Posts Categorized: Recipes

Homemade Soup: Silky Smooth Seven Veggie Soup

Union Wine Company Fall Soup

With the arrival of autumn, it is true that we begin to lose all those delicious colorful vegetables that seemed so plentiful just a few weeks ago. But the following months give us the opportunity to really explore some fresh new realms in the kitchen, i.e. amazing soups and stews. Once you get the general techniques down, there are literally endless variations that will keep you and your family happy, warm and well-fed through the winter.

If you are new to the world of homemade soups, it’s best to start simply, with a delicious blended soup. We wanted to jazz things up a little bit, so we decided to start with a soup that is both simple and complex at the same time. By incorporating seven different vegetables into this blended soup, the technique is still relatively easy but the taste is much more nuanced.

So without further ado, let’s first head out to the local supermarket to collect everything you will need.

Union Wine Company Fall Soup

Seven Vegetable Blended Soup
Makes 2 Quarts

2 medium sweet onions
2 large cloves of garlic
2 large carrots
3 stalks of celery
1 large stalk of broccoli, stem removed
2 medium white or golden sweet potatoes
1 large Delicata squash, peeled and seeded

5-6 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small lemon

For garnish:
toasted pumpkin seeds
ground cayenne pepper

STEP ONE:

Peel and chop all 7 vegetables into a uniform size. This doesn’t have to be perfect, as you will be blending everything, but keeping all the pieces a similar size assures equal cooking time for everything.

Union Wine Company Fall Soup

STEP TWO:

Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large high walled pot or rondeau. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery and season with salt and pepper. Keep stirring so veggies don’t develop any color.

After 5-10 minutes, add celery, broccoli, sweet potato and squash. Re-season slightly and keep moving all vegetables around in the pot to soften but not brown.

After another 5-10 minutes, add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until all vegetables are fully soft. Turn off heat and let the pot rest on the stovetop for 10 minutes to cool down slightly.

Now you are ready to blend…

Sidebar:
To Vitamix or not to Vitamix

Union Wine Company Fall Soup

Many people swear by their Vitamix. And I won’t lie, its a lean mean blendin’ machine. If you own one, I highly recommend you use it. But if you happen to still own an old school blender, fear not. You can still make a delicious smooth soup, you just have to pay a little closer attention.

STEP THREE:

If using the Vitamix, blend in 2 batches, trying to get roughly the same amount of vegetable and broth in each batch. Add just enough liquid to cover the vegetables. You can always add more liquid if need be, but if you add too much, your soup will be too thin.

If using a smaller blender, patience is the virtue! Blend in 5 or 6 batches—the most important thing is to not overcrowd the vegetables so that they can blend smoothly. Pulse vegetables at first to break them down more evenly. A little extra broth or water may be necessary when doing it this way.

STEP FOUR:

As you blend the soup, return each finished batch to a new, clean pot on the stove. Once you have blended all the soup, readjust seasoning with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Reheat soup if necessary and ladle carefully into bowls.

Garnish with the toasted sunflower seeds and a small amount of cayenne pepper (a lot goes a long way!) This soup pairs beautifully with a nice cold glass of Underwood Pinot Gris.

Bon Appétit!

Union Wine Company Fall Soup

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)

Union Wine Co. Kitchen Skills: How to Truss a Chicken

There is something warm and inviting about roasting a whole chicken. It’s delicious, it’s easy, it feeds a whole family, and it’s literally a blank canvas to pair with any side dishes. Here at Union Wine Co., we especially love it because it goes great with white wine, red wine, rosé or bubbles. How many proteins can say that?

If you’re going through the effort, why not make it the most delicious chicken you can? One easy way to really step up your chicken game is to truss it, or secure it with butchers twine. The reason why this is important is because when you roast an untrussed chicken, the breast cavity remains wide open, allowing too much hot air to circulate inside, drying out the breast before the legs and thighs are properly cooked. Trussing holds the whole chicken together for a moist and evenly roasted finish.

For those of us who have spent time in professional kitchens, trussing is second nature. But for the home cook, this can be a little daunting. That’s why we’ve decided to give you a simple step-by-step process.

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Before you begin, rinse the bird in cool water and pat dry. Then measure out a good amount of butchers twine. Butchers twine can be purchased at most grocery stores but just about any butcher will give you some if you ask nicely. A good measure for length is the width of your arms outstretched. (It is always better to have a little extra twine than not enough.) Then, grab a sharp knife, pour yourself a nice cold glass of Underwood Rosé Bubbles, and let’s get to trussing.

STEP ONE:

Find the middle of your twine and slide in directly under the center of your bird.

How to Truss a Chicken

STEP TWO:

Pull the string forward above the wings.

How to Truss a Chicken

STEP THREE:

Cross the string in front of the bird and pull tight.

How to Truss a Chicken

STEP FOUR:

Pull the twine back toward you, securing the wings to the side of the bird.

How to Truss a Chicken

STEP FIVE:

Cross the twine again under the crown of the chicken (the tip of the breast bone) and pull tight.

STEP SIX:

Push the twine forward coming over the tops of the legs.

How to Truss a Chicken

STEP SEVEN:

Bring the twine back under the drumsticks and pull tight.

How to Truss a Chicken How to Truss a Chicken

STEP EIGHT:

While holding the twine as tight as you can flip the bird over and wrap the string three times and tie a tight double knot. It is VERY important to wrap the twine three times before knotting as this will keep the twine tight and allow for you to knot it without loosening the whole truss.

How to Truss a Chicken

How to Truss a ChickenSTEP NINE:

Trim the excess string and you are ready to roast!

How to Truss a Chicken

Now, if you like, season the bird with olive oil, salt and pepper, place on a bed of chopped up mirepoix (carrots, onion, and celery) and roast in a 375-degree oven for about 1 hour. Cooking time may vary but your bird is done when the thick part of the leg reads 160 degrees.

Bon Appetit!

Thanks to Quincey Sanders (@quinceysanders) from Canard for his expert trussing skills!

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)

Underwood Bubbles and a Traditional Texas Fish Fry

Welcome to Texas Hill Country

Underwood The Bubbles

Texas is so big that if you drive Northwest from Houston for 5 hours, you are still not even technically in ‘West Texas’ but rather a beautiful part of the state called Texas Hill Country (picture the area out past Austin and San Antonio). Known for its tall limestone hills and many beautiful rivers, Texas Hill Country is not only a gorgeous part of the state but visually unlike the rest of Texas. As it happens, my wife and I have family who have a house on several acres out in the region, so we visit whenever we can.

This year I was informed that for our visit, we would be treated to a traditional Texas Fish Fry. I thought it would be fun to share some recipes and also some views of the area for the uninitiated. I also thought that some Underwood Bubbles would be a great addition to the festivities.

The menu included fried catfish, hush puppies, Texas-style coleslaw and peach cobbler. You actually have to drive through a peach orchard to get to their property, but more on that later.

Let’s get the recipes out of the way first so we can enjoy the party!

COLESLAW

Underwood Wine

Unlike many mayo-heavy coleslaws, this crisp and colorful sweet and sour version just uses sugar, oil, and vinegar. It is best made the night before for maximum flavor absorption.

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C cider vinegar
1/4 C vegetable oil
8 C shredded green and purple cabbage
1 C thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 C thinly sliced yellow bell pepper
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 carrot coarsely shredded

Whisk sugar, vinegar, and oil to blend.
Add all ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

HUSHPUPPIES

These little bombers are absolutely integral to a good fish fry. Best made the day of, you can also make them the night before and warm in the oven just before serving. (Makes about 2 dozen.)

2 C yellow cornmeal
1/4 C AP flour
1 t baking soda
1 T baking powder
2 t salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1/2 C finely chopped green onion
1 1/4 C buttermilk
vegetable oil for frying

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Stir in egg, buttermilk and green onions, mixing gently until ingredients are evenly combined.

Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy skillet to 375 degrees. Carefully drop batter by teaspoonfuls and fry until golden brown, turning as necessary. Drain on a paper towel.

And now for the main event.

FRIED CATFISH

There are obviously many variations on the seasonings that go into the batter so feel free to add or subtract as your taste desires.

3-4 lbs of catfish fillets, skin and bones removed
2 C milk
2 T lemon juice
3 C vegetable oil for frying
1 C cornmeal
1 C all-purpose flour
2 t paprika
2 t ground black pepper
1 T kosher salt
2 t garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper

Mix all dry ingredients and set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet until 375 degrees.

Cut fillets into manageable pieces—about 3-4 oz a piece. Combine milk and lemon juice in a baking dish and soak catfish for 5 minutes.

Working in batches, put several pieces of catfish in a strong ziplock bag (Texas Represent!) and shake well.

When fish is evenly coated, gently place in hot oil, frying for 3-4 minutes on each side. If doing several batches, allow the oil to come back to temperature before adding more fish.

Let fried fish drain on paper towels, and keep warm in an oven until ready to serve.

Then all you need is some ice cold Underwood Bubbles, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, ketchup and a few willing participants with big appetites!

Underwood The Bubbles

Underwood The Bubbles

Underwood The Bubbles

Underwood The Bubbles

Underwood The Bubbles

As mentioned above, our family’s neighbor has a huge peach orchard (Roaring Rock Ranch) and is always happy to share his bounty. They usually end up with 20 or so pounds of fresh peaches which they skin, freeze and use throughout the winter.   We thought a traditional peach cobbler (with some Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, of course) would make the perfect end to the party. Apparently, Cobbler gets its name from its biscuit-style topping, which resembles cobblestones. (Ya learn something new every day.)

Underwood The Bubbles

PEACH COBBLER

Underwood Peach Cobbler

1 C AP flour
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 C cold butter- cut into small pieces
2/3 C sugar
1/4 C water
1 T cornstarch
5 C fresh or fresh-frozen peaches
1 egg
1/4 C milk
1 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the topping, stir together flour, the 2 T of sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in chunks of butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

For the filling, combine peaches, sugar, water, and cornstarch in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat and stir until slightly thick and bubbly. Set aside, keeping the mixture warm.

In a small bowl, stir together egg and milk. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until moist. Transfer hot filling mixture to a 2-quart baking dish. Using a spoon, drop flour mixture into 6-8 mounds on top of the filling.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream.

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So there you have it. Everything you need to host your own Texas Hill Country Fish Fry. I want to thank my in-laws, Bob and Virginia for hosting and cooking up such a delicious meal, and my wife, Meredith, for motivating on making the peach cobbler.

Until next time,  Bon Appétit!

Union Wine Co Texas

Underwood The Bubbles

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)

Dinner prepared by Virginia Rizzari, cobbler prepared by Meredith Rizzari.

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

The Montavilla ‘Hood:  
From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper
Featuring Chef Ben Bettinger

Underwood Rosé Bubbles

As Portland expands and more local businesses emerge, we think it’s as important as ever to support the local community.

Recently, we reached out to chef extraordinaire and Montavilla resident Ben Bettinger to show us what he loves about his neighborhood. Ben is part owner of “Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group”, which includes  Laurelhurst Market, La Luna Cafe, Ate-oh-Ate, Reverends BBQ, and Bigs Chicken. He is officially the Executive Chef at Laurelhurst Market as well.

Having recently moved to the East side of Mt. Tabor, Ben often hits up the Montavilla Farmers Market (Sunday 10-2) for all the local produce he needs to create a beautiful dinner for his wife Autumn and son Reed… as well as friends that might stop by. We tasked him with creating a fresh and delicious summer meal that would pair well with our Underwood Rose Bubbles… and oh boy, what a feast he whipped up!

But first, off to the market…

Underwood Rosé Bubbles
From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

Montavilla Market is one of the smaller local weekend markets but offers many options. For stone fruit alone, Fulton Farms has beautiful peaches and nectarines as does Baird Farms. They also offer lots of activities for the kids, including face painting, which Reed took full advantage of.

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

Many other vendors, such as Denison Farms & Crooked Furrow Farm offer beautiful peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, onion, herbs, and many other fresh produce options.

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

Okay,  shopping is done, so let’s get to creating some beautiful dishes.  I personally lucked out, and since Ben and his wife had friends in town, my wife and I were invited over for a truly outstanding Sunday Dinner with the Bettingers. I will let Ben tell you in his own words what was on the menu and how you can make it for yourselves next weekend!

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

White Nectarine, Roasted Onion, and Tomato Relish
(Makes 3 cups)

2 White Nectarine, cut small dice
1/2 Sweet Onion, roasted in a cast iron pan with 1 T olive oil until nice and charred on the cut side
1  Jalapeno, cut in half lengthwise and then into half-moons, remove seeds if you are sensitive to spice
1 small Tomato, Cut into a small dice
1 T Chopped Parsley
1 tsp Chopped Tarragon
6 basil leave, chiffonade
3 T Rice wine vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
salt and pepper
Combine all, adjust with honey if the nectarines are not as sweet as you may like.

This relish will be used on the grilled albacore tuna…

Underwood Rosé Bubbles

Spice Grilled Oregon Albacore Tuna

I chose Albacore tuna because it pairs so well with Rosé and I seasoned the albacore tuna with a spice mix that I refer to as my all-purpose spice mix.

AP Spice mix:
equal parts of the following – I grind all these together in a coffee grinder
Cumin Seed
Yellow Mustard Seed
Corriander
Black Pepper
Fennel Seed

Generously coat the fish with olive oil and liberally sprinkle with the Spice mix.

Tuna does best on a hot grill.  I love these albacore loins because they are so easy to grill whole and slice for a quick backyard BBQ. Top them generously with the Nectarine, Onion and Tomato Relish.

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

Heirloom Tomatoes and Grilled Summer Vegetables, Basil and Aged Balsamic

This is a quick and easy dish that can be put together with any summer vegetables that you may get at the farmers market.  Tomato season is here so that was a no brainer. For this dish, I sliced the tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices, keeping them raw.   I also chose to use Eggplant, Summer Squash, and Onion. These vegetables were coated with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper,  grilled,  arranged over the sliced tomatoes and then drizzled with olive oil, aged balsamic and torn basil leaves.

In this dish, I tried to take the major flavors of a ratatouille and deconstruct it to better enjoy large chunks of the vegetables,  as well as mixing fresh with grilled.

Underwood Rosé Bubbles

(Author’s Note: My wife and I had just harvested a whole garden box full of fingerling potatoes,  so we added them to the local bounty.)

Rizzeamer Farms Garden Potatoes with Sautéed Summer Chanterelles, Garlic, and Oregano

I cooked the potatoes in salted water until just tender(easily pierced with a fork), cut the down the middle, then sautéed them in a cast iron pan with olive, salt, and pepper. Add chanterelles to the pan and a touch more olive oil and gently stir them together, re-season,  add chopped garlic, oregano and parsley and a hearty squeeze of lemon.

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

Ben created the menu to pair perfectly with  Underwood Rose Bubbles, the best choice for a late-summer dinner.

Underwood Rosé Bubbles

Underwood Rosé Bubbles

Grilled Sweet Corn, Seed & Chile Flake Butter, Cilantro Salt

Grilling Corn can be done in many ways.   I chose to grill them whole in the husk, then peel back that husk once they fully cooked, this gives the flavor of being grilled without drying out the corn too much. 
You can’t have corn without butter so I placed a stick of soft butter in a small mason jar and seasoned it with 1 T sesame seeds, 1 T poppy seeds and a pinch of red pepper flakes. I reserved a few tablespoons of butter and poured it over the soft butter and seeds right before eating.

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

Underwood Rosé Bubbles

From Farmers Market to Amazing Summer Supper

Bon Appétit!

Underwood Rosé Bubbles

Photography and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)

Mad kitchen skillz by Ben Bettinger. @benbettinger

Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group:
@laurelhurstmarket
@bigschicken
@lalunacafe
@reverendsbbq
@ateohatepdx

Montavilla Farmers Market: @montavillamarket

Garden Bounty Pt 3. What do I do with all this zucchini?

What do I do with all this zucchini?
If you have ever grown zucchini in your own garden or had a neighbor or co-worker who has grown it, you know all too well that right about this time even the smallest zucchini plants start producing like gangbusters and they suddenly become everyone’s favorite gift. And no matter how much you love this particular Italian veggie, there are only so many things to be done with it before it begins to pile up on your counter.
What do I do with all this zucchini?
So in our continuing series, we have dug deep for a lesser-known, but absolutely delicious recipe to make great use of those few extra zucchini… (even those really giant ones that nobody really knows  what to do with.)
For this post, we are going to teach you a pretty basic zucchini fritter recipe and a delicious creamy Green Goddess dressing to serve along with it.
Let’s start with the dressing,  as it will last several days in the refrigerator. Hopefully, you still have a good cache of fresh herbs in the garden, although you may need to pick up a few at the store.
What do I do with all this zucchini?
Green Goddess Dressing
(recipe makes about 1 pint)
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 C fresh dill fronds
1/2 C fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 C fresh italian parsley leaves
3/4 C mayonnaise
1/2 C sour cream
2 oz cider vinegar
1/2 C buttermilk
salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Place in a tupperware container.  Let sit in the refrigerator overnight and then adjust for seasoning.  Extra dressing is great on grilled meats and fish, as well as most vegetables.
What do I do with all this zucchini?
Zucchini Fritters

(recipe makes about 4-6 fritters)

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 LBS zucchini (about 3 medium zucchini)  grated
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/4 all purpose flour
3 TBS finely chopped fresh chives
1 TBS cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
Canola Oil for frying
STEP ONE
Grate the zucchini, place in the sink in a colander and toss with the tsp of salt.  Let sit for 20 minutes and then wring shredded zucchini dry in a kitchen towel, cloth napkin or cheesecloth.  This step is very important.
What do I do with all this zucchini?
STEP TWO
Place zucchini in a large bowl and gently add in the egg, flour, cornstarch, chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
What do I do with all this zucchini?
STEP THREE
Heat about 1/2 inch of canola oil to about 375 degrees in a large pan. Very very careful place 1/4 C scoops of the batter into the oil and gently flatten. Cook until brown on each side without burning, about 3-4 minutes per side.
What do I do with all this zucchini?
STEP FOUR
Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Place on a platter, spoon a generous amount of Green Goddess over the top. Serve immediately.
Bon Appétit!
Photography, Recipe and Text by David L. Reamer.  (@dlreamer)