Gina Dallara: June 2009 Archives

USDA: Community Gardening Is Cool!

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By Courtney Cochran

The Obama administration is putting its resources where Americans' mouths are, so to speak, advocating sweeping changes in the way our nation perceives, grows and consumes food.  To wit, healthy food advocates scored a symbolic victory in February, when newly appointed secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack took a jackhammer to the pavement outside his headquarters to create his own organic "people's garden," also unveiling plans to create a sustainable landscape on the grounds of the long-stodgy USDA. 

Burn, Baby, Burn

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A Sommelier Sheds Light on the Best Wines for BBQ
by Courtney Cochran

Firing, roasting, and grilling are decidedly du rigueur during the summer months, but finding wines that work well with this tricky fare can be a challenge. Just as shining a spotlight on an actor onstage brings her features into focus for an audience, these cooking methods serve to concentrate the flavors of whatever's being cooked, necessitating a wine with both strength and personality to stand up to the food.

Read on for the low-down on some of the more common characteristics of flame-cooked fare and how to track down the perfect wines to pair with these traits.

Paradise Blue Cheese Baklava

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baklava.jpegSubmitted by Chef Kelly Wangard of Paso Robles Inn Steakhouse

A savory interpretation of a classically sweet pastry this version of Baklava combines the rich flavor of Blue Cheese with walnuts for an amazing, out of this world treat.

Ingredients:
  • 1 box phyllo dough
  • 3 pounds Hook's Paradise blue cheese, Gorgonzola, or blue cheese
  • 1 pound butter
  • 5 cups walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup sugar

The Best Shrimp Tacos north of Baja...

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La Taquiza sign.jpg

By Deirdre Bourdet

Who knew they would turn up in a suburban shopping plaza just off Highway 29 in Napa? Or that they would be offered alongside fabulous mushroom quesadillas and scarily good grilled octopus burritos?

La Taquiza is a gem. Though the restaurant name suggests that the fish tacos are the can't be missed signature item, do not be misled. Shrimp is the way to go here. Perfectly grilled to order, juicy, succulent shrimp, to be specific, buried under fresh shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, salsa verde, and a luxurious dollop of crema. All you need to attain nirvana is to anoint them with your condiments of choice--pickled onions, more pico de gallo, and/or one of the housemade salsas, as you prefer--and lift the Mexican masterpiece to your lips.

B.R. Cohn's Walnut Orange Cake

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200ml-MandarinOrange-tn.jpgSubmitted by B.R. Cohn chef Sherri Hewitt

A simple, slightly crunchy cake recipe. With flavors of walnuts and orange this is a great Summertime or anytime desert. Enjoy!

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • Nonstick olive oil spray
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
  • 1/2 cup B.R. Cohn Mandarin Orange Olive Oil
  • Powdered sugar

Cervena Venison Shabu-Shabu

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recipe_Venison_Silverado.jpgSubmitted by The Grill at Silverado - Silverado Resort
Executive Chef - Peter Pahk

The Grill at Silverado, is a one-of-a-kind Napa Valley restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar appetizers. This restaurant in Napa Valley features Wine Country Cuisine with an Asian flair, emphasizing fresh and sustainable products. Chef Pahk's Cervena Venison Shabu-Shabu won Cervena Venison Dish of the Year 2008.



recipeHadsten.jpg

Submitted by the Hadsten House Inn and Spa


At the Hadsten House our goal is offer comfort food with friendly country club style service where regulars are treated like family. Our dishes are all intended to wow guests with the best burger in the Santa Barbara Wine Country, outstanding short ribs or this outstanding pasta dish each intended to make you want to become a regular guest.

Recipe: Spinach Pasta Sheets w/ Sauteed Shrimp & Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce

Chef's Name: Aaron Dixon

Wine Pairing:
Artiste Winery "Cafe Noir" 2008

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