Vegetarian Meatloaf and One Cent Wine Sale!

Flavorful Vegetarian Meatloaf:
3/4 cup TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
2/3 cup boiling water
3/4 cup French lentils
2 cups water
3 eggs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. minced onion
2 button mushrooms, minced fine
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
spray oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put TVP in a large mixing bowl and add boiling water, stir and set aside. Simmer the lentils in 2 cups of water, covered until soft (about 20 minutes). Using a slotted spoon or Chinese wire strainer, carefully spoon the lentil into a blender, adding just enough water to be able to blend into a puree. Alternatively, strain the lentils through a colander, preserving the cooking water. Put the lentils in the blender with just enough water to puree. Add the lentils to the TVP. In the meantime, heat the oil in a pan over low heat and simmer the garlic, onions and mushrooms until onion is translucent and mushrooms cooked. Add to the TVP mixture with the basil, oregano, pepper, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Spray a loaf pan with oil. Mix the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard and apply 1/3 of the sauce with a basting brush to the bottom of the pan. Pour in the meatloaf and cook for 40 minutes and remove from the oven. The meatloaf should be firm on top, but not yet fully cooked. Carefully brush on the remaining sauce and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center come out clean. Slice the meatloaf and serve with mashed potatoes and a glass of the smooth, jammy 2001 Hunt Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Bon Vivant".

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-2001 Hunt Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon "Bon Vivant":
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-2006 Silver Horse Cabernet Sauvignon:
Black cherry, cassis, and nose of blackcurrants from East Paso Robles AVA. (Retail: $40)
-2002 Collier Falls Cabernet Sauvignon:
A rich mouth feel full of nuances of chocolate and sweet berry fruit. Only 990 cases made. (Retail: $40)
The weekly Online Grapevine wine discount special to accompany this recipe is the ONE CENT BORDEAUX SALE. Click to view.


Tomatillos and Tomatillo Avocado Dip

The tomatillo plant is an annual that is easy to grow and graces the garden with its lacy foliage and lovely lantern-like fruit. The plant grows to about 3' tall and has long, oval leaves of a pleasing green that shows off the yellow blossoms. Grow it in full sun or part shade with well drained soil. Soak well, then leave off watering until the top 1 1/2" is dry before watering again. The fruit is ready to harvest when the paper "lantern" bursts but before the tomatillo turns yellow. You may still be able to use yellow tomatillos but the flavor will probably have changed and some of the sweetness lost. If you are picking out the fruit at the grocery, look for healthy green paper and fruit; avoid shriveled husks or blemished or soft fruit. For cooking, the striped paper covering is peeled off (save this to infuse into the broth for tamale masa to make it flufflier) and the hard, green inside is used. There is no need to peel or seed the tomatillo as one does with its tomato cousins. The history of tomatillo cultivation begins in Pre-Columbian Mexico, then spreads to Europe via Spain. It is a staple in most Latin American countries and a primary ingredient in salsa verde. Thanks to Laurie of Santa Barbara for sending us this recipe which combines the tanginess of the tomatillo, the tartness of lime, the bite of garlic, and the accent of salt to creamy avocado:
Tomatillo Avocado Dip:
1 lb. tomatillos
1 avocado
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped fine
5 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 medium jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded, chopped fine
Salt to taste
Remove the husks of the tomatillos, wash, dry and chop them fine. Place in a mixing bowl with the meat of the avocado. Add the rest of the ingredients with 1/4 tsp. salt and mash together until well mixed. Taste and add more salt or more lime juice to taste. Serve with tortilla chips and the 2008 Keyways Sauvignon Blanc.


Ginger Carrot Soup

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots--white bulb only, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger or 2 tsp. dry ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. turmeric
salt to taste
4 oz. half and half
paprika as garnish

Put oil in a soup pot over low heat and simmer the shallots, garlic, ginger, and curry for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broth and carrots and turn the heat up to medium. When the broth begins to simmer, adjust the temperature to keep it simmering without boiling and cook until the carrots are tender, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let sit for a couple of minutes before pouring into a blender (so you don't scald yourself with splashes of hot soup!). Mix on highest setting until the soup is pureed. Add the pepper, turmeric and salt to taste, then add the half and half to the blender and whirl until well mixed. Chill for cold soup, or return to the pot and heat over low for a few minutes to serve warm. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with a glass of the 2006 Bargetto Central Coast Chardonnay and fresh French bread spread with goat cheese.
The weekly Online Grapevine wine discount special to accompany this recipe was the CLOSE-OUT CHARDONNAY SALE below. Click to view this week's special.
  • 2007 Chehalem "Inox" Chardonnay:
    Gold Medal Winner! 88 Points/Top Value
    : "Light and appealing for its gentle pear and peach fruit, lingering softly." Wine Spectator. The hallmark of a cool climate-brightness, pinpoint fruit, and explosive aromas and flavors.
  • 2007 Healdsburg Ranches Chardonnay:
    Citrus fruits including grapefruit, lemon, and pear shine through with subtle aromas such as honey, kumquat, and fig. Healdsburg Ranches: "Ever humbly, our artistic intent: The 2007 Healdsburg Ranches Chardonnay represents a new direction in winemaking. Fresh and fruity, the stainless steel fermentation allows the varietal character to show through, while the malolactic conversion creates a larger 'mouthfeel'."
  • 2006 Bargetto Central Coast Chardonnay:
    This Chardonnay has aromas of citrus, green apple and light hints of oak. The wine has a crisp acidity with a lingering finish that will go well fish dishes.
  • Saddlerock 2006 Chardonnay, Central Coast (CA):
    Pale gold in color, our 2006 Chardonnay hints of Braeburn apples and tropical fruit flavors.


Zinfandel Paired With Chicago Style Ribs

From About.com, Derrick Riches. Good for a large party as it serves 16-20!
10 racks baby back ribs
For rub:
1 cup paprika
1/3 cup celery salt
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
For barbecue sauce:
3 cups ketchup
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

In large saucepan, sauté garlic. Add remaining ingredients and allow to come to a boil. Turn down heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool. While sauce is simmering, combine rub ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Trim and clean ribs. Rub ribs with spices and let sit for 30 minutes. Preheat grill. Cook over indirect medium heat for about an hour Turn once and cook for additional 30 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. You might need to grill large quantity of ribs in shifts. When the ribs have finished cooking a knife will pass easily into the meat between the ribs and you can see no or very little pink. Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: 18-20
Wine Pairing: serve with the 2005 Manzanita Creek "Stealth" Zinfandel.

SORRY-this weekly Online Grapevine special sold out! Click to view this week's Online Grapevine wine discount special.
  • Carol Shelton "Wild Thing" '05 Old Vine Zinfandel (Mendocino, CA):
    4 Gold Medals; 92 Points
    Connoisseurs Guide. Intensely jammy with a long, lush finish. ($28 retail)
  • Manzanita Creek "Stealth" '05 Zinfandel (Alexander Valley, Sonoma CA):
    91 Points:
    Connoisseurs Guide; Double Gold Winner: Pro Wine Buyers Competition. A rich explosion of ripe fruit flavors ($55 retail)
  • Carol Shelton "Rocky Reserve" '05 Old Vine Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, CA):
    90 Points
    Wine Spectator, Multiple Gold Medals. Inky purple with lots of spice and dark chocolate flavors. ($33 retail)
  • Hunt Cellars "Outlaw Ridge" '02 Zinfandel (Paso Robles, CA):
    Multiple Gold Medals and Best of Class Awards
    . A rich, delicious wine that seemingly jumps out of the glass with flavors. ($44 retail)



Sustainable Food

A quick trip to San Francisco yielded a couple of beautiful images: a double rainbow over the Giants-Padres game (only one showed up in the photograph) and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish at the new Academy of Sciences. We didn't hit our usual restaurants, so had only one great meal: sashimi at the Sanraku in the Moscone Center. The sashimi appetizer was only $7, with four huge slices of fresh tuna and yellow tail. The only other culinary exclamation point was at the AT&T ballpark--not really health food, but it tasted great--an enormous pile of Gilroy garlic fries, piled high with chopped garlic and parsley and washed down with a glass of DeLoach Syrah. With the sunset illuminating the bay and rainbows arching overhead, it was worth every calorie.

The Academy of Sciences is sustainably designed and operated. They hand out a pamphlet outlining ways to cut our carbon footprint; the section "On The Menu" lists ways to bring awareness into our food shopping and consuming.
The Academy of Sciences suggestions are in italics below, I've added a few other ideas:

Meat and Dairy:
Industrial farming of livestock is very energy-intensive, and is responsible for more global warming emissions than the entire transportation industry.

1 Look for free-range, grass-fed beef and organic dairy products.
2 Eat less beef by substituting chicken or seafood—it’s the easiest and fastest way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
The average 150 lb. individual needs about 55 grams of protein per day--that's about 8 oz. or two hamburger patties. Remember, grains, legumes, and soy contain protein, so you probably only need one 4 oz. serving per day, IF you eat meat.
3 Eat more vegetarian meals. This saves money as well as helps our planet.
1 Purchase seafood that has been harvested sustainably from the ocean. A good resource is the Seafood Watch guide.
2 Bring the Seafood Watch guide to restaurants you frequent and ask the staff to consider sourcing only sustainable seafood.
3 Ask the government to pass legislation protecting fisheries from overfishing.

4 Eat from the bottom of the ocean food chain: small fish like anchovies, clams, and rockfish and less of the top of the food chain such as tuna and shark which are overfished.
1 Cut down on processed foods.
2 Look for local, seasonal, organic foods
. Shipping foods that are locally out of season from overseas creates carbon emissions from boats and planes.
3 Subscribe to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program—CSA members receive regular baskets of organic produce from a local farmer, in return for helping to fund the farm.
4 Bring your own reusable bags for shopping.

5 Buy things in bulk, using your reusable containers. For example, find freshly ground peanut butter and reuse your container.
6 Try to choose items with the least packaging. The production of plastic and paper wrapping uses a lot of energy and fresh water.
7 Make a list before you shop and plan your meals so you don't throw away extra food that goes bad before you have the chance to use it.
8 Eat your leftovers! A 2004 USDA study found 14% of food in the US was thrown away--that's about $600 wasted per household.
Eating Out:
1 Choose local restaurants over chains. They are more likely to operate sustainably.
2 Patronize those local restaurants which source local, seasonal and organic ingredients.
3 Bring your own reusable take-out containers from home.

4 Have a coffee thermos in your car and use it when you buy a latte or other beverage.
5 Ask your server not to bring water, unless you want it. The world is facing a freshwater crisis.


Garden Vegetable Meal For One

Summer is in its glory--stone fruit falling off the trees and the vegetable patch full of good things: potatoes, herbs, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, beans, yellow squash, carrots, onions and strawberries. Bring in your harvest or find a farmer's market and simmer the vegetables together with herbs. This recipe was created after a morning of harvesting small bits of produce in the vegetable garden. It's a quick, easy, very filling meal with approximately 580 calories and 20 grams of protein. You can easily double the recipe for two.Serve this recipe with the Silverhorse 2006 Big Easy. Silverhorse makes hand-crafted wines in small lots that are almost impossible to find in stores. This week you can buy this wine at a great price, along with the Silverhorse 2006 Tomori and 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon through the Online Grapevine. READ MORE... | ORDER 6 bottles and save $80!.

1 1/2 cup total chopped or sliced vegetables: eggplant, red bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, carrots
1 small tomato
2 small new potatoes: purple, red or Yukon gold
2 oz. goat cheese
1/2 Tbsp. basil
1/2 Tbsp. oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. butter
Steam the new potatoes until easily pierced with a fork (about ten minutes). Wash, dry and chop your vegetables. Bell pepper, carrots and any other hard vegetables should be thinly sliced. Squash, peeled eggplant, and zucchini can be chopped. Melt the butter in a saucepan with a lid and add the raw vegetables and herbs. Cover and simmer over low for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be moist, if they start to dry out, add a bit of water as they cook. At the end of the cooking time, add salt and pepper to taste. Put the potatoes on a plate and roughly cut into quarters with a fork, so the skin side is down. Break up the goat cheese and sprinkle the bits onto the hot potatoes so the cheese softens. Top with the vegetable mixture. Serves one, but recipe can be easily multiplied. Nice served with a glass of the 2006 Silver Horse Big Easy.
Thanks to Susie of South Dakota! She sent in a recipe for using the Lemon Preserves:
4 chicken breasts, unboned
1 white onion
5 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 threads saffron
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. turmeric
1/4 cup kalamata olives pitted
5 slices of preserved lemon
1/8 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the lemon slices, then chop. Slice the onion and the olives separately. Put the oil into a Dutch oven or Moroccan tangine. Heat the oil over low and sautee the garlic and onion for two minutes, then add the rest of the spices. Turn up the heat to medium and brown the chicken. Turn the chicken so the skin side is up, add the water, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, stir in the olives and preserved lemon, then cover and bake another 10 minutes. Test the chicken for doneness and add salt to taste. The lemon and olives will add salt, so additional salt may not be necessary. Serves 4. I didn't try this recipe, but I think it would pair well with the 2007 Healdsburg Ranches Chardonnay.
See June 14 09 post for recipe for Preserved Lemons. Please email your tasting notes and comments! Or, use the "Comment" link below.


Costa Rican recipes -- wine pairings

There was no Online Grapevine last week; we were in Costa Rica exploring the cloud forest, rain forest and beach! Costa Rican food is fresh and made with local ingredients. Their main dish is "gallo pinto" which is black beans with rice. Most Costa Ricans have gallo pinto two or three times a day; the most common menu item is a "casado" which consists of grilled meat, chicken or fish with gallo pinto, salad and fried plantains. They don't use many spices; the flavor in their food comes mainly from the fresh ingredients--fruits and vegetables thrive in the rich volcanic soil. The two most unusual, and delicious, items are featured this week. These recipes are American interpretations, since we could not obtain the recipes or exact ingredients. One of the best meals we had was from the food court of a mall in San Jose! Imagine a cheesy mouthful of fresh herbs and guacamole--prepped and cooked in minutes! These were cheese and guacamole gallos-a gallo being anything wrapped in a corn tortilla, usually meat and vegetables, so this cheesy treat was unusual. The second recipe recreates one of the best salads ever tasted--fresh and full of flavor. The dressing is very light and slightly sweet which goes well with the saltiness of the capers and olives.

1/2 avocado
1 Tbsp. lemon
1/8 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
oil spray
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. onion, minced
1 button mushroom, minced
1 pat butter
sprig parsley, about 2 tbsp. chopped
sprig cilantro, about 2 tbsp. chopped
sprig fresh basil, about 2 tbsp. chopped
1/2 cup (loosely packed) grated white cheese (cheddar or half Manchego, half Monterey Jack mixed well)
1/2 egg, mixed
2 corn tortillas
1 peeled sliced carrot

Have all the ingredients ready before starting to cook as the gallos will cook fast. Chop the parsley, cilantro and fresh basil together, mix, and set aside. Mix the 1/2 egg with the grated cheese and set aside. Mash the 1/2 avocado in a bowl and season with the oregano, lemon, salt and pepper to taste, set aside. Heat a nonstick frying pan over low heat and spray with oil. Cook the tortillas briefly to soften them, then set aside on plate. Spray the pan again if it is dry. Cook the garlic, onion and mushroom over medium heat for just a minute, stirring them often, then set aside in small dish. Turn the heat down to its lowest setting. Add 1/2 the butter to the frying pan and melt the butter, swirling it around the pan to coat the bottom (keep the coating of oil left from cooking the vegetables, do not wash the pan in between steps). Pour half of the egg/cheese mixture onto the pan, patting it down until it is a low disc. Sprinkle half the cooked vegetable mixture on top, then put half the chopped herbs and cook until the egg sets on the bottom is brown. Spoon half the avocado mixture on top, then carefully fold the egg/cheese filling up like a burrito. Remove with a spatula to one of the tortillas. Cook the remaining ingredients for the second gallo as you did for the first. Garnish with salsa and serve with beans and chips. Serves one. You'll like this recipe paired with the 2005 Punta Mita Merlot.

Small head leaf lettuce
1/8 head red cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1 carrot
6 button mushrooms
1 small yellow zucchini squash
spray oil
1 small ripe tomato
1 avocado
1/4 cup drained capers
1/4 cup pitted green olives
1/4 cup pitted black olives
1/8 cup white sesame seed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup sherry
1/8 cup white vinegar
To make the dressing: mix the vegetable oil, sherry and vinegar. Do not use heavy oil such as sesame or olive oil; safflower or light vegetable oil works best. No salt is required as the olives and capers will provide the salt. Wash, dry and shred leaf lettuce. Slice the olives. Julienne the red cabbage, peeled carrot, red and bell peppers, and yellow squash into thin strips. Wash, dry and slice the button mushrooms. Spray a frying pan with oil and cook half the red and green bell pepper, half the mushrooms and half the squash over medium heat until the vegetables are lightly cooked and not mushy. Toss the lettuce, raw vegetables and half the dressing and place on platter. The salad should be very lightly dressed, so add more dressing sparingly only if needed to barely coat the salad. Slice the tomato and avocado and place them around the salad. Sprinkle the cooked vegetables on top, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serves 4. This salad is perfect paired with the 2006 Kennedy Shah Picnic Blend, which is one of our favorite white wines. 50% Viognier and 50% Chenin Blanc, the Picnic Blend is balanced and crisp, with a touch of minerality.

Click HERE to save money on the Kennedy Shaw mentioned above, through the Online Gr@pevine.