Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wine Country Inspired - Part I

MK's Wine Country Colcannon
Served with Dan's Perfectly Pan Seared Filet Mignon
 Topped with my Warm Fig Jam and Gorgonzola

Note:  Please do not forget to click on my pics to get the "Full Food Monty!"

Today is my 49th birthday.   Errgh…  And I woke up to the sad realization that I will never be a “Bond Girl.” 

Darn!   ;.)   I think that ship sailed some time ago.

But seriously, folks...

Many of you who read this blog are out on Facebook and I appreciate all the good birthday wishes you sent me today on my wall.  I’ve said it before but food bloggers are the nicest people!

Why am I blogging tonight?   Dan helped me cook and he helped with dishes and he said, "You love this so much, you wouldn't have it any other way."  So he ate the cake and fell asleep on the couch -- snuggled up to our precious Golden, Eddie... and I am up late blogging.   ;.)))  

Dan and Me at a Wine Dinner at Stags' Leap

I had a great early birthday present this past week.  I had the opportunity to accompany my husband to northern California on personal business.  We had two free days to spend in Napa and Sonoma.  While in Napa on our own, we had the opportunity to dine at Cuvee.  That was our one "splurge" meal.  (I will be posting a Wine Country on a Budget post next week).

I do not do restaurant reviews because my mother taught me to only say something nice –  I can't say enough good things about this place!

Executive Chef Jordan Mackey creates simple but elegant Napa Valley “comfort food.”  The menu is affordable; so if you are on a tight budget like we are right now, you can splurge on a night on the town and not break the bank.

Dan had the scallops.  He was wowed by the surprise of a little bit of green apple on top.  The scallops were cooked just perfectly.  They were so juicy and succulent.   The plating was beautiful.

I had the hanger steak.  Delicious.   I have been trying to figure out the secret ingredient in the sauce, but I just can’t. 

We started our meal with the Potato Dumplin’ Bruleé.  We added the Cauliflower  Gratin with bacon and five cheeses as a side dish.  We finished our great meal with the Apple Brown Betty for dessert. 

Check out the menu for the delicious descriptions!

I’m no food critic, but I give this place five out of five stars for food, presentation, atmosphere and great service.  When in Napa, check it out.  Cuvee is located near downtown Napa next to the River Terrace Inn.

The visit to this restaurant inspired me to come up with my own wine country comfort cuisine.  Over the next two weeks, I'm going to be posting some amazing new recipes that I know you are going to love.  Of course, I will find some way to make them healthier and affordable to prepare. 

Since today is my birthday, my husband, Dan, cooked me the perfectly pan seared filet.   I topped it with my fig jam and Gorgonzola crumbles – sorry my fig jam recipe is Top Secret! 

I served it all up with this simple side dish.  Paired with this wonderful Stonehedge 2008 Terroir Select Pinot Noir, we had the perfect celebration meal.

MK's Wine Country Colcannon

½ pound Red Potatoes
½ tablespoon Butter
½ tablespoon Olive Oil
¼ cup chopped Sweet Onion
1 – 9 ounce box frozen Creamed Spinach (suggest an organic brand, low in sodium)
½ teaspoon Nutmeg
Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan and Romano
Drizzle Garlic Infused Olive Oil (suggest Figone's)*

Boil potatoes in water until fork tender.  Drain.

In the same pan, melt butter with olive oil.  Sauté onion for three minutes, until it softens and slightly browns.

Microwave spinach for three minutes. 

Combine spinach in pan with onions.  Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.

Add potatoes and smash with potato masher to desired consistency. 

Add grated cheese and stir.

Serve with a drizzle of the garlic olive oil. 

No product was supplied to blogger and not a paid endorsement.

*You can order online at:
I know this oil seems a little pricey at first glace. 

Remember, this is a finishing olive oil, so a little goes a long way! 
Store it in your pantry, well-sealed, and it will last.
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