Category: Wine

Cheery Cherry Sangria

This post’s name came from the fact that I totally read the name of this recipe incorrectly.  More than once.  I swear, the first four times looked at it I  thought it was called Cheery Sangria.  I even wrote it that way on my “meal” planner.  Cheery Sangria.  It was only when I was writing the ingredients on my shopping list that I paused.  “Oh.  It has cherries in it.  That’s cute, they made a pun.”  Well, it turns out, they didn’t.  But I did.  And we all know how much I love that!  So, technically what we’re drinking today is CHERRY sangria.  But you know what?  It brought a touch of the sun and warmth of Portugal into a totally cold, wet and grey Melbourne winter day so I think Cheery Sangria works just as well!!

Yes, I’m back from holiday.  And determined to make Sangria my drink of choice for this summer. It’s just so good!!! Wine and fruit and a little bit o the hard stuff….it really doesn’t get much better.  Mind you, summer has to come first.  And at the moment, it seems a long time away. 

The best Sangria I had overseas was in Portugal – a teeny cafe in Faro.  Here I am drinking one….

SangriaThe Portuguese,they are a people after my own heart. They have a cherry liqueur called Ginja which is commonly drunk for breakfast.  Speaking of which…when the breakfast buffet contains both Portuguese egg tarts and sparkling wine, I know I have found my people!

Sangria 5

Cheery times!  And cheersy times!!!  But now onto some cherry times.

The cherry sangria I made is pretty hearty.  It has loads of strong, spicy flavours which made it suitable for a cold winter’s day.  I also totally forgot to add the cinnamon stick but that would have only made it even better!  The gorgeous deep red colour is also so pretty and warming.  I also used cherries and sparkling wine to remind me of the Portuguese breakfast drinks of Ginja and cava!

But let’s start with some fruit.  Limes, blood oranges and, of course cherries make for a tasty and colourful combination!

Cherry Sangria2Then add some tequila for a kick, grenadine for sweetness and a teeny taste of Tabasco for spice and muddle the fruit to get some juicy, fruity flavours.  (Pre-muddle is also when the cinnamon should have been added).

Sangria3Top with orange juice and some sparkling red wine…and voila…cherry sangria!

Sangria4Salud!

 

Cherry Sangria
A hearty sangria, perfect for bringing the warmth of Portugal into the coldest winter's day.
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Ingredients
  1. 500ml chilled sparkling shiraz (you can also use non-sparkling shiraz)
  2. 500ml chilled orange juice
  3. 2 tbsp tequila
  4. 2 tbsp grenadine
  5. splash of Tabasco sauce
  6. 1 cinnamon stick
  7. 500g cherries
  8. 2 limes, cut into eigths
  9. 2 blood oranges, sliced
  10. Mint leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Place the lime wedges and the slices from one of the oranges into your jug. Add half the cherries. Halve the remaning cherries and add them to the rest of the fruit.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick, grenadine, tequila and tabasco
  3. Muddle the fruit to express some of the juices.
  4. Add the orange juice and sparkling shiraz and stir well.
  5. Place a slice of orange and a few mint leaves in each glass and pour the sangria over.
  6. Serve immediately.
  7. Olé!
Adapted from Australian Table Magazine, December 2001 edition
Adapted from Australian Table Magazine, December 2001 edition
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Sangria6

 

Have a great week! 

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Potted Cheese – Delicious Food, Impossible Ingredients

Hey there people of the internet! 

Take a look at this super delicious snack plate.  Good at any time – but my favourite? A snack plate, a sunny Sunday afternoon,sitting on my balcony with  a good book and a cheeky glass of wine =  heaven!

Potted Cheese 7

The star of this particular snack plate is some potted cheese.  .  

Which sadly relies on two ingredients that may as well be unicorn’s tears and dragon’s blood for the times they have ever been available in this kitchen.  Just one of them is nigh on a miracle and as for both, you had better go outside and look up because that moon out there will be bluer than Tobias Funke! 

So what are these two magical, nigh on mythical substances?

  • Leftover cheese
  • Leftover wine

Whoever has them?  No one I want as a friend!

My cheeses were the remnants….actually it even pains me to say that.  The cheeses were items from a cheese platter (probably the previous weeks snacking plate) that I had  just not got around to eating yet. And I cheated and opened a bottle of wine to make this.

Potted CheeseI used a goat’s cheese, a blue cheese, a pecorino pepato and some cheddar.  You can use any cheese you have. 

First up, place all your bits of cheese into a food processor and whiz it up!  Then add in your flavourings – I added port, a splash of red wine, Worchestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and then, because it was a little dry after the first whiz through, a little more port and a bit of cream.  My recipe is based on a classic one by Jane Grigson but you can play with the flavourings to suit your palate and your mix of cheese.

Potted Cheese2

Once you have whizzed it all up , pop it into a pot:

Potted Cheese3

The next step is optional but traditionally the pot was then sealed with a layer of clarified butter:

Potted Cheese 4Why Potted Cheese?

The idea behind potted cheese is simple.  Back in the day when refrigeration was not as it is today, cheese was far more perishable than now. Potting your ends of cheese prolonged it’s life – I’m guessing the booze helped to preserve it whilst the clarified butter seal stopped bacteria getting in. 

Nowadays, it is done more because it tastes delicious than for the preserving factor.

Potted Cheese 8

What Can You Do With Potted Cheese?

OMG, so much.  Have it on crackers with a glass of wine! Quick, easy, delicious.  

Potted Cheese 9

Replace regular cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich!  Here is my salami, potted cheese, red onion and tomato version. With a pickle to add some sharpness. 

So much oozy goodness!

Potted Cheese 5I haven’t made these next lot but I think potted cheese would be delicious used in the following ways:

  • Replace sour cream in a baked potato.  Or add it to chips and gravy for a take on a poutine. 
  • Saute some bacon or steam some broccoli (or do both), cook up some pasta, top with potted cheese and stir through the bacon or broccoli
  • Fill celery sticks, add a topping of chopped walnuts
  • Replace crackers on a snack plate with slices of apple or pear
  • Heat up a dollop, add some more cream if necesary and use as a mornay  or gratin sauce over anything you want to mornay or gratin
  • Spread it on bread, make up a savory custard and you have a super strata to go!

Potted Cheese
A delicious way to use up leftover cheese and wine! I
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Ingredients
  1. 250g cheese - whatever you have.
  2. 90g softened butter
  3. 2 generous Tablespoons Verdelho Madeira, tawny Port or Amontillado Sherry or wine
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or Tabasco)
  5. ¼ teaspoon mace, (optional)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard
  7. A splash of Worcestershire
  8. Melted clarified butter (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whiz all the ingredients except the clarified butter in a food processor until it forms a thick paste.
  2. Place into small pots.
  3. Top with the clarified butter and place in the fridge for 24 hours to allow the flavours to develop
Notes
  1. I added a splash of cream because my mix was quite dry and I thought adding more wine or port would make it too boozy. (Yes, there is such a thing!).
Adapted from Jane Grigson
Adapted from Jane Grigson
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, it’s Sunday and whilst not balcony sitting weather at all, I’ve got the fire going and Hollow City, the second book of  Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children good to go, so excuse me, I have a potted cheese snack plate to prepare!  Dammit! Speaking of YA literature just made me realise  I should have saved this for when The Cursed Child, the new Harry Potter comes out.  I could have filled it with Harry Potter of cheese gags!  Stay tuned for the re-post!

Have a fab week! 

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World Gin Day 2016 – Rosé The Riveter

 Happy World Gin Day People of the Internet!

We are continuing the wartime theme from last time with a delightful gin cocktail called Rosé The Riveter. 

Rose The Riveter2

I’m going to just come out and say it.  I love this drink.  Here are five reasons why:

  1. The Name.  I love a pun and this is the best!
  2. The ingredients – gin, pomegranate liqueur, and rosé wine – all super delicious.  This was never going to be not tasty!
  3. It’s named after all round good girl and feminist icon, Rosie the Riveter.
  4. It fits perfectly with my wartime theme from the last post where I made Lemon Potato Pie from 1941
  5. I got to put a victory roll in my hair (worst Victory Roll ever but so much fun to do).

 

Now you might be wondering why  there are two drinks in the pictures. It’s because I made the Rosé The Riveter two ways. 

Rose The Riveter2

The first was with what is normally my favourite gin, Hendricks.  Hendricks is also the gin used in the original recipe.

Rose The Riveter7

The second way, I used my brand new Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin.  This gin is made locally in the Yarra Valley.  Four Pillars make it by steeping their gin in shiraz grapes for 8 weeks.  The gin is a gorgeous red wine colour and tastes super on it’s own or with tonic.

Rose The Riveter1

I loved both of these but it is amazing how two gins can taste (and look) so different.  The Hendricks version was much paler in colour and much lighter in taste too.  The it was lovely and floral, not to sweet.  It would be a perfect summer cocktail.  The Bloody Shiraz Rosé The Riveter was quite different.  It tasted a lot dryer, a lot less floral but more berry, winey.  This, for me is a more wintery cocktail – deeper and darker than the Hendricks version.

And here’s me doing my best Rosie the Riveter impression.  I don’t have a chambray shirt because I don’t live in 1985 so my usual weekend wear of striped t-shirt had to suffice.  Also, I had to steal the bandana from Oscar!   

Rose The Riveter3

And here’s me bending an elbow of a much more preferable kind.

Rose The Riveter4Here’s my boy, very happy to have his bandy back!

Rose The Riveter 10

Rosé The Riveter
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Ingredients
  1. 45g gin - Hendricks is traditional but Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin is superb!
  2. 15g Pama pomegranate liqueur
  3. 7.5 g honey syrup
  4. 90g dry rosé
  5. Lime wheel for garnish
Honey Syrup
  1. Equal parts honey and hot water
For the Honey Syrup
  1. Combine the honey and hot water, stir to mix. Once the honey has melted, chill.
For the Rosé The Riveter
  1. Combine the ingredients and shake with ice.
  2. Strain into a tall glass filled with cracked ice.
  3. Garnish with lime wheel.
Adapted from drinkoftheweek.com
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Happy World Gin Day!

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History Happy Hour – April 15, 1912 – Punch Romaine

“Everyone knows what rockets at sea mean,” said the portly Boston Harbor pilot.

“They mean distress…It means, please come to me because I am  in trouble.  Simple as that.”

“But you see, that’s just my problem. If it is that simple, I’m trying to understand why the ship that The Titanic saw did not come….Is there any reason why the captain would not go to the aid of the distressed ship?”

“No, if he saw them, he must go.  It’s the oldest tradition of the sea.”

The Californian was the closest ship to The Titanic on the night it sank, possibly only 8 miles away.  It was close enough for crew members to see the lights on the sinking ship and the eight distress rockets sent up by The Titanic.  They alerted the Captain.  And, yet, they did not go to help.

This is the story of The Midnight Watch.

Punch Romaine2

The Midnight Watch is a super read. I loved it and I’m sure it is going to rank high in my books of the year. Even though, it is also soooooo frustrating.  Right from the start you know that The Californian did not go to help The Titanic.  And of course, you want to know why.  And at times you want to reach into the book and shake one of the people and yell “Why?  Why didn’t you do something?” WHY?”   Or, as one of the reporters in the book says to Captain Lord of The Californian

“If you’re the only one who can speak, then you must speak more!”

First Class Food on the Titanic
Chocolate Eclairs were served to the First Class Passengers on The Titanic.

The writing is beautiful.  From tales of heroism and gallantry to cowardice and inaction, The Midnight Watch covers the best and worst of human behaviour both in the face of, and following momentous events:

“Because by now we knew the numbers.  Fifty-eight first-class men has found their way into the lifeboats but fifty-three third-class children had not.  It was an almost perfect correlation.  For almost every rich man who lived a poor child had died”

American IceCream
American Ice Cream was on the menu for Second Class Passengers on The Titanic. Passengers in First Class were served French Ice Cream

“What Franklin (Head of The White Star Line) thought of the Captain I couldn’t know, but I did know that if he, Franklin, had been accused of abandoning so many people, the weight of shame would have broken him.  And yet, Lord’s head was upright, he seemed to bear no weight at all”

So, so good.  The Midnight Watch not only brought the story of The Californian but the entire period  to life.  This is the kind of historical fiction that I love; writing that truly transports you to another time and place.  Oh and, if you wiki Captain Lord, he looks EXACTLY how I imagined he would!  

When I read I  see the words as a movie in my head and I think that this would make a fabulous film.  The journalist searching for justice, the proud, flinty Captain; the second officer torn between loyalty and a desire to tell the truth.  It would be amazing. 

Titanic Third Class Food
Third Class passengers on The Titanic were fed hearty, no frills fare. Fresh bread and butter, cold meat, cheese and pickles were part of their menu.

I was initially disappointed with the “answer”  posited by David Dunn as to why Lord and The Californian did not go to the aid of The Titanic.  Although perfectly plausible, It felt to me like an anti-climax; such a little reason for such an appalling consequence.  But then I realised – pretty much any answer would have been disappointing.  Because the only acceptable answer to the question of “Why didn’t you save the 1500 people who died that night?”  would have been “Because we were too busy saving 1501 people elsewhere”.  

Nonetheless a totally brilliant read.

Punch Romaine3Punch Romaine was served To First Class passengers on The Titanic as a palate cleanser between the first and second courses on the fateful night of April 14th.  It is a white wine, rum and champagne cocktail served over…wait for it…. a mound of crushed ice.  Which is surely worth it’s own line in Alanis Morisette’s Ironic.  Don’tcha think?  

On a total tangent, Romaine was one of the names my parents had picked out for me before I was born.  Can you imagine a more foodie name than Romaine Fryer?  Then again, Taryn was bad enough growing up, can you imagine going through life with the same name as a lettuce?

You know what else is a lettuce? 

Iceberg. 

Which brings us back to…..doh, oh, oh, oh….or Punch Romaine. 

Punch Romaine

Punch Romaine
Yields 1
A white wine, rum and champagne cocktail that was served to First Class Passengers on the Titanic on the night it sank.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 egg white
  2. 1 oz. white rum
  3. 1 oz. white wine
  4. 1⁄2 oz. simple syrup
  5. 1⁄2 oz. lemon juice
  6. 1 oz. fresh orange juice
  7. 2 oz. Champagne or sparkling wine
  8. Twist of orange peel, for garnish
Instructions
  1. In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, combine egg white, rum, wine, simple syrup, lemon and orange juice.
  2. Shake vigorously until well mixed and frothy.
  3. Mound crushed ice in a large coupe glass, and pour drink around it.
  4. Top with champagne, and garnish with orange peel.
  5. Enjoy
Adapted from http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Punch-Romaine-Cocktail
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Have a wonderful week!

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Peachy Keen for Peach Sorbet with Lavender & Rosemary

Summer, and peach season, is pretty much drawing to a close here.   So, if like me, you love the stone fruit, how can you prolong the taste of summer through autumn, winter and spring?  By making this gorgeous sorbet which combines lovely sweet peaches with (ahem)…homegrown lavender and rosemary.  Yes, I have garden produce!!! 

Peach Sorbet Ingredients
Peach Sorbet Ingredients

This is so simple, just these three ingredients, some sugar and water.

Peach Sorbet Ingredients2
Peach Sorbet Ingredients2

 And you get one of the loveliest ice creams ever.   This is really refreshing without being too sweet –  the lavender and rosemary are not overpowering but add a little depth to the fruit and sugar.

AUTUMN – The Sorbet Ma’am, Just The Sorbet

Autumn in Melbourne is lovely.  You get cold crisp mornings, warm days and cool evenings.  To prolong the taste of summer as it starts to get darker and cooler, this peach sorbet is perfect just on it’s own in a cone. All alone.  Like a rolling stone.

Yes.  I think it’s enough now too.  Because I heard you moan and groan.

Really stopping…NOW.

Because just look at this peachy goodness!

Peach Sorbet
Peach Sorbet

WINTER – Baked Peaches With Amaretti and Amaretto and Peach Sorbet

Mmmm…hot baked peach, cold peach sorbet , herby, nutty, sweet and boozy….that’s about all my favourite adjectives right there.  And I totally forgot to take a picture of it before eating half of it.  So I had to borrow a peach off my friend’s plate to take this picture.  Thanks for the peach Monica!!!

Peaches Baked with Amaretti and Amaretto2
Peaches Baked with Amaretti and Amaretto2

 You may be wondering where you are supposed to find peaches in winter?  Well my mum used to make this for us waaaaay back and we only ever used to have it with tinned peaches.  And believe me, this is one of the few things where you will ever hear me say that this works as well (maybe even a little better) with tinned as fresh.

SPRING Into A Peach Sorbet Bellini

Spring in Melbourne means the Spring Racing Carnival which means lots of champagne.  You can really welcome the warmer days by adding a dollop of the peach sorbet into the bottom of your champagne glass for a fabulous take on a Bellini.

 So good even Lulu wants one!

Lavender and Rosemary Bellini2jpg

Lavender and Rosemary Bellini
Lavender and Rosemary Bellini

 Hope your week is peachy keen, jelly bean.

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Peach Sorbet with Lavender and Rosemary (3 ways)
This deliciious and easy to make peach sorbet will bring back the flavour of summer all through the year
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Ingredients
  1. For The Sorbet
  2. 200g sugar
  3. 2 tbsp edible dried lavender
  4. 2 springs of rosemary, about as long as your thumb
  5. 1 kg of peaches
  6. 200g water
To Serve
  1. Ice cream cones
For The Baked Peaches with Amaretto and Amaretti
  1. 4 large peaches, or you can used tinned, in which case you will need 10 halves
  2. 20 crumbled amaretti biscuits
  3. 4 tbsp Amaretto Liqueur
  4. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  5. Butter for greasing the pan
  6. 4 scoops of sorbet
For The Bellini
  1. Sparkling Wine
  2. Rosemary sprigs and lavender sprigs and peach wedges to garnish (optional)
For the Sorbet
  1. Place the sugar, water, lavender and rosemary into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Then simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. With a paring knife, make a small cross into the bottom of each peach. Place in a bowl and pour boiling water over the peaches. Let them sit for a few minutes then tip into a bowl of iced water. The skin should now be quite easy to peel off. Cut the peaches into wedges and place them in the sugar syrup.
  3. Once this mixture is cool, remove the peaches and place them in your blender, strain the syrup to remove the lavender buds and rosemary and add the liquid to the blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a container and chill in freezer for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm.
  5. Serve with ice cream cones or as described below.
For The Baked Peaches with Amaretto and Amaretti
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Lightly butter a baking tray
  3. If using fresh peaches, cut in half, remove the stones and, using a melon baller or a teaspoon, scoop out a little bit more of the peach flesh and place in a small bowl. If using canned peaches, finely dice 2 peach halves and place in a small bowl.
  4. Place the crushed biscuits, the amaretto and 1 tbsp of sugar in the bowl along with the peach flesh. Stir to combine.
  5. Fill the peach halves with this mixture.
  6. Place the peaches onto a baking tray. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar.
  7. If using fresh peaches, bake for around 20 minutes until cooked through then place under a hot grill for the last 5 minutes to really caramelise the topping. If using tinned peaches, bake for 5 minutes, really just to warm the peaches through then place under the grill for the last 5 minutes.
  8. Serve immediately, 2 to a plate with a dollop of sorbet.
For The Bellini
  1. Add a dollop of sorbet to your champagne glass.
  2. Top with sparkling wine.
  3. Garnish as desired.
  4. Enjoy!!!
Notes
  1. I like to leave my biscuit crumbs fairly rustic so they vary in size from crumbs to larger chunks.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

 

 

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