The bacon adds a bit of a crunch to the sandwich. The wine is what makes it sing.
7 ounces aged cheddar cheese, at room temp and cut into pieces
2 ounces Brie cheese, rind removed
2 tablespoons chardonnay
4 tablespoons crumbled bacon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
8 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed
mayonnaise, enough to spread on inside of sandwiches
Process cheddar, Brie, and wine in food processor until smooth paste is formed, 20 to 30 seconds. Add bacon bits and pulse just enough to combine, 3 to 5 pulses.
Combine butter & mustard in small bowl.
Working on parchment paper-lined counter, spread mayonnaise on inside of sandwiches. Then spread mustard butter evenly over the mayo. Flip 4 slices of bread over and spread cheese mixture evenly over slices. Top with remaining 4 slices of bread, buttered sides up.
Preheat 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. (Droplets of water should just sizzle when flicked onto pan.) Place 2 sandwiches on skillet; reduce heat to medium-low; and cook until both sides are crispy and golden brown, 6 to 9 minutes per side, moving sandwiches to ensure even browning. Remove sandwiches from skillet and let stand a few minutes before serving.
I love the wine country and how we all seem to find ways to infuse wine into all our cooking!
This dish has quintessential wine country elements…wine, cream and a seafood choice coming from our coast. This recipe, which my family LOVES, comes to us from the CK Mondavi winery kitchens. Mmmmm.
1 pound medium raw shrimp peeled and deveined (16 to 20 count)
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons fresh minced parsley
½ cup peeled, seeded and chopped tomato (may use canned)
¾ cup CK Mondavi Chardonnay
¼ cup low salt chicken stock (such as Swanson’s)
¾ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Start cooking your rice & clean spinach in preparation for serving.
Heat the butter in a sauté pan. When hot, add the shrimp, garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook shrimp briefly on both sides until pink. Remove the shrimp to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Now, deglaze the pan with the CK Mondavi Chardonnay. Cook until the wine is reduced by half. Add the tomato, chicken stock, cream and 1 Tablespoon of the parsley. Turn heat up to high and cook until the sauce has thickened. Add the shrimp, and continue to cook at a simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper if needed. Place on a heated platter, sprinkle remaining parsley over the top and serve.
Great served with steamed rice, or saffron rice, and cooked fresh spinach.
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Yield: Two 14″ pizzas Cook time: 6 minutes Oven temp: 550 degrees (F)
p.s. You can fold this piece of pizza just like a New Yorker!
The universal language of the wine country is pizza. Our family has had more fun with neighbors and friends around the farmhouse table with pizzas being brought out and glasses of wine being poured throughout the evening. It’s no surprise, therefore, that in our house and in wine country pizza is not just kid’s stuff. Everybody loves pizza and, depending on your toppings, your choice of wines will vary. Your wine choices will be determined by whether your pizza is meat-based, i.e. pepperoni; or cheese-based, such as shiitake mushrooms and brie but, make no mistake, in wine country, there will be wine.
Key Points to Note:
- use high quality bread flour, I like Gold Medal or King Arthur
- it’s best if you can give your dough at least 12 hours (and up to 3 days) in the fridge to ferment (the longer the ferment time, the better the flavor). Fact, I often don’t ferment and just make the pizza (am I bad?)
- Use a scale (I know…but it’s super important)
- Use active dry yeast, as opposed to instant dry yeast
- Be very careful not to over-knead your dough, that’s why pizzas are tossed. The more you touch the dough, the more light and airy it becomes. You don’t want that for New York-style Pizza. You want it thin and dense
- Don’t add the oil until the all the flour has been completely incorporated into the dough
- Use a generous amount of flour on the table to open (or toss) your dough ball
- A pizza stone will help draw the moisture out of your pizza, but I use a pan
- Make sure your oven preheats for at least an hour at 550 degrees and, if using a pizza stone, place it in the oven at the same time
- Don’t use part-skim cheese. It will not melt correctly
- Use a minimal amount of sauce or the pizza could be soggy
- Be careful not to pop all the bubbles that the fermentation process created (when you read “don’t degas your dough”, that’s what it means)
- freeze your cheese for at least 10 minutes before you place the pizza in the oven
- I place my dough on parchment paper, then the pan or stone
- as in the video below, some select corn meal to toss the pizza. I prefer semolina or just the flour (don’t make it an issue)
- 14 ounces (3 to 3.5 cups) bread flour
- 1 1/8 cups water (I test it on the inside of my wrist so it’s not too warm)
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- red pepper flakes, dash
- olive oil to splash on top prior to putting in the oven
This method is made using my KitchenAid mixer
- place warm water in the mixing bowl
- add yeast
- let yeast grow, about 8 minutes
- combine flour, salt & sugar in separate bowl
- add flour mixture to water, one cup at a time, with the mixer on low speed and using the dough hook until completely mixed, adding only enough flour so it no longer sticks to the bottom or sides of bowl
- once incorporated, add oil, continue mixing (note, the whole process only takes a couple of minutes. You don’t want to mix this too long)
- place into ziplock bag and refrigerate
- after the dough has fermented, remove from fridge and place on well-floured surface
- gently stretch your dough and/or toss
- top your pizza, first, with light sauce, then red pepper flakes, then sprinkle with oil, then your other toppings
- place pizza into the oven for 6-8 minutes until cheese is browned on top
Chef Fabio’s Sauce Recipe