Paleo & Primal Food, Wine, Travel & Living

Posts tagged “food

Flights By Night #1

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Hello food and wine lovers! Today is the start of a new series called “Flights by Night”. Each post is intended to be a short and sweet glimpse of some of the Paleo/Primal meals and wine pairings that Andy and I enjoy when we cook at home. Perfect to give you ideas for dinner and short enough to give a quick read.

First up was Tuesday night’s dinner: Beef sliders with blue cheese and mushrooms, on tomato and red onion stacks, and a side of Brussels sprouts.
We paired the burgers with Bella Winery Two Patch Zinfandel and Rombauer Merlot.

The Zinfandel was an obvious pairing with the burgers, but the Rombauer was a special choice for a Tuesday night. Andy says, “it’s (the Rombauer Merlot) a soft, round wine with a nice touch of oak and cocoa flavors. Very long finish.” I thought the fruit in the Merlot was a great match for the mushroom topping on the burgers.

Thanks so much to Andy for having dinner ready for me so many times when I get home, as well as meticulously choosing the wines we will share with the meal. :)

What will he come up with next? Stay tuned for the next Flights by Night. :)


Nevada City Uncorked, a Historical Food and Wine Walk, is August 29th, 1-4pm

chocolate and glass
Can you walk and drink wine and the same time? ;)

Next weekend, get uncorked in downtown Nevada City on August 29th! And thanks to my friend Rod Byers (wine educator and the event’s organizer) I have a press release to pass all the details along to you! -cg


Nevada City Uncorked is a unique wine and food tasting event, taking place on August 29 in downtown Nevada City. The town’s Victorian charm and historical architecture is the perfect backdrop to showcase Uncorked, a walk-about-town style format that includes 21 different venues throughout the downtown area.

Each location, whether it is a retail shop, restaurant, B&B, winery tasting room, or historic spot, includes wine or beer tasting, and food sampling.

Nevada City Uncorked features 18 members of the Sierra Vintners Association, and two local breweries, Ol’ Republic and Three Forks. All of the wineries will be offering samples of their favorite wines as well as showcasing their newest release in celebration of the upcoming 2015 harvest.

This year’s event also encourages a connection between the local farmers and participating restaurants and caterers. Whether it is wood-fired pizza produced with locally sourced toppings, slow-roasted locally raised pork, artichoke pesto quiche with locally grown basil, house-made ricotta topped with a tomato-pasilla chili jam, or grapes from vineyards dotting the local landscape, Uncorked is a celebration of the agricultural bounty of the northern Sierra Foothills.

Uncorked offers the opportunity to stroll through time in historic Nevada City. The National Hotel, California’s oldest continually operating hotel, was the base for the creation of the Pacific Gas & Electric Company in 1898. The National Hotel’s bar and upstairs hotel lobby remain must-see windows into Nevada City’s past. The view from their second-story balcony, an Uncorked venue, endures as one of the best in town.

In one of history’s more tidy circles, Emma Nevada, considered one of the finest sopranos of the late 19th century, lived in the Emma Nevada House, sang her first solo concert in the Powell House, and later performed in the Nevada Theatre. All three historic buildings are venues this year during Uncorked.

Check-in for Uncorked will be at the lower level of the Nevada City Veteran’s Building at 415 N. Pine Street where people will pick up their wine glass, event map, and food tasting tickets.

There is also the opportunity to purchase wine through the Uncorked Wine Store, open that afternoon only, featuring many of the wines poured around town that day.

Nevada City Uncorked is collaboration between the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Vintners Association. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 on the day of the event, and $30 for Wine Club Members of participating wineries (contact your winery directly). Each ticket includes a wine glass, unlimited wine/beer tasting, and five food tickets.

Click on www.nevadacitychamber.com for information or call 530.265-2692 to purchase tickets directly. To purchase tickets online click on www.sierravintners.com.

KNOW & GO
What:
 Nevada City Uncorked
Where: 21 venues throughout downtown Nevada City.
Check in at the Vet’s Building, Lower Level, 415 North Pine Street, Nevada City
When: Saturday, August 29, 1-4 pm
Cost: $35 in advance. $45 on the day of and $30 for Wine Club Members of participating wineries
Information & Tickets: Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, (530) 265-2692 www.nevadacitychamber.com
Online Tickets: www.sierravintners.com.

P.S: For a look at last year’s event, you can refer to my experience at Nevada City Uncorked here!


Recipe: Chili Lime Shrimp with Vegetables and Quinoa

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Last Monday, Andy and I attended a hospitality professionals meeting and I won a bag of groceries from Whole Foods Arden (Sacramento). They are also members of the group and brought the bag to give away at the meeting through a raffle of business cards of all the attendees.

We rarely buy quinoa, because it is a grain and not technically Paleo, but since it is a gluten free grain that is high in protein and the box was in the bag of groceries, I decided to make good use of it and post the recipe here as my thanks to Whole Foods! :)

Chili Lime Shrimp with Vegetables and Quinoa
Inspired by a Kaiser Permanente recipe
(serves 4)

Shrimp Marinade:
2 tsp chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Tbs teaspoon cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes (this will make the recipe moderately spicy, omit if you don’t prefer heat)
1 clove garlic, crushed
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper
20-24 uncooked, peeled and deveined medium-sized shrimp (roughly one pound)
Note: If you can’t find peeled and deveined shrimp, it’s pretty easy to do at home, it just takes about 15 more minutes to do it. After you peel back the shell, use a small knife to make an incision right on top of the vein and down to the tail. The vein will come practically on its own under running water. I also removed the tails for this recipe.

Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the shrimp, tossing them in the bowl until they are coated. Set aside and work on your vegetables.

Vegetable Sauté:
2 Tbs olive oil or coconut oil

1/2 of a large red bell pepper
1/2 of a large yellow bell pepper
1/2 of a large yellow squash
1/2 of a large zucchini squash
1/2 of a large eggplant
1/2 of a large onion
1 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato (I used some cherry tomatoes left over from a veggie tray and one large heirloom tomato)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 of one bundle of cilantro

After you wash and chop up the vegetables (cube or cut each into bite sized pieces), set them aside and prepare the quinoa.

Quinoa Base:
1 1/2 cup 365 Organic Quinoa
Screen Shot 2013-01-18 at 11.50.50 AMFirst, for a nuttier flavor, toast the quinoa in a skillet until it turns a little brown in color. Then prepare according to package directions. For even more flavor, cook the quinoa in a vegetable or chicken broth (substituting the water and using the same amount of broth in the directions on the package).

Prepare Vegetable Sauté:
While the quinoa is cooking, begin your vegetable sauté by heating the olive (or coconut oil) in a skillet and cooking the onion until it is translucent and then adding both the red and yellow bell peppers. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, then add the squashes, and then the eggplant. At this point the pan will be getting dry, so add a little water or white wine (1/2 cup), add the tomatoes and the garlic powder, and cook until vegetables are tender and the alcohol has cooked out of the mixture. Lastly, remove the pan from heat and add the cilantro leaves allowing them to wilt into the vegetables.

By this time the quinoa will be done or nearly done. Drain any excess water (or broth) out of the quinoa and set aside.

Cook the Shrimp:
Heat a pan big enough to accommodate the 24 shrimp and get the pan really hot. Place your shrimp in the pan, along with all the marinade and cook the shrimp 3-4 minutes (until they sear and turn color). Then add the shrimp to the vegetable pan, and place the vegetable pan back onto low heat. Fold all the ingredients together until everything is well combined and heated through.

To Serve:
Begin with the quinoa, and place the amount of your liking in a circle shape on a large plate. Make a nice big crater in the center of the plate, and fill it with the shrimp and vegetable sauté. Then garnish with a little more cilantro if you’d like.

You can also make this recipe with chicken if you don’t like seafood. I would marinate and cook it in the exact same fashion. :)
You can find Whole Foods Arden (Sacramento) on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here.


Heritage Fire Napa Delights Guests with an Exceptional Display of Artisanal Cookery

It was a meat lover’s paradise at Cochon Heritage Napa, an event in the Cochon 555 series that took place on August 2nd, at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena.

One highlight for me included Tyler Florence’s Fried Chicken (mainly because I don’t always eat fried chicken, but when I do, it’s made by Tyler Florence.) I smiled and giggled like a schoolgirl when I picked up my portion of juicy crispy poultry garnished with garlic and herbs and a lemon wedge and Tyler urged me to “squeeze that lemon all over it”. Pretty tasty for sure.

TylerFlorence_galdones(Photo: Huge Galdones/Cochon555)

Sorry to gush over celebrity chefs there for a moment. Anyway, it was also great to see Sacramento’s own Michael Thiemann, who is just about ready to open Empress Tavern on K Street. Here he is preparing meats that would go into a special Hawaiian-themed plate with turkey, rice and macaroni.

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Here’s a shot of Brad Cecchi, formerly of Sacramento restaurant, Grange. Good to see him out there as well.

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It was fun to visit the “Tartare Bar”, where I got to participate in the “Tartare Hand Job”, um…their title, not mine ;)—raw meat was placed on the back of my hand, seasoned with a “chive bomb!” and I was supposed to eat the portion all at once. Let’s just say I’m not that good at shooting food in one big bite, but the tartare was excellent. :)

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I can’t fail to mention some of the fabulous wineries present: Cameron Hughes, Inglenook, Lombardi, Del Dotto Wine, Wines of Germany, Faust Wine, Prager Port Works, Clif Family, Leaf and Vine, Antica Wine, Cornerstone, and of course Charles Krug.

Some other favorite bites of mine came from the charcuterie station… plenty of prosciutto and sausages to be had, as well as several fresh figs and smoked almonds. I also enjoyed some artisan cheeses and an assortment of heirloom vegetables. By the time Andy and I left the event, we were stuffed!

All pictures except for the one of Tyler Florence were taken by Catherine Enfield of the Munchie Musings website. Thanks for allowing me to use your photos, Catherine! :)

Next up for me in the Cochon 555 series is Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 05:00pm at Magnolia Brewing @ Dogpatch in San Francisco. You can purchase tickets for Cochon’s other upcoming national events here. More information on the San Francisco’s Heritage BBQ event to come soon.

You can follow Cochon 555 and all of their events on Facebook here or on Twitter here.


Matteo’s Wows a Sold Out Crowd with Rombauer Wine Pairing Dinner

Last Wednesday evening, Matteo’s Pizza and Bistro hosted a sold out Rombauer Wine Dinner, that was one of the most fun and memorable events I have attended since I have been writing this blog. It was very special because it was Andy’s birthday and we shared a table with some close friends of ours (who are also Matt Woolston fanatics) to celebrate.

chardonnays
The evening began on the patio with a vertical tasting of the 2013 and the 2014 Rombauer Chardonnay. I enjoyed both vintages (the year age difference of the wine alone made the two unique), the 2013 a softer mellowed wine and the 2014 a more vibrant, food-friendly wine.

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While we were tasting the two Chardonnays, there were a trio of appetizers being served to the guests. They included:
Bruschetta with grilled fig, whipped brie and balsamic local honey glaze

fig and brie crostini
It’s the perfect time of year for figs, and the pairing of the cheese and balsamic glaze is always a fun combination. I love August because figs are in full swing. It’s just another example of how Matteo’s and Supper Club Catering really adopt the Farm-to-Fork concept by choosing to use in season ingredients and elevating their flavor.

Another passed appetizer was Torched Wild Salmon with white miso marinade on sesame wonton crisp

salmon
This Asian-inspired appetizer was another example of an ingredient that is currently at it’s best: wild salmon. Salmon is one of Andy’s favorite foods, so I was happy to see it on the menu. It was a perfect bite with the miso marinade and the crisp of the wonton chip. The kitchen also prepared a version of this appetizer on a spoon without the wonton chip. It was a great variation and a beautiful plating arrangement as you can see.

Foie gras BLT with pan-seared foie gras, basil lemon aioli, heirloom tomato and micro arugula on whole wheat walnut sourdough toast

BLT
I am always pleased with the food creativity at Matteo’s and Supper Club Catering, and with this appetizer, you can understand why. The bits of foie gras were crisped up to act as bacon in this mini play on a BLT. This was a very popular appetizer with the entire crowd.

Appetizer Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Chardonnay 2013, Carneros
Rombauer Chardonnay 2014, Carneros


First Course:
Blistered sweet corn soup in demitasse with Applewood smoked bacon shingle and harissa chili oil

corn soup
This was one of my favorite courses. The chef explained to us that the soup is actually vegan and then he “went and messed it up with bacon.” No mistake there—the crispy bacon was a lovely highlight to the dish both visually and in taste. The soup was sweet and spicy and rich even without the addition of cream.

First Course Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Sauvignon blanc 2014, Napa Valley, the first new varietal introduced in more than 20 years and only the second white wine in Rombauer’s 35-year history. I recall it being more round in flavor, and by that I mean not so astringent. Instead of the grapefruit one would typically pick up in a New Zealand-style Sauv Blanc, there was more stone fruit (peach, apricot) essence that matched up quite well with the sweetness of the corn in the soup.


Second Course:
Pizza with shredded rabbit leg confit, braised fennel, olive oil poached tomato, Italian fontina and Dijon garlic white sauce

rabbit pizza
OK, I realize this website focuses on gluten free, but Andy and I are not actually celiac or gluten intolerant, so we occasionally enjoy foods that happen to have gluten. It’s just part of a wine dinner more often than not, and because we don’t attend wine dinners every night, it’s fun to splurge when we do. That being said, when you don’t have a real slice of pizza for a few years and then have a slice at Matteo’s it makes the slice all the more delightful! :)  I truly enjoyed this crusty, cheesy bread topped tomato, one of my favorite cheeses, fontina, and rabbit leg confit. By the way, they nailed it on the pairing—a juicy, but not overly fruit forward Merlot.

Second Course Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Merlot 2012, Napa Valley


Third Course:
Grilled leg of lamb and lamb crisps on baby field greens with goat cheese Parmesan, macerated stone fruit, toasted pistachio and plum mint vinaigrette

lamb
I have to say this course was one of my favorites. I loved the bed of greens the lamb was sitting on. I am a pistachio addict and the chards of the parmesan made me so happy. Then there was the lamb. Lamb two ways, actually. And lamb leg happens to be my favorite. Thanks, Matteo’s. I loved this plate (I didn’t eat it by myself, FYI) ;) because there  were so many textures going on. Lamb crisps should be put in a bag and sold!

Third Course Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley. Cabernet is a phenomenal choice to pair with lamb.


Fourth Course:
Grass fed Wagyu beef sliders with fried green tomato, house made portabello bacon, garlic aioli and cave aged blue cheese on Brioche bun served with truffle asiago shoestring fries

burgers fries
I can officially be quoted as saying that this burger is the best one I have ever had from a restaurant. (Though I have heard Formoli’s is also quite good). If you never go to Matteo’s to try anything else, go there for the burger. The meat is sourced from Lucky Dog Ranch, another high quality ingredient. The fried green tomato was a decadent garnish, as well as the blue cheese. Everyone at our table went crazy for the fries, doused in truffle and asiago. It was so delightful to see a burger paired with a high end wine like the Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Selection. Such great ingredients deserve such a stunning wine.

Fourth Course Wine Pairing:

Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Selection 2011, Napa Valley. A softer cab than the previous one, velvety and rich, just like the burger and fries. Heavenly.


I didn’t get an acceptable picture of dessert, but my favorite part of it was the peanut brittle cookie on the plate with the terrine. It was a bit like tasting peanut butter and jelly– the jelly part being the Rombauer Zinfandel pairing.

Dessert:
Broken Banana Split: Bittersweet chocolate peanut butter terrine on berry coulis with banana foster ice cream, peanut brittle and bourbon vanilla bean whipped cream

Dessert Course Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Zinfandel 2013, Sierra Foothills/Northern California

If you haven’t visited Matteo’s just yet, here’s a good excuse: They’ll be hosting a wine tasting event on Wednesday, August 12th 6-7:30 PM featuring the ollowing wineries:  Alfaro, Lexington Winery, Mount Eden Estate, Sonnet, and Windy Oaks. It’s $15 per person to participate. If you would like to attend, contact Wine Shop Dave at wineshop at pizzamatteo.com or call (916)779-0727.

You can like Matteo’s Pizza and Bistro on Facebook here or follow them on Twitter here.


Have an Offal Day Returns Sunday, August 16th 2-5pm!

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Last Sunday, I ran into Catherine (of Munchie Musings) at Cochon Heritage Fire Napa (held at Charles Krug Winery). She was happily grazing the wonderful offerings at the annual festival of all things grilled meat, just as Andy and I were. Over full bellies, we discussed some of the upcoming food events in Sacramento. While chatting she mentioned her festival Have an Offal Day 3, and I agreed I would pass the information about the event to you! :)

Have an Offal Day #3 takes place on Sunday, August 16th from 2 to 5 p.m. at Mulvaney’s Next Door (1215 19th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811).

What is Have an Offal Day? Well, it’s a day that honors offal. You know, the nasty bits. The parts of animals that are left when all the pretty and prime parts are butchered and sold. It’s things like hearts, kidneys, blood, intestines, from animals such as lambs, ducks, chickens, beef, and pigs, well, you get the idea.

The lineup of chefs this year includes:
Carina Lampkin (Blackbird Kitchen & Beer Gallery)
Danny Origel (Roxy)
Tyler Bond (Dirty Feet Dining, Kru)
Keith Breedlove (Culinerdy Cruzer)
Patrick Mulvaney (Mulvaney’s B&L)
Brian Mizner (Hook & Ladder)
Brenda Ruiz (Biba’s)
Brock MacDonald (Block Butcher Bar)
Wes Nilssen (de Vere’s Pubs)
Don Dickonson (Yang’s Noodles and instructor at IOT Culinary School)
Andrea Reiter (Capital Dime, soon The Patriot)
Hank Shaw (James Beard winning author)

TICKETS are $68 (no additional fees)

Your ticket price covers the venue and other event expenses, as well as benefitting the Food Literacy Center. Thank you to the chefs that jump at the chance to play with offal for a day and to the audience willing to try it! :) That’s so Paleo! Thanks, Catherine for all the meaty details.


Save the Date! Rombauer Wine Dinner at Matteo’s Wednesday, August 5th at 6:30pm!

Matteo's Logo
Do you love Rombauer Wines as much as I do? If so, I have the event for you!

Matteo’s Pizza and Bistro’s Rombauer Wine Dinner featuring the New Release of the 2014 Chardonnay will be held on the patio at Matteo’s, Wednesday, August 5th, 2015, at 6:30 PM.

Their menu (to be served family style) was finalized just this morning and it is as follows:

Appetizers:
Bruschetta with grilled fig, whipped brie and balsamic local honey glaze

Torched Wild Salmon with white miso marinade on sesame wonton crisp

Foie gras BLT with pan-seared foie gras, basil lemon aioli, heirloom tomato and micro arugula on whole wheat walnut sourdough toast

Appetizer Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Chardonnay 2013, Carneros
Rombauer Chardonnay 2014, Carneros


First Course:
Blistered sweet corn soup in demitasse with Applewood smoked bacon shingle and harissa chili oil

First Course Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Sauvignon blanc 2014, Napa Valley


Second Course:
Pizza with shredded rabbit leg confit, braised fennel, olive oil poached tomato, Italian fontina and Dijon garlic white sauce

Second Course Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Merlot 2012, Napa Valley


Third Course:
Grilled leg of lamb and lamb crisps on baby field greens with goat cheese Parmesan, macerated stone fruit, toasted pistachio and plum mint vinaigrette

Third Course Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley


Fourth Course:
Grass fed Wagyu beef sliders with fried green tomato, house made portabello bacon, garlic aioli and cave aged blue cheese on Brioche bun served with truffle asiago shoestring fries

Fourth Course Wine Pairing:

Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Selection 2011, Napa Valley


Dessert:
Broken Banana Split: Bittersweet chocolate peanut butter terrine on berry coulis with banana foster ice cream, peanut brittle and bourbon vanilla bean whipped cream

Dessert Course Wine Pairing:
Rombauer Zinfandel 2013, Sierra Foothills/Northern California


The Rombauer Wine Dinner at Matteo’s Pizza and Bistro is $75 per person plus service charge and tax.

I had the great fortune of attending one of Matt Woolston’s multiple course dinners last year (The same creative force behind the wheel at The Supper Club Cateringwho Andy and I will be using as caterer for our reception!) and I can tell you it was incredible! (You can read about the dinner here). I’ll also be writing about the Rombauer Wine Dinner in a future blog post! :)

Reservations are required and the dinner is expected to SELL OUT, so please call 916 779-0727 or email margo at pizzamatteo.com to save your space at the table!

You can like Matteo’s on Facebook here or follow them on Twitter here.


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