Friday, September 26, 2008

Recycle Bin

Santa Martina Rosso 2005
40% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet, and 20% Syrah. An Italian everyday wine under $10 and packed with flavor.

Rombauer Vineyards Merlot 2004
One of two of the best Merlot I've ever tasted and under $30. All I can remember now is rich chocolate.

Tilenus Pagos de Posada 2000
A Spanish red, 100% mencia, but for under $20 it tasted like it costs over $50 -- toasty like cocoa.

2000 Domaine de la Charbonniere Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Mourre des Perdrix
Robert Parker gives it 90 points. It's a mouthful of a wine both in name and taste. A $50+ bottle but truly worth it. Excellent mouth feel, juicy fruit flavors, encompassed in a beautiful aroma.

Southern Eclipse Pinot Noir 2006
The best Pinot you will find for under $20 and it's not from Napa. This New Zealand wine is full of life, rich with fruit, dark and smooth.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Last Tastes of Summer

While everyone else is feeling slightly cooler temperatures, I'm still enduring 90+ degree temperatures. I'm longing for cooler temperatures and more wholesome food. I'm trying to get all of this Summer food out of my system now. Here's a light end of Summer dish that is truly incredible.

Salmon Cakes with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
adpated from Gourmet Aug 2008

1 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 cup coarse bread crumbs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped chives, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, divided
3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, 1/2 tsp lemon zest, juice, 1/4 tsp salt, and half of the chives. Set aside. In another bowl, add the bread crumbs, egg, mayo, spices, remaining zest and chives. Add the salmon chunks last and combine gently, preferably with your hands. Separate the mixture into 4-5 medium sized cakes. Add more bread crumbs if the mixture is too wet. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet and add the cakes. Brown on each side for a couple minutes then flip. I like to finish everything for a few minutes in a hot oven to ensure even cooking. Serve the cakes warm with a dollop of the lemon yogurt and some extra lemons to taste.