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Wine Country Recipe ~ Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

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This month, we’re featuring rosé wine, as there’s truly nothing more refreshing for spring celebrations and dining!  And truth be told, America has fallen in love with rosé wines; it’s one of the fastest growing segments in the US wine market.

Here’s a perfect recipe to pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Rosé. Tender grilled chicken is enhanced with a dazzling lemon vinaigrette.

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 salt¼ 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: 

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2012 Special Selection 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.

Hart Winery ~ 2014 Rosé of Tempranillo –  Delightfully fruity, bursting with strawberry, watermelon and spice notes.

Miramonte Winery ~ 2014 Rosé – Racy strawberry and candied watermelon notes, beautiful melon and peach mid-palate, and long finish of rose petals, sugar-dusted citrus.

Oak Mountain Winery ~2013 River Rhodes Rosé of Syrah –  Blast of strawberries and tropical nuances in the nose with a smooth wild berry character on the palate.

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Wine Institute of California 

 

 

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Roasted Chicken Breast with Yukon Gold Potato Cakes and Infused Rosemary Oil Sauce

Monday, February 29th, 2016

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Tender chicken breast with a delicate, rosemary-scented cream sauce served alongside a golden-toasted potato cake with Parmesan. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay.

Ingredients:

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 (3-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

5 medium-sized Yukon Gold, or other waxy potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut in half

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup half and half or light cream

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts

2 eggs slightly beaten, divided

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

4 (6-ounce) boneless half chicken breasts, skin on

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup half and half or light cream

½ cup chicken stock

1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

½ teaspoon minced rosemary leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat. Add the rosemary sprigs and cook for 10 minutes. Set the pan aside.

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender about 20 to 30 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan, off the heat. Add the half and half, butter, and the 1 teaspoon salt. Mix and mash the potatoes with a large whisk or potato masher to a stiff, slightly lumpy consistency.

When the potatoes are completely cool, mix in the scallions, and half of the beaten egg.

Heat the oven to 375° F.

Coat a large baking sheet with the vegetable oil. Form the potato mixture into 8 round cakes, 1-inch thick, and place them on the oiled sheet.

Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the potato cakes with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden brown.

While the potato cakes are cooking, sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the rosemary oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken breasts skin side down and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook 2 minutes. Spoon the fat in the pan over the chicken breasts.

Place the skillet in the oven (with the potato cakes) and roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest, for at least 5 minutes.

In the meantime, make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of the rosemary oil with the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour, and bring to a sizzle over medium heat stirring frequently.

Add the chicken stock and half and half. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken the sauce. Add the parsley and minced rosemary and simmer for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, cut each half breast crosswise into 8 slices. Arrange the chicken slices and 2 potato cakes on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Serves 4.

Suggested Pairings:

Bel Vino Winery ~ 2013 Chardonnay – Classic aromas of white peach and pear complemented by toasted almond aromas.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2012 Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay – Silky and fresh on the palate, reminiscent of tropical pineapples, zesty kumquats, creamy caramel and apples.

Falkner Winery ~ 2014 Chardonnay -Delicious ripe apple and apricot flavors in a medium bodied, creamy textured wine.

Thornton Winery ~ 2014 Chardonnay  – Green apples and barrel spices with a mineral note.

 Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Asian Pork Shoulder Stew with Anise

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

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Fragrant anise adds a subtle sweetness to this warming stew. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Zinfandel or Pinot Gris.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) cubes
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into 4 wedges
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3½ cups chicken stock
1 whole star anise pod
1 large sweet potato (about 1½ pounds) peeled, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds, each cut into 4 wedges
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
3 tablespoons flour, mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water
soy sauce

Directions:

Heat the vegetable oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart pot over medium heat until hot but not smoking.

Add the pork and brown for 3 minutes on each side. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger; cook and stir for 3 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and anise. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.

Add the potatoes and carrots. Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in the flour-and-water mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.

To serve, divide the stew among 4 to 6 bowls. Pass soy sauce at the table.

Suggested Pairings:

Danza del Sol Winery ~ 2014 Pinot Grigio – Aromas of honeysuckle and juicy pears with a hint of citrus lead into flavors of bright melon with a balanced, crisp acidity.

Leoness Cellars ~ 2013 Zinfandel – Rich and full-bodied, this wine offers aromas and flavors of sweet blackberry and plum with hints of spice and black licorice framed by soft tannins and a long, silky finish.

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery ~ 2012 Zinfandel – Aromas of raspberry jam, Red Delicious apples and finishes off with toasted black pepper.

Monte De Oro Winery ~ 2014 Pinot Gris – Off-dry-to-dry, medium-bodied wine with a nice balance of acidity, alcohol and flavor.

Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Carrots and Fresh Herbs

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Tuscan_Pork_hero-e07906d4-82d8-424e-aab5-b74cae86a3b4-0-472x310This flavorful roast can be served hot with roasted carrots and savory pan drippings or cold, thinly sliced for sandwiches. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder roast, tied, trimmed of excess fat and seasoned well with salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, minced
1 (2-inch) sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
6 fresh large sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
12 whole baby carrots, cleaned with stems removed
1/3 cup Temecula Valley Zinfandel

Directions:

Preheat oven to 275 F (135 C).

Mix the herbs and garlic in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture evenly over the pork and into the crevices. Put the pork in a roasting pan. Roast uncovered for 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss olive oil, carrots and shallots in a large bowl.

After 90 minutes, add the carrots and shallots to the pan and pour the Zinfandel over the pork. Cook for an additional 90 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice the pork and serve with carrots and drizzle with the pan juices.

Serves 4

Recipe Courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

Suggested Pairings:

Baily Winery ~ 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon –  Warm, rich tones with subtle, herbaceous qualities and a hint of mint.

Doffo Winery ~ 2013 Zinfandel – Full of black cherry jam, raspberry, black berry and allspice aromas, with luscious notes of boysenberry, ripe plums and toasted oak.

Lorenzi Estate Vineyards & Winery ~ 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon – Aged in New French oak for 18 months and expresses itself with a depth and complexity you should expect from a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery ~ 2012 Van Roekel Estate Zinfandel –  Aromas of raspberry jam, Red Delicious apples and finishes off with toasted black pepper.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Curried Butternut Squash Soup Shots

Monday, September 28th, 2015

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 F. (190 C.)

In a large bowl toss together the squash, onions, garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon (15ml) 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.

Suggested Pairings:

Bel Vino Winery – 2012 Merlot ~This vintage presents deep, dense aromas of plum, licorice and vanilla with flavors of dark fruit, cloves and maple.

Carter Estate Winery – 2012 Merlot ~ Blueberries and rose petals mingle with a rich chocolate, coffee earthiness, lightly tinged with a pretty herbal note that is warmed with French oak.

Europa Village – 2014 Estate Pinot Grigio ~ Ripe Asian pears and lemon cream on the nose, the full body warmth is elegantly balanced by a lingering acidity.

Monte De Oro Winery – 2013 Pinot Grigio ~ Medium intensity aromas of pears, lemons, apples, and peaches with accents of honeysuckle, white flowers and honey.

Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe: California Style Clam Bake

Friday, August 21st, 2015

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Here in the Temecula Valley, we’re lucky enough to be just 20 miles (as the crow flies) from the Pacific Ocean and some of the most beautiful beaches in California. But, no matter where you are in the world, this garlic-infused California-style clambake recipe will bring the California beach to you. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or other crisp white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 pounds mussels
2 pounds clams
1 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
In a large stockpot, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, shallots and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute or until the vegetables are slightly browned.

Add the wine and chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the mussels and clams and steam for 7 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, shake the pot several times. Remove from heat and pour mussels and clams into a large serving dish.

Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately, accompanied by a fresh, rustic-style bread.

Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

Suggested Pairings:
Briar Rose Winery ~ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – Aromas of white peach, nectarine, white flowers and vanilla pave the way to the palate laced with ripe stone fruits, and a creamy toast.
Falkner Winery ~ 2013 Irresistable Rosato – Rosé Table Wine – This vibrant bright pink wine is bursting with sensual notes of strawberry and cranberry flavors.
Hart Winery ~ 2014 Sauvingnon Blanc – With citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish.
Miramonte Winery ~ 2014 Rosé – Racy strawberry and candied watermelon notes, beautiful melon and peach mid-palate, and long finish of rose petals, sugar-dusted citrus.

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Garlic Prawns with Warm Cucumber and Ginger Salad

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

APRIL_GARLIC_PRAWNS_1_FINAL_p_c-California-Wine-InstituteRed pepper flakes add a hint of heat to this light and zesty salad. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.

Ingredients:

2 cups salad greens
2 teaspoons sesame oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound medium prawns, shelled and deveined
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 cucumbers peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced into ¼-inch-thick half-rounds
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 limes, each cut into 4 wedges

Directions:

Put the salad greens in a large bowl and drizzle with the sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to mix. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic; cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the prawns and red pepper flakes; cook and stir for about 3 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through. Season with salt.

Scrape the shrimp and garlic into a bowl and set aside.

Using the same skillet, heat the 1 remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ginger; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the cucumber and soy sauce and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat.

Divide the salad among 4 plates. Top each with a quarter of the cucumbers, followed by a quarter of the shrimp. Squeeze the juice of one lime wedge over each salad and garnish with a second lime wedge.

Serves 4

Suggested Pairings:

Cougar Vineyard & Winery ~ 2014 Pinot Grigio – Nice mid-palate balance with a short, clean finish.

Hart Winery ~ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2014 Pinot Grigio “Julia’s Vineyard” – Fragrant and mildly floral with subtle notes of green apple, lemon and pear, with a crisp refreshing finish.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – A cornucopia of flavors and aromas: sweet kiwi and lime, gooseberries, pears, passion fruit and wild flowers.

Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe: Strawberry-Blueberry Compote in Red Wine Syrup

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

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Infusing red wine with warm spices and herbs creates a fragrant syrup for the distinctive ruby-hued compote. Serve over ice cream, pound cake, or with almond biscotti, and garnish with mint.

Ingredients:

1 cup of your favorite Temecula Valley dry red wine *
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 (2 1/2-inch) orange rind strips
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
4 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries

Preparation:

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small non-aluminum saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Drain wine mixture in a colander over a large bowl; discard solids. Add berries; toss to coat. Serve warm or chill up to 2 hours.

* Wine Suggestions:

Doffo Winery ~ 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – A dark rich garnet color entices the senses.  The pallet boasts dark red cherries and cassis.  The lingering finish on the this silky Cabernet Sauvignon shows a hint of smoke and cacao.

Falkner Winery ~ 2012 Syrah – This wonderfully rich wine has deep flavors of ripe plum and black cherry and is very true to the varietal. Enjoy the delicious depth of flavors, and smooth, round, lingering finish.

Hart Winery ~ 2012 Syrah –  Grown in the granitic soils with the abundant sunshine and caressing cool ocean breezes of the region, our old-vine Syrah displays rich fruit, great depth and color, and a long, lingering finish.

Lorimar Winery ~ 2012 Allegro – Merlot – Rich and full bodied, with black cherry, plum and blackberry flavors with hints of rose petals.

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Wine Country Recipe: Cheese Fondue

Monday, February 9th, 2015

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Nothing screams romance more than fondue!  So, this Valentine’s Day, if you’d prefer to forgo the crowded restaurants and opt for a quick, simple and romantic meal at home, we’ve got you covered with this cheese fondue recipe.  Pair with a salad, your favorite Temecula Valley Riesling and perhaps some chocolate fondue for dessert…and…voilà, you’ve got the perfect Valentine’s dinner.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound imported Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cherry brandy, such as kirsch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch nutmeg
Assorted dippers

Directions:

In a small bowl, coat the cheeses with cornstarch and set aside.  Rub the inside of the ceramic fondue pot with the garlic, then discard.

Over medium heat, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a gentle simmer.  Gradually stir the cheese into the simmering liquid.  Melting the cheese gradually encourages a smooth fondue.  Once smooth, stir in cherry brandy, mustard and nutmeg.

Arrange an assortment of bite-sized dipping foods on a lazy Susan around fondue pot.  Serve with chunks of French and pumpernickel breads.  Some other suggestions are Granny Smith apples and blanched vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and asparagus.  Spear with fondue forks or wooden skewers, dip, swirl and enjoy!

Suggested pairings:

Baily Vineyard & Winery ~ 2013 Riesling – A delicate, dry and fruity white.

Briar Rose Winery ~ 2013 Riesling – Opening up with a soft apricot on the front and light fruity sweetness on the finish.

Lorenzi Estate Vineyards & Winery ~ 2012 Riesling – The nose is aromatic with spicy stone fruit with a combination of sweet Meyer lemons, along with tropical touches of mango and pineapple.

Mount Palomar Winery ~ 2012 Riesling – Prominent scents of pineapple and soft hints of star fruit, with a smooth tropical finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy Tyler Florence and foodnetwork.com.

 

 

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Herb and Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Cauliflower, Shallots and Carrots

Monday, January 12th, 2015

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Fresh herbs, crunchy pistachio nuts and the slight sweetness of caramelized cauliflower complement this dramatic, crusted rack of lamb. Serve with your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or red blend.

Ingredients:

3 slices white sandwich style bread, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup shelled, roasted pistachios
¼ cup finely chopped parsley leaves
½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon salt
6 ounces carrots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups cauliflower florets
½ cup thinly sliced shallots
1 rack of lamb with 8 rib bones, Frenched
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard or other brown mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450° F.

Put the bread, pistachios, parsley, rosemary, thyme and the 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is finely ground. Scrape the mixture on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Slice the carrots at an angle, into ½ -inch pieces, and cut each piece in half lengthwise.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter, cauliflower, carrots and shallots. Stir to coat the vegetables, and then cook undisturbed for 3 minutes. Stir and turn the vegetables and cook them undisturbed for another 3 minutes. Stir and turn one more time. Remove from the heat and cover the pan.

Cut the lamb rack in half between the fourth and fifth ribs. Sprinkle the pieces generously with salt and pepper on all three surfaces.

Heat a medium, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the lamb, fat side down, and sear for 3 minutes. Turn both pieces and sear for 1 minute on each of the other two surfaces. Place the lamb on a roasting pan, fat side down, and roast for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and transfer the lamb to a plate. Brush all three surfaces of each piece with the mustard and coat generously with the pistachio mixture. Keep the leftover pistachio mixture on the baking sheet.

Return the lamb to the roasting pan, fat side up, and roast it for 3 minutes or until the coating is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Put the pan with the remaining pistachio mixture in the oven for 3 minutes to toast. Transfer the nuts to a small serving bowl.

Reheat the cauliflower and add salt and pepper to taste.

Using a very sharp knife, cut between the ribs to make 8 lamb chops.

To serve, arrange 2 chops on each plate with a serving of the cauliflower. Pass the toasted nuts for sprinkling.

Suggested Pairings:

Foot Path Winery ~ 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – An inviting wine with rich red berries and subtle tannins on the palate.

Leoness Cellars ~ 2011 VS Cabernet Sauvignon – Soft tannins along with layers of spice and cocoa continue into a rich, velvety finish.

Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery ~ 2011 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon “Sophia’s Vineyard – Bright dark fruit with black currant, raspberry and pepper nose and lingering black cherry.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2011 Sonata – Bouquet of toasted oak, vanilla, and dried cherries, amid layers of cherry, cranberry and spice with a hint of coffee on the finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

 

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