This month Jane from Always Ravenous is hosting the Wine Pairing Weekend bloggers for a fun look at California food and wine pairings. She's calling the theme: Tasting California: Cookbook Tour paired with California Wines. Initially she wanted us to work with What’s Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want: 125 Recipes for Real Life by Gaby Dalkin*, but the book isn't released until next month; however, What's Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food has been out for a couple of years already. In any case, you can read Jane's invitation post: here.
And if you're reading this early enough, you can jump on Twitter while the #WinePW bloggers are chatting live about this topic. Follow the hashtag #WinePW on Saturday, March 14th, starting at 8am Pacific time. Just be sure to use that hashtag if you chime in so we can see your tweet. Here's what the group has planned. All of these will be live between Friday, March 13th and Saturday, March 14th. Cheers!
- A Taste of Ojai: Chef Robin Goldstein and Topa MountainWines by Gwendolyn at Wine Predator
- Bean and Cheese Panchos with a California Rosé by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Cabbage Soup with a California Red by Terri of Our Good Life
- California Cooking Gaby Style with California Wine Pairing by Jane of Always Ravenous
- Pairing, California-style: Pea Pesto and a White Rhone Blend by Linda of My Full Wine Glass
- Napa History with Gamble Family Wines & a Lamb Feast with Friends by Nicole of Somm's Table
- Pair Homeroom Mac 'n Cheese with Sparkling Wine by Deanna of Asian Test Kitchen
- Picturing California on the Plate and in the Glass by Jeff of Food Wine Click!
- Savory Dutch Baby, Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé, and a Few Other California Favorites by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Sirloin Steak Tacos with Paso Robles Zinfandel by David of Cooking Chat
- Tasting California with Merry Edwards Pinot Noir and GabyDalkin’s Pulled Pork Sliders by Cindy of Grape Experiences
A Few Other California Favorites
|map via wineinstitute.com
Being a resident of Golden State for the better part of my life - minus some time in the Netherlands, Italy, and Oklahoma - I have poured and paired a lot of California wine. A lot. I realize that I haven't actually shared anything from either the Far North or Southern California, but it's a big state. I'll put those on my list of things to do. Soon. Here are a few highlights...
From California's North Coast
Back in April 2019, I served a Frey Biodynamic Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 from America's first Demeter-certified biodynamic winery. I paired that wine, from California's North Coast area, with Seabass Agli Agrumi. The Napa and Sonoma Valleys fall into this region, so my explorations for #MerlotMe that included the 2015 Napa Valley Merlot from Cakebread Cellars as we noshed on Tear-Apart Garlic Bread and Garlicky Stuffed Tomatoes; Markham Vineyards Estate Merlot 2015 with a Poached Salmon Salad with Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette and Some Chocolate; and A Paddling of Duck(horn)s all count!
From California's Inland Valleys
Also in April 2019, I took part in a virtual tasting of wines from Lodi, from California's Inland Valleys area. I poured the Michael David Winery 2016 Ink Blot Cabernet Franc with Bone Suckin' Sauced Ribs. That same sampling of wines helped me produce Malfatti di Ricotta con Basilico e Gamberi Agli Agrumi + m2 Mokelumne River 2018 Vermentino; 'Nduja Pizza + LangeTwins Winery & Vineyards 2018 Aglianico Rosé; and Roasted Rack of Lamb + PRIE Winery 2016 Ancient Vine (1900),Block 4 Spenker Ranch Carignane. That was a fun exploration of a region I have not actually visited. I'll get over there one of these days.
From California's Sierra Foothills
The Sierra Foothills has the Fenaughty Vineyards - in the El Dorado appellation - from which one of my favorite California vintners, Donkey & Goat Winey, sources some grapes. I created the Torched Chashu (Japanese Braised Pork Belly) + Donkey &Goat's 2017 The Bear for them last September.
From California's Central Coast
And then there's the Central Coast...where I live and drink wine all the time. So, I'll just give a shoutout to some of my favorites...
May 2018's #WinePW had us looking at the letter 'm', (Wine) Sesame Street Style. I posted 'M' is for Mourvèdre with Maple-Glazed Duck Legs with the 2016 I. Brand & Family Old Vine Mourvèdre and shined the spotlight on Ian Brand and his family of labels.
For February 2018's #WinePW event, I focused on Nicole Walsh of Ser Winery in Aptos and paired her Sparkling Rosé of Nebbiolo + Fusion Street Tacos.
Day tripping to Paso Robles to meet Lori Budd of Dracaena Wines and spending the day with Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm was definitely a highlight of last summer. Read about my trip and our tastings in the vineyard and on the crush pad: here.
Jared and Tracey Brandt of Donkey & Goat Winery, however, have probably gotten the lion's share of my attention for wines from the Central Coast because I just adore their esoteric wines. And whenever I make it up to Berkeley, we hit their tasting room, drink wine, and play bocce!
Here are just a few of my pairings with their wines: Petrale Sole, Fennel, and Potato Gratin +Donkey & Goat's Grenache Blanc Skins; Shrimp and Clam Paella + Donkey & Goat's Grenache BlancSkins; Vanilla Panna Cotta with Candied Parsnips paired with Meandering which was a 50/50 Roussanne-Marsanne blend; and Gingerbread with Lemon Curd + the 2016 Ramato Pinot Gris, a skin-fermented wine with a fascinating funk. In any case, if you keep reading my blog, you'll certainly see more pairing with the Brandt's wines.
In the Glass
But, for this month's event, I actually had this bottle of bubbly in my fridge - Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rosé - and knew it would be perfect with a leisurely Sunday brunch.
This non-vintage Mirabelle Brut Rosé is a blend of 64% Pinot Noir and 36% Chardonnay sourced from Schramsberg's vineyards in Carneros, Anderson Valley, and the coastal areas of Sonoma and Marin. The wine pours a pale salmon color with lively bubbles. On the nose, I got red fruits such as ripe strawberries. And on the palate it's decidedly fresh and elegant with some lively fruit and medium weight.
While this would pair well with any fruity or sweet brunch offering, I went to the savory side for a great match.
While this would pair well with any fruity or sweet brunch offering, I went to the savory side for a great match.
On the Plate
Also, I did some reading about Gaby because I was unfamiliar with her before Jane suggested Gaby's cookbook. A trained chef, Dalkin has catapulted into being an entrepreneur and food/lifestyle writer based in Los Angeles. Her blog, What's Gaby Cooking, features original recipes and images along with highlights from Gaby's life and travels.
She has published three books: Absolutely Avocados, 2013; What's Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food, 2018; and now What’s Gaby Cooking: Eat What You Want: 125 Recipes for Real Life, 2020. She is active on social media; you can also find her on Facebook, on Twitter, on Pinterest, and on Instagram.
And though the book isn't due to be released until later in April, I perused the preview and have already made a few of her other recipes. So, I'd say that's pretty inspiring when I don't even have the book in-hand! I have tried her Soft Scrambled Eggs with Burrata on Toast, Adam's Green Chile Cheddar Biscuits, and her Double Pea, Prosciutto, & Burrata Platter.
Before this I have only ever made sweet Dutch babies which is surprising because savory breakfasts are much more my style. I've already made this recipe several times with a few variations. That, to me, is the sign of a great recipe: that it inspires repeated meals and provides a jumping off point for creative variance.
Oh, in case you do a search for 'Dutch baby' and think 'Cam's never shared any Dutch baby' recipes', you'll actually find my posts labeled as Pannekoeken, the Dutch name! You can read all about my disorientation and being transported to when my family lived in the Netherlands by baking my first Vanilla Bean Pannekoeken.
Savory Dutch Baby
very slightly adapted from Gaby's cookbook
Gaby writes that this is "basically a giant popover that you can make extra savory with, you guessed it, eggs, bacon, and cheese, plus fresh herbs and pretty much any other topping your heart desires" (pg. 29). I omitted the sugar and added some cardamom to my version. Also, I skipped the bacon strips and opted for crumbles of crisp prosciutto.
makes a 12" Dutch baby / serves 2 to 4
- 5 large eggs
- 1 C milk (I used whole milk)
- 9 T butter (5 T melted and cooled)
- 1 C flour
- 1/2 t freshly ground salt
- 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 t ground cardamom
- 1/2 C grated cheese (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano, but have also really enjoyed this with Asiago)
- freshly snipped chives, approximately 1/4 C
- Also needed a 12" oven-proof pan or skillet (I used my Le Creuset braiser which is enamel-covered cast iron)
- 1 T vinegar (I used a champagne citrus vinegar)
- 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used a Meyer lemon)
- zest from 1 organic lemon (again, I used a Meyer lemon)
- 1 to 2 t whole grain mustard (I used my homemade Fennel-Maple Mustard and only used 1 t)
- 1 to 2 shallots, peeled and finely diced
- 3 T olive oil
- freshly ground salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 8 slices prosciutto, crisped and blotted dry
- 4 C organic baby greens
- 4 eggs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Once the oven is preheated, place the empty pan in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
In the meantime, combine the eggs, milk, melted butter, flour, salt, pepper, and cardamom in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Once everything is moistened and there are no lumps, fold in the chives and the cheese.
After the pan has heated, place the remaining butter into the pan and swirl to coat the surface of the pan. Quickly pour the batter into the pan and swirl to make sure that the entire bottom of the pan is coated. Place the pan back in the oven and bake until it is puffed and golden brown, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
While the Dutch baby bakes, prepare the salad and the eggs. In a lidded mason jar, add the vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, shallots, 2 T olive oil, freshly ground salt, and freshly ground pepper. Place the lid on the jar and shake to emulsify. Adjust seasoning as needed. Crumble the cooked prosciutto and add to the dressing.
In another skillet, add the remaining olive oil and fry the eggs to desired doneness. We like the edges crisped but the yolk still runny. Once cooked, remove the eggs from the pan and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, remove the Dutch baby from the oven. It will deflate as it cools, but you can serve this hot, warm, or even room temperature. Toss the greens with the dressing and turn the salad out onto the Dutch baby. Top with the fried eggs and serve immediately.
And that's a wrap for my offering to the #WinePW exploration of California. For April the Wine Pairing Weekend group will be looking at Ancient World Pairings with Nicole of Somm's Table at the lead. Can't wait to hear what she has in mind. Stay tuned...
*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.
Click to see what everyone else read for #FoodieReads in March 2020: here.