Grilled Asparagus Recipe

Although in the off-season, aka the part of the year that is not summer, we are perfectly content with steamed asparagus, in warmer months we delight in lighting the grill and relishing flame-kissed tender green stalks of goodness. We then double down on the deliciousness by topping our asparagus with pancetta-shallot vinaigrette. 

Normal 
 0 
 
 
 
 
 false 
 false 
 false 
 
 EN-US 
 JA 
 X-NONE 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
    
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
   
 
 /* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
	mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
	mso-style-noshow:yes;
	mso-style-priority:99;
	mso-style-parent:"";
	mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
	mso-para-margin:0in;
	mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
	mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
	font-size:12.0pt;
	font-family:Cambria;
	mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;
	mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
	mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;
	mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}
 
     Grilled Asparagus in Pancetta Shallot Vinaigrette

Grilled Asparagus in Pancetta Shallot Vinaigrette

Grilled Asparagus in Pancetta Shallot Vinaigrette

Hiking in the hills above our Spanish house we find wild spring asparagus.  We love the old men who collect handfuls and then sell them at the market for 1 euro per bundle.

  • 64 asparagus stalks (approx 3 lbs)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Rinse the asparagus stalks and cut off the bottoms.  Place approx 1/8 cup of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of salt into a zippered plastic bag. Add 1/3 of the asparagus and shake to coat evenly.  Repeat 2 times.  Place stalks directly on the grill for approximately 2-3 minutes.  Remove and place on a serving platter, set aside and do not cover. 

For the Shallot vinaigrette:

3/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup Balsamic vinegar

4 thin slices pancetta

2 small shallots

Maldon salt or Fleur de Sel

Coarse grind black pepper

Fry the pancetta in a large cast iron skillet until almost crisp, turning once.  Drain on paper towels, but conserve the drippings.  When cool, cut or crumble into fine dice.  Finely dice shallots.  

In a glass measuring cup, combine the olive oil, pan drippings, diced shallots, balsamic vinegar and diced pancetta.  Stir well and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside.

Assembly:

Arrange the grilled asparagus on a large serving platter, drizzle the vinaigrette to evenly coat. Top with a few small pinches of Maldon Salt or Fleur de Sel and a few twists of black pepper.  

Wine Pairing: 

Bigi Orvieto Classico, Trebbiano Grechetto Blend, Orvieto, Italy

This lovely wine from the town of Orvieto in Umbria has aromas of fresh peaches and almonds.

From THE FIRE ISLAND COOKBOOK Copyright © 2012 by The World Wine Guys, LLC published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Basil Is Our Favorite Herb

Hands down, basil is our favorite herb; we seriously can not make enough pesto each summer. We know that many of our friends are trying to cut down on carbs and are avoiding pasta, so we have found a great use for all of our pesto. We slather it on grilled chicken breast. Try it for yourself! Pro tip: Pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays and defrosted as needed over the next several months. 

Pesto Smothered Grilled Chicken Breast. Photo by Frances Janisch

Pesto Smothered Grilled Chicken Breast. Photo by Frances Janisch

Pesto Smothered Grilled Chicken Breasts

The hot days of summer cause our garden to grow like wildfire.  We usually have a bumper crop of basil:  And what better way to use it, than to make delicious homemade pesto?  

For the chicken:

  • 4 whole boneless chicken breasts, halved
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Whole basil leaves for garnish
  • Sliced lemons for garnish

In a glass baking pan, marinate the chicken in olive oil, 2 tablespoons of pesto, salt,  pepper, and lemon juice.  Coat both sides of the breasts well.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 

When ready to serve, grill the chicken approximately 5-7 minutes on each side, depending on thickness.

For the Pesto

  • 2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup pignoli nuts (pine nuts)
  • ¼ pound Romano Cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup Olive oil

 

Cut the cheese into 1 to 2 inch chunks.  Place in the food processor and process until coarsely grated. Add in the pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, black pepper, and basil leaves.  Process for approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute, until you have a thick paste.  Use a scraper to push down the sides. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil through the push-tube until you have a thick liquid.  Add salt to taste if necessary. Transfer to an air tight container and set aside.  Do not refrigerate if you plan on using the same day. 

 

Assembly:

Arrange the grilled chicken on a large serving platter.  Spoon pesto over the entire platter.  Garnish with sliced lemons and whole basil leaves.  Serve.

 

Wine Pairings:

Carpineto Dogajolo Bianco, Chardonnay, Grechetto, and Sauvignon Blanc, Tuscany, Italy

A medium bodied Chardonnay, Dogajolo complements the vibrant freshness of home made pesto. 

or

St. Michael Eppan, Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige, Italy

Smooth and slightly racy, this 100% Pinot Bianco from the foothills of the Italian Alps is ideal with this earthy pesto.

 

From THE FIRE ISLAND COOKBOOK Copyright © 2012 by The World Wine Guys, LLC published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Drink Local: Asbury Park Brewery

The past several years have seen a vast increase in a return to "eating local," that is, eating food that is sourced from the area near to the place you live or are currently located. The resurgence of natural and organic farms coupled with the growth of farm stands and farmer's markets has made this endeavor quite easy. However, the "drink local" movement has been slower to catch on, especially for wine drinkers, who may prefer bottles from France or Spain to accompany their Hudson Valley heritage pork or Jersey tomatoes. That said, the boom in small breweries has led to a multitude of choices for beer drinkers, with a panoply of options to be found right in ones own backyard. When we are "in town" (as opposed to traveling the world) we spend time down at the Jersey shore, and this past weekend we were lucky enough to be invited to hear some bands play at the Asbury Park Brewery. We were previously unaware of this very cool space serving excellent brew right off Main Street. Next time you are down there between Thursday and Sunday, make a point visit this little slice of hops heaven at the Jersey Shore. 

The welcoming terrace is a great place to sample a flight of beers with friends on a late summer or autumn afternoon. 

The welcoming terrace is a great place to sample a flight of beers with friends on a late summer or autumn afternoon. 

They really make beer here! 

They really make beer here! 

Ever wonder how beer is made? A simple wall mural en route to the tasting room explains the process. 

Ever wonder how beer is made? A simple wall mural en route to the tasting room explains the process. 

The open floor and side bar provide a terrific space to hear live music while sampling house-made beer. 

The open floor and side bar provide a terrific space to hear live music while sampling house-made beer. 

Four basic styles are brewed year round, with seasonal specials added to round out the offerings.

Four basic styles are brewed year round, with seasonal specials added to round out the offerings.

The roasted stout was our pick on the night we visited. 

The roasted stout was our pick on the night we visited. 

Reclaimed wood settees and tables create comfortable spaces for sipping beer and listening to live music. 

Reclaimed wood settees and tables create comfortable spaces for sipping beer and listening to live music. 

Erotic Novels, the band: Chris Tull (guitar), Bobby C. (drums) and Shannon Perez (bass and vocals) wowed the crowd with their powerful post-punk sound on Sunday, August 20. 

Erotic Novels, the band: Chris Tull (guitar), Bobby C. (drums) and Shannon Perez (bass and vocals) wowed the crowd with their powerful post-punk sound on Sunday, August 20. 

Wines of the Maremma Lunch, Lincoln Restaurant, NYC

   We are familiar with both the wines and region of Morellino, but Montecucco is a relative newcomer to our wine vocabulary. Members of both consorzios were present to talk about the wines, as were representatives from most of the wineries. Morellino is near the coast, less than two hours north of Rome, while Montecucco sits a bit to the northeast, closer to the heart of Tuscany.

Read More

Alfred Gratien Champagne Dinner at Betony, NYC

Lobster with citrus foam and FIVE glasses of Alfred Gratien Champagne at Betony, NYC. 

Lobster with citrus foam and FIVE glasses of Alfred Gratien Champagne at Betony, NYC. 

     We have long been proponents of drinking Champagne any time of year rather than saving it for holidays and special occasions. We also love to drink it alongside food instead of having a glass before dinner and then moving on to still wine. Opening a bottle of Champagne is a celebration in itself and a feast for the senses, from the pop of the cork—whether it is a soft hiss or a loud crack—to the last satisfying sip.

     We recently had the opportunity to enjoy dinner at Betony, one of New York City’s reigning fine-dining palaces, with Olivier Dupré, the CEO of Alfred Gratien, and Suzie Kukaj, Senior PR Manager for Mionetto USA, the brand’s new importer. We enjoyed spirited conversation about wine, Champagne, culture, food, and travel alongside five bottles of Alfred Gratien Champagne. The food was delightful, the service was impeccable, and the Champagne was a delight to the palate. We thought you would enjoy our tasting notes, so that you can choose the bottle of Alfred Gratien that aligns best with the style you prefer.

Alfred Gratien Classic Brut Champagne:  A blend of 46% Chardonnay, 24% Pinot Noir, and 30% Pinot Meunier, the Classic Brut offers crisp, refreshing flavors of green apple and peach with strong minerality and a good level of acidity.

Alfred Gratien Cuvee Paradis Brut 2006:  This blend of 65% Chardonnay and 35% Pinot Noir tasted surprisingly fresh after aging between six and seven years in the bottle. The Paradis Brut features a complex balance of light toasty notes and shimmering acidity. Flavors of apple and pear with a touch of bitter almond fill the mouth through the strong finish.

Alfred Gratien Brut Millésimé 2000: Made from 64% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir, and 11% Pinot Meunier, the Brut Millésimé 2000 is aged in bottle under cork rather than a metal cap, which does nothing to diminish its brightness. It is round in the mouth with a good balance of toasty notes and bracing acidity. Flavors of apple and pair are joined by soft hints of white flowers and slivered almonds.

Alfred Gratien Classic Rosé: Creamy in the mouth, this blend of 42% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay, and 22% Pinot Meunier has flavors of strawberry, peach, and lemon zest. Good mouthfeel and high acidity create a nice tension on the palate that continues into the rewarding finish.

Alfred Gratien Cuvée Paradis Rosé 2007: This deep-pink rosé is a blend of 58% Chardonnay and 42% Pinot Noir. In a word, this is a beautiful Champagne that is equal parts delicate and bold. Flavors of citrus fruits and cherry are accented by touches of orange zest and almond blossom, with strong but not overpowering toast notes present across the entire palate. This was the wine that both of us gravitated to with Betony’s poached lobster in citrus foam.