Holiday Gift Guide

Wine Pairings & Brunch Recipes: The Perfect Menu for Mom

lobster salad recipeIf you’re looking for brunch recipes that will knock Mom’s socks off, we’ve got the perfect menu for you! With wines paired to match, these dishes work great for everything from a springtime brunch soiree, to weddings, bridal showers, and elegant cocktail parties.

Wine Pairing: Chateau Bonnet Blanc, 2011, Entre-Deux-Mers (white wine)

Tarragon Lobster Cocktails
(Serves 4-6)

  • 1/3 cup home made Tarragon mayonnaise (recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 stalk finely chopped celery
  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • Lobster, cooked (about 1 pound lobster meat), chilled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives as garnish
  • Caviar garnish (optional) – you can use any good caviar, sturgeon, paddlefish, tobiko, Salmon roe or whitefish roe

Combine all the ingredients gently together, until just combined.  Serve in chilled Martini glasses or wrapped in a thin slice of cucumber (as shown), garnish with chives and caviar.

 Homemade Tarragon Mayonnaise:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (grape seed, canola, vegetable, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch freshly ground white pepper

In a food processor or blender, blend the egg and lemon juice for 10 seconds. With the processor running, slowly pour in the oil through the feed tube and process until emulsified. (Should the mixture become too thick, with the machine running, add water two teaspoons at a time.) Add the tarragon, salt, and pepper and pulse to blend. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using. (The mayonnaise will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.)

Wine Pairing: Dourthe La Grande Cuvee, 2011, Bordeaux

Canlis-Seattle-Salad-RecipeThe Canlis Salad (courtesy of Canlis Restaurant, Seattle. canlis.com)
(Serves 4 to 6)

  • 1 large head Romaine hearts, cut into 1 inch squares
  • (Wash individual leaves in warm water, drain and dry in colander and refrigerate. Don’t ever, ever toss a Canlis Salad with warm or wet leaves!!)
  • Ten cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onion
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • ½ cup chopped bacon, cooked
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced oregano leaves
  • ½ cup croutons*
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1⁄3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 coddled egg*

Ingredient notes:

Mint: you can’t use too much mint, so experiment with the amount.

Coddled Egg: Pour boiling water into a cup and put a whole egg (in the shell) into the hot water, let sit for one minute, then remove from the water. You may substitute with pasteurized egg mixture (found in the dairy section in cartons).

Croutons: It’s fun to make your own…baguettes, butter and minced herbs.

Directions

To make the dressing, put the salt and pepper, lemon juice, oil, and coddled egg in a bowl and whisk vigorously, then reserve. In a salad bowl, add the prepared romaine, green onion, cheese, bacon, croutons, oregano, and mint. Pour dressing over salad and toss thoroughly. Arrange the salad onto chilled plates and finish with cherry tomatoes.

Chateau Segonzac, 2009, Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux (red wine)

“Texas” Style Grilled Quail
(serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 12 semi-boneless quail
  • 2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 to 5 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning blend (like “Tony Cacheres”)

Marinate the quail in olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs for at least 1-2 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator and sprinkle Creole seasoning blend on both sides. Grill on high heat (preferably over a wood fire) until done (about 4 to 5 minutes per side).

Wine Pairing: Chateau Puy-Blanquet 2009, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru (red wine)

CHATEAU-PUY-BLANQUETBistecca alla Fiorentina (Steak Florentine)
(serves 6-8)

  • 1 Porterhouse steak, approx 2.5 lbs
  • 2 oz Very Best Quality Olive Oil you can find
  • Generous pinch of Fleur de Sel
  • 1 large bunch fresh Arugula (about 4 cups)

Important note: The steak is the critical component, so find the best butcher you can, and special order one. Mom deserves only the best! It should be 2-3 fingers thick, at least two inches.

The simplicity of this dish requires sourcing the very best ingredients you can.  Splurge on the steak, great olive oil, Sea Salt and freshest vegetables you can find. Quality matters here.

Let the meat rest at room temperature about 30 minutes if it has been refrigerated overnight.  Best done outside on a grill, at very high heat (highest gas setting or red coals with white coating).  Cook the steak 5 minutes per side for very rare (preferred) or 8-10 minutes per side for medium rare to medium for those squeamish about rare meat) at 120-125 degrees on a meat thermometer.  Let rest for 10 minutes minimum to allow the juices to absorb back into the meat.  This can be done in a grill pan in a 450 degree oven, but be sure to have a very powerful vent fan, and open windows and disable smoke detectors during cooking. There will be a lot of smoke (this adds flavor to the steak).

 Arrange the arugula on a large platter.  Slice the steak rather thickly and layer the slices on the arugula.  Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle the sea salt over the meat and serve.

Accompany the steak with potatoes cut into chunks, tossed in a little olive oil, sea salt and black pepper roasted on a pan in a 350 oven until golden, about one hour, and some Broccoli Rabe. Steam briefly and serve seasoned with salt and pepper (as needed0.

Wine Pairing: Barton & Guestier Sauternes, 2010, Sauternes (one of our favorite Sauternes wines!)

strawberry-pound-cakeMacerated Berries with Pound Cake and Whipped Cream

  •  2 lbs of fresh seasonal berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, black berries in any combination or just strawberries works fine too)
  • 2 tbs good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 high quality pound cake

 Combine all the ingredients together in a glass bowl and let the mix sit at room temperature for an hour or longer. A nice syrupy juice should form.

Slice good pound cake, one slice per person and top with the macerated berries.  Top berries with homemade whipped cream and serve with a nice chilled glass of the Sauternes.

Recipes submitted from Austin, Texas based wine educator and food enthusiast, Rob Moshein.


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