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10:37 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Gourmet Catering's Goat Cheese Stuffed Artichokes with Lemon Basil Aioli served with 2011 Jack Rabbi

 Air Date: August 1, 2013
Goat Cheese Stuffed Artichokes with Lemon Basil Aioli

To prepare Artichokes:

  • 12 canned artichokes
  • ¼ C cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp Grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-cup flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1-cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 quart frying oil

To prepare Aioli:

  • ¼ cup mayo
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp chopped basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method of artichoke preparation:
Drain artichokes and peel off first few layers of inside leaves, place artichokes on plate or pan. Mix all cheeses, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper together and put into pastry bag.

Pipe cheese mixture onto the inside of artichoke in a flat layer. Put plate of artichokes into freezer for at least 40 minutes. Once artichokes are frozen, bread the artichokes- coating them first in flour then into the beaten egg then breadcrumbs. Once breaded, put artichokes back into the freezer for another 20 minutes to set breading. Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry artichokes from freezer until golden brown.

This can be done before a party and artichokes can be reheated on the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Method of aioli preparation:
Mix all ingredients and place in a bowl on the side for dipping.

Jack Rabbit Hill Chardonnay Bianco
On a recent trip to Canada, I couldn’t help but notice the devotion Canadians show to their domestic wine.  This prompted me to think about our own wine industry in Colorado.  More often, farm to table and locally raised meat and produce, are being promoted to diners and consumers.  Since this is the season that Coloradans shop at farmer’s markets, we should try some delicious, Colorado wine.

Because there is such a focus on organic and local at the farmer’s markets, I thought it appropriate to feature an organically grown wine.  Not only are the Jack Rabbit Hill wines made from organic grapes, the grapes are actually certified biodynamic. The Hansen’s moved in this direction because they felt that organic was a lot about what the farmer can’t do.  For example, pesticides, herbicides, can’t be used.  This left an open question, of what could be done.  They felt the biodynamic farming filled in the answers – how to prepare the soil naturally, when to water, how to make organic composts and treatments for fertilizing the plants or weed management.

Lance Hansen and his wife purchased Jack Rabbit Hill farm in 2001.  Originally, their focus was to get into farming – not winemaking or even growing grapes.  One agricultural product lead to the next, and by 2006 they had planted the state’s first Demeter certified, biodynamic vineyard. 

They bought their vines from nurseries in upstate New York rather than California, where the weather is more similar to that of Colorado.  Initially, they started with about 15 varietals, including more obscure varieties that could grown in high desert climate at 6200 feet elevation, like foug, amaro, bianco chambersin and vignole.  Over the years, the varieties were narrowed down to about 6 or 7 varieties. 

The Hansens take their agricultural practices and apply them to their winemaking – which is a very hand’s off in the barrel room and totally vineyard driven process.  No yeast, sugar, water or acid is added to the wine.  Unlike many wineries that manipulate their wine to have a consistent style one vintage to the next, Jack Rabbit wines are a direct reflection of that season’s events.  Each vintage is unique – which in my experience, has still produced delicious wine. 

In the case of the 2011 Jack Rabbit Hill Chardonnay Bianco, the grapes were hand pcked, and then gently pressed.  The juice is then left alone.  No yeast is added.  The fermentation process is not controlled, but happens when the naturally present yeasts in the vineyard or area start to break down the sugars.  This Chardonnay fermented until it was completely dry, and there was no more sugar for the yeast to consume.  This process was not stopped by refrigeration and took about 6 weeks to complete.  The wine was then barrel aged for about six months, sterile filtered and bottled. 

The result is a bright, lemony, lightly perfumed Chardonnay that paired beautifully with the featured fried goat cheese stuffed artichoke.  Joy Wine and Spirits currently sells 3 different Jack Rabbit Hill wines – each naturally full of character – each worthy of your devotion.  Joy Wine and Spirits at 1302 E 6th Avenue, (at Marion) in Denver, 303-744-6219 or www.joywineandspirits.com.