2009 Cecchi Chianti Classico

Wine Wednesday – Go Italian with Chianti

2009 Cecchi Chianti Classico

2009 Cecchi Chianti Classico

A pleasant Chianti imported from the Tuscany region of Italy. Made with a blend of Sangiovese grapes, this red wine offers up floral and red berry aromas along with a well-balanced structure. It is on the dry side, although with a slightly fruity tang, has a nice minerality and flavors of cherry and oak. Decant prior to serving to open up the aromas and tone down the acidity.

A great Chianti for the price and one I will stock up on while still available.

Food Pairing: This spicy, fruity wine compliments most foods and pairs best with tomato-based foods such as lasagna, pizza, bruschetta and Veal Parmesan, light meats, Italian cheeses and the more pungent vegetables such as zucchini, asparagus and roasted garlic.

Price Range: $11.99-$14.99

3 and one half out of 5

Linda's Signature

Tipsy Tuesday – Wines & Hot Dogs

variety of hot dogsOK, that is one strange title but I thought it would be fun to tie in my wine posting with National Hot Dog Day (and incidentally National Hot Dog Month) and see where it took me.

2010 Cooper Station Pinot NoirThere are three perfect choices for those lovely grilled dogs, plain or with just a little mustard and sauerkraut on top, and they are Rose, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir. All are full of fruitiness and crispness that compliment the sausage itself as well as the sour character of the sauerkraut. So this week I bring a delicious and inexpensive Pinot Noir to your attention that goes perfectly with your outdoor barbecue.

And a little extra info for those that like their favorite dogs in other than the classic style.

Chicago-style dogs – stick with a light to medium-bodied crisp white wine that matches the saltiness of the pickles and peppers and choose a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Chili dogs – opt for a full-bodied Zinfandel or Shiraz that helps cool down the spiciness and cut through the fat.

2010 Cooper Station Pinot Noir

A wonderfully crisp medium-bodied wine with musky floral aromas and smooth berry flavors of  cherry, strawberry and blueberry. Notes of spice, cloves and herbs give this Pinot Noir a nice complexity and the hint of toasty oak adds just the right touch. It is a great wine for your backyard barbecue that can hold its own against many of the pricier brands.

Price Range: $9.99-$14.99

Rating 4 out of 5

Linda's Signature

Meatless Monday – Grilled Mahi with Basil Butter

Mahi Mahi with Basil ButterFish is a healthy and delicious way to give your body the protein it needs without all the fat. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids that keep our heart and brain healthy as well as important vitamins such as D and B2. It is also a great source of calcium, phosphorus and minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. All that in a little piece of fish!

This meatless Monday is a great time to start eating one of your two recommended servings of fish a week to help you on your way to a healthy diet.

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Basil Butter

Ingredients:

  • 2 6-oz. mahi-mahi fillets
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, 1 Tablespoon olive oil (cuts a little of the fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

Preheat grill. Prepare a grill pan by spraying with nonstick spray.

I like to purchase the fillets that still have the skin on one side. This helps hold this delicate fish together on the grill. Sprinkle fish with a light coating of cajun seasoning and place flesh side down on hot grill. Cook 4 minutes on flesh side, turn, and cook 4-6 minutes, skin-side down, or until fish flakes easily with fork.

While fish is cooking, combine butter, oil and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until butter has melted then turn heat to low and keep warm until fish is done.

To serve, place fish on platter and top with some of the basil butter. Garnish with slices of lemon and a sprig of basil.

Serves 2.

Tip: Serve with steamed broccoli as the basil butter makes a delicious topping for this as well.

Wine Pairing: Choose a light white wine for this delicate, flaky fish so as not to overwhelm the dish itself such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin blanc or Pinot Grigio. You might also try an unoaked Chardonnay as these are much lighter than their oaked counterparts.

Linda's Signature

Caviar Kisses

caviar @2CookinMamasLooking for a great standout appetizer or a romantic treat for two?  This recipe is sure to be a big hit!  Go ahead & splurge a little – today is National Caviar Day!

For even more flair – pair with your favorite champagne from France.

Caviar Kisses

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • small cucumber, scrubbed well
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon dried dill weed
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 jar red salmon caviar
  • fresh dill sprigs, garnish
  • 8 thin slices whole wheat bread
  • butter

Directions:

Slice cucumber into 1/4″ rounds.  In small bowl mix sour cream, dill, and pepper.  Place one teaspoon of the sour cream mixture on each cucumber round.  Top with caviar and dill sprig.  Toast bread, cut into shapes using your favorite cookie cutter, and butter.  Place toast shapes around outside of serving platter, cucumber rounds in the center, and serve immediately,.

Christina Russell @2CookinMamas

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

With so many chili recipes out there, it’s hard to find the perfect one.  So, I combined three of my favorites into this easy & delicious meal made right in the slow cooker.

Wine Pairings: St. Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio and White Wines Borges Douro Reserva 2005 & Mas de la Dame 2009

crockpotwhitechickenchili

Crockpot White Chicken Chili

Prep Time: 30 min – Cooking time: 8-10 hours

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cubed – fresh or frozen
  • 2 – 15 oz. cans white beans
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of white corn
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 – 8 oz. canned chopped mild green chilis
  • 1 – 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 – 14 oz. can of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream, optional topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco, optional topping
  • chopped cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, for garnish

Directions:

Place cubed chicken in bottom of slow cooker and top with beans, corn, and onion.  Mix garlic, taco seasoning, chilis, soup, broth, and lime juice in a medium bowl and pour over the chicken mixture.  Cover Crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Prior to serving, shred any remaining chicken cubes with a fork or use a potato masher.  Add toppings and enjoy!

Christina signature 3

Strawberry Shortcake anyone?

strawberryshortcakedollNo….not the doll (although I loved her growing up – almost as much as I love cake).

Today is National Strawberry Shortcake Day and one of my top 3 desserts of all time!  It’s a simple classic that can be served at any occasion.  Pair with a sweet white wine such as Reisling or Moscato for a perfect treat.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Strawberry Shortcake  Photo by Taste of Home

Strawberry Shortcake
Photo by Taste of Home

Serves: 9 – Prep Time: 25 minutes – Bake Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Whipped Cream
  • 1.5 quarts fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In mixing bowl, beat sugar and shortening.  Add egg and vanilla and beat well.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture along with milk.
  3. Spread mixture into a greased 9″ x 9″ square baking pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

TO SERVE:

Cut into 9 squares.  Split each square horizontally and fill with whipped cream and strawberries.  Replace top of cake and garnish with more strawberries and whipped cream.  Serve immediately.

Christina signature 3