Posts Tagged ‘chef-of-the-month recipe’

Cougar Vineyard & Winery: Summer Recipe

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Antipasto Pasta Salad

Provided by Cougar Vineyard & Winery owners Rick & Jennifer Buffington

*Pair with Cougar Vineyard & Winery Estate Sangiovese


Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-5

1/2 pound rotini or fusilli (corkscrew-shaped pastas)
1 garlic clove
1/2 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 ounce (1/4 cup) sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and drained well
1/4 pound smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 ounces canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1 1/4 ounces sliced hard salami, cut into julienne strips
5 to 10 bottled small pepperoncini (pickled Tuscan peppers)
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves, minced


In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the rotini until it is tender and drain. Refresh the pasta under cold water and drain well.

In a blender blend the garlic, the mustard, the vinegars, the water, the oil, and salt, to taste, until the dressing is emulsified.

In a very large bowl toss the pasta well with the dressing and stir in the sun-dried tomatoes, the mozzarella, the garbanzos, the salami, the Tuscan peppers, the red pepper flakes, and the parsley.

Chill the salad, covered, for 1 hour. The salad may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.


Cougar Vineyards is located at 39870 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA 92592

Open daily 11-6pm




Restaurant at Ponte: Summer Recipe

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

From The Restaurant at Ponte

Grilled Salmon with Tropical Relish

Recipe provided by Executive Chef, Vincent Logan

*Recommended Pairing: Viognier, Pinot Grigio, Tempranillo

Serves 6


½ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup red bell pepper, diced
½ tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 cup mango, diced
1 cup papaya, diced
1 cup grilled pineapple, diced
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon salad oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
(6) 5-ounce salmon fillets
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons thyme, chopped
6 sprigs cilantro

To make the relish, combine all diced ingredients in a bowl.  Add the juice of one lime, salad oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Rub salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the herb mixture.  Place salmon on a high-heat grill, turn every 2 ½ minutes, for a total of 10 minutes.  Remove salmon from grill and plate, topping each piece with the tropical relish and a cilantro sprig garnish.


The Restaurant at Ponte is located at:

35053 Rancho California Road, Temecula CA 92591

(951) 694-8855 | (877) 314-WINE





Chef-of-the-Month Recipe with Callaway’s Michael Henry

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Chef Michael Henry, Executive Chef of Meritage Restaurant at Callaway Vineyards and Winery, has kindly offered to share this delicious Basil and Chardonnay Cured Salmon recipe for our readers. Chef Henry’s goal for Meritage Restaurant is to create diverse, seasonal menus that accentuate Callaway’s long history of fine Temecula wine. By using local,sustainable, and organic ingredients, Chef Henry produces fresh tapas, salads and entreés with a Mediterranean flair.

Popular menu items  include:

  • Grilled Wild Shrimp Kebob with Tempura Portobello Mushroom
  • Basil Fried Rice and Mint and Wasabi Aioli
  • Grilled Hangar Steak with Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Butter, Fries and Watercress.

The cuisine is based on the “small plate” concept of big flavor and variety, with menu selections being paired with the best of what Callaway Winery offers. Take a look and try out this scrumptious recipe to get a small taste of the big flavors that you could experience at Meritage Restaurant!

Basil and Chardonnay Cured Salmon

1 side (or piece) of filleted, skin on salmon, no scales or pin bones
Kosher salt
Cracked Pepper
Coriander Seeds
Cane Sugar
2008 Callaway Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay
Fresh Basil Leaves

Basically, curing salmon, or anything for that matter, derived as a food preservation method
started by necessity before refrigeration. We are going to use a modern approach to a very old food
tradition. You want to use salmon that is either wild( seasonal) or properly farm raised (available
year round). The extra money for a better quality fish is well worth it.

1) To cure to the salmon, procure a tray that the fish can fit in. Take the salmon filet, skin side up,
and place in the tray. Pour a bit of Chardonnay onto the fish. Let sit in the refrigerator for about 2
hours. This is only to impart a bit of acidity to the fish.

2) In the meantime, ground the pepper and coriander, reserve a bit of both, then mix the rest with
the salt and sugar. Roughly for every cup of salt you will use a tablespoon of sugar. Add lots of fresh
basil leaves to the salt mix. The salt mix will cure the salmon by drawing out the liquid.

3) Alright, remove the salmon filet from the wine, and pat dry. Season the filet with the reserved
coriander and pepper. Again place the salmon filet in a tray and coat very generously with the salt
mix. Totally packed in with salt from top to bottom. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the
salt packed fish. Place in the refrigerator.

4) Basically at this point you don’t need to do anything else. The salt will draw the juice from the
salmon and become “cooked”. The basil and aromatics will infuse in the salmon. As the fish cures
you will notice liquid forming in the tray, carefully discard the liquid with a spoon. Repack the salt
onto the fish as needed also.

5) Curing time for a whole side of fish can take up to 4 or 5 days. For a small filet it can take about
2 days. After you feel comfortable that the fish is cured, it will be firm to the touch, remove the
salt, rinse with cold water and pat dry. The fish will be very salty the first day, then the saltiness
will fade the next. Slice the fish very thin when serving. Eat on pizza, with eggs, salads, on
sandwiches. It is a very versatile preparation, healthy, flavorful and eats well with a glass of wine.

Meritage at Callaway is open daily for lunch from 11am-4pm and open Friday and Saturday for dinner from 5pm-9pm.

To make a reservation for this unique dining experience, please visit the Meritage Restaurant at Callaway’s webpage to submit your reservation request. A member of Meritage at Callaway will confirm your reservation shortly by phone and/or email.


Chef-of-the-Month Recipe

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Open since 2006, The Pinnacle at Falkner Winery offers great panoramic views, outstanding Mediterranean-style food, and high-quality service. This beautiful restaurant is open for lunch 7 days a week and was also awarded “Best Restaurant of 2008” from Inland Empire Magazine!


Courtesy of Chef Gianni Ciciliot


pork sirloin, lightly breaded


balsamic vinegar

For whole-grain mustard sauce: 1 ounce of chopped shallots, 1 ounce of chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons of whole-grain mustard, ½ cup white wine, 1 ounce of golden raisins, ½ cup of chicken stock, 3 tablespoons of olive oil


Sauté shallots, garlic, and raisins on medium heat in oil until soft.  Add white wine and reduce by half.  Add chicken stock, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 3 mins.  Add mustard, salt, and pepper to taste.  Pan saute breaded pork loin until medium, about 4 minutes on each side. Pour mustard sauce on top and serve with grilled asparagus glazed with balsamic vinegar.  Enjoy!


The Pinnacle is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30am to 3:30pm and Friday through Sunday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Reservations can be made online or by calling 951-676-8231 x1.

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