Tag Archives | Winter 2009 Recipes

SLOW-ROASTED LAMB WITH PINE NUT–HERB CRUST AND POMEGRANATE SAUCE

(Serves 4–6)

5 pounds leg of lamb, preferably bone-in
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1⁄3 cup toasted breadcrumbs, finely ground
2 tablespoons fresh Syrian oregano or any oregano
4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons local honey
½ cup water or pomegranate juice

First crush the garlic with a mortar and pestle into a smooth paste. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the 1 teaspoon sea salt to the garlic paste and mix together in a small bowl. Rub the paste over the lamb and leave to rest at room temperature for 1½ hours.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450°.

While the oven is preheating, put the toasted pine nuts, breadcrumbs, oregano and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a food processor (or you can do it with a mortar and pestle if you want to take your time) and pulse a few times to combine. Lay the mixture out onto a baking tray and roll the lamb until it is coated on all sides. Place the lamb in a roasting tray and roast for 15 minutes at 450°. Then lower the temperature to … Read More

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PASTA WITH MUSHROOMS AND TASSO

Recipe created by Alma Rosa Winery tasting room manager Chris Burroughs.

(4 MAIN-DISH SERVINGS)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces diced tasso*
4 cups assorted exotic mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Creole seasoning
¼ cup chopped green onion
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound fresh angel hair pasta
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the tasso and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for 3–4 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and season with Creole seasoning. Stir in the green onions. Add the cream and bring the liquid to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until the sauce coats the back of the spoon. Once again, season with Creole seasoning. Cook the pasta in the boiling water for about 3–4 minutes or until cooked al dente. Drain the pasta and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Mound the pasta in the center of four plates. … Read More

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SEARED SCALLOPS WITH CORN MAQUE-CHOUX

Recipe created by Alma Rosa Winery tasting room manager Chris Burroughs.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large ears of fresh corn, kernels removed
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped red pepper
1 teaspoon minced jalapeño chili
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup cream (or half and half )

Melt butter in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Add all the ingredients except the cream. Sauté, stirring about 10 minutes until soft, and set aside. Right before turning your scallops (see below) stir in the cream and cook another 2 minutes or so. Remove from heat.

1 dozen large sea scallops, trimmed and cleaned
Salt and pepper
Rice flour, about ¼ cup
Butter or olive oil

Mix rice flour with salt and pepper. Add scallops and toss to coat, shaking off excess. Heat butter/oil in another heavy large skillet. When really, really hot, add scallops, sear well and turn over, maximum 4 minutes total (or how you like ’em). Spoon corn mixture onto each of four plates, top with 3 scallops each, garnish as desired with chopped parsley, green onions, chives, cilantro, etc.

WINE PAIRING – ALMA ROSA WINERY, almarosawinery.com

2005 CHARDONNAY EL JABALI VINEYARD, SANTA RITA … Read More

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NEW MEXICAN CHILE LIME SAUCE

You can find Ojai-grown dried chiles at the Ojai Farmers’ Market from our own Farmer and Cook stand starting in December and continuing while supplies last. You can also find them in the Mexican section of most grocery stores. I like to make this sauce in the winter and early spring when my backyard lime tree is plentiful.

2 dried mild New Mexican or California chiles
½ cup boiling water
1 one-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into quarters
1 lime, squeezed for its juice
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
Optional: a few shakes of chipotle flakes for heat and smokiness

Remove tops and seeds from the chiles and toast them in the oven at 200° for four or five minutes. Tear chiles into pieces and place in a small bowl, pouring ½ cup of boiling water over the chile pieces. Allow to sit for 15 minutes or more. Put the ginger, lime juice, soaked chiles (along with the soaking water) soy sauce and honey into a blender jar and blend until smooth. Add the chipotle flakes if you like.

This sauce can be used when pan frying tofu, fish or shrimp. Add it to the fry … Read More

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MONTSE’S POMEGRANATE SALAD

From Alison McCormick, Ventura

I’m not sure why but the pomegranates taste extra sweet in Barcelona. Maybe they taste better when they come at the end of a traditional Sunday lunch you’ve enjoyed in a Catalan home — an uncomplicated, wholesome lunch of rustic beef stew, bread and wine, every flavor enhanced by kindness in a room filled with warmth and overflowing with stimulating conversation. It is only fitting that such a meal end with a simple yet memorable dessert. Seeds of a ripe pomegranate (or two or three…)

Freshly squeezed orange juice, tangerine juice or a combination of both
Chopped toasted walnuts to taste

Cover the seeds of the pomegranate with juice, add nuts, mix and let sit a bit… Enjoy! (Add a touch of sugar if you’re not in Barcelona!)… Read More

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CITRUS SALAD

From Peggy LaCerra, Ojai

This is a very common Southern Italian salad, used as a side with fish, poultry and pasta dishes in the Basilicata and Calabria regions of Italy.

My guess is that similar herbed citrus salads might be found throughout the Mediterranean. It is best served cold and it is even better the second day when the oranges have rendered more juice, resulting in a fragrant citrus- herb dressing. (It’s wonderful to find a dish of this in the refrigerator when it’s hot out!)

Oranges (Navel or Valencia, one per person/serving)
Extra-virgin organic olive oil
Fresh oregano (or other fresh herb)*

Peel and slice oranges crosswise into ¼-inch rings. Arrange a single layer of the slices in a beautiful bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh oregano and repeat, until all orange slices are used.

* I use cilantro when serving this dish with Mexican food. Fennel fronds also work well.… Read More

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CREPES SUZETTE WITH OJAI ORANGE

8 dessert crepes
Juice of 4 organic oranges and 1 organic lemon
2 teaspoons orange peel (organic)
1 teaspoon lemon peel (organic)
8 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup Grand Marnier or other orange-flavor liqueur

In a bowl, mix the orange and lemon juices and peels together.

Put the orange juice, lemon juice and peels in a pan and add the brown sugar.

Heat the juice to a simmer and allow to simmer until most of the liquid has boiled off and the resulting liquid is moderately thick (still liquid).

Take the pan off the heat and pour the liquid into a bowl (not plastic).

To serve:

Pour a small amount of sauce into a frying pan and warm to almost boiling. Place a crepe into the sauce for a few seconds to warm it up and allow the sauce to soak in. Use a couple of spoons to fold it in half, then in half again. Place the crepe at the edge of the pan to keep it warm.

Repeat the above two steps until you have a crepe for everyone. Each crepe should be folded in quarters and completely soaked with the orange syrup.

Place one or two crepes … Read More

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DESSERT CREPE BATTER

¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon and/or ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (both are optional)
Cooking spray

Mix ingredients until the batter has the consistency of whipping cream.

Spray a crepe pan (or small nonstick pan) with cooking spray and let it get hot.

Lower the temperature to medium.

Add small ladle-full of batter (not more that 2 tablespoons at a time) to the pan in a circular motion to cover the whole pan bottom. With your other hand, rotate the pan, as you pour the batter to ensure you cover the pan well. This will give you a thinner crepe.

If the crepes do not come out thin enough, use less batter. You may also need to thin the batter out with a little more milk if it is too thick.

Cook approximately 1 minute each side. Adjust the heat if cooking is too slow.

Crepes should not take very long to make and you can flip a few dozen in less than 20 minutes.… Read More

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BUCKWHEAT BLINIS WITH SMOKED SALMON AND CRÈME FRAICHE

Makes 12

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2–3 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable oil or cooking spray
Crème fraiche or sour cream
1 4-ounce package thinly sliced smoked salmon
Fresh dill sprigs or chives
Salmon roe or caviar (optional)

Mix the dry ingredients well in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk.

Add to the center of the flour mixture and blend well with a whisk until there are no flour lumps. Start with 2 cups of milk and add more to obtain a smooth, pourable batter.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat.

Using a baking spray or melted butter, oil the pan lightly.

Pour a small ladle full (about 2 tablespoons) of batter for each blini onto the griddle, spacing them apart.

When bubbles form on top (approximately 1½ minutes), turn blinis and cook until golden brown on bottom.

Keep warm on a baking sheet in warm oven and tent with foil while cooking remaining blinis.

Arrange warm blinis on platter and spoon one rounded teaspoon of crème fraiche on each. Top with smoked salmon.

Garnish with … Read More

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