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SHRIMP FRIED RICE WITH ASPARAGUS, LEEKS, AND ALMONDS

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Shrimp Fried Rice

California asparagus make this stir-fry especially colorful, fresh, and fit for spring. For a vegetarian version, substitute firm tofu for the shrimp. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 for a side dish

Ingredients

1 dozen medium to large shrimp, about ½ pound (225 g), peeled and deveined
Kosher or sea salt
1/2 pound (225 g) medium asparagus
4 tablespoons (60 ml) peanut oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten with ¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups (200 g) thinly sliced leeks, white and pale green parts only
4 cups (1 l) cold cooked medium-grain rice
1/3 cup (35 g) toasted slivered almonds
1 tablespoon Chinese sesame oil with red chili
1 cup (15 g) whole cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish

Directions

Season the shrimp with ½ teaspoon salt and set aside.

To trim the asparagus, hold each spear horizontally between both hands and bend it. It will snap naturally at the point at which the spear becomes tough. Discard the tough ends. Slice the spears on the diagonal about ½-inch (1 cm) wide, leaving the tips whole.

Heat a wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates on contact. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until they just turn pink; leave them slightly underdone as they will cook further when stir-fried with the rice. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add the beaten eggs. They should sizzle and puff without browning. Let them set for about 10 seconds, then push any cooked egg to one side of the wok and let the uncooked egg pool in the center of the wok. Continue cooking, adjusting the heat to prevent browning and pushing cooked egg to one side until all of the egg has just barely set. The eggs should be moist and slightly runny as they will cook more when stir-fried with the rice. Scrape them onto a plate, chop very coarsely with a spatula, and wipe the wok clean.

Return the wok to high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add the asparagus and leeks. Season with salt. Stir-fry until the asparagus is almost tender, about 1-1/2 minutes. Return the shrimp to the skillet and give everything a toss, then add the rice. Season with more salt and stir-fry until the rice is hot throughout, about 1 minute. Add the cooked eggs, ¼ cup (30 g) almonds and the spicy sesame oil and toss briskly once or twice, then remove from the heat. Taste for salt. Add the cilantro and toss to distribute it, then transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish the top with more cilantro leaves and the remaining toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2016 Special Selection Chardonnay – This light, crisp Chardonnay opens with aromas of leafy pineapple and citrus fruits. The palate is lush with fresh tropical fruits, golden delicious apple with a tangy pineapple finish. 

Carter Estate Winery & Resort ~ 2017 Pinot Gris – Citrus notes are round and tropical, with delicate floral scents and ripe pear flavors: a wine of distinction.

Oak Mountain Winery ~ 2019 Chardonnay – You can pick up apple, pineapple, honey, vanilla, and roasted flavors that really fill the mouth. This chardonnay is lightly oaked with French oak imparting rich flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, creme brulee and caramel.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2019 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Grigio – Flavors of ripened pear, Granny Smith Apple and lemon zest along with a crisp, rich lingering finish.  

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Cheese & Salumi Board

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

Cheese & Salumi Board

Ahhh….the beloved cheese board! Add what you love; omit what you don’t. It’s yours to compose. Good cheese counters typically have many selections , like truffled cheeses, luscious triple-cream cheeses, and mini cheeses meant for two. Add roasted nuts, dried fruits, condiments, and crackers. You can purchase mixed nuts in honey but making your own is a cinch. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Rosé or Sparkling Wine.

Ingredients

Nuts in Honey:

  • ¼ cup (85 g) honey
  • 3 tablespoons mixed toasted nuts (walnut pieces, toasted almonds, pistachios)

If the honey is stiff, put the jar in a saucepan of barely simmering water over low heat until the honey liquefies enough to pour. In a small serving bowl, combine the honey and the nuts.

Suggested Cheeses:

  • Laura Chenel Aged Crottin
  • Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam
  • Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor

Accompaniments:

  • Crackers and flatbreads
  • Sliced baguette
  • Prosciutto di Parma, thinly sliced
  • Sopressatta, thinly sliced
  • Black and green olives
  • Dried apricots, Medjool dates, and other dried California fruits
  • Roasted pistachios in shell


Suggested Pairings:
Carter Estate Blanc de Noir Sparkling ~ Notes of strawberry and raspberry with a lovely structure that finishes off-dry with just the slightest hint of sweetness.
Hart Winery 2018 Rosé of Sangiovese ~ Lightly pink, near-dry, delicately scented and flavored Rose′ wine.
Miramonte Winery 2018 Rosé ~ Hints of watermelon, honeydew, sugar-dusted cantaloupe, fresh flowers, strawberry + watermelon candy and a sleek finish
Thornton Winery Brut Rosé ~ You’ll appreciate its complex aromas and flavors along with a lingering finish.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Dungeness Crab and Avocado Tostadas

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Dungeness Crab and Avocado Tostadas

Unlike the bean- and cheese-laden tostadas served in many restaurants, these are featherlight and heart healthy. The salad-like topping helps stretch the costly crabmeat, and you’ll save money by buying a cooked crab and extracting the meat yourself. Packaged tostada shells come in a variety of sizes; use any size you like. Serves 4

Ingredients
2⁄3 cup (130 g) finely diced tomato
1⁄3 cup (40 g) finely minced green onion, white and pale green part only
1⁄4 cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 serrano chile, finely minced
2 large, ripe avocados
2 limes, 1 halved, 1 quartered
Kosher or sea salt
8 corn tostada shells, about 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter
1 head pale, crisp romaine lettuce, about 6 ounces (185 g), halved lengthwise, then very thinly sliced crosswise
1⁄2 pound (250 g) Dungeness crabmeat
1⁄3 cup (75 g) crema (Mexican-style sour cream)
Mexican-style hot sauce or Tabasco sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the tomato, green onion, chopped cilantro, garlic, and as much of the minced chile as you like. Halve and pit the avocados, then scoop the flesh from the skin and add to the bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1∕2 lime over the avocado. Using a fork, mash the avocado coarsely, incorporating the other ingredients in the bowl as you work. Season with salt and add more juice from the other 1∕2 lime as needed to achieve a guacamole with good flavor.

Top the tostada shells with the guacamole, dividing it evenly and spreading it to the edges. Top each tostada with the romaine and then with the crab, dividing them evenly. Drizzle each tostada with 2 teaspoons crema. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately with the lime wedges and with the hot sauce, if desired.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery – 2016 Special Selection Chardonnay ~ Pairs with herb chicken, pork chop, grilled shrimp and pasta with cream & butter sauces.

Chapin Family Vineyards – 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ~ Pairs well with fish, salads, and soft cheeses.

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery – 2017 Sauvignon Blanc ~ A mouth-watering, deeply satisfying delight, with pleasant herbal and grapefruit aromas on the nose.

Wiens Family Cellars – 2018 Chardonnay ~ Green Apple, Meyer Lemon, Almond.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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GRASS-FED BURGER WITH AVOCADO AND CHIPOTLE MAYONNAISE

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Buttery avocados make any sandwich better, and they put this burger over the top. Grass-fed beef can be lean, but the sliced avocado and spicy chipotle mayonnaise ensure that this burger is a luscious, moist, flavor-packed experience. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Burgers:

  • 1 1⁄2 pounds (750 g) grass-fed ground beef chuck
  • Scant 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Chipotle Mayonnaise

  • 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) mayonnaise, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, if using store-bought mayonnaise
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated with a rasp grater or very finely minced
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons very finely minced chipotle chile in adobo, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 1 ripe but firm small avocado
  • 1⁄2 lime
  • About 1⁄2 cup (20 g) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 large, soft lettuce leaves


Directions:

Make the burgers: Put the beef in a bowl and add the salt, garlic powder, and several grinds of black pepper. Mix quickly with your hands; try not to overwork the mixture. Divide into four equal portions, each 6 ounces (185 g), and shape into balls. Flatten each ball into a round patty about 3∕4 inch (2 cm) thick. Make the patties a little thinner in the center. They shrink a bit when cooked, and this step ensures they will be of even thickness after cooking. Place them on a tray and refrigerate.

Make the mayonnaise: Put the mayonnaise in a small bowl. If it is store-bought, whisk in the olive oil to improve the flavor. Whisk in the garlic and chile. Taste and add more chile if you like. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the broiler. Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the patties and fry until nicely browned and done to your taste, flipping them with a spatula two or three times and adjusting the heat to keep them from getting too crusty on either side. For medium doneness, the total cooking time will be about 10 minutes.

Set the burgers aside on a platter to rest for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the buns, cut side up, under the broiler. Halve, pit, and peel the avocado and slice thinly.

Spread chipotle mayonnaise on both halves of the toasted buns. Top the bottom half of each bun with a burger. Divide the avocado slices evenly among the burgers. Sprinkle the avocado lightly with salt and a squeeze of lime. Top with a tuft of cilantro leaves, then with a lettuce leaf, and finally the top half of the bun. Cut in half with a serrated knife and serve immediately.

Suggested Pairings:

Baily Winery ~ 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – It offers warm, rich tones with subtle, herbaceous qualities and a hint of mint.
Miramonte Winery ~ 2015 Estate Syrah – Dusty boysenberry, wild cherry, fresh violet, sweet french oak, spiced mocha and a long graceful finish.
Oak Mountain Winery ~ 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Bold fruit flavors and subtle nuances of toffee, espresso and dark chocolate
Wilson Creek Winery ~ 2015 Family Reserve Syrah -Cedar and spice are prominent in the aroma of the wine whereas cherry and sour plums are revealed on the palate.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California.

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Breaking News & Chef-of-the-Month Recipe– Spring at Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Exciting news from the Temecula Valley Wine Country restaurant scene:  Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery, known for great wine country luncheons for the past ten years, is now open for dinner on Saturday evenings. Seating in the candlelit, European-inspired Bacchus Hall and the vineyard patio is available from 5pm- 8:30pm. Appetizers, wine, beer, and wine cocktails are offered from 3pm- 5pm between lunch and dinner hours. Entertainment will be provided by singer and guitarist Chuck Sacayan, so be sure to check it out! In the meantime, here’s one of Carol’s springtime recipes:

Meyer Lemon Mousse

¼ cup butter

3 eggs

¾ cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice

½ cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

Lemon zest

Melt butter and cool.  Whisk lemon juice and sugar in top of double boiler.  Add in eggs one at a time, drizzle in butter.  Cook about eight-ten minutes until thickened.  Strain and refrigerate until chilled.  Whip cream and gently fold into chilled lemon mixture. Spoon or pipe into serving cups or glasses. Garnish with lemon zest, whipped cream and fresh berries if you wish.

Reservations recommended. Please call (951) 676-9243. For more information, please visit Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery.

* Baily Winery is located at 33440 La Serena Way at the corner of Rancho California Road.

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