Recipe: Chardonnay Broccoli Buds

Hey, James River Cellars’ Wine Club Members!  Are you looking for an interesting recipe that uses the Stainless-Steel Chardonnay that you got at tonight’s release party?  You’re in luck… I’ve got just the thing… Chardonnay Broccoli Buds.  It’s a recipe that can be either an appetizer or side dish (cold OR roasted).  YUM!

ChardonnayBroccoliBuds

I first had this recipe as a child, during Sunday picnics at summer camp with relatives and friends.  I had never had broccoli as a cold appetizer before and it was delicious… crisp, tangy, and flavorful.  I have made this recipe many times throughout my adulthood but it always seemed a bit too oily, so I decided to remake it.

Since I used an actual recipe to start, it’s only fair that I give you the new recipe as one with specific ingredients (but please realize that I’ll always alter things slightly when I remake a recipe, so even these are guidelines).

Start by mixing 1/2 cup cider vinegar, 1/2 cup oil (I used canola oil), 1/2 cup James River Cellars’ Chardonnay, 1/2 Tablespoon sugar, 1/2 Tablespoon dried dill, 1/3 Tablespoon accent, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt together in a large resealable bowl or resealable plastic bag.  Add 1 1/2 to 2 bags fresh broccoli florets and toss well.  Allow broccoli to marinate for 24-48 hours, re-tossing in the dressing occasionally.  Once the vinaigrette has thoroughly flavored the broccoli, they can be served cold (drained of any access vinaigrette) as seen in the left photo OR drained and roasted in a 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes as seen in the right photo.

I hope you and your family enjoy this side dish/appetizer as much as I always do… it reminds me of the magical summers I spent in PA as a child and it makes me happy.  I hope it becomes a recipe that makes you happy as well!

Enjoy… from my childhood and family to yours!

Recipe: Mexican taco cheese dip

I had to bring an appetizer to work… and I work at a winery…. so I needed to come up with something yummy. I also needed to come up with a dish that could be made quickly and warmed up later. Jeez…. So many parameters within which to work. Could I do it??

Over the years, I have found that people who love wine seem to also be people who appreciate tasty food, so sharing something with them needed to be great. My darling hubby had pulled a package of ground turkey out of the freezer earlier, so that’s where I started.

I browned the package of ground turkey until it was toasty brown. I could have added onion and garlic, but I was a bit pressed for time this morning. Once the meat was thoroughly cooked, I liberally spread taco seasoning on top and then added the quarter bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that was resting in my fridge. A few more minutes in the pan was all it took to turn plain turkey into a spicy concoction worthy of a finicky foodie, such as myself.

My next step was to add some salsa. I poured from the jug (yes, generic and mild, I admit it) and mixed until well incorporated. The last addition was a package of Velveeta cheese. This stuff melts extremely well and handles reheating beautifully, so it was the perfect “go to” for this treat. I popped my dish into the microwave and heated it up, minute by minute, until all the cheese was melted.

Tasting it was a delight… Unfortunately, it was only 11am and I wasn’t going to serve this until after 6pm. Thankfully, the ingredients I used here are very forgiving. My dish warmed up well in the winery’s microwave, I served it with some scoop able tortilla chips, and had nothing left to bring home.

There’s something so satisfying about bringing home an empty dish. Try this recipe for your next get together and see if you don’t have the same great result!

20120924-222808.jpg