Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini Winetail

This Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini is a unique blend of white wine, sparkling water, cucumber juice, lime, maple syrup and matcha powder.  The cucumber mellows the normally strong flavor of the matcha, the lime adds a nice subtle tang and the maple syrup adds a delicate sweetness.

Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini Winetail Spring is here and this is the perfect drink to hail the reawakening of nature.  This drink is spring green and refreshing.  It’s light yet substantial.  There are times when I want to join my friends for a cocktail but hard alcohol doesn’t agree with me.  So, I decided to create what I call a “winetail”.  I obviously didn’t coin the term winetail.  There are those that put hard alcohol in their version of a winetail but to me, it is still a cocktail if it contains hard alcohol.  It is the perfect name for this type of drink if you ask me!

Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini Winetail Drizly.com has selected me as one of their Top Shelf Bloggers and I have partnered with them to bring you this matcha inspired winetail.  Drizly is a cool new concept where you can order beer, wine and liquor by the use of your phone or computer.  Simply order and they will deliver if you are in one of their delivery zones.  You can have it delivered immediately or schedule it for later.  Who wouldn’t want that?

Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini Winetail Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini Winetail Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini Winetail Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini Winetail Matcha Cucumber Spritzertini Recipe:
Two 5 oz winetails
  • 1/4 Cup/ 4 oz. Dry White Wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand for the grapefruit notes)
  • 6 Tablespoons/3 oz. Sparkling Water
  • 1/2 Cucumber (2 Tablespoons/1 oz.) Cucumber Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon/1/2 oz. Lime Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 2 Tablespoons/1 oz. Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Matcha Powder
Instructions:
Cut the cucumber in half then peel and grate.  Place the cucumber onto a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the juice into a bowl.
Combine everything in a mixing glass or pitcher except the maple syrup and matcha.
In a small bowl, mix together the syrup and matcha making sure it is completely mixed together with no lumps then stir it into the other ingredients.
Serve in a martini glass or over ice in a lowball glass.
*
Health benefits:
Matcha is one of the highest antioxidants in the world, which is why it is called an antioxidant powerhouse. Therefore, it is one of the best anti-aging detoxifiers.  It’s used for eliminating chemicals and heavy metals out of the body.  Matcha is more superior in chlorophyll than green tea.  It will boost your energy throughout the day, help enhance your mood,  concentration as well as it improves physical endurance.

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups

These Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups are utterly delightful!  They are naturally vegan and are fairly simple to make.  I made the marzipan by blending blanched almonds, coconut sugar and almond extract with a little maca.   They have a perfectly balanced flavor with a subtle sweetness to them. The maca adds a wonderful lift to your energy while the hibiscus adds a tangy citrus quality that also provides antioxidants.

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups This has been a fantastic spring month of new beginnings thus far!  The rain has stopped, the flowers have sprung up and it was Robby’s and my two-year anniversary on the 18th.  On our anniversary day, we had a leisurely day around the house and then a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite restaurants “East End Gastropub”.  It was a perfectly simple evening!

Another great surprise that occurred this month was that one of our friends Antonia moved to Santa Cruz.  Antonia and Robby met each other as kids a couple years before I entered the scene.  We were a group of 8 that hung out together as teenagers.  This has been a wonderful gift from the universe for me.  While I do have some great girlfriends here, it is difficult to connect because they either live a little too far or they are busy with kids.  I have been asking the universe for a friend to spend some girl time with where we can inspire each other.  My prayers were literally answered.  I love it when that happens!

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups This month, I also started adding maca to my morning coffee and boy does it give me an extra boost.  I am loving it!  There are a few types of maca. There is black, red, yellow and gelatinized.  I have been hooked on the yellow maca, which is great for boosting energy and concentration while it also helps to balance hormones.

These cups will satisfy your sweet tooth while boosting your energy.  What’s not to love?

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups The delightful cups pair nicely with a dessert wine, port or a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups Maca Hibiscus Marzipan Cups Recipe:

20 cups

Marzipan
  • 2 1/2 Cup Raw Almonds – blanched – recipe below
  • 1 1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Yellow Maca Powder
Chocolate
  • 100 g or 1/2 Cup Grated Cacao Butter
  • 50 g or 1/4 Cup Grated Cacao Paste – divided
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Cacao or Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Yellow Maca Powder
Garnish
  • 3 Tablespoons Hibiscus Flowers – powdered
Blanched Almonds
Bring about 4 – 5 cups of filtered water to a boil.  Once boiling, add the almonds and put on a timer for 55 seconds.  Immediately dump into a colander and let cool.  Peel the skins off the almonds and place on a paper or kitchen towel to dry.  Do not overcook or they will become bitter.
Immediately dump into a colander and let cool.  Peel the skins off the almonds and place on a paper or kitchen towel to dry.  Do not overcook or they will become bitter.
Chocolate
In a small double boiler or a glass or ceramic bowl fit snug over a small saucepan of water, add the cacao butter, half of the cacao paste and maple syrup on medium-low heat until it is completely melted.  Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cacao paste until melted. Next, stir in the cacao powder,
Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cacao paste until melted. Next, stir in the cacao powder, maca and coconut sugar. (Make sure no water gets into the chocolate or it will seize up!)
Marzipan

Place the dry almonds in a food processor and pulse it a bunch of times to break them up evenly, then turn it on until it turns to a fine crumb.

 Add in the coconut sugar and maca, then turn the processor on and slowly add in the almond extract.  Make sure and scrape the sides and bottom.  Sometimes the extract will stay on the bottom.  Pulse until it starts to stick together.

 Scoop out the marzipan with a measuring tablespoon and firmly press it into the spoon while making it level.  Scoop it out of the measuring spoon with a spoon or your fingers.  Shape into 20 discs a little smaller than the molds or liners and set aside on a plate.

Assemble

First, grind the hibiscus flowers in a coffee or spice grinder to a fine powder.  Set aside

There are two ways you can do this.
*This way does take a little practice.  I use
I use plastic molds that are made for cups and a round pastry brush.
Swirl the pastry brush around the chocolate to load up the brush.  Swirl the chocolate around the cup molds starting on the bottom and swirling up the sides.  Put into the freezer.
 I do this one or two more times to make sure there are no thin spots.  The sides is the toughest part.
 Drop the marzipan discs into the bottom and press down.  Top with chocolate and smooth it out with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle on the hibiscus powder.
 Place back into the freezer until completely hard.  You can tell if they are ready by looking at the bottom to see if it is dark brown or if it has lifted.  It will be cloudy looking.  Turn them over and pop them out onto a plate.  You can either use kitchen shears to trim up the edges or carefuly use a pairing knife.
Or
Spread out 18 – 20 cup liners on a baking sheet.  Pour in about 1 1/2 teaspoons of chocolate into cupcake liners to cover the bottom and then spread the chocolate around with a spoon.
Drop the marzipan discs into the liners and making sure to leave room for the chocolate to spread around the edges of the marzipan.  Drizzle about a half teaspoon over the top of the marzipan or until it is covered.  Spread the chocolate around and sprinkle on the hibiscus powder.
Place back into the freezer until the chocolate completely hard.
 Health benefits:

Almonds reduce cholesterol, heart diseases and help to regulate blood pressure.  They also help keep the bones strong preventing osteoporosis. They have a high content of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and helps strengthen the immune system.  They are very high in protein. Almonds have important fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids that help reduce inflammation in the body. Almonds protect against diabetes by helping to reduce the rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals.  They are high in fiber helping to prevent constipation and colon cancer.  They help maintain brain help reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. They also improve the skin’s complexion and health.

Hibiscus Flowers is a simple way to increase your antioxidant intake due to the high vitamin C content.  The antioxidant properties can help reverse the inflammatory process in your body and has the ability to lower high blood pressure.  It protects against chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.  It helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol from the body, therefore it helps protect against heart disease and blood vessels from damage.

Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie + a Virtual Saint Patrick’s Day party

This Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie is an extremely warm and comforting entree.  This unique take on shepherd’s pie captures the essence of the classic version minus the meat.  The charred broccoli is bursting with flavor and it adds to the overall savory essence of the dish.  The lentils provide protein and deliver a heartiness facet while the mashed potatoes deliver the comforting component.

3U9A7650 It will be Saint Patrick’s Day in 7 days.  Do you have your holiday meal planned out?

 My friend Lynn, over at “The Road To Honey” recently invited me to participate in a Virtual Saint Patrick’s Day party.  The idea behind the virtual party is to have a group of bloggers to each individually prepare their favorite Irish-inspired recipe to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and post the recipe to their individual blogs at the same time.  Just imagine a party with all of these delicious dishes at your very own Saint Paddy’s day celebration!  There are cocktails, appetizers, main dishes and desserts.

Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd's Pie I am always amazed by the food blogging community.  Everyone is so sweet and supportive of each other.  Although we all live in different parts of the globe, it is inspiring that we can get together to create virtual parties like this one.

Come join us if you are pondering on what to make for Saint Paddy’s Day.  We’ve got you covered!

Each of the participating blogger’s recipes is available on their individual blogs.  Click on the links below to check out all the amazing recipes.   We will also be on Instagram with our personal hashtag #saintpatricksdayfeast2017

Cocktails
Beyond Mere Sustenance -St. Patrick’s Lemon Cucumber Martini With Fresh Basil
No Spoon Necessary -Sour Apple Tequila Cocktail – The Lucky Shamrock
Appetizers/sides
The Road to Honey – Guinness Irish Stew Mini Pot Pies
What Should I Make For…– Traditional Irish Soda Bread with Orange Butter
Kevin is cooking – Colcannon Irish Mashed Potatoes
Entrees
The Beach House Kitchen -Bangers and Mash with Guinness Onion Gravy
Seasons & Suppers  Irish Spice Bag
Girl Heart Food – Shepherd’s Pie
Salt & Lavender – Pork Chops with an Irish Whiskey Sauce
Dessert
Salted Plains -Vegan Mint Chocolate Bark
The Sweet Nerd – Get Charmed By Double Spice Chocolate Cookies
The Busy Spatula – Lucky Charms Churros & Real Pistachio Pudding
Beer Girl Cooks – Raspberry Chocolate Milk Porter Pudding Shooters
Sugarhero – Bailey’s Chocolate Caramel Tarts
Meg is Well – Boozy Irish Coffee Milkshake with Baileys Caramel Drizzle
Ciao Chow Bambina – Chocolate Stout No-Churn Ice Cream with Homemade Toffee Crumble
 *

Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd's Pie This dish is fantastic with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinto Gris.

Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd's Pie Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie Recipe:

Approx. 1 1/2 hours to prep and cook + 20 to 25 minutes to bake

6 – 8 servings

 Caramelized Onion
  • 2 Small White or Yellow Onions – thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Filtered Water
  • 2 Tablespoons +1/3 Cup Dry White Wine – divided (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried
  • 1 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Teaspoons Arrowroot Powder
  • 2 Vegetable Bouillon Cube – unsalted
  • 1/3 Cup Tomato Sauce –  I used strained tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Filtered Water
Lentils
  • 1 Cup Dried Black Lentils
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube – unsalted
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
Charred Broccoli
  • 2 Large Heads Broccoli  – 8 Cups – roughly chopped – (charring the broccoli literally halves in size)
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Mashed Potatoes
  • 2 Pounds Russet Potatoes – peeled – cut into small cubes
  • 2/3 Cups Milk
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoons Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Instructions:
Onions

Slice the onions in half, cut the ends off and remove skin and slice into thin half circles.

In a large sauté pan, add onion and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stir after about 8 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon water, deglaze the golden crust (fond) by scraping it with a wooden spoon and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon wine, thyme, garlic and salt then deglaze (scrape up the fond) and cook for 5 more minutes.
 Add another tablespoon of wine, scrape the fond off the pan and set the pan aside.  (A total of 20 minutes.)
Lentils

 Sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add the lentils, bouillon and salt to a medium pot.  Cover with 2 inches of water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low and simmer.

Cook until just tender approx. 15 minutes.  You don’t want them too soft because they will continue to cook in the oven.  

Check them at 15 minutes.  They should be cooked but still firm.  Strain and set aside. 

While the lentils are cooking, start the broccoli.
Charred Broccoli
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt, and pepper.
Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
Roast for 20 – 25 minutes or until broccoli is as charred as you like it.  While the broccoli is cooking you can start the potatoes.
Mashed Potatoes
Start by peeling and then cutting potatoes into cubes, place potato cubes in a large pot and cover with filtered water.
Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until very tender.  Use a timer and check at 15 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and add back to the pot along with the butter.  Mash well.  When the butter is melted, add the milk, salt and pepper.  Mix until fluffy.  While the potatoes are cooking you can start the assembly process below.
Assemble
Preheat oven to 400
Add the butter to the onions and when melted stir in the arrowroot powder, add the wine and mash in the bouillon.  
Next, add the tomato sauce, thyme, salt and lentils.  Stir everything together. 
Spread the lentil/onion mix on the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish then top with the broccoli.
Evenly spread the mashed potatoes on top of the broccoli and smooth it out as best you can.
Place on the middle rack and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until slightly golden.
 *
Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd's Pie Health benefits:

Broccoli has a cholesterol-lowering ability and strong impact on our body’s detoxification system.  It is also rich in both forms of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble.  It is very high in vitamin C & K.

Lentils have extremely high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber.  They have cholesterol-lowering fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady stream of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart, the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health.  Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and a key source of energy for the cells in the body and it is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain healthy.  Lentils are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with food containing vitamin C, the iron is enhanced, which in turn increase your energy.  They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth.  Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years.

Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan

This Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan is a slight take on Italian eggplant Parmesan.  The combination of the black rice along with all the other ingredients is superb.  This is a hearty dish that I start off by brushing sliced eggplant with a shallot vinaigrette then roasting them under the broiler for a couple minutes.  This step not only adds flavor, it also helps ensure that the eggplant will stay firm and not become mushy.

 Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan The older I get, the more I appreciate my long time friends who are still in my life.  My friend Janelle is one such friend.  How we met is somewhat of a funny story.  Janelle and I met through our mutual friend Paulina.  I met Pauling when I was 8 years old living in Playa del Ray.  Janelle also lived in Playa del Rey at the time, however, we didn’t know each other back then.

Years later, Paulina asked me if I wanted to go to a party with her and her friend.  I enthusiastically said yes!  I was really excited because I was only 14 and had never been to a real party before.  As soon as Janelle and I met, we hit it off right away. We arrived at the party and proceeded to get drunk off of cheap wine.  This was also my first time getting drunk and it was the last time for a while.  Janelle’s mom and her friend picked us up after the party and unfortunately, the motion of the car made me dizzy and I threw up in the car.  I was mortified and I have yet to live that day down!  Janelle, her mom and her mom’s friend had an inside joke about that event where they would say “Stephie’s chunky style” and laugh.  I only found out about it some years later! Haha!

3U9A7232 Another couple of years would pass before I would see Janelle again.  I had enrolled myself into a school called S.M.A.S.H. (Santa Monica Alternative School House).  On my first day, I was in class and when I turned around, I saw her and I gave her a confused look because she looked familiar.  Later that day, I was in the bathroom when Janelle came in and she asked me in a mean voice “why the hell were you giving me dirty looks??” She was acting as though she was going to kick my ass.  The funny thing is, Janelle is not really the type of girl that would start a fight!  I told her that I wasn’t giving her dirty looks but that I recognized her and her whole demeanor instantly changed.  We figured out where we had met and we were instant best friends.  I treasure our friendship to this day.  She is one of the most loving, loyal, sweetest, will do anything for you kind of friend!!

This eggplant dish reminds me of a loyal old friend, as in it will comfort you and make you feel safe.

3U9A7282 copy This dish pairs nicely with a crisp glass of Soave or your favorite dry white wine.

3U9A7249 Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan Recipe:

6 – 8 servings

  • 1 Black Rice Recipe – recipe below
  • 1 Dressing Recipe – recipe below
  • 1 Eggplant – recipe below
  • 1 Bunch Basil
  • 2 Large Tomato – diced
  • 1 Container Fresh Mini Mozzarella Balls – quartered
  • 1 1/2 Cups Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Reggiano – finely shredded
 Black Rice
  • 1 Cup Forbidden Black Rice
  • 1 3/4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Garlic Clove (Optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Eggplant
  • 1 Eggplant – peeled – cut 1/4 to 1/2 slices

Dressing

  • 1 Tablespoons Shallot – minced
  • 1 Small Garlic – minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Instructions:
Rice

 In a small saucepan add the rice, water, garlic and salt.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer in-between medium-low and low for 30 – 40 minute.
Check at 30 minutes, if you still see a bit of liquid cook for 5 – 10 more minutes.  Or until water is gone.
Eggplant

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together for the dressing.

Peel and slice the eggplant about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Brush both sides of the slices with the dressing while laying them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place under the broiler and broil for about 3 minutes then turn the slices over and broil for 1 to 2 more minutes.

Casserole

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees

While rice is cooking, slice the mozzarella ball into quarters and finely shred the pecorino.  Set aside.
Core tomatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes and when the rice is finished cooking, let cool then mix in the tomatoes.
Spread 1/3 of the rice/tomato mix on the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart (I used a 12.2″W x 7.48″D x 2.28″H) casserole dish.
Add a layer of basil leaves making sure to cover rice completely.
 Evenly sprinkle on a 1/3 of pecorino and spread out a 1/3 of the mozzarella balls with space in-between.
Repeat the steps above.
For the top layer, add another layer of pecorino and arrange the last 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Sprinkle a few of the tiniest basil leaves on the top.  (Optional)

 Bake on the middle rack for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden.

3U9A7297 Health benefits:
Black rice contains a high amount of anthocyanin like blood oranges.  The research has found that just a spoonful of black rice coating “bran” has more anthocyanin antioxidants than in a spoonful of blueberries, less sugar, more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.  It is valuable for reducing inflammation and for its anti-aging properties. It is also for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer and helps protect the nervous system from degeneration.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread

Fromage Fort is a French Cheese Spread consisting of leftover cheeses blended together with wine.  The flavor of the different cheeses blends together and becomes stronger over time.  I used Reggiano Parmesan, Asiago and Pecorino Romano because that is what I had on hand.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread My friend Leif is a wood working artisan who creates beautiful hand crafted pieces like the amazing cheese board in these photos.  I had planned on redoing the photos of a cheese board post I did a few years back.  I recently saw a picture of an amazing cheese board that Leif posted on Instagram and decided that this would be a great opportunity for both of us.  I asked him if I could use his cheese board in my photo shoot and that he could use the photos as well.  He said of course and we were both very stoked!

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread The photos turned out great but when Leif saw them he said, “Where’s my board?”  Haha, I had it buried under all the food.  Woops!  So I told him that I would do another photo shoot to showcase his beautiful board properly.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread A few days later I met up with a couple of friends at the farmer’s market.  We were talking about cheese and one of them had mentioned Fromage Fort.  I hadn’t heard of it before and she explained that you take all your leftover cheese to make a whipped dip out of them.  Right then, I immediately knew what I was going to make for my reshoot of Leif’s cheese board.  I looked around the web for inspiration and found Jacque Pepin’s recipe and adapted my recipe from his.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread You can serve this spread with a variety of wines like a Soave, Pinto Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, White Rioja or a Sancerre for a white or a Pinot Noir, Tempranillo or a Red Rioja for a red.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread Fromage Fort Cheese Spread Recipe:

Approx. 2 Cups

  • 1/2 Cup Reggiano Parmesan – finely shredded and packed
  • 1/2 Cup Asiago – finely shredded and packed
  • 1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano – finely shredded and packed
  • 1/4 Cup White Wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand which has strong notes of grapefruit)
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Dash Black Pepper
Milder Variation
  • Add in 4 oz. Chevre Cheese
Spicy Maple Pecan
  • 2 Cups Raw Pecans
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Other additions options:
  • Crostini or French Bread
  • Pears – sliced
  • Quince Jam
  • Olives – your choice
  • Manchego Cheese Wedge
Garnish
  • Sprigs of Rosemary
Instructions:
Fromage Fort

Finely shred the three kinds of cheese, measure and add to a food processor along with the wine, olive oil, garlic and pepper.  Puree until creamy.

Pecans

Add everything to a cast iron or a saute pan and turn the on stove onto medium heat.

As soon as it starts to bubble, stir continuously.

In about 3 – 6 minutes they will start to get sticky.  When the moisture is ALL gone, turn off the heat.
Spread onto parchment paper or a baking sheet.  Don’t worry about them sticking together, when cooled you can separate them.  Wait until they are completely cooled.
Assemble

Arrange everything on a wood board or platter except the cheese spread and jam.  Serve the spread and jam in small bowls.

Fromage Fort Cheese Spread