Monday, June 22, 2009

Avoiding Chardonnay no more!

A lot of folks classify themselves as either red or white wine lovers. I'd like to think I'm an equal opportunity wine lover, but I do tend more toward the bold reds. So, I've challenged myself this summer to extend my white wine tasting beyond my beloved cheap & dry Andres champagne that goes into my mimosa's. (To wit, I always say, I should just hit myself over the head w/the Andres bottle b/c that's exactly how I feel after I drink it! LOL!)

I think I shy away from whites in general b/c I'm not a fan of sweet. In my perception, generally restaurants offer whites that for the most part tend on the sweeter side. At the other end of the spectrum, you have the dry chardonnay's that generally do not jibe w/my palate. The oaky acridness is a big turn off for me> not to mention I generally end up with a migraine for some reason?
Enter Cono Sur, a Chilean organic Chard that I mistook for a dryer reisling upon my first tasting. I have Grey Bear co-owner, Lindsey W-W. to thank for this discovery! She has quite a few beautiful "summer" whites up her sleeve. You should take the gorgeously green drive out to GB to check them out. Esp. since their new outdoor patio has been officially installed w/a generous amount of seating.
Thanks Lindz!

Disclaimer: I know the folks that own GB, so my judgement is def. biased. But, I will tell you that their Sunday brunch is mouth-wateringly delicious. This Sunday I had the biscuits and gravy. Hit the spot! Moist crumbly biscuits smothered in a spicy sausage gravy.
Also love that their fruit salad is ripe and generous on the plate, not a "throw away" garnish. Helps cut the heaviness between the B&G and fried, spiced new potatoes. Topped off w/a Pomegranate Mimosa(or Greyhound!), it's the perfect Sunday brunch!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

German Potato Salad?

My step-mom makes an amazing, vinegary German Potato Salad. And I always forget to ask her for the recipe. So, when I got my most recent Saveur in the mail this week, I was excited to see a German Potato Salad recipe. The hubs was happy too, since he hates any mayonnaise based potato salad with a passion.

This recipe is good, it's just a little more sweet and a little less sour than my step-mom's. (I also may have accidentally added more sugar than the recipe calls for by oh say, a tbsp!)I was surprised at the lack of punch b/c I thought the mustard would ratchet up the vinegar quotient. I'd almost be tempted to call it a French Potato Salad b/c of the wine and dijon mustard, but there's no tarragon. :) The thing I like about real German Potato Salad is that swift punch in the mouth and sour strangle hold that doesn't let go. I should also mention I'm a big salt and vinegar chip girl as well.

Next time I make this, I will be reducing the wine by half and making up for the other half w/champagne or white wine vinegar. I think that might cut the sweetness and give me the tang I was looking for.(A lighter hand with the sugar jar might help as well!)

Otherwise, this is a tasty side for your summer grilling! Give it a try and let me know what you think--

German Potato Salad

Courtesy Saveur July 2009

A hearty potato salad like this one makes an ideal accompaniment for barbecued brisket. The dish is a legacy of German immigrants in Central Texas.
(My step-mom is from a Chicago-based German immigrant family)

2 1/2 lbs. waxy potatoes, such as red new potatoes
Kosher salt, to taste
3 strips bacon, chopped
1⁄2 yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup chicken broth
1⁄3 cup white wine
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
Ground black pepper, to taste

1. Put potatoes into a 4-qt. saucepan; cover with salted water by 1". Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until potatoes are tender, 20–25 minutes. Drain; transfer to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel; set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add onions; cook, stirring, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, for 45 seconds. Add broth, wine, mustard, and sugar. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly; set aside.

3. Peel potatoes and cut into thick slices; transfer to a bowl. Pour in broth mixture, add parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Garnish with reserved bacon and parsley.

Serves 4-6