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Friday, October 15, 2010


Hearty Dinner Entrees

Experience the cuisine of The Legendary Napa Valley – right at home. With delicious recipes developed by several of The Napa Valley’s exceptional chefs, home cooks and their families can now enjoy the fine cuisine of this renowned culinary capital any night of the week, cuisine which places an American spin on notable international entrees.

Cakebreak Cellars in Rutherford offers home cooks an outdoor grill recipe for Thai Beef Brochettes that will excite the senses with an explosion of exotic flavors. The following night, put a fresh spin on a great classic with the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone’s Fresh Pasta with Summer Herbs. And then treat the family to Celadon’s Mongolian Short Ribs. You can travel the world with Napa Valley-born recipes.

For more information on The Napa Valley and its culinary traditions, please visit

Thai Beef Brochettes – Cakebread Cellars

Serves 6

2 lbs. skirt steak, ½ inch dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. oyster sauce
4 tsp. soy sauce

½ pineapple, trimmed and sliced crosswise into rounds
2 T. olive oil
2 red peppers, ½ inch dice
1 red onion, ½ inch dice
12 (9 inch) bamboo skewers, soaked overnight or metal skewers
2 T. grapeseed oil
salt and pepper

3 T. lime juice
4 tsp. fish sauce
1 T. sugar
1 Serrano chili, seeds removed and minced
2 T. fresh basil, chopped

Place the skirt steak in a shallow casserole dish.  Add the garlic, oyster and soy sauces.  Mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.

Heat the grill to high.  Place a medium size non-reactive sauté pan over a medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, and then add pineapple slices to the pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side until they begin to caramelize.  Remove from pan and let cool.  Cut into ½ inch dice.  Thread alternating pieces of the steak, red pepper and pineapple on each skewer.  Place on a plate.  Lightly brush the brochettes with the grapeseed oil.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and the minced Serrano chili.  Mix well to dissolve the sugar.  Place beef skewers over medium-hot fire for 2 minutes on each side.  Baste  with  the lime juice mixture.  Remove from heat and garnish with the sliced basil.

Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Merlot.

Cuban Pulled Pork on Plaintain Chips – Cakebread Cellars

2 ½ lbs. pork butt
3 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, mashed
½ habenero chili, seeded and chopped
1 C. peeled, seeded plum tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin, ground
½ C. orange juice
2 T. lime juice
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

6 plantains
vegetable oil

¼ C. cilantro, chopped

Cut pork into 2-inch pieces. Trim off any large pieces of fat and discard. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large, wide-bottom skillet over high heat, add the olive oil and sear the pork on all sides in two or three batches. Remove from the pan, pour off all but two tablespoons of oil. Turn the heat to medium and add the garlic and habenero chili. Sautè for a minute to soften without browning the garlic. Add the tomato, oregano, cumin, orange juice, lime juice and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes to break down the tomato. Add the pork to the pan, cover and turn to low heat. Cook at a low simmer for one and half hours until pork is tender. Continue cooking for another half hour, partially covered, to allow the braising liquid to reduce and thicken. Remove from the heat and shred the pork with the two forks. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Reserve.

To make the plantain chips, peel and cut the plantain into ¾ inch pieces. Heat a wide-bottom skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of a ½ inch. When oil is hot, add plantain pieces, partially cook on the first side for a couple minutes until very lightly golden brown, turn and continue cooking on the other side to soften slightly. Remove from the oil to a paper towel lined plate. Allow to cool. Place a piece of plantain between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound with a mallet or the flat side of meat tenderizer to flatten. Repeat with the remaining pieces of plantain. Turn the skillet with the oil to high, and working in batches, fry the plantains on both sides until crisp. Season lightly with salt.

To serve, place a spoonful of the pork mixture on each chip and garnish with the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately while still warm.

Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Carneros Pinot Noir.

CELADON’S MONGOLIAN BRAISED SHORT RIBS - Chef de Cuisine Marcos Uribe of Celadon, Napa
Serves 6
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Six 3-inch cut beef short ribs
1 unpeeled orange, cut in to 1” pieces
1 oz. ginger, cut into 1” pieces
1 carrot, cut into 1” pieces
1 medium onion, cut into 1” pieces
1 tablespoon Sambal chili paste
1 kaffir lime leaf
1 bunch scallions, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 small can Hoisin sauce, about 12 oz.
2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons olive oil

1. Heat olive oil to medium high in an ovenproof roasting pan. Add short ribs and brown on all sides until golden brown. Set ribs to the side.
2. Add orange, ginger, carrot and onion to the roasting pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft.
3. Add sambal chili paste, kaffir lime leaf, hoisin sauce and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add short ribs. Place covered roasting pan in 350 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until short ribs are very tender. Remove short ribs from pan and keep warm. Strain braising liquid and discard solids. In a shallow bowl or plate, mound steamed Basmati rice, place one short rib on top, add braising liquid and sprinkle with sliced scallions.

Fresh Pasta with Summer Herbs, Fresh Ricotta, and Roasted Tomato Coulis – Culinary Institute Of America, Chef-instructor Lars Kronmark

Tossing the linguine with the fresh herbs releases their fragrance while keeping the herbs brightly colored and flavored. If you can’t find a fresh cow’s or sheep’s milk ricotta, find the best quality you can and you may need to finish it with a bit more olive oil and sea salt. Chef-instructor Lars Kronmark, who was part of Greystone’s start-up faculty in 1995, came up with this recipe as part of a chef demonstration program at our nearby farmers market. Chef Kronmark recommends chardonnay in the glass to reflect the chardonnay used in the recipe. The coulis can be made in advance and re-heated as needed.

Makes 6 generous first-course servings

Roasted Tomato Coulis
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds ripe, preferably heirloom, tomatoes, cut in half and most of liquid and seeds squeezed out
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 shallots, peeled
2 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or as needed

Pasta and Herbs
3 tablespoons fruity, good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chardonnay
1 pound fresh linguine
1/4 cup finely minced chives
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
2 tablespoons finely chopped dill
8 ounces fresh ricotta
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, or as needed

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. For the tomato coulis: Toss 2 tablespoons of the oil, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and celery together and place on a baking sheet with sides. Roast the mixture in the oven, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking, until tomatoes are beginning to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
3. Purée the roasted vegetables and their liquid in a blender, adding the stock as needed to achieve a smooth, loose, pesto-like consistency.
4. Add the rest of the oil, salt, and pepper and blend for a few more seconds to combine thoroughly. Strain the coulis through a fine-mesh sieve and keep warm.
5. For the pasta: In a large sauté pan, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, cover, and sweat until garlic is softened, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine. Reduce the wine by half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
 6. Bring a pot of well-salted water to boil over high heat and cook the fresh linguini according to the package directions (usually just a couple of minutes).
7. Drain the pasta and place in the sauté pan with the wine. Heat over medium heat, tossing to coat the pasta, until well combined and heated through. Add the herbs and toss to coat the pasta with the herbs. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of tomato coulis on each of 6 warmed dishes, and divide the pasta between the dishes.
8. With two soup spoons, scoop out about 1 1/2 tablespoons of ricotta and pass between spoons, forming into an oval shape. Spoon small dollops of ricotta on top of the pasta.
9. Drizzle each mound of ricotta with 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with about 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt. Encourage your guests to mix the pasta with the coulis and ricotta.

Chef’s Notes:
Coulis - A coulis is a thick purée, usually made of vegetables, but possibly of fruit. By roasting the vegetables, the acidity of the tomatoes is reduced and sweetness is increased, while the flavors in general become more concentrated.


About Tanya -

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