Sunday, November 16, 2008

Some What-Homemade with the Walnofer's #3

Staying with the theme of my Italian Experience during Worlds of Flavor, I decided to keep it a little Mediterranean tonight. Here you will find a spinach & onion baked salad with grated Pecorino cheese and a seasoned baked egg. This is very simple and just requires sauteing some onions, garlic, and fresh spinach (ringed, canned spinach works too) in good olive oil. Quit buying that Great Value or private label olive oil. Good oil is the easiest way to boost the flavor in your cooking. Then make a slight indention and crack an egg on top and bake at 325 for ~15 minutes. I tried cooking some farro tonight and created a complimentary parsley & olive farro salad. Even the Walnofer baker chipped in and provided some incredible buttermilk biscuits.

Orecchiette and chicken breast pasta with some cherry tomatoes, basil, and parsley. Dust this with some Parmesan Reggiano and throw in a crunchy breadstick and you are in for an Italian treat. Another key in this simple recipe is to enjoy the delicacy of good cheese. This also means straying away from your grated, canned cheese that has been in your fridge since March. Bon Appetit!

When you start throwing a bunch of great Italian cheeses into your dishes, think about washing them down with a nice Merlot. My friends down the street at Cuvaison Estate Winery let me get my hands on their "Wine Club Only" new release, the 2005 Two Estates Merlot. This wine is a fabulous pairing with just about anything with meat and cheese. Primarily Merlot, but it has a high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignion which makes it a powerful on the palate style wine that is still characteristically smooth like great Merlots from the Napa Valley. Cheers!

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