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    Notes - March 18, 2015


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

     

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On this episode, Chris, Mark and Brad are joined by contest winner, guest sommelier Mark Friesner to talk about Bleasdale Mulberry Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Kunde Estate Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Bertani Valpolicella Ripasso DOC 2011 and Francois Lurton Pinot Grigio.

    Have a listen!

     

     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine.

    ‘Sweet Heat’ Braised Lamb Shanks

    Ingredients:

    •    1 Tbs. canola oil

    •    4 lamb shanks, 14 to 16 oz. each, blotted dry

    •    Kosher salt

    •    Freshly ground black pepper

    •    1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

    •    2 medium cloves garlic, minced

    •    3/4 cup red wine (Casal Thaulero Merlot / Cabernet)

    •    8 oz. (2 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries

    •    1 cup lower-salt beef broth

    •    1/3 cup honey

    •    2 Tbs. minced canned chipotles in adobo

    •    2 tsp. ground cumin

    •    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 1 Tbs. for garnish

    Directions:

    Use a cast-iron skillet for this recipe if possible, the pan keeps temperature stead and even. You can braise other cuts of meat like short ribs too.
    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.

    Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Add the oil, swirling the pan to coat the bottom; then add the lamb shanks and cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the shanks to a plate. Season generously with salt and pepper.

    Cook the onion in the skillet over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, and bring the mixture to a boil.

    Stir in the cranberries, broth, honey, chipotles, and cumin and cook until the cranberries begin to pop, about 5 minutes. Arrange the shanks in the skillet, cover tightly with an ovenproof domed lid or heavy-duty aluminum foil, and put the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet (to make it easier to transfer without spilling). Transfer to the oven and cook, turning the lamb shanks 2 or 3 times during cooking, until they are fork tender, 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

    Transfer the shanks to a medium bowl and cover to keep warm. Skim any fat from the sauce in the skillet and boil over high heat until the liquid lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. Stir in the 1/4 cup cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the shanks to the skillet, briefly turning them in the sauce, and serve sprinkled with the remaining 1 Tbs. cilantro.

    Notes - February 18, 2015


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

     

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On this episode, Chris and Mark talk about First Press Chardonnay 2011, Los Clop Reserva Malbec 2009, Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 and Cigar Zin Zinfandel 2012.

    Have a listen!

     

     

     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine.

    Fagioli all ‘Uccelletto (Tuscan beans cooked like small birds)

    This simple dish is easy to prepare and is best served with cooked pork sausage. For simplicity, this recipe calls for tinned beans. If using dried beans you will need to soak them overnight in water and cook them for 40 minutes in lightly salted water.

    If you have time and presentation is important to you, fry one or two sage leaves per serving in olive oil until crispy to use as a garnish.

    Ingredients:

    1 540 mL tin of White Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)

    1 796 mL tin of Whole Plum Tomatoes – San Marzano (drained and chopped)

    2-3 cloves garlic crushed and finely chopped

    Olive oil

    5 fresh sage leaves chopped

    Salt and freshly ground pepper

    Directions:

    Pour enough olive in a medium sized pot or casserole to completely cover the bottom. Sauté the garlic, sage and pepper over medium heat until fragrant (do not let the garlic brown). Add the beans and stir for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and salt, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.

    Serve with garlic bread and a drizzle of olive oil.

    or

    Cook four sausages in frying pan, finishing with a few tablespoons of red wine. Add the sausage and wine to the beans while they are cooking for 15-20 minutes,

    or

    Serve with grilled sausages.

     

    Notes - January 27, 2015


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

     

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On this episode, Chris and Mark talk about Grove Street Pinot Noir 2012, Incognito Red 2012, Domaine du Bois-Malinge Sur Lie Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2013 and Casal Thaulero Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Have a listen!


     

     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine.

    Food Hack

    Usually served as an appetizer/salad - Bresaola with greens and cheese is easily made into a canapé.  Use good quality Parmesan, Grana Padano or Romano cheese.  The best quality olive oil and good balsamic go a long way to making these rolls taste great. If you can’t find baby arugula greens, substitute with baby spinach.

    Bresaola is air-cured beef from Italy. You can find it at better food stores or sometimes at Italian bakeries that have a deli section.

    The Bresaola should be served at or just below room temperature.

    Ingredients:

    - 12 slices Bresaola
    - Baby Arugula (use Earthbound Organic if available)
    - Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (use the larger grate size holes)
    - Extra Virgin, cold pressed Italian Olive Oil
    - Balsamic Vinegar
    - Coarse sea salt
    - Freshly ground black pepper
    - 12 toothpicks

    Directions:

    Lay a slice of Besaola onto a wooden or plastic cutting board.

    Place a line of Arugula down the centre of the meat.

    Sprinkle the cheese over the Arugula.

    Drizzle with oil and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Pull the sides of the Bresaola up to cover the greens and secure with a toothpick.

    Enjoy with your favourite wine.

    Notes - Year End Edition

    WINES TO SIP, SAVOUR THE YEAR THAT WAS 2014

    JAZZ.FM91's wine connoisseur, Chris Churchill has put together a list of his 5 favourite wines that crossed his lips this past year.  If you're entertaining, looking for a gift or want to savour the holidays - here's a list for you!

    Plus, as an added bonus, check out this supercut of some of the great moments from this year in Notes!


    Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava from Spain - Tastes like Champagne for a third the price.

    Chapel Hill Bush Vine Grenache 2011 from Australia - New world meets old vines.

    Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva 2010 from Italy - Refined elegance in a bottle.

    D’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2012 from Australia -  My official wine of the summer of 2014.

    Hermanos Lurton Tempranillo 2011 from Spain -  One of the best new wines to hit LCBO shelves and available all year round.

    Cheers to making 2015 a memorable and magical year!

     

    Notes - December 10, 2014


    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music

     

    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On this episode, Chris and Mark talk about First Press Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Chardonnay 2012, Grove Street Cabernet Sauvignon and Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2012.

    Have a listen!


     

     

     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.


    Petite Piquant Cheese Onion and Olive Scones

    This is an adaption of Delia Smith’s devilishly moreish, slightly spicy scones that make perfect appetizers and will match almost any kind of wine thanks to the combo of old Cheddar and Parmesan cheese – Cheers!

    Ingredients:

    - 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
    - 1 medium onion finely diced
    - 1 Tblsp olive oil
    - ½ tsp salt
    - ½ tsp mustard powder
    - ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    - ¼ tsp freshly milled black pepper (or more to taste)
    - 2 Tblsp butter – cubed at room temperature
    - ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
    - ¼ cup old strong Cheddar cheese
    - Approximately 2-3 Tblsp milk
    - 1 large egg
    - 6 black olives, stoned and minced

    Preparation:

    A 3cm pastry cutter will come in handy (you can substitute a shot glass)

    Use a lightly greased baking sheet or a silpat

    Pre-heat oven to 400F

    Fry the onion over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes stirring frequently until they are a deep golden brown colour, but no burnt. Transfer to a plate to cool.

    In a large mixing bowl sift: flour, salt, mustard powder, cayenne pepper and a good grinding of black pepper (the scones should have a piquant bite to them). Rub in the butter, add cooled onion, olive, ¾ of the cheese and mix evenly. Beat the egg separately and add to mixture, add enough milk to make dough soft, but not sticky. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead it gently until smooth. Roll dough out to a minimum of 2 cm thickness. Next, use the 3 cm cookie/pastry cutter to make scones, giving it a sharp tap to cut cleanly. Lightly knead the remaining trimmings and make more scones until finished. Place scones onto baking sheet, brush them with milk and top them with the remaining grated cheese. Bake them in the top 1/3rd of the oven for 10-12 minutes until GB&D (golden brown and delicious), being careful not to scorch the bottoms. Let scones cool slightly before serving. Or move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Scones can be made ahead and frozen. Defrost and re-heat them at 350F for about 4 minutes before serving. You can also split them and add herbed cream cheese or Cambazola and warm them at 275F for 2-3 minutes.

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