2011 Estate Malbec
Tupungato Mendoza Argentina
Purchased at La Tablita in El Calefate, Santa Cruz (Southern Patagonia)
Notes: tastes of blueberries, blackberries and black cherries. Fresh fruit finish, herbal. Purple color.
Restaurant Meal: Cordero Patagónico (whole, open-fire roasted Patagonian lamb), papas naturales, ensalada mixta
Coquimbito Maipú Mendoza Argentina
Purchased at La Rural in Maipú.
Notes: Dark purple, nose of blueberry, tastes of blueberry, plum with a long soft earthy berry finish.
Homemade antipasta dinner—local Mendoza olives, sardo cheese, salami, and salad with avocado, fresh shelled peas, red pepper, lemon, and baguette.
Purchased at the seafood restaurant Solo Pescado, Buenos Aires
Notes: Pale yellow color with hints of green. Nose of sweet lychee, grapefruit and mango. Taste of dry lemon taste, melon, round mouth feel, herbal, long dry honey finish.
Restaurant Meal: seafood platter.
2010 Estate Syrah
Lake Chelan Washington
Purchased at Nefarious
Notes: Light purple hue. Fruity nose of plums, chocolate, cloves, cinnamon and dried cherries. Mouth of cherries and plum. Raspberry finish with hints of dark spices especially cloves.
Downtown Boise park picnic with garden tomatoes, cambozola, barrel aged feta, rosemary bread, Portuguese sardines, dried plums, cherries and almonds.
2008 Estate Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley Washington
Purchased at Goose Ridge
Notes: Deep dark purple with dark chocolate hue. Nose of cherries, chocolate, blackberries, dried plums. Taste of earthy black fruit, leathery plums and tobacco. Finish of tobacco and blackberry with a long dry pucker and hints of spices at the end: coriander, clove, nutmeg.
With a campground dinner at Lava Lake in the three sisters wilderness in Oregon. Whole-wheat pasta with chard, home-smoked smoked salmon by mom and dad, and feta.
2010 Signature Pinot Noir
South Willamette Valley Oregon
Purchased at King Estate
Notes: Light red raspberry color. Nose of currant and chocolate. Taste of thorny fruits such as thimble berry, tart cherry, cranberry, and oak zing. Long clean dark spice finish with hints of mint, white pepper, caramel and dry cherry cola linger.
Campground picnic: Oregon raw milk goat cheese on Newport pacific rye sesame sourdough, Newport heirloom tomatoes, fresh cucumber salad.
2011 Pinot Gris
Purchased at Sarver
Notes: Clean clear with a light yellow green hue. Nose of bright citrus fruits, mandarin orange, blood orange and passion fruit. Mineral mouth with a lemon taste and light spicy orange. Crisp orange, cayenne pepper, mineral finish.
Campground dinner: Fenneled rice with fresh off the dock albacore tuna, sauted maitake mushrooms tossed with lemon and parsley and a garden pepper and tomato salad.
2008 Estate Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley Oregon
Purchased at Stoller
Notes: Color of bing cherries and red raspberry. Nose of cinnamon, nutmeg, cherry, dried plum, and clove. Rich round taste: cherry, eucalyptus, mint, plum, and rosemary. Finish of dried cherries, plums, white pepper, with cloves orange zest and a hint of smoke.
Winery picnic of heirloom tomatoes, sourdough, local goat milk cheese, castelvetrano olives, and blackberries.
2007 Pinot Noir
Purchased at Buena Vista
Notes: Light ruby, see through, with a bing cherry tinge. nose of cherries, dried plums, cinnamon, oak, mint, ginger, and eucalyptus. Taste of cherry, cola boysenberry, chocolate, star anise and cloves. Herbal finish with parley, toasty yeast, wood, and a long smooth chocolate dried cherry finish.
Homemade lunch at Armstrong Redwoods park: Fresh local sole from a fish market in Bodega Bay in coconut milk curry with eggplant, poblano pepper, and shitake mushrooms.
2007 Pinot Noir
Doña Margarita Vineyard
Sonoma Coast California
Purchased at Marimar
Notes: Thick purple (unfiltered) color with a dark ruby center. Nose of cherry, chocolate, wet oak/dog, dried plum, sage, fig, and forest floor. Taste of fruit soup, tart cherry with hints of thyme, mint, tarragon, and chocolate. Finish of cranberry, coffee, chocolate, and a hint of tobacco.
Campground dinner at Sonoma Coast State Park: Nebraska wedding heirloom tomato tossed with spaghetti, garlic, shallot, olive oil and Redwood Hill Farm raw milk feta.
Organic Whole Milk herbed washed rind
Chileno Valley Jersey Dairy
Washed in an organic white wine and rolled in dried herbs from the Tomales Bay coastal region. Semi-firm and covered with field flowers: calendula, chamomile and Thai basil.
We were staying a few days on the Oregon Coast and after being sent from Idaho with half my mother’s garden and then way over buying at the Eugene health food store we needed to make a feast!
Fennel Rice Noodles with Seared Tuna Strips, Maitake Mushrooms and Pepper Cherry Tomato Salad
1 cup vermicelli rice noodles, soaked (you could also just use rice, we used a very high heat MSR backpacking stove so didn’t have the option here)
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
6 cloves of garlic, diced
2 shallots, diced
2 small green bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno, diced
1 Anaheim pepper, chopped
1/2 lb quartered heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 lb fresh tuna, cut into steaks
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
12 oz. fresh maitake mushrooms, separated into large pieces
2 lemons, juice and zest
3 European cucumbers
1 cup olive oil
1 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 TBS dried Italian herbs
salt to taste
1. Marinade the fresh tuna in 1/8 cup olive oil, 1 shallot, soy sauce, sesame oil, half the garlic, dried herbs and 1/2 tsp salt.
2. Soak the rice noodles in boiling water. Sauté the fennel, the last half of the garlic and the other shallot in 1/8 olive oil. After browned, add the juice of 1 1/2 lemons and 2 TBS of the rice soaking water. Cook covered until fennel is soft. Toss with the drained rice. Salt to taste.
3. For the salad, combine peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, 1/8 cup olive oil, and the last half of lemon juice. Salt to taste. Mix well and add 1/4 cup of the parsley.
3. Heat 2 TBS oil in a cast iron pan until VERY hot. Add the tuna and sear, leaving a bit of pink in the middle of the slices. Transfer to a plate.
4. Add last 2 TBS olive oil and quickly sauté the maitakes in batches just until browned. Don’t over crowd or they will steam.
5. Toss the mushrooms with the rest of the parsley and lemon zest as you remove them from the pan.
We had this meal with the best pinot gris we have ever tasted from Sarver, a small family winery where we went tasting just outside of Eugene.
Here are Andy’s tasting notes about the wine:
Pinot Gris 2011
Color: clean clear with a light yellow green hue
Nose: bright citrus fruits, mandarin orange, blood orange, passion fruit
Taste: mineral mouth with lemon and slight spicy orange
Finish: crisp orange, cayenne pepper, minerals
Grilled Lingcod on a Bed of Pancetta Morel Udon
With a beautiful sunny day in the Kluane National Park and a generous fire grate, I decided to go all out for dinner. Here is a recipe based on some lingcod that we found from a guy from the Queen Charlotte Islands (across from Prince Rupert, B.C.) who was selling fantastic quality seafood out of his rig in a Whitehorse, Yukon parking lot.
2 lbs Lingcod
3 servings udon (based on usually portion wrapped in the bag)
4 oz pancetta
1 oz local morels, fresh or if dried, soaked then chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 small potatoes, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 TBS Bragg liquid amino
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
4 TBS olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 dried chili
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1-2 tsp salt
1. Wash and dry the cod, then rub with olive and salt, then set on a grate to cook over the fire.
2. Warm olive oil in the cast iron skillet over the fire. Add the carrots, potatoes, pancetta, garlic, paprika, oregano, chili and fry for five minutes. Add 1 cup water plus any mushroom soaking water and cook until vegetables are tender.
3. Meanwhile boil enough water to cook the udon, then drain and set in a pan with cold water to cool the noodles.
4. When the vegetables are tender, add the mushrooms, 1 tsp salt and Braggs to the skillet.
5. A few minutes before the cod is done, add the drained udon to the skillet and toss to coat.
6. Divide the fish into portions and top the noodles with cilantro to serve.
We ate the lingcod and noodles with Yukon Brewing’s Discovery ESB which is brewed with local fireweed honey.
Curried Saffron Coconut Milk Salmon Stew with Couscous
This is a recipe based on canned salmon that cooks up quick for a camping or backpacking meal.
3 TBS olive oil
1 zucchini, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 small potatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp gram masala
1 tsp tumeric
1 pinch saffron
1 tsp soy sauce (or Bragg)
1 can of salmon, we used local B.C. Sockeye
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cilantro
2-3 dried chilies to taste
1 can coconut milk
1-2 cups couscous
1 1/2 cups water
1. Boil the 1 1/2 cups water (reserve 2 TBS) and add to the couscous in a pan. Cover and wrap in a towel to keep warm. Meanwhile, take the 2 reserved TBS of the warm water and soak the saffron while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Warm the olive oil, add vegetables and garlic. Saute 5-10 min until tender. Add the gram masala, tumeric, saffron (and water) and salt. Cook another 5 min.
3. When the potatoes are tender, add the salmon and the coconut milk. Warm just to boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
4. Fluff the couscous and add salt, olive oil and or spices to taste. (We put oregano in this one.)
5. Serve by pouring the stew over the couscous. Add cracked dried chilies to taste.
Seared Sockeye Salmon on an Open Fire
Fresh fish, fire, a cast iron pan–this is a very intuitive recipe.
1-2 lb sockeye salmon fillet
2 TBS olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tsps salt to taste
1. Get a good fire going. Any wood with leaves will make coals! We used downed poplar that was plentiful in this B.C. campsite.
2. Wash and dry the fish. Rub with the olive and salt and toss in the garlic.
3. Let the pan heat up over the fire until its VERY hot. I tested it this time by letting a dab olive oil go to the smoking point.
4. Add the rest of the olive oil to the heated pan and add the salmon non-skin side down. Cook for 5-8 min. Turn the fish carefully then cook another 5-8 or until the fish flakes off with a fork.
We ate this with some fire grilled asparagus and potatoes.
Wayside Lunch with Smoked Salmon and Canada Goat Brie
1 round Canadian goat brie
1 8 oz piece of locally smoked salmon (this one was coated in black pepper)
Carr sesame water crackers
We ate this lunch on a nice rock that was on a pull off on the Haines Highway. Accompany with beer….
We just completed 2 days of driving through Minnesota, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and western Alberta. Some 1300 miles in all.
Andy navigated us through a minor Bison snag today in Elk Island National Park.
On the eating end of things, we had a fantastic lunch in the car yesterday while we drove through Lloydminster, a town on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta.
I knew we had sourdough rolls, a tomato, a salametti, and some homemade mozzarella I was saving for something special. Then it dawned on me…salad stuffed bread!!
Salametti, Tomato, Mozzarella Stuffed Rolls
8 oz fresh mozzarella
4 sourdough rolls
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp fresh diced fennel bulb, optional (we had it, so I threw it in)
1 tsp Spanish paprika
1. Chop the tomato, salametti and mozzarella. Add salt, olive oil, oregano, paprika and diced fennel.
2. Scoop out and chop the bread centers of the rolls, add to salad.
3. Toss everything well and spoon the salad into the middle of the each side of the roll.
We ate these with salt and pepper kettle chips and some fresh sliced cucumber.
Today we sliced into the Michigan raised ham that we have been curing in our basement since November 1! To my utter surprise it was ruby red and delicious. This was our first attempt at salt cured air dried prosciutto-style ham and I just assumed by how tricky it is to make prosciutto that we would probably end up throwing out the ham by the end. I guess we got some serious beginner’s luck.
On another local food note, we went fishing southeast of Grand Rapids a few weeks ago at the Cold Water River. I got schooled, but our friend and fishing mate David McGowan caught two lovely brown trout that we feasted on with one of Andy’s famous greens/herb pies.
P.S. If you want to make any cured meat…get this book by Brian Polcyn.