Napa Wine Pairings
Yukon Gold Potato, Leek and Fromage Blanc Frittata
Dede Sampson prepared this frittata for the Oliveto staff when she applied for a pastry position at the restaurant. This recipe gets its extra-creamy texture from fromage blanc, an extremely soft cow's-milk cheese with a sour cream-like tang. Sampson buys hers from San Francisco's Cowgirl Creamery.
Pairing: 2009 Beringer Knights Valley Alluvium BlancGO TO RECIPE
Hunter and metal artist Audwin McGee is a big fan of slow-cooked meats: "You just can't mess up a big hunk of pork. I like to use a bone-in Boston butt or shoulder with good fat content, so it doesn't dry up." His pork is smothered in a garlic-rosemary paste, then cooked at a low temperature for several hours until it's supertender.
Pairing: 2007 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet SauvignonGO TO RECIPE
Crab Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette
A blender does the work of the mortar and pestle. Store-bought roasted peppers, instead of home-roasted ones, are combined with the crunchy greens.
Pairing: 2009 Hess Collection ChardonnayGO TO RECIPE
Fideos with Shrimp, Ham and Clams
Fideos are thin, often toasted noodles that are used in a paella-like Spanish dish called fideuá. Chris Ainsworth cooks his fideos over the grill with a saffron-scented ham-hock broth and head-on prawns, but the recipe is also good with standard shrimp.
Pairing: 2008 St. Clement Vineyards MerlotGO TO RECIPE
Fresh Vegetable Curry
Vikram Sunderam blanches the carrots, squash and green beans individually before cooking them in the curry sauce.
Pairing: 2009 Duckhorn Vineyards Sauvignon BlancGO TO RECIPE
Orecchiette with Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes
Using sausage in place of ground meat is a good sauce shortcut, because it's already seasoned. For a salty, creamy finish, Marc Vetri stirs in shredded provolone cheese before serving.
Pairing: 2008 SKN MerlotGO TO RECIPE
Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Traci Des Jardins created this refreshing salad to showcase one of her favorite Latin ingredients, the avocado. She tasted her first avocado during a visit to her Grandma Salazar in Mexico; she would snack on it at taco and fruit stands on the street, where it is typically served with fresh lime juice and chile salt.
Pairing: 2009 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Sauvignon BlancGO TO RECIPE
Whole Grilled Chicken with Wilted Arugula
"I don't care if you're sophisticated, with a boatload of money," says Thomas Keller, "roasted chicken makes you feel wonderful." Cooking a whole chicken on the grill can be tricky, but Keller has perfected a method that uses indirect heat; he adds rosemary sprigs to the coals to infuse the smoke and flavor the chicken.
Pairing: 2009 Cuvaison ChardonnayGO TO RECIPE