Tag Archives: spring

hall wines cabernet cookoff

hallcookoff

I recently had a great opportunity to attend the Hall Wines Cabernet Cookoff this past May! So, we packed our bags and headed up to Napa to drink Hall cabernet and sauv blanc while sampling food from Napa as well as surrounding Bay Area chefs. The competition is held annually at Hall Wines’ gorgeous art laden location and raises money for a variety of local charities chosen by the restaurants and caterers who compete. Next time you are in the area, I highly recommend checking out Halls growing art collection. Very cool stuff!

Burkshire pork belly from Meadowood of Napa Valley,  roasted eggplant "schwarma" Culinary Mercianry, and smoked pork cheek by Earth's Bounty Kitchen & Winebar.

Burkshire Pork Belly from Meadowood of Napa Valley, Roasted Eggplant “Schwarma” Culinary Mercianry, and Smoked Pork Cheek by Earth’s Bounty Kitchen & Winebar.

One of my favorite entries was by Chef Nenad Stefanovic from Intercontinental Mark Hopkins. Although it should have been served with a knife, I loved the idea of combining herbs and brûlée with spring lamb!

One of my favorite entries was by Chef Nenad Stefanovic from Intercontinental Mark Hopkins. Although it should have been served with a knife, I loved the idea of combining herbs and brûlée with spring lamb! I’m stealing this!

The crowd favorite - Executive Chef Daniel Capra of Paula LeDuc's crispy oxtail tacos. Hot day + cold wine + oxtail tacos = perfect day!

The crowd favorite – Executive Chef Daniel Capra of Paula LeDuc’s Crispy Oxtail Tacos. Hot day + cold wine + oxtail tacos = perfect day!

One Market Restaurant's killer Potato Gnocchi, The Farmers Market Pantry's Brisket with Slaw Slider, Ca' Momi's Porchetta e Rucola Pizza and Oenotri's Wild Boar Scottadito.

One Market Restaurant’s killer Potato Gnocchi, The Farmers Market Pantry’s Brisket with Slaw Slider, Ca’ Momi’s Porchetta e Rucola Pizza and Oenotri’s Wild Boar Scottadito.

Chef Daniel Capra said it best, "When you are doing an event such as this for charity, everyone's a winner!"

Chef Daniel Capra said it best, “When you are doing an event such as this for charity, everyone’s a winner!”

For more information about the Hall Wines Cabernet Cookoff click here.

Hall Wines
401 St Helena Hwy
St Helena, CA 94574

kumquat and pasilla pepper marmalade

Kumquat marmalade on sourdough toast.

Kumquat and pasilla pepper marmalade on sourdough toast.

It’s that time of spring when kumquats arrive in abundance. When a friend of mine announced on Facebook that her tree was bursting with fruit, I jumped at the chance to make something yummy from them. I decided to try to make a marmalade and give it a slight twist by adding  pasilla peppers. The results are truly unique, colorful and delicious! Thanks for the inspiration Talia! I’m giving a jar away to 2 lucky people who subscribe to cookplateshoot.com. Don’t worry, if you don’t win, here’s how you can make your own:

Ingredients
5 cups kumquats
3 dried pasilla peppers
4 tangerines
2 lemons
a lot of sugar
water

Slice the kumquats into thin discs. Discard all seeds (this process is very tedious). Remove peels from the tangerines. Slice peels into very thin strips and roughly chop the fruit. Measure all fruit, peels and juice. Combine 2 cups of water for every cup of fruit mixture in a large non-reactive pot. Add 3 dried pasilla peppers with stems removed. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour until peels become translucent. Sterilize your canning jars and lids while the mixture simmers by submerging them in boiling water for several minutes.

untitled--2

Use a submersion blender to puree the peppers. Don’t puree the whole mixture just the peppers! Now, measure the fruit and add 3/4 cup of sugar for each cup of fruit mixture. Return mixture to the stove and boil over high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stir constantly until the gel point is reached. Place marmalade in sterilized jars and seal finger tight. Finally, place jars in boiling water for a few minutes to finish the canning process. Remove from water and allow jars to cool at room temperature. Make sure all of the lids have vacuum sealed properly. Enjoy!

marmalade