~ Lynn Craig
For the past 8 years, Chef Elaine Bell been the creative force behind the delicious and Cabernet-friendly cuisine that we serve at the Valentine’s Candlelight Dinner, held for our Cabernet Club at the Robert Craig Winery on Howell Mountain.
Cabernet Club guests at this year’s event were wowed by two appetizers featured during the reception. Elaine has graciously agreed to share the recipes with us. Enjoy!
Rosemary Grape Salad
About 10 - 40 servings as part of a cheese board
Our Cab Clubbers loved this simple but show-stopping presentation of red flame grapes served with a selection of cheeses, fresh breads and crackers.
I made this dish for our recent Spring Release Open House at the Tasting Salon and received lots of compliments and questions about the ingredients. I've adjusted the amount of olive oil just a bit, as all that's needed is a light coating on the bunches. After tossing the grapes in the oil mixture, remove to a serving bowl and leave behind any left-over oil.
1 - 4 pounds Red Flame Grapes (or other seasonal, seedless red varieties)
1 - 3 Tbs Olive Oil (a fruity-style, cold-pressed, extra virgin oil is best)
1 - 3 Sprigs of Rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. pepper
Mix together the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss the grape bunches in the oil and place in serving bowl.
Makes about 5 dozen
This clever take on French fries was a big hit at the reception. Crunchy, full of flavor, and great with Cabernet!
1 onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs garlic, finely chopped
3 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups chickpea flour
1 cup Asiago Cheese, shredded
Heat onion, garlic, milk and butter slightly. Add chickpea flour all at once and stir vigorously with a whisk.
Stir continuously with a wooden spoon over low heat until mixture thickens, then cook 5 minutes more. Stir in the cheese.
Spread onto a greased pan, smooth out and chill. Cut fries into sticks. Toss lightly in flour and deep fry until golden at 325 degrees.
Serve with Rosemary Aioli
1 1/2 cups Mayonnaise
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
1 Tbs Rosemary, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine well and chill.