ITALIAN BITES #CRUSTY BAGUETTES/EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Made a quick home-made tomato sauce with some tomatoes. Sliced eggplant and baked in oven.

EGGPLANT SLICES FOR OVEN
EGGPLANT SLICES FOR OVEN

With a drizzle of a little olive oil and sprinkle of salt and black pepper, eggplant was ready for my fresh home-made sauce, feta cheese and fresh garnish of parsley.

Paired same with slices of crusty five-grain baguette, toasted in oven and rubbed with garlic. Topped them with left-over kale and broccoli pesto and fresh sliced tomatoes.

All I needed was a refreshing serving of Pinot Grigio to complete my dishes which I happened to have some left-over on hand. The light and sweet wine married well with my dishes. I was over-the-moon happy.

ITALIAN BITES WITH SERVING OF PINOT GRIGIO
ITALIAN BITES WITH SERVING OF PINOT GRIGIO

 

A NAPA-INSPIRED DISH – ORANGE/LEMON ROASTED CHICKEN WITH A PAIRING OF PINOT GRIGIO(FR. CALIFORNIA)

Yippee! Based on reports in the media from the local Vintners’ Association in California, it’s now harvest time in the Napa Valley area. And, that’s spectacular news for the area. You see, on Sunday, August 24, 2014, the wine region was rattled by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake.

Thankfully, there were no known deaths caused from this earthquake. However, dozens were injured and I certainly wish them a speedy recovery. Unfortunately, for this famous wine-producing region which yearly generates close to $1.4 billion also suffered losses. Example, Cult 24 Wine Bar lost close to $50,000 worth of bottles of wine. Moreover, some tasting rooms had to be closed temporarily to tourists.

The good news is that the area has and is already bouncing back. The vineyards and the grapes didn’t suffer great impact. I can only imagine how anxious the growers and operators have been throughout this ordeal. Being a wine lover, my heart goes out to these dedicated and passionate people. They toil for hours in the vineyards so I can visit my neighborhood store and fetch me a bottle of my favorite.  Further, the fabulous news is that the price of wine will not be increased due to this earthquake.

As a  result, I thought it was befitting that I paid homage to these beautiful folks in the Napa area. I did so with a meal that in my mind’s eye would be perfect on a menu at one of the eating establishments in the locale.

Therefore, I made an Orange/Lemon Roasted Chicken” I served the entrée with a side dish of sweet potato salad, garlic green beans and broccoli. Of course, I paired this Napa-inspired dish with an inexpensive Californian wine (Pinot Grigio) Salud! And what do you know? We finish the dish with sweet/seedless California grapes.

Ingredients for Orange/Lemon Roasted Chicken:

*Garlic (crushed)

*Chicken (legs/thighs)

*Olive oil

*Salt/cracked black pepper

*Lemon (slices)

*Orange (1 – juice)

Method

1. Chicken parts (legs/thighs) were seasoned with salt, pepper and crushed garlic. This was done a couple hours before cooking.

2. Chicken parts were drizzled with olive oil. Then, slices of lemon were placed on chicken along with extra garlic.

3. Chicken parts were then placed in heated oven and roasted at 425 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes.

For Orange/Lemon sauce:

1. The juice of orange along with half of lemon with a splash of honey were placed in small stock pot. Water was added to a teaspoon of flour and mixed and then added to ingredients  for thickening.

2. This  was simmered on low heat until it became a sauce-like consistency.

3. Approximately ten minutes into completion of roasting time of chicken, orange and lemon sauce was then brushed on chicken parts.

The dish was a hit. The savory, tart and slightly sweet combination was just what me and my loved ones’ palates needed. We were satisfied and contented as we  watched the ducks waddled their tails. We sipped on pinot grigrio and nibbled on California seedless grapes. Now, what more could any one else ask for?