Author: Jim Pachence

Red Wines of the Veneto: A Vapolicella Tasting

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] [We are re-publishing this article based on a review by Lettie Teague in the Jan 27, 2018 Wall Street Journal which featured an Amarone/food pairing discussion.  Click HERE to see the Ms. Teague’s article – but you may need a subscription. We’ve tasted three of the five bottles of Amarone that were featured in Ms. Teague’s article, and love them all:  Zenato, Masi, and Tommasi.] You might be ignoring Valpolicella wines – most folks see them as light, fruity red wines with little character or finesse, a wine that you might find in checkered table cloth, red sauce only Italian restaurants.  We wanted you to re-think Valpolicella, so the Serious Foodie decided to dispel some of these myths and misconceptions with a wine tasting event featuring reds from the Veneto. It’s a pity that Valpolicella lost favor with the US market, mainly because of heavy advertising pressure from mass-produced versions (many of which are still light, fruity, and insipid).  Like other Italian wines, there has been winemaking renaissance in the region for Valpolicella, spurred by producers of the outstanding artisan Amarone wines such as Allegrini.  The Valpolicella wines are produced solely in the Veneto region, just west of Verona, […]

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Wine & Chocolate Pairings: Discover New Ways to Wow Your Valentine

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] It’s not too early to think about – and plan – for a great Valentine’s Day experience.  And what better way to start than with the universal elixir of love:  Chocolate. Wine & chocolate seems strange to some, but the right wine with the right chocolate is a beautiful thing – magical, in fact.  There is so much exploration to do, since there are so many interesting taste combinations to discover – nuts, fruits, types of chocolates – it really is an endless experiment.  We’ll give you some pairing tips to keep in mind, then some fun wines to discover. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Tips for Successfully Pairings Wines with Chocolate Here are a few simple rules – not hard and fast, but more like guidelines:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text] 1.  Chocolate is very complex – just like wine.  For pure chocolate, you’ll find some subtle flavors which are inherent to the region, the cocoa content, and the fat content.  It is best to do some experimenting to find the best wine and chocolate combinations for you. Try to detect some underlying flavors of the chocolate, then the wine separately.  Play with the matches.  If you have several types of chocolates, […]

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Impressive – And Easy – Valentine's Day Meal Ideas

There is nothing sexier than good food and good wine that you bring to the table yourself.  this is especially true for Valentine’s Day, which is second least-favorite day to dine out (next to New Year’s Eve).  Why?  The good-to-great restaurants are packed, the kitchens are stressed, the prices are higher, and many places dumb-down the menus to accommodate the folks who venture to restaurants only on Valentine’s Day. Besides, this is THE DAY for a Serious Foodie to impress with a hand-crafted meal for your significant other(s) in your life – bring along some flowers, add a bit of candlelight, and check out some of these simple & elegant meal ideas. And let the magic happen… Bon Appetit poled 11 celebrity chefs on their sexiest meals ever – so you might want to check them out (click HERE). There’s a website call Seduction Meals – the title says it all   (click HERE). Food & Wine gives a very broad selection of menus, with lots of variety (click HERE). We really liked the meals selected by Delish for Valentine’s Day (click HERE). What about the vegetarian in your life?  Take a look at this great Buzzfeed article (click HERE). Crudo & Sushi In many ways, […]

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Super Football Party Wine Pairings

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][/vc_column][vc_column_text] Even though there is nothing like watching football with a great brew in hand, you don’t need to have a beer-only Super Football party.  But the Serious Foodies at your party may not be your average American football fan. So, let’s impress them with a nice glass of vino to go with all those great football party munchies. This article focuses on wine suggestions that would work with most foods you’ll have on hand during the big game(s). [/vc_column_text][vc_row][/vc_row][vc_column_text] Let’s start with the starters – chips & salsa, maybe some smoked salmon, or guacamole.   We think that the whites from Campania are magical with guacamole, like Greco di Tufo or Falanghina (try Taburno).  If you want a riper wine to cut through the spice, try Grüner Veltliner from the Wachau region (Hermann Moser, for example).  You want enough alcohol to match the weight and texture of the avocado, but enough acidity to match the lime.  These wines will also work well with shellfish & seafood (crab dip, shrimp, oysters). [/vc_column_text][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_separator color=”grey”][vc_column_text] If you are starting with something very spice, you can always go to a semi-dry Riesling.  It might be a wine-pairing cliche at this point, but these […]

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Trying this again

Stuff.  Just Stuff. Print Recipe Trying this again Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Course Main Dish Servings MetricUS Imperial Course Main Dish Servings MetricUS Imperial Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe!

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Test recipe

Testing this recipe.  So this is what I’m going to say – try this recipe.  It’s good stuff.  If you don’t like it, too bad.  I like it.  So there.  Testing this recipe.  So this is what I’m going to say – try this recipe.  It’s good stuff.  If you don’t like it, too bad.  I like it.  So there. Testing this recipe.  So this is what I’m going to say – try this recipe.  It’s good stuff.  If you don’t like it, too bad.  I like it.  So there.  Enough said. Print Recipe Good Cake Stuff Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Course Dessert Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Passive Time 20 minutes Servings people MetricUS Imperial Ingredients 1 store-bought cake Course Dessert Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes Passive Time 20 minutes Servings people MetricUS Imperial Ingredients 1 store-bought cake Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Instructions Slice cake. Eat it

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Easy Party Foods

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] We originally posted this blog for an Oscar party – but you can do these quick & delicious appetizer for any party. Have a theme, keep it simple, and have some fun.  We’ve combed the web to find some star-worthy recipes, along with some of our own originals. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_separator color=”black” align=”align_center” border_width=”2″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Crostini” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_left” color=”sandy_brown” style=”dashed”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4734″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”thumbnail” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text] Let’s start with one of the easiest – and most versatile – appetizers:  crostini (or bruschetta; click HERE for an explanation about the differences).   We featured a crostini recipe with brie, arugula, and Serious Foodie Fig/Orange sauce recently (click HERE for the article), along with links to other websites for other crostini recipes.  Check out these cool crostini recipes: Kale & White Bean (click HERE), Sweet Potato & Feta (click HERE), Radish & Miso Butter (click HERE), and Smoked Trout & Apple (click HERE). [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Dips” title_align=”separator_align_left” align=”align_left” color=”sandy_brown” style=”dashed”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”4748″ border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”thumbnail” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text] Dips went out of style, but now are making a big comeback.  Go simple with the Caramelized Onion & Shallot Dip (click HERE), Charred Egglant Dip (click HERE), or the tried […]

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Salad with honey-poached plums

While the Serious Foodie philosophy is to cook what’s fresh, what’s in season, sometimes, there are exceptions.  There were beautiful plums at the local store, coming from Chile in November.  We secured a bunch of large black and red plums, along with red-tipped lettuce, arugula,fresh radishes, and a sprouted celery root. It made for a pretty, and awesome, salad. The poaching recipe used here is a variation of a recipe we created for poached apricots, peaches, or poached pears used in desserts. POACHED PLUMS Ingredients – 4 cups dry white wine (Italian Soave or Pinot Grigio work well) – 4 tablespoons honey – 3/4 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped – 1/2 teaspoon cardomon – Two whole peppercorns – Juice from 1/4 lemon, and zest – 4 medium sized plums, cut into 1/4 inch slices 1. In a saucepan large enough to hold the plums, combine the first six ingredients. 2. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until the honey has dissolved. 3. Add the plums, and simmer for 15 minutes. 4. Remove the plums.  Remove 1 cup of the poaching liquid, and reserve for making the dressing.  Strain the liquid, removing the peppercorns and bits […]

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Foodie Holiday Gift Suggestions: Homemade

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] Looking for that special gift for a foodie friend?  Someone on your list is hard to please?  Maybe something to give someone with everything? Try these suggestions on making your own unique gifts.  There are many great websites you’ll find under each section, but there are an infinite number of possibilities. The queen of the holiday homemade is definitely Martha Stewart – click HERE to see her array of hand-crafted holiday gifts. Another great website we found was AllRecipes (click HERE to see their DIY gifts).  With each of these homemade gifts, packaging can really make the difference.  Tins, bottles, and festive boxes can be found on-line or at cookware stores. Here are our suggestions for easy to make, Serious Foodie quality hand crafted gifts – especially for those on your list who have everything.  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1449160325073{background-color: #cccccc !important;}”] Simple Syrups [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”3612″ border_color=”black” img_link_target=”_self” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_border” img_link_large=””][vc_column_text]Simple syrups are just that – simple.  Once made, they last a long time, and can be used to flavor cocktails, desserts, or just used as a condiment over ice cream.  We found a very nice, festive holiday syrup on MidWestLiving.com using cranberries (click HERE). While we like the fruit […]

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