Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bring the Wine Cellar Home

As wine tasting parties grow in popularity, there are several things to keep in mind when planning the ultimate wine soirée. Hosting a tasting party allows you to get the winery experience without the hassle and intimidation that goes along with trekking to a local vineyard. David Venable, host of QVC’s popular show In the Kitchen With David, offers tips for planning and executing a wine tasting party that will have your guests clamoring for more!

Selecting the Wine
You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to throw the ultimate wine tasting party; when purchasing wine, communicate with the wine experts at the store and ask questions about the kinds of wine and ideal pairings
Ask the wine expert about the origins of each bottle; the knowledge you receive will intrigue your guests and will serve as a great conversation starter during your party
If you are unsure of certain wines, ask to do a tasting at the store before purchasing

Pairing the Wine with Food
The wine shouldn’t overpower the flavors of your food
For dishes with a lot of flavor and spice, opt for a more simple wine choice such as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling
For less complicated dishes, opt for full bodied blends such as a Merlot, Cabernet, Shiraz and Chianti
Always serve nuts and crackers and have water readily available for guests; these items clear palettes for the next tasting
A full course meal isn’t always necessary for a wine tasting; opt for a variety of fruits and cheeses to go along with the tasting

Recipes for Wine Tasting’s David Venable’s recipe for Baked Brie and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus below:

David’s Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam, Almonds, and Cranberries

1 (10 inch x 10-inch) piece frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 (8 oz) wheel Brie cheese, rind in tact
2 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries, softened in hot water, drained, and patted dry
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
Crackers (optional, for serving)
Sliced baguette (optional, for serving)
Sliced apples (optional, for serving)
Grapes (optional, for serving)

Preheat the oven to 375°F
Combine the egg yolk and water in a small bowl, then set aside. Slice the Brie in half (like a bagel) so you have two circles
Place the puff pastry on the Temptations Lid It (or another nonstick or parchment paper lined cookie sheet)
Spoon out 1 Tbsp of the raspberry jam and drop it in the middle of the puff pastry. Spread the jam into a circle approximately the size of the Brie
Place one half of the Brie, rind side down, on the jam
Spread 1 Tbsp of jam over the Brie then sprinkle the almonds and cranberries on top
Place the second half of the Brie, rind side up on top, and spread with the remaining raspberry jam
Brush the edges of the puff pastry with the egg wash then fold up the edges to cover the cheese
Trim any excess pastry and press to seal. Flip the covered Brie over and brush the other side with the remaining egg wash
Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before serving
Serve with crackers, baguette, apples or grapes

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus with Goat Cheese

24 spears medium asparagus, trimmed
12 slices of prosciutto
2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
1/2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Pinch black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°F
Cream together the cream cheese and the goat cheese in a sized bowl with a hand or stand mixer; be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl
Add 1 tsp of the lemon zest, basil, and black pepper
In another bowl, toss and coat the asparagus with the remaining lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil
Remove the asparagus from the excess liquid and place in a single layer on a prepared nonstick cookie sheet
Take one slice of prosciutto and lay on a flat working surface
With a knife or small spatula, spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture over the surface of the prosciutto
Place 2 spears of asparagus on the shorter end of the prosciutto and roll the meat around the asparagus
Return the wrapped asparagus to the cookie sheet; repeat with remaining ingredients
Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the asparagus is fork tender

No comments: