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.
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!
This creamy, autumn soup warms you from head to toe. At the winery, we roast our butternut squash in the wood-fired oven nearly to the point of burning the outside of the squash, which imparts a delectable, caramelized characteristic that pairs beautifully with Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay. This soup makes a charming “shooter” appetizer or is perfect for a first course.
1 medium butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
1 bay leaf
2 cups heavy cream
apple cider vinegar
⅓ cup crème fraîche, with
additional for garnish
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375˚F and cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise.
Scoop out seeds with a large spoon. Rub the squash with olive oil and
place flesh side down in a baking dish. Cover with foil and cook for 45
minutes or until very soft. Remove from oven and let cool.
Scoop out the flesh into a large soup pot. Cover with 2 quarts
of chicken stock. Add salt, pepper, ginger, Chinese five spice and
bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
Add 2 cups of heavy cream and allow the mixture to return to a simmer
for 1 minute. Shut off heat.
Puree soup in a blender, add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Fill the blender
only half way and start it on low then slowly bring it up to high speed.
Use caution as the hot mixture will expand in the blender. Once the
first batch is blended, empty the blender and blend the next batch.
Continue this process until all the soup is pureed, then pass it through
a fine-meshed sieve. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt or vinegar.
For the cinnamon crème fraîche, add a third of a cup crème fraîche
to a small bowl.
Add cinnamon and whisk until well mixed. For an appetizer portion,
pour the hot soup into a small pitcher. Line up shot glasses, then pour
soup into glasses. Top with a tiny amount of the crème fraîche and
serve. For a first course, pour soup into bowls and top with a dollop
of crème fraîche.
Serves 20 appetizer portions or 10 first course portions