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Frey Vineyards

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Frey Organic Wine Blog

Tamara Frey
 
April 30, 2011 | Tamara Frey

Earth Pasta

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes, easy to make and delicious

Earth Pasta close-up, with mushrooms and chickpeas
Earth Pasta, by Chef Tamara Frey

I’ve always loved the flavorful combination of dessert wines and cream boiled down to a sauce. In culinary school most of these rich and fabulous sauces they teach are from concentrated meat stock bases. I wanted to develop a sauce that was vegetarian and easy to make, but still used the classic French technique of reduction. I came up with Earth Pasta when I developed the first menu for the newly opened Daily Planet Restaurant in the early 1980s.

I remember my father loved cooking with mushrooms and onions sautéed in olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper. He enjoyed it over steak, but the combo works for many dishes, and I included them in this Earth Pasta.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS (May I suggest you use organic ingredients if you can, to help out our planet, and small farmers)
20 snow peas, leave them whole
4 cups sliced mushrooms (packed in)
2 cups sliced onions
1 cup Frey Dessertage Port (or Madeira sweet wine)
2 cups heavy cream, enough to make a nice sauce for the veggies at the end
linguini for 4 people, cook al dente. Add a dash of salt and a splash of olive oil to the water while pasta boils

Sauté snow peas, mushrooms, and onions with your favorite cooking oil (I recommend unsalted butter, extra-virgin olive oil, or extra-virgin coconut oil). When they’re done, turn up the heat and pour in the Dessertage Port (or Madiera, which was used in the original recipe and it would flambé over a gas stove; Frey Dessertage Port did not flambé for me when I used it for this recipe, but it still tastes great in this dish). Reduce the spirits so the alcohol burns off and the essence remains, then add the heavy cream and bring to a boil and simmer, until thickened to desired consistency for pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh finely grated Romano parmesan or Asiago cheese, fresh-chopped parsley, scallions, and fresh cherry tomato-halves if in season.

This dish goes great with Frey Organic Pinot Noir, one of our lighter red wines.

Vegan alternatives:
Instead of cream, use coconut creamer or soy creamer. I tried it with coconut creamer and it tasted great, but I have yet to try it using soy creamer, which may curdle. You may also try it using a thick miso broth as a cream alternative.

Instead of the cheese garnish, try a vegan parmesan made by Eat in the Raw.

(Chef Tamara Frey is working on a cook book about cooking for large groups. We'll announce it here when it's released!)

(Recipe copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 20111. All right reserved)

Time Posted: Apr 30, 2011 at 10:54 AM
Katrina Frey
 
April 28, 2011 | Katrina Frey

Katrina Frey talks about sulfites and the battle to keep them out of organic wine on the Organic Conversation Radio Show

Organic Conversation logo

San Francisco-based Organic Conversation Radio show with Helge Hellberg and Mark Mulcahy recently interviewed Katrina Frey and others as part of their "Celebrating Women Leadership" Earth Day special.

Katrina was interviewed first, where she talks about the fight to keep added sulfites out of organic wine.

Listen to the beginning of the show and her interview here.

You can hear the complete show and all the interviews at Organic Conversation's website.

Frey Vineyards
 
April 21, 2011 | Frey Vineyards

Frey Wine featured at Kirstie Alley’s Celebrity Block Party!

Katrina Frey with Kirstie Alley
Katrina Frey with Kirstie Alley and Karen Black!

Katrina Frey with Ed Begley Jr.
Katrina Frey with actor Ed Begley Jr.

Jon and Katrina Frey danced with the stars at Kirstie Alley’s Celebrity Block Party in Los Angeles on March 9th, 2011. The party was attended by Hollywood bigwigs who loved tasting Frey wines, the nation’s premium award-winning organic wine. Kirstie has developed Organic Liaison Rescue Me, the first USDA certified organic weight loss product. Thanks, Kirstie, for choosing organic products and promoting the green lifestyle!

Molly Frey
 
April 20, 2011 | Molly Frey

Spring on the farm

Spring is in the air, in the barn, and in the fields! All the animals are enjoying the lush pasture from the rains, and have been steadily munching for months. Our goat herd has grown, and the goats that kidded in March now have attentive young following them on the goat walks through the vineyards. Because of the "bud break" (when the grapevines begin to sprout new shoots for this year's growth), the goats, cows, horses, and sheep are moving out of the vineyards to find forage instead in the meadows and grasslands. The chicken flock has also matured, making eggs for Easter omelets. The free-range eggs reflect the nutritious green grass of the pastures, as the chickens who graze on it have the beta-carotene needed to produce really rich and orange egg yolks. One of our hens went broody and hatched out her first nest of little chicks this week. And we have several "teens" strutting around the barnyard too, enjoying the bugs and grasses that this season brings.

Basket of organic eggs
Fresh farm eggs.

Goat, up close

Tamara Frey
 
April 16, 2011 | Tamara Frey

Roasted Beet Salad with Frey Tannat Vinaigrette

I created this salad to take advantage of a totally new, superbly rich wine here at Frey Vineyards: our just released Organic Tannat, vintage 2010.  Balsamic vinegar reductions are one of my favorite ingredients to make from scratch, so I had to try the same reducing technique with this tasty tannat and its thick-as-ink texture.  I was most surprised and pleased.  The best flavors of the wine permeated the vinaigrette, along with its gorgeous color.

Salad close-up
Roasted Beet Salad with Frey Tannat Vinaigrette.

The vinaigrette is added to a roasted beet salad, with red butter lettuce, fresh avocado and strawberry slices, a touch of onion, and raw chopped almonds.  Enjoy with a warm baguette and a glass of Frey Organic Tannat wine.

I use all organic ingredients when possible.
Serves 4

1 large beet
1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 large head of red butter lettuce
1 large avocado
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup raw chopped almonds
4 slices red onion
3/4 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese)

3/4 cup Frey Organic Tannat wine (a deep red wine)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon maple syrup
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Let’s start with the beet.  Cut it into 1/4" thick strips, just like French fries but healthier!  Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Roast in a 350F oven until soft (approx. 20 min. to 1/2 hr.). Let it cool.  Then toss with 2 teaspoons of the Tannat vinaigrette, which you will make soon. Set aside.

Preparing roasted beets
Roasted beets with Tannat vinaigrette added.

Now on to the main salad ingredients.  Keep each separated for now, and handle some ingredients carefully as later you will use some for garnish.  Wash and dry the red butter lettuce and tear into pieces by hand (otherwise you will have to eat the salad with the help of a knife, which I prefer not to do).  Slice up the avocado and strawberries.  Chop up the raw almonds (I prefer the almonds raw, as they are more nutritious and I love the flavor, but you may toast if you prefer).  Separate the rings from the red onion slices.  Shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano (I use a potato peeler which makes paper-thin translucent slices that are beautiful). 

Slicing cheese for the salad
Slicing Parmigiano-Reggiano with a potato peeler.

Time to make the Frey Tannat Vinaigrette!  Put into a sauce pan the Tannat wine, balsamic vinegar and the orange zest.  Bring to a boil, then let it simmer until it reduces to around 1/4 cup, which takes about 15 minutes.  Important: keep an eye on it because it’s possible to reduce it to thin air!  Let cool a few minutes, then pour into a blender.  Add the salt and pepper and maple syrup.  With the blender running, slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream.  It will thicken nicely (emulsifying technique) and the color will turn to a shade of purple.

Add 2 teaspoons of the vinaigrette to the roasted beets.  Mix until the beets are coated.

One quick note about the remaining vinaigrette.  I added half a cup to the rest of the salad and found that to my liking.  You may prefer to add more or less to your taste.  Adding all of it might be too strong for some.  If you have leftover vinaigrette, you may use some as dip for the baguettes, marinate a steak in it, or save it for tomorrow’s salad!

Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss in the salad bowl, so the dressing coats everything.  Tossing tends to send the heavier ingredients to the bottom to hide under the lettuce.  So for presentation, set aside 4 or 5 beautiful slices of the avocado and strawberries, the onion rings, and some chopped almonds – enough to garnish to your heart’s delight.

Bon Appetite!

(Recipe & images copyrighted © Tamara Frey, 2012. All right reserved.)