Posts Tagged ‘zinfandel


Field Trip to Napa: Oakville Grocery and Cakebread Cellars

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Sirloin Sliders with Cave-Aged Cheddar and Onion Jam with Sweet Potato Fries

These mini-burgers came from a Food and Wine recipe for Stilton Sirloin Burgers with Onion Jam from the Bar at the Peninsula in Chicago.  According to the Food and Wine write-up, “During the daily Gentleman’s Retreat Tea, these juicy mini cheeseburgers are served with a glass of The Peninsula’s house bourbon and a cigar.”

The main tweak I made was to use local Minnesota cave-finished cheddar – Fini Extra Sharp from the Caves at Faribault.  The onion jam was tasty, but the recipe made about twice as much as was needed for eight mini-burgers.  For buns, I used small rolls from the grocery store bakery.

Sweet potato fries were a great accompaniment to the sliders.  I like Alexia frozen sweet
potato fries for a quick and easy side.

I used Dynamite Vineyards 2006 North Coast Zinfandel in the red onion jam and served
it with the meal.  Zinfandel is a great match for burgers and other grilled foods.


Pasta Bolognese

I love to make this recipe when cooler weather rolls around.  It takes over an hour to cook, so it’s one of those dishes with deep, rich flavor.  The Pasta Bolognese recipe I used is from Food and Wine.

I didn’t make major changes to the recipe, just a few minor tweaks based on ingredient availability:

1)  I didn’t have veal, so I just used ground beef and ground pork.

2)  I didn’t have canned whole tomatoes, but I did have tomato puree, so I used that instead. Another Bolognese recipe I’ve seen uses the puree, so I figured it would work out ok.

3)  I didn’t have chicken stock or broth, so I used beef bouillon instead.

4)  I grated some Parmigiano Reggiano to sprinkle on the dish when it’s ready.   I put the Parmesan rind in the sauce while it cooked to add flavor and then removed it when the sauce was ready.

The Food and Wine recipe makes 8-10 servings and there were just 2 of us, so I made a much smaller amount of the penne pasta and froze the extra sauce.  Since this dish takes a while to cook, it’s really nice to be able to pull a batch out of the freezer at short notice.


We drank Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 with this dish.  Zinfandel, Shiraz, Barbera or Chianti would all probably work with Bolognese.

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