Roasted Potato and Chorizo Skewers
- 1 ½ pounds small red or white potatoes
- 3 tbl extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 6 to 7 ounces cured chorizo, sliced about ½ inch thick, slices halved crosswise
- 1 lime quartered
In a steamer set over rapidly boiling water, blanch the potatoes for 11 to 13 minutes, until the tines of a fork will just pierce the top ¼ inch of the surface. Drain and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking.
Cut each potato in half crosswise, and score the cut side of each with the tines of a fork.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place a large rimmed baking sheet on a rack in the lowest position.
Combine the potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano in a large bowl and toss together until evenly coated. Transfer the potatoes to the hot baking sheet and jiggle the pan to distribute them evenly. Roast, turning the potatoes with a metal spatula every 10 to 12 minutes, for about 30 minutes, until very crisp and golden.
While the potatoes are roasting, heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo half-circles and brown, turning occasionally with tongs, until golden and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. When cool enough to handle, place a slice of chorizo on top of each roasted potato half and secure with a toothpick or a partially stripped rosemary stem. Place the skewers on a platter and squeeze a little lime juice over the top before serving. Makes about 40 bites.
Warm Escarole with Bacon, Almonds, and Sherry Vinegar
- 2 small heads escarole, cored, dark green outer leaves discarded
- 8 ounces cured smoked thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/3 inch strips
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 1 cup slivered blanched almonds
- 1 ½ tbl sherry vinegar
- 1 ½ tbl dry sherry
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
With a sharp knife, cut the escarole into approximately 1 ½ inch pieces. Place in a large serving bowl and refrigerate while you cook the bacon. In a large, heavy skillet, cook the bacon over low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the fat is rendered and the lardons are slightly crisp. Adjust the heat to medium and add the shallots, almonds, vinegar, sherry, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stir for 20 to 30 seconds, then immediately pour over the escarole leaves, scraping the pan to be sure you get every drop. Quickly toss with tongs; toss for longer than you imagine necessary to thoroughly coat and wilt the leaves and distribute all the ingredients evenly. Serve immediately. Serves 6
Source: The New Wine Country Cookbook
Grilled Lamb Chops with Mustard-Rosemary Glaze
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tbl soy sauce
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- Dash Tabasco sauce
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbl olive oil
- 8 loin lamb chops
In a medium mixing bowl combine mustard, soy sauce, garlic, rosemary, Tabasco and black pepper. With a small whisk, incorporate the olive oil, drop by drop, until you have a smooth emulsified sauce with a consistency similar to mayonnaise.
Generously coat both sides of the lamb chops with the mustard mixture and set aside, refrigerated, for at least ½ hour and up to 2 hours.
Over a medium-hot grill, cook the lamb for about 5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove from grill and brush with a little more of the mustard sauce if desired. For a more pourable sauce, thin by whisking in a bit of warm chicken stock.
Source: King Estate Pinot Noir Cookbook
These “twice baked” Italian cookies are much easier to make than most people think. They are meant to be dipped into coffee or a dessert wine (such as Vin Santo or “holy wine”). We demonstrate this recipe quite often at our very popular classes focusing on the foods of Italy, especially the region of Tuscany.
- 2 large eggs, whole plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten, divided
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest, freshly grated (or lemon)
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup almonds, whole, toasted, chopped
- ½ cup pistachio nuts, unsalted, toasted, chopped
- 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted, room temperature
- Sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl add 2 eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and zest. Using a fork, beat lightly. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, almonds, pistachio nuts, and butter. Using an electric hand mixer set to medium speed, mix together until combined. Add egg mixture and continue to mix together until a granular dough forms. (This dough may over-tax the motor of some hand-held mixers. If it does, beat the mixture only until it is a rough, shaggy mass. Then dust hands with flour and knead in the bowl until all ingredients are well incorporated.)
Turn out the dough onto a clean lightly floured countertop. Using hands, knead dough for about 1 minute. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Using the palms of your hand, roll each portion into a log about 12-inches long and 1-inch in diameter. Transfer logs to a 12-x15-inch baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or greased with butter) by placing crosswise on the sheet and spacing them about 2-inches apart. Using the palm of one hand, lightly flatten the top of each log until it is about ½-inch thick. Set aside. Using a pastry brush, paint logs with the remaining lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Place logs in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes or until they can be safely handled. (Leave oven set at 350 degrees.) Transfer logs to a clean cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut each log crosswise on the diagonal into ½-inch wide pieces. On a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper, transfer biscotti’s, cut side down, on the sheet. Place in oven and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until lightly toasted and the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes or until completely cooled. Serve immediately (or store in a covered container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks). Makes about 3 dozen biscotti.
ETC: Add a touch of coffee shop elegance by dipping the ends of these cookies into melted dark chocolate to which a bit of butter or shortening has been added. Use the best dark chocolate you can afford.