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POTATO FOCACCIA WITH OLIVES AND ROSEMARY

Monday, July 22nd, 2019

Potato Focassia with Olives & Rosemary

Welcome guests to your home for dinner with a glass of your favorite Temecula Valley rosé and a slice of warm olive focaccia. If you’ve baked the focaccia hours before, you can reheat it quickly in a hot oven, although it’s plenty tasty at room temperature, too. Pack it on a picnic or a hike with your favorite salami and cheeses. Or adapt the topping to showcase a seasonal fresh vegetable like halved cherry tomatoes or strips of roasted sweet pepper. Adding cooked potato to the dough produces an especially moist and tasty result.

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 pound (250 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 3⁄4 cups (465 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons (8 g) kosher or sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating and brushing
  • 24 California olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary or dried oregano, finely crumbled

Directions

Put the potatoes in a small saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Do not add salt. Bring to a simmer over high heat, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced, 15 minutes or more, depending on size.

Remove from the heat, set aside 1 1∕3 cups (330 ml) of the potato water, and then drain the potatoes. When cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes and pass them through a ricer or food mill fitted with a fine disk into a bowl. If you don’t have a ricer or food mill, mash the potatoes well with a potato masher.

Refrigerate the potato water until it cools to 105° to 115°F (40° to 46°C). Put 1∕3 cup (80 ml) of the cooled potato water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let soften for about 3 minutes, then whisk with a fork to dissolve and let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt and whisk to blend.

Add the olive oil, riced potato, and the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) potato water to the proofed yeast. Stir to combine, then add the flour gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Keeping the dough in the bowl, knead it gently by hand until smooth, adding just enough additional flour to keep it from sticking to your hand. You should not need more than 1 to 2 tablespoons. Shape the dough into a ball and coat lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1 1∕2 to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down. Using 1 tablespoon olive oil, grease the bottom and sides of an 11-by-17-inch (28-by-43 cm) rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. With well-oiled fingers, poke and prod the dough into a rectangle that fits the pan. The dough is elastic and will want to spring back. If it resists your attempts to flatten it enough to cover the pan, let it rest for 5 minutes and try again. If it still springs back from the edges, let it rest for 5 minutes longer and try once more. You should be able to flatten it sufficiently after a couple of rests, but don’t worry if the dough doesn’t completely fill the pan. Let rise, uncovered, until puffy, about 1 1∕2 hours.

While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). If you have a pizza stone (or baking tiles), put it in the oven on the middle rack to preheat—ideally for at least 30 minutes before baking.

Arrange the olives, evenly spaced, on the surface of the focaccia, then gently press them into place. Brush the surface of the dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then scatter the rosemary and a little salt on top. Place the pan on the baking stone, if using, and bake until the focaccia is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheet back to front halfway through.

Immediately slide a long metal offset spatula under the focaccia to make sure it is not sticking to the baking sheet, then slide the focaccia onto a rack to cool. Slice into desired portions with a bread knife and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes one 11-by-17-inch (28 by-43 cm) focaccia

Recipe and photo 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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Winery Spotlight: Get to Know… Cougar Vineyard & Winery

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

The Story

Cougar Vineyard & Winery is one of Temecula Valley’s smaller boutique wineries, producing approximately 4500 cases per year. Owners and winemakers Rick & Jennifer Buffington are passionate wine-lovers; they have been making wine for 20 years and are known for their hands-on approach to every aspect of the winery operations.

Italian varietals are Cougar’s specialty.  In addition to unique wines and fun-loving staff, this popular wine tasting stop also hosts cool events and boasts a devoted wine club following.

Cougar Winery & Vineyard, Temecula Valley

The Wines

Cougar produces reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines so there’s a wine to suit every palate. Rick & Jennifer love to introduce rare and unique Mediterranean grapes to the Temecula wine scene. Cougar proudly offers lesser-known Italian varietals like Vermentino, Montepulciano and Brachetto. The latter was just recognized as a grape varietal in the United States and Cougar Vineyards is one of only two commercial wineries that are growing it. Visit Cougar’s wine store here!

Cougar Wines from Temecula Valley, CA

 

Wine Tasting

The Cougar Winery tasting room is open 7 days a week from 11-6pm.

Tasting Room Pricing:

  • $10 for 6 tastes
  • $15 for 6 tastes + logo glass
  • $22 for 6 reds-only tastes (available Friday-Sunday)

 

Vineyard tours and wine production tours are available Friday-Monday. Call to reserve your spot at 951-491-0825 or visit www.cougarvineyards.com.

Cougar Winery & Vineyards address: 39870 De Portola Road, Temecula, CA 92592

 

Exciting news for spring 2013!

Cougar Winery announces their new tasting room and eatery, Sangio’s Deli – opening in early spring 2013! The addition of another food stop on De Portola Road promises to provide hungry wine-lovers with even more options to fill up between sips.

Get the latest news by visiting the Cougar blog. Make sure to say hi to black labs Monte and Mocha on your next visit to Cougar Winery & Vineyards!

Monte & Mocha, Cougar Wine Dogs | HulsePhoto.com

Cougar Winery Olive Tree, Temecula Valley

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Winery Spotlight: Get to Know… Baily Vineyard & Winery

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

The Story

Baily Vineyard & Winery was established in 1986 by Phil and Carol Baily with the goal of producing excellent wine from their own grapes to be sold primarily out of the winery. Specializing in Bordeaux varietals, Phil and Carol handle all aspects of the winery, from vineyard maintenance to customized blending to creating the delicious menu at their popular restaurant.

The Wines

The Bailys have been making wine in Temecula Valley for 26 years. They are proud to be an estate-bottled winery, which means that all the grapes are grown in the same vineyard and made by the same winemaker – Phil himself! Baily wines offer a depth and consistency that appeal to the advanced wine enthusiast. A trip to the tasting room gives visitors a chance to try all their favorite varietals – from Chardonnay and Riesling to Cabernet and Merlot; plus some fantastic blends! Meritage is their flagship blend and features Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. Fans of white blends should be sure to taste the Montage.

Check out their wine store here!

Wine Tasting

  • Open from 11 to 5 daily, 10 to 5 on Saturdays
  • $10 per person – weekdays, weekends and holidays
  • Taste any 6 different wines (no restrictions)

 

New! Private Library Wine Tasting

Baily Winery now offers private tastings for up to 12 people at the exclusive Estate Club located on Pauba Road. This VIP experience features a vertical tasting and private tour of the winemaking facility. Private tastings are personally hosted by Phil Baily. Baily is one of the few Temecula wineries that has built an inventory of vintages dating back to 2003. Vertical tastings highlight the changes in a particular grape over time.  Currently, Baily Winery vertical tastings feature 5 years of Merlot, 5 years of Cabernet, and 5 years of their Meritage blend.

Private tastings are by appointment only.  Please call 951.676.9463 for availability.
Introductory price is $25 (reg $40.) Please see website for more details.

Carol’s Restaurant

A popular stop for lunch, Carol’s Restaurant offers delicious California and Mediterranean fare.

Open Thur & Fri 11:30-2pm; Sat & Sun 11:30-3pm. Al fresco dining is available. For reservations, please call 951-676-9243.

Baily Winery address & phone number: 33440 La Serena Way (Corner of Rancho California Road) | 951-676-WINE (9463) | www.bailywinery.com

 

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