Grilled Lemon Herb Pork Chops

Grilled Lemon Herb Pork ChopsDelicious pork chops that can be marinated overnight for a quick no-fuss meal, perfect for a summer barbecue! Try pairing it with a Sauvignon Blanc, such as, this month’s Yali Winemaker’s Selection Lolol Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

Original recipe makes 6 servings


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 (4 ounce) boneless pork loin chops


In a large resealable bag, combine lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper. Place chops in bag, seal, and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Turn bag frequently to distribute marinade.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Remove chops from bag, and transfer remaining marinade to a saucepan. Bring marinade to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill pork chops for 5 to 7 minutes per side, basting frequently with boiled marinade, until done.

 Recipe and photos from

Naked Turkey Bruschetta Burger

Naked-Turkey-Bruschetta-BurgerThis is a great alternative to the turkey burger. Lean, delicious, juicy turkey burgers made with zucchini and topped with a summer garden tomato bruschetta topping over a bed of baby arugula – no bun required!


  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 3 medium vine ripe tomatoes
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 oz part skim mozzarella, diced

For the turkey zucchini burgers:

  • 1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 small zucchini, grated (1 cup, or 5 oz)
  • 1/4 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp red onion, grated
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • oil spray

For serving:

  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced into 10 thin slices
  • 4 loose cups baby arugula

Naked-Turkey-Bruschetta-Burgers IngredientsDirections:

Combine the red onion, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside a few minutes while you chop the tomatoes, then place in the bowl. Add the garlic, basil and additional salt and pepper, to taste and mix well and set aside. Toss in the cheese when ready to serve.

Squeeze the excess moisture from the zucchini in a paper towel. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, shredded zucchini, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Form into 5 equal sized patties about 5 oz each, forming them as flat as possible.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. When hot, lightly spray with oil. Add the burgers to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes, then flip and cook another 4 minutes, careful not to burn.

To serve, arrange 3 slices of tomatoes on each dish, then place 1 cup arugula on top in the center, then top with the burger and finish with the bruschetta (don’t forget to add the cheese), serve right away.

Servings: 5  • Size: 1 burger  • Old Points: 6 pts • Weight Watcher Points+: 7 pt Calories: 288 • Fat: 14 g • Carb: 10 g • Fiber: 2 g • Protein: 27 g • Sugar: 0 g Sodium: 169 mg (without the salt) • Cholest: 10 mg

Recipe and photos from

Where to Find the World’s Best Wine Values

Uruguay WineryWhere do you find the world’s best wine values?  I think that depends on one’s tastes and how adept a person is at ferreting out wines from relatively unknown viticultural areas.   It never ceases to amaze me how much good wine remains undiscovered and appreciated, simply because they hail from relatively obscure wine regions and undiscovered wineries and wines makers.  Many of the world’s good wines, even some of the world’s great wines, flow from places not exactly on the tip of everyone’s tongue.

Let’s take Uruguay for example.  Yes, I do mean that tiny prosperous South American country with a stable democratic government, a temperate climate, and a centuries’ old tradition of winemaking – all of which remain hidden from most wine lovers in North America.  Why?  Two reasons appear as culprits.  First, the folks in Uruguay truly enjoy wine and drink most of what they make themselves and secondly, we in the U.S. tend to be mistrustful or at least oblivious to anything we haven’t seen highly advertised or rated by a dozen or more critics, whom we tend to believe are more adept at determining our tastes than we are.

Happily, Uruguay is no longer content to keep its best wines to itself.  And Artesana, an ultra-premium producer from Uruguay, is another example of a very good wine producer from a relatively obscure locale.  Artesana recently featured some of their estate wines at the International Wine Bloggers’ Conference to considerable acclaim.  Artesana’s 2011 Tannat/Merlot comes across as a crowd pleaser, though the winery’s more traditional and tannic 2011Tannat (a French grape, which lends its name to the word tannin) shows well, too.  And Artesana is just one of a growing number of producers of fine wines from Uruguay whose wares can now be found in the U.S.  Artesana’s wines are well worth seeking out.


Don’s July Collector’s Series Top Picks

Collectors JulyCalifornia wines earn both of my Top Picks this month beginning with Pietra Santa’s 2006 Signature Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, a packed, powerful, yet charming Cabernet Sauvignon with nearly seven years of bottle age.  Cabernet doesn’t get much better than Pietra Santa’s Signature Collection at less than $100.00 a bottle.  My second Top Pick goes to Girard’s beautiful 2010 Russian River Chardonnay.

For my taste, this Chardonnay offers the ideal combination of fruit, butter, spice, and everything else that’s nice about California Chardonnay.  In short, Girard’s Russian River Chardonnay comes across as impeccably balanced.  However, I must confess that had it been a different month, I could easily have chosen Girard’s 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as my second Top Pick.  This youthful Napa Cabernet from a truly great vintage appears to have many great years of drinking pleasure ahead of it.

A votre santé.

Don’s July Premier Series Top Picks

Don Picks JulyJuly offers an especially fine summer line-up that spans three continents.  For starters, Tridente’s 2009 Tempranillo from Spain garners my first Top Pick.  It’s a smooth, full-bodied, crowd pleasing red wine that works equally well at a barbecue as it does at an elegant dinner party, which is no doubt why it has earned many 90 plus point ratings.  Moreover, it makes many more expensive Tempranillo wines from Ribera del Duero look like simpletons.

My next Top Pick is a tough one.  Why?  Painted Wolf’s 2010 Guillermo Pinotage from South Africa is an outstanding Pinotage that has earned all the high praise it’s received.  And most importantly, it drinks great.  Pinotage isn’t very well known or represented in the United States, but Painted Wolf’s Guillermo Pinotage could change that.  Yet, Yali’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc from Chile’s Lolol Valley captures the essence of Sauvignon Blanc with the just the right balance between fruit, acidity, and minerality.  Besides, I’m a sucker for Sauvignon Blanc, especially in summer. And then there’s Domaine Wachau’s 2011 Federspiel Terrassen Riesling, another wonderful effort.  Domaine Wachau has a penchant for producing exceptional Austrian Riesling and Gruner Veltliner and their 2011 Federspiel Riesling may be the finest of its type to date.

So, what’s this month’s Second Top Pick?  As much as I love Sauvignon Blanc and I could easily pull the trigger on the Yali, and Domaine Wachau’s Riesling is a real winner, I have to go with Painted Wolf’s Guillermo Pinotage as my second Top Pick, simply because Pinotage is a hard wine to make and no other Pinotage we’ve tasted on this side of the Atlantic can beat it.  A votre santé.