WINE & FOOD CORNER BLOG

Grilling Season is Here.
May 18 8:30 PM

Grilled New Crop California Apricots - A Variety of Serving Suggestions

Grilling makes Apricots and most everything taste better. Plus it’s simple, fast, and easy since grilling Apricots only takes 3 minutes.

Dessert Ideas - Fresh Apricots in a variety of ways after you grill them

  • Drizzle with melted semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate and top with slivered toasted almonds
  • Fill with mascarpone cheese, drizzle with honey, top with crushed pistachios or crushed almond cookies
  • Serve with vanilla G&S Gelato or Kemps Vanilla
  • Serve filled with Greek Yogurt, vanilla or plain drizzled with honey
  • With Goat Cheese and topped with a hint of chopped fresh lavender
  • With Blue Cheese, Honey and Chopped Nuts(Pecans, Hazelnuts, Walnuts)
  • Topped with crushed Italian Almond Cookies and spritz with a sweet white dessert wine

Appetizer Ideas

  • Both the Goat Cheese and Grilled Apricots, and the Blue Cheese and Grilled Apricots would make crazy good appetizer courses.

Salad Ideas

  • Grilled Apricots sliced and tossed in a green spring mix or spinach salad would be delicious. For additional flavor and interest add in crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese, and some chopped nuts and croutons for texture. (In a crunch I sometimes use crumbled Wheat Thins or the Black Pepper Triscuits crackers instead of croutons.)

How to grill apricots

  1. Simply cut fresh apricots in half, remove the pit, brush lightly with a neutral oil such as canola or corn oil.
  2. Heat grill, then brush and lightly oil the hot grate.
  3. Place apricot halves cut side down on grill and cook for about 3 minutes up to 5 minutes, more or less.

Wine Pairing with Grilled Apricot Desserts, Appetizers and Salads

  • A chilled Moscato would be good with any of the dessert suggestions.
  • With the Goat Cheese Salad a crisp Sauvignon Blanc would be perfect.
  • Chilled Champagne would be fantastic with any of the dessert, salad and appetizers suggestion.

Pork Chops with Apricots and an Apricot-Mustard Glaze

In Italy cooks combine mustard and seasonal fruits like apricots to make a sauce called Mostrada to go with pork, beef or chicken. Since mustard and apricots are ideal with pork here is our interpretation.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, preferably grainy type
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 garlic clove, forced through a garlic press
  • 6 pork chops
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh apricots, halved and pitted

Directions

  1. In a small bowl mix apricot jam and mustard. Place 1/3 cup of that mixture into another bowl or shallow pan and mix in minced garlic. (Set aside the remaining 2/3 cup of jam-mustard for plating.)
  2. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Sear pork chops on the grill to brown. Once browned then brush the pork chops on both sides with the garlic-mustard-jam mixture; continue grilling, basting and turning the pork chops until meat is cooked (145-150f.)
  3. While pork chops are grilling also grill the fresh apricot halves until the flesh is tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove apricots form the grill and slice and season with ¼ tsp of salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.
  4. When pork chops are cooked, remove from the grill and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  5. To plate: Place each pork chop on a plate, spoon some sliced apricots on each pork chop and then spoon some of the reserved jam-mustard mixture (the mixture without the garlic, not the mixture you basted the chops with) over each pork chop.

Note 1: For some smoky flavor and some New World heat add ½ of a one canned chipotle pepper, seeded and very finely minced, to original mustard-apricot jam mixture. You can add more chipotle if you wish but a little often packs plenty of heat. You can also add a touch of the adobo sauce the canned chipotles come packed in; the adobo too can pack some wallop. Go slowly because the heat can develop over time.

Note 2: Later in the season, you can use fresh peaches and/or nectarines instead of fresh apricots. I’m not sure how well the chipotle would go with the peaches and nectarines, but some heat always tends to be good so experiment

Wine Pairings

  • With the mustard I’m thinking a fruity Pinot Noir would be ideal red, especially if you added a touch of chipotle.
  • For a white try Albarino, Torrentes, or Pinto Gris/Grigio would be good Sam Adams beer would be ideal too.

Flank Steak Tacos - aka Tacos Carbone

Corn Tortillas, grilled Flank Steak, grilled Onions and grilled Yellow and Red Bell Peppers, and some Guacamole from Wohlner’s Deli cold case.

In Mexico it’s called Tacos Carbone and it’s many degrees superior to any tacos you can get at any Mexican restaurant in Omaha. Make your patio a cantina of fun this weekend.


Melody’s Baked Chicken Breasts

We’ve posted this recipe a few times because it makes a great weeknight family meal which everyone loves

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
  • Bisquick
  • Robert’s Butter
  • Pam
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Place ½ stick of Robert’s Butter in your baking dish and place into the oven so butter melts as you prepare the rest of the dish

Directions

  1. Salt and pepper the Chicken Breast, then dip and roll chicken in Hidden Valley Dressing to coat.
  2. Next, dredge in Bisquick and shake off excess.
  3. Place in the baking dish with melted butter.
  4. Spray the coated chicken with Pam.
  5. Bake in oven until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Scallops on sale in grilling season!

Scallops may be the ultimate fast food. In a cast iron skillet they seared and cooked in 2 t 3 minutes total. On a hot grill you cook one side for 3 minutes then the second side for about 30 seconds, or until done. Do not overcook these delicacies otherwise they turn tough. Our cooking suggestions are as follows:

Ingredients

  • Grilled Scallops
  • Grilled Scallops Dusted with Cumin
  • Grilled Scallops served on a bed of grilled corn relish
  • Grilled Bacon Wrapped Scallops.

When it comes to scallops I am, err, I was, the ultimate minimalist. I never would have thought this to be good until I tasted bacon wrapped scallops at a Gala Christmas event. It’s true Virginia; everything is better with bacon. The key is before wrapping the scallops to precook the bacon - cook it but keep it pliable — and then wrap the scallop.

Wine Pairings

  • Albarino

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Midtown Crossing
3253 Dodge Street
(ground floor of the Element
by Westin hotel building)
Omaha, NE 68131

Store Hours:
Monday thru Friday: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Phone: (402) 504-1025
Fax: (402) 504-9778
E-mail: wohlners@wohlners.com


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