I’m a huge proponent of authentic German food, especially during the fall months, and I wanted to share the happy, warm feeling I get from this comfort cuisine with you all. I will admit, this recipe is cheating just a little bit, because I mostly use the easiest packaged dry ingredients where I felt was necessary. I don’t think packaged is necessarily bad, but actually making Bavarian egg noodles from scratch just sounds like a headache to me. Plus, these ingredients actually come from Germany, so there has to be some level of authenticity to them, right? Anyway, I hope you consider making this tasty German specialty. It pairs amazingly with our crisp, California-style Charlie Rae Chardonnay!
*The Maggi Fix & Frisch Kase-Spatzle and Bechtle Traditional German Egg Noodles Spaetzle can be found on Amazon or at Cost Plus World Market online or in-store.
In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium. Add small diced yellow onion and sautée until soft and slightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Prepare dry German egg noodles as directed on package.
While German egg noodles are cooking, heat the remaining olive oil on medium in the large pan. Stir in sliced yellow onion and sautée until soft and slightly browned. Add chicken apple sausages and cook until slightly brown on all sides, turning occasionally. Add mushrooms and Chardonnay and continue to cook until mushrooms are soft and wine has been cooked out.
When noodles are still hot and have been drained, add chopped Jarlsberg cheese and stir well. Add packet dry Maggi Fix & Frisch and sautéed onions. Mix well.
Enjoy the cheese spaetzle and chicken apple sausages with some Terrapin Ridge Pumpkin Honey Mustard (can be found at McGrail) and a glass of McGrail Charlie Rae Chardonnay!
There’s not much to dislike about this delicious dish that features the most trendy vegetable with a classically bad reputation. Yep, not everyone loves Brussels sprouts, but this recipe does the downtrodden, cruciferous veggie justice. Put simply, this warm balsamic bacon Brussels sprouts dish tones down the tannins and balances the earthiness in our McGrail estate Clone 8 Cabernet.
What’s not to love about this classic Bavarian dish with a delicious Cab? This easy German red cabbage recipe and award-winning Cab are a no-brainer! There are just eight simple ingredients and three steps to whipping up this delectable fare that can be served cold or hot.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium in a large frying pan.
In a medium sized bowl, add cubed beef roast, 1 tablespoon minced garlic. Stir.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over beef, while stirring, to coat evenly.
Slowly coat beef chunks flour with flour and stir to coat evenly.
Cook dredged beef and sprigs of rosemary in hot olive oil, stirring constantly, until beef is just browned around edges. Remove from pan and set aside. Toss rosemary sprigs.
In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and chopped bacon, then stir until bacon is cooked through. Add 1 tablespoon minced garlic, chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Sautee until soft.
In a large crockpot, add browned beef, cooked bacon and veggie mixture, chopped herbs, leeks, bay leaves, beef broth, tomato sauce, Irish stout, and red wine. Stir. Cover and cook on high for about 2-3 hours or until stew has began bubbling.
Remove one of the two bay leaves and add the potatoes. Stir. Continue to cook on high for about 1.5-2 more hours or until potatoes have been cooked through.
Add frozen peas to soup and stir.
Serve stew hot with toasted herb focaccia bread and a glass or two of 2017 McGrail Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.
It’s summertime, which means most people are drinking crisp, chilled white wines. Accordingly, I’ve been coming up with more recipes for white wine pairings. This pairing suggestion came from Heather McGrail, who loves to recommend healthier versions to classic meals. Using just a bit of butter, a lean protein like shrimp, and veggies as an alternative to starch, I’d say this pairing is a bit more healthy than most. Not only is it delectable, it’s also wonderful paired with our McGrail Family Chardonnay!
Prawns In Lemon White Wine Sauce Over Zucchini Noodles & Cous Cous
Makes 3 servings.
¾ lb. fresh uncooked shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails on
1 cup water
½ cup milk
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup uncooked couscous
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 heaping tbsp. minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp. dry white wine
2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
4 ½ cups zucchini noodles
3 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
In a medium bowl, soak shrimp for 6-12 hours in a mixture of water, milk, and apple cider vinegar to reduce fishy taste and smell. Dump liquid and rinse shrimp well before using.
Make couscous as directed. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Once hot, add butter and garlic. Brown garlic in butter-oil mixture.
Add shrimp to pan and season well with salt and pepper. Stir in white wine, lemon juice, cayenne, and zucchini noodles and cook for about five minutes or until shrimp are cooked through, stirring constantly.
Add more salt and pepper to pan as necessary. Sprinkle parsley leaves over pan and stir well.
Spoon most of the excess sauce from shrimp and noodle pan and stir into couscous.
Serve couscous with shrimp and zucchini noodles alongside some McGrail Family Chardonnay. Enjoy!
If you’re anything like me, you live for the amazing fruits and veggies that come around during summer, but still, the quarantine hasn’t been great for your summer bod. Not being able to go to the gym and being stuck at home with a stocked fridge and an overflowing wine closet has physically put me more in a winter state than a summer one. Because of this, I’ve included some alternatives to certain ingredients and some optional steps, as to offer healthier versions of this scrumptious summertime supper. This cheesy summer squash casserole has become a go-to recipe for my family because it’s so easy to make!
1-2 cups shredded cheese blend (medium cheddar, Jarlsberg, and even a lite blend are fine), separated
1-1 1/2 cups grated parmesan, separated
3/4-1 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, separated
Optional: 1/4 cup butter, melted
2 (6 oz.) packages of macaroni and cheese (I used Annie’s organic mac and cheese with 12g protein for a healthier alternative to regular Kraft)
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat olive oil on medium-low in a large skillet. Add minced garlic and chopped onions and cook until soft and browned.
Add sliced zucchini and squash. Season with pepper to taste. Cook thoroughly, until soft.
In a large casserole tray (I used a 9″x13″ tray), break up your steamed cauliflower and broccoli into 1″ chunks. Sprinkle with pepper, cooked corn kernels, 3/4 cup shredded cheese blend (optional), 1/2 cup parmesan (optional), 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (optional), and melted butter (optional).
Evenly spread cooked zucchini and squash on top. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese blend and 1/2 cup grated parmesan on top.
Prepare your macaroni and cheese as directed on package.
Evenly spread your prepared macaroni and cheese over the casserole pan. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese blend, 1/2 cup parmesan, and 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs. Add pepper to taste.
Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling inside and the top is crispy and browned.
It’s the time of the year when your friends, neighbors, and coworkers all seem to have an overabundance of some sort of delicious, fresh produce from their home garden. This past week I had pluots, figs, tomatoes, and zucchini shared with me. Since stone fruit is so good in pies, is super seasonal, and I had more than I would probably eat normally, a pie seemed like the best use for these tasty treats. With a bottle of our new and bold, but jammy Malbec filled with notes of plum and blackberry, I opted for this sweet summertime pairing. Enjoy this delicious mid-summer pluot blackberry amaretto pie with our incredibly inky and fruit-forward Malbec!
3 large, ripe pluots, pits removed, chopped into ½” pieces
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. amaretto (I used Disaronno)
Extra sugar to sprinkle on top of pie crust.
Remove pie crusts from freezer and allow to defrost completely.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Cut vanilla bean down the middle. Use a spoon to scoop vanilla beans out of shell into a medium bowl. Add ½ cup sugar. Take vanilla bean and rub inside with sugar to work the remaining tiny vanilla beans out of the shell. Stir vanilla beans and sugar, so they are evenly dispersed (vanilla beans will clump together).
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to sugar and vanilla mixture. Stir well.
In a large bowl, combine blackberries, chopped pluots, lemon juice, and amaretto. Stir.
Add sugar mixture to fruit mixture and fold together well.
Oil a 9” glass pie pan. Place one pie crust in pan. Pour pie filling into crust. Use extra pie crust to create a lattice over the filling or another classic pie crust design.
Bake pie at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake pie for 15 minutes. Sprinkle pie with sugar and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until baked completely.
Allow pie to cool for about 45 minutes or longer before serving. Enjoy with a glass of McGrail Malbec.
I am a huge fan of the delicious summer veggies that come with living in California and the tail end of summer seems to give us the cream of the crop (pun intended). Having easy access to what is arguably the best corn in the world here in the east Bay Area, I’m going to eat it at nearly every chance I get. A hearty, chunky corn chowder is one of my all-time favorite dishes and it’s even more excellent alongside our yummy McGrail Family Chardonnay. This chowder is filling, but so fresh and flavorful. I can’t get enough. I hope you enjoy this tasty summertime treat as much as I do!
For those who are vegan or vegetarian, I have included substitution suggestions for this recipe below.
Kernels cut from 8 ears fresh corn (approx. 3.5 lbs. or 9 cups), cleaned with husks and silks removed (I used 6 yellow ears and 2 white ears)
4 medium-large red potatoes (about 1.25 lbs.), cut into ½” pieces
½ tsp. fresh thyme
½ tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. dry oregano
½ tsp. dry basil
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup skim milk
Optional: Freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese and chopped fresh chives
Make it vegan by cutting out bacon, subbing butter for vegan butter or olive oil, subbing chicken broth for vegetable broth, and subbing skim milk for unsweetened plain almond milk.Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top for an added cheesy flavor.
In a large, thick-bottomed pot, cook bacon over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, or until crispy. Remove cooked bacon from pot and place on a paper-towel-covered plate.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add butter to pot with bacon grease and allow to melt.
Brown onion and garlic in butter.
Whisk corn meal into butter for about 1 minute. Continue whisking while adding in chicken broth and water. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring while soup comes to a boil.
Once at a boil, stir corn kernels, potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper into broth mix. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 20 (or until potatoes are soft), stirring occasionally.
Remove bay leaf from pot. In a blender, liquify 2 ½ cups soup, then pour back into pot. Add milk. Stir well.
Serve chowder with an optional sprinkling of freshly grated cheddar cheese and chopped chives and a bottle of McGrail Family Chardonnay. Cheers!
One of my favorite vegetarian foods is a black bean burger. They can be so filling and so flavorful, like our Malbec!
For those who don’t know, our Malbec comes from our Lucky 8 Vineyard, which we acquired a few years ago. We’ve updated the farming practices used on this property to match the meticulous methods we’ve used on our estate property for years. We named the vineyard “Lucky 8,” because the McGrails have eight grandchildren. The vineyard is planted with a handful of different varieties and clones of grapes that tend to grow well here in the Livermore Valley. Due to the fact that our Winemaker Mark Clarin’s mother’s favorite wine varietal is Malbec, we chose to plant this Bordeaux variety in our Lucky 8 Vineyard, so this wine is affectionately dedicated to Sylvia Clarin. It’s easy-to-drink, but is also full of flavor and perfectly balanced. It’s also one of a few single-varietal bottles (aside from Cab) we produce here at McGrail.
In a food processor, add lime juice, red onion, and black beans. Pulse a few times, or until you can’t see any big chunks of red onion.
Add cayenne, 21 seasoning salute, paprika, cumin, coriander, kosher salt, chipotle chili powder, and pepper. Allow food processor to process this mixture until all the seasoning has been mixed in well.
To the food processor, add cilantro, parsley, egg, and bread crumbs. Again, pulse until you can no longer see any large cilantro or parsley leaves.
Shape your black bean mixture into five 4.5″ patties.
In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Set your patties about an inch apart in the oiled pan. Cover the pan and cook your patties for about two minutes, twice on each side (for a total of four minutes per side per patty), or until patties have been cooked all the way through.
Toast your brioche buns upside down on a baking sheet under a low broil for about three or four minutes.
Spread the Thousand Island dressing on your toasted buns, add a cooked black bean burger, tomato slices, and sliced avocado.
Enjoy your black bean burgers with a bottle of delicious 2017 McGrail Malbec!