Holiday Glogg

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Freerider Red (or fruity red wine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 6 cloves, 6 black peppercorns, 4 cardamom pods, 1 star anisepod
  • 1 orange, halved and 2 slices reserved

Instructions

In a saucepan over med-low heat, combine wine, sugar, ginger and spices.  Keeping the orange slices to the side, juice the remaining halves into the pan.

Stir to dissolve sugar.  Heat slowly until warm but not steaming.  Serve in warmed mugs with orange slices.  Happy Holidays!



Quick apps for Thanksgiving!

          garlic         finisheddumplings          wontonwrappers

Some quick Thanksgiving small plates

As the days get shorter and the social calendar gets full, sometimes it is hard to find time to prepare a dish or snack for Thanksgiving. Whether you are hosting a meal for many or planning for an intimate group of family or ‘framily’, here are a few recipes from Food and Wine Magazine that work well when time is short. We love our Freerider Red at this time of year; medium bodied and fruit-forward enough for a crowd, but with the backbone to stand up to your heartiest Thanksgiving dishes. With a bottle of this 100% estate grown St.Croix and one of these delicious small plates, satisfaction is not far behind.

                                                                                                   

Butternut Squash & Sage Wontons

This recipe may seem a bit time consuming, but many of the parts can be prepared at the same time and assembled right after cooking before stuffing into the wonton wrappers. It is also very kid-friendly, they will have a blast filling wrappers and creating their own little edible packages. You can use any type of squash you prefer, such as Kuri or Buttercup. For an extra twist you can add a tablespoon or two of Freerider red to the shallots after they have browned and cook it down until the liquid is almost all evaporated, then stir them into the mashed squash. There is no need for a dipping sauce, but if you have a favorite dumpling dipper I wouldn’t say no!

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/butternut-squash-and-sage-wontons

wontonassembly                        openfacedwonton                        forkingwontonedges

Beet & Apple Salad

Beets can be a tough cookie to crack when it comes to incorporating them into everyday meals, with their intense earthy-sweet flavor and dense texture. But never fear, this simple and healthy salad may put them back on your regular menu. Especially at this time of year it can be harder to maintain a balance of nutrition and pleasure with all the rich dishes that tend to fill the table. With the crunchy apples, tender beets, and salty pistachios dressed lightly with this tangy vinaigrette you can still feel satisfied and nourished simultaneously. If you prefer to dress this salad with only half the dressing and leave the rest for the table, that would go even further to curb the calorie count (if you are counting). We prepared the beets and apples as 1/4″ sticks, which gave it a fun appearance and wonderful texture. The Freerider Red went well with this hearty salad, but if you are more a Digger’s Dance fan you can easily make that switch! Both were delicious 🙂

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/beet-and-apple-salad

          beets                                            finishedbeetsalad


 



Gluten-Free Tabbouleh Salad

In the heat of summer, who wants to cook hot food? Garden fresh salads and deliciously chilled white wines are all I crave at the end of my summer days. Tabbouleh salad is a delicious way to enjoy some of summer’s freshest veggies, but if you’re observing a gluten-free diet, a traditional tabbouleh made with bulgur wheat well and truly off limits. With this gluten-free version which uses quinoa instead of bulgur, it is completely safe for those eating gluten-free, and the quinoa adds a delicious nuttiness and texture all its own. A perfect pairing with our own Backcountry Blanc dry white.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of dry quinoa
3 cups water
1/3 cup olive oil
3 lemons, juiced
1 bunch parsley
1 small bunch fresh mint
1 large cucumber
8 medium-sized tomatoes
Salt & pepper to taste

In a small saucepan with a well-fitted lid, bring the three cups of water to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, then add the quinoa and allow to steam with the lid on for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, wash the mint and parsley, and chop finely with a sharp knife or food processor. The finer the chop, the better the result, so even when you think it’s chopped enough, give it another chop or two for good measure.

Once the quinoa has cooled slightly, mix in the olive oil and lemon juice, stirring well to distribute evenly. Mix in the finely chopped mint and parsley mixture, and stir for several minutes, until the greens are evenly distributed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peel the cucumber and slice laterally, removing the seeds with the edge of a spoon. Cube the cucumber into bite-sized pieces and mix into the quinoa/parsley mixture.

Wash the tomatoes, and slice into bite-sized pieces, adding them to the mixture and stirring to combine.  Salt and pepper to taste, and serve cold with a chilled Backcountry Blanc. It’s a perfect pairing!



Raspberry Frontenac Gris Salad Dressing

Summer in Vermont is full of berries. I revel in spending hot July days plucking warm, ripe raspberries from the Fresh Tracks Farm raspberry bushes. And between the pies, jams and coulis, I sometimes get the yearning to experience complex berry flavors in a savory dish. This delicious raspberry frontenac gris dressing is a perfect companion for a light summer salad with crisp greens, aromatic onions and creamy goat cheese. And of course, more raspberries!

Ingredients

8 oz fresh raspberries
1/2 bottle Frontenac Gris wine
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2  tsp ground mustard
4 limes (juiced)
Salt & pepper to taste

In a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan, bring the Frontenac Gris to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add the raspberries. Simmer until reduced by half—about an hour. When the mixture is reduced and slightly thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Once the raspberry-gris reduction has cooled, strain the seeds out using a food mill or china cap.

Place the remaining liquid into a blender or food processor, and add the ground mustard. With the blender on low, begin slowly adding the olive oil, a drop at a time, followed by a few drops of lime juice. As you add these ingredients, pay close attention to the consistency of the mixture, which will take on a thickened quality as it begins to emulsify. If you are having difficulty starting the emulsion, add a bit more ground mustard (an emulsifier) and start again slowly. It is important to keep the mixture blending slowly but continuously during this time, and to add the oil and lime juice just drops at a time until the emulsion is well-established.

Once you see that the mixture is thickening and holding together, you can begin to add both olive oil and lime juice in very thin alternating streams until you’re satisfied with the flavor and consistency of the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, and blend thoroughly. Serve chilled over salad or steamed vegetables. A perfect pairing with Frontenac Gris wine!



strawberry gris shortcake recipe at fresh tracks farm, vermont

Strawberry Shortcake

Every year around the end of June, I keep my eyes open for signs of ripening strawberries. The growing season is short in Vermont, and the strawberries are only at their peak for a few short weeks. These ripe, red beauties are delicious in recipes from salads, to pies and everywhere in between.

This strawberry “gris” shortcake recipe is a winemaker’s twist on an old classic—using the delicate bouquet of our Frontenac Gris vintage to add a hint of sweetness and bring out the crisp berry flavors. And if you happen to be dairy-free, the strawberry-gris reduction sauce is delicious on its own. Enjoy!

Strawberry “Gris” Reduction

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup Frontenac Gris wine
  • ½ cup sugar

The night before you plan to serve the strawberry shortcake, wash and stem one quart of strawberries, slicing them into quarters. Place the slices into a stainless steel bowl, and mix in the Frontenac Gris. Refrigerate, and let it sit overnight.

The next day, transfer the mixture to a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Add the sugar, lower the heat and allow it to simmer until the volume is reduce by half (about 1-2 hours.) Wash and stem the remaining quart of strawberries, then slice them into quarters. Set aside.

Once the strawberry-gris reduction has reduced by half, it should have the consistency of a deep red syrup. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool (you can even put it into the fridge at this point.) Once the syrup has cooled, mix in the sliced fresh strawberries.

 

Buttermilk biscuits

This biscuit recipe has been adapted from Domestifluff’s gluten-free biscuits at https://www.domestifluff.com/2009/08/my-favorite-gluten-free-biscuits/.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which includes xantham gum. If your mix does not include xantham gum, add one teaspoon to the recipe.)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 425°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl (including the xantham gum if needed.) Mix thoroughly, then cut in the 4 tablespoons of butter. Mix the butter into the flour mixture with a spoon or your clean hands, until the mixture takes on a consistently crumbly, sandy texture. In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk and the egg whites, whisking gently to combine. The batter should have a slightly wet, sticky texture. Using a pair of spoons, drop tablespoons of the batter onto the baking pan. Combine the nutmeg and brown sugar in a small container, and sprinkle lightly onto the top of each biscuit. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

 

Whipped Cream

Many people like whipped cream from a can, but I find it doesn’t take much more effort to make it from scratch, and the flavor is so much better!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup of confectioner’s sugar, or to taste

In a deep, narrow bowl, combine the cream, vanilla extract, and confectioner’s sugar. Using an electric mixer or a hand mixer, beat the cream on high until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overdo it—eventually you will end up with butter! Whipped cream can also be made by hand using a wire whisk, but it takes muscle. It can be fun though—especially when you have a friend to take turns with the whisk!

Assembly

Slice the biscuits open laterally so that you have a top and bottom piece. Spoon the strawberry sauce generously onto the bottom biscuit and top with whipped cream. Place the top biscuit over the layer of cream, and drizzle strawberry sauce over the top, crowning the confection with final dollop of cream. Serve cold on a warm summer evening, with a perfectly-paired glass of Frontenac Gris. Perfection!



Radish and Watermelon Salad: Fresh Tracks Farm recipe

And the winner is….. Radish and Watermelon Salad with our Marquette Rosé!

Our radish infestation has abated, thanks to the help of our great friends! We tried a few recipes out and they were all delicious, but we had to highlight this simple, refreshing salad referred to us by the lovely people at the Vermont Country Store. It is a breeze to make and oh so satisfying on a hot summer day with a glass of our thirst-quenching Marquette Rosé. A perfect way to use up the influx of radishes, herbs, and watermelon! If you have other herbs in your garden that you need to use up, go ahead and mix some in as well; parsley and cilantro work well.

 

Radish and Watermelon Salad with Mint & Feta

1 bunch fresh radishes, about 8 medium

1 small watermelon or half of a large one

1 bunch fresh mint

1 lime

4 oz feta cheese,crumbled (sheep or goat)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Remove the stems from the radishes, leaving 1″ to use as a handle while cutting. Slice each radish into paper thin slices, or as thin as you reasonable can, and add them to a medium sized mixing bowl. Juice the lime and add to the radishes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Sliver enough mint leaves to loosely fill a 1/4 measuring cup and add to the radish mixture along with 1/2 of the feta. De-rind the watermelon and cut into 3/4″-1″ pieces. Gently stir the watermelon into the radish mixture, garnish with remaining feta and a few mint leaves. Serve chilled with our Marquette Rosé!

 

 

 



Carrot Cupcakes

We did this recipe not long ago as a fun pairing for our Maple Wine (also an excellent choice for spring 😀 ), but it would be just as tasty using our *Mapple wine. The added pop of rich apple flavor, along with the maple, is an added bonus. Feel free to experiment with this recipe too; instead of doing a frosting you could use this cake recipe as an alternative base to an upside down cake, baked on top of apples caramelized in butter, maple syrup, and *Mapple wine! There are so many fun things to do with apples and maple, and you have both flavors in one bottle! Explore away.

Cupcakes

2 cups sugar

1 ¼ cups vegetable oilIMG_0644

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground allspice (we hand ground allspice berries for this!)

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

3 cups grated carrots

¾ cup raisins, rough chopped

2 Tbsp Maple Wine (or *Mapple)

IMG_0591

Icing

12 oz mascarpone cheese, locally sourced if available

1 lb confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp Maple Wine (or *Mapple)

½ tsp vanilla extract

Maple sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease two 12 count cupcake pans, or line them with cupcake liners.

Beat the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs together at medium speed until they are light in color, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices, being careful not to over mix. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and Maple with a spatula until just combined.

Scoop batter into the greased/lined cups so they are 2/3 full. You may not fill all the cups; remove the liners of the unused cups. Bake for 20-30 minutes (this will depend on the efficiency of your oven, so keep an eye on it) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone cheese, Maple Wine, vanilla, and ¾ of the confectioners sugar together at medium speed until smooth and silky. Taste the icing; if it is too thin or not sweet enough, add the rest of the sugar. Fill a ziplock bag with half the icing, and cut of the very tip of one of the corners. Frost the cupcakes by gently squeezing the icing through the tip of the bag. Sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with a little maple sugar.

Serve any time of day, preferably with our Maple Wine or the *Mapple wine, whichever you happened to use, that you have conveniently left over from this recipe 🙂



stock image: brownies

Red Wine Brownies

Red Wine Brownies, Fresh Tracks Farm style

2 local eggs
2/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, melted (Vermont Creamery unsalted is best!)
½ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Cocoa (or for a kick, Lake Champlain Chocolates Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate)
2 Tbsp Freerider Red (for the Spicier Brownies try Dog River Red instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs with sugar and vanilla; add butter and wine. Stir Ghirardelli Chocolate with flour, baking powder and salt.  Combine with egg mixture; add nuts. Spread into greased 8×8-inch pan. Bake 25-30 minutes. Yields 16-20 brownies.

Icing (it’s essential)

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp Freerider Red or Dog River Red

Meanwhile prepare icing.  Melt butter over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and add chocolate, sugar and wine.  Continue heating over low heat stirring often, until mixture is smooth – don’t let it boil. Spoon hot icing over fresh brownies and let stand for a minimum of an hour; 12 hours is best.  Enjoy with a glass of your leftover wine!!

Adapted from:  Handcraft Wines – Pinot Noir Chocolate Brownies.



Fiddleheads Recipe w/ Hotcakes, Poached Eggs, and Ramp Cream

Out of whimsical fancy and the fever of spring, we came up with this easy and elegant fiddleheads recipe that highlighted flavors of farm and season. Fresh pan-fried fiddleheads, ramps, and farm eggs. While not a finger food, it is still a pretty plate to have at a dinner party or even as a brunch item! There are not many measurements with this recipe as it was partially on the fly, so just adjust to your liking and people being served.

Hotcakes with Fiddleheads, Poached Eggs, and Ramp Cream

  • Pan-fried Fiddleheads (recipe following)
  • Ramp pesto (recipe following)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, full or part fat
  • Fresh farm eggs (1 per person)
  • Salted butter
  • Your favorite pancake mix, prepared
  • Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat about a tablespoon of butter on medium-high heat in a heavy bottom pan large enough to hold three or four 3” hotcakes. If there is not enough melted butter to cover the bottom of the pan then feel free to add more. When the butter is frothing and beginning to turn golden brown, add about a ¼ cup of pancake mix to the pan for each hotcake; cook until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 min a side) and cooked through. Set aside and keep warm.

Poach the eggs in the boiling water. If you have never done this before there are some really great videos online that can show you. Of if you want to take my word for it, try this method: crack your egg in a heat proof dish, and using a large spoon create a whirlpool effect in the hot water. When you get the water spinning enough to get a good divot in the whirlpool carefully slip the egg into the middle of it and stop stirring. Allow the egg to cook for about 3 minutes, remove from the boiling water and drain on a paper towel. If you find your eggs still coming out lose, try adding some white vinegar (1/4cup vinegar/1 gallon water) to the boiling water.

Whisk in the ramp pesto into the Greek yogurt, starting with 1 tablespoon and then adding more to your preference. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble: Place a tablespoon of ramp mixture on a small plate and place one hotcake partially on top. Top the hotcake with about a quarter cup of pan-fried fiddleheads, one poached egg, and a very small dollop of ramp pesto. Serve immediately while still warm.

Ramp Pesto

  • 4 cups fresh chopped ramps, leaves and bulbs
  • ¼ cup shaved pecorino romano cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped roasted almonds
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Pulse the first three ingredients in a food processor. A soup wand works well in a pinch. Zest half the lemon into the mixture, as well as the juice of half the lemon. Starting with ¼ cup, add the olive oil to the batch until the texture is smooth and the thickness is to your preference. I like to keep it somewhat thick so I can dilute it with olive oil when I need it or use it in cooking. Pour into half pint jars and seal via canning methods or store in your freezer if you are not going to use it within a week. Yum.

Pan-Fried Fiddleheads

  • 3 cups fresh fiddleheads, rinsed and trimmed
  • Butter
  • Salt

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fiddleheads and blanch for about 30 seconds. Drain and dry on a clean dishtowel or paper towels. Meanwhile, heat a large cast iron pan or equivalent on medium high heat with a good amount of butter, about 2-3 tbsp, until golden and frothy. Add the fiddleheads to the pan and cook until crisp and browned on each side (generally). Transfer to a plate and season with salt. Munch as is with a dry rosé, like our Vermont Rosé, add to your favorite recipes for some spring flair!



Red Wine Brownies: with or without a “kick”

Red Wine Brownies, Fresh Tracks Farm style

2 local eggs
2/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, melted (Vermont Creamery unsalted is best!)
½ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Cocoa (or for a kick, Lake Champlain Chocolates Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate)
2 Tbsp Freerider Red (for the Spicier Brownies try Dog River Red instead)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs with sugar and vanilla; add butter and wine. Stir Ghirardelli Chocolate with flour, baking powder and salt.  Combine with egg mixture; add nuts. Spread into greased 8×8-inch pan. Bake 25-30 minutes. Yields 16-20 brownies.

Icing (it’s essential)

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
3 Tbsp Freerider Red or Dog River Red

Meanwhile prepare icing.  Melt butter over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and add chocolate, sugar and wine.  Continue heating over low heat stirring often, until mixture is smooth – don’t let it boil. Spoon hot icing over fresh brownies and let stand for a minimum of an hour; 12 hours is best.  Enjoy with a glass of your leftover wine!!

Adapted from:  Handcraft Wines – Pinot Noir Chocolate Brownies.