Wines

Written by Jacob. Posted in Uncategorized

The first thing to remember about matching food and wine is to forget the rules! Forget about should and should nots, forget about complicated systems for selecting the right wine to enhance the food on the table. It’s not rocket science, it’s plain old common sense. Follow your instincts!

Choose a wine that you want to drink by itself. Despite all the hoopla about matching wine and food, you will probably drink most of the wine without the benefit of food–either before the food is served or after you’ve finished your meal. Therefore, you’ll not go too far wrong if you make sure the food is good and the wine is, too. Even if the match is not perfect, you will still enjoy what you’re drinking.

This is where common sense comes in. The old rule about white wine with fish and red wine with meat made perfect sense in the days when white wines were light and fruity and red wines were tannic and weighty. But today, when most California Chardonnays are heavier and fuller-bodied than most California Pinot Noirs and even some Cabernets, color coding does not always work.

Red wines as a category are distinct from whites in two main ways: tannins–many red wines have them, few white wines do–and flavors. White and red wines share many common flavors; both can be spicy, buttery, leathery, earthy or floral. But the apple, pear and citrus flavors in many white wines seldom show up in reds, and the currant, cherry and stone fruit flavors of red grapes usually do not appear in whites.

In the wine-and-food matching game, these flavor differences come under the heading of subtleties. You can make better wine choices by focusing on a wine’s size and weight. Like human beings, wines come in all dimensions. To match them with food, it’s useful to know where they
fit in a spectrum, with the lightest wines at one end and fuller-bodied wines toward the other end.

To help put the world of wines into perspective, we offer the following lists, which arrange many of the most commonly encountered wines into a hierarchy based on size, from lightest to weightiest. If you balance the
wine with the food by choosing one that will seem about the same weight as the food, you raise the odds dramatically that the match will succeed.

Yes, purists, some Champagnes are more delicate than some Rieslings and some Sauvignon Blancs are bigger than some Chardonnays, but we’re trying to paint with broad strokes here. When you’re searching for a light wine to go with dinner, pick one from the top end of the list.
When you want a bigger wine, look toward the end.

streaking_red_rocket

 

Selected dry and off-dry white wines, lightest to weightiest:

  • Soave
  • Orvieto
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Off-dry Riesling
  • Dry Riesling
  • Muscadet
  • Champagne & other dry sparkling wines
  • Chenin Blanc
  • French Chablis & other unoaked Chardonnays
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • White Bordeaux
  • White Burgundy
  • Pinot Gris (Alsace, Tokay)
  • Gewürztraminer
  • Barrel-fermented or barrel-aged
  • Chardonnay

 

Selected red wines, lightest to weightiest:

  • Valpolicella
  • Beaujolais
  • Dolcetto
  • Rioja
  • California Pinot Noir
  • Burgundy
  • Barbera
  • Chianti Classico
  • Barbaresco
  • Barolo
  • Bordeaux
  • Merlot (US)
  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet
  • Sauvignon (US, Australia)
  • Rhône
  • Syrah
  • Shiraz

 

Fall 2007

Written by Jacob. Posted in Uncategorized

I thought I would never have time to contact you again! Thanks to YOU, this Fall has been incredibly busy – just the way I like it!! It is 24° today as I write this newsletter. It seems absurd to be thinking about anything other than enjoying this beautiful Fall weather but of course, before you know it, Winter will be upon us. As always, if you are planning an end of the year celebration, it would be wise to make your reservation now so you have a choice of the best dates.

This year, in appreciation of the good work of The Salvation Army, I will be donating a percentage of the proceeds from each event I do during the month of December! That way, you not only have an enjoyable time of stress-free entertaining, you will also have the peace of mind to know that you are helping to provide much needed assistance to those who turn to The Salvation Army for help.

Once the mad rush of Christmas and New Year’s parties are over, after fifteen years in operation, I am going to close the office and take a two week v. .va. . . let me try that again – VACATION! From March 7 till March 25, I will be going back home to France for some much needed rest and relaxation. My plan is to come back refreshed and full of new inspiration just in time for Spring weddings, the Summer BBQ season and anything else you may like to celebrate!

 

Tips for Baking and Cooking with Butter

Professional chefs and bakers agree there is no substitute for the flavor and performance of real butter for cooking and baking. For the best tasting results, follow these helpful tips when using butter:

Keep it Fresh.
Store butter in its original packaging or in a sealed container in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door. Keep butter away from foods with strong odors or distinct flavors.

How the Cookie Crumbles.
For melt-in-your-mouth cookies, use slightly softened, unsalted butter. With its low melting point, butter helps make cookies soft and chewy on the inside, but crisp and golden on the outside.

The Upper Crust.
For flakier pie crusts and puff pastries, keep butter as hard and cold as possible prior to use. The flaky texture is produced when cold pieces of butter, trapped between thin layers of dough, melt during baking, creating small air pockets.

The Scoop on Sauces.
Butter makes sauces smooth and creamy, and creates a cohesive consistency by helping mix both fat- and water-based ingredients. For the best consistency and flavor, use cold, hard butter.

Quality Candy.
Butter is a key contributor to the rich flavor that makes caramels, pralines and toffee richly delicious, and it prevents excessive stickiness. Unsalted butter is best for candy-making.

Flavor Enhancer.
Adding butter along with savory or sweet spices helps retain the flavor of the spices and works to integrate the flavor throughout the entire dish.

Facts and Tips about Milk and Cream!

We’ve all heard of people who are lactose intolerant. Perhaps you might even be! Interestingly enough, it is the lactose or protein in the milk that causes the allergic reaction but if you were to try sheep or goats milk, you
would have probably have no problem at all!! While these two types of milk have the protein or lactose, it is much more similar to the human kind and therefore, much more tolerable. Raw goat’s milk also has the added benefit of an enzyme that enables the calcium to be metabolized.

When cooking with milk or cream, the lower the butterfat content, the more likely the cream is to separate. It is best to heat the milk or cream before adding it to another hot liquid because it is partly the difference in temperature that causes it to curdle.

Spring 2007

Written by Jacob. Posted in Uncategorized

This year marks the 15th anniversary since Dial-a-Chef began operating in 1992! I want to thank all of my patrons because without you, of course, I would not be here blowing out the candles!In order to serve you better, Dial-a-Chef has undertaken a major kitchen renovation. As always, it will be with pleasure that I shall be cooking for you for the next 15 years or more!

With the blooms and promise of Spring at the door, you will be sitting with your feet up on the deck in no time! Dial-a- Chef is eager to help you create delightful events with scrumptious menus for all your special occasions this Summer. As a matter of fact, Dial-a-Chef is a full service company able to ensure that not one detail of your event is overlooked!

Start them young! For parents who want to provide their children with a top notch education, why not also offer them healthy, delicious food that supports learning? No more peanut butter and jam sandwiches for the students at Academie de la Capitale! Dial-a-Chef is now providing hot, nutritious meals at the school four days a week. The days of junk food are over for these students!

Who can resist a beautifully set table? Which do you use first when there are multiple utensils and glasses ? See the tips and guidelines on the reverse side of this newsletter to help you set a table fit for a King and to allay your misgivings about fine dining!

 

Eggs

When it comes to eggs, people usually don’t pay much attention to what they buy even though eggs have been in the spotlight over these past few years!

Do you know that:

Fresh eggs can be stored in a refrigerator for four to five weeks beyond the packed on date.

If you find you have left over egg whites, you can freeze them in a flexible ice cube tray, seal them in an air-tight bag and then use them as needed. Defrost them by placing the egg whites into a bowl and place this bowl into another bowl filled with hot water.

Eggs are unique in that they contain every nutrient known to be essential to humans. The reason for this is that nature designed it as a total life support system for a developing chick. Add to this that eggs are economical and you have a near perfect food!

Of course you can eat chickens eggs but you can also eat quail eggs, duck
eggs and turkey eggs.

One ostrich egg is equal to twenty to twenty four large chicken eggs!!

 

Omelette soufflé aux pommes

 

  • 2 eggs
  • sugar
  • 150 g apples
  • 10 g powdered milk
  • 5 g butter
  • salt
  • cinnamon

 

 

Peel, seed and cut the apples. Sauté them in a non-stick pan with the butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Clarify the eggs. Whisk the egg yolks with the powdered milk until the mixture is smooth. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of sale until stiff and gently combine with the yolks. Lightly butter a small mold and pour in the egg mixture. Put the apples on top of it. Bake 10 to 15 minutes in a warm oven (180°C or 356°F). Serve warm.

 

Table Etiquette

Written by Jacob. Posted in Uncategorized

Good basic table manners are important because they ensure that both guests and hosts are comfortable at the table. Table manners are mostly common sense. Following these will carry you through most common situations from Formal Dinners to a night of poker with the guys.

 

Etiquette means behaving yourself a little better than absolutely essential!

Eat soup with the side of the spoon, without noise.

If a dish is presented to you, serve yourself first and then pass it on to your right.

Never overload the plate when serving others.

Never make a great display when removing hair, insects or other disagreeable things from your food.
Place them quietly under the edge of your plate.

Break your bread rather than cut it.

If you prefer, take up asparagus with the fingers. Olives and artichokes are also so eaten.

If a course is set before you that you do not wish, do not touch it.

When passing salt, pass the pepper as well.

Use a napkin only for your mouth. Never use it for your nose, face or forehead.

Eat at a leisurely pace.

Don’t reach for things but rather ask that they be
passed to you.

Do not sit until everyone is ready to be seated.

Do not put your elbows on the table or sit too far back or lounge.

Do not talk loud or boisterously.

Be cheerful in conduct and conversation.

If possible, never cough or sneeze at the table.

Do not speak with your mouth full.

Chew quietly and try not to slurp.

Taking small bites will help you with the two previous rules!

Never indicate that you notice anything unpleasant in the food.

Do not break your bread into the soup or mix with gravy. It is bad taste to mix food on the plate.

Keep fork in the left hand and knife in the right hand.

Never leave the table before the rest of the family or guests without asking the host or hostess to excuse you

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    Kemptville, ON, K0G1J0

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