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Shrimp Pasta

Shrimp Pasta With Rose Sauce

Our BEST OF THE BEST 2016 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir has drawn accolades from many. One is the grower of the award winning wine. Arturo Ibleto is known in Sonoma County as “Pasta King.” He’s partial, but he thinks the Best of the Best rose goes best with pasta. Here’s one of our favorites.

INGREDIENTS:

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt and stir in pasta, cooking until al dente (7 – 9 minutes). Drain into a colander, setting aside one cup of cooking liquid.
  2. While pasta is cooking heat oil in a skillet and add shallots, garlic, and salt. Cook 3 – 5 minutes and add wine and tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cream. If the mixture is too dry add cooking liquid as needed.
  3. Divide pasta on plates, pouring shrimp sauce on top. Add basil leaves as garnish. Serve with the rest of the Taft Street Rose. You may need another bottle!

Serves 4

asparagus risotto

Asparagus Risotto

Don’t believe the fake news that asparagus does not go well with wine. Everything (almost) goes well with wine; you just have to get the right combination. Here is a way to enjoy the springtime freshness of both asparagus and our new 2016 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • Salt
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Taft Street Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat stock in pot, keep hot.
  2. Heat oil in skillet and cook onion until tender, about 3 minutes. Add rice and garlic and stir until rice turns opaque. Add wine. Add stock in ½ cup portions, stirring until absorbed. Continue adding stock for 10-12 minutes; then add asparagus and stir and add stock until less than a cup remains (25 minutes total).
  3. Stir in last of the stock with cheese. Taste and season as needed. Risotto should be creamy. Serve at once in shallow soup bowls.

Enjoy!

Watermelon Salad

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again. The grill is hot and casual dining is the rule. Here is a refreshing crowd pleaser that can be made in a jiffy. Goes well with grilled chicken, ribs, burgers – you name it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups seeded watermelon
  • ¼ cup mint leaves chiffonade

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix white wine vinegar, lime zest and juice in a small bowl. Whisk in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Add onion and let sit.
  2. Toss the watermelon, feta and mint in a large bowl. Coat with vinaigrette and serve immediately.

A chilled Taft Street Sauvignon Blanc or Rose of Pinot Noir helps highlight any summer evening!

Cheese Souffle

With spring our chickens are beginning to lay in earnest, and there are few things better than farm fresh eggs. Most farmers markets sell them these days, so try to use the freshest possible eggs.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Butter to grease soufflé dish
  • 2 tablespoons grates parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 Large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces gruyere cheese
  • 5 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream-of-tartar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. With butter grease an 8-inch soufflé dish. Add grated parmesan and roll to cover the sides and bottom. Freeze for 5 minutes.
  2. Melt butter in a small pan. In a separate bowl combine flour and salt. Whisk in buteter and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in hot milk and bring to just below boiling. Remove from heat.
  3. In separate bowl, beat egg yolks until creamy. Temper yolks into milk mixture. Remove from heat and add cheese and whisk until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, using a mixer whip egg whites and cream-of-tartar until glossy and firm. Folk into the mixture, ¼ at a time.
  5. Pour mixture into soufflé dish, place on pie tin, and bake for 35 minutes.

Serves 4-6. Try this for brunch with a glass of Taft Street Russian River Valley Pinot Gris. YUM!

Asian Noodles

Most of us have our go-to recipes for such classics as lasagna, curry and meatloaf. Here is a basic take on a dish found all over Asia and much of the world (chicken – noodle soup, anyone?).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces Chinese wheat or egg noodles, or vermicelli
  • ½ pound cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, green parts only

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a pot of boiling water, cook the noodles just shy of al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again.
  2. In a bowl combine the chicken, tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger and garlic.
  3. Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl. Pour chicken and sauce over noodles and mix well. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Our 2012 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc goes especially well with this dish.

Berries

Blackberry Rose (of Pinot Noir) Sorbet

This one has summer written all over it. Fresh blackberries (any berry will do), our favorite Rose (currently the 2011 Taft Street Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir), and simple syrup add up to a refreshing end to any meal. It’s also great by itself.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 2 cups Rose of Pinot Noir (only Taft Street will do!)
  • 2 cups simple syrup
  1. Cook all ingredients for 10 minutes. Cool. Pass through food mill to extract most of the seeds. Refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Put into ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze.

Summer BAR B QUE Chile Paste

It’s grilling time! Much of our entertaining this time of year is done behind the  bar b que grill or smoker. I always keep a supply of chile paste on hand, using it as a rub, sauce or part of dressings or spreads.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces dried guajillo or other dark chile
  • ¼ cup chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup soaking water
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Toast the chiles in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes, then soak in hot water for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain, seed and stem, and save ¼ cup soaking liquid.
  2. Put chiles and remaining ingredients in a blender and puree to a smooth paste. Can be refrigerated for the rest of the summer.

On the 4th of July we’ll be serving this with ribs and our just released 2011 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir!

Colcannon

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching Irish cuisine is in the air. Colcannon goes well with corned beef. Traditionally it is made with cabbage, but I like Tuscan Kale for the color contrast. Any cabbage, chard or kale will work.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and chopped
  • I pound medium potatoes (Yukon Gold)
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ cup melted butter
  1. Blanch kale in boiling water for 1 minute. Set aside. Boil potatoes until soft. Remove and drain. When cool enough to handle, skin.
  2. Chop leeks and simmer in milk until soft.
  3. Season potatoes and mash. Stir in milk and leeks and kale. Add melted butter and mix well. Serve.

We plan to serve this with corned beef and a bottle of Taft Street 2008 Alexander Valley Merlot. Can’t wait!

Potstickers

Since we bottled our 2011 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Asian food has been on my mind. What better way to celebrate Chinese New Year than pair the new wine with an old favorite – potstickers.

Ingredients

  • 24 circular dumpling wrappers
  • 4 ounces white radish (daikon)
  • 4 ounces minced pork
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper (Sichuan if available)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil
  • 1 minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Peel radish. Cut into thin slices, then slivers. Blanch in boiling water, drain, and squeeze dry.
  2. Mix radish with pork, egg salt and pepper.
  3. Place a teaspoon of pork mixture on top of wrapper, moisten the rim of half the wrapper, and seal tightly. Lay dumplings on floured tray.
  4. Mix soy sauce, vinegar chili oil and garlic. Place in dipping bowl.
  5. Heat wok or non stick skillet with a tablespoon vegetable oil until quite hot. Add 12 dumplings and cook for 2 minutes or until golden. Add ½ cup water, cover, and cook 6 – 7 minutes or until water has been absorbed. Place of serving dish and repeat with remaining 12 dumplings.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Onion Soup the Taft Street Way

I love onion soup, but most of the time I get a strong chicken or beef broth flavor which hides the taste of onion. In Michael Ruhlman’s new book – Ruhlman’s Twenty – he suggests substituting water for stock. The results are amazing! Here is a twist on his recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 7-8 pounds Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 6-8 slices country bread, toasted
  • 1/3 cup sherry
  • ½ pound Irish cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 cups water
  1. In a large pot on medium heat, melt butter, add onions, and heat until onions start to steam. Uncover, season, and turn to low, and cook until onions turn brown (several hours). Stir occasionally.
  2. Add six cups of water to the onions, bring to simmer, add sherry, and season to taste.
  3. Preheat broiler. Portion soup in ovenproof bowls, float toast on top and cover with cheese. Cook until nicely browned. Serve immediately.

Both Taft Street Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir go exceptionally well with this dish.