Browsing Tag

wine pairing

Appetizers Karista's Kitchen Pork Sassy Side dishes

Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly with Rosemary White Bean Puree

Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly with Rosemary White Bean Puree // Karista's Kitchen  

Tis the season for Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly!  And of  course, festive celebrations, meeting friends for a holiday toast, gathering with loved ones from near and far and indulgent tastes that make this time of year so memorable.

Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly // Karista's Kitchen

When I think of holiday cuisine, the word decadence comes to mind, like this Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly.  Food prepared with occasional ingredients and with a bit more effort and time.  Although the holidays can be a flurry of activity for me, I adore preparing this pork belly for guests.  Once you taste it, you’ll know why it’s worth the extra time and effort.

Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly with White Bean Puree // Karista's Kitchen

This past year one of my absolute favorite Napa wineries, Rocca Family Vineyards,  asked me to develop a recipe to pair with one of their award winning wines.  This Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly with Rosemary White Bean Puree proved to be the perfect pairing with the 2009 Rocca Merlot.  An elegant, bright but balanced wine that feels like velvet on the tongue.  The bright flavor of the fruit has a lovely and spicy finish complimenting the rich flavors of the pork belly and earthy rosemary in the white bean puree.

Pork belly is a lush cut of pork that can feel lavish and festive. It’s often served as an entree but I prefer serving this sensuous dish as a first course over a fresh rosemary white bean puree – opulent in flavor and perfectly complimentary to the sweet and spicy glaze and rich meat of the pork belly.

Honey Dijon Glazed Pork Belly is of those recipes you’ll dream about; and you’ll want to include it on your holiday menu every year. I promise, it’s that good! 😉

Delicious Holiday Wishes to you!

Karista

Honey Dijon Pork Belly with Rosemary White Bean Puree

Serving Size: 6-8 as a starter or 3-4 as an entree

Honey Dijon Pork Belly with Rosemary White Bean Puree

Ingredients

    For the Pork Belly
  • 3-4lbs pork belly
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 3-inch thyme sprigs, leaves removed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
    For the Rosemary White Bean Puree
  • 1 15oz can organic cannellini beans
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Instructions

For the Pork Belly
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Score the fat (or the skin) on the belly and season both sides with salt and pepper. Mix together the thyme leaves, honey and Dijon. Set aside.
  • Place the scored pork belly in a baking dish, or on a rimmed, lined baking sheet. Brush with most of the honey Dijon mixture, reserving a little for mid-roast basting, trying to get as much in the crevices as possible.
  • Roast the pork for 15 minutes at 450F. Then lower the heat to 325 degrees F. Continue cooking, basting mid-roast with the honey Dijon mixture. Roast for about 2 – 2/12 hours or until the pork belly is done. The top of the pork should be brown and toasty and look delicious.
  • Remove the pork from the oven and tent with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes to allow all the lovely flavors to re-distribute through the meat and let the fat drain to the bottom of the pan.
  • Transfer the pork belly to a large cutting board and either slice or cut small squares.
  • Place the Rosemary White Bean Puree on a large platter or on individual plates. Top the bean puree with the slices or squares of pork belly and garnish with a few fresh thyme leaves or chopped fresh Italian parsley.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.
  • For the Rosemary White Bean Puree
  • In a small sauté pan add the oil and heat over low heat. When the oil is warm, sauté the garlic and rosemary just until fragrant. Don’t brown the garlic or it will taste bitter.
  • Add the beans and garlic, rosemary olive oil to a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • This puree is also delicious served with slow cooked Italian pork roast or grilled pork chops.
  • Notes

    When purchasing pork belly, look for cuts that have a small amount of fat over the outside of the pork belly and meat that is firm with a small amount of marbling. Often a butcher can custom cut a pork belly to your specifications, so don't hesitate to ask. You can purchase a pork belly with or without the rind. If you choose a pork belly with a rind you may want to use a clean box knife or a very sharp knife to score the rind.

    Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
    http://karistaskitchen.com/2014/12/12/honey-dijon-pork-belly-with-rosemary-white-bean-puree/
     

    Appetizers Karista's Kitchen

    Bruno’s Crostini

    Bruno's Crostini of Herbed Ricotta and an Anchovy

    By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.

    I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since my visit to Tuscany.  Strolling through acres of brilliantly colored vineyards with deep purple Sangiovese grapes, chocolate brown stems and bright green leaves.  The soil rich with various shades of red and brown, telling visitors the fruit will be lush with gorgeous intense flavor.

    Bruno's Crostini of Herbed Ricotta and an Anchovy

    I can still remember strolling through the fragrant vineyards (I should say, eating my way through the vineyards) in awe of the sweet, juicy Sangiovese grapes.  The flavors so ripe and so sweet with a texture of velvet.  I kept pinching myself while thinking…   I’m in Tuscany, visiting the Cantine Leonardo da Vinci and the growers as a 2013 DaVinci Wine StorytellerAn enchanting week I will always remember.

    Visiting one of the DaVinci Wine Growers Vineyard and Home

    Visiting Bruno Rossetti’s Vineyard and Home

    I felt so welcome. Such lovely hospitality with the most gracious of hosts and hostesses.  And of course, some of the most delicious food that has ever passed my lips.

    While dining at the table of one of the growers, Bruno Rossetti and his lovely wife, I asked Bruno “what is your favorite crostini?”.  He replied “simply ricotta on crostini with an anchovy”, and then he gave me a million dollar smile.  Which of course melted my heart.  I smiled back and told him how brilliant and delicious his favorite crostini sounded.

    I started making Bruno’s crostini the minute I returned home.  I’ve adapted them a bit, depending on what I have in my kitchen.  Most often adding a tablespoon of fresh chopped oregano and Italian parsley to the ricotta cheese.   Spreading the ricotta, sometimes homemade, onto the garlic laced crostini and then topping with an anchovy or two.  The perfect before or after dinner nibble paired with a glass DaVinci Chianti.

    Voting for your favorite four 2014 DaVinci Wine Storytellers is nearing the end.  Twelve finalists have been chosen and they are depending on all of us to vote for our favorite four Storytellers.  Be sure to click HERE, and go vote!  You can vote once per day until voting ends.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Bruno’s Crostini

    Ingredients

    1 cup of whole milk ricotta that has been drained

    Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

    Pinch of dried basil or dried mixed Italian herbs // during the summer I use 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano and Italian Parsley

    2 cans of anchovies

    Olive oil

    Crostini (baguette slices that have been toasted and rubbed with half a garlic clove)

    Directions

    Whisk together the ricotta, crushed red pepper flakes and dried or fresh herbs.  This tastes best if it sits for about 30 minutes so the red pepper and herbs can infuse the ricotta.

    Spread the ricotta on each Crostini and top with an anchovy.  Arrange on a platter and drizzle with good quality olive oil.  Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley if desired.

    Serve your Holiday Antipasti Platters with DaVinci Chianti, DaVinci Chianti Reserve, DaVinci Pinot Grigio and if you’re lucky enough to score a bottle, the DaVinci Brunello.  Although I’d probably keep that for myself.

    Buon Appetito!

     

     

    Duck Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pork

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Chianti at Home

    Allspiced Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze over Coconut Rice

    By choosing to click and read this blog post, you confirm you are of legal drinking age in the country where this site is accessed.

    The mornings are felt with a slightly cool breeze from the west, drifting from the ocean that lies just beyond the small range of mountains.  As I sit on my back porch with my morning coffee in hand, I hear the sound of a train in the distance and my choir of bull frogs are beginning the morning hush after an evening of choir practice.

    My songbirds are chiming though, making it known the competition is on.  Their melodies much sweeter to the human ears.  I won’t tell my bull frog choir however.  They seem to delight in their nightly choir practice.

    Where the songbirds sing in my backyard // Karista's Kitchen

    And so now, as I sit on my back porch watching the warm sun rise from the east, sipping my coffee that I actually took the time to make via my French press (the one I so joyfully discovered at the bottom of a box yesterday).. this is home.

    They say, home is where you hang your hat.  Or at least that’s what I’ve always heard.  At the moment however, no hats have been hung in my house.  Most likely because we can’t find the box of hats.

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Asian Cherry Glaze // Karista's Kitchen

    We have however,  found the dishes, the cutlery, the pots and pans along with all the essentials for a well stocked kitchen.  Including our wine glasses. Definitely essential items for a well stocked kitchen.

    Along with our stash of kitchen items, I found the box filled with my very carefully wrapped selection of wine; including my favorite Chianti.

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice

    Although I pair DaVinci Chianti at home with our hearty winter dishes of pasta and slow cooked meats, I also adore DaVinci Chianti served with spring and summer dishes of grilled chicken, salmon and Ahi Tuna Tacos.

    Recently, I served our favorite chianti with an Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin topped with an Asian Cherry Glaze.  Simple to prepare, yet it feels slightly indulgent with the subtle flavors of Asian cuisine.

     

    Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice

    DaVinci Chianti pairs easily with the sweet, warm, earthy flavors of the Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.  Typically used in desserts, the allspice, which is a single spice, has subtle notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg and is often used in Jamaican savory cuisine.

    I’ve paired the Allspice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze which also uses one cup of DaVinci Chianti.  I love how easy it is to roll this tenderloin in the fragrant Allspice and either grill it outdoors during the summer months or roast it in the oven on a busy weeknight.  The glaze is easily assembled and prepared, and when served with the grilled or roasted tenderloin and coconut rice, it makes a delicious and beautiful meal for the weeknight or weekend dinner guests.

    For those who like wild game or want to prepare this dish for a special occasion, I’ve also included a version of this recipe using pan seared duck.  It makes a lovely presentation and the rich flavor of the duck is beautifully complimented by the rich fruit flavors and medium body of the Chianti.

    Pan Seared Duck Breast with an Asian Cherry Glaze and Coconut Rice // Karista's Kitchen

    Chianti at Home describes special moments in a day. Moments that bring family and friends, delicious food and great wine together.  Moments that remind me of my glorious visit to Tuscany, getting to know the beautiful people behind this gorgeous wine.

    The loveliest of individuals who take great pride in creating this enchanting Chianti.  I think of them as I sip, as I savor the lush flavors that dance on the tongue.  Flavors that mingle and play ever so nice together

    2013 DaVinci Wine Storytellers

    Almost a year has passed since traveling to Italy as a DaVinci Wine Storyteller.   It’s now time to pass the baton.  Twelve new finalists for the 2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Experience have now been revealed.  I’m riddled with anticipation and excitement for these fantastic twelve, talented individuals. Who will be the final four 2014 Storytellers?

    You can help select the final four Storytellers by voting for your favorite in each category: Photography, Travel, West Coast Foodie and East Coast Foodie.  Click HERE, be sure to “like” the DaVinci Wine Facebook page and then browse the list and categories and vote.

    2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Finalists

    2014 DaVinci Wine Storyteller Finalists

    Chianti at Home … a wine for every season, every occasion.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    All-Spice Rubbed  Pork Tenderloin with an Asian Cherry Glaze

    The tenderloin can be grilled or roasted as listed in the Directions

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    For the rub:

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

    1 teaspoon ground all-spice

    1 large pork tenderloin or 2 small; this can also be prepared with Duck Breast. Recipe Follows.

    Olive oil

    Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

    Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

    For the sauce:

    1 cup sour cherries

    2 tablespoons honey

    1 cup DaVinci Chianti

    ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    3 tablespoons soy sauce

    2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

    ½ teaspoon corn starch (optional)

    Directions

    Mix together the salt, pepper and ground all-spice.  Rub the tenderloin with oil and then season with the salt, pepper, all-spice mixture.  Let the tenderloin sit for a few minutes while starting the glaze.

    Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low or medium low, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced.  The sauce should thicken as it cools, however, if you’d like to thicken it while it’s warm, add two tablespoons of warm glaze to a small bowl and then whisk in the ½ teaspoon of corn starch.  Once this mixture (called a slurry) is smooth, whisk it into the glaze and bring the glaze back to a boil for about one minute.  This will thicken the sauce.

    Preheat the oven or grill to 400F.   To roast the tenderloin, place it in a baking dish and then place the baking dish in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the center of the tenderloin reaches 145F.

    To grill the tenderloin, place it on the pre-heated grill, cover and cook, turning every 2-3 minutes for about 10-15 minutes, depending on size.  The tenderloin is done when the internal temperature reaches 145F.

    Let the pork tenderloin rest for few minutes before slicing.  This will allow juices to redistribute and keep the tenderloin moist and juicy.

    Place the coconut rice on a platter and then slice the tenderloin.  Place the tenderloin slices on top of the coconut rice and drizzle with the Asian Cherry Glaze.  Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

    Serve with DaVinci Chianti!

    Pan Seared Duck Breast with Asian Cherry Glaze

    Serves 2-3

    Ingredients

    For the rub:

    1 teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

    1 teaspoon ground all-spice

    2 Duck Breasts, thawed if previously frozen (Often I find them in the freezer section of my meat market)

    Olive oil

    Coconut Rice (recipe follows)

    Green onions, thinly sliced for garnish

    For the sauce:

    1 cup sour cherries

    2 tablespoons honey

    1 cup DaVinci Chianti

    ½ teaspoon cinnamon

    3 tablespoons soy sauce

    2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

    ½ teaspoon corn starch (optional)

    Directions

    Mix together the salt, pepper and ground all-spice.  Rub the Duck Breasts with the seasoning. On a cutting board lined with parchment or plastic wrap, place the duck breast one at a time on top of the parchment or plastic and then place another piece of parchment or plastic on the duck breast.  Pound the duck breast with a meat mallet or a rolling pin until it’s a bit thinner and will cook a bit faster.  If you like, score the duck breast skin in a crisscross pattern.  Do not remove the skin.  The skin has delicious flavor and gets crispy when pan seared.

    Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low or medium low, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced.  The sauce should thicken as it cools, however, if you’d like to thicken it while it’s warm, add two tablespoons of warm glaze to a small bowl and then whisk in the ½ teaspoon of corn starch.  Once this mixture (called a slurry) is smooth, whisk it into the glaze and bring the glaze back to a boil for about one minute.  This will thicken the sauce.

    To prepare the duck pre-heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a dash of olive oil.  Once the skillet is hot, place the duck breasts skin side down and brown, about 5 minutes.  Once the skin is nice and deep golden brown, flip the duck breasts to the other side and cook another 5 minutes.  I like my duck breasts medium rare, a little pink in the center.  Cook another 2-3 minutes if you prefer it cooked through.

    Once the duck is done, transfer it to a carving board and let it rest for a few minutes.  Place the coconut rice on a platter and then slice the duck.  Place the duck breast slices on top of the coconut rice and drizzle with the Asian Cherry Glaze.  Garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

    Serve with DaVinci Chianti!

    Coconut Rice

    This recipe is easily doubled

    Ingredients

    1 cup coconut milk

    ½ cup water

    ¾ cup basmati rice

    ¼ t salt

    Directions

    Combine coconut milk, rice, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once, then cover and cook for 15-18 minutes, or until the rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

     

    Recipe by Chef Karista Bennett

     

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets vegetarian

    Dark Chocolate Granola, Fruit and Nut Snack

     

    dark chocolate coated granola, nuts and dried fruit snack mix

    I love my bright red cake tin. To leave it sitting empty would be a crime.  So, it’s often filled with my youngest gals favorite Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies or my family’s go to breakfast, Confetti Muffins.

    On occasion I’ll surprise my Bennett Crew with a little something new like Chef Laurie’s Classic Pound Cake or Pink Patisseries gluten free chocolate cupcakes.  I won loads of happy faces for those two treats.

    However, when that bright red cake tin is empty, I am promptly notified.

    My bright red vintage cake tin... holds mouthfuls of deliciousness

    My bright red vintage cake tin… holds mouthfuls of deliciousness

    It’s not that we consume many sweets in this house.  Actually, dinner is the highlight around here and it can make or break the day… so I’ve been told. But the comfort of knowing the red cake tin holds a bit of indulgence, seems to keep the bright and cheery going strong.

    Especially if that indulgence includes chocolate.

    This lovely little mix of dark chocolate covered granola, fruit and nuts seems to fly out of the cake tin.  I made this treat over the weekend and by Wednesday all but a few granola crumbs were gone.

    You can use any kind of granola (or no granola if you eat grain free), nuts or dried fruit but my family loves this with a mix of tree nuts, vanilla granola, dried diced apricots and dried blueberries.  It’s a simple recipe with lots of room for variation and experimentation.

    It also makes a fun and tempting treat for your aspiring young chef’s to create. Not to mention this decadent little snack pairs beautifully with a glass of one of my favorite cabernet’s the Collinetta Cabernet from Rocca Vineyards.  Not a bad way to start the weekend. 🙂

    Here’s to the little things in life.  Like chocolate… and a bright red cake tin filled with something sweet.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Dark Chocolate Granola, Fruit and Nut Snack

    Ingredients

    8 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate ( I love the 65% Colombian dark chocolate that I purchase from my local Co-op Natural Market. It pairs beautifully with the fruit and nuts)

    1 cup of your favorite granola (my family loves plain vanilla granola, or granola with dried blueberries both of which are lovely with this recipe)

    1 1/2 cups tree nuts or your favorite nut mix (I use a bulk nut mix from my Co-op market that includes almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios and pepita (pumpkin) seeds)

    1 cup of your favorite dried fruit such as dried blueberries, raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, chopped dried bananas, pineapple, mango, etc.

    Sea salt (because a dash of salt makes everything taste better)

    Directions

    Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

    In a large bowl combine the granola, fruit and nuts.

    In a microwave safe bowl or a double boiler (stovetop) gently melt the chocolate until “just melted”.   If you are microwaving the chocolate be sure to microwave in 15-20 second increments so you don’t over cook or scald the chocolate.

    Once the chocolate is melted, pour it over the granola, fruit and nuts and gently stir to combine.

    Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet as thin or as thick as you like.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.

    Let the mix cool at room temperature for about an hour or until it has hardened and can be broken into pieces.

    Store in your favorite container or “cake tin”.  Or store it in a Ziploc bag.  Keep it in a cool place.  Enjoy!