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Kristine Mason
May 15, 2018 | Kristine Mason

Food Pairings, May Club Shipment

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Wines are best when paired with food so we thought we'd share some fun recipes with you that compliment the wines in your recent shipment! Impress your dinner party guests, cook something special for date night, or try homeade Italian with these scrumptuous dishes...

2016 Chardonnay Pairing: Fig Hazelnut and Ricotta Crostinis

Wine Notes: Aromatically, this wine possess a very complex bouquet consisting of toasted banana, beeswax, lemon zest, and it may remind some of a crème brûlée. The palate of this wine is framed by its uplifting acidity, which transitions into a long-lasting chalky minerality on the finish. Click here to buy.

Recipe By: Spoon Fork Bacon

Serves 4 to 6

1 cup part skim ricotta
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon hazelnuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup honey, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
10-12 fresh figs (mission or kadota or whatever is local), cut in half lengthwise
1/2 French or sourdough baguette, sliced into ½ inch slices and lightly toasted

1. Place ricotta, hazelnuts, 1/4 cup honey, and ground cinnamon in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.
2. Preheat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Brush figs with oil and place cut side down onto the hot surface and grill on each side for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool, about 5-7 minutes.
3. To assemble: Spread 1-2 tablespoons ricotta mixture onto each crostini and top with a grilled fig; finish with a drizzle of honey and serve.

2015 Petite Sirah Pairing: Pan-Fried Ribeye Steaks with Butter and Spinach

Wine Notes: Frediani Vineyard produces some amazing Petite Sirah, that is inky and dark purple in the glass. Scents of white pepper and black licorice, open up into notes of dark violet and spice. The concentrated palate offers an almost chewy tannin structure, with notes of vanilla, brown sugar and dark cocoa with a very long and lingering finish. Click here to buy.

Recipe by: Pedroncelli

Serves 4

Kosher salt
2 large ribeye steaks, at least 1 to 1½ inches thick
Black pepper in a mill
1 tablespoon butter
8-10 ounces spinach


Set a heavy pan, preferably of cast iron over high heat and cover the bottom of the pan with kosher salt. When the pan is very very hot, add the steaks and set a timer for 3 minutes. Season the top side of the steaks with salt and several turns of black pepper. After 3 minutes, turn the steaks over and set the timer for 2 minutes. Divide the butter between the steaks.

After two minutes (or 3 if they are more than 1 1/2 inches thick), transfer to a plate, cover lightly with foil, and let rest three minutes.

Meanwhile, put the spinach in the pan, turn with tongs until wilted, and divide among 4 individual plates. Cut the steaks in half, set on top of the spinach, and enjoy right away.

2015 Integrity Red Wine Pairing: Pan-Fried Ribeye Steaks with Butter and Spinach

Wine Notes: With a medium body, this wine is light on its feet up front. A bouquet of blackberry, plum, and raspberry lend to the approachability of this blend. A smooth round mouthfeel, gives way to an elegant and velvet like tannin structure with notes of charcoal, and tobacco. Click here to buy.

1/2 cup frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound pizza dough, thawed if frozen
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 cup fresh ricotta (4 ounces)
3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 ounces thinly sliced baked ham, cut into 1-inch strips
2 ounces salami, cut into 1-inch strips
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons marinara sauce
2 large cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 pitted olives, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Step 1    
Set a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 500°. Let the stone heat for 30 minutes. In a bowl, lightly drizzle the artichoke hearts with oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 2    
On a floured work surface, roll or stretch the pizza dough out to a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Roll the edge on half of the pizza 1/16 inch thick. Generously flour a pizza peel. Transfer the dough to the peel and lightly brush with oil. Top the thinner side of the dough with half of the artichokes, mozzarella, ricotta, ham and salami, 3 inches from the edge. Sprinkle with half of the oregano and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the marinara. Lift the 3-inch edge of dough over the filling and press to seal in the center of the round.

Step 3    
Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of marinara over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange the remaining artichoke hearts, mozzarella, ham and salami over the marinara. Spoon small dollops of ricotta over the toppings, then scatter the mushrooms and olives on top. Sprinkle with the remaining oregano.

Step 4    
Slide the pizza onto the hot stone and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp and bubbling. Cut into wedges and serve.


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