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Categorized | General



Asian Duck on a Wonton
Suggested Wine: Merlot

2 pounds duck thigh meat
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 cups chicken stock
1 package wonton wrappers
Oil for frying
Hoisin sauce

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat the oil over a high flame in a large oven proof pot. Season the duck meat with the Chinese five spice. Sauté the duck meat in oil until golden brown. Add the soy sauce and chicken stock. Place the duck in oven, and roast for about 2 two hours or until tender. Remove duck meat from the liquid and let cool. Bring the braising liquid to a slow boil and reduce down to 2 cups. Shred the meat and add to the liquid. Using a cookie cutter, cut wonton wrappers into 2-inch rounds. Fry the wontons until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Place about 1 tablespoon braised duck mixture on the wonton, and then drizzle with the hoisin sauce. Remaining braised duck freezes well.


Asian Mahi-Mahi
Suggested Wine: Zinfandel

4 3oz mahi-mahi pieces
¼ cup red miso paste
2 tablespoons sesame oil
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 green onion, thinly sliced for garnish

Mix together the red miso with the 2 tablespoons soy. Marinade the mahi-mahi in the soy miso mix for one hour. Heat a sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil until very hot. Sear the mahi-mahi on one side until golden brown just a minute or two and turn over to brown the other side again about a minute or two or longer for desired doneness. Mix together the remaining soy and sesame oil. Spoon soy mix over the fish. Garnish with the green onions and serve.
Serves 4


Goat Cheese and Olive Skillet
Suggested Wine: Zinfandel

3 ounces chévre goat cheese
3 ounces fontina cheese, ½ cubed
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
½ cup home-made tomato sauce or imported marinara sauce
12 large Greek olives, pitted, rough chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Preheat broiler or oven to 500 degrees. Crumble the goat cheese in large chunks into a 6-inch cast iron skillet. Add fontina cheese to the goat cheese and sprinkle in herbs. Spoon the tomato sauce over the cheese. Scatter the olives over the sauce and drizzle with olive oil. Broil the dish for 2-3 minutes or until sauce is hot and the cheese is melted. You may also choose to bake on the top shelf for about 12 minutes or until bubbly.


Mushroom and Point Reyes Blue Cheese Napoleon
Suggested Wine: Merlot


½ sheet of puff pastry
One egg beaten with one tablespoon water

By using only half of a 2½ inch round cookie cutter, cut crescents out of the sheet of puff pastry. Brush crescents with the egg wash. Avoid getting any of the egg wash on the sides of the dough, as this will cause them to rise unevenly. Arrange on sheet pan. Bake in preheated 400-degree oven about 15 minutes or until golden brown and risen. Let cool and split in half with knife.

Mushroom Filling

1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
½ small onion, minced
6 tablespoons butter
3 cups button mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup sour cream
1/3 cup Point Reyes blue cheese, crumbled (or other blue cheese)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste

Reconstitute the porcini mushrooms in enough hot water to cover for 15 minutes. Remove mushrooms from water and chop. Save liquid to add to filling. Sweat onions in butter over low heat until soft and translucent. Add button mushrooms, porcinis, mushroom liquid, soy sauce, garlic and the Herbes. Cook until almost dry. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and blue cheese. Spoon filling into crescents and serve.


Suggested Wine: Merlot


6 Italian sausages, cooked
1 package puff pastry
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ cup marinara sauce
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a floured board, roll out the puff pastry until 1/6 inch thick. Wrap each sausage in a piece of the puff pastry. Add a few drops of water to the egg. Seal the roll and brush the egg wash over each roll. Spray a cookie rack with non-stick spray. Place rack on a cookie sheet. Place the sausages on the rack and bake in oven for 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown. Let the sausage cool to room temperature. Slice the sausage into rounds about 1/8 inch thick. Arrange slices on a serving platter. Place a dollop of the marinara on the sausage rounds and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Heat rounds in the oven until the cheese becomes soft.


Risotto and Asiago “Thumbprints”
Suggested Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon


Makes 1½ quarts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2½ cups arborio rice
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh minced garlic
3½ cups hot water

1. Heat olive oil until almost smoking, add rice. Reduce heat to medium and stir rice until lightly browned (3 to 5 minutes). Add wine and garlic, stir well.
2. Reduce heat to medium low and add water, stir well. Cook for about 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occassionally, until rice has absorbed all the water and is al dente (slightly undercooked, or just a little bit chewy).
3. Spread rice out on an oiled cookie pan and cool, stirring occassionally.
Note: This recipe makes 3 times as much as you’ll need to make the thumbprints. The extra risotto makes a great side dish: re-heat rice with a chunk of butter, chicken or vegetable stock, and your choice of flavorings (wild mushrooms, parmesan cheese, asparagus, corn kernels, zucchini, spinach, artichoke hearts, etc).

Fresh Tomato Fennel Sauce

1 quart fresh tomato purée
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1. To make tomato purée: clean and core fresh red ripe tomatoes, chop roughly, blend in blender until smooth, strain to remove skins and seeds. You’ll need about 3 pounds tomatoes to get 1 quart of puree.
2. Place 1 quart purée into stainless pot and simmer with salt and fennel until reduced by ¼ or to desired consistency.


Makes 20 to 25 thumbprints
2 cups cooked risotto
¼ cup grated asiago cheese
¼ pound cream cheese, softened in microwave
1 egg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Flour as needed

1. Beat all ingredients together on medium speed with paddle attachment in stand mixer for 1 minute until well combined and sticky.
2. Use 1 ounce scooper (or a tablespoon; 2 tablespoons will make one thumbprint) to portion, form and pack a bit into round balls, then place on oiled cookie sheet and push down with your thumb to make an indent in the rice ball, coat with flour, shake off excess, and fry in 350° oil until golden brown.
3. Add fennel sauce in thumbprint.

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