Housewarming Winesday

Happy Winesday! I figured it might be more enjoyable for me to post Winesday menus ON Winesday. We’ll see though. Those are my favorite, and it might be hard to wait 6 days to post. I’m terrible at waiting (you should see me at Christmas time!). Anyway, forgive the low quality pictures as they were taken with my old iPhone, which isn’t quite as fabulous as the newer versions. This menu comes from a housewarming Winesday at Michelle’s newly purchased home. It’s pretty impressive to buy your first home at 27 without the help of your parents or a man! So what better way to celebrate than with good food, good wine, and good company?

The Wine

  • Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc 2011-available almost everywhere for around $8.00. Oh yes, good, cheap wine. This New Zealand wine is much better in the summer, but as with most wines, it could be enjoyed anytime. 😉 It has refreshing citrus notes that are not overpowering, and it has a slightly dry, crisp finish. It worked well with the dessert I made that evening, and it pairs very nicely with seafood or anything a bit spicy. This is our go-to wine for any occasion if we don’t have anything on hand from a local vineyard and aren’t looking to try something new.

The Salad

  • I want to introduce this salad to you by letting you know how incredible the combination of vinegar and strawberries is. It probably sounds awful at first, but the acidic taste of vinegar (white wine or balsamic usually) and the sugary sweetness of strawberries blend so well that they soften both flavors. This salad pairs them together along with the addition of honey, goat cheese, and walnuts to really vary the textures and flavors. It isn’t quite hearty enough to make it a meal, but it makes an excellent side salad for a spicier dish. The salad was created by Ms. Amber and adapted from TasteofHome.com.

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 5 Servings

For the Dressing

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 fresh strawberries, hulled (the strawberry’s little “cap” is removed)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil

For the Salad

  • 1 package of organic mixed spring greens (always organic when you can with greens!)
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

How to Do It

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the white wine vinegar, strawberries, water, lime juice, mint, honey, salt, and pepper. Gradually add the olive oil in a steady stream while the other ingredients are mixing. Set aside.
  2. Place greens in a large salad bowl, and top with strawberries, onions, goat cheese, and walnuts. Drizzle with dressing, and mix thoroughly to combine.

How the hull do I hull a strawberry?? It’s easy! Slice the top of the strawberry off, and remove the top and the stem that goes inside the strawberry. The final product will be a hollow strawberry that you can easily slice.

The Entrée

  • A black bean quesadilla with goat cheese, courtesy of Ms. Michelle and originally from MarthaStewart.com. This is not your typical greasy quesadilla, but rather the PERFECT healthy comfort food! I couldn’t help but eat multiple triangles, and they never seemed too heavy. They don’t drip with oil from the cheeses, and they’re loaded with healthy ingredients. They’re also easy to make with little in the way of preparation.

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 4 Servings

  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinse and drained
  • 3 oz goat cheese, crumbled (roughly ½ cup)
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • ¾ cup corn kernels (from 2 ears of corn, canned,
    or frozen and thawed)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh oregano
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 10 six-inch corn or whole wheat tortillas

How to Do It

  1. Roughly process beans in a food processor or mash them in a medium bowl until chunky. Add the goat cheese, tomato, corn, green onions, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper as desired, and stir until well combined.
  2. Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium heat. Spread ½ cup of the mixture evenly over a tortilla and top with another tortilla. Repeat with remaining mixture and tortillas.
  3. Raise the heat for the grill or pan to medium-high, and grill quesadillas until grill marks appear or filling is hot, about 2 minutes on each side. If you’re using a frying pan to cook them, they’ll brown and toast, but don’t let them burn or blacken. Remove from heat, and cut into wedges. Serve warm.

Tip: Cutting green onions (scallions) and fresh herbs can be frustrating if you’re using a cutting board and knife. Try using scissors with a serrated edge to cut into small pieces. So much easier!

Extra Tip: If you’re unable to get fresh herbs, use 1/3 the amount required in dry herbs instead. One tablespoon of fresh herbs=1 teaspoon of dried herbs.

The Dessert

  • Raspberry-Almond Blondies-which are lovely the first evening you make them, but they do not stay delicious for very long after that. Try not to keep them for more than a day or two after baking.

Comments

  1. That was a great meal & a great Winesday… thanks for the house-warming shout out 🙂

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