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    Notes - July 24, 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 the next episode, taking place July 24th, Chris and Mark talk about Grove Street Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Saint Tropez Carte Noire Rosé 2013, Château de Gourgazaud Réserve2010 and Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2010.

    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.

    Grill roasting is a technique that is great for cooking larger cuts of meat or poultry on your backyard gas or charcoal grill. Roasting over indirect heat is easy and doesn’t require constant attention, allowing you to spend more time with your guests.
    Serve this roast with simple sides that can be made well in advance. Green bean salad, steamed new potatoes and a mixed green salad would be perfect.

    Grill Roasted Leg of Lamb with herbs and Koslik’s Triple Crunch Mustard

    Ingredients:

    Mustard herb rub
    2 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves
    1 Tbs fresh thyme
    1/3 cup basil leaves
    1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley
    4 medium-sized cloves of garlic
    2 Tbs coarsely cracked black pepper
    2 tsp salt
    2 Tbs olive oil
    Grated zest of 1 lemon
    2 Tbs Koslik’s Triple Crunch Mustard (or course Dijon like Old Style Maille or Country Style Grey Poupon)

    Lamb:

    One 5-lb. / 2.5kg boneless butterflied leg of lamb at room temperature

    Prepare the herb rub and roll the lamb:

    Combine all of the rub ingredients in a food processor (or a mortar and pestle) and process into a paste (try to leave some of the mustard seeds in tact).
    Place the lamb cut side up on a large baking sheet or cleanable work surface. Trim unwanted fat and visible sinew off the leg (be careful not to cut the membrane that holds the leg together). Using your hands, work 1/3 of the rub mixture into the meat. Roll the lamb tightly, starting at the short end. Tie the roast at 2 cm intervals with kitchen twine. Cover the outside of roast with the rest of the herb rub.

    Grill roast the lamb:

    For charcoal grill:

    With the grill uncovered, make a 15cm high hot charcoal bed that covers 2/3 of the bottom grate allowing the fire to burn down for 30-40 minutes until red hot.
    If your grate has a side opening, align the coals with it for adding more charcoal later. Close the lid and heat the grate for 5 minutes. Place the roast on the side away from the fire along with a thermometer.  Cover the grill, close vents most of the way and cook the roast.
    At 20 minutes, check the temperature, it should be between 325F and 375F. Adjust the vents if needed (opening them will make it hotter, closing them will drop the temperature). Add more charcoal if necessary.

    At 45 minutes, use tongs to turn the roast, keeping it on the cool side of the grill (the side that was furthest from the fire should be closest). Check the temperature and adjust vents if necessary.

    Cook the roast for another 45 minutes after turning.  Check the roast’s doneness with an instant read thermometer. For medium rare, it should read 125F to 130F and for medium it should read 135F to 145F.

    When lamb has reached the desired temperature, use tongs to roll it briefly over the hot side of the grill, searing the outside of the roast about 1-2 minutes per side. Place the lamb on platter (to collect juices) and cover with foil. Let the lamb rest for 10 – 15 minutes before carving.

    For gas grill:

    Make sure you have enough fuel to run the grill for at least 1.5 hours.

    This method will only work on gas grills where you can leave an area turned off.  The surface needs to be a little larger than the size of the roast.

    Preheat grill to 350F, leaving 1/3 of the grill off if possible.

    Place the roast in the middle of the unheated surface. Close the lid and check temperature after 10 minutes. It should read 350F.

    At 45 minutes, use tongs to turn the roast, keeping it on the cool side of the grill (the side that was furthest from the fire should be closest).  Make sure the temperate is at 350F.

    Cook the roast for another 45 minutes after turning.  Check the roast’s doneness with an instant read thermometer. For medium rare, it should read 125F to 130F and for medium it should read 135F to 145F.

    When lamb has reached the desired temperature, use tongs to roll it briefly over the hot side of the grill, searing the outside of the roast about 1-2 minutes per side. Place the lamb on platter (to collect juices) and cover with foil. Let the lamb rest for 10 – 15 minutes before carving.

    Notes - June 25, 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 the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad on site at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival to talk about Crazy Uncle Uber Caesar, Weinhaus Ress Rheingau Riesling Trocken 2012, Cigar Zin Old  Vine Zinfandel 2011and Cellier des Dauphins Carte Noire, Côtes du Rhône AC.

    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.

    Black Olive and Tuna Tapenade

    1/4 pound Kalamata olives, pitted (check them for pit pieces)

    2 garlic cloves

    1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed thoroughly with cold water

    2 anchovy fillets

     

    1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

    1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

    2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    1 can olive-oil packed light tuna

    Freshly ground pepper

    Turn on a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and drop in the garlic. When finely chopped and adhering to the sides of the machine, stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except the tuna, and puree to a smooth paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the tuna and anchovies.

    Process until you have a smooth paste. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

    Yield: Makes about 1 1/4 cups

    Serve with crusty bread.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Notes - June 11, 2014


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

    On this special edition of Notes, Brad and Chris were joined in studio by the Crazy Uncle team Bruno and Davide Codispoti to talk about their new product, the Crazy Uncle Uber Caesar.

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Notes - May 22, 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 the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Handcraft Petite Sirah, First Press Cabernet Sauvignon, Château Donissan and Château Maurac.

    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.

    Chicken Liver Pâté

    This is dead-simple to prepare and has been adapted from a New York Times recipe, which uses common Canadian measures.  Many recipes on-line come from the UK and call for ingredients not readily available in Canada. Pack the pâté into small glass jars and refrigerate until you want to use it.

    Ingredients:

    8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
    2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
    1 pound fresh chicken livers trimmed
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
    1/3 cup Madeira or port
    3 tablespoons heavy cream, plus more as needed
    Kosher salt to taste

    Preparation:

    Put a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat, and melt 4 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to foam.

    Add the shallots, and sauté them until translucent, being careful not to allow them to brown. Add the livers, thyme and Madeira or port, and bring the heat to high. Cook, occasionally stirring the livers around in the pan with a spoon, until the wine has reduced and the livers are lightly browned but still very soft and pink on the inside, approximately 5 minutes.

    Remove the pan from the stove, and put its contents into a blender or food processor, along with the cream and the remaining butter.

    Purée until smooth, adding a little more cream if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt if necessary.

    Pack the pâté into a glass jar or bowl and smooth the top out with a spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about two hours or up to five days.

    Notes - April 24, 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 the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz, Casa Silva Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, Bertani Secco-Bertani and Ungava Gin.

    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.

    Chèvre and Asparagus Tart

    Serves 6-8

    5 ounces chèvre (goat cheese)
    1 egg
    ¼ cup heavy cream
    10 grinds fresh black pepper
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    12 ounces asparagus, preferably on the smaller side (if larger, cut in half length- wise)
    1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted per package instructions

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine chevre, egg, cream, pepper and salt in small bowl. Trim bottoms off asparagus.

    Unwrap puff pastry, and trim to 14-by-10-inch rectangle. Place dough on sheet tray lined with parchment or silicone baking mat.

    Place 1 asparagus spear on short side of dough, about 1/2 inch from end. Using it as a guide, spread cheese mixture from center of the dough outward into a rectangle,

    stopping at asparagus spear. Lay remaining asparagus spears on top of filling, alternating ends and tips.

    Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until asparagus are tender and pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes, and serve.

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