Image by epSos.de
Here is a nice simple appetizer for you to try:
Take a dozen plump Italian Plum tomatoes or similar type smaller tomato and a clove of garlic unpeeled for each tomato and place on a cookie sheet.
Place a few stems of fresh Thyme on the sheet amongst the tomatoes and garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil (salt and pepper to taste) and place in an oven pre-heated to 425 degrees. Cook for 10-14 minutes until the tomatoes have burst the skins and cooked down and the garlic cloves are soft to the touch. Remove the tomatoes and garlic, place on a dish and garnish with fresh thyme. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush bread with the oil off the pan and toast in the oven on both sides. Place the toast points next to the plate with the tomatoes and garlic. Have your guests squeeze the garlic on the bread it will be soft like butter and place a tomato on top and pop in their mouth. Stand back as they will be reaching for another before they finish the one they have. Cheers.
Of course a visit to Locals in Geyserville would be #1 on your list.
The 50 Things List can be found HERE.
The North Bay Business Journal
From the North Bay Business Journal
is reporting that yields 10%-20% over projections.
The North Bay Business Journal saya “Many vineyards in the North Coast this year had two grape clusters per shoot, and this indicated the likelihood of an average crop load. With the mild summer, however, the berries kept sizing — getting larger — and the crop has begun to weigh in significantly above average. This has certainly been the case for chardonnay and pinot noir harvested for both sparkling and still-wine programs.”
The complete article can be found HERE.
Photo by SummerTomato
Pair with 2009 Praxis Merlot Alexander Valley
8 tiny pumpkins ( mini-size)
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces spicy cheddar cheese
salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place uncut pumpkins in large shallow dish and add 1/4 inch of water; cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool.
Reheat oven to 375 degrees F. With a paring knife, remove tops from pumpkins. Remove and discard seeds, then scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shell.
Place four cups of pumpkin flesh in mixing bowl. Separate eggs, stirring yolks into pumpkin flesh and placing whites in separate bowl. Stir flour and baking powder into pumpkin mixture, then stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Whip egg whites into stiff peaks. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Spoon souffle mixture into pumpkin shells. Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until puffed and set.
Ever wonder how those corks that seal a wine bottle are made? Here is a link to an article that is subtitled “An illustrated guide to the cork production process”.
It all starts in the forest. Cork oaks are harvested every nine years, once they reach maturity. It doesn’t harm the tree, and the cork bark regrows. Most cork forests are in Portugal and Spain.
Photo by ChefMattRock
Pair with Eric Ross 2010 Struttin’ Red Tempranillo Blend
3 tbsp plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced, plus 1 large onion, chopped
5 sweet Italian sausages either sweet, spicy or turkey sausage
3 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup raisins
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup white wine
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped, plus 3 sprigs 1 tsp each salt and pepper, divided
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
3-lb. centre-cut boneless pork-loin roast
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 lb. mini Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in half lengthwise
2 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 1/2-in. thick slices 3 sticks of celery, chopped
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large saute pan, saute sausage meat in 3 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until almost cooked. Add sliced onions to sausage meat. As onions soften add minced garlic. Cook onions completely.
Add white wine and cook until wine has evaporated scraping bottom of pan for the bits that add flavor.
Transfer to a large bowl, mix with pine nuts, raisins, Parmesan, bread crumbs, chopped thyme and parsley, then let cool. (Note: Can make ahead; cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.) Once mixture has cooled, add Swiss Cheese.
Place pork, fat-side up, on a cutting board. Starting 1/2 in. from bottom of roast, cut a 1-in deep horizontal cut along length of roast. Continue to cut deeper into roast, pushing away or unrolling meat as you cut to form a 12- x 10-in. flat rectangle.
Mound sausage mixture along centre; fold pork in half to cover. Place 4 17-in. lengths of string crosswise under loin; tie at top and cut off excess string.
Brush with remaining oil; sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Transfer to roasting pan.
For vegetables: Mix together olive oil, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and chili flakes in a large bowl. Add potatoes, carrots and chopped onions; toss to coat. Arrange around pork in roasting pan (Note: Can make ahead; cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.)
Roast in oven, basting 3 times with pan juices, until juices run clear when pork is pierced and meat is still slightly pink in centre, about 1 1/4 hours.
Transfer pork to cutting board and cover loosely with foil; let stand for about 20 minutes before carving into 8 slices. Continue to roast vegetables until potatoes are browned and tender, about 25 minutes more; serve with pork.
Randi Rossman of The Press Democrat has a good story about the rush to get the grape harvest done before the winter rains start. Rossman reports that “By midnight Sunday, Sonoma County grape experts predicted about 80 percent of the year’s overall crop would be picked.
What’s left mostly will be cabernet sauvignon, a tougher grape that can handle a little rain, said Nick Frey, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission.
“The impact should be fairly minimal,” Frey said.
The complete article in The Press Democrat can be found HERE.
From the TripAdvisor Website
“Sonoma County may not produce as much wine as nearby Napa, but what it lacks in volume, it more than makes up for in variety. You’ll find everything from Chardonnay to Zinfandel here, and TripAdvisor travelers love the laid-back, unpretentious vibe of the wineries. After a strenuous day of wine-tasting, spoil yourself at one of the many local spas.”
More about why Sonoma County is ranked #1 in the United States can be found HERE.
Eric Luce from the Eric Ross Winery
Boy ….you really missed a good time if you did not make it to the Eric Ross Pinot Noir Release event this past Saturday. Folks have been snapping up the new Pinot as well as Eric’s other wines. The Struttin’ Red is right in the zone now. Smooth, yummy and way too easy to drink. The Tempranillo is a treat as well. It is not too late to taste these wines for your self…..and finish up with a little of the Eric Ross Old Vine Zin Port. I dare you to put that one down!