I know that you can all tell how much I love party food, I’ve been making a lot of it these days. Food to serve to other people. Every country in the world will tell you how important food is to their culture, how community happens around a table, how love grows between mouthfuls of hand made food. It’s too bad that hasn’t become ingrained in Americans. We have "fast" food, as if we just need to get through the meal as quickly as possible to move on to better things like…reality TV? Whats the rush? Why don’t more people savor meal times, enjoy it as a journey and view food as too sacred to be "Fast"? Or take time to make food for as well as WITH their loved ones?
Blackberry Cabernet Wontons
3 cups of blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, (plus 1/4 cup for dusting, divided)
1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 tsp salt
14-16 wonton wrappers
In a pot over medium heat, add the blackberries, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, wine and salt. allow to cook and reduce until the liquid becomes very thick, with tracks left behind when you drag a spoon through the pan, about 10-15 minutes. Frozen berries have a higher water content, so those will take longer than fresh.
Allow to cool.
Place the wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Brush all of the edges with water.
Place about 1 to 2 tsp of blackberries in the center of the wonton paper.
Fold the wonton paper in half to form a triangle, press the edges together until very well sealed.
Brush the bottom of the triangle with water and fold the corners into the center and press into shape.
Heat 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil (enough to form about 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom of your pan) in a pan over medium-high heat.
Cook the wontons, about 6 at a time, on each side until golden brown. About 3 minutes per side.
Remove from pan and allow to dry on a stack of paper towels.
I’ve had a few people ask me about Wine Week. Specifically, if Don Sebastiani & Son's paid me for these post. Nope. I really do love these wines. Some are even under $10.
They didn’t even ask me to post about the wine. Just sent me an email and asked if they could send me a shipment of wine, with recipes that are perfectly paired to each bottle.
Here is some advice: If someone asks if they can send you wine, asking nothing in return, Say Yes.
I felt so flattered that I was asked, and so excited to have this project to work on. They even included information and advice about pairing wine and food. So I got to learn a few things. OK, a bunch of things.
But, more than anything, it feels like a small step towards my goals that I’ve been working so hard on. Being taken seriously in the world of food, and someday being able to make enough of an income from it that I get to spend more time at home with my little lady.
And, I got to make food like this:
The only thing I changed about the recipe they sent over was the crust. The recipe called for a store bought tortilla, which, I’m sure is fine. But I made these tortillas using all the fat I save every time I cook bacon, and they were so delicious, and really, super easy, I wanted to make them again. Plus, they cost about 16 cents to make.
If you have never made your own tortillas, I promise you, it is so easy. Sounds hard, right? It’s not. At all. Plus, it is SO SO SO much better than the ones you buy at the store, it’s like a completely different food. And it takes about 10 minutes, and then you let them rest for about 20 minutes while you are getting everything else together. You can do that. I swear.
This recipe was paired with Project Paso Red Wine Blend. I really like blends, it’s like they take all the good stuff from each type of wine and mix them all together. This, like the Pepperwood Grove, is a high acid, low tannin wine that is pretty easy to pair with most entrees. It can even go with pork or chicken dishes. This would be a great wine to serve if you are having Fancy Pizza Night. Which you should.
Pizzetta With Bacon Fat Tortilla Crust
2 cups of flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbs bacon fat (can use butter or lard as a substitute)
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
12 Kalamata olives, pitted and cut into quarters
8-12 oz Smoked Mozzarella
2 tsp chopped walnuts
Makes 8 small pizzas
After cooking bacon in a skillet, save your bacon grease by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer into a container with a tight lid (just pour the next round on the top of the previous) and keeping it in the fridge. This stuff is liquid gold, don’t pour it down the drain.
Combine the flour and bacon fat in a large mixing bowl, working in the fat with your fingers, until completely incorporated.
Dissolve the salt in the water, pour about 1/3 cup of it over the dry ingredients and immediately work it in with a fork.
The dough will be in large clumps rather than a homogeneous mass.
If all the dry ingredients haven’t been dampened, add the rest of the liquid (plus a little more, if necessary).
Scoop the dough onto your floured work surface
and knead until smooth.
It should be medium-stiff consistency — definitely not firm, but not quite as soft as most bread dough either.
Divide the dough into 8 portions and roll each into a ball.
The best way to do this is to cut the dough into two equal portions. Then cut each of those in half, so you now have four. Then cut each of those four in half and you now have eight. Set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at for 20-30 minutes (to make the dough less springy, easier to roll).
While those are resting, prepare the toppings. Roughly chop the caraway seeds and add to a small bowl. Add the oregano, thyme, black pepper and salt, stir to combine.
Slice your cheese into thin slices (you can also grate it).
You can either press your tortillas using a tortilla press lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, which I used. I rotated the tortilla and pressed it several times
*Make sure your tortillas are VERY thin & flat before cooking. Much thinner than pie dough in order for it cook all the way through.
or you can roll them with a rolling pin using this method:
On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough into an even 7-inch circle: Flatten a ball of dough, flour it, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a 7-inch circle, lightly flouring the tortilla and work surface from time to time.
If you have a grill pan, I would highly recommend using it, if not you can use a heavy skillet heated over medium to medium-high heat. Brush the tortilla with olive oil and Lay the tortilla on the hot grill pan.
After 30 to 45 seconds, when there are browned splotches underneath, flip it over. You will know it is time to flip when the edges look dry and lighter in color. Brush again with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning mix. Top with the cheese, then the olives and walnuts. Cook until the cheese has melted. Repeat for all tortillas.
I loved (LOVED!!) this recipe and pairing. I am much more of a red wine person and learning about versatile red, with a higher acidity and lower tannin level than most reds, I am able to serve a red wine as a stand in where most people would typically put a white. Because, remember, pairing is more about acid and tannin levels than white versus red.
I CAN have a red wine with white meat!! As long as I can pick the right one.
I really liked this wine, and I loved that I am now able to pair a red wine with white meat if I so desire. Still maybe a bit to tannin heavy for a light, white fish, but works perfect with pork or possibly a chicken dish. AND It’s UNDER $10!! I love that. I love that I can serve a beautiful wine, paired perfectly with my beautiful salad, and no one will ever know that I so incredibly affordable.
This was a recipe that I followed the closest. And I loved it so much I made it twice in the same week. It is easy, full of flavor and has a fancy boldness that is perfect for a dinner party.
It has a super easy homemade dressing that you mix right in the salad bowl.