Layered Two Potato & Fennel Gratin

recipe courtesy of Lisa Jones and Jim Subject of Cahoots  

This is a delicious combination of flavors, great year round but would be a good fit for the Holidays. Perfect with a holiday ham and our 40th Anniversary Red Wine!

Serves 10-12


  • 2 large leeks, diced and washed
  • 2 small fennel bulbs, cut in half, cores removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • ½ pound speck ham, 1/4” dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, and 2 medium, peeled
  • 2 ½ pounds Yukon gold or other golf fleshed potato, no need to peel
  • ½ pound Gruyere cheese or other good quality Swiss style cheese


Preheat oven to 350 F.

1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter together with the olive oil. Add the leeks, fennel, speck ham and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until it starts to thicken. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Slice the sweet potatoes about 1/8” to 1/4” thick, set aside. Repeat with the gold potatoes, keep them separate.

4. Butter the inside of a 13” x 9” x 2” baking dish. Arrange one layer of sweet potatoes, overlapping at the half of each slice, on the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat with a layer of gold potatoes.

5. Spread 3/4 cup of the cream mixture over the potatoes. Repeat potato layers, first sweet potatoes, then gold potatoes, and 1 cup of cream mixture. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Pour the rest of the cream mixture over the top, spreading it evenly, submerging all potatoes. Top with cheese, cover loosely with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes. Test for doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin with Pomodoro Chimichurri

By Chef Lisa Jones of Cahoots Catering

Pork loin can sometimes be dry and boring—but not this recipe! This is a new addition to our catering menu and it has been a big hit. Pomodoro, an Italian word for tomato, and chimichurri, a thick Argentinean herb sauce, come together in this delightful combination. If you can find pomodoraccio, an Italian semi-sundried tomato, that will work best.

1- four-pound pork loin

Brining liquid
8 cups very hot water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp course ground pepper
2 bay leaves

Mix all brining ingredients together and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour into a 4-quart stainless steel bowl, let cool. When the brine has cooled, add the pork loin, making sure it is completely submerged in brine. Let marinate for 12-24 hours.

Pomodoro Chimichurri Sauce
6 garlic cloves
1 large shallot
1 jalapeño, or other favorite chili
2 cups fresh, flat-leaf parsley
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano, or sweet marjoram leaves
1 cup pomodoraccio, or sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup good quality olive oil

Add the garlic, shallots and pepper to the bowl of the food processor and chop. Add the fresh herbs, tomatoes, salt and vinegar. Pulse the machine while slowly adding in the oil until blended.

Pork Preparation
1 pound thick-cut bacon, about 15 pieces

Preheat oven to 350˚. Remove pork loin from the brine and pat dry. Place in a roasting pan. Lay bacon slices crosswise over the roast, slightly overlapping with the ends tucked in underneath the roast. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is 140˚ degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. Slice into ½-inch slices. Arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle with pomodoro chimichurri sauce.



Breast of Duck with Blackberries and Thyme

Courtesy of Chef Charles Wiley, Executive Chef at Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Arizona 

Serves 4

  • 3 duck breasts, skin on (6 oz each)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 cup J. Lohr Estates Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 cups (about 1/2 lb) blackberries (or substitute fresh pitted cherries)
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Heat a 10-inch skillet over low heat. Score skin of duck breast with sharp knife in crisscross pattern (to help render the fat), then season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil to hot pan, add duck skin-side down, and allow it to cook slowly until fat is rendered and skin is crisp (about 12 to 15 minutes— be patient!). Turn duck over and cook briefly, for 3 to 4 minutes, on the other side. Remove from pan and allow to rest.

Pour off all but 1 Tbsp of fat from pan and return pan to stove. Turn heat to high, add shallot, and cook until softened and beginning to brown. Add J. Lohr Estates Pinot Noir, chicken stock, orange juice and 1 tsp of orange zest. Simmer until mixture is reduced to ¾ cup. Strain and return to pan. Add honey, blackberries or cherries, and thyme, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until berries soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. While sauce is cooking, slice duck breasts on a diagonal, and fan out slices on four plates. Swirl butter into sauce, then drizzle over duck slices. Serve with a glass of delightful J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir!

Duck Gumbo

Courtesy of Chef Lola Beth Pokorny, Chef/Owner at Lola's Louisiana Kitchen, Las Vegas, Nevada 

Serves 15

  • 2 lbs andouille sausage
  • 2 lbs kielbasa
  • 40 oz cut frozen okra
  • 1/2 bottle J. Lohr Estates Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir
  • 2 cups yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped
  • duck stock (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup celerty, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 4 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper

In a large pot, slowly cook andouille sausage, kielbasa, peppers, onion and celery until the vegetables are softened. Deglaze with J. Lohr Estates Pinot Noir. Add the dry seasonings and cook over medium heat until the wine has almost evaporated. Add the duck stock and the okra, and simmer until the vegetables are soft and tender.

Duck Stock

  • 1 duck (approx 5 lbs)
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, roughly chopped

Roast the duck at 350°F for 1 hour. Remove from the roasting pan and reserve the duck fat for roux. Place the duck, onion and celery into a stockpot and cover with cold water. Simmer for 6 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Strain the stock, remove the meat from the duck carcass, and set aside.


  • 1 cup oil/fat (canola oil and reserved duck fat combined)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper

While the gumbo is simmering, make a roux with the fat mixture and flour. Cook the roux until it is dark brown in color. Slowly stir the roux into the gumbo and cook until the flour taste is gone. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve

  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 2 stalks green onions, chopped

SPlace the gumbo in a bowl with a serving of white rice, and garnish with the chopped green onions. Enjoy with a glass of J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir!

Magret of Duck Breast

Courtesy of Chef Chris O'Brien, Chef/Owner at Farm to Table Bistro, Fishkill, New York 

Serves 4

In a shallow dish, combine 1 cup of J. Lohr Estates Pinot Noir, olive oil, fresh thyme and duck breasts. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or all day). Remove from refrigerator and pat dry, allowing breasts to come to room temperature. Save the remaining marinade.

Sauce (can be made in advance)

  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup J. Lohr Estates Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black peppercorn
  • 3/4 cup veal stock or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch for slurry

In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil, then add shallots and cook till soft. Add remaining marinade, plus one more cup of J. Lohr Estates Pinot Noir and crushed peppercorns. Simmer until reduced by half. Add the stock and reduce by half again. While sauce is reducing, sauté sliced shiitake mushrooms in butter for 3 to 4 minutes until tender. When sauce is finished reducing, add mushrooms and any pan juices to the sauce.

To Serve

In a hot sauté pan, over medium-high heat, cook duck breasts, skin side down, for 8 to 10 minutes until crispy. Remove the rendered fat and save for use at another time. Turn breasts over and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. While duck is resting, thicken sauce with a slurry, one teaspoon corn starch and two tablespoons water mixed together, whisk into sauce and cook until thickened. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice duck thinly on the bias or serve whole and drizzle duck with thickened sauce. Enjoy with a delicious glass of J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir!

Paillards of Beef Tenderloin with Bucheron and Watercress Salad with Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir and Shallot Vinaigrette

Courtesy of Chef Jennifer Moody, Chef at Center Plate/J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Café, Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid, New York 

Serves 4

Beef Tenderloin

  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz beef tenderloin, sliced approximately 1/4-inch thick (ideally from near hte middle of the tenderloin) into 10 to 12 slices

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the beef. Coat the tenderloin in the herb mixture and let marinate for up to 2 hours.

Sear tenderloin two slices at a time, in a small sauté pan, over moderately-high heat for 25 to 30 seconds on each side. Let rest on a plate at room temperature.


  • 4 cups watercress, cleaned and trimmed
  • 1/2 small red onion, julienned
  • 8 red or yellow grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • Pinch sea salt

In a medium bowl, combine the watercress, onion and tomato halves. Sprinkle with sea salt and gently toss to combine.

Pinot Noir and Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup J. Lohr Estates Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir, reduced in a small pan by half, then cooled
  • 2 Tbsp shallots, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
  • 2 Tbsp high quality, aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the shallots, garlic, Dijon mustard, reduced wine and balsamic vinegar. Using a small metal whisk, slowly incorporate the olive oil till emulsified. Finish with a dash of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Set aside.

To Serve

  • 4 oz Bucheron, or other high quality, aged goat cheese

Build the salad in the center of two plates—stacking the watercress atop itself and rearranging the tomatoes and onions so they are tucked in a “nest” of watercress. Slice the Bucheron into rounds and lean them against the salad. Spoon a circle of vinaigrette around the salad and carefully place two slices of tenderloin against the side of each salad. Finish with a drizzle of vinaigrette and a scant sprinkle of sea salt. Serve with a lovely glass of J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir!

Braised Boneless Short Ribs

Courtesy of Chef Steven Matthews, Chef at HT Grill, Redondo Beach, California 

Serves 4


Combine all the ingredients and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Braised Short Ribs

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or bouillon
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the ribs from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Strain the marinade and save the liquid and vegetables separately. Heat the oil in a medium roasting pan or dutch oven and sear the short ribs, then remove and set aside. Add the strained vegetables to the pan, along with garlic and thyme. Cook until the vegetables are just softened. Add the tomato paste and wine marinade and reduce by one quarter. Add the beef stock and short ribs to reduced the liquid. Cover the pan with foil or a lid and bake in the oven for 3 hours. When fork tender, separate the meat from the liquid and keep both warm. Strain the liquid and then dispose of the vegetables. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce by one half. Swirl in the butter. Slice the short ribs into 4 equal portions, pour the sauce over the ribs, and serve. Enjoy with a glass of J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir!

Beef Tenderloin with Truffle Butter and Lyonnaise Potatoes, with Shiitake Mushrooms and Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir Demi-Glace

Courtesy of Chef Richard Lanza, Chef at Blackstone Steakhouse, Melville, New York 

Serves 2

  • 2 filet mignon (10 oz each)
  • salt and pepper

Season filet with salt and pepper, and grill to desired temperature.


  • 2 large Idaho potatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. Blanch the potatoes for 2 minutes, drain and toss with the butter, parsley, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes in a baking pan until nicely browned.


In a sauté pan, cook the mushrooms with butter, then deglaze with J. Lohr Estates Pinot Noir and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace and reduce again until nicely thickened, adjusting seasoning as needed.

To Serve

  • 1/4 cup truffle butter

Top each filet with 1 oz truffle butter and place filet on top of the potatoes. Shiitake mushrooms should be placed on the opposite side of the plate and drizzled with demi-glace sauce. Enjoy with a glass of J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir!

Duck Breast with Fennel Slaw and Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir Sauce

Courtesy of Chef Jason Kitton, Chef/Owner at XO Restaurant-Wine & Chocolate Lounge, Huntington, New York 

Serves 4

  • 4 large duck breasts
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper the duck breasts, place in a shallow pan, and drizzle with honey. Place in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium-sized pan, heat the olive oil and sear the duck breasts on both sides. Transfer to a roasting pan and cook in the oven for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reads 165°F.

Fennel Slaw

  • 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 Tbsp white vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Toss the thinly sliced fennel with the remaining ingredients. Let the mixture sit for 2 hours.

Pinot Noir Sauce

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 anise stars
  • 3 limes, zest and juice
  • 3 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 heaping Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup J. Lohr Estates Falcon's Perch Pinot Noir

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, bouillon cube, sugar, anise stars, citrus juice, zest and a dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat and let cool. When cool, strain the mixture.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the flour, and cook until a light golden color. Over low heat, slowly stir in the strained sauce mixture and whisk until smooth. Cook for several minutes, stirring continuously. Add the J. Lohr Estates Pinot Noir and cook for several minutes until heated through.

To Serve

Slice the duck breasts and fan out the pieces on each plate. Drizzle with Pinot Noir sauce. Add a serving of fennel slaw and enjoy with a beautiful glass of J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir!

Roasted Duck Breasts with Pomegranate-Chile Sauce

Courtesy of Chef Malcolm Jessop, Chef at Tante Marie Cooking School, San Francsico, California and Jeff Meier, Winemaker at J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

Serves 4


  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups refrigerated pomegranate juice (such as POM)
  • 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 4 large dried California chiles, stemmed, seeded, and torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • coarse Kosher salt

Stir sugar and water in a heavy, large saucepan, over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, swirling the pan occasionally (about 8 minutes). Add the juice, broth, and California chiles, and boil until the sauce is reduced to 1½ cups (about 25 minutes). Remove from the heat and let cool. Purée in a tightly-covered blender for about 2 minutes until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in adobo sauce, vinegar and cumin. Season to taste with generous amounts of coarse salt and pepper. (Re-warm over low heat before plating.)


  • 4 boneless duck breast halves (5 to 6 oz each), skin and fat trimmed to size of breast
  • coarse Kosher salt
  • ground coriander
  • fresh pomegranate seeds (as a garnish)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat the duck dry with paper towels, then score the skin of the duck (don’t cut into the flesh) with 5 cuts in 1 direction. Repeat in the opposite direction, making a diamond pattern. Sprinkle the duck all over with coarse salt, pepper and ground coriander. Place two large ovenproof skillets over medium-high heat. Add the duck, skin-side down, to skillets, dividing equally. Cook the duck approximately 5 minutes, until the skin is crisp and deep brown. Turn the duck over and cook 1 minute. Pour off fat, then transfer the skillets to the oven. Roast the duck until cooked to medium-rare (about 5 minutes).

Transfer the duck to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Thinly slice each breast crosswise on a slight diagonal. Arrange the slices on the plates, spoon the sauce over the duck, and then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Savor with a fruit-forward glass of J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir!

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