Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tasting Room at Somerset Ridge Vineyard

Researchers in Miami are investigating the anti-aging effects of Resveratol

We've heard for a long time about the benefits of drinking red wine in moderation. My husband, Arch, was delighted at the news. As Vice President of Tasting for Somerset Ridge Vineyard, he was a big fan of red wine. Each evening, as he poured a glass of red wine for each f us, he would smile that silly smile of his and say, "I'm doing this for my health."

Now the results of a new study reveal that a substance in the wine may be a 'fountain of youth.' In the experiment, a compound found in red wine called 'resveratrol' stalled the decline of heart function that happens as we age. Researchers say the compound might also fight cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease and stroke; some even say it could even slow the aging process. That got my attention! So, as they say in the old country...."Alla Salute!"...or.............

French …….. “A votre sante!” German......."Prosit!"British……… “Cheers!”

Hungarian…. “Egé szé gé re!”Japanese…… “Kanpai!” Polish……… “Na Zdrowie!”

Russian……. “Za vashe zdorovye!”Greek……… “Yasas!”Chinese…… “Wen Lie!”

Irish……….. “Slainte!” Swedish…… “Skal!” Brazilian….. “Saúde!”Spanish…… “Salud!”

Don't forget to try a great Red Wine Sauce next time you fix a Roast Beef

1 tablespoon minced shallot or onion
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup beef stock or broth, warmed
2 tablespoons softened butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice or vinegar (optional)
Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Preparation:Pour off all but 1 or 2 tablespoons of the cooking fat (if there are any dark, non-fatty juices in the roasting pan leave them in there). Turn the heat under the pan to medium-high and add the shallot and the wine. Cook, stirring and scraping, until most of the wine has evaporated, the shallot is soft, and the bottom of the pan is clean. Add the stock and repeat; when there is just under 1/2 cup of liquid, turn off the heat. Add the butter, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition to incorporate it. Taste and season if necessary with salt, pepper, and lemon juice or vinegar. Spoon this sauce over the meat, garnish, and serve. Yield: 1/2 cup

This also makes a great pan sauce for a big Ribeye Steak about 1" thick, cooked right on top of your stove.

Using a heavy skillet, such as a cast iron pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter in 1 tablespoon olive oil. When skillet is very hot and but butter is not burned, season your steak with your favorite seasonings. Gently lay the steak in the pan, then, without moving the steak even a tiny bit, cook the steak over high heat for 2 minutes for rare, 3 minutes for medium rare, then turn steak over and cook another 2 minutes. Remember to use tongs rather than a fork.

Remember, you poke holes in your loose juices!

Remove the steak to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.

If your favorite steak cut is a T-Bone or Porterhouse, you will need to adjust cooking time due to the bone. They will take longer. Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness.

And yes, I know, you poke a hole in your steak!


Just received a note from my buddy George, the Pig Killer, telling me how much he likes my blog. To keep George happy, I am about to send you several Pork recipes. George is a Jewel of a friend, and was my husbands very best friend. He is Inge's husband (that is the Inge of "Two Old Broads Abroad" fame). Today, he is all of the above plus a major source of information on pork products for me. Thanks, George.

My Sunday Gravy

(In Italian American communities, Sauce is called Gravy. On Sundays, extra meat is added)

1 pound sweet Italian sausages (pork!)
2 pounds meatballs, cooked (at least 50% pork!)
5 lean pork chops (duh!)
1 pound lean spareribs (pork!)
1 pound lean beef, 1 piece (sorry, George)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pinch each of dried basil, red pepper flakes, and dried mint
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 28 oz can peeled and crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Fry all the meats in 1/4 cup olive oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add additional oil if necessary. When all meat is browned, transfer them to platter. Add the remaining 1/4 cup oil to the residual juices in the pan. When the oil is hot, saute the onion, garlic and seasonings until transparent.
Stir in the tomato paste and blend well. Add the tomatoes and stir until blended with tomato paste and oil. Stir in an extra pinch of seasonings. Add water starting with 3/4 can full, then add ding more until desired thickness is achieved.
2. Let the sauce come to a full boil and add salt and pepper to taste, then another pinch of each of the herbs. Return the meat to the pan, then simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, until the meat is fully cooked. Stir gently every 15 minutes.
3. There is enough sauce and meat for 3 pounds of pasta. Place meat in one large bowl, the cooked pasta in another. Pour some of the sauce over both, additional sauce into a bowl of its own to be passed around the table.
4. notes: make ahead by at least 1 day so that fat may be removed from gravy when cold.

Hungarian Goulash

By the National Pork Producers Council

1 1/2 pounds boneless pork, cut into 1" cubes
1 pound small new red potatoes, halved
2 medium onions, halved, thinly sliced
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups shredded red cabbage
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
Chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Combine pork, potatoes, onion, water, ketchup, paprika, garlic, pepper and cabbage in 3 1/2-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat setting 7-8 hours or until pork and potatoes are tender.
2. Combine flour, sour cream and caraway seed. Stir into pork mixture and blend thoroughly. Serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley, if desired. Serves 6

Rosemary Port Pork Chops

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

salt and pepper to taste

4 tbsp. vegetable oil

4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tbsp. Somerset Ridge Ruby Port

1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 onion thinly sliced

In a small Bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Mix well and dredge each pork chop in the mixture, patting lightly to evenly coat each chop.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the chops in the oil for four to five minutes per side, or until well browned. Add chicken broth, port and rosemary to taste. Spread the sliced onion over the chops, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for ten minutes.
Flip the chops, allowing the onion slices to drop down into the liquid. Re-cover and simmer for five more minutes, or until pork chops are done.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes four servings.

I guess to be fair and non-partisan, I'd better make the next blog about that most noble giant,

the American Buffalo.

Sounds like a Southwestern menu is in the works.......

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