July 24, 2011

Summer Dinner

We had Shane's friend M over for dinner last night.  She happens to cook for a living so we knew we had to knock dinner out of the park.  We set up the patio set, brought the tomato plants from Mom's where they had been growing on the side of her house. Put out the wine glasses and made a feast.  We ate very well.  I made a grilled flatbread (or bbqed pizza, however you want to look at it) with local garlic and butter spread on the bottom, pureed eggplant with salt and lemon, our rosemary sprinkled on and an awesome strong parmesan cheese melted on top.  It was my favourite dish of the evening.

Shane made and I rolled some fresh fettucini noodles.  We ate it with local bacon, fresh shucked peas, tonnes of garlic and soft fresh goats cheese.  Finally we had an apricot raspberry cobbler with the lemon-thyme ice cream I made a few days prior.

On my 21 before 21 list (must post soon) I wrote 'try 5 cocktails', in an effort to push my boundaries a little.  Beer or wine is usually fine for me.  A summer sangria fit the bill perfectly!  The wine I used in this sangria was a dry white, as described in the recipe.  Our criteria at the liquor store was very simple, dry white and 100% BC produced.  We found something amazing, White Bear Wine, produced in the Okanagan Valley.  The reason it's amazing is because it, not only supports ecosystem conservation, as it states on the bottle, but donates 15% of it's sales to Marine and Rainforest Conservation, to saving the spirit bears!  How awesome is that?!

Dry white wine? Check
100% BC made? Check
Supports BC's environment? Bonus
Saving the spirit bears? Double bonus!

And it tastes great!  We made a great find and to top it all off (could it get any better?!) It's one of the cheapest wines on the shelf, around $14.

Anyway back to the recipe.

Summer Sangria

This recipe is heavy on summer.  It uses rosemary from the garden and strawberries you've got on your counter. It requires some forethought, but it is definitely worth it.  

I didn't adapt the recipe at all from here.  As I've expressed I'm a total drink noob, but Adrianna did a great job, so no improvement was necessary!

One more note, the recipe asks for triple sec, but that's just a offshoot of Conitreau so use whatever you've got.

1 cup diced strawberries
1 Tbsp agave (or sugar if you need to)
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp water
2 sprigs of rosemary

1 750-mL bottle dry white wine
1/4 cup triple sec
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 peach, sliced into 12 pieces
1 orange, cut into 6 crosswise
1 lime, cut into 6 crosswise

Combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan.  Over medium heat simmer away for 5-7 minutes, until the strawberries break down and you can easily squish them.  Strain the ingredients through a sieve, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible.  You need at least two tablespoons.

In a pitcher (glass is prettier) combine the wine, triple sec and all the fruit, along with the syrup.  Bang up the fruit a little.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 4 hours or chill for 2.  Serve with ice, or if your freezer is as small as mine serve it without ice.  Enjoy!

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