Posts Tagged ‘Syrah


Recipe: Beccafichi in Teglia

Beccafichi in Teglia

Beccafichi in Teglia


  • 4 quails
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves, chopped with salt
  • 2 onions
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking pan


Preheat the broiler.

Clean out the quails, removing all the gizzards. Divide the rosemary into 4 equal parts and pat 1 part rosemary into the inner cavity of each bird. Quarter the onions. Place 2 onion quarters, 1 bay leaf, and 1 quail, in a baking dish. Place in a well-greased baking pan. Sprinkle the birds with salt and pepper and drizzle with the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Place birds on lower rack and broil about 10 minutes or until legs are well done and the rest is a medium or desired doneness.

We recommend a rich syrah wine pairing for this dish, or if you insist on white wine a lush vouvray!


Recipe: Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Beef Stew

Irish Beef Stew

This morning I woke to sunny skies and balmy temperatures for January in the mountains of NC. As the day has progressed, the temperatures have dropped and clouds have invaded those picturesque skies with the drum beat of winter riding on the wind. My Irish roots have pointed my mind in the direction of comfort food, and I always find the most comfort in simple, elegant, and tasty recipes. So here I share with you a delightful recipe for lamb stew that can be thrown together in a dutch oven and forgotten until time to eat. I would recommend a nice bold syrah from Chile, or Washington State … maybe something from the year of 2005 or so would do the trick ever so nicely! If you much do a white with this dish, go bold…maybe a 2008 Chardonnay from Mendocino County, California.

Cheers and Bon Appitite!

1 tablespoon oil
1 pound lamb (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 onions (roughly chopped)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1 Bluer Francish Wine  (or other red wine of choice)
* beef stock
1 tablespoon rosemary (chopped)
1 tablespoon thyme (chopped)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
2 white potatoes (cut into bite sized pieces)
4 carrots (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 handful parsley (chopped) garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large pot.
2. Add the lamb and brown on each side.
3. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Sprinkle in the flour and stir.
6. Add the Re Wine and enough beef stock to cover.
7. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
8. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lamb it fork tender, about 1-2 hours.
9. Add the potatoes and carrots and some more beef stock to cover.
10 Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until they are tender, about 20-60 minutes depending on cut.
11. Plate and garnish with parsley.


Recipe: Natchitoches Meat Pies with Spicy Buttermilk Dip

Natchitoches Meat Pies

Natchitoches Meat Pies

Recently, this recipe appeared in Food & Wine, and it captivated my attention for awhile… hope you enjoy too!



  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons salt
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  4. 1/2 cup ice water


  1. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1/2 pound ground beef chuck
  3. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  4. 1/2 onion, finely diced
  5. 1/4 green bell pepper, finely diced
  6. 1 bay leaf
  7. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  9. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/4 teaspoon chopped thyme
  11. 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  12. 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  13. Salt
  14. Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
  15. 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons of milk

Buttermilk Dip

  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  3. 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sour cream
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  6. Salt
  7. Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco
  8. 1 scallion, thinly sliced


  1. MAKE THE DOUGH In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. With the machine on, add the oil and process until the flour is moistened. Sprinkle on the ice water and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until the dough is moistened. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead just until smooth. Form the dough into 2 disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the ground beef and cook over moderately high heat until no pink remains, breaking up the meat with a spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cayenne, cloves, thyme, coriander and allspice and cook over moderately low heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt and hot sauce and let cool.
  3. Discard the bay leaf. Transfer the filling to a food processor and pulse until chopped.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured work surface, roll out each disk of dough to a 12-inch round. Using a 4-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out 6 rounds from each piece of dough. Brush the edges of the rounds with some of the egg wash and place a rounded tablespoon of filling to one side of each circle. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press to seal. Crimp the edges with a fork. Transfer the pies to the baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. MAKE THE BUTTERMILK DIP In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, celery salt and lemon juice. Season with salt and hot sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the scallion. Serve the pies with the buttermilk dip.

For wine pairings, I recommend Echeverria Syrah-Carmenere Rsv as the carmenere will tame the syrah and still have the expansive flavor profile that this dish deserves.


Wine: Napa Cellars Syrah; RSV

Napa Cellars Syrah

Napa Cellars Syrah, rsv

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and it is time we start thinking about that special dinner and evening. I’ll try to post some recipes for the dinner next week, but the wine is what is on my mind at the moment. Whenever I think of romance and love, I think of a great American Syrah!

Many people shy away from a syrah due to the fact that it is an intense, powerful wine- and they are correct in that being characteristic of a syrah. However, there are a lot of things in life that are powerful and intense that they profess not only to enjoy but seek out. Hence, when you think of syrah, think of sex in a bottle to pair with the right meal giving you a great night!

Napa Cellars was founded with the concept of making varietal proper wines year after year. Their Dyer Vineyards Reserve Syrah is just that! When pulling the cork you’re going to discover an explosion if jammy, dark fruit aromas filling the air with hints of pepper on the nose. Pouring the wine into the glass, the deep velvety violet color . Both the vision and aromas of the wine do nothing less than make your mouth water in anticipation for the gentle first passionate kiss with this exotic fruit!

As the wine caresses the fore of your tongue, the jammy explosion of blueberry,
blackberry, cola, and violets seem to swell building into a crescendo to the mid-pallet of the tongue where it seems your mouth is going to explode from the wonderful juice explosion you’re experiencing. Just as you don’t think you can handle anymore, you’ve worked the wine to the back of your tongue and you swallow and that warm intensity you just experienced reverses and and  the warm sensation intensifies as it feels your mouth is shrinking back to normal size and the wonders of the passionate flavors seep out of your cheeks and gums concentrating on the center of the tongue where a second bigger explosion takes place replacing the brilliant fruit with spices and the desire for more wine.

Don’t believe me? Get a bottle of this elixir and put a little passion in your Valentine’s Day!


Recipe: Chocolate Fried shrimp and Grits

I know, it sounds weird, really weird…but, it’s a good dish and good dishes deserve to be shared! We last used this recipe for a cooking demo on valentine’s weekend 2010. I’ve had requests for the recipe ever since then from people who attended the program and many who simply heard about it. So, keep it simple, have fun preparing and have even more fun at the table with it!

Ingredients:The Grits 

  • 1 quart of Chicken Broth (use the store brand, but not the fat-free)

    Chocolate Fried Shrimp and Grits

    Chocolate Fried Shrimp and Grits

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • other spices to suite your taste and palate
  • 3 teaspoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound of self rising cornmeal (finely ground for smoother grits)
  • 8 ounces of creamed cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

The Shrimp

  • 1 pound of shrimp: size and presentation are up to you and your skill set!
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse-ground pepper
  • 1 pound broccoli, chopped
  • 1 lime for juice
  • 1 cup new Zealand sauvignon blanc

Infused Oil

  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 teaspoons fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced

Chocolate Sauce

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons cream sherry
  • 1 orange for juice and zest

In a heavy sauce pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil, whick spices and oil together in the broth. Pour the corn meal in whisking constantly; when the mixture stiffins, pour the milk in and the cream cheese.

Start by opening a bottle of an New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  To infuse oil with heat and flavor, sauté ginger, garlic and Jalapeno in the olive oil on low heat for about 3 minutes in a large skillet. Remove from burner and let sit for 10 minutes.

Blend orange juice and sherry, salt, and pepper; heating slowly, stir in chocolate and remove from heat. Reheat spiced oil to medium.  When oil is hot, sauté shrimp cooking to a nice light pick color with tan lines an the edges. Don’t crowd the shrimp. When all shrimp are cooked, toss with the chocolate sauce in a separate pan.
Stir-fry broccoli for 2 minutes in the infused oil. Remove and drain. Plate the shrimp with rice and broccoli, squeeze lime over the shrimp.

Plate the grits in a mound, or in the base of a pasta bowl placing ample shrimp over it and pouring some extra “gravy” over the top to blend all the flavors together for your diners gastronomical pleasure! I recommend a Moldovian Fetesca for a white wine, and a Columbia Valley, Washington Syrah for a red wine.

Bon Appetite!


Jade Mountain La Provençale – The Wine Virgin

The Jade Mountain was paired with our entrée, which was pumpkin cream sauce over fresh pasta. The pasta was not sweet which was my first thought and neither was this blend. The La Provençale is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, and Mourvedre. Of those varietals I’ve honestly only heard of Syrah, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying this wine. The Jade Mountain was a dark smoky wine with a deep fruit flavor. It was a bit heavier than the other wines that we tasted this evening. It had a nice acidity with a hint of cocoa. The smoky flavor went great with the pumpkin pasta and was a very nice wine that was easy to enjoy.


Friday: Premium Wine Tasting!

When we hear the term premium, we tend to think exceptional quality and vitality. Premium Wines should always fit that bill as they should be juice sourced from the best vineyards into the hands of the best wine makers to execute an art form that transcends science. Premium Wines should dance on the tongue and cause your eyes to roll around din the back of your head doing the “happy dance”.

This Friday,  the Carolina Wine Academy is proud to present a dynamic flight of premium wines at Christopher’s Wine and Cheese. The anticipated flight menu at this time includes Tyrus Evan’s Syrah, Robert Craig’s Chardonnay, Rubicon’s Cabernet Franc,  Hank McCrorie’s Burly Cabernet Sauvignon, Long Shadow’s “Pedestal”, Livingston Moffett’s “Gemtree” and Gilliard’s Fendant “les Murettess”.

Quite an impressive lot of wine, but it can only be fully enjoyed when surrounded by friends and laughter. We hope you can come out and let us entice your taste buds and share  the bounty of this premium wine tasting with you.

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