Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday Wine with What?!?

Chef Alfy's
Signature Dishes

Pepper-Seared Pork Tenderloin, Braised Red Cabbage, Saffron Mash with Port Wine Raisin Natural Reduction Sauce

~ Flavor Profile of this Dish ~
Sweet, subtle spiciness of the black pepper is mellowed by the cooking process and savory

~ Suggested Wine for this Dish ~ 
Riesling, Rioja

~ Wine Suggestions ~
Here's a helpful tool when pairing wines

Having a glass of wine per day is very healthy for the human body and can have many health benefits that have been proven to be effective through the course of history.  All quality wines, especially red wines, are rich in phytochemical, which are the natural compounds from the grape plant that remain in the wine you drink. These compounds include flavanoids and resveratrol, which are powerful antioxidants that help to combat harmful microorganisms inside the body. These compounds have also been known to help prevent your arteries from clogging, and help regulate your good cholesterol levels.

Red wine has a high amount of polyphenols, another type of antioxidant. Drinking a glass or two of red wine with dinner is a great way to rid the body of any bad agents that you might get from eating, or just acquire throughout the day. While it is common knowledge that red wine is especially good for your heart, helping to prevent heart disease and lowering bad cholesterol, it's also notorious for helping your body fight off harmful infections, and has even been said to aid recovery after certain surgeries if consumed before and after meals.

Wine is, and always has been, a vital part of a fantastic dinner.  So enjoy a glass tonight! 

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tuesday Fashion, Food and ART!

What you eat directly affects how you look and feel.
Hence, you are what you EAT!

What happens when fashion and culinary collide?  Your eyes and your appetite both are seduced and enticed to indulge.  What do they have in common?  Artistic vision and creativity.

Pork Tenderloin

Much like in the fashion world, food also has a seasonal cycle.  What was old yesterday cycles back around to something new today.  And what is new today will cycle back around to what is old and then debut as the next trend later on.  So in other words, fashion runs in cycles and trends that are new now become old, but always make a comeback.

Today, culinary arts are taking on a cyclic effect much like the fashion arts.  Culinary is the new black and we as a society are the new stylists.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday: Fresh Maca and Maintaining Mind, Body and Soul!

Fresh Maca

Some Benefits of Consuming Fresh Maca:
Maca is rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. It provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids.

Sexual function
Maca is widely used to promote sexual function of both men and women. It serves as a boost to your libido and increases endurance. At the same time it balances your hormones and increases fertility. 

Within days of using maca your energy level may increase. It is also known for increasing stamina. Many athletes take maca for peak performance. If you find yourself tired most of the time, experiment with maca to see if it helps. Just a small amount could be exactly what you need for a boost!

Many take macs for skin issues, as for some people it helps to clear acne and blemishes. Another benefit for your skin is that is decreases sensitivity. In hot or cold weather, maca may help your skin withstand extreme temperatures.

Mood Balance
If you find yourself overcome with anxiety, stress, depression or mood swings, maca may help alleviate these symptoms, though of the evidence is anecdotal. Some have reported an increase in mental energy and focus.

Feeling stressed?  Are you tense and anxious?  Consider trying meditation.  Spending a few minutes a day meditating can help alleviate these symptoms and lead to balance and inner peace.  Anyone can practice medication and it doesn’t require any equipment.  Meditation can be practiced anytime, anywhere, anyplace.

Meditation has been practiced for years.  It was originally used to clarify life and direction.  Today, meditation is used as a relaxation and stress reducer technique.  Meditating produces a state of tranquility and rest that can give you a sense of peace and balance and bring healing to your overall well-being and health.  Meditation helps you to handle day-to-day events in a calmer manner and will even improve certain medical conditions.

There are many benefits to meditation, including health benefits.  The emotional benefits of meditation include, better analysis of stressful situations, learning to manage stress, self-awareness and your present situation, and reduction of negative emotions.  The health benefits of meditation include the reduction in high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, even fatigue.

Start your daily routine by choosing a quiet setting and a comfortable position.  Begin a series of deep and focused breathing.  Focus your attention on your breathing and block out any and all thoughts.

Yoga is another way meditation is practiced as you perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through the poses that require balance and concentration, you focus less on your stressful day and more on inner peace.

Living a life of balance and inner peace is an important element of maintaining your mind, body and soul.  

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Good for the Heart "SOUL" Food Sunday!


Soul Food is basic, down-home cooking with its roots set in the rural South. The principle staples of soul food cooking are beans, greens, cornmeal (used in cornbread, hush puppies, johnnycakes, and as a coating for fried fish), and pork.  Pork has an almost limitless number of uses in soul food.  Many parts of the pig are used, like pigs’ feet, ham hocks, pig ears, hog jowl, and chitlins.  Pork fat is used for frying and as an ingredient in slowly-cooked greens. Sweet potatoes and collard greens are the most highly favorable in Soul Food cooking.  Sweet, cold drinks, preferably good ol' sweet tea, are always a favorite of the South.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

What are the benefits of eating sweet potatoes?  Not only do they taste like dessert, but they provide some surprising health benefits. There are a number of nutrients responsible for the health benefits of a sweet potato.  Among these nutrients are antioxidants such as beta carotene, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients. Each bring with it valuable health benefits.

Sweet potatoes may be a part of the Thanksgiving dinner, but be sure to add these wonderful, naturally sweet vegetables to your meals all year long.  They are some of the most nutritious vegetables around. Sweet potatoes can be found in your local markets year-round, but are officially in season November and December.

Health Benefits of Collard Greens

What are some benefits to eating collard greens?  If you suffer from high cholesterol, collard greens is known to have cholesterol-lowering abilities.  Recent studies show that steamed collard greens outperformed steamed kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage in terms of its ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract. When this bile acid binding takes place, it is easier for the bile acids to be excreted from the body.

Other health benefits?  A cancer protector!  The cancer-preventive properties of collard greens may be largely related to 4 specific glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin. Each of these glucosinolates can be converted into an isothiocyanate (ITC) that helps lower our cancer risk by supporting our detox and anti-inflammatory systems.

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday Sauces, Soups and Spices

Sauce of the Day


What is Gremolata?

Gremolata is a chopped herb condiment typically made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.  It is a traditional accompaniment to the Milanese-braised veal shank dish or ossobuco alla Milanese.  Gremolata is also great for steaks, chicken and pasta.  A sprinkle of this citrus and herb blend also adds freshness to long-cooked short ribs, too. 

The herbs and citrus zest are typically crushed together in a mortar to release their pungent essential oils.  Try finishing your fish with this combination of flavor or marinating poultry, or as a seasoning in a dressing.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Seafood Wonders and Wine!

Grilled Swordfish
Chef Alfred Mann's Signature Dishes
Accompanied with oven-roasted rustic potatoes, baby spring vegetables, lemon broth, chive essence, topped with gremolata
Flavor profile of this dish:  Savory, sweet, sour, slightly acidic.


What is Gremolata?

Gremolata is a chopped herb condiment typically made of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.  It is a traditional accompaniment to the Milanese-braised veal shank dish or ossobuco alla Milanese.  Gremolata is also great for steaks, chicken and pasta. 

What is Swordfish?  

Swordfish is named after its bill resembling a sword (Latin gladius). This makes it superficially similar to other billfish such as marlin, but upon examination, their physiology is quite different and they are members of different families. These fish are found widely in tropical and temperate parts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and can typically be found from near the surface to a depth of 550 m (1,800 ft).They commonly reach 3 m (9.8 ft) in length, and the maximum reported is 4.55 m (14.9 ft) in length and 650 kg (1,430 lb) in weight.  The swordfish is very dense and their texture consists of a steak-like texture.  Swordfish cooks very quickly and a perfect selection when looking for a "quick" meal.

Wine suggestions for Swordfish:
Surprisingly swordfish goes very well with red wine
Wine Suggestions: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot noir


Trigger Fish, Moon Fish and Porgy Fish

Triggerfish is the state fish of Hawaii.  They are a species that live near coral reefs in tropical areas.  They get their name from the way they lock their spine on their dorsal fins when they are alarmed.  Triggerfish are light, thin fillets with a mild flavor that is suitable for baking, broiling or frying. 
Moonfish is another Hawaiian favorite.  The Moonfish has a rish source of protein, niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, phosophorus and selenium.  It is very low in sodium.
The Moonfish also provides a large amount of Omega-3's with approximately 1800 mg.

Porgy is often used in sushi.  The Porgy fish is also high in selenium, Vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, phosphorus, and also low in sodium with a low-fat source of protein.
Porgy is a lean fish that contains a lot of bones, which does make it hard to fillet.  It is often cooked as a "pan fish" since it is small, making it easy to saute or pan fry. 

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