Individual Pot Roasts with Thyme-Glazed Carrots
Adapted from thekitchn.com.

  • 2 lb. chuck roast (cut into 4 equal chunks)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dry, full-bodied red wine
  • 15 oz. diced tomatoes, canned, with juices
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 lb. carrots, scrubbed, peeled if desired, cut into chunks

Directions: Preheat oven to 325˚F. Sprinkle the meat lightly with salt and pepper. Heat a deep, heavy roasting pan or Dutch oven over high heat. In batches if necessary (don’t overcrowd the pan), sear the pieces of chuck roast in the pan for several minutes on both sides, or until the meat releases easily and gets quite dark. Transfer to a dish and set aside. Heat the olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and a bit of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, until soft. Pour in the wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Transfer the meat back into the pan, and add the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Cover tightly and place in the oven. While the roast is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots and thyme leaves, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to coat the carrots in butter and thyme. After the pot roast has been in the oven for 1 hour, remove from oven and add the carrots to the roast, nestling them into the pot. Cover and return to oven, cooking for another 30 minutes, until the meat is very tender.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Serve each person a mini pot roast, with carrots and pan juices. Makes 4 servings.

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Spanish Tortilla
Adapted from the Diner’s Journal in The New York Times.
This simple egg dish is great as an appetizer, a snack, or a light meal, and takes a lot of its flavor from olive oil. If you’re apprehensive about flipping it during the cooking process, you can leave it in the skillet and finish cooking it in a 375˚F oven until the eggs are set but not overcooked.

  • 1 1/4 lb. potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6 extra-large eggs

Directions: Heat oil in a very well-seasoned or non-stick 8-10 inch skillet over medium heat. After 3-4 minutes, check the oil by placing a slice of potato in it. When tiny bubbles pop up around the edges, add the rest of the potatoes and the onion. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Gently turn the potatoes and onions to coat with oil. Lower the heat to avoid browning the potatoes, and cook, turning occasionally until they are tender.  If they begin to break, remove from heat immediately. Remove potatoes from skillet with a slotted spoon, leaving about 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with some salt and pepper. Gently fold the warm potatoes into the bowl of eggs. Heat the skillet over medium heat, and pour the egg mixture into the skillet. After about 1 minute, when the edges firm up, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook 5 minutes.

Slide a rubber spatula around the edges of the tortilla to allow it to slide out of the pan. Carefully slide onto a plate. Cover the tortilla with another plate, and holding the plates tightly, invert them. Add one more tablespoon of oil to the skillet, and use the spatula to gently transfer the tortilla back into the skillet. Cook 5 more minutes, then transfer to a clean serving plate. Serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature. Serves 3 as a main course, 6 as an appetizer.

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Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from www.bonappetit.com.
If you like a little heat, this is a really great variation on traditional mashed potatoes, and are so good, you don’t need gravy.

  • 2 lbs. potatoes, Yukon Gold or russets, peeled, and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup horseradish
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter, cubed

Directions: Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain, then return to the pot. Combine the milk and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Pour the milk mixture over the potatoes and add the horseradish. Use a potato masher to mash until smooth. Stir in the butter until melted, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

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Roasted Carrot and Tahini Soup with Chickpeas
Adapted from www.katieatthekitchendoor.com.
Loaded with savory spices, and topped with crunchy roasted chickpeas, this bright soup is a ray of sunshine on a dark winter day.

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled, chopped into 1/2-inch slices
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • salt
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 Tbs. tahini
  • 6 oz. plain Greek-style yogurt

Directions: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place the carrots in a large roasting pan and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring once midway through cooking. Leave the oven on when you take the carrots out. In a large pot over a medium flame, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, coriander, and crushed red pepper, and sauté, stirring, until fragrant. Add the roasted carrots, and pour in the broth. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Place the chickpeas in the roasting pan from the carrots. Coat the chickpeas with the last tablespoon of olive oil, then stir in the cumin, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Roast 15 minutes, then set aside to cool. In batches if necessary, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Blend in the lemon juice and tahini. If the soup is too thick, add a splash or two more broth, and purée until the consistency is to your liking.

Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each serving with a dollop of yogurt and some roasted chickpeas. Enjoy while hot. Makes 3-4 servings.

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Blood Orange and Red Onion Salad
Adapted from www.foodandwine.com.
Quick-pickled red onions and fragrant basil are unexpected accompaniments to blood oranges in this tasty, easy salad.

  • 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 4 blood oranges, peeled, white pith removed
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil, torn

Directions: Combine the red onion and vinegar in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and white pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then drain. Slice the oranges thinly crosswise, and use the tip of a knife to remove any seeds. Arrange on a serving dish and top with the red onion. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with more salt and white pepper. Serve garnished with fresh basil. Makes 4 servings.

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Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins
Adapted from www.eatingwell.com.

  • 1 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp.cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted if solid
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins

Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line or lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and allspice. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, honey, vanilla, and coconut oil. Fold in the flour mixture until just moistened, then fold in the carrots, 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, and raisins. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, then sprinkle them with the remaining rolled oats and shredded coconut. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, and the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Let sit in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 muffins.

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Blood Orange Cheesecake
Adapted from www.underthehighchair.com.

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 24 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 cups sour cream, divided
  • 1 lemon, washed
  • 2 blood oranges, washed
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚F. In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs until incorporated. Press the mixture evenly into a buttered 10-inch springform pan, covering the bottom, and going up the sides about 1 inch. Bake 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Set aside to cool. Zest and juice the lemon, then zest and juice the blood oranges. Combine the zest and juice of the lemon and one of the blood oranges. Set aside the zest and juice from the second blood orange. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of the sugar until smooth. Add 1/3 cup of the sour cream, and the combined lemon and blood orange zest and juice. Mix well to combine. Fold in the eggs, one at a time. Pour the mixture into the crumb crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 40 minutes. The center will still be a bit jiggly. Remove from oven, and run a sharp knife around the side of the pan. Don’t remove the ring. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool. Prepare a topping. In a small bowl, whip together the remaining sour cream and the juice and zest of the second blood orange. Stir in the last 1/4 cup of sugar. Pour over the slightly cooled cheesecake, smooth the top with a spatula, and let stand for 30 more minutes at room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, then remove the ring from the springform pan, and serve. Makes 1 10-inch round cheesecake.

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