General: December 2010 Archives

Wake Up Call

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Where to enjoy the best breakfasts in Wine Country.

by Jill Silverman Hough

There's nothing like waking up in Wine Country, with the promise of a perfect day ahead. So, why not indulge in an amazing breakfast? Whether you like to ease into the day with coffee and a fresh-baked scone, or you're up for a three-course brunch, here are the spots to start your day off right.

Cantinetta Piero
The venue: A hotel restaurant, but the hotel feels like a bit of Tuscany.
The food: The two-course prix fixe breakfast starts with fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, a small pastry, and yogurt with fruit and house-made granola. Then, it moves to your choice of three egg dishes. Go for the side of artisan-smoked bacon, and linger over every bite.
The prices: $18 (30 percent off for locals).
The details: Breakfast Mon.-Sun. 7:30-10 a.m. 6774 Washington St., Yountville, (707) 299-5015, cantinettapiero.com.

Solbar
The venue: Michelin star-rated hotel restaurant, with a hip yet casual vibe.
The food: The on-premise garden influences the menu, and everything is expertly prepared. Lemon ricotta pancakes are crisp around the edges but light inside, thanks to whipped egg whites. Beef for the hash is house corned. Juices aren't just fresh squeezed, they're squeezed to order. And coffee comes in a personal French press.
The prices (entrées): $11-$17.
The details: Breakfast Mon.-Sun. 7-11 a.m., brunch Sun. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, (707) 226-0800, solbarnv.com.

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Filet Mignon with Mushrooms and Sauce Pinot Noir

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filet mignon 001_crop.jpgBacon wrapped Filet Mignon married with garlic, mushroom, rosemary and wine...it's an entree sure to please!  Served with a favorite side dish and a MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir, it is perfect for a special occasion dinner.

Ingredients:
  • 2 (8-ounce) filet mignon steaks
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 bacon strips
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. Assorted mushrooms such as shitake, crimini and chanterelle, stemmed and halved
  • 1 TBS finely chopped garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups Pinot Noir (MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard or Carneros)
  • 2 TBS prepared demi-glace (find recipe online at www.gatewaygourmet.com/demi.htm or purchase online, "Demi-Glace Gold" at www.clubsauce.com )
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter

Mini Crab Cake Appetizers

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mini-crab-cakes_large.jpgSubmitted by Domain Chandon

Here is a true American classic that just begs to be paired with a top-quality California sparkling wine. Whether you choose blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay or Dungeness crab from the Pacific Northwest, these miniature cakes will melt in your mouth. For the sake of convenience, you can do the prep work a day in advance and pop the baking pans in the oven while your guests are enjoying their first glass of wine.

Preparation time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, brought to room temperature
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange peel
  • ½ tsp finely grated lemon peel
  • 4 tsp plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives, divided
  • ¼ tsp coarse kosher salt
  • Large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 6 oz fresh lump crabmeat, picked over, patted dry and coarsely shredded
  • 1 cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)*
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pans
  • Fresh chives, cut into pieces

Kitchen equipment: Electric mixer, 2 mini muffin pans

Pot Roast

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pot_roast.jpgSubmitted by Flora Springs Winery

Ingredients:
  • 4# boneless chuck roast
  • 1cup flour
  • Bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 c chicken or beef stock or enough to cover (heated)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ea carrots chopped
  • 1 ea onion chopped
  • 2 ea parsnips chopped

Directions:
Season chuck roast with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Brown roast on all sides in a
medium sauté pan. Place roast and remaining ingredients into a large casserole pan and cover with foil.

Place into a 425 degree oven. Cook covered for about 4 hours or until tender.  Add more chicken or beef stock, if needed during cooking.

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