2 tablespoons butter
4 medium leeks, whites only, diced
3 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, quartered, then thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
½–1 cup heavy cream
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pound rock shrimp
Combine all spices in a small bowl to make the seasoning salt. Mix well. Place the rock shrimp in another small bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the salt mixture. Mix gently. Reserve the remaining seasoning salt in a small, air-tight container and keep it with your spices. Cover the shrimp and place in the refrigerator until needed.
In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, add the 2 tablespoons of butter and diced leeks. Cook on low for 20 minutes, or until the leeks are soft. Add the potatoes and cover with chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for another 20 minutes, or until
the potatoes are very tender. Add the cream and remove from heat.
Working in batches, carefully pour into your blender, filling only half way each time. Start on a low setting then move to high and purée the soup for one minute. Be careful not to blend the soup for too long as it will become gluey. Continue this process until all the
soup is puréed. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Place soup back into a clean soup pot and reheat when guest arrive. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a medium sauté pan at medium-high heat. Add rock shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Stir and cook for another 1–2 minutes.
For appetizers, pour hot soup into a pitcher then into shot glasses. Place one rock shrimp on top to garnish. For a first course, fill heated bowl with soup and garnish with 5 rock shrimp, or a sorrel leaf, for a non-seafood garnish.
Sliders are favorite appetizers at any occasion and can be prepared in a multitude of ways. In the winery kitchen, we grind beef from the trim of our larger roasts and steaks. Ask your local butcher to grind you specific cuts of beef. For the buns, many grocery stores now carry slider buns, or dinner rolls work just as well.
Shape ground beef into eight, two-ounce patties. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and sauté on medium heat until the patties have reached desired doneness.
In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, onion, parsley and chives. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, apple cider vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well, then combine with the cabbage mixture. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed.
To create the aioli, preheat the oven to 325ºF. Take a whole head of garlic and cut off the stalk end to expose the top of the garlic cloves. Place in a baking dish, lightly coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake in oven for 1 houruntil the garlic is very tender. Allow to cool, remove cloves from the head and place in a small bowl.
Smash the cloves with the back of a fork then mix with the mayonnaise. To assemble, slice the buns in half, place on a baking pan, and toast in a 325ºF oven for three minutes.
This time of year calls for delicious food and wine to share with family and friends. Paired with Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet, Chef Trevor’s flavorful recipe below is poised to take center stage at your holiday meal. Watch this enticing video for a behind-the-scenes look at this beautiful dish and pairing.
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Roasted Winter Vegetables, Baby Red Potatoes and Pickled Cranberry Salsa Verde
You can marinate this leg of lamb overnight or for a few hours before you roast it. Place all herbs, seasoning and olive oil in a bowl and mix gently while adding the lemon juice. Rub the marinade generously all over the lamb, then wrap it several times in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator, then remove one hour prior to cooking to let the lamb temper. This will allow the lamb to cook evenly.
On a hot grill, sear all sides of the lamb leg, then bring the temperature down to low and cover the grill so the lamb can roast slowly. After 45 minutes on low, check the internal temperature with a thermometer. When it reaches about 160˚F remove the lamb from the heat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. The lamb should be a nice, warm-pink medium inside, which I find is the most crowd-pleasing. Place the lamb on the cutting board and slice as thin as possible.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Turn each cauliflower or romanesco head over, and with a small paring knife, trim away any green leaves or stalk. Then remove the florets from the head and rotate as you go. You may only need a half head of each vegetable to feed six people, depending on the size of each head. Once all the vegetables are trimmed, place them in a bowl. Season with sherry vinegar, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil and toss gently. Pour the seasoned vegetables onto a sheet pan and place in the oven. After about 10 minutes, the vegetables will start to caramelize. Stir once and continue to cook for 5 more minutes.
Baby Red Potatoes
Keeping the cruciferous vegetables separate from the potatoes ensures that everything will cook properly. Keep the oven at 400˚F. Toss the quartered red potatoes with herbs, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic cloves. Line a baking sheet with SILPAT® (this is a silicone cooking mat). Stir every five minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and tender. After the potatoes have cooked, remove the garlic cloves.
Pickled Cranberry Salsa Verde
This non-traditional salsa verde will add a seasonal and festive twist to your meal. Place water, sherry vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot liquid over the cranberries and refrigerate overnight. Place the herbs, shallots, lemon zest and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl and gently stir. Remove the cranberries from the pickling liquid and add them to the herb mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Mix the winter vegetables and baby red potatoes together for a colorful presentation. Lay a few slices of lamb just off to the side of the vegetables and spoon the salsa verde over the lamb. Enjoy with a glass of 2009 Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet.
Enjoy this short video featuring Chef Trevor, a beautiful leg of lamb, colorful vegetables and State Ranch Cabernet. This visual feast will surely inspire you to make your own! For the complete recipe, click here.
I thought I would use this blog as an opportunity to explain what a winery chef does. Not that I want to burst anyone’s bubble, but we don’t have a restaurant at the winery–though I wish we did. My job as Executive Chef is to pair food to the wonderful single-vineyard wines we produce. I take extensive notes while tasting through different wines and vintages with the winemaker, and I use that knowledge to construct locally focused, seasonal dishes that highlight particular flavors and aromas in each wine.
Every year, we add dishes to our master cookbook and then share a few of these with you throughout the year in our newsletter and on our website. Who, you ask, gets to enjoy this wonderful harmony of food and wine? All of the food for the wine club events is prepared by our in-house culinary team. Food and wine pairings, or lunch, can be arranged for private parties instead of the traditional tastings. We also support the winery with charities, promotions and sales.
I look forward to seeing you at of our wine club events (stay tuned for our 2013 event calendar), and I wish you happy holidays.
A behind-the-scenes snapshot of a video shoot I participated in this week. Look for the video–and a recipe and wine pairing–in our December newsletter!