Jan 7, 2010

This Months Recipes
Double Click on the recipe title for a PDF copy. Enjoy

Cafe Luna Dry Steak Rub

This is one of the "restaurant" tricks people are always asking about: what do you do to your meat that makes it taste so great? Well, let me tell you, we do a "dry rub" - essentially a dry marinade that infuses flavor and tenderness to meats that are incredible. The sugar in the recipe helps break down tough fibers in the meat, and the paprika gives it not only wonderful taste, but a great color. Make enough of this to package up for your best buds. It is a keeper.


Wine Trivia Q & A:

Are there particular wines that go well with ethnic or take out foods? The more complicated the flavors in the food, the simpler the wine should be. The acidity in wine heightens the flavors in food.

Sushi and sashimi - Sparkling wine is perfect. Zippy whites like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc are winners, too.

Japanese teriyaki - Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blends. Spicy Szechwan Chinese dishes. Kung Pao Chicken or Mu Shu Pork, a Riesling or lighter-bodied red like Beaujolais.

Enchiladas, tamales, burritos - Chardonnay with little oak aging, Zinfandel or a young Chianti Classico.

Beef or chicken fajitas with salsa - Pinot Noir, a red Cotes du Rhone, Cab-Shiraz blend from Australia.

Greek roast lamb - Italian reds, California Zifandel, a Shiraz.

Pad Thai and piquant Thai dishes - German Riesling, Gewurztraminer or a fruit-packed Sauvignon Blanc. Indian curries and chutney. Riesling's a good choice; Semillon-Chardonnay blend.

Middle Eastern Dishes - Fruity Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Semillion-Chardonnay blend. Lighter-bodied Chianti, Temprnillo.

Pizza - Works well with many wines. Sangiovese, Chianti, Cabernet.

· Should I leave a wine to breathe? - Simply drawing the cork and leaving the bottle to stand for an hour or two before drinking it - allowing the wine to breathe' - does virtually nothing towards aerating the wine. Rather, pour the wine into a serving decanter or pitcher, thus exposing the wine to the oxygen.

· What should I think about when matching wine with food? - Remember it is a matter of personal taste, so choose combinations you find particularly pleasing. Many wine styles evolved to complement the cuisine of the region, and so this is a good starting point for finding a food and wine combination. Have fun, be brave and experiment. Many excellent combinations have been discovered this way!

· How many bubbles are there in a bottle of champagne? According to scientist Bill Lembeck there are approximately 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne. (On a side note, here is an interesting story about the discovery of Champagne. The 17th century Benedictine monk, Dom Perignon, is credited with discovering the cork as a means to seal wine and champagne bottles. He is also credited with discovering the process of making champagne. It is said that upon his first taste of champagne he cried, "Come quickly, I am tasting stars.")

· What does the term "Blanc de Noir" refer to? The term "Blanc de Noir" refers to white wine made from red/black grapes.

· Is wine good for you? There is growing scientific evidence that regular moderate consumption of wine is good for you. Red wine in particular is said to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The cholesterol that blocks arteries is low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LPD). This is cleared from the blood by high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HPD). Both are carried in the blood.

· Why is cork used to stop wine bottles? Cork is used to stop wine bottles because its structure renders it light, elastic, and impermeable to most liquids and gases. Corks are produced using the bark of cork trees grown in the western Mediterranean.

· What are sulfites and should I be worried about them? Sulfite is a term used to describe sulfur dioxide and other sulfur derivatives. Sulfites are found in all wines as they are a natural product of fermentation. Sulfur dioxide is used in wine making to prevent oxidation, kill bacteria and wild yeasts, and encourage quick and clean fermentation. The U.S. government requires wine labels to include "Contains Sulfites" to alert those who may be allergic to sulfites. Approximately 1% of the population is allergic to sulfites.

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