Sunday, November 22, 2015

Recipe: Fondue Au Crémant

This fondue made with sparkling wine is perfect for the holiday season when you are entertaining or if you just want some comfort food when you watch Netflix. Let's just say it takes kitchen magick to a whole other level.

Use your favorite crémant for this recipe. I recommend Louis Bouillot Perle Noir or Louis Bouillot Perle de Vigne, two crémants that will rock your world. They are also great to pair with this fondue. Enjoy!

2 14 cups crémant
1 tbsp. cornstarch
4 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
1 lb. gruyère, grated
1 lb. Vacherin Fribourgeois, grated
2 tbsp. cognac or French brandy
14 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Baguette, cubed 

Conjure it:

Whisk together 2 tbsp crémant and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside. Rub garlic cloves over the interior of a 5-qt. pot and drop garlic into pot. Add remaining crémant; bring to a boil and whisk in cornstarch mixture; discard garlic. Reduce heat to low; add cheeses in batches, stirring, until melted, 10 minutes. Stir together cognac and baking soda in a small bowl, add to pot, and stir until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and salt.

Transfer to fondue pot, set over a lit sterno cup, and serve with bread.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Newburgh: Home To America's Oldest Winery

Little did I know that I lived only about an hour and a half from the Brotherhood Winery, the oldest winery in America. I was invited on a weekend trip to Newburgh, NY to check out the winery and the historic sites that are part of the town. I got to travel in style by going in a Luxor Limo. If you are going up to Newburgh with a group of friends, it is a great way to travel. However there are tours and bus packages that can get you to some of the sites.

I had never heard of the Newburgh before but it turns out there are more than a handful of wineries in the area. It's the kind of place that is perfect for an overnight trip when you want to get out of the city. I stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton. The hotel has recently been revamped and given a new attitude. It’s quite charming, but more importantly, affordable and clean with a really a nice staff. The beds at the hotel make love to your body. You won’t want to get out of bed. Make sue that you factor naps that into your schedule.

Let’s get to my favorite part of the trip, the wine! Brotherhood Winery was established in 1839. It’s quaint and filled with history. Not only is it a fun place to go hang out, but you can also have your wedding on their grounds in their mansion. The wine is pretty tasty, especially their red wine selections. They are solid and packed with wonderful aromas. Their sparkling wine, Blanc de Blancs ( aka Sparkling B out side of NY)  is an affordable option great for brunch and special occasions. I picked up their Holiday Wine which has aromas of cinnamon and spices. I'm going to warm it up in the crockpot and sip away on a lazy Sunday.  

When you go to the winery, make sure that you go on one of the wine tours so that you can find out about the history of the vineyard. The staff will give you history about the winery that will probably surprise you. Back in it's heyday Brotherhood use to throw weekend parties in the cellar that were all the rage. Everyone who was anyone went to the winery. Their grapes are now located in the Finger Lakes and Long Island, but the cellars are filled with stories that anyone into wine would love.

Before or after the winery if you have time check out Washington’s Historic State Site, I have to admit it is something that it is probably something I would not have done if I were not invited to go. It very educational. The grounds are beautiful and well preserved. The history of the house is a pure delight. It is definitely worth your time.

A big thank you for the welcome gifts in my hotel room at the Sherton goes out to Elm and Word Notebooks for the Adventure Logs. I’ve been rocking my beanie since I got it. The Adventure Logs are great for wine notes.