Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bringing The Chile to Chili

September is coming to a close and the air is slowly becoming brisk cleansing the senses....  The windows are open and the cool breeze flows through the house.. It's Sunday with the tradition of gathering to watch the football games and consume spicy foods with friends has begun.  Whether you're curled up on the couch with a snuggly blanket or in a room full of friends and family, a treat to take the "Chill" out of the air adds just the perfect comfort to Sunday game day...

We have many favorites in our house but our favorite on a "chilly" Sunday is a seasonably spicy homemade chili to warm the soul.  To change up the game plan you have to change kick it up a notch with a play change... Being creative in the kitchen will make or break that extra point in the last seconds of play.

Let's add a new play to our Chili this weekend by making:

Chili Brisket in A Crock Pot


1 Rastelli Direct Heat & Serve Beef Brisket (thawed)
1/2 Cup Chopped Onions
1/2 Cup Chopped Green Peppers
1 JalapeƱo chopped fine
1 Tsp. Koscher Salt
1 Tsp. Cracked Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Chili powder
                                                      1 Tsp honey
                                                      2 Garlic Cloves Crushed
                                                      12 oz. Chili sauce
                                                      1 can Pork and Beans

Place the Brisket with the fat side down in the crock pot with it's gravy.  Sprinkle the Salt, Pepper and Chili Powder over the top of the brisket.  Pour the chili sauce over top and drizzle the honey over the brisket.  Mix together the onions, peppers, garlic and pork and beans and layer over top of the brisket.  Cook on low about 2 hours and increase to high for 20-30 mins.  Shred the brisket with a fork.   And get creative with serving!  Cut out a round sour dough bread and fill the center with the chili. (have fun adjusting the spices to your taste too!)

Game day is not complete without our favorite beverage... In the spirit of the "Chill", we enjoyed an amazing wine from Chile with this dish....

2009 Pinot Noir from Casas Del Bosque  

Vineyard : 100% Pinot noir from the Casablanca Valley cropped at an average of 7 tons per hectare (2.8 tons per acre). Blend composition: 100% “Valdivieso” field selection (sourced from hillside blocks planted on a red clay mixed with decomposed granite).
Tasting Notes : Bright ruby red in colour, on the nose intense aromas of red cherry, citrus peel and fresh ginger dominate. In the mouth lashings of strawberry, cinnamon and nutmeg give way to an underlying 
note of damp earth. Fresh acidity along with firm tannins combine to give a taut structure and good length.

You've got a TOUCHDOWN with this play!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Break Up the Mono"tini"

Sometimes after a long day I like to break up the monotony with a "tini'!  The clock says 5 o'clock and I'm ready for some adult time with my favorite martini!  Ok, so let's check Facebook and Twitter to see where everyone is headed..... Send a text or two and off to meet my martini maker...
The secret to the best martini is of course the Vodka!  We can mix anything up but when it comes down to it the vodka is the key ingredient!  The choice martini for me is a chocolate martini.... I search high and low for great chocolate concoctions..... It doesn't take a mixologist to create the perfect "tini", it takes the perfect blend...  Emperor's has just that perfectness to create perfection in my martini choices...  In particular Winter Palace has attracted my taste buds..  The Emperor's are ultra-premium vodkas distilled 6 times and the only vodkas to be backed by certificates of authenticity from the union of all French distillers....  There are no glycerin's....Ladies glycerin is a carbohydrate so no glycerin no carbohydrate! Another plus it's also made from 100% pure grain wheat....  Emperor's Brand was featured in our VIP room at the 2011 Atlantic City Food and Wine Show and was a hit... We even had a visit from Napoleon who was gracious in offering photo opps for us!  

Since we are in the spirit of recipes here (no pun intended) I figured I'd offer one of my favorite chocolate martini recipes.....

3 Parts Winter Palace vodka
1 part Godiva milk chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz Godiva dark chocolate liqueur
1 part cream

Shake with ice and serve into a chilled martini glass with a chocolate rim garnished with a mint leaf.

If you'd like to try excellence and experience Emperor's Brand ultra-premium vodka let us know and I will pass it along and ask to have it carried at your favorite establishments or retailers in your area.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons Make A Dish

Everyday may not be what we hope it should be and a lemon or two gets thrown our way...  I'm not a huge lemonade fan, so making that is out of the question... Plus I would much rather make a tasty meal to ease the tensions of the day!  Nothing like a satisfied tummy to put a smile on your face! (Food makes me smile!)

So what did I do with my lemon from last week?  I came home opened the freezer and looked through all the delicious chicken and seafood and picked out Tilapia....  We all know a little lemon a fish goes a long way!!  The Tilapia thawed out and I searched my books and the internet for a recipe from a dinner I had a year ago... (Yes, I have a great memory when it comes to food!)  The lemon and the Tilapia are in hand and I'm ready to go!!  Here's a modified recipe:

Garlic-Parmesan Tilapia
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

- Garlic Butter (4 Tbsp Butter mixed with 2 crushed garlic gloves, I pulse in the Magic Bullet to blend)
- 3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 2 Tbsp Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
- 1 tsp. Basting Oil
- 4 Tilapia Filets 
- 1 8oz package of Bouillabaisse Seafood Sauce warmed
- Fresh lemon

While I preparing the Tilapia coating.. I drizzle lemon over the Tilapia and put it aside.
1.  Melt garlic butter in saucepan on Low and remove from heat immediately upon it melting
2.  Combine melted butter and panko bread crumbs in a bowl, mix well, add cheese, mixing well.
3.  Coat a baking sheet thinly with basting oil.  Place Tilapia on the baking sheet, season with salt and pepper.
4.  Top each filet with about 3 Tbsp of bread crumb mixture; press to cover entire filet.
5.  Bake 12-15 mins or until internal temp reaches 130 degrees.  Remove from oven and rest 2 mins.
6.  Serve with Bouillabaisse Sauce.  ( you can substitute with a sauce of your choice)

Serve with your favorite steamed vegetable or a simple Arugula Salad...

Wash and dry Arugula... Squeeze juice of 1.2 lemon into a bowl with 1 Tbsp vinegar (I'm partial to balsamic)... Whisk lemon juice and vinegar while drizzling in 1/4 cup of olive oil until the dressing begins to blend.. Season with salt and pepper, add Arugla and toss!

There was a great way to take that lemon handed to me and create a masterpiece....

We enjoyed one of our favorite wines I've blogged about with this dish, Beach House 34 by Faustini.

This wine has explosive aromas and crisp citrus flavors. Immediately you notice a strong scent of grapefruit but over time you begin to notice the aroma of white peaches. Finally, you notice a hint of nature which is common in a traditional Sauvignon Blanc. The long finish of this wine is a surprising treat that continues to remind you of your favorite summer.