On Saturday we took Sean and Jennifer up to Napa for a few hours of tasting at some of our favorite places. We started at Hartwell, which continues to be a family favorite. Goodness, I love their Cabs. Their estate Sauvignon Blanc is also terrific.
(Jennifer and I in our "happy place.")
After some purchases at Hartwell, we stopped for lunch at Soda Canyon Store, which has a wonderful little deli counter.
We then popped into Black Stallion Winery for a quick tasting before our next appointment. I'd passed it a million times and this was the first time we had gone in. It was ok, but not amazing. I'm not sure we tasted their best though.
We ended the Napa adventure with Cakebread Cellars. Jennifer is a big Chardonnay fan, and they have one of the best. I also love how intimate their property is, and that the winery is still family owned and run. That is rare in Napa.
All in all, it was such a terrific day. But it didn't end there.
We returned home with big plans for the evening. Matt and Athena came back for one last night at our place before flying home the next day.
What was really special is that Matt and Sean hadn't seen each other since they were both groomsmen in our wedding. It was fun to all be together for the holiday.
Grilled Brussels Sprouts
This recipe came from Food52, though we doubled it for this group.
12 small to medium Brussels Sprouts
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 handful crumbled bacon (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese grated or shreded
Clean and trim sprouts, then place in boiling, salted water for no more than five minutes. Drain, drizzle with oil and toss in a bowl with the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and celery salt.
When the sprouts are nice and coated, place on a hot grill, turning every few minutes for a total of ten minutes. Remove from the grill back to the seasoning bowl and toss to coat with any remaining seasoning.
If desired, add any or all of the remaining three ingredients (bacon, lemon zest, parmesan cheese). We chose lemon zest and a pinch of parm.
Rosemary-Mustard Grilled Potatoes
This recipe came from a Fine Cooking magazine we picked up earlier this summer.
1 pound medium red-skinned potatoes
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
Wash the potatoes and cut them into 3/8-inch-thick-slices. Cover the potatoes with cold water and 1 tablespoon of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer. Cook until they're almost but not quite done, abut 4 to 6 minutes. The potatoes will be a bit hard in the center but the outer edges will look opaque. Drain in a large colander and rinse with cold water until they're cool.
Spread potatoes out on clean dish towels and let them sit at room temperature for up to an hour until you're ready to grill.
Light the grill to a medium-hot temperature. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, rosemary, with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the potato slices in the mixture until they are well coated.
Put the potatoes on the grate in one layer, directly over the fire. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove and serve immediately.
What a yummy dinner. We paired these delicious sides with herbed grilled chicken wings, a trifecta.
While I loved the new twist on grilled Brussels sprouts (it's all about that celery salt and lemon, yum), I really loved these potatoes.
I'd highly recommend putting a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream on these bad boys. Even better if you mix some rosemary into that cream beforehand!
All in all, it was a great night with full bellies and lots of laughter.