $75
Celebrate Spain $60; $75; $100
Great Grenache $60; $75; $100
Throwing a Party $50; $60; $75; $100
On my Madeleine blog, I have created a tip jar (click on link to the left above), and I hope if you get something from my writing but don't want to order anything--maybe a recipe idea for an upcoming dinner, or wine advice that you put to use elsewhere--I hope you'll slip a couple of bucks in the jar from time to time. It's like sending your pledge money to public radio, only I don't interrupt the airwaves for a fund drive.Thank you & enjoy!!!!!!
Copyright, queso y vino 2010