A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘cabernet sauvignon’

Night Harvest

In Drink, Out of Town on January 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Thank those of you who have emailed about my “Backbreak Mountain” column in the February issue ofBon Appétit magazine! It’s a story that I’ve wanted to write for a very long time now, but I could never have imagined just how much the experience would change the way I felt about a glass of wine. Most of all I am grateful to Doug, John, Elias, David, Uriel, Andy and the Shafer Vineyards team. You guys ROCK. I also wanted to share some photos from that night. Before this experience, I considered my greatest physical accomplishments running the Los Angeles Marathon in close to 90-degree heat and enduring childbirth (in that order). But neither of those events was as physically taxing as picking 11.75 tons of grapes on the side of a mountain in the middle of the night. These photos were taken after about three hours of backbreaking work picking hillside Cabernet Sauvignon in Shafer’s Sunspot vineyard. I lasted about four hours. These guys barely broke a sweat. And then they picked another vineyard. Hard core. Punk rock. And why we love our hillside Cabernet just a little bit more.

Photos by Andy Demsky

T Minus 362 Days

In Drink, Food on December 27, 2009 at 6:42 pm

As soon as the last plate of prime rib had been cleared on Christmas night, my husband declared that he was already starting the countdown to Christmas 2010. The one-two punch of fondue on Christmas Eve followed by Christmas dinner at my parents’ is by far the best meal sequence of the year—every year. We start Christmas evening with osetra caviar (this year we splurged on Caspian instead of domestic) and Champagne (Salon ’97).

Then my dad roasts a prime rib using a classic recipe out of James Beard, which calls for steady low heat. This year my husband made Yorkshire Puddings from an old Gourmet recipe. My mom has a great popover pan, which produces perfect individually sized puddings.

Here is indisputable proof that my father makes the best prime rib on the planet, and that Mr Foodinista has a way with a carving knife:

This year with the prime rib we enjoyed a 2003 Far Niente Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon along with a bottle of 1999 Cakebread Cellars Benchland Select from my alma mater (yours truly used to work at Cakebread Cellars right out of college over a decade ago), and a bottle of 2003 Eisele Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from my friend Christiane’s family winery. We finished off the evening with some stilton and vintage port. And ibuprofen. I mean, let’s be serious.

And so the countdown to next year’s festivities begins! For a look at last year’s, click HERE.

Steak Tartare

In Food, Recipes on October 20, 2009 at 8:39 am

steak tartare

Steak tartare has to be my all-time favorite meal, and my very favorite rendition is one we make at home. Lie. My true favorite, which has more to do with sentiment than flavor, is the super mustardy steak tartare at Brasserie Lipp in Paris, which is the first thing I order along with a glass or two (or a bottle, who are we kidding) of house red upon landing to deal with jetlag. CUT in Beverly Hills makes a mean third-place contender, and uses decadent and fatty kobe beef. Here at home we follow an Anthony Bourdain recipe, which has a gazillion ingredients with everything from cognac to ketchup that add to up to a complexity of flavor that is RIGHT. OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. But the pièce de resistence are the French fries we serve with—hot off the press from Burger King. Yes, I said it. So one night last week I ground up some sirloin, and our friend Alec brought over four frypods from Burger King, along with a pretty ritzy bottle of 2006 Stags’ Leap Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Genius—and generous, very.

burger king frypod

Anthony Bourdain’s Steak Tartare

From Les Halles Cookbook, by Anthony Bourdain

Serves 4-6 as main course

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp Dijon mustard (28 g)

4 anchovy filets, finely chopped (Foodinista’s note: I sometimes substitute a healthy squeeze of anchovy paste if I don’t have filets on hand.)

2 tsp ketchup (10 g)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (5 g)

Tabasco sauce, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup salad (i.e., corn or soy) oil (56 ml)

1 oz Cognac (28 ml)

1 small onion, freshly and finely chopped

2 oz capers, rinsed (56 g)

2 oz cornichons, finely chopped (56 g)

4 sprigs of flat parsley, finely chopped

1 1/4 lb. fresh sirloin, finely chopped (560 g)

French fries, optional

4 slices fine quality white bread, toasted, quartered, for toast points

Place the egg yolks in a large stainless-steel bowl and add the mustard and anchovies. Mix well, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and pepper and mix well again. Slowly whisk in the oil, then add the Cognac and mix again.

remy martin cognaceggs worcestershire cognac

Fold in the onion, capers, cornichons, and parsley.

onions capers cornichons

Foodinista’s note: Bourdain calls for a fine hand-chop of the meat, but on a weeknight I just can’t muster the energy so instead I send it through a meat grinder attached to my KitchenAid mixer. What’s the deal with the saran wrap, you ask? Um, sometimes it can get kind of messy (think Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Enough said.

kitchen aid meat grinder

Then I feed the ground beef through the grinder, which is also pretty gross…

wooden pestle

meat grinder

And now back to Bourdain… Add the chopped meat to the bowl and mix well using a spoon or your hands. Divide the meat evenly among the six chilled dinner plates and, using a ring mold or spatula, form it into disks on the plates. Serve immediately with French fries and toasted bread points. (Note, Mr. Foodinista likes to grill the bread instead of toasting.)