Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Baked Pears with Coconut Chocolate Crumble

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Want to surprise that special someone with a yummy Valentine’s treat?  This recipe looks perfect for the occasion!

Delicate and fragrant, these baked pears have a sweet crunchy topping laced with coconut and chocolate. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sparkling Rosé or Dessert Wine.


2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

6 Bosc pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, quartered, cored and cut lengthwise into ½ inch slices

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup water

1½ cups sweetened flaked (dried) coconut

1 cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate pieces


Preheat oven to 375° F

Mix the 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Toss the pears with the lemon juice in a large bowl.

Add the cinnamon mixture and toss again.

Spread pear slices evenly into a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish and drizzle with the water.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until pears are tender.

While the pears are baking, make the crumble.

Mix the coconut, 1 cup flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the coconut mixture to form a slightly damp coarse mix with pea-size crumbles.

Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. (Can be baked in the oven with the pears).

Remove the crumble from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate evenly over the crumble and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, divide pear slices among 6 dessert plates and top each serving with a spoonful of crumble.

Top with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese

Carter Estate Winery ~ 2014 Brut Sparkling

Hart Family Winery ~ 2017 Rosé of Sangiovese – Platinum Medal Winner; 2018 Winemaker’s Challenge Wine Competition

Thornton Winery ~ Non-Vintage Blanc De Noir


Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


Filet Mignons with Blue Cheese Butter and Cranberry Zinfandel Sauce Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

These tender filet mignon steaks are napped with a rosemary-infused red wine reduction and topped with a luxurious compound butter, making this dish worthy of any celebration. Pair with your favorite Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Serves 6


3 large heads garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 ounces blue cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup plus 2 cups red Zinfandel wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
1 (2-inch) sprig rosemary

Smashed potatoes:
2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup roasted garlic puree
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 filet mignons, each about 6 ounces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided


Roast the garlic:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel away the outer layers from the garlic head, leaving the cloves intact. Slice about 1/4-inch from the tops of each garlic head. Arrange, cut-side up, on a large piece of foil. Lightly drizzle with the oil, then fold the foil up around the garlic and seal. Bake the garlic in the oven until the garlic is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove and cool to the touch, then squeeze the garlic into a bowl, and mash with a fork to form a paste. There should be about 1/2 cup.

Make the compound butter:
Mash the butter, cheese, and 1 teaspoon of the roasted garlic paste in a small bowl to blend. Place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a cylinder about 3-inches in length. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving and cut into 6 equal disks.

Prepare the sauce:
Combine the cranberries and 1/4 cup Zinfandel in a small bowl.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the 2 cups Zinfandel, the broth, and rosemary. Boil the sauce until reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Strain the sauce into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Drain the cranberries and add to the sauce; discard the soaking liquid.

Prepare the potatoes:
While the sauce is reducing, place the potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in a pot and cover with cold water. Boil until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the sour cream, roasted garlic, butter, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until well blended. Keep warm.

Cook the filet mignons:
Season the filet mignons with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the meat in the skillet and cook to desired doneness, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to warm serving plates and top each steak with a knob of compound butter.

Pour the reserved wine sauce into the same skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter until smooth and remove from the heat.

Spoon the sauce around the steaks. Serve with the garlic smashed potatoes.

Suggested pairings:

Carter Estate Winery & Resort 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 4

Danza Del Sol Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Doffo Winery 2014 Zinfandel

Ponte Winery 2015 Zinfandel

Recipe & photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


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.


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


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 


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


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

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

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


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


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


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)


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


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

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

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


Wine Country Recipe ~ Maple Sugar-Ginger Roast Pork

Thursday, December 1st, 2016


This pork loin roast is marinated with a sweet-and-spicy combination of maple sugar, ginger and crushed red pepper; the sugar melts to form a luscious glaze as the meat roasts.  Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon for the perfect holiday meal!


2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, tied
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons maple sugar (see Note)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Blood orange slices, red currants and sprigs of mint, for garnish (optional)


Using a small, sharp knife, make thin slits all over the pork loin roast and slip a garlic slice into each one. In a small bowl, mix the maple sugar with the ginger, salt, red pepper and olive oil. Rub the paste all over the pork, wrap it well in plastic and refrigerate overnight in a small roasting pan; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Roast the pork for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 400° and roast the pork for about 35 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Discard the string and carve the pork into thin slices. Arrange on a platter, garnish with the orange slices, red currants and mint and serve.


Maple sugar, made from reduced maple syrup, is available at specialty-food stores. Alternatively, use granulated brown sugar.

Suggested Pairings:

Bel Vino Winery 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Oak aging softens and flavors the wine with notes of oak, vanilla and spice.

Carter Estate 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 4 ~ Full bodied and velvety upon first taste, this is a supple wine with great varietal intensity.

Falkner Winery 2013 Syrah Rock Creek Vineyards ~Enjoy the wonderful red ruby color of this Syrah and the delicious flavors of plum and raspberry.

Hart Winery 2013 Syrah ~ This old-vine Syrah displays rich fruit, great depth and color, and a long, lingering finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy of


Wine Country Recipe ~ Curried Butternut Squash Soup Shots

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016


This modern shot-glass style serving puts a new spin on this traditional smooth and piquant autumn soup. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Wine Country Merlot or Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris.


1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
4 sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons curry powder, divided
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups vegetable stock, warmed
1/3 cup heavy cream (extra for garnish)
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl toss together the squash, onions, garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon of the curry powder, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the squash mixture onto a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes.

Discard the thyme sprig and pour the mixture into a blender along with the warmed stock and puree until smooth. (Do this in two batches). Pour the pureed soup into a medium saucepan simmer and stir in the remaining curry powder, and cumin.

Simmer the soup for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cream until fully combined.
Season with salt and pepper.

Serve by pouring soup into 24 small glasses or espresso cups. Garnish with a few drops of heavy cream. Makes 24, 2-ounce shots.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Winery 2015 Special Selection Pinot Gris ~ Pairs with Shellfish; especially Scallops, Lobster and Prawns. Creamy pastas, pasta salad, grilled chicken or pork

Europa Village 2015 Estate Pinot Grigio ~ Aromas of nectarines and spring flowers with a subtle minerality in the background. Soft and gentle on the palate with a zesty and refreshing finish.

Leoness Cellars 2013 Vineyard Selection Merlot ~ Subtle nuances of tobacco and vanilla develop through a long, velvety finish.

Oak Mountain 2012 Merlot ~ Flavors of raspberry, blackberry, and plum with abundant smoky oak.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


Wine Country Recipe ~ Pork Tacos with Garlic Grilled Tortillas and Avocado Cream

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

2016_1_PORK_TACOS_WINEc-California-Wine-InstituteServes 4

These lightly grilled tortillas are topped with spicy, smoky seasoned pork and creamy avocado. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Viognier or Zinfandel.


Avocado Cream:

1 large avocado, halved and pitted
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped green onion, white parts only
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon minced serrano (chile) pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt

Pork and tortillas:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 boneless pork loin chops (about 1¼ pounds) 1 inch thick, each cut horizontally into 3 very thin even pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
8 (7-inch) corn tortillas
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage


To make the avocado cream, Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor with the sour cream, lime juice, onion, cilantro and serrano pepper, and salt. Process until smooth. Set aside.

To prepare the pork, whisk the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Add the pork slices and turn them to coat all sides. Set aside.

Add the vegetable oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add the 3 tablespoons garlic and stir just until the garlic starts to sizzle. Remove from heat, leave in the skillet and set aside (for the tortillas).

Preheat a grill to medium-high.

Grill the pork slices for 2 minutes on each side or until cooked through.

Stack the pork in a bowl and cover to keep warm.

To warm the tortillas, brush one side of each tortilla with garlic oil. Grill oil-side down for 1 minute or until warmed through. Stack tortillas on a plate, oil-side up.

Cut the pork into strips ¼-inch wide.

To serve, top each tortilla with pork strips, avocado cream, and shredded cabbage.

Suggested Pairings:

Monte De Oro Viognier 2014, $23: Medium-bodied wine offering a nice balance taste of ripe stone fruits (peach, nectarine, apricot), tropical fruits (passion fruit, mango, cantaloupe, pineapple) and white and yellow melons.

Van Roekel Estate Viognier 2014 (Maurice Car’rie Winery), $22: This award-winning, estate-grown Viognier boasts notes of apricot and Asian pear, with hints of citrus blossom.

Callaway Winery Zinfandel 2013, $34: Big notes of jammy wild strawberries and dried cranberry match the deep purple red color of this fragrant Zinfandel.

Danza del Sol Zinfandel 2011, $26: Deep aromas of chocolate, currants, and raisins lead to soft, juicy flavors of black cherry.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


Wine Country Recipe ~ Prawn & Avocado Salad with Creamy Orange Chive Dressing

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

timthumbThis zesty and colorful salad with lemony prawns and a bright tangy dressing is the essence of California living. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Pinot Grigio or Rosé.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoons sea salt

¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 pound prawns (about 24), peeled and deveined

¼ cup full fat plain yogurt

3 tablespoons minced chives

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons minced orange zest

2 teaspoons minced lemon zest

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

6 handfuls mixed lettuce greens

3 navel oranges, peel and pith removed with a knife, cut into ½-inch dice

2 large avocados, halved and pitted, flesh cut into ½ inch dice

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges


In a large bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add the prawns and mix well.

Place a steam basket or rack in a large saucepan. Add water to a level not quite touching the steamer. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the prawns, cover and steam for 3 minutes.

Remove the prawns from pan and set them aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil with the yogurt, chives, mayonnaise, orange juice, vinegar, orange zest, lemon zest, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt.

To serve, place a handful of mixed greens on each plate.

Top each serving with diced orange and avocado pieces, and prawns.

Drizzle each salad with dressing.

Season with pepper and garnish with a lemon wedge

Suggested Pairings: 

Baily Winery ~ 2014 Rosé of Sangiovese – Fun, fruity and full of character.

Danza del Sol Winery ~ 2015 Pinot Grigio – Soft candied aromas of honeysuckle, almonds and leche fruit.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese – A summery bouquet of rosy red fruit and flowers: strawberry, cherry, raspberry, rose petal and cherry blossom fill the nose and palate of this perfect warm weather wine.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2015 Pinot Grigio – This wine offers 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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