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    Notes - December 19, 2013


    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 the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Chapel Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Kunde Sonoma Valley Estate Zinfandel, Barone Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico DOCG and Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett.

     

    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.

    Lamb Burgers

    Parsley, dill, cumin, and garlic give these burgers a lively flavor reminiscent of a lamb gyro. The burger is enhanced by a tangy topping of feta, arugula, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. The recipe is based on one from Michael Psilakis, the chef at Anthos, a New York City restaurant.

    4 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    6 tbsp. minced yellow onion
    24 oz. ground lamb
    8oz. ground pork
    4 tsp. dijon mustard
    1 tsp. each finely chopped parsley,
    mint, and dill
    2 tsp. dried Greek oregano
    1 tsp. ground coriander
    1 tsp. ground cumin
    6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    2 scallion, chopped
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper,
    to taste
    1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
    20 leaves baby arugula
    16 black olives in oil, drained, pitted,
    and roughly chopped
    16 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
    and roughly chopped
    4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
    4 hamburger buns, toasted

    1. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in an 8" skillet over high heat. Add onions; cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer onions to a plate; let cool. In a bowl, mix onions, lamb, pork, mustard, herbs, spices, garlic, scallions, and salt and pepper. Form meat into four 1"-thick patties; set aside.

    2. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire or heat a gas grill to medium-high (or heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat). Grill burgers, flipping once, until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 10 minutes for medium rare. In a small bowl, combine feta, arugula, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes; toss with the remaining oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Place each burger on the bottom half of a bun and top each with the vegetables and bun top.

     

    Notes - November 27, 2013


    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 the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Grove Street Pinot Noir, Chateau Larose Trintaudon, Casa Catelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Chapel Hill Parson's Nose Shiraz.

    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.

    Vegetarian "Sausage" Rolls

    "I make these every year at Christmas for my non-meat eating sister. The Welsh call these Glamorgan Sausages. They are awesome with wine, beer or cocktails." - Mark Donaldson

    For the pastry:

    1 frozen puff pastry - thawed as per packaging instructions
    6 oz flour
    1 egg - beaten, to glaze

    For the filling:

    10 oz fresh breadcrumbs
    8 oz Extra Old Cheddar, grated
    1 large onion, graded
    1 tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs (chives, parsley, thyme etc)
    1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
    a pinch of cayenne pepper
    salt and freshly milled black pepper

    Three lightly greased backing sheets

    Cooking instructions:

    In a large bowl, mix the filling ingredients thoroughly

    On a floured surface, roll the pastry into an oblong shape as thin as you can.

    Cut the pastry into three equal parts and divide the cheese mixture into three equal amounts Brush the beaten egg along the long edge of the pastry, spread cheese mixture down the centre of the pastry.

    Roll the 'sausage' over until the seam is on the bottom.

    Cut the roll into 'sausages' of about 5 cm in size (cutting them on an angle will make them diamond shaped, if you wish).

    Snip two or three V shapes into the top of each sausage with scissors and brush with a beaten egg. Repeat until all the 'sausages' have been made.

    Bake on the top rack of a 425F oven for 20-25 minutes.

    Leave them to cool on a wire rack before storing them in airtight containers (unless you eat them all).


    Notes - October 24, 2013


    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 the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Fog Head Reserve Pinot Noir, Mandrarossa Cartagho, Waimea Viognier and Grove Street Cabernet Sauvignon.

    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.

    Spaghetti and Meatballs

    This fall classic is quite a bit of work, but more than worth the effort. Following this method, the whole meal can leisurely come together in couple of hours. Sometimes, we’ll double the meatball recipe and freeze half away for future use.  One standard package of Spaghetti will feed 6 people. Leftover (hahaha) meatballs make amazing sandwiches.

    A few words regarding the method (little tricks that will make things easier).
    Adding garlic after cooking the onions for a couple of minutes will prevent the garlic from burning (and turning bitter). 
    If you want to add wine to ‘deglaze’ the tomato paste and onion from the pan bottom – make sure to reduce the wine by half before adding the tomatoes. 
    When adding the tomato sauce to the pasta pot – do it in the sink, to minimize the splatter. Return to medium heat on the stove and add pasta and pasta water to cook.
    Try to use fresh herbs if possible – chop them finely together. If you can’t get fresh, use a combined amount of 1 ½ tablespoons of dried.
    We preheat the serving platter/bowl, along with the serving plates, so that everything stays really hot.  We coarsely grate Parmigiano-Reggiano over the entire dish before serving and have some finely grated cheese on the side.

    Old school measuring – most recipes measure the meat in ounces - this one would be 6oz of beef and veal and 8oz of pork (many ‘authentic’ recipes call for half a pound of each meat – but it makes for a tight fit in the pan and for dryer meatballs – the extra pork keeps them moist). The metric measure makes two extra ounces of meat, which won’t make a difference.

    Sauce ingredients:

    2 x 796 ml tins of crushed tomatoes (or whole peeled tomatoes crushed though a food mill)
    1 large yellow onion, chopped
    3 medium cloves garlic crushed and chopped
    1 tsp. fresh oregano and 1 tsp. fresh rosemary finely chopped together
    1 bay leaf
    1 Tbs. tomato paste
    1/2 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
    Kosher salt

    Make the sauce:

    In a large (4L or bigger) saucepan heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, oregano, rosemary and bay leaf stirring often for 3 minutes. Add garlic and stir until onion is soft 5 to 7 minutes.

    Add tomato paste and stir constantly for 3 minutes or until paste darkens (optional wine addition here). Add the tomatoes, stirring to scrape onion and paste off the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer sauce for 45 minutes, stirring frequently (the sauce needs to be lightly bubbling).

    Remove bay leaf, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to keep warm.

    While the sauce is simmering – make the meatballs.

    Meatball ingredients:

    1 Tbs. olive oil
    250g  ground pork
    200g lean ground beef
    200g ground veal
    1 cup coarse fresh white breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
    2 large eggs
    2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
    1/2 tsp. freshly ground fennel seed
    1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    Kosher salt

    Make the meatballs:

    Preheat oven to 450F

    Oil the bottom of a baking dish 20cm x 20cm (8 inch x 8 inch)

    In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix gently and thoroughly .

    Use a 2oz ice cream scoop or equivalent to make 16  golf-ball sizes meatballs.

    Wet your hands with warm water to shape the balls.

    Arrange the meatballs in the baking dish – there shouldn’t be any room left in the dish – and bake for 12 minutes.

    Remove the meatballs from the oven and drain off excess fat.

    Ladle half of the sauce over the meatballs and return to the oven. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm.


    Cook the pasta:

    In a large pot bring 4-6 litres of water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt.

    Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally. Cook the pasta for two minutes less than the instructions on the package. Drain the pasta, saving one cup of pasta water.

    Pour the remaining sauce into the pasta pot, add pasta and the reserved water, stirring for another 2-3 minutes over medium heat until spaghetti is al dente.

    Carefully transfer the pasta to a large heated serving bowl or platter, top with meatballs and their sauce and serve immediately.

    Freshly grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese can be served as a side or added over meatballs.



    Notes - September 25, 2013


    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 the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Los Clop Reserva Malbec, Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc, Katnook Founder's Block Cabernet Sauvignon and Michael David Petite Petit.

    How would you like to join Brad Barker live in-studio for an upcoming episode of "Notes with Churchill Cellars"as their guest Sommelier in October?

    All you have to do is be the first person to send the correct answer to this Churchill Cellars skill testing question to contests@jazz.fm and the spot could be yours!

    Question: Of the 4 delicious wines featured on the September 25th edition of "Notes", what was Brad Barker’s favourite?

    A) Katnook Founder’s Block Cabernet Sauvignon

    B) Los Clop Reserva

    C) Spinyback Sauvignon Blanc

    D) Michael David Petite Petit

    Have a listen to the podcast for your answer!!

     

    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.

    Here is a recipe which will work well with both the d’Arenberg High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva.

    Grilled Flank Steak

    Flank steak is an inexpensive cut of meat that is perfect for serving to a large crowd. Serve with your favourite red wine.

    2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
    2 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
    2 medium cloves garlic, minced
    2 Tbs. chopped fresh aromatic herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, marjoram, or a mix)
    1 Tbs. kosher salt
    1 Tbs. ground black pepper
    1-1/2- to 2-lb. flank steak, trimmed of any excess fat and membrane

    Mix the oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub all over the steak and let sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
    Heat your grill to medium-high.

    Grill steak for 10 to 12 minutes for medium rare. Turn the steak every 3 to 4 minutes so that it is evenly cooked (if you use a thermometer it should read above 135F).
    Place the steak on a cutting board and let it stand for 10 minutes.

    Slice the steak thinly across the grain and serve immediately.

    Serve with mashed potatoes and a mix of sautéed mushrooms that have been finished off with red wine and butter and your favourite steamed green veggie.

    Leftovers make great steak sandwiches.

    Notes - August 29, 2013


    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 the latest episode Chris and Mark joined Brad to talk about Caliterra Tributo Chardonnay, d'Arenberg The High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon, Dopff au Moulin Cremant d'Alsace Cuvee Julien Brut and Barone Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva

    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.

    Here is a recipe which will work well with both the d’Arenberg High Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon and the Ricasoli Rocca Guicciarda Chianti Classico Riserva.

    Kalbi (Korean Barbequed Beef Short Ribs)

    1 can of cola (very cold)
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1/4 cup sesame oil
    5 cloves of garlic, minced
    1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped
    3 large green onions, cut into small pieces
    2 tblsp toasted sesame seeds
    1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
    4-6 pounds of Korean short-ribs
    (Korean-style short ribs can be found at most Asian markets. The cut, also known as "flanken," refers to a strip of beef cut across the bone from the chuck end of the short ribs. Unlike American and European-style short ribs, which include a thick slice of bone-in beef, Korean-style short ribs are cut lengthwise across the rib bones. The result is a thin strip of meat, about 8 to10 inches in length, lined on 1 side with 1/2-inch thick rib bones. The thin slices make for fast cooking on the grill).

    Place ribs in a shallow baking dish. Mix ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the ribs, cover and refrigerate overnight. 

    Heat grill to medium-high. Grill ribs for 3-4 minutes per side until done.

    Garnish with additional slices of green onion and toasted sesame seeds.


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