Author Archive for The Wine Artist

Butternut Squash Stuffed Mushrooms

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

This healthy vegetarian dish is easy to make and makes a great side dish for your fall or holiday dinner.  Substitute with smaller mushrooms for the perfect appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoon sage (chopped)
  • 2 cups butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms, stemmed
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • Optional garnish: Goat cheese, parmesan cheese or sage

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat butter in a saucepan Add in sage and stir for a couple of minutes over low – medium heat until butter has turned light brown and has a nutty aroma.  Set aside

In a large bowl, add the butternut squash, garlic, salt, pepper, pumpkin pie spice, honey and butter/sage mixture (reserving some to coat mushrooms) and toss well to combine.

Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, until slightly soft.

Brush the inside of the mushrooms with the remaining butter/sage mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill with butternut squash and top with goat cheese. Bake until mushrooms are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Garnish with goat cheese and sage. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Risotto

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

By swapping cauliflower for rice and adding goat cheese, this recipe recreates the creamy texture for a healthier risotto option.

Bonus: You will be out of the kitchen in under 30 minutes as the cauliflower cooks quicker than rice.

Ingredients 

  • 1 head cauliflower (4-5 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sage (chopped)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup chicken broth (or more as needed)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( can or fresh)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup goat cheese or parmesan cheese
  • Optional garnish: sage, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, et

Directions

Using a cheese grater, grate cauliflower until it resembles rice grains (or use a food processor)

Heat butter in a skillet or saucepan Add sage and stir for a couple of minutes over low – medium heat until butter has turned light brown and has a nutty aroma.

Add in onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes or until onions are translucent Add in cauliflower, half of the broth and stir for about 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Add in remaining broth and continue to cook until cauliflower is softened.

Stir in pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice (if using), salt, pepper and goat cheese and stir until goat cheese is melted and cauliflower has a creamy texture.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish as desired.

Quinoa Pizza Crust

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Quinoa pizza crust is a great gluten-free alternative to pizza dough. It has a nutty taste and holds together perfectly when sliced.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (soaked for at least 8 hours)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon. salt
  • cooking spray
  • Toppings desired: tomato sauce, onions, mushrooms, tomato, meat, etc

Directions

Place quinoa in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse with water.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place quinoa, water, garlic, baking powder, salt in a food processor and mix until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. 

Line a round cake pan or baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. 

Pour in batter and smooth with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 15 minutes. Flip crust over and bake for 10 more minutes ( you can remove parchment paper).  Add toppings desired and bake for 5 minutes (more or less depending on toppings) 

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Blueberry Tarts

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Blueberry tart made with puff pastry makes an easy summer dessert.

Makes 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, stir together the blueberries, sugar, cinnamon, corn starch and lemon juice & salt.

Cut puff pastry sheets into 4-6 squares. Spoon the blueberry mixture in the center of the dough, leaving a 1- inch border. Gently fold the dough border over the filling pleating it to make a circle or square.

Place puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Brush the crust with egg mixture and sprinkle top with sugar if desired.

Bake until the crust is golden. Serve with ice cream or whip cream.

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Strawberry Gazpacho

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

As strawberries are in season,  try this refreshing version of the classic Spanish chilled vegetable soup.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cucumber, peeled 
  • 1/2  red bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1 tomato 
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 red onion
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic  vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional garnish:  diced strawberries and mint 

Directions

Roughly chop cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, red onion  and strawberries. 

Add  vegetables and strawberries into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to mix. 

Add in balsamic vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper  Process/blend mixture until pureed into desired consistency. 

Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Chill before serving. The longer the gazpacho sits, the more flavor it develops. Can be refrigerated overnight.

Before serving, garnish with diced strawberries and mint, if desired. 

Roasted Beets and Swiss Chard Salad

Friday, March 24th, 2017

On my recent trip to Tanaka Farms in Irvine, I picked up some beautiful Swiss Chard and Beets which was perfect for a colorful salad.

For this recipe, carrots and bean sprouts were added to the salad and topped with walnuts. Feel free to add other ingredients as desired.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 beets, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 Swiss chard, chopped ( or spinach, arugula, or kale)
  • Optional vegetables: carrots, celery, red onion, radish, tomatoes, avocado, etc
  • Optional: goat cheese, crumbled
  • Optional nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds, etc

Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Peel beets and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add to prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and  1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Toss together and spread evenly on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until soft.

To serve: add Swiss chard and any other vegetables into a salad bowl and toss together with dressing. Top with roasted beets, cheese or nuts.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day Champagne Cocktails

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

While green beer has always been the drink of choice for St. Patrick’s Day,  add some variety with champagne based cocktails.

When making any cocktails with Champagne, add the Champagne last to avoid overflow. Stirring is not necessary as the bubbles do most of the work, but if you do, stir slowly.

To keep the champagne cold, freeze some grapes and use them as ice cubes.

To make green colored sugar: add couple of drops of green food coloring to ½ cup of sugar in a zip log bag and mix well. Pour onto a plate and let dry.  Rub a glass rim with lime or liquor and dip into the sugar. You can also dip grapes or other fruit in the sugar to use as garnish.

Below are some champagne cocktail recipes to enjoy. Cheers!

 

Green Apple Champagne Martini

  • 1 oz apple pucker
  • 1 oz vodka
  • Ice
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

In a cocktail shaker, combine apple pucker, vodka, and ice. Shake and strain into a martini or champagne glass. Top with Champagne.

 

Midori Cocktail

  • 1 oz Midori liqueur
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

Add Midori and orange juice into a champagne flute. Top with Champagne.

 

 Kiwi Cocktail

  • Kiwi (peeled and  sliced)
  • 1 oz vodka
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

In a small bowl, mash half of the kiwi with a fork into a smooth paste. Add to champagne glasses, add vodka and top with champagne. Garnish with kiwi slice.

 

Stout Cocktail

  • Stout beer (such as  Guinness)
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

Fill champagne flute half way with beer and slowly top with champagne

 

 Champagne Mojitos

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup mint leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 4 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup rum
  • Ice or frozen grapes
  • Champagne or sparkling wine

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and cook  just until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large pitcher, combine sugar syrup, mint and lime and muddle well with a wooden spoon. Add in rum and stir well.

Fill glass with ice or frozen grapes and pour in mixture halfway. Top with Champagne and garnish with mint.

 

 

 

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes – the perfect dessert for your St Patrick’s Day party.

If you prefer to make a cake: butter or spray a springform or bundt pan and bake for about 35 minutes.

Yields 24 cupcakes 

Ingredients 

Ganache Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups (12oz) semisweet  or bittersweet chocolate

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt (optional)

Directions 

The ganache frosting will need some time in the refrigerator so it’s best to prepare first before making the cupcakes.

For ganache: bring heavy cream to simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Add  chocolate and let sit for a couple of minutes for chocolate to melt. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth. Refrigerate until icing is spreadable stirring frequently, about 2 hours.

For cupcakes:  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, combine Guinness and butter. Place over medium-low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat, add cocoa powder and whisk to blend. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sour cream and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Add the Guinness mixture and beat just to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat just to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until mixed.

Pour into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners.  Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Cool completely.

When ready to frost: stir ganache and transfer to a piping bag fitted with a tip and pipe on each cupcake (or use an offset spatula and spread on top of cupcakes). Top with sea salt, if desired.

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Categories : Chocolate, Dessert, Holiday

St Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Hosting a dinner party for St. Patrick’s Day? You’ll have the luck of the Irish on your side when you rely on your crock pot to make the perfect corned beef and cabbage while you’re at work.  And to accompany your meal is an easy Irish Soda Bread recipe.

Corned Beef Brisket is a cut of meat that has been cured (pickled) in seasoned brine. The brisket is a tough cut of meat and requires slow and low cooking, which is why I chose to use a crock pot method.

If you prefer a wine driven celebration instead of beer, Pinot Noir is great choice  as a fuller-bodied red, like a Cabernet Sauvignon,  may have strong tannins which can leave a bitter taste in your mouth when paired with salty foods.

TIPS:

  •  Slicing the meat against the grain will prevent  the meat from being tough and chewy
  •  Because the meat comes in a package pre brined, don’t add salt during the cooking process
  •  To reduce sodium, you may rinse the meat in water before cooking
  •  Cabbage cooks very quickly and will get soggy, so add cabbage the last 30-45 minutes
  •  Use leftovers for sandwiches or dice them to make corned beef hash
  •  If you prefer not to make the gravy, serve with  mustard and horseradish on the side

 

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 6-8 red or yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly minced
  • 3-4 lb corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
  • 3 Tablespoons mustard
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Seasoning packet that comes with brisket
  • 1 head cabbage, cut through the core into 8 wedges
  • 1 bottle of dark beer,such as Guinness  ( or 2 cups of red wine)
  • 2 Tablespoons mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon horseradish
  • 1/2 cup honey or brown sugar

 Directions: 

Place potatoes, onion, carrots, and garlic in the crock pot. Place  brisket, fat side down, over the vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, brown sugar and seasoning packet. Spread the mixture on top of the corned beef.  Pour in beer (or wine).

Cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is fork tender. Add cabbage around the meat and push down to immerse in liquid. Cover lid and continue to cook for about 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender.

Remove meat from the crock pot and place a tent foil on top to let it rest for about 20 minutes.

While meat is resting, make the gravy.  Remove vegetables from crock pot. In a saucepan, bring sauce from the crockpot to boil and add in mustard, Worcestershire, horseradish and honey and mix. Simmer until gravy is reduced by half.

To serve:  slice  the corned beef against the grain and place on a serving platter along with the vegetables and gravy.

 

Irish Soda Bread 

 

 Ingredients 

  • 4 cups flour
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar (plus 2 Tablespoons to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 ½  cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup raisins, currents or other dried fruit ( optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 3 Tablespoons sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or 2 knives until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Measure buttermilk and add the egg to the measuring cup, whisking lightly with a fork to incorporate. Pour into the flour mixture, along with dried fruit and stir together just until mixed.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and lightly knead to shape into a round loaf. ( Do not over knead)  Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a lightly greased cast iron skillet.

With a knife, score the  top of dough in a “X” shape to help heat get into the center of the dough while it bakes. Sprinkle remaining sugar on top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with butter.

Enjoy your fabulous dinner  on St. Patrick’s Day or any other day!

 

 

With the amazing produce spring brings, one of the best ways to enjoy it is in a fresh salad. From  asparagus to radishes to strawberries, this colorful and delicious salad can be served  as a meal or as side with  your Easter brunch.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup  balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of  salt
  • 4-5 stalks asparagus, ends cut off and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 5-6 cups spinach, chopped or baby spinach
  • 4-5 radishes, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, plus additional for garnish
  • 4 oz soft goat cheese

Directions:

To make the balsamic vinegar reduction: add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce until syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch for few minutes. Remove from boiling water and immerse in iced or cold water.  (This stops the cooking process to preserve the asparagus’ crisp texture and color). Once cooled, lay on a paper towel and pat dry. Set aside.

To make dressing:  whisk together balsamic vinegar reduction, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

In a large platter or bowl:  toss together all vegetables and strawberries. Top with goat cheese.  Drizzle dressing on top and garnish with more strawberries, if desired.