Cooking Chat http://cookingchatfood.com hundreds of tasty, (mostly) healthy recipes, wine pairings & other food adventures Tue, 20 Feb 2018 13:05:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 86962254 Join Us for Open That Bottle Night 2018! #winePW #OTBN http://cookingchatfood.com/open-that-bottle-night/ http://cookingchatfood.com/open-that-bottle-night/#comments Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:33:52 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=4640 Open That Bottle Night provides an annual reason to open a special bottle of wine, perhaps one that has been languishing in your cellar for too long. You are invited to observe Open That Bottle Night 2018 on February 24, and share about the experience as part of the next Wine Pairing Weekend. What is...

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Open That Bottle Night provides an annual reason to open a special bottle of wine, perhaps one that has been languishing in your cellar for too long. You are invited to observe Open That Bottle Night 2018 on February 24, and share about the experience as part of the next Wine Pairing Weekend.

two images, one of the left has beef stew in bowl next to bottle of wine. image on right, bottle of Duckhorn Merlot wine.

What is Open That Bottle Night?

Do you have a special bottle of wine lying around for the occasion to open it? Well, your occasion has arrived! Join us for Open That Bottle Night (OTBN), which is always held of the 4th Saturday of February. The Open That Bottle Night 2018 is coming up on Saturday, February 24. We’d like to invite you to join the Wine Pairing Weekend (#winePW) group in a two part event. First, we’ll open a special bottle of wine for OTBN of Feb. 24, then we will share blog posts and hold a Twitter Chat about the wine and food we paired with it on Saturday, March 10.

If you’re new to #winePW, every month we focus on a different food and wine pairing theme. The event, held the 2nd Saturday of each month, includes sharing blog posts and a live Twitter chat at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.  I started this event back in June 2014; you can get the backstory in the original post introducing the idea, and check out the list of Wine Pairing Weekend events past and future here.

Burgundy served with pork tenderloin and mushrooms.A bit more about Open That Bottle Night. Dreamed up by Wall Street Journal Writers Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, the premise is that anyone with any interest in wine has at least one bottle that has long been languishing for that “special occasion” that never seems to arrive. Well, OTBN gives you permission to open it! Open That Bottle Night 2018 is the 19th OTBN annual event; I’ve been participating for about ten years now. Here are some tips for OTBN from Dorothy & John, and here’s Dorothy’s article about OTBN 2016.

OTBN can be a fun time to have a gathering of friends that enjoy wine. Each guest can bring a bottle to contribute, which can make for an interesting lineup to try! See for example the results of one such gathering we hosted in 2013.

You don’t have to celebrate OTBN with company, however. Some years we have observed Open That Bottle Night with good meal around the family dinner table. That’s we we did last year, serving Chanterelle Beef Stew with a Chateauneuf Du Pape, shown at the top of this post.  Back in 2016, we opened a good Burgundy and served it with Pork Tenderloin and Mushrooms. For our recipe, tasting notes and links to the other 2016 #winePW Open That Bottle blogs, use this link.

How to Join #winePW for Open That Bottle Night

    • Send an email to tell me you’re in: Include your blog url, Twitter handle, link to your Pinterest profile, and any other social media detail. If you know your blog post title now, include that…but you can send me that a bit closer to the event, I’d like to get a sense of who’s participating and give some shoutouts and links as we go. The email is DavidBCrowley AT gmail.com. You can also let me know via the Wine Pairing Weekend Facebook group, if you are a member there.
    • Open a special bottle on Feb. 24 and serve it with food. I know, a tough one to add to your to-do list! Connect with others who are participating that night by using the #OTBN tag and #winePW on Twitter, Instagram and anywhere else you’d like.
    • Send your post title to me by Tuesday, March 6 to be included in the preview post. I will do a preview post shortly after getting the titles, linking to your blogs. Your title should include “#winePW”. If you want to get involved after Tuesday, March 8, just drop me an email letting me know you plan to post so I can add you to the link list.
    • Publish your post between 12:01 a.m-8:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday, March 10. 
    • Include a link to the other #winePW participants in your post, and a description of what the event is about. I’ll provide the html code you can easily put in your initial post–which will link to people’s general blog url–then updated code for the permanent links to everyone’s #winePW posts.
    • Get social! After the posts go live, please visit your fellow bloggers posts’ to comment and share on social media. We have a Facebook group for participating bloggers to connect and share, too.
    • Twitter Chat: Every second Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, we hold a live Twitter chat based on our theme for the month. So on March 10, we will be tweeting about our OTBN experiences.
    • Sponsored posts OK if clearly disclosed. Please be sure to disclose if your post is sponsored or if you are describing wine or other products for which you have received a free sample.

I’ll sign-off for now and let you start thinking about what special bottle of wine you will open for OTBN 2018 on February 24!

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Beef Stew with Root Vegetables and Côte-Rôtie Wine http://cookingchatfood.com/beef-stew-root-vegetables/ http://cookingchatfood.com/beef-stew-root-vegetables/#comments Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:00:40 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=7863 Slowly cooked Beef Stew with Root Vegetables features fall apart tender meat and a succulent sauce, served with mashed potatoes for some serious comfort food. Serve with a Côte-Rôtie or other big red wine for best results!  Planning ahead: We recommend marinating the beef for at least 6 hours. Make the marinade the night before or early...

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Slowly cooked Beef Stew with Root Vegetables features fall apart tender meat and a succulent sauce, served with mashed potatoes for some serious comfort food. Serve with a Côte-Rôtie or other big red wine for best results! 

Planning ahead: We recommend marinating the beef for at least 6 hours. Make the marinade the night before or early in the morning you intend to serve it. If you are opening the Côte-Rôtie we paired with the stew, allow at least one hour to decant the wine. Disclosure: the wine was sent as a complimentary sample, the opinions are entirely my own. 

Bowl of Beef Stew with Root Vegetables served with mashed potatoes and red wine

Here’s a another recipe that started with the wine in mind.

I had a bottle of Côte-Rôtie to sample as part of my French Wine Picks for Valentine’s Day post with the Winophiles group. This big Syrah based red wine from the Northern Rhone certainly called for hearty fare. I decided Beef Stew with Root Vegetables would be just the thing!

Beef stew is such classic winter comfort food. After a modest amount of work to get it going, the Beef Stew with Root Vegetables slowly braises in the oven for three hours while you enjoy the smells wafting through the house. Make yourself a batch of mashed potatoes in the final hour of braising time for the full comfort food effect. Of course if you are cutting back on carbs you can skip that.

Making Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

bowl of beef stew with side of mashed potatoes, served with a red wine.

As noted earlier, you want to do some advance planning when making this Beef Stew with Root Vegetables recipe. Start marinating the beef the night before you want to serve it, or early the morning you are having it for dinner. There’s about 30 minutes of active prep, prior to 3 hours of braising.

stew beef in a copper pan with onions.

Lately I’ve been using my oven proof Copper Chef Pan for preparations like the beef stew with root vegetables, rather than the Dutch oven as it cooks things very evenly and is easy to clean (Amazon affiliate link included there in case you are interested in one). Either the copper pan or Dutch oven will work here.

I went heavy on the parsnips in this version of beef stew with root vegetables, but you can certainly mix up the root veggies you use.

bowl of beef stew with mashed potatoes on the side.

You might note I used a bit of ketchup and soy sauce here. Not classic French ingredients but they add some good flavor!

If you are looking for slow cooker beef stew recipe, try our Chanterelle Beef Stew. That also comes with another great French wine pairing.

Côte-Rôtie Wine for Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

Côte-Rôtie served with beef stew

I had a bottle of 2013 Vidal-Fleury Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde ($72) waiting to serve with our Beef Stew with Root Vegetables.

Côte-Rôtie is an appellation in the Northern Rhone known for its steep vineyard slopes and Syrah dominated red wines. The name Côte-Rôtie translates into “roasted hillside”. It is comprised of two slopes, Brune and Blonde, reflected in the name of the wine we opened for our beef stew with root vegetables. More on Côte-Rôtie can be found here on the Rhone wines website.

This 2013 Côte-Rôtie is peppery on the nose. Blackberry fruit, currant and notes of leather, complex. This Northern Rhone wine is made from 95% Syrah, 5% Viogner grapes.

red Cote-Rotie wine in decanter next to the bottle and a glass with the wine in it.

I did my initial tasting immediately after opening this wine, then decanted for an hour before dinner– I noticed a bit late that the winery suggested two hours of decanting. But one hour did give the wine good opportunity to open up, featuring plush fruit and a long finish after decanting.

As you might suspect, the Vidal-Fleury Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde  is excellent paired with our beef stew! A robust wine that stands up well to the hearty dish.

Vidal-Fleury was established in 1781, making it the oldest house in the Rhone. They produce wines from throughout the Rhone region. This link has information on the distribution of Vidal Fleury wines in the U.S.

two images of beef stew with root vegetables, served with mashed potatoes and red wine.
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Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

Beef Stew with Root Vegetables features fall apart tender meat and a succulent sauce, served with mashed potatoes for some serious comfort food.

Beef slowly cooks with root vegetables for a succulent stew, with fall apart tender meat. Excellent served with a bold French red wine.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hrs 15 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs 45 mins active plus 6 hrs marinating
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Braise
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 6 sprigs of rosemary
  • 6 cloves
  • 5 bay leaves
  • Onion cut into about 8 pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¼ tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tsp honey
  • tsp coarse salt
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 4 cups red wine
  • 2 1/2 lbs stew beef

For cooking the stew

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup reserved marinade liquid
  • 1 sprig rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ cups low sodium beef broth
  • Mashed potatoes for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the marinade: In a large bowl, combine the marinade ingredients, from the rosemary through the red wine.
  2. Pat dry the beef with a paper towel, and place in a large, sealable plastic bag. Carefully pour in the marinade. Seal the bag, and gently toss the bag to coat the beef. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least six hours, or overnight.
  3. Prepare the Stew: When you’re ready to start cooking, preheat the oven to 300 degrees (convection setting if you have it).
  4. Place a strainer inside a large bowl. Pour the beef mixture into the strainer, using the bowl to capture and reserve the marinade. Remove the beef, scraping off big pieces of veggies, herbs and spices from the marinade. Set the beef aside in a bowl to cook.
  5. Heat the oil on medium heat in a dutch oven or oven proof copper pan. Add the chopped onion to the pan, cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften.
  6. Add the parsnips, carrots, mushroom and garlic to the pan, and cook for a few more minutes.
  7. Stir in the beef, combining it well with the onions and other vegetables. Salt to taste. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown on all sides.
  8. Add the remaining stew ingredients to the pan with the beef and vegetables–reserved marinade, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, ketchup, soy cause, and beef broth. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  9. Cover the Dutch oven / copper pan and move the stew to the oven, where it will braise for a total of 3 hours.
  10. Braise at 300 degrees for one hour. If you are using a convection setting, lower the temperature to 275 after the first hour, and braise for an additional 2 hours at 275. If you are using a conventional setting, leave at 300 degrees for the entire 3 hours.
  11. After the stew has braised for 3 hours, carefully remove the stew from the oven. Ladle the stew into bowls to serve, along with mashed potatoes if you are using them.

Notes

  • Braising is a technique whereby the food slowly cooks in liquid at a low temperature. It’s a great way to turn inexpensive cuts of meat into a great meal. For more on braising, see this post on The Spruce.
  • Typically braising is done in a Dutch oven. Lately I have been using my oven proof copper pan with good results (Amazon affiliate link provided for you convenience). It’s much easier to clean then the cast iron Dutch oven.
  • The recipe calls for 3 parsnips and 1 carrot. You could do 2 of each, or 3 carrots and 1 parsnip if you like. And certainly experiment with other root vegetables for this beef stew recipe.

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French Wine Picks and Pairings for Valentine’s Day #winophiles http://cookingchatfood.com/french-wine-picks/ http://cookingchatfood.com/french-wine-picks/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 14:45:24 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=7839 Today we share French Wine Picks and Pairings for Valentine’s Day as part of a special “l’amour” focused French Winophiles event. Great food and wine pairings are a fun way to celebrate with your Valentine! Disclosure: the four featured wine picks were provided as complimentary samples. As always, the opinions are entirely my own. I...

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Today we share French Wine Picks and Pairings for Valentine’s Day as part of a special “l’amour” focused French Winophiles event. Great food and wine pairings are a fun way to celebrate with your Valentine! Disclosure: the four featured wine picks were provided as complimentary samples. As always, the opinions are entirely my own.

four bottles of wine from France

I enjoyed all four French wines that were sent as part of the French Winophiles February l’amour theme. I’m going to lead off with my favorite pairing, which was the 2016 Pure Loire Rosé D’Anjou ($15, 12% ABV) paired with our Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili. If you are reading this early in the day on Valentine’s Day, you could still put this pairing together for your love!

a rosé wine served with a bowl of black bean turkey chili.

I hadn’t considered rosé as a pairing for chili until reading Martin’s post on ENOFYLZ. Then I noticed the winery mentioned their rosé as a good match for spicy food, so I definitely had to try it!

The Rosé D’Anjou from Famille Bougrier is salmon pink in the glass, a nice color for Valentine’s Day! Melon on the nose, taste of strawberry fruit and a bit of kiwi. Some good acidity. Medium bodied with nice mouthfeel. Very pleasant to sip on its own, this rosé really refreshes between bites of the chili. Give it a try with our chili or other spicy food!

The Rosé D’Anjou is a blend of Gamay and Grolleau, 50% each. I had recently just tried Grolleau for the first time, in a single varietal red wine, so was curious to sample it again in this rosé.

Famille Bougrier has been producing wine in the Loire region for 130 years, unique in that they make wine from throughout the region. Rosé D’Anjou is available exclusively at Total Wine in the U.S.

2016 Saint-Amour Cru Du Beaujolais

open bottle of Saint-Amour Cru Du Beaujolais with a glass of the red wine beside it.

Our French wine picks for Valentine’s Day needs to include a wine with amour in the name, bien sur! So let’s go now to the 2016 Saint-Amour Cru Du Beaujolais (13% ABV) from the Vignerons De Bel Air, which draws upon grapes from some 250 growers in the Beaujolais region. They are the largest producer of Cru Beaujolais.

Made from 100% Gamay grapes, this Beaujolais is a versatile, food friendly wine. I thought I’d give it a try with some of our leftover chili.

I got violet on the nose of the Beaujolais. Plum fruit, notes of leather. Body medium / light, soft mouthfeel.

The Beaujolais and chili was a decent pairing, but didn’t sing together the way the rosé and chili did. The Saint-Amour tasting notes mention lamb tagine as a good pairing, that sounds like one to try! For more ideas on Beajolais pairings, visit our November Winophiles post, Food-Friendly Red Wine from Beaujolais.

2017 Savoir Apremont Fleur de Jacquère 

bottle of Savoie white wine with a glass on one side, spinach salad on the other side.

The 2017 Savoir Apremont Fleur de Jacquère ($13, 11.5% ABV) from Jean Perrier et Fils is an interesting bottle, made from 100% Jacquère grapes, which are native to the Savoie region, located in the Alps in Eastern France, near Switzerland. Apremont is an AOP in Savoie.pasta with peas and feta cheese and a glass of white wine.I get lemon peel on nose, and taste of peach and a bit of almond with some minerality. Interestingly while reading about the Savoie region, I noted I that almond trees sometimes share the land with grape vines in the region.

The Savoie was good nibbling on a bit of cheddar as I was cooking. I particularly liked the way the Savoie paired with the Quick Pasta with Peas and Feta Cheese I made. The wine refreshed and cleansed the palate after bites of the rich feta cheese. It was also good with some baked haddock that we were eating along with the pasta.

Jean Perrier et Fils has been making wine for 7 generations, since 1853. They are located close to Mont Blanc, Europe’s tallest mountain. The steep vineyards produce distinctive, high quality wines.

2013 Vidal Fleury Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde

Côte-Rôtie served with beef stew

We’ve got a big red wine in the cleanup spot for this French Wine Picks lineup (hey, spring training is starting this week, had to get a baseball term in here!). I served the 2013 Vidal Fleury Côte-Rôtie Brune et Blonde ($72) with Beef Stew with Root Vegetables.

This Côte-Rôtie is peppery on the nose. Blackberry fruit, currant and notes of leather, complex. This Northern Rhone wine is made from 95% Syrah, 5% Viogner grapes.

I did my initial tasting immediately after opening this wine, then decanted for an hour before dinner– I noticed a bit late that the winery suggested two hours of decanting. But one hour did give the wine good opportunity to open up, featuring plush fruit and a long finish after decanting.

This Côte-Rôtie is excellent paired with our beef stew recipe!

More French Wine Picks and Pairings

In addition to our four French Wine Picks shared with the Winophiles group this month, let me share a few more of our favorite pairings with excellent French wines.

Champagne with St. Nuit Cheese

Champagne with St. Nuage Cheese

This fall the Winophiles did a #MadeInFrance French Cheese and Wine tasting. There are a lot of good French wine and cheese picks in that post to share with your valentine, but I would make special mention of the Champagne and creamy St. Nuage cheese. A great pairing!

Looking to spice things up on Valentine’s Day? Don’t forget, sparkling wine can be a great choice for sparkling wine. We celebrated Valentine’s Day a bit early this past weekend, opening a bottle of Beaumont de Crayerès Grand Rosé Champagne ( 12% ABV). We enjoyed it with some Indian chicken curry.

Fettuccine Primavera Avec Mon Coeurplate with fettuccine primavera being twirled with a fork.
I have to include the first meal I cooked for Jodi in this Valentine’s Day post. Fettuccine Primavera may be a pretty easy recipe for an experience cook, but in my first year post-college the dish represented quite an accomplishment! The fettuccine is still a favorite, for taste and sentimental reasons. We enjoyed it around Valentine’s Day a few year’s back with a bottle of J. L. Chave Mon Couer Cotes du Rhone. Makes a nice pairing!

More Wine and L’Amour from the French Winophiles

February 14 may have passed, but it’s always a good time to enjoy some good French wine with your Valentine! Check out all the great posts below, and join us for a live chat 11 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, February 17, using the #winophiles tag.

Camillia at Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “L’Amour dans une Bouteille ou Quatre”

Susannah Gold from Avvinare tells us about “Love in the Rhone Valley”

L.M. Archer at binNotes shares The Hedonistic Taster | № 36 | #Winophiles + Love: L’Amour du Patrimoine” 

Jeff at Food, Wine, Click! gives us “French Wines for ‘His’ and ‘Hers’ Valentines”

Jill from L’Occasion takes us on a sensory route “Tasting Romance: French Wine and the Senses”

Michelle of Rocking Red Blog helps us “Celebrate La Saint-Valentin with French Wine”

David of Cooking Chat dishes up “French Wine Picks and Pairings for Valentine’s Day”  (you are here!) and “Beef Stew with Root Vegetables and Côte-Rôtie Wine”

Lauren from The Swirling Dervish shares “How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Wines”

Liz from What’s in that Bottle pairs “Celebrate Galentine’s Day with French Wines & Fondue”

Gwen at Wine Predator shares “Sweethearts: French Wines and Pizza”

Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm shows us how to Spice up your Love Life with Shrimp Etouffee”

Nicole from Somm’s Table shares “Cooking to the Wine: Domaine Chardigny Saint-Amour with Roasted Salmon and a little Romance”

Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog tells us about “Celebrating L’Amour Du Vin With French Wine At The Table”

Rupal of Journeys of a Syrah Queen swirls up “Valentine’s Day Romance with French Wines”

Jane at Always Ravenous asks “Why Does French Food and Wine Taste So Good? Love!”

Lynn at Savor the Harvest shares “L’Amour du vin”

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Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère #SundaySupper http://cookingchatfood.com/vegetarian-baked-pasta/ http://cookingchatfood.com/vegetarian-baked-pasta/#comments Sun, 11 Feb 2018 11:29:59 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=7803 Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère makes a great meatless meal for Lent or any time you are looking to skip the meat. Can also be served as a hearty side dish. Our submission for today’s Sunday Supper focuses on Meatless Casseroles for Lent. Click here to jump to the recipe or read on for...

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Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère makes a great meatless meal for Lent or any time you are looking to skip the meat. Can also be served as a hearty side dish. Our submission for today’s Sunday Supper focuses on Meatless Casseroles for Lent. Click here to jump to the recipe or read on for details on how to prepare Vegetarian Baked Pasta and wine to serve with it.

vegetarian baked pasta in a white casserole dish.

Vegetarian Baked Pasta dishes are a winter staple in our house. Today’s recipe has pasta combined with just a few simple ingredients that we had on hand. Spinach and Gruyère cheese provide much of the flavor and nutrition. Roasted red peppers also add nice flavor and color to the dish.

This vegetarian baked pasta has just about 15 minutes of active cooking time on the stove top, then about 20 minutes in the oven while you can do other things. The result is a cheesy, satisfying meatless meal!

How to Make Vegetarian Baked Pasta

Our Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère is a recipe template that can be easily adapted based on your tastes and what you have on hand. The building blocks are the pasta, sautéed veggies and cheese.

Choose a short pasta shape to make Vegetarian Baked Pasta. We have recently made this recipe with corkscrew shaped fusilli pasta and gemelli. Pick a whole wheat pasta to enhance the nutritional value of the dish.

I rely on a skillet of sautéed vegetables along with a modest amount of cheese to bind the Vegetarian Baked Pasta together. I start with an onion and garlic with some olive oil in the skillet; but you could use just one or other. You can also add chopped fresh red bell pepper at this time instead of the roasted red pepper.

You can easily swap in other leafy greens instead of the baby spinach. If you want to use a hearty green like kale or collard greens, I would add 1/4 cup water or other cooking liquid, and let it braise covered for about 10 minutes. Just takes a bit more to cook those.

Gruyère cheese is good for melting and adds nice flavor, but any other good melting cheese will do here. Cheddar is of course a natural for a baked pasta dish; I also made this with a goat gouda cheese and that was tasty.

On the top of Vegetarian Baked Pasta, I like to have a combination of melted cheese and something to give the dish a bit of crunch. We used provolone on top; mozzarella and Parmesan also work well. I used some homemade breadcrumbs sprinkled on top, but have also used pumpkin seeds with good results.

vegetarian baked pasta in a casserole dish.

So follow our Vegetarian Baked Pasta recipe exactly as we present it if you like, or experiment with some of your favorite ingredients you have on hand. Let me know how yours comes out!

More Vegetarian Baked Pasta Recipes

casserole dish with baked veggie mac and cheese casserole

As you can see, several of the Meatless Casserole recipes shared by my #SundaySupper friends below are forms of vegetarian baked pasta. Another favorite here on Cooking Chat is the Veggie Mac and Cheese Casserole shown above. The approach to that recipe is very similar to the one we are sharing today. One neat thing about that recipe is it features sautéed leek greens–so if you typically discard leek greens, next time give our recipe a try as a way to put them to use!

Wine Pairing for Vegetarian Baked Pasta

plate of vegetarian baked pasta with a glass of red wine on the side, and casserole dish in the background.

The first time we had this Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère I served a full-bodied Italian red wine that was a bit overwhelming for this dish. A lighter California Pinot Noir worked much better the second time we served this vegetarian baked pasta. I would say Pinot is a good choice if you are in the mood for red wine. A full bodied white wine like a Chardonnay or white Rhone blend could also work well.

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Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère

vegetarian baked pasta in a casserole dish.

5 from 2 reviews

Vegetarian Baked Pasta with Spinach and Gruyère for a meatless meal or hearty side dish. Easy to adapt to use veggies and cheese that you have on hand.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 12 ozs gemelli, fusilli or other short pasta shape
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped (½ large onion or 1 medium/small onion)
  • 3 to 4 cups baby spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 ozs roasted red pepper, drained and chopped
  • ¾ cup Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 1 slice provolone cheese, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and begin boiling a large pot of water to cook the pasta.
  2. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté about 5 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Gradually add the spinach to the skillet, stirring to combine with the onions and garlic. Lower to medium low heat and cook about 5 minutes, until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm while the pasta finishes cooking.
  4. Begin cooking the pasta according to package instructions shortly after the spinach is added to the pan. When the past is done, drain the pasta and toss immediately with the spinach / onion mixture.
  5. Stir the roasted red pepper and Gruyère cheese into the pan with the pasta and veggies.
  6. Empty the pasta mixture into a large casserole dish. Spread the the provolone cheese around the top of the pasta, then sprinkle the bread crumbs around the top.
  7. Cover the casserole, and bake covered for 15 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 5 minutes.
  8. After 20 of total baking time, switch the oven to the broil setting. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes to brown the top of the casserole a bit. R
  9. Carefully remove the vegetarian baked pasta from the oven. Scoop and plate serving portions, and enjoy!

Meatless Casseroles for Lent

Marvelous Meatless Meals

Sunday Supper Movement
The Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.

two images of vegetarian baked pasta, one on top in casserole dish, one below served on a plate.

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Tuscan Kale Pasta with Elisabetta’s Vernaccia #winePW http://cookingchatfood.com/tuscan-kale-pasta/ http://cookingchatfood.com/tuscan-kale-pasta/#comments Sat, 10 Feb 2018 12:48:00 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=7786 Today we serve our Tuscan Kale Pasta with Montenidoli Vernacccia, made by Elisabetta Fagiuoli, for the February Wine Pairing Weekend event. Read on for all the details, or click here to jump down to the recipe or here for background on the winery and winemaker. When we decided that the February Wine Pairing Weekend would focus...

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Today we serve our Tuscan Kale Pasta with Montenidoli Vernacccia, made by Elisabetta Fagiuoli, for the February Wine Pairing Weekend event. Read on for all the details, or click here to jump down to the recipe or here for background on the winery and winemaker.

Tuscan Kale Pasta on a plate served with white wine

When we decided that the February Wine Pairing Weekend would focus on Women Owned Wineries and Women Who Makes Wine, I immediately thought of Elisabetta.

Picture Elisabetta Fagiuoli, a spry Italian woman well past the age many people retire, proudly holding court behind a table with an array of the Montenidoli wines she has been producing for decades. She is eager to share with us her wine and the passion that has been poured into making it.

Elisabetta has visited our favorite local wine shop, Pairings Wine & Food, several times. During her most recent visit last summer, she had four of her wines available for sampling, including the Vernaccia that we are pairing today with Tuscan Kale Pasta.

As we sipped Elisabetta’s wine, she painted a picture for us of the Tuscan vineyards that produces some excellent fruit. We started with the Vernaccia, an Italian white wine varietal most closely associated with San Gimignano, where Montenidoli is located. Will talk more about the wine and Tuscan Kale Pasta pairing below.

After sampling a refreshing rosato made from Canaiolo grapes, we moved on to two of Elisabetta’s red wines. Though she clearly loves all her wines, I did sense a bit more enthusiasm for the full-bodied, big red wines from Montenidoli.

plate of rustic pasta with Montenidoli Chianti.

As we sipped the 2015 Montenidoli Garrulo Chianti Colli Senesi ($20, 14% ABV), Elisabetta urged us to enjoy this Chianti with pasta. This is not the type of advice I am inclined to dismiss, so I paired this Chianti  with our Rustic Pasta with Chicken and Sausage shown above and was very pleased with the results.

If you somehow have a notion that a woman winemaker is likely to produce light, ethereal wines, Elisabetta’s Sono Montenidoli will blow that assumption out of the water. This is a “beast” of a wine, in a good way, as the tasting sheet puts it. This Sangiovese based wine needs a couple hours in the decanter or some cellar time to make it approachable. This is to go with the meat, Elisabetta notes.

Background on Montenidoli Winery

Panoramic view of the San Gimignano hills

Image credit: nnike on Widimedia Commons.

The following background information comes from the Montenidoli website, and what I’ve heard from Elisabetta and friends that have visited there.

The San Gimignano hills where the Montenidoli Winery was established had been abandoned by farmers in the early 1900s. Elisabetta and her husband Sergio moved there in 1965 to raise their family. Sergio was a teacher, but caring for the land was in Elisabetta’s blood. Her family cultivated vines and olive trees outside Verona. Much of her childhood was spent wandering the vineyards of Valpolicella.

The vineyards were overgrown with brambles when they arrived, but Elisabetta set to work. As my friends Ray and Lori from Pairings said upon visiting Montenidoli, Elisabetta is “a force of nature”. Using organic organic methods that  rely upon the Tuscan sun and soil, the first Montenidoli wine was born in 1971.

In addition to the wines I mentioned sampling, Montenoldi now produces several other wines made from native Italian grapes. When Elisabetta isn’t on the road sharing her wines, she can often be found in the vineyards caring for her grapes.

Tuscan Kale Pasta with Elisabetta’s Vernaccia

closeup of tuscan kale pasta on a plate with Vernaccia white wine in background.

My idea for the Tuscan Kale Pasta recipe was based on one of our go-to weekday recipes, this Penne with Red Lentils and Ginger. That recipe features spinach for the green vegetable, I thought I’d try making it with some kale. To give it more of an Italian flavor, we increased the garlic and skipped the ginger, and swapped Tuscan kale for the spinach.

Tuscan kale on a cutting board

You might ask, “what is Tuscan kale?”. Tuscan kale also goes by the names “lacinato kale” and “dinosaur kale”. The latter is probably the most descriptive term, as what I’m calling Tuscan kale features bumpy dark green leaves. It is a bit more delicate than basic green kale, and I thought that would work better for cooking relatively quickly for this Tuscan kale pasta dish.

Want to try another recipe with Tuscan kale? Give our Tuscan Kale Pesto Risotto a try!

The Montenidoli website suggests their Vernaccia is good with olive oil based dishes. Our Tuscan kale pasta starts by sautéing some garlic and red bell pepper in some olive oil. That is followed by adding the Tuscan kale and red lentils, along with some broth. Note: I used chicken broth with good results, but you can use vegetable broth or water to keep the dish vegetarian.

tuscan kale pasta on a plate with a glass of white wine on the side.

The 2015 Montenidoli Tradizionale Vernaccia Di San Gimignano ($19, 14% ABV) is straw colored in the glass, with green apple on the nose. Taste of pear fruit with notes of almond on the finish, and notable underlying minerality. Definitely a wine best with food, and our Tuscan Kale Pasta is a good match. In particular, the Vernaccia pairs well with the Parmigiano cheese we add to the pasta.

This Montenidoli Vernaccia also goes well with artichokes and seafood.

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Tuscan Kale Pasta

Tuscan Kale Pasta with garlic, red lentils and Parmigiano cheese for an easy vegetarian pasta meal. Pair with an Italian white wine such as a Vernaccia. #pasta #winepairing

Tuscan kale cooked with garlic and red lentils, tossed with pasta, for a an easy and healthy vegetarian meal. Pairs well with a Vernaccia and other Italian white wine.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 5 servings
  • Category: Italian
  • Cuisine: Main

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, leaves thinly sliced and thick stems removed
  • 1 cup low vegetable broth or water
  • Dash salt
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 12 ozs bowtie pasta or other short pasta shape
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmigianno cheese for passing at the table

Instructions

  1. Start water boiling for pasta.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the bell pepper, sauté for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Sauté for another minute.
  3. Gradually add the kale to the skillet. Stir to combine with the garlic and pepper. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the lentils and broth to the skillet. Bring to a simmer, then cover to simmer on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until lentils are soft. Keep an eye on the skillet and add extra water if needed to keep the vegetables and lentils moist. When the lentils are tender after about 12 minutes, remove the skillet from heat. Keep the skillet covered so that the kale and lentil mixture stays warm.
  5. Cook the pasta according to package instructions while the lentils and Tuscan kale cook.
  6. Drain the pasta when cooked to your liking, and toss immediately with the Tuscan kale and lentil mixture. Plate and serve with an Italian white wine.

 

Women Owned Wineries and Women Winemakers

Be sure to check out all the great Wine Pairing Weekend Articles about Women Owned Wineries and Women Winemakers! And join us for a live Twitter chat on the topic, using hashtag #winePW, at 11 a.m. ET and 8 am PT on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla brings the bubbles with > The Effervescent Nicole Walsh Dishes On Ser And Being a Woman (in Wine) & Sparkling Rosé of Nebbiolo + Fusion Street Tacos.

Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares > Women Winemakers~~Introducing Burgdorf Winery.

Nicole from Somm’s Table has us > Malbec, Meat, and Conversation with Hanna Winery’s Christine Hanna

Jane of Always Ravenous is > Celebrating Merry Edward’s Winemaking Journey with a Winter Feast

David from Cooking Chat brings us > Tuscan Kale Pasta with Elisabetta’s Vernaccia.

Susannah at Avvinare shares > Crociani Rosso di Montepulciano and Turkey Chili For A Cold Winter’s Day

Gwendolyn from Wine Predator explains > We’re with WALT: owner Kathryn Hall, Winemaker Megan Gunderson Paredes.

Lauren at The Swirling Dervish is running with the wolves for > Donnachiara Montefalcione – Five Generations of Wine, Wolves, and Women in Campania.

two images of Tuscan kale pasta on a plate served with white wine.

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Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce and Sonoma Pinot http://cookingchatfood.com/pomegranate-sauce/ http://cookingchatfood.com/pomegranate-sauce/#comments Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:54:48 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=7648 Roasted pork chops topped with a pomegranate sauce is an easy and elegant meal that can be on the table in 30 minutes. Excellent paired with a Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast. Click here to jump down to the recipe or get to the wine details. This Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce recipe has...

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Roasted pork chops topped with a pomegranate sauce is an easy and elegant meal that can be on the table in 30 minutes. Excellent paired with a Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast. Click here to jump down to the recipe or get to the wine details.

pork chop topped with pomegranate sauce, on a plate with vegetables, along with a glass of red wine.

This Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce recipe has been in the pipeline for awhile.

The idea of making some pomegranate sauce for pork chops started percolating when I was planning for our January #SonomaStrong Wine Pairing Weekend post. I had a good bottle of Sonoma Pinot on hand, and I got to thinking about good pairings for Pinot Noir.

I recalled Lori from Pairings Wine and Food mentioned that Pinot goes with pomegranate molasses. She mentioned that pairing explaining why Pinot goes well with Muhammara Spicy Red Pepper Dip. I had a good amount of the molasses on hand from making that tasty dip, so I decided to feature it in some pomegranate sauce for pork chops.

Making Pomegranate Sauce

pork chop on a plate topped with pomegranate sauce.

This pomegranate sauce is easy to prepare alongside the pork chop prep process. Start making the pomegranate sauce as the pork chops absorbs the rub.

You start by sautéing an onion in the sauce pan. Then pomegranate molasses gets added along with some red wine, and these ingredients simmer to reduce the sauce. Finish with a little butter, salt and pepper, and you’ve got some tasty pomegranate sauce for pork chops. I bet this would also be good with chicken.

Keep the pomegranate sauce warm as the pork chop finishes roasting. Spoon the pomegranate sauce over the pork chops when finished. You could try sprinkling some bits of pomegranate fruit over the pork, too, for a nice presentation.

Pinot with Pork Chops and Pomegranate Sauce

A glass of Marimar Estate Pinot Noir next to the bottle.

We opened a bottle of 2013 Marimar Estate Mas Cavalls Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($44, 14.2% ABV). I get a whiff of lilacs in the breeze from the bouquet of this Pinot. Taste of blackberry jam, licorice and a bit of vanilla. Mineral notes underlying the wine. A delicious, complex wine with a nice finish.

As suspected, this Pinot pairs well with the pomegranate sauce. The fruit notes of the wine match the subtle pomegranate flavor, and this Pinot is big enough to match the pork chop as well.
pork chops topped with pomegranate sauce, served with roasted beets, butternut squash and spinach salad.

We served the pork chops with some Roasted Beets and Butternut Squash, which also goes very well with the Pinot.

The Mas Cavalls Pinot comes from the Doña Margarita Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. The vineyard lies in a cool microclimate, with cool nights and fairly warm dies making it good for growing Pinot.

Marimar Estate gets its name from Marimar Torres, the founder / proprietor of the winery. Marimar started her career in the Torres family winery in Spain. After boosting sales of Torres wines in the US, in 1986 she started making plans to create her own winery in Sonoma.

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Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce

Pork Chops with Pomegranate Sauce, an easy yet elegant recipe that is excellent with Pinot Noir. #pomegranate #porkchops #Pinot

5 from 1 reviews

Roasted pork chops topped with a savory pomegranate sauce for a tasty and easy meal. Excellent paired with a good Pinot Noir.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • PORK CHOPS
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rosemary, thyme
  • 3 pork chops, 1 to 1.5 inches thick
  • POMEGRANATE SAUCE
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, convection setting. (or 425 conventional)
  2. Combine the garlic powder, salt, rosemary and thyme in small mixing bowl.
  3. Rinse and pat dry the pork chops. Sprinkle rub to just cover one side of the chops, gently rubbing the mixture into the meat. Turn the chops over and repeat the process to coat the 2nd side with the rub. Let the pork chops sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to absorb the rub.
  4. Meanwhile, start making the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce page on medium. Add the onion and sauté for a about 5 minutes until softened.
  5. Stir the red wine and pomegranate molasses into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer while the pork chops cook.
  6. Start cooking the pork chops as the sauce simmers. Heat an ovenproof skillet to medium high, spray with cooking oil. Place the pork chops in the skillet, sear the chops for 2 minutes on one side, then flip and sear for another minute on the other side.
  7. Remove the chops to the oven. Roast for 12 minutes, check for doneness; you may need a few more minutes but don’t want to overcook the pork. The pork chops should be cooked through but still be very moist. If using a thermometer 135 degrees is when you should remove it from oven as it will come to the recommended 145 when resting. When done, remove from oven and let rest on a platter for a few minutes.
  8. Finish the pomegranate sauce by melting the butter into the sauce, and adding salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Plate the pork chops, and top with a serving of the pomegranate sauce. Enjoy!

two images of pork chops topped with pomegranate sauce, served with a Pinot Noir.

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12 Super Recipes for Game Day Plus Beer and Wine Picks http://cookingchatfood.com/super-recipes-game-day/ http://cookingchatfood.com/super-recipes-game-day/#respond Sun, 04 Feb 2018 09:27:55 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=6471 12 Super Recipes for Game Day, along with some beer and wine picks to enjoy with the food…and the big game! Peruse our recipe picks, or if you are thirsty and want to jump ahead to the beverage section at the end of the post, click here. Disclosure: some of the super recipes we link to...

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12 Super Recipes for Game Day, along with some beer and wine picks to enjoy with the food…and the big game! Peruse our recipe picks, or if you are thirsty and want to jump ahead to the beverage section at the end of the post, click hereDisclosure: some of the super recipes we link to here were sponsored by brands. We have noted which recipes are sponsored in the text describing the recipe. 

black bean turkey chili in a bowl shown from above

Are you ready for the big game on Sunday? We sure are here in New England! Excited to watch our local team go for their 5th championship.

The game is just one part of the national event coming up on Sunday. There are the commercials, half time show, and of course, the food. With that in mind, I’m rounding up 12 Super Recipes for Game Day that are perfect as you gather with family and friends for the game. All this food could make you thirsty, so I’m also sharing some of my favorite beverages for game day.

Super Recipes for Game Day

Roasted Beet Dip with Fennel and Garlic 

roasted beet dip in a bowl with a glass of red wine beside it.

Our Roasted Beet Dip with Fennel and Garlic recipe is a great option to still get some nutrition in your game time nibbling! Great colors will make it stand out amongst the other offerings. This one is great with Pinot Noir.

Curried Cauliflower Dip

curried cauliflower dip recipe

Staying with the healthier theme for now, we share our Curried Cauliflower Dip that combines roasted cauliflower with flavorful curry. You can nibble on this one all game and still hold onto that New Year’s resolution. (if you’ve made it to February holding to it, YOU deserve a trophy!).

Easy Mexican Dip 

digging into some Easy Mexican Dip with a tortilla chip.

If you’re feeling a bit more indulgent on Sunday, you might want to dig into our Easy Mexican Dip featuring Nola’s Salsa. Warning: you will find it hard to stop! (sponsored)

Super Easy Spicy Green Onion Dip 

Super Easy Spicy Green Onion Dip recipe

Super Easy Spicy Green Onion Dip is an oldie but good from Cooking Chat. We whip this up for almost every gathering that calls for appetizers. This has a nice kick, so if you make this be sure to read on for some beverage tips!

Bacon and Steak Crostini with Dean’s French Onion Dip

toasted crostini with onion dip topped by steak and bacon.

Toasted crostini topped with Dean’s French Onion Dip, bacon and tender steak makes for a savory treat. (sponsored recipe)

Healthier Mashed Potato Bowls

Healthier Mashed Potato Bowls

We just posted this recipe the other day, featuring mashed golden Idaho® potatoes topped with turkey, spinach and other tasty goodness. Another recipe you can feel good about enjoying!

Spicy Pulled Pork Sliders 

Spicy Pulled Pork Slides recipe featuring El Yucateco® hot sauce. Perfect for homegating for a big game!

These tasty sandwiches feature pulled pork from the slow cooker topped with a red cabbage slaw. They get some nice kick from some good hot sauce. Definitely earns its spot in this Super Recipes for Game Day roundup!

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Avocado 

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Can’t have a game day recipe roundup without chili, right? We love to make turkey chili in a slow cooker. Perfect for game day, you can keep it warm and people can scoop it out when they are ready. If you’re rather make a stove top chili, try our Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili.

 Spicy Slow Cooker Beef Stew 

bowl of spicy beef stew with avocado slices on top.

While we’re on the topic of hearty football food from the slow cooker, let me also mention our delicious Spicy Slow Cooker Beef Stew made with El Yucateco® XXX Hot Kutbil-ik Sauce. This packs just the right amount of flavor. I like serving it over mashed sweet potatoes for some contrasting flavors. (sponsored recipe)

Skillet Pie with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

skillet pie

It is highly likely that we will eat some pizza on Sunday, so we need to include pizza in our super recipes for game day. This is one food we tend to outsource more than make at home. So our pizza share here is a guest post from Cynthia at My Nourished Home.

Slow Cooker Irish Lamb Stew

Slow Cooker Irish Lamb stew is a good example of real Irish food!

We will finish out our list of 12 super recipes for game day with another slow cooker special. Get this lamb stew ready in the slow cooker, and people can serve themselves the tender, fall apart lamb when they are ready.

Beer and Wine Picks the Big Game

These were my beer and wine picks for the 2017 Super Bowl. The other day I wrote about New England Beer and Food which as some new local beer picks in addition to the ones below.

Well, beer is the adult beverage of choice for watching the big game, so I will start there. New England has a wide array of breweries, so I’m going to stay loyal and focus on some local beers. Sam Adams helped to launch the craft beer movement in America. Though they have grown into a large brand, they still offer high quality beer. Their basic Boston Lager is always a good choice. Lately I’ve been enjoying two of their new seasonal ales. Hopscape, shown below with some skillet pork shops, is a wheat ale brewed with West Coast hops. Fresh as Helles is a refreshing lager with orange blossoms blended in.

Skillet Pork Chops with Hopscape Beer.

Let’s mention a few of the smaller breweries with some good options for game day. Hopponius Union from Jack’s Abbey lives up to its billing as “Wicked Hoppy”; if you like IPAs, this one kicks it up a notch. Another local IPA I like is Greenhead IPA, which gets its name from a pesky fly that visits some beaches in the area from time to time. That one is from Newburyport Brewing Company.

Mayflower Brewery offers a number of beers I’ve enjoyed. Their Golden Ale is good easy sipping. Mayflower also has a Porter that would be great with our Irish Lamb Stew.

wine for guacamole

Being the wine fan that I am, there will likely be some wine opened during the game at some point. We have tested wine pairings for guacamole, a popular football food. The Riesling idea mentioned there would play nicely with other football appetizers.

Pinot Noir is a versatile, food friendly red that could be a good choice. The 2013 Ellipsis Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley is a good value at around $20.

If you’re looking to sip some wine with that pizza, you will probably want to go for Italian. Any number of Chiantis can do the trick–the Erik Banti Carato Toscana is a good value and tends to be widely available. If you want to try something different, I like the 2014 Luccarelli Negroamaro from Puglia, which can be had for $10 to $12.

sparkling wine in a glassIf you want some bubbly to celebrate after the game Westport Rivers Winery in Southeastern Mass. is known for high quality sparkling wine. If you are looking for a wine pick from the Philadelphia region, I’m afraid you’ll have to ask an Eagles fan!

Whether you are cheering for the Eagles or the Pats on Sunday, I’m sure we can all agree that enjoying the game with family, friends plus good food and drink is a pleasant way to spend a Sunday evening. Enjoy!

long image with green onion dip bowl on top and spicy beef stew below.

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New England Beer and Food for the Big Game http://cookingchatfood.com/new-england-beer/ http://cookingchatfood.com/new-england-beer/#respond Thu, 01 Feb 2018 12:13:33 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=7738 Just about time for the big football game! And yes, our New England team is in it once again, defending their championship. I like to enjoy local New England beer while cheering on the team, seems to bring them good luck while showing my loyalties. As a resource to fellow Pats fans and others interested,...

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Just about time for the big football game! And yes, our New England team is in it once again, defending their championship. I like to enjoy local New England beer while cheering on the team, seems to bring them good luck while showing my loyalties. As a resource to fellow Pats fans and others interested, today I’m sharing along some of my favorite New England beer and food to go along with it.

New England Beer with Food Pairings

Hoponius Union with Easy Mexican Dip

Hoponius Union Beer with Easy Mexican Dip

We’ll kick this article off with two New England beer and food pairings we’ve done recently. We made this Easy Mexican Dip featuring some fresh salsa from the Boston based Nola’s Fresh Foods. Dig into this delicious dip and I’m sure you won’t be able to stop at one bite! We paired it Hoponius Union from Jack’s Abby in Framingham, MA. The hoppy brew is very good with the spice!

Fresh Tracks Paired with Easy Black Bean Chili

black bean turkey chili served with a beer.

We just recently served up this Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili, and it is a great healthy and tasty option for game day. The first night I made this we had it with Fresh Tracks spring ale from Harpoon, an employee owned brewery in Boston.  Definitely a good pairing — IPA and chili are a good match.

Harpoon IPA with Spicy Green Onion Dip

Harpoon IPA beer served with spicy green onion dip.

IPAs work well with spicy food, and our Spicy Green Onion Dip definitely has some kick! Harpoon IPA is a regular in our home, and we had it ready to pair with this dip recently with good results. This is probably a good time to give a mention to Lord Hobo Brewery, which is located right here in my hometown of Woburn, MA. They focus on IPAs, so any of their beers would probably work well with the Spicy Green Onion Dip. Lord Hobo’s Boom Sauce is popular and available in some stores; we also like they citrusy Hobo Life session ale.

Sam Adams Hopscape with Roasted Asparagus Dip

roasted asparagus dip served with a beer.

There’s a citrus element in the Hopscape ale from Sam Adams that picks up the lemon in the Roasted Asparagus Dip nicely. Of course, Sam Adams has a wide range of beers you could enjoy while cheering for the defending champs. This time of year the Boston Lager is my favorite beer from Sam Adams, when it gets warm, their Summer Ale is a classic.

Other Favorite New England Beers

Mystic Brewery

two beers on bar at Mystic Brewery

I had a chance to visit Mystic Brewery in Chelsea, MA a few times when we were doing a fundraising event there for Social Capital Inc. I learned some good beer pairing tips and enjoyed their Belgian inspired brews. Definitely needs a spot on my favorite New England beers list! Their stout paired with locally made Tazo chocolates was a memorable pairing.

Idle Hands Craft Ales My brother Pete turned me on to this Malden, MA, based brewer. He is definitely more of a beer aficionado than I am. I really like their Four Hands IPA, and they have a lot of other interesting beers to try. They definitely deserve a spot on this favorite New England beer roundup!

Let me give a quick shout to a few other New England beer breweries that I enjoy regularly. Wachusett Brewing Company has a fun mix of IPAs, including Green Monstah IPA which has pleasant associations with summer days at Fenway. If you’re from New England you probably know a greenhead (fly) is generally something to avoid for their nasty bite. But don’t shy away from Greenhead IPA from Newburyport Brewing Company!

Another good one up on the North Shore of Massachusetts is Cape Ann Brewing Company. I’ve enjoyed their Fisherman’s IPA with some regularity, and sampled some other good ones. I need to visit as they have a good spot on the water in Gloucester where you can eat with a view and a local brew. On the south shore of MA, there is Mayflower Brewery, which puts out a good variety of quality brews. I like their Golden Ale.

There are a lot of other great New England breweries. If you have a favorite I haven’t mentioned, mention in the comments!

More New England Food Favorites

New England food traditions tend to focus on seafood–most notably New England Clam Chowder— and recipes that go back to our colonial roots, such as Yankee Pot Roast and Boston Baked Beans. And New England is especially known for an abundance of fall produce we associate with Thanksgiving.

cod and beans served on a plate over rice, with a side of green beans.

When we were asked to come up with a recipe from our region for a Sunday Supper event awhile back, I created the New England Beans and Cod recipe shown above that was takeoff on a few of the classics.

Today’s New England food is inspired by the diversity of the immigrants that call the area home, ranging from my own Irish roots from a few generations back to growing populations today like our Indian and Brazilian communities. But that topic probably deserves it’s own blog post.

Let me wrap our New England food section by giving a shoutout to a few more great local food products. If you are having sandwiches while watching the game, you might want to have some Grillo’s Pickles on the side. Cape Cod Potato Chips are a great option for any of those dips you are serving. Cabot Cheese from Vermont has all kind of great options the obligatory gameday cheesiness. If you’re looking for something sweet to finish it off, I’ve been loving Goodnow Chocolates lately. Each of their single origin chocolate bars features cacao beans sourced from a different farm in Mexico and Central America, and you can really taste the distinctiveness associated with each location.

New England Wine

OK, there is way more New England beer to talk about than wine, but a couple New England wineries are worth mentioning if that is your preferred beverage to enjoy while cheering on the favorites!

Westport Rivers Winery Want to celebrate a 6th championship with some locally made sparkling wine? Wesport Rivers produces top notch sparkling wine.

Greenvale Vineyards in Rhode Island makes a good Chardonnay and Cab Franc.

 

 

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Super Easy Spicy Green Onion Dip #SundaySupper http://cookingchatfood.com/spicy-green-onion-dip/ http://cookingchatfood.com/spicy-green-onion-dip/#comments Sun, 28 Jan 2018 08:55:53 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=2082 Our Super Easy Spicy Green Onion Dip recipe only takes 10 minutes to whip together, thus earning its name. Sour cream, garlic and cayenne pepper combine with the green onions for a ton of flavor. This is one of our family favorites, and probably our most made appetizer. Perfect for the big game coming up...

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Our Super Easy Spicy Green Onion Dip recipe only takes 10 minutes to whip together, thus earning its name. Sour cream, garlic and cayenne pepper combine with the green onions for a ton of flavor. This is one of our family favorites, and probably our most made appetizer. Perfect for the big game coming up and other gatherings! Click here to jump down to the recipe
potato chip scooping some green onion dip

If this dip weren’t so good, my family would be pretty tired of it now. Seems like any time I need to bring an appetizer for an extended family gathering, I’m making this Super Easy Spicy Green Onion Dip. I made it again yesterday to share it for today’s #SundaySupper event focused on football food.

This dip is so fast and easy to make, I can whip it up in 10 minutes, making it perfect for busy times. When visiting to watch a big game or celebrate a holiday, I often will quickly make this old standby, then bring something different along with it. The majority of my extended family and friends like some spice, so they are always quick to dive into the green onion dip when I set it out.

green onions, garlic and spices in a bowl with sour cream.

Just be sure to everyone has a beverage ready when they sample this spicy green onion dip! I’ll have some tips on what to pour in a minute.

For Christmas, I’ve gotten in the habit of bringing this Spicy Red Pepper Dip along with the green onion dip. Other times, I might whip up something new. This Roasted Beet Dip with Fennel and Garlic is a new creation that was a big hit.

I got the basic idea for this from a cookbook I have since misplaced. I’ve tweaked the recipe over time, and landed on this combination which seems to be just the right amount of spice for our tastes. You can experiment for yourself to see how much kick you want. The cayenne is the key variable that you can turn up or down slightly to change the heat.

Give this Spicy Green Onion Dip a try soon (some nibbling while watching the big game next Sunday, perhaps?), and I suspect it will soon be a regular part of your recipe rotation, too!

bowl of green onion dip next to a bowl of chips and a beer.

Pairings for Spicy Green Onion Dip

As I said, you will definitely want to have a beverage ready when you sample the green onion dip! An IPA style beer is my go to option for something with a pretty good amount of spice like this. We have plenty of great IPAs made here in New England you can pour while you cheer on the 5 time champions! (sorry, couldn’t resist that plug!).

If you do want to try wine with this dip, go with something with a bit of sweetness and spice, like a Gewürztraminer. Last night we enjoyed the spicy green onion dip with a glass of Moscato Giallo, a light Italian white wine with notes of white pepper, kiwi and honey. You could also try a sparkling wine, one that isn’t super dry.

Another strategy I’ve employed with a glass of Pinot in hand at a party is to take a bite or two of our spicy dip, then have a bite of cheese or something mild before you go back to the wine. I’m going to call that a wine pairing #protip, keeping with the football theme!

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Spicy Green Onion Dip

bowl of green onion dip next to a bowl of chips and a beer.

5 from 4 reviews

Spicy Green Onion Dip is simple to whip up for your next gathering, and is sure to please those that like a little spice!

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 16 ozs sour cream
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup green onions (also known as scallion), finely chopped
  • tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ⅓ tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients from sour cream through cumin in a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in the cayenne, making sure that it is thoroughly combined and spread throughout the dip. If you want to moderate the spice level, you could start by adding 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne and tasting the spice levels, then add a bit more if you want to kick up the spice.
  3. Serve the dip with potato chips for dipping, and make sure people have a drink ready when they start eating it!

Easy Football Food Ideas for Game Day

Super Savory Recipes

Sweet Super Recipes

Sunday Supper Movement
The Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.

bowl with green onion dip ingredients on top, lower image has finished spicy green onion dip in a bowl.

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Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili http://cookingchatfood.com/black-bean-turkey-chili/ http://cookingchatfood.com/black-bean-turkey-chili/#comments Fri, 26 Jan 2018 13:13:58 +0000 http://cookingchatfood.com/?p=7696 This Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili is loaded with lively fresh flavor, and is kid friendly according to our resident expert. I would rate this chili as being medium spiciness, good flavor but won’t burn your insides! After about 15 minutes active cooking, let the chili simmer for 45 minutes more for an easy, healthy...

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This Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili is loaded with lively fresh flavor, and is kid friendly according to our resident expert. I would rate this chili as being medium spiciness, good flavor but won’t burn your insides! After about 15 minutes active cooking, let the chili simmer for 45 minutes more for an easy, healthy meal. Read on for details, or click here to jump down to the recipe. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Nola’s Fresh Foods, and one of the recommended wine pairings was provided as a courtesy sample. As always, the opinions are entirely my own. Click here to jump ahead to learn more about the Nola’s Salsa we used for the recipe. 

Dig into some Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili for a tasty and healthy meal! #chili #healthyrecipes #turkeychili #sponsored

We had a chili breakthrough with this Black Bean Turkey Chili recipe!

Usually our 12 year old just takes his obligatory trying bites of various kinds of chili I’ve made, then seeks an alternative that he can eat. Somehow my instinct told me he might be ready to dig into some good chili–perhaps it is seeing the way he now puts away a big order of chicken curry at our local Indian restaurant. Though I had a backup option in the fridge, I didn’t mention that, and just set out a bowl of the Black Bean Turkey Chili for him, just like Mom & Dad’s.

He took a bit, “Mmm, this is pretty good.” B really started eating it eagerly when he started dipping some tortilla chips into the chili. “This is really good! You should make this again!”

So don’t take it from me, take it from our discerning 12 y.o. food critic! This Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili is a winner!

Nola’s Salsa for Black Bean Turkey Chili

adding salsa to black bean turkey chili

This fall I had a chance to attend an event featuring local food businesses based at the incubator, Commonwealth Kitchen, hosted by Sam Adams Brewery . I sampled lots of great food products at this Commonwealth Kitchen event; the super fresh salsa from Nola’s Fresh Foods is one that really stood out.

Nola’s Fresh Foods is a Boston-based company that gets its name from the hometown of company founder, Sherrie Grillon. Nola’s features fresh salsa made without any artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors, sugars or oils. You just that that fresh tomato and spice flavor coming through when you taste it.

The Nola’s team was serving up some of their award winning chili at the Commonwealth Kitchen event, and I could easily see why the tasty chili received medals. A container of Nola’s Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa is the key ingredient in Nola’s chili, and I decided to feature it in a Cooking Chat chili.

black bean turkey chili in a bowl shown from above

In case you missed it, I have already rolled out another great recipe featuring Nola’s Salsa, this Easy Mexican Dip. That dip or this chili would make for great eating for that big game coming up next weekend! You know that game I mean, the one I can’t mention here because I didn’t spend millions to be allowed to do so.

Making Black Bean Turkey Chili

adding Nola's salsa to chili pot

The good folks at Nola’s aren’t keeping their chili recipe a secret; the recipe is available on their website. Nola’s chili recipe features ground beef. I often like to use ground turkey for my chili, and decided to go that way with this recipe. But I did take the Nola’s recipe as a starting point for our Black Bean Turkey Chili. The Nola’s recipe uses less tomato than I typically use, at least not counting the tomatoes in the salsa. It also calls for ketchup and small amount of mushrooms, two ideas I included in our black bean turkey chili recipe.

The most important strategy I borrowed from the Nola’s recipe is using a container of the Nola’s Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa in our recipe. Clearly this high quality, fresh salsa is key to the vibrant taste of this black bean turkey chili.

Nola’s Salsa is available at Whole Foods in MA, RI, NH and CT, and at specialty stores throughout Massachusetts. More details on their locations can be found here. If they aren’t in your territory yet, I would encourage you to seek out a high quality salsa to use for this recipe for best results. That is, while you wait for Nola’s to come to your area!

Today’s chili recipe lists the jalapeño pepper as optional. I meant to include one, but somehow the jalapeño I got must have slipped out of the cart or something. A chili pepper certainly seems warranted in a chili recipe, but it does have plenty of flavor without it. Go for the 2 full teaspoons chili powder if you aren’t adding a jalapeño.

I like to use fresh garlic for my chili, but you can go with the garlic powder option if you want to expedite things further.

Looking for another turkey chili recipe idea? Give our Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with Avocado a try!

Pairings for Black Bean Turkey Chili

digging into black bean turkey chili

You know we like wine here with most of our recipes, but we tested the black bean turkey chili with beer. Seemed like the thing to do for chili and football in mind. An IPA is generally a good option for spicy food, and we went with the Fresh Tracks from Harpoon–another local New England product (guess who I’m rooting for in that game I can’t mention!). Fresh Tracks is their spring ale, one seasonal ale I don’t mind seeing hit the shelves early! This beer has nice bright hoppy flavor with a touch of citrus, and is refreshing with the chili.

But fear not, wine lovers. We have had a chance to sample the black bean turkey chili with some good wine pairings too!

a rosé wine served with a bowl of black bean turkey chili.

We hit upon a great wine pairing for this black bean turkey chili the other night. I’ve tended to go with red wine with chili, but wanted to get some ideas about what to serve with this. Martin’s ENOYFYLZ article on wine pairings for chili mentions a number of red and white wines to try with chili. I took note of his suggestion “don’t forget about rosé.”

Martin’s comment reminded me that the bottle of 2016 Pure Loire Rosé D’Anjou (12% ABV) that I had on hand mentions that it is good with spicy food. I don’t naturally think of rosé for spicy food, but decided to give it a try!  This wine was provided as a free sample for the French Winophiles February event.

The Pure Loire Rosé turned out to be an excellent pairing for the black bean turkey chili! Salmon hue in the glass, I get melon on the nose. Taste of strawberry fruit, bit of kiwi, with moderate acidity. Refreshing along with the chili! Medium body with nice mouthfeel. I will definitely be getting more of this rosé to try with other spicy foods. It is only available at Total Wine in the US.

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Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili

black bean turkey chili served with a beer.

5 from 4 reviews

Turkey and black beans simmer with fresh salsa and spices for an quick, tasty and healthy meal.

  • Author: Cooking Chat
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 55 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 5 crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (optional), seeded and flesh chopped
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 14 1/2 ozs diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 to 2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 14 1/2 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 ozs Nola’s Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 8 ozs low sodium chicken broth
  • optional toppings: shredded cheese and/or sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add the onion, sauté for a few minutes until it begins to soften. Stir in the mushrooms, followed by the garlic and jalapeño pepper, if using.
  2. Gradually add the ground turkey to the pot, breaking it up with a heavy spoon as you go. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the turkey begins turning white.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, chili powder and soy sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the black beans, salsa, ketchup and chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve the chili in bowls with optional toppings, if desired, and enjoy!

Have you tried this Easy Black Bean Turkey Chili recipe? Leave a comment and rate this recipe!

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