It’s been a wild summer and we’ve been trying to keep up with all that is going on around us, while still hoping to provide some great recipes and ideas you’ll enjoy! This week we wanted to do a Summer Round-up of yours—and our—favorites from the last several months.
This recipe, our Radler brined rack of ribs, was a huge hit! I hope some of you tried it or will try it soon!
Who doesn’t enjoy a homemade popsicle during the hot summer months? We were particularly proud of these beautiful and tasty pops made with Underwood Rosé and fresh berries—our Pink & Polka Dot Ice Pops.
The times have certainly changed of late and we want to protect as many people as possible, starting with our employees. This post on how to get creative and make your own mask was educational and inspirational. Joanna is a pro at making fun and stylish masks and we were so happy she shared her sewing secrets with us.
And finally, who doesn’t love to follow along on other people’s adventures when they are as amazing as a day in the life of Cheney?! Cheney is a winemaker at Union and an active guy —it can be hard to keep up with him when he’s having fun. This post helps us enjoy the ride without going to too much trouble!
Those are our favorites. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Take good care out there! Be careful and keep safe.
I honestly don’t know how the whole thing got started. When most people think BBQ skewers, they envision a full meal on a stick: chicken next to onions next to peppers next to more (raw) chicken. You even see this at many meat counters around town. But that’s just not the way to get the job done. Ignoring for a moment that you really don’t want your raw chicken, seafood, or beef crammed up next to your uncooked veggies, all of those ingredients have different cooking times, and it’s crazy to think they can all be cooked correctly, all jammed together, over an open flame. And since undercooked protein is never an option, it’s always the poor veggies that suffer.
But don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. There are two main rules for successful BBQ skewers. First, each ingredient gets it’s own skewer, and secondly, go big with your ingredients and cut sizes, ensuring that everything stays safely secured to their sticks during cooking. You can always cut everything smaller before serving. I found it best years ago to invest in metal skewers but if you use wooden ones, just make sure to soak them in water for several hours beforehand so they don’t burn on the grill.
With this approach to your dinner, you will want to have a slightly more involved game plan for the meal, since you will need to remove all the cooked food from the skewers before serving. So what we planned was a family-style meal of grilled shrimp and vegetables with Soy Vay Teriyaki Sauce and fresh Rau Ram (Vietnamese Coriander—more on that in a bit) over rice. Here’s what you will need to feed 2-3 people:
1 large sweet onion
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
About 8 large crimini mushrooms
8 to 10 large Tiger Prawns
1 bottle Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki Sauce
1 & 1/2 C uncooked white (or brown if you prefer) rice
1 bunch of fresh Rau Ram
Olive Oil, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 ice-cold bottle of Underwood Pinot Gris
In these times of COVID, when I have a long shopping list, I will go to a big supermarket. But when I only need a few ingredients, I have been going out of my way to visit and support some of the small and often times open-air markets around Portland. Right down the street from my studio is a small produce market called Berry Good Produce (5523 SE 28th Ave). I picked up my peppers, onions, and mushrooms there. They always have a great selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables and no long checkout lines.
Next, I swung by ABC Seafood (6509 SE Powell Blvd). If you’ve never been, it is definitely worth checking out. For a very small shop, they have an amazing selection of locally caught seafood. It’s the only place around town to get fresh large Tiger Prawns. During Dungeness crab season, their live selection and prices are unbeatable.
I was also able to pick up some fresh Rau Ram there. If you’ve never tried this herb, it’s wildly memorable, to say the least. It’s kind of like a cross between basil and cilantro, but also has a distinct flavor, unlike any other herb I have ever come across. Here it is pictured below. Once you try it, you will always be able to immediately identify it.
You can pick up the Soy Vay at most small supermarkets. This is a delicious and versatile product that we will be using both as a marinade for the shrimp and as a sauce on our final dish.
Now that our shopping is done, let’s get to prepping. Years ago, when I was cooking at Paley’s Place, a dishwasher there showed me a quick and painless way to peel and clean ‘shell on’ shrimp. With a pair of kitchen scissors, clip halfway down the top of the shrimp, just cutting slightly into the flesh, to both make peeling easier and opening up a channel to “devein” it as well. (That’s when you remove the little center intestinal track.)
To prep out the onion, cut it in half straight through the base, peel it, and then cut each half into segments, leaving just a little bit of the stem to hold the pieces together like this:
And now we can finally get to skewering!
I try to cut the peppers into large uneven shapes to make them more secure and pick up better grill marks:
People often ask how to skewer mushrooms without having them split. Well, the first way is to get bigger mushrooms so there is more to work with, but also, if you skewer them at an angle, instead of straight through the stem, they will hold much more firmly, and also have more of the cap open to the grill surface:
Finally, I always skewer my shrimp fat side down to make sure the tip goes straight through the thickest part, rotating 45 degrees each time:
Once these are all complete, fire up your grill and start cooking your rice. Pour 3 Tbs of the marinade over the shrimp skewer and liberally oil, salt, and pepper the vegetable skewers. When the grill is good and hot, place the skewers on and tend to each as necessary, flipping and removing each when cooked through.
Allow the skewers to cool slightly and then remove the shrimp and veggies. You can leave everything whole or cut into smaller pieces at this point. Put everything into a bowl and mix in another 1/4 C of the Soy Vay. Spread your cooked rice on a platter and spoon the shrimp and veggies over the top. Garish with the fresh Rau Ram leaves.
Get out the chopsticks, crack open your ice-cold bottle of Underwood Pinot Gris and you are in business!
Bon Appétit, please stay safe out there and keep those
Happy Labor Day Everybody!
VOTING HISTORY 101
DID YOU KNOW
Oregon was the first state to offer mail-in ballots for the presidential election back in 1998
Oregon had a 79% turn out rate that year.
DID YOU KNOW
Oregon mail-in ballots have an accuracy rate of 99.8%?
In a University of Oregon survey, 30% of respondents said they voted more often since vote-by-mail was enacted.
IT’S YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE!
And it’s EASY!
You can do it from your living room, your back yard, or even your bathroom!
SO SIMPLE AND EASY AND SAFE!
DM us on our Instagram channel and let us know how you plan to vote.
Will you celebrate somehow? We suggest you pop open a can of wine!
Cheers to you! Thanks for voting!
As I’m sure many people out there can relate to, working from home, although a novelty at first, has definitely got its down sides. The biggest of which is missing the camaraderie, conversations and socialization found in a typical office setting. For instance, my wife Meredith works for CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate service company. CBRE’s main Downtown Portland office closed back in March with no real plan of reopening any time soon.
Luckily, everyone was able to work from home, but for an office of folks used to weekly meet-ups, trivia nights and happy hours, those plans very suddenly evaporated. Now that people are feeling more comfortable getting together in small groups
(and of course respecting the rules of social distancing), Meredith thought it would be fun to “get the old gang back together”, as they say, and have a driveway gathering to reconnect. I was tasked with coming up with a signature cocktail to serve and some appropriate local cuisine. So without further ado, I present…
The Tequila Sunrise Radler
(This will make one drink. Multiply out for the amount of people you are entertaining.)
2 oz Reposado Tequilla (I like Lunazul.)
4 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Grenadine
1 can of Underwood Riesling Radler
I found it easiest and safest to measure and mix the tequila and OJ in a separate pitcher before beginning. As the always dapper and talented Michael is demonstrating, line up your glasses—we found 16 oz Mason Jars best for this—fill with ice and add your tequila and OJ mix to just under halfway up the glass.
Then, in true Tequila Sunrise fashion, gently add 1/4 oz of grenadine to each glass, thus creating the sunrise effect.
Distribute your drinks and at this point have each party member come up and grab their own can of the Reisling Radler.
Then, have each person top off their cocktail with the Radler, and continue to do so as they consume their cocktail, adding a little Radler each time there is room in the glass.
I thought that tacos would go great with this drink and since we have an amazing locally owned taqueria at the end of our street, it was a great opportunity to support a local business and also offer something that could be easily and safely self-served by each person.
If you are in the Burnside/82nd Ave area, definitely stop into Taqueria Santa Cruz for some amazing tacos or burritos. (I highly recommend the chorizo and if you are feeling adventurous, the lenqua.)
To keep everything “hands-free”, all chips were individually bowled up, the sauces were separated and tongs were used to serve the tacos.
And it never hurts to have a little hand sanitizer at the ready for anyone who feels the need.
And once the cocktails are in hand and the tacos are plated, its time to relax and catch up.
No carne asada for the puppers…
And with these beautiful summer evenings, what better and safer way to get home than on your bicycle?
So, there you have a solid groundwork for a full evening of entertainment to reconnect with whomever in your life you have been missing. All we ask is that you stay safe and responsible and of course keep those