Monday, June 25, 2007

We Interrupt the Crafty to Bring You the Tasty

Not much crafty around here this weekend. I did, however, realize I have had a hobby for years without knowing it: recreating restaurant food at home. I do it all the time: eat something tasty, think hard about it and make a reasonably good facsimile at home. In fact, dinner tonight is leftover-brisket and barley soup, modeled after a smoky beef barley soup at Healdsburg’s Zin (served the day following a barbequed brisket special).

The latest recreation is desserty in nature. We visited our favorite gelato shop last weekend, and I had my latest favorite: Blackberry Cabernet. Not too sweet, more complex than fruit alone, and a gorgeous, sexy, dark berry color (not unlike my fave tonail polish color). This weekend I had a mission: make it myself. I remembered to freeze my ice cream maker bowl and substituted raspberries when I couldn’t nab enough blackberries. It turned out fabulous. It’s smooth and tart and the wine works so nicely with the berries that you don’t know where the berries end and the wine begins. Despite using over half a bottle, the wine was not too dominant. It’s summer: time to break out the dusty ice cream machine and sorbet away!


Raspberry-Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet

18 oz mixture of raspberries and blackberries (I used 12 oz raspberries and 6 oz blackberries)

1 ½ c good quality cabernet sauvignon plus more or water as needed (use something modestly priced but drinkable- I used a Columbia Crest, which was around $7 at Trader Joe’s)

1 c sugar

Juice from 1 lemon

Directions: Bring the 1 ½ c wine and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until reduced to about ¾ c and remove from heat. Meanwhile, wash berries, then blend with as much wine (or water) is necessary to make a smooth puree. Press the puree through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Add the lemon juice and wine reduction to the puree. Add more wine (or water) as needed to total about 4 cups. Chill thoroughly. Freeze the sorbet according to your ice cream maker’s directions.

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