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HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND BLACK OLIVE TART

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Heirloom Tomato & Black Olive Tart

Make this colorful savory tart in late summer when tomatoes are at their flavor peak. Serve in thin slices as an appetizer or in bigger portions with a side salad for lunch. The tart also works nicely as a side dish for a roast leg of lamb or roast chicken. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Zinfandel.

Makes one 9-inch tart to serve 6 to 8 

Ingredients

Tart dough 

  • 1 cup (125 g) unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  • ½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, in 16 pieces
  • 1-1/2 pounds (680 g) heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced ¼ inch (6 mm) thick, ends discarded 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt 
  • 1 dozen kalamata or black olives, pitted and halved 
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled fine 
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) goat cheese, at room temperature 
  • 2 tablespoon plain yogurt, or as needed 
  • 1 small clove garlic, very finely minced 
  • Basil leaves for garnish 

Directions

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over the mixture and pulse until it begins to come together into a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and, using the plastic wrap as a barrier to avoid touching the dough, shape the dough into a ball. Wrap in the plastic, then flatten into a thick round disk. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Unwrap the dough and place it in the center of a 9-inch (23-cm) tart pan with a removeable bottom. (Do not use a black metal tart pan or the dough will likely overbrown.) Again, using the plastic wrap as a barrier to avoid touching the dough, press the dough with your hand to flatten it until it covers the bottom and sides of the tart tin. You should have just enough dough to make a thin crust with no trim. Take care to make the dough evenly thick or it may burn in spots. Prick the tart shell with a fork in several places. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place a sheet of aluminum foil in the tart shell to cover the bottom and top with pie weights or dried beans in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pie weights and the foil. Return the tart pan to the oven and continue baking until the crust is lightly browned all over, about 15 minutes longer. Set on a rack; leave the oven on.

While the tart crust bakes, place the tomato slices on a double thickness of paper towels. Sprinkle evenly with the salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Pat the surface with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Transfer the slices to a cutting board and cut them in half, taking care to preserve their shape.

Arrange the tomato slices in the baked tart crust in concentric circles, working from the outside in and overlapping the slices. You should be able to fit all or most of the slices but reserve any extra for a salad. Tuck the olive halves into any crevices. Brush the surface with olive oil and scatter the oregano over the top. Return the tart to the oven and bake until the tomatoes are soft and sizzling, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. The tart is best when warm, not hot.

In a small bowl, blend the goat cheese and yogurt until very smooth. Add more yogurt if needed to create a sauce you can drizzle. Add the garlic (use less, if you prefer) and salt to taste.

Remove the tart from the tin and place on a serving platter. Drizzle with the goat cheese mixture and top with a few torn leaves of basil. Serve warm.

Suggested Pairings:

Doffo Winery ~ 2017 Zinfandel – This Zinfandel is sure to delight the senses with aromas of plum, raspberry, figs, and cherries. 

Hart Winery ~ Huis Vineyard Zinfandel – This fruity, classic Zin has been aged 12 months in premium American oak and blend with a kiss of Petite Sirah. 

Leoness Cellars ~ 2017 Cellar Series Zinfandel – This wine offers rich aromas and flavors of blackberry and blueberry with hints of vanilla and lavender framed by soft tannins and a long, silky finish.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ 2014 Wild Horse Peak Zinfandel – Rich berry fruit and peppery notes with delicate caramel and chocolate.

Recipe & photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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ALMOND MERINGUE TORTE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND RICOTTA CREAM

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

Almond Meringue Torte

Like strawberry shortcake but more elegant, this layered dessert needs to rest for a few hours before slicing to soften the crunchy meringue. It keeps for about a day so you can serve half for dinner and enjoy the other half for a decadent breakfast the next morning. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Muscat/Moscato or Riesling.

Serves 8

Ingredients
Meringue:

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 tablespoons (45 g) finely ground toasted almonds (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour


Filling:

  • ¾ pound (350 g) whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream, whipped to firm peaks
  • ¾ pound (350 g) strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground raw (unroasted) pistachios, for garnish
  • Mint sprig and sliced strawberry, optional garnish


Directions

Make the meringue: Preheat two ovens to 350°F (180°C) or position two racks in the upper third and bottom third of one oven. Line two heavy rimmed baking sheets with parchment and trace three 7-1/2-inch (19-cm) circles on the paper in pencil, two circles on one sheet and one on the other. Flip the parchment over so the batter will not touch the pencil marks.

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the egg whites and salt on medium-high speed until foamy. Add the sugar gradually, then the almond extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then raise the speed to high and whip until the sugar has completely dissolved and the meringue stands in firm peaks when the whisk is lifted.

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Gently fold in the almonds, then the butter, then the flour.

Divide the mixture evenly among the traced circles and spread into evenly thick 7-1/2-inch (19-cm) rounds. Bake until golden-brown and no longer sticky to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. If you are using one oven, shift the position of the baking sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and lift the parchment sheets onto a cooling rack. When the meringue tortes are completely cool, carefully peel away the parchment. Don’t worry if they stick a little bit.

Make the filling: In a food processor, blend the ricotta, sugar, brandy, and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and gently fold in the whipped cream.

In a bowl, combine the strawberries, sugar, and brandy. Toss gently and let stand 5 minutes.

Place one meringue on a cake stand or platter that will fit in the refrigerator. Top with one-third of the ricotta filling, spreading it evenly to the edges. Arrange half of the berries in an even layer on top of the ricotta. Top with another and half of the remaining ricotta filling, spreading it to the edges. Top the ricotta with the remaining berries in an even layer, then place the third macaroon on top. Spread the remaining ricotta filling on top of the torte, then cover with a cake dome and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.

Just before serving, garnish the top with the ground pistachios and, if desired, with a mint sprig and sliced strawberry.

NOTE: Toast whole raw almonds in a 325°F (160°C) oven until golden inside, about 25 minutes. Let cool, then grind fine in a nut grinder or food processor.

Suggested Pairings:

Baily Winery ~ 2017 Riesling – This cool and crisp white wine is perfect on a summer day, enjoy it poolside with friends and family!

Europa Village ~ 2016 Muscat Canelli – Aromas and flavors of peach, apricot and orange blossom with a nicely balanced residual sugar.

Maurice Car’rie Winery ~ 2017 Moscato – 100% Muscat Canelli, shows delicious floral and fruity flavors of mango, peach and apricot.

Somerset Winery ~ 2019 Riesling – This beautifully light and aromatic wine is floral on the nose and offers notes of spicy cinnamon, baked apples, kiwi and pears.


Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


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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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Holiday Spiced Mulled Wine

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Spiced Mulled Wine

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.

Ingredients:

4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle of your favorite Temecula Valley red wine
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Directions:

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve. Paskolos smulkiajam ir vidutiniam verslui, greitieji kreditai internetu visą parą bedarbiams, automobiliui be užstato su vekseliu, Luminor ir SEB bankų vartojimo paskolos būstui https://paskolos-internetu.eu

Recipe courtesy of the Food Network/Ina Garten

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SEARED DUCK BREASTS WITH PORT AND CHERRY SAUCE

Friday, November 1st, 2019

Seared Duck Breasts with Port and Sherry Sauce

Cooking duck breasts slowly, skin side down, helps eliminate almost every speck of fat. After about 20 minutes, the skin will be crisp and the flesh as rosy and tender as a fine steak. A silky port and cherry sauce makes this a restaurant-caliber dish. Serve with wild rice and your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. Serves 4

Ingredients
Seasoning Rub:
8 juniper berries
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 boneless duck breasts, about 1⁄2 pound (250 g) each

Sauce:
1 cup (250 ml) Zinfandel Port or Ruby Port
1 shallot, minced
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 strip orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
24 cherries, pitted and halved
1⁄2 cup (125 ml) strong chicken broth, reduced from 1 cup (250 ml)
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions
Make the seasoning rub: Put the juniper berries, thyme, salt, and peppercorns in a mortar or spice grinder and grind to a powder. Duck breasts vary tremendously in size; scale up the spice rub if the breasts you buy are considerably larger.

Slash the skin of each breast in a crosshatch pattern, stopping short of the flesh. (The slashes help render the fat.) Sprinkle the seasoning rub evenly onto both sides of each breast. Put the breasts on a flat rack and set the rack inside a tray. Refrigerate uncovered for 24 to 36 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Choose a heavy frying pan large enough to accommodate all the duck breasts comfortably. (If necessary to avoid crowding, use two frying pans.) Put the breasts, skin side down, in the unheated frying pan and set over medium-low heat. Cook until the skin is well browned and crisp, about 15 minutes, frequently pouring off the fat until the skin no longer renders much. (Reserve the fat for frying potatoes, if you like.)

Turn the duck breasts and continue cooking flesh side down, turning the breasts with tongs to sear all the exposed flesh, until the internal temperature registers 125°F (52°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the breasts to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

While the duck cooks, make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the port, shallot, thyme, orange zest, vinegar, and half of the cherries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until reduced to 3∕4 cup (180 ml). Add the broth and sugar and simmer until the liquid has again reduced to 3∕4 cup (180 ml). Remove from the heat and, with tongs, lift out the thyme sprigs and orange zest and discard.

Puree the sauce in a blender. Set a very fine-mesh sieve over the saucepan and pass the sauce through the sieve, pressing on the solids with a rubber spatula. Return to medium heat, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until reduced to 1∕2 cup (125 ml). Stir in the remaining cherries and remove from the heat. Add the butter and swirl the saucepan until the butter melts.

Slice the duck on the diagonal. Spoon some of the sauce on each of four dinner plates, dividing it evenly. Top with the sliced duck. Serve immediately.

Suggested Pairings:

Baily Winery 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Offers warm, rich tones with subtle, herbaceous qualities and a hint of mint.

Leoness Cellars 2016 Cellar Selection Cabernet Sauvignon – Bursting with aromas of black currant, blackberry and boysenberry fruit layered with subtle notes of vanilla, black licorice and sweet oak.

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery – Van Roekel Estate 2014 Merlot – Brings cherry, clove and cinnamon on the nose, with subtle hints of orange blossom.

Thornton Winery 2014 Merlot – Cherry, black berry currant and blueberry notes along with a fruit-driven entry that is complemented by oak barrels from France, Eastern Europe and North America.

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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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: Grilled Salmon with Easy Lemon-Dill Sauce and Asparagus

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Grilled Salmon with Easy Lemon-Dill Sauce and Asparagus

Recipe Courtesy of Wilson Creek Winery

Perfect for warm summer nights, this weekday meal is simple, quick and balanced. It has a lightness and lemony tang that refreshes and doesn’t weigh down the palate.

Pair this dish with…

While Wilson Creek pairs this with their Family Reserve Syrah, if you’re looking for a white – try a Sauvignon Blanc! Top choices include Callaway’s 2010 Special Selection Sauvignon Blanc or Falkner’s 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients:

2.5 lbs. fresh wild salmon fillets or steaks
1 lb. fresh asparagus
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons of fresh dill
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon

Directions:

Prepare a charcoal or gas-fired grill. If using a charcoal grill, group hot coals on one side of the grill base. Chop dill.  Remove woody end of asparagus by cutting off last inch of the stalk or snapping at the base. Season salmon generously on both sides with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place asparagus onto a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil and juice from half the lemon, and turn with tongs to coat evenly. Place salmon directly over hot coals or on lowest shelf of charcoal grill for 2 minutes to sear, then move to a higher shelf (gas grill) or across from the coals (charcoal grill). Piliarožės kaimo turizmo sodybos nuoma netoli Kauno Add asparagus with salmon on the grill and cook covered for about 10 minutes (five minutes on each side, depending on thickness of salmon.) For best results, do not cook past medium.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add sour cream, dill, paprika, salt & pepper and juice from 1/2 lemon and mix thoroughly. After salmon and asparagus have been removed from the grill and cooled slightly, pour lemon-dill sauce over salmon as well as over asparagus if desired, and garnish with fresh lemon and dill sprigs.

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Wine Country Recipe: BBQ Burgers from Ponte Winery

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Simple Grilled Burgers with Ponte’s Secret Sauce

Ponte Family Estate is well-loved for their delicious al fresco restaurant so we asked them for a great grill recipe for summer. Here’s an interesting twist on an American classic – the cheeseburger.  And the best part about this burger recipe is it’s simplicity. This is an easy dish to prep and grill with the family for 4th of July weekend.  Pair with a light white wine – and sparkling lemonade for the kids!

Make the burgers using classic ingredients:

  • Ground beef (medium) or turkey patties (well-done)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pickles
  • Cheddar cheese (1-2 slices)
  • A bun, lightly grilled
  • Special Sauce (see below)

 

Measure the following ingredients by taste to make the special sauce:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Mild curry spice
  • Dash of salt

 

*Pair with Ponte Winery’s Isabel 2010, a light and delicate summer white.

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