Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Chillin'

The lack of snow this winter is good for the grapes and GREAT for our backs (they got overworked with the shovel last year). Here's something to keep things warm on a cold winter night:

1 bottle Crofut Northwoods Red wine
4 cups apple cider
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve.

Great on a cold January night. Make some this weekend, and keep chillin'!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Purple Viking / MinneSNOWta Sangria Recipes

The grapes are loving the heat! You can practically watch them growing.

We're celebrating the heat by kicking back and experimenting with different sangria recipes using the new Crofut Northwoods wines. To make a Purple Viking, use two bottles of our Northwoods Red. Or substitute our Northwoods White to make a MinneSNOWta. Both taste fabulous!

2 bottles Northwoods wine
2 cans 7-Up
2 oz triple sec
1/4 cup brandy
1/3 cup sugar
1 sliced orange
2 sliced lemons
lots of ice!

Slice the orange and lemons into a big punch bowl and pour the wine over top. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. (You may want to add more sugar, depending the quality of your fruit.) Add triple sec and brandy, and stir some more.

When you are ready to serve the sangria, add the 2 cans of soda. If needed, add more sugar and stir until completely dissolved.

Add ice to bowl to chill, then put ice in your serving glasses and pour sangria over. On a hot day this will go fast!


Friday, June 3, 2011

Summer Rubs for Grilling

I was just playing with some seasonings and wanted to share this one for all of you that may be firing up your grills this weekend. If you're tired of grilling up the typical brats, dogs and burger, try a bone-in ribeye, shrimp or even some Copper River Salmon (now available in most grocery stores). So spice up your weekend try these rubs!

Keep it simple, Keep it Local!
- Richard

Blackened Rub (Shrimp, Steak or Fish)
2 t paprika
4 t thyme leaves
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
1 t brown sugar
2 t kosher salt
2 t black pepper
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t oregano
1 t cumin
1/2 t nutmeg

Sonoran Rub (Southwestern taste great with any grilled meat or veggies)
3 t paprika
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 t chili powder
1 t sugar
1 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne

Friday, May 13, 2011

Minnesota “Kind of” Waldorf w/ Crofut Raspberry Dressing

One of my first food memories was picking wild berries and eating them on damp spring and early summer days. Risking cuts and scrapes of the thorn bushes which they grew only because I could not get enough of what I then determined to be Minnesota's own version of nature's candy.

Keeping that tradition moving forward every year Molly, our three girls and I look forward to berry picking in the late spring and early summer months in and around the forests of the family cabin. Seems like we pick them all day, but none make it back to the kitchen as all are eaten along the way.

This recipe came about because I was asked to make a Waldorf salad. Feeling Minnesotan, I decided to do a little twist. So, I came up with the 'Almost' Waldorf Salad.

Three easy parts to a light salad! Dressing is made first, then the walnuts and finally, toss them all together. Also great with some grilled chicken or shrimp.

Keep it Fresh, Keep it Local!

1/4 cup fresh raspberries
2 T. Crofut La Crescent
1 t. Sugar
1 C Olive Oil

Place all in blender pulse until smooth

Candied Walnuts:
1 C Walnuts
2 T Butter
1 T sugar
1 pinch cinnamon

Heat Sautes pan over medium heat.
Add Walnuts to toast for 1 minute. Add butter and keep tossing until butter is melted. Add sugar and cinnamon tossing on heat for one more minute. Than cool

1 Apple
1 Pear
1/2 C Fresh Raspberries
1/2 C Fresh Blue Berries
1/2 C Fresh Black Berries
1/2 C Candied Walnuts
1 Bag Mesclun (Spring Mixed Greens)
2 T Minnesota’s own Amablu Cheese

Slice apples and pears and place in dressing. Let sit for five minutes. In large bowl toss the greens, berried, walnuts and apples together. Garnish with Almablu Cheese

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frontenac Ahi

Here's a quick Friday fish recipe that can't be messed up.

The What:
2 4/5oz portions of sushi grade Ahi Tuna
2 cups Crofut Frontenac wine
1 Tbs Balsamic
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs chopped parsley
2 large Portabello mushrooms
Sea Salt

The How:
Part1:Frontenac Reduction
In saucepan, add two cups Frontenac and Balsamic over medium heat. Let reduce to roughly half a cup (should take about twenty minutes). Meanwhile, complete the steps below. Once reduced, simmer until ready to plat your tuna.

Part2: The Mushrooms
Wash Portabello mushrooms and slice thin. Chop fresh parsley.
In sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Toss in mushroom and parsley. Brown mushrooms on each side adding a little sea salt to the mushroom. Once browned, take off heat.

Part3: The Ahi
Salt & Pepper the Ahi evenly on each side. In sauté pan, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Carefully add Ahi to oil with tongs and sear for roughly one minute.*** Turn Fish to sear opposite side for the same amount of time. (You can sear to whatever desired temperature. I prefer mine rare)

*** Searing the Ahi depends on two things, the thickness of the cut and of course your desired doneness. One minute is roughly rare to medium rare doneness


Monday, April 11, 2011

Frontenac Chicken

Not that the world needs another chicken recipe but if you want a quick and easy dish for the family, this could be it for you.

Last night we had a few veggies, a chicken, some herbs and a bottle of Frontenac. Found the ceramic chicken cooker. (I have no idea what the proper name of these things are.) Chopped up an onion, carrot, celery and placed it at the bottom of the cooker.

Poured the wine in the center. Rubbed the chicken down with some olive oil, fresh garlic and some Italian seasonings we had in the pantry. Placed it in a preheated oven at 350 for 50 minutes and dinner was served.

Be sure to temp your chicken and make sure it has an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

This was great with some roasted sweet potatoes, spring carrots and was also great with Frontenac wine. Some might scream “NOOOO!” at the thought of drinking red wine with chicken, but I believe that one should base their wine decision on whatever they feel like drinking.

See you at the Winery!
- Richard

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Chicken

The sound of melting snow and visions of green sprouting from the yard seems to motivate me. The time to venture out of the house, say hello to the “hibernationally” forgotten neighbors (yes, I made up a word), sweep winter away from patio, clean the grill and set up the furniture for what becomes my family's second kitchen. I start anticipating the upcoming farmers markets and look forward to all that spring gives us here in Minnesota all of which is shared with family & friends. See you at the Winery!
- Richard

Now that spring is officially here, let’s start it off with a easy recipe to get the grill going for the season. This recipe has a few parts, though it really comes together and gives a great “spring’ flavor.

Grilled Rosemary & Lemon Chicken w/ Quinoa Salad

Food Note: As of late, Quinoa and other specialty grains seem to be all the rage. Quinoa has found its way into my kitchen (both home and professional) due to its wide variety of uses. Unlike rice and wheat, quinoa packs a balanced set of essential amino acids to form a perfect protein. And it's gluten free, which helps in menu planning for a large group of people.

Rosemary Chicken
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic
1 lemon, zested
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste

   In a food processor, blend together butter, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour about a 1/3 of blended mixture into a small bowl or plastic ziplock bag for marinade. Set the remaining mixture aside.
   Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place chicken breasts in the marinade for 3-4 hours.
   Preheat grill to high.
   Grill chicken breasts 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken breasts from grill and top with small scoops of the remaining topping mixture to melt over the chicken.

Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cucumber, diced
3 scallions
1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper (available in any grocery store)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons slivered almonds

For serving:
9 cups spring mix greens
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette

Combine quinoa and stock in small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Cook 10-15 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed. Let cool completely.
In mixing bowl, combine cooled quinoa w/ remaining ingredients.

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 T honey
1 T chopped basil
2 cup olive oil

In mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey and basil. While still whisking slowly, add olive oil until complete emulsified.