The Holiday Season can get hectic and if you are not careful it can be more exhausting than relaxing. Make it a goal this season to plan for some down time in between all of the festivities. I found this Thanksgiving to be very relaxing and energizing by making a point to schedule down time with my family. My mother-in-law did most of the cooking for Thanksgiving – God bless her! When we were leaving to go to her house, I actually felt like I was forgetting something, since I was not required to make anything. We then spent Friday evening with my parents and visited around a fire outside with some good wine. Speaking of down time, our firm would love you to join us on December 8th between 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for our annual Open House. We will be kicking back at my house with good food, wine and even better, good company!
In this month’s newsletter Chef Ryan shares a great short rib recipe so you will have some great comfort food when you tire of the turkey. Nathan gives us a couple of great wine picks. I figured most of you would have your Christmas decorating done by now, so I have provided tips for a beautiful red and white table; some homemade hostess gift ideas; as well as some quick and easy gift purchases you can order on-line for those of you who want to keep it easy.
Be blessed and safe!
From the Kitchen of Cielo Su Terra
Braised Beef Short Ribs
1/4 C Kosher salt
2 TBS Freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS Flour
2 C Short ribs, bone in, 4 pieces
3 1/2 Lb Fresh thyme sprigs
3 each Carrots, mirepoix
1 C Onions, mirepoix
1 C Leeks, white part only, chopped
1/2 C Bay leaf
1 each Garlic cloves
3 each Red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or any bold varietal), 750 ml bottle
1 each Veal stock
1/2 gal Red pearl onions, halved, sautéed
8 each Thumbelina “Baby” carrots, halved, sautéed
8 each Cremini mushrooms, quartered, sautéed
1 each Celeriac, cooked, puréed (Celeriac is a root vegetable.)
1. In a heavy-bottomed braising pan, begin to heat the canola oil over low heat. In a deep pan or bowl, mix the salt, pepper and ?our and coat the short ribs. Shake off any excess ?our. Once the pan is warm, start browning the short ribs over a medium ?ame. Allow them to brown slowly.
2. Once browned, remove the short ribs and reserve. Add all of the aromatics (thyme, carrots, onions, leeks, bay leaf and garlic) and sauté over medium heat to caramelize. Once they begin to caramelize, deglaze the pan with the red wine. Allow the wine to reduce by 2/3. Once the wine has reduced, add the veal stock in and bring to a low boil.
3. Lower the heat and return the short ribs to the pan. Place in a 200 degree F oven and braise for 8 hours. (Be sure that ribs are covered 2/3 by liquid for the entire process.)
4. To serve, carefully remove ribs from the braising liquid (they should hardly hold together) and cut each rib in thirds. Strain the aromatics from the braising liquid and discard. Reduce the liquid into a sauce consistency, skimming continuously. Season, divide into 4 portions and serve each rib over 4 pearl onion halves, 4 baby carrot halves, 3 cremini mushrooms and 3 ounces of celeriac purée.
Visit Chef Ryan’s website at www.cielosuterra.net and keep his services in mind for parties, events, anniversaries or a special evening at home.
Join us for our second annual Holiday Open House
December 8, 2011 6:00PM – 9:00PM
Take a break from the hectic Holiday Season for some down time with the team at Robin Bond Interiors! It will be a fun-filled evening of food demonstration, recipes, wine, giveaways, music and more!
This dish as created by Chef Abitz is hearty, full of flavor, and simply “begs” to be paired with a concentrated red wine! Ah, you might ask, “why a concentrated red?” … a great question, and as such, a tad bit of “Wine 101”. Cuisine in which the primary ingredient is protein, such as pork tenderloin, roast, or beef tenderloin, plus a rich reduced sauce is best paired with a bold, full bodied wine. As a general rule, match the “body” of the dish to the “body” of the wine. As an example, a crisp garden salad lightly dressed with a vinaigrette does not pair well with an oaky, buttery, high alcohol, heavy tropical fruit driven California Chardonnay. However, a high acid, unoaked, herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand or France is a great match. Given the recipe as composed by Chef Abitz and taking into account the above info, I suggest the following red wines:
2005 Château Larose-Trintaudon Cabernet Sauvignon blend Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, Haut-Médoc AOP, Bordeaux, France ($23)
The above is classic, archetypal red Bordeaux and a personal favorite due to the consistent overall quality. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon + 40% Merlot, this wine is aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak. As a plus, the 2005 vintage is excellent, producing wines of depth, balance, and finesse. With six years of age (a bargain @ $23 a bottle!), the Larose-Trintaudon is defined by fruit flavors of blackberry/cassis/raspberry with elements of earth, tobacco, and baking spice … a seamless pairing with the short ribs.
2009 Karly 100% Zinfandel “Pokerville” Amador County, California ($16)
Red Zinfandel is truly one of the great pairing wines! No matter if BBQ, smoked brisket, green chile chicken enchiladas, or grilled hamburgers, Zinfandel is a “home run” as an accompaniment. Established in 1978 by Buck Cobb, a former fighter pilot, and named after his wife, Karly, this small family operation is a hidden gem producing fantastic wines of great quality. “Pokerville”, the name for the town of Plymouth during the Gold Rush, is produced from the youngest estate vines owned by Karly and aged for 6 – 9 months in neutral oak barrels. This wine has a purity of fruit flavor that is true to the varietal character of the grape … ripe boysenberry/cranberry/raspberry … a hint of dust earth/briar/bramble … everything one needs for a great pairing.
Each of the above is available at GOOD2GO, allow me to be your “Everyday Sommelier”, and always, good wine tastes good!
Nathan T. Prater, AS
Service & Wine Specialist
6317 Bee Cave #200
Austin, TX. 78746
Wine, Dine, and Design TV – Christmas Tree Decorating
Holiday Hostess Gift Ideas
Spiced Pecans in a Jar
4 cups unsalted pecan halves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon chili paste
2 small mason jars or other type of jar with an air tight lid (size to hold 2 cups pecans)
1 roll of pretty ribbon
2 gift tags to match the ribbon
Directions: Preheat the oven to 300. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the pecans, maple syrup, 3 teaspoons of the salt, pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne, and the chili paste. Toss to coat.
Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss with the remaining teaspoon of salt and let cool. Divide the pecans between the two mason jars. Decorate the outside of the jar with the ribbon and Christmas tag.
Quick Taper Candle Gift
2 Taper Candles
Small Craft Pinecone or other Accent
Directions: For a quick and easy hostess gift, purchase two high quality taper candles in cream or white. Tie together with a beautiful green or red velvet ribbon and then adorn with a small Christmas greenery wired accent. These accents are readily found in craft stores. This is a quick, beautiful and simple gift that is still personal.
Luxurious Lavender Bath Salts
1 Interesting jar or bottle with a lid (can be found at any craft store)
1 Bag of coarse sea salt
1 jar macadamia nut oil
1 small bottle of lavender oil
1 teaspoon lavender flowers
Directions: Blend the coarse salt with the macadamia nut oil, with a spoon in a bowl. Stir until the salts are saturated. You want the mix to be neither runny nor dry. Add a few drops of lavender oil and a tablespoon of lavender flowers. Mix well and put into your jar. Wrap in pretty ribbon for an extra festive look.
For our busy clients who would rather order hostess gifts on-line, try these links to luxury:
Red Silky or Sheer Fabric – Purchase double your table length to gather down the center of your table
Plain Clear Glassware
Peppermint Christmas Trees (2)
White Rose Votive Holders (4)
White Rose Pillar Holder (1)
Silver Pillar Candle Holder Sticks (2)
To make Peppermint Christmas Tress:
2 Large Styrofoam Christmas Trees (bottom small enough to fit in the silver pillar holders)
2 Large Bags Red & White Peppermint Round Candies (without the wrapper)
1 Bottle Quick Drying Craft Glue
Start from the bottom and glue the peppermint candy to the Styrofoam tree in straight rows working your way from the bottom up.
To make White Rose Votive Holders:
4 Clear Votive Holders
1 Bag of fresh cranberries
1 Bunch of Rosemary
4 White Roses
Fill each votive holder half way up with cranberries, fill with water and cut down 1 white rose stem to fit in the center of each votive holder so that the rose flower is just slightly higher than the votive. Put in one sprig of Rosemary as accent greenery.
To make White Rose Pillar Holder :
Use the same ingredients as above, but put them in a larger clear pillar glass holder with five or more roses tied together with rope twine.
Put the white table cloth on your table. Run the fabric down the center, gathering along the way so it is not perfect. You want it to look a little messy. Put the large pillar holder with the roses in the center of the table with the smaller votives (2) on each side. Put the two silver pillar holder sticks with the Peppermint trees on each end .
To make the table extra special, put a white sugar cookie as a place card in the center of each plate with your guests name in red sugar.
All of this equals a fresh, elegant and beautiful dinner party table.
To keep your Dinner Party fun and low stress, consider hiring your Wine, Dine & Design Team:
So you want your house to be wonderfully decorated for your next family gathering or party, but you don’t know how or you just flat don’t have the time: At Robin Bond Interiors we work with our clients to come up with a long-term plan for interior Christmas decorating. We will typically start with the tree and then add things each year such as the mantel, a nice wreath, a nice entrance door treatment, and stair rail decorating. If you enjoy doing the decorating yourself, but just want some really nice ornaments, greenery or other decorations, we will be happy to help you come up with a nice theme to build on and you can just purchase the decorations through us. Our firm sells unique things that are typically much better quality than what you will see on the retail market.
If you are not a cook, don’t suddenly try to be. Consider hiring a chef to assure the food is fabulous. Chef Ryan Abitz who contributes to our monthly newsletter loves to help our clients with private dinner parties. www.cielosuterra.net
Have good wine. You don’t necessarily have to provide the most expensive wine, but provide a good one. Our wine Sommelier, Nathan Pater, will be glad to recommend one. Visit him at Good 2 Go. www.good2goaustin.com Better yet, have Nathan show up prior to your actual dinner to open the wine and educate your guests on the wine you are serving. He can also make recommendations to your guests for other wines that will work well for Christmas Day.
LINKING LUXURY, QUALITY AND STYLE
Robin Bond Interiors was established in 2003, as a full-service design firm with an emphasis on custom drapery and high quality furnishings. Our niche is working with clients from concept to completion, a room at a time, creating a beautiful, pulled together space, which reflects our client’s style. Robin Bond Interiors operates in an ethical fashion and our goal is to build long-term personal relationships with our clients based on mutual trust and respect.
Contact us today for a FREE 1 hour consultation and let us make the space of your dreams a reality!