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Monday, November 15, 2010

Blue Cheese Buffalo Burgers, Kale Chips, and Rancho Sisquoc Cabernet Sauvignon

Recipe: Blue Cheese Buffalo Burgers
Recipe: Kale Chips
Wine: 2006 Rancho Sisqouc Cabernet Sauvignon, Santa Barbara
I must be low on iron as I began craving red meat again this week. I had some ground buffalo in the freezer, so threw it in the fridge last night. I knew burgers would make for an easy and tasty dinner after work today. I have also successfully used this recipe with grass-fed ground beef and ground elk. When we lived in San Diego a local market carried ground elk. If you can find it, this is a fabulous recipe with elk. Tonight, I was in the mood for kale chips, which has become one of my favorite veggie sides. I have even just eaten a batch of these chips in the middle of the afternoon. Give them a try, but if kale is absolutely not for you these burgers are delicious with baked sweet potato fries.

Last year, I had discovered my favorite burger wine. Rancho Sisqouc’s Cab is full-bodied and smooth with some great plum flavors and a nice long finish. What makes it the perfect burger wine iss the additional notes of cola and pepper. I originally found this wine at a small wine store in San Diego, but then found it was also at Whole Foods. So there is a chance this may be easier to find then some wines I have discussed in the past.

Serving: Makes 3 good size burgers, 4 smaller burgers

1 lb. ground buffalo (or beef, elk etc)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
4 oz blue cheese (gorgonzola is yummy too--I use what I have)

1. Grate half an onion and garlic over cheese grater into bowl. You can also mince, but this gets more moisture out.
2. Slice remainder of onion and cook with a little oil over medium high heat until nice and brown.
3. Add beaten egg and the remainder of ingredients (except buns). Yes, I add the cheese in now. I find it is very yummy mixed in and melted. Plus it helps hold the meat together too. Knead together.
4. Shape into three or four patties. Make an indentation in the middle of each patty, so it cooks more evenly and doesn’t bulge in middle.
5 You can grill the burgers to desired doneness. This is a great option is using ground chuck. I do find when I use the leaner meats, the burgers are tastier if I cook them in my cast iron skillet (or any skillet) at medium to medium-high heat. They still get nice and brown, but retain their moisture better on the stove.
6. Place burgers on buns and top with cooked onions and desired condiments.


1 bunch kale
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. garlic salt

1. It’s best to rinse and let kale dry when you get home from store. This recipe is better when kale is dry!
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Tear kale into shreds.
4. In a bowl , mix olive oil and lemon juice.
5. Place kale shreds into bowl and massage until olive oil/lemon mix has worked into all leaves. You can add more oil if needed.
6. Place on cooking sheet, sprinkle with garlic salt and slide into the oven.
7. Bake until crisp, about 12 minutes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coffee-Soy Sauce Marinated Buffalo Steaks and Maloy O’Neill Cabernet Sauvignon

Recipe: Coffee-Soy Sauce Marinated Buffalo Steaks
Recipe: Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Wine: 2005 Maloy O’Neill Cabernet Sauvignon Windy Hill, Paso Robles

After beginning this blog I realized that I am a red wine lover that eats like a white wine drinker. I knew if I wanted to showcase some of my favorite wines I needed to increase my red meat intake. It’s not that I don’t like red meat, but I don’t crave it the way I crave pasta and fish. So, we don’t eat it that often and it’s very rare that we eat traditional beef. I am a great fan of grass-fed meat and even better, buffalo. I once read that buffalo is one of the best things for women to eat. I prefer the flavor of buffalo over beef, so I almost always chose this. However, I am positive this recipe will work just as well with regular beef and whatever cut you chose.

As for the wine, my husband brought a bottle of Cab back from one of our favorite Paso wineries, Maloy O’Neill. As I didn’t try the wine first, I looked it up online and read the description which included coffee notes and thought it would be perfect for this recipe. In general, I think this recipe will work with any Cabernet with toasty oak and/or coffee notes. The John Alan Roasted Ridge Syrah with its heavy coffee notes would be delicious if you find it. Upon trying the Maloy O’Neill Cab, I thought the coffee to be subtle with some toasty oak, black cherry, black berry and a little spice. Either way, the wine was superb and tasted delicious with the smoky, nutty, caramelized flavors of the tender steak.

In addition to the steak, I served roasted brussel sprouts. If you have never roasted brussel sprouts, please try them. My mother always served brussel sprouts soaked in vinegar and I HATED them. I am so grateful, I gave them another try as I love the caramelized flavor of roasted brussel sprouts. Yum!

Servings: I marinated 2 steaks, although I think the same amount of liquid could easily accommodate four.

2-4 Steaks, I chose NY strip buffalo steaks
1 cup coffee
1 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ large onion or 1 medium to small onion
4-6 cloves of garlic ( I love garlic)
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp of red pepper flakes, more or less based on your preference
Olive oil, couple tbsp to sauté onion and garlic

1. Saute onion, garlic, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes in olive oil until onions are soft.
2. Brew one cup of coffee (or use leftovers from the morning pot).
3. Mix soy sauce, coffee, Worcestershire and balsamic vinegar. Add onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds. Cool.
4. Once marinade is cool, add steaks and refrigerate overnight (or at least eight hours).
5. Remove steaks from marinade and grill until desired temperature/doneness.
6. While grilling, pour the marinade into a pot, boil for several minutes to kill any bacteria, reduce heat and simmer on low until steaks are finished.
7. Drizzle sauce over steaks.

This is a recipe, I make so often that its hard to quantify ingredients.

Brussel Sprouts
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
Balsamic Vinegar, optional
Thyme, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. You can cut the sprouts in half or leave them whole. Honestly it depends on my mood.
3. Coat brussel sprouts in olive oil. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Now, I either sprinkle with thyme or a little balsamic vinegar. Again depends on mood or main dish.
4. Roast about 25 minutes or until they get nice and brown.