Al Spoler | WYPR

Al Spoler

Ryan Snyder/flickr

Spring is finally starting to feel like spring, and we are starting to sport the first new harvests of the year.  This gives us a whole new set of options as we work out ways to celebrate this tender season. I told Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School, that I wanted to see if I could find any recipes for those two stalwarts of the season: spring lamb and spring onions.

Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

(Al tasted all these wines and found them worthy of your interest.  All are priced $$$)

Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008 **
(Rustic, tannic, old school)

Begali Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008 ***
(Velvety, voluptuous, powerful)

Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008 ***+
(Sweet, deep, young, gently bitter, wonderful)

November 12, 2013 - Radio Kitchen - The Cassoulet Variations

As the Fall settles in for a long stay, we naturally start adjusting our eating habits to accommodate the season.  The brisk weather sharpens our appetites, and motivates us to get outdoors and scurry around.  The upshot is that our taste for more substantial fare increases, and the delicious South of France stew known as Cassoulet is the Grand Père of all hearty dishes.

Cost key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60

Bernier Chardonnay, Val de Loire, 2012  $ **
(A fabulous wine for lovers of unoaked chardonnay)

Cartlidge and Brown Chardonnay, North Coast 2010  $ * 1/2
(Very reliable entry level chard at a very low price)

Liveli Primonero", Salento 2010 $  * 1/2
(Very lively Italian red, with bright flavors and surprising depth)

R&B Cellars "The Improvisor", California NV  $  **
(Big and rich and remarkably complex for the price)

During a trip to France, maybe a decade ago, I came across a variety of street food that absolutely cracked me up:  it was the French version of the hot dog.  Simply put,  it involved about 10 inches of a baguette and a broom handle.  I kid you not!  We invited out friend Daniel Raffel, the owner of Haute Dog Carte, to talk about his fabulous dogs, made, so it would seem, in the Parisian manner.