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    Notes - January 27, 2015


    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 Grove Street Pinot Noir 2012, Incognito Red 2012, Domaine du Bois-Malinge Sur Lie Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2013 and Casal Thaulero Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Have a listen!


     

     

    Sign up now for the Imbiber’s Report! Impress friends and family with your knowledge of wine.

    Food Hack

    Usually served as an appetizer/salad - Bresaola with greens and cheese is easily made into a canapé.  Use good quality Parmesan, Grana Padano or Romano cheese.  The best quality olive oil and good balsamic go a long way to making these rolls taste great. If you can’t find baby arugula greens, substitute with baby spinach.

    Bresaola is air-cured beef from Italy. You can find it at better food stores or sometimes at Italian bakeries that have a deli section.

    The Bresaola should be served at or just below room temperature.

    Ingredients:

    - 12 slices Bresaola
    - Baby Arugula (use Earthbound Organic if available)
    - Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (use the larger grate size holes)
    - Extra Virgin, cold pressed Italian Olive Oil
    - Balsamic Vinegar
    - Coarse sea salt
    - Freshly ground black pepper
    - 12 toothpicks

    Directions:

    Lay a slice of Besaola onto a wooden or plastic cutting board.

    Place a line of Arugula down the centre of the meat.

    Sprinkle the cheese over the Arugula.

    Drizzle with oil and vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Pull the sides of the Bresaola up to cover the greens and secure with a toothpick.

    Enjoy with your favourite wine.

    Notes - Year End Edition

    WINES TO SIP, SAVOUR THE YEAR THAT WAS 2014

    JAZZ.FM91's wine connoisseur, Chris Churchill has put together a list of his 5 favourite wines that crossed his lips this past year.  If you're entertaining, looking for a gift or want to savour the holidays - here's a list for you!

    Plus, as an added bonus, check out this supercut of some of the great moments from this year in Notes!


    Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava from Spain - Tastes like Champagne for a third the price.

    Chapel Hill Bush Vine Grenache 2011 from Australia - New world meets old vines.

    Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva 2010 from Italy - Refined elegance in a bottle.

    D’Arenberg The Hermit Crab Viognier Marsanne 2012 from Australia -  My official wine of the summer of 2014.

    Hermanos Lurton Tempranillo 2011 from Spain -  One of the best new wines to hit LCBO shelves and available all year round.

    Cheers to making 2015 a memorable and magical year!

     

    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!

    Ingredients:

    - 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

    Preparation:

    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.

    Notes - November 19, 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 Caliterra Tributo Single Vineyard Carménère 2011, Chapel Hill McLaren Vale Shiraz 2010, Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2012 and Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc 2013.

    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.


    Bolognese with Pasta
    Serves 6-8


    Last year at this time we shared our classic Spaghetti and Meatballs dish. With practically the same ingredients, you can put together the other classic northern Italian sauce – Bolognese. This sauce works great with spaghetti and with short cut pasta like Penne or Gemelli.

    This dish is amazing with medium to full-bodied red wines (anytime we say it ‘needs food’, this is what we are talking about).

    If you have time, let this cook for longer than two hours, making sure to top up with beef broth or water if it becomes too thick.

    We make this sauce in bulk and freeze it away for future use.

    Ingredients:

    - 8 ounces Pancetta finely diced
    - 1 pound spicy Italian Sausage (links removed from their casing)
    - 1 pound lean ground beef
    - 2 medium carrots finely diced
    - 1 stalk celery finely diced
    - 1 medium onions diced
    - 2 large garlic cloves crushed and minced in kosher salt (see note below).
    - 1 cup red wine (use Casal Thaulero Sangiovese)
    - 2 cans 28 ounce size diced San Marzano tomatoes (or other quality canned diced Roma tomatoes)
    - 1-2 cups beef broth
    - 3 sprigs fresh thyme
    - 2 each bay leaves, fresh preferred
    - 3 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley, additional chopped to sprinkle on top to finish
    - 1 2-3 cm rind of Parmegiano Reggiano
    - ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    - Salt and pepper to taste
    - 2 each 9 ounce packages of fresh pasta like Linguini or Fettuccini
    - Coarsely grated or shaved Parmegiano Reggiano

    Directions:

    In a large heavy pot brown the pancetta to a crisp, add the sausage and ground beef, cook on medium high heat until browned.

    Reduce to medium heat and add onions, garlic, carrots and celery, cooking until the onion is translucent.

    Add the wine to the pot and deglaze the bottom, scraping off any browned bits of meat. Cook until reduced by half.

    Add tomatoes, 1 cup of beef broth, herbs, cheese rind and pepper flakes. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

    In a large pot cook pasta to al dente as per packages instruction. Drain pasta and save 1 cup of pasta water. Return empty pasta pot to stove on medium heat and add the pasta water and 1-2 cups of Bolognese sauce, add pasta and toss to coat with the sauce.

    Serve pasta in individual bowls or on a family-style serving platter. Spoon remaining sauce over the pasta and garnish with parsley and cheese.

    Serve immediately.

    Notes - October 29, 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 Hermanos Lurton Tempranillo 2011, Animus 2012  Douro DOC, Kunde Estate Chardonnay 2012, and Château de Panigon 2010 Médoc AC Cru Bourgeois.

    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.


    Braised Short Ribs
    Serves six

    Ingredients:

    - 4-1/2 to 5 lb. English-style beef short ribs (8 to 12 ribs)
    - 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
    - Kosher salt
    - ground black pepper
    - 2/3 cup medium-diced carrots
    - 2/3 cup medium-diced onions
    - 2/3 cup medium-diced celery
    - 2 whole dried bay leaves
    - 1/2 oz. dried mushrooms, steeped in hot water until soft, then coarsely chopped
    - 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
    - 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
    - 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground allspice
    - 1/2 cup dry white wine
    - 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
    - 1 cup diluted lower-salt beef broth (mix equal parts broth and water)
    - 1 cup dry red wine
    - 1 to 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
    - 1 to 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

    Instructions:

    Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. In an 8-quart Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Season the ribs with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Add half of the ribs to the pot (or as many as will fit without overlap), and cook, turning with tongs, until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the ribs to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs. Pour off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.

    Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, carrots, onions, and celery to the pan. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until the aromatics are soft and lightly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add bay leaves, chopped dried mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, and allspice, and cook, stirring, until well distributed and fragrant, about 1 minute.

    Pour the 1/2 cup white wine into the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, until the liquid is reduced to about 2 Tbs., about 1 minute.

    Transfer all the ribs (and any juices that have accumulated) back into the pot. Pour the beef broth, red wine, and tomatoes and 1 cup water over the ribs and using tongs, arrange the ribs as evenly as possible and no more than two layers deep.

    Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and put the pot in the oven. Cook, turning the ribs with tongs about every 40 minutes, until they are fork tender, about 2-3/4 hours. (The meat may fall off most of the bones about midway through cooking; this does not mean that the ribs are fully tender.)

    Transfer the ribs to a serving platter or dish. Let the sauce and solids sit in the pot for a few minutes to cool and with a shallow spoon, skim off as much of the fat as possible from the surface. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and add the vinegar.

    Serve the ribs with the sauce spooned over, sprinkled with chopped parsley.

    Note: If you would like a little sweetness in this dish, add one cup of dried figs, dates, prunes or apricots along with the herbs and spices.

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