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Archives: November 2014

Vietnamese-Style Shrimp & Vegetable Rolls

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Vietnamese-Style Shrimp & Vegetable Rolls
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tablespoon grape seed or other neutral oil
  2. 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped fine
  3. 1 carrot, medium, peeled, cut into julienne (thin) strips 1 zucchini, green, cut into julienne (thin) strips
  4. 1 yellow zucchini, cut into julienne (thin) strips
  5. 1/3 head green cabbage, sliced thinly
  6. 1/2 bunch green onion, chopped
  7. 1/3 bunch cilantro, stemmed & chopped
  8. Sauté the above quickly (stir-fry) but leave it still crisp and fresh tasting. Add the green onion and cilantro while warm but after it has cooked.
  9. 1/4 cup garlic chili sauce
  10. 1 tablespoons sesame seeds black
  11. 1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
  12. 1 cup, chopped, cooked wild gulf shrimp
  13. Mix with stir-fried veggies
  14. 1 bag enoki mushrooms
  15. 1 basket daikon sprouts
  16. 1 ea. red bell peppers, cut into julienne (thin) strips
  17. Using warm water soak the wrappers until soft and towel dry. Using a towel to roll upon, fold the right and left edges inward 1 inch. Place a small amount of the enoki mushrooms, peppers and the diakon sprouts stem side inward so the tips are showing outside the edges of the rice paper, then place a small amount of the shrimp and vegetable mix to fill it nicely (about 1/2 cup of filling). Roll the wrapper tightly around the mixture taking care not to tear it. Place in a covered pan with plastic under as well as over taking care not to let the rolls press too tightly against each other.
  18. Cut each roll into 5 or 6 pieces.
Notes
  1. Pair with the Paradise Ridge Winery’s 2013 Delight, Aromatic White Wine
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Traditional Turkey Stuffing (Dressing)

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Traditional Turkey Stuffing (Dressing)
Yields 1
The beauty of this recipe is that it is a great guide for you to create any stuffing you’d like. This version is my “traditional” stuffing with apples, onions, celery, walnuts, dried cranberries and sage. You can change any of the ingredients to tailor this to your guests tastes. If you are thinking of adding sausage, I prefer a mild or spicy Italian sausage, rather than the sweeter chicken-apple. You can add dried chili flakes to make a spicier stuffing. Use chestnuts instead of walnuts. Raisins instead of dried cranberries. Try cornbread instead of the sourdough white or any other bread you’d like to change the flavor and texture. I used Brother Juniper Straun Bread from Sunnyvale and Campbell Bread Baking Peasant White from San Jose. Closer to home, you can use Alvarado Sprouted Sourdough (from Rohnert Park) or any other local bread you like. Make sure that at least one of the breads has good body and texture. This makes every bite interesting and keeps the stuffing light and airy. It is best to cut the bread at least 2-3 hours before making the stuffing. You can then lay it out in the open air to dry out a bit. Or better yet, purchase day old bread, cut it up and let it dry a bit. This is more economical, and makes for a better stuffing. Thanksgiving tip: I make a turkey stock and the base turkey sauce the day before. I start with a good chicken broth and then add roasted turkey necks and wings (purchased at the butcher). Simmer for 2-3 hours and use this for the stuffing and the sauce. When your turkey is finished cooking on Thanksgiving day you can then deglaze the pan with the base sauce and finish it any way you want to a fuller and richer flavor. Use the best ingredients you are willing to afford, it will make a difference. Keep it local and natural as much as possible.
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The bread
  1. ¾# Brother Juniper’s Struan Bread, approx ½ loaf
  2. ¾# Campbell Bread Baking Peasant White, approx ½ loaf
  3. Save the end pieces for another use (grind for breadcrumbs?). Cut into cubes, mix together and lay on sheet pan to dry out for 2 hours (or place in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, remove, toss and let sit)
The base
  1. 3 Tablespoons butter, salted
  2. 1 ½ each yellow onion, medium size (3/4#), medium dice
  3. 6-8 ribs celery, trimmed, peeled and cut medium dice (2 cups)
  4. ½ cup leeks, cleaned and chopped
  5. 1 ¼ pounds Gravenstein apples, peeled and medium dice
  6. Melt the butter in a large skillet or sauté pan. Add the onions, celery and leeks, plus salt and pepper (add extra salt, as you will be adding lots of bread to soak up the seasonings). Cover and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until all the veggies are soft but not browned. By keeping it covered, they will cook in their own steam and retain a wonderful flavor. After 15 minutes, add the apples and cook until the apples are soft (5 more minutes). Add the warm vegetable/fruit mixture to the bread in a large bowl. Mix gently, tossing as you would a salad with dressing.
The rest
  1. ¾ cup walnuts, toasted 10 minutes in oven @ 350 degrees. Rough chop.
  2. ¾ cup dried cranberries, chopped just a little
  3. 1 Tablespoon oregano, fresh, chopped
  4. 2 Tablespoon sage, fresh, chopped
  5. 1 Tablespoon Italian parsley, fresh, chopped
  6. Add these ingredients to the bread/vegetable mixture and mix gently, tossing as you would a salad with dressing
Finally
  1. 2 each eggs
  2. 1 ½ cups turkey stock, warm
  3. Combine the eggs and stock. Add this half at a time into the bread/vegetable mixture, mix gently, tossing as you would a salad with dressing. The stuffing should be moist, but light, not smashed together.
  4. Butter the bottom an to even out, but do not press down. Butter a 10x13 piece of parchment paper or piece of brown paper bags you have cut to the same size. Place butter side down onto the stuffing and bake in a 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes until the center is hot and steaming. Remove the paper cover and bake for 5 more minutes to allow the top to slightly crust. The paper keeps the moisture in the stuffing yet allows just enough to escape to keep the stuffing from getting soggy.
  5. Enjoy with a heritage turkey, zinfandel-cranberry sauce and a great turkey gravy of your choice!
  6. Eat well!d sides of a 10x13 glass baking dish and place the stuffing into the dish. Pat VERY gently
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Slow-Roasted Pork

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Slow-Roasted Pork
Here is a wonderful way to prepare pork. Slow-cooked with roasted peppers (my favorite is to use Jimmy Nardello’s Italian frying peppers, but even red bells will do a great job). The touch of cumin adds a little extra depth to the sauce. The pork drippings, wine and pepper create a beautiful sauce.
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Ingredients
  1. 4-5 pound pork shoulder, boneless
  2. 1 each red bell peppers, fire roasted on the grill, chopped
  3. 1/2 each yellow onion, chopped
  4. 1 each carrot, peeled and sliced thinly
  5. 1 cup Pinot Noir
  6. 6 each garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  7. 2 sprigs rosemary, fresh
  8. 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  9. 1/4 cup olive oil
  10. To taste salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Ask your butcher to remove the bones from the pork shoulder and to tie (or “net”) it as a roast.
  2. Combine all the ingredients and marinate the pork “open” overnight (if you are able to remove the net) by placing it in a baking dish. Turn it a few times during the day.
  3. The next day, place it back in the net, or leave it “as is” if you’ve left it tied.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees. Place the pork with the marinade in a baking dish. Cover the pork and roast in oven for 2 hours. Remove the cover and turn the temperature to 300 degrees and continue to cook until very tender (1 hour). The liquid should be almost evaporated by then. If needed, add a small amount of water so that it is not completely dry at the base. The pork should turn golden brown.
  5. Remove the pork from the oven, allow to cool and “pull” the meat apart into chunks. Place the meat in a mixing bowl. Strain the pan drippings, pressing the veggies through the strainer as much as possible. Remove the excess fat from the drippings, pour over the meat and toss the two together. Cover and chill for use any time in the next few days.
  6. Serve over polenta warm pulled pork on top. Drizzle with a touch of the pan juices.
Notes
  1. Pair with the Paradise Ridge Winery’s 2012 Estate Pinot Noir, Pommard Clone
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Roasted Heirloom Turkey with Wild Mushrooms & Zinfandel Gravy

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Roasted Heirloom Turkey with Wild Mushrooms & Zinfandel Gravy
Heirloom turkeys are becoming more popular these days. Last year, I served my family a Bourbon Red. It has a richer meat than do the traditional varieties. I also like the Narragansett turkeys for the same reason. I like to brine my turkey for 24 hours before cooking. I have included a recipe for the brine as well as a Zinfandel Gravy and Roasted Wild Mushrooms.
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Brine
  1. This is a great all purpose brine. We use this to brine for whole turkeys, pork and sometimes salmon for fire roasting or smoking. You can change the flavor by playing with the liquid. For instance, we will sometimes substitute some wine or apple cider for water when brining pork. The salt to liquid ratio is very important, so I would not recommend changing this.
  2. 2 c golden brown sugar
  3. 1 gal water
  4. 1 / 2 c whole black peppercorns
  5. 1 c kosher salt
  6. 1 bunch thyme, fresh
Zinfandel Gravy
  1. Makes 4–6 cups
  2. I prefer to make the base for my turkey gravy in advance. I start by making a roasted turkey stock using chicken bones I have saved in my freezer plus turkey necks I have purchased from the butcher. One important part is to make sure you roast the bones necks well to give some color to the sauce. I make the base of the sauce in advance (up to 2 days) without thickening it. I save this for the traditional method of adding flour to the roasting pan, then adding the stock to thicken it. The other important part of this recipe, is to make sure you reduce the zinfandel down to 1/4 or less of it’s original volume. This concentrates the flavor and the color.
  3. 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper, whole
  4. 1 Tablespoons Thyme, fresh
  5. 1/2 bottle Zinfandel
  6. To taste Salt & Pepper
  7. 3 inches Bay Leaves
  8. 1 1/2 pounds chicken backs and necks
  9. 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  10. 1 1/2 pounds turkey neck
  11. 1 each Spanish onion, medium, chopped
  12. 3 each carrots, medium, peeled and chopped 3 quarts water
  13. 3 stalks celery, chopped
  14. 1 Tablespoon Rosemary, fresh
  15. Giblets from your turkey 1/2 cup flour
  16. To taste salt and pepper
Method
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. Combine the chicken, turkey, oil, onion, carrots and celery. Place in a large roasting pan and roast in the oven for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally so the bones and the vegetables brown well and evenly. Once well browned, remove the roasting pan form the oven and place on the stove top over medium heat. Add the zinfandel and simmer until it is reduced to no more than 1/2 cup in the bottom of the roasting pan. Stir with a wooden spoon while you are reducing it. Add half the water and brig to a simmer. Pour everything from the roasting pan into a sauce pan, add the rosemary, thyme, peppercorns and the rest of the water and simmer for 3 hours allowing the stock to reduce until you have a flavorful broth (you should always have enough liquid to cover the bones and vegetables. Strain the stock, allow to cool and either refrigerate or freeze until needed. You should have no more than 2 quarts of stock.
  2. While you are cooking your turkey, you can finish the gravy. Clean and roast the giblets that came with the turkey until it is cooked and brown. Remove from the roasting pan, slice and add to the turkey-zinfandel stock. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Once the turkey is done, remove the turkey and pour off most of the fat from the roasting pan. Leave about 1 – 2 tablespoons of the turkey fat in the pan. Add the flour, stir to mix and place on the stove top over a medium flame and cook the flour until it is becomes slightly browned. Add a small amount of stock at a time, stirring until it is smooth, then adding more until you have added enough to create a fairly thick, smooth sauce. Using a rubber spatula, place this in a sauce pan, and simmer, adding more and more stock until you have achieved the correct consistency for your Zinfandel Gravy. Strain one last time, and simmer for at least 20-30 minutes to remove the starchy taste of the flour. Once the turkey has rested and is carved, your gravy will be ready and wonderful!
Exotic Mushroom Roast with Madeira & Thyme
  1. Appetizer 3 each
  2. 2 teaspoons Shallots finely chopped
  3. 2 lbs Wild Mushrooms of your choice
  4. 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Virgin
  5. 2 teaspoons Thyme fresh
  6. 1/2 cup Madeira
  7. 2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
Method
  1. Use mushrooms that will stay fairly firm when cooking. Toss mushrooms in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place carefully on a roasting pan or baking sheet. Roast in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes until mushrooms are just tender.
  2. While mushrooms are roasting, make the sauce: Put Madeira, soy, shallots and thyme in a pan reduce to 1/4, season with salt and pepper. Toss the roasted mushrooms with the reduction.
Notes
  1. Pair with the Paradise Ridge Winery’s 2011 Cabernet Franc, Rockpile
  2. Eat Well!!
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Marin French Petit Truffle, Chardonnay-Infused Shiitake, Grapeseed Oil on a Sweet Baguette

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Marin French Petit Truffle, Chardonnay-Infused Shiitake, Grapeseed Oil on a Sweet Baguette
This cheese and wine are a classic combination. It is actually amazing how much better the pairing is with the addition of the shiitake!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 freshly made, sweet baguette – Cut into 3/8 inch thick rounds
  2. Marin French Petit Truffle
  3. 6 whole, fresh shiitake mushrooms – Remove stems & slice thinly (1/4 inch or less) 2 teaspoons Grapeseed Oil
  4. 1 tablespoon Paradise Ridge Winery 2013 Chardonnay
Instructions
  1. Place grapeseed oil in a small sauté pan. Warm the oil over medium-high heat, then add the shiitake and some salt. Sauté and stir for two minutes and then drizzle 1 Tablespoon of PR chardonnay over the mushrooms. Continue to cook until all the liquid is gone and the mushrooms are nicely cooked. You can use the mushrooms warm or room temp.
  2. Spread a generous amount of ripe, Marin French Petit Truffle on the bread (it is always best to cut a thin wedge to the center so you get the full range of ripeness from the cheese). Top with a few slices of the cooked shiitake, serve with a glass of 2013 Estate Chardonnay and enjoy!
Notes
  1. Pair with Paradise Ridge Winery’s 2013 Estate Chardonnay, Nagasawa Vineyard
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Grilled Carmody & Niman Ranch Bacon Sandwich with Quince paste

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Grilled Carmody & Niman Ranch Bacon Sandwich with Quince paste
The following recipe is a family (and client) favorite. For lunch with a salad, or cut into smaller pieces and served as an hors d’oeuvre. I use a local artisan cheese from Sonoma County’s Bellwether Farms, called Carmody. Carmody is a perfect choice for this grilled cheese sandwich. It is a Jersey Cow milk cheese aged about 6 weeks to a semi-soft consistency. Buttery and naturally yellow from the milk, Carmody melts into a rich, even blanket that unifies the sweetness of the quince paste (membrillo) and the meaty component provided by the bacon.
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Ingredients
  1. 8 slices Niman Ranch Bacon
  2. 1/2 pound Bellwether Farms Carmody, sliced thin
  3. 1 stick Butter, soft
  4. 8 slices Rye Bread
  5. 1/2 pound Quince Paste, removed from the container and sliced
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Separate the bacon slices and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven, place the bacon strips on paper towels to absorb the excess bacon fat. Chop the bacon into medium sized pieces.
  2. Preheat a flat bottomed pan for making the sandwiches. This can be an electric griddle, a cast iron skillet or any other type of large flat non-stick surface. Pre-heat to medium heat.
  3. Lightly butter both sides of all the bread slices. Place 8 slices on the griddle, and cook until light golden brown (3-5 minutes). Remove 4 slices from the griddle, and turn the other 4 over to start cooking the 2nd side.
  4. While the 2nd side is cooking, place slices of the Carmody on the toasted side of each of the 4 remaining pieces. Use all the cheese. Place the quince paste on top of the cheese on each sandwich. Sprinkle the 4 with bacon, and place the “top” on each sandwich (toasted side down).
  5. Turn each sandwich over and cook until the untoasted side is a light golden brown. Turn the sandwiches over and continue to cook for 3 – 5 minutes, flip again. Do this 3 or 4 times until the center of the sandwich is hot & melted and the outside is crisp and toasty. Remove, cut and serve hot!
Notes
  1. Pair with the Paradise Ridge Winery’s 2012 Estate The Posse, Rhone Style Blend
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Brandy Snaps with Caramelized Apples

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Brandy Snaps with Caramelized Apples
This is a lovely & simple dessert. I was first introduced to this dish many years ago at the Horseman’s Restaurant in Karen, Kenya. They are small cones filled with brandied whipped cream. To enhance the pairing with the Ode to Joy, I have added lightly caramelized apples as a light last-minute drizzle on top. I present them by filling a glass bowl with whole espresso beans, then standing these filled cones in the beans. As they sit for the first few minutes, the cone and cream on the bottom take on a flavor from the espresso that adds another dimension to this treat.
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Stir over low heat
  1. 1 / 2 cup butter
  2. 1 / 2 cup sugar
  3. 1 / 2 cup dark molasses
  4. 1 / 4 teaspoon ginger
  5. 1 / 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1 / 2 teaspoon grated orange rind
Remove from heat and add
  1. 1 cup all-purpose sifted flower
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Roll into 3 /4 inch balls.
  3. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet about 12 minutes until dark, golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. After a minute or so, remove cookies from pan with a spatula.
  4. Roll cookies over a wooden spoon handle or metal cone. Store in a tightly covered tin. They will hold for several days.
  5. Just before serving, fill each cone with the brandy and vanilla flavored whipped cream using a pasty bag with a star-shaped tip. Top with caramelized apples & a drizzle of the juices (below).
Brandied Whipped Cream
  1. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  2. 2 tablespoons brandy
  3. 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  4. 1 / 4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. Combine all ingredients & whip until firm whipped cream. Do not overwhip, it must just stand up to peak when you pull the whisk or spoon from the whipped cream.
Caramelized Apples
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1/ 2 teaspoon very fine lemon zest
  4. 2 each Honeycrisp or other apple
  5. In a medium skillet, melt the butter. Add the apples, sugar & lemon zest. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender & golden, about 5 minutes.
Notes
  1. Pair with the Paradise Ridge Winery’s 2013 Ode to Joy, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Polenta with Lima Beans, Corna, and Delicato Squash

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Polenta with Lima Beans, Corna, and Delicato Squash
Here is a wonderful alternative to the traditional mashed potatoes. This polenta is wonderful with a good Zinfandel Sauce and wild mushrooms. It includes the three sisters: corn, lima beans and squash which are planted together by the native Americans. This makes it even more appropriate for Thanksgiving. You can leave the skin on the Delicato Squash, as it is tender when cooked.
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups water
  2. 1⁄2 cup butter
  3. 1 cup whole milk
  4. 3/4 cup fresh corn kernels, roasted
  5. 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
  8. 3/4 cup lima beans, fresh or good quality canned (drained and rinsed) or frozen
  9. 3/4 cup delicato Squash, cut in half, seeds removed, diced near the same size as corn
  10. 1 cup high quality coarse grain polenta
  11. 1 cup Parmesan, shaved
Instructions
  1. Place the water, milk and salt in a medium sauce pan and place over high flame. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the polenta, reduce to medium or medium-low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring ot make sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  2. Meanwhile, place butter, lima beans, corn kernels and squash in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook covered for 5-8 minutes, until the squash is just softened.
  3. After cooking the polenta for 10-15 minutes, add the butter/vegetable mixture and continue to stir and cook until the polenta is done. You will taste that the small grains of polenta have softened. Remove from the heat, add the parmesan cheese and stir. Add salt and white pepper until you like the flavor.
  4. You can serve immediately as a soft polenta (if you want it softer, or hold it for a little while, add an additional cup of milk at the start of the recipe. To serve it firm, pour into a buttered baking dish and allow to cool. You can then cut it into any shape and re-heat it by placing it under a broiler or by baking in a hot (450 degrees) oven for 15 minutes.
  5. Eat Well!
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Cooking a Heritage (Heirloom) Turkey

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Cooking a Heritage (Heirloom) Turkey
Heritage (or heirloom) turkeys are a little more delicate to cook than the standard commercial bird, but well worth the effort. Here are a few tips to ensure that your heritage turkey stays moist and full of the flavor and character that make these birds increasingly popular.
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Herb Butter Rub
  1. Chopped fresh herb (sage, thyme, rosemary or a combination)
  2. Softened butter
  3. The proportions are 1 cup of butter to 1/4 cup of herbs. Mix these together and put aside.
Brine
  1. 1 gal water
  2. 1 c kosher salt
  3. 2 c golden brown sugar
  4. 1/2 c whole black peppercorns
  5. 1 bunch thyme, fresh
Cooking time & temperature
  1. The birds tend to be smaller in size (usually no more than 15-18 pounds. I prefer a bird around 12-14 pounds. This size cooks in a reasonable amount of time and therefore tends to remain moist and tender after the cooking process.
  2. Cooking time is 10-15 minutes per pound. The internal temperature of the thigh needs to be 150 degrees.
  3. Resist the temptation to stuff the bird, as this requires an even longer cooking time.
  4. The shorter the cooking time the better. I use a slightly higher heat than I would use for a commercial turkey – cooking the bird at 375 degrees for the first 1.5 hours, then reducing to 325 degrees, and basting every 20 minutes from start of cooking.
  5. I truss my turkey, but not very tightly, as I find that it’s better to allow the heat to penetrate the cavity, actually allowing the turkey thighs (the part that takes longest to cook) to cook quicker
Preparation
  1. Brine the turkey overnight. The next day, remove the turkey and allow to sit out for 1-2 hours.
  2. Starting at the area where the thigh meets the breast, separate the skin from the meat and go as high up as you can.
  3. Rub the herb butter over the meat under then skin and use at least 1/2 cup of the butter/herb mixture. You can save the rest to baste the outside of the skin.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the inside cavity of the turkey with salt, pepper and any herbs you would like. Whole herbs on the branch are good.
  5. Rub the skin with some of the herb butter and place in the oven. Reduce heat to 375 degrees.
  6. For the first hour rub the turkey with any additional herb butter.
  7. Reduce oven to 325 degrees after the first 1.5 hours.
  8. Once there are enough butter/juices in the bottom of the pan, baste the turkey with these juices every 20 minutes. I use a good pastry brush (regular or silicone works just fine).
  9. Due to the smaller size, I don’t usually find it necessary to cover the turkey during cooking, but if you find the need to do so (if skin begins to darken too quickly, for example), use oiled paper rather than foil. The oiled paper allows moisture to escape, allowing you to roast rather than steam the bird.
  10. Continue basting and cooking until it is done (see above). A quick test to see if the turkey is cooked, is to check the color of the juices inside the cavity. If they are red or pink, then you need to cook longer. It is however, always best to test with a cooking thermometer.
  11. The turkey is then removed from the oven or BBQ and allowed to rest (loosely covered to keep the heat in and allow for carry-over cooking for at least 20 minutes.
  12. At this time, you can finish the sauce using the pan drippings.
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/

Citrus-Cured Salmon with Pistachio Cream Cheese

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Citrus-Cured Salmon, Pistachio Cream Cheese
Pair with the Paradise Ridge Winery’s 2012 Estate Sauvignon Blanc, Grandview Vineyard Making your own cured salmon is much easier than most people think and well worth the effort. However, feel free to substitute your favorite gravlax or cured salmon in this recipe. The richness of the salmon & cream cheese is balanced by the clean flavors of this wine. Once the ingredients are gathered, this is a very simple hors d’oeuvre to make.
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Pistachio Cream Cheese
  1. 1/2 cup cream cheese
  2. 1 Tablespoon, pistachios, toasted and chopped
  3. 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  4. Combine all ingredients & mix until smooth
Citrus-Cured Salmon
  1. 1/2 pound citrus-cured salmon, thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 cup pistachio cream cheese
  3. 20 slices thin, dark pumpernickel bread (cocktail bread)
  4. 1.5 pounds wild salmon fillet, skin off, pin-bones removed, single piece
  5. 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  6. 3 ounces (volume) kosher salt
  7. 2 Tablespoons brandy
  8. Zest of 1 lime, very fine
  9. Zest of 1/2 orange, very fine
  10. Zest of 1/2 lemon, very fine
To cure the salmon
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together with the brandy.
  2. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and put half the salt mixture in a layer about the same size as the salmon in the middle of the plastic wrap.
  3. Place the salmon skin side down on the salt mix. Top the salmon with the rest of the mix.
  4. Wrap tightly around the salmon, leaving one side slightly open for liquid to escape.
  5. Place the salmon in a baking dish and top it with a heavy pan or other flat-bottomed object that weighs at least a pound or two.
  6. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Turn the plastic with the fish over the next morning and put the weight back on it.
  8. Do this again every 12 hours or so for a total of 24 to 48 hours depending upon how thick the fillet is.
  9. Once the salmon is cured and relatively firm, remove it from the plastic, rinse off the salt mix & pat dry.
  10. Re-wrap in clean plastic and hold until you are ready to use.
To serve
  1. Spread pistachio cream cheese mix evenly and generously over each slice of the cocktail bread, and all the way to the edge.
  2. Top each slice with slightly overlapping slices of the cured salmon. Make sure the salmon covers over the edge of the bread.
  3. Cut the crust off the cream cheese and salmon topped bread to square it off. Cut again in either halves or quarters depending upon the size of the bread.
Paradise Ridge Winery http://prwinery.com/