Monday, February 15, 2010

Celebrating Friends and a New JLBR President!

I recently had a few girlfriends over for a “Savor the Moment” dinner at Chez Miskew (my house). Being almost 60 recipes into my little project I was in need of a little moral support and I also wanted to celebrate my friend Nancy Dockerty's election as President of The Junior League of Boca Raton for the upcoming 2011-2012 League year – go, Nancy! To kick it up a notch, I made a few delicious recipes from “Savor the Moment” as well as one of my own signature dishes, Boeuf Bourguignon with Short Ribs.

We started the evening with the delicious and decadent Wild Mushroom Brie (pg. 65). This recipe combines three varieties of mushrooms (white button, portobello and shiitake) together with shallots, chives, sherry, toasted pine nuts and the creamy, cow’s milk deliciousness that is Brie. As if that wasn’t fabulous enough, you then wrap it up in pie pastry and bake it until it is golden brown and the Brie is all melty. If you are a mushroom fan you need to drop what you’re doing and go make this recipe NOW! I also love that the recipe tells you to use the leftover pastry to create a little mushroom to place on top as décor. My husband Steve is responsible for creating the one you see in the photo – I think he did a great job! The dish was very well received by my guests; none of us had tried this tasty “Savor the Moment” gem before. In addition to being a great appetizer, we all agreed this dish would make for a fabulous lunch served with a salad.

I paired the Brie with a 2008 Viña Santa Rita Chardonnay Central Valley 120, a white wine from Chile’s Central Valley. It’s made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and aged in stainless steel so no worries about it being an oak monster. It’s flavors of green apple, tropical fruit and buttery pear complemented the Brie nicely. For around $10 a bottle, this also makes for a nice little Everyday Wine too.

For the second course, I dished up the Beouf Bourguignon with Short Ribs. I have written about this dish before in a previous blog http://tinyurl.com/yk829ef. It is a combination of some of my favorite recipes for this classic French dish and I think what sets mine apart is using an entire bottle of red wine, Cognac and of course the short ribs! The short ribs necessitate a longer cooking time which just makes everything taste better if you ask me. When I served it for Bookclub a few months ago, we tried three different wine pairings: a Pinot Noir, a Rioja and a Shiraz. The Shiraz was the hands down winner of the contest! I think the short ribs add a richness that necessitates a bigger, bolder wine even though historically this recipe calls for a Burgundy.

Tonight I paired the dish with a 2006 Cycles Gladiator Central Coast Syrah. This red from California’s Central Coast was somewhat lighter in style then the Australian Shiraz we originally had, but also complemented the dish very well. It had nice, ripe fruit flavors of blackberry, strawberry and rhubarb with tannins that stood up to the decadent short ribs as well. Also at around $10 a bottle, this easy drinking red would also make a great Everyday Wine choice.

For dessert, I decided to be consistent with the decadent fare and go with the Fallen Chocolate Soufflé Cakes (pg. 254). If you know your guests have a predilection for chocolate, you cannot go wrong with this recipe! Delicious chocolate cakes with oozy chocolate centers served with Haagen Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream and a dusting of Confectioner’s sugar – what's not to love? I included the recipe for this divine dessert in my post a few days ago so if you are so inclined, by all means, check it out at: http://tinyurl.com/ygh7egz. Needless to say, the Soufflé Cakes were also very well received and my guests and I were sufficiently stuffed!

After a night of laughing, eating, drinking wine and more laughing, the girls headed home and I felt even more committed to the "Savor the Moment" Challenge. The Junior League is such a fabulous group of women doing such wonderful things for our community and, now, one of my great friends is going to be President! I highly recommend getting involved in your local League if not for the great friends or opportunities to benefit your community, then definitely do it for the Cookbook. For more info visit www.ajli.org - Cheers!



**Wines for this blog were kindly provided by Republic National Distributing Company.



















13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post on Cycles Syrah. Check out the 2008. It'll knock your socks off!

    Best,

    Philip Woodrow
    Hahn Family Wines

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  2. Philip,
    You're more than welcome! Look forward to trying the 2008:)
    Stephanie

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  3. Congrats to Nancy!

    I love the little pastry mushroom, but I love more>> "bake it until it is golden brown and the Brie is all melty" mainly because I love the use of the word "melty" :)

    Your Beouf Bourguignon with Short Ribs photo is so pretty and tempting. I'm so hungry now!

    ps: thanks for your kind words on my latest post.

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  4. Congratulations to Nancy Dockerty! Sweet of you to celebrate the election of our new League President.
    I think you're doing a great job of Savor the Moment recipes. It must take patience....because you can't always be in the mood to make something specific. I could never do it.
    Think your photos are greatly improved...are you using a new camera?

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  5. What a wonderful spread! Your friends must have been so pleased.
    *kisses* HH

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  6. wow that mushroom pie looks amazing lucky friends!

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  7. A fantastic meal! The wild mushroom brie is so tempting!

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  8. @ Barbara - I am so glad there is such variety in Savor the Moment - always interesting! No new camera yet just refining my techniques. Thanks for noticing;)

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  9. Stephanie, what a fabulous meal. Boeuf Bourguignon is one of our favorites and I know it would be even better with short ribs. Your wild mushroom brie sounds rich and wonderful and the chocolate soufflees are the perfect way to end the meal. I know your friends were pleased and impressed.
    Sam

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  10. This menu looks fabulous, and that mushroom on top of the brie pastry crust is so cute! I love doing artistic touches like that!

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  11. Wow!! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog because it means that I have found yours! I absolutely love everything on this post! I will definatley be trying to make the Mushroom Brie - it looks divine!! :)

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