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

Monday, January 12th, 2015

HERB_PISTACHIO_RACK_OF_LAMB_WINE_MArmendariz_cWine-Institute_resized

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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Wine Country Recipe ~ Wild Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Wild Mushroom Soup

There’s nothing better than a hot bowl of soup on a chilly winter evening.  This hearty, earthy, woodsy, robust soup is a meal in itself.  Serve with your favorite Temecula Valley wine.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
3 cups thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced trumpet mushrooms (caps and stems)
1 cup bite-sized pieces of chanterelle, porcini or oyster mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced shitake mushrooms (caps only)
4 cups beef stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour, mixed with 2 tablespoons water
salt and ground black pepper

For the croutons:

4 cups bite-sized cubes of rustic bread
1/4 cup  finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

For the soup:
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot, over medium-high heat, until the butter begins to sizzle.  Add the shallots and garlic.  Cook for 1 minute until the garlic is slightly browned.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until tender.  Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cream and bring to a simmer again.  Stir in the flour mixture and simmer for 3 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve the soup hot, topped with croutons.

For the croutons:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Put the bread, Parmesan and thyme in a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss until combined.  Spread on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for ten minutes.

Serves 4 to 6

Suggested Pairings:

Bel Vino Winery ~ 2010 Merlot – Medium to dark color presents aromas of cloves, cassis, with dark and jammy fruits.

Longshadow Ranch Winery ~ Merlot (unfiltered) – An extraordinary red the way it was meant to be.  Gorgeous and full of life with a fruit forward finish.

Mount Palomar Winery ~ 2011 Merlot – Scents of daisy, cocoa, cherry and prominent tastes of plum and black pepper.

Oak Mountain Winery ~ 2011 Merlot – Soft nose, with flavors of raspberry, blackberry, and plum with abundant smoky oak.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe: Roasted Duck Leg with Black Currant Sauce and Roasted Turnips

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Roasted Duck Leg

A tart, slightly sweet currant sauce complements and adds bright flavors to these crispy duck legs and roasted turnips.  Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

4 (8-ounce) duck legs, skin on, excess fat removed
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
2 medium turnips (about 10 ounces), peeled and each cut into ten wedges
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup black currant preserves
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the upper and lower third.  Sprinkle both sides of the duck legs generously with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking.  Add the duck legs, skin side down, and sear for 4 minutes.  Turn the legs and sear 1 minute.

Transfer the duck to a medium roasting pan, skin side up.  (Reserve the duck fat in the skillet for later use.)  Cover the pan and roast the duck for 1 hour on the upper rack.  Uncover and roast for an additional 15 minutes.  While the duck is roasting, spread the turnips in a single layer, in another roasting pan. Drizzle the turnips with 2 tablespoons of the reserved duck fat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the remaining teaspoon of thyme leaves.

About 35 minutes before the duck is done, put the turnips in the oven, on the lower rack, so that the duck and the turnips will be ready at the same time.  When the duck is ready, let it rest while you make the sauce.

To make the sauce, remove all but 1 tablespoon of duck fat from the skillet used for searing. (If there is less than 1 tablespoon left, just use what is left.)  Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and cook and stir for 30 seconds.  Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer for 1 minute.  Add the black currant preserves and water and simmer for 30 seconds.  Turn off heat and whisk in the butter.  To serve, spoon the desired amount of sauce on 2 plates and top with 2 duck legs.  Arrange the turnips next to the duck.

Pairing Suggestions:

Chapin Family Vineyards ~ 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Rich, concentrated layers of vanilla, chocolate, roasted coffee and clover.

Doffo Winery ~ 2012 Zinfandel ~ A heartfelt wine which embodies all of the Doffo family’s passion and experience.

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery ~ 2011 Solo-Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Solo can save any occasion with its super powerful dark cherry and green bell pepper and captivating ruby color.

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery ~ 2011 Zinfandel ~ Rich fruit aromas of blackberry and plum coupled with a slight spiciness of black pepper.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Wine Institute of California.

 

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Wine Country Recipe: Crab Stuffed Lettuce Wraps

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Recipe provided by Cougar Vineyard & Winery

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Here in Temecula Valley Wine Country, we’re still seeing the warm days of summer, along with cool, crisp evenings…..just the kind of weather that makes the grapes in the vineyard happy!  If you are looking for a light, refreshing dish to serve on a warm summer afternoon, look no further….we’ve got it for you!

Ingredients:

3 (6-ounce) tubs fresh lump crab meat
1 1/2 cups chili sauce
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
Approximately 1 tablespoon hot sauce (per your taste)
Approximately 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (per your taste)
3 ribs celery from the heart with their greens, cut into chunks
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chunked
1 clove garlic, cracked from skin
1 medium yellow onion, cut into chunks
Coarse salt and black pepper
Oyster crackers, for garnish
1 large head iceberg lettuce, cut into 6 wedges

Place crab in a bowl and run fingers through it to check for pieces of shell.  Break up crab a bit with fingertips, but leave several large pieces.  Add chili sauce, lemon zest and juice, parsley, hot sauce and Worcestershire to the bowl and toss to combine.

In a food processor, process the chopped veggies into small bits by hitting pulse several times. Line a plate with a few sheets of paper towel.  Scrape veggies onto towel to remove liquids.  Transfer chopped celery, pepper, garlic and onions to the crab.  Stir to combine veggies and season the salad with coarse salt and pepper to taste.  Place crab salad in a serving bowl and top with crackers.  Surround the salad with lettuce “cups”.  Spoon the salad into the crunchy pieces of iceberg as you eat.

Pair with Cougar Vineyard & Winery “Bubbly”

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Wine Country Recipe: Summertime Sippin’ Sangria

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Sangria

This easy, summer cocktail made with wine, is perfect for big summer parties or an intimate get-together.  Although, as festive and refreshing as Sangria is, it’s always a favorite, so you may consider doubling the recipe!  And remember, the longer your batch of Sangria sits, the better the flavor will be.  Enjoy!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Bottle of your favorite Temecula Valley red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel or Syrah)
1 Lemon cut into wedges
1 Orange cut into wedges
1 Lime cut into wedges
2 Tbsp sugar
Splash of orange juice or lemonade
2 Shots of gin or triple sec (optional)
1 Cup of raspberries or strawberries (may use thawed or frozen)
1 Small can of diced pineapples (with juice)
4 Cups ginger ale

Preparation:

Pour wine into a large pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon, orange and lime into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and pineapple then add sugar, orange juice and gin. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale, berries and ice just before serving. If you’d like to serve right away, use chilled red wine and serve over lots of ice. However, remember that the best Sangria is chilled around 24 hours in the refrigerator;  allowing the flavors to really marinate into each other.

Here are a few Temecula Valley Wine suggestions to use for your Sangria:

Baily Winery ~ 2009 Merlot – Rich balance of fruit, silky tannins and just a touch of spice.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2011 Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon – Dark fruit aromas of cassis, blackberry and black cherry laced with Madagascar vanilla.

Leoness Cellars ~ 2011 Zinfandel – Flavors of sweet blackberry and plum framed by soft tannins and a long, silky finish.

Thornton Winery ~ 2011 Estate Syrah – Berry and plum aromas, aged in limited new oak.

Recipe adapted from Stacy Slinkard on wine.about.com

 

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Wine Country Recipe: Red Wine-Raspberry Sorbet

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Red Wine Sorbet

There’s nothing better than a light, refreshing sorbet on a hot summer afternoon.  This sorbet is the best of both worlds; raspberries and your favorite Temecula Valley red wine!  Welcome to summer and enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 bottle (750 ml) fruity red wine, such as Merlot, Zinfandel or Beaujolais
3 cups raspberries

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water and red wine to a boil and let boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Remove from heat and add the raspberries.  Cover and let steep for 1 hour.

To purée the berries and remove the seeds, using a rubber spatula, press the mixture through a mesh strainer set over a medium bowl or pass it through a food mill fitted with a fine disk into a medium bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Variation: For a lighter-tasting sorbet, use rosé in place of the red wine.

Tip: You can use frozen raspberries in this recipe.  There’s no need to thaw the berries before adding them to the warm wine.

Makes about 1 quart

Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Merlot or Zinfandel; or here are some additional pairing suggestions:

Merlot:
Longshadow Ranch Winery – Gorgeous and full of life with a fruit forward finish.
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa –  Blueberries and rose petals mingle with a rich chocolate, coffee earthiness that is warmed with French oak.
Wilson Creek Winery– Rich garnet red wine with earthy aromas of smoke,leather, spice and sweet pipe tobacco. Flavors of plum and spice play lightly on the palate.

Zinfandel:
Briar Rose Winery – Medium bodied wine with red fruit characters of blackberry, boysenberry and black cherry.
Foot Path Winery – This is not a dry Zin. It maintains about .5% residual sugar.
Wiens Family Cellars – Raspberry jam, red cherries and a hint of minerality

Recipe adapted from “Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes” by David Lebovitz
Photo credit: Maren Caruso

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Wine Country Recipe: Grapefruit Curd for Breakfast or Dessert

Monday, March 10th, 2014

 Recipe courtesy of Europa Village Winery and Chef Dean Thomas, Inn at Europa Village


This Grapefruit Curd one of the classic breakfast starts at The Inn at Europa and is also great for a light spring dessert.

Europa Village Garnacha Rosa is a perfect pairing with the slight dry-sweet approach to offset the tartness and burnt sugar flavors.

Ingredients:

2 each Ruby Pink Grapefruit, zest & juiced

1/2 tsp cornstarch

1/2 cup sugar

1 whole egg

4 each egg yolk

3 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 piece banana, 2 whole bananas

8 tbsp Sugar in the Raw

1/2 pint seasonal berries

8 each Pink Grapefruit Supremes (segments)

Sprinkle of local bee pollen (optional)

Method of Preparation:

  1. Using a stainless steel sauce pan, mix the cornstarch and sugar together. Add the grapefruit juice and zest. Bring to a simmer.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whip the egg and egg yolks.  Slowly add the cooked grapefruit-sugar mix while whipping to temper the eggs (do not cook to scramble.) Add the two ingredients together; remove from the stove and finish with the butter. Cover and chill.
  3. For service, place 2 tablespoons of the curd onto a plate. Top with the quartered banana and sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw on top. Using a flame torch, burn the sugar until completely dark and slightly smoking. Garnish with seasonal berries, grapefruit segments and bee pollen.

Bon Appetit!

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Wine Country Recipe: Honey-Brined Tuscan Herb Turkey Paired with Chardonnay

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Courtesy of Oak Mountain Winery, Temecula Valley CA

Serves: 12-20
Cook Time: 2-3 hours
Pair with a bottle of Oak Mountain Winery’s 2012 Chardonnay

Wine Country Recipe: Honey-Brined Tuscan Herb Turkey

Ingredients:

 

For the turkey:

Fresh or frozen turkey – giblets removed

8 quarts of water

2 cups of Kosher salt

4 cups chicken stock

1 cup Temecula or local honey

 

For the rub:

4 teaspoons of ground black pepper

10 cloves of garlic

1 bunch of fresh thyme and sage

2 lemons

4 tablespoons of Oak Mountain Winery’s Tuscan Herb Avocado Oil

 

Directions:

Rinse turkey with running water and remove neck and giblets. Prepare brine by mixing honey, water, and salt in a large bowl until salt dissolves. Add chicken stock and stir. Line stock pot or use a brining bag and place turkey inside. Cover with brine and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hrs.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove turkey from brine. Pat dry.  Place turkey on roasting pan, breast side up. Cover wings with foil.

Squeeze lemon into turkey cavity. Add thyme, sage, and squeezed lemons inside cavity. Coat inside and outside of turkey with Tuscan Herb Avocado Oil  and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Oak Mountain Winery’s Tuscan Herb Avocado Oil gives a lovely crispness and flavor to the skin of this juicy holiday turkey.

Insert oven thermometer into thigh or breast. Loosely cover with foil and cook until thermometer reaches 160 degrees, remove foil and cook until thermometer reaches 170 degrees.  Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Enjoy!

For more Temecula wine country recipes, click here.

 

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Wine Country Recipe: Summer Cobb Salad with Easy Ranch Dressing

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Summer Cobb Salad with Simple Ranch Dressing

Recipe courtesy of Cougar Winery’s new Sangio’s Italian Delicheck out their menu here!

Pairs perfectly with Cougar Winery’s Montes Blush

Serves 1-2 people | Prep time: 20 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

2 large handfuls of spring mix
3 strips of bacon
3 oz pre-cooked turkey breast
1 hard boiled egg
1 handful of cherry tomatoes
3 oz blue cheese
3 oz kalamata olives
3 oz ranch dressing

Cook the bacon in a skillet on medium heat until crisp on both sides. Remove from skillet and lay out on paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Allow the bacon to cool. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Place the spring mix in a large salad bowl.

Compose the salad. Arrange the turkey, bacon, tomato, and sliced hard boiled egg decoratively over the greens and garnish the salad with the kalamata olives and the blue cheese.

Serve ranch dressing separately or toss in with the salad. Enjoy with a glass of Cougar Vineyard & Winery Sangio Rosso.

Easy Ranch Dressing

Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients (Serves 8)

  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives
  • 1 cup (real) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • buttermilk (as needed to desired consistency)

Optional Ingredients

  • white vinegar (to taste)
  • Worcestershire sauce, (to taste)
  • fresh dill (to taste)
  • cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • paprika (to taste)
  • fresh oregano (to taste)
  • Tabasco (to taste)

Preparation Instructions

Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoons of salt on it and mash it into a paste with a fork. Chop the parsley, chives and any of the optional herbs very finely and add to the garlic.

In a bowl or a blender, combine all ingredients, adding other optional ingredients as you wish, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving; thin with milk or buttermilk if desired.

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Wine Country Recipe: Osso Bucco de Pollo

Friday, June 14th, 2013

Osso Bucco De Pollo

Recipe courtesy of South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, The Vineyard Rose Restaurant

 

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 green and 5 black olives roughly chopped
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 chicken drumsticks small and frenched (3 ounces each)
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

 

Instructions

  1. In a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, chicken broth, carrot, celery, onion, thyme, olives, 1 teaspoon garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Snuggle the chicken drums into the vegetable mixture.
  3. Cover and cook on low until the chicken and vegetables are tender, about 4 hours.
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken drums to a serving dish. Discard the thyme sprigs.
  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining teaspoon of garlic, chile flake and chopped parsley.
  7. Stir half the parsley mixture into the vegetables.
  8. Top the chicken with the vegetables and remaining parsley mixture and serve.

 

Serve with your choice of South Coast wine:
2009 South Coast Winery Wild Horse Peak Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay
2008 South Coast Winery Wild Horse Peak Mountain Vineyard Syrah

 

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