Tuesday, December 20, 2011

22 Great Wines for $12 or Less

The holidays call for flexible wines that can move and groove at the table, and ride the roller coaster of textures and flavors.

The market is loaded with terrific wines to fit any budget, yet I continue to be impressed with the quality and value of many wines that are 12 bucks or less.

Here are 22 of my favorites from 2011:

RED:
Lively & Fruity - Light with an extra dose of fruit and acidity
Joseph Drouhin, Beaujolais-Villages, France 2009 ($12)
Georges Duboeuf, Beaujolais-Villages, France 2009 ($10)

Smooth & Juicy - Mid-weight with soft tannins
Vientos del Sur, Malbec, Argentina 2010 ($11)
Trivento, “Reserve” Malbec, Argentina 2010 ($11)
Columbia Crest, Grand Estates Merlot, Washington 2007 ($12)
Snoqualmie, Merlot, Washington, 2007 ($11)
Cortijo, Tinto, Rioja, Spain 2009; ($10)
Torremoron, Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero, Spain 2009; ($12)

Big & Juicy -  Hefty minus the tongue-lashing tannins
Cline, Zinfandel, California 2010 ($10)
Four Vines, Old Vine Cuvée Zinfandel, California ($10)

WHITE:
Crisp & Off-Dry - Mid-weight with a touch of sweetness
Charles Smith Wines, Kung Fu Girl, Riesling, Washington 2009 ($12)
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Riesling, Washington 2009 ($10)
Pacific Rim, Riesling, Washington 2010 ($10)
Snoqualmie, Naked Riesling, Washington 2009 ($12)

Crisp & Fruity - Dry and mid-weight with rich fruit and plenty of acidity
King Estate, Acrobat Pinot Gris, Oregon 2010; ($12)
The Great Oregon Wine Company, “Rascal” Pinot Gris, Oregon 2010; ($11)
H & M Hofer, Grüner Veltliner, Austria 2010 ($13/1 Liter bottle)
Berger, Grüner Veltliner, Austria 2010 ($14/1 Liter bottle)
Alexander Valley Vineyards, Gewurz, California 2010 ($10)
P. J. Valckenberg, Gewürztraminer, Germany 2010 ($12)

Soft & Weighty - Hefty with ripe fruit and a touch of oak
Viña Cono Sur, Chardonnay, Chile 2008; ($11)
Veramonte, Reserva Chardonnay 2008; ($12)

Serving Temperature — What’s Best?
White wines should be served between 58˚ to 62˚.  There’s a tendency to serve whites ice-cold.  Avoid this mistake.  Too cold and the wine tastes flat and lifeless.  Champagne and sparkling wine, on the other hand, are the exception—they’re best served well-chilled at around 45˚.  In fact, one of the best ways to spot an under-chilled bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine is when the frothy mousse bubbles over when the cork is popped.  No bueno. 

Most reds are best served between 62˚ to 65˚, so don’t be afraid to stick a bottle in the refrigerator for 20 or 30 minutes before opening, especially when serving medium-bodied reds, such as pinot noir and barbera.  Beaujolais, the smooth drinking, fruity holiday favorite from France, is actually made to be served slightly chilled at around 58˚.  Conversely, chilling full-bodied reds, such as cabernet sauvignon, syrah, or shiraz for more than 30 minutes plays up the tannins resulting in an unpleasant astringency.

What’s The Right Glass?
 A basic white wine glass has a tulip shape, while a glass for red wine has a larger balloon shape.  For the vast majority of wine drinkers, however, one thin, clear, all-purpose wine glass (whether tulip- or balloon-shaped) with a capacity of about 10 to 12 ounces will do.  The one exception is the Champagne flute.  The narrow shape concentrates the wine’s bubbles and bouquet, and helps it stay cold.  When serving wine, only fill the glass about half-way.  The remaining space allows for swirling and the development of the wine’s bouquet.
 
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Friday, December 16, 2011

10 Must-Have Sparklers for the Holidays

Every year folks ask for recommendations on great wines suitable for gift-giving or an extra-special occasion.  For me, few things are as elegant and celebratory as sparkling wine.

That said, it’s important to remember that all Champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is Champagne.  

True Champagne blends three grapes: Chardonnay (white), Pinot Noir (red), and Pinot Meunier (red), all from the Champagne region of northern France (about a 11/2-hour drive northeast of Paris).  

However, sparkling wine is made all over the world—from the United States to Italy to Spain (and practically everywhere in between).  As a general rule, Méthode Champenoise (“the Champagne method”) is the phrase you’re looking for on the sparkling wine’s label.  This tells you, among other things, the wine has undergone a second fermentation in the bottle, producing millions of tiny bubbles.

Spain’s easy drinking Cava (KAH-vuh) is made in the Champagne method and may just be one of the best values around—it can often be found for less than $12.  The most notable Italian sparkler, Prosecco (Pro-SECK-oh), is a fun-loving wine with loads of fruitiness, a touch of sweetness, and soft bubbles.

Pop The Top:
Sparkling wine should be well chilled—30 minutes in ice water or 3 hours in the refrigerator should do the trick—and served in slender, flute-shaped glasses.  

Before you can pour it, though, you have to get the bottle open.  Despite what you see in the movies, the proper way to open sparkling wine does not involve firing the cork across the room with a loud pop.  Rather, in a controlled fashion, let the pressure of the bottle gently release the cork with an ever-so-slight hiss. 

Here's how: 
1. Loosen, but don’t remove the cage, keeping your thumb over the top at all times.  This’ll help you grip the cork for more control.
2. Hold the bottle at a 45˚ angle.  With your thumb over the cork, slowly twist the bottle in one direction while holding the cork firmly.
3. Allow the pressure inside the bottle to gently push out the cork.


Jones Is Hungry Picks:
The market is loaded with terrific sparkling wines from all over the world—here are a few of my favorites:

Cava
Using the traditional Champagne method, but a blend of Spanish grapes, creates a rich, mid-weight wine with plenty of complexity.  Two years of bottle aging adds a layer of richness to this creamy sparkler without the added price at checkout.

Blanc de Noirs
Blanc de Noirs (“white from blacks”) is made from the clear juice of red grapes (typically all Pinot Noir). While there’s no pink tint to the wine, it’s fruitier and more full bodied than regular Brut.  Like the still wines under their Chateau label, Domaine Ste. Michelle knows how to deliver quality and value.

Moscato d'Asti
The traditional Christmas wine in the Piedmont region of Italy, Moscato d’Asti is more like a sparkler-lite (with less bubbles than it’s peppier cousin spumante). However, the fresh, fizzy (frizzante), lightly sweet qualities of this frothy, low-alcohol wine make it one of the most festive sippers around.

Prosecco
Made using the Charmat method where wine quickly undergoes a second fermentation in large tanks, rather than the slower, in-bottle Champagne method.  This speedy step creates a refreshing, easy-drinking sparkler that’s loaded with ripe fruit flavors. No brunch-time Bellini is complete without it.

Brut
Non-vintage (NV) Brut is by far the most popular, food-friendly style of sparkling wine. With ripe apple and citrus flavors, this California offshoot of French Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck has a touch of elegance usually reserved for pricier offerings.

Crémant
When French sparkling wine is made outside of Champagne, it’s called Crémant.  But we’re talking the same classic production method, the same high quality grapes, and often at a fraction of the price.  This crisp, all-Chardonnay sparkler from Burgundy delivers real bang for the buck.

“Grower Champagne”
This is the hot, new category in the world of Champagne, epitomizing the notion of keeping it local.  Often referred to as “farmer fizz” by those in the know, these top-notch wines are handcrafted by small, family-owned wineries—and Aubry is one of the best.  You pay a few bucks more, but the craftsmanship is unmistakable.

Blanc de Blancs
Blanc de Blancs (“white from whites”) is 100% Chardonnay and the lightest style made in the classic Champagne method.  With green apple and melon flavors, Schramsberg is a few bucks more than non-vintage Brut (which blends in Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), but it’s a well-crafted wine and solid value if you’re looking for something a bit more refined.

Rosé
Don’t confuse this rich, full-bodied sparkler with a sweet blush wine, because they’re light years apart. With regal Moët & Chandon parentage (of Dom Perignon fame), étoile uses a small amount of Pinot Noir for its rosy hue.  You pay for the limited production and extra bottle aging (in this case, five years). But it’s worth the splurge.

Vintage
True vintage Champagne is rare, which is always reflected in the price, but it doesn’t always translate to superior quality over its non-vintage brethren. Gaston-Chiquet is a tasty exception delivering both a delicious wine and a great value.



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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Cookie for Chocolate Lovers!

It's definitely cookie time in the Jones house.  Between neighborhood Christmas parties and teacher/bus driver/piano instructor/tennis coach/mail woman/orthodontist gifts (and I'm sure I missed a few), it seems like our oven is on the entire month of December.

But that's cool with me.

Who doesn't like a constant stream of fresh-baked cookies.  The house smells like one of those fancy retail stores during the holidays (think Pottery Barn Kids or Williams-Sonoma)—it's amazing.  Of course, I have to sample a cookie or two from each batch (I tell the kids that, as a chef, I need to ensure quality control). They respond with eye rolls, head shakes, and deep sighs.  And by the way, don't even THINK about bringing up the dangers of eating raw cookie dough—the girls may just throw themselves to the ground in exasperation.

Down to the nitty-gritty.  I'm a sugar cookie man myself.  And I'm especially fond of raspberry jam-filled linzer cookies.  Now, at the risk of sounding un-American, I am not a fan of chocolate cookies.  Not sure why.  Just not my style.

So when the Food Network decided to get the food community together to celebrate a Virtual Cookie Swap, I immediately knew what my recipe would be: Triple Chocolate Cookies.

I know, I know. I just said I'm not a fan of chocolate cookies.  Kooky cookie talk, right?  Maybe, but I LOVE these cookies...with their crackly-tops and sorta meringue-like texture.  They're out of this world.

And here's the best part: when I'm in a total Christmas shame spiral, I take two cookies, slather Nutella on the bottom side of one, then place the bottom side of other cookie against it to make this uh-mazing QUADRUPLE CHOCOLATE COOKIE SANDWICH!

Better still, this is the PERFECT cookie for hosting a your very own Cookies For Kids' Cancer bake sale—a wonderful way to spread a little holiday cheer with your kids, help raise money for a terrfic organization, and join the mission to find a cure for pediatric cancer.





Here's the recipe

Triple Chocolate Cookies (Printer Friendly Version)

Kitchen Tip: Allow the cookies to COMPLETELY cool on baking sheet before removing.  The cookies are very soft and pliable right out of the oven, and they'll break if you remove them too early.

Prep: 25 min.
Cook: 15 min. per batch
Yield: 24 cookies

1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips

Parchment paper
Nutella

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.

 
In a bowl over just simmering water, melt chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes.

 
Sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla. Stir in melted chocolate. Fold in dry ingredients and white chocolate chips.

 
Using a small ice cream scoop or 2 spoons, portion dough by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, until tops are cracked, switching baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheets on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.


Check out these delish recipes from the other folks in the Cookie Exchange: 

What's Gaby Cooking: Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cookies
CIA Dropout: Walnut Wimpy Balls
And Love It Too: Snowball Cookies (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free and Vegan)
Taste With The Eyes: Olive Oil Oatmeal Cookies
From My Corner of Saratoga: Gooey Butter Cookies
The Sensitive Epicure: Speculaas Dutch Windmill Cookies
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Salted Chocolate & Dulce de Leche Fudge
Virtually Homemade: Chocolate Mint Snowballs
Sweet Life Bake: Polvorones de Chocolate
Daily*Dishin: Cherry Topped Cream-Drop Cookies
FN Dish: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip-Bacon Cookies
Thursday Night Dinner: Peppermint Bark Cookies
Dishin and Dishes: Pecan Sandie Thumbprints With Cherry Frosting
Mooshu Jenne: Biscotti
Cooking With Elise: Sweet and Salty White Chocolate Cranberry Oat Cookies

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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Roasted Goodness: An Easy (and Healthy) Thanksgiving Side

During my 11 Thanksgiving seasons at Southern Living, few things perplexed readers more than what to serve alongside their big holiday bird.  They were cool with the turkey (unless, of course, it was still frozen solid and guests were just around the corner).  And I reckon they had dessert down too.


But the subject of side dishes was an altogether different matter.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Easy, No-Fuss Barbecue Shrimp

Just in time for the long Labor Day weekend, here's one of my favorite crowd-pleasing recipes: Barbecue Shrimp.

If you're new to Barbecue Shrimp, don't let the name throw you.  There's really very little connection between this recipe and, say, a traditional barbecue sauce or smoked meat.  The shrimp in this recipe are baked in a spicy, butter and chili sauce base that's perfect for sopping.

While it delivers restaurant-quality flavor, it's anything but labor intensive—this is truly one of the easiest recipes around.  What's more, for those of you headed to the beach or lake for the holiday, this is one of those gems that you can basically prep ahead and pack in the cooler.  (Or, if you're headed to the beach, pick up fresh Gulf shrimp from any local seafood shop.)  Once you're ready to cook, you simply chuck everything into a disposable, heavy-duty aluminum roasting pan, then pop it in the oven.  Pair Barbecue Shrimp with a salad, along with plenty of bread for dipping and sopping, and you're in business.

I like to peel any leftover shrimp (which will keep for a day or two) and use for a killer Shrimp Salad or Po' Boys.

This video was shot in support of Alabama's Serve The Gulf campaign.


HERE'S THE RECIPE: (Printer Friendly Version)
New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp
Use a disposable, aluminum roasting pan for easy cleanup.


4 lb. unpeeled, large fresh shrimp
2 lemons, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 Tbsp. Creole seasoning
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
French bread
Lemon wedges


Place shrimp in a 13- x- 9-inch pan; top with lemon slices and bay leaves.


Stir together butter and next 6 ingredients. Pour over shrimp.


Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 30 minutes or until shrimp are pink, stirring every 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Serve with bread and lemon wedges.



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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mocha Panna Cotta: Easy, Elegant & Make-ahead

Let's get this straight right up front: If you can boil water, you can make panna cotta.  Frankly, it's one of those recipes everyone—dad's included—should have in their little kitchen toolbox.  It's so easy, so versatile, and it can be made way ahead.  And it looks elegant too.

Don't let the fancy Italian name throw you.  Panna cotta is a light, eggless custard that's thickened with gelatin (think a lighter version of crème brûlée). 

For this video, I serve them in one of my favorite new products, Govino wine glasses.  These super-cool, BPA-free plastic wine glasses are a great alternative to ramekins, and allow you to enjoy the dessert pool-side, at the park, you name it.





Here's the recipe:

Mocha Panna Cotta
Make this delicious dessert up to 2 days ahead.  If you don’t have ramekins or are looking for another serving idea, try serving directly your favorite glasses—whether wine, margarita, Champagne, or otherwise.  Just remember to bring cream mixture to room temperature before adding to glasses.  Also, this recipe can be easily halved of fewer servings.

2 Tbsp. melted butter
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk
5 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 to 1/3 cup strong brewed coffee
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp. finely chopped semisweet chocolate
Pinch of Kosher salt
Garnish: chopped strawberries, fresh mint leaves, chocolate shavings

Brush 10 (1/2 cup) ramekins with melted butter and transfer to a large roasting pan.  In a small bowl, whisk the gelatin into the milk and let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, coffee, and sugar just to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from heat and whisk in the cinnamon and cocoa.  Whisk in the gelatin mixture until completely melted, then add chopped chocolate and stir until melted.  Strain the mixture into a large bowl; let cool to room temperature.

Pour mixture into ramekins and refrigerate until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve them out of the ramekins: dip bottom of each ramekin in hot water for 30 seconds.  Run a knife around each panna cotta and invert it onto a dessert plate.  Lift off the ramekin.  Garnish, if desired. 


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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"What's a Spurtle?" she asked...

"I'm not exactly sure," I yelled downstairs.  Fact is, I was hurriedly typing into the Google search window hoping an answer popped up before my wife, who was ascending the staircase, and I made eye contact.  (Hey, when it comes to food, I do not like getting caught flat-footed in front of my family.)  But I was busted.  I didn't know a spurtle from a spurge.  So my wife and I searched together, and here's what we found on Wikipedia:

Spurtle:
The spurtle (or "spirtle") is a Scots kitchen tool (about 11-inch long), dating from at least the fifteenth century. It was originally a flat, wooden, spatula-like utensil, used for flipping oatcakes on a hot griddle.

Over time, the original implement changed shape and began being used specifically for stirring oatmeal and soups. The rod-like shape is designed for constant stirring which prevents the porridge from congealing and so becoming lumpy and unappetising.[1] It looks like a fat wooden dowel, often with a contoured end to give the user a better grip.

The Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge-Making Championship, held in Carrbridge each year, invites porridge-makers from across the globe to compete for the "Golden Spurtle".



Yep, I was about to throw my recipe into the mix for a chance to bring home the 2011 "Golden Spurtle."  Quick fact: I'm a pretty fanatical oatmeal fan.  Whether rolled, stone-ground, or steel-cut, I know my way around an oat.  I eat 'em sweet or savory—morning, noon, or night—makes no difference to me.

So when I saw that Bob's Red Mill was holding a "Spar for the Spurtle" contest, I had to get in on the action. The grand prize is the opportunity to compete in this year's Golden Spurtle World Porridge-Making Championship in Scotland.

I wanted to keep it savory and Southern, so I went with a Southern spin on shrimp and grits using steel-cut oats in place of stone-ground grits. One taste and y'all will see that the Southern elements in my recipe—andouille sausage, fresh Gulf shrimp, and hot sauce—blend and harmonize perfectly with this cheesy, kicked-up "porridge."

One of the contest requirements was to create a 3-minute video of the recipe...so I did my best, wearing my Billy Reid "Make Cornbread Not War" T-shirt for inspiration.




Here's the recipe:

Southern Shrimp & Oatmeal 





















1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
1 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 cup chopped andouille sausage
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pound large Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp. Wondra flour
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. hot sauce 
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 Tbsp. butter


Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in oats.  Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in cheese, butter, and hot sauce.  Keep warm.

Cook sausage in hot oil in a large skillet 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp.  Drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet.  Set sausage aside.

Toss shrimp with flour.  Sauté shrimp in hot drippings 1 minute.  Add reserved sausage, mushrooms, garlic, and cook 1 minute.  Stir in lemon juice, hot sauce, thyme, green onion, and tomato, stirring to loosen any browned bits from bottom of skillet.  Remove from heat, and stir in butter.

Serve shrimp mixture over hot oatmeal.


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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jones Is Thirsty: Toad Hollow, Erik's The Red, CA 2009

It may be hot outside, but that doesn't mean you have to give all red wines the Heisman.  The key is to find a red with plenty of fruit (without being sweet) and refreshing acidity.

And let's be honest, there's definitely a time and place for heartier wines that match up to stuff like grilled flank steak, juicy burgers, or lasagna (yes, I like good ol' Italian even in the summer).

Today's featured wine is Toad Hollow, Erik's The Red - it retails for about $13.  This super middleweight wine (think Sugar Ray Leonard or Roy Jones Jr.) is loaded with red fruit flavors—raspberry, cherry—and a hint of vanilla.  Just the right amount of soft tannins to stand up to that grilled flank steak or robust cheese.  Bottom line: this wine is just flat-out fun.




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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mexican "Unfried" Ice Cream Truffles

Birmingham is blessed with a large Hispanic community, so Mexican fried ice cream is one of the many treats we enjoy when visiting our favorite mamá-and-papá Mexican restaurants.


A few weeks back I decided to take the notion of this classic, South-of-the-border dessert, and turn it into something a little more managable without giving up any of the yummy flavor or texture.  Plus, my wife and I needed an easy, go-to treat for those afternoons when it feels like every child in the neighborhood is standing in our kitchen looking for something sweet.  (You know what I mean?)


The truffles are super-easy to make and fun for the kids.  In fact, we now keep a big bowlful of the nut-cornflakes mixture on hand (which is also terrific using pecans or walnuts). In addition to using it for this recipe, my wife and kids love the mixture sprinkled over yogurt and fresh fruit.  I've even caught them stirring it into milkshakes.  I typically eat it by the tablespoonful for a quick, crunchy pick-me-up.  Feel free to switch up the ice cream flavor too — I typically use vanilla, but it works with just about any flavor in the ice cream case.





Mexican “Unfried” Ice Cream Truffles
Prep: 25 min., Stand: 15 min., Freeze: 30 min.

Makes 16 truffles


2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. of cinnamon

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup frosted cornflakes

1 qt. vanilla ice cream

Parchment paper



Melt butter, sugar, and cinnamon in microwave on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until butter is melted.  Stir to combine.



Place almonds in a small bowl; pour over butter mixture, tossing to coat.  Spread almonds in a single layer on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.



Bake at 350˚ for 10 minutes, stirring half way through. Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes.



Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place in freezer.



Pulse almond mixture and cornflakes in food processor, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Pour almond mixture into a shallow dish.



Let ice cream stand at room temperature 15 minutes to soften.


Scoop ice cream into small balls using a 1 1/4-inch ice-cream scoop, and roll in almond mixture, gently pressing onto balls.  Arrange on prepared baking sheet in freezer. Freeze truffles at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.


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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved
 


Friday, July 1, 2011

Jones Is Thirsty: Lícia, Albariño, Spain 2010

Heading into the 4th of July weekend, I can't help but think about all the good stuff that'll be coming off the grill.  With all the heat, humidity, and multi-rounds of bocce ball, I like to stay match-fit with a crisp, refreshing white like Albariño.

Don't let the Sauvignon Blanc-style bottle fool you.  These food-loving wines from the northwest corner of Spain are bursting with tropical fruit aromas and girded with surprising heft—plenty of body to stand up to, say, grilled shrimp burgers with a zesty tartar sauce or spicy glazed shrimp.  (In case you can't tell, I have a thing for shrimp.)

Today's featured wine is Lícia, Albariño from Rías Baixas (in Galicia) - it retails for about $16.






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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jones Is Thirsty: Vietti "Tre Vigne" Barbera d'Asti

Jones Is Hungry is branching out because Jones Is Thirsty too. 

So in celebration of my new wine column in Cooking Light (beginning in the September issue), I thought I'd begin shooting short, one minute (sometimes slightly more than a minute) wine picks highlighting some of the great, value-minded wines I run across during my research.

This first clip is a little rough around the edges, but they'll get better as we go along (the director and producer is my 11-year-old, digitally-gifted daughter).  We'll mix things up every now and then to keep it interesting.

If there's something I'm missing or must try, let me know.  That's one of the things I most love about wine—it's a big, wide world out there, and a fun new discovery is always just around the corner.






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© Copyright 2011 Jones Is Hungry LLC   All Rights Reserved