General: February 2010 Archives

Save Shroom For My Love

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
By Deirdre Bourdet

Winter vegetables are notoriously time consuming and obnoxious to prepare.  Few people are willing to double their usual meal preparation time in order to accommodate the stubborn nature of cold weather veggies.  While I love greens and root vegetables at least as much as the next person, I'm also tremendously lazy and don't like spending every night of my life on the prep work and cooking necessary to transform them into something tasty and tender enough to eat.

Yeti, I Know You...

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)
yetifrontdoor.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

I'm sure my girlfriend and I are not the only ones who loved that guy on American Idol who auditioned in Atlanta with his original one-man duet lovesong, beginning "La-ty, I know you," in falsetto.  Now I hear that guy every time I hear a word that starts with "lay" or ends with "tee"... or anything remotely similar.  As we strolled under the large Yeti Restaurant sign into the historic sawmill building of the Jack London Village Shops in Glen Ellen, the Atlanta guy was with us.  But the delectable smells wafting up from the open kitchen into the restaurant quickly put to rest any fears of further comparisons to that performance.  Warm spices, creamy curries, and blistering tandoor breads filled the air with their enticing aromas and made it clear that we needed to get to know Yeti, stat.

Ahi Tuna in a Cucumber Rollup

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Ahi Tuna Roll-up.jpgSubmitted by Gloria Ferrer

The clean flavors of "maguro" sushi come together in this dazzling appetizer. A sesame-soy marinade lifts the tuna flavors, and the wasabi and pickled ginger give these delectable rollups a real punch. Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut sparkling wine provides a vivacious accompaniment to the spicy, exotic nature of the dish while balancing the salty flavor of the marinade.

Yield: 24 pieces

INGREDIENTS
  • ½ lb Ahi tuna - absolutely fresh, dark red, high quality "sushi grade" is essential here

Marinade
  • 2 T Green onion - chives will work as a substitute
  • 1 T Fresh ginger - if you can't find the fresh root, skip it. Don't use powder!
  • 2 T soy sauce - good quality "shoyu" works best
  • 2 t Rice wine vinegar - substitute any light wine vinegar if necessary
  • 1 T Toasted sesame oil - toasted sesame oil has more flavor than untoasted
  • Pinch Black pepper--several turns from the peppermill works best

The Pearl of Great Price

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
By Deirdre Bourdet

The Restaurant Pearl has anchored the corner of Franklin and Pearl Streets in downtown Napa for almost fifteen years, and is much beloved by locals with a taste for internationally-inflected wine country cuisine.  The steak soft tacos, the Guerrero-style grilled corn on the cob, and anything and everything seafood on the menu have cult followings.  But as the restaurant name suggests, the oysters are the most unique and fabulous things to eat there...  and the most fabulous time to eat said oysters is in the winter, on a chilly Saturday afternoon during the Oyster Extravaganza.

Taste of Suisun Valley

| | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0)
Suisun Valley has more going on than just grapes!

While you're initial trip to the Suisun Valley AVA might be wine tasting geared (and we don't blame you), be sure to stop in at the local farm and produce stands. Suisun Valley has several farms open year-round with fresh, ripe fruits and vegetables. Many of these are family-owned farms and we're sure you won't be able to resist a myriad of juicy peaches, sweet corn, strawberries, plums,  tomatoes, squash, watermelon and much more.


How To Feed Your Lover

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
By Deirdre Bourdet

Valentine's Day is upon us.  Do you know what you're feeding your lover?  

Much has been written about aphrodisiac ingredients, but if your love target doesn't like them--skip 'em.  The key to a romantic dinner is making food that is attractive to the object of your desire, and doesn't weigh either of you down too much.  Definitely choose dishes that inspire the senses through fragrant herbs and spices, exciting textures, beautiful shapes, and addicting flavors, but steer clear of things you know are on their Do Not Eat list. I will never attempt to seduce my partner in crime with lamb, for example, no matter how irresistible and succulent it may sound to me.  Stick to things they like.  With this in mind, here are some tasty ideas for a happy Valentine's Day.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Korean Style Kobe Beef Lettuce Wrap

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Korean BBQ.jpgServe with  Kendall-JacksonHighland Estates Cabernet Sauvignon

To hold up to this full bodied, complex Cabernet Sauvignon we borrowed the intense flavors of Korean barbeque.  Kobe tri-tip is marinated and grilled before being wrapped in a lettuce cup from our garden.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 C. honey
  • 2/3 C. soy sauce
  • 1/4 C. red wine
  • 2 Tbsp. whiskey
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 1/2 lbs. tri-tip, sliced thin against the grain (or Korean-style ribs, ask your butcher to slice these for you)
  • 2 heads red leaf lettuce
By Deirdre Bourdet

Most visitors to wine country have experienced at least once the painful desperation of not having enough food in their stomach to carry them through the day's wine tasting agenda.  For people who don't live locally, filling that ravening hole can be an exercise in frustration and financial dismay.  Many restaurants are expensive, and many smaller less expensive eating establishments have strange hours or slow service that don't jibe with a tasting party's urgent need to feed.

Here are a few locals' suggestions for places to fuel up in Napa Valley without breaking the bank:

Homard Homage

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
By Deirdre Bourdet

Lobster is a luscious, decadent food. From lobster rolls to lobster ravioli, the crustacean's rich flavor, meaty texture, and affinity for butter make it universally desirable. Unfortunately for us non-New Englanders, lobsters' high cost tends to keep them in the realm of the special occasion foods. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, though, and I'd venture to say that our lust for lobster is more intense than the Mainers', and our delight in devouring it much greater.

Wine country restaurants give the traditional lobster preparations a creative California twist, making the crustacean even more special, and even more compatible with the local wines.

Categories

Archives