Roasted Eggplant with Crispy Garlic and Herbs

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 450° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Toss eggplant in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place eggplant on baking sheet and roast in the oven for approximately 15 minutes.

In a shallow fry pan, over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Once the oil comes to temperature, fry garlic to golden brown (this will happen quickly), then transfer from oil to a paper towel to drain.

Combine baked eggplant and fried garlic in a large bowl. Add the orange zest and herbs and mix well.

Serve as a side dish, alongside beef, lamb, duck or squab.


Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350° and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss bread cubes with 2 Tbsp olive oil. Bake about 15 minutes or until crisp and lightly toasted. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a medium sauce pan on very low and add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, garlic, anchovy fillets and a pinch of salt. Gently cook for 10 minutes or until garlic is soft but not fried. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, add toasted bread cubes. Pass warm olive oil, garlic and anchovy mixture through a fine mesh strainer, directly onto the bread cubes, and toss to coat.

In a different bowl, combine tomatoes, parsley, basil, lemon zest, capers, salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add optional ingredients. Mix together, then add to the bread cubes and toss. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Sicilian Pesto

Method of Preparation:

Place almonds and garlic in a blender and pulse until finely chopped.

Add basil, tomatoes, salt and red pepper flakes, then pulse again to combine.

With the blender running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until combined.

Scrape into a bowl and stir in grated cheese.

Chicken Marsala

Method of Preparation:
Warm oven to 200°. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise, then pound to 1/4” thick. Salt and pepper each piece, then lightly dredge in flour. Heat oil in sauté pan until shimmering, add butter and 2 chicken pieces. Fry until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to rimmed baking dish, repeat with rest of chicken, then cover with foil and place in oven to keep warm.

Raise pan heat to medium-high and add 2 Tbsp butter. When sizzling, add shallots and mushrooms, cooking until caramelized. Lower the heat, add garlic and fresh thyme leaves and cook 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add Marsala, bring to boil and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to remove any browned bits. Lower the heat, add broth and simmer until reduced in half, about 10 minutes.

Add cream and return the chicken to the pan. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until sauce thickens and chicken is well coated. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta and top with parsley and a squeeze of lemon prior to serving.

Blackberry Cobbler

Method of Preparation:
In a large bowl, toss together all filling ingredients and spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking dish and set aside to macerate.

For the topping, use a food processor to combine sugar and orange zest; pulse until fragrant and looks like wet sand. Pour into a large bowl, then add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine.

Toss cold butter into the mixture to coat with flour, then remove. Working quickly, use a box grater to grate butter directly back into the bowl. Toss the mixture with your hands to ensure the butter shreds have been completely coated with flour.

Add 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream and mix with a fork until combined; dough will be sticky.

Form dough into biscuit-sized mounds (2 to 2 1/2 inches wide) using a large spoon or ice cream scoop; arrange on a plate, cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°F.

Pull biscuits from the refrigerator and place evenly on top of the berry filling. Brush tops of biscuits with the remaining
1/2 cup of heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake on the center rack of oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes or until berries are bubbling and biscuits are deeply golden. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes, then serve with ice cream.

Pork Tenderloin and Tart Cherry Wild Rice

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°.

Using mesh strainer, rinse rice under cold water, then make rice according to package directions.

While rice cooks, soak shallots in red wine vinegar for about 10 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, cover pork loin with olive oil, then season liberally with fresh thyme, salt and pepper. On the stovetop, heat a large oven proof skillet to medium high. Sear pork loin on all sides and transfer to oven. Roast for 12 to 14 minutes or an internal temperature of 145°, then remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes.

Fluff rice with fork, then move to a large bowl. Add soaked shallots, cherries, thyme and rosemary and gently toss together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the pork loin on the bias and place on a bed of tart cherry wild rice.

Eggplant and Mushroom “Meatballs”

Method of Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2” slices, then brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake on a sheet pan until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Slice the mushrooms into thick slices and sauté with the oregano until well browned. Transfer both the eggplant and mushrooms to a food processor, discarding any liquid. Pulse until mixture is a smooth paste, then transfer to a bowl. Add the parmesan cheese, panko and garlic; incorporate well, then add eggs. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.

Chill mixture for at least 30 minutes before forming into approximately 12 tablespoon size balls. Chill again for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

When ready to cook, warm 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and brown the “meatballs” on all sides, turning carefully with a spoon.

Serve as an appetizer with a dipping sauce of your choice or use with any dish in place of regular meatballs.

Big Daddy Lamb Burger

Method of Preparation:

In a pan over medium heat, sautée chopped onion until soft, then let cool.

Combine Feta sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and incorporate well.

In a large bowl lightly mix the Lamb, cool onions, pine nuts, mushrooms, thyme, lemon zest, rosemary and green onion greens. Form mixture into patties.

On a medium hot grill, lightly toast the buns/rolls before grilling the burgers until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Assembly: On the bottom bun, put the avocado and tomato, top with the burger patty and add your choice of lemon goat cheese or Feta sauce.

Roasted Pork Loin in Creamy Pepper Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Pork Loin

Preheat oven to 350˚ .
Using a mortar and pestle, crush together garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper until a paste is formed, then combine with olive oil. Pierce top of pork loin in several places with a sharp knife, then rub the garlic/oil mixture into the slits and over the top of the loin.

Place the pork loin in an oven safe basting pan and pour the Sauvignon Blanc into the pan. Place pan in oven and cook until the pork is no longer pink, 90 to 120 minutes, or the internal temperature reads 145˚ .

Creamy Pepper Sauce
Melt 1 Tbsp butter in large skillet, over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

Carefully add brandy/cognac and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in beef broth/stock and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Stir in cream, remaining butter and pepper. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes, until thickened. Serve sauce over sliced pork loin.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Wings

Method of Preparation:
Rinse the chicken wings and pat dry, then lay them out on a cookie sheet. Salt and pepper both sides of the wings and sprinkle with the cayenne pepper if you want spicier wings.

Cook the wings on a pre-heated outdoor grill on medium to high heat for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Flip the wings about halfway through.

While the wings are cooking, heat the honey, butter and hot sauce in a saucepan over low heat. The sauce is ready once the butter has melted and the ingredients have blended nicely.

Once the wings are done, put them in a large bowl with the sauce and toss together.

Whole Roasted Leg of Lamb

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400˚.

With a paring knife, randomly puncture lamb on all sides, about 1/2” deep, and insert garlic in the slits, then massage lamb with the olive oil until completely coated.

Heat a large skillet or roasting pan to high heat. Once smoking, sear lamb on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. When done, remove lamb from heat and rest until cool.

Chop thyme, rosemary and sage and mix together in a small bowl. Once lamb is cool enough to handle, rub liberally with salt, pepper and herbs.

Place the lamb in a roasting pan and roast for 55-60 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 120˚ . Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Bolognese with Pappardelle

Method of Preparation:
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add pork, veal and ground beef and brown for approximately 8 minutes.

Turn heat to high and deglaze the pan by adding white wine, then stirring and scraping the bottom of pan.

Reduce heat to low, then add carrots, onion, garlic, thyme and sage and stir until well mixed. Add chicken stock and tomato paste and combine well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until slightly thickened.

While the Bolognese is simmering, cook pappardelle according to package directions. To serve, plate the pappardelle, top with Bolognese and garnish with Pecorino Romano.

Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce

Method of Preparation:

Flourless Chocolate Torte
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bring a kettle of water to boil. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. Wrap the outside of the springform pan twice with foil.

Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, add eggs to the bowl and whip at high speed until the volume doubles, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter together using a double boiler or a large bowl in the microwave.

Fold a third of the egg mixture into the chocolate until mostly combined. Continue folding in thirds until fully combined, then pour the batter into the prepared springform pan and spread evenly. Place the pan into a larger pan and fill the larger pan with the boiling water until it is halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake until slightly risen and the edges are just beginning to set and a thin crust has formed on top, or the internal temperature is 140°F, about 18-20 minutes. It may look slightly underbaked but it will continue to cook as it cools and firms up. Remove springform pan from water bath and set on a wire rack to cool, then refrigerate until cold and firm.

Chocolate Ganache
Put chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. In a separate bowl, add heavy whipping cream and microwave until it just begins to boil, then pour over the chocolate. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

Raspberry Sauce
Add raspberries, sugar and lemon juice to a large saucepan and cook over medium heat. When the juices begin to release, smash them with a spoon or spatula. Let sauce continue to cook and boil over medium heat, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a food processor. Puree until smooth. Strain sauce through a fine mesh sieve, then allow to cool.

Spread the ganache evenly on top of the cooled torte and, if desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Drizzle with raspberry sauce and top with whole raspberries for a decorative touch.

Cider Braised Pork

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 300˚. Bring a Dutch oven to medium heat and add the bacon batons; cook until just crispy.

Add pork to bacon and increase heat to medium-high. Brown pork on all sides; the reduce heat to low and add onions. Stir to incorporate onions, then sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir until slight paste forms.

With the heat still at the low setting, add garlic, stout, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, apple cider and stir until all ingredients are well combined. Bring mixture to a boil. Place lid on Dutch oven and move to the center rack of a 300-degree oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Remove from oven and stir. Serve over creamy Polenta or extra-wide egg noodles. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Roast Chicken with Butternut Squash, Chimichurri and Goat Cheese

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350˚ . Remove the neck and innards from the chicken*. Using kitchen shears, cut through the bones on either side of the backbone to remove*, then splay the chicken open.

In a large bowl, add squash, 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, then transfer squash to a large baking dish; do not wash the bowl, you’ll need it for the chicken.

Add chicken to squash bowl and use the residual oil to coat chicken. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper on all sides, then transfer to baking dish with the squash, laying the chicken skin side up. Roast for 45 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, in a smaller bowl add garlic, chopped herbs, red pepper flakes, 1 Tbsp of vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, mix well and set aside.

Once chicken has done its initial roast, remove from oven, flip chicken over, mix the squash, then return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove and flip chicken a final time and return to the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until chicken’s internal temperature is 165˚ and juices run clear. Remove the baking dish from oven and transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest. Drain the liquid from the dish*, then turn the oven up to 400˚ .

Return the squash to the oven and roast 10 more minutes, then remove. Add 1 Tbsp of vinegar and mix well. Drizzle squash with herb mixture, crumble the goat cheese on top and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and almonds. Separate chicken into pieces (thighs, drums, etc.) before serving.

*The neck, innards, backbone and removed juices can be discarded or used to make chicken broth another time.

Skillet Beef Pot Pie

Method of Preparation:
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large, oven safe skillet, over medium heat. Add mushrooms in a single layer and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then remove from skillet and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350˚ . In the same large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until browned on all sides, then remove and set aside with the mushrooms.

Using the same skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, carrot, celery and thyme; cook until the vegetables are soft. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook 2-3 minutes. Add beef broth, bring to a simmer and cook 8-10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Lower heat to medium-low, stir in cream cheese, heavy cream, peas, beef and mushrooms. Mix until cream cheese is well incorporated, then remove from heat.

Take biscuits from can and slice in half, horizontally. Arrange in a overlapping pattern around the inside edge of the skillet. Brush with egg wash and place in oven. Bake 20-30 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden.

Mushroom Bisque

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375˚. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and scatter mushrooms and chopped onions in one layer. Roast for approximately 25 minutes or until just browned at edges. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour to make a Roux, stirring until all flour has been absorbed, but not browned. Add stock and cream to the Roux and stir until slightly thickened.

Once thickened, add roasted mushrooms and onions plus any juices that have gathered from roasting. Using an immersion blender or stand blender, pulse mixture until desired consistency has been achieved. Salt and pepper to taste.

Saffron Rice with Apricots and Sunflower Seeds

Method of Preparation:
Prepare rice according to package instructions, then divide evenly into two separate bowls.

While the rice is cooking, soak saffron threads in ¼ cup warm water for 20 minutes. Dice apricots into ¼” cubes.

In a sauce pan, over medium heat, melt butter. Once melted, add apricots and sunflower seeds and combine for about 3 minutes.

Stir butter mixture into one of the bowls of rice until combined. In the other bowl, add the saffron water with threads and mix well until water is absorbed and rice is a brilliant yellow, then toss the two bowls of rice together and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve warm or at room temperature.

Spinach Gratin

Method of Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 425˚.

Melt butter in a flat saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, turn heat to medium low, and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add flour and nutmeg to onions, mix well, and cook 2-3 minutes. Add heavy cream and milk, stir regularly and simmer until thickened.

Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the drained spinach, then add it to the sauce with half the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer the spinach mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle the Gruyere and remaining Parmesan on top. Bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Pan Fried Herbed Potatoes with Blue Cheese

Method of Preparation:
Put both oils in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the potatoes. Keep heat at medium and gently fry potatoes for about 20 minutes, stirring and turning frequently, until soft.

Add rosemary and thyme directly to the pan for the last minute of frying and stir. With a slotted spoon, remove to a sheet pan lined with paper towels to soak up any extra oil.

Sprinkle parsley, blue cheese and salt over the potatoes, then transfer to serving dish.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2020 Sin Zin and your choice of chicken, beef or pork.

Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Plums and Balsamic

Method of Preparation:
Pat the duck breasts dry with a paper towel. Lightly score skin in a checkerboard fashion, being careful not to cut the meat. Season liberally with thyme, salt and pepper. Place duck breasts, skin side down, in a sauté pan over medium heat until skin is crispy, about 8-10 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 6 minutes or until meat is an internal temperature of 135˚ .

Remove breasts from pan and rest for 5 minutes.

In the same warm pan, add the plum quarters and quickly sauté for 1 minute.
To plate, cut the duck breast on the bias and place on a small bed of arugula. Using a slotted spoon, distribute the plums over the duck and finish with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Serve with AVV Cabernet Sauvignon!

Red Wine Braised Beef with Dried Cherries, and Cremini Mushrooms, Sweet Potato-Garlic Puree

For the Beef:
Season the beef with salt on all sides.
Heat a large braising pan on high heat. Add 2 tbs of oil to the pan.
Brown the beef on all sides until nice and brown approximately 5 minutes.
Pull the beef out of the pan and allow to rest. Lower the heat to medium.
Add the remaining tbs of oil to the pan. And add the diced onion.
Cook for five minutes on medium to low heat and nice caramel color develops on the mushroom.
Add the cremini mushrooms to the pan and cook for five minutes on medium heat. Add the dried cherries.
Add the red wine and reduce down by ¾. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil.
Once boiling add in the corn starch and water mixture with a whisk. Make sure it is thoroughly combined before adding it to the boiling stock.
Once mixture thickens a little lower the heat to just a simmer and add the beef. Add the bunch of thyme
Let the pot come back to a low simmer and then place cover on top.
Place in 300 F oven and cook for two hours.

For the Sweet Potato puree:
In a small pot bring water to a boil. Add the garlic and sweet potatoes, cook for 20 minutes on medium to low heat until potatoes are completely soft when stabbed with a fork.
Drain potatoes and garlic and while still hot, add to a food processor and blend on high. Add in butter and salt while blending.

Both the beef and sweet potatoes can be made 3-4 days in advance and rewarmed slowly. If Potatoes seem a little thick when rewarming, please add a little water or milk to desired consistency.

To Serve:
To serve, pull beef out of warm thickened sauce and slice thin. Place on top of sweet potato puree and spoon sauce on top (make sure to pull the tied thyme bunch out and discard). Be sure to get plenty of mushrooms and cherries as well. Sprinkle a little kosher or coarse sea salt on top and serve.

Braised Brisket

Method of Preparation:

Pat brisket dry with paper towels, then set aside. Combine remaining ingredients, then place the brisket into the marinade fat side up. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

After marinating, pre-heat oven to 300˚.

Remove plastic wrap and cover roasting pan with a double layer of foil. Place the roasting pan on the center rack of oven and roast for 6-7 hours or until fork tender, then place brisket on a cutting board and slice against the grain and serve immediately with your favorite sauce.

Cold Fennel Soup

Method of Preparation:
Slice trimmed fennel into ¼″ pieces and sauté in butter, using low heat, until nearly translucent. Do not brown. Set aside.

Add broth, bay leaves, thyme, lemon, peppercorns, fennel stems and sauteéd fennel to a 4 quart sauce pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Once the mixture has cooled to room temp, pureé thoroughly in a blender, then strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean container. Add crème fraiche and heavy cream, incorporating well. Add salt and white pepper to taste, then refrigerate until chilled.

Serve very cold with garnish of fennel fronds and pink peppercorn flakes.

Pork Ribs with Citrus Ginger Rub

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 225˚.

In a small bowl, combine all rub ingredients, then coat ribs liberally with the rub.

Wrap ribs tightly in plastic wrap, leaving no room for leakage, then double wrap in heavy duty foil. (This may sound unusual to put plastic wrap in the oven but the foil protects it from getting too hot.) Place the ribs on a roasting rack, then place the rack on top of a rimmed sheet pan, and cook in oven for 2 ½ hours.

Remove ribs and cool to room temperature. Ribs can be held for up to three days in the refrigerator. When ready, unwrap ribs and bring to desired temperature on the grill at the lowest setting, basting with your favorite sauce.

Flank Steak Fajitas with Mixed Peppers

Method of Preparation:
Combine the flank steak, juice and zest from the limes and orange, soy sauce, garlic, green onion, cilantro, honey, tequila, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp paprika and chipotle powder in a large Ziplock bag. Allow the steak to marinate at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours. Remove steak from marinade and grill over high heat for approximately 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat, then let rest until cool. Slice steak across the grain, reserving any collected juices.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers, then sauté until softened. Add 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp paprika and ½ tsp ancho chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste and continue sautéing for another 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add the beef broth, stirring to combine, then add the sliced flank steak and any reserved juices. Heat until the flank steak is warmed through, approximately 5 minutes.

Serve with warm tortillas and desired toppings.

The Elevated Meatloaf

Method of Preparation:
Using your hands, crumble the three ground meats into a large bowl, then blend the rest of the ingredients into the ground meat mixture. Thoroughly mix but be sure not to over mix. Form the mixture into an oval shape.

There are 2 different ways to cook this meatloaf:

1. BBQ smoker – Place the meatloaf on a foil lined cookie sheet or shallow pan. Place the pan on the grate and smoke for 1 hour, then crank it up to 375˚ for 30 minutes.
2. In the oven – Preheat oven to 400˚. Place the meatloaf on a cookie sheet or shallow pan and cook for 45 minutes.

Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before cutting into slices.

Oven Roasted Organic Ratatouille

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375˚ F.

Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash and zucchini into approximately 1/16″ rounds. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.

Heat the olive oil in a 12″ oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic and bell peppers until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the crushed tomatoes. Stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Simmer to reduce sauce for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, then add the basil. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Stir once more, then smooth the surface of the sauce into a flat layer.
Layer the sliced vegetables vertically around the skillet in alternating patterns (for example, eggplant, tomato, squash, zucchini, repeat) packing them as tightly as you can on top of the sauce. Continue to layer from the outer edge to the middle of the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Herb Seasoning:
In a small bowl, mix the basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Spoon the herb seasoning over the vegetables.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, then bake for another 20 minutes, until bubbly and the vegetables are softened and starting to brown slightly. Let ratatouille sit for a few minutes before serving.

Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Method of Preparation:
Crumble the goat cheese into the bottom of a shallow serving dish.
Combine all chopped and minced ingredients in a bowl with the olive oil, thyme and pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour evenly over goat cheese, then cover and marinate in the refrigerator a minimum of 2 hours to overnight.
Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving.
Serve on a toasted, sliced baguette and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Note: For a warm appetizer, place cheese mixture on top of toasted baguette, then broil until slightly melted. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Sautéed Mahi Mahi with Blood Orange Beurre Blanc and Celery Root Puree

Method of Preparation:
Zest 2 of the oranges. Add zest, juice from all 4 oranges, along with shallots, white wine, sugar and vinegar to a pot. Simmer until reduced to approximately ¹⁄³ cup. Strain mixture into a measuring cup and set aside.

Preheat oven to 200˚. Place celery root, potato and garlic in a pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and cook until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and return to the pot, then mash with a potato masher. Add 1 Tbsp. butter and cream. Purée with a hand mixer until smooth. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Cover pot and place in preheated oven to keep warm.

Add 1 Tbsp. butter to a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Once foam subsides, add mushrooms, scored side down. Cook for about 4 minutes undisturbed, then flip, season with salt and white pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a small sheet pan and put in the preheated oven to keep warm.

Using the same small sauté pan, over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp. of butter and leeks. Let cook for 2 minutes undisturbed, then turn over. Once mostly softened, add chicken broth, season with salt and white pepper, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Transfer leeks to the mushroom sheet pan, trying to keep them intact, and keep warm in oven.

In a large non-stick pan, over high heat, add grapeseed oil and heat until shimmering but not smoking. Pat fillets dry, then season with salt and white pepper. Add fillets to the pan and let cook undisturbed for about 4 minutes. Flip fillets gently and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer fillets to the sheet pan in the oven. Remove the pan from the heat and wipe clean. Add orange juice/shallot mixture and ½ cup of the butter cubes, working 2-3 at a time, and whisking continuously until combined.

To assemble, place a spoonful of purée on one end of the plate, then add leeks moving toward the middle of the plate. Place a mushroom off to the side and Mahi Mahi on top of the leeks. Drizzle beurre blanc over fish and garnish with optional chives, olive oil and pomegranate seeds.

Spice Rubbed Salmon Filets

Method of Preparation:
Bring the salmon filets to room temperature while you are making the spice rub. In a small bowl, whisk the sesame seed, caraway seed, poppy seed, onion flakes, garlic flakes and paprika together. Pat the fillets dry, then gently press the rub into the skinless side of the filets.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, until a drip of water dances in the pan. If you don’t have a non-stick skillet, use a little oil in the pan. Lower heat to medium, add filets skin side down and cook for about 4 minutes, until the skin gets crispy. Gently turn the fillets over and cook without moving for an additional 4-5 minutes. This time will vary depending on how thick your filets are. Transfer the filets to a plate and sprinkle with sea salt.

Sage Brown Butter Gnocchi with Marinated Skirt Steak

Method of Preparation:
Cut skirt steak into three even sections and place in a Ziploc bag. In a small bowl, whisk Worcestershire, Merlot, Everything Bagel seasoning, Dijon and soy sauce. Pour marinade into bag and coat meat well. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400˚. Using a fork, pierce each potato multiple times on all sides before placing directly on the oven rack. Bake for about 1 hour or until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife. Let potatoes cool enough to be handled. Cut each potato in half lengthwise and scoop insides into a bowl. Mash potatoes well or put through a ricer.

Preheat a large pot of salted water to boiling. In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, flour, eggs and pepper until a dough is formed. Separate dough into four equal pieces, then roll each piece into a ¾” diameter rope. Slice each rope into 1” gnocchi pieces. Carefully place gnocchi in boiling water for about 2 minutes or until they float to the top. Remove from water, set aside and keep warm. If needed, cook in batches to avoid crowding the pot.

In a large cast iron skillet, over high heat, drizzle olive oil to coat the pan. Remove skirt steak from marinade, add to skillet and press down firmly. Sear first side for 2-3 minutes, depending on thickness, before flipping and cooking 2-4 minutes more. Transfer skirt steak to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes. Slice skirt steak into ¼ inch thick strips.

In a medium pan, over medium-high heat, melt 1 stick of butter then add sage, tearing larger leaves in half or quarters. Stir frequently, scraping bottom of pan; butter will begin to foam. Once butter is dark golden brown in color and sage leaves are crisp, remove from heat. Remove sage leaves and set aside to be used later as garnish. Drizzle sage butter, to taste, over gnocchi.
Plate the sage brown butter gnocchi and top with slices of skirt steak. Garnish with crispy sage leaves and freshly grated Asiago.

Cabernet Cranberry Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Put the sugar into a medium saucepan. Add the orange juice, wine, zest, cinnamon stick and spices, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. While the mixture is simmering, add the cranberries. Bring back to a simmer, and cook until the berries start to “pop.” Simmer the mixture for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will begin to thicken, and the berries will have all popped and collapsed.

Add the ¼ cup of cold water, stir well, and turn off the heat. Don’t worry if a couple of berries didn’t pop, as they will break down as the sauce is cooled and stirred. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

Let the mixture cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. As the sauce cools it will get very thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The cranberry sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Filet Mignon with Bleu Cheese Polenta and Mushroom-Wine Reduction

Method of Preparation:

Mushroom-Wine Reduction: Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a pan over medium heat. Add minced shallot and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add mushrooms and thyme, continue cooking until moisture is released and cooked off. Season with salt and pepper. Add red wine and beef broth. Reduce heat to low and allow the mushrooms to cook for about 20-30 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Turn off heat and set aside.

Polenta: While mushroom mixture is reducing, cook polenta according to the package directions, then remove from heat and gently mix in the bleu cheese crumbles. Don’t fully incorporate the bleu cheese, there should be little pockets of cheese scattered throughout. Cover with a lid and place in a 200˚ oven to keep warm.

Filet Mignon: Remove steaks from the refrigerator about 30 minutes prior to cooking. When ready, heat a pan over high heat and add the grapeseed oil. Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Once the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the steaks to the pan and reduce the heat to medium high. For rare steaks, cook on the first side for 4-5 minutes without disturbing them, then flip the steaks and cook an additional 4-5 minutes. For more well done, add another minute or two per side. Remove from pan and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Assembly: While the steaks are resting, reheat the mushroom-wine reduction over low heat. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and mix well. Place 2 discs of polenta on a plate, slightly overlapped. Place one steak at the end of the overlapping polenta and drizzle both with the mushroom-wine reduction and sprinkle chopped chives over everything.

Rainbow Vegetable Pancakes

Method of Preparation:
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the vegetables, flour, salt and red pepper flakes. Add water and mix very well to combine.

Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat (you may need to adjust the heat, depending on your type of stove). Add enough vegetable mixture to make a dense pancake and spread it out over the pan. Let cook for about 6 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom, then slide it onto a plate and flip back into the pan to finish cooking for another 5-6 minutes. Slide onto a cutting board and repeat to make the rest of the pancakes. Note: if using a large pan, you will end up with 2 large pancakes and if using a small pan, you will end up with 3 to 4 small pancakes. Let cool slightly, garnish and cut into wedges.

Dipping Sauce 1: Combine 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar and 2 tsp sesame oil, then mix well.

Dipping Sauce 2: Gently toast 1 tsp caraway seeds on the stove for just a minute. Let cool slightly, then crush the caraway seeds using a mortar and pestle until they are ground. Stir in 1 cup of plain yogurt with salt to taste.

Adapted from Edible Silicon Valley

Linda’s Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

Method of Preparation:

In a large pot, brown the ground beef and ground sausage, then drain the liquid and remove the meat.

In a Cuisinart, finely chop the onions, garlic, carrot and green bell pepper.  Heat the olive oil in the same pot used to brown the meat and saute the vegetables.

Add the browned meat back to the pot, then add the crushed tomato, tomato sauce and paste, wine, parsley, Italian herbs, salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer 2-3 hours, tasting occasionally and adjusting the seasoning, until the liquid starts to separate from the sauce.

*In summer, I use fresh tomatoes instead.  This usually requires the addition of some sugar to neutralize the acid; it may also require more tomato paste if it has too much liquid.

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

Method of Preparation:
Heat oven to 375˚.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, except for the Panko breadcrumbs and mushroom caps. Rub the tops of the mushrooms with olive oil and place upside down on a sheet pan.
Stuff the mushroom caps with the stuffing mix, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake in your oven for 10-12 minutes, until hot. Let cool slightly before serving.

*I used marinated olives from the deli section of our market and, if you can buy them pitted, that makes it even easier. The mushrooms are already salty and herby, so you don’t need to add much to them.

Sriracha-Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Method of Preparation:

Brine: In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, dill pickle juice, Sriracha, sugar, water, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add the chicken thighs, then cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.

Dredge: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and ranch seasoning. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

Sauce (optional): In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and Sriracha to taste.

Fill a large Dutch oven or stock pot with approximately 2 inches of oil and heat to 350˚. Piece by piece, remove chicken thighs from the brine, allowing excess liquid to drain, then dredge in the dry mixture until well coated. Carefully drop chicken in hot oil and fry for approximately 7 minutes, turning once. Remove chicken from hot oil when golden brown and place on a baking rack to let any excess oil drain.

Serve the fried chicken individually or, to make sliders, toast the buns and top each side with a thin layer of sauce, then place a chicken thigh on each slider and top with dill pickle chips. Regardless of how you serve your fried chicken, plate it with your favorite summer barbeque side dishes like corn on the cob and potato or pasta salad.

Surf ‘N’ Turf

Method of Preparation:

For the Lobster Tails:
Thoroughly clean the lobster tails with water. Using scissors, snip the top of the shell open, down to the last section before the tail fins and stop halfway through that last section.
Gently pull the tail apart and separate the meat from the shell, using your fingers. Carefully pull the tail meat through the cut in the shell until all meat is outside the shell, except the very bottom where it should still be attached. Close the split in the shell and lay the tail meat on top. Place the tails in a broiling pan, meat side up, then brush on melted butter and sprinkle with paprika. Broil for 7-10 minutes, then let rest. Brush with additional butter prior to serving.
*Crab legs or shrimp can be substituted for the lobster tail if preferred.

For the Tri-Tip or Sirloin:
Set grill to 375-400˚. Rub the meat with olive oil and cracked black pepper, to taste. Sear all sides of the meat first, cook each side for 7-10 minute search medium rare, or grill to taste. Let rest, then slice against the grain before serving.

Hank’s Pesto

Method of Preparation:
Place basil leaves, parsley leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in food processor. Pulse, add additional oil if needed and pulse until finely chopped. Add pine nuts and pulse to blend in.

Add mixture to a pan and heat to bubbling, this reduces the strength of the garlic and basil.
Toss with freshly cooked noodles and add add up to 2 cups of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

This recipe will yield enough pesto for 1 lb. of pasta. Extra can be refrigerated for up to 5 days, add a thin layer of olive oil on top of the sauce so the pesto doesn’t oxidize and turn brown.

Maggie’s Ranch Chicken

Method of Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Season the chicken quarters all over with salt and pepper. Put the quarters into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

In a small saucepan, combine the honey, butter and mustard over low heat and stir until the butter melts. Pour the honey mixture evenly over the chicken. Place a tarragon sprig on each quarter.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, then remove the dish from the oven, spoon the dish juices over the chicken and return the dish to the oven for 30 minutes more. The chicken will be fully cooked, with beautifully browned skin. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow the juices to settle.

Spicy Vegetarian Enchiladas

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add red onion, garlic, jalapeño and corn. Stir in chili powder and cumin. Cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add zucchini and spinach and cook until the spinach is slightly wilted, then add the green chilis, black beans and ¼ cup of enchilada sauce. Cook 3 minutes more to heat up.

Pour half of the remaining enchilada sauce into a 9″× 13″ baking dish and spread into a thin layer. Add a large scoop of vegetable mixture and 2 Tbsp. cheese into the center of each tortilla and roll up tightly. Place each tortilla seam down in the baking dish, side-by-side, then top with the remaining enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 15 to 18 minutes.

Garnish with tomatoes, avocado, and sour cream.

Blackened Burgers

Method of Preparation:

Aioli: Several hours in advance, combine all of the aioli ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate.

Blackening Spice: Combine all ingredients thoroughly and season both sides of each burger patty.

Burger: Prepare a charcoal grill by lighting with a charcoal chimney or lighter fluid, keeping the coals to one side of the grill. Mix the ground lamb and beef together until thoroughly incorporated. Separate the meat into four even quarters, then form into patties. Leave a small indent in the center of each patty with your thumb (this will prevent the burgers from shrinking too much). Once the coals are ready, sear the burgers directly over the coals for 4-5 minutes. Flip the burgers and sear for 2-3 minutes, then move to the side of the grill, away from the heat. Top each burger with cheese and cover the grill. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes for medium. Remove the burgers to a plate.

Assembly: Toast the buns, either in the oven or over the coals. Spread a healthy amount of aioli on the bottom bun, then top with a burger and the toppings of your choice.

This recipe is best cooked over charcoal but can be done on a gas grill or the stovetop.


Method of Preparation:
In a medium sauté pan, cook chorizo over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, then move the chorizo to the sides of the pan, turn the heat up to high and add the chicken to the center of the pan. Cook the chicken on one side, then mix with the chorizo.

Cook rice according to package instructions. If not using packaged rice, bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add 1 ½ cups rice, turn heat down to low and let simmer approximately 15-20 minutes.

Add the seafood, bell peppers, tomatoes, celery, green onion, paprika, saffron and wine to the pan and cook on high heat for 3 minutes, then turn to low and cover for approximately 25 minutes.

Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the rice.

Pistou with Pork Chops

Method of Preparation:

For the Pistou: Combine the first five ingredients in a food processor and pulse. Slowly add olive oil to the mix and process. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Pork Chops: Preheat oven to 350°. Mix 2 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. ground black pepper. Pat rub over both sides of the chops. Heat a small amount of oil over medium heat in a good size oven proof sauté pan. Be sure the chops fit well and are not too crowded. Sear the chops until brown, about 5 minutes, then flip them over to sear the other side.

Cover the pan with a lid and place in the pre-heated oven. Cook chops until they reach a temperature of 160˚.
Check the temperature after about 15 minutes; thicker chops may take up to 30 minutes. Once the proper temperature is reached, remove the pork chops from oven and let rest for 10 minutes, then spoon the pistou over the chops.

Easy Weeknight Pasta

Method of Preparation:
In a shallow skillet, sauté olive oil and onion until fragrant. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté 1 minute. Add chicken stock, salt, black pepper and oregano, then stir. Add the pasta, Parmesan rind, artichoke hearts and spinach. If including, add the optional chicken or sausage.

Bring to boil over high heat, stirring often to prevent pasta from sticking. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 10-15 minutes; time will depend on your pasta. Add a little water if it gets too dry. Cook until all the liquid is almost evaporated.

Take off heat, remove rind, stir in Parmesan and butter. Let rest for couple of minutes, then grate more Parmesan and drizzle with olive oil.

Mushroom Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Method of Preparation:
Cut the tenderloins open lengthwise about ¾ the way through and flatten out. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside while prepping the stuffing.

Sauté the onion, shallot and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for five minutes, then add the prosciutto, parsley, sage and mushrooms. Cook on low for an additional 20 minutes. Add the Pinot Noir and cook for another five minutes, let cool.

Spread the cooled mixture over the tenderloins, then tightly close them up. Place the rolls seam side down in a baking dish and roast in a 350˚ oven for 25 minutes. Baste with pan juices half way through.

Let rest for five minutes and then slice into one inch slices and serve two per person. This goes nicely with whole wheat pasta with kalamata olives and sautéed kale. You can make gravy from any “extra” stuffing and the pan juices.

Jacques Pepin’s Chicken Liver Pâté

Method of Preparation:
In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken livers, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and ½ teaspoon of salt. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the livers are barely pink inside, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the livers, onion, and garlic to a food processor, process until coarse. With the machine on, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until incorporated. Add the Cognac, season with salt and pepper and process until completely smooth.

Scrape through a small sieve into 3-4 small ramekins. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pâté and refrigerate until firm. Serve chilled.

Made ahead: The pâté can be covered with parchment, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months.

Serve with cornichons, French mustard, small toasts and a bottle of AVV Merlot.

Pan Roasted Duck Breast & Chestnut Confit with Red Wine Braised Cabbage

Method of Preparation:
For Cabbage: This recipe can & should be prepared up to 7 days in advance. Core & thinly slice cabbage, toss in salt & sugar, press overnight, then drain off liquid. Toast spices on low heat, place in cheesecloth with thyme & bay leaf, tie. Render diced bacon on low heat, add shallots, garlic & chopped apples, sweat until soft. Add spice bag & cabbage, then cook without getting any color. Add vinegar & red wine (we use AVV Pinot Noir) and stir. Cover with lid or parchment paper, place in 350F oven, cook until tender & almost all liquid absorbed. Refrigerate for up to 7 days and allow flavors to meld & develop.

For Chestnuts: In small saucepan lightly warm the brown butter, add toasted peeled chestnuts, cover with parchment & cook on very low flame for 1-2 hours. Check chestnuts with skewer, they are finished when completely soft, but still held together. Keep warm until serving or make ahead & refrigerate.

For Duck: Season both sides with salt, cook skin side down for 15 minutes on medium heat. Flip & let sit in pan for 3 minutes. Remove & keep warm. Discard fat, add braised cabbage to pan, then add butter to emulsify. Warm up chestnut mixture. Slice duck, lay on top of cabbage, season with salt, spoon a chestnut & brown butter over top of duck, enjoy with CYRUS.

Spicy Pad Thai

Method of Preparation:
Soften the noodles by boiling a large pot of water and cooking them briefly, until limp but still firm. Rinse with cold water, then let drain completely and set aside.

Mix together soy sauce and shrimp, then set aside.

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add more sugar if it is too sour and lime juice if not tart enough.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 to 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, then garlic. Stir fry 1 minute. Add the chicken (or pork) and shrimp; cook about 2 minutes, tossing until the meat and shrimp are cooked through. Add the noodles and cook until tender. Add peppers, tofu, ginger and the sauce; cook 1 to 2 minutes, tossing to incorporate all ingredients. Push the ingredients to the outside of the pan. Add ½ to 1 oz. vegetable oil to the center of the wok or pan, let it heat briefly, then add the egg and stir-fry briefly to scramble.

Gently combine everything and turn heat off. Fold in the green onions, half the bean sprouts, half the peanuts and half the cilantro.

When plating, put a sprinkling of bean sprouts on each plate. Top with the noodle mixture and sprinkle rim with the remaining peanuts and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Braised Short Ribs with Gravy and Swiss Chard

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350˚. Sprinkle ribs with coarse salt and pepper. Sprinkle flour over ribs and toss to coat. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown ribs on all sides. Remove ribs and set aside. Wipe out pot. Add remaining oil to the pot, then add the onions, turnips, carrots, celery and garlic; cook vegetables until tender and slightly brown, stirring often, for about 12 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, fresh thyme sprigs and bay leaves; stir to coat. Return ribs to the pot, placing on sides to fit a single layer. Add wine and simmer about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, cover and bring to a simmer.

Transfer the pot to the oven and braise until tender, about 2 hours. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the ribs, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. When cool enough, refrigerate 24 hours to allow the fat to rise and solidify, making it easy to remove. Reheat the braising liquid and vegetables in the dutch oven before passing through a food mill and returning to the pot. Season the gravy with salt and pepper to taste. Return ribs to the pot, cover and simmer until heated through.

Swiss Chard:
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir about 30 seconds. Add half the chard, tossing until it wilts, about 1 minute; add water by tablespoons if dry. Add the remaining chard and toss until wilted but bright green, about 3 minutes. Season to taste.

Divide ribs and chard among plates, then spoon the gravy over the ribs. This is also great with mashed potatoes.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chipotle Raspberry Sauce

Method of Preparation:
For the Brine: Combine all ingredients except for the ice and pork in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil to make sure the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the ice and allow it to cool to room temperature. Place the pork tenderloins in a zip-lock bag and add the brine. Brine the pork for 24 hours, rotating the bag and mixing every few hours.

For the Raspberry Chipotle Sauce: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, jalapeño and garlic. Sautee until translucent. Add the raspberries, sugar, chipotle and adobo sauce. Stir until the raspberries begin to break apart, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add both vinegars. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds. You should have roughly 2 cups of sauce. If there is more than that, continue to simmer until reduced enough. It should be somewhat syrupy. Set aside. (The sauce can be done up to 24 hours in advance; just cover and chill until needed).

For the Pork Tenderloin: Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat (all the coals to one side of the grill or only half the burners on a gas grill turned on). Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Cook the pork over direct heat just to sear the outside, about 3 minutes per side. Move the pork away from the heat and close the lid on the grill. Cook for another 10 minutes. Place the pork on a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. While the pork is resting, rewarm the sauce (do not boil it). With sauce simmering, add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly until the butter has all been melted into the sauce. Remove from heat. Slice the pork at an angle and top with the sauce and garnish with chives.

Chocolate Zin Soft Serve Ice Cream

Method of Preparation:
Put the milk and chocolate in a pot and heat to medium, stirring occasionally until the chocolate melts and is incorporated into the milk. Stir in the wine, then allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes. Add the cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla extract, stir until incorporated and lumps are gone.

Chill mixture for approximately 2 hours in the freezer. In the ice cream maker, churn as directed for 20-25 minutes. It will be soft at this point. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for up to four hours before serving.

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Method of Preparation:
Stir together the Ricotta, egg yolk, parsley, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Carefully open each blossom and fill it with about 2 teaspoons of filling. Gently twist the flower closed.

Whisk together the batter ingredients. Heat ½ inch of oil to 375˚ in a medium skillet. Dip the blossoms, one at a time, into the batter to coat. Fry the blossoms until golden, turning only once. This should take 1-2 minutes total. Transfer the blossoms to paper towels to drain.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Method of Preparation:
For the meatballs: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, add onions and garlic, cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat to let cool. In a large mixing bowl, mix milk and breadcrumbs. Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes, then add the onions, garlic and all remaining ingredients. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until fully blended. Shape the mixture into meatballs in the size of your choosing. In a frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat, then in batches, add the meatballs to the frying pan. Roll or turn the meatballs around in the pan, browning all sides, 5-6 minutes. Remove the meatballs and set aside (it is okay at this point if they are raw in the middle, the goal is to just brown the outside of them).

For the sauce: In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook while stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the AVV Cabernet, stir and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Once the tomatoes are blended, add the remaining ingredients and continue to simmer. Stir in the meatballs and let simmer covered for 20 to 60 minutes to allow any raw meat in the center of the meatballs to cook and for all the flavors to meld together (if a thicker sauce is desired, simmer uncovered). While the sauce is simmering, cook the spaghetti per package instructions. Drain then plate the pasta. Pour sauce and meatballs over the pasta and serve with a glass of AVV Cabernet Sauvignon. Top with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Spicy Homestead Chicken

Method of Preparation:
Combine ingredients for the dry rub, then rub all over the chicken breasts and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 8 hours to infuse the flavors.

Broil the tomatoes until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes, then chop into 1″ pieces. Combine half and half, hoisin, hot sauce, Homestead Red Blend and fresh herbs. Refrigerate the sauce and tomatoes while the chicken marinates.

Grill the chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes per side, until the center is no longer pink (you may have to cut into one to check).
While the chicken is cooking, heat butter and garlic in a sauce pan until the garlic starts to sizzle. Then, add the chopped tomatoes and sauce to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 4 minutes.

Slice the chicken breasts and serve the sauce on the side, topped with the chives and alongside rice pilaf or noodles and your favorite veggie.

Steak and Plum Kabobs with Summer Corn Salad

Method of Preparation:
Soak 8-10 bamboo skewers in water for 30 to 60 minutes, then remove from water and pat dry just prior to using.

Cut the steak into 1″ cubes and set aside. In a Ziplock bag, combine red wine vinegar, coriander, brown sugar, olive oil, onion, salt, pepper, cloves and plum sauce. Add the steak cubes, turning to coat. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Refrigerate 1 hour to marinate, shaking the bag once to mix everything up.

Shuck corn and, using a sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels off the cob. Add about ½″ water to a medium saucepan and salt well. Bring to a simmer. Add corn, cover, and cook until corn is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Set aside.

On each skewer, alternate beef, onion, plum, yellow bell pepper, beef, green bell pepper, plum, onion, beef. Repeat this process until you have your desired number of skewers. Place the skewers on an oiled grill over medium heat. Cook 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Roughly chop the leftover veggies into bite size pieces, then squeeze 1 quarter of the lime onto the veggie mixture. Using a medium saucepan over medium low heat, cook the veggies and cherry tomatoes until al dente, about 5 minutes. Add the corn and warm slightly, about 1 minute.

To serve, spoon the corn salad onto the plates and arrange the kabobs over the corn.


Farrotto with Sausage and Peppers

Method of Preparation:
Put water, chicken broth, farro and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until farro is tender but still chewy, then drain any excess liquid.

While the farro cooks, thinly slice the onions and bell peppers, and slice the sausage into ¼-inch thick medallions. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage medallions and sauté until browned, then drain off the excess fat. Add the sliced onions to the skillet and cook for about 4-5 minutes, then add the bell peppers and continue to sauté for 5 more minutes, or until the onions are becoming translucent but are still slightly crisp. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), oregano, basil, pepper and cooked farro. Stir until evenly combined and cook on low heat long enough to heat through (about 3 minutes), then stir in the pine nuts and immediately transfer to a serving dish.

BBQ Tri Tip

Method of Preparation:
Evenly coat tri tip roast with dry rub.  Store any leftover rub in refrigerator.  Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add onions and peppers; cook until lightly caramelized and set aside.

B.B.Q. tri tip to desired doneness. Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes.  Slice meat thinly and add to 2 cups of warm B.B.Q sauce.

To assemble: split rolls and stuff with meat and onion-pepper mix.

Herb Leg of Lamb

Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a Ziploc bag, seal and shake and place in refrigerator for 48 hours. Barbeque to desired doneness. Approximately, 15 minutes per side will be medium rare on a Weber.  Let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve. Delicious with a big green salad, ears of corn and a glass of Merlot on a warm summer’s night.

Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce

Method of Preparation:
In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, and add onions, carrots and garlic. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Add ground beef and brown, which should take another 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Add wine and tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook the sauce, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about one hour. Add milk, simmer for 15 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper to your taste.

Cook pasta according to directions, serve with sauce and cheese and a glass of AVV Merlot.

Grilled Shrimp Scampi

Method of Preparation:
Mix all ingredients until well incorporated to form a compound butter. Using scissors split each shrimp down back and devein, leave shell on. Stuff about ½ tsp of the compound butter under each side of shrimp shell, press shut.

Heat grill to medium high, then reduce to low. Grill shrimp for 3 minutes on each side with grill top open. Plate with sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley and squeeze of lemon juice. Reserve remaining compound butter and use to grill chicken or serve over vegetables.

Serve with AVV Estate Chardonnay.

Scallops with Spinach, Paprika and Gewurz Syrup

Method of Preparation:
Bring the first five ingredients to a boil in a saucepan; cook 4 minutes or until syrup mixture thickens. Cool slightly.

While Gewurz syrup cooks, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the pan; swirl to coat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels; sprinkle with ¹⁄8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until done and nicely browned. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm.

Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add half of spinach; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add remaining spinach; cook 2 minutes or until wilted. Stir in ¹⁄8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

Divide the spinach mixture evenly among each of 4 plates, and divide scallops evenly among servings. Drizzle Gewurz syrup mixture evenly over scallops; sprinkle 1 teaspoon pine nuts over each serving.

Pancetta and Pea Pasta

Method of Preparation:
Bring a large pot of water to boiling for the pasta. For the sauce, heat a large sauté pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped pancetta and cook until crispy. Add red peppers, garlic and grape tomatoes. De-glaze pan with chardonnay, then add cream and peas. Cook for two minutes until creamy consistency. Cook a ½ pound of your favorite pasta, drain and toss with sauce.

Enjoy with Alexander Valley Vineyards Cab Franc and crusty French bread.

Skirt Steak Soft Tacos

Method of Preparation:
Marinate the skirt steak with garlic, Ponzu, Worcestershire, rice vinegar and olive oil for 3 hours or overnight. Put the butter in a large sauté pan and heat to medium. Add the onion, pepper, garlic and mushrooms and cook until lightly caramelized. Remove from pan and keep warm. Remove steak from marinade and sauté in pan for 4 minutes each side or until desired doneness. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes, then slice into thin strips across the grain. Microwave tortillas for one minute or until hot. Then, assemble to your liking. Serve with refried black beans and Spanish rice. Enjoy with a glass of Estate Cabernet Franc.

Spicy Chicken Croquettes

Method of Preparation:
Chop the scallions, chili pepper and cilantro in the food processor. Note: The heat of the dish depends on the heat of the peppers.  For milder croquettes, use Anaheim chili peppers. For something with a fiery tone, try jalapeño, habanero or even scotch bonnet peppers.

Add the chicken, water chestnuts, flour, eggs, ginger and salt, and process until the chicken is finely chopped and all the ingredients are well blended.

Chill, covered, for 1 to 2 hours, then form into patties. Fry in medium-hot oil, turning over once, until browned all over and cooked through.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot or cold with a dipping sauce. Hoisin works well, as does Black Bean with Garlic sauce, or Sweet Chili sauce. Enjoy!

Thai Chicken on Jasmine Rice

Method of Preparation:
Heat a wok to high. Add olive oil and chicken and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, lemon grass and jalapeno peppers and sauté for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the coconut milk and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve over Jasmine rice with steamed cauliflower.

Enjoy with a glass of Gewurz.

Red Chicken Curry

Method of Preparation:
Heat a wok to high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add Thai curry paste and dissolve. Add chicken and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Add potatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, black bean paste, red chili sauce and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Right before serving, toss with fresh cilantro, lime zest and juice.

Serve over jasmine rice and enjoy with a glass of Gewurz.

Fresh Spring Salad with Smoked Trout

Method of Preparation:
Place the creme fraiche, lemon juice and shallot in the blender, and briefly blend to mix.  With blender running, and olive oil slowly through the top of the machine, processing until smooth and creamy.  Add salt to your taste.

Arrange greens on a plate, then radish, fennel and cucumber.  Dot with smoked trout.  Drizzle dressing over the top, and garnish with flower petals.  This is a delicious pairing with our Dry Rose of Sangiovese.

Pasta al sugo di salsicce Italiano

Method of Preparation:
Add oil to a frying pan and heat up. Brown sausage then combine onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and saute’ briefly for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and Homestead Red Blend. Turn heat to low and simmer uncovered for 3 to 4 hours.

Fill a large pot with 4 to 5 quarts of water, add 2 Tbsp. of salt and bring to boil. Add pasta and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until al dente.

Pour pasta in colander and drain then return to pot. Stir in sauce and distribute to plates, top with more sauce and good grating cheese (pecorino or parmesan reggiano) and serve with some Italian crusty bread.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Method of Preparation:
Add the broth to a small sauce pot and heat over low heat, just to simmer.

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and thyme. Sauté the
mushrooms for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the moisture from them is gone. Transfer mushrooms to a
small bowl.

In the same pan, melt the remaining butter and heat the olive oil. Add the leek, onion and garlic and sauté until
translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the rice and continue to sauté until the rice starts to get little white spots,
about 3 minutes. Add both wines, stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed by the rice. When the rice is beginning to
look dry, add the warm broth one ladle full at a time, stirring between each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Taste as you go to determine when the rice is done cooking. Once the rice is cooked, add the mushrooms and the
Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste, add a few drops of truffle oil if desired.

Serve on it’s own or with a grilled steak for a full meal.

Italian Sausage with Pasta and Mushrooms

Method of Preparation:
This is a very simple meal, but you must have all the ingredients ready at the start. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until done.

Meanwhile, in a large hot sauté pan, add olive oil, sausage, and onions. Cook until sausage is just done. Next add garlic, mushrooms, spinach and pepper flakes. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain pasta and toss with ingredients in sauté pan.

Sprinkle with cheese and serve with crusty bread.

Enjoy with a glass of Sin Zin.

Sin Zin Flank Steak

Method of Preparation:
Mix all ingredients in a shallow pan and place flank steak in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or over night.

Pre-heat a sauté pan large enough to fit the steak to medium high, add oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add steak.  Cook for 5 minutes on each side and remove to a warm platter.  Add the marinade to the pan and reduce by half.  Whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter to finish the sauce.  Strain sauce and keep warm.

Slice steak diagonally and thinly against the grain, plate and sauce.

Serve with a baked potato and portobello gratin and a glass of Sin Zin.

Sinful Chicken Thighs

Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a zip lock bag and refrigerate over night.

Grill over a medium hot grill and serve on rice pilaf with garden Zucchini and Tomatoes.

Enjoy with a glass of Sin Zin.

Baked Chicken with Peppers

Method of Preparation:
Heat oven to 400°. Season chicken liberally with salt, pepper and paprika. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Working in batches, add chicken, skin side down, and cook until skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a large roasting pan, skin side up in a single layer, and set aside. Return pan to heat and add garlic, peppers and onions.

Cook and stir until vegetables start to soften. Stir in tomato paste, then stock (or stock/wine mixture). Mix together and pour over chicken. Bake for one hour. Delicious!

Citrus Game Hens

Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Toss to coat hens. Cover and marinate overnight. At this point, you can cook the hens one of two ways; on the grill or in the oven. The hens are citrusier when cooked in the oven. Cook hens until done. Approximately 20 minutes on the grill or 40 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees. You can cook one hen each way and then serve a piece from each hen with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans.

Enjoy with a glass of 2007 Chardonnay.

Soy Marinated Rack of Lamb

Method of Preparation:
Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a non reactive pan, place racks of lamb and pour marinade over lamb and cover. Marinate overnight.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Remove lamb from marinade and pat dry. Heat a large oven proof sauté pan to high and add oil. Add lamb and sear on all sides. Place in oven for 12 minutes, turning over once at 7 minutes. When done, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Enjoy with a glass of 2003 Cyrus.

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Method of Preparation:
Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Coat lightly with flour. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof pan. Brown the lamb in batches, adding more oil as needed. Remove browned lamb to a plate and hold. Sauté the green peppers in the remaining oil in pan, stirring often for a couple of minutes. Remove, and set aside. Sauté the onion and garlic until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add spices and cook, stirring constantly for about 30 seconds. Add the broth and deglaze the pan, add the tomato paste. Return lamb and peppers to the pan. Bring to a boil, cover and place in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 ½ hours or until fork tender. Serve with rice.

Enjoy with a glass of 2002 Cyrus.

Beef Tenderloin with CYRUS Mushroom Topping

Method of Preparation:
1) Tie each slice of filet with butcher twine into tight round shape and chill.
2) Saute 1 tbs. oil and mushrooms on high heat, browning well about 7 minutes. Reduce heat and add shallots, sauté until soft, add more oil if needed. Add garlic and thyme and heat until fragrant. Deglaze with ½ cup CYRUS, cook until wine is reduced and mixture is dry. Cool and stir in parsley and 1 tbs. chives.
3) Whip the cream to stiff peaks, fold in the beaten egg yolk, cooled mushroom mixture, ¼ tsp salt, pepper, and blue cheese* Cover and chill.
4) Brush the filet rounds with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sear in very hot skillet until all sides are browned. Remove from pan.
5) Scoop chilled mushroom/cream mixture on top of each filet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes** until top is bubbling and golden brown. To finish, sprinkle with chopped chives and serve with side salad and roasted accordion potatoes.

*I use Point Reyes Blue – not as salty as some, so adjust salt based upon the cheese you select.
** Baking time will depend on thickness of filet – check with meat thermometer.

Deep Dark Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Method of Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat water to near simmering. Place unsweetened and semisweet chocolates in to heat proof bowl and place in water. Stir until melted and smooth. Keep at room temperature until needed.

Place the light brown sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl and beat on high for an additional 30 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, while beating on medium. Scrape down bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat on medium for 30 seconds.

Add the melted chocolate and beat on low until incorporated, scraping bowl as needed. Add the sifted flour, cocoa, baking soda, and chocolate chips and beat on low until thoroughly combined about 30 seconds.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish mixing with a rubber spatula. Drop rounded teaspoons of batter on baking sheet and put cookies on the top and middle shelves and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the trays from top to bottom about half way through baking. Cool for about 5 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to rack and cool thoroughly. Repeat until all the cookies are baked.

Eggs Sardou

Method of Preparation:
If you are not using pre-cooked bacon crumbles (like I did), cook the bacon using your preferred method, then crumble and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Place the flour, 4 beaten eggs and Panko in 3 separate containers and drain the can of artichoke hearts of any liquid. To bread the artichoke hearts, first dip them in the flour, then the beaten eggs and finally the Panko. Place the breaded artichoke hearts in the heated pan and cook until golden brown.

While the artichoke hearts are cooking, prepare the Hollandaise sauce according to the package directions. Add the tomato paste, hot sauce, lemon juice, chives and half the parsley to the finished Hollandaise and incorporate well. Follow the package instructions for the creamed spinach or use your favorite recipe for a freshly made version.

Keep the bacon, Hollandaise, creamed spinach and artichoke hearts separate and warm until assembly.

Cook the remaining 8 eggs using your preferred runny-yolk method of poached, sunny-side-up or over easy.

Layer each ingredient on a warmed plate in the order of creamed spinach, artichoke hearts, eggs (be careful not to break the yolks), Hollandaise sauce and bacon crumbles. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve.

World’s Best Salad Dressing

Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a resealable lid. Shake well, then add to salad.

Note: Dijon mustard can be substituted for the dry mustard, white wine vinegar for the red wine vinegar and add a dash of Worcestershire sauce if desired.

Kumquat Ginger Herb Marinade

Method of Preparation:
In a mini food processor, pulse the kumquats, garlic and ginger until finely chopped.  Transfer this mixture to a small saucepan, and the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and honey.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the mixture reduces to a thick paste, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Stir in the scallions and cilantro, and a small bit of salt and pepper.  Spread as a marinade on your favorite meat, and let sit for one to four hours.  Grill, broil or bake.

Butter Basted Shrimp

Method of Preparation:
Shell and devein shrimp, dry with paper towel.

In a pan, heat olive oil to shimmering. Add shrimp and sear to get a little color, then remove the shrimp from the oil and set aside. Reduce heat to the pan, add the shallots and sauté for about 3-4 minutes.

Add Cognac and Ouzo. Carefully light with a match and flambé. When the flame is out, add wine, then reduce by half. Put the shrimp back into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add butter and swirl to melt, then add parsley and chives. Squeeze a lemon quarter over top, just prior to serving.

Serve with a rustic baguette and glass of AVV Chardonnay.

Chicken Gruyere with Sautéed Mushrooms

Method of Preparation:
Dredge chicken in flour with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil or butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.

Transfer chicken to a baking dish and keep warm. In the same pan, heat remaining olive oil or butter and add mushrooms, sautéing until lightly browned, then remove from heat.

Top chicken with mushrooms, then cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat source for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Garnish with parsley.

Italian Winter Casserole

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350˚.  Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Place pasta in the pot, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, then drain.

Before thinly slicing the Portobello mushrooms, cut out the stem.  Next, using a spoon, remove the brown gills of the mushrooms and discard.  Wipe the mushroom caps with a damp paper towel.  Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the mushrooms and Italian seasoning, cook 3 minutes, then set aside.

In the same skillet, brown the Italian sausage, then add spinach to the pan to wilt, about 3 minutes.

Melt butter in the saucepan.  Mix in flour and garlic.  Gradually mix in milk until thickened.  Stir in 1 cup cheese until melted. Remove saucepan from heat and mix in cooked pasta, sausage, mushrooms, spinach and soy sauce. Transfer to the greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until bubbly and lightly brown.

AVV Rosé Holiday Cocktail

Method of Preparation:
In a small pitcher combine cranberry juice, Rosé, bitters, and ice and stir until combined.

Strain cocktail into a glass filled with ice and add fresh cranberries for garnish.


Chicken Tagine with Quinces

Method of Preparation:
Roll each piece of chicken in flour and brown in the hot oil. Remove to a plate, season with salt and pepper to taste. In the same skillet add the onions and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden. Peel the quinces, remove the seeds, and cut into 8 pieces. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. In a Dutch oven or heavy pan, place the onions, the chicken pieces and then the quinces. add a pinch of nutmeg and the cinnamon. Cover the pot and let simmer on low for 1½ hours. By the end, everything should be a beautiful pink color!

Mushroom Polenta Rounds

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 450˚.  Lightly brush each side of polenta with olive oil.  Arrange on parchment lined baking sheets.  Roast for 15 minutes, then flip each piece over and roast for another 10 minutes.  The polenta should be crispy and golden brown.

While the polenta is roasting, melt butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil, add sliced mushrooms and cook slowly on low to medium heat for about 12 minutes, stirring often.  Add the garlic, thyme, shallots, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, then cook 5-10 minutes more until there is no liquid and the mushrooms are browned and tender.  Add vinegar and cook until liquid evaporates.  Taste and add additional salt if needed.  Remove from heat and stir in parsley.  (This takes 25-30 minutes and it can be done the day before.)

Top each polenta piece with the mushroom mixture and cheese.  Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a few parsley leaves.  This can be served hot or at room temperature.


Chickpea and Black Pepper Soup with Gorgonzola Crostini

Method of Preparation for Soup:
Heat a three-quart sauce pan to medium high heat. Add olive oil, shallots and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add black peppercorns, garbanzo beans and chicken stock. Cover and cook for 20 minutes at a gentle boil. Using a blender, purée to a silky texture. If the soup is too thin, cook at a simmer, uncovered, until desired thickness is achieved. If the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock.

Method of Preparation for Crostini:
Slice the sourdough baguette into ¾″ thick pieces. Brush each piece with olive oil and bake in a 375˚ oven until lightly browned. Place crumbled Gorgonzola cheese in a food processor with whipping cream. Mix until it is light and fluffy. Spread each crostini with the Gorgonzola mousse and place in oven to melt cheese.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with two crostini each and garnish with chopped chives.

Braised Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes

Method of Preparation for Short Ribs:
Heat a Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet until hot.  Add small amount of oil until shimmering.  Salt short ribs on all sides.  Place short ribs meat side down and brown, about 5 minutes on each side.

While meat is browning, chop onions and place in a Crock-Pot.  Wash thyme sprigs and place in Crock-Pot.  Once the meat is browned, turn the Crock-Pot to low and add the short ribs.  Pour half the bottle of Sin Zin and the stock in the Crock-Pot.  Add water to cover.  The meat can be cooked on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Method of Preparation for Mashed Potatoes:
Wash potatoes and cut into quarters.  Place in large Dutch oven and pour 1 quart of milk  and 2 tsp. salt over the potatoes.  Fill the Dutch oven with water, covering the potatoes.  Heat on medium until at a boil, then reduce to simmer.  Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes until potatoes are cooked.  Once done, mash the potatoes with a wooden spoon or potato masher until smooth and creamy, season with salt & pepper if needed.

Serve the short ribs with mashed potatoes, a green salad and 2017 Sin Zin!

Heirloom Tomato Galette

Method of Preparation:
Thaw frozen puff pastry for 30 minutes.  Pre-heat oven to 400˚.

Slice the tomatoes to ¼″ thickness by starting at the bottom of the tomato and working toward the stem to create a beautiful cross section that highlights the tomato.  Thinly slice the garlic cloves and finely chop the parsley.  Mix together the tomatoes, parsley and garlic then generously salt the mixture and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Drain any excess liquid before placing the tomato mixture on the galette dough.

On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the pastry dough to ¹⁄8″ thickness.  Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Combine ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper with the breadcrumbs, then evenly spread the breadcrumbs to within an inch of the edge of the dough.  Layer the tomato slices on top of the breadcrumbs.  If using a mix of tomato sizes, place smaller tomatoes on top.

To encase the filling, first fold the long edges of the dough to create a one-inch fold over the tomatoes, than brush the folded edges with the egg wash.  Next, fold the short edges over about three inches and press edges together lightly.  Use the egg wash to bind the folds together and brush the remaining exposed pastry dough.  Sprinkle lightly with salt before baking.

Bake for 40-50 minutes at 400˚.  After baking, pull the tart from the oven and top with the herb goat cheese.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Cowboy Ribeye with Coffee Rub

Method of Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Rub outside of each steak generously with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 40 minutes to allow the flavors to be absorbed into the meat.

Remove steak from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.

Preheat grill to high heat and cook until golden brown and slightly charred — 4 to 5 minutes. Turn steaks over and continue to grill another 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (internal temperature of 135˚F).

Remove from grill and allow to rest 10-15 minutes before carving.

White Peach Sangria

Method of Preparation:
Add all fruit to pitcher, add one full bottle Gewürz, 1 cup peach vodka and 3 cups club soda.

Chill for two hours, then pour and enjoy!

Roast Duck with Cherries and Braised Red Cabbage

Method of Preparation:
Melt butter in a large pot, add the cabbage and sauté over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the dried cherries, ½ cup wine, 3 sprigs thyme, cranberry-blackberry juice, vinegar, sugar, orange slices and 1 cinnamon stick. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the cabbage is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours. Once the cooking time expires, remove the thyme stems, orange slices and cinnamon stick. (This can be done in advance, allowed to cool, refrigerated and reheated prior to serving.)

For the duck, remove anything in the cavity, then sprinkle the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the duck with the sliced apple and the remaining thyme, dried cherries and cinnamon stick. Tie the legs together to help close the cavity and sprinkle the duck with salt and pepper. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and put into an oven set at 450˚ for 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350˚ and continue roasting for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the duck from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Remove the fat from the roasting pan then place the pan over a burner at medium-low heat and add the remaining 1 ¼ cup of red wine. Scrape up any of the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and allow the wine to reduce to a little more than a ½ cup. Add the liquid from the pan to the finished (or reheated) cabbage, taste, then adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve the cabbage alongside the carved duck and garnish with a few fresh thyme leaves.

Grilled Rack of Lamb with Confetti Cous Cous

Method of Preparation:
Mix balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, pepper and lemon juice together in a small bowl.  Place lamb chops in a dish and pour over the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate for 4-6 hours, turning occasionally.

Light charcoal in a grill.  Once the charcoal is starting to ash and is hot, distribute the coals evenly over one side of the grill.  Remove the chops from the marinade (reserve marinade) and pat dry with a paper towel.  Season the chops on all sides liberally with salt and  pepper.  Grill the chops directly over the coals, about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Baste with the reserved marinade while cooking.  If the coals get too hot or some chops cook more quickly than others, move them to the side of the grill without the coals.  Once done, remove to a cutting board and allow to rest.

While the chops are cooking, bring the broth, butter and salt to a boil.  Once boiling, add the cous cous and stir thoroughly, then remove from heat and cover for approximately 4 minutes.  After 4 minutes, remove the lid and fluff with a fork.  Add the dried cherries, mint and parsley.  Mix all together.

To assemble, place a spoonful of the cous cous onto each plate and sprinkle some of the goat cheese over the top.  Cut each 2-bone lamb chop in half between the bones and layer on top of the cous cous.

NY Steak with a Red Wine Reduction

Method of Preparation:
Rinse all produce.  Trim ends and thinly slice the mushrooms.  Quarter and slice the onions.  Peel and dice the potatoes.

For the red wine reduction, heat a large pan to medium-high.  Add 3 tablespoons olive oil and onions to the pan. Once the onions are translucent, reduce heat to low (add optional sugar at this time if desired) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized to your liking.  Add the mushrooms and wine, then continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Fill a large pot with water, add the potatoes, then boil until tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Drain water, then mash the potatoes with milk and butter.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a separate pan to medium-high.  Score the fatty side of each steak and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a light drizzle of olive oil.  Place steaks into the pan and cook for approximately 7 minutes per side, then rotate the steaks to sear the ends.  Once desired doneness is achieved, remove steaks from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes.

Plate steaks and mashed potatoes. Top the steaks and/or mashed potatoes with the red wine reduction.

Mushroom and Blue Cheese Polenta

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375°.

If incorporating optional Italian sausage: In large saucepan, cook sausage until done, then remove from pan and set aside.

Remove mushroom stems, then wash and chop.  In a large saucepan on medium heat (you can use same saucepan used for Italian sausage), add mushrooms, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until mushrooms have absorbed most of the liquid, then add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Using the same saucepan, pour the chicken stock and half-and-half into the pan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and slowly add cornmeal, whisking constantly.  Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until polenta is thick and smooth, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Once done, remove saucepan from heat and stir in mascarpone, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. black pepper and mushrooms (and Italian sausage, if desired).

In an 8×11 baking dish, add polenta and smooth out into an even layer.  Sprinkle blue cheese crumbles over top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until polenta is bubbly and cheese is melted.  Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Lamb Meatball Skewers

Method of Preparation:
Whisk together the water and egg in a large bowl. Add the panko and let stand for 10 minutes. Add the lamb, lemon zest, poblano pepper, parsley, onion, cilantro, garlic, brown sugar and spices. Stir until well incorporated.

Shape about 2 ounces of the lamb mixture into a ball. Insert 2 skewers parallel through the meatball, and press the meatball to flatten slightly into a disk shape. Repeat for each meatball.

Preheat the grill to medium (about 400°). Brush meatballs evenly with oil. Grill the lamb until browned on one side, 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and cook until browned and done, about 4 minutes. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Black Pepper Scones with Balsamic Strawberry Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400°.

In a food processor mix together flour, sugar, salt baking soda, baking powder and black pepper. Dice butter and add to mixture. Work the butter into the mixture until it’s evenly distributed and smaller than pea size.

In a small bowl whisk together the heavy cream and egg yolk, then pour over the flour mixture and stir until a loose dough forms. Don’t over mix, incorporate well.

Divide the dough into even portions, forming circular mounds and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes or until an inserted toothpick come out clean and the edges are slightly brown.

While the scones cook bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until vinegar has thickened and reduced to ¼ of its original volume, 5-10 minutes.

Add strawberries, kosher salt, brown sugar, lemon zest, cardamom, white pepper and red pepper flakes. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Add mint. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce has thickened and is syrupy, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Drizzle the sauce over the scones, spread inside or use as a dipping sauce and enjoy with a glass of 2017 Wine Club Reserve.

Cambozola Street Tacos

Method of Preparation:
Rub the meat of your choice with roughly ¾ of the envelope of taco seasoning, then let sit while you preheat your grill. Over high heat, sear both sides of the meat for 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and grill the meat to your desired doneness, approximately 15 minutes per side for medium-rare depending on thickness. Let the meat rest for approximately 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

While your meat is grilling, roughly chop about ½ of the cabbage and a ½ cup of cilantro. Thinly slice the radish, green onion and Cambozola cheese. Deseed the jalapeño and dice into small pieces. Zest ¾ of the lime before cutting into wedges.
Mix the lime zest and juice from two wedges into the sour cream, add salt and pepper to taste. Once mixed, add water in small amounts until the sour cream reaches a drizzly consistency.

If desired, lightly grill one side of your flour tortillas until they are a little crispy.

To assemble, place 3 or 4 flour tortillas on a plate. Layer the meat, Cambozola, cabbage, radish, jalapeño, and green onion. Drizzle with sour cream and garnish with cilantro. Add a squeeze of lime from the remaining wedges over the top for extra zip!

Ginger Pear Upside-down Cake

Method of Preparation for Topping:
Combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Melt the butter over medium heat for about 1 minute; then pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan, completely coating the parchment paper. Place the quartered pears on top of the butter-sugar mixture, lining the pieces up tightly in a decorative circle so that none of the bottom shows through.

Method of Preparation for Cake:
Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Oil a 9-inch springform pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

Cut butter into 1″ pieces, and put them in a large mixing bowl. Add brown sugar, and cream the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and a pale tan color. Add the grated ginger, and beat 1 minute more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed and making sure that each egg is fully incorporated before adding another. Slowly pour in the molasses and beat to fully mix.

In a separate medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to fully combine. Alternately add small amounts of flour and buttermilk to the batter, stirring and folding with a rubber spatula until the dry ingredients are just absorbed. Do not overmix the batter.

Pour and scrape the batter into the pear-lined pan, smoothing the top with a rubber surface. Carefully transfer the pan to the center rack of the oven, and bake for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan. Serve in an upside-down serving plate. Allow the cake to cool for a half hour or so, and serve warm, with whipped cream. Enjoy with a glass of Gewürz.

Quiche Lorraine

Method of Preparation:
Pre-heat oven to 375°.

Place flour and salt in food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles cornmeal. Add ice water and pulse to combine. If dough is too crumbly, add the additional ice water. Remove from processor and divide in half. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove one piece and roll out to fit a 10 pie dish. Freeze the other half for another use. Use a fork to prick the bottom of pie shell. Set aside.  Place bacon, cheese and green onion in bottom of pie shell. Mix together eggs, cream, salt and pepper and pour into pie shell. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Enjoy with a glass of Gewurz.

Wine Braised Lamb Shanks

Method of Preparation:
Combine the minced garlic cloves, rosemary, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl to create a paste. Place the lamb shanks in a Ziplock bag and add the paste mixture, then shake the bag vigorously to coat the meat. Chill and let the meat marinate for 4 to 24 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat the oven to 325˚.

Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Remove shanks from marinade and brown on all sides; you may have to do this in batches. Don’t salt the shanks as the anchovies and olives in the sauce provide most of the salt needed. Remove the shanks to a large roasting pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, reduce heat to medium and add carrot, onion and celery and stir frequently until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the halved garlic head, cut side down, tomato paste, anchovies, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, olives and peppercorns. Stir often to avoid burning for about 3 minutes. Add the wines and vinegar, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and cook for another 3 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Stir in the broth, water and sugar, then remove from heat.

Pour the braising liquid over the shanks in the roasting pan and cover the pan with foil. Place the pan in the heated oven and let cook for 1 hour. Remove the foil, turn the shanks over and continue cooking for another 2 hours, turning the shanks over every 30 minutes.

Turn off oven and remove shanks from the roasting pan to a cookie sheet and return to the oven to keep warm. Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid through a medium mesh sieve, but don’t use anything too fine or your sauce will be watery; you want to get some texture from the roasted veggies. Remove any excess grease. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the shanks over mashed potatoes, or perhaps a wild mushroom polenta, and top with the sauce.

Crab and Shrimp Balls with Estate Chardonnay Sauce

Method of Preparation Crab and Shrimp Balls:
Sauté the shallots, green onion whites and garlic in olive oil until soft, then place in large bowl and let cool.

Pulse shrimp in a food processor until chopped.  Add shrimp, crab meat, green onion tops, parsley, green pepper, breadcrumbs, egg whites, Old Bay seasoning and mayonnaise to the bowl with the sautéed veggies and mix until well combined.  Chill mixture for half an hour or more.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ and coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.

Form crab and shrimp mixture into balls, about 1″ in diameter, and place on the sheet pan.  Lightly spray the tops of the balls with cooking spray, then bake for 15-17 minutes.

Serve with the Estate Chardonnay Sauce.


Method of Preparation Estate Chardonnay Sauce:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then add the flour and whisk until combined.  Slowly add in the cream and wine, then whisk until combined.

Simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes, then add the Parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper, the simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add the lemon zest and simmer for 3 minutes, then add the lemon juice and simmer for 3 more minutes before serving.

Cuban Style Pork Roast

Method of Preparation:
Whisk all ingredients, except mint leaves, together. Transfer one half of the marinade to another container, add mint leaves and refrigerate.

Trim excess fat from pork, leaving some, and score the meat. Add marinade and pork to plastic bag, turn to coat all sides, then refrigerate overnight. Remove pork from refrigerator one hour prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 275˚. Line a baking pan with enough heavy-duty foil to cover pork. Place pork and marinade in pan, fold foil loosely around pork and crimp—allowing room for air to circulate inside foil. Roast for 3 hours. Remove pork from oven and increase oven temperature to 325˚. Fold back foil, break pork apart and baste with pan juices.

Return pork to oven and roast for 2-3 hours longer, basting occasionally with pan juices. Pork is done when it has no resistance to knife. Remove from oven and pour off pan juices into reserved mint marinade. Turn on broiler, sprinkle pork with a touch of salt and return pork to oven to crisp up the fat/skin for 5-15 minutes. Watch closely so it does not burn.

Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes. Slice or pull apart into hunks and drizzle marinade over top. Serve with additional marinade and lime wedges.

Denny Murphy’s Beef Stroganoff

Method of Preparation:
Slice onion in half lengthwise, then cut into half rings ¼ – ½″ wide. Heat a large pan over medium heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Sauté onion until translucent. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown.

Trim fat off beef, then slice the roast, against the grain, into thin ¼″ steaks, then slice those into ½″ wide by about 3″ long strips.

Remove onions and mushrooms from pan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the same large pan, turn heat to high and pan sear meat for 3-4 minutes.

Once meat is browned, add the mushrooms and onions back into the pan and stir in the sour cream; reduce heat to low. Add grated nutmeg and about 1 teaspoon each of salt and fresh ground pepper, and let simmer while the noodles cook.

Cook egg noodles according to directions on package. Serve stroganoff over the noodles.

Wine Country Pizza

Method of Preparation for Filling:
In a small sauce pan bring AVV Gewürz and sugar to a boil, then reduce to 1 ½ tablespoons.
Remove from heat, cool, then add sliced grapes. Mix in cheeses and fresh ground pepper.
While pizza or puff pastry is baking, use a small sauce pan to reduce balsamic by ⅔, then add butter.

Method of Preparation for Puff Pastry (appetizer):
Set puff pastry out to thaw and preheat oven to 400˚.
After thawing, cut puff pastry into thirds, use a rolling pin to roll each piece to a 4×11” rectangle. Place between two sheets of parchment paper on a baking sheet and cover with a second baking sheet. Bake at 400˚ for 10 minutes.
Once puff pastry is out of the oven, remove top baking sheet and parchment, flip puff pastry over and top with grape and cheese mixture. Adjust oven temperature to 500˚, then put puff pastry back in oven for another 8-10 minutes. When done cooking, remove puff pastry from oven, top with fresh arugula and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Slice each puff pastry rectangle in half and then into 6 pieces per half (12 pieces per rectangle.)

Method of Preparation for Pizza Dough (entreé):
Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 500˚.
Thinly roll out pizza dough. Place dough on hot pizza stone and top with grape and cheese mixture. Bake at 500˚ for 8-10 minutes, turning pizza halfway through. Once pizza is removed from oven, top with fresh arugula, then drizzle with balsamic reduction. Slice into 6 or 8 slices.

Filet Mignon with Compound Butter & Fig-Red Wine Reduction

Method of Preparation for compound butter:
Combine the softened butter, blue cheese, goat cheese, minced garlic, chopped green onions and salt & pepper in small bowl until mixture is smooth.

Method of Preparation for steaks and fig-red wine reduction:
In a large pan, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and steaks, cook for 3-5 minutes, until browned . Turn the steaks over, reduce heat to medium and cook an additional 4-6 minutes. Remove the steaks to a plate and let rest 5 minutes.

Return the used pan to medium-high heat, add AVV 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel and fig preserves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes, until reduced and the fig spread has dissolved. Once the steaks are plated, add a dollop of the compound butter on top and finish with a drizzle of the fig-red wine reduction.

King Satay with Spicy Peanut-Ginger Sauce

To prepare the mushrooms:
Toss the mushrooms in the oiled bowl, using your hands to coat them. Place mushrooms into a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Place another cast iron pan on top of the mushrooms to create weight. Add ¼ cup water, cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip.

Add the remaining ¼ cup water and press again. The purpose here is to press them into a square.

Remove the weight and the mushrooms from the pan. Slice into thin strips, then place into the marinade. Set aside for 20 minutes to an hour.

To prepare the peanut-ginger sauce:
Combine all of the sauce ingredients except for the water. Slowly add the water until the desired consistency is achieved. Set aside.

To grill the marinated mushrooms:
Skewer each mushroom strip onto a skewer. Grill until the mushrooms develop a little color. Serve drizzled with the peanut-ginger sauce, sesame seeds, cilantro and mint.

Primitivo Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Method of Preparation for Pork:
1) Mix onions, garlic, ground pepper, chili powder, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke together.
2) Place pork shoulder in crock pot.
3) Pour mixture on top.
4) Cover crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or until the meat pulls apart easily.
5) Once cooked, take meat out and shred with a fork. Discard excess fat and liquid from cooking.
6) Put meat back in the crock pot with BBQ sauce, AVV Primitivo and chipotle purée. Let cook for another 30 minutes on low to blend all the flavors.
7) Serve on a roll with coleslaw or your favorite salad if desired.

Method of Preparation for Homemade BBQ Sauce:
1) Mix all ingredients together thoroughly and set aside until step 6 above.

Braised Short Rib Messaluna with Fall Vegetables

Procedure for Braised Short Rib Topping:
1) Preheat oven to 350°. In a large pan, heat olive oil on stovetop over medium-high heat.
2) Season short rib generously with salt and pepper, then add to the pan and sear on all sides until golden brown. Once seared, remove from pan and set aside.
3) In the same pan add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until browned. Stir in tomato paste and evenly coat the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute, the deglaze the pan with wine.
4) Add all ingredients into Dutch oven, including the ribs, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and stock. Bring to a boil, cover and place in oven. Cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the meat falls of the bone.
5) After cooking, strain the liquid from the Dutch oven, pour it into a pan and reduce down to ¼ cup. Shred the short rib and fold into liquid. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Procedure for Final Prepartion:
1) Preheat oven to 450°.
2) Boil 4 quarts of salted water and cook raviolis.
3) In a large sauté’ pan, over medium heat, add olive oil. Once heated, add the carrots, squash and radish to the pan and place in oven. Roast the vegetables for 7 to 8 minutes or until tender, then remove from the oven and return back to the stovetop.
4) Add garlic to the vegetables and cook over medium heat for 30 seconds to lightly brown. Deglaze the pan with beef stock and bring liquid to a boil. Add veal demi-glace and then bring the liquid down to a simmer. Add the ravioli, butter and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5) Serve short rib topping over ravioli and vegetable dish.

Baba Ganoush

Method of Preparation:
Preheat grill to medium. Prick eggplant 6 times, place on hot grill and turn occasionally until cooked tender and charred on all sides, about 40 minutes. Remove from grill, wrap in foil and let rest 20 minutes.

Crush garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle. Add lemon juice, pepper, tahini and 3 tablespoons olive oil and mix to fine paste.

Unwrap eggplant after cooling for 15-20 minutes, cut in half and scoop out the flesh, removing any skin. Place in strainer, press lightly with back of spoon and let the liquid drain off.

Put the eggplant in a bowl and mash with fork, add the garlic/lemon/tahini paste and mix well. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and/or lemon juice if necessary. Top with remaining parsley and olive oil.

Serve warm or at room temperature surrounded by pita chips. Enjoy with a bottle of Redemption Zinfandel!

Charcoal Roasted Pork with Raisin Bacon Jam & Fingerling Potatoes

Method of Preparation for Pork:
Sprinkle Togarashi seasoning and salt over the entire surface of the pork, back and front, as well as the edges. Prepare the grill for indirect low heat at 275° to 300°F. Place pork on grill rack on one side, then place a large disposable foil pan on the other side of the charcoal grate and fill the pan about halfway with water. This will even out the heat and create moisture to improve flavor. Cook pork for about 1 hour until tender. If outside begins to turn dark before it’s tender, cover with foil and finish cooking.

Method of Preparation for Jam:
Place bacon and red onion in a medium sauté pan and cook on medium heat until bacon is browned. Drain 80% of the fat from pan and add raisins, vinegar and water. Simmer on medium heat until raisins are soft and water is reduced by 70%. Place everything in food processor or blender, add the honey and pulse until a jam like consistency is achieved. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your preference. Adjust more with the vinegar and honey if desired.

Method of Preparation for Potatoes:
In large sauté pan or cast iron skillet add in oil and garlic cloves. Once garlic starts to turn golden brown, add in remaining ingredients and mix well. Cook on medium heat until tender.

To serve, place the pork (sliced to desired serving size) on the potatoes and top with a generous smear of the jam.

Zin-sational Summer Sliders

Method of Preparation:
Heat 2 tablespoons AVV Olive Oil and sauté diced onion, diced roasted red pepper, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper until soft. Stir in garlic & heat until fragrant, add red wine, simmer and reduce by ¾.

Add dried herbs & crushed red pepper to zin reduction, stir and remove from heat. When zin reduction is cool, mix with beef, sausage, parsley & basil. Mix will be loose and wet.

Form into 8 slider patties, drizzle with AVV Olive Oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and grill. Flip sliders, top with provolone cheese and grill until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let sliders rest.

Dip tomato slices into olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place onto hot grill to char both sides. Toast buns on grill.

Enjoy slider topped with charred tomato slice and glass of 2009 Redemption Zin.

Tender Tri Tip

Method of Preparation:
Make sure to trim off as much of the fat from your tri-tip as you can before marinating and cooking.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl or 1 gallon zip lock freezer bag. Add tri-tip and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours (do not leave in marinade for over 24 hours). Take marinade and meat out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.

Heat one side of the grill on high. Sear tri-tip for 4-5 minutes then flip and sear the other side for another 4-5 minutes (I pour olive oil over the top to help get a nice crispy sear). Move tri-tip to the other side of the grill, off of the direct heat, close grill and let cook on medium/high for 20 minutes or until desired doneness.

Remove meat from the grill and let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting. Pour yourself a glass of Redemption Zinfandel and revel as you wait for the meat to rest. Cut meat against the grain and enjoy with friends or family.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2012 Redemption Zinfandel.

Shrimp Tasso

Method of Preparation:
Peel and de-vein shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Old Bay seasoning. Set aside in refrigerator.

In a pan, melt ½ stick of butter. Add bell peppers and Tasso (or other meat) and stir constantly until peppers are wilted. Add a little water to simmer, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes to ensure vegetables are tender.

While peppers and Tasso are simmering, get out another pan and sear shrimp in ½ stick of melted butter over medium/high heat for 5-10 minutes then set aside.

Slowly stir cream into bell peppers and Tasso until mixture is well incorporated. Once it begins to simmer again, add cheese to sauce and stir well. Add shrimp and bring to a simmer and let it cook for another 5 minutes.

Combine entire mixture into a large bowl with cooked bow-tie pasta, stir well and serve with garlic toast.

Lamb with Rosemary Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Drizzle olive oil in a large pan and place over medium-high heat. Add lamb to pan, and cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn lamb over, and cook 4 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove lamb, leaving juice in the pan and keep warm. Add garlic, rosemary and thyme to the pan and cook approximately 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the wine and juice from 1 lemon wedge (2 wedges if it’s not very juicy) and deglaze pan over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, whisking up any brown bits. Whisk in butter and add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over lamb and serve immediately.

Serve with our Wine Club Reserve.

Grilled London Broil with Chipotle & Cherry Steak Sauce

Method of Preparation for Sauce:
Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan, add onion, garlic, dried cherries and star anise. Sauté until the onion and garlic become translucent. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, excluding salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring often, for about 30-40 minutes or until reduced by about half. Remove the star anise and puree the sauce ingredients in a blender. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Set aside; if you are not using it right away, cover and chill in the refrigerator. Can be made up to a day in advance.

Method of Preparation for Steak:
Set up a barbeque grill (either gas or charcoal) to cook over direct, high heat. While grill is heating, bring the steak to room temperature. Season the steak liberally with the Montreal seasoning on both sides. Grill the steak over direct heat for about 8 minutes per side for medium-rare. Move to cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak across the grain into ¼ inch thick slices. Serve the steak slices on plates or a platter if you are serving it family style. Spoon the steak sauce over the meat, reserving the rest to be passed around as needed.

Serve with our Old Vine Zinfandel.

Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Mushroom Delight

Method of Preparation:
Cut each chicken breast lengthwise to create two equally thin chicken breast halves. Salt and pepper each side and set aside. Note: For more tender and juicy chicken breasts, you can do this step a day in advance and put chicken in a container overnight.

In a large skillet, cook bacon slices until crispy and remove from pan. Pat dry and cut bacon into small pieces and set aside. Empty grease from pan.
Add olive oil to your large skillet and cook the chicken on medium high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown and cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until tender. Remove and set aside.

To make the sauce, add the butter to the skillet and melt. Add garlic and cook until tender. Whisk in the flour until it thickens. Whisk in chicken broth, heavy cream, parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Add the chicken, bacon, and mushrooms back to the sauce and add in cilantro and cook on low for 2 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Serve with our Organic Cabernet Sauvignon.

Rib-Eye Steaks with Pt. Reyes Compound Butter & Balsamic Onions

Method of Preparation for Compound Butter:
Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a small sauté pan and add the chopped shallot and garlic. Cook until trans-lucent (3 minutes), set aside. Combine the blue cheese and stick of butter in a small bowl, add the chopped parsley and shallot/garlic/butter mixture. Mix well, then transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap the butter mixture in the plastic wrap, creating a log shape. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Method of Preparation for Onions:
Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over low heat. Add the onions, sugar, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes and about 1 Tbsp. of water, season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. After about 45 minutes remove the lid and increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring often until nearly all of the liquid is gone and the onions start to stick to the pan. Add the vinegar and cook until the balsamic is thickened and almost gone, approximately 3-5 minutes, set aside.

Method of Preparation for Steaks:
Pat steaks dry with a paper towel on all sides. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the steaks to the pan. Cook on high for about 4 minutes (do not move the meat, allow it to brown on one side before flipping them), flip the steaks, reduce the heat to medium and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove steaks from the pan to a cutting board and let them sit for about 5–10 minutes. Reheat the onions. Slice the steaks across the grain and move them to a platter (for family style, or plates for individual servings). Top with the onions and several pats of the compound butter, garnish with the chopped chives. Enjoy!

Enjoy with a glass of 2014 CYRUS.

Bay Scallop Chowder

Method of Preparation:
On low heat, melt butter in a large heavy saucepan then add in Estate Chardonnay. Add onion, potatoes, carrots, red pepper, celery and oregano and sauté for 10 minutes on medium-high heat. Mix in clam juice and scallops and cook for additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add half-and-half, salt, black pepper, and bacon, cooking until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley.

Enjoy with a glass of the Estate Chardonnay.

*Special note: For a thicker consistency, sauté then purèe an extra ¼ cup of cubed potatoes and add it in with the half-and-half, salt, etc.

Caldo Verdo

Method of Preparation:
In a medium sauce pan, combine broth, potatoes, onion, leeks, and garlic. Bring ingredients to a boil then simmer covered on low heat until the potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. At the same time, in a separate pan, slowly sauté the sausage on low heat to render out the fat, also about 30 minutes.

When potatoes are soft, add parsley and oregano to the sauce pan and simmer 5 minutes. Using a submersible blender, puree the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add Linguica and collard greens to soup and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with crusty bread and AVV Pinot Noir.

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Melt butter in pan then add olive oil. Add in onion and garlic. Cook until the onion and garlic are slightly brown.

Add wine and cook until reduced to half, then add chicken broth, clam juice, red pepper flakes, oregano, pepper and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. In a separate pot bring water to a boil and cook linguini.

Add clams and parsley to sauce. Heat for approximately 5-8 minutes and remove from stove. Using a pasta fork or ladle, add cooked linguini directly from the boiling water to the clam sauce and stir in ¾ cup of the Parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp. of parsley.

Serve in shallow bowl and garnish with the remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley. Serve with toasted Italian bread brushed with olive oil.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2016 Alexander School Reserve Chardonnay.


Method of Preparation:
Place the cubed eggplant in a colander, season liberally with salt, and toss to combine. Let the eggplant stand for 30 minutes then rinse under cold running water until all the salt is gone. Squeeze the moisture from the eggplant and dry thoroughly on paper towels. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium to high heat.

Working in three batches, add the eggplant to the oil and fry, tossing occasionally, until dark brown all over, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant to paper towels to drain. When finished discard all but 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil.

Reduce the skillet to medium heat. Add the celery and onion, stirring often until soft, about 6 minutes. Add in the olives and capers and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, then stir and cook, about 2 minutes more. Pour in the vinegar and sugar, stir and cook, until the sugar dissolves and the vinegar almost completely evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Scrape the vegetables into a large bowl, stir in the eggplant and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the caponata with extra-virgin olive oil before serving. This is great on artisan bread with Fromage Blanc cheese.

Accidental Turkey Soup

Method of Preparation:
If you don’t have any leftover Thanksgiving turkey or are making this soup off-season, cook a turkey or a package of turkey legs and thighs using your preferred cooking method (i.e. oven, barbeque, etc.). Wait for the turkey to cool and then bone, skin and shred 4 cups of turkey meat.

Mince 2 cups each of carrot, celery and onion, then sauté until translucent. Pour 4 quarts of turkey stock into a large pot; add the turkey, carrot, celery, onion and 1 Tbsp. (or more!) of BELLS poultry seasoning. Let stock come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the wild rice blend according to package instructions. Once the soup is done simmering, add the cooked wild rice blend to the pot. Garnish with dried cranberries and serve with a glass of Alexander Valley Vineyards Gewürz.

Vegetable Parmesan

Method of Preparation:
Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.
Drizzle the eggplant slices, zucchini and peppers with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables for 6 to 8 minutes on each side until softened.
Spoon one cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange the eggplant slices on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and ¹⁄³ cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange the peppers in a single layer on top. Spoon one cup of marinara sauce over the peppers. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and ¹⁄³ cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange the zucchini on top and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Scatter the bread crumbs over the cheese and drizzle liberally with oil. Bake until the top is golden and forms a crust, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2014 Alexander School Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Sinfully Delicious Meatball Sliders

Method of Preparation for Sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-duty 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, Cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft, 6 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, thyme and bay leaf. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until darkened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine, reduce until absorbed. Add the tomatoes with juice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce has reduced by about a third, 40 to 60 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Keep warm, covered. Add salt to taste.

Method of Preparation for Meatballs:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Coat the bottom and sides of an 18-inch baking dish with the olive oil. Set aside. Combine the ground meats, breadcrumbs, ricotta, eggs, parsley, oregano, fennel seed, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix gently but thoroughly with your hands.
Divide the meat into 16 small 2 3/4” diameter) portions; roll with wet hands to make them round, then slightly flatten. Don’t make them patty like, just flatten enough so they aren’t perfectly round. Arrange the balls snugly in oiled baking dish. Bake the meatballs until they register about 90°F on an instant-read thermometer and are firm to the touch, 10 to 12 minutes. (If you’ve made the tomato sauce ahead of time, heat it while the meatballs are cooking.) Remove the meatballs from the oven and drain excess fat from the pan. Ladle sauce over them to completely cover, cover with foil, return them to the oven, and continue to bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into one reads 165°F, about 35 minutes.

Method of Preparation for Sliders:
Place slider buns on baking sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Heat oven to 350°F and toast buns until golden brown, approximately 5 minutes. To assemble the sliders, place arugula leaves on bottom of each roll, top with meatball, drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Enjoy with a bottle of 2015 Sin Zin.

Braised Beef & Brie Pot Pie

Method of Preparation:
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pot and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Using the same pot add the beef and brown on all sides. Once the meat is browned, remove from the pot and set aside.

Add in carrots, onions, garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Then add mushrooms, butternut squash and cook for 5 minutes. Add beef back to the pot with veggies, butter and flour. Toss well to coat and season with salt and pepper. Cook for one minute and then deglaze the pot with ASR Primitivo, scrapping up any browned bits off the bottom. Add beef broth, paprika, thyme, rosemary, oregano, red pepper and bay leaf. Bring the stew to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add in the reserved bacon. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 ½ hours (the longer the better).

When the stew is ready, remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

Grease large casserole dish and add stew. Sprinkle half the cheese over top of the stew and top with puff pastry. Tuck the sides of the pastry down into the casserole. Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg and then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2014 Alexander School Reserve Primitivo.

Morel Cream with Poached Duck Egg & Shaved Asparagus

Method of Preparation:
Rinse morels to remove any dirt/sand. If using dried morels, rehydrate in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and chop. In large heavy bottom suave pot, sweat celery, onions and leeks until translucent. Add morels, garlic, thyme, sherry, mushroom stock, heavy cream and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until reduced by about ¹⁄³.

Remove bay leaf and transfer to blender. Puree until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve. This can be made in advance and gently reheated to serve.

Blanch asparagus in salted water for 1-2 minutes until tender but still crisp. Thinly slice and dress lightly with orange juice, olive oil and herbs. In a small saucepan boil water for poaching duck eggs. Reduce to simmer, carefully pour eggs into water and cook for 4 minutes, Remove eggs with slotted spoon.

Ladle 3-4 oz. of morel cream into warmed serving bowls, place asparagus in center, and top with poached duck egg and serve with a slice of toasted baguette.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Korean Flank Steak Tacos

Method of Preparation:
Whisk the vinegar, sesame oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. sugar in a bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add cucumber and combine; let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Whisk soy sauce, ginger, 1 tsp. sugar and ½ tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Brush both sides of steak with the soy sauce mixture.

Heat outdoor grill to medium high. Oil the grates with vegetable oil. Grill the steak, turning once until medium, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest.

Slice steak thinly against the grain. Serve with warm flour tortillas and top with cucumber mixture, kimchi and cilantro.

Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Rosemary Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Marinate tenderloins by placing in a large sealable heavy duty plastic bag. Drizzle them with olive oil and then rub mustard onto each tenderloin. Add a few grinds of fresh black pepper, then sprinkle in the sliced garlic and rosemary. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Pull the bag out and let rest at room temperature for a half hour before grilling. Discard the garlic and rosemary sprigs.

Sauté shallots and minced rosemary in a bit of olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add AVV Syrah and simmer until you have reduced to about 1 cup of liquid. Add the peppercorns and stock and simmer until reduced to 2 cups of liquid.

Grill each tenderloin for about 3 minutes on all four sides. Remove from the grill and tent under aluminum foil for about 5 minutes. Slice into ½ inch slices and drizzle with sauce. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.

*Try serving the pork with a side of shredded brussel sprouts, pan fried with pancetta, topped with blue cheese & walnuts, and a side of scalloped sweet potatoes.

Chanterelle Ragout with Acorn Squash Ravioli

Method of Preparation:
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the flour, egg yolks and olive oil and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Using the dough-hook attachment at low speed, mix the ingredients. Slowly add water until the dough starts to come together (only add as much water as needed). Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to rest for 1-2 hours. If possible, allow the dough to rest overnight. Preheat oven to 350˚F. To make the ravioli filling, cut the squash into quarters, remove the seeds and then place them in a baking dish, cut side up. Pour the orange juice over the squash and then drizzle with honey. Season with the ground star anise. Roast the squash for 45 minutes in oven till tender. Using a spoon, scoop out the meat of the squash pieces into a blender or food processor. Blend the squash with the brown butter and the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

Remove the ravioli dough from the refrigerator and use a pasta machine to sheet the dough. Start with the widest setting and continue sheeting with progressively more narrow settings until the dough is ¹⁄¹6″ thick (the instructions with your pasta machine can help walk you through the process). If you do not have a pasta machine, you can use a rolling pin or wine bottle to sheet the dough to the specified thickness. Place a sheet of dough on a work surface and cut it into rectangles 2 inches wide by 5 inches long. Each ravioli will require 2 (2 in. x 5 in.) pieces of dough. One for the top side and one for the bottom side of the ravioli. Place about 2-4 Tbsp. of the ravioli filling on what will be the bottom piece of the ravioli, keeping the filling away from the perimeter edges of the dough.

Brush some egg yolk along the edges of the dough, around the filling, and then cover with the second (top) piece of ravioli dough. Press along the perimeter with your fingers or a fork to secure. Cook the ravioli in boiling, salted water just until they rise to the top about 2 minutes. Cook them in small batches to prevent crowding. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the boiling water and transfer them to a platter. Reserve. To make the ragout, heat a sauté pan over high heat and then add the butter and mushrooms. Briefly sauté the mushrooms until they are tender and then add the shallot and garlic, cooking until they are tender (be sure not to burn the garlic). Add the vegetable stock, chopped thyme and chives to the ragout and then season to taste with salt and pepper. To assemble the dish, serve the ravioli with the ragout in a large bowl or on a plate with broth on the bottom and on top of the ravioli. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

Crab Fondue

Method of Preparation:
Combine above ingredients, excluding the bread, in a fondue pot. If you do not have a fondue pot, a medium saucepan will also work. Heat ingredients until completely melted, stirring occasionally. Serve with French bread for dipping. Enjoy with a glass of the 2015 Wine Club Reserve.

Sweet Red Pepper French Dip

Method of Preparation for Red Pepper Butter:
Mince approximately 2 Tbsp. of red bell pepper and add to ¼ cup butter and mash together. Return to fridge for later.

Method of Preparation for Tri-Tip:
Sprinkle tri-tip on both sides with salt & pepper and grill, flipping over half way through for 15-20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the meat. Reserve any drippings to add to the au jus.

Method of Preparation for Au Jus:
Cut ¼ of the remaining red bell pepper into thin slices. In a large pot add the sliced onion, red bell pepper, crushed garlic and approximately 2 Tbsp. butter. Sweat for 3-5 minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add beef broth and AVV Organic Cabernet Sauvignon. Once the au jus is brought to boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. Add any drippings from the sliced tri-tip to the au jus. Strain the au jus prior to serving.

Method of Preparation for Sandwich:
Slice the remaining bell pepper into ¼″ strips. In a medium sauté pan add a pat of butter, the bell pepper, and a few ounces of the au jus. Sauté the bell pepper until cooked to your liking. Slice the French rolls in half lengthwise. Spread each side with the red pepper butter and grill until golden brown. Place the grilled French roll on a plate, pile with as much tri-tip as you please, season with salt and pepper if desired. Add the sautéed red bell pepper or use as a side dish. In a separate bowl, ladle the strained au jus to use for dipping.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2014 Organic Cabernet Sauvignon.

Braised Lamb Shank

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 325˚F.

Using a large braising pan, place over high heat till hot about 5 minutes. Add in vegetable oil (about 2 Tbsp.) to cover the bottom of pan. When oil is starting to smoke add in lamb shanks and sear on all sides. Add in onions, carrots, celery, wine and simmer until wine is (sec) or wine has almost become a glaze. Then add stock and bring to a simmer.

Cover the pan with parchment paper to make a false lid. Push the paper down till it is level with stock and then
cover tightly with foil and place in oven for 4 hours. Ladle out about ¾ of braising liquid, strain and reduce by half and set aside.
Place 1 or 2 lamb shanks into a sauté pan and ladle 3 or 4 oz. of reduced lamb stock over the top.

Place back in the oven at 400˚F for 7 minutes till hot then serve. Try serving this dish with polenta or risotto.

Enjoy with a glass of 2013 CYRUS.

Ditalini pasta with Sautéed Shrimp & Smoked Bacon

Method of Preparation:
Cook pasta in plenty of boiling water until cooked approximately 8-10 minutes. Drain into a colander.

Cut the slices of bacon into strips, add two table spoons olive oil and cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly golden.

Add the chopped shallot and garlic then deglaze the pan with the AVV Rosé.

Add the cooked pasta followed by the raw spinach leaves, chopped tomato, Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, Meyer lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper.

Taste and serve sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with a glass of 2016 dry Rosé of Sangiovese.

Ore House Duck Confit Tagliatelle

Method of Preparation for Duck Confit (Make 1 Day Prior):
Rub: Combine all ingredients in the food processor and blend well.
Duck: Rub each thigh/leg with about 2 tablespoons of the shallot and salt mixture and place on a sheet pan. Once all the duck has been rubbed, sprinkle remaining ‘rub’ over the duck and cover the pan. Refrigerate the duck for 1 day. After 1 day, remove the duck and rinse each leg/thigh well under running water.
Confit: Place duck leg/thigh sections into a deep cake pan and cover with duck fat (use a pan that the duck will be fully immersed in fat). Disperse garlic cloves after 12 hours, remove duck from fat and place on a sheet tray in the refrigerator until cool. Reserve the fat and cool in the fridge as well. Once the fat is cooled, remove the layer of “stock” from the bottom. Fat can be reused once for another batch of Confit.

Method of Preparation for Pasta:
In a 7 qt. kitchen aid, combine the two flowers and form a “bowl” in the flour at the bottom of the bowl. Pour the liquid ingredients into the “bowl” and mix on the slowest speed with the dough hook. Continue to mix for about 8 minutes, the dough should feel silky smooth if you pull your finger across it. Cut dough in ¼’s and rub the outside with olive oil. Wrap and place in refrigerator for at least an hour.

Method of Preparation for Duck Veloute:
Place a large frying pan over high heat, add the oil and heat (not to smoke point). Add the peas, carrots and shallot and saute until shallot is translucent. Add the stock and reduced cream and cook until hot.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, sheet and cut the pasta. Drop pasta into boiling water, once pasta is floating cook for 3 minutes. Strain well and toss add to the duck veloute, stir well.
Portion the pasta into 4 bowls and top with shredded Parmesan or a local artisan hard cheese. For an added pop, garnish with chopped chives or a local micro green (I prefer micro sorell).

Enjoy with a glass of 2016 dry Rosé of Sangiovese.

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Method of Preparation:
In a large skillet combine shrimp, Worcestershire, lemon juice, black pepper, creole seasoning and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute on each side.

Reduce heat to moderate and stir in butter, a few cubes at a time, stirring constantly and adding more only when butter is melted.

Remove skillet from heat. Place shrimp in a bowl and pour sauce over top.

Serve with French bread for dipping.

Taste and serve sprinkle Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with a glass of 2016 dry Rosé of Sangiovese.

White Bean Cassoulet with Chicken & Sausage

Method of Preparation for Cassoulet:
Soak the white beans in cold water for 6 hrs.

Sauté the lardoons of bacon in a heavy duty casserole dish until rendered. Remove the bacon then add the seasoned chicken thighs and 2 sausages. Cook until lightly golden, approximately 5 minutes. Remove chicken legs and sausages and reserve with the rendered bacon. Add the diced vegetables to the saucepan and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the spices, chopped thyme and tomato paste. Pour in the white wine followed by the soaked white beans, cooked bacon, sautéed sausages and chicken thighs. Add the bay leaf and the cold water. Bring to simmer, place on a tight fitting lid and braise in the oven at 350˚F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the sausages and chicken. Cool for 5 minutes then flake the chicken and slice the sausages. Add back to the cassoulet.

Method of Preparation for Garlic and Panko Topping:
Sauté the chopped garlic in olive oil, add the bread crumbs and lightly brown. Season with salt and pepper and stir in chopped parsley. Spoon the hot cassoulet into an earthenware dish, sprinkle with the sautéed crumbs, Parmesan cheese and broil for 1- 2 minutes. Let it cool, then serve.

Enjoy with a glass of 2013 CYRUS.

Filete de Pargo Elegante

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Combine tomato, white onion, cilantro, fresh lime juice for pico de gallo. Sauté pico de gallo with olive oil for 1 minute in a skillet. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add white wine, lemon juice and salt. Simmer and reduce, stirring occasionally, for another 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and gradually add the chunks of cold butter until they melt completely. Set aside. Season both sides of the fish with salt. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil, then sear the fish for one minute on each side. Put the fish on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 7 minutes.

Top each fillet with sautéed pico de gallo, lemon butter sauce, warm jumbo lump crab meat. Cut the avocado into 4 slices and fan each slice. Serve the fish with fanned avocado and drizzled lemon butter sauce.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2015 Estate Chardonnay.

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Soup & Lemon

Method of Preparation for Soup:
Heat 2 Tbsp. of the vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally until translucent, around 8 minutes, do not let brown. Add the cauliflower, broth and cream and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for around 18 minutes, or until cauliflower is softened. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Transfer to a blender and puree the soup in batches. Return to pot and adjust seasoning if needed (this can be done 24 hours in advance, just chill and reheat when needed).

Method of Preparation for Scallops:
Remove scallops from packaging and pat dry. Season scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. In a medium pan heat remaining vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the scallops (in batches if necessary, don’t overcrowd the pan), and sear on each side until browned, approximately 3-4 minutes for each side.

Add lemon juice (not lemon oil) to the soup and stir to incorporate. Place a small amount of soup in a bowl and add 3 scallops (if for a main course, one if for first course). Drizzle the soup with the oil, top each scallop with a ¼ tsp. of caviar (if desired) and sprinkle with the chopped chives.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2015 Alexander School Reserve Chardonnay.

Salmon Wellington with Smoked Paprika Tomato Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pan and place over medium heat, add half of the shallots and garlic. Cook until translucent, stirring often. Add the smoked paprika and the pepper flakes and cook for additional minute. Add the tomato puree, reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally for another 8 minutes. Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth, set aside (can be made 24 hours in advance).

Mix mayonnaise, mustard, chives and basil together and set aside (chill if not using right away). Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add butter, other half of shallots, thyme and mushrooms. Cook until most of the moisture has evaporated. Stir in lemon juice, and set aside (can be made 24 hours in advance). Defrost the puff pastry and roll out one sheet with a rolling pin to be large enough to place the salmon on with a one inch border. Place the mushroom mixture on top. Generously salt and pepper the salmon filet, and place on top of the mushroom mixture. Cover with the mustard/mayonnaise mixture.

In a bowl beat the egg and water together and brush the edges of the bottom layer of puff pastry with the egg wash, and then cover the entire fish with the remaining sheet of puff pastry (rolled out to cover the entire fish). Use a fork to crimp the edges all the way around the fish, cutting off any excess pastry. Transfer pastry to a sheet pan covered with parchment paper and brush the entire pastry with egg wash. Cut a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the pastry is a golden-brown color. While the fish is baking reheat the tomato sauce. Remove the fish from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes, cut off the end of the pastry and then slice each serving. Serve with a drizzle of the tomato sauce.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2015 Estate Pinot Noir.

Stuffed Beef Pockets

Method of Preparation:
Lay out 6 thinly sliced cuts of beef, approximately 3×8″; the slices will eventually be folded over.

Sauté celery and onion in olive oil while adding salt, pepper and minced garlic to taste. Be careful not to brown; sauté until translucent, remove from heat, drain. Sauté mushrooms and red bell pepper in olive oil until limp.

In the center of each beef slice, layer onion-celery-garlic mix, mushroom-red bell pepper mix, diced tomatoes and cheeses. Fold the beef over in half; secure each slice with a toothpick. Sauté very quickly in equal parts butter and olive oil, turn over, add ½ cup AVV Merlot and finish cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan. Bring the leftover wine and juices in the pan to a boil, then pour over the beef.

Enjoy with a glass of 2014 AVV Estate Merlot.

Blue Cheese & Caramelized Onion Tart

Method of Preparation:
Heat oven to 400˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes stirring often. Once crisp transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Spoon off and discard all but 2 Tbsp. of the bacon drippings from the skillet.

Add the onions to the skillet and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring often, until very tender and caramelized. Add a splash of water to the skillet if necessary to help release the drippings. Stir in the bacon, black pepper, salt, thyme and nutmeg. Set aside and cool to room temperature.

Lay out puff pastry, cut into thirds and roll lightly on floured parchment paper. Next, flute the edges of the puff pastry and brush very lightly with olive oil. Spread the onion mixture over the pastry leaving a ½″ border and crumble the cheese over the top.

Place pastry in the oven and bake until golden and crisp along the edges for 25 to 28 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2013 Alexander School Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Curried Chicken Salad

Method of Preparation:
For the dressing, combine mayonnaise, Gewürz, chutney, curry powder, salt and pepper. Mix together until smooth and set aside.

In a large bowl combine shredded chicken with celery, apple, raisins and green onion. Add dressing and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours. Add in the cashews before serving cold or at room temperature.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2016 AVV Gewürz.

Wetzel Beef Stew

Method of Preparation:
Put ingredients for the sauce in a pan and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, brown the bacon in a large casserole pan that can go both on stove and in oven. When crisp, remove with slotted spoon.

Preheat the oven to 450˚. With paper towels, dry the chunks of beef and brown a few at a time in hot bacon grease, removing with slotted spoon. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of grease. Brown onion, scraping up bits at bottom of the pan. Return beef and bacon to pan and sprinkle with flour, sugar, salt and pepper. Put in the oven and bake uncovered for 8 minutes. Immediately after removing from oven, pour in wine and add sauce. Stir and bring to simmer on stove.

Place back in the oven and bake at 275˚ for an additional 3 hours or until meat is very tender (you can refrigerate or freeze to have later up to this point). Remove from oven and place back on stove. Add carrots and let simmer until tender, then add rest of vegetables and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve with French bread and a green salad.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2014 Homestead Red Blend.

Focaccia with Grapes

Method of Preparation:
Stir together yeast, wine, honey and warm water in a bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let it stand until it bubbles, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of mixed flour. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in bulk, about 45 minutes. Add oil, 1 ½ cups mixed flour and sea salt, and stir until a sticky dough forms.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead with your hands, gradually adding up to ½ cup more mixed flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking.Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat. Re-cover this bowl with the kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise again, about 1 hour.

Turn dough onto your work surface and cut in half. Roll out one of the halves with a rolling pin into a large rectangle, about 12 by 10 inches. Transfer to a sheet pan, drizzle with a little olive oil, scatter half the grapes and rosemary over the dough and sprinkle with half the sugar. Repeat with the second half of the dough, topping with olive oil, grapes, rosemary and a dusting of sugar.

Heat oven to 375°. Let the dough rest while the oven heats. Bake focaccia until well browned and firm in the middle, about 30 to 40 minutes. Ovens vary, so be sure to check occasionally. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving with a wedge of aged cheese and a glass of AVV Primitivo.

Flaming Filet Mignon & Mushrooms

Method of Preparation:
Salt and pepper both sides of filet mignon and bring to room temperature for 1 hour.

Be sure the stove fan is not on. Over medium high heat, add 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 3 Tbsp. butter in sauté pan and cook until melted. Add filets and cook uncovered for approximately 4 – 5 minutes on each side until medium rare. Add mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Pour ¹⁄³ cup brandy over steak and mushrooms in the pan. Light the liquid with a long stem match. Shake pan until flames subside. Transfer filets to a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Continue to cook the mushrooms and brandy for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place filets on individual plates and top with mushrooms and brandy sauce. Serve with your favorite side dishes such as baked Yukon Gold potatoes with butter, sour cream and chives and a plated salad.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Lumpia – Filipino Egg Rolls

Method of Preparation:
Place a wok or large skillet over high heat, and add 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Cook chicken, stirring frequently, until no longer pink. Add pork and cook through. Remove chicken and pork from pan, set aside. Drain grease from pan, leaving a thin coating. Cook garlic and onion for 2 minutes. Stir in carrots, bean sprouts, green beans and add ¼ cup of water. Season with pepper, onion salt, garlic powder, and soy sauce. Add shrimp, cook for additional 2 minutes, then add cooked chicken and pork. Set heat low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside until cool enough to handle.

To roll the Lumpia, it helps to separate the wrappers in advance and cover with a damp paper towel to prevent from drying out. Place wrapper on a flat work surface on a diagonal so one point is facing you. Place about 1 Tbsp. of filling towards the bottom of the wrapper. Turn up bottom corner and roll upward. Fold in left and right corners making sure the filling is nicely packed, with no air pockets. Continue rolling. Dip your finger in the beaten egg whites and pat it on the remaining corner to finish rolling the Lumpia and seal the edge. Repeat until you are out of wrappers.

Using a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar and scallions.

Add oil up to ½″ depth and heat up to 365˚ F. Gently place 3 or 4 Lumpia into the oil at a time. Fry the rolls for 1 to 2 minutes, until all sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with sauce.

Enjoy with a glass of the Redemption Zinfandel

Malaysian Street Noodles

Method of Preparation:
1. In a bowl, combine all marinade/noodle sauce ingredients together. Set half aside and put in fridge to be used as sauce. Use the remaining half to marinate the flank steak overnight in fridge.
2. Slice eggplant, bell peppers and mushrooms into ½ inch strips. Sauté eggplant, bell peppers and mushrooms with 1 Tbsp. olive oil in pan with the sauce you set aside. Keep warm.
3. Take out marinated flank steak from fridge and grill for 3-5 minutes per side depending on thickness. Slice against the grain into ³⁄8″ slices and add to the sautéed vegetables.
4. Fill a large pot with water and add salt for taste. Bring to a boil and add ½ package of spaghetti. Stir occasionally. After 4 minutes, check pasta’s doneness. Once done, remove and drain in colander.
5. In a large serving bowl, combine vegetables, chopped cilantro, steak, and noodles. Toss together and serve.

Enjoy with a glass of 2014 AVV Estate Syrah.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Method of Preparation:
1) Drain the grape leaves, separate them and rinse them under running water, being careful not to
tear them. Reserve.
1) Combine lamb, crushed tomatoes and their liquid, rice, olive oil, scallions and mint.
2) Lay a grape leaf, vein side up, stem toward you, on your work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of filling at the base of the leaf and roll up, tucking in excess leaf at the sides to make a tiny bundle. Repeat with remaining filling and leaves, packing each bundle seam side down into a small kettle.
3) Squeeze lemon juice over the leaf bundles, and add water to nearly cover. Weight with 1 or 2 small plates or saucers. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, or until rice in stuffing is completely cooked.
4) Serve hot, or cool and refrigerate the leaves in their cooking liquid. Offer plain yogurt seasoned to taste with lemon juice and coarse salt as a dip or sauce.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2014 AVV Estate Cabernet Franc.

Thick-cut Pork Chop with Caramelized Onion, Fennel and Zin Sauce

Method of Preparation for Onion/Fennel Topping:
Brown the pancetta in a pan over medium heat. Once browned add the fennel, onion, thyme, fennel seeds, raisins, currants and red pepper flakes, reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook the onion/fennel mixture covered for about 45 minutes, until mixture begins to soften and caramelize, stirring often. If the mixture becomes too dry and begins to stick to the pan, add some water to keep it moist. Remove the lid, add the wine and cook for 8 more minutes, or until most of the wine is gone. Set aside and keep warm.

Method of Preparation for Pork:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Season pork chops liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a pan until hot but not smoking. Add the pork chops and allow them to sear for about 8 minutes on each side. Transfer pan to oven and let them cook until done, approximately 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160°F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before plating and topping with the onion/fennel mixture. Voila!

Enjoy with a glass of the 2013 Alexander School Old Vine Zinfandel.

Slow Cooker Sauerbraten

Method of Preparation:
Heat all marinade ingredients in saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Allow marinade to cool, then pour into a large food-safe plastic bag. Pierce roast with a paring knife several times on all sides. Add roast to marinade bag and coat with marinade, squeeze out air and seal bag. Put bag in a baking dish or pan and marinate in refrigerator for 2 days, turning roast 2-3 times a day.

Place onions and carrots in slow cooker. Remove roast from bag, dry with paper towels and cut in half. Place roast halves atop vegetables. Strain marinade into a bowl and pour 2 ½ to 3 cups over roast. Discard solids and remaining marinade. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Transfer roast, onions and carrots to a platter and cover with foil. Stir liquid in slow cooker, then pour 3 cups into a saucepan and reserve remaining liquid. Stir finely crushed gingersnaps and flour into the saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until it thickens into gravy, about 10 minutes. Add some reserved liquid if needed. Slice roast and serve with the gravy, onions, and carrots.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2014 Wine Club Reserve.

Grilled Watermelon Salad with Rosé Vinaigrette

Method of Preparation for Rosé Vinaigrette:
In a blender, place shallot, mustard, honey, vinegar, wine and tarragon, process on low speed for 20 seconds.

Continue to let blender run as you slowly pour the oil into the mixture. Once all oil has been added, add salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

Method of Preparation for Salad:
On a hot outdoor grill, take the watermelon slices and grill on each side for about 2 minutes to achieve some color and nice charred grill marks. Remove from grill and dice into large chunks.
In a mixing bowl, combine spring mix and vinaigrette, mix well. Plate and top with goat cheese, almonds, and the grilled diced watermelon.

Serve with a bottle of 2015 Dry Rosé of Sangiovese.

Risotto with Butternut Squash & Pancetta

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 475˚. Place squash on a nonstick sheet pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, turning after 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325˚.

Combine broth, water, wine, and tarragon in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Keep warm over low heat.

Cook pancetta in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan; drain on a paper towel. Discard pan drippings. Add onion and oil to Dutch oven, sauté 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add rice to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer over low heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

(Do not stir; rice will have a liquid consistency similar to stew).

Place Dutch oven in the oven and bake at 325˚ for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in the squash, pancetta, cheese, salt and pepper. Cover with a clean cloth and let stand for 10 minutes (rice will continue to cook). Sprinkle with pine nuts. Garnish with a tarragon sprig if desired.

Serve with a bottle of 2014 Estate Chardonnay.

Pork Tenderloins with Pinot Mushroom Reduction

Method of Preparation:
Combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder in small bowl and set aside. Slice Pork Tenderloin into ½″ thick pieces and sprinkle both sides of meat with salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixture. Heat olive oil in large sauce pan and add pork medallions. Cook meat for approximately 10-15 minutes; 5-8 minutes on each side, depending on preference of doneness. Remove pork from pan and allow meat to rest.

Add garlic, mushrooms, chicken stock, and Estate Pinot Noir to the sauce pan and cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, or until liquid is slightly reduced.

Drizzle sauce over pork medallions and serve with Alexander Valley Vineyards 2014 Estate Pinot Noir.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup

Method of Preparation:
Combine olive oil, butter, shallot, and garlic in large pot to sweat. Cook on medium heat for approximately 2 to 3 minutes (until garlic and shallots are slightly brown). Add vegetable or chicken stock, apples, and butternut squash to pot. Continue cooking on medium heat for approximately 20 minutes or until apples and butternut squash are soft, stirring occasionally.

Use an immersion blender until ingredients are in a liquid form. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can transfer contents to a kitchen blender to liquefy ingredients and then transfer the liquid back to the pot.

Add salt, pepper, curry, and heavy cream and continue to cook on medium heat for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to stir occasionally. Turn heat off and allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve with a bottle of 2014 Reserve Chardonnay.


Method of Preparation:
In a bowl, combine chicken, shrimp and Creole seasoning and stir well.

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onion, pepper and celery and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Stir in rice, add broth and water. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and is barely tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 – 20 minutes. Add shrimp, chicken and sausage. Cook until shrimp is pink and meat is done, about 10 minutes. Season to taste.

I have cut down the hot sauce, add it to your individual taste.

Serve with a bottle of our 2013 Estate Merlot.

Orange Panna Cotta

Method of Preparation:
In a medium saucepan, stir together cream and half-and-half, sugar, ginger and orange zest. Continue to stir and bring to a boil over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes to infuse flavor. Strain through a sieve, pressing on ginger and zest, into a large measuring cup. Discard ginger and zest.
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand about one minute to soften, Stir gelatin mixture into hot cream until completely dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract.

Place 6 custard cups, about ½ cup in size, on a tray. Pour cream mixture into cups. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Serve in cups topped with fruit, accompanied by a glass of AVV Gewurz.

Sin Zin Island Ribs

Method of Preparation:
Rough chop the pineapple in the food processor, reserve half and leave the other half in the bowl.

Add cilantro, green onions, ginger, Sin Zin, spice, curry, oil and soy sauce. Chop until well blended, but still slightly chunky. Add the rough chopped pineapple back in and then divide the sauce into halves.

Hold one half for basting and finishing sauce. Pour the other half on the ribs after you have removed the membrane (skin from the back). Marinate for 30 minutes to 8 hours.

Grill the ribs on a gas barbeque – preheated to 325°. Place them in a rib rack if you have one. Otherwise, lightly oil the grill rack and place the ribs meat side down. Grill for about 75 minutes, basting with the reserved sauce occasionally. When the ribs are done, place them onto a cutting board and tent with aluminum foil for 10-15 minutes. Then cut into individual ribs and serve with some of the reserved sauce on the side.

Goes well with 2014 Sin Zin.

Lamb Eggplant Casserole

Method of Preparation for Sauce:
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion in olive oil until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add ground lamb and cook until browned, breaking up bigger chunks. Add diced tomatoes and garlic, stir and lower heat, and cook until about half of the liquid is gone, about 30 minutes.

Method of Preparation for Casserole:
Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly coat each eggplant slice on both sides, and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet until it is quite hot, and quickly fry each eggplant slice until browned on both sides. Remove each slice as it is browned and place on paper towels to drain.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread half of the tomato lamb sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Layer half the eggplant slices over this, sprinkle with half the parsley, oregano and cheese. Repeat for a second layer, topping the whole thing with the Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil, bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let rest 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with 2013 Redemption Zinfandel!

Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes

Method of Preparation:
Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Core the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Season the insides with salt and pepper and set them cut side down on a plate and set aside.

Warm about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in sauté pan, add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, a pinch of salt and pepper and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Then add in the sausage and red pepper flakes. Break up sausage into small pieces with wooden spoon and cook through. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool for 10 minutes.

Add oregano, parsley and ½ cup cheese to sausage mixture and stir to combine. Stuff the tomatoes with the filling, and place in baking dish. Sprinkle the top of tomatoes with remaining cheese, and drizzle olive oil over tops and sides of tomatoes.

Bake until tomatoes are tender and filling is golden brown for approximately 30-35 minutes. Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.

Braised Beef Ribs

Method of Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or other large lidded pan that can be put in the oven. Add meat and brown on all sides in batches without crowding. Transfer meat to a plate and add vegetables to the pan. Cook about 5 minutes, then add the remainder of ingredients. When the liquid is hot, return the meat to the pan, cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2 ½ hours, then uncover and allow the meat to cook for 30 more minutes.

The meat should be very tender. Remove from the liquid and cover. Strain the liquid, discard the vegetables, and return the liquid to a saucepan. Reduce the liquid over medium heat until it measures around 2 ½ cups. Skim the fat from the liquid if you are serving right away. If you make ahead, skim the fat when it is solid on the top of the beef the next day. Return beef to the liquid and serve.

Braised Hoisin Beef Short Ribs

Method of Preparation:
Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy pot with a lid, such as a Dutch oven, over high heat. Brown the ribs on all sides, in batches if necessary. Remove the ribs and pour off all but a couple tablespoons of the rendered fat.

Return the pot to the stove, lower the heat to medium and sauté the garlic and ginger for about 3 minutes. Add the ribs back to the pot. Add the beer and the wine. Stir and then cover and simmer for 2 ½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Pour the hoisin sauce over the ribs, move the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Remove the ribs and ginger from the sauce. Strain fat from the top of the pot if there is any, return the ribs to the pot and serve.

Chardonnay Poached Salmon with Herbed Aioli

Method of Preparation:
Mix water, wine, half the tarragon, bay leaf, salt and peppercorns in a medium skillet. Bring to a simmer. Add the salmon fillets (add additional hot water to cover fillets if necessary). Cover skillet and poach the fillets (do not boil the liquid) for approximately 8 minutes or until cooked through. Remove salmon from pan and allow to cool, then remove the skin. Chill the salmon for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.

In the meantime, add the rest of the tarragon as well as the remaining ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and homogenous, pausing to scrape the sides of the container if necessary. Season to taste with additional lemon juice and salt and pepper. To serve, put a spoonful of the aioli on a plate and top with a salmon fillet. Garnish with additional tarragon sprigs if desired.

Chicken Gruyere with Sautéed Mushrooms

Method of Preparation:
Dredge chicken in flour with salt and pepper.

Brown chicken in canola oil or butter in a non-stick pan. Transfer to a flame-proof baking dish (or a cooking sheet for larger batches). Set aside and keep warm.

In same pan, heat remaining oil or butter and add mushrooms, sautéing until lightly browned.

Top chicken with mushrooms, then cheese: broil 6 inches from heat source for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Serve with garnish.

Cool Cajun Burgers

Method of Preparation:
Prepare grill. Combine cheeses, and set aside. Combine breadcrumbs, creole seasoning, paprika, ground red pepper, ground round, and ground turkey. Divide mixture into 4 patties, shaping each into ½″ thickness.

Coat grill with cooking spray. Place patties on, and grill 5 minutes on each side. Sprinkle burgers evenly with cheese mixture. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until done and cheese has melted. Place buns, cut side down on the grill rack; grill until toasted. Place patty on bottom half of each bun; top each with ¼ cup lettuce, onions and top with bun.

Coquilles St.Jaques

Method of Preparation:
Add water, wine, parsley, thyme, bay leaf and lemon juice to a pot and bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the scallops. Let the scallops cook for 5 minutes using the residual heat in the water (do not continue to boil the scallops). Remove the scallops from the water using a slotted spoon and set aside. Make sure to pull out and discard the herbs, but save the cooking water.

Rough chop the mushrooms (it doesn’t have to be too fine), melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat and add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Cook until most of the moisture released from the mushrooms is cooked off. Add the mushrooms to the scallops. Return the pan to the stove and add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for approximately 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly; do not allow the flour/butter mixture to get dark. Slowly add 2 cups of the reserved scallop cooking liquid, whisking until all the clumps are gone and it has thickened. Reduce heat to low and add the cream. Simmer for approximately 2 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper and then add the scallop/mushroom/shallot mixture and mix to blend. Divide between 6 heat-proof ramekin with a dusting of bread crumbs and shredded Gruyere.

Preheat broiler and broil the ramekins on a sheet pan until the mixture begins to bubble and the top turns a golden brown. Remove from broiler and serve.

Crab Cakes & Southern Spoon Bread

Method of Preparation for Crab Cakes:
Mix all ingredients well. Form into flat cakes and fry quickly on each side in hot oil (not olive oil) or bacon fat, or bake the cakes in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Method of Preparation for Southern Spoon Bread:
While you are mixing the first five ingredients in a bowl, preheat the oven to 350°F and heat a buttered soufflé dish in the oven. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until thick and frothy and add to the eggs 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of sweet milk with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Pour this onto the cornmeal and mix it quickly and lightly with a slotted spoon. Pour the batter into the heated dish and bake for 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

Crustless Crab Quiche

Method of Preparation:
Prepare 12 muffin tins or ramekins by buttering the inside well. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place muffin tins or ramekins on a baking sheet.

Sauté scallions and thyme in the melted butter on medium low for a few minutes until they are fragrant but not browned. Add crab and sauté until warm, about two minutes. Add crème fraiche, tomato paste, Chardonnay, salt and pepper, raise heat to medium and sauté until most of the liquid is gone, about 3 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Beat eggs with cream and milk. Add cheese and crab mixture and stir well. Ladle this mixture into the muffin tins, not quite filling to the top. Cook on the baking sheet in the oven for around 30 minutes. Check for doneness, let rest for a few minutes. Serve with arugula salad and AVV Alexander School Reserve Chardonnay.

Dad’s Salisbury Steak

Method of Preparation:
Combine beef with cream, onion, salt and pepper. Shape into 4 thick patties.

Heat butter in heavy skillet; brown patties on both sides, then remove from skillet.

Make a roux by first adding flour to the pan and blending well. Add broth and wine and stir until mixture boils and thickens, about five minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, parsley and mushrooms, season sauce to taste with salt and pepper, then return patties to sauce.

Reduce heat and simmer until meat is done to your taste, around 10 minutes. May be served over rice or mashed potatoes.

Five-Spice Seared Duck Breast Salad with Boysenberry Glaze

Method of Preparation for Salad Dressing:
Combine the first seven ingredients in a sealable jar and shake well. Set aside.

Method of Preparation for Duck:
Bring the duck breasts to room temperature. Score the skin/fat side of the breast with a knife, cutting into the fat, but not all the way through to the meat. Season the breasts on all sides with the five-spice powder.

Heat oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the duck breasts, skin side down and sear for approximately 6 minutes, or until some of the fat has rendered out and the skin begins to brown. Flip the breasts and sear an additional 4-5 minutes, or until medium-rare. Transfer the breasts to a plate, cover with foil and allow them to rest.

Reduce the heat to medium. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil, add the shallots and sauté until they begin to soften. Deglaze the pan with the wine and boysenberry syrup, scraping up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Reduce the sauce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble:
Mix the salad greens with some of the dressing; you will not need to use all of the dressing. Evenly split the salad greens between 2 (or 4) plates. Slice the duck breasts (one breast per plate for 2 servings or ½ per plate for 4) and fan out over the top of the salad greens. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the reduced sauce over the sliced breasts. Garnish each plate with some of the toasted shaved almonds and boysenberries.

Fresh Herb Sauces

Method of Preparation for Recipe 1:
Roughly chop the parsley and cilantro, put them in the blender with all other ingredients except olive oil. Blend to combine. And ¼ cup olive oil and blend to combine. Slowly add remaining oil until smooth. If too thick, add a small amount of cold water to loosen.

Method of Preparation for Recipe 2:
Roughly chop the mint and basil, put them in the blender with all other ingredients except olive oil. Blend to combine. And ¼ cup olive oil and blend to combine. Slowly add remaining oil until smooth. If too thick, add a small amount of cold water to loosen.

Fromage Blanc Gnocchi

Method of Preparation:
Mix the six ingredients in a bowl until well combined and smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly flour the paper. Using two tablespoons, shape the mixture into ovals. With your hands, dredge the gnocchi in flour to coat, then tap off any excess flour. Place the gnocchi on the baking sheet and refrigerate for one hour.

To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the gnocchi (up to ten at a time) to the boiling water and cook for about three minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain and add to a shallow serving bowl with a sauce of your choosing.

Garden Pesto

Method of Preparation:
Place tomatoes in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Pour tomatoes into a fine strainer and drain off excess juices. Process tomatoes with all other ingredients until finely ground. Hold off on the salt and pepper until it is all mixed — I found that mine didn’t need more seasoning.

Serve over pasta and pass the cheese please! Add a Caesar salad and some grilled tri-tip for a delicious three-course meal.

Garlic and Herb White Beans with Sausage

Method of Preparation:
Add olive oil to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the sausage and brown on all sides, then remove to a bowl. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the pan.

Add the next 8 ingredients and sauté until they begin to soften. Deglaze the pot with the red wine, scraping up browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth, beans, tomatoes and sausage along with any accumulated juices and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Remove the sausage and let cool for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, slice the sausages crosswise and add back to the pot. Allow the entire mixture to cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally and adding more chicken broth as necessary. Remove the bay leaf and any remaining stems from the thyme. Mix in bread crumbs 1 tablespoon at a time to thicken the sauce until you have reached the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in bowls garnished with some Parmesan cheese and a side of some crusty bread.

Gorgonzola Cheese Cake

Method of Preparation for Crust:
Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Grease a 12 × 17″ sheet pan. In a sauce pan, bring water to a boil and stir in corn meal, garlic, salt and oregano. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. When mixture is cooked, stir in Asiago cheese and pour into the sheet pan and smooth out evenly. Set aside and let cool.

Method of Preparation for Filling:
In a large mixer, place cream cheese, gorgonzola and garlic. Combine thoroughly. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Pour into corn meal crust and smooth out.

Place cheese cake in middle of center rack. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until “insta-read” thermometer reads 160°F. Remove and let cool to room temperature.

Grilled Pork with Sauteed Peppers

Method of Preparation:
Bring water to a boil, remove from heat and stir in salt, brown sugar and molasses. Add the cold water and refrigerate the brine until it reaches about 45°. Submerge the pork chops in the brine in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

To grill the chops, remove from the brine and pat dry. Sear the pork over medium high heat, about 1 ½ minutes a side. Move to a cooler part of the grill, cover the grill and cook another 10 minutes. The chops are done when an instant read thermometer reads 145°F. Cover with foil and let rest.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large pan over high, add half the peppers, sauté until the peppers are cooked and start to caramelize. Salt and pepper to taste, remove from pan and repeat with remaining peppers. Return all the peppers to the pan, stir in the almonds, currants and raisins. Stir in the vinegar and cook for another few minutes. Serve the pork chops with the peppers.

Grilled Tri-Tip with Roasted Cherry Tomato Salsa

Method of Preparation for Marinade:
Combine all marinade ingredients in a 1 gallon zip lock bag, and marinade meat for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Method of Preparation for Salsa:
This can be done up to 24 hours in advance. Preheat oven to 300°F. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, place in a bowl. Add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, minced garlic and chopped onion. Mix together. Spread the tomatoes evenly out onto a sheet pan, cut sides up, and roast in the oven for approximately 1 hour, shaking the pan every 20-30 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove pan from the oven and put the tomatoes back in the bowl. Add balsamic, salt and pepper and mix the salsa. Refrigerate.

Method of Preparation for Meat:
Grill the tri-tip or steak over direct heat for 6 minutes per side, then move to indirect heat, cover and continue cooking for 12 more minutes for medium rare. Allow the meat to rest for 5 minutes after removing from the heat. Mix arugula with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper. Spread the arugula onto a platter, leaving the center of the platter empty and spreading the arugula towards the edges. Slice the tri-tip across the grain and spread slices down the empty, middle of platter. Mix the basil into the cooled salsa and spread on top of the sliced steak. Top all with the shaved Parmesan. Serve family style.

Grilled Tuna with Roasted Peppers

Method of Preparation:
Whisk together mustard and sherry vinegar, then whisk in ½ cup AVV olive oil and add ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Mix in onion, garlic and thyme.

Heat grill to high, blacken peppers on all sides and allow to sit 15 minutes in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Remove skin from peppers, seed and slice into ¼″ strips. Mix peppers into vinaigrette along with 1 teaspoon of the roasted pepper juice and let sit at least one hour, or up to 4 hours, at room temperature.

Let tuna come to room temperature at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. Brush tuna with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or sauté tuna over high heat until done to your liking. We prefer medium rare, pink in the middle.

Place tuna over rice or mashed Yukon gold potatoes. Top the tuna with roasted peppers and vinaigrette, sprinkle with chives and parsley, and drizzle a touch of vinaigrette around the plate.

Hammond’s Pan Seared Filet Mignon with CYRUS Shallot Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Put olive oil in frying pan and swirl to coat pan. Salt and pepper steaks to taste. Cook steaks for 3 ½ to 4 minutes on each side (for medium rare steaks) and remove from pan. Keep steaks warm.

Add butter to pan and brown the shallots. Add peppercorns, coriander, Herbs de Provence and garlic.

Deglaze pan with ½ cup CYRUS and let the wine brown. Add the beef stock and reduce liquid by ½, then add cream. Mix well and let the cream brown just slightly.

Put shallot sauce on warm plate and place steaks on top of sauce to serve.

Hank Wetzel’s Broiled Salmon

Method of Preparation:
Place a piece of aluminum foil on a broiler pan. Drop 2 tablespoons of butter on the foil and place half of the chopped onion, diced tomato and chopped parsley on the foil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lay the salmon on top of the chopped vegetables, skin side down. Drop 2 tablespoons of butter and the remaining chopped onion, diced tomato and chopped parsley on the salmon. Top it with the diced lemon and add salt and pepper to taste.

Broil for 10-12 minutes.

Serve with lemon slices.

Hearty Italian Sausage Pasta

Method of Preparation for Sauce:
In a large sauté pan add butter and onions; cook on high until onions become translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic, lower heat to medium, cook for approximately 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and artichoke hearts. Let all of this cook together for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add Italian sausage, you can either break it apart with your hands as you are adding it to the pan or with a wooden spoon once it’s in the pan. Stir frequently so everything is mixed together well. Once the sausage is browned pour in the ASR Cabernet Sauvignon and bring to a boil. Add the pasta sauce, lower heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

Method of Preparation for Pasta:
While the pasta sauce is simmering, fill a medium sized pot about ¾ of the way full with water and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling add about 2 tablespoons of salt for taste and the box of pasta. Cook anywhere from 8-12 minutes, depending on the pasta, strain and toss with the sauce.

Pour yourself a glass of 2011 Alexander School Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, scoop a bowl full of delicious hearty pasta, top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Homemade Sin Zin BBQ Sauce & Pork

Method of Preparation for Sauce:
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring. Continue stirring while it simmers on low heat for ten minutes. This amount is good for a 4 lb. pork shoulder/butt for pulled pork or 2 large strips of spare ribs.

Method of Preparation for Pork:
Heat oven to 300°. Place two large sheets of aluminum foil on a work surface on top of each other. Place pork in the center of the foil and season on all sides with the salt, pepper and cumin. Spoon the jam or chutney over the pork. Fold the double layer of foil around the pork and crimp the edges to seal tightly. Place in a baking dish and roast until tender, about 4 hours (you can also do this in a crock-pot). Let cool, then shred the pork and mix with homemade Sin Zin barbecue sauce. Serve on buns with coleslaw.

Katie’s Pimento Cheese

Method of Preparation:
Mash pimentos and add all ingredients except cheese. Mix well.

Combine mixture with grated cheese in a bowl and beat with a hand mixer on high until blended.

It should keep under refrigeration for two weeks.

Lamb Chops with Mustard-Herb Crust

Method of Preparation:
In a small bowl, combine mustard and garlic. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, rosemary and dried herbs. Whisk to combine.

Pat lamb chops dry with a paper towel and season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. With a basting brush, lightly coat lamb chops with mustard mixture, then dredge them in the breadcrumb-herb mixture.

In a large nonstick saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add half the lamb chops to the pan and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining chops and oil. Let lamb chops rest 5 minutes before serving.

Lamb Meatballs with Feta, Mint and Lemon

Method of Preparation:
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together by hand. Form into 2 inch meatballs.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Brown meatballs on all sides over medium heat. Add stock, not to cover them, but to come about halfway up the meatballs. Add wine, oregano, salt and lemon juice, bring to a simmer, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes until they are all cooked through.

Garnish with olives and mint and serve over pasta.

Leg of Lamb

Method of Preparation:
Place lamb in a large freezer bag. In a bowl mix together the wine, port, soy sauce, mustards, half of the thyme, parsley, chives, rosemary and 2 cloves of garlic crushed or chopped. Add the mixture to the freezer bag, seal and refrigerate for 24 hours. Mix all of the remaining herbs together, they can be stored together in a zip lock bag in the fridge overnight.

Remove lamb to sit at room temperature for 1 hour prior to cooking. Sauté the chopped shallot in a small saucepan with 1 tablespoons olive oil until translucent, add the marinade, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and remaining two 2 tablespoons of port and bring to a boil. Reduce the marinade mixture down to about 1 cup, strain the sauce and set aside.

Preheat oven to 475° degrees. Peel the onions and cut into quarters leaving the root end intact (this will keep onions from falling apart while roasting). Place them in a bowl and add olive oil, salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons of the reduced marinade. Toss to coat. Place the onions in a medium roasting pan and roast in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, remove and baste with some more sauce. Return and continue cooking, basting as needed to prevent burning for about 30 more minutes, or until they are softened and have slightly charred edges.

When ready to begin grilling, sprinkle the lamb with salt, pepper and all but 1 tablespoons of the remaining herb mixture on all sides. Grill the lamb over hot coals for about 8 minutes per side and then remove to a cooler part of the grill, cover and cook for another 10– 15 minutes, or until the thickest part is medium rare.

Remove lamb from grill and place on cutting board, cover with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes slice the meat across the grain and assemble on a serving platter. Pour some of the reduced marinade over the meat and place the roasted onions around the perimeter. Sprinkle the last remaining herbs over all.

Matambre Skirt Steak

Method of Preparation:
Make marinade by combining bell pepper, garlic, wine and spices. Set aside. Cut skirt steak into 3 sections and place in a non-reactive baking dish. Pour marinade over steaks and toss well to coat. Cover and marinate over night.

Pre-heat the grill to high. Combine spices in a small bowl. Remove steak from marinade and season with spice mixture. Cook steaks for 4 minutes on each side. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve with warm tortillas and your favorite condiments.

Mesquite-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Method of Preparation for Lamb:
Preheat oven to 500°. Combine mesquite flour with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and thyme in a shallow pan. Cut each side of the rack into four-bone portions. Dredge each portion in seasonings. Add corn oil to a large heavy skillet and heat. Brown dredged lamb in oil. Place in oven until done, about 12 minutes for rare to medium-rare.

Allow lamb to rest for at least five minutes before slicing into portions. Arrange on plates next to Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Ladle stock over meat and garnish with fresh herb sprigs.

Method of Preparation for Mashed Potatoes:
Boil potatoes in salted water until very tender, then drain well. Mash potatoes with buttermilk to desired consistency. Add other ingredients and blend another minute. Longer whipping time makes the potatoes starchy and sticky. Do not blend any longer than you need to incorporate the ingredients.

Mushroom Ragout

Method of Preparation:
Heat a sauté pan with olive oil and add the onions. Cook on low heat, stirring once in awhile, until onions are brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add the chicken stock and wine, turn up the heat, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add butter, let it melt and add mushrooms. Stir and cook for about five minutes until mushrooms are soft but still hold their shape. Add salt and pepper sparingly to taste. Serve immediately. This recipe will easily serve four as an accompaniment or sauce.

Mushroom Risotto

Method of Preparation:
Grind ¹⁄8 cup Porcini in food processor to a course powder. Heat 2 cups stock to a simmer, remove from heat and soak remainder of Porcini till soft. Dice Porcini and strain stock to remove grit. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté fresh mushrooms over high heat until caramelized, you may need to add more oil if pan is too dry. Remove the mushrooms and place in a separate bowl. Reduce heat and sauté onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add thyme and garlic, sauté until garlic is soft and fragrant. Add Arborio Rice and sauté until rice smells nutty.

Deglaze pan with ½ cup AVV Chardonnay. Add ½ a teaspoon of salt and fresh ground pepper. Add one cup of warm stock and stir until stock is absorbed, add ground porcini and continue adding stock and stirring until rice is almost cooked through. Add in all mushrooms and additional stock until rice is cooked to firm texture, the rice should not be dry. Remove from heat. Add ¼ Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

This should be a loose risotto.

Plate and top with fresh grated Parmesan, green onion, fresh parsley and drizzle of AVV olive oil.

Mushroom Stuffed Flank Steak

Method of Preparation:
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add onions, and cook on low heat until they caramelize, about 45 minutes, stirring once in awhile. After they have browned nicely, add mushrooms and cook until slightly brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in rosemary and crème fraiche and remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly.

While the onions are cooking, lay out the flank steak between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap, and pound with a mallet until it is evenly around ½″ thick.

Spread the onion/mushroom mixture on the flank steak, sprinkle with parsley, and roll up length-wise. Secure the roast with string and place in a roasting pan. Bake in a 350° pre-heated oven for around 45 minutes. Allow to sit a few minutes before slicing and serving.

New York Strip Steak with Merlot Butter

Method of Preparation:
Combine the Merlot and shallots in a one quart saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until the wine is reduced to 1 tablespoon. Strain the wine through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard shallots. Let the wine cool, then add softened butter, chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Transfer Merlot butter to a sheet of plastic wrap and roll tightly into a 1″ thick cylinder, about 5″ long. Twist ends of plastic wrap to seal tightly. Chill until firm. The butter can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 425°. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Place a large ovenproof sauté pan over high heat and add oil. Sear the steaks one at a time until brown, about 1 minute per side. Return the steaks to the pan and roast in the oven about 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before serving. To serve, top each steak with a few slices of the Merlot butter.

French Onion Soup

Method of Preparation:
Melt butter until brown. Add onions, coat with butter and cook until brown and caramelized.

Add garlic, bacon, balsamic vinegar, port, bouquet garni and stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour.

To create croutons, top each slice of baguette with a slice of Gruyere cheese and broil until melted.

Divide soup and serve in bowls. Top each bowl with a cheese crouton.

Osso Bucco

Method of Preparation:
Tie the veal shanks with string along the sides. Dredge in flour that is seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown in oil and butter and then remove.

Sauté pancetta and then remove from pan. Add veggies and cook until translucent. Stir in tomato paste. Add CYRUS and cook for 10 minutes.

Add stock, veal and pancetta and cover and simmer for 1 hour, then remove strings.

Serve over risotto and sprinkle with chopped parsley and lemon zest before serving.

Oven Braised Brisket with Balsamic Glazed Cippolini Onions

Method of Preparation for Brisket:
Rub meat with oregano, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 300°. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium high, add meat, and sear until nicely browned on all sides. Transfer meat to platter and add onion and celery to sauté pan. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Place meat in a roasting pan along with accumulated juices on platter and the sautéed vegetables. Add wine and broth to sauté pan, bring to a boil, then add to roasting pan along with garlic and water. Cover and roast for 3 ½ hours or until meat is very tender.

Method of Preparation for Cippolini Onions:
While the brisket is in the oven, dissolve sugar in water in a large saucepan and cook over moderate heat until the sauce turns amber, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and ½ cup of the balsamic. Return to heat and cook until the butter melts. Add onions, zest, the bay leaves and chicken stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the onions are tender and the liquid is syrupy, which should take about an hour. Remove from heat, stir in the remaining vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Serve the glazed cippolinis with slices of the brisket.

Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Method of Preparation for Stuffing:
Remove spinach stems and rinse leaves thoroughly. Put spinach in a skillet and steam spinach over medium heat until wilted, partially covered. Remove from pan and wrap spinach in a towel and squeeze out the water, chop medium fine. Heat butter in small skillet and add shallots and sauté until soft.

Mix pine nuts, spinach, shallots with ricotta and pesto. Taste for seasoning. Put a slice of prosciutto on each chicken breast half. Spread filling on each chicken breast half fold and place in buttered baking dish. Spoon melted butter and lemon juice over chicken. Bake chicken, basting occasionally with juices in pan, for 30 minutes or until tender at 375°. Remove chicken to platter and cover to keep warm.

Method of Preparation for Sauce:
In medium skillet heat butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and set aside. Add chicken stock to skillet and cook until reduced to ¼ cup. Add AVV Chardonnay and reduce to ¾ cup. Add whipping cream and cook until slightly thick. Return mushrooms to skillet.

When chicken is done, remove from baking dish and keep warm. Remove juices from the baking dish and add to the sauce. Raise heat to medium high and bring to a boil stirring. Taste for seasoning. To serve, arrange chicken breasts on platter and pass sauce separately.

Pinchos Perfectos

Method of Preparation:
De-stem figs and cut in half. Drain olive juice, if any. Place figs and olives in medium saucepan. Open the first bottle of Redemption Zin and pour a glass, just to taste test it of course! Pour zinfandel into saucepan until figs and olives are covered with wine. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, cover saucepan and leave on burner but turn stove off.

While figs and olives cool in the saucepan, cut salami and Provolone into half-inch cubes. Once figs and olives are cool, strain out the wine.

Now put one piece each of the salami, fig, provolone and olive, in that order, on each toothpick or skewer and place on a serving platter.

To optimize the flavors, eat all four pieces in one big, delicious bite.

Pork Chops with Fruit Chutney

Method of Preparation:
Mash raspberries in a glass bowl. Mix berries with soy sauce, sliced ginger, and sliced mint leaves. Add pork chops to bowl of marinade and refrigerate meat for at least one hour, up to six hours.

Remove pork chops from marinade, reserve marinade. Grill pork chops until just pink inside, about 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness. Combine reserved marinade and fruit chutney ingredients, and bring to a simmer, then cook on low for about 5 minutes to combine all the flavors. Serve over pork chops with AVV Cabernet Franc.

Pork Tenderloin with Savory Fruit

Method of Preparation:
Coat the tenderloin with cumin, salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet. When the pan is very hot, add the pork and brown on both sides, approximately two minutes per side. Remove the pork and add the apples to the pan. Stir the apples until they start to brown. Add water, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, then add the thyme. Push the apples to the edges of the pan and put the pork back in. Cover and simmer for seven minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes. Slice the pork and serve with the apples.

Pumpkin Soup

Method of Preparation:
Peel and skin the pumpkin – cut in half and remove the seeds. Cut into small chunks. Chop the onion and garlic into small pieces.
Over medium heat in a large pan, sweat/sauté the onion and garlic. Add the pumpkin chunks to pan and roast the mixture for 5 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with AVV Chardonnay, scraping the pan to release all the tasty bits. Add the chicken stock, spices, sugar and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cook until the pumpkin chunks are tender, then add the cream and bring to a boil. Blend with either an immersion blender or by pouring the mixture into a blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then strain the soup through a fine strainer.

Serve while hot and enjoy with a glass of 2010 Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Merlot.

Red Wine and Mushroom Risotto

Method of Preparation:
Soak porcini in boiling water for 30 minutes. Rinse and chop finely. Chop other mushrooms finely. Simmer broth in a large saucepan. In a 5 to 6 quart saucepan, cook bacon or pancetta over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Melt butter in pan and add fresh mushrooms, onion, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in rice and coat with fat, then add one cup of wine. Stir and cook until liquid is absorbed, then add remaining wine.

Add broth 1 cup at a time, stir and cook each addition until absorbed. Cook about 25 to 30 minutes, until rice is creamy and tender. You don’t need to stir this constantly, but do give it a whirl every few minutes. Add the porcini about halfway through. Salt and pepper to taste, then top with parsley and Parmesan and serve.

Red Wine Braised Flat Iron Steak

Method of Preparation:
Heat a heavy bottomed skillet on high and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the vegetables to the pan and sauté until lightly browned. Add the roasted garlic cloves, thyme, Dijon mustard and tomato paste along with the red wine and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. When the sauce is cold, pour over the flat-iron roast and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350°. Remove meat from the marinade, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Reserve marinade. Add the rest of the olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet heated on high. Sear the meat on all sides. Pour the reserved marinade over the meat and bring to a boil. Cover and place in the oven. Roast for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until fork tender. Remove the meat from the pan. Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Season the sauce to taste with Tabasco, salt and pepper. Slice the roast, pour the sauce over the meat and serve.

Risotto Fritters

Method of Preparation for Risotto:
Heat the stock over medium heat and keep warm. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sauté until soft. Add rice, stir and cook until slightly toasted and coated with the oil, just about 3-5 minutes. Add wine, cook until it is soaked up by the rice, then add stock in 1 cup increments, stirring often until liquid is absorbed each time. The cooking time should be about 40 minutes.

Method of Preparation for Fritters:
Mix prepared risotto, cheeses, parsley, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix ingredients well. Using your hands, shape the mixture into small logs about 1 ½″ long. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill for one hour. Pour oil into a sturdy pan to a depth of 1″. Heat oil to 350°. Place flour, eggs and bread crumbs in three shallow bowls separately. Dredge logs in flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs. Fry until golden brown, turning halfway through. Drain on paper towels and enjoy with AVV Dry Rosé of Sangiovese.

Roasted Mushroom and Shallot Soup

Method of Preparation:
Wipe mushrooms clean and trim stems, but leave them on the mushrooms. Leave mushrooms whole, or quarter large mushrooms such as portobello. Peel and quarter shallots. Place both in a large baking dish on a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme and bake in a 325° degree oven for 1 ½ hours. Remove pan from oven and let cool for 20 minutes.

In a food processor, pulse the mixture until the mushrooms and shallots are diced but still in chunks. Melt butter in a large saucepan, add mushroom mixture and sauté until butter is absorbed, about five minutes. Add milk and cream, stir and heat through. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Sausage and Mushroom Ragout

Method of Preparation:
Brown the sausage in a large hot pan, crumbling it as it cooks. Remove the sausage from the pan, reduce heat to medium, and add the olive oil, onion, celery, carrots, red pepper flakes and thyme. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms soften and begin to release some moisture. Scrape up anything stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the sausage back to the pan, add the bay leaf, tomatoes, red wine and beef broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for about 45 minutes or until the liquid in the pan has reduced to about 1 cup. Add the sugar. If the sauce is still a little acidic, add a little bit more sugar, ¼ teaspoon at a time, tasting after each addition. Add the butter and flour mixture and stir until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over polenta and garnish with the chopped chives. Add a slice of crusty French bread to wipe up the sauce.

Savory Butternut Squash

Method of Preparation:
Coat a casserole dish with canola oil and bake squash pieces at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until almost done (al dente).

While squash is cooking, prepare onion/bacon mixture. Caramelize onions in a pan on low to medium heat. When onions begin to caramelize, add bacon to pan. Stir with a spatula until bacon is cooked, but being careful not to overcook.

Add squash to onion/bacon mixture, toss to mix, and cover to keep pan warm for 5-10 minutes while completing your main dinner, letting all the flavors meld together.

Season to taste with freshly ground rainbow peppercorns and salt.

Seared Filet of Beef with Roasted Mushroom Sauce

Method of Preparation for Seared Filet of Beef:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Liberally salt and pepper the outside of the beef. Melt butter in a cast iron or heavy skillet until just brown. Sear the beef on the outside for around 5 minutes until browned. Place in oven for ten to twelve minutes or until inside temperature is 120 degrees. This should be rare, do not over cook it. Remove from oven, allow beef to rest about 5 minutes. Slice ½ inch thick and serve with Old Vine Zin and roasted mushroom sauce if you like.

Method of Preparation for Roasted Mushroom Sauce:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice stem ends off mushrooms. Keep small varieties whole, cut large varieties into chunks. Mix shallots, mushrooms and a small amount of olive oil in a metal baking pan, just enough to coat the mixture but not enough to sit in the bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper, roast in oven for 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.

Remove shallot and mushroom mixture from the oven, and put on medium heat on the stove. Mix in butter until melted, then add bourbon and cream. Let cook down for about three minutes, then taste for seasoning. Serve over filet of beef.

Seasons Rotisserie & Grill Pork Belly BLT

Method of Preparation for Pork Belly Bacon:
Combine all seasoning ingredients and massage into pork belly. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 48 hours. The next day, rinse the belly and blot dry with paper towels. Preheat oven to 275°F. Place pork belly on a wire rack over a baking sheet, and roast for 2 hours. Allow to cool slightly. Slice belly into approximately 2-inch by 2-inch squares. In a nonstick or seasoned cast-iron skillet, gently brown the belly cubes on all sides. Pour off any fat that renders out. Slice the belly across the grain into ¼” slices.

Method of Preparation for Fennel Aioli:
In the food processor, combine the egg yolks, mustard, garlic, fennel pollen, lemon juice, and salt & pepper. Process to combine, and slowly drizzle in the oil to form an emulsion.

Method of Preparation for Sandwiches:
Slice the tomatoes and season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Toast the sourdough bread and rub the toast with the sliced garlic clove. Spread on the fennel aioli and assemble: Overlap several slices of the warm pork belly, and add two tomato slices and a pile of arugula. Top with more pork belly, if desired, and finish with the second slice of toast. For best results, use all natural pork, eggs, tomatoes and arugula from your local Farmers Market, or from your own garden!

Shrimp a la Niçoise

Method of Preparation:
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and onion and lower the heat, cooking until the fennel is tender, about 15 minutes.

Increase heat to medium and add all other ingredients except shrimp. Stir and cook until most of the wine is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.

Add shrimp and cook while stirring until shrimp just turn pink – do not over cook them, this should take about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Sin Zin Dessert Sauce

Method of Preparation:
Melt butter and set aside for 3 minutes. Whisk in the sifted sugar. When it starts to separate, crack the egg in and whisk to tighten the sauce. Once sauce has tightened up, add the Sin Zin.

Use for topping on your favorite chocolate cake, bread pudding or ice cream!

Sin Zin Marinated & Grilled Tri-Tip

Method of Preparation:
Remove the silver skin from the tri-tip. In a stainless steel saucepan, reduce the wine by 1/4 and then cool. Combine the wine and the other marinade ingredients in a blender and process until well combined. Place the tri-tip in a large zip lock bag or large glass baking dish, pour the marinade over the steak and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.

Remove the steak from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. On a clean, hot grill, sear the steaks on each side so that you get distinct cross grill marks. Continue grilling the steak over indirect heat until the tri-tip reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees (about 12 to 15 minutes). As an alternative, the steak may also be cooked in a 250 degree oven. Remove from the grill, tent with foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice across the grain and serve.

Sinfully Easy Lamb Kabobs

Method of Preparation:
Pour glass of Sin Zin to enjoy while prepping lamb.
Trim lamb of excess fat and sinew, cut into 1½ inch cubes.
Pour glass of Sin Zin to enjoy while making marinade.
Mix garlic, herbs, olive oil, Sin Zin, red wine vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper into large ziplock bag, add lamb cubes and refrigerate overnight.
Finish bottle of Sin Zin – save bottle.
Fill empty Sin Zin bottle with water, add skewers and soak for 1 hour.
Pre-heat gas or charcoal grill to medium hot.
Thread lamb, tomato, onion and pepper onto skewers, season with salt and pepper.
Alternate the ingredients and don’t pack tightly.
Grill kabob for 10-15 minutes, turning several times so that all sides brown and lamb is pink inside.
Serve with couscous and mixed green salad.

Skipjack’s Gingered Sea Bass

Method of Preparation:
To prepare base marinade, combine all ingredients in a sauce pot and simmer at low heat for one hour. Strain and chill marinade until it reaches room temperature.

Combine base marinade and 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, add fish and marinate in refrigerator overnight (maximum of 24 hours).
Remove fish from marinade and drain excess.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place marinated fish in a Pyrex dish with ½ cup water in the bottom.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. After 15 minutes, test with a skewer for doneness.

Serve with your favorite stir fried vegetables.

Slow Merlot Ribs

Method of Preparation:
Place the ribs on heavy duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Coat each side of the ribs with a generous portion of dry rub. Pat it in. Pull the sides of the foil up and fold together to seal. Roll each end of foil up to seal. Let the packets rest in the refrigerator for at least one hour. It’s better if you give it four hours or even better, overnight.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees while you make the braising sauce.

In a small saucepan combine the braising sauce ingredients—heat until warm and stir to combine. Place the packet of ribs on a baking sheet, roll open one end of each of the packets and pour in half the liquid into each. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours while you enjoy a glass or two of AVV Merlot.
Pour the braising liquid from each packet into a medium sauce pan. Bring it to a boil and reduce by half or until it is a thick glaze.

Brush the glaze on the ribs and either place them under the broiler or on a BBQ grill to just carmelize the sauce. Enjoy with good company and a glass of AVV Merlot.

Smoke Roasted Wild Salmon with Dill Butter

Method of Preparation:
Combine the Dijon, brown sugar, salt and Syrah together in a small bowl and mix to form a loose paste. Brush the mustard mixture on the salmon fillets, cover and chill for at least an hour. Combine the unsalted butter, lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Start the coals in a kettle-style grill. When the coals are covered with white ash, push them to each side of the grill. Spread the soaked wood chips on top of the hot coals and replace the grate. Place the salmon fillets, skin side down in the center of the grill. Place the cover back on and roast the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove from the grill, garnish with a dollop of the dill butter and serve.

Spiced Seared Angus Beef

Method of Preparation for Spice Rub:
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Method of Preparation for Syrah Essence:
In a stainless steel lined pan, bring all ingredients to a simmer. Let the mixture reduce (about 2/3) to a syrup-like consistency; the slower you reduce the mixture, the more fruit characteristics it will retain. Chill and serve.

Method of Preparation for Steaks:
Season sirloins with spice rub and let them rest refrigerated for 4-24 hours. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Sear the meat in a cast iron skillet with some olive oil. When the meat is browned on all sides, place on a sheet tray and finish cooking in the pre-heated oven. For medium rare steaks, cook the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Serve the meat sliced thin with the Syrah essence drizzled over it.

Sri Lankan Spiced Lamb Top Sirloin

Method of Preparation:
Toast the cumin seed in a dry pan for 1 minute, add the coriander seed followed by the mustard seed sauté for another minute. Add the remaining spices off the heat and mix together.

Place the spice mix in a coffee grinder and grind until a powder. Mix the lamb together with the spices, garlic and olive oil and marinade for 1 hour.

Drain the meat, season with kosher salt and grill until medium rare approximately 3-4 minutes on each side. Rest for 2 minutes before slicing.

Stuffed Cremini Mushrooms

Method of Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, toss the mushrooms with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and the rosemary leaves and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking sheet, rounded side up. Roast for about 30 minutes until tender. Cool to room temperature.

In a skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the rosemary sprig and cook over moderately high heat until the leaves are crisp, about 30 seconds. Drain on a paper towel, then strip off the leaves. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon of the oil and add the bread crumbs to the skillet. Toast over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the fried rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

Place a piece of goat cheese on each mushroom, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and serve.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloins

Method of Preparation:
In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat; cook the bacon, then add in mushrooms, onion and garlic. Saute until tender (about 8 minutes). Stir in toasted pecans, parsley, thyme and bread crumbs; set aside.

Butterfly the pork tenderloins and then place them between two sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten them to about ¼-inch thickness using a meat mallet or a rolling pin. Season the side of the pork that you will be stuffing with seasoned salt and black pepper.

Divide and spread the mushroom mixture evenly between the two tenderloins, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll up jellyroll fashion starting with the long end. Secure with toothpicks. Place seam-sides down in a greased roasting pan/dish. Brush the tops and sides of each roll with about 2 tablespoons (or less) of AVV olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with coarse black pepper and salt.

Bake uncovered in a 425° degree oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400° degrees and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until a thermometer placed in the center of the stuffing reads 150° degrees. Let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Tart Cherry Braised Duck Legs with Parsnip & Potato Purée

Method of Preparation of Duck Legs:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat duck dry, rub with quatre épices and season with sea salt. In an oven-proof pan or dutch oven large enough to hold duck snugly, heat extra virgin olive oil until hot. Add duck with skin side down and sear over medium heat until browned, approximately 7 minutes. Turn legs over and brown on other side, approximately 3 minutes. Remove duck from pan and set aside. Pour off excess fat so that 1 tablespoon remains. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add thyme, bay leaves, Sin Zin and broth and bring to a simmer. Add salt and legs with skin side up, cover with a tight lid, transfer to oven and cook for 1½ hours or until very tender.

Stir in Sin Zin soaked cherries after 1 hour. Remove thyme, bay leaves and duck from braising juices and skim off excess fat. Serve with warmed parsnip purée and braising juices.

Method of Preparation of Parsnip & Potato Purée:
Bring a pot filled with salted water to a boil. Add parsnips and boil for 10 minutes. Add potatoes and boil for an additional 20 minutes or until tender. Strain and add to a mixer. Cream mixture on medium speed with paddle attachment. Add butter, half ‘n half, and salt and pepper to taste.

Tilghman Island Inn New Orleans Style B-B-Q Shrimp

Method of Preparation:
Rinse shrimp, pat dry, and toss with Tilghman Island New Bay Seasoning.

Melt butter in a sauté pan, add garlic, and cook until fragrant.
Add shrimp and wine. Cook until shrimp are done, just a couple of minutes.

Divide among shallow bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serve with warm crusty French bread.

Tuscan Steak

Method of Preparation:
Remove meat from refrigerator one hour prior to grilling.

Heat grill to high, if using a gas grill add smoker chips. Liberally sprinkle salt and course ground pepper on the steak. Lay one rosemary sprig on the top side.

Sear steak on all sides, 5-6 minutes per side. Stand it on end for each of the sides, add rosemary sprig to each side as you sear, discard sprigs as they brown.

Grill to your preference – we prefer medium rare, so I take the steak off the grill at about 125 degrees internal temperature. The temperature will continue to rise while resting. This is a thick piece of meat, so check the temperature in the thick part near the bone.

Remove from grill, top steak with a pat of butter, cover, enjoy a glass of Cab while steak rests for 20 minutes, then slice and serve with more Cabernet Sauvignon!

Veal Birds

Method of Preparation:
Melt the butter in a skillet over moderate heat and sauté ½  cup of onion and the mushrooms until onion is golden. Add bread crumbs, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Let cool. Pound veal thin between two sheets of plastic wrap. Spread filling on each cutlet. Fold in long sides and roll up from short side. Secure with kitchen string or toothpicks. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in skillet and brown the veal birds on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Sauté the rest of the onion until golden, then stir in the stock and tomato puree. Add the veal birds, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the veal is tender. Remove veal birds to a platter. Whisk sour cream and paprika into the sauce, season with salt and pepper, and cook until hot. Pour sauce over birds and serve with the noodles.

Yummy AVV Chicken Stew

Method of Preparation for Stew:
Simmer stock with bay leaf, 1 tablespoon parsley and chicken for 20 minutes. Remove partially cooked chicken from stock and cut into bite sized pieces.

Heat oil and sauté onion, celery, mushrooms, herbes de Provence, a pinch of salt and pepper until vegetables are softened (about 5 minutes) then add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Deglaze with wine and reduce by half. Set aside.

Melt butter in sauté pan, stir in flour and cook until pale yellow – don’t brown the roux. Add roux to stock and whisk until combined, bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Add potato, carrot, sautéed vegetables, chicken and hot sauce with 1 ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Stir and simmer 15-20 minutes. Stir in peas & remaining parsley. Pour into buttered casserole dish.

Method of Preparation for Biscuits:
Blend flour, baking powder, salt, herbes de Provence and ¹⁄³ cup parmesan. Add shortening and work until it looks like peas, add milk and form dough. Pat out into ½” thick circle (match casserole dish shape). Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese and pat it again. Cut into wedges, separate and put on top of stew. Bake at 450° degrees for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and biscuits golden.

Zuchinni Parmesan Flatbread

Method of Preparation:
Dust work surface with flour, unfold puff pastry, lightly roll 11 x 10 ½”, cut into thirds along folds, place onto parchment lined baking sheet. Brush each section with ½ tsp olive oil, sprinkle with ½ tsp finely minced garlic, pinch of salt, black pepper, ¼ tsp thyme & ½ tbs parmesan cheese.

Shingle zucchini rounds 3 across, overlap next row below about halfway up, continue the rows until the section is covered. Sprinkle pinch of salt, pepper, thyme and parmesan over top.

Bake in 400 degree oven 30 minutes, rotate pan as needed.

Remove from oven and grate more parmesan cheese onto top, sprinkle with julienned basil and drizzle with a little olive oil.