CV, the Wine Guy, knows a good bargin!

SVFC_CV Wine_Bargin RedsThis week, CV The Wine Guy is giving us the scoop on three bargain wines that the Co-op frequently carries. The first two wines can be found stacked around the column that is just in front of the Bakery case in the Deli area. The third is at the column near the Deli to-go case (on your way to or from the cheese island). All of them are a steal at $7.99 each!

Bargain Red
: 2012 Codice (pictured on the left)
Producer: Dominio de Eguren
Geographic Origin: Castilla (Vino de la Terra)
Varietal: Tempranillo (Spain’s most native grape type; good for full-bodied wines, with spicy red fruit flavors and aromas)
Price: $7.99
CV Says: Margarette is the wine representative that sells us this wine — she has wonderful wines at great prices. The bottle does not list the varietal, and really — that’s not necessarily important. Codice means tradition, or the codes, in Spanish. There are a lot of rules and regulations for wine making in all of the European countries. In Spain, in the last 10 years, the new generation of wine makers got permission to not follow those rules “to law”, or, at least, could ignore them without getting fined. It was decided that, as long as the new ideas were shared amongst the wine makers of a region, an individual wine maker could go off on their own. This has created a nice synergy in Spain; there’s a lot going on there. Some of the old funkiness that was carried on by tradition, maybe in a negative way, is gone. And that’s really been a positive thing. This bottle of wine has probably seen just a little bit of wood. It’s going to have lovely berry and cherry flavors to it. This is a bottle of wine that will go well with a simple meal — pastas, pizza, any  kind of hearty sauce. It will hold its own. It’s not going to be dry in any sense; it’s going to have a fair amount of fruit on it. It’s a bottle of wine that pleases many. 
Read more CV, the Wine Guy, knows a good bargin! …

New Feature: CV, The Wine Guy, talks Red Blends

CV the Wine Guy_Skagit Valley Food CoopMeet CV, one of the newest additions to the Co-op family. CV is our resident wine guy and our newest cheese specialist. And he’s here to give you generous, succinct, friendly advice on wines (and cheese). CV is quick to say that he’s not a wine “expert” — he’s not the person to go to for fancy terminology — but he does know wine, and approaches it with robust energy and a desire to match wine with people, food, and experiences. Each week, CV will pow-wow with us about geographic regions, specific varietals, wines with a purpose, etc., and give you two wine recommendations at two price points, below $10, and below $16. (With a darn good bargain or occasional splurge thrown in from time-to-time.)

Have suggestions for where CV takes us next? Email us at community(at)skagitfoodcoop(dot)com.

For week one, we’ll keep things nice and friendly — kicking off autumn and this new feature with Red Blends. Read more New Feature: CV, The Wine Guy, talks Red Blends …

The Indian in the Cupboard: Palak Paneer

SkagitValleyFoodCoop_IndianintheCupboard_Paneer_3.31.14SkagitValleyFoodCoop_IndianintheCupboard_PaneerFinal_3.31.14

If South Indian cuisine is the Washington fare of India (fresh, light, lots of fish and seafood), then North Indian food is down-home Texas (rich, creamy and heavy). Most Indian restaurants you’ll find will be North Indian and boast menus of buttery, starchy goodness. Butter chicken, tikka masala, jalfrezi, biryani, roti, naan – it’s all enough to drive a girl mad with food-lust. But, of course, there is one North Indian dish that shines on a pedestal of deliciousness in my heart, far above the rest: Palak Paneer. Creamy, sweetly spiced spinach surrounds chunks of soft paneer (a mildly flavored Indian cheese). Its dangerously delicious flavor is capable of sending anyone into a proper comfort-food coma. But I like to live dangerously, so let’s cook.

Ingredients
2-7 oz. Packages of Paneer (cubed)
2 Bunches of Spinach (blanched and finely chopped)
5 Tbsps. Olive Oil (vegetable oil or ghee would also work)
½ Large Jalapeno (finely chopped)
1 ¼ tsp. Turmeric Powder
½ tsp. Cayenne
Salt
1 Clove of Garlic (minced)
½” – 1 ½” Piece of Fresh Ginger (peeled and minced)
1 Medium Onion (finely chopped)
2 Medium Tomatoes (large dice)
¾ tsp. Garam Masala
Pinch of Asafoetida
Pinch of Red Chili Powder
1 Bay Leaf
1 Curry Leaf
1 Heaping tsp. Coriander (ground)
1 Scant tsp. Cumin (ground)
2-3 Tbsps. Heavy Cream or Yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Mix 1 tsp. turmeric, cayenne, salt and 3 Tbsps. oil in a large bowl. Drop in cubes of paneer and gently toss. Set aside.

    SkagitValleyFoodCoop_IndianintheCupboard_FriedPaneer_3.31.14

    Fried Paneer!

  2. Rinse spinach well. Boil about 6 cups of water in a large saucepan with ½ tsp. of salt. When water is boiling, turn off heat, and drop in spinach leaves. Cover pot with lid and leave for 2-3 minutes. Extract spinach from boiling water, using a colander, and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water. Leave in ice water for a minute or two, then drain the leaves.
  3. At this point, it may be easiest to toss your spinach into a food processor and blend into a coarse puree. I, however, live sans food processor and thusly get to do it the old fashioned way! Huzzah! – Finely chop the aforementioned spinach by hand, using only your sharpest kitchen knife and the will to laugh in the face of modern technologies.
  4. We’re ready to cook! Heat a large frying pan on medium high. Carefully add marinated paneer to hot pan. Toss cubes until all sides are a light, golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Add about 2 Tbsps. of olive oil (or ghee) to your pan. Add onion, ginger, garlic, and jalapeno. Sauté ingredients until they are a deep, golden brown. With a cup of water at the ready, add the remaining spices. Splash mixture with water, as needed, to keep spices from burning. A thick paste will form. Keep it moving for a few minutes, until spices permeate the air with a distinct, strong aroma.
  6. Add spinach to pan with ½ cup water. Add tomatoes. Simmer for 4-8 minutes, adding water as needed to keep mixture moist.
  7. Slowly add cream, stirring constantly, and salt to taste. Cover and let simmer for about another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Serve over basmati rice, with naan, paratha or roti. Enjoy!

*For all my vegan buddies out there, replace paneer with 1 package of extra firm tofu and cream with canned coconut milk. The substitutions will totally still work with the recipe. Yay!

In the Kitchen with Jill

20120613-DSC02484The task at hand for me this New Year is to stretch the ole mighty dollar. Oh I could tell you that this is because I want to save money and pay off credit cards, but the truth is I want to take a vacation. A real vacation where I have to buy a bathing suit and new flip flops.  I want to sip on a tropical drink and read a book, while my feet nestle in the warm sand.  Looking at my biggest expenses, I realized that there were two that I could reduce without feeling a great deal of sadness or loss.  One is my food budget and the other is my unbudgeted earring spending. No, I am not giving up delicious food, or beautiful mercantile adornments to wear, I am just re-evaluating what I spend, and how I use it. Read more In the Kitchen with Jill …

In the Kitchen with Jill…

haridraThe bitter cold days of last week are hopefully behind us, far, far behind us. My body did not enjoy that cold blast at all. In fact, it rebelled. Not caring how many layers I put on, it mocked me with a hardy, ” that’s all you got?” Speaking of hardy, this is always the season for robust and full-flavored foods; warming our tummies and settling into our winter waistlines.

Working as a cashier, my secret pleasure is looking at your groceries and making a meal out of what you have purchased. Creepy? Nah, fun!  Eggs, Texas toast and milk… French toast. Lemons, cayenne and maple syrup… New Years master cleanse resolution (a little early, dude. Enjoy the fruit cake while you can). You see the game?

Of late, we have had an abundance of fresh turmeric come across our conveyor belts and this one stymies me. Yes I know the medicinal attributes are amazing ( digestion, circulation, inflammation) but my question is, what are they doing with it? What’s a girl in the kitchen to do? Experiment! Here is a drink that I made with turmeric that was delish and amazingly good for you. So if those frigid days come a callin’, I’ll be ready…sort of.

Turmeric Tea

1 cup Coconut milk (or almond)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh grated turmeric (be warned, it stains! wear gloves)

1/8 tsp nutmeg

A dash of cayenne

Honey to taste

Put coconut milk, spices and honey in a sauce pan and heat up slowly on low heat.  If you put it on high heat the coconut milk will get too thick. Pour and drink!