Rye Gougères with Prosciutto, Arugula and Fig Compote

Recipe courtesy of Frances Wilson

1¼ Cups Non-Fat Milk
¼ Cup Plus 1 Tbs Unsalted Butter
1 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 Cup Whole-Grain Dark Rye Flour
3 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa
5 Large Eggs, At Room Temperature
¾ Cup Grated Gruyère Cheese
1 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1½ Tsp Chopped Thyme
Pinch Cayenne
Egg Wash: 1 Egg Plus Pinch Salt, Beaten Together

Fig Compote:  

2 Small Shallots, Peeled And Sliced
½ Tbs Olive Oil
2 Cups Fresh Figs Or 1 Cup Dried Figs
1 Cup Port
1 Cup Water (If Using Dried Figs)
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the water, butter and salt in a pot. Bring slowly to a boil. Do not let it boil until the butter has melted. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and add in all the flour and the cocoa powder at once. Beat vigorously until the mixture is smooth. Return to the heat and cook for a minute or so to dry the mixture and until it forms a neat ball in the center of the pot. Beat the eggs in a bowl. With a wooden spoon or in a mixer, beat in the eggs a little at a time, making sure to incorporate egg addition well. The dough should be shiny and drop easily off the spoon. Beat in ½ cup of the Gruyère, black pepper, thyme and a pinch of cayenne. Place the dough in the piping bag fitted with the ½” pipe. Pipe the dough into 1” diameter rounds on a baking sheet, spacing them 1½” apart or use a spoon to drop the dough in mounds the same size. Brush the top of each mound with the egg wash. Top each one with some of the remaining cheese, divided evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed and golden brown, rotating the tray after about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave on the counter for a couple of minutes. If it remains crisp, they are ready. Serve warm, filled with prosciutto, arugula or other bitter green and some Fig Compote.

Fig Compote:  

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the shallots and cook over a medium heat until they are soft. Add the figs, port and water (if using dried). Bring to a b oil and simmer gently until all the moisture has been absorbed. Add the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Lamb Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Frances Wilson

1 Pound Ground Lamb
1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Tbs Flat Leaf Parsley, Finely Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
¼ Tsp Ground Allspice
¼ Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Lemon Zest
1 Large Egg
¼ Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Tahini Sauce:

6 Tbs Tahini
3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic Crushed
¼ Tsp Salt & Pepper
Place the lamb, onions, parsley, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, egg, lemon zest, pine nuts, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl. Mix with your hands, then roll into 20 balls. (Divide the meat up ahead of time so they are even in size). If you use damp hands the meat will not stick. Preheat the broiler and arrange the rack about 6” from the heat. Transfer the meatballs to a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil the meatballs until cooked through and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Serve with tahini sauce.
Tahini Sauce:
Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve at room temperature. (The
sauce will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.)

Spiced Eggplant Dip

Recipe courtesy of Frances Wilson 

1 Head Garlic
3 Large Globe Eggplants
2 Tbs Capers, Rinsed And Coarsely Chopped
2 Tbs Chopped Cilantro Leaves
2 Tbs Chopped Mint Leaves
1 Tbs Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp Coriander Seeds
1 Tsp Smoked Pimenton
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
1⁄3 Cup Olive Oil
Coarse Salt And Freshly
Ground Pepper
½ Cup Toasted, Salted Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut off the top ½ inch of the head of garlic. Place the garlic, cut side up and skin on, on a small piece of foil. Drizzle with one teaspoon of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic tightly in the foil and place in the preheated oven. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until garlic is completely soft. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, squeeze all the pulp from the head of garlic into a large bowl and discard the skin. Mash the pulp with a fork. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry pan. Grind in a spice grinder. Char the eggplants by placing them directly over a high flame on a gas burner, a few at a time. Cook about 2 minutes per side, turning with tongs to char evenly. Eggplant is done when the skin is blackened and blistering. As soon as the eggplant is charred, place it in a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap. Keep the eggplant covered tightly for 10-15 minutes, allowing them to steam. Remove the eggplant, one at a time, keeping the bowl covered, and peel off the skin using your fingers. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. Chop the eggplant coarsely and add it to the mashed garlic. Stir in the capers, cilantro, mint, spices, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Taste and season with additional lime juice, salt or pepper if needed.  Just before serving, fold in the toasted pumpkin seeds.

Warm Salad Of Mushrooms, Butternut Squash And Feta On Toasted Brioche

Recipe courtesy of Malcolm Jessop

1 Butternut Squash, Peeled And Cut Into Large Dice
2 Pounds Mixed Mushrooms (Crimini, Portabella, Shitake)
½ Cup Hazelnuts
2 Shallots, Minced
3 Tbs Sherry Vinegar
9 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Butter
½ Cup Flat Leaf Parsley Leaves
¼ Cup Chives, Sliced
Freshly Grated Nutmeg
4 Oz Greek Feta, Crumbled
5 Cups Mixed Leaves (Treviso, Spinach And Mache)
Salt And Freshly Ground Black
6 Slices Toasted Brioche

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place butternut squash into a large bowl together with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Place butternut mixture on a parchment-lined baking tray, and bake for about 25 minutes or until tender. In a small bowl, combine shallots and the sherry vinegar with ½ tsp. salt. Whisk in 5 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside. Toast hazelnuts on a baking sheet for about 8 minutes. Allow to cool and crush roughly in a mortar and pestle. Slice or tear mushrooms into 2 inch pieces. Heat a large sauté pan and add the remaining olive oil and the butter. When butter is foaming add mushrooms and sauté until caramelized and crispy (you may have to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan). In a large bowl, mix the salad leaves, herbs and sherry vinaigrette. Place a slice of brioche on each plate and top with the salad, mushrooms and butternut squash. Sprinkle the feta and hazelnuts on top and serve at once.

Petites Gougeres

Recipe courtesy of Malcolm Jessop

Makes about 4 dozen small puffs.

1 Cup Water
½ Tsp Salt
1 Stick (4 Oz) Unsalted Butter
(Cut Into Pieces)
1 Cup Flour
4 Eggs
1½ Cups Grated Gruyère
Fresh Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a heavy based saucepan, combine the water, salt and butter, heat on medium low until the butter is melted. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Add the flour all at once and stir vigorously using a wooden spoon until it forms a paste. Continue to cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Whisk the eggs and add a little at a time, beating well between each egg. Stir in the cheese and season with freshly milled black pepper. Pipe or scoop onto a parchment-lined baking tray into little rounds about the size of a walnut. Bake in the oven until brown and crisp, about 25-30 minutes.

Prosciutto Corn Cups

Recipe courtesy of Malcolm Jessop

1 Cup Corn Kernels
½ Cup Heavy Cream
¼ Cup Cornmeal
¼ Cup Green Onions, Chopped
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
2 Eggs
6 Oz Prosciutto
Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste
Basil Chiffonade To Garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F.

To make the batter, combine all of the ingredients except the prosciutto in a food processor.
Brush a mini muffin pan with a little olive oil. Cut each slice of prosciutto in half lengthwise and place in the muffin pan to form a cup. Make sure no holes are evident and patch if necessary.
Carefully fill each cup with the corn batter, and place in the oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until the batter is set and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a platter and garnish with the basil chiffonade.

Warm Crab Toasts with Manchego

Recipe courtesy of Malcolm Jessop

1 Pound Fresh Lump Crab Meat
¼ Cup Minced Celery Heart (Including Leaves)
2 Green Onions, Minced
2 Tbs Minced Fresh Chives
1½ Tsp Grated Lemon Zest
3 Tbs Mayonnaise
2 Tbs Sour Cream
2 Tbs Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice
8 Drops Hot Pepper Sauce
1 (2½-Inch-Diameter) Baguette, Cut
Into Scant ½-Inch Slices
Olive Oil
1 Cup Manchego Cheese (About 4 Ounces)

Shred crab meat, and squeeze out all excess moisture. Add celery, green onions, chives, and lemon zest; toss. Add next 5 ingredients. Season with salt. Keep chilled. Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange baguette slices in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Brush both sides of bread with oil. Bake until lightly browned, turning once, about 15 minutes. Preheat broiler. Arrange toasts on baking sheet. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon crab meat mixture onto each; sprinkle with cheese. Broil until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Serve warm. 

Crab Meat Salad with Grilled Melons

recipe courtesy of Luke Desanttis of Old Fields Restaurant

Serves 4


  • 2 cups jumbo lump crab meat                 
  • 2 lemons, zest from one and juice broth       
  • 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon    
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper      
  • 8 leaves butter lettuce
  • 1 head Mache or other delicate spring lettuce

Gently fold ingredients together except lettuce, and season to taste.

Melon Marinade:

  • ¼ cup J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay                 
  • 1 lime, zested     
  • 1 lemon, zested     
  • 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper           
  • 4 wedges of watermelon, about 1” thick and 4” long  
  • 8 melon ball size pieces honeydew melon        
  • 8 melon ball size pieces cantaloupe
Mix all ingredients except melons together in a small bowl. Pour marinade over melon pieces and let sit for one hour. Thread melon pieces on bamboo skewers. Grill for 1 minute per side. Remove melon balls from skewers.

Balsamic Reduction
2 cups balsamic vinegar

Simmer the vinegar in a small pan until it becomes syrupy and dime-size bubbles form. Pour into a heat-proof bowl and let cool. When cool, they syrup should be sweet (not bitter) and just barely pour from a squeeze bottle or spoon.
To Serve
Divide melon pieces between four plates, top with lettuces and finish with crab meat salad. Drizzle balsamic reduction lightly onto plate around the salad. Enjoy with J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay!

Grilled Shrimp Skewer Salad

recipe courtesy of Chef Julie Simon of Thomas Hill Organics

Serves 4

For the Shrimp:

  • 4 shrimp per person, peeled and deveined   
  • 1 ancho chile
  • 1 sprig thyme               
  • 1 sprig oregano
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbs pomegranate molasses
  • 3 tbs European olive oil

Place in a blender and blend until smooth
Pour over shrimp and chill until ready to use.


  • 2 cups cooked black quinoa                 
  • 2 cups strawberries quartered       
  • 2 cups sliced watermelon      
  • 2 English cucumbers sliced thin on a mandolin or use a peeler
  • 1 small bunch basil (leaves only)          
  • 1 small bunch mint (leaves only)
  • Feta cheese optional     


  • 1 cup of leaves                  
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar      
  • Juice of 2 lemons      
  • 1 cup European olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic              
  • 1 shallot     
Emulsify in a blender. Salt and pepper to taste.

To Assemble:

Put two shrimp on each skewer placing a wedge of lime in between each. Grill on medium heat on a well-seasoned grill, two minutes on each side, or until done. Combine all ingredients for salad in bowl and toss with dressing. Place salad on plate and put shrimp skewers on top.

Brie Baked Artichoke with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay Cream

recipe courtesy of Chef Tony Baker, Chef of Montrio Restaurant, Monterey, California

Serves 4

  • 4 large artichokes, cooked           
  • 8 oz Brie cheese, cut into small squares
  • 1/2 cup shallots, chopped           
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar               
  • 2 oz mustard, whole grain       
  • 3/4 cup J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay       
  • 1/2 oz horseradish, hot
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream                   
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 oz unsalted butter, diced               
  • salt and pepper to taste

Artichoke Preparation:
Trim the stem from the artichoke so it can sit up; remove the furry choke from the heart if it hasn’t already been removed. Gently separate the leaves and place the cheese randomly throughout the artichoke (2 oz per choke). Place in a 350ºF oven for 15 minutes, until the artichoke is hot and the Brie is nice and soft. Remove the artichoke from the oven and pour generous amounts of the Chardonnay cream sauce (recipe below) over the choke and serve with grilled bread.

Chardonnay Cream Sauce:
In a saucepan, sweat the shallots in the olive oil, add the vinegar and bring to a simmer. Add the wine and gently simmer for 3 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a simmer, then gradually whisk in the butter on low heat. When all of the butter is incorporated, add the mustard, lemon and horseradish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Note: The sauce is intended to be served immediately after preparation.

Chef’s comment: This is a banging share appetizer! Who said wine and artichokes don’t go together? While the sommeliers are weeping, I’m sipping a deliciously chilled glass of J. Lohr Estates Chardonnay while peeling leaf after leaf of rich cheesy goodness!

Syndicate content