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Life By The Glass

Carefully Curated. Completely Engaging.

Chicken Piccata

Recipes

Serves 4.

 

This is a classic American-Italian recipe that is easy and quick.  Since it’s done in one pan it makes cleanup a breeze.  Great adapted to other meats like pork tenderloin or turkey breast.  The bright, citrusy notes of the Russian River Ranches Chardonnay would be a perfect choice to serve with this.

 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each 10 to 12 ounces each 

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

½ cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

¼ cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or to taste

1/3 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoon drained capers

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

 

  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts and cut them in half horizontally. Working with one breast half at a time, place the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and, using a meat pounder or other heavy, flat object like a skillet, gently pound to an even thickness of about ¼ inch thick.
  2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in it. Shake off the excess.
  3. In the nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place 2 pieces of chicken in the pan and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter or individual plates. Warm the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter in the pan. Add the shallot and cook until softened and lightly brown, about 1 minute. Add the wine, lemon juice and broth, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the capers and parsley. Season to your taste with salt and pepper and additional drops of lemon juice if desired. Splash the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately topped with a sprinkling of chives.

 

 

Photo by John Burgess, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Recipe by John Ash: chefjohnash.com

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Pasta with Salmon Caviar

Recipes

4 main or 6 first-course servings.

 

Salmon or trout roe is delicious and much more affordable than sturgeon caviar.  It adds a delicate crunch to this luxurious pasta dish.  The Rosé of Pinot Noir would be a beautiful visual and flavor match.

 

1-pound bucatini or other long pasta such as spaghetti

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1/2 cup crème fraiche plus a little extra for garnish

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (1 teaspoon dried)

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon cut into 1/2-inch ribbons

4 ounces salmon caviar 

1/4 cup chopped chives

 

  1. Bring a large pot of salter water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat.
  3. When the foam subsides, add the minced shallot, and cook over moderately low heat for 2 minutes, stirring.
  4. Add the crème fraîche, parsley and tarragon. Stir in about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and season to your taste with pepper.
  5. Add the pasta and toss well. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems too dry. Remove from the heat.
  6. Add the smoked salmon and three-fourths of the caviar and toss gently.
  7. Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with the remaining caviar, a little crème fraiche and chopped chives.

 

 

Photo by John Burgess, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Recipe by John Ash: chefjohnash.com

 

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Mushroom Pate

Recipes

Makes enough to fill a 3-cup mold or dish.

 

The simplicity of this recipe belies its great taste.  Traditionally served in a small glass jar with a bail lid.   Serve with crisp little croutes, toasts, or crackers of your choice and, as the French do, with some little cornichons and grainy mustard on the side.  Mushrooms are a great match with Pinot Noir.  Serve a glass of the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir with this for your spring gathering.

 

1-ounce dried wild mushrooms such as porcini

5 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped shallots or green onions (white part only)

1-1/4 pounds thickly sliced fresh wild or exotic cultivated mushrooms*

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

2 teaspoons curry powder or to your taste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup toasted, preferably unsalted cashews

2 tablespoons toasted nut oil such as walnut or olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed herbs such as parsley, chives and/or basil

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

  1. Rinse the dried mushrooms quickly and let soak in warm water to cover for 15 minutes.  Drain, squeeze dry and chop.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over moderately high heat.  Add the shallots, all mushrooms, garlic, curry and cumin and sauté and stir until mixture is just beginning to brown and all liquid has evaporated.
  3. While mushrooms are cooking add the cashews to a food processor and process till finely chopped.  Add oil and continue to process to make a paste or butter.  Add the mushroom mixture and process till almost smooth.  Stir in the herbs and zest and season with salt and pepper to your taste and place in a 3-cup pate mold or other ceramic dish.  Can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Allow to return to room temperature to serve.

 

Photo by John Burgess, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Recipe by John Ash: chefjohnash.com

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Baked Ricotta

Recipes

Recipe by John Ash

 

This makes a rich warm cheese dip with a light, airy, soufflé-like texture that can’t be beat for any occasion.  In addition to crudités, it’s delicious served to top a salad, pasta or whatever. 

 

2 cups whole milk ricotta (not skim or fat reduced)

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (not out of the green can!)

1 large egg, lightly beaten 

1 medium clove of garlic, peeled and minced or pressed

1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, finely minced, or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Butter for the baking dish

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Generously butter a 2-cup baking dish or piece of oven-safe pottery and set it aside.

 

With a food processor add all ingredients except butter and pulse until smooth. Scrape the mixture into the buttered dish, set the dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Let it rest for 3-5 minutes before serving hot with crusty bread, crackers, or vegetable sticks.

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Pairing with Point Reyes Cheeses

Recipes

Recently, our Director of Winemaking Mick Schroeter conducted a tasting of various Point Reyes cheeses from their Taste of Point Reyes Gift Pack. “One of my favorite ways to pair wine with cheese is to ignore any traditional notions of what should go together and instead let the flavors speak to me. Below are recommendations and thoughts on each pairing.” – Mick 

  • Gouda with Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. The Gouda is complex with a nuttiness and hints of caramel and butterscotch. “I loved the texture of this cheese with the crunchy crystals (like a well aged Parm). Made for a great pairing with the earthy qualities of the Pinot.”
  • Toma with Rose’ of Pinot Noir. The Toma is described as Pt. Reyes’ “perfect any time snacking cheese” and is incredibly versatile. It’s a semi-hard cheese with a creamy, buttery flavor and a grassy tang finish. “The fruity style and bright acidity of the Rose’ paired nicely with this versatile crowd-pleasing cheese.”
  • Original Blue with Russian River Ranches Chardonnay. Known as the “cheese that started it all’, it has been produced on the Pt. Reyes family farm since 2000. The flavor is bold with hints of sweet milk and a peppery finish. “Blues are tricky but the brightness and acidity of the Russian River Ranches went well with this not too powerful version. Nice weight and balance between the two.”
  • Bay Blue with Rose’ of Pinot Noir. The Bay Blue is known for its mellow flavor and sweet, salted caramel finish. The Bay is a classic, powerful blue and therefore a tougher match. Once I put just a touch of the local honey (included in the gift pack) onto the cheese, BAM! Both the Russian River Ranches and Rose’ worked very nicely.”

Recipes

Here are some delicious and easy appetizer recipes from local chef John Ash. These pair wonderfully with our Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.

Frico

Frico or cooked cheese is a specialty of Friuli in Italy where it is made from the local Montasio cheese.  Any hard grating cheese such as Asiago, aged Gouda, Manchego or aged Cheddar can be used.  I like shredded Parmesan which is what I’ve used in this recipe. 

Link to recipe

Baked Ricotta

This makes a rich warm cheese dip with a light, airy, soufflé-like texture that can’t be beat for any occasion.  In addition to crudités, it’s delicious served to top a salad, pasta or whatever.  

Link to recipe

 

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Bourbon Candied Walnuts

Recipes

These candied walnuts are great in a salad or on a cheese and charcuterie board, or even by themselves.

 

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Sonoma-Julep

Recipes

May is well known for the Kentucky Derby, and the Kentucky Derby calls for at least one mint julep. Here in wine country, we replace the bourbon in the mint julep with Chardonnay. This cocktail is just as refreshing as it is unique and perfect for sipping on a warm, sunny day.

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Saffron Paella with Chicken, Andouille Sausage & Shrimp

Recipes

For this recipe use a good dry white wine, like Sonoma Cutrer’s Sonoma Coast Chardonnay to infuse the saffron, and of course a good home-made chicken stock. Depending on how much paprika and red chili flakes you add, you can manage the spice levels. Keep heat lower to taste the saffron and rice. One of the coolest parts about paella is cooking it in a paella pan. While it’s not necessary, you can always use a sauté pan, the flat bottom of the paella pan allows for even distribution of heat so that the rice cooks evenly. Plus, it happens to sit perfectly on top of a campfire.

Pair this with our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and you will surely leave the dinner table full and happy.

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Red Bell Pepper Coulis

Recipes

Coulis is a type of spread or jelly that is made from fruit or vegetable puree. In this case, from red bell peppers. This coulis is sweet and tangy with just the slightest hint of heat. It is great on its own on a cheese board, but I love it as a condiment on a sandwich. Pair with a creamy cheese like soft goat or brie and a bottle of Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.

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Coffee Spice Rub

Recipes

This coffee spice rub is great on red meat. It goes great on all beef. Surprisingly enough though, this rub goes incredibly well with salmon. Try this out this summer, not just on the meat of your choice but also on salmon to really taste how versatile this rub is.

 

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Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Chive Oil

Recipes

Traditonally, gazpacho is made with day old break and was a peasant’s dish. When the Spanish broguht tomatoes back from the New World in the 16th century, gazpacho evolved into a dish for the bourgeoisie.

This recipe calls for heirloom tomatoes because of their extraordinary flavor and color. Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil and while it costs a bit, it is will worth the extra expense. Enjoy this soup chilled on a warm summer day with a glass of Sonoma-Cutrer Sauvignon Blanc.

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Lamb Burger with Bacon Onion Jam & Aleppo Aioli

Recipes

This is a fun recipe! One for that backyard summer party when the barbecue is on, the sun is taking hours to set and you want to spend time with guests, not going crazy with kitchen prep. Homemade burgers are always a hit, but why not spice it up a bit with lamb?

These lamb burgers are juicy, delicious and a great pairing with the Sonoma-Cutrer Owsley Pinot Noir.

And, did I mention bacon onion jam? Adding a bit of sweetness with savory bacon is an easy trick to enhance any burger. Not only that, if you make it a couple hours before your guests arrive, the whole house smells like bacon! The Aleppo pepper is originally from the ancient city of Aleppo, Syria. It is less spicy than it is tangy and smoky. As for the aioli, its easier to make than you think and is a great way to impress your guests.

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Albacore Tuna Loin and Creamy Polenta

Recipes

When it comes to polenta, it is all about the corn. Corn and summer are practically synonyms that go hand-in-hand. While this recipe doesn’t use fresh corn, there are varieties of corn that make for better polenta than others. One such varietal is Otto File, Eight-Row Flint. Otto File is an heirloom varietal of corn that originally was grown in New England before any Europeans settled the North American continent. While the yields are much smaller than your typical yellow summer corn, Otto File produces such a sweet flavor and creamy consistency, you might want to try the recipe without any butter or cheese first.

Every bite of this dish will make your mouth water for more fish, more corn, and more Sonoma-Cutrer Founders Reserve Chardonnay.

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Lemon Ricotta Crostini with Morel Duxelles & Pickled White Asparagus

Recipes

Spring marks the beginning of morel season here in northern California. Morel mushrooms, which are generally harder to find and more expensive, are now available in abundance and well-priced. Cooking morels with shallots and white wine will result in an explosion of flavor and umami!

Pickling is a great way to preserve leftover vegetables and white asparagus is one of my favorites to pickle! Try this terrific appetizer paired with the Russian River Ranches Chardonnay to get the full experience.

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Ostiones Con Huevos de Salmon

Recipes

Oysters on the half shell are such a treat – perfect for a festive holiday gathering. This Mexican influenced recipe includes an adaptation of “Hog Wash”, from our friends at Hog Island Oyster Company. Salmon caviar is widely available on the internet if your local fish market does not carry – or they may order it for you. Pair with Grand Cuvée Sparkling Chardonnay.

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Paleta de Cerdo

Recipes

Slow, long cooking is the key to making this dish meltingly tender. To make it even more flavorful, shred or chop the meat with its juices and then roll up in warm tortillas along with shredded cabbage, chopped avocadoes, tomatoes, sweet white onion, some cilantro leaves and lime wedges to squeeze juice over.  If you own a crock pot, this is a great recipe for this useful appliance. Serve with rice andblack beans and a glass of the Vine Hill Pinot Noir

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Enchiladas Suizas de Pava

Recipes

This cheesy, creamy dish originated at a Sanborns cafe in Mexico City in 1950. Its name, “Swiss enchiladas,” in English refers to its copious use of dairy. You could use chicken, crab meat or even slow cooked pork. The creaminess of the dish is delicious with the Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.

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Sopa de Lima

Recipes

Mexican Chicken Soup with Lime Typical of flavors found in the Yucatan. The bright lime flavor goes beautifully with the crisp Les Pierres Chardonnay. And yes . . . you can have wine with soup!

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Oven “Fried” Cornmeal Crusted Chicken

Recipes

This cooking technique gives the chicken the crisp, crunchy crust we all love with a minimum of fat. This chicken recipe is superb for a springtime picnic and paired with Sonoma-Cutrer’s Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.

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Farro and Dried Porcini Risotto

Recipes

Farro is a favorite grain in Italy. The term farro is used when referring to three ancient wheat varieties first cultivated in the Fertile Crescent and still grown in Italy:  farro piccolo (also known by the German einkorn), farro medio (also known as emmer, the Hebrew word for mother), and farro grande (also known as spelt). The imported Italian farro available in the United States is usually the emmer variety. It’s usually labeled perlato or semi perlato (pearled) meaning it retains some, but not all of its bran and nutrients. It is still a very healthy grain. Most recipes are written for this kind of farro; which requires no soaking and cooks quickly in about 25 minutes. This dish pairs nicely with Sonoma-Cutrer’s bright, fruity Pinot Noirs such as the Owsley.

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Posole Rojo with Chicken

Recipes

One of the classic comfort foods of Mexico which uses Mexican corn or hominy. Cooking the hominy from dry can take hours so using canned hominy is certainly acceptable. Wine is becoming a more popular beverage in Mexico and the spice of this dish would go well with your favorite Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir.

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Parmesan Custard

Recipes

I’m using salmon caviar here but you could use smoked salmon or even shaved truffle if you’re feeling flush. The custards can be baked up to 4 hours ahead. Reheat gently in a water bath.  This dish is especially delicious served with the complex Sonoma-Cutrer Founders Reserve Chardonnay.

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Pan Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree

Recipes

This recipe depends on sourcing the best scallops available. Diver scallops (which are also known as dry pack) are harvested daily and never put into a brine solution. This recipe makes more cauliflower puree than you’ll need but that’s a good thing! Cover and refrigerate for another use. The 2016 Russian River Ranches Chardonnay pairs beautifully with this delicate dish.

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Roasted Beet, Orange and Endive Salad

Recipes

This simple, beautiful salad is easy to make and reflects the flavors of winter and spring with beets and oranges. The bright citrus notes makes this salad a good pairing with Sonoma-Cutrer’s Sauvignon Blanc.

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Grilled Tenderloin of Beef with Roquefort Butter

Recipes

This takes advantage of a French inspired flavored or compound butter. The butter is delicious on all grilled or roasted meats, birds or fish.  Double or triple the butter and store in the freezer to use on grill meats or poultry, of any kind. It’s also delicious on burgers. Serve with sautéed greens, if desired. The rich Founders Reserve Pinot Noir served with this recipe is a special treat.

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Turkey Picadillo Tacos

Recipes

Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries and the Philippines (where it is known as giniling). It is made with ground meat (usually beef), tomatoes, and other ingredients that vary by region. It is often served with rice or used as a filling in dishes such as tacos, savory pastries, empanadas, or served with chips and guacamole. It is one of the favorite recipes from my book “Culinary Birds” which is a James Beard award winner. A glass of the complex The Cutrer Chardonnay is a surprising and delicious match to this recipe.

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Soupe au Pistou

Recipes

Here’s my version of that wonderful soup from Provence in France. There are all kinds of variations on this but usually it includes both dried and fresh beans, tiny pasta, root vegetables, and other fresh vegetables available. The secret ingredient is a piece of Parmesan cheese rind to simmer along with the broth. It adds great flavor. Remove it at serving time and reuse it till it’s gone. Store the rind wrapped in the fridge. If you don’t have any rind the soup will still be delicious.

 

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Shrimp Caesar Salad

Recipes

This makes a lovely presentation and works equally well with other shellfish such as lobster, Dungeness crab or even scallops.  Be sure to use sustainable American shrimp for this recipe. The Caesar dressing here is a bit unconventional (uses tofu) but no one will know!  This is a lovely meal in a dish that goes well with Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.

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Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Summer Fruits

Recipes

This delightful dessert recipe is easy and incredibly delicious.  We are serving this with strawberries and blueberries,  but use any combination of fruits that you prefer.

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Pan Roasted Halibut in Spicy Coconut Broth

Recipes

This is a delicious dish that can be done with any fresh, meaty and sustainable fish. It uses a curry mixture called laksa, which has come to mean a spicy coconut milk based dish with or without noodles. It has its roots in Malaysia. In place of the spinach, you could use other Asian greens like steamed baby bok choy.

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Fregola with Wild Mushrooms

Recipes

Fregola is basically a pasta that is made in the same manner as couscous with coarse ground semolina flour. Fregola is toasted, giving it a nutty, wheaty, roasted taste.  This dish captures complex, earthy flavors.

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Saigon Clams

Recipes

A Southeast Asian version of traditional steamed clams.

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Quick Marinated Salmon

Recipes

The bright citrus flavors of the vinaigrette complement the salmon beautifully. Serve as a starter course for something special.

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Blueberries and Fresh Cream

Recipes

This is an elegantly simple dessert recipe. If good blueberries are not available, then use whatever fruit is best in the market.

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Miso Marinated Black Cod

Recipes

Black Cod (also known as Sablefish or Butterfish) is a sustainably caught fish, much of which comes from the Pacific coast from Northern California up to Alaska. Miso is the traditional Japanese fermented paste, often made with soybeans, but also with rice and/or barley. It makes a wonderful marinade and the following recipe can be used on all kinds of fish, chicken or pork. Serve with steamed rice.

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Salad of Frisée, Apples, Blue Cheese and Bacon

Recipes

This is a simple salad to make, but it captures those wonderful Fall/Winter flavors. You could substitute other fruits for the apples such as ripe pears, fuyu persimmons, etc. Other greens will do, if you can’t find frisée, which is also known as curly endive.

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Smoky Salmon Chowder

Recipes

A hearty chowder that is the definition of comfort food, especially on chilly nights.

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Spicy Potato Samosas

Recipes

These Indian-inspired bites are vegetarian, but even non-vegetarians will love them.The beauty of these Samosas is that they can be made ahead of time and frozen until it’s time to prepare for the party.

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Lindsey Shere’s Almond Tart

Recipes

Lindsey Shere is a legendary pastry chef in California and this tart became a signature dessert. Adapted from Lindsey’s original recipe and tweaks by David Lebovitz.

This tart is best eaten with the fingers; it is too hard to cut easily with a fork. It is a good picnic dessert because it is virtually indestructible.

 

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Pan Seared Duck with Blackberry Sage Sauce

Recipes

Delight guests with something different this holiday! The blackberry sage sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated and reheated. Serve with an earthy combination of pan-roasted mushrooms and sautéed greens. Note the cooking method starts with a cold pan. Gradually heating draws out more of the fat and crisps the skin of the duck.

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Arugula, Asian Pear and Prosciutto Salad

Recipes

A beautiful salad that captures the flavors of the season. Blue cheese is called for in this recipe, but you could use any cheese that you prefer. Also, if Asian Pears aren’t available use apples, mangoes or whatever else is best in your market.

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Seared Scallops with Sautéed Apples

Recipes

Quality of the scallops is crucial to this dish and fresh “Day Boat”, “Diver” or “Dry Pack” jumbo scallops are called for (order from your fishmonger).  Day boat scallops are harvested daily and never put into a brine solution. As a result, the texture is meatier and they sear or grill beautifully, as opposed to those that have been soaking in a brine solution which is usually laced with tripolyphosphate that bleaches the scallop and encourages it to soak up water.

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Orange and Ginger Soup

Recipes

This brightly colored soup is delicious either hot or chilled.  You can punch up any of the flavor elements to your taste.

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Grilled Lamb Pork Chops with Pomegranate Molasses and White Beans

Recipes

Pomegranate molasses is readily available in Middle Eastern grocery stores or online. Pomegranate molasses, also referred to as pomegranate syrup, is a tart-sweet reduction of pomegranate juice with the consistency of maple syrup. Used in the cuisines of the Middle East, India, Armenia, and Georgia, pomegranate molasses varies in taste, color, and viscosity by region.

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Bucatini All’ Amatriciana

Recipes

Named after a town in central Italy outside of Rome, Amatrice was in the news in August 2016 for a devastating earthquake that leveled this beautiful old village famous for its iconic pasta sauce al’ Amatrician. Many restaurants and chefs around the world have been serving this dish since then as a way of fundraising for earthquake victims. It’s a simple preparation but with amazing flavor. I’m using bucatini here, a long pasta with a hole in the middle, but spaghetti or any other pasta that you like works fine.

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Slow Cooked Salmon with Red Wine Sauce

Recipes

Baking salmon at a low temperature ensures that the fish will be very moist since most of the delicious oils and moisture aren’t lost.

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Sea Scallops with Brown Butter, Capers, and Lemon

Recipes

This recipe depends on getting the best scallops available. Diver scallops (which are also known as dry pack) are those that are harvested daily and never put into a brine solution. As a result the texture is meatier and they sear or grill beautifully, as opposed to those that have been soaking in a brine solution which is usually laced with tripolyphosphate and which encourages the scallop the soak up the water.

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Shrimp and Chicken Won Ton Soup

Recipes

Asian flavors have become the most popular ethnic foods in America. The crisp Les Pierres Chardonnay with lovely balance can go beautifully with these flavors.

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Sonoma-Cutrer Presents: Chef John Ash

Recipes

In this first presentation of this exclusive SonomaCutrer.com Live-stream series, the James Beard award-winning, Chef John Ash, shared his insights on the basics of wine: Serving, Selecting, and Tasting.

On Wednesday, July 1st, Club Cutrer members gathered together in the newly renovated tasting room of Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards. With a perfectly chilled glass of wine in hand, everyone’s attention turned to SCV Head Chardonnay Winemaker, Cara Morrison, as she introduced long-time friend of the winery Chef Ash. In addition to the in-house audience of Cutrerians, remote viewers also joined the live discussion and submitted questions online that were answered on the spot by Chef Ash.

Watch the full video of this informative and entertaining presentation on the basics of wine serving, storing and tasting that highlights both practical and fascinating aspects of wine culture.

During the hour, Chef Ash covered a wide range of wine topics and questions including:

  • Why are wine bottles so many different shapes? (Chef says: Part tradition, part science)
  • What temperatures should I serve red and white wines at? (Chef says: most people serve reds too warm and whites too cold)
  • What do I really need to do to get a newly opened bottle to breathe? (Chef says: Get aggressive with it)
  • What is “corked” wine and how does it get that way?
  • What should I look for in a wine glass?
  • Why do some wines use a screw cap and others don’t?
  • What are sulfites? Why should I care if they’re on the label?
  • Should I send a wine bottle back if it’s bad? What if I just don’t like it?
  • What’s the difference between sustainable, organic, and bio-dynamic wine?
  • Should I store wines standing up or lying flat?
  • Should I store wine in the dark?
  • If the screw cap is so effective, why isn’t everyone using it?

Watch the full video and get satisfying answers to these and more questions, along with Chef Ash’s take on why legendary chef Julia Child always drank wine while she cooked.

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Autumn Food and Wine Pairings

Recipes

Harvest season is in full swing at Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards. At this time of year, as the weather turns cooler and fresh autumn vegetables start showing up at local farmer’s markets, our thoughts turn to all of the ways wines complement and enhance the bounty of the season. Here are a few of our favorite fall recipes and pairings courtesy of fellow Cutrarians and Chef Ash:

  • A delicious bowl of soup created with seasonal vegetables such as, Pumpkin with Wild Mushrooms, Radicchio with Smoked Goat Cheese or Winter Squash Soup paired with a glass of Russian River Ranches Chardonnay is always a great combo for a cozy night in.
  • California enjoys a long fig season from May all the way to December. Pick up some fresh Figs and Gorgonzola Cheese for a quick and delicious appetizer to enjoy with a glass of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.
  • Bored with beef? Stuffed Red Peppers with Boar pair very nicely with a glass of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.
  • Pan-Roasted Chicken with Tarragon Mustard is a warm and flavorful dish to have on a cool evening and goes wonderfully with Russian River Ranches Chardonnay.
  • Finally, the ultimate comfort food on a cool fall evening is a delectable dish of Macaroni and Cheese with Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

Enjoy!

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