Find us on Google+ cooking lounge * FOOD * LIFESTYLE * MUSIC *: December 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Guide to the Mid-Atlantic's Top 5 Wineries Written by Rebecca Bredholt

In an effort to bring more Food, Lifestyle and Music posts to the Cooking Lounge community, CL is now posting articles and recipes from some of its favorite writers, cooks, musicians, artists and friends.

Rebecca Bredholt is the first guest writer on the Cooking Lounge Blog.  
I enjoyed her take on roundtrip. Rebecca touches on food, lodging, travel and of course wine. Doing it in style with roof down on the convertible. With the growing locavore movement, it makes sense that regional wineries would become part of a 'drink local' push. We already see the 'drink local' push with the mushrooming micro-brewery trend.
Cooking Lounge

A Guide to the Mid-Atlantic's Top 5 Wineries
Just beneath Wine Spectator's radar sit some of the most under-valued Savignon Blancs and Cabernet blends. Here's a guide on enjoying five wineries before they get famous. Fill up the tank and leave D.C. for some tannin-filled crushings worth the trip.
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Pickled Green Beans with Ginger and Lemongrass, New York City Int'l Pickle Day, and Winifred Atwell

Fall has settled in and the lingering bounty of Summer is being harvested and preserved.  A night in late summer that was unusually cool, I hung out with some friends to catch up on True Blood episodes.  My friends, L and M,  are awesome hosts and laid out the munchies for the vampire fest.  Along with the chips and hummus, there were spicy pickled green beans.  

The green beans were firey, crunchy, tangy and slightly salty.  No, did not get the name of the brand because I was caught-up in vampires, shape shifters, zealots and other creatures of the bayou.  But I savored the pickled veg and decided to try my hand at making a quick version for quick consumption.

I have never made a real (keep it on a dark shelf for months) pickle before so the recipe I came up with IS NOT for long-term canning/preserving.  It's a quick pickle, for quick consumption.  They should keep for several weeks in the fridge.  There are a load of websites if you want to get down and get serious with the process.  
Here's a link to one:  National Center for Food Preservation.
What would be very on point is to purchase a product from one of purveyors in this Cooking Lounge post.  And of course, use the recipe below as a guide to make your own.
Pickled Green Beans with Ginger and Lemongrass

3/4 lb Green Beans (trimmed, 5-6 inches long)
1/2 lb Long Beans (trimmed and cut into 6in pieces
1 stalk of Lemongrass (trimmed, peeled and cut into 2 in pieces)
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled, sliced and cut into strips)
16oz of White vinegar
1 cup of water
4 Garlic cloves (chopped)
4 or so Cilantro sprigs
2 tablespoon Sea Salt
1 tablespoon Coarse Black Pepper
4 Dried Red Chile  Peppers (broken up)
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 qt Ball mason jar, wide-mouth

In a 5 qt pot ( I used an enameled pot), add vinegar all the ingredients except the long beans and green beans and cilantro.
Bring to simmer.   Add the long beans and green beans.  Cover for 3-5 minutes.  Want them blanched.  Remove from heat.  Drop in cilantro.   Be careful from here on.  Using tongs, pack the beans into the Ball mason jar lengthwise.  Leave some room for the liquid.  Pour all the spices and good stuff in the jar first then top with brine.  Screw on the lid; cool to room temperature.  Let them hang out for a day or two in the refrigerator to absorb the flavors.  Enjoy!  
Please note: Sterilize the Ball jar before using. photos: wbj
Winifred Atwell was a classically trained pianist who rose to 
fame in Britain and Australia playing Boogie Woogie and 
Ragtime hits. Winifred never broke through in the United States 
because of the social barriers of the era.

Here's a homestyle video, shot with a Flip video camera, of 
NY International Pickle Day 2009.  
The song is "Dill Pickles" with Winifred banging out a jaunty, 
almost vaudevillian ditty.

Cooking Lounge.