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Chefs’ Corner: Grape-Gorgonzola Salad at Texas de Brazil

Grape Salad with Roasted Apples and Gorgonzola Cheese

Looking for a colorful salad that’s easy to make yet filled with layers of flavor? Texas de Brazil, the steakhouse at 313 E. Houston St., has a winner in its Grape Salad with Roasted Apples and Gorgonzola Cheese.

“This salad is especially great if accompanying roasted pork loin or leg of lamb,” says chef Evandro Caregnato, who created this recipe because he wanted a salad that pairs well with wine. (With wine in mind, use only a sprinkling of sugar on the apples and try to use a sugar-free mayonnaise, such as Duke’s, if you are not making your own.)

This salad would be a refreshing addition to your Fiesta parties and get-togethers any time of year.

Texas de Brazil’s Grape Salad with Roasted Apples and Gorgonzola Cheese

2 golden delicious apples, peeled and cored
Sugar, to taste
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes
1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the apples into 1-inch cubes and dust with a little sugar. Place the apples in a single layer in a greased pan. Roast for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool.

Combine 1-1/2 cups roasted apples with grapes, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cheese in a large bowl. Mix well and chill before serving.

Makes 10 side-dish servings.

From Evandro Caregnato/Texas de Brazil

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GrapeStomp1The rains stayed away from Vintage Oaks in New Braunfels Saturday, where the second annual Texas Hill Country Wine Trail Championship Grape Stomp was held.

That meant a crowd of more than 300 enjoyed the largely outdoor afternoon party, which included tastings of Texas wines, snacks from local vendors and, of course, the chance for people to get their feet all purple from pressing grapes or personalizing T-shirts with some juice.

GrapeStomp2Dozens of couples stomped their way through barrels of grapes, competing with each other to see who could press the most juice in 10-minute increments. One competitor, bearing the name tag “Mad Mommy” stomped her way through a load of grapes. It was fun, she admitted, but it was also not as easy as it might appear.

Keeping the action going was the music of local favorites Jazz, Blues and Diamonds, which offered a lively mix of old favorites that had people on the dance floor while the stompers danced and pressed what they could in the barrels.

Some of the wineries on hand to pour their products included Dry Comal Creek, located just across Route 46 from the new subdivision where the party was held, as well as Becker Vineyards, Pillar Bluff Vineyards, Grape Creek, Stone House Vineyard, Fall Creek, McReynolds, Three Dudes, Flat Creek Estate, Texas Legato Winery, and Driftwood Estate.

Dry Comal Creek also offered up a frozen sangria that sent people back for seconds. Here’s the recipe for the tangy treat:

David’s Sangria-Off Champion

1 (12-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
1 (12-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 bottle Dry Comal Creek Foot-Pressed Red
2 liters grapefruit soda

Mix together limeade concentrate, orange juice concentrate and wine. Place in freezer until slushy. Add grapefruit soda and serve.

From Dry Comal Creek Vineyards and Winery

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