Friday, April 25th 2008
This morning's news carried a story about professional truck drivers descending on our nation's capital to protest the high cost of gas. I support their worthy desire for lower fuel prices, though suspect driving around "W's" colorless residence might not be the most effective means to this end. I'm just thankful my Prius averages 45 MPG on my wine-soaked travels.
Frequent drivers are not alone in their concern over finances. So this seems a good time to offer a suggestion for a world where jobs are less secure and our savings rate is less than 1% of income - eat out less often! Not only will you discover more money in your checking account at the end of the month, you'll likely eat more healthy foods and rediscover the pleasant experience of conversing with friends and family before, during and after meal preparation. You might even discover some great new wines.
To make home entertainment easier for those short on time, our seasonal recipes provide a complete meal (including wine) with a convenient shopping list of ingredients. And best of all, the host/hostess can be assured of a perfect food and wine pairing, as each recipe compliments one of our club wines. These recipes and wine pairings are being compiled into a cookbook for release later this summer. I'll notify you via email once it's available.
But whether you use our recipes and wines or other recent discoveries, replacing one restaurant meal a week with a home-cooked meal can result in savings of up to several hundred dollars a month. And that's just good cents.
Sorry, couldn't resist. Probably should have.
BBQ Chicken Sandwich & Toucan '06 Cuvee
Here's a recipe and wine pairing to launch your new-found frugality. It features the popular Toucan Wine 2006 Cuvee ($24.95), a most pleasant and intriguing blend of Estate Zinfandel (55%), Old Vine Carignane (from the 120 year-old Evanghelo Vineyard - 36%) and Estate Petite Sirah (9%). This wine begins with promises of fragrant violets that also haunt the finish in a most enchanting and pleasant way. A moderate 13.9% alcohol makes it easy to drink without punishing the head or the liver. But watch out, you'll want a case of this wine, I'm betting, which I would argue is frugal because of the 10% case discount offered and because it means you're committed to at least 12 more meals at home.
- 8 slices good, dark bread (but not heavy rye) or Kaiser rolls, lightly toasted over grill
- Black Cherry BBQ sauce - to your favorite brand simply add 1 can bing cherries & 1/4 cup red wine – really good, and really fast!
- 2 large boneless chicken breasts (1 for every 2 sandwiches), pounded until evenly thick, trimmed to fit bread.
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- finely sliced red onion, tossed with fresh lemon juice (from above)
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 8 lettuce leaves (optional)
Prepare outdoor grill for indirect cooking, or preheat broiler. Oil grill and immediately cook chicken over high heat for one minute per side, then move to cooler part of grill (or reduce oven from “Broil” to 350 degrees) for another 7 – 9 minutes, turning 2-3 more times, applying liberal amounts of BBQ sauce in the last 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, add more sauce, and let rest for five minutes.
Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise and mustard then stir in cabbage and onion until well blended. Place a chicken breast on bottom half of each roll; spread Mayo/Cabbage/onion mixture on top and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Cover with lettuce (optional) and top half of roll.
Makes 4 sandwiches. Serve with Toucan '06 Cuvee!
Dave Chambers, Wine Merchant
"Thrift means you should always have the best you can possibly afford, when the thing has any reference to your physical and mental health."
- Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924). Physician & Founder of 'Success Magazine'
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