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Wine Country Recipe ~ Mulled Wine

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Spiced mulled wine is a winter favorite — warm, flavorful, and always so comforting!  And, it’s incredibly easy to make.  We’re definitely going to give this recipe a try over the holidays.

Ingredients:

1 (750 ml) bottle of dry Temecula Valley red wine
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup brandy (optional)
1/4 cup honey or sugar
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan, and bring to a simmer (not a boil — you don’t want to boil the alcohol out!) over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours. Strain, and serve warm with your desired garnishes.

*You can also place the oranges, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise in a cheesecloth. Then simply strain and pull out the bundle when ready to serve.

Recipe courtesy of www.gimmesomeoven.com 

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Strawberry and Pear Phyllo Tarts

Monday, September 25th, 2017

There is just something so delicious about the correlation between food, wine and the seasons. Specifically speaking, a sweet Strawberry and Pear Phyllo tart, a glass of late harvest wine and a crisp autumn day. Savor the last few weeks of the strawberry and pear season by preparing this easy dessert. It pairs perfectly with Ponte Winery’s popular 2015 Late Harvest.

Ingredients:
12 sheets phyllo dough (14 inches x 9 inches)
3 T butter, melted
2 T brown sugar
½ T raw honey
1 tsp lemon zest

Filling:
¼ cup muddled strawberries
2 cup ripe pear slices
2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 T brown sugar
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:
Roll up phyllo dough and cut into 1/4-in.-wide strips. Place strips in a large bowl; toss with butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and honey until coated. Divide strips into six portions; shape into bowl shapes by placing strips criss-cross in a muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 5-7 minutes or until golden.

In a small saucepan, heat muddled strawberries, sliced strawberries, pear slices and 1 tablespoon brown sugar until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Just before serving, spoon onto phyllo. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Serve with Ponte Winery’s 2015 Late Harvest.

Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe & photo courtesy of Ponte Winery

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Grilled Shrimp Tostadas with Tomato-Corn Salsa, Guacamole, and Lime

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

Eating with your hands was never so delicious with these tostadas layered with a bright salsa, creamy guacamole, and spiced shrimp. Arrange the fixings family-style and let everyone assemble their own tostadas. Pair with Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris.

Makes 8 tostadas; serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

Salsa:
1 cup fresh corn kernels cut from a cob or defrosted frozen corn
1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 green jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Guacamole:
2 ripe avocados
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 small red onion, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Mexican hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt

Shrimp:
24 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
8 corn tostada shells
8 butter lettuce leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Mexican hot sauce
Lime wedges

Directions:

Combine the salsa ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Combine all of the guacamole ingredients in a bowl and mash with a fork to blend.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (about 350°F). Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a bowl. Add the oil, cumin, cayenne, and salt and toss the shrimp to coat.

Arrange the shrimp on the grill grates over direct heat and grill until opaque through the centers, turning once or twice, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove and transfer to a plate.

To assemble the tostadas, spread a generous spoonful of guacamole on a corn tostada. Top with the lettuce, salsa, and shrimp. Garnish with cilantro and serve with hot sauce and lime wedges.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2015 Special Selection Pinot Gris – Sun-ripened peaches, nectarine and honeydew melon aromas with hazelnut and a twist of lemon pie on the finish.

Hart Winery ~ 2016 Sauvignon Blanc –  Citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish.

Lorimar Winery ~ 2015 Sauvignon Blanc – Let the crisp, cool guava quench your thirst as fresh melon and lemongrass awaken your senses.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2016 Pinot Grigio “Julia’s Vineyard” – Fragrant and mildly floral with subtle notes of green apple, lemon and pear, with a crisp refreshing finish.

 

Recipe & photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Fresh California Chopped Salad with Marinated Grilled Steak

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

When the temps are rising, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven in the kitchen. For a great entree salad, try this crunchy summer salad topped with grilled steak—marinated in Temecula Valley Zinfandel.  It gets its zing from a spicy-mustard vinaigrette. For the ultimate pairing, be sure to serve it with your favorite Temecula Valley Zinfandel!

Ingredients:

1 cup Temecula Valley Zinfandel

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon ground cayenne

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1 New York strip steak (about 14-ounces), 1-inch thick, trimmed of fat

2 large tomatoes, preferably different colors

3 cups chopped, romaine lettuce

1 cup sugar snap peas, stemmed and cut into three pieces

1 cup cooked corn kernels, cut off the cob and cooled

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more for serving

Directions:

Bring the wine and garlic to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Let cool.

Pour the mixture into a medium glass bowl and mix in the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, black peppercorns, cayenne, and 1 tablespoon of the dry mustard.

Add the steak and turn it to coat. Cover the steak and marinate it in the refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours, turning it once.

Preheat the grill to high heat.

Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry.

Grill the steak for 6 minutes on each side for rare to medium rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Cut each tomato into eight wedges, and set aside.

Put the lettuce, snap peas and corn in a large bowl.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk the spicy mustard in a small bowl with the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and the remaining teaspoon of dry mustard.

Toss the lettuce mixture with the desired amount of vinaigrette.

Slice the steak across the grain into ½ inch strips.

Divide the salad among four plates, and top with tomato and steak slices.

Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 4

Suggested Pairings: 

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery ~ Van Roekel 2013 Zinfandel

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ 2013 Wild Horse Peak Zinfandel

Wiens Family Cellars ~ 2014 Reserve Zinfandel 

Wilson Creek Winery ~ 2012 Wilson Creek Family Reserve Zinfandel


Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California.

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Ginger-Cinnamon Honey Poached Citrus and Vanilla Ice Cream

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Summer is not the time to spend hours in the kitchen; not when sun, surf and sand call upon our heartstrings!  This sweet treat looks like just the perfect dessert to keep the kitchen cool on those hot summer days.  Be sure to pair with Ponte Winery’s 2015 Beverino Bianco!

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

Segments of 2 grapefruit and 3 oranges
1 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
Fresh ginger, medium diced (from a 1” x ½” piece)
Chopped, toasted pistachios
Vanilla ice cream of your choosing

Directions:

Pour honey into a saucepan. Segment the citrus fruit over the saucepan so that the juices run into it and place fruit segments in saucepan. Heat honey and citrus over medium heat just until it comes to a boil. Remove pan from heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Carefully remove the poached citrus segments and set aside in refrigerator until cold.

Place cinnamon sticks and chopped fresh ginger into honey. Return to heat and slow boil until reduced by half. Remove from heat, strain out the sticks and ginger and let honey syrup cool. To serve, place 3 scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream in a bowl. Place some of the cold citrus segments on top. Drizzle with ginger-cinnamon honey and top with chopped pistachios. Enjoy immediately!


Recipe and photo courtesy of Ponte Winery

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Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

All the flavors of summer come together with this light and refreshing salad.   It is packed with some of our favorite savory flavors and tossed with a dazzling lemon vinaigrette. For the perfect pairing, be sure to pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Rosé.

Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless half chicken breasts

extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves

½ teaspoon minced garlic

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 large avocados, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-size pieces

3 cups baby or regular arugula leaves

1 piece Parmesan cheese (for shaving)

Directions:

1. Preheat the grill to medium high.

2. Cut each half chicken breast in half crosswise.

3. Brush the chicken pieces on both sides with olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

4. Grill the chicken pieces for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

5. To make the vinaigrette, pour the lemon juice in a large bowl. Whisk in the measured olive oil, lemon zest, honey, rosemary, garlic, and measured salt and pepper.

6. Cut chicken pieces crosswise into strips.

7. Add the chicken, avocado, and arugula to the vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine.

8. Divide the salad among the serving plates.

9. Top with shavings of Parmesan, cut with a vegetable peeler.

Suggested Pairings: 

Baily Winery 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese – Fun, fruity and full of character!

Doffo Winery 2016 Rosario –  A delightful fragrance of fresh strawberries, white rose, and hibiscus are mirrored on the palate.

Hart Winery 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese  – Lightly pink, near-dry, delicately scented and flavored Rose′.

Maurice Car’rie/Van Roekel Winery 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé – Wonderful notes of strawberry short cake, Asian pear, and springtime wildflowers.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Grilled Apricots with Goat Cheese

Monday, May 1st, 2017

When the sunshine stays with us and makes our days longer, we’re always looking for ways to stay outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. We think this recipe would be a great dish to enjoy while doing just that. This can be served as a light appetizer or savory dessert. Our friends at Ponte Winery suggest pairing it to perfection with the dry, crisp 2016 Vermentino.

Ingredients:
6 fresh apricots, halved and pitted
1/2 cup sweet white dessert wine, such as 2015 Beverino
1/2 cup of fresh, soft goat cheese such as chèvre

Directions:
Place apricots in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the dessert wine over the apricots and let marinate for 30 minutes. Remove apricots from mixing bowl and place on a cookie sheet. Allow the apricots to rest for at least 20 minutes to make sure liquid sets in fruit.

Turn the grill on to medium heat, check to make sure the grill is clean and slightly greased. Once warmed, place the apricots directly on the grill cut side down. Grill on cut side down for about 4 minutes and then turn over and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from grill and top each fruit with a spoonful of goat cheese. Serve immediately. This recipe serves about 6 – 8 people.

Recipe adapted from Wine Bites
—Lindsay Neumann

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Primitivo Braised Short Ribs

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

When our friends over at Wiens Family Cellars suggested that their 2014 Primitivo and short ribs go together like peanut butter and jelly, we were intrigued!  We figured we’d try it ourselves with this amazing short rib recipe and see if they were right.  Sure enough, their Primitivo most definitely is a “Short Rib Stunner.”  Why don’t you try for yourselves?

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat ribs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on all sides.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and brown on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate, then add the garlic and stir until softened but not brown, about 1 minute. Carefully pour in the wine, bring to a boil and cook until reduced to about 1 cup. Add the ribs and any juices they have released back to the pot along with the stock. Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer, then cover the pot and transfer it to the oven, to braise, until the meat easily falls off the bone, about 3 hours.

Transfer the ribs to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Strain the braising liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Simmer the liquid, skimming fat as necessary, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if necessary. Transfer the ribs and sauce to a serving dish and serve.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Crispy Chicken Thighs with Sweet Citrus Soy Sauce

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

This crispy, sweet and tangy chicken is a perfect main dish any night of the week. The sauce sounds amazing and should pair well with your favorite Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), bone-in, skin on

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 green onions, cut into thin rounds

½ cup fresh orange juice

¼ cup chicken stock

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Mix the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Add the chicken thighs and turn them to coat with the sesame oil mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.

Add the chicken thighs skin side down and cook for 8 minutes.

Turn the thighs skin side up and place the skillet in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the thighs to a serving platter. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

While the chicken is resting, prepare the sauce.

Heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the green onion and cook stir for 1 minute or until lightly browned.

Add the orange juice, chicken stock, soy sauce, honey, lime juice and orange zest.

Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 4 minutes.

To serve, divide the sauce among 4 plates and place a chicken thigh on top.

Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California.  

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Sour Cream

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Enjoy the classic combination of dark chocolate and tart, sweet berries in a tender, buttery crust. You’ll want to pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sparkling Wine or Late Harvest Zinfandel.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
1½ cups pastry flour
¼ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg yolk
1½ cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup sour cream
6 ounces dark chocolate (about 60% cacao), chopped into small pieces
3/4 cup  heavy cream

Directions:
To make the crust, mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl.

Mix the butter, cream, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and egg yolk in a small bowl. Stir the butter mixture into the flour just until blended.

Transfer the dough to a 10-inch nonstick tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan.Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom and sides of the crust and put the pan in the freezer for 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Take the crust from the freezer. Press a piece of foil tightly against the bottom and up and over the sides of the crust (to prevent the dough from puffing up while cooking).

Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let the crust cool completely.

To make the filling (up to 3 hours before serving), mix and partially crush the raspberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Stir the sour cream into the raspberries and return the bowl to the refrigerator.

Place the chocolate in a small bowl.

Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes.Whisk until the mixture is smooth and glossy.

Spread the raspberry mixture evenly into the tart shell.

Spread the chocolate cream evenly over the raspberry mixture.

Chill for 30 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer to a serving platter.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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