Monday, November 28, 2011

The Reubenesque

The Bounty Hunter's answer to New York's most famous sandwich. Visualize paper thin slices of hot pastrami, the finest sauerkraut covered in slowly melting Gruyere cheese, all piled high on a thick slab of toasted marbled rye. So voluptuous, soft and delicious, the master blushes at the thought of it.

Ingredients for one large sandwich:
1/2 lb of house-cured pastrami thinly sliced
3 oz sauerkraut, drained of liquid
5 slices of cave aged Gruyere cheese
1 - 1/4" sliced fresh marble rye bread
1 tablespoon of Russian dressing

Place pastrami on a small sheet pan, top with sauerkraut. Cook in 375 degrees oven for 5 minutes, then remove. Carefully place Gruyere cheese on top of pastrami and sauerkraut. Broil until cheese is melted. Lightly toast bread, spread 1 tablespoon Russian dressing over bread. With a spatula, lift and place pastrami on toasted bread and enjoy!

Russian Dressing: Makes 2 cups
1/4 c minced cornichons or pickle relish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 c mayonnaise
1/2 c ketchup

Monday, November 21, 2011

What's in a label?

Here’s some clarification to help you better understand wine labels.
~Vintage: The year designates the year that the grapes were harvested. 15% of the grapes used in the blend can be from a different year if the wine is not claiming an AVA, American Viniculture Area. To be AVA-specific 95% of the grapes must be from that stated vintage.

~Appellation of Origin: California State Law requires that 100% of the grapes be from California. Nearly all other states only require that 75% of the fruit comes from within that named state. Since 1983, 85% of the grapes must come from the named region, for example Napa Valley.

~Wine Type: Wine labels used to only have to contain 51% of the varietal listed. Beginning in 1983, wines that used a specific varietal name, Cabernet Sauvignon instead of Red Wine, for example, must contain 75% of that varietal in the blend.

~Vineyard of Origin: Wineries often list the vineyard in which the grapes were grown because the vineyard has a reputation for producing high-quality grapes. Federal policy requires that 95% of the grapes must have been grown in the vineyard listed.

~Producer & Bottler: This part of the label must indicate the bottler and its location.
1) Produced and bottled by: guarantees the bottler fermented 75% or more of the wine.
2) Cellared and bottled: states that the bottler has aged the wine or subjected it to cellar treatment before bottling.
3) Made and bottled: indicates that the bottler fermented at least 75% of the wine.
4) Bottled by: says that the winery bottled the wine, which may have been grown, crushed, fermented, finished and aged by someone else.

~Estate Bottled: This term is optional. However it certifies that legally, the winery grew 100% of the grapes on land it owns or controls and states that the winery crushed, fermented, finished, aged and bottled the wine in a continues process. Both winery and vineyard must be located in the same viticultural area stated on the label.
~Alcohol Content: This is mandatory and indicates the alcohol content by volume, with a tolerance of plus or minus 1.5%

~Net Contents: The fluid volume in the metric measurement must be indicated either on the label or blown into the glass.

~Declaration of Sulfites: Beginning in 1988, wines which have a level of 10 parts per million or greater of sulfur dioxide must be labeled with a sulfite declaration. For all practical purposes, this means just about every wine commercially available.

~Government Warning: All wines bottled after November 18th, 1989 must bear the Federal warning.