Posts Categorized: Recipes

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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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
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:

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)
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)

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
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?
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?
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?
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)

Garden Bounty Pt. 2 What Do I Do with All These Herbs? 3 Simple, Fruit-Based Salads Using Basil, Cilantro, Mint


Continuing with our ‘Garden Bounty’ series, as we brainstormed ideas, one observation kept coming up. At this time of summer, all your fresh herbs are going crazy! You’ve been waiting all year for this to happen, but now it can be a little overwhelming as everything explodes at the same time.

There are ways to dry and preserve herbs, but here at Union Wine Co. we like to live a little more in the moment, so we thought it would be fun to feature a few fresh fruit, herb heavy salads that can be used for lunch, dinner or anywhere in-between. Much like the gazpacho post, there is no cooking involved in these—its just too darn hot right now to be suffering in a sweltering kitchen so with just a little prepping, you will have some great options to serve your guests all summer long. Each recipe will feed 6-8 people.

So without further ado…

Peach, Cucumber and Basil Salad

Most people are big fans of Caprese salad (Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil) which is delicious, but by the middle of summer, it’s nice to have some other options for your extra basil.


Peel and seed 1 large cucumber. Slice into 1/4 inch thick half moons. Cut 5 ripe (but not overripe) peaches into bite sized squares. Arrange on a platter, drizzle with red wine vinegar, olive oil and a little cracked black pepper. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Right before serving, tear some basil leaves with your fingers (this will prevent bruising if your knife is on the dull side) and layer over the top.


Watermelon, Mint and Feta Salad

This unconventional combination will never fail to get compliments-—we promise!


Peel and cube one half of a large seedless watermelon. Arrange on a platter and keep cold until ready to serve. Just before it hits the table crumble some high quality feta cheese over the top, layer with small mint leaves and sprinkle with the juice of half of a lime, a little olive oil  and a little cracked black pepper.


Pineapple, Jicama and Cilantro Salad

Jicama is a lesser know ingredient this far North, but its crunch make a great addition to this salad. At this time of year,  most people’s cilantro is quickly going to seed, so it is most imperative to use it up before its all gone.


Peel and cube one large ripe pineapple, discarding core. Peel and slice half of a large jicama. Cut 1/4 inch thick slices, and then cut those into bite size triangles. Sprinkle with half of a lime, a little olive oil and just a pinch of salt and pepper. Just before serving, mix in a good amount of fresh cilantro.

We hope these recipes with broaden your horizons and help impress your dinner guests all season long.

Bon Appétit!

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

Garden Bounty Pt. 1 A Trio of Gazpachos

Union Wine Co Gazpachos
Now that summer is in full swing, gardeners all over the country are seeing their hard work and dedication beginning to finally bear fruit…and vegetables and herbs. And once the bounty begins, it can really produce a lot of produce very quickly…if ya know what i mean. Even if you aren’t a gardener, your local farmers markets are also beginning to explode with beautiful, colorful fruit and veggies.

So, we decided to run a series of posts about fun, easy recipes that will help put all that great freshly grown produce to good use. For us, Gazpacho is one of the simplest but most pure ways to really celebrate the freshness of the season. There is absolutely no cooking required. Just a little prepping and then a whole lot of blending.

Most people are familiar with the classic Andalusian tomato gazpacho, but there are several other recipes that are just as delicious. With any gazpacho, there is a lot of room for interpretation, so we welcome you to follow our recipes, but we urge you to try your own tweaks or additions. Also, there is a wide variation on the texture of gazpacho. We personally like a chunky gazpacho, as you will see in the following photos, but if you prefer a smoother texture, it’s as simple as just blending longer.

So without further ado, we present a trio of gazpachos*: Tomato, Cucumber and Watermelon.

Tomato Gazpacho

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

*Note: All three recipes make roughly 1 quart of gazpacho each, which will feed 2 to 4 people.


4-5 medium heirloom tomatoes
1/2 large sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 large cucumber
3 roasted red piquillo peppers
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
1/4 C olive oil
a small piece of baguette (optional)
salt & pepper to taste


Peel half the cucumber and remove the seeds. Chop all vegetables into manageable-sized pieces and place in a baking dish. Pour the olive oil and sherry vinegar over the veggies. Season with salt and pepper, mix well and let sit for 10 minutes. If you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’, you can put everything in together. If you are working with a smaller blender, blend in batches, trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch. Blend to desired consistency and refrigerate. When ready to serve, garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh herbs, such as cilantro or basil.  Enjoy with a can of Underwood Pinot Noir.

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

Cucumber Gazpacho

Union Wine Co Gazpachos


2 large cucumbers
1/2 large yellow bell pepper
1/2 large sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic
2/3 C plain whole milk yogurt
1 small bunch of mint
juice of 1/2 a lime
salt & pepper to taste


Peel half of each cucumber. (This will allow for a little texture with the skin, but not too much.) Cut the cucumbers down the middle and remove all seeds. Chop all veggies into manageable-sized pieces. As stated above, if you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’, you can put everything in together. If you are working with a smaller blender, blend in batches, trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch. It is okay to add the lime juice and yogurt at the same time as the veggies. Season with salt and pepper and blend to your desired texture. Keep refrigerated. When ready to serve, garnish with some finely diced cucumber and a mint sprig. Enjoy with an ice cold can of Underwood Pinot Gris.

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

Watermelon Gazpacho

Union Wine Co Gazpachos


1/2 large seedless watermelon (roughly 3 Cups)
1/2 large cucumber
1/2 large red heirloom tomato
1/2 red bell pepper
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar


Peel watermelon and chop into cubes. Peel and seed cucumber. Chop up the tomato and pepper. As stated above, if you have a large blender, such as a ‘Vitamix’, you can put everything in together. If you are working with a smaller blender, blend in batches, trying to get equal amounts of all ingredients in each batch. Blend to desired texture and then refrigerate. When ready to serve, garnish with a few pieces of watermelon and some chopped fresh mint and enjoy with an ice cold
Underwood Rosé.

Union Wine Co Gazpachos

So, as you can see, there are many different styles of gazpacho to enjoy. All can be made several days in advance. And again, feel free to tweak the ingredients, texture and garnishes to fit your personal taste.

Bon Appétit!

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