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Friday, April 1, 2011
Recipe of the Week and Gluten-Free Bubbles Wrap-Up
This week's recipe of the week comes from an amazing appetizer I tasted at an event this week. On Wednesday night, our NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group had a gluten-free bubbles tasting at the home of one of our amazing group members, Sommelier Kristen Siebecker. This was the third time Kristen has hosted an event like this in her home and I was happy to participate and meet new people while tasting some amazing wines and eating gluten-free treats.

You might ask what a bubbles tasting is, as many of our group members did when the invite first went out. Bubbles are so much more than champagne! Bubbly beverages can also include prosecco, brut, and Spanish cava. As I learned on Wednesday, champagne is actually the name of bubbly wine from Champagne, France only. Kristen supplied us with five different wines to taste (yes, bubbly alcohol actually comes from wine!) and lots of delicious snacks.

Kristen has an amazing way of explaining all of the wines and pairings that she presents to the group. I know nothing about wines but never feel stupid during her events. She takes her time, gives funny anecdotes and quotes throughout the tasting, and makes everyone feel comfortable in her home. Please click here to learn more about Kristen.

Kristen had special guest Chef Matthew Wexler help her prepare the wonderful tasting plates. Chef Matthew and I have been emailing for close to a year now, so it was great to finally meet him in person. Chef Matthew is well-versed in gluten-free cooking and he was the lead chef in the gluten-free weekend at Good Commons last summer. Even during the regular weekends at Good Commons, he is happy to provide you with a wonderful gluten-free dining experience during your stay. To learn more about Chef Matthew, please click here.

Here is what was on our bubbles menu:
  • Sangier Cava, Spain
  • Canevari Prosecco, Italy
  • Domaine Saint Pierre Brut, New Mexico (Who knew?!)
  • Jalliance Cremant de Bourgogne Brut, France
  • Champagne De Montoux Brut, France

And on our gluten-free cheeses and snacks menu:
  • La Tur Cheese (sheep, cow, and goat milk) from Italy
  • Percorino Romano Cheese (sheep milk) from Italy
  • Glutino Pretzels (salty snacks)
  • Kinnikinnick Cinnamon Sugar Donuts (sweet snacks)
  • Chef Matthew's homemade kale chips
  • Chef Matthew's prosciutto-wrapped dates with honey and black pepper

As a bonus to our tasting, we had gluten-free BiAglut CioccoStelle cookies and Fette Tostate. Both of these products were a perfect pairing to the bubbles we were tasting. The Fette Tostate was a pleasant surprise since it acted like a palette cleanser between plates and tastings. I especially enjoyed this Fette Tostate with the La Tur cheese from Italy. These flatbreads come in small packages of four which would be a great snack to throw in your bag or a nice option to use in lieu of bread for lunch. The CioccoStelle cookies went especially well with the New Mexico Brut that Kristen provided. Until this event, I didn't even know New Mexico had vineyards. New Mexico is already on my list of states to visit, but now I can add vineyard tours to my NM itinerary!

BiAglut is an Italian-based company that is owned by Heinz. Their products are currently available in Italy, Belgium, Malta, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and the United States. There are more than 60 products in their gluten-free product line including pastas, breads, flours, cookies, snacks, and desserts. For a complete listing of BiAglut, please visit their PDF catalog. To find BiAgult products near you, please visit their store locator. Thank you kindly to Heinz and BiAglut for sending us some delicious samples for our event.

We also paired our bubbles with Angie's Kettle Corn. As you know, this stuff is already on my favorites list so I was excited to introduce it to the group. One man said "I could die happy eating this kettle corn and drinking prosecco for the rest of my life." I had to agree! The Angie's Kettle Corn has the perfect balance of sweet and salty that went especially well with the Champagne. Thanks Angie's for the popcorn.

Overall, we had a wonderful night of conversation, bubbles, and gluten-free treats. Thank you again to Kristen for being such a wonderful hostess and Chef Matthew for making the best gluten-free surprise, prosciutto-wrapped dates. Although I don't have an exact recipe, here are some recipes from some of my favorite websites:

Prosicutto Wrapped Dates

Here is a slideshow from our night including the impressive view from Kristen's apartment!

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Blogger Unknown said...

Great quote from Lily Bollinger via Kristen about champagne:

"I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad.
Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone.
When I have company I consider it obligatory.
I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and I drink it when I am.
Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty."

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