No doubt tomorrow night you'll be sneaking a few chocolate bars in between rings of the doorbell. Since it is Friday you might want to have some wine with those chocolate bars. Here is how you can pair the two:
Smarties - A common sugary, treat found in buckets and bags, Muscat wine isn’t perfect but a good compliment for the sweet treat.
Starbursts – A fruity favorite, a wine with noble rot like Beringer’s Nightingale will pair nicely.
Jollyranchers – The high acidity in Chenin Blanc off sets the sweetness in Jollyranchers.
Red Licorice - Pinot Noirs already have cherry undertones that make this pairing a no brainer.
Twix- The refreshing sweetness of Ice Wines taste delicious with Twix’s recipe of caramel, cookie and chocolate.
Kit Kat, 3 Musketeers – Kit Kats and 3 Musketeers are lighter, fluffier candy bars and need a medium wine like Merlot.
M&M’s – Everyone’s favorite candy that melts in the mouth, not in the hands, will melt perfectly with Red Zinfandel.
Mounds – For the coconut lovers (like myself), Cabernet Sauvignon’s harsh tannins actually pair well with Mound’s dark chocolate.
Hershey’s Dark chocolate – The bitter dark chocolate in Hershey’s makes a statement with the powerful red Syrah.
Snickers, Reese’s Cup, Candy Corn, Classic Caramel – Port already has a strong, sweet, creamy taste. Pair it with chocolate, caramel and any type of peanut and an amazing, memorable combination ensues.
The name of this dish is galaam oop, which tells the cooking method (oop) used for cooking the cabbage (galaam). The "oop" method of cooking, found in Northern Thailand and among the Shan people in Myanmar, involves a slow simmer, under a tightly sealed lid, of ingredients that have been combined with very little water and little or no oil. There's depth of flavor from a little ground beef that gives extra succulence.
Paul made this and we were amazed at how good it was: amazing taste, amazing texture. It's got one of those addictive qualities that make it hard to stop at just one serving. Didn't change a thing. Make sure to use unsalted peanuts or it will be a little on the salty side.
Better yet, a serving only has 238 calories. Paired with a salad and some fruit for dessert you have a healthy low-cal, low-fat dinner.
Simmered Cabbage with Beef, Shan Style
2 tablespoons peanut oil 1 cup thinly vertically sliced shallots 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper 1/4 pound ground sirloin 4 cups finely shredded cabbage (about 1 small head) 1 cup thin plum tomato wedges (about 2 medium) 1/3 cup coarsely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
Heat a wok or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add peanut oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add shallots, salt, turmeric, and red pepper; cook for 3 minutes or until shallots are tender, stirring frequently. Add beef; cook for 2 minutes or until the beef begins to brown. Add cabbage and tomato; toss well to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 10 minutes or until cabbage wilts. Stir in peanuts; cover and cook 10 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
While we were in the US picking up some things the woman in front of us was picking out some Hallowe'en costumes. Based upon her choices she should have been aware of the 'we're a culture, not a costume' campaign.
Something to think about as you pull together an outfit for Hallowe'en ...
When we were in Sonoma we had so many bottles of wine (and olive oil, and honey, and other stuff) that we decided to ship a case of wine back. We packed up 12 bottles, dropped them off at a wine shipping establishment in Healdsburg, paid $ 80 for shipping and insurance, and we were off on the day's adventures. I had an e-mail last Monday that our wine had been delivered.
Paul and I went to pick it up yesterday. All in all this was a very simple process -we were left wondering why the hell we hadn't done this before and a bit fearful that since this was so easy and inexpensive that we might be shipping a whole lot of wine in the future!
We had a cabbage from our CSA delivery that we wanted to finish up before we went away. We also had a bag full of bits of kielbasa in the freezer that kept threatening to fall on my foot every time I opened the freezer door. I googled kielbasa and cabbage and look what popped up!!!
This is a classic Polish dish as translated to the US mid-west. There are also versions made popular by German immigrants to the Waterloo area in Ontario.
This is one of those quick and easy throw it in the pot dinners, perfect on a busy day.
Kielbasa with Cabbage and Potatoes
2 tablespoons Olive Oil 1 Whole Kielbasa 1 Yellow Onion (Sliced) 1/2 Head Green Cabbage (Sliced) 1/2 pound New Potatoes (Halved) 12 ounce Beer (1-2 bottles) Salt and Pepper 3 tablespoons Brown Mustard
In a large Dutch-oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add kielbasa and sear until brown, 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan.
Add onions and cabbage and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add potatoes, kielbasa and season with salt and pepper.
Fill pot 3/4 way up with beer and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mustard. Serve with crusty bread.
Italian wedding soup is an Italian-American soup consisting of green vegetables and meat. It is popular in the United States, where it is a staple in many Italian restaurants. Generally it consists of a chicken-based broth, greens, meatballs, and small pieces of pasta. There is nothing particularly Italian about it and I challenge any of you to find it on the menu of any restaurant in Italy.
Olive Garden sells it by the tanker truck - because it is yummy. I found this version on the Eating Well website and decided to make it to use up the last of our CSA veggies before we went away. This was a nice twist on the classic Italian wedding soup with beans instead of pasta. It made for a heartier bowl of soup and I enjoyed both cabbage and a dark green in the soup.
It makes a lot of soup . . . we froze most of the leftovers and I have been taking the containers to work for lunch.
The only change we made was to bake the meatballs rather than fry them. This reduced the fat but also the flavour to some extent as there were no crispy brown bits to scrape from the frying pan into the soup. We were willing to sacrifice that in order to reduce the fat significantly.
Before serving we drizzled it with a really good olive oil, and sprinkled it with some chili pepper flakes.
Italian Wedding Soup
1 pound ground turkey breast 1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup dry white wine 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium) 1 cup chopped carrots (2 medium) 1 cup chopped celery (2 medium stalks) 4 cups chopped cabbage (about 1/2 small head) 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed 8 cups coarsely chopped escarole or thinly sliced kale leaves (about 1 bunch) 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
To prepare meatballs: Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, garlic, Worcestershire, fennel seeds, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up. With damp hands, shape the mixture into 32 (1-inch) meatballs (about 1 scant tablespoon each).
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and add wine, stirring gently to loosen any browned bits.
To prepare soup: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 7 to 9 minutes. Add cabbage and cook, stirring, 5 minutes more. Stir in broth, beans, escarole (or kale) and the meatballs and any juice. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon grated cheese.
Just before we went away I wanted to use up the last of our Thai Basil from the garden. After some googling I found this recipe online which used 1.5 cups of Thai Basil leaves. Perfect!
Longtime blog readers know that I have likely made more variations of pad kra pao gai (as it is known in Thailand) than any other dish. This isn't surprising when you consider that it is a contender for the most popular and most beloved street food dish in all of Thai cuisine. Even less shocking when you know how easy this is to make and how flexible the technique is - you can make it hotter, sweeter, saltier . . . whatever suits your mood.
With this version, from Food and Wine, an abundance of whole basil leaves joins chicken and fiery red chiles for a quick, delicious,and decidedly spicy stir-fry. Holy basil is the most authentic choice, but any variety will do. I have to say though - skip the Italian basil. I know people say it is fine, I'd agree it is fine in many dishes but NOT in Thai cooking.
Thai Chicken with Basil
1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 1-by-2-inch pieces 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc mam) 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon water 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 2 tablespoons cooking oil 1 large onion, cut into thin slices 3 fresh red chiles, seeds and ribs removed, cut into thin slices, or 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with the fish sauce, soy sauce, water, and sugar.In a large nonstick frying pan or a wok, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the chiles and garlic; cook, stirring, 30 seconds longer.
Remove the chicken from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add it to the hot pan. Cook until almost done, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add the marinade and cook 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of the basil. Serve topped with the remaining 1/2 cup basil.
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.