Hanger Steak with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce


It's taken me a few days to get this post finished, so I'm happy to finally be sharing this with you. We don't have red meat very often at home, but when I do make it I like to go all out and try to make something that you would find in a nice restaurant.

Our neighbors were on vacation and they were nice enough to share their CSA box with us while they were gone. It was chock-full of goodies including apples, beets, salad greens, leeks, chanterelles, portobellos and bok choy. It's chanterelle season here in the Pacific Northwest and I can't get enough of them. I want to go out next weekend and forage. I also made steamed bok choy and broccoli with red pepper flakes for some yummy greens to accompany our rich, meat heavy dinner.

The sauce is a yummy red wine reduction with chicken stock, infused rosemary garlic oil, chanterelles, portobellos and chopped tarragon. Pretty darn tasty if you ask me!

Hanger Steak with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce serves 2
Adapted from Bon Appétit

3 tbs olive oil, divided
6 oz mushrooms, torn or cut into large pieces
coarse salt and pepper
3 tbs unsalted butter, divided
1 lb hanger steak, pounded to 1/2 in thick
2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1 small sprig rosemary
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 low sodium chicken stock
1 tbs fresh tarragon, chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over med-high heat and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft and golden, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer mushrooms to a bowl.

Melt 1/2 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil in skillet over med heat. Season steak with salt and pepper and add to skillet with rosemary and garlic cloves. Cook 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil, allowing to rest while preparing the sauce.

Discard rosemary and garlic from skillet and pour off all but 1 tbs fat. Add wine, cook stirring up bits until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 3-4 minutes. Strain, return liquid to skillet. Add stock and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in 2 1/2 tbs of butter. Stir in mushrooms and tarragon, reserving some for garnish. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon mushroom mixture onto plates, drizzling sauce around mushrooms. Slice steak thin along the bias and arrange on top of mushrooms, garnish with remaining tarragon.

Wine Wednesday: Saint Cosme Little James' Basket Press


I might just geek out a little bit over this wine and the process in which it was made. You may have to excuse my nerdiness, but I hope in the end you find it charming. This weeks wine is a great wine that is widely available and I hope you love it as much as I do. You might have noticed I didn't denote a particular year for this wine and you would be correct! For this week I bring you a non vintage wine from one of the Rhône Valley's notable producer, Saint Cosme.

Label shot courtesy of Saint Cosme

I'll first begin with the region that this wine comes from before I dive into the real uniqueness of how it is made. This wine is coming from the greater Rhône Valley. It is a pretty larger area in itself with different styles and grape varietals grown in each sub area of the valley.

Map courtesy of Sunshine Estates

As you can see from the map there are many sub areas that make up the Rhône Valley and each is important for producing their own different style with notable producers and different nuances. For the purpose of this wine we are not going to dive into all that. Why you ask? Well, this wine is a lower tier wine from the greater Rhône Valley made up of multiple vintages. The Rhône valley is really split into two major areas: Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône. Northern Rhône wines only allow the production of Syrah for red wine in order to be named from the Northern Rhône area, but also produce whites from Roussanne and Marsanne. However, Southern Rhône is usually made up of blended grapes including Grenache (most planted), Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mouvèdre as well as whites from blended varietals.

Rocky soils of Souther Rhône. Photo courtesy of Wine Cellarage

The Rhône Valley snaking along the Rhône River is most notable for its rocky soils. The rugged landscape of both North and South help to protect the vineyards against from the Mistral, a very cold, dry wind pattern that blows through from the Mediterranean. Wines from this region tend to be powerful, bold dark fruit with tobacco, cedar, spice and floral aromas.

What makes this wine truly unique is that it is a non vintage wine. Saint Cosme has set up a solera system, which is a fractional blending process when making beer, wine, brandy or vinegar. Simply, it is comprised of multiple vintages that you pull from and blend together. This wine was bottled in 2011 so it is a blend of 50% 2010 vintage and the other 50% pulled from every vintage dating back to 1999. While it is not an expression of a certain vintage or a particular area it doesn't need to be because it is meant to be an early consumption, pleasant drinking wine consistent of a certain flavor profile. This wine is 100% Grenache sourced mainly from the South.

Little James' Basket Wine had aromas of barnyard, cherry, cedar, vanilla, lavender and clove with flavors of stewed cherry, clove, all spice, and cedar. We are great fans of the Rhône Valley in this house and found this wine to be a great value (less than $12) for the Rhône. While it's not something to hold it makes a great accompaniment to winter meals including roasted/grilled vegetables, pizza, pasta, roasted/grilled meats and stews. We enjoyed this wine with skirt steak over a mushroom, red wine reduction and sautéed bokchoy and broccoli. C'est magnifique!

A Busy Time: Harvest 2011


It's been a while since I've shared what I do for a living on Fork and Vine and I thought there is no better time than right now to see all the exciting happenings of a winery. Although I am not actually involved in the production of wines, I appreciate and understand the process and am inspired by those that are involved in making wine. Owen Roe has been underway with harvesting our vineyards in Washington for about a month now, but starting this week we will be harvesting grapes from our Oregon sites, which means we will be going full throttle to get grapes off the vines and processed from two states!

Here is a photo log of the 2011 harvest so far as well as before harvest vineyard shots:

Six Prong Vineyard Grenache

Grenache Cluster

Sorting Grenache

Red Willow Lemberger fermenting

Sorting table
Harvest at a winery is a very stressful time, but it is very exciting. Documenting this process rekindles my love and passion for wine. It truly is an amazing thing and is really inspiring to see all the staff at Owen Roe working together to make such beautiful wines. We also believe the real work in winemaking isn't making wine, but begins with the vineyard. I hope to go out with the head winemaker and assistants this week as we taste through the grapes in Oregon and share some pics with you.
Veraison at Union Gap Vineyard's Malbec block.

East Chapel Block Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard

Chapel and Chapel Block Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard

First fruit in, Dubrul Vineyard Chardonnay.

Destemmed grapes

Stay tuned to see more of the harvest/crush action!

Fast White Bean and Ham Stew


I'm not gonna lie...this is a total cheater recipe. It is the simplest and quickest stew recipe you will make, although it's not from scratch, but working a full time job it does the job for a comfort food supper. Again, this is easily adaptable to be vegan by using vegetable broth and omitting the ham. We served this with some delicious garlic rubbed toast.

Fast White Bean and Ham Soup serves 4
Adapted from Gourmet

2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 (14-15oz) can stewed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable)
2 (19 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 lb baked ham cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (5 oz) bag baby arugula

sliced wheat levain
garlic clove
olive oil

Cook garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, until golden, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, using kitchen shears, coarsely cut up tomatoes in can and add entire can to garlic and oil. Stir in broth, beans, ham and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Stir in greens and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

While stew is simmering preheat boiler and add olive oil to a shallow plate, making a pool. Lightly submerge olive oil on plate and place on a baking sheet. Broil 3-4 inches from heat for about 1 1/2 minute. Remove pan and rub toasts with garlic clove.

Serve stew with toasts.

Sweet Potato and Almond Butter Soup


This is my new favorite fall soup. I love the almond butter in this soup, it kind of reminds me of curry with how sweet and rich it is. You can easily adapt this soup to be vegan by using vegetable broth and omitting the chicken.

I tweaked the original recipe by adding a yam along with the sweet potato and some small diced sweet peppers, which I think made the dish a lot more heartier and colorful.

This soup takes less than an hour to make from prep to finish making it a great go to weeknight meal.

Sweet Potato and Almond Butter Soup serves 4
Adapted from Whole Living

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 large yam, peeled and diced
8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces (optional)
1/2 cup almond butter
1 1/2 cup sweet peppers, diced (bell peppers or sweet mini peppers)
1 cup collard leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
Salt and pepper
Lime wedges for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Sauté until garlic becomes fragrant, about one minute. Add stock, sweet potato and yam and increase heat to bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer, add chicken and cover pot allowing to simmer for 15 minutes.

Add peppers and simmer for 5 minutes more covered. In a mixing bowl, whisk together almond butter and 1 cup of soup stock. Add the collard leaves and ginger to the soup and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for five minutes. Stir in almond paste and season with salt and pepper.

Serve soup into bowls with lime wedges for garnish.

Some Faves this Week:


Sorry about the silence this past week on Fork and Vine, but I'm back now and ready kick this week off with a collection of some of my favorite inspirations last week. Etsy and Pinterest was definitely a running theme for me.

I've busy pinning up a storm on Pinterest this week. Here's a screenshot of some of my boards and a few of my favorite pins:

Photo by Kristian Schuller via Pinterest

Photo by Luminous Lu via Pinterest

Three Pink Poppies painting by Cherie Dirksen via Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest? I love it, but find it slightly addicting. I keep wanting to add more inspiration boards, but I'm already at a whopping 28 boards! Please feel free to share your Pinterest info; I'd love to start following you and see what fun stuff you're pinning!

Besides going "pin crazy" this week I've been "hearting" a lot of my Etsy favorites. I think Etsy is pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. I have found so many great independent shop owners with unique wares and vintage treasures through Etsy. Here's what I've been loving this week:

Hanging fruit basket by Vessels and Wares 

I love how creative Vessels and Wares has taken a classic kitchen staple and put a lovely spin on it. These are really unique and would love to get one of them to hang in front of my kitchen window.

20s Flapper silk chiffon dress via Lolanyevintage

This is not the only flapper dress I "hearted" this week, but it is my favorite. I am utterly in love with the 20s flapper/gatsby style. I love the draping and low waist, which elongates most figures...and let's be honest, I kind of have the hair to match! The colors of this dress remind me of the brushstrokes in a painting.

Floral wrapped rose cut diamond by Kateszabone

I've been following Kate Szabone's shop for a while and find her rings to be absolutely breathtaking. She works with fair trade stones that are rose cut laid in silver, yellow gold or rose gold settings. This ring is by far the most unique I have seen in her shop, both organic and romantic.

My last favorite is the music of Dan Auberach's protege, Jessica Lea Mayfield. She has been on constant repeat on my ipod this week. I get lost in her vocals as well as the Americana sound of the melodies. Beautiful.

Wine Wednesday: Montaribaldi 2009 Tre Stelle


I love Fall. The colors...the food...and the wine are so comforting. I've been on my soup and stew kick lately and there is nothing I like to pair more with soup or stew more than a hearty Italian wine. For me Italian reds are synonymous with fall: earthy, spicy, peppery, leathery, chewy fruit with bright acid...gets me every time. The wine I am sharing with you today is actually an old standby favorite. I was first introduced to this wine back when I was a server and we had this on our wine list.

Today for Wine Wednesday I bring you Montaribaldi's 2009 "Tre Stelle" from Langhe. However, before I go into the wine I want to tell you a little bit about Langhe and the greater Barbaresco region and what makes it so great.

Map courtesy of ItalyandWine.net

This is a map of Barbaresco a region part of the greater Piedmont region. Piedmont is the most important and regarded regions of Italy due to Barolo, Barbaresco and Moscato d' Asti. Barolo is a region known for it's high quality production of the Nebiolo grape grown on careous marl. These wines are bold, tannic long lived wines. Barbaresco kind of plays the quieter little sister to Barolo. While also known for the Nebiolo grape grown on the same soil, Barbaresco is also planted with Dolcetto and Barbera. Nebiolo is usually harvest about a month earlier in Barbaresco than it is in Barbera which may contribute to it's higher acid, less diluted and lower alcohol than of Barolos. This is where the quieter younger sister comes in to play. All these factors make Barbaresco a pleasure to drink young: (3-10 years cellaring tops), brighter, juicier and more fragrant than Barolo.

Photo courtesy of Wine Guild of Charlottesville

This wine is a blend of all three of the varietals that I had mentioned earlier: Nebiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera hailing from Tres Stelle vineyard in Langhe. Montaribaldi has always belonged to the Taliano family. The newest generation has fought to keep the traditional winemaking  techniques in place, saving the wines from falling to the trend of high alcohol levels and being overly oaked. I for one thank them for this because I find their wines to have great elegance and finesse. These wines pair well with a number of dishes from hearty stews, soups to Arancini, chicken or pork cutlets, pasta Bolognese, or roasted winter squash.

The Montaribaldi 2009 Tre Stelle has aromas of cherry, currants, potpourri, olives and tobacco. The flavors echoed some of the same including currants, dried cherries, savory herbs, olives with a singing acidity and moderate tannins. We enjoyed this wine with a tomato and bean stew and garlic toast (recipe to follow soon). I picked this wine up for $13.95 and it is definite favorite in our house, so I hope you give Barbaresco a try! Happy Fall!

Salmon Niçoise Salad


This is a standby in our house, and although not really seasonally appropriate in fall or winter, it would be the perfect meal accompanied by a soup in either season. You can also easily adapt this meal to be vegan by omitting the eggs and instead of fish making a cannellini bean salad (which I have done before and it's turned out quite well).

Salmon Niçoise Salad, serves 4
Adapted from Everyday Food

For the Cannellini-Bean Niçoise Salad recipe go here.

4-5 red new potatoes
8 oz green beans, trimmed
2 skinless salmon fillets (about 6 oz each) or very high quality canned (2 cans)
2 heads red leaf, romaine, or boston lettuce
4 plum tomatoes
3 large eggs, hardboiled
1 medium red onion (not shown in pic)
1 jar or tin anchovy fillets drained (optional)
1/4  cup Niçoise olives
Dijon Vinaigrette

Dijon Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

In a medium bowl, whisk juice, mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper until combined.
Whisking constantly, add olive oil in a slow steady stream; whisk until thickened.

In a 5 quart pot, bring 1/2 inch water to a boil, salt and add pototoes. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 14 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Set aside to cool. Add the green beans to the pot of boiling water. Cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove beans to a ice bath, drain and set aside.

Fill a deep skillet with 1/4 inch water. Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the skillet. Bring the water to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the salmon is opaque, about 10-14 minutes. Transfer to a plate and flake with a fork and allow to cool.

While the salmon is cooking, tear lettuce into pieces, quarter the potatoes and tomatoes, peel and quarter the eggs (use a wet pairing knife) and thinly slice the onion.

On a large platter, arrange all the ingredients and serve with the vinaigrette.

Polenta, Spinach, Kale and Sausage Soup


One thing that I love to make during fall and winter is soups or stew. Will and I cozy up, make a fire and watch a movie with a warming bowl of soup. It's very comforting and easy to make when I come home from work.

This is another recipe from Power Foods, which I've adapted slightly. The original recipe calls just for spinach, but we had some leftover kale, which I threw in. I also added Italian sausage for a boost in protein, but you could easily leave it out for a vegan dish. Maybe even substitute beans for the sausage.

Potato, Spinach, Kale and Sausage Soup serves 4
Adapted from Whole Living

1 cup plus 4 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 Parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 cups baby spinach and kale, finely chopped
3 Italian sausages (optional)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
lemon wedges
cracked pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat and add a bit of water and sausages. Cover and allow to simmer until water is absorbed. Uncover and allow to brown and cooked through. Aprox. 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat to a paper lined towel and allow to cool slightly. Slice into 1/2 inch pieces.

Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Whisking constantly, add cornmeal in a slow and steady stream. Reduce heat to medium, stir occasionally until soup has thickened, about 8 minutes. Add cheese and 1/4 cup oil, stirring until oil is incorporated, about 1 minute. Stir in spinach, kale, salt and sausage. Cook and stir until greens have turned bright green and are slightly wilted, about 1 minute.

Divide soup among 4 bowls and drizzle with olive oil (or truffle oil if you have it) and cracked pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.

Some Faves this Week: Fresh Female MCs


I've been digging listening to hip hop this last week and wanted to dedicate this week's Some Faves to some of the freshest female mc's out there. It takes some real tenacity to be a female vocalist in the male dominated hip hop industry and these ladies are some of my favorite:

First, is the ever so popular M.I.A. I really love her lyrical style and the beats and production of her songs are truly unique.

Second, is the new sensation, Kreayshawn. This song is unbelievably catchy.

The final two videos are from two amazingly, talented British hip hop and r&b singers, Ms Dynamite and Estelle.

I hope these ladies get you moving this next week!

An Outfit Post, Maxi-fied!


Hello Fall! I am not ready for you yet...well maybe wardrobe wise I am. Our summers here in the Pacific Northwest have been getting shorter and shorter, and honestly I feel like we've been thrust into winter with the rain. I've picked up a few pieces for fall and winter recently and I am loving mixing them up!

One of my new favorites is this chevron/aztec printed skirt from F21! It is the perfect maxi length and looks great with wedges and boots. I've already worn it to work with a black blazer and draped oxford shirt. It kind of had this 70's working woman vibe to it! One of my coworkers told me I look like Mary Tyler Moore if she were cooler. I think that's a compliment?

I picked these clog-boots up last year on sale at Anthropologie. Their actually Sanita (the original Dansko) so they fit pretty comfortably. You can roll down the sueded leather to give them more of a bootie look.

Showing a little leg!

Sweater and Belt, H&M
Maxi Skirt, F21
Blouse, BCBG Max Azria
Boots, Sanita via Anthropologie
Necklace, Gift from Father