At Christmas my hubby came through with my 2nd favorite present (Favorite present of all times was a DVD of Babette’s Feast) of all times… a sous-vide immersion circulator. I had been wanting one for a few years but the price was ridiculous. But now that the price had come down a good friend led Joe straight to the path of success.
I posted a few pics on my personal FB page and when I ran into people everyone asked, “What is sous-vide? What is that contraption?”. Of course, one of my witty friends Scott thought it was some sort of marital aid and wondered what Joe was doing with his spare time but that is the farthest thing any truth there is. Sous-vide is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags and then submerged in a temperature-controlled water bath.
The are a myriad of reasons why you should embrace this cooking:
The slide show I have attached is how you go about the process. Below are the links if you want to buy a setup. Trust me… you will not regret it. Just invite me over for dinner!
The immersion circulator: http://anovaculinary.com/products/anova
Vacuum Sealer: http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-GameSaver-Deluxe-Vacuum-Sealing/dp/B0018...
App (so you know how long to cook things): https://www.polyscienceculinary.com/sousvide-toolbox-iphone.php
There are a ton of recipes online that will help you get the hang of it.
Yes, sadly at Casa Camacho we do have wine that is not finished after a few days. I was always saddened to pour these wines down the drain—it wasn’t their fault they had not been drunk. They are typically everyday wines or nice wines but definitely something we enjoyed. After some research I started to make red wine vinegar last year. The initial batch has a learning curve but after the second time (I am on my fourth), you realize it is so simple, why isn’t everyone doing it?
To start you need some leftover wine, a crock, a mother (the bacteria that transforms it), purified water and the ability to follow simple instructions.
Check out Clay Coyotee for instructions, crocks and where to buy your mother. I bought my mother here in town at San Francisco Brewcraft out on Clement Street. I still chuckle about my clever line when I purchased my mother, “So, that’s what my mother looks like.”
I stockpile my leftover wines in the wine cellar and after 3 months or so I bottle the vinegar and make more vinegar. I use red wine vinegar in simple vinaigrettes as well as punching the flavor in soups and sauces. Once you taste your own vinegar you will never buy red wine vinegar again. Let me know if you make some!!
Sean Diggins has done a masterful job at building a wine list that's affordable and pairs well with the cuisine of Gitane. Gitane serves up Spanish tapas influenced by the cuisines of Morocco and Northern Africa. It's not surprising that I loved this restaurant so much since the chef, Lisa Eyherabide, used to be at Piperade—one of my top 5 restaurants in San Francisco.
Some of the pairings that worked extremely well were:
2008 Albariño, Adegas Gran Vinum, “Nessa”, Rías Baixas, Spain (a previous WU selection) with Sardinas en Escabèche.
Sherry, La Cigarrera, Manzanilla, Sanlucar with Piquillo peppers stuffed with fresh Dungeness crab salad served with cucumber tagliatell, lemon confit dressing.
2007 Listan Negro (the name of the varietal), Bodegas Tajinaste, Valle de la Orotava, Canary Islands with Chiprones—grilled squid, stuffed with hot chorizo, garlic, thyme, onion, rice, olives, lemon dressing, fried bell pepper. A hot tip: Don’t share the fried bell pepper!
This month try the following recipe for Cataplana, a Portuguese seafood dish, with Odisea Albariño featured in Everyday Libations club level.
2 lb monkfish filets, cleaned
1 lb clams
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 garlic gloves
½ chorizo Palacio hot
¼ bu fresh cilantro
½ lb fingerling potatoes
1/2 L white wine
1 L of lobster bisque (can also use 1L of white wine instead)
2 lb lobster head
1 onion sliced
1 carrot sliced
1 celery branch sliced
¼ fennel sliced
10 tomatoes cut in 4
1 cup tomato paste
While in traveling in Europe last summer with my daughter, our last meal abroad was at Skylon in London. After the South of France and in Italy, the bar was set pretty high for good eats. We were blown away by the creativity and flavors at Skylon, it was a delicious and memorable end to our trip! Here are some pictures of our experience there…. Divine!
I recently contacted them and they kindly gave us a recipe which would pair perfectly with Vermentino this month. So if you find yourself abroad this year, stop by Skylon in London.
Venison Carpaccio with Beets and Cabernet Sauvignon sauce
300g loin of venison
2 bunches baby beetroot
80g toasted hazelnuts
40g shaved Parmesan
50ml Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
15ml Soy sauce
150ml Olive oil
40ml Hazelnut oil
Rocket or baby watercress leaves
Jay Murray, executive chef for Grill 23 in Boston, shares with Wine Unleashed his recipe for Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Peekytoe Crab, Golden Raisins and Toasted Almonds. Chef Murray is an award-winning chef, culinary scholar and “flavor theorist”. What all this means is that he takes his food and flavors very seriously. The outcome is food that’s flavorful and thoughtful. When I made this recipe, I thought, “Seems straightforward enough.” Well, to my palate's surprise, I was rewarded with layers of flavor, all that support the sweetness and richness of the crab. If Chef Murray was a painter, he could not have created a prettier picture. The suggested pairing of the Auxerrois from this month’s selection adds to the symphony of flavors. The acid in the wine keeps everything in check and the body supports the richness. When you are in Boston next... check out Grill 23 for Chef Murray’s other creations.
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Peekytoe Crab, Golden Raisins and Toasted Almonds
Peekytoe Crab Salad
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Can you say San Francisco hot spot? If you have plans to visit San Francisco, you must make your way over to NOPA (it stands for North of the Panhandle, the neighborhood where the restaurant is located).Housed in a beautifully restored 1920s bank building, Chef Laurence Jossel, his wife Allyson, and Jeff Hanak serve tasty regional organic fare for hip food lovers in the know. In San Francisco, if a place is truly hip, it MUST have great food. Chef Laurence Jossel shared his recipe with me for his Calamari Salad this month. It’s a home run in my book! At the restaurant, they cook the calamari in a wood-oven but the home cook can easily pan sear the squid. I love the fact that it embraces the season’s offerings, is easy on the pocketbook AND pairs incredibly well with this month’s Gruner Veltliner!
Quick-Seared Calamari Salad, with Oranges, Fennel and Kalamata Olives
Vinaigrette (makes ½ cup)
To make the vinaigrette, pour vinegar over the finely mashed garlic in a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes (to take raw taste out). Add chopped oregano, and whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste. Whisk in reserved orange juice. If you want to get crazy, you cab add some orange zest.
Place a heavy skillet on stove on medium-high heat. While the skillet is heating, assemble everything but squid and vinaigrette in a bowl. Pour oil on top of squid in a separate bowl and season with salt and pepper. Quickly add squid in skillet, making sure to have plenty of space between pieces. The skillet must be hot and the squid not crowded so you can SEAR). The squid will curl and become opaque and don’t move or overcook! Start with tentacles, cook 10 seconds then add the bodies and then after 30 seconds remove the skillet from the heat. Total squid cooking time should be between 30–40 seconds.
After the squid is cooked, take whole skillet and turn into the bowl with the fennel, oranges, frisée, radicchio, and olives with all the collected juices. Quickly add vinaigrette, toss and plate. Garnish with Fried Chickpeas (see below)
To make the Fried Chickpeas, take cooked chickpeas and fry them in vegetables oil until very crisp (Oils should be at medium heat or 300˚F), about 6 to 7 minutes. Toss with spicy spanish paprika and salt.
For instructions on how to clean the squid, check out this video clip: How to Clean Squid
I am thrilled to present a new section for WU: Guest Chef Recipes. We will be featuring chefs from the around the country each month. The recipes they present will be economical and, if possible, healthy. This is a great way to inspire your tastebuds as well as providing wine-food inspiration. It is all about synergy here at WU!! This month, we are featuring Chef Jody Denton, a very dear friend of mine as well!! Jody was the executive chef for Lulu, Azie and Zibibbo, as well as being the driving force behind all the Lulu gourmet food products. Let’s just say that the man has talent, and boy, is he passionate about his craft! I am constantly in awe of his creativity and vision. If you find yourself in Bend, Oregon, you must stop by his restaurants, Merenda and Deep. You will not be disappointed. Chef Denton’s recipe for WU’s inaugural entry is a hearty main course salad, great for the fall. Serve with the Zweigelt from this month’s selections, it’s a match made in heaven.
Mustard Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spinach, Pancetta and Mushroom Salad Makes about 4 to 6 servings
Angela Camacho, a certified sommelier and author of a best selling wine tool, The Wine Wheel®, shares her obsession with wine and food.