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    Notes: June 2017


    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.

    This month they uncork and feature:
    Waimea Classic Riesling, First Press Chardonnay, Carte Noire Rose from Les Maitres Vignerons de la Presqui'ile de Saint Tropez & Petite Petit.





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    Enjoy this recipe at your next dinner party or for dinner this weekend!

    Seafood Arrabbiata
    ‘Angry’ hot pasta sauce with seafood is a wonderful dish for al fresco dining.

    Ingredients:
    8 ounces uncooked linguine
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    6 ounces bay scallops
    6 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    2 tablespoons tomato paste
    1 (14.5-ounce) can petite-cut diced tomatoes, drained
    1/2 cup clam juice
    12 littleneck clams
    12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil

    Method:
    Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
    While pasta cooks, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops and shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes. Remove scallop mixture from pan; keep warm. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and tomatoes; bring to a boil, and cook 2 minutes. Add clam juice; cook 1 minute. Add clams; cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 4 minutes. Add mussels; cover and cook 3 minutes or until clams and mussels open. Discard any unopened shells. Stir in scallop mixture and parsley; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with basil.

    Notes: April 2017



    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.

    This week, Willm Riesling, Bold Vine Old Vine Zinfandel, Ryan Patrick Redhead Red, and Michael David Freakshow Cab







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    Maple Glazed Ham Grilled Ham ‘Steaks’ with Maple Whiskey Glaze
     
    Grilling already smoked or cured meat can be a real time saver and a great way to feed a crowd. We grill smoked sausages, kielbasa, smoked pork chops and capicola. Hams can be grilled for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Cut and grill the entire ham - the leftovers are great in sandwiches.
     
    Preparing a ham ‘properly’ (steaming, glazing and broiling) in the oven takes a bit of work and can be quite messy. Grilling ham is quick and easy and each ‘steak’ ends up with its own char and glaze.
     
    Ingredients:
     
    700-800g smoked boneless half ham
    ¼ cup Canadian whiskey
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    ¼ cup maple syrup
    2 Tbsp. honey mustard
    1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
     
    Method:
     
    Preheat your grill to high (internal temperature should reach between 400-500 degrees).
     
    While the grill is heating, make the glaze by combining whiskey, brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard and allspice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, mixing well, and then remove from heat.
     
    Pour glaze into a bowl.
     
    Cut the boneless ham in 1.5 cm slices and brush with the maple whiskey glaze.
     
    Turn the grill down to medium heat and grill ham steaks for 2 to 3 minutes a side until, turning over until you’ve made a criss-cross pattern on the steaks. Glaze the ham each time you flip it.
     
    Remove from the grill and brush additional glaze on the steak.
     
    Serve with Willm Reserve Riesling from Alsace.




    Notes: March 2017


    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.

    This week, Dunavar Pinot Grigio, Rocca del Dragone Falanghina, Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc, and Gran Feudo Reserva.




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    Spaghetti alle Vongole

    Spaghetti alle Vongole is a classic Italian pasta dish that finds regional adaptations across Italy and around the world, wherever fresh clams are available. It is a specialty of the Campania region and reaches its apogee in the restaurants along the Amalfi coast, where it is served with local white wine made from Grego, Fiano or Falanghina. When you order this dish in a restaurant it is usually served with the clam shells, to show that they are using fresh clams (not canned). Here, most of the clams are removed from their shells after the initial steaming and cooked with the pasta for extra flavour. This straightforward version is simple to prepare and moderately easy to master.

    Spaghetti alle Vongole in Bianco

    Ingredients:
    Kosher salt
    3 pounds (1.25kg) fresh small clams, such as little-necks, Manilas, or cockles (about 3 dozen little-necks or 4 dozen Manilas or cockles)
    3 Tbsp. (45ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
    3 medium cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
    Pinch red pepper flakes
    1/2 cup (120ml) Dunavar Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine
    1 pound (450g) dried spaghetti
    1 Tbsp. (15g) unsalted butter (optional)
    2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

    Method:
    Fill a large bowl with cold water and stir in enough salt to make it salty like the sea. Add clams and let stand 30 minutes. Lift clams from water and discard purging water; if there is sand in the bottom of the bowl, rinse it out and repeat this process until clams no longer release sand into the water (usually 2 to 3 purging cycles). Discard any clams that are gaping open and refuse to close when prodded.

    In a large skillet, combine oil with garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until garlic is very lightly golden, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling.)

    Add white wine and clams, cover, and increase heat to high. Cook, checking every 30 seconds or so and transferring clams as they open to a large heatproof bowl, until all clams have opened, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.

    Allow clams to cool slightly then pull meat from shells; save a few shell-on clams per serving for garnish. If clam meat is large (littleneck clams) you can roughly chop it.

    In a pot or large skillet of lightly salted water, cook pasta until just shy of al dente (about 1 minute less than cooking time on package). Transfer pasta to skillet with white-wine sauce, add a few tablespoons of pasta cooking water, and cook over high heat, stirring and tossing rapidly, until sauce has reduced and is beginning to form a creamy, emulsified coating on the noodles. Add butter and both clam meat and shell-on clams. Cook, stirring, until butter is melted and clams are heated through, about 1 minute; add more pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if sauce over-reduces and becomes dry or greasy. Season with salt if necessary. Remove from heat.

    Stir in parsley and a drizzle of fresh olive oil. Transfer to bowls and serve right away.

    Notes: February 2017


    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.

    This week, Altano Red Portugal (release: Feb 18), Casa Silva Carmenere (release: Feb 4), Katnook Cabernet Sauvignon (release: Feb. 18) and D’Arenberg The Galvo Garage red (release: Feb 4).



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    Mushroom Stuffed Leg of Lamb

    Serve the lamb with simple sides that won’t distract too much.  Roasted potatoes and a side of green beans would work well.

    You can make the lamb roll the day ahead and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. Make sure to take it out at least an hour before roasting begins.

    Ingredients:
    10 medium Swiss chard leaves (from 2 bunches), thick ribs removed
    1 tablespoon butter
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    1 1/4 pounds assorted wild mushrooms (such as portobello, crimini, and stemmed shiitake), finely chopped
    1/2 cup finely chopped onion
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from day-old French bread
    2 tablespoons whipping cream
    1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
    1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1 6- to 7-pound boneless leg of lamb, butterflied to 2-inch thickness, excess fat and sinew trimmed
    4 ounces ground veal or lamb
    1 large egg
    3 garlic cloves, sliced

    Preparation

    Cook Swiss chard in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Squeeze chard dry and finely chop enough to measure 1 1/2 cups. Transfer to large bowl.

    Melt butter with 2 tablespoons oil in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add wild mushrooms, onion and 1 minced garlic clove and sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Cool. Transfer to bowl with chard. Add breadcrumbs, cream, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and mix to blend. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate).

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Open butterflied lamb like a book and place cut side up on work surface. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix veal and egg into mushroom stuffing. Spread evenly over lamb; press to adhere. Starting at narrow end, roll up lamb tightly, enclosing filling. Fasten ends with poultry skewers. Rub outside of lamb with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then with remaining 1/2 tablespoon rosemary, and 1/2 tablespoon thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie lamb with kitchen string at 2-inch intervals to hold shape. Using small sharp knife, cut several 1-inch-deep slits in top of lamb, spacing apart; insert 1 garlic slice into each slit. Place lamb on rack in roasting pan.

    Roast lamb to desired doneness or until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of lamb registers 125°F to 135°F for medium-rare. Remove from oven. Cover with foil and let stand 20 minutes. Remove skewers and string. Cut lamb into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve.

    Serve with Barone Ricasoli Castello di Brolio Gran Selezione Chianti Classico DOCG 2013
    Decant the wine for at least an hour prior to serving.

    Here are some roasting temperature guidelines: remember that every oven is different and cooking times will vary. It is best to use a meat thermometer. Once the lamb reaches 125°F, it tends to cook quicker. We usually wait for it to reach 130°F before taking it out of the oven. The centre parts will be medium rare and the ends will have a little pink in the meat.

    Roasting Temperature: 350°F

    • Rare: 125°F (about 15 minutes per pound)
    • Medium-Rare: 130°F to 135°F (about 20 minutes per pound)
    • Medium: 135°F to 140°F (about 25 minutes per pound)
    • Well-Done: 155°F to 165°F (about 30 minutes per pound)

    Notes: November 2016


    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.

    This week, Segura Viudas Reserva Hereded, Domaine Pre Baron Touraine, Chateau de Gourgazaud Reserve and Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Port



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

    Tiny Cheese, Onion and Olive Scone

    Here is our annual resurrection of our favourite bite-sized appetizer recipe. They match all sorts of wine and get along especially well with bubbly.

    This is an adaptation of a recipe from Delia Smith’s Christmas.

    Tiny Cheese, Onion and Olive Scones

    Delia Says, “These are so moreish that I don't think your guests could possibly survive on just one. They are simple to make and freeze superbly once cooked, provided you defrost and re-heat them in a hot oven for about 4 minutes before serving. If you're making them on the day of serving, split them once they're cooled and spread with a little herb cheese or a creamy blue cheese like Cambazola. Warm them in a hot oven just before serving”. 
 

    Ingredients: 

    1½ oz (40 g) Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), grated. 
1½ oz (40 g) 4 or 5 Year Old Ontario Cheddar, grated 
1 medium onion, diced 
6 Kalamta olives, pitted and chopped 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
6 oz (175 g) self-raising flour 
½ level teaspoon salt 
½ level teaspoon mustard powder 
½ level teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1 oz (25 g) butter 
1 large egg 
approximately 2-3 tablespoons milk 
freshly milled black pepper 
 
Method: 

    Fry the onion in the oil over medium-high heat for about 5-6 minutes or until it's a nice brown caramel colour and darkened at the edges. Keep it moving about so that it doesn't burn. Transfer it to a plate to cool.

    While that's happening, take a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour, salt, mustard powder and cayenne, and add a good grinding of black pepper (the scones need to have a piquant bite).

    Rub in the butter, toss in the cooled onion, the olives and two thirds of the grated cheeses, forking them in evenly.

    Beat the egg and pour this in, mixing first with a knife and finally with your hands, adding only enough milk to make a soft dough, but not too sticky.

    Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead it gently till it's smooth, then roll it out to about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick, being careful not to roll it too thinly.

    Next, use a 1¼ inch (3 cm) plain cutter for cutting: place it lightly on the dough and give a sharp tap to stamp out the scones. Lightly knead together and re-roll any trimmings.

    Then, when all the scones are cut, brush them with milk, top them with the remaining grated cheese and bake them at 375F near the top of the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove them to a wire rack to cool.

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