|Bonjour Les Amis,This week my mind is on red wines & with good-timing since I got in some exotic new sausages. There’s just a hint of autumn in the air, but my garden is exploding with tomatoes & zucchini!A Bientot,
Nicky Farms Veal & Porcini Sausage $11.99
Silvies Valley Ranch heritage veal fed on clover & wildflowers–just writing that made me hungry. Add porcinis & Oregon Chardonnay for one flavorful sausage. I like the chef’s suggestion of combining this with a cream sauce & fresh pasta.
Nicky Farms Venison & Rabbit Sausage $11.99
Nicky Farms began by raising rabbits, supplying local restaurants, and this is their flagship sausage. Natural meat is combined with dried cranberries & applewood smoked bacon. At first this was only made during the holidays, but proved too popular. I can only imagine how great this would be in a Thanksgiving stuffing.
Nicky Farms Water Buffalo 5 Spice Sausage $13.99
Water Buffalo & beef ground together, seasoned with 5 Spice powder & Sriracha. Grill & serve with lettuce leaves, sticky rice, cucumbers, cilantro & peanuts.
Vacherousse d’Argental $27.99 lb
We love Brebirousse so much that we decided to bring in the “Red Cow” as well. Made in Lyon, this is a creamy, salty delight. The annatto rub gives it a washed rind appearance, but without the funky side. A crowd-pleaser for sure.
Cuvee des Galets 2013, Cotes du Rhone $9.99
Made by a cooperative east of Nimes, this is a delightful unoaked, unfiltered blend of Grenache, Syrah & Carignan. What sets this apart–grapes are selected in single cuvees from the best plots of each of the 10 vigneron members. I grilled up a hanger steak to go with this.
Pichot Roucas 2013, Vin de Pays Mediterranee $14.99
An incredibly charming wine! The label, drawn by winemaker Eric Bouletin, pictures a bicycle his late father gave him for his 12th birthday. This is essentially declassified Vacqueras, made with old vine Grenache & Carignan & new vines of Syrah. Tons of white pepper, orange, pomegranate & bramble berries.
Domaine d’Andezon 2012, Cotes du Rhone $14.99
“A blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache aged in 2-3-year-old French oak barrels for 12 months prior to bottling, the 2012 Andezon Cotes du Rhone has more of a Northern Rhone personality than usual. Notes of black olives, bacon fat, flowers, cassis and black cherries are found in this medium-bodied, fruity, soft 2012 along with excellent purity and noticeable tannins”
90 Points The Wine Advocate
Chateau Bourbon La Chapelle 2011, Medoc $16.99
I tasted this & requested a case on the spot. The second property of Chateau Castera, this uses grapes from one of the Medoc’s oldest vineyards. 60% Cab, 40% Merlot with 6 months in oak. Smoky bacon nose with smooth black currants & plums. Balthazar in NY serves this very wine for $13 a glass.
© John Kernick
Tomato Salad with Camembert Fondue
8 small Italian plum tomatoes or large cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- Two 3/4-inch-thick slices of rustic country bread
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1/4 cup mushroom or vegetable stock
- 3 ounces Brie or Camembertwith the rind, chopped and at room temperature
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, 1 chopped, 1 thinly sliced
- Basil leaves, for garnish
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 300°. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a sharp knife, score an X on the bottom of each plum tomato. Blanch just until the skins start to peel back, 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to the ice bath to cool, then peel them.
- Set the peeled tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle with the thyme and sugar and season with salt. Toss to coat. Roast the tomatoes for 1 hour, until very soft but not too shriveled. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the bread and toast over moderate heat until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and rub both sides with the garlic clove. Tear into bite-size croutons.
- In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a light simmer. Place the cheese in a blender, add the stock and puree until completely smooth.
- Spoon some of the warm cheese fondue onto plates. Top with the heirloom tomatoes, roasted tomatoes and croutons. Garnish with basil and sea salt and serve.
MAKE AHEAD The roasted tomatoes can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.