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    Notes - December 10, 2014

    Photo: (L to R) Mark Donaldson, Chris Churchill and Brad Barker pontificating on all things wine and music


    Once a month, Chris Churchill, Mark Donaldson and Brad Barker educate and entertain us as they talk about what is happening in the world of fine wine and music. And of course, they drink while they entertain. On this episode, Chris and Mark talk about First Press Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Chardonnay 2012, Grove Street Cabernet Sauvignon and Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay 2012.

    Have a listen!




    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine. Attend an exclusive Portfolio Tasting in May. Plus be on the lookout for your chance to be a guest Sommelier on Notes with Brad Barker, Chris Churchill and Mark Donaldson.

    Petite Piquant Cheese Onion and Olive Scones

    This is an adaption of Delia Smith’s devilishly moreish, slightly spicy scones that make perfect appetizers and will match almost any kind of wine thanks to the combo of old Cheddar and Parmesan cheese – Cheers!


    - 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
    - 1 medium onion finely diced
    - 1 Tblsp olive oil
    - ½ tsp salt
    - ½ tsp mustard powder
    - ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    - ¼ tsp freshly milled black pepper (or more to taste)
    - 2 Tblsp butter – cubed at room temperature
    - ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
    - ¼ cup old strong Cheddar cheese
    - Approximately 2-3 Tblsp milk
    - 1 large egg
    - 6 black olives, stoned and minced


    A 3cm pastry cutter will come in handy (you can substitute a shot glass)

    Use a lightly greased baking sheet or a silpat

    Pre-heat oven to 400F

    Fry the onion over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes stirring frequently until they are a deep golden brown colour, but no burnt. Transfer to a plate to cool.

    In a large mixing bowl sift: flour, salt, mustard powder, cayenne pepper and a good grinding of black pepper (the scones should have a piquant bite to them). Rub in the butter, add cooled onion, olive, ¾ of the cheese and mix evenly. Beat the egg separately and add to mixture, add enough milk to make dough soft, but not sticky. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead it gently until smooth. Roll dough out to a minimum of 2 cm thickness. Next, use the 3 cm cookie/pastry cutter to make scones, giving it a sharp tap to cut cleanly. Lightly knead the remaining trimmings and make more scones until finished. Place scones onto baking sheet, brush them with milk and top them with the remaining grated cheese. Bake them in the top 1/3rd of the oven for 10-12 minutes until GB&D (golden brown and delicious), being careful not to scorch the bottoms. Let scones cool slightly before serving. Or move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Scones can be made ahead and frozen. Defrost and re-heat them at 350F for about 4 minutes before serving. You can also split them and add herbed cream cheese or Cambazola and warm them at 275F for 2-3 minutes.

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