The next MKMT Cookbook club will gather on November 7th in Healdsburg at the Hanna Winery.
We will be cooking from Winemaker Cooks by Christine Hanna, president of Hanna Winery and from what I’ve been told, entertainer extraordinaire, wine country style! What a better place to share the recipes we make from the book than surrounded by the vines – they should be beautiful colors that time of year too!
The book is broken down by seasons and then arranged in mouthwatering menus – 17 in all, focusing on the seasonal harvest and bounty of the wine country.
Some of us have already been cooking out of the summer section and have made things like the Ginger and Lime-Grilled Halibut with Nectarine Salsa (I served the salsa over swordfish and it was delicious too). The Honey-Almond Ice Cream is to die for – perhaps some of the best ice cream I’ve ever made.
Since summer produce remains plentiful (at least in California), there’s still time to make the summer menus that are full of stone fruit, tomatoes, corn and squash before the days become shorter and summer turns to autumn and we’re cooking with figs, eggplants and root vegetables.
But that’s the thing about Winemaker Cooks, the recipes and pictures all look so good that it will have you excited about preparing the menus all year round with the best ingredients that the season has to offer.mkmtCOOK, mkmtGO | Comment (0)
My Kitchen My Table was invited to participate in the filming of a television pilot of At the Bookstore – a 30 minute show featuring Bay Area book clubs that will premier on Friday, Sept 17th at 11am on KRON.
A couple of regulars from the cookbook club and I spent 3+ hours filming what has been edited into a 7 minute segment of our cookbook club!
We gathered around the table on the set and shared the food that we had made from Winemaker Cooks, the newly released cookbook by Christine Hanna.
We liked the book so much that for our next cookbook club we’re going to do it again with everyone and go to the winery for a picnic.
If you have a chance, tune into or tivo the pilot to check us out. And if you don’t, I hope to have the video here soon to post.mkmtCOOK | Comment (0)
A few weeks ago I attended the launch party for the Domaine Chandon Cookbook featuring recipes from Etoile restaurant, the only fine dining restaurant within a winery in the Napa Valley. It was a joyous occasion and celebration where dishes from the book paired with Domaine Chandon wines took center stage.
Under the command of Chef Perry Hoffman – who grew up in the Napa Valley and is, by the way, adorable, humble and gracious, Etoile earned its first Michelin star in 2010. The restaurant is surrounded by redwood trees and grass and has a bit of an old school country club feel to it. Looking outside the wall of windows and beyond the patio I kept waiting for a rogue golf ball and holler of “fore”, but alas, there is no golf course, just a glorious setting for enjoying innovative and creative wine-inspired cuisine.
Pastry chef, Francisco Enriquez is one of the pillars who has graced the kitchen from the beginning. Since 1979 Francisco has been the force behind creating seasonal desserts often inspired by his Mexican grandmother’s cooking. During a toast he boasted that he has volumes of hand written recipes of all the desserts he has made over the years – that would be an interesting book in itself!
Several years ago he planted a Chinese Bitter Orange Tree on the Domaine Chandon property and the oranges it yields have been featured in Etoile’s signature dessert – Bitter Orange Crème Brûlée – a must have dessert on the menu – ever since.
Bitter Orange Crème Brûlée
The simple addition of orange zest adds a delightful dimension to this French classic, with subtle, tangy citrus notes enhancing the creamy-sweet custard. Home cooks who don’t have a chef’s blowtorch can easily use their broiler to caramelize the sugar topping. But remember to leave the oven door slightly open and keep watch. A golden sugar crust can quickly turn black if left too long under the flame.
This dessert was born of a collaboration between the cellar and the kitchen. Some years ago during the creation of Chandon Riche—our “off-dry” sparkling wine, which has a hint of sweetness—our winemaker recalled the aromatics issuing from the orange tree that grew not far from the wine cellar. He ran to the kitchen with a bottle of the new wine and asked if the chefs could produce a dessert that evoked the same citrus impression. Bitter Orange Crème Brûlée is now a signature dish at the restaurant.
For a nice pairing with this dessert, add the classic ladyfinger sugar cookies, if you like; they bring a crisp element to join the silky custard and the crunch of the sugar. Make them in advance of the crème brûlée. (The recipe for the ladyfingers is included in the book)
2 cups/480 ml heavy (whipping) cream/double cream
1 cup/240 ml whole milk
5 tbsp grated orange zest
12 large egg yolks
1/2 cup/100 g sugar, plus 6 tbsp/75 g
Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C/gas 2.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, and orange zest and heat until steam begins to rise. Do not let boil. Remove from the heat and nestle the pot in an ice bath. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the cream mixture cools to room temperature, 5–10 minutes.
While the cream mixture is cooling, in a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and the 1/2 cup/100 g sugar. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and thoroughly blended with the yolks. Gently whisk in the cream mixture.
Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large glass measuring pitcher or bowl with a pouring lip to strain out any solids. Divide the custard evenly among six 4-oz/120-ml ramekins. Place in a roasting pan and add water to come 1 in/2.5 cm up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are firm, 35–40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the water bath to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
To serve, remove the plastic wrap and gently lay a paper towel/absorbent paper on top of each custard. Gently press down on the towel to remove any moisture buildup, being careful not to dent the custard. Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar evenly over each custard. Using a blowtorch, pass the flame above the sugar until it melts and turns golden brown. Alternatively, preheat the broiler/grill and slip the custards under the broiler 4–6 in/10–15 cm from the heat source to melt the sugar; leave the oven door open slightly and watch closely, as the sugar can scorch suddenly. Let the crème brûlée stand at room temperature until the sugar hardens, 1–2 minutes.
If serving with the sugar cookies, lay 2 cookies over each custard, leaning them on the edge of the ramekins. Serve at once. Enjoy any extra cookies the following day or with a sweet, dessert wine.mkmtCOOK, mkmtEAT | Comment (0)
Here is the Labor Day harvest, and what a labor of love and test of patience the garden is.
Zucchini, lemon cucumbers, radiccio, parsley, chives, basil, arugula and the last of the Thomas O’Brian tomatoes – even I, the tomato averse liked them.
It’s been a tough summer for the garden, between cold weather, damp days, virtually non-existent sun for weeks on end and regular attacks from unwelcome pests it has been a constant challenge followed by reminders from friends that this is what organic gardening is all about.
Maybe I just don’t remember last year or maybe this year with twice the space and even more ambition it has been a labor.
I was feeling nostalgic today as I picked all of the goods about the summer coming to an end – or hopefully – since this is San Francisco, a beginning.
Will there be bumper crop of tomatoes, zuchs and cukes or is it time to remove them and move onto fall planting? And besides the broccoli and beets that are already popping through the soil, what else will I plant – sweet peas, lettuce, should I try chard again… So many decisions and so much to learn.
So while the future of the garden is being contemplated the present of the abundance of zucchini and cucumbers must be addressed.
Send me your favorite recipes and things to do with these ingredients. If I make yours and love it I’ll include it in an upcoming post!mkmtDIG | Comment (0)