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Posts Tagged ‘temecula wine country recipes’

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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Dungeness Crab Frittata

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Planning a brunch for Mother’s Day? This recipe would be a hit with Mom! Slice this frittata into thin wedges for a passed hors d’oeuvre or serve more generous portions with a tuft of salad as a first course. To dress it up, top wedges with a dollop of crème fraîche and California sturgeon caviar. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay or Sparkling Wine.


Serves 6

Ingredients
½ pound (250 g) fingerling potatoes
1-1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
¼ pound fresh Dungeness crabmeat

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Put the potatoes in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, season with salt, and turn to coat with the oil and salt. Bake until tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, then slice into ½-inch (12 mm) pieces. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).

In a bowl, whisk the eggs with ½ teaspoon salt, several grinds of pepper, and the dill and chives. Stir in the crabmeat and potatoes, reserving a few larger pieces of crab for placing on the surface of the frittata later.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. When it is hot, add the egg mixture and use a rubber spatula to distribute the crab and potato evenly. Cook without stirring for about 2 minutes, until the eggs begin to set, then place the reserved chunks of crabmeat on top. Continue cooking without stirring until the frittata is about two-thirds set, with some patches of liquid egg on the surface. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the surface is firm to the touch, about 6 minutes longer.

Remove from the oven and slide the frittata onto a cutting board. Let rest at least 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped dill, then slice into wedges and serve. The frittata is best warm, not hot.

Pairing Suggestions:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2016 Special Selection Chardonnay – The palate is lush with fresh tropical fruits, golden delicious apple with a tangy pineapple finish.

Carter Estate Winery & Resort ~ 2014 Blanc De Blanc Sparkling – The 2014 Blanc de Blanc is brimming with fresh apple and delicate floral aromas; a hint of oak shows in the background with a nuance of vanilla, toasty cookie and a rich yeasty character.

Oak Mountain Winery ~ 2018 Chardonnay – This chardonnay is lightly oaked with French oak imparting rich flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, creme brulee and caramel.

Thornton Winery ~ NV Brut Sparkling Wine – The Thornton NV Brut has a lot of finesse— apple, pear and tropical aromas meld with toasty yeast flavors, while the finish is long and creamy.

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LITTLE GEM LETTUCES WITH OLIVE OIL-POACHED TUNA

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Serves 4

This dish requires a lot of olive oil for poaching, but you won’t waste a drop. Use some of the flavorful poaching oil in the salad dressing; strain and refrigerate the remainder for cooking greens or for dressing future salads. The strained oil will keep for a month. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc.

Ingredients
1 albacore tuna steak, about 10 ounces (315 g) and
3⁄4 to 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) thick
3⁄4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 large fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, halved
6 black peppercorns
1 3⁄4 to 2 cups (430 to 500 ml) extra virgin olive oil
dressing
6 tablespoons (90 ml) extra virgin olive oil (from the tuna baking dish)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and finely minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 cups (280 g) cooked chickpeas (drain and rinse if canned)
1⁄2 pound (250 g) Little Gem lettuce or romaine hearts
1⁄4 pound (125 g) radicchio
1⁄2 red onion, shaved or very thinly sliced
3⁄4 cup (125 g) halved cherry tomatoes
1⁄4 cup (10 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions
Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). Remove the tuna from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Season the tuna on both sides with the fennel seed and salt. Put the tuna in a deep ovenproof baking dish just large enough to hold it. Add the thyme, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns. Pour in enough olive oil just to cover the tuna.

Bake until a few white dots (coagulated protein) appear on the surface of the fish and the flesh just begins to flake when probed with a fork, 30 to 40 minutes. The tuna should still be slightly rosy inside. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature in the oil.

Make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, capers, oregano, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chickpeas and let them marinate for 30 minutes.

With a slotted spatula, lift the tuna out of the olive oil and onto a plate.

Put the lettuce in a large salad bowl. Tear the larger outer leaves in half, if desired, but leave the pretty inner leaves whole. Tear the radicchio into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl along with the onion, tomatoes, and parsley.

Using a slotted spoon, add the chickpeas, then add enough of the dressing from the chickpea bowl to coat the salad lightly. By hand, flake the tuna into the bowl.

Toss, taste for salt and vinegar, and serve.

Pairing Suggestions:

Akash Winery ~ 2017 Parlez-Vous Rosé – A bright candied apple appearance matches the aromas on this Zinfandel rosé.

Hart Winery ~ 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – With citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish.

Ponte Winery ~ 2018 Pas Doux – Its notes of strawberry and rose with a pleasantly balanced acidity make it a staple for everything from a springtime brunch to the dinner table.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ 2016 Tempranillo Rosé -Lightly sweet and abundantly fruity, the crisp finish make this Tempranillo Rosé a great warm weather sipper.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute

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CHICKEN-CHIPOTLE POSOLE WITH AVOCADO AND LIME

Friday, March 1st, 2019

A rich broth, moist hand-shredded chicken and smoky chipotle make this posole a standout. And you’ll have some extra poached chicken to enjoy in a salad the following day. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Barbera or Zinfandel.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 pounds (1 kg) chicken legs and thighs
2 quarts (2 l) water
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 dozen black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smacked
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed or ground cumin
1/3 pound (155 g) Mexican-style chorizo
Vegetable oil
1 small onion, minced
½ green bell pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large plum tomato, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup (10 g) chopped cilantro, plus some for garnish
1 can (15 oz/470 g) whole hominy, drained and rinsed
Canned chipotle chile en adobo, to taste
Kosher or sea salt.
1 small avocado, halved and pitted, then sliced crosswise
1 lime, quartered

Directions
Put the chicken and water in a large pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Skim any foam that collects on the surface. When the chicken stops producing foam, add the onion, peppercorns, garlic, and bay leaves. Adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook 1 hour. Cool, then strain. Remove the chicken meat from the bones, discarding the skin. Refrigerate half the meat for another use. Shred the remaining meat by hand. Set aside 5 cups (1.25 l) of chicken broth and refrigerate or freeze any remaining broth for another use.

Put the whole cumin seed in a small dry skillet and toast over medium heat, shaking the skillet often, until the cumin darkens and becomes fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool, then pound fine in a mortar or grind in a spice grinder.

Remove the chorizo from its skin and put it in a large pot over medium-low heat. Cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until it has rendered its fat and is fully cooked. Transfer it to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat behind. Add enough vegetable oil to the pot to make 2 tablespoons fat.

Add the minced onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato, oregano, and cumin and cook about 3 minutes longer to soften the tomato. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the 5 cups (1.25 l) chicken broth and bring to a simmer, stirring. Add the cilantro, hominy, shredded chicken, and chorizo and return to a simmer. Whisk in some of the thick adobo sauce from the canned chipotle chiles, adding as much as you like. Season posole to taste with salt.

Divide the soup among 4 bowls. Top each portion with a few avocado slices and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Pairing Suggestions:

Avensole Winery ~ 2015 Barbera – Dark cherry, strawberry, lavender, vanilla.

Hart Winery ~ 2015 Zinfandel – This fruity, classic Zin has been aged 12 months in premium American oak and blend with a kiss of Petite Sirah.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ 2015 Barbera – Ripened cherry aromas and flavors, this wine is bursting with berries and bright acidity,along with tart blackberry jam and tobacco on the finish.

Wiens Family Cellars ~ 2015 Reserve Zinfandel – Dried fruit, toasted oak, refined tannins.

Photo and recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Dungeness Crab Frittata

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Slice this frittata into thin wedges for a passed hors d’oeuvre or serve more generous portions with a tuft of salad as a first course. To dress it up for the holidays, top wedges with a dollop of crème fraîche and California sturgeon caviar. Serve with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay or Sparkling Wine.

Serves 6

Ingredients
½ pound (250 g) fingerling potatoes
1-1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt
6 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
¼ pound fresh Dungeness crabmeat

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Put the potatoes in a baking dish just large enough to hold them. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil, season with salt, and turn to coat with the oil and salt. Bake until tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, then slice into ½-inch (12 mm) pieces. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).

In a bowl, whisk the eggs with ½ teaspoon salt, several grinds of pepper, and the dill and chives. Stir in the crabmeat and potatoes, reserving a few larger pieces of crab for placing on the surface of the frittata later.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. When it is hot, add the egg mixture and use a rubber spatula to distribute the crab and potato evenly. Cook without stirring for about 2 minutes, until the eggs begin to set, then place the reserved chunks of crabmeat on top. Continue cooking without stirring until the frittata is about two-thirds set, with some patches of liquid egg on the surface. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the surface is firm to the touch, about 6 minutes longer.

Remove from the oven and slide the frittata onto a cutting board. Let rest at least 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped dill, then slice into wedges and serve. The frittata is best warm, not hot.

Suggested Pairings: 

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2016 Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay
Flavors of green apple, tropical fruit and hints of honeysuckle. Floral scents and an oaky finish will leave you longing for more. 

Oak Mountain 2017 Chardonnay ~ This chardonnay is lightly oaked with French oak imparting rich flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, creme brulee and caramel.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa Brut Sparkling ~ Crisp acidity and delicate yeastiness are enveloped in a rich tropical fruit aroma. A perfect change of pace!

Wilson Creek Winery Brut Sparkling Wine ~ Light and refreshing, and very fun. Great in Mimosas! A fun party sparkling wine.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Wine Country Recipe: New York Steaks with Gorgonzola-Walnut “Butter”

Friday, December 14th, 2012

New York Steaks with Gorgonzola-Walnut “Butter”

…Paired with Cougar Meritage Red Wine

Courtesy of Cougar Vineyard & Winery

Serves 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

4 New York steaks
½ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the “butter”
8 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, cut into small chunks
1 teaspoon white-wine or regular Worcestershire
2 teaspoons green peppercorns
¼ cup lightly toasted walnut halves
1 ½ tablespoons minced chives
6 drops Tabasco

How to make:

Place steaks in a glass dish. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, vinegar, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Marinate in refrigerator covered for 2 to 3 hours. Remove steaks from marinade when ready to grill.

To make “butter”, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process for about a minute until mixed thoroughly. Can be refrigerated, but plan to serve at room temperature.

Prepare a hot fire and grill steaks for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until cooked to desired doneness. Shortly after turning, slather a mound of Gorgonzola butter on steaks and allow it to melt slightly while the steaks finish cooking.

Serve with couscous and additional Gorgonzola butter.

Enjoy with a nice glass of Cougar Meritage!

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California Wine Month Recipe: Roast Chicken with Warm Harvest Bread Salad

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

September is California Wine Month and to celebrate the season, here are two magnificent recipes, courtesy of DiscoverCaliforniaWine.com.

ROAST CHICKEN WITH WARM HARVEST BREAD SALAD

Serves 4 to 6

Roasted chicken is versatile, delicious and easy to prepare.  Here, it is seasoned simply with fresh thyme and served with a salad of artisan bread, fall pears, black olives and the last of the season’s cherry tomatoes.  Both the chicken and the salad will welcome a range of wines so bottles of California Chardonnay and California Pinot Noir can be on the table.  Those who prefer breast meat will want the Chardonnay, while the dark meat is best with the Pinot Noir; the bread salad welcomes both.  To serve just one wine, consider a dry California Rosé.

INGREDIENTS
1 whole chicken, preferably pastured, about 4 1/2 lbs.
Kosher salt
Black pepper in a mill
5 fresh thyme sprigs
Warm Harvest Bread Salad (recipe follows)

At least 1 hour before cooking and as long as 1 day before, set the chicken on a clean work surface and pull out the chunk of fat near the main cavity.  Discard or reserve for another use.  Rinse the chicken under cool running water inside and out.  Drain thoroughly, pat dry with a clean white tea towel, wrap the chicken in the tea towel and let rest 15-20 minutes so the towel absorbs as much liquid as possible.

Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper.  Wrap in a clean tea towel for at least 30 minutes or as long as a full day.  Refrigerate.

To finish, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Put 5 thyme sprigs into the chicken’s main cavity.

Heat a ridged pan–cast iron is ideal–over high heat and when it is very hot, set the chicken in the pan, breast side down.  Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Carefully turn the chicken–use tongs or a carving fork–so the breast faces up.  Cook 10 minutes more, reduce the heat to 400 degrees and cook 40 minutes more. Remove from the oven, cover with a tent of aluminum foil and let rest 15 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, make the salad.

Use a sharp knife to carve the chicken, removing both breasts first and cutting each breast into 3 diagonal pieces.  Cut off the drumsticks and the thighs.  Arrange the chicken alongside bread salad and spoon the remaining dressing over both the salad and the chicken.  Serve immediately.
Nutritional information:  180 calories per 6-ounce serving of chicken

WARM HARVEST BREAD SALAD

INGREDIENTS
1 one-pound loaf artisan bread, preferably a day old
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons pear vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 firm-ripe pears
3/4 cup pitted black olives of choice, halved
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, preferably Sweet 100’s, quartered
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley

Set the bread on a clean work surface and cut it in half crosswise.  Stand one piece, cut side down, on the work surface and use a sharp bread knife to remove the crusts and about 1/4 inch of the bread.  (Set these pieces aside to make croutons or little sandwiches.)  Cut the second piece of bread similarly.

Preheat an oven broiler.  Brush the bread very lightly all over with olive oil, set it on a sheet pan and broil until the bread takes on a little color; turn and continue until all surfaces have been lightly toasted.  Cool, tear into 2 inch pieces, put the pieces into a wide shallow serving bowl and cover; there should be about 4 to 4 1/2 cups of bread.  Set aside.  This can be done up to a day in advance.

To finish the salad, put the shallots into a small bowl, season with 1 teaspoon salt, add the sugar and vinegar and agitate the bowl gently to dissolve the sugar.  Add the thyme and let rest for 15 minutes.  Stir in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, taste and if it seems a bit too tart, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Spoon half the dressing over the bread and toss.  Set aside.
Put the butter into a medium sauté pan.

Working quickly, peel the pears, cut them in lengthwise quarters; remove the seed cores and cut into 3/4-inch dice.  Melt the butter over medium-low heat, add the pears and sauté, turning gently with a spatula, until they are lightly browned all over.  Remove from the heat and add to the bread, along with the olives, cherry tomatoes and parsley.  Toss the salad and mound it on one side of the dish.
Nutritional information:  318 calories per serving of bread salad, based on 6 servings.

A note about leftovers: Pull leftover chicken from the carcass, wrap it and store in the refrigerator. Reserve the carcass to make stock. If there is leftover salad, cover and refrigerate. The next day, make more vinaigrette, toss the leftover chicken and salad together and bring to room temperature. Drizzle with dressing and serve over fresh salad greens. Serve with a chilled California dry Rosé.

Enjoy!

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