10-Flavor Double Dipped Buttermilk Fried Chicken
A secret of the sommeliers, nothing goes better with fried chicken than champagne. There is something about the way the bubbles clean off the grease from your palate and make you want to take another bite and the flavors all work so well together. But champagne can be really pricy, so I like to look toward other regions such as Cremant de Bourgogne, Cremant d'Alsace in France and even Cava in Spain. One of my favorite Cava producers, Raventós, recently made the dramatic step to leave the Cava appellation since he was unhappy with the general standard. His wines are still truly great and offer incredible values. I'd check out the Raventós "de Nit" Rose for less than $20; it has a lot of the character and quality of champagne, since it is made in the same method, but for half the price!
See what happens during the commercial break when Regis and Joy head into the audience, he ends up recalling his own talk show days and giving a big "thank you" to great audiences like this one!
Reuben-Style Casserole with Pastrami Meatballs, Sauerkraut and Barley
The Reuben is one of my favorite sandwiches – one I usually eat with a Dr. Brown’s cream soda! But Rachael's dish is so flavorful and hearty, so you have a few options. If going with wine, an aromatic wine like a Gewürztraminer would be a great choice. It’s a northern Italian grape with a German sounding name. It’s full of exotic spice flavors that will pair well with the sauerkraut component and all the spices. Try the J. Hofstatter Gewürztraminer or something from New York State like Dr. Konstantin Frank (about $11). Beer is an excellent choice as well. I'd go with something a little bit darker, but not too heavy, such as the Sixpoint Righteous Rye.
Sweater by The Kooples, tank by Vince, leggings by Helmut Lang, necklaces from Ester's Antiques (512) 554-5492, and Comptoire des Cotonniers, watch by Chanel, bracelet by Fireweed Bead Co., shoes by Isabel Marant.
See how Gretta pulled off this look for $50 or less!
Dress: Marshalls - $23
Shoes: Buffalo Exchange - $11
Earrings: Kohl's - $1.60
Bangle: Old Navy - $1.99
Bangles: Forever 21 - $1.26
Meaty Baked Ziti
I'd normally go with an Italian Sangiovese here because tomato sauce and Sangiovese is such a great combo, but I've decided to take a slight turn to America. Zinfandel is such a versatile grape because it is soft, juicy and not too dry, so it pairs with a lot of things. It is also a wine grape that is distinctly American! (Even though in Croatia and Italy they grow its cousins.) I've recently fallen in love with the Antic Zinfandel, which we have on our list at L'Apicio. It is made by the winemaker, Chris Brockway, who I think is one of the best winemakers in the states right now and has a really good value, less than $20 retail. Unlike some other Zinfandels, which can be a bit too ripe and alcoholic. (The grape bunches don't ripen evenly, so many producers pick when they’re overripe to make sure all the berries are perfect.) This one maintains freshness that will keep you coming back for more. Another bite of ziti, another sip of Zin. Zit, Zin!
Penne with Pistachio-Mint Pesto
A lot of folks think that it’s impossible to pair wine with asparagus and artichokes. I'll admit, artichokes can be difficult; they contain a compound called cynarin (Cynar, by the way, is an artichoke-based Italian aperitif that is delicious!) that alters the taste buds, but asparagus is completely doable! This dish reminds me of the Italian Riviera, so I would go with a coastal wine like Laura Aschero Pigato or Sartarelli Verdicchio. If those are too challenging to find, try a Grüner Veltliner. Grüner is an Austrian grape that has vegetal, fresh snap pea-like aromas and is generally a great value. I love Berger which is 1 liter for about $14.
This meaty, beefy, hearty spaghetti needs a sturdy wine. Put away your Pinot Noir! It’s time to take out your rich, full reds – especially a good red from California or Australia where they tend to use American oak. American oak has distinct notes of vanilla and coconut which would be great with all of the tasty, smoky, warming spices. I absolutely love the Bonny Doon Vineyard wines; while not as ripe or as oaky as some other New World wines, which are good options as well. They are incredibly balanced and lively. For this dish, check out the Bonny Doon Syrah "Le Pousseur" (about $20).
Wish the extra love you get on Valentine’s Day could last year-round? It can! Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash shares her tips for spicing up your relationship.
#1: Plan to be spontaneous.
That sounds counterintuitive, right? Hear me out. When you’re dating, you want to just drop everything to be with your new squeeze, and everything feels inspiring because you’re so in love. Of course, when real life kicks in, that changes ... but it doesn’t mean all moments of spontaneity have to go out the window! If you’re planning a date night, instead of going to the same neighborhood restaurant you always go to, why not try a new neighborhood? Or try a different restaurant every time — think of it like being a tourist in your own town. If you’re staying at home, why not cook one of Rachael’s meals together — you’ll both learn something new and you will see that you’ll feel more bonded. Novelty actually tricks your brain into thinking that even your love is new!
One study shows that the average couple with kids speaks to one another uninterrupted for 15 minutes or less daily. And when they’re talking, it’s about some pretty unsexy topics like chores, bills and in-laws! So it’s really important to dedicate even just 10 minutes a day for conversations that connect you as lovers and partners, not just as parents or roommates.
#3: Love your life.
The best thing you can do for your love life is to love your life. If you want a passionate marriage, it really starts with your own passions. If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, you’ve got some work to do. Start by thinking about how you’d spend your days if time and money weren’t an issue. What would you do that would bring you joy? Would you cook? Paint? Volunteer? Now, I’m not suggesting you do that all day, but I am saying that you need to incorporate those passions into your life on a more regular basis (to the extent that you can). You’ll be surprised by how your own happiness will impact your relationship.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Shirt by Ella Moss, leggings by Helmut Lang, tank by Vince, necklaces by Ester's Antiques (512) 554-5492 and Comptoir des Cotonniers, bracelet by Fireweed Bead Co., watch by Chanel, shoes by Isabel Marant.
10-Shallot Spaghetti with Kale
"In this show, I helped Rachael and Sunny open a bottle of sparkling wine. They did great - I bet they've done it before! One point I wanted to make, but totally forgot about, is how great sparkling wine pairs with food! It’s not just for aperitifs anymore! Sparkling wine is one of the most versatile food pairing wines - it serves to cleanse the palate after you eat something rich. It’s fun, festive and usually has a good amount of acidity which you know I like. The one time I'd stay away from sparkling wine is with particularly spicy food. I've found that it increases the heat. In this case I'd try a Rosé Sparkling. One of my favorites is the Scarpetta Brut Rose NV made by Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan McPherson from Frasca Restaurant in Boulder, Colorado." - Joe Campanale
Chicken and Broccolini Shepherd’s Pie
"Scotch Whisky! I know it sounds crazy to drink a Scotch with dinner but it would be perfect with this dish. On top of the malty and woody flavors you find in Bourbon, Scotch has an earthiness to it - a little bit of a vegetal character. Think of Bourbon (American) vs. Scotch (from Scotland) about the same way as American wine vs. European. The American version is stronger, more bold and in your face. The European version is lighter, more subtle, more earthy and more connected to where it comes from. Though more subtle than American bourbon, it is still quite strong and will not get lost in the flavors of Rachael's Shepherd’s Pie. In this case I'd choose something from the area of Scotland known as Islay, which is known for more intensely vegetal drinks to complement the herbs and broccolini. Go for the Bruichladdich Laddie 10 year - it is incredibly complex and not as herbaceous as some others in the area, but it's one of my favorites!" - Joe Campanale
Emmanuelle Chriqui reveals the one food she could eat morning, noon and night when she takes the "Rachael Ray Food Quiz."
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