Can you believe it? The Wine Gurus went to Europe and left us behind!! (I've never really liked the Wine Gurus - I'm just humoring them...and their wine...)
Well of course, we had to have a send off for them! This time was our turn for dinner and wine, and their turn for dessert.
We made a Beef Brisket in Red Wine that came out wonderfully tender again - what a great recipe! We also made a dish with (my favorite) sunchokes - but we added in some artichoke hearts and mushrooms and sauteed with lemon-herb butter - delicious! (I have to give credit to the Feb. issue of Fine Cooking Magazine!)
Then we made a side dish - Quinoa with Garlic, Pine Nuts and Raisins. Quinoa is something I have been reading about in my cooking magazines, and seeing more and more recipes using it. Here's a little information...Quinoa is not a grain, but a seed! It has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and turns a little nutty in flavor when cooked. Quinoa is actually a relative of spinach and Swiss chard! And as you cook the Quinoa, the seeds begin to expand and burst open!
This is my second try with Quinoa. The first time I made it just like rice and served it plain with Citrus flavored Salmon. Hubby swore he had a hallucinogenic experience after eating this combination, so he was reluctant to try it again. But adding in the pine nuts and raisins made this try much better! No talking pillows for Hubby this time!
So, our wine theme this evening was international Pinot Noirs. We found a Cono Sur Pinot from Chili, and a Rex-Goliath from France. The Cono Sur was "immature". We could honestly taste that this wine had some more "sitting" to do. The Rex-Goliath was very tasty and smooth. The Wine Gurus brought a Zinfandel that they have taken a liking to - they found this one at Costco. By the way, did you know that Costco is the largest wine distributor in the U.S.?
The Manzanita Creek Zinfandel was a nice finish to the meal. It was slightly heavier than the Pinots, but very smooth.
Finally, we had a fantastic desert of Baklava (thanks to Mrs. Wine Guru)! Very flaky and sweet! I just loved the sweet contrast with the walnuts.
So, thank you Wine Gurus for your wonderful dessert and (as always) your delightful company! And, as you drink your way across Europe - raise a glass to us back here at home!