We’ve started on the second, and final, phase of our kitchen expansion and remodeling project. Goodbye 1970’s bar complete with smokey mirrors. Hello huge eat-in kitchen complete with cabinet space! We’ll be back later this summer!
It’s the cornerstone of a good partnership. He grills. I bake. I fetch the utensils from the kitchen. He keeps a watchful eye over dinner, spatula in one hand, a cold bottle of his home brew beer in the other. We make a good team. And he makes a damn good burger.
Grilling on the back porch makes me dream of lazy weekends – a rare occurrence ’round here. Holiday weekends around our house usually means there’s some big DIY project on tap. Maybe it’s retiling a bathroom floor, installing baseboards, painting… we’re those people. This Memorial Day weekend was different, and it only took me almost breaking my leg on the mountain bike to secure the weekend off.
When my husband got a new grill, I bought a grilling cookbook. It was only fair One of the first recipes to catch our eyes was the Cabernet Burgers. Holy mother. Rarely would I ever describe a picture of raw meat as gorgeous, but the photo of that deep, Cabernet-infused red patty had us both drooling. Ground beef can be way sexy!
The burgers were super juicy and retain a nice smokey, wine flavor after grilling. The extra wine reduction drizzled on the burger was just sweet enough to perfectly balance the savory flavors from the Everything bun.
We’ve used several wines with awesome results: cabernet, merlot for a nice oaky flavor, and shiraz which gives the burger a nice peppery bite. If you like to drink it, chances are you’ll like it in your burger.
Cabernet Burgers on "Everything" Buns
Juicy burgers spiked with a reduction of your favorite red wine, paired with an "everything" burger bun.
I love summer; an admission that comes from someone who:
1) Is not a student or a teacher
2) Hates our Seventh-Circle-of-Hell-Hot weather
3) Has had one too many slices of chocolate cake to wear a bikini
4) Cowers in a corner in the fetal position after the electricity bill comes in
Still, even in spite of the heat, we’re far more motivated in the summer to take an impromptu weekend day trip than any other time of the year.
My husband and I took on the title of “home vintners” some time ago and we bottled our first four wines last year: Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and a Port. We always considered ourselves “white wine people” but our reds won our hearts over rather quickly. Our Port is our baby – it’s produced from the only varietal that grows well here, the Lenoir grape.
With nearly 200 bottles of wine under our roof, I’m always on the look out for new ways to cook using wine because, well, we don’t want to just drink it over the next couple of years. I regularly cook with white wine and have started looking for new ways to incorporate reds, namely our Pinot Noir, into dinner. The hints of blackberries and black cherries make it a fabulous candidate for a dark, rich and flavorful sauce.
It doesn’t have to be as labor intensive as a grilled beef tenderloin, though that’s a darn fine choice. If you happen to have leftover frozen meatballs in the freezer and a jar of dark berry preserves (black cherry or blackberry work wonderfully), you can have a killer appetizer on the table with only about 30 minutes notice from your friends.
How good is it? My husband likes it. ‘Nuff said, right? While nothing will ever replace a simple, fresh marinara sauce in my husband’s eyes when it comes to serving meatballs, he really digs the Blackberry and Pinot Noir sauce. ::Sniff sniff:: I’m so proud of him
Have a good recipe that uses red wine? Leave me your link in the comments section!
Blackberry and Pinot Noir Glazed Meatballs
Blackberries and port add an elegant twist to the standby cocktail meatball.