Recipes, Food & Wine Pairing and More!
|Enjoy some of our favorite recipes below....
Pine Nut-Goat Cheese Crostini
- A simple appetizer that makes a splash at any party!
2009 Halter Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, Paso Robles
1 – 11oz Goat Cheese (Chevre) Log
½ cup Pine Nuts, Toasted
1 cup Fresh Basil Leaves, julienne
1 Fresh French Baguette
Arbequina Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees with baking sheet in oven. Cut baguette into ¾ inch slices; Brush both sides with Arbequina Olive Oil; Season with salt and pepper. Carefully remove baking sheet from oven and place baguettes on hot sheet and place back into oven until golden brown, about 8-10 mins. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Put toasted pine nuts in food processor and pulse briefly until nuts are coarsely ground (if you don’t have processor, you may place nuts between a folded piece of parchment and a roll rolling pin over until coarsely ground). Place nuts into a shallow dish. With a warm, sharp knife (a pitcher of hot water works great for heating knife) Slice goat cheese into thin medallions (wipe knife between portioning for best results); individually coat medallions in dish with pine nuts, pressing lightly so nuts bind to cheese. Layer toasted baguette with pine nut crusted goat cheese; lightly drizzle with Arbequina olive oil and garnish with basil.
| Pepper-Crusted Albacore with White Bean Salad
- Wine Pairing:
2008 Robert Hall Viognier, Paso Robles
1lb Fresh Albacore Loin
1-14oz can Northern White beans, drained and rinsed
1 head Roasted Garlic
1 small Shallot, finely chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 large vine-ripened tomato, diced
4 tbsp Ground Pepper Medley
Arbequina / Arbosana Blend Olive Oil
Rinse Albacore in cold water, pat completely dry. Place ground pepper with 1tbsp of Kosher Salt in shallow dish; roll albacore in pepper mixture until generously coated. Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium-high heat with 3 tbsp olive oil until oil smokes. Carefully place albacore in pan and sear albacore on all sides for approximately 30 seconds. Remove from skillet and let cool (this step can be done a day ahead).
Slice roasted garlic in half and squeeze half the head into a medium bowl; add lemon juice, zest and whisk in 1tbsp olive oil until combined. Add beans, shallot and tomato and toss together; Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice Albacore and serve over white bean salad; drizzle olive oil over Albacore and serve.
| Heirloom Tomato, Pancetta, and Hericot Verts Salad
- Wine Pairing:
2008 Wolff Vineyards Pinot Noir, Edna Valley
3 Large Heirloom Tomatoes (choose a variety for color and flavor), sliced into ¼” medallions
¼ lb Pancetta, Thinly-sliced *
½ lb Hericot Verts (green beans), trimmed
1large red radish, Julienne
8 kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 large lemon, zested – juice reserved
Pinot Noir-Balsamic Reduction:
1 cup Balsamic vinegar
½ Pinot Noir
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 whole black peppercorns
Frantoio Olive Oil
Reduction: In a small saucepan over medium heat, add balsamic, pinot noir, thyme and peppercorns. Bring to just a boil, then reduce to low and simmer ‘til reduced to ½ cup. Remove from heat and strain out thyme and peppercorns; refridgerate for at least 2 hours.
Salad: Bring 8 cups of water in a large pot to a slow boil. Add haricot verts and cook for about 45-60 seconds. Remove from hot water and move a prepared ice-bath; leave in cold water for until chilled through out. Drain beans and pat dry with towel. Meanwhile, cook pancetta in non-stick pan or on a stovetop griddle until crisp. Place on plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb fat and keep pancetta crisp.
Slice blanched bean in half and place in medium bowl; add radish, olives, lemon zest, 2 tbsp lemon juice; lightly drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss. Layer with tomato on bottom, then bean salad, pancetta, again tomato; season top tomato with salt and pepper. Drizzle balsamic-pinot reduction over and around salad. Give light drizzle of olive oil.
*Can be found at the deli counter at most grocers – substitute bacon if desired (or turkey bacon for a lower fat preparation).
| Lamb & Potato Crostini with Roasted Garlic & Herb Aioli
- Wine Pairing:
2007 Almesa Syrah, Paso Robles
2-3 lbs Leg o’Lamb
1 lb purple potatoes (sub Yukon Gold), washed
1 head roasted garlic
2 cups Mayonnaise (substitute low-fat mayo if desired)
1tbsp fresh rosemary
1½ tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest, finely grated
½ cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup Manzanilla Olives, coarsely chopped
Old Bay Seasoning
Valhalla Estate Blend Olive Oil
Marinate lamb with olive oil, salt and pepper for about 4 hours. Preheat oven to 350°F. Preheat grill; grill lamb over medium heat 20 mins, giving entire outer lamb a nice charring. Move lamb from grill to roasted pan, cover, and place in oven 20 mins (leave grill on for potatoes); reduce heat to 300°F and cook for 45 minutes to one hour (depending on size of lamb); lamb will be medium-rare to medium. Remove lamb from oven and let rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, Slice potatoes lengthwise into rounds (ovals); season with salt, pepper and Old Bay; drizzle with olive oil. Grill potatoes for approximately 5 minutes on each side.
While lamb is roasting, place mayonnaise, roasted garlic, herbs, lemon juice and zest in food processor and pulse until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
Thinly-slice lamb and serve over individual potato; top with aioli and garnish with almonds and olive; lightly drizzle olive oil on and around lamb-potato Crostini. A richly-flavored appetizer that went great with an unexpected wine-pairing!
| Pine Nut Brittle
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 oz toasted pine nuts
Spray heavy large baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Stir sugar and water in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep golden, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with pastry brush dipped into water and swirling pan, about 7 minutes. Add pine nuts and then immediately pour out mixture onto prepared baking sheet.
Working quickly and carefully (mixture is very hot and hardens fast), press tip of knife into edges of caramel sheet and gently stretch in all directions until caramel becomes thin and transparent. Cool completely. Break brittle into irregular large pieces.
| "Bloody Mary” Seafood Cocktail - (This is kind of like where gazpacho meets bloody mary)
- 2008 Beckman “Estate” Grenache, Santa Ynez Valley
|2 cups Clamato juice
2 cups tomato juice
1 ½ cup diced vine-ripened tomato
½ cup finely diced red onion
3/4 cup diced European cucumber (seeds removed)
½ cup diced red bell pepper
¾ cup diced yellow bell pepper
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
5 sprigs cilantro finely chopped
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp celery salt
1 tbsp Worchester sauce
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Horseradish
salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ lbs of fresh shrimp (small)
1 lb fresh sea scallops (or bay scallops)
10 cups water
1 fresh lime
2 tbsp fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Place first 16 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Set in refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
Add 6 cups water, peppercorns, ginger and Old Bay seasoning to large saucepan. Slice lime and squeeze juice into water; add whole remaining lime. Bring water to simmer. Slowly add shrimp and scallops to saucepan. Poach seafood for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, make ice bath with remaining 4 cups of water and ice. Drain simmering water; Place seafood in ice bath until cooled. Peel shrimp and place on dry paper towel with scallops. Toss seafood and mixture together and serve in a cocktail glass or large martini glass rimmed with celery salt. Can be made one day ahead.
| Strawberry-Balsamic Chutney
2 cups Balsamic Vinegar
2 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed and dried
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Micro-plane zester (or grater)
In a medium saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a gentle boil. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until reduced down to about ½ cup (keep face away from saucepan while reducing, vapors are very strong!). Let balsamic reduction cool. In the meantime, dice strawberries and place into large bowl. Zest entire orange into bowl; add fresh mint and basil; season with fresh cracked black pepper (approx 1 ½ tsp). Drizzle 1 tbsp Balsamic over mixture and toss together. Continue to add balsamic until desired concentration is achieved. Season with salt to taste. Serve with soft cheeses such as Gorgonzola Dolce, Taleggio or goat cheese.
*Add jalapeno, chipotle or cayenne pepper; fresh tarragon to make a more savory chutney for grilled salmon or pork tenderloin.