Paleo & Primal Food, Wine, Travel & Living

Posts tagged “Farm to Fork Wine Series

Legends of Wine Returns September 17th, 2015

1469769_714198055327065_7603323090107620337_n

It’s been Farm-to-Fork insanity here at cavegrrl.com headquarters! Andy and I are scheduled to attend so many events and dinners in celebration of this very special time of year in Sacramento. One of my favorite upcoming events is Farm-to-Fork’s Legends of Wine. I’m am thrilled that my mom will be coming out to visit during that week and will be going to Legends of Wine with us.

Legends of Wine provides the unique opportunity to sample and discover more about some of the region’s most celebrated varietals, as selected by two of Sacramento’s internationally recognized culinary powerhouses—Darrell Corti and David Berkley. Set against the backdrop of California’s majestic State Capitol, guests will sip a wide array of award-winning wines paired and presented with artisan cheeses and local delights.

If you’ve never attended Legends of Wine, here’s a brief look at last year’s event—some of my favorite wineries, along with some pictures of the impressive fruit and cheese arrangements we enjoyed.

First up is Bokisch Vineyards! They caught my attention at the first Legends of Wine in 2013 with their Tempranillo (one of my favorite varietals), and last year they served an Albariño.

Bokisch
capay wines
I was very impressed with Capay Valley Vineyard’s line up—their sparkling viognier was my favorite. 🙂

 

cfr
Another notable winery was Casey Flat Ranch—their Estate Red Wine is excellent.

 

mathcbook
Aaand… always a favorite of mine… Matchbook. Their entire flock of wines are both affordable and delicious. Maybe this year they will bring their Arsonist Chardonnay?
michael david
Here’s one of Andy’s picks from last year: Michael David’s Sauvignon Blanc. Looking forward to trying more from them this year, and perhaps they will bring their Inkblot Tannat! 🙂

Along with the wines, there were fabulous displays of fruits and cheeses for the pairing:

fruit cheese 1 fruit cheese 2 fruit cheese 3

 

random crowd shot 3
This year’s Legends of Wine is September 17th from 6:00-8:30 p.m. on the west steps of the State Capitol. Tickets are $59 each. To purchase tickets, head over to the Farm-to-Fork website here. See you there!

To keep up with all the delicious Farm-to-Fork events, click here, “like” Farm to Fork on Facebook here, or follow them on Twitter here.


Farm to Fork Wine Dinner Series: Piatti Presents Matchbook Wines, Spectacular from Beginning to End!

rose
If you missed Piatti’s last wine dinner for the year featuring Matchbook Wines, I feel really bad for you! It was even more than I thought it would be––even though I knew it would be amazing. Piatti is one of my long time advertisers, and I have always been a fan of their food, but I never knew it could be pulled off like this. This dinner was probably one of the best meals I have eaten there. I think it’s mostly due to Chef Lance Carlini who combines his take on Italian cuisine with Farm to Fork/seasonal and brings it to a whole new level.

And then there were my wonderful table mates. So, at the Piatti wine dinners, patrons are sat 6 to a table, so you prepare to make new fellow loving wine friends–at least for the night! I was lucky enough to sit with Sharon, Tamara, Eduardo, and James and be a fifth wheel. 🙂

servers ready
We were sat fountain side with illuminated trees surrounding us. We had been welcomed with an opening glass of Matchbook’s Rosé of Tempranillo as John and Lane Giguiere (owners of the winery) were making the rounds and introducing themselves to each table.

Then it was onto the opening dish: A wood fired spot prawn with Grass Valley polenta and a hatch chili chimichurri. It was paired with the wine we were already enjoying: Matchbook’s 2013 Rose of Tempranillo, Dunnigan Hills.

shrimp copy
As you can see. the plating was flawless on this dish. My favorite element was the chimichurri (a green sauce made of chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white or red wine vinegar) which I love on anything from seafood to chicken to beef or pork.


The second course presented to us was a Riverdog Farm Potato Gnocchi served with fall squash, Apple Hill apples, lacinato kale and cream. It was served with the 2012 ‘Arsonist’ Chardonnay, Dunnigan Hills. The upfront nose on the wine revealed aromas of toasty oak, caramel apple and crème brûlée. It was an automatic match with the plump buttery gnocchi and apples in the cream sauce. Gnocchi is the only pasta I even missed post-Paleo, so this was like eating dessert for me!  Also, lots of wonderful comments from my table mates––they also loved the squash and apples in the dish. It was the essence of fall! Great pairing, Chef Carlini! 🙂

gnocchi copy copy

Then it was time to get serious. The third course presented to us was a Tinto Rey Red Braised Short Rib with Thyme Toasted Mushrooms and fresh Horseradish paired with the 2009 Tinto Rey Red Blend, California. The Tinto Rey is a red wine blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Graciano, Tannat and Cabernet.

So, if you didn’t gather from the course description, the short rib was actually braised in the wine with which it was paired. We didn’t even really need a knife on this one, just a fork to pull apart the meat. Again, the plating was gorgeous and the pairing was genius.

short rib copy

Dessert came soon after that: A Milk Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Cake, Sea Salt Caramel and Hazelnut––topped with Pomegranate arils. It was paired with the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lake County. I boxed up the dessert to take home to Andy, but took full advantage of the Cabernet. 🙂 The Matchbook Cabernet Sauvignon has vibrant ripe red fruit characteristics followed by layers of spice and earth and chocolate and that’s enough dessert for me!

dessert copy

I was completely wowed by this wine dinner and I was seated with the best company! Thanks to the marketing and management at Piatti for the great partnership we have had over the years. And thank you, Chef Lance Carlini! Amazing job. 🙂

As of October 25 this year, Matchbook now has a tasting room located in Zamora here.  GO VISIT THEM! 🙂

You can learn more about Matchbook Wines here. You can find them on Facebook here and their parent company on twitter here. You can find Piatti on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here.


Salmon with Hazelnut Shallot Butter and a Cauliflower Sweet Potato Mash

I love September and October in Sacramento. There are so many fun events to celebrate Farm-to-Fork and harvest time. There’s an intoxicating energy all around. The wineries are busy harvesting their grapes and there gets to be a little chill in the air in the mornings and when the sun goes down.

Though the Farm-to-Fork celebration has officially come to a close, it’s certainly not over. So many local restaurants and grocery stores have adopted this theme, and it’s exciting to see the concept take off locally just in the past two years. (Even though Alice Waters was practicing Farm-to-Table 40 years ago!! and Sacramento is not doing anything new.) 😉

I know that ever since I went Paleo (3 ½ years ago), I have made it a point to eat non-processed, local and organic foods when at all possible. I was extremely blessed to meet a partner who had adopted the same healthy eating habits as me and we have continued to be Paleo/Primal in the three years since.

We have made some incredible Paleo meals together with the best ingredients from two of my sponsors: Nugget Market and Whole Foods. We have also used other purveyors: Taylor’s Market and Sunh Fish for our meats and fish.

This Salmon dish is only an example of the kinds of things we prepare on a weekly basis. There is almost always something this special, so many times, it is more tempting to stay in than to eat in a restaurant. Don’t even get me started on all the eclectic wine that we have to pair up with whatever we make. 😉

The recipe was adapted from the Salmon Hazelnut Recipe from the book It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. The cauliflower and sweet potato mash was done on a whim and is all my own.

I hope you continue to practice Farm-to-Fork/Farm-to-Table at your house and when dining out beyond this month and celebrate this incredible agricultural paradise we are lucky enough to call home. 🙂

salmon
The star of this recipe is the compound butter that tops the salmon after it has been baked. You can use all or some of it, but we had a lot left over (even after using 1/2 of it on 20 ounces of salmon).
Make the compound butter ahead of time (recipe below) and use the freezer to re-solidify it if you happen to be short on time.

For the salmon

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp melted butter
salt and pepper to season
20 ounces wild-salmon (it was easier for us to portion after cooking)

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 400.  Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with melted butter, then sprinkle with salt.  Place salmon in the middle, skin side down. Brush salmon with melted butter and season again.

Place salmon in oven and roast it about 10 min. Be careful not to overcook. To serve, portion your filets and top each with slices of hazelnut butter and additional toasted hazelnuts.

compound butter
Hazelnut compound butter

Ingredients:
1/2 stick of butter
4 Tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 small shallot and 1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, finely minced

Procedure:
Toast hazelnuts over medium heat until golden, then set aside to cool.
Sauté shallot and garlic in 1 Tbs of melted butter until shallot is translucent. Remove from heat.
Then add shallot mixture to the toasted hazelnuts, along with the remaining butter, thyme, and some salt and pepper.
Place mixture into the freezer for about 10-20 minutes.

Then place a large piece of plastic wrap on flat surface and transfer the butter mixture (after it has set up a little in the freezer) to the center of plastic. Form a log shape like above. Wrap tightly in the plastic and chill until solid. This will take 2 hours in the refrigerator, or about 45 minutes in the freezer.

salad
Spinach salad with red and yellow bell peppers, avocado, mushrooms, and salami from Taylor’s Market.

caulflower mash
For the Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower (cut into small pieces)
1 large white sweet potato (cubed)
1 shallot
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs chopped garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
Salt to taste

Procedure:
Cook cauliflower and sweet potato in boiling water until fork tender. Drain water and set aside.
Chop shallot into thin slices and sauté in melted butter in a small pan. Add the garlic. Cook until shallot is translucent.
Place cooked cauliflower and potato into a food processor with the shallot mixture.
Add the garlic powder and chicken stock and pulse until completely smooth. Season to taste.

 

bellagrace
Last but certainly not least was the wine pairing. A 2010 reserve Pinot Noir from one of our favorite (and super local) wineries, BellaGrace Vineyards. The grapes are sourced from Sangiacomo Vineyards in Carneros. It is a fairly ripe Pinot Noir, but with the distinctive strawberry flavors unique to the region. The wine is fairly acidic, which perfectly compliments the fatty characteristics of Pacific salmon.

You can find BellaGrace Vineyards on Facebook here or visit them in person at the winery (complete with a cave cellar) at 22715 Upton Rd in Plymouth from 11:00am to 4:00pm,  Fri-Sun. They also have a tasting room in Sutter Creek (73 Main St, Sutter Creek) open from 11am-5pm daily.

Cheers! 🙂


Farm to Fork Wine Dinner Series: Piatti Presents Matchbook on Wednesday, October 8th!

I am very excited to share this event with you put on by my long time advertiser, Piatti Sacramento.
Matchbook_8x10
Matchbook
I’ll be attending the dinner and writing about it afterwards. I am really looking forward to the pairing of some of my very favorite wines with food by one of Sacramento’s best chefs, Lance Carlini! If you want to attend, call 916-649-8885. Hurry, space is limited and will sell out!

You can find Matchbook Wines on Facebook here and on Twitter here. Piatti Sacramento is on Facebook here and on Twitter here.


Farm to Fork Wine Dinner Series: Supper Club Fine Catering Presents Todd Taylor Wines–The Digest

table setting

flowers
Last Thursday evening turned out to be pretty uncomfortable (weather-wise) at the start of the Todd Taylor Wine Dinner at Vierra Farms, but soon enough The Supper Club Fine Catering refreshed guests with a slightly chilled Tempranillo (2012 “Holland Landing” to be exact) and a trio of appetizers: Delta Crawfish Corn Dogs with Lemon Tarragon Dijon Aioli, Bruschetta with Local Fresh Tomato Tartar, Basil, and Olive Fig Tapenade, and the Supper Club’s classic Baby Red Potato Skins with Caramelized Shallot Mascarpone and House Wild Boar Pancetta.

crayfish corn dogs

 


bruschetta

potatoes with boar
shannin

people 1

We sat down to one of the biggest menus I have ever seen for the $75.00 per person asking price. Look below and you’ll see what I mean:

menu
We were seated family style at two long beautifully decorated wooden picnic tables to enjoy the first course of the meal called: “There’s a Fungus Among Us”: Wild Mushroom Latte in Demitasse with White Truffle Crema Shacking up together with Grown Up Grilled Cheese with Smoked Portobello, Gruyere, Oven Dried Tomato, and Arugula Pesto

The soup and sandwich course was paired with Todd Taylor Pinot Noir Reserve “Corotto Vineyard” 2012

soup and sandwich
Some of the guests around me were very excited about the mushroom latte, because they had enjoyed it many times before at Matteo’s (the brick and mortar restaurant owned by Supper Club Catering). The “soup” was indeed everything they described, earthy and creamy, and looked just like a small cup of cappuccino. I gave the bread on my sandwich to Andy, but not before I scraped the goodness inside. Pesto is one of the most incredible things!

Next up was the first family style course: Duck Duck Goose #5: Potato Gnocchi, Shredded Grimaud Duck Confit, House Made Duck Prosciutto, Goose Pancetta, Roasted Vierra Farms Squash, Poblanos, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Light Sage Cream Sauce, paired with Todd Taylor Zinfandel “Clockspring Vineyard” 2012.

gnocchi
So, being gluten-free (95-98% of the time), I never miss pasta at all, except for gnocchi. So, I took a little delight was incredibly happy 😉 to cheat on my diet with this dish. It had a myriad of textures and flavors and the soft little pillows of pasta were the star of the show!

Following the gnocchi course, we were served the second family style course:
“3 Little Piggies went to the Farm”: Crispy Pork Belly, Smoked Tenderloin and Braised Shoulder paired with Todd Taylor Primitivo “Blue House” 2012.

pork 3 ways
Above is the Colossal Runner Bean, Tomato, Fennel and grilled Fig Salad served on the side of the pork dish. This was easily my favorite dish of the night. It had all my favorite ingredients: pork, fennel, pork, fig, pork… 😉 You get the idea. I am pretty sure I could just live on pork alone, and I am pretty sure I am not alone in that sentiment!

Following the pork trifecta was the third family style course:
“Not your Momma’s Steak and Potatoes”: Grilled Lucky Dog Skirt Steak basted with Secret Recipe House Butter, served with White Truffle Asiago Russet Frites, and Garlicky Green Beans. The third course was paired with Todd Taylor Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337 “Hagen Heights” 2012.

steak
The fries came on a separate platter, so I apologize for not capturing them. They were the tiny matchstick kind and had a distinct truffle flavor. I really enjoyed the steak, which was sliced thin and slathered in the aforementioned “house butter”. I knew people were probably watching, so I didn’t take a second helping…although I would have really liked one! 😉

And the surprisingly savory finale:
“Waiter My Cheesecake is Stinky”: Stilton Cheesecake with Rosemary Walnut Crust and Local Stone Fruit Ginger Chutney (paired with) Todd Taylor Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Clone 8 “Alphawolf Ranch” 2010.

cheesecake

So I was fully prepared to just give my entire dessert to Andy after having a few bites (like I normally do at the food/wine pairing dinners we attend, but I liked this “dessert” so much, that I ate over half of it! It was not a traditional dessert or pairing for that matter. The crust and the filling of the cheesecake were quite savory and the chutney was the only thing on the plate that yielded any sweetness. And that’s why I liked the final course so much!

Finally, I asked a server to help me line up the bottles so you could see a shot of everything we were served that evening. I think the Pinot Noir was my favorite! 🙂

wines

I want to send a thank you to  the staff at The Supper Club Fine Catering for having Andy and I as guests for your inagural Farm-to-Fork Wine dinner! Chef Matt is so creative with the food pairings and everything down to naming the dishes on the menus. It was fun to meet diehard fans of The Supper Club and Matteo’s and we hope to be back again soon. 🙂
If you are interested, there are other Farm-to-Fork dinners by the Supper Club Fine Catering coming soon:
10-23-14 Farm to Fork Dinner Featuring Sean Minor Wine Dinner at the Crocker Art Museum
11-20-14 Farm to Fork Dinner Featuring Pruett Vineyards at the Crocker Art Museum
12-18-14 Farm to Fork Dinner (Winery TBD) at the Crocker Art Museum

About Todd Taylor Wines:
Todd Taylor produces single vineyard designated red wines. Napa Valley Cabernet Savingnon, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. Amador County Zinfindel and Primitivo. Clarksburg Tempranillo. Aged in New Cooperage. Available for tasting Saturday and Sunday 12-5. You can find them online here, on Facebook here, and on twitter here.

For more information on the wine dinner, click here.
You can find Supper Club Fine Catering on Facebook here.


Farm to Fork Wine Dinner Series: Sienna Restaurant Featuring Cakebread Wines

 

0904142252a
Just look at that line up! Those bottles of Cakebread Cellars were the wines featured at Sienna Restaurant’s latest wine dinner last Thursday.

Andy and I were excited to attend this dinner because we are big fans of Cakebread, especially their Reserve Chardonnay.

Pictured below is the menu for the evening, kudos to chef Moses Hernandez at Sienna for making our dinner gluten free!!

Sienna Menu
We started with the 2013 Cakebread Sauvignon Blanc paired with a Scallop and Tiger Prawn Ceviche over cabbage and a mixed vegetable slaw with red chile and blue corn chips. This dish was the best pairing for a Sauvignon Blanc, as it was citrusy, light and refreshing, just as the wine was. And I was a hungry lady after a semi-stressful day at work. Andy remarked that he was transported to Mexico by this dish. Good thing we’re going in November! 🙂

ceviche

The second course was a Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Forbidden Rice, Soy Poached Bok Choy, Lemongrass Broth & Thai gremolata. It was paired with a 2012 Napa Valley Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay.

fish
I was so happy to have had this as the second course, as I love Thai food and this was certainly a Thai inspired dish. Again, really refreshing and just amazingly good. The broth was so flavorful, and the rice was cooked perfectly. We had some wine left from the previous course and it went with the Sauvignon Blanc just as well.

The third course was a Roasted New York Steak with Sauteéd Fingerling Potatoes, Citrus Swiss Chard, Pomegranate Molasses, and Roquefort Blue Cheese butter. It was paired with a 2011 Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

steak

This was the course that made Sienna as a restaurant really shine. Not only was the steak cooked perfectly along with the accoutrements. I want to comment for a moment on the service and attention to detail I witnessed at Sienna. First, one of the servers halted service of this course for Andy and me. They were not sure if we had been served the gluten-free plates or not. Now, that was highly appreciated, because although we do not have a gluten allergy, maybe someone who requested a gluten free meal might have. The staff at Sienna made sure we were delivered the correct entreés.

Another comment is that special attention to detail was given in handling the wine, as it was going to be pretty tight tannin-wise. The bar staff at Sienna took the time to both aerate the wine and then decant it long before dinner guests arrived, so that it would give its best showing.

And the wine was pretty phenomenal to both of us, and pretty much put a spell on Andy. He loved the Cabernet so much, that he ordered a case. I am pretty excited about that, because I benefit. I get to taste the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon as it matures and develops. Softens and becomes even more magnificent. I think he said we are going to open a bottle every 6 months. Don’t be jealous, maybe you’ll get an invite for dinner to share. 😉

Then, it was on to the last course. The dessert course. Sienna made sure to adjust ours so that it was gluten free as well. It was a Peanut Butter Mousse, topped with Whipped Cream and chopped Peanut Butter Cups. It was paired with a 2012 Red Hills Lake County Cakebread Cellars Zinfandel that to be quite honest, longed to be paired with the prior course. No matter. I gave Andy all but two tastes of my dessert and I enjoyed the Zinfandel pretty much as my dessert. It was spectacular. 🙂

dessert

I could pretty much sum this dinner up as pure bliss. It was a beautiful evening under the stars with like minded people. All food and wine lovers like Andy and myself. I want to thank the team at Sienna for making this an incredible evening for all of the guests. No detail was spared and I am pretty sure no one left hungry or the slightest bit unhappy. We’ll certainly be back to enjoy dinner when we come to retrieve the case of Cakebread Cabernet, but we’ll also save the date for your upcoming dinner on October 2nd with Jordan Cellars.

outside

PS: Sienna also does a Monday night Wine and Dine, it’s 3 courses paired with wine for $35 per person. Hook yourselves up by clicking here! Guess what… it’s Monday, you should totally go NOWWWW!!!

OK, that’s the yummy wrap for tonight. I’ll have more Farm to Fork Wine Dinner coverage later this week! Cheers!! 🙂

You can find Sienna Restaurant on Facebook here and on twitter here.


Farm to Fork Wine Dinner Series: Supper Club Fine Catering Presents Todd Taylor Wines, September 11th

website-logo-lg

presents

todd_taylor_event-548x243


Supper Club Fine Catering is kicking off their Farm to fork wine dinner series featuring Todd Taylor wines at Vierra Farms.

The dinner will be held on Thursday, September 11th from 6:30-9:30pm

I am excited about this dinner because I recently had some of Supper Club’s great food at a party in Curtis Park hosted by some friends of Andy and mine.

Here’s the scheduled menu for the evening:

Passed Appetizers (6:30pm – 6:55pm)
Delta Crawfish Corn Dogs with Lemon Tarragon Dijon Aioli
Bruschetta with Local Fresh Tomato Tartar, Basil, and Olive Fig Tapenade
Baby Red Potato Skins with Caramelized Shallot Mascarpone and House Wild Boar Pancetta
Todd Taylor Tempranillo “Holland Landing” 2012

Soup & Sandwich
“There’s a Fungus Among Us”
Wild Mushroom Latte in Demitasse with White Truffle Crema Shacking up together with Grown Up Grilled Cheese with Smoked Portobello, Gruyere, Oven Dried Tomato, and Arugula Pesto
Todd Taylor Pinot Noir Reserve “Corotto Vineyard” 2012

First Family Style Course
Duck Duck Goose #5
Potato Gnocchi, Shredded Grimaud Duck Confit, House Made Duck Prosciutto, Goose Pancetta, Roasted Vierra Farms Squash, Poblanos, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Light Sage Cream Sauce
Todd Taylor Zinfandel “Clockspring Vineyard” 2012

Second Family Style Course
“3 Little Piggies went to the Farm”
Crispy Pork Belly, Smoked Tenderloin and Braised Shoulder Served with Colossal Runner Bean, Tomato, Fennel and grilled Fig Salad
Todd Taylor Primitivo “Blue House” 2012

Third Family Style Course
“Not your Momma’s Steak and Potatoes”
Grilled Lucky Dog Skirt Steak basted with Secret Recipe House Butter, served with White Truffle Asiago Russet Frites, and Garlicky Green Beans
Todd Taylor Cabernet Sauvignon Clone 337 “Hagen Heights” 2012

Finale
“Waiter My Cheesecake is Stinky”
Stilton Cheesecake with Rosemary Walnut Crust and Local Stone Fruit Ginger Chutney
Todd Taylor Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Clone 8 “Alphawolf Ranch” 2010

Seating will be community/family style.

The cost is $75 per person (+tax and service charge), so $97.65 inclusive. Reservations and pre-payment are required. Menu substitutions are not allowed. Contact Alissa for reservations at  catering@supperclubsacramento.com or call 916-808-1289.

Vierra Farms is located at 3010 Burrows Ave, West Sacramento

Other Farm-to-Fork upcoming dates are:
10-23-14 Farm to Fork Dinner Featuring Sean Minor Wine Dinner at the Crocker Art Museum
11-20-14 Farm to Fork Dinner Featuring Pruett Vineyards at the Crocker Art Museum
12-18-14 Farm to Fork Dinner (Winery TBD) at the Crocker Art Museum

About Todd Taylor Wines:
Todd Taylor produces single vineyard designated red wines. Napa Valley Cabernet Savingnon, Cabernet Franc, and Pinot Noir. Amador County Zinfindel and Primitivo. Clarksburg Tempranillo. Aged in New Cooperage. Available for tasting Saturday and Sunday 12-5. You can find them online here, on Facebook here, and on twitter here.

For more information on the wine dinner, click here.
You can find Supper Club Fine Catering on Facebook here.

I’ll be attending with Andy and we’ll have a post dinner commentary with pictures next week. Cheers and hope to see you out there! 🙂