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Wine Tastings … Delicious!

April 30, 2011

I have been working at the (free!) wine tastings  at Marina Market Wine and Cheese Shop lately, which is why I am behind on my blogging. The manager, Jackie, who is the only female sommelier in the USVI, has been choosing great wines for the tastings, and I bring appetizers – made with Summer’s Secret Seasoning, of course – to go with the wines. (More about the appetizers later; first, the wines!)

Although I have favorite wines and pretty definite ideas about what I like, I am willing to try new things. So even though I don’t usually like Chardonnay, I have discovered that I like Hook & Ladder Chardonnay (Sonoma County, Russian River Valley).

Normally, I will skip the wine if I am offered a Cabernet Sauvignon, or any wine from South America, and yet … I now know that I like Terraza Cabernet Sauvignon from Argentina! Live and learn.

I have always like Prosecco, and now I have found a new one – “Pink” – from Riondo. It is pretty to look at, delicious to drink (Katie and I drank a whole bottle with dessert the other night, just to be certain) , and reasonably priced. Lovely for any occasion.

Last night, I discovered Oomoo, a Shiraz from Australia (oomoo is Aboriginal for “good” and it is). It was particularly good with the raspberry butter cream-filled dark chocolate from The Belgian Chocolate Factory. Marina Market Wine and Cheese Shop is now carrying boxes of their delicious chocolates.

Now to the appetizers … I make my Cheddar Cheese Biscuits for the wine tastings, and a couple of new things: Baked Goat Cheese, and Deviled Ham. The recipe for Baked Goat Cheese is on my website. The one for Deviled Ham is below.

Summer’s Secret Deviled Ham

Cube half a pound of Danish ham and put it in your food processor. Add 8 hamburger dill chips, or a couple of tablespoons of dill pickle relish.

Sauce: stir together the following:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Summer’s Secret Seasoning
2 teaspoons Pommery mustard
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons Roland’s Chili Hot Sauce

Summer's Secret Deviled Ham

Deviled Ham with Almond Nut-Thins

Put the sauce in the food processor and blend with the ham and pickles to a spreading consistency.

Serve on crackers or as a sandwich filling. For a little more spice, top with finely diced red onions, or add thinly sliced red onions to your sandwich.

You can also stuff puff pastry shells with the Deviled Ham, top with mozzarella cheese, and bake at 350 until the cheese is bubbly – nice for Mother’s Day brunch!

 As with all of my recipes, play with this – using different hot sauces and mustards – until it becomes your deviled ham!
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