Duck Breast, Lentil and Parsnip Salad

duckbreast-saladINGREDIENTS:
•  ½ cup French green lentils
•  ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
•  2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
•  Salt and fresh ground pepper
•  One medium parsnip (about 8 ounces) peeled
•  Vegetable oil for frying
•  Four 5-6 ounce skinless duck breasts (or chicken breasts)
•  5 ounces mesclun greens (10 loosely packed cups)

DIRECTIONS:
Put the lentils in a small saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 min.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Drain the lentils and return them to the saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and toss lentils well. Cover and keep warm.

Using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the parsnip lengthwise into strips. In a large skillet, heat ½ inch of vegetable oil until shimmering. Add one-fourth of the parsnips to the oil at a time and fry over moderate heat until browned, about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the parsnips to paper towels to drain. Lightly season the parsnips with salt.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet and heat until shimmering. Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper, add them to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until nicely browned outside and medium rare inside, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the duck to a carving board and let sit for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl toss the mesclun greens with the lentils. Slice the duck breasts in thin strips crosswise. Add the duck to the salad along with the remaining vinaigrette and toss well. Add some crisp parsnips to the salad and toss again and top with remaining crisp parsnips for serving.   Serves 4.  Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

TierraYMarPinot silverstarTierra y Mar
Floral Cuvee
Sonoma County, CA

Tierra y Mar translates to Earth and Sea, a nod to the special relationship between land and water.  At Tierra y Mar they produce wines that are the ultimate expression of nature’s balance and harmony, allowing the wines to speak for themselves as they are the unique creation of the grape, soil, water and climate of where they are grown.  Tierra y Mar wines are produced from vineyards situated in select parts of Napa Valley and Sonoma County.  Sonoma County, with miles of coastline and sun-kissed valleys, provides diversity within its growing regions.

DougFrost“With a delightful, floral character adding interest to the strawberry and raspberry nose, this reflects cool growing conditions, perhaps cooler than many competitive Pinot Noir sites in California and far more appropriate to the grape. This is gentle throughout but not short or simple as a result; it just happens to drink easily.” – Doug Frost, MS, MW

Critical Acclaim: SILVER STAR rated, Doug Frost, MS, MW
Winemaker: Douglas Danielak

Appellation: Sonoma County, California
Varietal Blend:  100% Pinot Noir
Analysis: 14.4% alcohol / volume

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

WC-March-2015-3clubINGREDIENTS:
spaghetti-carbonara• 1 pound spaghetti
• 8 ounces (8 slices)bacon, cut 1” thick crosswise
• Course salt and freshly ground pepper
• 3 large eggs
• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
• ¼ cup half-and-half

DIRECTIONS:
Set a large pot of water for boil (for pasta).  In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half.  Set aside.
Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it.  Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture.  Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs).  Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan.  Recipe courtesy of Casa Agricola Alexandre Relvas.

Merino-Old-vinesHerdade Sao Miguel
Merino Old Vines
Alentejano, Portugal

Situated in the municipality of Redondo, Herdade encompasses 175 hectares of which 35 are planted vines in loam soil and 97 hectares contain cork trees that were planted between 1998 -1999.   Herdade was acquired by Alexandre Relvas in 1997, who dedicates his efforts to the breeding and conservation of local species in extinction throughout the vineyard’s territory.   The Aragonez is one the most well known grape varieties in the Iberian Peninsula. It originates in Spain, where it is named Tempranillo.  The Aragonez grape develops wines containing a high degree of alcohol, low acidity and greatly aromatic with red fresh fruit.

winemakersA juicy, medium-bodied red, showing dark plum and red currant flavors, with accents of black licorice.  Milk chocolate notes emerge on the spicy finish. Pairs nicely with pasta, poultry and soft cheeses“, winemaker Alexandre Relva.

Winemaker: Alexandre Relva
Appellation: Alentejano, Portugal
Varietal Blend:  50% Aragonez, 30% Syrah, 20% Alicante Bouschet
Analysis: 13.0% alc/vol

Merino_winery