Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Sips & Nibbles

Welcome to a special Friday edition of my Sips & Nibbles column, where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.  It has been a very busy time so there has been plenty to talk about and recommend.
1) Beginning this year, the Ashmont Grill will donate $3 of every $30 from their Monday Night Wine Club dinners to a local organization or cause chosen by chef-owner Chris Douglass, whose charitable roots in Dorchester go deep. As ever, the club takes walk-ins or reservations, seating is communal, and an expert will speak.  Monday Night Wine Club begins at 6:30 PM.

24- EOS Estate, a solar-powered winery from Paso Robles
31 - Under the Tuscan Sun
7 - Murphy Goode Vineyard
14 - Sweets & Treats (dessert wines for Valentine's Day)
21 - Zinfandels
28 - Wines From Down Under
7 - Au Bon Climat Winery
14 - Go "Green" with Yellow & Blue (a super eco-friendly packaged wine & one of my favorites!)
21 - California Dreaming
28 - France's Greatest Hits

On the winter dinner menu: Beer-Battered Shrimp with Fennel Slaw is back by popular demand, as are Spicy Barbacoa Beef Tostadas and Turkey Pot Pie.  Chef de Cuisine John Rush also presents: Smoked Duck Breast with frisee and pickled pears; BBQ Braised Pork Belly with persimmon, white beans and macadamias; Salad of Ham, Sunchokes, Cranberries and Feta; Scottish Salmon in Blood Orange Sauce; and Butternut Soup with toasted pepitas, marshmallow and crispy sage leaves.

2) Chef Peppino of Da Vinci Ristorante is adding yet another unique and tasty treat to his every growing list of frozen concoctions! Known for his signature flavors like Lobster Gelato (delicious), Champagne Gelato & Celery Sorbet, his newest creation is: Blood Orange Spicy Gelato.

This gelato is a dish that blends Italian/Indian traditions, as these are the two cultures closest to Chef’s heart.  You can stop by the restaurant to check it out, or you can even try to make it yourself at home with the following recipe.

Blood Orange Spicy Gelato
- 2 cups dry milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 8 egg yolks
- 2.5 cups heavy cream
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 cup blood orange puree
- 1 Jalapenos (whole)
- 1/2 Jalapeno, skin only (diced)
- 20 pcs. Green cardamom

Mix milk, heavy cream, jalapeno (whole), and green cardamom in a sauce pan. Heat until the mix starts boiling and add dry milk and sugar. Cook in slow heat for 10 minutes. Let mix cool down completely, add egg yolk and blood orange puree. Mix and strain. Put mix in ice cream machine, add diced jalapeno skin and mix for 25 minutes (or until ready).

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